EACH YEAR I HIKE MOUNT RANIER to a secret meeting. I use the Carbon Glacier trail and I don’t ascend the whole mountain—that takes days and a team of other hikers. And I have to go it alone. This is just a vigorous day-hike that gets me up to about 7,000 feet where I can look down into the massive glacier. READ MORE
NOAM CHOMSKY HAD AN INTERVIEW scheduled with Anand Giridharadas for The.Ink website. While each interview promises the potential of unique answers and even the possibility of new thoughts, depending on the interviewer, Chomsky prepared some notes to make certain he mentioned certain points. So, Noam called me and said, “Neal, here is what I am preparing to say in my interview with Anand Giridharadas: ‘The left position is you rarely support anyone. READ MORE
IT’S QUORA QUESTION TIME AGAIN. This time the question was about the Creator: “Why do people tend to blame God for the bad but never give him credit for the good?” Even though my experience with my fellow human beings who are believers is the exact opposite of that, I couldn’t resist livening up Quora with an answer:
God drops by my house once a month to play Cinch with me and a couple of my neighbors from Pennsylvania. READ MORE
I WORKED ON THIS PIECE FOR A WEEK! I intended to publish it on August 15, 2019, the first day of the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. But no matter what I wrote or how I wrote it, either I came out sounding far more conceited than I was in 1969 (ah, but I was so much older then) or the whole thing came out sounding like a sappy Hallmark movie. READ MORE
I’M NOT FEELING WELL. It could be some late-Summer thing or an advance taste of what the upcoming flu season has in store for us. But it’s a low-grade headache and fever, sore and swollen throat (that makes me squeak when I try to talk, so I don’t) (which some consider a blessing), and Grate Grommett in Heaven do my muscles ache! READ MORE
MANY PEOPLE with a pronounced right-leaning political persuasion have had the experience of meeting me and, perish forbid, engaging me in animated discourse. Many come away thinking me a librull arsehole. So, does that make me a left behind?
ON APRIL 1, 1827, three days after the burial of the great Ludwig van Beethoven in the cemetery at Währing (in northwestern Vienna, on the edge of the Vienna Woods), an ardent admirer of the maestro’s glorious music ventured to his gravesite to pay his respects. He was quite shocked when he heard what sounded like garbled music coming from within the grave. READ MORE
FRIENDS OF OURS and former neighbors—let’s call them Bill and Pam—have a precocious 8-year-old son named Shaun who loves root beer Popsicles. He takes his time eating them to make the flavor last as long as possible. At first, Bill and Pam found this a little annoying, because Popsicle’s melt and get messy.
I DON’T SPEND MUCH TIME on Facebook or the other social media platforms. I use them to call attention to my three websites (and soon to be four). Since I spend most of my time writing thises and thats for those sites, I rarely visit the Facebook pages of my Facebook friends. READ MORE