This was written some time ago, but it still applies, I believe. Thanks for reading. Dear friends, On my drive home tonight, at the small city of Hope, Idaho, I watched a meteor inscribe the black heavens with a golden signature. It blew across the southern sky, as if launched by Orion, and fell behind the Green Monarchs, leaving nothing… Read more →
Category: A Few Thoughts — A Semi-Regular Column
A Few Thoughts on Abortion and Sex Education
In John Prine’s song, “Way Back Then,” he sings, “I am out undoing all the good I’ve done.” That could be a theme for the past few years in the United States. Environmental laws passed “way back then” are weakened, international agreements are abandoned, traditional friends are snubbed and rancorous, argumentative politics have settled into every level of government. I… Read more →
A Few Thoughts on Questions For My Dad.
My neighbor Aaron Harris showed up with his portable sawmill this week, and we proceeded to make rectangular pieces out round logs harvested from my place by Ma Nature herself: windthrown Douglas fir, cedar and hemlock courtesy of big wind events during the past few years. Brother Kent and I salvaged them with my chainsaw and his tractor. He sent… Read more →
A Few Thoughts About Conservatism
When my grandparents landed in Montana long, long, long ago, they brought with them some interesting sensibilities. They were of the pioneer type, but missed the big push into the country and so ended up being, in reality, settlers. They arrived 34 years after the Northern Pacific, more or less, and so found other folks on the ground already. But… Read more →
A Few Thoughts on Spring and Winter
Spring managed to surprise me this year. Again. I walked to the river yesterday and discovered fresh-grown catkins hanging from an errant Sitka alder that has taken root in the stream bank. I have no idea what that alder is doing there, for most of my experience with said plant has been traversing patches of it above 4,000 feet. Where… Read more →
A Few Thoughts on Vladimir Putin and Ukraine
“There are men in the world who derive as stern an exaltation from the proximity of disaster and ruin, as others from success.” Winston Churchill In 2001, I had the opportunity to travel to the “new” Russia. The USSR had dissolved a decade before and the country was full of optimism for the future. It also had a new president… Read more →
A Few Thoughts on Winter and Our Fellow Travelers.
A bobcat is traveling around the homestead these days, teaching snowshoe hares and ruffed grouse to pay attention, a good and proper thing for a bobcat to do. I see its tracks rambling through my woods. I also had the good luck of a sighting a few weeks ago. In my years in this neck of the woods, I’ve seen… Read more →
A few thoughts on Something and SDRs.
At Oakland Airport, I await a flight to Spokane, last leg home from Seattle. It’s a roundabout way to get there, but it fits the day, which has been roundabout also. I still like to fly, but there are a number of SDRs that go with flying these days I could do without. “SDR,” by the way, stands for Stupid… Read more →
A Few Thoughts on the Meaning of Christmas
As I’ve grown older, the glistening promise of the winter holiday has become a little tarnished. That’s not to say I haven’t had wonderful Christmases, because I have, but there have been some horrendous ones, as well. I think that’s true of many people. Presence of the celebration during a time of trial serves to highlight any misery we might… Read more →
A few thoughts on the closing of Ivano’s
There’s a joke about Ivano’s Ristorante Italiano, a Sandpoint institution for 37 years: Question: “Where’s the best Italian restaurant in Spokane?” Answer: “In Sandpoint.” Alas, no more. I enjoyed what was possibly a last meal at Ivano’s Friday before last. I enjoyed my “employee discount for life,” Jim Lippi’s gift to me when I left his employment once, though it… Read more →
A few thoughts on travels with Gigi
I recently traveled around Washington State with Gigi for a few days, all the way out to the ocean and back. Gigi was often the navigator. She gives advice in a calm, clear voice, and most of the time she knows where she’s going. When she doesn’t — which isn’t often — she still remains composed and continues giving directions.… Read more →
A few thoughts on our post-COVID world.
As vaccine cards are issued and COVID masks come off in our neighborhood — not that masks were ever fully on or that everyone has acquired a card — we can move about the country in a more unrestrained manner. I use the word, “our,” because, we still can’t get into Canada except by special permission. Travel overseas is possible,… Read more →
A few thoughts on the letter “S.”
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m tired. In the past 13 months, we’ve suffered a pandemic; contentious elections; not a few moments of momentous internal strife, a few international crises; and bizarre and pervasive conspiracy theories. And, then there was winter. At least winter seems to be over, though it was hard to tell this week.… Read more →
A few thoughts on the “wall” that is really an inefficient fence.
Having survived COVID and feeling sort of — but not completely — immune, I recently traveled down Mexico way. I didn’t go into Mexico, except just a tiny bit, because a.) I didn’t take my passport with me to Arizona, and b.) even if I had, I didn’t want to sit in traffic for an hour to get in and… Read more →
A few thoughts on Surviving COVID-19
I promised myself I would write something light and funny this month. But then, I went to town. I hadn’t been for a while. I’d been pretty much holed up at home for a couple of weeks, since a few days before I tested positive for COVID-19. I am very grateful that my bout with it was somewhat of a… Read more →
More than a few thoughts on the United States; past, present and future.
I am ranging through The American Trails Series, ten books edited by A. B. Guthrie, Jr. and published in the 1960s. They each have a different author, including Wallace Stegner (The Gathering of Zion) and Stewart Holbrook (The Boston Post Road). Beginning with prehistory, they are accounts of major routes of exploration, migration, trade and conquest on the North American… Read more →
A few thoughts on Covid, masks and manliness.
As we approach our national election day, polls reports that Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by 35 points among women, but only by 2 points among men. The good news is that the polls have Trump losing, and the gap is getting wider every day. As a man, though, it sickens me that a large minority of male voters in… Read more →