Category Archives: Words

Time and Love

What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann was coincident with her exhibition/meditation on death.   Her choice of terms for corpses, “carapaces,” jibes with my experience: when I touched the body of my father, my first thought was “this isn’t my father.” The shell felt somehow plastic, although important to others. For me, it meant nothing. […]

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Hats off to Hungary

While reading Typee, I found myself marveling at the sheer density of his descriptions of food on the Marquesa islands. It’s a romance of sorts, so I was expecting and not disappointed by the number of interludes with native girls and such; but food? Why so much attention to food? Melville wrote Typee while living in […]

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I went to Kinney Drugs yesterday to get my biannual supply of Williams shaving soap, and as usual, everyone rushed the front and there was a line. The cashier called for help, and I stood about third in line behind an old man with a shopping cart. I didn’t look too hard at what was […]

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Fish Stories

I must confess that I’ve not been able to read Moby Dick in the decades since I first started trying. I make it part way, and then just sink to the bottom of the endless whaling descriptions. Jim Levernier, a member of my Master’s committee and incredibly generous professor of American Literature, swore that I […]

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Knowledge and Power

And underneath the flutter leaf The reams of dreams array Melting into make-believe I hear you gently say Oh please let our people say Just how hard they want to play For you know very well Judas is betraying them tomorrow I’ve been thinking about the imagery in this tune for a while. It was […]

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From Thomas Jefferson to Henry Knox, 1 June 1795

Have you become a farmer? Is it not pleasanter than to be shut up within 4. walls and delving eternally with the pen? I am become the most ardent farmer in the state. I live on my horse from morning to night almost. Intervals are filled up with attentions to a nailery I carry on. […]

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Get out the vote

AP, Associated Press Feb. 25, 1988 5:20 AM ET PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Rock ‘n’ roll singer Frank Zappa has pledged to register fans at his concert here tonight to vote, and the League of Women Voters couldn’t be happier. The alliance prompted one elderly league member to joke that he would turn down the volume on […]

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Tools, Jigs, and Fixtures

I went through a little research tangent a few months ago regarding precise definitions of tools, jigs, and fixtures. As near as I can nail it down, a tool is the device that actually cuts, abrades, splits, or simply impacts the material at hand. A fixture, according to machinist’s encyclopedias from the late 19th century […]

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Someone favorited one of my pictures on flickr this morning. It was a nondescript photo of a package of rohu fish taken at Dragonstar market in St. Paul in 2009. I have no idea why the photo was of interest to them, but I paged through a bit to remember that I photographed a wide variety of fish […]

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Crisis of Confidence

Washington, D.C., has become an island. The gap between our citizens and our Government has never been so wide. The people are looking for honest answers, not easy answers; clear leadership, not false claims and evasiveness and politics as usual. What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system […]

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