You can tell me. It’s bugged me for four decades now. How did you really do that card trick? A magician is honor bound to never reveal the secret to a successful illusion. I’m not a magician, however. So I’ll tell you. First, some unnecessary backstory. In the latter part of the 1970s, an accident […]
Read more "Just One More Thing: Firewater’s 1-Question Questionnaire [Card Trick Secrets]"
My college statistics professor once said, paraphrasing no less a luminary than Mark Twain, that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Literary scholars can debate whether Twain intended to suggest that statistics were just another kind of lie. My statistics prof was pretty clear on the point that in business, […]
Read more "Hooray for Hollywood (March 2023 Vacation)"
I’ve never been to Disney World. Or Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Coney Island, Cedar Point, Dollywood, or any of the Six Flags amusement parks. If you think I’m whining about my poor, deprived childhood, let me assure you that I’m not. I’ve been to other theme parks over the years. And if I wanted to […]
Read more "For Your Amusement (Or, a brief digression about the Sears Wish Book, naked ladies prior to the Internet Age, and creepy abandoned amusement parks)"
I’ve always said that the title for my memoirs would be But I Digress… because of my penchant for tangential thinking and apparent inability to stay on-topic. But there is another title contender. Not a Genius, by Firewater (or whatever name I might be using when the time comes). While it’s true that I’m not […]
Read more "Not a Genius (Or, a brief digression about the importance of reading comprehension, a good memory, and learning the meaning behind the Socratic dictum)"
I wrote my first novel when I was in high school. I wrote in longhand back in those days. In pencil, and in thick spiral-bound notebooks, preferably college ruled. My pencil of choice was, of course, the Faber Castell Velvet No. 2. I don’t remember how I came around to fetishizing this particular brand of […]
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Not too long ago, the USPS started selling Shel Silverstein stamps. The stamp has an image from his famous 1964 children’s book, The Giving Tree, on it. This one, with the Boy accepting the gift of an apple from the eponymous tree of the story. I am a window clerk at the main post office […]
Read more "Why I Hate The Giving Tree But Love Shel Silverstein"
Not long ago I created a new category on my WordPress account and included a lot of my old posts in it. The category is, of course, A Grim Dystopian Future. Full disclosure: I included the article “A” so that the category would land near the top of my list, just under the category 10 […]
Read more "A Grim Dystopian Future (Or, a brief digression about WordPress categories, three-act story structure, and the reasons why so many of our stories have such bleak settings)"
I borrowed this questionnaire from julienleyre.me. Mr. Leyre says that this questionnaire represents a set of standard interview questions used by American angel investor, entrepreneur and business podcaster Tim Ferriss. I have no reason to doubt him, even though I was unfamiliar with Ferriss before today. I like the questions, though, and thought I’d make […]
Read more "The Ferriss Questionnaire"
I was at our local hospital’s imaging center a few days ago for a couple of CT scans. I’ll spare you the reasons at this time, because that’s not the point of this post. If it becomes something worth talking about, you can rest assured that I will. My wife and I were sitting in […]
Read more "Don’t Touch That Dial (Or, a brief digression about waiting room televisions, HGTV, and the reasons why the pursuit of knowledge is more fun than knowledge itself)"
According to Psychology Today, the term cognitive dissonance is defined thusly: Cognitive dissonance is a term for the state of discomfort felt when two or more modes of thought contradict each other. The clashing cognitions may include ideas, beliefs, or the knowledge that one has behaved in a certain way. I’ve been aware of the […]
Read more "Cognitive Dissonance (or: a brief digression about God, the Scientific Method, a family history with alcoholism, and a belated requiem for The Cars’ Benjamin Orr)"