Category Archives: Short piece

Groucho’s Gender Dysphoria

Tweet A  little more than six years ago I wrote about my yellow-naped amazon parrot Groucho. In passing, I mentioned that after more than 30 years of thinking Groucho a boy, it turned out that he was a girl. I explained that this species was sexually monomorphic to human eyes, but not to those of…


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The End of Right Thinking

Tweet Last night Verdi’s Macbeth was performed at the Met without Placido Domingo in the title role as originally scheduled. Domingo is the latest casualty in the ongoing culture war against naughty or really bad behavior depending on your vantage point. More about vantage points later. Fifty one years at the Met and the tenor…


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A Government of Necessary Klutzes

Tweet A couple of days ago a team of city workers got together to put in a new traffic light. This project was in the vicinity of a relatively new shopping center anchored by Costco. They had barely begun when they severed the main fiber optic line that supplied AT&T’s tv, internet, and phone service…


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Opera As A Village During the Vietnam War and Other Atrocities

Tweet A recent article in the Washington Post says, “But to really save opera — and classical music in general — we have to let it die.” In a semi-coherent way it’s on to something. Without new works that the public wants to hear, the opera house will become a museum. Many people like museums….


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Threnody for a Mortally Maimed Nest

Tweet Those with a tragic view of life are rarely disappointed. Life is full of atrocities both large and small; sometimes their scale is so tiny that they go unnoticed. If life is a veil of tears, the one that follows is less than a droplet – but it’s moving to a sympathetic observer. Several…


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Cats Can’t Count and Only Centenarians Should Vote

Tweet Cats, like many other species, can’t count. Our feline acquaintances have come up with an interesting work-around to deal with their deficient numeracy. When a mother cat decides, for whatever reason, to move her kittens she takes one by the scruff of the neck to its new location. Since she can’t count she doesn’t…


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Russian Doll and American Divorce

Tweet The Russian Doll in the title refers to the Netflix show not to the Matryoshka doll familiar to Westerners. I’ll come back to the program in a bit. But first, imagine a country divided into two halves – say Lemmings and Ostriches. The Lemmings think the Ostriches are stupid, while the Ostriches believe the…


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On Persistence

Tweet This article is the 1000th published here since the site went live in December of 2007. I don’t keep track of this sort of thing, but the computer does and I couldn’t help noticing that the previous one had number 999 attached to it. So, big deal! All this proves is that if you’re…


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Ancient

Tweet Shakespeare had seven ages of man. I being a far lesser mortal have but five, all prosaic. From 0 to 20 you’re a kid. From 20 to 40 young; 40 to 60 middle aged; 60 to 80 old. After 80 you’re ancient. Almost everyone want to live to be ancient, but nobody wants to…


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Not in Our Stars

Tweet …history;which is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind. Edward Gibbon In a vein similar to Gibbon, Mark Twain allowed that the worst that could be said about anyone was that he was human. Prior to Twain, but after Gibbon, James Madison declared that no laws would…


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