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9/1/04 - Undeclared WWIII is the best analysis of terrorism and thje Arab world that I have seen. It is a nonpolitical speech given by Haim Harari, former President of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Great reading!

3/18/03 - The Making of a Model Shipwright is an illustrated essay chronicling the author's journey into the model ship-making world.

10/2/02 -This is part of my report to the church after the Costa Rica medical mission trip in August, 2002.

10/2/02 - These reflections on my Costa Rica medical mission trip in August, 2002, were written for the newsletter of First Presbyterian Church.

5/23/02 - Advice To A Young Man is some humerous wisdom from the pen of Bill Bonner, an American father who lives with his family in Paris and writes a financial email newsletter called "The Daily Reckoning." I hope that Bill doesn't mind that I stole his words and isn't in a litigious frame of mind.

4/19/02 - The horse may laugh is an old English tale that was recently resurrected by WSJ columnist Peggy Noonan as she tried to explain why President Bush sent Secretarty Powell to Israel on what seems like a foolish and hopeless assignment. No one thinks that the Secretary can bring peace to the Middle East, or even a temporary cease fire.

8/29/01 - Confessions of a Lubber at the Helm documents my baptismal experience of blue water sailing. We recently traveled to Santa Barbara for the wedding of Kate and Phil. The father of the bride, John Thorngren, somehow had enough energy left to take a bunch of lubbers sailing the day following.

7/28/01 - The muse has visited Linda again. Read all about a visit to the swimming pool. Sounds exciting, doesn't it?

7/21/01 - Here are some ruminations about Birthday Parties prompted by a recent trip to Oakland, CA, ostensibly to celebrate my 70th birthday but mostly a good excuse to spend time with Bro Tom and Rosalie, Bro Don and Conni.

5/11/01 - Friendly Quotations was stolen from a mailing list message, and the quotations provide a good definition of what friendship is (or should be.)

3/13/01 - Aloft is a short essay by one of the "regulars" on the Patrick O'Brian mail list. One of the delights of frequenting such a list is the occasional discovery of a literary gem such as this. The author, MacKenna Charleson, sounds like quite a woman as well as quite a writer. I understand she is writing a novel, and I look forward to its being published.

2/11/01 - Lifespan of a Woodworm on the HMS Surprise
A poem. This came out of a very learned discussion on the Patrick O'Brian email list. Somehow the talk drifted to the woodworm borers that used to attack the wooden hulls of sailing ships. Among other things, we learned that the borers aren't really worms, they are a type of clam. The "list bard" is a fellow named Charles Munoz (who goes by the name of Charlezzzz), and he ripped off this funny ode to the woodworm.

1/6/01 - On reading:
Whenever language is the principle medium for communication-especially language controlled by the rigors of print-an idea, a fact, a claim is the inevitable result....
   [Print] is serious because meaning demands to be understood. A written sentence calls upon its author to say something, upon its reader to know the import of what is said. And when an author and reader are struggling with semantic meaning, they are engaged in the most serious challenge to the intellect. This is especially the case with the act of reading, for authors are not always trustworthy. They lie, they become confused, they over-generalize, they abuse logic and, sometimes, common sense. The reader must come armed, in a serious state of intellectual readiness.
[Neil Postman, in Amusing Ourselves to Death].

12/19/00 - On the Threshold, about a looming birthday.

12/15/00 - The Lion and Albert

12/15/00 - The True Gentleman
The true gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; a man with whom honor is sacred, and virtue safe.
[John Walter Weyland]

11/30/00 - The Aubrey/Maturin Books as Literature by Ken Ringle. When Ken gave me permission to post this, he asked that I provide a little explanation, and I quote, "...the day-long seminar which I put together and moderated for the Smithsonian included six hour-long talks: my keynote, which attempted to explain the actual sailing of a square rigger; Dr. Robert Joy's lecture on the medical world of the Napoleanic period; Smithsonian curator Herman Viola's talk on the post-Cook, pre-Darwinian period in natural science; "Lobscouse" mavens Lisa and Cookie Grossman on food in the books and conductor Richard Kapp's fine session on the way POB uses music. My bit on the books as literature was a sort of round-up piece at the end of the day, followed only by our roundtable on POB the man. Hence my rather oblique introduction."

11/29/00 - Linda Schmidt wins the derby to post the first "literary" work on this page. Rather crudely entitled From Cud to Crud, it tells of a homely object lesson in genteel speech.

Not in a serious mood? - Then go HERE for some smiles, chortles, guffaws, sniffs or shrugs.