Haunted By Our Past

Richard Russo's latest book, "Elsewhere," a memoir.

Richard Russo’s latest book, “Elsewhere,” a memoir.

My choices in reading tend towards nonfiction. Given a choice of reading a novel or a nonfiction tome on sociology, history, urban planning, et al, I’m going to choose the latter nine out of 10 times. If I want something a bit lighter, I’ll opt for essays, or even a biography.

Writers that manage to do both, especially that small group that do both well, garner my attention. Some of those writers I’ve written about here and in some other blogs of mine; David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, and Barbara Kingsolver are three that quickly come to mind. I’ll add a fourth to that list in Richard Russo, now that he’s released a memoir. Continue reading

Times Like These

Technology and everything associated with it has exploded and gone viral. The genie has exited the bottle and there’s no way to put him back.

The recent exponential growth of tools like social media, and the transition from what began as Web 1.0, or the first generation tools beginning with the Internet, which produced a static web, has rapidly transitioned to and through Web 2.0. Web 2.0 introduced interactivity via blogging and brought us to and beyond the social networking of Facebook, which most of us are now so familiar with. With the compression of exponential change into shorter and shorter bursts, we’ve entered the next realm of growth wrought by mobile technology, mainly smartphones and Web 3.0. Continue reading

Don’t Let the Posers Win

I believe that honesty, hard work, and being genuine will ultimately win out in just about everything we do that has any lasting value. That said, there will be times when no matter how hard you try, and regardless of the efficacy of your cause, someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart will string you along and then, squash you like a bug. What’s worse, these people have managed to dupe their little band of followers and sycophants that aren’t aware of their disingenuous qualities, or maybe they are, but for whatever reason, they continue telling the emperor that their clothes look great. Continue reading

Bye Bye BlackBerry

I'm gonna miss my BlackBerry.

I’m gonna miss my BlackBerry.

We live in an age of constant and often, rapid change. Technology foists new things upon us at an ever-increasing rate. The 21st century means adapt, or become obsolete and a dinosaur.

Smartphones have changed the way that Americans access information and connect. The very first smartphone, IBM’s Simon, was rolled out in 1992. They’ve changed dramatically over that gulf of two decades. Continue reading

Viva il Papa!

Newly-elected Pope Francis, with Catholic cardinals. (NYTimes photo)

Newly-elected Pope Francis, with Catholic cardinals. (NYTimes photo)

I’m a lapsed Catholic. I have been since that fateful period when I left home, threw off parental shackles—and became a born-again Xian. I know, usually you leave home and get wild, right?

It’s a long story, and I won’t bore my readers with too many details. However, with a new pope on-board in Rome, I think a pope post is in order. Continue reading

Being Healthy; Getting Fit

Back in 2009, I lost a lot of weight; almost 60 pounds. I’ve kept most of it off for the past three years. “Most” is the operative word here.

Here’s what I know. Losing weight is the easy part. Well, maybe not easy, but you can take weight off using a variety of tricks, gimmicks, and eating plans that wouldn’t constitute being healthy. Continue reading