Fading Newsprint…

NewsThere’s a news fight each morning in my house: the New York Times vs. the internet. The Times is delivered to my doorstep, sometimes to the bushes. While I could access the NYT via the internet, I prefer to hold it so I can transfer newsprint to the chair cover and my forearm. I keep the laptop by my side to check for breaking stories, or useless information, but I start the day with well edited accounts of world events without cookies hiding behind a screen.

The love of holding a newspaper started decades ago when I toiled as a reporter for a New Jersey afternoon daily. For those too young to remember, some newspapers hit the newsstands around 1 p.m.  People brought the paper home from work and read it while enjoying a cocktail. There was no cable TV or internet. My reporting “shift” started at 4 p.m.  I usually handed in three to five news articles around 10 p.m. before retiring to a restaurant/bar to wait for the boss to tell me via the phone booth that my copy was great and I could go home.  The afternoon newspaper eventually became an information dinosaur along with the IBM Selectric, carbon paper and, of course, the phone booth…my tools of the trade.

One, Two…Quake!

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On Sunday evening on the Monterey Bay coastline, the air was still and temperatures unseasonably high. The pelicans were quietly watching the sunset.  I couldn’t help but think “earthquake coming.” And it did, about 10 hours later, a 4.0 shaker that triggered safety checks of underwater tunnels in San Francisco, No damage. Rest easy. I vividly remember the October 1989 quake that killed people  and brought down bridges, buildings and freeway overpasses in the Bay Area. I remember the oddity of seeing the wrecking ball on an unoccupied crane swing like a pendulum clock outside of the office I was working in–some 90 miles from the epicenter. Then the building began to shake. Rest easy. The weather isn’t right these days…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Creepy.”

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Here’s a photo, ” Death in Venice,” that is clearly creepy. I took it at sunrise in an almost empty Piazza San Marco–note that the chairs have yet to be occupied.. A sea gull has killed a small bird. I chased it away and so did others, but the gull kept returning for its prey.

Friday Fast Fiction: The Question Man

“Thank you for coming in today. As you know, you are one of the finalists for the position. I’m Ben Hefner, the vice-president, and I’ll be interviewing you.”

Chuck squirmed in his seat. The vice-president? Wow! He’d practiced most of the evening in front of the mirror: eye contact, the intelligent grin, and nodding in agreement.

“I have only two questions for you—all candidates have been asked, or will be asked the same two questions. Are you ready?”

“Is that question one?”

Hefner sighed, then grinned. “That’s funny. No one has raised that point before, but I actually have three questions. To repeat, are you ready?”


“Nothing to add? Oops that would take us to four questions. Forget that one. Question two: What were you doing between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. last night?”

“I was practicing my composure for this interview.”

Hefner started laughing. “You know my just out of college nephew in our human resources department up came with these questions and, frankly, they’re stupid. I should have practiced my composure because I’m losing it right now. And you’re supposed to do the talking. And I don’t think I can bring myself to ask you the final question. Do you want to hear it?”

“Is that question four?”

“You win,” said Hefner in laugh. “Do you want the job?”

“I will answer ‘yes’ to question number five.”

Two days later Chuck started earning $21 per hour entering raw data into a computer program. Two weeks later he encountered Mr. Hefner in the employee lunchroom.

“Hi, Mr. Heffner.”

Heffner looked puzzled.

“I’m Chuck the question man.”

The executive burst out in laughter which, in itself, would have been fine with Chuck. But when the vice-president fell to the granite floor convulsing with uncontrollable mirth, Chuck stepped back and looked for help

Commute …interruption


This morning while driving to work on I-80, the Yolo Causeway,  coffee leapt out of mug onto my shirt and tie. The reason was the need to stop suddenly. I soon counted five emergency vehicles flying by on the median. Twenty minutes later I caught up to the “cause”. I hope no one was hurt. The first responders were amazingly quick in clearing the freeway. Most of damage was hidden by the fire truck. I usually look for Canadian geese overhead on this part of the commute.

Self-Portrait #4

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This week I stood with the setting sun at my back on a postage-sized beach near my house and a camera held at my waist. Click!. I like the detail of the rocks in the shadows and the boulder over my left shoulder appears to have a watchful eye on me. This is my Rorschach test.

Buckeye Continued…


I “rushed” to read up on the buckeye butterfly like the one clinging to my brick wall(photo below). Was it laying eggs? Meditating? No, it was dying. The adult lives a mere 10 days—compare that to the Monarch which can go for years. As shown in this photo, the buckeye had moved about six inches and had become stuck in an old cobweb—no spiders around. Its wings were tattered. When I approached, it would move slightly. Due to its large size, I assumed it was a female. Should I free it if, in fact, I could do this without killing it? Or, should I leave it alone? I soon discovered it had died of natural causes.buckeye back

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