The image above is one that was presented to my class in Philosophy 101. It’s one of the reasons I did not become a philosophy major. The second reason was Descartes’ famous statement which he felt proved that he existed: I think, therefore I am.

I was at a point in my young life where there were enough problems that beset me that I was not prepared to take on yet another one and try to figure out if I existed or not. So I labelled it all poppycock and dropped the class. Actually, I dropped all my other classes at the same time so as to be able to devote more hours to wandering the banks of the Mississippi River as it meandered past the University of Minnesota campus. My full-time occupation became pretending to be a poet and attempting to acquire a sophisticated air of mystery that would be devastating in my attempts to impress female students. (At that time there were 17,000 female students on campus, so I thought my odds might be pretty good.)

As result of all this, I got an incomplete in Philosophy 101, an “F” in impersonating a poet and and I was drummed out of the corps for “acting like a sophisticate without a license.”

All this and not a single coed even glanced my way. Maybe there wasn’t enough world-weariness in my posturing, I don’t know.


In the same department as the famous phrase “Even a stopped clock is right twice a day,” my rusting fishing skills at long last netted two small rainbow trout Wednesday evening. Robin was hosting book club, so I took off for a quiet little lake of 23 acres on the southern edge of town. It is not deep, greens up a bit in August, but is fed by springs and drains into the Uncompahgre River so the water remains reasonably fresh and cool. It is named Lake Chipeta, after a famous Ute woman of the 19th century.

Was I classy enough to catch them with a fly rod, gracefully tossing an almost weightless lure to land precisely in front of a doomed trout ? No.

Did I catch them on small spinners or plugs, deftly placing the lure in exactly the areas of the lake that I wanted to hit? No.What, then?

Well ……………….. I loaded up a small hook with fluorescent green imitation corn kernels of the Gulp! brand, and tossed them out there a few inches below a small red and white bobber.

Now if you tell anyone that I went bobber-fishing I will deny it forcefully, all the while impugning your honor, your mother’s honor, etc. There is no photographic or video evidence, and I am sharing this information with you only to help, perhaps, one day when you are doing all the good stuff and your creel is still empty. I will say no more.


The thin air of mountain Colorado has its charms. Statistically, however, the incidence of depression, alcoholism, and suicide increases with the altitude. This is not just Colorado’s problem, but exists all through the mountain states. Various theories are put forth, but for now you can make up your own until someone comes up with better data.

Notice on the map how Nebraska has such a low incidence. There are no mountains in Nebraska at all, unless you count that huge pile of manure at a feedlot operation which is visible from Interstate 80 as you drive across the western part of the state. And Oklahoma hasn’t any mountains to speak of, but apparently is just a very depressing place to live for other reasons.

I’ve noticed that I get a little down in the dumps when I hike above 10,000 feet, but always laid it off to the fact that hypoxia was causing me to stagger gasping from rock to rock and needing to lie down every 100 paces. Maybe I wasn’t exhausted after all, but depressed.



Lee Ann Rimes was gifted with a voice that is remarkable. This performance of “The Rose” is so unusual and so moving that it stands out even in her already glowing musical portfolio.

She is accompanied here by the Gay Men’s Choir of Los Angeles, in the year 2010.


On our recent trip to Albuquerque we actually made two pilgrimages. The first was to Sadie’s Restaurant – the mothership for the salsa that has become a favorite of mine, and the second was to the Breaking Bad Store. For those of you who have not watched the television series, it takes place in the Albuquerque area. The store was delightful, actually. A triumph of silliness . More coffee mugs, buttons, t-shirts, and bric-a-brac than the world really needs, but all in fun. There is a quite large book (which we did not purchase) containing locations in and around town where the series was filmed. If you lived here you could eventually visit them all … but what exactly would it mean if your life had come down to that?

Robin and I started out with the series, made it through a few episodes, and then there was a particular scene where we said … nope … too much for us. And we went away from it for a year. But for whatever reason we decided to give it another shot. This time we paid more attention to the story and the performances, and less on the violence. Now we were hooked and remained so until the very last second of the very last scene.

Here is one moment that I found memorable. One out of so many. Walter White has transitioned from being an innocuous high school chemistry professor with cancer and a family to support to a major figure in the New Mexico methamphetamine scene, putting his knowledge to work for, let’s say, ignoble causes. His wife has learned that he is involved in some highly illegal stuff and confronts him, begging him to give himself up and save his own life. In this scene, Walter brings her up to date.

“I am the one who knocks.” Now that is chillin.’


From The New Yorker


I’ve heard a Spanish word in movies and television quite a few times over the years, but never bothered to check out exactly what the meaning of it was. Oh, I knew it wasn’t a “nice” word since it was usually spoke contemptuously and hurled at another character in whatever I was watching. So yesterday, while waiting for our food in Cucina Azul, a very good family sort of New Mexican restaurant, I looked it up.

What a treasure! And I could have been using it all these years! What opportunities to savage and humiliate the person in front of me were missed! I weep.

The word is cabrón. Its translations are mostly too inelegant for this high-minded blog.

So, is cabrón bad or good? Well, if you’re an English speaker, you can tell the difference just fine between calling something shit as opposed to calling something the shit. Spanish speakers do this for cabrón.

Context is everything with cabrón, as it can be a bastard, something awesome, someone very skilled, or a term of endearment among bros. It’s widespread in the Spanish-speaking word, including Latin America and especially in Mexico, where it enjoys especial “badassery.” In Nicaragua, a cabrón can more specifically refer to a man who has been cheated on, or cuckold.

So, if your buddy does something great, you might call them cabrón. If you’re looking to pick a fight with a stranger, though, call them cabrón. 


The moment that I saw the coarser and more negative meanings of the word, a person exemplifying them came immediately to mind. A particularly wretched human of my acquaintance. The sort of person that if I learned that he had Covid, I would probably wish (to myself) that he had something with more gusto, like Ebola.

But now, whenever his name crosses my awareness, I will think: el cabrón! I think it will be psychotherapeutic.


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