How Not to Be the College Guide, Part 2

The typical family unit on my tour was a mom, a dad, and a 17-year-old kid who was a prospective student. But one day an unusual unit showed up – a kid and his gorgeous older sister. Well, well, well, I thought. read more »

To Greatness – and Beyond! Part 3

This is an intergalactic emergency! Buzz Lightyear

I could devote several months’ worth of essays to the question of how and why America became so divided and how and why we lost the stomach for maintaining the global paradise we so painfully created and maintained for so long. But what’s the use? It is what it is. Better simply to accept the fact of America’s abandonment of its role of World Cop and to take a look at what comes next. read more »

To Greatness – and Beyond!

To infinity – and beyond! Buzz Lightyear

With thanks to Buzz Lightyear, let’s take a look, first, at the astonishing world America created after World War II, and then we’ll watch as that world crumbles and re-forms into the dystopian future we are hurtling toward. read more »

The Oxford Companion, Part 15

I sometimes write about investment matters or geopolitical issues, but mostly these essays are pieces of fluff designed to entertain or, I hope, amuse my readers. But this series will end on a sad – even a tragic – note. read more »

The Oxford Companion, Part 14

Hot buttered rum

Since temperatures are plunging as I write this series, I cheerfully pass on to you TOCSC’s recipe for hot buttered rum: mix one cup of softened, salted butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg. This will keep in the refrigerator for a long time. When your fingers are turning blue from the cold, remove the blend from the fridge, mix 1 teaspoon of it with 2 ounces of dark rum and add hot water to taste. read more »

The Oxford Companion, Part 13

In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria. Benjamin Franklin, supposedly. Except the first recorded use of the word “bacteria” occurred in 1864 and Franklin died in 1790. read more »

The Oxford Companion, Part 12

I had so much fun reading The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails (TOCSC) that I could continue writing about it for months. But don’t worry, I won’t. read more »

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