The Last-Straw Ratchet

Camel pulling overloaded cart

We have good camels in our caravan. Maybe not great, but good. But then we pile on too much, so the good camels leave and get replaced by slightly worse camels and we ratchet down, because too many camel drivers think their job is to make the camels adjust to the load, when usually their job is to adjust the load to the camels.

Farmers and Miners

A farmer works the land for generations and, if careful, the land is worth more with each passing year. A miner extracts what he can from the land and, when done, it’s worthless. Most business people are either farmers or miners and we need both. The problem is miners who mistake themselves for farmers.

Bug Zappers and Thoreau

Thoreau loved swamps. Modern Americans love swamps too, as long as they surround them with bug zappers. I think there’s a lesson in there.

Going Solar without Rooftop Panels (Renters Too!)

If you live in the PG&E service area, and a growing number of other locales in the US, you can now choose grid-sourced solar energy for your electricity. Reduce your carbon footprint and encourage more renewable energy in the future.

Why I Quit Using Facebook and Pocket

It wasn’t just that I grew tired of being a click slave in the Facebook mines, but I also didn’t like what it was doing to my mind. What *was* it doing to my mind? That’s a bit complicated.

Why I Don’t Go Paperless

Is it really “green” to go for paperless billing, or is it just a “dark pattern” by which companies seek to distance you from your costs, fees and other nastiness? Read on to see wny I think it’s a dark pattern and what the actual difference in carbon footprint is.

The Boy Behind The Couch

In which our hero recalls an embarrassing moment in the life of a barely-teen introvert upon reading a chance passage in Susan Cain’s book Quiet and discovers his true nature.

Learning to Read

We talk about “learning to read” as if it’s something we do and is done. As in “when did he learn to read?” But I’m 52 and still learning to read. In this article I recount my meetings with extraordinary readers and what goes into truly learning to read.

Sarah’s Watch

A man awakes in a cell with nothing but a watch that won’t even truly tell him the time. And secondarily, an experiment in writing using the Hemmingway App