Millie Goes Under the Knife

or, "Why You Should Always Buy A Guitar With The Pickup Pre-Installed." To recap from the previous installment: Our hero had an acoustic guitar with a tiny, tiny soundhole, into which he wanted to install a pickup-microphone-mixer/preamp system. Three local shops that do this kind of work turned him down. (Sam Ash guitar tech: "I … Continue reading Millie Goes Under the Knife



1979, in Fair Lawn, New Jersey: There's a small strip mall on Saddle River Road, half a mile from the house I grew up in. After the small diner that capped the south end, there was a bike shop that always left its back door open for neighborhood kids to pump up their bike tires … Continue reading 1979

Fred Tells Me Bad Things

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog; today's post will be out on Wednesday. Not only has the film been screened to the cast, but the great folks at Words Pictures Movies have released the first (non-teaser) trailer for Everything Fred Tells Me is True. I think they've done a great job of conveying the feel … Continue reading Fred Tells Me Bad Things

Symmetrical, Quiet

If I may distract you for a moment from the TSA and backscatter x-ray machines: Every so often, life throws me a meditative moment, and I catch these more often when I'm on a bicycle. I came on a block of houses and symmetrical trees arching over the road when I was riding to a … Continue reading Symmetrical, Quiet

The Magnificent Millicent (or, how to fill a guitar-shaped hole)

Until I discovered bicycling, I used to take a guitar with me everywhere. I bought a Martin Backpacker travel guitar some years ago, an ungainly, club-shaped thing with horrible sound. After selling that, I still had a small-guitar-shaped hole in my life. Parlor-sized guitars were originally intended to fit a woman's smaller hands, and these … Continue reading The Magnificent Millicent (or, how to fill a guitar-shaped hole)

A Lease on Long Life – Dirk Gently and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

There's a belief that radio drama is dying; I think it's simply been becoming something else, and it's been becoming something else for decades. Radio plays seem to be alive and well, at least in England, even though they are difficult to find in the U.S. Radio shows are cheaper to produce than TV is, … Continue reading A Lease on Long Life – Dirk Gently and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Misidentifying the Passive Voice

I have a client who's specifically requested I point out gratuitous use of passive voice; more recently, we were chatting about good use of passive voice. (Think: "mistakes were made.") When passive voice is used to excess, it can suck the life out of writing and be the bane of copyeditors and readers. Passive voice … Continue reading Misidentifying the Passive Voice

The Door

I've completed the journal from my last bike tour. I don't have time for a full post this Wednesday, but here's a few paragraphs of a Sholom Aleichem pastiche I wrote on the tour: The door to this hotel is no ordinary door. It watches, constantly, looking to see if anybody might possibly have a … Continue reading The Door

Lessons from Alabama

Neil gave me access to post here. I figure that anyone reading this will want to see actual content and not just a test post. So here are some things I learned during a business trip to Alabama last week. Dothan, AL is home to the National Peanut Festival. There are lots of place names … Continue reading Lessons from Alabama