A Dying Man, Afraid of the Dark

Last night we had the pleasure of rewatching “The Shootist”.  Most of you probably know that this film, released in 1976, was John Wayne’s last picture, filmed at a time when he had already lost several ribs and his entire left lung to cancer.  At the time, doctors thought that Wayne might have been cured, ...


From Khartoum to Khiva

Over the last few weeks I have fallen down the rabbit hole of The Great Game era, that monumental struggle for empire in Central Asia, which has left for us a record of scheming, fighting, adventuring, spying, and personal heroics perhaps without parallel.  This gigantic contest, principally between Russia and the British Empire, which I ...



I am of the opinion that men should wear hats, and I’ve been needing a new one, which has caused me to think about hats and headgear much more than I normally would, and perhaps even more than is appropriate, given the number of unattended items piling up on my desk and elsewhere on the ...


The Killing of Ed’s Flip Phone

  It is with immense pleasure that I can announce this morning a formal alliance with actor and comedian Bill Murray, who has embraced the cause and joined GACPA–The Global Anti Cell-Phone Alliance.  Mr. Murray has jumped aboard with enthusiasm, and made an early and loud statement about the level of his commitment by launching ...


Everett Ruess & The Gun Dream

Last night I dreamed of Everett Ruess.  I have no idea why this happened, except that I have long harbored an enchantment with his legend, and like to imagine that I have enjoyed some measure of kinship with the driving force behind his repeated travels into the offing.  Reading his letters, one is compelled to ...


Pyramid, Jungle, Lost City

I just got off the phone with my friend Dave.  I’ve mentioned Dave before; he’s a screenwriter, a warrior, a world traveler, and a gigantic intellect.  Dave explained to me that a few years ago his son, Stryker, was gifted a 22 minute video of Dora the Explorer.  In this program Dora was teaching children ...


Forward Outpost, Figure 8

It happened again.  Yesterday, while enjoying an outbreak of sun and warmth in the pines, and throwing the magic tennis ball for the Special Forces team, I leaned over stupidly and was immediately attacked by the savages who live in my lower back.  This was no hit and run engagement, which I enjoy almost daily, ...

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