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Notes On A Lynching

On January 28, 1886, a bright and brisk Sunday morning in Susanville, California, the bodies of Holden Dick, a Pit River Indian, and Vicente Olivas–known as Mexican Ben–were found hanging from a crossbeam in the woodshed outside of the Lassen County courthouse.  Both men were convicted murderers.  Dick had been sentenced to death by Judge ...

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Boot Scoot Boogie

  I have a confession to make:  I can’t dance.  In fact, my aversion to this activity is so severe that it makes watching other people dance an uncomfortable experience.  I love music, but dancing?  Not so much.  At a concert, say a Lyle Lovett gig at the Les Schwab amphitheater down in Bend, I ...

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Grizzly Adams Has Not Died

I keep waking up to bad news. This morning it was a double-whammy, the market down another 400 points and worse, word that Grizzly Adams has died. His real name was Dan Haggerty, of course, but I didn’t know Dan Haggerty. I knew Grizzly Adams.  The show had a short run, only two seasons, but ...

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State of the Figure 8

I was inspired last night by the President’s annual address (yawn) to bring all of you, my fellow Americans, up to speed on the condition of our rancho in the pines.  I am happy to report that State of the Figure 8 is healthy, happy, and good, and I am delivering this address with an ...

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Not Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf

  It’s 2016, folks, and we are staring down the barrel of an election year, though for some reason I am having a difficult time mustering up any vigor for that slog–in fact, I’m already quite exhausted by it–given the abysmal slate of candidates on either side, and my growing disdain for the election method ...

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Feel

To be good at something, and I mean really good at it, requires feel.  There are people with tremendous amounts of talent who lack feel, which has something to do with understanding subtlety, and the power of subtlety, to inform a work.  It’s more than that, of course.  It might even be magic, who can ...

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No Left Turn

You may have noticed, dear readers, that I have been away for a while.  I can explain.  Spring and summer came over the Figure 8 Ranch with an endless list of work to accomplish:  barn building, garden planting, shop-cleaning, mowing, more planting, tree falling, wood splitting, cocktail mixing, raids into northern California, horse buying, and ...

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