It’s possible I may survive.

Don’t put any money down on it. But I do not feel as bad as I have been.

Late last week, I felt so crummy I was afraid I was gonna die. A few days after that, when the little germs really kicked into high gear, I was afraid I wouldn’t die.

But other than a nagging cough, I am able to function almost to my former level of competence, which was slightly lower than average anyway. Today’s sudden increase in humidity and precipitation has delivered a slight setback, but not debilitating.

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving. We spent it with Suzie’s family this year, as is tradition. We switch off between my family and hers, alternating Thanksgiving and Christmas from year to year. As is tradition in her family, the assemblage notes at the dinner table what they’re thankful for. When my turn came around I said, “I am thankful the Pilgrims still invite the Indians to Thanksgiving dinner.”

You know, I’m really trying to take this winter a step at a time. It’s been near-on two months since I’ve been fishing. The week I took vacation and spent some time in . . . → Read More: Better


Well, this has been fun.

They are making cold and flu bugs much better than they used to. And they say the quality of American manufacturing has declined.

Last time we spoke, I was suffering from a head cold, flu-bug, upper respiratory, lower brain stem, mid-life crisis ailment that had pretty much taken me out for the count. That was Friday, and other than a few necessary assignments for the paper, I pretty much spent the weekend on the couch.

I slept a lot, complained a lot, flipped through the channels on the television a lot. Suzie came down with a similar ailment, and since misery loves company, we hunkered down to ride it out.

We watched movies to make us feel better. Cartoons always make us feel better. We watched How To Train Your Dragon which was exceptional.

Judging the dosage of cartoon viewing for any given illness is a tricky business. I mean, for your typical sniffle, you really only need to administer some mild fare, such as The Pink Panther or Yogi Bear. Once you get into the mid-level illness – sneezing, stuffy nose, etc. – it’s time to up the ante to Disney’s Shrek and . . . → Read More: Yuck


It started Monday with a slight sense of “something ain’t quite right here, Kemosabe.”

My cousin, Jeff, was visiting from Nevada and I took him with me to the MADD ceremony Monday night, as I was on duty for the newspaper this week. By the end of the evening, I started noticing a slight twang in my breathing. You know, a twang. Like when a country guitarist hits the top E string in such a way as it reverberates dully and oddly. It was accompanied by a sharpness in my throat.

By Tuesday morning, I was certain I was coming down with some sort of bug. By noon, a freight train had materialized out of nowhere from behind my desk, ran me over and left me sitting in my office chair a broken, aching mess.

I took the afternoon off and slept it away before the Franklin City Council meeting that night. That’s also why you might have missed a column Wednesday, in case anybody noticed.

Armed with Dayquil and Nyquil, I faced my sickness with courage and resolve. I downed a Nyquil when I got home that afternoon and crashed. As usual, I had bizarre dreams. I always . . . → Read More: Ugh

A Good Western

What the world needs most these days is a good western.

Hollywood seems to have largely forgotten how to make good westerns. Not surprising, since film studios have also apparently forgotten how to come up with their own ideas, and are instead mutilating old ideas by turning them into, at best, bad remakes and at worst, farce. Take the recent Starsky & Hutch movie. Yeesh.

No, what we need are some good westerns. “Shoot ‘em ups,” my dad used to call them, though the term alternatively applied to cop movies, too.

There haven’t been many good westerns made in the last decade or two. OK, let’s give due credit to Tombstone, Lonesome Dove, Unforgiven, Open Range and so forth. Great stuff. Even Hidalgo was a western of sorts.

But the style of westerns has changed. Now known as “gritty and intense” or “sexy and gruesome.” There’s something wrong with that, in a western.

To me, a gritty, unsettling western was John Ford’s The Searchers with John Wayne. I put this movie in the top five westerns of all time. The Duke’s character, Ethan, searching for his niece captured by the Cheyenne is priceless. The climactic scene where Ethan realizes . . . → Read More: A Good Western

End of Summer

I got home Monday evening and the clouds were so thick, promising rain, it was dark by 5:30.

Busying myself as best I could, I played with the dog; had a cigar; visited with Suzie; checked e-mail; read discussion forums on topics I am interested in; balanced my checkbook (badly, I admit).

When I looked up again, it was 7 p.m.

It should have been 8:30, 9:00.

A foreshadowing of things to come. The time changes this weekend. Fall back an hour.

Good grief. I am going to be stark raving mad by spring.

I hate the time we’re about to switch to. Daylight, standard, whatever the devil one it is, who cares? I absolutely hate it. I am bored stiff when the time changes and winter comes. I hate cold, and I hate it getting dark so soon after I get off work.

It’s hard to believe it’s all done already. Seems like just a few weeks ago, my buddy and I were hiking up a trail in March, looking for a spot on the map where a creek splits…or, should I say, meets. The stream actually flows south to north, you see. Two branches converge and become . . . → Read More: End of Summer