Oh, what you missed

Of course I kept writing after I left the Chronicle, because working is the new retiring. There was some great stuff in there, but of course I can’t reprint it all here. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Please, Please , Please: In which I provide at least 28 reasons why Donald Trump should run as a third party candidate. Number six: No need to socialize with boring small town party hacks. Numbers 20-24: No people to interrupt you. Ever. Trump heaven!
  • Oh my God, France! France!! Home of son-in-law. Lovely seat of civilization. I like civilization. Damn.
  • Birds, birds, birds, part 2: Ask me about the eared grebe. Ask me about the Great Horned Owl. Ask me about sky-filling sunsets and sun-covering flights of snow geese. Thanks, Michael Ellis.
  • Comma-tose Condition: Why are there so many commas in the last three headlines? I ask prominent grammar trenders what it might mean. Am I on the leading edge? (No.) Is punctuation making a comeback? (no{!,
  • Hey, I paid full freight for that Michael Ellis trip. I also bought the book mentioned below with my own money. Although, please feel free to offer blandishments; I understand there is big money to be made in covert blog advertising. Eat at Oliveto (owned by friends of mine). Also Hayes Street Grill (also owned by friends of mine). No conflict of interest in cyberspace!
  •  The Voluptuous Workings of Science:  So now there’s a particle that may be the opposite of the God particle, if the word “opposite” has any meaning here. This other particle (call it the Devil particle) may be a graviton and explain gravity. So the Manichean universe is plausible. Take that, subtle lovers of nuance.
  • Will Purr For Food: Pancho, already a little hefty,  has become more and more demanding about kibble. He’ll start complaining four hours before the scheduled food delivery time. He whines; he gets underfoot; he stares accusingly. And then I solved the problem! Actually, I didn’t. He’s sitting there right now like Poe’s Raven. Go away!
  • The Spy Who Stayed in the Warm: My plans to foment revolt against a cruel theocratic government were halted when Iran refused to issue me a visa. Really, that happened. Our plan had been to eat food and chat in Tehran, wander the old city of Shiraz, stare in awe at the magnificent remains of Persepolis. Plus, that little thrilling chance of being thrown in a hellhole jail. Woulda made a great blog entry.
  •  Yes, I can say “Fuck”: I’m not in the newspaper anymore! I don’t have to find sixteen different ways of saying “bullshit.” I do not have to pay attention to the charitable activities of digital billionaires. Downside: No copy ediutor.
  • Flood, Fire and Dominion: I go crazy for “Thunder and Lightning,”a marvelous combination of science, art and reportage, lovely in both process and product. It’s a new book by Lauren Redniss, and, in its own quiet way, it’s profound and moving.
  • Easy, Big Guy; We Still Love You: Leveraging my position as a prominent blogger, I get a sit-down face-to-face with Barack Obama. Why in God’s name (I asked him) are you still messing around in the Middle East when long experience shows us that we only make things worse, whatever our intentions. Let them all fight it out. You think ISIS is going to crush to armies of Turkey, Iran or, heaven forfend, Israel? (There would be an alliance). Let’s use the money to rebuild infrastructure (jobs!) or find housing for the homeless (happiness!). But no, you just listen to those same dopey generals who got us into this. We. Aren’t. Helping. Let the Russians get the grief; we’ll create as better country. Huh? Whaddya think? I didn’t like the expression on his face, so I moved his photo into the utility room.

But there’s more on the way! Watch this space for entries of various lengths and periodicity.

Me in the Ideatron
Photography by Tracy Johnston