Cat resume

Cat resume

Qualifications Professional bird watcher – doctorate from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, with special work in quantitative genetics and sympatric speciation. Long-term field research in kibble consumption patterns and species specialization. While employed at a leading North American animal food manufacturer was co-chair of committee that oversaw research on advanced formulations to minimize product … Continue reading

Postcard gives hints

Postcard gives hints

A postcard mailed in 1908 shows the Cortez Square Band Stand in Marysville, California. The postcard was mailed by Charles to Miss Grace Bragg of Placerville. On the back, he tells her, “Do you remember this place. It is a fine place to sleep if you haven’t anybody bothering you, but I didn’t mind having … Continue reading

Cowpoke contretemps

Cowpoke contretemps

Lud Maloon slouched against the bar, looking with contempt at the tall Lazy Y foreman sitting at a table playing cards. Outside, the crack of a whip sounded as the stagecoach departed for Laramie. Lud, whoʼd been drinking steadily and shedding his usual relaxed demeanor, had noticed when heʼd come in that Pierce Adlerʼs saddle … Continue reading

Misty Lakeʼs wild friends

Misty Lakeʼs wild friends

There’s something primeval about a herd of wild horses running free on open land. Misty is a townswoman. Loves her luxuriant baths, and morning coffee on the sun-blessed porch. Enjoys her job at Virginia City’s Bucket of Blood Saloon serving Harley riders, old codgers and wide-eyed RVers. But Mistyʼs days off are often spent in Nevada’s stark … Continue reading

Slothfulness

Slothfulness

Three little girls were sitting on a rail, Sitting on a rail, sitting on a rail Three little girls were sitting on a rail, on a fine hot day in September.   This is just another example of the degradation our society is  experiencing. Why are these children not looking at their iPads or otherwise … Continue reading

Taking time to smell the flowers

Taking time to smell the flowers

Reed and Addy Copperside  decided they’d had enough of life in their hectic community. Cars raced down their street way over the speed limit. Restaurants expected patrons to eat quickly and leave, freeing the tables. Even their meditation group leader pushed everyone out the door as soon as the hour had passed. “Addy, we need … Continue reading

The English are coming!

The English are coming!

Protests against illegal immigration are erupting across the nation. Presidential candidates warn about “the relentless tide” and describe the crimes and job-stealing of these newcomers. Ordinary citizens warily eye the unfamiliar foreigners with their odd accents moving into settled neighborhoods. The target of all this concern: the hoards from England flooding across America’s porous borders. “It’s bad enough they take … Continue reading

Ingrid’s four-second trips

Ingrid’s four-second trips

Ingrid Zermelo is captivated by memories of her whirlwind journeys. “We ordered these gadgets on the internet. They let us leave our bodies behind and travel mentally. We become digital awareness bundles hooked up to power packs. Free floating. Sights and sounds and all the other senses stream to us through multi-sensor apps. “Whatever we imagine, it happens within these portable … Continue reading

Designer shadows the “next big thing”

Designer shadows the “next big thing”

Early models were operational for only a week or so before fading. Now, with improved technology, they last almost indefinitely. Most people order their individualized creations in shadow salons. Artists design and implant a chip that emits a small electrical charge. This upsets the electrical force field around you in a way that distorts and redirects photons, creating specially … Continue reading

Proud and independent

Proud and independent

Mary Burton’s last time on the annual Big Hill Ditch Walk sponsored by the native plant society in her small town had been three years before at age 92. She hasn’t been up to it since then. “No news from here,” she wrote a friend, “except to say I now have to expect some attention … Continue reading

Boy and his dogs

Boy and his dogs

Kids and dogs go together like…frogs and bogs. When your world is lonely and sad a canine best friend soon has you laughing and romping. That squirming body and wagging tail tell you there’s a playmate ready to run on the grass, explore the woods, chase sticks and give you sloppy kisses. It’s better than … Continue reading

The disappearing gold

The disappearing gold

Daylight belongs to the hired gold miners. Nighttime the thieves take over. In a remote Venezuelan underground mine, there’s an uneasy truce between the two factions. The night crew carries guns, and when they run into a worker for the company that operates the mine it’s understood that nobody will try to stop the men … Continue reading

The birds and the statue

The birds and the statue

It’s a strict rule at this beautiful spot that the birds must respect human artwork, just as the humans respect the birds’ environment and try and keep it clean. “You must, especially, never drop messes on the human statues,” the birds are repeatedly told as they learn to fly and obey the rules. “We don’t … Continue reading

Nicknames

Nicknames

By rights, the only people who should have nicknames are guys named Nick, though reasonable folks would include Nicki. But since the world seems determined to go its own way without regard for logically consistent opinions, people should know that among well-known nicknames are those of infamous pickpocket Thomas “Butterfingers” Moran and fellow criminals “Pretty … Continue reading

Shaky foundations

Shaky foundations

Before going to work that Tuesday, Boone Doggle stood in front of the mirror for a final self-check before heading out the door. He was struck by something he hadn’t noticed before. The distance from his head to his feet was far greater than when he’d been a youngster. He looked down at his feet … Continue reading

Nonfiction nonsense

Nonfiction nonsense

As one who at times endeavors to write a factual account of some sort or another, I find myself hampered by the negativity of the undertaking. How so, you say, when the subject might be happy memories, an inspiring tale of obstacles overcome, an account of nature’s glories? Because, by definition, what is being written is … Continue reading

Overworked dog

Overworked dog

Telling me I have to do laundry chores is the final straw. I’m going to call the SPCA. It’s doggone unfair. I was hired to be cute – that’s my job description. Now they’re making me do a bunch of other stuff. “ Ozzie, put away the clean laundry. And be sure to fold it … Continue reading

Going nowhere slowly

Going nowhere slowly

Jeb hitched up the wagon and headed north toward Brownsville, He didn’t get past the first creek before he realized one of the back wheels didn’t feel right. He checked, and knew he wasn’t going anywhere until it got fixed. But nobody else was around and he couldn’t put on the spare by himself. He … Continue reading

Parking perils

Parking perils

Uh oh! Maximum time is two hours, and the meter is expired.   Bigger uh oh! Can this be true? The fine will be fifteen hundred dollars?     Whew! We check another sign and find out the fine isnʼt really $1,500. Itʼs $15.00. Some prankster had whited out the period between the 5 and … Continue reading

Remembering Amalfi

Remembering Amalfi

Ella had long wanted to travel more. Now she’s doing it. “I wanted to know Italy, so my friend Luciana took me on her “three weeks in Italy” tour. It was incredible. “One of my favorite places was the Amalfi Coast. It’s touristy, sure, but it has a small-town feel too that I liked. And the food was never to … Continue reading

The reluctant president

The reluctant president

“Mr. President, you’re already twelve minutes late for your meeting with the Tunisian ambassador.” Alexander Grove signed deeply, and put away his crossword puzzle, wondering again why he’d agreed to run for office, or why anyone in their right mind had voted for him. He’d been a compromise choice, his nomination a desperate maneuver at … Continue reading

Molecules in a hurry

Molecules in a hurry

If molecules were people, they’d all be in therapy, or receiving pills for hyperactivity. No less an authority than a factoid on a Snapple bottle cap asserts that “at room temperature, the average air molecule travels at the speed of a rifle bullet.” Physicists say we are being bombarded constantly by who knows how many bits … Continue reading

Gunslingers

Gunslingers

Marketing consultant and part-time poet Sellers Biggs loves his guns, as well he should. He and a multitude of other Americans see their weapons as a bulwark against tyranny and aggressive bad guys. They get a sense of security holding a semiautomatic pistol or a shotgun as they check out that strange noise in the … Continue reading

Early birds

Early birds

It’s pouring rain and 7:30 on a Saturday morning, and a flock of birds out back is hard at work hunting worms. No weekends off for robins and quail, and why isn’t it robin and quails? Is there no fairness in this world, that fragile beauties such as these must toil in the cold and … Continue reading