Two Score and Four

turned 44 today—two score and four. It marks only the second time in my life that my birthday falls on Easter Sunday, which is a fabulous illustration of the vagaries of the lunar calendar. (The first time my birthday fell on Easter Sunday was in 2005.) The kids woke me up this morning with happy […]

Mysteriously Anonymous Dentist and Doctor Offices

had to call my dentist office recently to reschedule an appointment, and the call reminded me of a strange phenomenon I encounter any time I call a dentist or doctor office. The phone rings once, twice, and then a spritely receptionist says, “Dentist office.” Sometimes, they said, “Dentist office, how can I help you?” This […]

The Perfect Time Machine

ooks are the perfect time machine. They can take you into the past, allow you to travel to pivotal times and places in history. And yet, they have the perfect protection against paradox: books provide no ability whatsoever to change the past. I thought about this recently while reading Doris Kearns Goodwin’s outstanding No Ordinary […]

Chasing Comets: Retiring from Science Fiction

decided that I wanted to be a science fiction writer sometime late in 1992, and I wrote and submitted my first stories in early 1993. In the 23 years since, I’ve lost count of the stories I’ve written, the number of submissions I’ve made, the number of rejections I’ve received. In that 23 year period, […]

Ten Checkout Lanes?

y local Safeway store has 10 checkout lanes. Nine of these are regular checkout lanes, and one of them is for self-checkout. The self-checkout has 6 stations where customers can tally their purchases and bag their own groceries. When I visited the store Saturday afternoon to do some shopping for the week, just two of […]

Future Reading in 2016 (and Beyond?)

he post I wrote on Saturday on what I’ve read so far this year got me thinking about the kind of reading I have been doing lately. While predicting what I will read next week or next month is always a challenge—mostly because my future reading is often driven by my current reading—I scribbled out […]

Reading in 2016, So Far

have had this tendency to read a lot of fiction at the beginning of the year. That trend seems to have ended this year. I have complete 7 books in the first 9 weeks of the year and all of them have been nonfiction. I Remember Me by Carl Reiner I Just Remembered by Carl […]


ith the baseball season nearly upon us, I have taken to tinkering with my baseball simulation ideas once again. This time, my vision is a little more clear, at least with respect to what I want to do with the resulting data. For those who have no idea what I am talking about, for years, […]

Need a Little Patience…

hysicist Alan Lightman had an interesting editorial in Saturday’s Washington Post. In “What the detection of gravitational waves teaches us about patience,” Lightman noted how: I was struck by the fact that the leaders of the scientific project are well into their senior years… they have been working on this project, called the Laser Interferometer […]

Re-reading Books

rom time-to-time, I re-read books. Since 1996, 17 out of every 100 books that I read are books that I have already read. Over the course of 20 years, that adds up to over 100 books that I’ve re-read. I sometimes feel guilty about this. Why spend the time reading a book I’ve already read, […]

Laughing Myself to Sleep

veryone seems busy these days. The popularity and proliferation of productivity advice reflects this busyness. I am always on the look out for tips and hacks for packing more into a day. All of this busyness adds to my general stress level, and I am, therefore, also on the lookout for ways to ease my […]

Time Management for Kids

he world is a busy place. Busy people need to find ways to better manage their time. An entire software industry has evolved to help with this. From to-do list apps, to calendaring, to email management, and reminders, the software is there to make it easier for us to do more in less time. There […]