Musing on Formal Education

  My wife and I attended her niece’s graduation from Grinnell College the other day. She’s a bright, charming, intelligent young woman who’s already been to China to teach English and is going back later this year for an 11-month Continue reading Musing on Formal Education

Take Two: Sometimes the Only Thing That Can Relax You is Music

Okay everyone, break time. It’s been a tough day, tough week, tough month maybe. (Tell me about it! I’ve been trying to get this post out for a day-and-a-half. Hoping this gets to everyone in it’s complete form.) You’re frazzled, Continue reading Take Two: Sometimes the Only Thing That Can Relax You is Music

Writing Milestones–One Large, One Small

Good news for most writers comes, rarely at best. So I was particularly pleased and grateful to achieve two noteworthy goals in the past few weeks. Not quite Champagne-worthy (I’ll save the Dom Perignon for when my first novel is Continue reading Writing Milestones–One Large, One Small

13 Things I Learned at the UW Writers’ Institute

As a Neo-Renaissance practitioner (Neo Ren), I’ve developed a philosophy over the years when it comes to taking courses of any sort. Remember, a Neo Ren is one who is a life-long learner. One of my philosophies of life is, Continue reading 13 Things I Learned at the UW Writers’ Institute

The Day the Music Actually Died

  Singer-songwriter Don McLean is credited in popular culture for coining the phrase “The day the music died” in his best-known song, “American Pie.” That “day” was the day a plane crash killed musician Buddy Holly, one of McLean’s biggest Continue reading The Day the Music Actually Died

TSA vs Kwik Trip-The Intellectual Insanity of Institutionalizing Lousy Service

Recently I did two seemingly unrelated activities that sparked thought, analysis, and frustration. First, I flew to Phoenix and back. Second, I bought milk and bananas at my local convenience store. Spending hundreds of dollars on a plane ticket entitles Continue reading TSA vs Kwik Trip-The Intellectual Insanity of Institutionalizing Lousy Service

The Olympic Games: Just Another Made-for-TV Reality Show?

I get easily sidetracked watching the Olympic Games. To me, live sporting events are the original and best form of reality TV. The Masters Golf Tournament is the best of sports reality TV, but I’m a golfer, so I’m biased. Continue reading The Olympic Games: Just Another Made-for-TV Reality Show?

Music, Jazz, and Improvisation

Music satisfies three cornerstones of a Neo Renaissance (Neo Ren) life: Emotional, Intellectual, and Spiritual. Performing music can often satisfy the fourth cornerstone, Physical. Ever see a fat rock-and-roll drummer? Ever check the lung capacity and endurance of a lead Continue reading Music, Jazz, and Improvisation

Critical Thinking

So I’ve been thinking lately about Kleenex (excuse me, facial tissue), turtlenecks, shrinking food portions at restaurants as well as grocery stores, and the quality vs. quantity debate. A key component of being a Neo Ren (Neo Renaissance human in Continue reading Critical Thinking

How to Construct a Christmas Yule Log and Maintain Your Sanity

*Note- This is a revised version of an archived post from 2011* Once upon a time, when I was quite ambitious in the kitchen, I decided to let out all the stops and make a Yule Log for our family Continue reading How to Construct a Christmas Yule Log and Maintain Your Sanity