Friday, August 17, 2018

Why we desperately need to make use of women’s intelligence

Men just aren’t that smart

By Moristotle

Take a perhaps typical man. He turns the key to lock his garden shed’s sliding glass door, and then tries to turn the key back 180° to extract it from the lock. It won’t budge. He jiggles it. He pushes it in the tiny fraction of an inch it will go and tries again. Still the key won’t move. Shit!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Eleven Years Ago Today: Ghost Dog

By Moristotle

[Originally published on August 16, 2007, without a photo of Wally.]

My wife just came back in the house after a walk with Wally to report that as she started to go around the cul-de-sac she looked back to see where he was, but he was nowhere to be seen. He wasn’t on the leash. When she came back to the house to investigate, there he was sitting next to the front door where she surmises she had snapped the leash around air, not around the clip on his halter. Please, please, let my wife not be losing it. I need her!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Book Review: Cross Creek

By Neil Hoffmann

We are in Maine and I have been reading voraciously. Not since childhood summer vacations have I read so much. I am bewitched.
    Nothing contemporary. I am reading Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings's Cross Creek, a trip into another time and place, her home in rural Florida orange groves in the 30’s [the book came out in 1942, when the author, whose life spanned 1896-1953, was 46]. The copy I found on a book shelf in the rental we’re staying in is a first edition and inscribed “Ruth Lunt April 1942,” a month before my birthday. Someone I know visited the house represented on the book’s dust jacket not long ago. She reported that the house was virtually as Rawlings left it, including her typewriter and car.

Monday, August 13, 2018


Good morning!

By Moristotle

Ooh, I thought, something bit me! It was barely light when I had reached my right hand around to the back of the bird feeder to open it and dump some sunflower hearts in. I pulled the hand back quickly, as quickly thinking something had bitten me.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Score (a poem)

Drawing by Susan C. Price

By Eric Meub

[Originally published on November 12, 2016]

The curtain rises in its gilded frame
upon the final act of La Boheme.
He marks the heroine’s consumptive life,
and then compares this creature to his wife.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Correspondence: Funny & not funny

Edited by Moristotle

[Items of correspondence are not attributed; they remain anonymous. They have been chosen for their inherent interest as journalism, story, or provocative opinion, which may or may not be shared by the editor or other members of the staff of Moristotle & Co.]

The last time my short-term memory was updated I required an anaesthetic and several new microprocessors.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

One of our authors’ books can now be borrowed from North Carolina public libraries

Brain Tangles, by Shirley Deane/Midyett

By Moristotle

One of our book authors has just had her book accepted by BiblioBoard for distribution through public libraries in the State of North Carolina, with possible distribution in a few weeks through public libraries in the rest of the United States (we will let you know).

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Movie “Review”: They Are Everywhere

Theological implications

By Moristotle

The 2016 French-language film Ils sont partout, directed by Yvan Attal, struck me the other night, when we watched it on Netflix, as a comedy – despite being about the very serious topic antisemitism. Nominally it’s antisemitism in France, but, like the Jews, antisemitism is everywhere.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Adventures from Bulgaria: Summer in the Mountains – Days 10 & 11

Click to enlarge
Imagination and reality

By Valeria Idakieva

[Sequel to “Days 8 & 9,” published on July 3.]

After the lazy day I had spent in Pamporovo, the clear blue sky and the fresh air the next morning urged me to continue at full speed. The grass was glistening with the morning dew, the forest was awakening with the vibrant song of myriads of bugs and birds. Every single creature was worshiping life and giving its share to the harmony that reigned over the forest.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Loneliest Liberal: Theatre’s role in health care

By James Knudsen

Recent events found me spending more time than usual at a local hospital. The experience has me reconsidering the importance of patient advocacy, insurance limits driving the decisions about patient care, communication among doctors, patients, and family, and of course, theatre. I am not a doctor, nor a patient and in this situation; I am family only by good fortune. Further, I have no insurance, save for the benefits afforded me at the local Veterans Administration by virtue of my military service decades ago, so the only subject I can comment on is theatre and how it relates to healthcare. Turns out it’s important.

Friday, July 27, 2018

A useful guide for women’s safety online

Written by women, for  women

By Moristotle

Madeline recently contacted us to thank us for promoting women. Because of the timing, I assumed that Madeline was referring to Linda K. Stout’s recent article in which she talked about her film, Women Are the Change, to encourage women in sub-Saharan Africa to get an education.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Thunder Down Under: Waterfall

Near Salem, Oregon

Painting by Shirley Deane/Midyett

Text by Vic Midyett

Shirley saw this waterfall in the State of Oregon while visiting our oldest granddaughter and her three sons. It isn’t far from the City of Salem. The eagle was not in their field of view, but it entered Shirley’s imagination.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Roger’s Reality: A crisis of our own making

By Roger Owens

Among those who attend to the political machinations of the day, I know of not one who does not believe our country is in a genuine crisis. We may debate upon the nature or the severity of it, but about its existence there is no doubt. The left sees what they consider literally decades of social progress threatened by people they regard as little less than barbarians at the gates. The traditionally quiescent right is aggrieved by what they consider the destruction of all they hold dear by usurpers, who, failing to advance their agenda at the ballot box, mangle beloved values via the courts.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Interview: Saundra Carr on racial microaggression in educational settings

Interviewed by Moristotle

I have known Saundra Carr since the mid-2000s, from my work with the Southern Regional Education Board’s Academic Common Market (SREB’s ACM), which, for more than 35 years, has enabled students in the region’s states to pursue out-of-state college degrees at in-state tuition rates. I retired, but Saundra still serves as South Carolina’s ACM coordinator.
    During the years we worked together, Saundra began an online doctoral degree program at Walden University. We agreed at the time that when she completed the degree work, we would do this interview. Well, in December she was awarded a PhD in Management (Specialization Leadership and Organizational Change). Time to do that interview!
    The title of her dissertation is “Racial Microaggressions, Faculty Motivation, and Job Satisfaction in Southeastern Universities.” Microaggressions, as Saundra understands the term, are

subtle indignities and insults that minority-group members may experience in their daily lives. Because of the subtlety of microaggressions, victims are often uncertain about how to respond because they have difficulty determining the intentionality of the offense.
This video she sent me put microaggressions in concrete terms for me:

Friday, July 20, 2018

The art of acrylic pouring

And women are the change

By Linda K. Stout

I have enjoyed seeing Susan C. Price’s artwork on Moristotle & Co. Abstract painting as Susan does it is also an interest of mine, but much more difficult for me to do than it seems to be for Susan. I still pursue it, as well as making stained glass and collages. I have lots to learn.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thunder Down Under: An Australian wild flower

Affectionately called “the Bird of Paradise”

Painting by Shirley Deane/Midyett

Text by Vic Midyett

This Australian wild flower, “the Bird of Paradise,” has blossoms a good 4-6 inches long and very pronounced in color and presentation.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

“Having a bad day”

What does it mean?

By Victor L. Midyett

We visited with some friends a couple of weeks ago who have a 15-year-old daughter (named Charlotte) who is very astute and questioning of everything. Charlotte announced at the lunch table that a teacher had told her class that “having a bad day means you are experiencing depression.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Whatever Happened to Critical Thinking?

By Dr. Ely Lazar & Dr. Adele Thomas

[Republished here by permission of the authors from their “Lifestyle Tips For Over 50s]

Socrates said: “Whatever authority I may have rested solely on knowing how little I know.” The statement reflected the fact that he had contempt for the knowledge displayed by authorities. He recognised 2,500 years ago that mindless subservience to authority did not serve people well. It appears that Socrates detected a lack of critical thinking on the part of many individuals. Fast forward to today, and we have to acknowledge that many are devoid of logic.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Livia (a poem)

Drawing by Susan C. Price

By Eric Meub

[Originally published on October 8, 2016]

My Lares are Lorazepam and guilt,
my Cicero is Amy Vanderbilt,
but there’s no Seneca to set me free
from Greco-Roman grandiosity.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Susan’s Stuff: soon to solo at First Independent Gallery

july 18 – august 11
reception for the artist saturday, july 21, 4 - 6 p.m.

By Moristotle

Those lucky enough to be in FIG’s vicinity (Bergamot D2, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404) during the coming four weeks will have an opportunity to see some of Susan C. Price’s paintings up close and talk with her – even maybe drink some wine with her as you converse.
    FIG Director Jeff Gambill observes Susan’s work insightfully in his announcement of her solo show:

Friday, July 6, 2018

The work of my lifetime

Christian Science 
as I see it

By Cynthia Barnett

Christian Science has been in my family for four generations, but I’ve always known it would have been the right religion for me even if I had not “inherited” it. I love Christian Science because it gives me a God I can accept from both reason and revelation. Relying on it all my life for guidance, comfort, inspiration, and healing, I have not been disappointed. It works.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence from procrastination, or what?

And does writing this take care of it?

By Moristotle

Months ago (a year?) I told colleague Bob Boldt and others that I planned to write a sestina on the theme of my being discovered dead under the persimmon tree (near our bird feeders). I’ve been saddened to discover a few dead birds there, and I identify with birds (and many individual creatures generally). And we are all mortal....
​    But I have not yet written this sestina....

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Adventures from Bulgaria: Summer in the Mountains – Days 8 & 9

[Click to enlarge]
Backwards to Pamporovo

By Valeria Idakieva

[Sequel to “Days 6 & 7,” published on April 7.]

I woke up early in the morning on the back seat of the jeep where I had spent the night and started getting ready quietly so as not to wake up the kind people who shared their food, good spirits, and time with me. Later, when they did wake up, we had some coffee and then it was time for me to continue through lush meadows and pine forests.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Thunder Down Under: For Ben’s birthday

A rare portrait

Painting by Shirley Deane/Midyett

Text by Vic Midyett

Ben is my son, but Shirley regards him as hers too. So, last year, she painted her second portrait ever, of Ben for his 38th birthday. (Her first portrait was a self-portrait, done many years ago, and it appears on the cover of her book, Brain Tangles.)

Friday, June 29, 2018

By an Inch It’s a Cinch, By a Mile It’s a Pile

By Dr. Ely Lazar & Dr. Adele Thomas

[Republished here by permission of the authors from the blog of their “Passionate Retirees” website]

Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning improvement. It is actually a philosophy that refers to small, steady, and continuous increases in productivity.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Correspondence: Ironies of white extinction anxiety

Edited by Moristotle

[Items of correspondence are not attributed; they remain anonymous. They have been chosen for their inherent interest as journalism, story, or provocative opinion, which may or may not be shared by the editor or other members of the staff of Moristotle & Co.]

Moristotle, don’t skip the comments on Charles M. Blow’s June 24 essay in the NY Times; they’re as informative as the article: “White Extinction Anxiety.” Opening paragraphs:

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Loneliest Liberal: What’s in this stuff?

By James Knudsen

One of the common gripes from conservatives is that progressives have abandoned standards. “Anything goes, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone,” is the adage that fuels this contempt for progressives and their acceptance of things that are considered out of the mainstream. The slippery slope to anarchy or a state-run-Orwellian dystopia awaits us all if we stray from the tried and true.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Book Review: Philip Roth Unbound

The Nobel Prize and various and sundry matters

By Jonathan Price

Philip Roth died a month ago. And it is a great loss though little surprise since he was 85 and had intentionally retired from writing six years ago and not given a farewell tour. His prominence is perhaps indicated by several articles the next day in the main section of the New York Times1 marking his death, and a two-day retrospective of his interviews with Terry Gross on Fresh Air2 (culled from seven interviews over the past, say, 25 years).

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Roger’s Reality: Dancing with the Devil, Part 5

The long march

By Roger Owens

Much is written about the vagaries of war, the battles, the heroism, but I have chosen today to focus on some of the more mundane realities of war. Mainly, the constant marching, the privation, the drudgery. Earnest Taylor Pyle was maybe the most widely-known war correspondent in the modern era, and a perusal of his columns, such as “Digging and Grousing,” reveals some of that odious, behind-the-scenes labor without which wars could not be fought. (I know; we can only wish it were so odious that wars were not fought, but there you have it.) “Digging out here in the soft desert sands was like paradise…the ditch went forward like a prairie fire…a plain old ditch can be dearer to you than any possession on Earth.” (E. Pyle, 1943)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Penny for Her Thoughts: My Father’s Day

By Penelope Griffiths

This weekend is not only Father’s Day but also my only son’s 36th birthday. Sadly, I won’t get to talk with or see either of them.
    My father died when I was in my early 20s, but I’m proud to say I was his daughter, and those first two decades with him in my life were wonderful and enriching. My father was born in 1899, so I was a “late” baby, the only daughter after he fathered three sons, so to him I was “special,” although, since he was a “Victorian” father, I was strictly brought up.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

35 Years Ago Today

My family and I moved from California to North Carolina

By Moristotle

June 16, 1983, was a Monday, I’m pretty sure, because I had worked my last day at IBM in San Jose, California the preceding Friday and I seem to recollect that we flew the day after that weekend. [Wrong! The calendar for June that year puts the 16th on a Thursday.] Raleigh-Durham Airport wasn’t international then, and my memory of it is similar to the image shown above, which was apparently made in the 1950s. I even think they rolled a stairway up to the airplane for us to disembark. Little of the fields of grass around it were covered with runways then.

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Power to Fascinate

By Dr. Ely Lazar & Dr. Adele Thomas

[Republished here by permission of the authors from their “Lifestyle Tips for Over 50s,” affiliated with their website “Passionate Retirees.”]

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

In Remembrance of Vincent Van Gogh

The painting on the front of the book’s
dust jacket is of Dr. Paul Gachet
By Moristotle

Having recently been reminded of a little book about Van Gogh that my wife gave me in October 1978, I have been reading it again and would like to share a bit of it here, in remembrance of its subject:

Monday, June 11, 2018

Fountain’s up & running!

Morning’s delight

By Moristotle

“I don’t know why we ever thought I’d need help setting up the fountain,” I said to my wife after coming in a little while ago from starting the fountain pump arunning.

Penny for Her Thoughts: Crossing the pond

I’ve been Green-Carded!

By Penelope Griffiths

It’s been almost three months since I sold up and moved over the pond to reside in North Carolina. It had taken almost a year and a couple of thousand dollars to get my “Green Card,” and it was not without a few bumps in the road. My daughter sent the original forms and fee in April 2017, and then we had to wait a nerve-wracking more-than-three months to have the documents sent to the department that would actually look at them, and then another three months to have them delivered to the reading/checking department, and then yet another three months and many phone calls to, and emails from the State Representative before we had the email that said the application had been read, the forms were in order, and everything was being sent to London, England, for an appointment!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Isaiah (a poem)

Drawing by Susan C. Price

By Eric Meub

[Originally published on September 10, 2016]

Align the avenues and sweep the streets!
Suburbia, so long neglected, greets
the tan Executive, his tailored Queen,
his stately Presidential limousine.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Heart of Music

A graduating high school senior’s tribute to her music teacher

By Katelyn Scherping

[Editor’s Note: It was our luck one evening last month to be present at Ms. Scherping’s reading of this tribute to a teacher at Osseo Senior High, in Osseo, Minnesota. Otherwise we would not have known to ask her permission to share it here, or be able to enjoy the honor of doing so.]

Where do I start?
Do I start with how you’ve transformed my
rough screeching and scratching into music?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Correspondence: Birds of a feather

Bow Down: In spring, during breeding season,
male Ruff sandpipers – widespread in Europe & Asia –
develop long neck plumes in a wide variety of colors
Edited by Moristotle

[Items of correspondence are not attributed; they remain anonymous. They have been chosen for their inherent interest as journalism, story, or provocative opinion, which may or may not be shared by the editor or other members of the staff of Moristotle & Co.]

A dozen birds just being birds. Every year the Audubon Photography Awards reveal birds at their most majestic — and their quirkiest, too. In fact, some of the best shots we see capture them looking cute, weird, or downright hilarious. Enjoy this collection featuring birds just...well, being birds! And learn what behavior lies behind the strange-looking poses they strike: “Strike a Pose: 12 Pics of Birds Being Birds” [Kenn Kaufman, Audubon Magazine, May-June 2016]. Excerpt:

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Four Years Ago Today: Value experience for its own sake

It’s an art

By Moristotle

[Originally published on June 5, 2014]

A passage in John E. Smith’s study of The Spirit of American Philosophy recently brought me full-stop. It was like the birth of Minerva from my own skull.
    The passage was in Chapter IV, on the philosophy of John Dewey, and it was about Dewey’s conception of art. It provided a formula or metaphor for me to express my own personal sense of the holy or sacred.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

In Memoriam David Michael Pain

David Michael Pain
August 10, 1941 – May 20, 2018
By Moristotle

I never met Mike Pain in person. I first heard of him in the early 2000’s in reading Jim Rix’s account of Ray Krone’s wrongful conviction for a December 1991 murder in Phoenix, Arizona, and Jim’s involvement in winning a new trial for Ray, for which Mike did extensive private investigation on Ray’s behalf. This week Jim remembers Mike as “a unique individual, very good at his profession, private investigation” [which he chose in 1975].

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Chamomile (a poem)

Indy Week, March 27, 2002
[photo by Alex Maness]
By Ralph Earle

[First published in The Way the Rain Works (Sable Books, 2015) and republished here by permission of the author.]

Such elegant dry flowers, yellow-brown
and so delicate three years ago, when
I last tasted their good health. I hate
to let them go. I could tangle my mind

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Interview with Sandi Dalton, on a long Christian journey

Interviewed by Moristotle

I was delighted to meet Sandi Dalton sometime last year when I visited Chef Benjamin Messaoui’s French Corner Bakery (in Durham, North Carolina). There she was behind the counter, greeting customers Bon jour! I was happy for Benjamin to have Sandi at the counter, and happy for Sandi to be countering in so fine a bakery. (Benjamin’s interview was published on April 15.)
    Over the course of many returns to Chef Benjamin’s bakery, I learned enough about his new assistant to want to learn more, and to realize that our readers deserved to know Sandi too. So, I asked her if she would be willing to answer some questions, which are included here in italics.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Loneliest Liberal: Bon mots

By James Knudsen

Late May is that time of year when graduation fever is in the air. Caps, gowns, pomp, circuitous routes to a bachelor’s degree are all on the minds of parents and students alike. Having been a student until well into my mid-thirties, I can understand at least one side of this. More recently, I have become acquainted with the matter of financing education. Teaching at a community college, I have, on more than one occasion, had a student explain that their recent spate of absences was due to being homeless. And each semester I encourage students who are looking for a cause to take up the issue of textbook prices, because, make no mistake, it’s a racket. On the national level, the subject of college expensiveness has become a talking point for some. And on the very local level, for the fourth year, a Bon Mot Morris Knudsen Memorial Scholarship has been awarded.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Money will follow

By Victor L. Midyett

Money is like the birds in a migrating flock. It will follow because it knows they know where they are going.” —Anonymous

A man from a city in England (in all likelihood George Mottershead*) got lost looking for an address in the countryside where he might locate something he had been seeing in his dreams – a zoo without bars for distressed and unwanted animals.
    To check his map he stopped his car in front of the gate he had come to, and he noticed that it bore the sign: “Announcing Foreclosure Auction.” The large house beyond the gate looked empty and dilapidated, and it seemed to sit on several acres of land.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sweater Weather (a poem)

By Ralph Earle

[First published in The Way the Rain Works (Sable Books, 2015) and republished here by permission of the author.]

She had a flair for choosing
clothes that made me look good but
that winter after she moved out

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Leaked “Fox & Friends Access” tape reveals Trump’s proof that the mainstream media peddle “fake news”

Satire in the style of Andy Borowitz

By Moristotle

Donald Trump met with friends Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade at Fox on May 12 for a program on the lesser news media, particularly CNN, CBS, the NY Times, and the Washington Post. The show had been scheduled to air that weekend but was scratched after someone realized that Trump had divulged a secret that, if it became known, would enable the lesser media to wiggle away from his “fake news” label.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Love is the Only Entrance (a poem)

At Central Carolina Community College
Creative Writing Program, October 2015
[Ashley Memory: Exploring the Joys of Creative Writing]
By Ralph Earle

[First published in The Way the Rain Works (Sable Books, 2015) and republished here by permission of the author.]

We descend into the rocky womb-like cave
where Zeus’s mother kept him secret from
devouring gods until his time arrived.
Our guide gives us candles. Later
we discover Eleusis, of the mysteries,

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Correspondence from around the world

Public toilets
near a bridge in Taito-ku, Tokyo
Edited by Moristotle

[Items of correspondence are not attributed; they remain anonymous. They have been chosen for their inherent interest as journalism, story, or provocative opinion, which may or may not be shared by the editor or other members of the staff of Moristotle & Co.]

When quirky isn’t inconvenient: “Quirky conveniences: the toilets of Tokyo – in pictures” [The Guardian, May 8]. Excerpt:

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Sondheim (a poem)

Drawing by Susan C. Price

By Eric Meub

[Originally published on August 13, 2016]

Has no one seen? Has no one yet been told
      a star is being born in me at last?
Who grouses I’m too old, that I’m a mold
      from which one character alone is cast?