It is time to get this blog going again.

Can anyone tell me why, when an image is included in a blog post, the default behavior of blog services is now to link the image to the actual image file? This convention makes no sense given that the embedded image is shown at full size. Why, in my day…

WordPress plugin developers, will you create a plugin that will link an image to a page that has a smaller version of the image, that in turn links to an even smaller version of the image, and so forth until the image is reduced to a single pixel? I would find this satisfying.


He latches onto my right leg and hugs it loosely. I pat him on the back and he responds with three tight squeezes, a silent message sharing his anxiety and taking some comfort. “Oh, no. In a moment you’ll look up and realize your mistake. This won’t be good.” He doesn’t hear me. Then his dad wanders into view. He is startled, but crosses over to his own parent’s leg, letting out just a small yelp on the way.

Masked Bandit

Ukiah Republican Press, March 23, 1949:

Hunt Masked Bandit Here

A lone armed bandit held up Jeff’s Rancho on the highway about one mile south of town at 10:20 Tuesday night and escaped with the contents of the cash register, $47.00.

Proprietor Jeff Sharman said he was alone in the tavern when a man, masked with a red bandana handkerchief walked in, pointed a .32 caliber automatic at him and demanded the contents of the register.

“He told me not to move for 15 minutes,” Mr. Sharman said, “but as soon as he went out the door I grabbed the phone and called the sheriff.”

Sharman heard the man run across the gravel but did not hear a car start. The entrance is brightly lighted at night and I didn’t stick my head out.” The proprietor did not know which direction the man went.

Sheriff Broaddus and deputies were on the ground immediately and the robbery went out in four minutes over KRKH with the following description of the man.

“White, about 23 years of age, weighing 145 pounds. He had dark, wavy hair and was wearing blue jeans and a black leather jacket.”

All roads were blocked without delay. Lake county authorities cooperated blocking all roads and working over the border into Mendocino county. The sheriff and deputies spent the night on the job.

Two Ends

“There are two things that you never want to talk about,” Benjie told me.

I stopped eating and turned to look at him and listen, feeling that he was about to say something profound or close to it. “What are those things, Benjie?”

“Dying and dessert.”

Security Guard

At the end of the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica there is a three story tall inflatable Smurf and there’s a full time security guard watching him around the clock. When the guard’s shift ends, he drives home and says, “It was a quiet day. No one tried to touch the Smurf. No one asked me to hold a camera and shoot their picture. No one ever takes a group photo. It’s always just one person with the Smurf behind him, and there’s always a friend or a parent on hand who can take the picture.”


Benjie draws a person sitting in a chair with a thought balloon over her head.

I ask him, “Who is this?”

“That’s mama.”

“And what’s this?” I point at the thought balloon.

“That’s her dream.”

“What’s she dreaming about?”

“Mama dreams about clothes. Mom dreams about clothes and I dream about toys.” He hesitates for a second. “But what do you dream about?”

I hesitate. “I don’t know. I don’t usually remember.”

Make It Hot

Jezebel contributor Jenna Sauers deflates the “rah-rah Rule Britannia stuff” of the Adams, Orwell, and Hitchens essays, strips out the ceremony, and explains the essentials of making tea:

The main thing — and the most obvious area of commonality between Hitchens, Orwell, and Adams — is that everything used in the making of tea must be very hot. All the warming and boiling and swishing of hot water can be made to sound complicated, but it’s actually operating on a very simple principal: Because the hottest brew is the most flavorful tea, the entire tea-making process is about taking the hottest possible elements, mixing them together in the hottest possible environment, and then preserving as much of that heat as possible as they infuse.

Don’t Boil the Leaves

From Arthur’s Home Magazine, Vol. LIV No. 6, June 1886:

The Scotch do not say “make tea,” but “infuse tea,” which is more correct. Good tea is an infusion, not a decoction. By boiling the leaves, you get a bitter principle and drive off the delicate perfume of the tea. For this reason, the tea-pot should never be kept hot by letting it stand on the top of a cooking-stove, over a lamp, or where it is likely to be made to boil. Excessively bad tea is made by people who do not know better, by putting a small pinch of tea into a large kettle of water and letting it boil till they have extracted all its coloring matter, in which they think the goodness of tea consists. A metal tea-pot is better than an earthen one, and the brighter it is kept the better is the tea. Rinse the tea-pot with boiling water. Put in a bumping spoonful of tea for each person and one for the pot. Pour over it just enough boiling water to soak the tea. Let it stand a few minutes, and then fill up the pot with boiling water. Do not put in carbonate of soda to soften the water and make the tea draw better, i.e., to make a wretched saving of tea, unless you are in absolute poverty. The water, in fact, is softened by boiling, which causes it to deposit some of the matters it held in solution; witness, in long-used tea-kettles, the lime which settles at the bottom of many waters after boiling.