Blog postings

I write about themes of interest to me: personal development, education, addictions, technology, parenting, and creativity. If you like what you see, feel feel to leave a comment or get in touch to continue the conversation.

On John Terpstra's The Boys

Storytelling is the territory of the trickster, the mythological emissary of joyful, irreverent spontaneity. The task of the trickster involves joining together things that seem distinct, or separating things falsely conjoined. The trickster articulates and redraws meaningful connections; in so doing he becomes master of all the arts. In his ...

Read more

Updating Odysseus: Essential Tools for Today's Mariner

In the greatest sea epic of Western literature, the mariner Odysseus is held captive for seven years on an island by the enchantress Calypso. Eventually, in a debate among the gods, it is decided (grudgingly, for Odysseus has offended Poseidon) that the hero should be freed to return home. Zeus ...

Read more

A Guide to Ethical Wood Use

We tend to think of the tension between pristine nature and human ambition as a contemporary struggle, but the urge to own and exploit forests is a fundamental human impulse. At every point in history, wherever humans have possessed sufficient technology or population to deplete natural abundance, we have done ...

Read more

The Best Pop Songs

The file pouch in my briefcase has a file folder called “Current.” This is the place where all the things I’m supposed to deal with today (or this week) are intended to go. But over time this file has morphed into the “whenever” file, and has become the place ...

Read more

The Jasper Queen

Read more

Epoxy: The Universal Marine Toolkit

Among the materials available to the modern mariner, none is more versatile than epoxy. For gluing, repairing, reinforcing, finishing – even for molding mechanical parts – epoxy provides a unique solution. It’s the duct tape of the sea, only far better. Epoxy can enhance the quality and durability of your boat ...

Read more

Wood Finishing for Marine Use

Woodworkers and boat builders are, on the whole, a contentious bunch. They argue about all kinds of things: tools, methods, aesthetics, materials. But their favorite topic, the one to which they have turned with unfailing habit for centuries, approaching it with an alchemical reverence that borders on mysticism, is that ...

Read more

Fiction, Reality, and Philip K. Dick

My students of creativity will be familiar with my affection for the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick — a strange, brilliant, and troubled man whose ideas provided the foundation for modern cinematic sci-fi (beginning with Blade Runner, recently voted by scientists in the UK as the best science fiction ...

Read more