Solves a Problem I Didn’t Have

whirlpool-gold-gi6farxxf-refrigeratorI bought a new refrigerator. It’s lovely, stainless steel, lots of space, plenty of features. One feature is a carbon-matrix air filter to take out smells, supposedly replaces the box of baking soda. Was that a problem? It could be so construed.

But the feature that perplexes me now is the refrigerator light. Those have always posed a difficult epistemological question anyway: How do you know the light goes out when you close the door? And if you don’t know that, what else happens, or doesn’t happen when you’re not looking?  It’s a deep philosophical problem.

But my new refrigerator solves a problem I didn’t even know I had. When you open the door, the light does not come on instantly.  For a moment it’s dark inside. Then, over the course of about 1.5 seconds, the light comes on, dimly at first, then surging to its’ full 40W strength.  Every time I open the door, my reaction is “Damn light’s broke.” Then it gradually comes on and I think there is something wrong with my vision.  Did I just experience a blackout?

I’m sure I’ll get use to it, but I’m wondering, what problem does this technology solve? I never had any issues with the refrigerator light coming on when I opened the door.  Maybe if it were the middle of the night and I were grazing for a sandwich, I would be dazzled by a bright light. “Omigod!” I would shout, “What blazes creep hither?”  I don’t know. Has that ever been a problem for anyone? Sleepwalkers?


Little Man In The Head?

I just read a book review in The Economist of  Daniel Dennett’s recent book, “Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking” ( I haven’t read the book, but I know Dennett’s philosophy of mind from reading several other of his … Continue reading

Between Projects

construction-de-la-tour-eiffel.1205317476There’s always a big project. There’s never a time when I’m not writing or editing. It’s often hard to tell when a project is over, and even when it has started.

Right now I’m temporarily between projects, which is why I’m working on this web site. I just finished my 5th revision of a detective novel, working title, “Quinn Cassidy, Detective.”  The first draft of that was completed in 2012, based on a short story written in 2011. Is it done? No, I just got maxed out poring over it, line by line, word by word. It needs a rest.

A few months ago, I finished the 9th revision of another novel, “Being Ruby.”  I’m pretty sure that will stick as its title. It’s essentially complete, but it has voice problems. The main character is an adolescent female who starts the story at 18 years old and finishes at 21, but whenever she talks, she sounds like me. I’m taking her to the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, where I hope to get some pointers on what to do with the voice.

My Next Big Thing?  I’ve got an outline for a novel, working title “Chocotle.” I’ve got a half dozen characters sketched and the broad outline of a story. The outline is from January, 2013, but I’m reluctant to dig into it just a week before heading off to Iowa with Ruby. Each project is all-consuming when you’re in it.

I also have an idea for a novel that might be called “Forgetfulness.”  I need to start sketching that before I forget what the idea is!

Building a New Website

I’ve determined to build a new web site dedicated to writing. It’s a lot of work, but every writer needs a “platform.”  The trouble is, you also need to feed the platform (odd expression).  Writing to a web site is not great literature, but it does count as writing. I just deleted 35 useless words. Deleting is writing.

WordPress2I’m using WordPress, a popular platform. I already have a site at Google ( but few people find it. I’ll gradually move the significant stuff here for better visibility.

Oddly, the Google site is free, but it will outlast me. This one will survive only as long as I pay the hosting fee (about $100 a year). When I go, the site goes. Interesting contrast: forever is free and $100 buys mortality. Seems like it should be the reverse.

It’s like the choice Odysseus faced when he was captive on Circe’s island.She was beautiful and available; an immortal goddess. The island was a paradise of plenty and beauty.

Circe offered to make Odysseus immortal if he would stay. But he said no, I am human. I want to see my son grow up; I want to get old with my wife.

“And die?” Circe asked.

“It’s what humans do,” he replied. So he built a boat and left for home.