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The 20-Percent Solution

By Dennis E. Powell | Nov 01, 2023 at 9:34 PM

The idea hit me in early 1977, during of all things a pistol match. And the ratio that first came to mind that weekend morning still seems about right. It is a rule — okay, a “guideline” as we now like to say — that explains and to a limited extent influences much of our daily lives. That morning I named it the 20 percent rule. In the — Lord help me — nearly 50 years since that day it has held up pretty well.

How Halloween Was

By Dennis E. Powell | Oct 27, 2023 at 10:00 PM

Next Tuesday is Halloween, though holidays are now moved all over the place. No doubt plans are underway to desecrate Christmas, New Year, and Thanksgiving, but moving Halloween all over the place is especially inconvenient, in that it involves strangers coming to our homes, so we must be there, and if it’s spread out over many days . . . well, you can see. Or will.

No Better the Umpteenth Time

By Dennis E. Powell | Oct 18, 2023 at 10:14 PM

Have you ever re-watched a sad movie, hoping that this time the outcome will be different? Welcome to the world today. Only it’s not a movie.

The New Franz Ferdinand: Our Shortsighted Policies

By Timothy R. Butler | Oct 18, 2023 at 9:43 PM

The worsening of our global situation, including two sparks that appear more volatile than an unfortunate duke meeting a bullet ever could have been, should be a wake-up call. Our politicians have driven us to the brink of a world war by their myopic plans forged by reelection efforts and not our (or the world’s) good.

Time to End This

By Dennis E. Powell | Oct 11, 2023 at 3:34 PM

Babies. They beheaded babies. They are proud of it. It is particularly troubling when acts are so horrific that people of good will are sad that they are not there to personally kill the offenders. But that was my instant, immutable response to a video I saw on Saturday.

Call Me Streaky

By Timothy R. Butler | Oct 04, 2023 at 8:41 PM

Last night I was exhausted, but I was manipulating the database code behind one of our sister sites. Not because disaster had struck for others using the site, but to save a game streak I’d been nudging along. I hate losing streaks.

Hospitals Are Dangerous Places

By Dennis E. Powell | Sep 27, 2023 at 9:57 PM

My grief-stricken niece, a nurse, this week had to explain to her 7-year-old son that his daddy would not be coming home from the hospital. That heartbreaking duty followed a stressful month.

A Treatment for Bad-mood

By Dennis E. Powell | Sep 06, 2023 at 10:40 PM

There was a time when respite was available, when for a couple of hours each week one could wipe his brow and smile. The restorative power of two hours of happiness is not to be underestimated.

This May Be Why Television's Parting Contestants are Never Seen Again

By Dennis E. Powell | Aug 30, 2023 at 11:45 PM

The shampoo was cheap — as in $1.49 for a half gallon — but, hey, it was a name brand, so why not? When I used it I was rendered nearly unconscious by the amount of perfume in it. I’m not talking a nice scent, either, but rather the sort of thing you’d expect to find on the last-resort utility shelf at a mortuary, for use when the departed is past his bury-by date.

This is the Kind of Cookie I Want

By Timothy R. Butler | Aug 30, 2023 at 11:44 PM

I’ve embarked on an important research project to further humanity’s understanding of the world. A project to delve deep into one of life’s most important questions. One that furthers the far reaches of science. One that helps to better understand… the chocolate chip cookie.

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