Category Archives: Self-reliance

Buy a Book or Take the Train

Perhaps my friend’s trip to the bathroom inspired our question, or maybe it was evoked by the atmosphere of the Chinese restaurant in Boston. Our lazy hypothetical possibility was more than merely passing time, although at first I don’t think … Continue reading

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Losing the Brakes

I was in rush hour traffic outside Lévis, Quebec recently when the driver in front of me slammed on his or her brakes. I knew I had a weak brake line but I found out exactly how corroded it was … Continue reading

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What Hump?

In a short but provocative exchange between Doctor Frankenstein and Igor in Mel Brooks’ 1974 parody Young Frankenstein, Igor makes a profound statement about our lack of self knowledge. The doctor asks him if he wishes to consider a surgical … Continue reading

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Wishcycling

As soon as I heard the word, and its definition, in a documentary about the New York waste stream, I knew, rather sheepishly, that I had been guilty of wishcycling. Many times I can remember standing over a recycling bin … Continue reading

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Growing up in the Modern Depression

Each generation visits its sins on the next, just as children will grow up to have their teeth set on edge by grapes if their parents have learned to be sour. Since the great depression, two more generations have struggled … Continue reading

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Animals in the Cities

Most of our cities, however hostile to animal life, have some hardy species who survive and even thrive amongst us. Perhaps the cockroach, mice and rats come immediately to mind, and then after a moment’s reflection, the raccoon and squirrel, … Continue reading

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Taking Charge of your own Medical Care

When I was young I trusted doctors implicitly. Perhaps I was influenced by shows like Gunsmoke, Star Trek, and The Andy Griffiths Show, but I idealized them like they were all television country doctors, who saint-like, devoted their lives to … Continue reading

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Self-reliance and the Helping Hand

Someone asked me recently if my books were linked by a common trait and for a moment I found the question daunting. Then I leapt at the one attribute that they all possess, from my long poem to academic work … Continue reading

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