Rest in Peace, Dear Friend.

Last Friday, on the 9th of March, an old friend passed away. Not just a friend, but also a teacher and a mentor who in many ways, altered the course of my life and became a part of my own history and personal mythology. He was a man of principle and authority, with a quick … Continue reading

Adventures in Traveling With My Father

Every year as a boy, my father would take me on a fishing trip to the Big Sky country of Montana. I still vividly remember the long hours spent driving across Utah, where the vast, flat expanses of barren white salt desert reflected the sky so perfectly that you could not find the horizon. The … Continue reading

First Yard Sale Report of the Season

The weather was not great this morning. Although it was not raining when I got up, the forecast called for rain, the skies were threatening. In any case, I decided to go ahead and do the first yard sale day of the season. Like the shooting of the bamboo, the flowering of the cherry and … Continue reading

It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch.

My parents had a motto in their later years that went, It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch. My father explained it to me by saying that to love someone deeply meant that sooner or later there would be profound pain from loss. He also said that it was that loving … Continue reading

The Joy of Having Dogs.

Life here at the Ocular Edifice is, more or less a circus of animals. There are the 5 chickens, which scratch randomly about their coop in an inoffensive and generally entertaining manner and deliver us enough green eggs to satisfy our needs and still have enough left over to give some to friends and neighbors. … Continue reading

Yard Sales & Sweet Potato Pie

Going to yard sales is like reading a book of short stories with a general theme, but an unending assortment of characters and situations. The stories you find there are a long random string of pearls strung through a city with a blacktop thread. The stories themselves, like pearls, are grown from small grains of … Continue reading

How to make the Buddha Bird House

A lot of the stuff I find at yard sales ends up in my eccentric garden under the category of “Yard Art”. It is an esthetic genetically passed down from my eclectic parents, both of whom found pleasure in small treasures and unexpected surprises. I also remember with admiration the long and twisted driveway of … Continue reading

Great White Hunter or Never hit a skunk with a broom.

My father was a scholar and a true intellectual. He wrote many books which he sometimes referred to by their weight, started the University of Santa Cruz, was a university professor emeritus, could quote long passages from obscure books, and was renown as a historian of the people… He also raised chickens… In between his … Continue reading

A Japanese Dog Story

Some of you may know that I lived for many years in Japan, teaching English, writing for newspapers, and making masks. It was a strange country… that place of the rising mists. There was a mix of the sublime mysterious temples and the steep narrow streets. The cherry trees, heavy with subtle blossoms, and the ancient … Continue reading

Al and the Hubcaps…

I used to work at the Benson Hotel in Portland Oregon, a fine old hotel with crystal chandeliers, a grand palatial stair case and an elegant entry hall all paneled in a dark rich walnut so rare now as to be considered extinct. I worked with a cast of characters as odd and eclectic as … Continue reading