Right here, right now

A MacBook. A full cup of hot tea. A Westclox travel alarm clock I use as my regular desk clock. A coffee table because I don’t have a desk. Four remote controls. A doctor’s bill. A discount offer from The New Yorker. A Filofax open to today. A Uni-Ball 307 gel pen. TV on mute. A loud truck roaring past my front window. Self-stick stamps. Two Mad Men soundtrack CDs I need to add to iTunes. Books by Nora Ephron, Raymond Chandler, and Peggy Noonan. Narrowing down the ideas I want to pitch to my editors. A lamp across the room I need to turn on. Thoughts on what to have for dinner tonight, and a crisp October wind coming in through an open door.


First: I have another new piece up at The AV Club, about one of my favorite shows, Magnum, P.I. And of course there’s my column at The Saturday Evening Post. This week I talk about Peanuts, tattoos, the Apple Watch, and candy bars that insult you.

I’ve read two different pieces this week from people who hate fall. And one of them actually used that word too, “hate” (the other said it’s “the worst season,” which is just another phrase meaning the same thing). While everyone is entitled to their own opinion and they’re free to think what they want to think, these people are what I like to call “wrong.”

I mean, how can you not like fall (unless you’re young and have to go back to school – if you don’t like school, that is)? Is it the reasonable, comfortable temperatures? Is it the lack of suffocating humidity? Is it the new TV shows? The better movies? The great holidays? The apples? The increase in clothing options? The switch from laziness to ambition? Were you once attacked by a large pumpkin spiced latte and now the very thought of an October in Starbucks gives you horrifying flashbacks?

One of these people actually said that one of the reasons they hate fall is because it leads to a cold, snowy winter. So I guess they don’t like summer either, because it leads to fall, which they hate. If I’m following the logic correctly.

Have a great weekend! Next Letter is coming October 5. It’s the first one of the fall, you know.

19 years!

This month marks the 19th anniversary of this site. 19 years! That means it’s older than Google, older than the iPod, older than the word “blog” itself. We called them online journals or homepages back then, and most of them were ugly. This was way before social networking screwed up our lives and everything had to be “shared.” Mark Zuckerberg was 12 years old in 1996, most people didn’t have cell phones, and I had a lot more hair.

Every year I use this post to tell newcomers what this site is all about and what I’m working on. I write a weekly column for The Saturday Evening Post (every Friday morning) and I contribute to Esquire and Playboy. I published an essay and humor collection in 2003 titled Book, with Words and Pages, and you can read it here for free. I’m currently working on another book and a couple of other projects but I don’t want to talk about them yet. You can find out more about me here and read some of my writing here.

I’m not on Facebook or Twitter. I consider this my HQ on the web and I update it all the time. If you’d like to contact me you can leave a comment on any post or send me an e-mail. You can sign up to get an e-mail when I update the site (scroll down and enter your e-mail in the box on the right). I also send out a handwritten letter via snail mail (the old-fashioned way) every month, in an envelope with a stamp and everything! If you’d like to subscribe the details are here.

Have a great rest of the week. It’s currently 88 degrees and humid and gross and I’m ready for the fall to begin.

Curse of Five Things About Media and Technology Right Now

(Part 7 of my ongoing series. Here’s part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, and part 6. This time with hashtags!)

1. Post the news on social media ASAP! So what if it’s wrong? We’ll just delete it or update it! What’s the problem? #journalismtoday

2. “You’re a what? Oh, you mean content creator.” #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter

3. I don’t know what I want to see in my next President, but I do know it’s not someone who spends all day on Twitter.

4. This is an interesting piece about phones from The Atlantic, though I disagree slightly with some of the conclusions (it’s not just the design of/how people use smartphones that’s the reason younger people don’t make a lot of calls, it actually is anxiety and laziness/speed/convenience).

5. I don’t think humans were made to experience things at the speed of social media.