A Pirate Looks at Fifty


That’s me (bottom) and my older brother, Jeff, playing “pirates” on the back porch of the house we grew up in in rural Northwest Ohio. If I had to guess, I’d say it was around 1974 — the same year Jimmy Buffett released one of his most enduring songs, “A Pirate Looks at Forty.”


Mother, mother ocean, I’ve heard you call
‘Wanted to sail upon your waters
Since I was three feet tall
You’ve seen it all, you’ve seen it all

I should acknowledge up front that I was never really a pirate at heart — even Continue reading A Pirate Looks at Fifty

A Handshake for the Generations


What if I told you I met somebody once who personally knew James Polk? Or Dred Scott? Or John Keats? Impossible, right? I mean, it’s 2016. These men were all born in the 1700’s.

And yet . . . Continue reading A Handshake for the Generations

Reflections on a Year of Blogging

Well, it was just over one year ago that I began this blog, publishing my first-ever post entitled “On Rainbows and Shadows,” an opinion piece about marriage equality published in the wake of last year’s historic Supreme Court decision. In it, I spoke of my experience growing up in the rural midwest in the 1970’s and ’80’s, how it shaped my early views of homosexuality, and how those views came to evolve over time. It was surprisingly well received, going “mini-viral,” and getting picked up by Idaho’s largest newspaper, the Idaho Statesman, where it ran as a guest opinion in the Sunday edition. Continue reading Reflections on a Year of Blogging

365 Days of Gratitude



202 days of gratitude, more accurately, spread out over 365 days. That’s the number of days I actually wrote in a gratitude journal over the past year, in an attempt to increase a feeling of gratitude in my life.

Looking at my life from the outside, you might have wondered why I would need to embark on a “gratitude enhancement project” at all. After all, I had it pretty good. Damned good, really. It might have been fair to say, even, that I hadn’t a single legitimate thing in the world to grumble about.  Continue reading 365 Days of Gratitude

Six Observations on the Body Positivity Movement by a Liberal Father with Daughters

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I’ll admit I was slow to the take on this one. I really only started noticing this a year or two ago – this trend in social media and advertising to highlight “non-traditional beauty” and emphasize “body positivity.” But once I started noticing it, I noticed it everywhere, and the movement only seems to be gaining steam. Just today, I read an article entitled “24 Women Bare Their Scars To Reveal The Beauty In Imperfections,” which featured a cover photo of a young, remarkably fit woman pulling up a skimpy knit tank top, as though undressing, revealing two long scars on her abdomen. She was wearing snug-fitting jeans, which nonetheless seemed to be falling off her buttocks, and she looked, well, amazing, which of course was the whole point.  Continue reading Six Observations on the Body Positivity Movement by a Liberal Father with Daughters