The Inseide Dope, by Bob Seidenstein

Warm temps, warmer memories

No two Winter Carnivals are ever the same. There’s always a new theme, new king, queen and court, new folks in town, and the list goes on. But two things almost always happen, from year to year, decade to decade. One happens when Carnival’s over, the dust has settled, and the last ...

It takes a whole village to raise a ruckus

Off the coast of Norway is The Mother of All Whirlpools. It’s called the Saltstraumen Maelstrom and is considered the world’s wildest whirlpool. Rumor has it that if any ship gets near its outer ring, it’ll be sucked in and swriled down to Davy Jones’ Locker faster than you can ...

Southern overexposure

We all know the hassles of Adirondack winter far too well. From icy roads to frozen pipes. From brokedown furnaces in the cellar to ice dams on the roof. From cars that won’t start to dogs that won’t go out. When it comes to winter woes, you name ’em and we’ve got ’em. But my ...

The thief who never was

Like every other lost soul on God’s Green Earth, I’m on Facebook. And like every other lost soul on Facebook, I spend too much time there, checking out the swill posted by the too-many groups I belong to. One of last week’s postings from a group that’s about The Good Ole Days ...

Y2K was A-OK

Kicked off by the JFK assassination, The Great Age of Conspiracies has pretty much died out. Or maybe more specifically, it hasn’t died out, but a critical mass of its supporters has. RIP. In its wake has followed The Great Age of Experts, which we’re now in the middle of. It is of ...

The imperfect patsy

This Nov. 22 came and went as it has for quite a while — without any fanfare, much less even any mention of the JFK assassination. It always takes me aback. What was probably the focal event of my youth has been relegated to the dustbin of history, which of course is what happens to all of ...

A life, bright and brief

Wednesday afternoon I was sitting in the most comfortable chair in Barb Curtis’s store, my mind a complete blank. This blank state of mind, called “mushin” in Japanese, is highly sought after by Zen Buddhism practicioners, Omega Institute groupies, and pilgrims to Sedona and other ...

Much ado about doo-doo

Whenever someone greets me with full-on eye contact, big smile on face, pen in one hand, clipboard in the other, I go on full alert. It’s the clipboard that clinches it – I know I’m about to get asked to sign a petition. So what’s the problem with signing a petition? Well, ...

Cold equations

I was in junior high when I first learned about metaphors. Or more precisely, when I first heard about metaphors, because it took a long time to understand what they were. I think my difficulty was in how they were explained, which was by textbook definiton. A metaphor, we were told, and I ...

Heavy breathing at the Good Earth

One summer about 20 years ago there appeared in town a fully-restored 1965 Ford Mustang. It was a real beaut. The chrome was flawless, as was the paint job. Plus you could tell the engine was in perfect tune by its low-throated growl as it cruised the streets. And on the trunk in ...

E-gads!

It’s amazing how many things we think have always been with us but are actually recent additions. And I’m not talking about high-tech, cyber-world whiz-bangs. I mean real old school, no-tech stuff. For example, belt loops. Belt loops a recent invention? Well, it depends on your ...

A walk on the mild Seide

I started running for only one reason — to get in shape for boot camp. I’d just graduated from college, where I’d spent four years majoring in history ... and four years minoring in coffee, cigarettes and sleep deprivation. I was, by any measure, a burnout. But luckily, I was a ...

Frozen in time, space and a VW Bug

By 1960s American standards, I was an old man before I got my first car at 25. But as much a greybeard as I was, my car was more of one. It was a ’64 VW Beetle with nine years and over 150,000 miles on it. The mileage was unknown and never could be known because the speedometer-odometer ...

The air apparent

The Luddites were a secret group of early 19th-century English weavers who, when machine looms were put in the mills, saw the end of their highly skilled (and high-paying) profession. In retaliation, for a short while (all too short for them), they broke into mills, smashed machinery, shot up ...

The long and short of it

Everyone knows great nations eventually fall. We also know, in retrospect, how and when they fell. But I’ve always wondered how many people in a country on the verge of collapse were aware that everything was about to hit the fan. There are all kinds of predictors of societal collapse. ...

Gimme shelter

Nostalgia has always been a big business, and for the Baby Boomers the best-selling decades are the fifties and sixties. Ah yes, the Glory Days! Of course, looking back at our salad days always involves selective vision filtered through fully-tinted rose-colored glasses. The fact is ...

Saved by the bell … and the bell ringer

I’ve always considered myself lucky, especially with my health: The fact is I’ve never been sick. Oh sure, I had all the usual childhood maladies that have since been eliminated by vaccines. And as a kid, I had my share of sneezes and sniffles. But in the 50 years, from my going to ...

Clipped!

According to the traditional cliche, women are obsessed with hair styles. Well, I can tell you from personal experience, males aren’t exempt from that mania. I’ll never forget my first bout of hair style madness, especially since I came out on the losing end of it. It happened ...

A lad of letters

With their cellphones, computers, tablets, and whatalls-electronic, kids today have access to almost ever piece of information there is, or ever was. And as far as I’m concerned, more’s the pity. Face it: Information, of and by itself, means nothing. There’s wrong information, ...

A class act

I knew I’d be a teacher from the time I was ten. And it wasn’t like I thought I’d be a teacher or I wanted to be one — I knew I would. I don’t think that phenomenon is unique or even all that unusual. I’d bet a lot of adults knew what they’d do from early childhood. ...