The Inseide Dope, by Bob Seidenstein

Under the big — and little — top

We’ve all heard the phrase “having the world at your fingertips.” But guess what? Today it’s literally true. Given the coverage and speed of electronic media, we know when something happens, anywhere, within seconds. Beyond that, if we want to find out something, no matter how ...

Down the tube(s)

“Age is only a number.” I hear people say that, and I cringe — especially since the peeps saying it are almost always 30 years younger than me. Simply put, as good as their intentions might be, they have no idea what they’re talking about. Yes, age is just a number. But so are IQ, ...

The curmudgeon and the kid

Last week I paid my final respects to an old friend, Buck Lester. When I say “old friend,” it needs qualifying. I knew Buck for 50 years, but were on friendly terms only for the last 35 or so. It’s a long story and in order to understand it, you need to know about Paul Smith’s ...

The curious case of Madame K

Con men have been around as long as we have. Or if you read the bible as history, they’ve been around even longer, what with the serpent preceding Adam in the creation chronicle – and the evolutionary one as well. And of course they’re still with us. But, logically, you’d think ...

When spring sprang

After the snow from last week’s blizzard had been plowed, shoveled and snowblown away, the denizens of My Home Town breathed a collective sigh of relief. A day or so after that, when we realized that as far as blizzards go, we’d dodged The Big One, a confidence bordering on giddiness ...

(Photo provided)

Snow jobs

Until the emergence of science and the scientific method, a fact was what the authorities said it was. If the chief Aztec said the best way to guarantee a corn surplus was to eviscerate a couple hundred slaves, so be it. If medieval kings had all the wealth and power, it was ...

The pick of the crop

Apparently there’s a movement afoot to reintroduce cursive writing in public school curricula. Ah, yes, cursive writing. Remember it? I do — especially my struggle to learn it. It was in fourth grade with Miss Reid. Miss Reid was the very picture of a 20th-century ...

Thumbs up … and OUT!

I first got bitten by the travel bug when I was in single digits, though as a little kid in Saranac Lake, chances for major voyages were limited. But I finally got them, thanks to my incompetence as a student. When I flunked out of college after my freshman year, a life of adventure ...

BobSeidensteinDrawing

It takes a half village (at least) …

Americans love statistics. And even worse, they believe them. Someone’s looking for a book to read. What to do? He could go in the library and skim a few books till he finds one that grabs him. But that’d take some time and effort. So he’ll check out the Times Best Seller list, ...

What a pal we have in Paladin

Last week’s column about the cowboy movies and TV shows of my youth got more responses than I could’ve predicted. Some mentioned details I’d long forgotten. For example, Jen Zahn said she’d never forgotten how Roy Rogers would sprint full-bore at Trigger from his back and then vault ...

Bob Seidenstein rockin' some western wear.
(Enterprise photo — Brittany Proulx)

West is best

Like every kid who grew up in the ’50s I was raised on a two-part diet of processed food and cowboy movies. The food was nutritionally deficient, but miraculous. In other words, it’s a miracle any of us came of age with healthy brain cells and without pellagra, anemia and rickets. ...

Team D and D

I’m in my office (Lakeview Deli, to those who don’t know) getting ready to write this week’s Pulitzer Prize winner. I take a quick inventory Pencils? Check. Pencil sharpener? Check. Legal tab? Check. Erasers? Check. I ...

The power of prayer … and presence

The irony of winter sports: When the weather’s great for skiing, it’s lousy for skating, and vice versa. And last week when it rained and then froze, it was great for skating. Which was fine with me since I don’t ski but I do skate — in a manner of speaking. Like everyone ...

A tiresome tale

For 35 years or so, I drove only Volkswagen Beetles. It was a decision based less on self-image or customer loyalty, so much as good old common sense. They were cheap to buy and maintain, they were dependable, and they handled well. Beyond that, their malfunctions were easy to ...

Between a rock and a hard place

What follows is a tale of stones: one figurative, one literal. The figurative stone was a stone face. The literal one was a stone turd. Now some clarification. Everyone knows what stone-faced means. Maybe your image of a stone face is different from mine, but we both have an essential ...

When fiction becomes fact

It’s a rare occasion when I get written feedback on my columns, so imagine my surprise at getting a half-dozen emails about last week’s column. If you missed it, it was about ecumenicism at either its best or worst. You decide. The column involved three people. One was my mother. ...

Saints alive!

A lot of people believe in superstitions. Many others don’t believe in them but find them charming in an old-timey way, much like monocles, whale-bone corsets and horse-drawn sleighs — you know, those quaint icons of the Good Old Days none of us ever had to actually live in. Still others ...

Failure of the The Big Bang Theory

Of all 16-year-old guys in My Home Town, I was unique. Was I extraordinary as a scholar? Nope. An athlete? Fergit it. A party animal? Well, I might have been ... if I’d been invited to one. No, what set me apart was this: I was the only 1960’s teenage male who, while ...

Winners all

With winter now fully upon us, I suddenly thought of something that happened almost 60 years ago but is as vivid to me as if it took place yesterday. It was the snowshoe race in the Winter Carnival of 1959. I was 12 and in a magical place in life: I had an unlimited imagination but almost ...

Only Stardust in the wind

Earlier this week I had a chat with Ralphie Stardust. Actually, I had a listen to with Ralphie, since he himself never listens. Or more exactly he never listens to anything concerning what we fondly call “the material world.” Ralphie’s not rude or inconsiderate — quite the ...