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The Inseide Dope, by Bob Seidenstein

Fightin’ the fever

I was a hipster of 11 when I heard my first jazz song. It was “Fever” by Peggy Lee — her signature song — which had just been released. The only verse that stuck I my mind is: Everybody’s got the fever. That is something we all know. Fever isn’t such a new ...

Levity overcoming gravity

One of my last columns was a response to people who complained about this year’s Winter Carnival having so many fewer activities. Briefly stated, my reply was Tough Nougs. But a detailed three-part reply is as follows: 1. They should be grateful for what we had, because it happened only ...

Of carnivals and critics

Winter Carnival 2021 started off with a bang — literally. Under the supervision and choreography of Peter Henry, the Pasha of Pyrotechnics, the fireworks show was even more magnificent than it usually is. If you missed it in person, Good Guy Productions has posted them on the internet. ...

Winter Carnival 2021

Ever since it was announced that Winter Carnival events were minimized this year, I’ve heard someone or other, either in person or on social media, carping about it. And every time their sad refrain reaches my jaded ears or eyes, my gorge rises. Dig this: The last thing anyone in My ...

Frozen in time … and an unheated bedroom

If you write something and a bunch of your readers say they love it, you’d better watch out. Thing is, the writer’s first reaction to that is to think what they wrote was, if not a work of staggering genius, then at least uniquely brilliant. But the sad truth is it’s probably neither. ...

Chilling revelations

Something that bugs the bejammers out of me is people complaining about our winters. You know their rap: They’re sooo long. They’re sooo cold. They’re sooo snowy. Oh yeah? Listen, as far as I’m concerned, if you’re under 50, you don’t even know what a real Adirondack ...

CRITIC critic

Any bureaucracy’s rank-and-file workers are almost all competent, because if they’re not, they get canned. But the higher you go up the food chain — and salary scale — the more it’s clogged with pompous asses and blazing incompetents. I first learned this in the Navy watching The ...

Gettin’ the business from big business

Whenever I buy anything, I’m guided by two principles: I try to buy American, and I try to buy locally. Buying American is a real chore since almost nothing’s made in America anymore. From my experience, American-made goods are still first quality. Unfortunately, you’ve got to look long ...

Pointed recollections

No matter how anyone cuts it, as a whole, Americans are woefully ignorant of history — especially their own. When I say “history,” I don’t mean all the esoteric nonsense that drove us nuts in high school, like when the Articles of Confederation were approved, or who was FDR’s ...

Playing (and living) the role

On Sunday I came across an article on Jean Robert-Houdin. How appropriate for Christmas, I thought. Though I doubt you ever heard of him, his last name resembles one you know, and for good reason: Houdini (birth name Erik Weisz) took his stage name as an homage to Robert-Houdin. So ...

Out on a limbA

Simulacrum is a word every good writer should know ... and no good writer should use. It means a poor imitation of something. And when I think of poor imitations, I think of every town’s Christmas tree, compared to the one My Home Town had in The Great Old Days. The reason this subject ...

Magic in Manhattan

My parents were from New York City, so we traveled there several times a year to visit relatives, see the sights and breathe puffy cumulus clouds of diesel exhaust. I never liked The City for all the obvious reasons a Saranac Lake native wouldn’t. It seemed that regardless of what was ...

Cuttin’ to the chase

Thanksgiving came and went, and two apparently unrelated thoughts kept rattling around the empty attic of my mind. One was JFK assassination conspiracy theories and theorists; the other was The T’giving Tryptophan Snoozefest. OK, both were related in that they took place in the same ...

The ride of a lifetime

Last Monday came and went with little notice, let alone any fanfare. Then again, why wouldn’t it? Just because it was the defining moment of my generation doesn’t mean its lifetime would exceed ours. I am, of course, referring to the JFK assassination. I can’t say I remember it ...

The discolor purple

It began in early July as Jen-X and I toweled off after a swim at Church Pond. “What’s that?” she said. “What’s what?” I said. “That thing on your side,” she said. “It looks like a bruise.” “I got a bruise on my side?” “Yeah, a big one,” she said. “I ...

The route to roots

I’ve always loved exploring the world of words, maybe because I had a facility for them, but I never thought it was a big deal. See, Way Back Then, such a thing wasn’t rewarded, much less even acknowledged. If you were a musical adept, a math or science whiz, a great jock, a real looker ...

NOT as simple as ABC

After I wrote last week’s column, I was afraid it’d be a major floperoo. In a general sense, the column was about the evolution of languages and the dictionary’s role in recording it. Specifically, the column was about the word “irregardless” being in the dictionary and how a ...

The write stuff

My mornings, while hardly as highly choreographed as Masonic ritual, are every bit as unvaried. I wake up late, tend to my flock and make my first pot o’ cafe du jour. After the buzz kicks in, I whip out my iPad and do what hundreds of millions of others do — namely, waste a bunch of my ...

Twenty miles and a thousand smiles

While COVID-19 has ixnayed all my travel plans, my sense of adventure has stayed untouched. And thus a pressing question: What to do for excitement within the borders of the Tri-Lakes? Frankly, as far as I’m concerned, if you’re gonna be stuck anywhere during a pandemic, this is the ...

The great escape

For years, my favorite coffee shop was Alice’s (previously named Betty’s, before that Bernie’s, and it’s now Cape Air). As far as I was concerned, it had everything going for it. The coffee was La Touraine’s highest octane — a sure way to either jump-start your heart (or send it ...