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The Inseide Dope, by Bob Seidenstein

Keys to success … and failure

Half-kidding, I often say I’m a 20th century guy trapped in the 21st century. As I said, half-kidding. Anyone who’d want to go to a mid-20th century dentist would need his head examined more than his teeth. I recall those dentists — and not all that fondly — a bunch of dour ...

That infernal vernal …

When I was in college, all the literature and history majors studied Classical Greece. And there was no debate about it — they were required courses. The thinking behind that was Greece was where it all began, as far as we were concerned — “we” being western civilization. Every ...

The case of the missing case

Last week I mentioned one of the vicissitudes of aging — memory loss. Maybe the real issue isn’t loss, per se, but degree of loss. It’s a tough number for me to call, due to my being on the horns of dilemma. On the one horn, logically, I know my mind doesn’t work as well as it ...

Just one of those months…

We’ve all had “one of those days.” But have you ever had “one of those months”? Well, I just got done with one. It started with a mistake in one of my columns. I wrote about how hard it was for me to learn to tell time and I said my mother taught me the big hand told the ...

The closest call

Last Saturday My Home Town acquitted itself admirably in the field of ethnic celebration. I am referring, of course, to our St. Patrick’s Day parade. There’d be no doubt I’d be there. When any group of my fellow local yokels decides to organize and execute an activity, and are doing ...

What’s white and grey and blue all over?

This week, the Dope is taking a break from his column, turning it over to his alter ego, The Poet Laureate of Lakeview Deli — Rober Frostbite. Geoffrey Chaucer, the best known poet In English history, Wrote a line, endlessly quoted, That to me’s a mystery. ...

Rocky Mountain hi and bye

I’ll never forget learning how to tell time. Or more exactly, I’ll never forget struggling to learn how to tell time. I was in second or third grade. I can’t remember exactly because they didn’t teach us how to tell time in school. Back then, they had a quaint notion it was the ...

Local color, at its worst

On the side of his house was a sign my pal Ed Woodward had made. It said, “Any plan, even a poor plan, is better than no plan at all.” Certainly, Ed knew what he was talking about. As a World War II Commodore in the Pacific, he commanded a flotilla of nine Destroyer Escorts. And more ...

Occasions of state

My initial contact with the word “fortnight” was in my early teens, and it was love at first read. It’s an old-timey word, at this point probably archaic. Certainly, I never hear it spoken, and any current writing that contains it is probably a bodice ripper. It means a two ...

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 ...