On the Set with Sam Elliott

Yesterday I received this photo from my longtime friend Robert Guernsey, who is a cameraman on the Netflix sitcom The Ranch. That's Sam Elliott, star of the series, in the center. Robert is on the right and his first assistant cameraman, Vito De Palma, is on the left. This was taken during the last week of...

Koolaid Powder in Rain Gauge

My wife Kit and I were disappointed when, after installing a rain gauge just 8 feet outside our kitchen window, we couldn't discern the rainfall amounts on the gauge from that distance. Each reading required a trip outside. We decided to add some kind of dry substance that could add color - for us it was a...

Review: Wichita State Baseball Comes Back

Wichita State Baseball Comes Back: Gene Stephenson and the Making of a Shocker Championship Tradition (The History Press, historypress.net, Charleston, S.C., 2014, 140 pp., 31 black-and-white photos, $19.99 paperback). No one needs to be a fan of Wichita State University baseball, nor—I'm tempted to...

Twenty Years Ago… AC Gets Its Start

The photo that accompanies this blog post is a shot I snapped moments ago of part of an article that appears on page 22 of the current (June) issue of American Cowboy magazine. That issue commemorates the 20th anniversary of the magazine for which I was founding editor (and for which I was editor-in-chief...

American Cowboy Magazine’s Backtrail: A Great Ride

Howdy, neighbor! If you've arrived here after having read the material in the 20th Anniversary Edition (June/July 2014) of American Cowboy magazine, then know that this is the article you're seeking. I said I'd be sharing "further reminiscences" here, and that's exactly what's going on.   I'll try not...

Can You Guess What This Is?

I had been growing them for, oh, three years or so before it struck me just how early the fruit appears. Yes, if you are "playing along," the answer to my question, "Can you guess what this is," is... grapes. The accompanying photo shows a grape cluster as it looks only a few weeks after the first leaves...

Love Jesus, Hate Religion?

What's with the new anti-“religion” sentiment? Maybe you've noticed it yourself. There has appeared—in conversations and statements on the web—an oddly pejorative treatment of the words “religious” or “religion.” I've started collecting them and I'll share my first four (first that I've...

We Need a New Word for “Terrorism”

Will the latest massacre at Fort Hood again be labeled simply "workplace violence"? Given the intense criticism that the White House received for the way it blocked any attempts of officials to label Nidal Hasan's actions at Fort Hood in 2009 as terrorism, one would think that the White House would be a...

Review: The Inventor and The Tycoon

My review of Edward Ball's latest work, The Inventor and the Tycoon, was one of the earliest reviews to be published on this new duo-biography - of Edward Muybridge and Leland Stanford. Muybridge was the inventor of stop-action photography and, later, motion pictures. Stanford - he of Stanford University...

500th Follower

Just this afternoon I welcomed my 500th follower on Twitter. See my Twitter page here. My most recent tweet was about my first book review at True West magazine, as their new Book Editor. To see that article, go here. I wrote about Larry McMurtry's latest effort, a biography of Gen. George A....

Oil vs. Gas: A Supply-And-Demand Paradox

When it comes to two different fossil fuels - oil and natural gas - is it accurate for us here in the United States to think that each fuel is equally impacted, at least in regards to market price and market stability, when ever-greater reserves of each are tapped by our country's oil and gas exploration...

Too Cool! Swamp Cooler on a Slugbug

Tonight as Kit and I arrived at the parking lot of Hastings bookstore, we found ourselves beside a Volkswagen Beetle with an unusual-looking drum attached to the vehicle outside the passenger-side window. It was connected to a luggage rack that was itself rather different-looking. But the cylinder itself was...

Make My Day

If I were to say that I've been Eastwooding longer than Clint Eastwood has been Eastwooding, well, I'm sure that would cause people to think to themselves, hey, this dude is cooler than Eastwood. Now, I'm not exactly saying that I've been Eastwooding longer than Clint has, because I'm still trying to decide...

“Reportedly”? Does the word “reportedly” belong in reportage?

I'm dashing this off on a Tuesday evening, and I just saw this sentence in a story on foxnews.com: "Some 20 to 25 'Tonight Show' staffers were laid off Friday and Leno took a sizable pay cut to reportedly to [sic] spare additional job cuts. Producers were also reportedly given the option to take pay cuts or...

CofC Members: What Do You Think?

Recently, Wineskins Magazine ran my book review of Why We Left, an examination of the reasons why people have left or are leaving the Church of Christ. I found author Flavil Yeakley's analysis to be astute. It has become common knowledge that the Church of Christ continues to lose membership at an rapid...

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