Columns 2016

To cut or not to cut the PFD check

Anyone catching even the slightest glimpse of my checkbook knows my ability with finances is, to put it mildly, limited. That I’m able to live on my own and pay my own bills this late in my life is totally due to other people who understand finances and helped me save some of that money flowing so easily through my fingers. So when I talk about our PFD checks, I speak from a human perspective and not a technical knowledge of high finance.

In most of Bush Alaska, a PFD check is treasured. It provides that extra boost that helps Continue reading →


Emmy hangover

Watched the Emmys on Sunday night. Took a full day for my eyes to recover from the glitter and pretty. And after watching it, here’s the question that has to be asked.  Does any actress in Hollywood weigh more than 90 lbs. or is that the cut off weight for actually getting onscreen? The other question I have is who are all those people who won and why have I never watched even one of those shows? It’s all the fault of the Salesian nuns who taught me to love reading. If it weren’t for that, I’d have time for Continue reading →


It’s not funny anymore

For those of us who lived through the sixties, Trump’s offhanded suggestions of violence towards his opponent are simply that step too far. He is no longer the orange clown. He is no longer the little handed man with the overwhelming ego. He is no longer the dad who publicly announces his desire to date his daughter. He is no longer the racist, misogynist blabber of hate. He is no longer even an American. Because no American would suggest, especially not lightly or jokingly, that their opponent be the victim of violence. If this is the only way this little Continue reading →


Why is AOL doing this to me?

OK, first of all, stop laughing. Yes, I said AOL. Get over it. I got my email account in 1992 and I was the first to grab the name TheParrot and I am never giving it up.

Now on to the real issue. Why is there a big picture of OrangeMan in the ad space next to my email? What have I ever said or done to deserve that? I throw up a little in my mouth every time I check my email now. And don’t tell me to go to the ad choices site. I did that and there Continue reading →


OK, I give up

What the hell is vaping?  It is now being offered for pot smoking and I don’t even know what it is for regular smoking. Is this like those alcohol drinks where you just swallow the vapors and not the actual liquid? Oh god, the world is just getting too complicated for me. I think I’ll just pop in a brownie and contemplate how easy life used to be. Continue reading →


Winter is coming

I’ve had to put my furnace on. My raspberry bushes have been cut back. My perennials have been put to bed. The leaves are falling madly off the trees. Let winter begin. I sure in hell didn’t move to Alaska for its summers. And given last winter’s non-winter, I refuse to put snow tires on until I see an actual accumulation of snow that warrants them! Continue reading →

Columns 2016

Social Workers aren’t the problem

I remember the first night I spent as the only social worker on the North Slope. It was the mid-eighties. Money and drugs were slamming our villages pretty badly. Ahead of me would be nights when I never got to bed because of the number of child endangerment calls I had to respond to. But that night, all I could do was lay awake and wonder how I was going to keep track of all the kids already in foster homes or group homes. How was I ever going to find the time to work with the families to try Continue reading →


You do the math

The latest polls are showing that pot use among senior citizens is up 333%. Seniors are also known for being one of the largest and most faithful voting groups. And suddenly pot is being voted into legality in state after state.

You do the math. Continue reading →


Fingernails on a chalkboard

Trump’s voice makes my whole body cringe. I have reached the point where I can’t even listen to new excerpts where they play just a cut from his latest speech or rant. When his voice comes on the radio or TV, I mute it and look away.

Will this campaign season never end. Will we never learn from the Brits how to run a campaign in about six weeks instead of three years of pain, torture and disgust with our political class.

It’s times like these when a dictatorship starts to look pretty good to me except for my fear Continue reading →