Author Archive

How to Feed The Olympics


Race Results

28:37.7 at the Butte to Butte 5K. Best of 14 in age group. Thrilled. Major goal is to snag the 80-84 age group record, three plus minutes slower than the 28:37. Details.

Book Lover

Books read in June. Favorites with astericks.

Fabulous Small Jews by Joseph Epstein*
The Golden Boys by Joseph Epstein
Life Sentences by Joseph Epstein*
Being There by Jerzi Kosinski
Steps by Jerzi Kosinski
The Ocean and the Stars: A Sea Story by Mark Helprin*
Would It Kill You To Stop Doing That? by Henry Alford
The Concise Book of Lying by Evelin Sullivan
Salt and Steel: Reflections of a Submariner by Edward L. Beach
Outlive: The Science & Art of Longevity by Peter Attia, M.D.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Meet My Maker The Mad Molecule by J.P. Donleavy*
Mrs. Lee’s Garden: The True Story…of Arlington by Carlo DeVito
Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More… by Gretchen Rubin
Teddy and Booker T. by Brian Kilmeade
Hidden Potential by Adam Grant
Bones of the Master: Journey To Secret Mongolia by George Crane*

A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time—proof that humans can work magic. —Carl Sagan

Is That Drink Worth it to You?

Terrific article in the 6/15/24 New York Times. …My last drink was on 12/31/23. On doctor’s advice. Memory issues. Alcohol speed the decline.

Here’s a taste:

About a year ago, a friend of mine started evading my invitations to grab a drink. It was only when we caught up for a walk that she explained she wasn’t putting me off for any personal reason — it was just that she had stopped drinking. She wasn’t a heavy drinker — she had a glass of wine with dinner, the occasional Aperol spritz — but she’d been hearing on podcasts and reading in the news that even a small amount of alcohol was much worse for her health than had previously been understood.

Listen to this article, read by Kirsten Potter
My friend was picking up on a swing in the public-health messaging around alcohol. For many years, she might have felt that she was making a healthy choice in having a glass of wine or a beer with dinner. Right around the time when she came of legal age to drink, the early 1990s, some prominent researchers were promoting, and the media helped popularize, the idea that moderate drinking — for women, a drink a night; for men, two — was linked to greater longevity. The cause of that association was not clear, but red wine, researchers theorized, might have anti-inflammatory properties that extended life and protected cardiovascular health. Major health organizations and some doctors always warned that alcohol consumption was linked to higher cancer risk, but the dominant message moderate drinkers heard was one of not just reassurance but encouragement.

More recently, though, research has piled up debunking the idea that moderate drinking is good for you. Last year, a major meta-analysis that re-examined 107 studies over 40 years came to the conclusion that no amount of alcohol improves health; and in 2022, a well-designed study found that consuming even a small amount brought some risk to heart health. That same year, Nature published research stating that consuming as little as one or two drinks a day (even less for women) was associated with shrinkage in the brain — a phenomenon normally associated with aging.



Drinking increased during the pandemic, which may be why news of any kind about alcohol seems to have found a receptive audience in recent years. In 2022, an episode of the podcast “Huberman Lab” that was devoted to elaborating alcohol’s various risks to body and brain was one of the show’s most popular of that year. Nonalcoholic spirits have gained such traction that they’ve started forming the basis for entire nightlife guides; and more people are now reporting that they consume cannabis than alcohol on a daily basis.

Some governments are responding to the new research by overhauling their messaging. Last year, Ireland became the first country to pass legislation requiring a cancer warning on all alcohol products sold there, similar to those found on cigarettes: “There is a direct link between alcohol and fatal cancers,” the language will read. And in Canada, a government-funded organization recently proposed revised alcohol guidelines, announcing, “We now know that even a small amount of alcohol can be damaging to health.” The proposed guidelines characterize one to two drinks a week as carrying “low risk” and three to six drinks as carrying “moderate risk.” (The current guidelines suggest that women limit themselves to no more than two standard drinks most days, and that men place that limit at three.)

No amount of alcohol is good for you — that much is clear. But one might reasonably ask: Just how bad is it? The information we receive on health risks often glide over the specifics of how much actual risk a person faces, as if those were not details worth knowing. These days, when I contemplate a drink with dinner, I find myself wondering about how much to adjust my behavior in light of this new research. Over the years, we’ve been told so many things are either very good or very bad for us — drinking coffee, running, running barefoot, restricting calories, eating all protein, eating all carbs. The conversation in my head goes something like this: “Should I worry? Clearly, to some degree, yes. But how much, exactly?”

The Trick of Defining ‘Low Risk’
Tim Stockwell, a scientist at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, is one of the people most responsible for our cultural course correction on alcohol, a credit that’s all the more notable since he used to be convinced of its health benefits. Stockwell believed so strongly in the soundness of moderate drinking that he wrote, in a commentary in Australia’s premier medical journal in 2000, that skeptics on that subject might reasonably be lumped into the same category as “doubters of manned lunar missions and members of the Flat Earth Society.”

Not long after that, Stockwell received a phone call from Kaye Middleton Fillmore, a sociologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who told him that she had her doubts about the research that Stockwell considered so sound. Fillmore was concerned about possible misleading variables in the studies: To start, they included ex-drinkers in the category of “abstainers,” which meant they were failing to account for the possibility that some people had stopped drinking specifically because of illness. The moderate drinkers looked healthy by comparison, creating the illusion that a moderate amount of alcohol was beneficial.

Fillmore was looking for funding to prove her point, and after listening to her talk for a while, Stockwell was intrigued enough that he not only found her a source of funding but joined ranks with her. The results of this colla

Race Results

At last night’s monthly the Oregon Track Club races, Don runs a 25:55.3 in the 4K. Details

Sorta shabby, eh? Coming off six weeks of no running due to hamstring issue.

Book Lover

Books read in May. Favorites with astericks.

Van Gogh: A Retrospective by Susan A. Stein
Essential Van Gogh by J. Curtis and J. Smith
The Socrates Express by Eric Weiner*
Thrive: Finding Happiness The Blue Zone Way by Dan Buettner
Sink ‘Em All by Charles A. Lockwood*
The No Asshole Rule by Robert I. Sutton
Run Silent, Run Deep by Edward L. Beach*
Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things by Adam Grant*
The Love Song of A Minkoff and other stories by Joseph Epstein*
Distant Intimacy by Frederic. Raphael and Joseph . Epstein
Hot Damn! Alligators in the casino… by James W. Hall*
In A Cardboard Box by Joseph Epstein
Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy’s Guide by Joseph Epstein
The Hunters by James Salter
Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. -Joseph Addison

That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet. -Jhumpa Lahiri

Book Lover

Books read in March and April. Favorites with astericks.

Walden by Henry Thoreau*
The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux*
Figures in a Landscape by Paul Theroux
A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
Racing the Clock by Bernd Heinrich
The Spartans by Paul Cartledge
Travel with Alice by Calvin Trillin
Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People by Matt Diffee
Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl*
Tropical Classical by Pico Iyer
Politics, War, and Personality by K.W. Rendell
The Boy Detective by Roger Rosenblatt*
The Exact Location of the Soul by Richard Selzer
Wingmen: The Unlikely, Unusual, Unbreakable Friendship Between John Glenn and Ted Williams by Andrew Lazarus*
Colors of the Mountain by Da Chen
Run to the Mountain: The Journals of Thomas Merton
Signposts in a Strange Land by Walker Percy
John Donne: Man of Flesh an Spirit by David L. Edwards
5 People Who Died During Sex by Karl Shaw
Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell
Assume The Worst: The Graduation Speech You’ll Never Hear by    Carl Hiassen
The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot
Don’t Save Anything by James Salter
Walking by Henry Thoreau
Benjamin Franklin by Edmund S. Morgan
The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America by     Coleman Hughes
Take The Cannoli by Sarah Vowell
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
The Pine Barrens by John McPhee
Heirs of General Practice by John McPhee
Heroes of History by Will Durant
Something in the Cellar: Ronald Searle’s Wonderful World of       Wine
The New Yorker Book of Lawyer Cartoons

It is not true that we only have one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. -S.I. Hayakawa

Race Results

Jason Kelce races to a 45 minute 5K. Details.

Retirement speech Touching, eh?

Book Lover

Books read in February. Five favorites with asterick.

The Sun King by Nancy Mitford*
Tuva or Bust:Richard Feynman’s Last Journey by Ralph Leighton
A House Somewhere edited by Don George & Anthony Sattin
Overrrated Underrated by Editors of American Heritage Magazine
Tabla Rasa Volume 1 by John McPhee*
Obsession by John Douglas
Astoria: Astor and Jefferson’s lost Pacific empire by Peter Stark*
No Ordinary Genius: The Illustrated Richard Feynman by R. Feynman
What Do YOU Care What Other People Think by R. Feynman
Going Solo by Roald Dahl*
Switch Bitch by Roald Dahl
Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl by D. Sturrock
Vance’s War by Vance Dick
Fearless by Eric Blehm*
Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson*
The Last Season by Eric Blehm
Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss
The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

A room without books is like a body without a soul. -Cicero


You could read 200 books each year. And a lot more.