Author Archives: Bob Welbaum

Firefighters and Their Poles

I think at some point, every kid wants to be a firefighter. Part of the allure is getting to slide down a pole to reach the fire engines. That idea goes back to the 19th Century and the informal competition among fire companies to arrive first at a fire. This was doubly true for African

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Two Ways To Be A Writer

If you’ve ever wanted to write a novel and didn’t know where to begin, you might try looking for a formula or recipe, and simply plug in the words. Yes, there are some basic formulas for writing fiction. Recently I have found two. The first is called “The Hero’s Journey.” Various writers have put forth

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Adventures in Poetry — Clerihews

There are many different ways to write poetry — free verse, limericks, sonnets, Haiku, etc. I’ve just learned of another — clerihews. According to Wikipedia, “A clerihew is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. The first line is the name of the poem’s subject, usually a famous person put in an

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On the Sanctity of Human Life

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” — G.K. Chesterton On Facebook, I recently posted an article from a major newspaper about how churches, after being so eager to reopen, are now a major source of COVID-19 cases. According the article, “More than 650

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Someone Could Be Listening

For anyone with privacy concerns, let me feed your paranoia, especially if you have a digital assistant. New research is showing that many everyday words and phrases in normal conversation can trigger your assistant, which means part of what you say can be sent to your device’s manufacturer. If you mention you’ve received “a letter,”

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All Lives Should Matter

I will admit that being both a regular user of Facebook and a history nerd, plus having a policy of not unfriending anyone, does bring some excitement into one’s life. As such, I have been avidly following the discussions about Black Lives Matter, especially the counterargument that all lives matter. Yes, all lives certainly should.

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Happy Disloyalty to Royalty Day!

Happy Disloyalty to Royalty Day! Time to reprise my poem about patriotism.  I wrote it sometime around 2010 and posted it last year (and it’s in my book Some Poems About Life, available on this website), but I think it’s still apropos today. The Patriot Jerry is a patriot,he loves his country dear.He waves the flag

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Lies My Mother Told Me

I was always taught to be honest. I would never think of lying to my parents. But it wasn’t until much later, when I was well into adulthood, that I finally realized my mother had a subtle way of bending the truth to adjust my behavior. Like saying ” _________ is talking about you because

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The Rationale For Odd Sizes

Have you ever wondered why some items come in odd weights and sizes? In this photo from the Marketplace website, notice the Ziploc quart-size freezer bags are packaged 19 to a box. Why the odd number? I ran across this in an October 20, 2019 article entitled “The Marketing Tactics Behind Those Odd Weights and

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