Thinking of Bob on his birthday

February 15, 2019 would have been Bob Friedman’s 77th birthday.

Poking around old computer files, I came across this photo of the very young Hampton Roads team with the co-authors of HRPC’s second book, Tapping Into the Force, by Ann Miller and co-author Maxine Asher. This had to have been taken in Las Vegas, in 1990, where I attended my first ABA trade show.

From left, me, Maxine Asher, Ann Miller, Bob

For someone of his reach and influence, Bob was surprisingly modest about his potential abilities. I used to say to him, “Bob, you could contact anyone in the New Age movement with two phone calls,” which was no exaggeration but merely a statement of fact, but sometimes he seemed to doubt it. Yet look at his track record: Our very first book at Hampton Roads — the book that returned our capital and gave us enough money to get us going — was Linda Goodman’s 1,100-page novel in blank verse Gooberz. Our second, Tapping into the Force.

Whose personal interaction got those authors, if not Bob’s? Certainly not mine!

I can’t help wondering, for the actor whose last role was Bob Friedman, what’s next. Hard act to follow.

Emerson on unity and variety

Emerson, from “History” in Essays: First Series.

Some men classify objects by color and size and other accidents of appearance; others by intrinsic likeness, or by the relation of cause and effect. The progress of the intellect is to the clearer vision of causes, which neglects surface differences. To the poet, to the philosopher, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine. For the eye is fastened on the life, and slights the circumstance. Every chemical substance, every plant, every animal in its growth, teaches the unity of causes, the variety of appearance.


Charles Sides on the headlines and the prophecies

365 times seven pages

Toward the end of a year, I like to look back, to try to remember what I was reading and writing and thinking about, and the way to do that is to look through my journals, because it’s amazing how much of your life goes up in smoke if you don’t write it down.

Got a bit of a shock this year, though. I went rooting through the bookshelf, working backward to the journal book from last January, and realized that the year 2018 had filled eight volumes of 6 x 9 college-ruled spiral bound books of 150 sheets. That is, 1200 – count ’em, I said twelve hundred – sheets of paper, or 2400 pages.

I said, “Impossible,” but then I did the pretty elementary math, and realized that 200 pages a month is less than seven pages a day. On days when I’m talking to the guys, I usually fill at least eight pages, and apparently in 2018 I talked to them pretty regularly.

“Many a little makes a much,” the old saying has it. But still, that’s an impressive number of words. Makes me realize that I do more work than I usually think I do.




First 13, with another due out soon

“That Phenomenal Background” is “Babe in the Woods,” retitled and published by Crossroad Press, which also published “Dark Fire.”


What you don’t know about LED lighting CAN hurt you!

This one-hour TV show produced in Oregon features my long-time friend Dirk Dunning, discussing the hazards of LED lighting: hazards that he learned about, painfully and first hand, within the past year and a half.

A very unusual format: Host Dr. Don spends the first half-hour getting his guest to talk about his background, asking provocative (but not confrontational) questions to produce more than the standard resume. The second half is devoted to a specific topic of special interest to the guest, in this case, LED lighting.

Now, if you don’t care about LED lighting, maybe you should move to about halfway through the show, and go directly to Dirk’s explanation of the situation. You may find yourself more interested than is comfortable!

In any case, Dirk is a fascinating guy, as I have known for more than 15 years now, and I think you will find the show worth watching.

The wave of the future in manufacturing

I have maintained for some time now that the loss of manufacturing capability overseas is not necessarily a total loss; perhaps not a loss at all, though certainly a massive readjustment. It seems clear to me that 3D manufacturing is the wave of the future, a wave we seem to be surfing successfully so far.