StuffingtonPost 2014

Won’t be making Stuffington dishes this year. But, you can.

Cornbread Celery Apple.
Sausage Mushroom.
Twice cooked turnip.
Mashed potatoes and parsnips.

Will miss all the turkeys. Not the bird. Yay. Thanksgiving steaks!


Filed under Family, Recipes

Blurred Lines

29-year-old former NY Fed regulator goes to Goldman Sachs to advise banks he once investigated. No news here. Regulators from all agencies who are any good, get enticed to jump. Who wouldn’t for big bucks v. comparatively mediocre remuneration? Accounting firms, too. Crossing over to former corporate clients to advise competitors of those they financially scoured. Flimsy barriers within institutions themselves. So-called Chinese walls peeked over. With binoculars.

In other news. Which will dominate the media frenzy as two clashing over-reactions loom? Ferguson Decision or Immigration Executive Action?

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Filed under Business, Media, Politics

Gladwell v. Gladiators

Author Malcolm Gladwell calls American Football a moral abomination. Likening it at one point to dogfighting. More like modern Gladiators. Armed combatants fighting to the delight of huge arena crowds. In Football, arms are the arms. Larger bodies, muscles, enhanced artificially as well as physical drive. As defensive ends gain speed and brute brawn, hits are becoming close to lethal.

Universities pay football coaches far more than professors. Stadiums continue to be funded by alums in staggering amounts. Behavior of players has deteriorated more with each year on and off the field. Cloistered, covert, cult of silence surrounds these transgressions. College courses for hallowed warriors unattended with no grades. And then there are the Pro’s. Gladwell v. Goodell.

As a lover of the game, it’s getting scarier and more difficult to watch. Plus. Niners v. Giants today. Which to root for? A safe game.

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Filed under Sports, Writing

This Old Neighbor ReView

photo-45Norm, Richard, and Roger gone. Dirt guy revving his Mack truck on Sunday mornings, too. Gallons of gas and oil expended. Fake siding sawing fumes cleared. Air quality improved. Porta potty departed. Red trash bin lifted out. Shaking. Banging. Clanging. Crashing. Stopped. After nine-month gestation, monster machines delivered. Writing can resume. Sanity restored. Sorta. photo-48


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Filed under Writing

Parts Known

Back to CNN’s Parts Unknown. Anthony Bourdain this week brings us to Massachusetts. Assumed it would focus on Boston dining scene. Wrong! After taking us to his beginnings in Provincetown, land’s end of Cape Cod, he reveals that’s where his heroin addiction began. From there, he comes here. To Western Massachusetts. Route 91 North to SideTrekFalls. And Greenfield.

Heroin has been epidemic in these parts for decades. My former “facialist” first clued me in to the problem in Northampton in the late ’90′s. Kids of clients dead. From smack. It has only gotten worse as the economy declined. And when hometown sports heroes get injured, need surgery, they get hooked on oxy’s. Yup. Doctors as dealers.

Behind our red barns, beyond our fertile meadows, under our bridges of flowers. What you don’t see is a sorry scene. Bourdain is a brilliant journalist. cropped-shelburne-falls-18_3_21-2


Filed under Journalism, Northampton, Writing


cropped-photo-651.jpgThe Side Trek has bought a new place in New York. Primary residence remains But, now you can also visit at in a new little studio. Either way, you’ll end up here. Thanks to GoDaddy and mAdBen. Blog on!

Veteran’s Day. Good time to re-read War by Sebastian Junger.


Filed under Media, Publishing, Writing

Best Book 2014

Us by David Nicholls.

David Nicholls paints a portrait of a modern English family with brushstrokes that hit the heart without being maudlin or sappy. A couple gets together for all the wrong yet right reasons at the time. They endure so much and find a kind of love over 20 years. Their son is the cistern that collects all of the pastel runoff and deals with it the best he can.

A spare style brilliantly intertwines stories that culminate in the summer of very questionable choices, which make sense in the end. It is laugh out loud funny. Poignant though never cry out loud sad. Best read of the year.

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Filed under Books, Writing