May 092014

fortyA series of slightly augmented columns from Barry’s newspaper gig smashed together in a very funny book.  Barry muses on grammar, sex, grammar and sex, Justin Bieber, air travel, what women think about (see grammar), and what men think about (see sex).  Interestingly, there is one long piece in the book.  Barry describes his 10-day synagogue tour to the Holy Land.  Turns out visiting Israel was sufficiently moving that there wasn’t much to laugh about.  I forgive him and so do God and the Israelis.

May 052014

lifeOn the first page, Ursala Todd has the opportunity to shoot Hitler in 1930 and does so.  No wait.  A few pages later Ursula is born in 1910, but dies soon thereafter because the umbilical cord is wrapped about her neck.  Or maybe she isn’t so dead, but has the opportunity to live another life after life.  Each chapter is captivating and linear, characters are fully drawn, relationships are meaningful, and suspense is palpable.  The Luftwaffe’s blitz on London covers us poor readers in heaps of broken timbers and a coating of dust so thick it is hard to clear our eyes. Sirens blair. And then we relive the blitz again.  And again.  Each bombing run is perceived by Ursula slightly differently because she has taken a different path in life.  We care about Ursula, her brothers, sisters, parents, and aunt and their rural British home but recognize that her life, like ours, is a series of “What ifs?”

May 052014

photo2Start with this.  A jar of sourdough frothing on the surface.  (The tea and tomato are just for art’s sake.)

photo1 (2)Bird’s eye view.  You’ll have to imagine the tea and tomato.

And finish with this.

photo1 (3)

May 012014

DSC00626In October 2013, I had funding from the Great Lakes Colleges Association to search for historic and recently authentic sourdough breads in San Francisco.  San Francisco is the most famous sourdough city in the world, because microbiologists have identified the wild yeast that apparently only lives in sourdough starters in the bay area. I visited eight bakeries in three days.  Here is my report.

And here are a few photographs.