A matter of moments

by Erik Dolson

It’s odd to me that after one and one third minutes of racing against cars pounding down a straight at 160 mph to a sharp right-then-left-then-right set of turns, followed by nine more corners over two miles of track, the difference in lap times between drivers can be measured in hundredths of a second.

But in racing, little things add up. Advantages compound, mistakes multiply. A long time ago I learned something … Read more…

Now’s Not Then

By Erik Dolson

Over coffee, The Editor introduced me to a new word: presentism.

We were trying to make sense of current debates about the teaching of racism, and revisions to American history. History is an arena of The Editor’s expertise. He pointed out that “presentism,” the evaluation of “past events in terms of modern values and concepts,” is recognized by historians as fallacy.

I’d not encountered the word before, and think it’s an important one.

Presentism is a filter through which one interprets the world. Like other biases, including racism itself or anti-semitism or sexism or a number of … Read more…

Recursion

By Erik Dolson

Recursion may be the most unrecognized force in the universe.

Oh, it’s not a force, in that it can move objects or kill men. It’s a process, or a description of process, that we fail to appreciate. Possibly because it makes things impossibly complicated in short order.

It’s the same reason we talk about things, instead of waves. Things are an abstraction that makes it possible to communicate. Waves are so many things at the same time, depending on where speaker and listener stand. Change location of one or both, different moments are seen by each, … Read more…

It’s Just a Box

by Erik Dolson

Four years after he died, I scattered the last of Jimmie’s ashes in a small cove along the Oregon coast of the Pacific Ocean on a rare sunny and warm April day. Four years after he died, and again I cried.

They lied, those who said time heals all wounds. Late in life one realizes that’s just not true. We each carry wounds, mostly as scars perhaps but some still raw … Read more…

The Geese

by Erik Dolson

The geese are back. It’s spring, there’s two of them. For all I know, it’s a different pair from last year, maybe even from last week. Hard to I.D. a goose.

But I choose to think it’s a returning couple. I doubt they’ll stay. There’s no island in my pond, so no safe nesting and too many coyotes with easy access. They just drop in once in a while to graze on vegetation growing on … Read more…

Dear Governor Brown;

Dear Governor Brown;

My name is Erik Dolson, and I live in Sisters, Oregon. I’m writing to suggest an alternative to current COVID restrictions.

First, however, I need to declare my interests. I own a building in Bend that houses a popular restaurant, currently closed. I am also an avid “gym rat,” a member of the shuttered Sisters Athletic Club and, until last week, the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland where I was a member for more than 65 years until degradation of that city made my return very unlikely.

I also have background that may or may not carry … Read more…

Rollin’ Coal

By Erik Dolson

“Watch this,” I said to Dani as we waited for the light to change.

“What?”

“Out your side mirror.”

When the light turned green, I put the accelerator down just enough to put the Prius in the lane next to us about ten feet behind my exhaust pipe. Then I hit the switch and the pushed the accelerator to the floor. A huge black cloud of unburnt diesel blew out of my Ram pickup and wrapped the Prius like a blanket.

He must have hit his brakes, because he was a quarter mile back before I … Read more…

Selling Priceless Spectrum

By Erik Dolson

The auction of my airwaves started today. I’m upset.

Actually, the auction was of “spectrum,” that is, the radio frequencies needed mostly for new 5G cell phone networks. And it’s actually a sale of the right to “use” bits of this spectrum, also known as the “C” band.

It will surprise no one that the main bidders will be AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and with Comcast and Charter Communications teaming up. There are others, but those are the main players and are expected to bid between $30 billion and $51 billion.

So what’s my problem, anyway, with such … Read more…

To my Trumpist friends

By Erik Dolson

The election was called a few minutes ago, finally. Trump lost.

You are bitterly disappointed, and believe the election was “stolen” from you. That is not true. You believe that people unlike you voted for Biden. That is partly true. But every vote counts, that’s the American way.

You believe undeserving people will benefit from this election. Probably true. But undeserving people benefitted from Trump. That is definitely true.

So now what? Where will your disappointed anger lead?

It’s probably futile, but I’ll ask you to listen: You have legitimate grievances, … Read more…

So long, friend

By Erik Dolson

It’s just weird. News arrived today that I’d lost a friend. I knew him for less than three months and yet, a fog of sadness lays thick about.

We met while traveling together but separately to Alaska. He and his wife Connie, she the epitome of graciousness, motored in their tall and broad-shouldered powerboat “Lori Lee” with frequent guests; Jane and I slipped along aboard my long and thin sailboat, Foxy.

The … Read more…