Monthly Archive: April 2013

Dr. Barry: “If I Wasn’t a Pharmacist, I Would Have Been a…”


Today, Dr. Barry Pascal recounts the story of how the sight of Mickey Spillane’s obituary transported him into a brief, parallel career in another dimension.  (It’s not clear from his account who had to wipe up the drool off the pharmacy counter.)  You can find Barry‘s humorous works for sale here.—EGF   If I Wasn’t …

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Tom Diaz & I—My NRA Experience


Picking up from Tuesday’s post, Tom Diaz & I—The 94th & 103rd Congresses, and Now By far, the strongest impressions left on me by the whole experience came from our interactions with representatives of the NRA and their allies: This is not your father’s organization.  The chief counsel and I were invited to visit the …

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The Man Who Rode the Comet


One Hundred thirteen years ago last Sunday, America’s Shakespeare—Samuel Langhorne Clemens, writing and lecturing as the more familiar “Mark Twain“–left this mortal coil as Halley’s Comet approached, just as he’d come in 77 years earlier. If you haven’t already done so, treat yourself to his two-volume Autobiography, a treasure trove representing over 8,000 documents.  It’s the …

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Tom Diaz & I—The 94th & 103rd Congresses, and Now


After I’d read, mostly agreed with, and reviewed Tom Diaz’ The Last Gun (see last Friday’s post), I was curious about his background beneath the usual book blurbs, so I scratched a little deeper. Turns out we had similar upbringings and nearly-identical policy experiences at the national level, where the issue of gun violence is …

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“The Last Gun:” Gun Violence, the NRA & Its Allies


Suppose we approached the problem of gun violence in America in the same manner as other significant public health hazards—such as, say, passenger vehicle fatalities and injuries—by using data analysis, science, and innovation to make a useful but demonstrably dangerous instrumentality safer? After all, data prove beyond dispute that death and injury from firearms are …

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“We’re Home!”–The Limerick Family


We see young couples struggling and say, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” Sacramento Habitat for Humanity takes it from there–as it has with Brian and Ashly Limerick and their two children, Faith and Christopher. After investing over 500 hours of “sweat equity,” the Limericks received the keys to their three-bedroom, LEED-certified …

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“Gifting Grandmas”–Great Cause!


Along with eight of my cohorts, I was privileged to share my work at the Second Annual Gifting Grandmas’ Authors Luncheon at North Ridge Country Club last Wednesday, which benefited Sacramento Crisis Nurseries, an annual project of the Sacramento Children’s Home. It was a blast!  I read a scene from “The Jewel of Genoa“–my personal …

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Dr. Barry: Dollars to “Donut Hole”


Today, Dr. Barry Pascal takes a break from his usual comedic low road—well, almost.  He uses his combined experience as: A pharmacist for over three decades; A retired guy with a lot of time on his hands; and An old guy with enough infirmities to require medication to explore and demystify Medicare’s new drug benefits, …

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The Night Circus–Hooptedoodle


The Night Circus is Erin Morgenstern’s first novel, published July 3, 2012.  I’m reading and writing about it now because it’s the April selection for CapRadio Reads, Capital Public Radio’s book club. First, the relevant details.  Le Cirque des Rêves, (“The Circus of Dreams”), shadowy, ethereal, and open only at night, is the elegant central …

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Introducing: “Term Limit”


Ever consider the human side and consequences of all those “political scandals” you can’t avoid watching, hearing, or reading about? That’s the premise behind “Term Limit,” the final story in my first collection, Matters Familiar, which you can have in e-Book form for less than a dollar (plus tax). Here’s an introduction: John Quincy “Jack” …

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Introducing: “Robbin’ Hood”


Miss the wit, wisdom, and drama of your all-time favorite serial TV mobsters from New Jersey, but not the violence? Maybe this will help. Download “Robbin’ Hood,” the 11th of a dozen stories in my first collection, Matters Familiar, for less than a dollar (plus tax). Here’s an introduction: Early in my career, as counsel to …

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