Category Archives: Uncategorized

Origin Story: First meetings and lack of warning labels

Dear Bethany, I want to tell you about two memories I have of you. One I treasure. The other is a cautionary tale. We’ll start with the treasured bit, open this on a positive note. Ice & fire  Almost a year ago, quite unexpectedly, I froze. The icy blast was momentary and swift, that space [...]

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Pop quiz: Why do people keep sending me shark videos?

Pop quiz! Great white sharks: a) Can reach speeds of 25 mph b) Can grow up to 20+ feet in size c) Have a bite force of close to two tons d) All of the above.   It’s d. Congratulations to those who passed. The rest of you get out. I’m not kidding, get out. [...]

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Team Pluto

Here’s a distance to consider: 7,750 miles. That’s almost 300 marathons. About nine round trips from between Medford and Seattle. Just over 31 percent of the Earth’s total circumference. (I was Googling A LOT this morning.) It’s also how close an earthling spacecraft came to Pluto this morning; a stone’s throw in space terms, “just [...]

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At Thor’s Well, low tide > high tide

The Oregon Coast has a geological feature that seems co-authored in design – a shared effort between J.R.R. Tolkien and Marvel Comics. This fantasy oracle of olde is a short drive south from Newport, maybe a half hour, a landmark just off the shore of Cape Perpetua. My uncle told me about it this past [...]

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The Mouth

My daughter’s abrupt scream during an otherwise-quiet 2 a.m. was a terrifying sound; nightmare notes blended together in an awful symphony. My wife and I knew it was different than her other cries. It just sounded off key. Not frustration or hunger or an impolite request to change her. It sounded like fear, that horrible [...]

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Donuts are basically poison. I’ll take two.

Social media is great at reminding me that we really love to celebrate made up holidays. Oh and that 90 percent of them give us excuses to shovel more high-calorie swill down our collective recycling center intake valves. We need the encouragement here in America, a day or two for all us squares to just [...]

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Ugh, are we there yet?

Earlier this month, I started reading the book “Dead Wake,” a story about the sinking of the Lusitania by give-’em-hell historian Erik Larson. I’m still taking the voyage. It’s a slow and steady one, but I’m enjoying it. Apparently one of the boat’s actual passengers did not: That’s right, our humble tie to one of [...]

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I should absolutely be able to expense the Captain America backpack I just found out existed

Dear Editor: Good morning. But enough about me. Can I get you anything? Tea? Coffee? Donuts? Have you been working out? *clears throat* Destiny is an odd concept. I imagine most people don’t believe in it. I didn’t. It suggests our choices and decisions mean nothing, that ultimately, our journey is predetermined by outside forces [...]

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Sorcerer-historians and hunted boats

No joke: author Erik Larson could write a book about paint drying and I would read it. Little-to-no hyperbole, Larson is an honest-to-God time traveler, a sorcerer-historian hybrid that probably secretly knows more about wormholes and space-time than Einstein, Carl Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson. His historical narrative books read more like eyewitness accounts than [...]

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The prodigal Watterson

Here’s how some of the first few lines of my new book go: “I grew up in Chagrin Falls, which is a small town, an outer suburb of Cleveland. It was originally a mill town in the 1800s, and a paper-bag factory was still going when I was growing up. They used to dump their [...]

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    Ryan Pfeil

    This is a blog for southern Oregonians to check in on all things geek. Sci-fi, history, comics, movies, video/photo and anything else that would have gotten you shut in a locker in high school. Have fun. Read Full
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