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It’s All Smoke And Mirrors Here

Niels’ recent travels in the American Southwest inspired him to assume the pen name “Slim Volume, Desert Rat” when writing his Facebook entries about the dry and dusty parts of the world and what goes through his mind when visiting them. Slim writes about wet and soggy places too, as well as places and things which are neither dry and dusty nor wet and soggy. In so doing, he mingles reality-based observations with imaginary ones and glues them all together with heavy doses of sharp opinion and droll commentary.

Rat Turds and Deadbeat Ranchers


Tonight I loaded up GoogleMaps, set it to satellite view, and zoomed in on the Malheur Preserve. I found the now-occupied buildings and the staff residences behind the main office. I zoomed all the way in and recognized the mobile homes on their concrete pads, used by visiting wildlife biologists doing field work on the preserve grounds.

Aroma of Yesterday


Howdy pals'n'gals, Slim Volume here to ramble & riff on olfactory memory. Hold on tight, here we go...

My Return to Over Jerstal


Our train made its way north out of Germany and entered Denmark late in the afternoon. It suddenly occurred to me that the tiny town of Over Jerstal, where I lived with my grandmother Bodil Hansen for a while in 1960, was on the railroad line and so I began scanning the countryside in earnest for that village, focusing on the east side of the tracks where her house had been and where I had spent most of my time there.

A Bit About Writing


Now that I have agreed to write a book comes the hard part: writing a book. Years ago, when the desire to write a book first hit me, I got hold of two years' worth of the "Best American Short Fiction Of The Year" anthologies, about 30 stories in all, and studied each one. Every one of them stank, and here I share the reasons as a cautionary tale- mostly for me.

A Tale of Mayo


Tonight I am making a pulled pork BBQ dinner for the tubeheads in gratitude for their help in moving out of Wise Acres and into Top Level Clarence. To maintain dietary balance I will be serving home-made cole slaw on the side, and the process of making it furnishes the narrative for today's post.

And It All Comes Together, Part #1 


Howdy pals’n’gals, Slim here with a metaphoric post on the topic of motorcycle design. This is a topic I have covered already in a post from about 2 years back, so skip it if you get bored.

And It All Comes Together, Part #2 


37 years ago I was a teaching assistant in grad school at UCDavis. A guy named Tom Minot saw me demonstrate drawing techniques in a freshman engineering class and we eventually got together to share a common interest in Danish vodka and the literary works of Hunter S. Thompson.

Father's Day 2013 At Wise Acres 


Now that Slim is operating solo at the Wise Acres spread, Fathers’ Day has undergone a fundamental change. These days it means simply getting out of bed and getting with the program, which boils down to getting one of my four (that’s right, FOUR count ‘em FOUR) internal combustion-powered grass-cutting machines to run, and then running that one until the gasoline is gone or it’s too dark to see the grass that still needs cutting.

Slim Volume And The 16-Foot Dreadlock, or How Stupid You Need To Be To Become A Fence Contractor In Corvallis 


I was part of a support team helping Suzannah Doyle get her house prepped for sale, and this weekend I volunteered to diagnose the root cause of a problem related to the downspout drains on the north and south ends of the structure. They apparently weren't working right, and hence needed fixing.

Slim Volume Writes the Family Christmas Newsletter for 1997 


Well... I have finished my first year doing factory demolition on an international scale. I had to make trips out to our ant farms in Puerto Rico, Singapore, Ireland and so on to fix problems they were having, as part of my current job assignment. The first of these trips was this time last year- a whole week in Spitzbergen, which wrecked my plans to get the Christmas cards written and sent off.

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