Peter and the Soviet university

Early in Peter’s FBI file was a letter that he wrote to his parents (at least it seems to be to his parents), which someone had turned over to the FBI as evidence that Peter was a dangerous radical who needed to be investigated. (My strong impression from various bits of unredacted info in the […]


(Wrote this entry in August 2015, but apparently neglected to post it ’til now.) Kathleen has finished removing soot from Peter’s books, so I’ve done a quick culling pass on the mass-market paperbacks and put the ones I’m keeping on my bookcase. (Climbing the library ladder with a hurt knee was a little bit scary, […]

Big Band music and electric organ

Peter liked a variety of different kinds of music. My impression was that among his favorite performers were the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, and several big-name jazz musicians. I know that he loved Pat Metheny; I went to a couple of Metheny concerts with him, and he owned at least a couple of the albums. […]

The asparagus joke

I was eating some asparagus just now and it reminded me of a joke Peter used to tell. It went something like this: This woman was at a dinner party, and there was a platter of asparagus being passed around the table. When it got to her, she very carefully cut off all of the […]

Million-dollar ideas

Oddly, I don’t seem to have written here about Peter’s “million-dollar ideas.” Every so often, he would come up with an idea that he was certain was amazing and never-before-thought-of. He always offered us these ideas for free, with the suggestion that if we were to implement one of them, it would make us a […]

Intoxicated phone calls

I had always intended this blog to include some negative things about Peter as well as positive ones, but the time never seemed right, and then I mostly abandoned this blog. But I was recently going through a bunch of old files, and found a letter that I wrote to Peter in 2001. I’m nearly […]


I posted this in my main blog about five years ago, but it just occurred to me that I ought to repost it here: Peter used to occasionally explain that various things worked by means of “FM.” I would ask, “What’s that?” He would reply: “Fuckin’ magic!””


A chance comment this evening reminded me that Peter used to refer to holding hands as “premarital interdigitation.” I see by a quick web search that he was not the only person to say that, but I think he was the only person I ever actually heard say it. And that indirectly reminds me that […]

Beer with meals

Peter used to say that drinking water with meals diluted the food while it was in your stomach, making it harder to digest. When I pointed out that he often drank beer with meals, he said that was different—he said that beer contains yeast and is sort of like bread in a way, so it […]

Nose adjustment

One of the semi-magic tricks Peter used to occasionally do: He’d say that his nose was out of alignment or something, and needed an adjustment, like a chiropractic adjustment. He would put his hands together palm to palm, as if praying, but with his nose between the index fingers. Then he would bend his hands […]