Criminal writing prompt

Feb. 27 update: As if by magic, I got my wish today and turned off the prompts.

Have you ever broken the law and didn’t get caught, if so how?


Since accepting the Jetpack plug-in to manage this WordPress site a few weeks ago, I’ve been hoping to find a way to get rid of the annoying writing prompts that show up whenever I log in.

I skip them every time, so you would think Jetpack would get the message, right? Nope.

I didn’t see a single prompt that looked interesting at all until one about breaking the law came along. I had to laugh, and not just about its sloppy, run-on construction.

The only prompts I’ve paid any attention to before were required by writing contest rules. Now I’m looking forward to hearing about dozens of writers getting busted after confessing to crimes and explaining in detail how they avoided getting caught.

I guess you could say the prompt prompted me to write something. Last time I looked, almost 300 others were promptly prompted, too.

I’ll confess only to being curious about what they all did.


Where to bicycle ’round here

Learning about a new place can be both fun and challenging, whether you’ve moved a long way from what used to be home or you’re just visiting for the first time. One of the finest ways to do this is on a bicycle.

Ernest Hemingway said so:

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best…

Most of us ride at a pace that lets us appreciate our surroundings. Unless we’re on a tight schedule to get somewhere and back, we can stop for coffee or shoot some photos or just take a closer look at something that catches our attention.

Maps aren’t always available to help with your wayfinding. Mrs. Smith and I got lucky when cycling friend David Lehmann introduced us to cycling velocartographer John Hodge on a coffee ride a while back.

You want maps? Here you go!

John Hodge’s Road Cycling Maps for Grand Junction, Fruita, and Palisade, Colorado

John says his maps are there to be “downloaded, printed out, linked to, or used in any way that a) helps people enjoy road cycling around here more, and b) isn’t for commercial purposes without my consent.” You can contact him at that link to his maps.

Sounds more than fair to me. Don’t try to sell them in a bike shop or anywhere else without his permission.

Here’s another link, this one to City of Grand Junction maps you might find useful.

Pedal on.


February 5

It’s the day in 1926 when Rosemary Smith was born. Ninety-seven years later, here I sit at a keyboard writing something about my mother yet again.

Many days take us back in time because we remember the joy or the sadness, and sometimes because we remember both. Sadness lingers since her passing in 2021. Joy lives on because of Rosemary’s life.

February 5, of course, isn’t the only day that we think about her. A few years ago I shared this on some random day just because…and I thought I’d share it again.


Photo of a young Rosemary Smith

On AI for “writing”

Warning sign saying: Caution AI for "writing"

Caution: Widespread use of AI for “writing” will increase the already massive amounts of crappy prose and other unedited, inaccurate, misleading and/or deliberately falsified information available to all of us.

ChatGPT May Be the Fastest Growing App in History


It will also make critical reading skills more important than ever. Teach your children well, even if your state or local government or school board would rather keep them ignorant.

Question everything.

Hire more editors.

Have a nice day.


Ripping away the foundations of justice?

Some decades ago, I bought a book that I’ve started to read but failed to finish more than once. I’m determined to get through it this time, along with a few others.

“When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

Among the books I decided to keep not long ago, I’ve made pretty good progress in The Gulag Archipelago. Its relevance for today has taken me by surprise. The sentence quoted above grabbed me from the depths of the Cold War and dropped me right back here in the present.

Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon cheated us out of one historic opportunity to do justice, then the Senate failed to remove Donald Trump from office when it had the chance and more than enough cause.

To date, our government has failed us yet again, and voters have failed to elect enough politicians who will demand justice.

Trump’s indictment, trial and conviction can’t come soon enough. The prospect of having him in the Oval Office once again is disheartening to say the least.

To paraphrase Solzhenitsyn from the same paragraph above, it will be horrible to live in such a country.