Slope of Hope Blog Posts

This is the heart and soul of the web site. Here we have literally tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. You can also click on any category icon to see posts tagged with that particular category.

Deep Thoughts

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It was, as is my habit, an early morning for me. Weekday or weekend, I get up before the sun. I walked to the library of this magnificent place we’re staying in Healdsburg, alone, since most people have the good sense to sleep in late on a Sunday, and I was intent on writing about something which has been on my mind a few days.

The shelves of the library were filled from end to end, and I was drawn to one particular pair of shelves which seemed surprisingly homogenous. On the spine of a book it stated: HARVARD CLASSICS and, beneath that, THE FIVE FOOT SHELF OF BOOKS. There were dozens of them, all numbered and arranged sequentially, with various public domain classics from the past couple hundred years of writing. I suspect someone bought it years ago from one of those Sunday newspaper magazines for folks that wanted to appear erudite by filling their nude shelves with impressive-looking volumes. The capitalized declaration was, for me, more like an intellectual pratfall. (more…)

Our Gang of Unfortunates

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When I was a little kid, one of the staples of children’s television was The Little Rascals, which was the Our Gang series of shorts from the Great Depression that had been syndicated for decades. I watched these little films countless times, such as this one:

Even though these kids were my age way back when my parents were little kids themselves, I felt a close kinship to them. They became my television friends. (more…)

A Strange Trip Backward

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I started Slope in March 2005, and about six years later, I decided to throw together a book of what I thought were some of its best posts. I called it the Slope of Hope Bathroom Reader, and it was a thin little volume which, oddly enough, has my highest average rate of any books I’ve ever written.

About a month ago, I got the idea to perhaps update the book. After all, seven more years had gone by, and many thousands of posts had been written since then. Surely there must be a better book that could be drawn from all that content.

It didn’t take me long to realize how right this was. I have been going through all of the “Best Of” posts, and selecting the best-of-the-best, and although I am not through with my examination of the site’s history, I already have enough content for a book at least three times bigger and MUCH higher quality. (more…)

With No Warning

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The Knight household is surrounded by cameras, just in case a horde of angry bulls tries to kidnap me one day. Just yesterday, I noticed a large, very heavy branch had fallen from one of our trees. I was thankful that no human or dog (or chicken…….) was beneath it at the time, since it could have killed them. I rolled back the camera archive and made the clip below. It just goes to show you how much warning life can give you sometimes. Consider it a metaphor for the markets.

Thanks For Not Molesting Me!

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I realize that since the beginning of time, parents take note of how utterly different things are in the present day than in their own childhood. I’m certain that in 2000 B.C. the mothers and fathers of the ancient times could only shake their heads about how easy kids had it compared to the horrible period of 2020 B.C. when they had to do chores and earn a living by the age of five and all that.

At the risk of falling into that cliche, I’ve got to say the same thing, although from a somewhat different angle. This will be easiest to explain by telling the story.

When I was about 13 to 14 years old, I was a pretty active touring cyclist. I would go on longish journeys in beautiful places such as the Napa wine country. I’ve never been inclined to athleticism (don’t let my physique fool you………), and no one pushed me to go. I simply enjoyed it, and almost every Saturday I would join my friends at the Orinda Spoke & Pedal, and we would set off on whatever journey we had planned that weekend. (more…)