Me in my rain gear, in the garage, with fake rain. AKA 'Adventure Sam'."

About Me

I was born in Illinois and I live in California, but I am a Missourian, down in my bones.

I like to write.

I like to think I can do so well enough that a reader can figure out who and what I am by reading the things that I write, even when those things aren’t obviously about me.

I love my wife, my dog, and Scottish Rugby.

The Concept of Samusumi

“Samusumi” is not one word, but two.

I answered to the name “Samu” while working with university students from Japan in the American Midwest nearly two decades ago, so that word holds an especially personal meaning for me.

According to Wikipedia, “samu” is also a Zen term which “refers to physical work that is done with mindfulness as a simple, practical and spiritual practice.”1 The Zen Center of Denver has a more concrete take on “samu”:

“Samu is work practice. Samu is Zen practice expressed through work.”2

“Sumi” is—amongst other things3ink4.

Stitch the two terms—“samu” and “sumi”—together, and you have mindful, simple, practical, spiritual work with ink. You have meaningful practice with ink.

For me, that translates into writing or drawing—but especially writing—with either real ink or its virtual equivalent, in a consistent and meaningful way.

“Samusumi” is a personal reminder for me to do what I need to do, and—hopefully—to do it well.

A Note on Footnotes

Footnotes are a good way to document sources, even in the age of—and despite the presence of—hyperlinks. Hyperlinks, sadly, lose their effectiveness when hyperlinked text becomes part of a printed page.

You will find footnoted sources on this site because sources matter. Truth is crucial to contemporary discourse. It also appears to be increasingly absent from the things that we write and say to one another.

Documenting sources in a relatively durable way ensures neither honesty nor veracity, but I am of the opinion that creating an information trail at least gives readers a fair shot at deciding whether or not to believe what they’ve read.

Maybe it will also put off those who are put off by footnotes.

(This is not a bad thing.)

For those with more interest than expertise: Footnotes can be constructed via HTML, and Karl Winegardner gives clear, concise instructions for doing so5. Footnotes on Samusumi.com, however—like most post bodies, page bodies, and other walls of text—are composed in Ulysses6, which I recommend for writers working within the Apple ecosystem, both for its stellar syncing between devices and for its integrations with WordPress (.com7 and .org8) and Medium9.

Comments Are Welcome

Relevance is great, if not strictly necessary. But visitors should play well with others, and especially so with other guests. You don’t have to be witty or insightful, but please be polite. Don’t froth. Don’t lie. Don’t spam.

To quote Nigel Owens10, “This is not soccer.”11

It’s not Facebook or Twitter, either.

This is my digital home.

I want readers and commenters to be comfortable here, but I intend to ensure that I am comfortable here, as well; in my own digital space, in my own virtual skin.


  1. “Samu (Zen)”. Wikipedia. Accessed February 25, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samu_(Zen) ↩︎
  2. joeltagert. “Samu — Zen Center of Denver”. Accessed February 26, 2018. https://zencenterofdenver.org/2015/07/07/on-samu/ ↩︎
  3. “Sumi”. Wikipedia. Accessed February 26, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumi ↩︎
  4. “Inkstick”. Wikipedia. Accessed February 26, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inkstick ↩︎
  5. Karl Winegardner, “How to create footnotes in HTML”. Compendiums. Accessed February 25, 2018. https://karlwinegardner.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-to-create-footnotes-in-html.html ↩︎
  6. Ulysses. Accessed February 25, 2018. https://www.ulyssesapp.com/ ↩︎
  7. WordPress.com: Create a free website or blog. Accessed February 25, 2018. https://wordpress.com/ ↩︎
  8. Blog Tool, Publishing Platform, and CMS — WordPress. Accessed February 25, 2018. https://wordpress.org/ ↩︎
  9. Medium – read, write and share stories that matter. Accessed February 25, 2018. https://medium.com/ ↩︎
  10. “Nigel Owens”. Wikipedia. Accessed February 27th, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Owens ↩︎
  11. Nigel Owens makes it clear: “This is not soccer” – YouTube. Accessed February 27, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXoBNFOxlQM ↩︎