Fredy Argir

Lonnie Knight: 1948-2017


My name is Fredy Argir. I grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota and I live in Austin, Texas. Lonnie and I were friends for 50 years.

Nuggets from the News (Volume III)


Volume III of Nuggets from the News includes these three recommendations:

1. So, what’s the deal with ISIS? America and the World continue to watch what they consider to be indiscriminate brutality, but is it? Are these people disorganized thugs or quite the opposite? Why would they publicize and broadcast such evil deeds? Is there a reason? What is it?

2. It's true that scientists have long abandoned the idea of innate talent, but it's still a seductive idea in everyday life. Studies have found that students who think they are innately smart are less likely to accept and learn from mistakes and criticism, but that can be turned around with an understanding that our brains change with effort and experience.

3. I realize most of you weren’t around in the Fifties, but you’ve no doubt heard the awful pop music of the era. This was a decade of AM radio, and short ditties and novelty songs ruled the day. Do I even have to list the stupid titles? I mean, any culture that spawned "Flying Purple People Eater" ought to be ashamed of it's collective self. But who was responsible?

What Happened to Football?


Over the past twenty years we’ve seen exponential growth in the technique and technology of football. The players have become muscular giants—lightning fast, smart, and unbelievably strong. And as training and conditioning has improved, more sophisticated, high-end traumatic injuries have become commonplace. The attrition has been high and the profits have been higher.

Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules for Writing


Elmore Leonard died last year at the age of 87. He was a prolific author of crime fiction and many of his novels became American film classics; he was, in some ways, a writer’s writer. As he became the elder statesman, he offered advice to young authors from time to time. This is from his 2001 article in the New York Times titled, “Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points, and Especially Hooptedoodle.”

Insufficient Evidence


On Friday, June 13, 1969, Barbara Jean Paciotti, a petite, twenty-year-old secretary at a Minneapolis investment firm, drove home to Hibbing to spend Fathers Day weekend with her family. Later that night, after a late dinner with her parents, she and her roommate, who’d come home with her, went out. Barbara was wearing a rust-colored jacket over a red plaid dress, loafers, and rings of jade and topaz. Even though she weighed less than a hundred pounds and wasn’t quite five feet tall, her friends called her “the Serbian-Italian dynamo.”

Driving around town was a popular pastime at the time. As they cruised Howard Street and First Avenue, Barbara (her friends and family called her “Barbie”) told her roommate that she was thinking about breaking up with the guy she was dating, Jeff Dolinich, and getting back together with a former boyfriend, whom she was watching for as they drove through the streets of Hibbing.

Much later that night, they were stopped at a red light at Howard and Second Avenue when, out of nowhere, Dolinich walked up to their car and asked Barbara to go for a ride with him; he said he needed to talk to her. It was 1:30 a.m.

“Barbie” never came home.

Enter the Technical Photographer


All too often in our computerized world, an everyday civilian is forced to do the unthinkable: fix his computer. And when he pops the side open and peers into the mysterious insides of the machine for the first time, he understandably experiences a sensory overload of chips and circuits and wires and poorly-translated instructions. No untrained soul is ever prepared to navigate this science fictional labyrinth.

A Nonessential Reading List


People often ask me what I'm reading. Because I'm an author, I assume they expect me to be immersed in some massive volume of academic import. The truth is I don't hang out with anyone who does that and my own habits are scattershot at best and often fraught with ulterior motives (i.e., research). I wish I could find more time for it. My New Years resolution every year is to "read more."

When I finish a book, I like to feel that it was time well-spent. Here are nine that fit into that category.

Did the Internet Save the Novel?


When I saw that headline over an editorial in a recent edition of the Wall Street Journal, I thought it was a joke. But Gordy Crovitz was apparently quite serious when he wrote, "Engaging with a novel—whether through print or e-book—requires rare focus in our information-snacking lives. The more time people spend tracking fleeting pixels across digital screens, the more they seem to yearn for something else. The well-crafted novel is more alive than ever."

Another New Site Goes Live


I've had four websites on the World Wide Web spanning the past twenty-five years.  This is the fifth.  Everything has come a long way in a short time. On the other hand, the vast majority of users still think the World Wide Web and the Internet are synonyms.

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