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Word to your mother

Richard Cox Archive

Richard Cox

Add Intensity, Subtract Limpness

November 6th, 2009
by Richard Cox

SAN FRANCISCO, CA-

The other day I was walking down Market Street, enjoying a rare day of calm winds and clear, sunny skies, when a stranger approached me. His hair was brown and coarse, like horsehair, which he clearly hadn’t washed in weeks. Maybe months. He was short and swarthy and wore a thick, bushy moustache and a black trench coat that was too big for him. I tried to walk around him, delete him from my life, but he swerved to intercept me. This is what always happens. You can’t get away from these guys.

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Richard Cox

He who controls the past, controls the future

October 30th, 2009
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

A while back I drove to Texas and attended a high school reunion. Events like these are surreal for most everyone, but as I approached Wichita Falls on a cold and still Friday evening, the intensity of it all was overwhelming—the color of the sky, the emptiness of the prairie, the quiet roar of my tires on interstate asphalt. I felt like I was driving into someone else’s dream.

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Richard Cox

A Thousand Words: Emergence - From Simple Lessons Arise Unexpected Results

September 15th, 2009
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

The first memory I have of my father is my earliest image of anything, a thunderous voice demanding I finish some long-forgotten meal. I was still in a high chair then, and the world was binary, black and white, yes or no. Mostly no. If you were uncertain about whether a particular action was permissible, you didn’t have to wait long to find out. The loud voice made the world exceedingly simple.

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Richard Cox

You spin me right round (like a record baby)

August 20th, 2009
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

In fiction, one common and generic way to refer to well-drawn, realistic characters is to call them “round.” As in:

…characters as described by the course of their development in a work of literature. Flat characters are two-dimensional in that they are relatively uncomplicated and do not change throughout the course of a work. By contrast, round characters are complex and undergo development, sometimes sufficiently to surprise the reader.

2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. (more…)


Richard Cox

New Bananas Foster Cappuccino

March 3rd, 2009
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

I normally refuel my car at QuikTrip, a regional convenience store chain that differentiates itself from others with clean facilities and prompt, friendly customer service. I mean, I don’t really give a shit about the customer service because I always pay at the pump, but on the occasion that I do have to go inside for something, it’s not an unpleasant experience the way some of those places are. It’s clean and brightly lit and the employees aren’t scary. (more…)


Richard Cox

Richard à clef

January 21st, 2009
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

Recently I wrote a novel. Well, I didn’t write the whole thing recently, but I did recently finish it, and by finish I mean I’m waiting to hear from my agent if he likes it or not. He’ll suggest changes and so will an eventual editor, so it’s not really “finished.”

In the meantime, I have sought the opinions of friends and loved ones, which is an experience both rewarding and nerve-racking. Rewarding to finally share it with people you care about, and nerve-racking because those people immediately go looking for themselves in the story, and further they conclude all opinions contained within are yours. (more…)


Richard Cox

The Customer is Irrelevant: Another Life in Retail

October 7th, 2008
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

When I was 19 I took a job at Sears, Roebuck, and Co. The company was named after Richard Sears, Alvah Roebuck, and Bad Company (the English rock supergroup). If you’ve ever wondered who Roebuck was, I can tell you (according to Wikipedia) that the name came from Alvah Roebuck, who left the company in 1895 because of poor health. He returned as a spokesperson during the Great Depression and maintained that role until his death in 1948. Anyway, nothing against Mr. Roebuck, but I find that information to be exceptionally irrelevant to this blog, and yet I felt compelled to include it because of my fascination with Wikipedia. Who says porn is the best thing on the Internet?

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Richard Cox

No One Likes It When You Use Vulcan Logic

August 8th, 2008
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

I remember quite clearly, when I was 10 or so, a television commercial for Tylenol. The message went something like this:

“Extra Strength Tylenol has more pain-relieving medicine than Regular Strength Bayer Aspirin.”

I was only 10 years old. I shouldn’t have even been paying attention to the commercials. I should have been playing with my Rubik’s cube while I waited for Magnum, P.I. to come back on. But that commercial pissed me off.

How can they think people would be that stupid? I wondered. Any human being with half a brain isn’t going to be fooled by a statement so clearly misleading.

It turns out people are not only susceptible to misleading marketing, they seem to be drawn to it. Unsubstantiated superlatives appeal to our inner nature. But what nature is that, exactly?

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Richard Cox

Lemmings march blindly toward their deaths

November 6th, 2007
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

Politics2

One thing I’m not too fond of is blind adherence. I think it’s a good idea to occasionally take a step back from whatever you’re doing and ask “Does this make sense?”

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Richard Cox

Yes, I took a picture with Brandt Snedeker, but that’s beside the point: a golf blog

August 22nd, 2007
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

Tnb_hole1_2

The morning is soupy, humid and warm, and we all know the mercury will climb quickly. A ride on a bus and an uphill walk, rubbing elbows with an army of spectators, and then I see the sun breaking over the roof of the club house. Shadows stretch across the golf course, a man-made jewel. The sky is infinite shades of pink and blue.

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Richard Cox

You aren’t who you think you are. Are we too caught up in the romance of being human?

June 19th, 2007
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

Cyborg1

This morning, when I climbed into my car and tried to start the engine, nothing happened. Why? Because I didn’t have the keyfob in my pocket.

With this car it’s possible to make odd mistakes with the keyfob because there is no key attached to it…the little egg-shaped fob uses RF signals to talk to the car, and if the keyfob isn’t physically inside the car, the ignition won’t work. Conceivably one could start the car, go back into the house and change pants, and come back outside to the already-running car and drive away. But guess what? After you turn off the ignition, it won’t start again, because you left the keyfob in the other pair of pants.

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Richard Cox

From This High Up, He Said, People Look Like Ants

May 17th, 2007
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

Viewed from an altitude of 37,000 feet, the Earth looks a lot different than our everyday experience.

People_ants

The majestic Rockies are a bumpy patch of acne. Mighty rivers look like static, crooked lines. Teeming cities become their smoggy, Google Earth counterparts.

We build our lives in these places, we take vacations to them, we photograph them in order to precisely relive their beauty at a later time. We make clear distinctions between desolate, flat farmland and the beauty of California, where mountains meet the sea.

But from high above, the differences between these places are blurred.

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Richard Cox

Does Time Really Fly When You’re Having Fun? A Bit of Relativity in Your Daily Life

March 30th, 2007
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

Let’s talk about relativity.

For every observer, things seem slightly different. From a physics point of view, you do not occupy the same location in space as anyone else, and you might be moving at different velocities, and so on.

This is why using astrology for anything other than entertainment seems silly to me. Constellations don’t physically exist. A group of stars that from the Earth seem to form the shape of a bull could in reality be millions of light years apart and share no relationship with each other whatsoever. They only form the shape of a bull from where we’re looking.

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Richard Cox

From Russia with Love: Why Enforcing Trust is Mission Impossible

February 21st, 2007
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

Trust is an elusive thing.

It’s hard to know when to let down your guard with someone, to let them see who you really are. And when you’re hurt or betrayed by someone you love, it becomes that much harder to open up to someone else.

But what, exactly, defines betrayal?

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Richard Cox

Patriotism Doesn’t Mean a Bumper Sticker, and Why the State Department Should Issue a Dress Code to Americans Traveling Abroad

January 8th, 2007
by Richard Cox

TULSA, OK-

On September 11, 2001, there was a small American flag mounted on the wall above my desk at work. By that time it had been there for several years.

Wall decorations are not my forte, but anything that breaks the monotony of gray is a welcome thing. And I’ve also felt quite patriotic about the U.S.A. ever since I was a kid.

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