By Blake Baxter

Today, I learned that there is a scale that measures the spiciness of peppers. It’s called the Scoville Scale, a friend told me and a Google search confirmed.

A recipe website said it that was named after a pharmacist named Wilbur Scoville who invented the scale in 1912 to measure chemical compounds — capsaicinoids — that trigger the familiar burning sensation. Normally, I’d cite my source here, but I’m off the clock and ready for bed. I don’t have a lot of time for research; I only have just enough to get this story on the page.

As I approach both my 30th birthday and the 10-year anniversary of my Paw Paw’s passing, it has occurred to me that I’ve lived 1/3 of my life without him.

My grandpa, Dudley Baxter, was an incredible carpenter who built houses, furniture, and household items. While the majority of these things were incredibly functional, he also made a slew of creative novelties. …

Throughout this wretched year, I often found it harder to write than I have in the past.

I wanted to write more, for myself, for my community, and for my career, but I was instead frequently distracted, scattered, and running short on time. Big ideas for stories still bubbled up in my brain. Bringing them to fruition with regularity, however, was another matter.

Part of it, obviously, was due to how much the pandemic shook up my various responsibilities and living habits; other priorities demanded precedence. They also siphoned time away from the periods I’d normally devoted to writing.


Blake Baxter

Yes, but what does it mean? Writing and telling stories about sports, higher education and politics, for myself, my employer(s) and my community.

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