That's Life

Lois Richter’s format for That’s Life is mostly interviews. Recurring topics include Davis activities and groups; work and life choices; philosophy and theory; plus birding, cooking, art, and other passions. Lois occasionally breaks into music — from ballads to the slack key sounds of Hawaii to golden oldies rock 'n' roll — but mostly there is just talk.

To suggest a topic for discussion or a person to interview, text Lois or leave a message in the comments here.

Lois seldom (but occasionally) updates her other website. Check it out at 

Live Thursday 11am-12pm
Music programs are only online for two weeks after they are broadcast.

That's Life with Rupert McRae

Rupert McRae !!!!!   'Nuf said.

Well, actually, that's not enough.  Rupert is one of the great panelists on "Office Hours", which is where Lois met him.  He has had a long, productive career in other people's companies and is now his own boss. 

It's too complicated to try and describe everything in this summary.  Better you should just listen to this show.

(Note: You can also SEE Rupert McRae on various episode of Office Hours on their website.)


That's Life with author Anne Da Vigo

Author and journalist Anne Da Vigo joins Lois to talk about her books and her process.  

Anne's journalism career (specializing in feature writing and crime reporting), spanned more than a dozen years at newspapers throughout California. Her latest -- Bakersfield Boys Club -- was loosely inspired by the Lords of Bakersfield murders of the 1970s and 1980s. Da Vigo covered the trial in the first of the Lords murder cases.

She is the author of a previous thriller -- Thread of Gold -- and numerous short stories.  She is also part of the Blue Moon writers' group that meets weekly in Davis; and, as always, continues to write.

The finale of today's show is two Merle Haggard songs about Bakersfield.

(This aired two weeks in a row -- 2 Dec and 9 Dec 2021.)

That's Life: author Bill Pieper

Local author Bill Pieper is today's guest.  He has published many works -- mostly short stories.

His most recent book -- Borders and Boundaries -- is a series of ten short stories which reads like a novel.  While each story could stand on its own, the thread of characters and locations ties the book together into a greater whole. 

Listen to him reading from Borders and Boundaries  along then hear Bill and Lois talking about ... well, just about everything.  Bikes? Yup.  Drumming? Yup.  Publishing in the midst of a pandemic? Yup.  Sci-fi porn? Yup. Reading books onstage? Yup.  The effect of places on people and culture? That, too.

Bill lived in Nevada City for many years, and his stories often are set in a western locale.  Now he lives in Sacramento and comes to Davis weekly to be part of the Blue Moon  -- a writers' group hosted by Scott Evans*.  

Bill Pieper is working on writing a new book (no date  set yet); and he is hoping to resume the promotion of Borders and Boundaries  once restrictions ease and a new tour can be arranged.

You can see a list of his books at:

That includes his popular Belonging - A Tale of Downieville and California's Modern Gold Country  and Forgive Me, Father: Twelve Stories.

But if you want to walk on a wilder side, read his most-popular-story-ever, at:

PS: This episode also aired on Thanksgiving, 11-25-2021.

That's Life: author Fallon O'Neill

Davis author Fallon O'Neill is today's guest.  He has published two of his  "Geist" trilogy so far -- "Geist: Prelude"  and "Geist: Intermezzo" -- and the third -- "Geist: Scherzo" -- is coming out in 2 weeks (15 Nov 2021).  Fallon is working on the fourth book now; with more expected in the future.  Writing is his life's work.

Another writer who is part of the Blue Moon Thursday Group, Fallon found them in high school and credits that group with encouraging him to write, continue, and improve as an author. 

For more about him and all his books, visit:

UPDATE!!!  Geist: Scherzo has been released!  Here is the Amazon link.

That's Life, That's Water

That's Life. That's Water and Soil!

Understanding our water -- where it comes from , where it goes, how it's used, and by whom -- is a vital to knowing what to expect in the future.  Understanding how our soils were formed and how the various soil types interact with that water is the basis for many of our gardening and farming decisions. 

Davis is in the Sacramento River watershed.  It was either marsh or grasslands before Europeans arrived.  Because we had annual flooding, our rivers and creeks developed natural levees which overtopped each year and deposited gravel, sand, silt, and clay on the surrounding land -- the lighter particles travelling further than the heavier material.  So your yard might be sandy-loam, silty-loam, or clay-loam -- depending on where in the county you live.

Soils and water and other things are part of this episode, talking here to guest Don Shor (of Davis Garden Show fame!) about so many things we don't have time for there.

-- Lois Richter,

That's Life with Scott Evans

Author, retired professor, writing group leader, Davisite -- these are just some of the ways to describe today's guest, Scott Evans.

Whether you're a mystery enthusiast; or interested in litereary giants such as Hemingway, Shakespeare, or Plath; or want to become an author; or just like reading ... there's something for each of you in this show.   

We start talking about the journal Scott edits -- "Blue Moon: Literary & art review";

then shift to his on-going weekly writers' group;

and move on to Scott's new novel "The Caribbean Prisoner";

then back to the beginning with his 'literary' murder mysteries -- "Tragic Flaws", "First Folio", and "Sylvia’s Secrets";

forward again to his intro of some of the writer (now authors!) in the Thursday group;

and finally settle back for a little history of Scott himself.

That's Life: Plants from San Diego

In August 2021, Lois stayed in San Diego (California) for 2 weeks.  Lots of great things there to enjoy, including walking in Balboa Park!  There were many beautiful flowers -- both in the Botanical  House (see photo) and in people's front yards.  After getting back home, Lois asked Don Shor (a plant expert and former resident of San Diego) what each plant was and if she could grow those San Diego flowers here in Davis.  The answer -- as usual -- was "It depends."  In this case, "It depends upon which species it is and whether or not that one can withstand cold."  

We also talked about why there are so many dead tree stumps on the San Diego hillsides and why there were dead orchards and vineyards along the freeway in the southern San Joaquin Valley.


That's Life with David Hosley

David Hosley had led a very full life. Lois could have interviewed him about many many different things and filled up a show -- his long media career (starting at age 12!), being a renowned investigative reporter,  teaching at various colleges and universities, UC administration, managing LOTS of radio and tv stations, producing six documentaries, training journalists in ethics, heading non-profits, talking about the history of migration into California and the challenges of life in the San Joaquin valley, and sharing thoughts on community, economy, social assumptions, and why people work after retirement.  As I say, we COULD have filled up an hour on any of those.  Instead, because we met working together on a project of the Davis Genealogy Club, we started with family history and went from there. 

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I love listening to your Hawaiian music choices and your comments on Hawaii when you play Hawaiian music. :-)

-- Arielle

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 11/15/2012 - 1:16pm

I forgot about all this great music...thanks for reminding me.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 11/16/2009 - 10:42am

Great show! Never knew so much about green building...great guest. [Casa Verde]

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 08/24/2009 - 10:31am

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