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Sunday, November 18, 2018
Thursday, November 15, 2018 2:02 PM
Life is complicated. It turns out that the ways of delicate beauty are inexplicably linked to store returns. Allow me to describe how this is so, or maybe not
  • Trouble is afoot. On the eve this column was due I sat myself down in front of my computer, called up my word processing program and, after four minutes of typing, the computer shut itself off, mid-sentence, no apology. . . .
  • Now that scary Halloween is over, we have a day even more frightening looming large: Tuesday, November 6th. This is the day of the all-important midterm elections but that should not overshadow the fact that the day is not all doom . . .
  • Yes, “approacheth” is a real word. According to the brainy linguists at the dictionary factory it’s the “third-person singular simple present indicative form of ‘approach’” — but you probably already knew that. Well, I didn’t and I can hardly imagine . . .
  • While walking my woods path in late summer, I was surprised to see a small hummingbird hovering over a wildflower patch. There are hummingbirds in the area but they don’t visit very often. It was so small that I thought it must be the . . .
  • My wife asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday. I immediately suppressed the first thing that came to mind, which happened to be themed “pagan holiday.” Instead, I told her I wanted to bicycle 200 miles to Boston. First she said no . . .
  • It’s probably time to seriously question This Old Man. The question is simply if This Old Man should be given a lifelong appointment to spend time with our children. So who exactly is “This Old Man”? You’ve heard of him: he’s the man who . . .
  • People ask me how I manage to get a column in every week. The cheeky answer is that I use e-mail. But truth be told, it is simply discipline reinforced with the real motivational force: panic. If a deadline is missed, the authorities will sweep . . .
  • Watching movies set in old England, it’s obvious the aristocracy lived the idyllic life. When they wanted something done, they had one of the servants get on it. It was a perfect arrangement except for the fatal flaw that the serving class . . .
  • I figure my memory is as good as it is today because of backyard baseball. In the very early ’60s my sister Barbara hit a high pop-up in our backyard. I moved under it for an easy catch and miscalculated the trajectory. The hardball grazed . . .
  • As I mentioned last week, the summer heat should remind us to get our firewood in order or, more to the point, to get our order in for firewood. Soon we will begin using our back decks as refrigerators, which is a bad time to be looking at a pile . . .
  • Blistering summer heat where I live in midcoast Maine starts around 85 degrees. Anything above that and you can expect some longtime Maine residents and their dogs to simply fall over dead. But it’s exactly this summer heat that serves as . . .
  • I have come to notice that my across-the-street neighbor, Mike Richardson, is an expert on feng shui. He talks about it all the time. He’s an expert because he knows how to pronounce it and he recognizes when it’s at play, a key ability . . .
  • It has come to my attention that our everyday language is overflowing with superlatives. Everything is awesome or the best, perfect, highest, lowest or ultimate. Unless you live in the advertising world, the real world is never like that. . . .
  • Sometimes the more you hear a word used, the more broad is the definition or the less clear is its meaning. So every so often I have to look up a word that is commonly used to get perspective. The other day I looked up “prejudice” . . .
  • Some time ago I acquired a new smartphone to replace my Star Trek–style flip phone. The ancient yet futuristic device had served me well since the Bush administration but it suddenly decided to walk off on its own to where phones . . .
  • I’m always asking my wife, when on the web, not to click on any links that are obviously trying to pull your attention into their site. But who wouldn’t click on a link that promised to identify the most beneficial bug we have living in our houses . . .
  • Do you hear that? Listen carefully. That low-frequency rumble … that’s the sound of zucchini growing in your neighborhood. And it might be coming to get you. Many people have vegetable gardens where I live, and one thing the gardeners have . . .
  • To most people, rags are just that: a piece of waste cloth that can be used to wipe up a spill. Some people have little respect for rags. That’s not how it is in my house. A lot of people will not understand what I am talking about here. . . .
  • Certainly I am not the first person to recognize that there is essentially a curse associated with the blessing of being handy. Handy implies having a broad array of skills which can address common problems. You can be skilled at electronics or . . .
  • It turns out that the Fourth of July really falls on July 2nd, but, just like Christmas, it’s too late to re-educate everyone and change all the calendars, banners and songs. As important events recede in time, it is difficult to get . . .
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