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yardsaleLet me state that I generally hate yard sales, garage sales, and the like. Specifically:
*I don’t like going to other people’s sales, especially when they put out things that are, to quote Oscar the Grouch, everything “ragged and rotten and rusty.”
*I don’t like having our own sale, because it involved going through lots of our own stuff. It’s time-consuming and enervating.
And most of all:
*I HATE bringing back into the house the stuff we decided to sell, but it didn’t.

Yet we (OK, the Wife and the Daughter) agreed (and I accepted the decision) to have a yard sale on September 6. The logic of that date was that it would be after school began, but before the fall got going in earnest. Read the rest of this entry »

Memorial-PoolAfter 9/11/2001, I had only been in Manhattan once that wasn’t in passing (train station to Charlotte, e.g.) and that was seeing a musical in 2003. I had never been particularly close geographically to Ground Zero, despite living less than 160 miles away.

When Rebecca (niece #1), her husband Rico, and a couple of their friends came out from California to NYC around Thanksgiving 2013, one of them items on the Californians’ agenda was to see the 9/11 memorial.

The museum exterior was at the site, but not yet open. Read the rest of this entry »

ispyLike the other lists, these do not necessarily represent my FAVORITE books, which might be reference books such as Top Pop Singles or The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, or the World Almanac. Pretty much off the top of my head:

The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales. They weren’t called the brothers grim for nothing.

Growing Up by Russell Baker (1982). I used to love to read Baker’s columns in the New York Times, and this book, which I have signed by the author, captures this wonderfully. Funny, though, I don’t remember WHERE I was when I got it signed.
Read the rest of this entry »

inertgasesThis is true: part of what I liked about high school chemistry is that it was sexy. The idea of the Na hanging out there with an extra electron, hooking up with a Cl lacking one, and voila, salt! Hubba, hubba, and all that.

But then there were those elements, gases who did not who did NOT mess around with other elements, and I admired them too. After all, they were “noble” gases, virtuous, chaste.

Evidently, though, I must have mislearned part of this:

The noble gases and nitrogen often do not react with many substances. Read the rest of this entry »

conversationIn the general election in November, the polls are open at 6 a.m.; I’ve often voted by 6:15. The school budget vote in May allows voting by 7 a.m..

But the polls on Primary Day, which is Tuesday, September 9 this year, don’t open until noon, at least in that tiny part of New York known as upstate. In New York City and the counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam (and Erie!) the polls open at 6 a.m.; very civilized.

Worse this year, I don’t think there’s been an inordinate amount of information on the judge races. The Democratic primary race for Albany County Surrogate Court Judge between Stacy L. Pettit and Richard J. Sherwood I know nothing about Read the rest of this entry »

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