Pre-Thanksgiving thoughts

On a summer Saturday, there might be 30 people there, too many even for six courts.

But on a chilly Wednesday in November, there were just five of us, and with the tennis nets down, any balls that got away on one end rolled until they reached the fence on the far side.

However, when it’s the day before Thanksgiving, and the weather lets you play pickleball (or really do anything) outside, you’re happy.

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Anyone can be a Masshole

Originally posted Aug. 13, 2017.

“On my way home that same night, I was stopped in a left-turn-only lane at an intersection when I remembered I needed to swing by the drugstore. My first instinct? Dart to the right when the light changes and just go straight. I glanced over my right shoulder to see if the path was clear and spotted a little car beside my slightly more muscular Honda CR-V.

That’s when it hit me like an inflating air bag: I am a Masshole.”

— Stacey Myers, “A Mass. native tries to stop driving like one,” Boston Globe Magazine

I have a standard comparison between drivers in New York (my home state), Connecticut (my wife’s home state) and Massachusetts (where we live now).

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Welcome to the Department of No S**t, Sherlock

Spoiler alert: roads, airports and most other modes of transportation across America are probably going to be busy over the next several days.

But just in case you’re planning your personal or family’s travel (and can read) despite your birth having taken place in the last 24 hours, there’s no shortage of information and recommendations.

Such as …

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The week gone by — Nov. 24

A random person whose identity vaguely rhymes with “Suzi’s mom” has, on occasion, seen the parking lot in a restaurant and worried it would be crowded when, in reality, there was hardly anyone in there.

So when we all arrived at IHOP for breakfast the other morning and saw the lot was maybe half-full, Suzi and I started joking that they were “swinging from the ceiling.”

The song on the loudspeakers when we got out of the car?

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Totems of childhood

I had plenty of stuff to keep me occupied as a kid, but four things were particularly important: a Wiffle ball and bat, a bicycle, a sled (preferably of the plastic variety) and a NERF football.

Plus a basketball, but that came a little later, after my father built a hoop, first on the garage and then at the end of the driveway.

It was a time when if you wanted to do something outside in the small town I grew up in during the 1970s and ’80s, you just went outside, and with those, I was sorted all year long.

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The week gone by

Edgar Allan Poe had nothing on the descent into the maelstrom that is a remote control in the hands of someone who jumps around with no rhyme or reason, but stops on “A Classic Christmas (My Music),” hosted by Gavin MacLeod and Marion Ross, on the local PBS station.

Or so I heard.

From a friend.

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Who we are, who we aren’t, who we can be

From the moment we’re born — earlier if our parents are so inclined — we are identified by an attribute.

We’re either a boy, or a girl.

And then there’s this weird obsession about which parent we look like (as if you can tell with a newborn), but let’s just leave that alone for now.

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