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Remembering Lennon

December 8, 1980, I was volunteer fundraising in New York City. I beat the street until late and beat to bed around midnight. I lived in a group house a few blocks south of Columbia University on the Upper West Side.

I crawled out of bed around 8:30 a.m. on the 9th, a Tuesday. I recall bouncing down the stairs, laughing as I moved along. In those days, I was skinny and bushy blonde and always bubbling optimism. To a fault. I drove people nuts with my energy and enthusiasm.

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My First Mac

It’s December and time to remember buying my first Mac. As a long-time Windows PC bigot I used to persecute the heck out of my wife and her coworkers. In the early 1990s, we worked at the same magazine, she as a graphic designer and I as an editor. I would tease the graphic designers, with great delight, about their Macs. I recall reading a University of Delaware study that found Mac users to be 40 percent less productive than PC users. Oh, how I taunted the graphic designers with that information!

So it was with strange compulsion I walked out of a CompUSA in early December 1998 carting an iMac (and free 13-inch color TV, which my daughter uses today). The iMac’s alluring design and blue cool color (OK, more like teal) won over my curiosity. 

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‘The Edukators’

My 2005 work schedule has been brutal, with too few cultural breaks but DVDs. Catching movies on DVD puts me about six months behind showings, as was typical this weekend when I watched “The Edukators.” I give the the film high recommendation.

I immediately identified with the main characters, but not their captive, even though he and I are close in age. While I make quite a bit more money than the three protagonists, I can’t even relate to the lavish lifestyle of their antagonists. Like the three Edukators, I am highly critical of the truly wealthy, even though I would easily qualify, based on income, as a bourgeois. I live in a humble home (rented) and drive an old Volvo (dented and purchased quite used). My wife shops at thrift stores and we give more than 10 percent of yearly income to church, charity, people in need, or friends. 

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Where Do They Go?

Every few nights I come down into my basement office—oh, about a half our after the lights go out—and kill crickets. Those pesky varmints are a real pain.

Occasionally, though, I’ll catch one about before the lights have gone out and kill it. Last night, like other times when I squashed one, I was too lazy to clean it up. Like other times, the cricket carcass disappeared overnight. 

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The Right Choice

My wife hauls me off to church every Sunday (and that’s not a bad thing). I teach Sunday school, which gets me out of the service. But last week, older kids organized a scavenger hunt for fourth through sixth graders (I teach the middleschoolers), so I had opportunity to sit in the service. Lucky, too.

The pastor announced she would step down at the end of December. After two-and-a-half years, she felt it was time to make room for new blood and a new way of doing things. I thought: “This is how it’s supposed to be”. 

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‘Walk the Line’

I am not much of a country music fan. My mother predicted that when I grew older, my tastes would grow more country. That simply never happened. Today’s playlist included songs by Arcade Fire, Jack’s Mannequin, Nelly Furtado, Something Corporate, Snow Patrol, Simple Plan, and Sum 41. No country.

But I do like good movies, even about country music singers, particularly when the actors do their own singing (no lip syncing, please). Country singer Johnny Cash did cover songs spanning many genres, even if he put his own twang on them. So I couldn’t resist “Walk the Line“, which I watched this evening. The star performances make the show. 

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Just Add ‘i’

Late this afternoon, my daughter yelled to me from another room, “Dad, dad. I figured out what Microsoft means. You’ve got to come see this. Micro. Soft”.

We had just returned from Black Friday shopping, an exercise taken for purely academic purposes. My daughter wanted to see all the Black Friday sales and shoppers, more for the thrill of it. Typically, it’s a banned shopping day in our household. I mean, what nutcase gets up to shop at 5 a.m.? Lots of people that I know. One friend hit the Wal-Mart in Fredericksburg, Va., and she still didn’t get the item she wanted. Another friend started shopping at 5 a.m., but online, spending $350 at CompUSA on rebate items. Geez. Get a life. 

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Towering Over Thanksgiving

My daughter and I just got back from Tower Records (while my wife stayed home to review home school materials). I was so stunned by the posted holiday hours, I just had to ask at the counter about them. My local Tower Records will be open 10 to 10 on Thanksgiving. Oh, did I mention Tower has Christmas hours, too?

I pretty much had accepted McDonalds’ half-day Thanksgiving hours, but 10 to 10 over at Tower Records? Geez. Get a life! I’m tempted to drop in and see just how is business, considering not only the holiday but day before Black Friday.