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Goodbye, old pal.

We know the deal when we sign up: We will most likely have to say goodbye to them.

Such is the reality of dogs.

And we just said goodbye to one of the greatest dogs I have ever known, Maddux the Stoic.

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Arrrrg, matey!

Who would have guessed that my daughter’s quest to furnish a new apartment would inadvertently turn me into a porch pirate.

The quest for a new place started a few months ago. Our daughter lives about 40 minutes from us, and it’s nearly an hour drive to and from her classes. And since they are mainly in the evenings, the thought of cutting that drive time in half was appealing. I assume that moving closer to us was a close second?

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Dry another die

Normally, once I transfer wet laundry from the washing machine to the dryer, a fairly straightforward process occurs. The dryer tumbles around, mixing the clothes up while blowing hot air on them. Then, maybe 30 minutes later, voila – dry clothes.

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When at your local market…

I know I have harped in the past about grocery store etiquette. And lest you think that will stop me from doing it again…

I was at the store recently and I was standing in line with a few items at the self check-out line recently. And before you say, “But self check-out lines take jobs away from people!” let me remind you that stores aren’t in the business of providing jobs. I know that sounds counter-intuitive. But they aren’t. They are in the business of making a profit. And they are only going to hire the minimum number of people they need to maximize that profit. It doesn’t matter whether you or I like it. But it’s the rules of the game we play. They’ve realized they can outsource that job to the shoppers, and we will happily do it out of convenience.

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Christmas, lights

On October 1, I went to a nearby home improvement store. I was going there to find new lights for a new fan we had installed. The lights that came with were a smidge too bright, and so we figured we could get a lower wattage rather than get a sunburn every time we turned on our den light.

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TV guide

In 1998, my wife and I took a cruise for our honeymoon. As we were getting ready for dinner one night, I was flipping through our very limited television selections available to us. I am not sure of what the dynamics were of 1998 cruise ship television reception, but I do recall it was very limited and very spotty. On this particular night, one of the few stations available to us was a San Diego NBC affiliate. Unsure of the time it was (we were on cruise time, and although we knew dinner was approaching, the greater acceptance of time is an abstract concept on a cruise), we noticed that a new episode of Seinfled was about to air.

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A Magical birthday

I think it’s safe to say my daughter’s 21st birthday was magical.

People celebrate 21st birthdays in myriad ways. Often, that involves heading out to adult establishments and embracing their newfound 21-year-oldness. And a hangover the next day.

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Bee mine

A neighbor contacted me recently about some bees she had in her yard. They had taken up in a bird box right outside of her back door. When she took her dog out in the mornings, the dog, a delightfully adorable pup named Scarlet, would try and catch the bees. The bees would also harass my neighbor, as if she was invading their home. My neighbor has lived here longer than I have, which is pushing eight years. And Google tells me bees live about a month, so safe to say she was there first.

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Compact complex

I think it’s time to admit that we are collectively in denial. I don’t want to shame anyone here, but the bottom line is we have to be honest with ourselves about our sizes. We are simply not as small as we think we are.

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Breaking down at the car wash

To me, a freshly cleaned car is a great feeling. I spent a lot of time in my car, and I love having a nicely tidied up ride. That said, I often tromp out in the woods or go to the beach and I tend to not exactly stay on the beaten bath, so my car often gets a little of nature coming with it.