Archive: » 2018 » December

A Graceful Ending to a Tumultuous Year

As 2018 draws to a close, I can't help recalling another tumultuous and eventful year. It brings comfort to realize our country managed to survive the horrific events of 1968 a half-century ago, though not without scars and lasting damage — both to people and to the nation’s democratic institutions. I feel that way now about much of what has transpired this year. Once again, our country is in chaos. I pray the coming year brings a semblance of sanity, but I’m not putting money on it. It’s fair to say that 1968 proved to be the most eventful year in my young life. It forever shaped the person...

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Suddenly, it is Christmas

Christmas awaits. The hardwood trees are bare, the grass brown. Our neighborhood is awash with Christmas lights. Driveways are beginning to fill with the vehicles of families coming home for the holidays. As always, my Beautiful Mystery Companion has beautifully decorated our house while I wisely stay out of the way. My job is to hang the lights outside, treading carefully on the roof. I then wrap our outdoor Charlie Brown Christmas tree with 300 feet of colored lights and hang ornaments from the branches. I learned a few years back to caulk the top of each ornament, where the hanger dangles from...

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Whole New Meaning to ‘Good Read’

For the first time since I was a kid, I decided to keep a record of the books I read this year. I started a list in a notebook I carry with me, writing down the author and title each time I finished one. Then my daughter, Meredith, reminded me she had helped me sign up for Goodreads, a “social cataloging” website now owned by Amazon. The compamy began in 2006 and soon developed a strong following, now with more than 25 million members. Goodreads allows one to find titles, buy them on Amazon (of course), make recommendations, participate in polls, blogs and other activities in which I take no part....

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Firing Gmail’s Composition Genie

I have been using Gmail for my personal account for more than a dozen years. I managed to snare a simple address — garyborders@gmail.com — and have used it for personal business, while maintaining a separate address for work. As with all computer applications, Gmail gets updated on occasion, sometimes requiring me to get used to a different appearance or a slightly different way of finding emails. For several months, a button appeared in the top right of the screen: Try the New Gmail. I ignored it, content with the old Gmail. I have enough technology issues to confront without voluntarily...

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