The best parts of me are like my Dad

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Picture this. It is the 1960s. You are a student at the Ogontz Campus of Penn State University, near Philadelphia, where the students and professors who are unable or unwilling to get into the main University Park campus end up. You are majoring in something other than science, but you need a science class to … Continued

Finding Wesley

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Halfway through an hour’s walk in the cold, I was perched on a cinder-block wall in front of the Grace Baptist Church in Portland, Maine. There are not many places to rest in this part of town, and I needed a rest. It was overcast and lightly snowing. A boy who looked about nine years … Continued

A few words for Thanksgiving

There is nothing more rewarding than watching the people you love grow into the people they realize that they want to be. Happy Thanksgiving. Talk to you tomorrow.

A happy retirement

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When you work for a company — or are building your own business — you need to make compromises for the long-term. You might have to travel a lot, obey commands from a stupid boss, or perform in ways that create ethical compromises. And you’ll probably be working harder, and more hours, than you’d like, … Continued

Do stuff you’re bad at

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It was dark in my old home town and I’d just run over a curb. I was piloting the Nissan Rogue Sport SUV I’d rented earlier in the day, driving through Ambler, Pennsylvania, a half-mile from where I went to high school and 400 miles from where I live now. You know how, when you … Continued

Use the good silver

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We recently decided to use the good silver every day. It feels great. Years ago, my wife received monogrammed silver flatware from her mother, who is now sadly gone. (Her mother had had her own silver, which was stolen; she used the insurance money to replace it with silver monogrammed with her daughters’ initials.) For … Continued

I was a huge nerd

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My high school and college years were crammed with full frontal nerdity . . . in contrast to the suave, successful authorial persona I now exude. Here’s a sampling. As you’ll see, my late, dearly loved friend Josh Friedman was a frequent partner in this unabashed nerdity, and my brother (now a math professor) was … Continued

If books are so great, why is it so hard to give them away?

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Books are great individually. But in big bunches, they’re not as sacred as they once were. I’m in the process of moving and I have a lot of books. I’ve been collecting science fiction books since I was a teenager — I’ve accumulated hundreds of hardbacks and hundreds more in paperback, with special bookcases to … Continued