* … MERRY CHRISTMAS: My best to everyone this year and let's not forget the true meaning of the holidays. Whether Christian or Jewish or non-secular, this is the time for grace and appreciation and
* … AIR TRAVEL: If you think air travel is bad now, it's about to get much worse. The major air carriers, eager to find more ways to make more money, are squeezing more seats into the planes, making lighter seats with less cushion and in many cases restricting the ability of a seat to recline. According to The New York Times, some airlines are reducing the space between seats from the old standard of 34 inches to 30 or even 28 inches. That, and the fact that the average American is getting bigger, not smaller, adds up to the sardine-like environment we all experience in coach.
* … THEFTS: This is the time of year with burglaries and petty thefts spike. Across our community there have been reports of packages being stolen off porches, of car break-ins and of burglaries. One neighbor of mine had her laundry stolen off the porch in the morning and her Christmas reef in the afternoon. Many of these thefts happen during the day and police say they have increased as more prisoners are paroled because of prison crowding. Beware.
* … GOOD DEED: This is always a difficult time of year for Margaret Lee, who lost her husband almost exactly two years ago, which is why she was so touched by a recent random act of kindness. She was at the Subway on North Chester and learned that her sandwich had been paid for by a young man in front of her. "I was overwhelmed. I was able to thank him but he will never know just what he did for me. How can you feel down when you find wonderful people like him. It really changed the way I felt. I will always remember this act of kindness and will do my best to forward it to others."
* … SPOTTED: Here's something you don't want to think about. Joe Moesta said he spotted "a young man in a local restaurant stuck his knife into a catsup bottle in order to make the catsup flow from the bottle more freely. When he removed the knife he licked it with his tongue and reinserted it into the bottle a couple more times. When he had finished his meal and left the restaurant, I mentioned my observation to the waitress who promptly threw the bottle of catsup into the trash. But it makes you wonder how many times this sort of thing happens that is not reported and the bottle of catsup with someone's saliva is passed on to the next customer. Enjoy your meal."