A reason I know that I am an optimist: When I look in the mirror, I only see the hairs that remain, not the areas they have vacated.

“A pessimist is a man who has been compelled to live with an optimist.” Elbert G. Hubbard.

Below “Exit 18,” the roadside sign said, “Attractions.” Sadly, nothing was listed.

Baseball playoffs are taking place and again I wonder how it originated that baseball players throw the ball around the infield after the first and second outs with no runner on base? Why is the first baseman often excluded from the ritual? Why does the third baseman always throw the baseball to the pitcher?

Remember “crack babies”? Thirty years ago, the press was filled with stories about children being born to mothers addicted to crack cocaine, often somewhat politely called “crack mothers,” but often labeled “crack whores.” The kids were supposedly permanently damaged and would harm society for generations to come. So, they should be harming us inordinately right now. Why don’t we hear about that? Is it because those scare stories weren’t true? And a quick experiment: Imagine a “crack baby” or a “crack mother.” Did any of you see a white woman or white child?

“Racism is pervasive. The pretense that it belongs solely to poor people who talk slow lets the rest of us off the hook.” Rebecca Solnit, The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness.

I believe that I am planning for the future when I buy two cases of beer instead of one.

Sign on the back of a “waste management” truck: “Satisfaction guaranteed, or your garbage refunded.”

I learned that Norman Rockwell, the famous illustrator of American home life, and his first wife practiced free love. Perhaps you already knew that. If not, would you now look at his illustrations differently?

I have a book in my hand. It seems permanent, not so much the physical object, but the content. And, of course, to some extent that is true. I have read books that were published centuries ago, but most books, even well-received ones, are quickly forgotten. Whenever I get a book out of the library, I look at the return dates stamped in the book. Most of the older ones have not been checked out in years. A physical book may still be on somebody’s shelves, but does it really exist if it is not read?

Why is it when you sleep fitfully all night that you are sound asleep when it is time to get up?