Search results for peter mckay
Jul 22, 2017 / By Peter McKay
At our house these days, I deal with four females. There’s my wife, of course, and our twin daughters, both home for the summer from college. And there’s Sophie, a small, needy West Highland white terrier. The one thing you need to know about Sophie is that she seems to think she has the power of telepathy. She doesn’t bark or whimper or make any other gestures. She just stares at you — intently— as if she’s wearing a big turban with a jewel on it. This can get creepy at times, as there’s neve
Jun 24, 2017 / By Peter McKay
About 15 years ago, they tore down the old elementary school in our town and offered to give away the bricks. When I wasn’t looking, my wife, who went to that school and had an emotional attachment, agreed to take a load of bricks. When I came home and found a 4-foot pile in our driveway and asked my wife what the heck (I didn’t say heck) I was going to do with that many bricks, she shrugged and walked away. So we built stuff — walls around gardens and trees, pillars for a new deck and finally
Jun 10, 2017 / By Peter McKay
This week, I was in a courtroom for the first time in almost 17 years. Decades ago, after watching too many episodes of “L.A. Law,” I went to law school. For about five years I actually worked as an attorney, but the legal life was nothing like I expected. I was the kind of lawyer who pored through 200-page agreements looking for typos while chugging free but terrible coffee. It was not for me. Long legal documents made my head swim, and I’d wake up at night shouting, “Billable hours! Billab
May 27, 2017 / By Peter McKay
Anybody who knows my wife and me as a couple would say: 1) she’s in great shape, and 2) I am the other one. My wife runs 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and even marathons. She has worn out so many running shoes that her castoffs could keep a poor village someplace outfitted with teal green Mizuno Wave Riders for a year. I, on the other hand, run only when being chased. I work in a job that requires absolutely no physical movement other than getting up to go the fridge to get my lunch. I should have
May 13, 2017 / By Peter McKay
I was driving last week and, to my horror, the check engine light came on. I pulled over, put the car in park and slowly banged my head against the window. For those of you who drive brand-new or even sort of new cars and have never experienced this, it is a Very. Bad. Thing. The check engine light is like going to the doctor and having him look you in the eye and ask you whether you have made a will. The check engine light is like your wife asking you to sit down for a serious talk and
Mar 04, 2017 / By Peter McKay
Little confession here. I have not had a professional haircut in almost 10 years. The paper doesn’t run my picture, but if it did, that confession would be unnecessary. My hair, where it exists, sprouts in various directions, as if I’d stuck my finger in a light socket on a day when there was already a fair amount of static electricity in the air. I have hair in the back and some in the front, but there’s a growing chasm between them. In another year or so, I will have just a little isolated
Apr 29, 2017 / By Peter McKay
On my Facebook wall, my wife recently posted a picture of a signboard that said: “Being a Dad seems to consist mainly of being grumpy and knowing things.” My daughters instantly agreed that the sign summed me up completely in just 13 words. I’m OK with that job description, especially the grumpy part. Being a dad is a thankless job in which you are called on only to give advice, fix things and, once a week, hand over your entire paycheck without crying. And the other part? Knowing things? I
Apr 01, 2017 / By Peter McKay
I grew up reading the comic strip “The Family Circus,” and I always looked forward to the yearly strip where Bil Keane would hand over his pen to his kid Billy, who would take over for a day with scribbly drawings. And I always meant to do the same. But none of our kids are around these days, and I’m pretty sure most of them would be surprised to hear that Dad still writes a newspaper column. So looking around, the only candidate I’ve got is our West Highland white terrier, Sophie. She looks l
Feb 04, 2017 / By Peter McKay
It happens just about every winter. The weather gets cold and mice start making their way through the many, many cracks and crevices in our old house to find places to wait out the winter. I personally don’t think it’s all that warm, or even all that nice, inside our place, but they seem to like it. Most years, I’ll find a ripped bag of chips or a cake with suspicious nibbling. Once or twice I’ve come down to find the butter with little claw marks on the side, and I know our winter house guest
Jan 21, 2017 / By Peter McKay
About 20 years ago, my wife and I realized that we were reproducing at an alarming rate. Every time we turned around, there was a new baby crawling across the floor. We made two important decisions. First, when we hit the magic number of five, we stopped. It’s a big family but not in the Duggar range. Second, we moved our master bedroom up to the third floor of our house just so I could get away from the chaos. Our third floor, originally meant as an attic, is hot in the summer and freezing in
Jan 07, 2017 / By Peter McKay
When it comes to cars, there are two different kinds of owners. There are the folks who drive newer cars and cruise happily and confidently down the highway, assured that they’re getting where they’re going. Then there are people, like my wife and me, who drive older cars. With every mile, we used car people know, deep in our souls, that something is going to go wrong. It might not be today or tomorrow, but it’s a-coming. As long as we’re classifying people, there’s an even further breakdown a
Mar 18, 2017 / By Peter McKay
I pretty much wait all week for Sunday morning. Weekdays my wife and I both have to roll out of bed early for work, and Saturday mornings, my wife gets up at the crack of dawn to go running, so I have to crawl out of the sack early to avoid looking like a total bum. (Having your wife come home from a 10-mile slog in subzero temps and finding you still snoring away is a good way to ruin the rest of the day.) But Sunday mornings, we sleep in, and whoever wakes up first goes downstairs to bring
Oct 08, 2016 / By Peter McKay
In just a few short weeks, our oldest son is getting married. My wife and I are looking forward not only to having a new addition to our family but also the wedding, which is expected to be a real big deal. One challenge, though: I have to wear my tuxedo. I know, just saying “my” tuxedo makes me sound all highfalutin’. The only regular people who own tuxes are musicians, ballroom dancers or waiters. But about 10 years ago, my wife and I had to go to a black-tie event. When I saw how much it co
Feb 18, 2017 / By Peter McKay
This week, I read that handsomest guy in the world George Clooney and his wife, Amal, are expecting twins. The babies are expected to arrive in the spring. It’s great news, and I expect that pretty much every woman in the world would like to be in Mrs. Clooney’s shoes, and not just because they’re most likely Manolo Blahniks. He seems to be a great guy, and the Clooney twins will never have to work a day in their lives. Odds are those kids are going to be great looking. If they ever end up mar
Sep 17, 2016 / By Peter McKay
I hate going to the supermarket alone. I find it confusing, frustrating and full of neighbors I ought to know the names of but don’t. I greatly prefer to follow my wife around the market as she selects products, talks to the butcher and greets people. My main job is to push the shopping cart, following slowly behind my spouse like some dimwitted apprentice. This was an important job when we had lots of kids in the house. Sometimes we’d buy so much we'd fill the cart, and I’d have to run and ge
Sep 03, 2016 / By Peter McKay
I have a terrible confession to make. I hate kids. Before I get hate mail, maybe “hate” is too strong a word. I have no interest in kids whatsoever. In general, they are smelly, dirty and unable to hold interesting conversations. Unless their parents are standing right there, they probably don’t wash their hands after using the restroom. More often than not, they have stuff coming out of their noses. Parents I meet seem to think their kids are fantastical beings that need to be shared with e
Jul 23, 2016 / By Peter McKay / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Over the past week, the news people on my TV have been going absolutely crazy about a craze sweeping the nation — Pokemon Go. If you’re not familiar with the whole phenomenon, it’s the latest version of a Japanese game where you run around, collect little cartoon monsters with odd names, train them to fight each other and then rack up points if your monster beats someone else’s monster. Thanks to smart phones, players can now dart all over creation collecting virtual Pokemon characters, which
Apr 15, 2017 / By Peter McKay
When my wife and I traveled last month, we decided to do Airbnb instead of staying in a stuffy hotel. When we first arrived at the house, there was a handy checklist on the kitchen table from the homeowners — the Wi-Fi password, best restaurants in the neighborhood, favorite walks and even a note on the cute dog next door. (He’s very friendly, and if he’s out, you should definitely pet him through the fence!) Very importantly, the list told us there was a bottle of wine in the fridge and where
Jul 09, 2016 / By Peter McKay
The other day, I noticed that the apple tree in our backyard was looking sickly. The leaves were wilted, the new baby apples look like dried prunes, and little mounds of sawdust around the base meant that something, or things, had treated the trunk as a smorgasbord. It didn’t come as a big surprise. The apple tree was kind of funky when we bought the house 25 years ago. Split in the middle, it was held together by two metal hooks and an old rusty chain. Our kids knew they were not allowed to c
Jun 25, 2016 / By Peter McKay
The internet is great for a lot of things. You can keep up on news that isn’t really news. You can see what other people are eating for dinner, and you can reacquaint yourself with people you’re not sure you ever even knew.The one bad thing, though, is that the internet has convinced all of us that we have a medical degree. In the bad old days, folks died of things such as “consumption” or “the grippe,” and you woke up every morning knowing today could be the first day of the end of your life.

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