Search results for peter mckay
Nov 24, 2017 / By Peter McKay
Our family has a collection of ragtag automobiles that, while they still run, have seen better days. My wife and I each need a car to get to work, and our two daughters in college have to have cars, or they could never leave campus. As a result, we all spend much of our time riding around in vehicles that may or may not get us where we want to go. For our cars, every mile could be the Green Mile. About three years ago, my wife and I went looking for a car for her, bringing along our oldest
Nov 10, 2017 / By Peter McKay
I consider my marriage to be pretty successful. My wife and I have been sleeping together, pretty darn regularly, for close to 35 years. In the early days, we shared an old mattress her parents bought when they were newlyweds. It was so worn-out that there was a depression in the middle, toward which we rolled as the night went on. It was like slumbering in a really big catcher’s mitt. I look back fondly on those days. Over the years, our mattress quality has improved greatly, but our sleep
Sep 29, 2017 / By Peter McKay
My wife and I are about three-quarters of the way through our second West Highland white terrier. If that seems mean, consider this: We get our dogs pretty much the same way we get our cars. We find used ones other people are trying to get rid of, then nurse them along until they start developing leaks and strange noises. We got our first Westie, Harry, when he was already well into middle age. We had him for years until he was a shuffling old ghost, bumping into walls and wondering where he w
Oct 27, 2017 / By Peter McKay
My wife and I don’t spend any money during the week. I make my own dinners, usually from what’s on sale at the end of the butcher department, and I have eaten so many tuna sandwiches for lunch during the past few years that you could get a slight case of mercury poisoning if I sneeze on you. So after work on Fridays, we always try to go out. We’ve had a standing date night ever since 1983. I pick my wife up at her office and offer to take her anywhere she’d like to go, and she says she’d
Oct 18, 2017 / By Peter McKay
Creating hard cider at home is probably the easiest — and cheapest — way to get into home brewing. And if you start small, you can decide whether or not you like it before you end up with tons of unused equipment. What you’ll need: Basically, everything is available either online or at a brewing supply store. Primary fermenter — Start with a gallon jug. It’s big enough to make it worth the effort, but not so big that if you screw it up, you’ll be angry with yourself. Air lo
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 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
Aug 27, 2017 / By Peter McKay / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
I’m not a person who generally reads chick lit. Like a lot of middle-aged men, I tend to gravitate toward biographies of WWII generals, pulp detective stories and spy novels. But I have watched and enjoyed all six seasons of “Sex and the City” and watched and enjoyed one of the movies, and watched and hated the second. So while I don’t personally have a stake in stories about sexy, funny career girls who manage to find love and acceptance along the way, I have visited that territory enough to kn
Aug 19, 2017 / By Peter McKay
The main reason I entered a duathalon (5K run, 20K bike ride and then another 5K run) was to be able to say I did it. Anytime the subject of exercise came up, I could shrug modestly and say, “I’ve tried a lot of different events, but I mostly stick to duathalons …” and change the subject before anyone could probe further. I know this works because I’ve been saying that the 10K is my favorite event even though I’ve run only one measly 10K, and that was in 2008. The second reason I decided to
Aug 05, 2017 / By Peter McKay
Last week my wife sent me a link to a news story — researchers at the Harvard Business School have done a new study showing that true happiness comes not from buying things but paying someone else to do things — all the stuff that weighs down our lives. The message was clear — Cash can buy you happiness if you just buy yourself some time. My wife was sending a message, too. I am a firm believer in doing things myself — from painting to plumbing to electric work, if I can figure out how to do i
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
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
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
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
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
Dec 10, 2016 / By Peter McKay
Last weekend, we faced the annual deadline that everyone greets with dread — the last leaf pickup of the fall. Our town is great on leaves. All autumn, on almost a weekly basis, the borough crew comes by with a big vacuum/​chopper thing attached to a dump truck, and, as long as you get your leaves to the curb, they’ll take them up the hill to a cliff and drop them off into a nearby ravine. Some day there’s going to be a huge leaf slide, and the whole thing’s going to roll down and block the en

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