Search results for peter mckay
Feb 16, 2018 / By Peter McKay
A new report shows that a pretty sizable number of American men drop dead right around age 62, according to an article I read in the Wall Street Journal. The Cornell University researchers noticed that when men hit that age, a whole lot of them decide to retire, and the death rate jumps 2 percent. If you narrow it down to men who actually do retire at 62, the death rate climbs to a whopping 20 percent. While you’re filing for Social Security, your wife ought to save time and file for survivor
Jan 19, 2018 / By Peter McKay
OK, so we’re already a few weeks into the new year, and at this point most of us have failed miserably to uphold any resolutions we may have had. I set a new record in 2018, breaking one of my resolutions only 34 minutes after the ball dropped in Times Square and another by noon the next day. I’m not saying what they were, but I now know they were unobtainable. The worst part about resolutions is having to hear about them, and they usually involve what people are, or are not, going to put in t
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
Jan 06, 2018 / By Peter McKay
Last night, while I was away from home for work, my wife texted me: “Washing machine finally broken. For good.” I sighed. We have had a number of washing machines over the course of our marriage. My wife taught the kids early on to do their own laundry. This was good for her, as she hated laundry, and good for the children, who learned responsibility. But it was bad for me. They would stuff as much as they could fit in, slam the lid and walk away. The suspension system on the washer broke th
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
Dec 22, 2017 / By Peter McKay
Last Sunday, we watched “A Christmas Story Live!,” Fox’s live adaptation of the Christmas TV staple. Musicals are just not my thing, and live musicals make me really uncomfortable. I keep worrying someone is going to trip, or forget a line, and run off stage crying. But the reaction in the papers and on the internet the next day was brutal, and it wasn’t because of the singing or acting. It focused on the idea that we’ve got to stop pretending Christmas way back when was always way better than
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
Dec 27, 2017 / By Gretchen McKay / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
New Year’s Eve typically reveals two types of people: the party animal who wants to be in the center of all the action and the homebody whose idea of excitement is deciding whether to rock in the new year with Ryan Seacrest on ABC or CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Those in the first category love nothing more than counting down the minutes at the biggest, loudest party they can find. The latter just want a comfy spot on the couch, with a tempting array of finger foods to keep them company while watchi
Dec 20, 2017 / By Gretchen McKay / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Most of us do a lot of wrapping come December, and a lot of it is pretty darn easy — wrapping our arms around friends and family in a hug during holiday visits or ourselves in a blanket after settling in on the couch to watch yet another heart-warming Hallmark Christmas movie. Then there’s wrapping all those presents. No one can blame you if by Dec. 24, you're feeling a bit Grinchy about the endless measuring, cutting and folding. Yet when it comes to making a last-minute appetizer for tha
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

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