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The Inseide Dope, by Bob Seidenstein

Recall — total or otherwise

A while back, Diane Griffin and I were chatting on the phone. And as might be expected, after the usual exchange of pleasantries, the talk turned to our usual topic — The Good Old Days. Specifically, I’d mentioned that little hole in the wall on the first floor of Petrova school where ...

Slainte!

Chicago canceled theirs. New York canceled theirs. Boston canceled theirs — even Dublin canceled theirs. But My Home Town’s happened took place right on schedule. I am, of course, referring to our St. Patrick’s Day parade. A week before the parade, Jen-X asked me the perfect ...

Damned if ya do, damned if ya don’t

It’s true you can have a lot of fun while you’re aging. But unless you’re a card-carrying masochist, aging itself is no fun at all. The Golden Years are rife with all sorts of aches and pains, shakes and strains, worries and weaknesses. Young people don’t believe it’ll happen to ...

What goes up must come down … and sometimes vice versa

Most of us are suspicious of statistics, and rightly so. Not that their conclusions can’t be accurate — of course they can. But it all depends on how the conclusions were arrived at. If they were based on unrepresentative or inadequate cross-samples, then they’re dubious at ...

Now you see it …

If you ever decide to become a magician, you must learn The First Law of Magic, which is this: There’s no such thing as magic. Huh? What? No such thing as magic? Am I toying with you? Not at all. There’s a very good reason magicians never reveal a secret: namely, to spare ...

At the right spot with a 10-spot

I don’t know exactly when the bug first bit me, but I do know I wasn’t yet out of single digits. Luckily, My Home Town had the perfect venue where I could indulge myself. It was the co-joined J.J. Newberry-Woolworth store on Main Street. In that sacred enclave I could lose myself ...

The focus on hocus pocus

The weather for the Winter Carnival parade couldn’t have been any better if it’d been ordered personally by God Almighty, Hisself. The sun blazed in a bright blue sky, the wind was light to nonexistent, and it wasn’t snowing. Beyond that, the temp was perfect, holding in low single ...

Townie to townie

Although I’ve never been asked to show my credentials as a Saranac Lake townie, if I did, I’d pass with flying colors. I’m a 100% local, a native even, having been born here in the old hospital (now the North Country Community College admin building). I went to local schools, ...

Slash and burn

Way Back When (in this case, my early childhood), medicine as we know it was in its infancy. First, they didn’t have the our arsenal of diagnostics. Thus they often had no idea what caused many conditions. And if they had an idea, there was seldom a way to prove it. Second, even if they ...

Hours not to reason why

Monday marked the second official work session of The Brothers of the Bush Executive Design and Fabrication Committee. TBotBEDaFC consists of Brothers Russ Defonce and Bruce Young. I’m of course there, but only in an advisory capacity — those guys do all the actual work. We were ...

Wheel of misfortune

The one, and perhaps only, vice I never indulged in is gambling. On the simplest level, I just don’t understand games of chance. And when I say I don’t understand them, I mean I don’t understand them at all. And it’s not like I haven’t tried. Take cards, for example. At various ...

Behind the curve

An issue that keeps popping up, both on the internet and in conversation, is something that 50 years ago was no issue at all. It is, should cursive writing be taught in our schools? Whether the response is a yea or nay seems to break down by age: Older peeps think it bloody well should be ...

Keep on truckin’

From the depths of my sleep, I snapped awake so violently Purrsia the cat leaped off the bed and retreated to the safety of the hall. “Winter Carnival!” I gasped. I looked at the clock — 0315. What had just happened? My subconscious had just given me a wake-up call, reminding ...

Farewell, Post Office Pharmacy

When I answered the phone, it was Kookie on the other end. “Whatta ya know about the Post Office Pharmacy closing?” she said. “What?” I said. “The Post Office Pharmacy’s not closing.” “It’s not?” “No,” I said. “At least I don’t think so. I was in there ...

A midnight snack for thought

Alright, so I was already in a crappy mood. I’d graciously offered to make my legendary creamy vegetable soup for my friends’ dinner, but I’d also indulged in my legendary procrastination, so I was way behind in my food prep. Actually, I hadn’t fallen behind — I hadn’t done a ...

Sweets for the sweet, so have a pill …

In high school I had two great French teachers, Mrs. Godson and Mrs. Klein — oops, I mean, Madame Godson et Madame Klein. As a result of their efforts, I’ve been able to navigate my way through French-speaking areas over half the world (not including Quebec, since I’m not sure what ...

The Thanksgiving Turkey

You might think that after decades of working at a college that had a quality chef training program, I’d have acquired at least a basic understanding of Things Gourmet. But nothing could be further from the truth. My knowledge of the fine points of haute cuisine doesn’t go beyond The Big ...

Parallel parking in a parallel universe

It was fun running into Deb Mueller last week, even though I almost did it literally. At first, I didn’t know it was Deb. But that should have made any difference, since I try not to run over strangers as hard as I try not to flatten friends. Besides, honestly, if I’d smushed Deb, it ...

The Dope of the hour, give or take

It seems one of today’s hottest businesses is motivational speakers. No matter what you need motivation for, there’s at least a dozen speakers for it. From walking a tightrope to writing a novel, from losing weight to gaining self-esteem, from embracing sobriety to embracing your ...

Tiles and smiles

Having been a compulsive reader all my life, I always have a book or two on me. That way, during lulls in my inaction, I’ve got some form of entertainment to turn to. Of late, however, I started wondering what besides books and mags could provide me with amusement. My cellphone was ...