Author Archives: Michael Katz

Three Ideas for Throwing Shade

My wife, Linda, and I just returned from a five-day trip to Colorado. We were there attending the graduation of my son Jonathan (third in a series; collect them all) from the University of Denver. We had a great time, and did any number of fun things, including visiting the Pearl Street Farmer’s Market, hiking at nearby Evergreen, and eating at what has become my favorite outdoor restaurant. As usual, on our visits to Denver, one thing in particular stood out for me: the intensity of the sun. It was certainly hot while we […] Click to read more…

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Do you grow vegetables in your backyard? Me too. After all, nothing quite compares to the taste of a freshly picked tomato, especially when its total value is in the seven-dollar range, thanks to the cost of containers, soil, fertilizer, compost, and the plants themselves. Even so, it’s a fun activity that I look forward to every year. However, we do struggle with one problem: consistent watering. You want to water them every day, ideally in the early morning before the sun gets too hot. Easier said than done… Sometimes we forget. […] Click to read more…

The Heart of the Matter

We were up in Maine last week, cat-sitting for my wife’s friend Lori. I have to confess, the sudden switch to “pet care” was a bit of an adjustment. It’s not like I haven’t done it before; we had a dog for more than ten years. But having to suddenly deal with food, hair, vomit, and poop again … well, it was like having someone hand you a toddler and say, “Feed her twice a day; I’ll be back on Thursday.” Fortunately, it went pretty smoothly and with few surprises. […] Click to read more…

Hold On to Your Business

We were out in Oregon last week visiting our daughter, Emily, who apparently prefers breathtaking landscapes, super-friendly people, and reasonable rents over whatever the opposite of all that is that we offer here in Massachusetts. We spent some time in Portland where she lives, but also traveled to Bend, Oregon, which is about three hours southeast. Bend is in a beautiful desert location, and we took full advantage one day by hiking at nearby Smith Rock State Park. We did the Misery Ridge Trail Loop which, despite its well-earned name, […] Click to read more…

A Snail Mail Tale

Up until I turned 40, I never earned a cent that didn’t come in the form of a paycheck. But when I finally left my last job, I realized something: I prefer working alone. Before that, working in restaurants through college and in companies later on, I was always involved in some sort of group effort. It was fine. But for me, I now realize, doing my own thing is a better fit: I make my own hours (10 – 6); I decorate my own office (postmodern college dorm); I […] Click to read more…