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  •    If you are like me and do not have many friends or family between the ages of 18 and 25, it is possible that you aren’t entirely aware of the Selective Service System, in which 20 million young men are now registered — and therefore signed up to be drafted should a draft be instated.

  •    Complaining when it snows is strong evidence that you are growing older. What? You don’t look forward to how enchanting the landscape looks in fresh snow? What? You don’t get excited about a chance to watch kids, especially your grandchildren, sled down a hill? What? You’d rather sit by the fire than help make a snowman or a bowl of real snow dripping with chocolate syrup?
        I am beginning to understand why some folks, after they retire, become snowbirds or, even more drastically, actually move permanently to places like Florida.

  •    Things were certainly simpler back in the days when it was good old Eames Taxi or bust. My husband and I had an experience on the weekend with a cabbie who acted like he was auditioning for the Robert De Niro part in “Taxi Driver.”
        There are so many cab companies in town these days that I don’t even know which one was involved. If I had paid attention to the service’s name or phone number, I might have complained, but I hadn’t and I didn’t. Instead, I thought, “I’ll write a column!”

  •    Do people who live in hot climates get into the concept of comfort food, as we do here where winters can be harsh? In my mind, comfort food should be warm, and generally also soft, sticking to the ribs —  with a spoonful of nostalgia stirred in, of course. With temperatures having been unexpectedly low recently, I’ve found myself keeping warm over the stove.

  •    The very first attempt I made at  journalistic writing was a fictional obituary as an academic exercise in an evening course at the Columbia School of Journalism. It never occurred to me at the time that I would go on to write and edit hundreds (and hundreds) of them.

  •    Let’s hear it for the Springs School’s fourth-grade opera, “Cat Tales” — or  “Ton of Fun 61 Opera” —  which was performed four times at Guild Hall this month. Imagine, 61 kids divided into small groups, writing a libretto, composing music, building sets and doing lighting, working on makeup, sewing costumes, and handling promotion. I’ve been to lots of kids’  productions over the years, including some directed by theater professionals, and you can take it from me: This was extraordinary.

  •    When Aaron Swartz, a technological genius, was found dead last week at the age of 26, an apparent suicide, he joined a phalanx of idealists who died for a cause. Explained simply, he believed that scholarly and scientific information should be shared on the Internet freely, and he did what he could to make that a reality.

  •     Catherine O’Neill, who helped found the Women’s Refugee Commission in 1989 and in a long career had worked for the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund among other notable organizations, died on Dec. 26 at the University of California Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was 70 and had had cancer for 12 years.

  •    There’s no doubt that the story was highly exaggerated, but when I was a child I heard it said my grandmother was so strong that she had once carried a claw-foot bathtub in her arms. I tend to believe that statement was metaphorical, perhaps derived from an old Yiddish folk tale or saying, but as a child I believed it as fact.

  •    Sitting in the living room last week, I enjoyed the warmth and dance of a fire in the fireplace as I began reading “Team of Rivals,” the book by Doris Kearns Goodwin on which the film “Lincoln” was based, a Christmas present. It, too, had something to say about fires.