Things That Make Me Happy, Fifth in a Series

* Cliff Lee’s signing has made Phillies fans immensely happy, but what I’m happiest about is how Philadelphia (the city, not the ballclub) has come out looking. Check out some of the quotes in these two stories (by Jerry Crasnick from ESPN and by Phil Sheridan from the Philadelphia Inquirer) and tell me we didn’t just get ourselves tens of millions of dollars of good press. We are a far cry from the Philadelphia I moved to in 1991 as a 18-year-old college freshman from sunny suburban California. When the wife of a multi-millionaire stud pitcher lauds Philadelphia for being a place where it’s easy to get around and where she loves taking her kids around to the museums and parks, well let’s just say I assume more people are going to see and be impressed with that than me yelling it from my blog. (PS I found the image on zoowithroy.com.)

* Took time from shopping for others to bargain-hunt for myself. The result at Kohls.com: two suits, two button-down shirts, two pairs of cargo pants, and a new pair of really warm ski gloves, all for about two hundred bucks. (Nothing matches or fits me, but I blame my fashion sense and my body, not Kohl’s.)

* My wife mercifully took the kids to her parents’ church earlier this month to see their Christmas musical. I was left with several hours all to myself, in which I luxuriated in a good book and steady doses of Mozart and Bach. I can't begin to tell you how happy it makes me to be able to do those things in a relaxed, uninterrupted, and quiet setting.

* Meaningful Raiders games in December!

* Last night coming home was uncomfortably and deceptively slippery, thanks to a light but slick coat of snow. Happy that I survived on bike, as did Amy in car. Let's be careful out there.

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