Things That Make Me Happy, Fourth in a Series

* I have resolved to compost in the New Year, but don't know the first thing, so was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a website called phillycompost.com that seems like quite a useful resource. Love all the grassrootsy stuff that goes on in this city.

* While I was at the dentist earlier this month, I got a call from my wife that I needed to go to my son's school for a meeting with his special instructor. Call it SEPTA serendipity: the 38 bus runs right in front of my dentist and goes right past my son's school. Particularly helpful, since it was pouring rain.

* Kids who receive special services in this city don't often graduate out of the need for them, but it looks like we'll have front-row seats to two who did or will: Jada last year and Aaron next year. They still both have things they need to work on, but the improvement has been noticeable and is heartening.

* Macy's in Center City + Handel's "Hallelujah" chorus + Opera Company of Philadelphia = "Random Act of Culture."

* My sister, who got a degree from Johns Hopkins University, bought me a Hopkins hoodie one Christmas, which I wear all the time during the winter. Love that it gives me all sorts of cred around here: intellectuals know and respect the institution, while local boxing fans think it's an homage to Philly-born Bernard Hopkins and they give me dap.

* Basement clean-up done. New carpet represents upgrade from old shag. And the whole ordeal forced us to decide what to do with the pile of toys down there, so some go up to the kids' floor, which they're excited about, and some go down the street to the thrift store, which pleases me for the tax deduction, and now we have a far less cluttered basement, which makes Amy happy.

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