Two weeks ago DaWife, DaYoungest and myself took a day away from political coverage for a day trip to Western Massachusetts. The Primary Stop, Yankee Candle.

There is the Museum

The Mancave

The Candy Store

The Bavarian Castle

The Chocolate:

There are trains and of course a large selection of candles

People come from all over to visit and see things like king candle


Our next stop was Mystic Pinball but before that we grabbed some very good pizza in Turner Falls

And then came the pinball

This was a great time at a good price (and a lot cheaper than Yankee Candle I can tell you) so if you are in western MA you’ll want to add it to your list of things to do.

You might ask, with so much news why am I posting on candles and pinball, my answer: Everyone talks about unity and coming together, the easiest way to do so is to share things we can enjoy together outside of the political world. Life is more than a political fight and the less you believe that the more you need a road trip like this to remember what real life actually is.

I spend most Saturdays (weather allowing) at my screened porch, when I’m not doing chores. I was reading Robert Bidinotto’s latest thriller, Winner Takes All, when Juliette asked if I could fill in for her today, so here I am, posting from the porch.

It’s a beautiful, quiet, warm (80F, 49% humidity) and sunny day in Central Florida.

And I am thankful.

[I’ve been thinking a lot about thankfulness recently, not only because of Thanksgiving Day, but also because I’ve come across a person or two who spend every waking moment – they really work hard at it – in a purposeful bad mood. Lest you think I’m charitably inclined, my reaction is that of mild annoyance alternating with feigned indifference, since, to paraphrase Dean Wormer, “fat, ornery and stupid is no way to go through life.” But I digress.]

Good reads are one of the things I’m thankful for.

I highly recommend Winner Takes All. I met Robert Bidinotto years ago at CPAC, before he started writing thrillers. He was already known for his article “Getting Away with Murder” in the July 1988 issue of the Reader’s Digest, but I didn’t match the article with the face until later. The article,

stirred a national controversy about crime and prison furlough programs during the 1988 presidential election campaign, and it’s widely credited with having affected the outcome of the election.

It was about Willie Horton.

Robert brings his reporter experiences and his writing skills to his novels (in order): Hunter, Bad Deeds, and Winner Takes All starring Dylan Hunter.

You’ll enjoy them for the quality of the writing, the action, the nice details (Robert incorporates the family of foxes from his real-life back yard in Winner Takes All), and the well-developed characters.

The only warning (and you may – or not – be thankful to hear this in advance) is that the three novels are highly addictive and you will not want to put them down.

Unless, of course, you have a chance to fill in for Juliette. You can help her out with the laptop repair bills.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

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