(Image credit: John Stein)

Posted by Ellen

Over the red roof. At the Red Roof Inn outside Boston, near Logan Airport.

Posted by Ellen

The landlord told the tenants in this little house in Seattle that the place needed painting, and that he and his guys would be taking care of it. And it was true, apparently, that it needed painting, and also true that the landlord and his guys came over recently to do the work.

The job took two weeks. They painted a sunrise on this side of the house, and a sunset on the other side. Before then, both sides had been plain and gray.

The tenants say they like the house and they like the landlord, and it will take a lot more than this to get them to leave.

Posted by Ellen

The rocks are 400 million years old, give or take.

The photo is five years old.

The occasion was the birthday gathering on Peaks Island in Maine in honor of Bob Horowitz--my father, and the grandfather of these fellows--who was then 80 years old.

There's one obvious constant through all these years: some of us hominids are hard-wired to build forts and weapons and stuff out of rocks or whatever is close to hand.

Not as obvious, perhaps, but just as constant: some of us are hard-wired to knock down other people's forts and stuff. Hank recalls that he had to rebuild this whole structure all by himself. Had to.

My father will be 85 this next week. He's well beyond the stone age; most days, he aims for the Big Band era.

Left to right: Brothers Ted, Hank, Allen, and Joe Stein, with cousin Nick Horowitz.