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An old couple learns new tricks in this ­surprising comedy

After 30-odd years of marriage, Kay (Meryl Streep: The Iron Lady) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones: Men in Black 3) have a routine: Kay suffers in silence as she does housework, longing for grand romantic gestures. Arnold ignores her. They sleep in different rooms and barely touch, talk or acknowledge each other in front of their grown children.

Dog Day reflections on feline companionship

This affectionate kitty loves people and rewards you with purrs when you pet him.
    So says The Capital.
    That’s a healthy note of skepticism you read in my words. Or perhaps it’s jealousy. For assertions like this one crank up a notch or 10 the friendly competition one newspaper editor feels on reading the pages of another paper.

How to lead dogs to water and make them swim

The Dog Days make August a difficult month for canines, especially the sporting variety. Hunting season is just around the corner, but it’s been many weeks since the weather has been cool enough for serious field exercise. Inactivity takes a toll on human-dog cooperation and communication, not to mention their mutual physical conditioning.
    Water play beats the heat and does the job.

To bring Teddy home, this old dog had to learn new tricks

My pledge never to have another pet didn’t last a year.
    My favorite dog died of congestive heart failure last July. No more pets for me. My heart can’t stand the loss, I pledged. I still shed a tear when I remember Damien, my black Pomeranian.
    By February, an empty feeling invaded again. Time for another pet. This time I pledge to save a life.

A World War II B-17 seeks passengers for flights over Baltimore

This is what flying feels like.
    I’m soaring 1800 feet above Chesapeake Bay in a plane that 70 years ago housed soldiers — and 50 years later actors.
    The Liberty Foundation is touring with the Memphis Belle, a Boeing B-17 built in World War II. Restored to replicate the original Memphis Belle, it’s one of 13 B-17 still flying.

Four versatile boys take on Romeo and Juliet

Is Shakespeare R&J a new take on Romeo and Juliet — or a throwback to the theater before King Charles II when women were not allowed on stage and men played all the roles?
    Playwright Joe Calarco has reset Romeo and Juliet in a Catholic New England boarding school for boys. Reading Romeo and Juliet is forbidden. Why we never know, though the boys’ reaction may be reason enough.

Don’t miss the Perseids, the best of the meteor showers

The moon reaches last-quarter Thursday, rising around midnight. Look for the faint lights of the Pleiades star cluster, marking the back of Taurus the bull, 10 degrees above the moon.
    The next night, or rather morning, the moon rises near 1am, now just scant degrees from Aldebaran, the red heart of the bull, and Jupiter, forming a tight triangle. Brilliant Venus trails this pack by about 20 degrees.

If you’ve got to use weed killer, now’s the time

Spraying weed killer is generally a bad idea. Spraying must be done with great care and careful targeting when the wind is calm. But if you need to spray to kill underbrush, late August and September is the time.

Heaps of Beautiful Tomatoes

I’m so pleased with my garden this year. In early spring I built four new raised beds out of some reclaimed lumber scrounged from a local sawmill. I was rewarded with heaps of beautiful tomatoes by early July. My best producing tomatoes are Cour de Bue, an ox heart variety, Brandywines, Romas, and June pinks, another early potato vine type. I’ve been freezing tomato sauce for a while now.

Crownsville author writes to end hatred

Denis Murray wants to put his two cents on the table. After 70 years of reading and thinking and thinking and reading, he believes that death, hate and responsibility are gifts we should appreciate.