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Maybe it is because I’ve spent most of my life in the northeastern US, but autumn has always been my favorite season. Not just for the colors of the leaves changing, which I love, but also because it has so much going for it. Professionally, it always has been a busy time, and this year will be no different. In addition to doing MNB each morning and working with Michael Sansolo on some new business projects, I have a big video project to shoot, another one in post production, and more than a half-dozen speeches. Some would look at the travel with a little apprehension, especially because airlines and airports have been generally awful places to be in recent months. But I’m looking forward to it. There’s something about being productive and just gets the juices going.

Beyond that, there are the baseball playoffs to look forward to, and it looks like the Mets are going to make it again this year. The bullpen makes me cringe sometimes, but we’re crossing our fingers and hoping that this will be the year we go all the way. There’s football, just starting, which gives us all something to do on Sundays. There will be plenty of great movies coming out, the new TV season will begin (can’t wait to see what happens on “Heroes” and “CSI,” and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm” begins a new season on Sunday), and Robert B. Parker has a new Spenser novel, “Now & Then,” slated to be in stores in mid-October.

It doesn’t get any better than this.

Though I have to say, the Coupe household is a lot quieter this fall than I can ever remember it being. Both my sons are off at college, so it’s just Mrs. Content Guy, our 13-year-old daughter (who is growing into quite the beauty and is so smart it’s scary), and me. Plus, of course, the dog and bird. I kind of miss the chaos that used to reign during the evenings as we juggled schedules, homework and dinner. It is, I suppose, the one downside of our having eaten supper as a family virtually every night for as long as we’ve been a family is the fact that those two chairs at the dinner table seem really empty now.

There are days when I’m not sure I’m going to handle the empty nest syndrome very well.

By the way, before my eldest son went off to his senior year at Columbia College in Chicago, we celebrated his 21st birthday by having one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten, at the local Morton’s. Now, I’m not a big steakhouse guy, but this was just an extraordinary meal the centerpiece of which was the most succulent filet mignon I’ve ever eaten.

Afterwards, he took me out and bought me a beer. Which was an oddly pleasurable experience. It was like a rite of passage…for both of us.

One other thing we did on his brief trip home – we watched “The Godfather, Part II,” which was always on our list but somehow we’d never found time for. I hadn’t seen it in years, but I was awed at how powerful a movie it is and how controlled a performance Al Pacino gives (which is amazing, since these days he’s better known for chewing scenery). If you’ve somehow never seen it, go watch it…it is Francis Ford Coppola at his pre-winemaking best.

When we were taking our second son to college, we stopped at a Wal-Mart down the road from Ohio Wesleyan University so Mrs. Content Guy could furnish his room. (Is this a modern thing by the way? The most important thing my mother did when I went off to college was make sure I didn’t miss the plane…after that, I was on my own.)

When we were there, she decided to pick him up some Sudafed in case he came down with a cold…and was shocked at the hoops she had to jump through and the identification she had to show to buy just a little bit of Sudafed. I’m usually the one who does the HBC shopping, so I explained to her how Sudafed can be used to help make crystal meth.

Her reaction: “Anybody who can figure out how to turn Sudafed into crystal meth shouldn’t be thrown in jail. They should be given a scholarship to MIT.”

Y’know, she has a point…an enormously politically incorrect point, but a point.

My wine recommendation for the week – a wonderful 2004 Woodthorpe Chardonnay from the TeMata Estte, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. This is a wonderful sipping wine, either with chicken or seafood or cold pasta…and I have to admit that it has a screwtop.

Damn it.

I should tell you that this probably will be my last wine recommendation until November 2…because I’m giving up booze for the next seven weeks as I finish my training for the Marine Corps Marathon, which takes place in Washington, DC, on Sunday, October 28.

(Now, there will be exceptions. I’m likely to find myself in Seattle at some point in the next month or so, which means that I’ll have to enjoy at least one glass of red wine at Etta’s. And, I’m making a scheduled exception in a couple of weeks, when Jimmy Buffett comes to town for a pair of concerts, during which time margaritas won’t so much be an indulgence as part of the religious experience. And when it comes to Buffett, I’m nothing if not religious.)

But here’s the deal. For the next seven weeks, if you have a wine recommendation, feel free to send it to me, and I’ll try to post them all on Fridays in this space. Just keep it simple – the year, the brand, the vintage and a brief sentence about why you liked it and what foods it goes with. While I’m wearing down my New Balance running shoes and wearing out my almost-53-year-old legs, you can keep the tradition alive.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend.


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