From My Mailbox

  Dear Anne: Have you ever heard of a non-profit called PETC? Nancy

  Dear Nancy: No. Acronyms are as replicated as bunnies so a Google search is about as accurate as Wikipedia. However, I found that at least one PETC stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Cans. Their mission statement reads as follows: "We believe that cans have feelings, too; that they are the most 

recycled product in an environmental sense - moreso than water bottles or newspapers - and in so doing, they and their pull tabs provide income for those who save and recycle them and provide money for charitable organizations of every variety, and that "kicking the can down the road" is not only an unacceptable solution to any problem - it's a savage abuse of aluminum."

  Dear Anne: We've got the Mayan calendar and the fiscal cliff seemingly coinciding. Should I worry? Ruth

  Dear Ruth: I find the Mayan calendar fascinating, but I'm still gonna buy Christmas gifts. As far as going over a cliff, fiscal or otherwise, have you ever seen "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"? 

  Dear Anne: I live in a political battleground state. I no sooner got over the political ads before I've been assaulted by Christmas ads. Is that fair? Dave

  Dear Dave: No.

  Dear Anne: I live in a decidedly blue political state. I've felt neglected in this and every other election, as if my vote doesn't count. I'm loving that my email is inundated with deals from all the retailers: Walmart, Target, Michaels, Lady Footlocker, Staples, Lands End, Home Away Vacations, Fandango, Ticketmaster, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Barnes & Noble and my mailbox is overflowing with ads and catalogs. I finally feel like I matter! Is this Christmas? Cheryl

  Dear Cheryl: No. 

  Dear Anne: I live in a neighborhood where a lot of kids play in the street. They've even gone so far as to have noisy Remote Controlled Cars infringing on the road that I drive on. They knocked on my door three times today coz their ball went over my fenced in back yard. Isn't there a computer game they should be playing, someone they need to blow up, some battle they have to win? Bill

  Dear Bill: My children are so obsessed with technology and gaming that I wish they were playing in the street, as I did with kickball as a kid, climbing trees and playing outside with balls. I don't mind retrieving their balls from my backyard when they knock on my door, because these same kids have knocked on my door to return my wandering dog to me when she ambled off. But if they start kicking the can down the road Bill, you need to buy them an Xbox for Xmas.

  Dear Anne: Black Friday sales started on Thanksgiving Day and when flipping through TV channels I caught "It's a Wonderful Life" on NBC on Dec. 1st, a joy that used to be reserved until Christmas Eve or evening. Am I missing something? Is it true that time flies by faster as you get older? I'm 12. Virginia

  Dear Virginia: I question your age coz you're a little young to be nostalgic about "It's a Wonderful Life". You're not missing anything. On the contrary, you're understanding things. When "It's a Wonderful Life" can be viewed as often as "Pretty Woman", there's something wrong. Do as you will but I know people right now who have Valentines cards, Shamrocks, Easter chocolates (what? did you think they'd be any fresher?), and fireworks stored away. I don't know that time flies by any faster so much as some of us try to keep ahead of it too much. There is this thing called the present (and I'm not talking Christmas or birthday here) that is often overlooked and underrated and is probably the most important thing of all. You'll understand more when you're 13.