Lots of comments lately, thank you all. I read them, of course, for insight and needed corrections. But I'm still not responding promptly enough. At the risk of "He doth protest too much,"
a. There are so many new things I want to post on, and I don't resist the temptation of putting that first;
b. I do have this paying gig of writing for the print edition of the Star, where the survivors of our own recent "headcount reduction," a curse afflicting all N.A. papers, are now each working to cover those many able friends with whom we've had to part;
c. I flatter myself about the importance of responding. Your comments are for everyone's benefit, not just mine.
d. Finally, I had a wise publisher who, when I was editor of the Globe's business magazine, objected to my practice of running responses from authors to letters to the editor. "You give your authors 3,000 words to say their peice. But apparently that's not good enough. A reader has gone to the trouble of expressing an objection, and you, Olive, feel it necessary to let the author have yet another crack at it, usually hitting the poor reader (commenter) with a sledgehammer. Just let your readers say their piece."
Thanks for being part of this community.