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It happens every year. Just when I’m really enjoying sleeping with the bedroom window open, things outside change. No, I’m not talking about the imminent zombie apocalypse seen so often this time of year on movies and TV. Rather, the temperature unexpectedly dipping down to freezing.

It’s not that I mind sleeping in a slightly chilly room – thank you, blankets and quilts – but in Magdalena, halfway through October, it’s time to shut the window. If nothing else to keep my bedside glass of water from turning into ice.

This self-same topic came up last weekend at Alamo when I bumped into Rudy and Eileen Latasa while watching the Indian Days parade. Eileen was saying how they started their first wood fire of the season one night last week. Then we agreed that there seemed to be a shortage of pickups loaded with firewood around town lately. That danged ban on firewood cutting, I'm thinking, but here's hoping my pile of cedar and spruce will last until the woodcutters are at it again.

That being said, I took a peek at the prognosticators of the Old Farmer's Almanac, and it says our November should be a wee bit warmer than average. But on the other hand, a colder than average December with the first snowfall toward Christmas. And then more snow after that. Stop. Slow down, already. It's not even Halloween, and here I am going on and on about winter.

At any rate, this week fall's busting out all over. The leaves are turning, and the scent of wood smoke is in the air. Another reminder that we're smack in the middle of October, and I didn't think I'd ever say this, but it's kind of refreshing to start seeing piles of holiday catalogs coming to our mailbox. Not that I'm callous about cutting down however many trees it takes to print all those Blair and Pottery Barn catalogs, it's just that it's heartening to know that not everything has gone digital.

Truth be told, I'm as immersed in the digital world as the next guy, witnessed by the fact that I just bought another tablet, and I don't mean the kind you take with water. The thing is, for 20 years now, there's been a push to make everything paperless, from email to e-filing to e-bill paying and so forth, but man-oh-man, all you hear about now are security hacks, cyber-attacks, and identity theft, oh my. We didn’t have to worry about all that in what’s now known as the “paper age,” at least not as much. I don’t think you can hack a piece of paper. You can steal it, but you can’t hack it, not strictly speaking. And I wonder if anyone would really want my identity, as shopworn as it is.

Anyway, speaking of the paper age, we used to get big thick catalogs from JC Penney and Montgomery Ward, but the Sears-Roebuck catalog was the king of them all. Growing up in a small town in the days before Amazon and a ton of other dot-coms, the Sears catalog was where you went for, well … anything. There is actually a house on Sixth Street that was a mail-order kit from a Sears catalog.

But I digress. The countdown to Halloween has begun. They’re playing the Monster Mash on the oldies station, and my wife has decided to outdo herself this year with a superfluity of scary dingle-dangles for our front porch. Yes, I said superfluity but meant to say plethora.

And people are jumping on the zombie bandwagon again, apparently. There's a new zombie movie coming out, and they're currently filming another one in Albuquerque. It’ll be called Army of the Dead, in which Walter White comes back as an undead high school chemistry teacher who makes a fortune by turning meth-heads into Amway salesmen. Which brings us back to the abovementioned zombie apocalypse.

So I'm wondering, how would one in Socorro deal with a zombie apocalypse? Hang a garland of green chiles around your neck? I suppose there's a lot of places around here one could hole up and hunker down with a stock of food and provisions to survive the whole thing. Wait. This reminds me of when I was a kid and ducking and covering, and everybody was worried about nuclear war and building bomb shelters.

As for the zombie apocalypse, I’m thinking we’d first go to John Brooks and clean them out of all their breakfast burritos and hot wings, and then head back home where we’ve laid in a good supply of trick-or-treat candy.

I think I'm meandering again, so please forgive me.

Every October, the 10-year-old boy in me reemerges, and I end wanting to see how many Skittles I can cram into my mouth at once.