It’s not even Monday yet on the first day of my week-long vacation here in the suburbs of New York City, but already I feel the stress starting to ebb away.

OK, I still have this column to write (and about 1,000 e-mails from the sobig virus to delete) before I can really kick back and enjoy the scenery, but just the knowledge that there are eight unstructured days ahead of me serves as a cool balm in the dog days of August.

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