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Random thoughts on a summer afternoon
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• Good rule of thumb:

If you walk into a restaurant and see a really attractive woman having dinner with an older man -- much older -- you can count on one of two things:

He’s either her father, or he has a lot of money.

Some people might also quote an old saying -- “there’s no fool like an old fool” -- but hey, it’s all a matter of choice. Young women aren’t forced into relationships with geezers.

Aging entertainers are especially likely to attract more than their share of hotties, and maybe -- just maybe, you think? -- the fame-and-money thing has something to do with it.

But rocker Eric Clapton, 67, and his wife Melia, 25, aren’t stretching things any more than former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who at 76 is 49 years older than his babe, Francesca Pascale.

It’s his political know-how, no doubt.

• It’s a good idea to steer clear of any organization which brags about its sense of morality.

There’s something self-serving and infinitely pious about picturing yourself as having higher moral standards than others, especially when politics is involved.

Up in Raleigh, capital city of our neighboring Tar Heel state, a group has been meeting each Monday to protest political issues with which it doesn’t agree.

Nothing wrong with that, of course. There’s plenty to protest wherever you live.

But the group calls itself and its demonstrations “Moral Monday,” which oozes self-righteousness and smugness.

And there’s one more thing about people who term themselves moralists. They almost always think they’re smarter than everyone else.

Usually, they’re not.

• Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has announced she’s running in next year’s Wyoming Republican primary to take the U.S. Senate seat now held by three-termer Michael B. Enzi.

Cheney, who’s 46, says it’s time for a new generation of leadership, hardly a veiled reference to the age of Enzi, who’s 69.

That’s OK. Politicians have used that one for eons.

But there’s something a little deeper here. Enzi and Dick Cheney are longtime friends, and while Cheney the Younger had hinted for some time she might run, most Wyoming Republicans were hoping she wouldn’t. An intra-party squabble isn’t something they’re eager to see.

She’s spent almost all her life on the East Coast, and moved to Wyoming only last year. Smacks of opportunism.

Enzi said neither of the two Cheneys contacted him to tell him she would be running, despite their years of friendship.

Bad form is what I’d call that.

• People with musical talent have no idea how much they’re envied by those of us who got stood up in the music gene pool.

I watched some guys just fooling around the other night -- jamming, with everybody just sort of jumping in whenever they wanted to, with no set routine and of course no sheets of music.

What came out was all unplanned, and astounding.

My grandmother, a piano teacher, gave me lessons for three weeks when I was a youngster, then told my parents to sell the piano as quickly as they could.

So I know a thing or two about being musically clueless. Love to listen, completely unable to play.

If you’re among those who can pick up an instrument -- or sit down at one -- and make merry, consider yourself lucky.

• Football season is coming. Clemson should be good. So should South Carolina. Let the chest-bumping start.