11/01 Direct Link
The worst part is the needle. I like him though, because heís like an auto mechanic. Open the hood, poke around, fix the problem and move on to the next customer. The filling was shot, the tooth cracked. A third crown in the offing. Oh, and the neighboring tooth needs a filling replaced too. Too much candy, and not enough brushing in my formative years. Now the piper must be paid. I walked back to the office drooling, contemplating the coming bills, and the soon to be tapped out HSA. I canít stand the drilling on the top teeth. Excruciating.
11/02 Direct Link
I dropped my car off at the shop for some body work this am. The guy in charge has that high energy skinny meth abuser look, but also a wedding ring and a very competent air about him. On the front of his desk I saw one of those corporate inspirational posters. The kind with the eagle or some other image on it and a word or slogan aimed at enhancing lemming like propensities. Whenever I see them I feel like I ma part of an inside joke. Do they inspire anything other than derision in anyone? I think not.
11/03 Direct Link
Gutters, mowing, scooping dog shit, raking, cleaning the window wells out. Changing my own oil because I donít trust the monkeys at Jiffy Lube. More raking. Washing the car, waxing it for the second time. This new wax is cool. It doesnít leave that white crap all over the black plastic trim and bumpers. I bought oil for the next oil change and filters for the next few oil changes. I can barely get a car in the two car garage because of all the shit out there. The accumulated crap of life, and tasks occupying a day well spent.
11/04 Direct Link
The other office that gets the same work has problems. A CR told me today. They have a bunch of greenhorns over there. On the other hand, we have our own problems. Sure, I have experience, but the rates are low, so it is good to farm out a lot of the work. But the guy helping me is useless. He needs firing. The same CR has no confidence in him. He is a slacker. What is it with young ____s? They want something for nothing, and donít want to work. Thatís my judgment after hiring and firing a few.
11/05 Direct Link
So donít all guys piss in the shower? I mean, why not? Aim for the drain, thereís plenty of water flow to rinse everything clean. I view it as my way of doing my part for the environment. Of course, I only do so at home, never in the locker room. And Iím the one who cleans the shower anyway, so why not? You want to know why guys pee in the shower? Because doing so in the bathtub is disgusting. At the gym, I always, always, make the walk to the john. Without fail. So far as anyone knows.
11/06 Direct Link
Iíve given him many chances, but the clients have no confidence in him and I have a chance to win back some work by replacing him with someone more interested in work than in surfing the web and pop culture. So he has to go. We learned this AM he is getting a divorce. Sorry for him, but it wonít affect what we have to do for the good of the firm. We have a responsibility to the clients, ourselves and our other employees. I canít understand the entitlement attitude and slacker work ethic. Especially given he has a kid.
11/07 Direct Link
He found my handgun in my pack where I had left it, forgotten, since my last trip to the woods. We hit some pretty wild country, so I carried because of cougars. There was a clip in, but nothing chambered. He was looking for my digital camera.

Thankfully, he left it alone.

I cringe at the thought of what could have happened due to my stupid oversight. It lives in a lockbox, and should have been locked up, with a trigger lock.

Things could have been very different.

I donít think Iíll ever forgive myself.

I was lucky this time.
11/08 Direct Link
The weather is supposed to change late this week, with clouds, rain and falling snow levels. So far, no sign of change. We had a dash of rain in the early part of the Fall, and for the last couple of weeks, it has been dry. I appreciate it, because it makes raking leaves easier. The streets have been slick with them in spots because we have had just enough rain from time to time, to wet them down, and folks on our street insist on raking into the street in anticipation of the city street cleaning in late November.
11/09 Direct Link
The measure reforming the mistakes made in a past land management measure, passed. The measure aimed at taxing smokes to pay for childrensí health insurance coverage failed. I voted for it. But somehow, a sin tax seems a wrong way to go about taking care of a widespread societal ill. I still wish it wouldíve passed. I had coverage as a kid, but we easily could have had it different. My bad teeth are a little reminder of the consequences of past errors and laziness. It was not lack of dental care. It was too much candy, not enough brushing.
11/10 Direct Link
I stand on the field watching my 13 year old practice. He has grown; wears a size eleven. I see looming challenges and disputes as he grows into his body, and testosterone rages. He already has the familial nose, exuding greasiness, fertile ground for zits. Yet another family trait. We struggle with his spaciness and surliness and failure to pay attention to the things he must do. On the other hand, he is very bright, does his homework religiously, and has good judgment worry we are too hard on him, and yell at him to much. Raising kids is hard.
11/11 Direct Link
Wishy washy bullshit. Thatís my opinion of too much introspection. At least thatís what I come to sometimes when I am thinking about what to write here. Shall it be my thoughts on life? Exercises in self pity? Facile observations about the futility of life and the importance of doing, even though everything we do is of no great significance? In the end isnít it important to just do the best one can to be happy and good to those around you? I guess so, if for no other reason, to avoid unhappiness. I donít engage in belly-button gazing introspection.
11/12 Direct Link
Today was another clusterfuck day. Thereís nothing particularly unusual about that. When things go sideways, I remember the words of my mother about muddling through. In the Best English Tradition. What other choice is there? Shrieking, fetal position moaning laying on the floor prone and wondering why it is happening to me and wondering if and when it will all end? No. Get some balls, deal with it as best you can and move on. Donít be a candy ass. I donít like whiners and complainers and do not want to be one. What other choice is there? Thereís none.
11/13 Direct Link
Comfort in a small cardboard can, with a steel lid. A small crutch, and a bad vice. Comfort in a daily wine glass. A bottle bandage. Comfort in a good hard workout in the early, Ungodly Hours. A sore back, sore shoulder, but generally resulting in feeling better about myself and feeling in good shape. And comfort in the woods, with a chain saw or a hand tool. And comfort in my family, my car, with the heat on my feet and the defroster. With my radio, in my space, and a short time to decompress. Driving slowly, on purpose.
11/14 Direct Link
The lump in the throat and feeling of desperation seemed to last forever in my teens. I remember standing in the garden looking at the pasture and the barn at the close cropped grass and patches of blackberries. At the far end of our property, the land dropped downslope just enough that a person sitting was out of the line of sight. Sometimes I went there and sat. I have a vivid memory of the red cedar fence posts along the garden Iíd seated, after soaking them in a drum of old crankcase oil. They soon rotted to the heartwood.
11/15 Direct Link
Last night I remembered the feeling, the problems that always seemed to be hard edged lumps, like glass, sharp on the margins, and very hard. The insurmountable, the what would I doís. I had to like it or lump it. So I lumped it, and worked, and was lucky in countless ways. Well maybe not countless, but luck had a lot to do with it. Now the problems are not so hard edged. Thereís no longer the worry of food, shelter, paying bills. No longer the worry of what would become of me. Now, I have other worries. They pale.
11/16 Direct Link
Now the problems center around work, raising kids, and a few times a year, dealing with her family. And mine. Her mother is spoiled, and high maintenance. Her father, a Third Reich Republican, and self made man. I despise going to visit. I hate travelling by plane. The only thing worse, is having them visit. But at least there is respite at work. She keeps our visits with my family short, and is critical. She is quick with it, and I avoid best I can, throwing daggers in return. A failure to RSVP is long remembered and resented. Silly, really.
11/17 Direct Link
He shines playing soccer, dancing and programming. He just turned 13. But he can be such an asshole. Kid management is a challenge, and I worry we are screwing up with him. Heís the first to run the gauntlet of our parenthood efforts. I have seen a lot of screwed up kids, and I want mine to turn out well adjusted. It is difficult when he forgets, mid task, what he was doing. Repeated edicts to put clothes in the laundry, to clean rooms, to put away laundry, are forgotten the same day. And open defiance will not be tolerated.
11/18 Direct Link
I went to the gym. Yoga. The snow level has dropped, and it is dumping in the mountains. I went out and uncovered the woodpile and hauled out eight or so large chunks of fir and hemlock and arranged them around the splitting block. I took out the splitting maul and went at them. Only one chunk had a knot in it and I flensed the wood off around it, leaving a slender chunk I knew would burn long. I piled the wood on the porch and went in. I built a fire, took a nap. I love lazy Sundays.
11/19 Direct Link
Last night I couldnít sleep. I had slept too well the night before and was well rested. And I had anxiety related to my work. In any event, yet again, I had a subject for these epistles come to mind. An event from my childhood of some kind or another, that had some meaning to me. A small, subtle thing. But now I can not recall what it was. This happens all to often, and it is frustrating to me. It must have been a small thing indeed, to be forgotten during a short nightsí sleep. But it doesnít matter.
11/20 Direct Link
I learned my trade from a guy who started plying it the year I was conceived. I learned his habits of the profession, and they have for the most part, stood me in good stead. He was and is a Buddhist, without knowing it. He treated everyone, whether on his side of the fence or opposed, with decency and respect. One of the things he used to say, was that a thing or an event, or a fact is or was ďof no great significance.Ē The company still bears his stamp, and that of others similarly inclined. And Iím glad.
11/21 Direct Link
My mom reads this. How often, I do not know, but I suspect she reads a lot of it because at times she mentions it live or via email. This fact does not really affect what I write here. It does not serve as a venue to say things I canít say to her in person because I can not think of a thing I wouldnít tell her in person. I am proud of the fact that I am her son, and astounded that she pulled off what she has thus far in her life. She daily amazes me. Truly.
11/22 Direct Link
I told one of the secretaries yesterday in jest that I loved the fact that at this time of year, I come and go from the office in the dark. Arrive at 7, leave at 6. I told another coworker once, in an effort to get his ass in gear, that sometimes one must embrace the work and wallow in the misery or joy of it simply to get through it. Just as I did in college and in graduate school, and now sometimes do at work, when required. It didnít work. Months later, I fired him. He needed firing.
11/23 Direct Link
I told one of the secretaries yesterday in jest that I loved the fact that at this time of year, I come and go from the office in the dark. Arrive at 7, leave at 6. I told another coworker once, in an effort to get his ass in gear, that sometimes one must embrace the work and wallow in the misery or joy of it simply to get through it. Just as I did in college and in graduate school, and now sometimes do at work, when required. It didnít work. Months later, I fired him. He needed firing.
11/24 Direct Link
11/25 Direct Link
Writing these entries comes easily to me because I can spout drivel with the best of them. But I see a theme. Lack of creativity. I have an appointment in an hour I need to prepare for, so I need to sign off. I have been playing catch up, as I suspect many are this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. I get behind from time to time due to work or holidays and have to play catch up. But even without that happening, I struggle with what to write. I wish I was a Deep Thinker. But Iím not.
11/26 Direct Link
I was so busy today I didnít have a chance to get to this. I can barely remember what I did this morning but Iíve been going hard all day. It is now 5:30 and I came in, like I always do, at 7:00. In the meantime, the guy on his way out is sending inane emails such as video clips of a woman using a barf bag in a plane that experiences a zero G moment. Real funny as I sit here working my ass off fixing your fuckups buddy. Thatís why you are unemployed, and I am not.
11/27 Direct Link
It is snowing in the mountains and the lifts are open and I need to get up there. A visit with Dr. White for my mental health. But first, thereís work to do, kids to pick up, lights to hang and many other things to do. I donít have any insights into life as I go through it other than to do the best I can and to not let the day to day drudgery get me down. To a large extent I am a victim of and slave to, my calendar. But it could be worse I suppose. Yes.
11/28 Direct Link
I am toying with the idea of taking a potentially permanent break from my 100 a month. I havenít enough time to devote any thought to it at all, and do not feel that, as a result,. I or anyone else gets anything of value from it. The fact is, I am too busy, and if I have a break for a few minutes at work, there are other more relaxing things Iíd rather do. And I think my work here reflects that. So I think at minimum I will take December off. I may or may not be back.
11/29 Direct Link
Today is the last day I have to work with him and I am glad. He does not get it. Heís done a slipshod job of transitioning his files. I have spent an hour or two a day over the last couple weeks fixing his messes. I hesitate to think what I shall discover hidden in his files once heís gone. The secretaries have mutinied and refuse to enter his office because he looks at porn. He lied to me about it. And he kept doing it even after being warned. But I care not, for the mountain beckons. Freedom.
11/30 Direct Link
I blew off work today and went snowboarding, and the conditions were perfect except one lift billed as open, was not. The snow was great, and through the brush and trees, off the groomers, it was great. Thoroughly perfect. We left early, and it is funny how I donít mind having done so as a result of holding a season pass. I heard from our office manager that when she went in to give him his last check he was viewing porn. What a loser. No work ethic, no pride, no shame, no scruples. I could not live like