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Friday, April 11, 2003

From the news I learn that it's much easier to destroy something than it is to create something new and better. It might not be impossible for new flowers to bloom after the bulldozer has done its work, but apparently if you believe strongly enough and keep saying it over and over, something beautiful will grow out of the rubble.

So naturally, I've applied this principle to my garden. I'm spending an hour or so every afternoon whacking away at whatever is growing where I want something else to grow.

The garden has turned into little more than my exercise area. I could just let it go wild, because that's what it wants to do. I spent two springs here worried about what damage I might do, but now I see that no matter what I take out, something is going to come back. Whether it's better than what I rooted out is a matter of opinion, and my opinion is it doesn't matter.

If these natural species are endangered, you couldn't prove it by what happens in my yard. Every year, no matter what I do in the meantime, the yard is more lush than it was the year before. Not better, necessarily, but as I said: matter of opinion. So I had a very productive time this afternoon clearing most of one small area. Of everything. And what I couldn't pull up by hand, I'll pull out when I turn over the soil it's growing in.

I got a large garden fork last week at Target, and I plan to use it. I saw Alan Titchmarsh explaining the basics of its use on an episode of Ground Force, and I do believe it's one tool even I can get the most out of. Maybe by the end of this project, I'll decide I like the sight of freshly turned earth more than I did the greenery that occupies that space now. It's occupying less and less of that space, the more time I have to work on it.

It had been a relatively stress-free day mostly. I got a couple of faxes that were easy to deal with, and most of the phone calls I had were hang-ups. That's something that upsets me temporarily, but it's easily forgotten (at least until the next time it happens).

I have to try to be pleasant when I answer the phone during the day, because it could always be a potential client wanting to drop thousands of dollars in someone's pocket. I'm even willing to force a cheery attitude if there's a chance that pocket could be ours.

At night, though, I might have to stop answering the phone. It's almost always a credit card company, a newspaper distributor or a charity. I don't do any of that kind of business over the phone any more, because it usually means I have to make another phone call to stop or cancel or question whatever I originally agreed to.

Let's get something straight: I don't want twelve free CDs, sorry, if it means I have to pick out my first one while the game is paused on TiVo and the pasta is boiling on the stove. Go away and don't bother me.

I pre-registered with the California Attorney General's office for the national do-not-call list today. Of course, it doesn't go into effect until October, and charities and banks you already have a credit card with are exempt anyway, so I'll probably still get as many calls. But they're going to get my answering machine, if I go through with the radical plan to screen my calls in the evenings.

Why, the phone even rang during Survivor last night! Can you imagine? I wasn't watching it, but that's not the point. People should have some respect. That call was a hang-up, by the way. Maybe I wasn't as pleasant when I answered as I am during the day. I hope it wasn't a rich client in need of a place to throw money away, but I guess I'll never know.


My front door, from the middle of the overgrown garden.

Somebody phoned during the Giants game tonight, but I wasn't paying attention so I'm not sure who it was. I heard him mention money and told him I didn't have any. And since you asked, the Giants beat the Dodgers again, 3-2, and have now won ten of their first eleven games. And yes, Barry Bonds did hit a home run. How did you know?

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Happy birthday, Denver doug.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Touching the Bases
"These were elderly people with canes, so obviously no 'profiling' was involved. Everyone is treated with the same level of disrespect these days."

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Some people like to stay out late
Some folks can't hold out that long
But nobody wants to go home now
There's too much goin' on