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Wednesday, August 20, 2003

It's a full time job trying to keep the checking account of a construction firm full enough to open the doors the next day. We're in a pass-through business, where we collect money on behalf of the people who work for us. It doesn't stay in the account for very long, and the best we can hope is that there's enough left over to pay for rent, lights, and my high-speed DSL connection.

Most of my work day was taken up helping the Boss chase down money. He made the phone calls, and I did the paperwork. That's the system that serves us best. I had to find invoices and time cards for time and material bills, and I typed the demand (and/or request) letters.

That's why it was weird when the Boss called today, in the middle of all this other activity and totally out of the blue, and asked me to look into what vitamins we should be taking. That's "we" as in he and I. He wants the company to buy vitamins for its two oldest employees (probably without letting the younger members of the staff know about it).

He said that he and his girlfriend eat out a lot, and he knows that isn't healthy (or cheap, but he didn't mention that). He suspects that I don't eat everything I should either, being a single guy and all. He's more or less right about that, although I don't eat frozen foods (any more) and I make sure I get several servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

He was impressed with that. He said that he and Julie had picked up a whole slew of miscellaneous vitamins at Wal-Mart. They've been taking them without really knowing what they are or what they're supposed to do for their health. (Brilliant, Brain. Oh, but wait...) They've been feeling logy and dizzy lately and want to know if maybe they've been taking something good for them, except in a toxic amount.

Good question. A little late, but it's a good question to ask.

His thought that I could use my high speed DSL connection for something other than watching the Big Brother 4 live feed and do some research. Find out what we should be taking, see how to buy it in enough quantity to make it a good investment. The future of the company depends on our health. I guess that's his rationale for having the business buy vitamins (and "burying" the expense on the credit card).

From past experience, I suspect nothing much will ever come of this. I don't know why it became something important enough to talk about on such a busy day. And I also know that I've had vitamins available to me any time I wanted them, but I always (always, always) forget to take them. They sit on the shelf until their expiration date, and then I throw them away. In fact, this conversation with the Boss today reminded me that I have some very old vitamins to discard, even now, months after the last time I opened any of the bottles.

Strangely enough, he was interested in this. He asked what I'd been taking (or forgetting to take). I mentioned Centrum Silver, because I think that's what's recommended for old guys like us, and it's easy to find, and it probably wouldn't still be on the market after all these years if it had the kinds of side effects he's been complaining about. And he could get them all by himself in the small town where he has his office, and leave me out of it altogether.

I spelled out the name for him and he wrote it down. That's probably the last I'll ever hear of the company buying vitamins for us, but maybe it'll help keep him alive for a few more years. We have to keep him going at least until I'm ready to retire, and he's ten years older than I am. That makes my life a little like a reality show. I want to stay in the house (or on the island) as long as I can.

20 August 2003

This proud lizard doesn't know I saw it slip off the rock just a moment before and land on its back.

I don't know how much progress we made on getting actual money into the actual checking account. We got a lot of promises, and we all know how much those are worth. It forces me to make promises to the next people down the line, the ones we owe from the money we're trying to collect. And I'm sure they pass those promises along, but it has to stop somewhere or the whole bustling world economy grinds to a halt. I feel so responsible when I think of it that way.

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There are way more fruits than vegetables in my refrigerator. I have plums, apples, nectarines and grapes. The only fresh vegetable is raw carrots, and that's because I don't have to cook them. I suppose in theory I don't have to cook any vegetables, but raw carrots are more appealing to me than raw peas or raw lima beans.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Strike Out
"What we've lost is something greater than what they'll gain by all this, and it's a hard thing to forgive."

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