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Thursday, August 31, 2006

At some time while I was sitting in the Saturn dealer this morning, waiting for their shuttle to give me a ride home, my watch stopped. (Well, it wasnít exactly ďsomeĒ time, because it was exactly 10:20 am. All day.) I didnít notice until much later, but I sort of took it as a bad omen. Here I am trying to get my car working right, and now my watch doesnít work. I didnít like the confluence of events.

As I did the last time I had the car in, I explained in great detail the problems I have with the locking system. Sometimes I get locked in. Sometimes I get locked out. Sometimes it doesnít lock when I put it in gear. And sometimes after Iíve locked it and come back to it, it refuses to start.

I donít know if all this made sense to the young woman at the desk, but she wrote it all down, every permutation of the problem I could think of. When she called to tell me the car was ready, she said they think there was a short in the locking system that was causing all the problems. They ran it on the computer, and there was no ignition problem, so they donít know what else it could be.

So they replaced the front door lock, and she told me to start locking my car again, when I leave it. Yeah, I know. Itís been six months since I started not locking the car at the supermarket and the mall. Worse, during that time Iíve bailed out of many car trips because I didnít want to have to leave it unlocked in unfamiliar (or too familiar) places. Iíve been tethered a little too close to home by this situation (which they also ďthoughtĒ theyíd fixed the last time).

11 August 2006

Shasta Lake.

So I took it on faith. Iím going to act as if nothing was ever wrong, at least until it happens again (which it wonít, Iím sure, because I have faith). In fact, I left the dealer and drove directly to the supermarket parking lot half a mile from the post office. I locked the car, walked to the post office and back, and when I got back the car (a) unlocked as it was supposed to, and (2) started just fine, thank you.

Now Iím free to go more places, and Iím also going to get more exercise, because that parking lot is just about the right distance for me to get in a vigorous walk to and from the post office every morning. Itís not a place I would have left the car unlocked, but now I donít have to worry about that.

Itís just that I donít know how long a walk I took today, because (as you know) my watch doesnít work.

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It was a painful win, but it was a win. A couple of hours into the game, the Giants had a 7-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh. An hour and a half later, they were fighting for the last out in the bottom of the ninth. But somehow, painfully, they held on to beat the Braves, 8-6. It was an escape act, considering the fire power the Braves laid on them in the last three innings. They used five pitchers to get out of the seventh, after knocking out Atlanta ace John Smoltz in the sixth. Somehow they had just enough, even Armando Benitez, who got the save despite giving up yet another run. This was a big win, because it means the Giants salvage one game of the three-game series.

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One year ago: Relief
"If the stories of loss and damage can melt the Bossís heart, even just a little, I have no doubt that those whose hearts are a little softer to begin with will come together to spread hope around."

Two years ago: Control
"The way to get through a rough day is to sleep through half of it and work so hard through the other half that it zips by almost unnoticed."

Three years ago: Face Time
"He's not an ogre and he's not a clown. He's just a man, getting a year older every twelve months, just like you. And just like me."

Four years ago: Watch Your Step
"I usually know what's going to happen next, but if you can't step on a curb without having your life turned upside down, who knows what other realities you can no longer believe in."

Five years ago: Old Car
"I can't handle the games dealers play, and my resistance to a strong sales pitch is dismally low."

Six years ago: Solid Gone
"I met more good people today than I ordinarily see in a month."

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