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Friday, March 14, 2003

Mom, Suzanne and I went out to lunch this afternoon at a new Italian restaurant in Petaluma that's been opened by a chef who's also a family friend. The place was packed when we got there after one o'clock, and the lunch crowd had only started to thin out when we left. It's good to see a new place doing well in an uncertain business in shaky times. The food was excellent and the service was good, so they're already a couple of steps ahead.

I wasn't sure until the last minute that I'd be able to get away, but I asked the Boss if we were working on anything that he'd need me for today, and he started talking about the books he's been reading, so I took that as a no. Apparently he's not as busy as I've been lately. Or maybe, like me, he's been so busy that a break sounded like a good way to make sure we can keep going.

It stormed through the night, more wind than rain really but enough wind to make up for any lack of rain. There were twigs and small branches all over my yard this morning. Most of them seem to be from the top of the "other" birch, the one that really is dead. I thought at the end of last summer that they'd both be goners by spring, but the birch at the east end of the garden seems suddenly to be thriving. I'm not sure it isn't healthier than it was a year ago, if that's possible.

Needless to say, the creamy cat who frequents my yard doesn't care for this weather. It came bounding across the back yard this morning and skidded onto the porch. It didn't stay long; I guess it had other things to do. When I got back from lunch it was huddled in the garden, under the shrubbery. It was barely sprinkling at the time, but to look at the cat you'd think it was hiding from a deluge. A big light-mocha lump, with switching tail.

It was nice to ride down to Petaluma in the back of the red Mustang. The hills and fields will be this intense green for another couple of months, and then they'll gradually fade to the golden brown that's California's official state color. I don't mind the golden, rolling hills of summer, but I love the absolute greenness of late winter and early spring. It's such a fleeting thing that it's one of the few signs we have seasons here at all.


Looking west on a gray, drizzly day.

I can wish it wouldn't rain all weekend, but I'm afraid that's the forecast. It seems whenever I have the ambition to work in the garden, the weather doesn't cooperate. On sunny days there always seems to be something more pressing to do. Sometimes I wonder if my life is unscripted or if I just didn't get the latest rewrites.

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It turns out I'm not the only one disappointed that SBC, my DSL provider, forced me to switch to SBC Yahoo when the two became partners a few months back. "Your current Internet service is being replaced with SBC Yahoo DSL. You need to take action now to keep your account current."

Apparently there was fine print somewhere telling me I wouldn't lose my DSL connection if I didn't make the switch. Now I have intrusive pop-up ads and loads of spam to delete from my Inbox every day. I totally blame SBC for making my Internet experience more work and less fun. I don't blame Yahoo, because that's what they do. It's their job to be obnoxious.

This is big business at its absolute worst. And I will never call Pacific Bell Park "SBC Park," so they might as well not bother changing the name of the Giants' home field to SBC anything.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Out of Order
"Perspective is everything when it comes to art and fashion. I'd love to hear what they'd have to say about themselves, projecting back from twenty years in the future."

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