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Monday, November 1, 2004

Believe it or not, a three-hour power outage on a Monday morning has its good points. Overall itís not the way Iíd choose to start the week (or the month), but if it had to happen, why not on the first work day after the time change? Iím going to be worthless by noon anyway.

With all this extra morning light, I startled myself awake and saw that the digital readout on the clock radio was blank. As far as I knew, it might already be noon. I sprang out of bed and dialed the Time Lady, who said it was 6:57 am. (Oh. So it only felt like noon.) Then I called the utility company to see what was up.

The PG&E recording informed me that they were aware of my outage, and that they expected power to be restored to ďmost customersĒ in the area within one to four hours after the problem had been reported at 6:22 am. I went back to bed for a while, but I was restless and worried and edgy. Not twitchy, though.

Itís not all good. That big pot of coffee I was going to make tempted and tortured me as I tried to get things going. But without power Iím also without heat and running water, so there isnít much to be done other than pull a blanket around me and wait for a chance to take a hot shower. I finished the book Iíve been reading, so it wasnít time wasted. Not as far as Iím concerned, anyway.

20 October 2004


However, it turns out those three hours were the best part of my day. Everything after that (and after my shower and my coffee) was real work, and not the quiet, precise work that Iím good at. I never got near a spreadsheet today. No, I had to deal with last-minute crises arising from things weíd overlooked as the kennelís opening day approached. Now that day was here, and we werenít nearly as ready as we pretended to be.

We began to find out just how much we donít know about running that kind of business. And by 2:00 pm, it no longer felt like noon. By then, it felt like midnight.

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Why are so many people who have always held politics at armís length feeling so deeply committed this year? Why is the passion and intensity of this presidential campaign the deepest I can remember in my lifetime? Why is voter turnout expected to be the highest since World War II? Why? Because the stakes are so high, and people know it. Because we are looking at the world we want to see four years from today, and we know we have to work hard to make that vision a reality. Because there is a clear choice in this election, between the good of the many and the good of the few, between an open society and a private club, between integrity and corruption. Between principle and greed. Between hard-working citizens and Halliburton stockholders. Thatís why.

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One year ago: Guilty Pleasure
"I'm not saying I'm ready for the fast lane, but as long as I'm strapped in and there's a downhill slope in front of me, I might as well take the brakes off for a few days."

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