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Tuesday, October 1, 2002

Why don't people do what they tell me they will? I could plan my day better (and my week and my month). If Tim hadn't promised the time cards today, I wouldn't have wasted most of it waiting for them. I could have started on a dozen other tasks if I'd known I wouldn't have to stop and do payroll. Why even make the promise if you're not going to follow through?

Instead of getting real work done, I had to find something to do that wouldn't matter if I got interrupted. The lower items on my to-do list, that I can do in short bursts of time. There are precious few of those.

Doing small, insignificant tasks fits in with how I'm feeling today, though. My concentration is fried, and I don't think it's only because of the three baseball playoff games on TV, one right after another. That's part of it, and I should possibly put myself on hiatus (not just the journal, but every bit of my life that requires linear thought) until after the World Series.

The worst of this will be over after this week. There are four playoff series going on, with two or three games being played most days. But by next Tuesday four teams will be eliminated and there will be only two series going on. That should make my time and concentration a little easier to manage. At any rate, it'll be one less excuse.

Today wasn't very satisfying in either the work sense or the baseball sense. I spent most of the afternoon working on new spreadsheets for the fourth quarter, with the game on in the background and the phone jangling (chirping, actually) just often enough to keep me from getting any momentum on either. I missed a few runs and a couple of errors in the Twins' win over the A's. It also took me over an hour to reconcile the bank statement. That would be the August bank statement.

Then this evening I had plenty of time to watch the Yankees and Angels, while I was waiting for the time cards to show up. But I had a hard time getting past the hammer. The hammer is the torrent of sound and graphics that Fox insists on using in its game broadcast, so that there's never a time when it's just baseball.

Whenever someone isn't talking, whether or not he has something to say, they're hitting us with music and sound effects and sponsor promos and previews of next Sunday's football games. I realize they have to sell their products while catering to our short attention spans, but too much is enough already. This isn't a monster truck rally you're covering here, Fox. This ain't no disco.

Anyway, all I really wanted to say is that I don't really have anything to say. I'm thinking about politics and war, but not clearly enough to know how to say what I want to say. I'm just as worried about the erosion of freedom and justice as I was forty years ago, but I can't go there. My head isn't in it today.

When I try to do two things at once, neither of them comes out the way I want it to. Stir in a third factor, like trying to write while getting my work done with a game on TV, and you get a pretty murky soup, without much flavor. Or with too much flavor, depending on how you look at it. Maybe it tastes okay but just doesn't smell very appetizing. It might possible include a series of lame metaphors masquerading as an explanation for its blandness. Mmmm. Dig in.

Three more games will be played tomorrow, one of them involving my team, so don't expect much from me until at least Friday. That's what I'd tell you if you lived with me, too. Maybe that's why I live alone.

Pacific Bell Park

Pacific Bell Park, and San Francisco Bay beyond.

I actually had an antiwar rant half-written, but everything I was saying seemed so logical and self-evident that it wasn't worth finishing. We have a government led by Pinky and the Brain.

"What are we going to do tomorrow night, Brain?"

"The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world."

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