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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Somehow, on a day when I could have used a little sunshine, I survived the soul-deadening combination of heavy daylong overcast and a stack of mindless, tedious forms to fill out. Nothing makes my eyes glaze over more than being forced to pander to bureaucracy, unless itís pandering in the semidarkness.

There wasnít much I could do to avoid either of these unfortunate circumstances. I think Iím finally learning that nothing, not even the power of wishing-hoping-thinking-praying, can fix the deficiencies in the weather. Now I still have to convince myself that the dark clouds are neither a personal attack on me nor a commentary on my life. Iím working on that.

As for the forms, I knew what I was getting into when I opened the mail from the last three days. There were no less than eight envelopes from the workers comp carrier, and I had to deal with them. Tim hurt his back a month ago. Heís been working, but itís been getting worse and he needs treatment. So the insurance company bombards me with forms to fill out. I did the ones that asked about his payroll records; there were five of those.

Another form had questions about his job duties. How much he lifts, and how high. Whether any bending or twisting is required. How much of his time is spent squatting, crawling, kneeling and climbing. Simple grasping, power grasping, fine manipulation (how much with each hand). Instead of sending the form to Tim so that he could lose it in the back of his truck, Iím mailing it to the Boss and asking him to help Tim fill it out. I think thatís my best bet.

16 October 2005

Clouds on the horizon.

But that wasnít even all of the form-filling I had to do. I got yet another support order from yet another county for our deadbeat dad employee. This now gets more complicated, because thereís a limit to how much I can take out of his paycheck, and I have to pro-rate it so that each county gets a share. And current payments take precedence over delinquent payments.

This will make the next payday more painful for me, but for today all I had to do was fill out form after form, and make sure the employee gets a copy. We donít want him to be surprised when his next check suddenly shrinks even more than before. On the other hand, this guy has had at least two children, each with a different mother in a different county, so I donít feel bad about helping see that theyíre cared for. Besides, Iím pretty sure he doesnít know where I live.

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Sports fans in the Bay Area know Bill King, who died yesterday, as an announcer for the Oakland Aís since 1981, but I remember him from my callow youth as a diehard fan of both the Raiders and the Warriors. His was one of the voices that I would hear on the transistor radio I put beneath my pillow, so that I could listen to Warrior games late at night. Itís no wonder I didnít sleep, because he could make a basketball game on the radio become so alive it was as exciting as being there in person. And I think he was the reason I was such a rabid Raider follower back in my teen years. Iíve never liked football on the radio as much as other sports, but Bill King was the exception. Great voice, great delivery, and incredible attention to detail, all infused with an intelligence that went way beyond the sports he was describing. Heís irreplaceable.

For other journal recommendations, check out the links page.

One year ago: Vertigo
"I donít think I can vote for a measure thatís opposed by the Consumers Union and other public interest groups, and supported by the Orange County Register, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and every industry whose profits depend on pollution, price-gouging and underregulation, from insurance companies to drug conglomerates."

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