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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

If it takes me three or four rings to answer the phone, itís because the only phone in my house that currently works is the speaker phone on my old near-dead cordless. And if I moan and groan a bit while Iím talking to you, youíll have to forgive me, because Iíll be kneeling on the floor bending over the speaker. And if I sound a little impatient, itís because I canít see the TV from where the phone is set up, so I actually have to listen to you and not just pretend to listen while I watch.

That last, by the way, was for the benefit of credit card companies trying to get me to transfer a balance, and phone companies trying to convert me to their long distance plan, and the local newspaper asking me again to subscribe, even though their carrier wonít bring the paper to my door. Oh, and sometimes the Boss. The only way I can tune him out is if I focus on the pain in my back from bending over.

The odd part is that I didnít even know my phone (the real one with the real cord) wasnít working until late in the afternoon. I happened to check the answering machine and found two messages, so I picked up the phone (the real one) and heard nothing. No dial tone, no clicks or static or any sign that it was still alive. And since the phone is plugged into the same outlet as the machine, I knew it wasnít the line that was the problem.

So I have another mission for tomorrow. I told the Boss that Iíd be buying a new phone. Heíll be paying for it, because I use it way more for work than for anything personal. And I just might go high-end on the phone, the way I did with the new fax machine. That was a good investment, by the way. Itís faster than the old one, and the time I save is worth every penny he paid.

16 October 2006

Looking west.

Is the dead phone the only thing that went wrong today? Of course not. This morning I was in a tizzy because my antivirus program didnít start up with the computer, and it wouldnít start from the program icon, and I was all over the place trying to download the installation program again. Nothing was working, and I was getting mysterious error messages, so I threw up my hands and rebooted the machine. And guess what? The antivirus was there and working (and proudly telling me it was working) as if nothing had ever happened. Itís a little like my car in that way.

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When youíre playing in the third game of the World Series, you donít want to give anything away. So when the Cardinals scored two runs on an error and another on a wild pitch, the Tigers were in trouble, especially with Cardinal ace Chris Carpenter on the mound. The outcome was never much in doubt, although I was on the phone during about half of the game, so Iíll admit to having my doubts about what was going on in general most of the time. But I did look up in time to see Braden Looper close out the 5-0 Cardinal win for Carpenter, who stopped the Tigers on three hits over eight innings. The Tigers need to find a way to win tomorrow, or theyíll be in an even deeper hole, but at least this yearís Series wonít be a four-game sweep by the American League, as the last two Series were.

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One year ago: Shadow
"They need to get used to not getting paid on time, if thatís going to be their policy."

Two years ago: Dormant
"I remember listening to it at school on a transistor radio, back in the day. Iím not saying it was better, but it was."

Three years ago: Numbers Game
"As imperfect as auditors are, nothing is their fault. They just collect the data they're assigned to collect and leave interpretation up to someone else. Sounds like a pretty good gig."

Four years ago: Difficult
"Everyone seems to want to be in front of me. Everyone wants to be going ten miles an hour below the speed limit, directly in my path. Every car in Santa Rosa is between me and where I need to be."

Five years ago: Master Plan
"If I stuck shovel handles in every hole I see, all around the yard, it would look like a samurai graveyard, with shovels as monuments instead of swords."

Six years ago: Storm Clouds
"I just hope I didn't transpose any numbers, so that we have to do a $72,000 job for $27,000, or something like that."

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