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Friday, September 8, 2006

A mechanically challenged person (like, say, me, for example) will sometimes tend to accept inconveniences that a real craftsman would handle in his spare time. Like during a commercial or between innings. Someone who knows plumbing could probably do whatever it is my toilet needs doing while reading Stephen Hawking with his other hand. Or at least Robert Fulghum.

So thatís why I put up with a recalcitrant garage door remote for lo these many months. Iíve had it five years, and Iím pretty sure it worked okay when I first moved in here. Gradually, and almost imperceptibly, it stopped working quite so well. A few months ago, when I was suffering the worst of my bout with tendonitis, it got really bad.

The only way to open the garage door was to point the opener directly at the door and squeeze the recessed button with both thumbs at the upper left corner, pushing up and in at the same time. Sometimes I had to perform this ritual several times, while standing two feet from the garage door, before it would open. It sort of defeats the purpose of having the device in the first place.

Then over the last weekend I heard a rattle from inside the remote, and it wouldnít work at all. I had to go to remedial measures, opening the side door to the garage and pushing the button inside the garage to make the door go up and down. So I googled ďgarage door remoteĒ and found not only that they are cheap, but also that theyíre easy to program.

So I ordered two of them, and yesterday they arrived in the mail, and today my life changed totally for the better. All I have to do is tap the button and the door goes up. Iím keeping one in the house and one in the car. It works from inside my front door, and it also works from the end of my driveway. For the first time, I can tap the button as Iím pulling in, and by the time I get to the garage, the door is open and waiting for me.




11 August 2006

Shasta Lake.



Now, if only Iíd had the new remotes last spring when my wrists and arms were suffering so, Iíd have had a much easier time coping with the pain. If Iíd been the slightest bit mechanically inclined, I could have done it. But the thing is, it took a complete breakdown for me to get desperate enough to try something. If I could still use the deadly force of both thumbs on the old remote, I wouldnít even have the new ones yet.




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Stuff

Matt Cain is the best pitcher the Giants have had lately, but he was working with only one effective pitch tonight. Still, when you throw an overpowering fastball, sometimes you can get away with not having your other pitches working. In this game Cain threw seven one-hit shutout innings tonight to lead the team to a 4-0 win over the Padres, the team they have to surpass to have a shot at the wild card. Itís great to get the win and see the pitching staff do so well, but the highlight for me was the first triple of the year by 40-year-old outfielder Moises Alou. Alou also hit his seventeenth home run, but seeing him speeding around second base and making it to third was something special.

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One year ago: Routine
"Normal is good, isnít it? Otherwise, wouldnít we redefine normal, if we could?"

Two years ago: Jolt
"There's nothing like a chatty little baby to turn a bleak day into a surprise party. It was like being let out of a dungeon and having puppies lick your face. Something like that, anyway."

Three years ago: After Hours
"Whatever he wants he gets. So he keeps wanting, and expecting."

Four years ago: Playing Catch-Up
"In my job I can't call in sick, no matter how run down I let myself get. What do I do, call myself and say that I'm too tired to stay home and work?"

Five years ago: Curse the Darkness
"I'm starting to wonder if this is a sincere report of what's really going on, or just an attempt to keep me from complaining."

Six years ago: Flood
"My coping mechanism seems more or less permanently jammed up."


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