STEPS / Main Page / Index / previous / next
April, 2001: 1 4 6 8 10 13 16 17 21 22 25 28 29


(1999-2002: Pre-Retirement Years)

River otter in Shedd Aquarium, Chicago.

4/1/01-Sun.-While I may decide to extend the time I'm "working,"* just to get the most advantage from my accrued leave time (currently have 42 days of annual leave backlogged and am adding more than I expect to use in the time remaining before 3/31/02), I now have less than a year of work left at my best of all possible jobs before I would be eligible for retirement with benefits. (*On the other hand, my employers may insist that I take my leave gradually rather than all at once, at the end. We'll see.)

In honor of April 1st and its fools, I perpetrated a very mild hoax this afternoon, sending an e-mail to most all my extended family, to the effect that Jim, disillusioned with the Academy's pick of "Crouching Tiger - Hidden Dragon" for best film score, has decided to change his major from music composition to biology.

On our walk yesterday morning, Fran and I saw a flock of cedar wax-wings in a nearby small tree. They were all then harassed out of it by a mockingbird who considered it his. By coincidence, today Fran found a cedar wax-wing feather in our back yard, complete with the little red, wax-like attachment at the end, that gives it its name and part of its distinctive coloration.

4/4/01-Wed.-On Daylight Savings Time now; and so it feels like we're getting up in the middle of the night. It will probably take another week or two to get adjusted to the new sleep/trance/waking schedule.

My nephew, Jim, responded to my little April Fool's gesture. As a budding musical genius and movie buff, he strongly disagreed with me on the merits of the score for "Gladiator" vs. for "Crouching Tiger - Hidden Dragon." He said the latter score was great, appropriately demonstrating a mix of occidental and oriental themes, with adroit use of the cello for super action sequences and fluid motion passages. Oh well, first he bests me at chess. Now, apparently, also at movie and film score reviews.

Have continued to have major canker mouth sore problems, ongoing with first one, then another, for almost three weeks! Indeed, I cannot remember ever having such difficulty with these ulcerations before. I thought I might have caught them from Val, who has seemingly inherited a "cold sore" virus from her mom. But, after we discussed the relative symptoms, it appears mine are different, little round holes in the gum, mouth, or cheek linings. I hope the advice from info. online will help me eradicate this latest health concern!

My younger female colleague buddies, Sandy and Maria, who often stop by at lunch time to see if I want to walk over to a nearby fast-food restaurant for a snack, or just for the exercise and conversation, are often a source of entertaining and unusual chatter. In a prosaic vein, they both recommended the modern version of "Charlie's Angels," now out on videotape, especially for the performance of Cameron Diaz. They knew she and I have a "thing" going, at least in dreams. Maria used to be quite flirtatious, some might call it seductive, with me, but has settled down after it became clear I was not going to get a divorce and, indeed, that Fran and I seem to have a pretty good thing going ourselves. Now both she and Sandy relate to me more like a friend or a brother. In fact, it is surprising what they'll talk about in front of me. I've been the unintentional recipient of information about a too thick hymen and wondering if a doctor can fix that, about menstrual cramps, about panty-hose riding up and itching in all the wrong places, other men and what they think of them as potential mates, or about relationship problems they might be having at the moment. I have never before had this kind of friendship with women but am glad they feel so at ease with me that we can all talk about virtually anything. I, for instance, was today telling them about the amazing natural phallus we have growing in our front yard, increasing in length by one to two feet a day and with little sign of slowing down. This impressive phenomenon is a lechuguilla blossom stem (flowering stalk), our first in succulent gardens we've had for many years. It comes complete with interesting but wicked ticklers.

4/6/01-Fri.-Listening to the great music of John Barry from "The Lion in Winter," on KUT Radio's "Film Score Focus," my usual late Friday evening pastime. I first saw this movie, and got the movie album for frequent re-hearings, when living in San Francisco in the late 60s and early 1970. I had little money and at first, during a fall and winter, had just rented a room at a friend's place. It was slightly below ground level and had no doors, either for the main entrance from outside or for the little half-bathroom WC. I put up thick quilts to cover the doorways and help hold in a little warmth from my only heat-source, an electric space-heater. The big slugs they have there would come in during the night, so I put a stop to that with a line of salt, which had to be replenished periodically. I was drinking too much then, especially around Christmas time, when I had some of the typical holiday depression of someone cut adrift for awhile from most friends and family. An office party gift of a couple fifths of bourbon, just before the big, extended holiday weekend, did not do much to counter this tendency.

Tonya, from whom I'd rented the room, lived with her son and a better paying, female roomer (with a better room too) in the main and upstairs part of the house. I'd known her back in Austin where first she was a graduate assistant instructor of mine in an honors program philosophy course, taught by John Silber, who later went on to be president of Boston University. For a short time, I'd dated a fellow roomer of hers, another honors program student and an amateur folk singer, when they lived near a park, itself near the eastern side of The University of Texas campus. Tonya's son, still quite young then, would join the other three of us for suppers and "deep" conversations. Tonya was the most intelligent woman I'd met to that point and was very impressive with her strident liberal opinions and her memorized and recited ancient Greek, excellent grasp of western philosophy, and appreciation for literature. She even took an interest in some early poetry of mine, which naturally meant fine taste! Ha.

Much had happened in our separate lives before a small world accident of circumstance led to our getting together again for a few months in San Francisco. We were both pretty lonely in our romantic lives at that time, and one boozy night even wound up in each other's arms. But I think we both regretted it by the next day, remaining friends but likely equally relieved when, soon after, I moved out on my own to an apartment.

Still later, I got involved with a Gurdjieff and Ouspensky's "The Fourth Way" group and got her into it as well. This experience turned out to be too intense and destructive, from my point of view, so that I headed back to Austin for awhile. Tonya and I wrote a few letters back and forth and then lost track of each other. I heard some mention of her, coincidentally, when I was in a spiritual meditation center of The Lifestream Way, in northern India, from another western guest staying there at the time. She'd been teaching at San Francisco State and was more than ever involved in politics, quite active (and apparently unsuccessfully so!) against Ronald Reagan.

4/8/01-Sun.-Up today about 7:30 A.M. We did our weekly shopping. Then I went to Jim's for breakfast and worked there on a tribute for my sister, Alice, who is fifty this month.

In the last few days I enjoyed a real little gem of a movie, that I can heartily recommend as good videotape entertainment: "Smoke."

Fran has a rehearsal this afternoon with the Austin Symphony, getting back about 5:00, after which I'll give her a massage.

I'm using the time till then doing more on my sister's tribute and completing the proofing of Chapter XV in the early journal (also known as "First Steps").

We need later today to give Pepper a flea dip. Unfortunately, all our efforts so far to eradicate those pests from our house have been less than brilliantly successful. Bother! If this keeps up much longer, we shall have to resort to steam cleaning all the floors/carpets, burning Pepper's sleeping areas, treating the whole back yard with nuclear waste, and microwaving the mutt. Meanwhile, I'm dusting my socks with Sevin and keeping the safety off my anti-flea spray gun.

Fran and I both subscribe to the theory that our humanoid ancestors, a few million years ago, were very marine mammals, spending at least as much time in and around bodies of water as further inland. There are several things that point to this being the case, among them the layer of subcutaneous fat that we share with seals and dolphins, but with none of the other primates (hence our females' more attractive breasts too, by the way), and that our infants, even before they can stand and walk, can swim nearly as well as fish, holding their breaths instinctively when under water, etc. I've recently found a neat site that is relevant to this concept: The Aquatic Ape.

4/10/01-Tues.-My best of all possible bosses gave me a "smiley face" yesterday for excellent work on one of the cases I'd just completed and said he was putting me on probation. If one of thirteen evaluation criteria (am meeting or exceeding all the others and still have six months to go in the official evaluation period to bring up the final one) are not improved in just the way he wants, he can fire me. He's just covering his ass and harassing me, the usual method of "managing" at my best of all possible government jobs. At the end of this "developmental period," I'll have just five months to go before I can retire with benefits, after well over a quarter century of labors for one or another government bureaucracy. Although I still (naively?) do not yet think it likely, I absolutely would not put it past the bastards to use a technicality to get rid of me with that small a difference between successful retirement and failure. It is they who have increased the job demands year after year, until scores of us are getting forced out. Morale is dismally low. Some are literally dying of stress-induced health problems. Par for the course. Well, nobody said it would be easy.

This afternoon, as I was leaving at nearly 5 P.M., after arriving about 7:15 A.M., with the usual amount of unpaid overtime beyond my eight hour shift, in steadfast effort to get (and then stay) caught up, I ran into another long-term employee, until recently in good standing, who cannot cope with it anymore and so is expecting soon to join the ever growing ranks of those from that workforce who are resigning under duress rather than being fired. Her grown son, who has a thriving business of his own, evidently a lively, relaxed, friendly place where folks enjoy their jobs and their work environment, visited his mom briefly last week at our best possible state agency and later told her he was shocked at the difference in the last few years since he'd been there before, saying it is now like walking into a morgue. Yes, that or a prison. Either way, it is a place one would just as soon not have to stay for long!

I gave my boss a memo for record type formal objection to the proposed developmental plan, coming before the end of the official evaluation period. I got a lot of grim, stony silence (and hustling to complete the plan provisions, despite me) for my troubles. I'm sure he will spring it on me only after getting approval from his boss and the agency's legal department, who will have carefully crafted it to withstand any otherwise potentially successful suit by me of him or our division, if they decide to go ahead and get rid of me at this late date in my career. I've seen the way this machine grinds down others and have no expectation I would be any better able to overcome the process than they. So, it is hardly up to me anymore. I just do whatever I am told, as well and as quickly as I can, dealing with his attitude as best I can as well. And I either get fired at the end of it or I don't. Ain't the free world wonderful? (Of course, it beats the hell out of the alternatives!)

Arrived home after the commute, not too bad this time, by about 5:35.

We've treated the house over and over with sprays and Sevin dust, vacuuming, etc. But, when I sat down at the computer, I was quickly bitten by several more fleas. I re-vacuumed and re-sprayed, then waited a couple hours for the chemicals to dry in that room before trying again. Meanwhile, while I was bending over my car engine, checking on the oil and water levels, etc., something was strained so that I can now barely walk. Sometimes it is just amazing how often things go right, considering how easily they can go the other way. I'm a little giddy from lack of sleep and from worry last night. Almost ready to laugh hysterically. I hear the faint bubbling up of uncontrollable mirth off in the wings. Tee hee hee!!!!! Would I be able to stop once started? The last time I felt this way, Fran and I had been on the road, heading home but still hundreds of miles away. We were terribly, terribly tired after a long vacation in CO. Several things had gone well. But many others had gone very badly, including a small lake that formed inside our leaky tent at 10,000 feet, while the nights were freezing cold. She and I got into some ridiculous fight over I know not what; and I lost it, laughing so hard I could not stop for awhile.

Suddenly everything seemed so absurd. I'm afraid Fran just thought I'd taken leave of what senses I still had left.

On a brighter note, another colleague commented today on checking out and very much enjoying Fran's recent additions to our family-oriented constellation of web pages, Wagnerian Home Page. It seems my friend from work, Larry, has continued to make the rounds, telling everyone he knows there, at one time or another, about Fran's having put on pictures of his cute little Jack Russell Terrier puppy, Rufus, complete with a little story line for each scanned photo.

4/13/01-Fri..-A day to be wary if, from superstition, you think dates are scary! Have slept, thankfully, better the last two nights. My boss, while still not backing down from his negative and premature review of my work, is at least speaking to me again and even joking around a bit! He was much more affable today, chatting happily with me about his youngest son, about whom he'd been worried, having just gotten a job, his first after college.

The fleas at home, meanwhile, are under somewhat better control. My back is not so excruciatingly painful. So, as they often eventually do, things are looking up!

A saw a true little jewel of a video movie the other night, with James Caan, among others, "This is My Father." If you like Ireland, good filmmaking, beautiful scenery, and excellent drama, with some joy and some deep sadness, it is worth checking out!

We got all our taxes stuff and IRA payments ready Thurs. evening. I mailed them this morning.

I finished proofing the next of my early journal chapters, the so-called "First Steps XVI," this evening. It has now been added online.

Fran and I got together for a Chinese food buffet for lunch today, after state employees were released four hours early (for Easter), a nice surprise. Fran has been off both yesterday and today, lucky lady!

4/16/01-Mon.-We spent much of the weekend getting the next issue of The Wagnerian Express ready and online. It turned out pretty well.

Fran still had today off for a long Easter weekend. I went back to the job today and am facing a significant amount of pending work. Panic will do no good. So, I am just trying to take it one step and case at a time. Find myself rather anxious, nonetheless. The intention is to get one more case out than in per day, on average, through the week, while also reducing the backlog of actions needed for regular development. Some days am successful, sometimes not.

My colleague, Sandy, and I went for a walk during "lunch" today, for an exercise break in the regular routine, completing about a mile. We got to talking about Myers-Briggs Type Indicator profiles and how ours are similar to or different from our spouses'. Interesting stuff. Mine is INFJ, not too surprising as I enjoy a writing habit and am a trained counselor, both of which fit right in with that set of characteristics.

Feeling extremely tired this evening and so will turn in early.

When looking for a good link for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I found a web ring for us INFJ folks. Alright! I'll submit this site.

4/17/01-Tues.-No time for all the venting I feel like doing. My boss and his, the Director, having checked things out with their legal department, have decided to go ahead with proceedings against me. I believe they are on shaky ethical ground, since I have not completed an official evaluation period in the red. But they are past masters at getting folks to sabotage themselves on technicalities. They'd just love it if I get so stressed out by their harassment that I tell one of them to "f--- off," giving them the excuse they'd want and need to get rid of me, even though they have no real grounds otherwise. These mutants are such predictably uptight a--holes. Anyway, I must keep my cool. From now on at that best of all possible jobs I shall be "Mr. Yessir!" "Whatever you want sir! And would you like me to kiss your rather double-wide butt, sir?

4/21/01-Sat.-While quite intense, the situation at work, two workdays after receiving my official, probationary "developmental plan," is not so terrible. Sure, I'm exceedingly angry, do not like the added insecurity of being "under the gun," and certainly feel it is unfair, given that we have not yet reached the end of the official evaluation period. Nonetheless, the "worst" has now happened. I am still very much alive and kicking. I am a survivor and am determined to come out a winner once again. Over the years in this wonderful employment, I've had more than my share of difficulties, but have always gotten through them alright, in fact well enough that my record of quality production there, for close to twenty years in a similar position, is hard to beat. Anyway, this past week I significantly reduced my backlog. If I continue to make substantial progress, it seems highly unlikely the "double-wide buttocks" folks will be able to find a justification for firing me. I may not be a brilliant member of their team; but I am persevering. And I am stubbornly insistent on getting the full quota of retirement benefits I'm due, effective 3/31/02. (Ironically, on Friday I received two "smiley face" awards for efficient, correct development on some of my cases. Go figure!)

Not at all coincidentally, I yesterday learned that yet another of my long-time companions at this most esteemed of all workplaces, feeling she had been treated rather shabbily in the aftermath of being away for several weeks for emergency surgery and recovery, has decided to leave for greener pastures, though it means a temporary cut in pay. She had been a registered nurse before coming here. Now she's going to a related job with the Texas Department of Health. Over the past decade or so, our agency has been losing a lot of good people because of relatively incompetent management.

Today is the birthday of John Muir, a great conservationist who had a seminal influence on this country's setting aside of special public land areas, largely safe from the encroachments of developers, government, and corporations. Much as I decry the policies of certain politicians when it comes to the environment, our country has an enviable record in the establishment of national parks, monuments, forests, and wilderness areas, compared with most other nations of the world. That we do is largely the result of such founding pioneers in this movement as John Muir. I would hope that there may be among us others who, inspired by his example, may work successfully to continue the efforts he and others like him began. Otherwise, given the ever increasing pressures of population and at least so-called "progress," we are unlikely to have many more generations able to appreciate the natural world. Since we ourselves are an integral part of nature, to disregard this heritage would be as foolish as for a homesteader to use his only water well for pissing and shitting.

Fran and I are packing for a short visit, today and tomorrow, with my mom, in Waco. We'll be hitting the road shortly.

4/22/01-Sun.-We left home and Austin yesterday a little after 9:00 A.M., stopping in the northern outskirts of Georgetown for a break and a snack (i.e. a "break-fast").

Hot stuff. We got a fill-up of gas too, on the way up. Watching young yuppies (in their fancy vans, sports cars, pickups, and SUVs), some with tight-fitting chic attire, the women flashing sexual signals with slit-hemmed skirts, exposing supple thighs, inviting advances.

Yesterday, Mom got a surprise call from Ed, about his wife, my sister, Alice, who had to have an emergency D. & C. that morning. The doctors told Ed, but not yet Alice, her uterus was so messed up that she would "never have been able to have children." They asked Ed, and he, in turn, asked Mom, if any cause was known for the scarring to her uterus, implying some type of abuse, with Sybil or Eve kinds of horrors coming to mind. Mom and I are both all but certain there was never anything of the kind. When Mom mentioned to Ed, though, that she'd heard endometriosis could cause extensive uterus damage, he said "Well, she'd had that too," which Mom had not known (nor I). So that must be the explanation. Anyway, particularly as Alice is a rather sensitive soul, all of these uterus-related issues (so to speak) may be cause for extra concern.

A year or two ago she confronted Mom about a medical (likely with a male, military doctor) exam Charlotte had arranged for and taken her to before Alice's first marriage, as if her daughter could not, as an adult, have gotten her own gynecological exam if she needed one. Mom had always tended toward being overly involved in her offspring's lives. Mom claims she had just wanted to assure "everything was OK" medically. But they apparently did not really discuss it much at all at the time. Alice had just gone along with the dominating parent. In the recent conversation however, Alice revealed that she'd always thought Mom had wanted to confirm before the wedding night that she was still a virgin, and had resented the intimate invasion of her privacy for all these years. Mom told Ed yesterday (again about the state of Alice's uterus) that at that time, before her first wedding, the doctor had said "she was fine."

Alice, being the main babysitter for a brood of younger brothers, once I'd left for college, had, for the first decade or so after she'd left home herself, wanted no part of having children. Then the biological clock had apparently begun ticking more loudly. She'd emphatically changed her mind. But Ed still definitely had not wanted kids; and she had reluctantly accepted, but greatly regretted, his decision. Mom now speculates that knowing she could not have had children anyway might allow her to feel better about her "sacrifice" for Ed. But, it seems to me at least as likely, given her tendency to brood about things, that she'll now ruminate about not having gotten pregnant much earlier, before the endometriosis.

I too very much have longed for kids of my own. But one must move on. Things just are the way they are. You can't define yourself in terms of deficits. To feel yourself a victim just leads to more neurosis. And you miss out on so much else that really matters, that can be meaningful and enriching in life.

Ed said Alice had been having excess bleeding at least four months before yesterday's surgery. Apparently there was some kind of unusual growth, but the surgeon did not think it was cancer.

As Alice gets pretty traumatized by such things and Ed must be away in Europe, on business, for quite a few days, starting tomorrow, Mom may fly out to help and be on hand for awhile. Mom's 78 and Alice 50; but at times the latter is still very much dependent on her mother. (One of these days it could be my turn. So, I'd better not be too judgmental!)

Meanwhile, the plans Mom and others had made for an early June get-together in CA, near Alice (for a family reunion to honor her for her 50th birthday), have been put on hold because Horace and his family are refusing to join the rest of us at a convenient motel, at which Mom had already made reservations (after much coordination with everyone involved), insisting on her paying (for them only) for their stay at a motel in another city, an hour and a half's drive away from the first one. Oh well. Such are the "days of our lives" in my best of all possible (dysfunctional) families.

Fran and I, meanwhile, except for some mild vicarious distress over the above developments, have just completed a remarkably pleasant, relaxing visit with Mom, including all the comforts of a cozy home without fleas, eating out at great places, nice chatting, seeing a good movie ("The Red Violin"), walks with the dog (in a posh neighborhood), a garden show, Fran helping with Mom's computer while I worked on a family heritage and genealogy project for her, super sleeping arrangements, cool temperatures, and lots of beautiful wildflowers seen on the trips up and back.

Now it's Fran's turn, after our naps, for a long massage. Who knows? Perhaps tonight we'll score - maybe at least an 80. Have selected the acclaimed and passionate film, "The End of the Affair," as background for my kneading of her handsome flesh.

4/25/01-Wed.-Last night Fran and I went out to eat at Bombay Grill, our favorite Indian food restaurant. It occurred to me, glancing about at the many images of elephants there, that we really do not know the original significance, from very ancient times, of this beast, whose paintings and sculptures appear with great frequency throughout both modern and even prehistoric times, as, indeed, I believe, is also true of the Brahma bull. So, I thought I would check these out on the Internet. Well, I was not successful in learning the basis for their early images and the mythical significance of these creatures from earliest times. Does anyone know? But I did find an interesting Hindu timeline of ancient civilizations, and invite the reader's perusal of it as well.

Over the weekend, we found a beautiful, two foot long, rat snake in our front yard. We hope it will stick around.

4/28/01-Sat.-Yesterday, on the way home from work, sitting in my car at a very busy intersection, with bumper-to-bumper cars back for a half mile or so, all waiting to get through one light, and most, like me, doing so only after a 20-30 minute wait, and after several light changes, I apparently "caused" an incident of road rage. A b--tard in an expensive, large, high-powered vehicle came roaring up on the shoulder next to me, just as I had finally gotten within striking distance of racing through the intersection. Obviously, waiting his turn was not part of this fellow's programming. So, instead, he pulled up next to but a little ahead of my vehicle and began to inch over toward my lane, having already positioned his car within inches of mine. But I was not "into" his priorities and, as the car ahead of mine began pulling forward in anticipation of the next light change, I continued my own inching forward, too quickly for the interloper to safely shove his way between us. After about three times of this forward crawl, the nearby and most esteemed example of driving courtesy apparently went ballistic, frustrated that he was seemingly not going to be able to break into the line until after I had passed, quite possibly not until after another light change. He could not stand such horrible frustration or challenge to his intentions and so aggressively, as if being only inches away from my car was not already rather pugnacious, lurched his car forward and further into my lane, a maneuver that surely would have crashed his machine into mine had I not jerked my car away, coming close to hitting the car one more lane over. But my self-protective action, yielding a bare six inches in extra clearance, was nonetheless enough that, with screaming rubber, the b--tard was able, just as traffic pulled ahead with the light's eventual shift to green, to shove on in ahead of me, my only options being to smash into his specimen of perfection or acquiesce. With the equivalent of a victory roll, he raged on through the light ahead of me and down the road till out of sight, clearly feeling vindicated, and so, inclined to behave similarly the next time. I can only say: "I hope he continues to drive like that. Someday, as a result, the repercussions of his behavior may ruin his life. I wish I could be there to see it happen. Short of that, imagination is at times a wonderful thing."

The latest chapter of my early journals, the so-called "First Steps XVIII," has been proofed and added to this site. In rereading it, I find the quote from The Mind of the Dolphin, 27+ years later, still especially compelling. It was also, ironically, particularly pertinent to the road incident this evening. I wish I had "given in" sooner in that encounter. I am not happy about it. After all, is my pride (any more than his) worth the kind of violence that almost occurred?

In Austin now, many "road ragers" feel that killing someone for thwarting their immediate wishes is merely justifiable homicide and a few act accordingly. As with murders generally, some are getting away with it. In an incident a few months ago, not far from where we live, a young man and his date were shot, fatally in the driver's case, for going only the speed limit on a popular thoroughfare. Although a suspect was picked up, proving his guilt will be difficult as the only witness, the girl who was shot, had other things on her mind than identifying the killer and may not have gotten a good view of him anyway, before he too, like the driver tonight, successfully roared on down the road.

I heard recently that the U.S.A., with only five or six percent of the world's population, is contributing twenty to twenty-five percent of the world's pollution. Meanwhile our new president, "W," has announced that we won't abide by a treaty to which we had agreed a few years ago to just begin to limit "greenhouse gases," saying it would be a hardship to our industry and economy. Rather than taking a leadership position on such issues, he says we must wait for others to come up with and agree to another treaty, one "fairer" to our interests.

It seems to me that no significant progress will be made in the shift to more environment and earth friendly ways of doing things until the consequences of not doing so have already become so severe that the costs of not making such a transition are clearly greater than those of transforming our global society toward greater health and stability for Gaia. But, as with the time and distance required for changing the course of a supertanker, the lag times before the effects of our short-sightedness are glaring and then again before corrective measures would take effect are so great that we could well have already transformed the planet's systems and destroyed their delicate balances long before we find the motivation and means to act with concerted efforts in a more sensible fashion. At that point, our descendants may well find that, like Humpty Dumpty after a great fall, the earlier, natural state of things can never be put together again.

Somewhere along the line, our civilization took a wrong turn. Suppose that, instead of the profit motive working to assure that, as a species, we take more and more from our planet and put less and less back (see "Koyaanisqatsi - Life out of Balance"), people would gain a greater sense of personal satisfaction and achievement to the extent their lives exemplify voluntary simplicity and a vital, dynamic balance and integration with the rest of the biosphere, of which we are, in fact, but one small part.

4/29/01-Sun.-Up today about 6 AM. Ugh! We went for a walk with Pepper and then did our grocery shopping for the week. Then, out to Trudy's for delicious Tex-Mex breakfasts.

As we were leaving the restaurant, we saw a Sunday paper insert with a cover picture of George W. At virtually the same time, Fran and I both realized he looks just like a grown up version of the lovable schmuck, Alfred E. Newman.

Fran was having a lot of soreness in her hip and leg areas this morning. I joked that it must have been from our long night of passionate love-making. As if.

An interesting comparison in management styles. My supervisor is known around our agency as "Mr. Turnover," because he tends to get rid of so many folks. By contrast, it was recently reported that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has the lowest turnover rate of any major corporation. Yet, $10,000 invested with Mr. Buffett in the late 1950s, and with all reinvested since then, even after taxes, but before fees, would now be worth about half a billion dollars. Even after both fees and taxes, it would be worth over $200 million. The results of my boss' supervisory style would not seem to be quite as impressive.

I'm getting a haircut later today. Things are getting pretty shaggy - and so are my locks.

STEPS / Main Page / Index / previous / next