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Sunday, January 19, 2003

It might not have included a joy ride, but it was a good day. I wasn't going to be able to go far anyway, because my Saturn needs to be protected from the elements before I'll be comfortable changing it from an indoor car to an outdoor car. I know it's safe in the garage. Besides, it was a miserable, gray day, and there was no compelling reason to ride out into the January chill.

There were good reasons to stay in and work, though. It almost seems that I've wasted the first eighteen days of the year, as far as job obligations go. So many quarterly and year-end reports are due at the end of this month that I can't follow my usual pattern and leave it all to the last minute.

Time management has never been one of my strengths. That's why it's so satisfying to get so much done in one day. I've overscheduled myself during the upcoming week, and the fact that today is Sunday (and tomorrow a holiday) doesn't help. What helps is getting started and getting momentum. I made a healthy dent in my to-do list today.

It wore me out, though. Maybe I've become too dependent on the interruptions to keep me from working so hard. Plowing through all those papers and files with my head down made it a good day, because of the result, but there were times when it didn't feel all that good.

My "desk job" involves a lot of physical activity that takes its toll on my back and legs. I never sit at my desk long enough to get comfortable, and by the end of the day all I have to show for it is another pile of papers. We build things, and I never get to see the end product. I'm rooting around with my thumb in this pie, but somebody else always gets to pull out the plum. I have to take my satisfaction in an occasional nod.

And my new car, of course. I wouldn't have that without this job, as hollow as it all seems sometimes. They'd know, those people with the plums, if I didn't get my work done. If the taxes didn't get paid and the reports filed, then all the building and the plum-pulling would stop. I'm convinced that no one else in the company could do what I do. I guess I can settle for that.

eye level

As promised, the center-mounted instruments.

One of these days I'll write that entry about all the wonderful new features that have been added to automobiles since I last bought a car in 1988. I knew about keyless entry, of course, because everybody has that these days. But automatic headlights? That come on by themselves when it gets dark and go off after you've stopped and parked? That's such a stunning development that it might be a whole entry all by itself.

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Recommended reading: Mary, My life, for what it's worth, January 18, Excellent email and a small antiwar rant

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Shredded
"It wasn't that I was hoping for a fender-crunching collision, but I didn't want to miss it when it happened."

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