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Saturday, March 1, 2003

Not having my car for ten days doesn't seem to have affected my driving ability. All my special driving words came back to me on the way home from the dealer last night, the first time I came up behind someone who forgot that when the light turns green, you have to press the gas pedal before you can expect the car to move forward.

Today while driving around doing errands, I was determinedly mellow, but there's always some idiot in front of me, or some maniac behind me. Out here in the country, regular rules don't apply, you see. People often park their pickups with the front end sticking halfway out into the road, while they run back into the house for something (or someone). When I need to swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid scratching my new Saturn, I have to say something colorful or I lose points.

At least when I was loudly telling everyone else how to drive, I wasn't worrying about whether the bottom was going to fall out of my own car. Kermit did quite well today, and I'm feeling a little better about the immediate future. Of course, I could get in the car tomorrow and hear bells and see warning lights, but for one day I had reliable transportation. Maybe I should just stay home tomorrow, so as not to press my luck.

Having a car again makes it possible for me to get in my daily walk. Oddly (or possibly even ironically), I couldn't walk anywhere as long as I didn't have a way to get to the place where I can walk. Huh? Well, out here where I live is too far from anywhere, and road is kind of narrow, and if I were to start walking from my house, I'd be walking just to be walking, and I'd have to turn around and come back even though I never got anywhere. So I've been exercise-free for almost two weeks.

Not today, though. I walked and walked. My heart and lungs did fine, but I could feel my legs tightening up on the way back from the post office. I could have walked a lot farther, if I could have moved at all. I wasn't tired, just a little sore. Okay, a lot sore. It really hit me when I was standing in line at the bank about an hour later. I could feel my legs swelling and burning, as if they were hot dogs left on the grill too long.

Then after I got home, I decided it was too nice a day to stay inside. I pulled weeds for as long as my body would let me, and then I rested and pulled weeds again. I didn't last nearly as long at the bending over and such as I could have at the walking in a straight line, but I feel pleasantly tired and sore tonight, so I guess I did myself some good.


Clouds over the trees to the southeast.

I even got to watch my first baseball game of the year on television this afternoon. Rather than staying home on a sunny afternoon to watch it live, I let TiVo record it. These games are just for practice, so it didn't matter that I already knew the Giants had won by the time I watched. In fact, it didn't matter that the Giants won at all, although winning is always better than losing.

It's been more than four months, but like my driving words, I didn't forget any of my baseball words either. I picked up where I left off, chattering at the players and telling them what they were doing right and wrong. It was only the second game of the spring, so they were rustier than I was. I'm glad I was here to give them my wisdom and guidance. It's too bad nobody could hear me. (Or maybe it's just as well, come to think of it.)

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I watched Road to Perdition tonight and was mesmerized by the images. It's an incredibly beautiful movie, and a quiet, somber one, about gangsters and hit men and violent revenge. It's not just about that, though. It's also about the relationships between brothers, and between fathers and sons. Tom Hanks brings a different kind of intensity to his role; for once you have to work hard to like him. The fact that you can is testimony to his talent.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Like a Lion
"We didn't lose thirty billion dollars, the way some companies did. Stagnation is a sign of strength these days, and we should be proud to have survived."

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