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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Itís not that I ran out of work to do today. Thatís not why I quit early. No, I quit early because I ran out of work that couldnít be put off until tomorrow.

Besides, Iím getting ready for Christmas. Seriously. Iíve been informed that this yearís family holiday dinner will be held at my house, and, well, itís along way from being ready to receive company. I wouldnít want a pack of unkempt vagabond ragamuffins to spend a day in my house in its current state, much less the people I care about most in the world.

Sure, itís more than three months away, but thereís more than three monthsí worth of work to do. Especially at the pace I tend to do this kind of work.

The accumulated clutter of months and years of never throwing anything away was the first object of my holy wrath. I wheeled the giant blue recycle container to my front door and starting throwing things in it. Lots of unopened mail, of course, but also unread issues of magazines I never should have subscribed to in the first place. What good does the 2004 football preview do me now anyway? Plus, I broke down some Amazon boxes that had been piling up on my bedroom floor.

I didnít get the container completely full, but I made it almost too heavy to wheel out to the curb tomorrow night, so I guess I did my job.

Then I tackled the blackberry bramble that has gradually taken over my back porch. I havenít been able to go out my back door for weeks, and Iíve noticed mice scurrying back and forth in the shadows under the vines, so I thought it was time to get things in order. There was no way I could get to the roots until I started hacking away at the vines themselves, and it was way too much like work to suit me.

18 September 2006

There goes the sun.

Still, I kept at it for an hour. Well, I didnít keep at it, exactly, as much as I kept coming back to it. The phone would ring, and I would sprint around the house to the front door so I could answer it. It happened a few times, but I really think these calls helped me get more work done on the bramble, because if it hadnít been for the frequent breaks, I probably would have worn myself out with the job half done. Now the yard waste container is full, and thereís nothing more I can do until the collector truck comes Friday morning.

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Jason Schmidt did something today that no other Giants starter has been able to do on the current road trip. He put up a zero in the first inning. Unfortunately, seven walks means he didnít even get out of the fifth, and the Giants found themselves trailing in the seventh, 3-0, to a team theyíd lost to in the last two games by scores of 20-8 and 12-4. They got a two-run pinch homer from Moises Alou in the seventh to make it close, then broke it open in the eighth with a five-run rally that included, among other things, a triple by Todd Greene. Mike Stanton picked up his eighth save as the Giants beat the Rockies, 7-4, for their first win on the trip. The still have four games to play in Milwaukee before heading home.

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One year ago: Squeezed
"I work too hard to be this strapped all the time. (Just ask me, and Iíll tell you.)"

Two years ago: Quarantine
"Let's keep this short, in case what I have is contagious."

Three years ago: Replete
"I can't tell you how happy I was to be in the middle of all this. (Actually, I was on the edge, in the corner, but somehow it still felt like the middle.)"

Four years ago: Quality Control
"My call was recorded for quality purposes, she told me. I certainly hope so."

Five years ago: What's the Use?
"Somewhere in one of those buildings or on one of those planes could have been the one person who had the answer."

Six years ago: Chill in the Air
"When we got to the Bay Bridge, we could see the fog layer hovering over the hills of the city. It was beautiful."

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