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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cutting back the blackberry bramble is a little like painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Itís a job that never ends. Just when you think youíve bopped all the beavers, another one pops up and does its taunting little dance.

Thatís how it happens that Iíve filled up the yard waste container to the top two weeks in a row, and yet if you didnít know, you might not believe how hard Iíve worked. Not that I want credit for working, but I would like to see some improvement in the landscaping. Something that others can also see, that is, so they donít think Iím hallucinating.

Those vines are unlike anything else I have to deal with, because they seem to grow back into themselves. Itís hard to tell where one ends and another begins. Iím far from getting to the roots, because itís all I can do to untangle the vines from each other. I just chop here and there and fling whatever comes out into the container. The deeper I go, the closer I get to the source, but before I can worry about roots, I have to have a clear path.

Today I moved off the back porch and into the middle of the camellia bush. I love the camellia, because it starts blooming so early every year, before Iím even thinking about spring. Itís messy, but itís a reminder that winter will end. Iíd hate to see my neglect endanger the life of this bush. Thatís enough incentive to keep at it, in spite of the scratches on my arms and holes in my clothes from the thorns

3 October 2006

Back porch (the "after" picture).

Eventually I expect to have the blackberry vines cleared away from that side of the house, and then Iíll move on to the rest of the yard. Iím really hoping the rainy season holds off for at least a couple more months, so that I can make a dent in the wild and unruly growth that surrounds me. Plus, itís my main source of exercise, at a time when the doctor has been pushing me to do more. Suddenly I need to be outdoors, for more than one reason.

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The Giants were mathematically eliminated from any chance at postseason play in last nightís game, so todayís game against the Diamondbacks meant nothing in the standings. Thatís why Felipe Alou rested most of his regular players in the teamís 6-3 loss. But everyone will be playing, and playing hard, when the face the Dodgers over the weekend. Whatís the difference. Well, believe it or not, itís not just because itís the hated Dodgers. Itís because the games mean something in the standings, with the Dodgers still fighting the Padres and Phillies for the last two playoff spots. Itís for the integrity of the game that teams out of contention do their best to beat the teams still in the running, whether they hate them or not. (For my part, Iíd love to see the Dodgers out and the Phillies in, so Ryan Howardís miraculous season can keep going a little longer.)

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One year ago: Not Fade Away
"I canít do it in the dark, which was the point I was trying to make in the most obscure and circuitous way possible. Not that I would try it at solstice in Lapland either."

Two years ago: Aggravation
"Today it was insurance. Next Monday it might be bids or taxes or billings or cost reports or ants or frogs or killer bees."

Three years ago: Bank Holiday
"I'm told there was a time when a business like ours had a personal banker who would help us solve problems. Now we have toll-free numbers and buck-passers, and none of this puts any sugar in my tea."

Four years ago: Excellent Driver
"If I were the same person in real life that I am when I drive, I might be president. Or in prison, I'm not sure which."

Five years ago: Wish List
"It's not that I want to forget (not really). It's that I want it never to have happened."

Six years ago: By Any Other Name
"For all I know, weeds are nothing more than aesthetically-challenged flowers."

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