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February 6th, 2003

green, chilly day

The rapid changes which make Texas February so special are in full evidence this week. Just last Saturday, the temperature was in the seventies. Today it's in the forties, with rain. The grass outside my office window is very green, though, and I remain in a reasonably good mood.

There's such an impermanence about things. Last week, a large San Francisco mega-sized law firm that has been around since the 1920s announced that it was closing its doors. I do not know anything more than what I read in the papers, but for all the world it sounds like it grew to giant-sized during the boom, and then began losing personnel when the recession began. Of course, by and large, the individual lawyers will come out fine, if this closure is true to past form. Undoubtedly, a few folks who once were affiliated with an "institutional" firm will be facing life without a firm soon. I wish them all well, and hope that all land safely. I remember being 25, and going to work for my first law firm. It seemed so large and institutional. In fact, it was not very large, had been in existence for only a few years, and it split into other firms within three years. The only "permanence", really, had been the illusion of permanence in my mind.

We've seen major airlines like United enter Chapter 11, and last night our local American Airlines asked its employees for billions of dollars of "wage relief". Although September 11 accelerated the process, the end of the full service airline as we know it has been inevitable for years. But I remember when TWA was considered so institutional that it was unthinkable that the day would come when it would no longer fly. Of course, moving from mundane business, who would have thought I'd live to see the Berlin Wall come down?

As unpredictable as weather is, perhaps it's the only thing that has a sort of permanence. The ebb and flow of the seasons. The breathing and exhaling and living and dying of it all. Someday I assume that life will end, and seasons will pass. But to my limited scale of view, the rain and the sun and the wind and the cold seem comforting, like a touchstone.

Probate night

Tonight the Garland Bar Association monthly meeting featured four probate judges from Dallas County and a District Judge from Rockwall County. I like these meetings a lot--the other lawyers are really nice, although most of them do family law or personal injury law, rather than the odd little things I do. The judges gave lots of helpful tips, and the Eastern Hills folks did their usual excellent job on the food.

Next week I must be absent from my office for two days due to an out of town trip for family stuff, so I'm starting to feel the strain of an active list of things to do. Fortunately, this weekend will give me a chance to get some important things done.
I get a lot done when I work on Saturdays by nature, largely because the telephone rarely rings on Saturday.

I need to get a good novel going again. I was reduced this morning to reading the Texas travel guide, which is fascinating reading, but not as well plotted as I like. Tomorrow night we go to a high school play in which my partner and I's secretary's son is starring. It sounds really interesting--about a 19th Century hearing impaired sports star. I went tonight before my bar meeting to downtown Garland to buy the tickets, in this little movie-theater restored into a playhouse. The high school kids were so friendly and helpful, even if they weren't sure how to do advance sales. Later, over dinner, my partner recalled seeing movies often at that theater. I asked him if he had seen Ben Hur there, but he said that his cub scout troop headed into Dallas to see Ben Hur, as it would have taken forever to reach Garland.

Snow is predicted tonight, but hopefully none will accumulate. I am ready to be writing posts about giant swallowtails and blooming thistle again.