November 5th, 2004

abstract butterfly

auctioning america to the highest bidder

Last night I attended the Garland Bar Association. The speaker was a local judge who sits in a court which tries juvenile justice, child welfare and other kid-oriented cases. These glimpses into the part of the legal profession which deals with the truly sad situations always enlightens me that there is a great deal in my own little area from which I am cloistered and separate. I am selfish enough to admit that one reason I like business cases is that my clients rarely cry.

I spent time at a guppy website, which then linked me to a fish auction site. I knew, of course, that fish breeders on-line charge far less than pet stores. I figured, though, that used tanks and equipments would similarly price a fair bit less, but they did not. I also went to eBay, and bid on a 25 gallon aquarium and stand. My bid proved inadequate when the auction turned out to have a reserve. I dislike reserve auctions. I dislike overpriced used goods. I am back to my yard sale plan for tank acquisition.
I have two tanks in my garage, one for personal use, and one for my giveaway scheme. I must acquire a handful more.

Mr. Bush's press conference about how he has "political capital" and he intends "to spend it" reminds me that I want to work hard to make sure my team's political piggy bank is filled with coins next election. Although I am far removed from any active role in politics other than voting and perhaps giving a little money each time, already even I am thinking hard about the "to the center or to the left" issue that will inevitably arise. My sense is that the broader tent of a move toward the center will be the answer, as the core did as much as one could possibly hope for this time and it proved inadequate. But a friend made a cogent argument for a "move to the left" approach, because otherwise the risk of not offering a true alternative is presented. I do like that this election, between the primaries and the general election, swept from the stage virtually the entire Democratic old guard. It's time to begin with new voices and winning ideas.

I am glad that so many folks recognize the stakes this time, and what was lost. The best way to begin making a change is to recognize that one is needed.
abstract butterfly

elegant failure

"If death is with me every breath I draw, if the grave is an endless ditch beside which I must walk, and its edge may crumble and let me in at any moment, still I must walk carelessly and breathe the air with a grand extravagance"--Kenneth Patton

Tonight we ate organic frozen pizza with cornmeal crust, after we learned that our favorite neighborhood Persian restaurant went out of business. We wish we had gotten the chance to say bon chance to the owners, a brother and sister who were respectively studying for their MBA and dentristry degrees. I admire pluck and shish kebab, so I'll miss their place.

I got in the mail an aquarium pump and filter I found for one dollar, suited to a tiny tank apparatus.
I watched this rich man fire this fellow from a game show after the contestant, a real estate guy, imagined that converting a four bedroom into a three and using one contractor for a three day major remodel was the brilliant way to manage business. Then I watched David Letterman interview the actress who plays on the television show Veronica Mars, still my favorite new show.

I began to read the books I got from Amazon. One, edited by Maryell Cleary, tells the story of
the failed experiment of the Charles Street Universalist House in Boston. In particular, the book relates the story of Kenneth Patton, a universalist minister who called for decency and liberation from superstition in a more conservative time.

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