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September 21st, 2008

"If we ever pass out as a great nation we ought to put on our tombstone, 'America died from a delusion that she has moral leadership."--will rogers

The past few days put me in mind of the need to focus on real values--not the wedge-issue rhetoric and moral smugness which passes for "values voting", but the day-to-day struggle to just live a bit more decently, and to help build a more livable world. I believe in a form of the American Dream--but it has nothing to do with getting rich quickly, or forcing everyone to believe and do the things I do.

drill, baby, drill

Last night we attended the Garland Sports Hall of Fame banquet, because one of my law partners, a strong golfer, was being inducted. This event brought out hundreds of people to Garland's large Events Center. We dined on barbeque and fried pies--the fried pies were really well-done, from an establishment hitherto unknown to me called Polly's Pies. I rarely eat fried pies, but made an exception. The sports banquet was informal and it was fun to see pictures of my partner, in his fifties, back when he was a high school golfer and a 70s golf coach. It was great to see his brother, as well as each of his three adult children, who are each charming and somehow, in some soupy way, give me hope for the next generations. I had not seen my partner's new home into which he had moved in the last year or two. It was exquisitely decorated with a non-cookie-cutter style. I am not any good at social functions, but I am glad I get to attend a few down-to-earth ones from time to time.

All weekend I had been fighting discomfort that set in with Wednesday's teeth cleaning. I had functioned pretty well, bowling three games Saturday morning with my little brother (and playing a spirited game of laser tag). Yet by Saturday night it became apparent that my issue was not a mere trace of infection from vigorous dental care, but instead a palpable problem with one tooth. I am in the "be stoic about physical pain" camp, but it was clear that I had to take an active step before my trip to Los Angeles Monday. I called my dentist's voice mail at dawn this morning.

I love that my dentist is the kind of guy who will take part of his Sunday to do a quick procedure rather than make me suffer on anti-biotics and pain pills until Tuesday. He met my wife and I at his office at 1:30 p.m., and helped me with my tooth. The net effect was to replace palpable pain with mere dull ache. I am in a position to travel on tomorrow, albeit it cost me an afternoon today in which I intended to get work done.

I've been reading a celebration of Will Rogers--an interesting fellow. I've also been enjoying music by Cagey House, Planet Boelex and Lisa's Antenna, and the first release on a new "light ambient" label formed by the fellow who runs darkwinter.com.

The coming week will be very challenging, as my dance card is quite full. Yet if I can make it to the weekend, after work, further dentistry, travel and all, our 12 year old niece comes to visit next weekend, and the fun will be in session.

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