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November 8th, 2013

Wednesday afternoon I learned that I needed to make a quick business trip that evening to be attend a meeting on Thursday in Long Beach, California. This involved a bit of scrambling and heading home on my way to the airport to pack a suit and tie. I landed at 9:30 p.m. I walked from a hotel on Ocean Boulevard for fifteen minutes to get to my meeting. I like Long Beach, always have, and liked all the people with the way whom I dealt, but hearing rooms are hearing rooms rather than being, say, hiking trails, all the world over. Thursday I spent most of the day attending to my business matter. My flight home was from Los Angeles International (LAX) airport. I arrived at the airport at 5:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. flight. When I arrived, I thought originally that I was on U.S. Air. The line at that terminal for security ran outside the door and down the sidewalk. Then I realized I was on United's commuter airline. The security line at the United Terminal was less than five people long.

During the flight home,I read Chris F. Holm's "The Big Reap". This is the third in his Collector series, a story of the afterlife written in a light, vaguely noir pulp style. When I arrived home from the airport near 1 p.m., I had to finish the last 20 pages. I know that novels about angels and demons and soul collectors and macabre creatures are all the rage right now, but these stories, told with lots of Raymond Chandler winks, work very well. I find myself often entertained by stories of an afterlife. I like the Albert Brooks notion in "Defending Your Life" that one's personal generosity defines how nice a hotel one gets in the afterlife while waiting for one's next assignment. I use that story as a reminder to always engage in small acts of charity, though, sadly, it has not yet motivated me to ensure a suite at a 5 star other-wordly resort. The little pandigital android tablet I use as an e-reader has lasted me more than a couple of years now, and is going strong.

I won an eBay auction while I was in mid-air When I got on my flight, the auction had two hours to go. Though I was the only bidder at that time, I moved my bid up by 5 dollars and 67 cents. Sure enough, somebody else tried to snipe in at the end with a bid 5 dollars higher, but I won because my 67 cents still sent me over the top. Those two little figures right of the decimal can sometimes make a difference,though now that I think of it, a last-minute snipe would not have prevailed against 5.00 because a match would have resulted in a "you've been outbid" flag. I felt accomplished, pretty much over nothing. Now I must decide between raisin bran and oatmeal.

reelin' in the years

I talked to my cousin today. He's about 6 years my junior. It's fun sometimes to pause and realize that he's now in his late 40s, though in my mind he will also be under 10 to some extent.