Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Monday, 7 January 2008

It’s All Too Beautiful

Sarasota, Florida

I get up at 4 AM and play with the computer. I nag some friends in England to send me MP3s from their two albums “The Firefly Sessions”. I look up the requirements for filing a tax return when you have a deceased spouse. I need to help Susan with her 2007 tax return in a few weeks. She is a classic innocent spouse. I’ve looked at her 2006 joint return and it seems easily doable.


At 6 AM I drive to a local bank and try withdrawing $100 cash from my American Express card. It works. I want Mrs. Phred to have at least two cards that work in ATMs when she goes to Venice, Italy on the 17th. Mrs. Phred’s sister in Venice has requested certain hard-to-get items from America. These include rounded toothpicks, a large jar of mixed salted nuts and a taser with an accessory belt battery pack.


At 8 AM we play doubles social tennis. It’s a round robin where you play a different position on each set. I go around five times for 20 sets. Mrs. Phred has a swollen knee. She won’t stay off it. We have an MRI scheduled for her Wednesday. Perhaps it is another torn meniscus?


At 11 AM my volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity begins. I help Amy with the bills and income reports. She’s smart. I would have considered hiring her at my last job as a controller. Amy is stressed today. She needs to do monthly financial statements, get everything recorded and order the 2007 tax forms for vendors and employees. They give me coffee and a nametag. I work for her 3 hours a day, five days a week.


At 2 PM I go to the local library and buy five hard covers for $5.25. I know I’ve read two of them before. A senior bonus of reaching my advanced age is that the 20,000 books and 30 billion estimated words previously read begin to fade out very rapidly. You can read the same thing twice now every ten years with only a vague recollection. In five years, I bet I can read the same book every two months without remembering any of the details. It's a storage issue.


I have to go to Tampa for a special procedure on a basal cell cancer on my temple tomorrow. Apparently cancers in the hair area are more difficult to excise. They say it will take all day. Cut and send the excised tissue to the lab to examine margins. Repeat as needed. I'll take two books and a turkey sandwich. If it takes too long I can probably read the first book twice.


Right now I’m drinking wine and listening to CD1 of the “this is Psychedelia” set. Mrs. Phred is not here to tell me it is too loud. She’s down at the pool watching the Elvis impersonators. Five of them are sky-diving in with the rocket packs that leave the cool smoke trails.


My only two New Year’s resolutions are to go to a three-day Kite Boarding Camp on the outer banks of North Carolina and try tandem sky-diving 30 miles south of Dallas for $169. I love the way Kite Boards catch the wind and pull you 30 feet out of the water. I never got a chance to use my chute in the Air Force.


It's all to beautiful, It's all to beautiful
I feel inclined to blow my mind
Get hung up, feed the ducks with a bun
They all come out to groove about
Be nice and have fun in the sun
It's all to beautiful, It's all to beautiful
It's all to beautiful, It's all to beautiful
-Small Faces
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