Friday, April 28, 2006

Where are we going?

The scourge of modern society driving me crazy this morning: lawnmowers, leaf blowers, edgers, weed whips and garbage trucks contributing to the mayhem. Ah, Suburbia!

This is unacceptable. To think this is what we now consider “normal”. I can’t stay here for long.

Lay in bed. Nothing to get up to. Leg in pain from something. What happens when one of these days I can’t get out of bed? A flurry of troubling thoughts.

Over to the Kenwood post office at 11:00, looking for a distribution check from my investments. Counting the miles, the gallons, the dollars. 10 miles over. $1.50 to $2.00. No mail. I asked the postal clerk if they’ve put all the mail out yet.

“No.”

“When do you expect it to be available.”

“2:00”

(“Crap.”)

You know you’ve arrived when "Sotheby’s International Realty” is handling your property sale. I first saw the signs in the Carmel area. Now I’m seeing them around the Bennett and Sonoma Valleys of Sonoma County.

Hiking through Annadel park today, I encountered a rattlesnake on “Rough Go" trail. It seems early in the season!

Spent about eight hours at “A’Roma Roasters” working on journal notes.

Learned that former Mondavi co-worker Stephen Krimont is finally going to Portugal (and Italy) on business! He’ll be visiting the cork forests and cork processing plants in Portugal, then vacationing with his wife in Italy. I have been there numerous times, and had hoped to enable all my staff to experience the conduct of business with foreign suppliers. Sadly, I wasn’t able to make that happen.

I’m gradually uncovering my old (pre-trip) habits. At 9:00 p.m., I knew there was something I would usually listen to. Today I remembered: “BBC”!

On a Commonwealth Club (of San Francisco) broadcast, I listened to a talk by Dr. Charles Murray (author of The Bell Curve) in which he discussed his latest book, “In our hands”. A press release states:

“Charles Murray offers a plan that would eliminate all income transfer programs at the federal, state, and local levels—including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, and corporate subsidies—and would substitute an annual cash grant of $10,000 for life, beginning at age twenty-one. Murray argues that “the Plan” would end poverty, allow all Americans access to health care, and empower people to control their own lives. Murray’s book describes the financial feasibility of his ideas and their effect on retirement, health care, poverty, marriage and family, work, neighborhoods, and the larger civil society.”

It’s a fascinating premise, and something I need to study more carefully.

My apartment is not much larger than the tree houses in a couple of the oaks outside! I’m in the middle of what I hate: massive homes, 3-car garages, SUVs, the gas-powered landscaping equipment, water-sucking New England-style lawns and gardens in the midst of arid California chaparral. Are we idiots, bent on planetary destruction? Do I need to answer that?

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