Archive - Nov 24, 2003

Date

Just enough snow to ski

Yesterday's dusting of snow gathered together in sufficient drifts at the edges of the field and in the yard to allow me to cross country ski this afternoon. It is quite still, a little breeze from the west, and perfectly clear. Quite beautiful! Stopped still for a while in the woods. A plane droned overhead. A tractor growled on a nearby farmstead. Sounds travel so far on quiet winter days.

Pounding on the door

I have spent this morning trying to get a real person at two large companies. No luck. Once I got a real operator, but she gleefully sent me down the road of another phone menu. I went down the whole "please press one" road until I hit a dead end. To expedite your phone call, the message said, you will have to use our email line. Huh? Then it listed an email address. This is expediting? Hardly. For them, not me, anyway. And then the computer voice said "bye!" and hung up. Message: You will reach no human. You won't be wasting any of our time with your stupid questions. We won.

This week's newspaper column

As a kid, I was bored by the notion of Thanksgiving. The Elders sometimes made us list the things we were thankful for before they let us dig into the turkey. I viewed the exercise as punishment. Let’s get it over with and dish up.

Perhaps I sensed there was some guilt involved. What I thought they were saying was, “You really should be more thankful, you ungrateful little brat. Do you know how good you have it? Don’t you appreciate everything we’ve done for you?”