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March 27th, 2008

Writer's Block: Neurotic Behavior

What is the one thing you're most neurotic about?


Editing. All the time. Even when I want to be "off duty," I can't turn it off.
I worked from home today.



OMG! The P2P delegation has gone from 10 to 20 people, virtually, overnight.  It's a go!

In a very weirdly coincidental incident, I grabbed my latest issue of AAA's Go magazine, which has been laying around in one of my "piles" for, I don't know, probably a few weeks now, and what's on the cover:  10 Reasons to Visit Hong Kong!

And this, just after yesterday, when I pretty much bagged the idea of adding that city on to my trip to China. Things that make you go, "Hmmmm."



Yesterday, after lunch with Kevin after working out, I stopped by the Dollar Store in the strip mall there, specifically to look for marked down Easter candy. I found a plethora of chocolate marked down from the regular price of a $1 a bag or item to $.50 a bag or item.

I bought two, solid white milk chocolate crosses; two solid, regular milk chocolate bunnies; two sets of 3 chocolate eggs with peanut butter centers; and two four-packs of mini-malted milk chocolate eggs.

As I was eating one of the white chocolate (which I love) crosses, I thought, "It doesn't get any better than this: Eating chocolate for Jesus. [Takes bite...] Praise the Lord."



From one of the writers whose work I edit, Mary Mahoney from Austin, in an instant message today:  "Hi, John, I wanted you to know I read your blog a few days ago (I read through a few weeks of posts). It's a scream, and of course, well done! That little girl who said what she'd do to a monster in your link to Utube was stellar."



I had a four o'clock phone meeting with my financial advisor. We're going to invest in some gold, while it's down.

Synchronicity is weird. Not unlike the Hong Kong article, I just listened to that podcast on Tuesday about ETFs and gold, and today my F.A. recommends a gold purchase.

In all the years I've been investing (30) and in all the years he's been my advisor (5 or 6) I've/we've never invested in gold before. Cue up the Twilight Zone music.

Later in the day, I sent an e-mail to Nathan asking him if he had a record of when we first met; that is, how old our "advisor-client relationship" is. Whenever anyone asks me how long I've been working with a financial advisor, I always think that it's about 5 or 6 years (as I guestimated in the previous paragraph).

Turns out we had our first meeting on February 17, 2000, which I confirmed in my Palm Pilot, and in retrospect, could have found it there without bothering him. Eight years, then.



I was going to meet Kevin (av8rdude) at Lake Johnson for a walk and to take some pictures (he's interested in resurrecting his photography hobby), but the timing ended up not working out. Instead, I went to the gym.

During my hour-long cardio workout, I listened to these episodes of NPR Driveway Moments:



Episode NameEpisode SynopsisMy Impressions
'My Lobotomy': Howard Dully's Journey [Listen] [23 min, 9 sec]Over the past two years, Howard Dully has embarked on a quest to discover the story behind the transorbital (a.k.a. "ice pick") lobotomy procedure he received as a 12-year-old boy.Just fascinating. A tragic event. A lifetime of wondering. A heart-wrenching conversation with dad. Peace.
The Power of Love to Transform and to Heal [Listen] [4 min, 27 sec]Four years ago, Jackie Lantry found herself in a Chinese hotel room with a terrified young boy. Today, her adopted son Luke is a happy member of her Massachusetts family, thanks to the power of love.From the This I Believe series. Heart-warming.
Last Fluent Speaker of Eyak Language Dies [Listen] [1 min, 55 sec]Chief Marie Smith Jones, the last fluent speaker of the Eyak language of the Alaskan Indians, died Monday at her home in Anchorage. She was 89. Chief Jones worked diligently to preserve her native tongue and other indigenous Alaskan languages.Surprisingly this was not as interesting to me as I thought it would be. The factoid that surprised me the most in it? "Around the world, a language dies every 14 days."
The Dog Who Loved to Suck on Toads [Listen] [5 min, 17 sec]A dog may be man's best friend. But one dog, Lady, decided she needed more friends—and she found plenty in the knot of toads living near the local pond. A suburban family's secret struggle with an uncommon addiction comes to light in this personal essay by NPR's Laura Mirsch.Marginally interesting. It was funny hearing a dog being referred to as "being stoned."
Knee Replacements, Designed for Women [Listen] [5 min, 48 sec]Aging baby boomers are getting their knees surgically replaced. This year, about 300,000 women will undergo the surgery. Subtle differences in female anatomy have led to the development of gender-specific implants.My interest in this story was solely that my mom has had both of her knees replaced, neither with gender-specific implants, though.
FDA to Weigh In on New Label for Cough Medicines [Listen] [5 min, 47 sec]A petition before the Food and Drug Administration could change the way parents care for children with colds. Many pediatricians cite a lack of evidence that cough medicines are safe or effective for young people.I didn't realize there was a "problem" here. This piece basically says that the medicine is no more effective than a placebo at that age. And on the other hand, every once in a while, it kills a child.

I also listened to these three Slate Explainer podcasts:

Episode NameQuestion Answered
Prince Hairy?Why didn't the British royal have to cut his hair in the army?
Can't Touch ThisWhy Italians grab their crotches to ward off bad luck.
The AIDS Conspiracy HandbookJeremiah Wright's paranoia, in context.

Today's workout statistics:
Exercise Type
Minute
Duration
Calories Burned
or Area Worked

Cardio
(Elliptical)

60

1042




I stopped in the grocery store next door to the gym for a few things, and then edited when I got home.

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