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Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2001
I almost feel guilty coming to Diaryland when I don't have the time to do it right. It really takes me a good two hours to find, let alone read all the lovely things that my burgeoning tribe of favorite writers have to say. And I surely don't have a spare two hours to invest every day. Not until 2002, anyway.

Yesterday Stu and I met at the office in the morning. I call it an office, it's our shop / warehouse which contains everything that has spilled out of our trucks and garages, and then some. We were preparing to pick up our various helpers and go to separate jobs for the morning. Stu rolled down his window as he backed out of the parking lot, wagged a finger at me and gave me my morning reminder.

"Just remember. Don't go taking on anymore work until 2002, capeche?"

I've had a bad habit lately of winning bids for work, at astoundingly high prices. Problem is, they're all to be finished within the same time frame. Before the end of this year.

When I bid these things, these short term jobs, I often picture myself as Roger Clemens, high on the mound preparing to deliver a fastball past some hapless batter. Only instead of a ball, I've got a fistfull of estimating cash, and I'm ready to throw money at the job until the catchers hand hurts. Lately, the catcher not only gloves the throw, he wants me to wind up and do it again.

So when the cell phone rang at noon and it was some guy from Michigan looking for us to give him a bid on some work, my first thought was of Stu and how his tongue is beginning to hang low from being on the run all day. In need of a week off, he is.

"Mr. Michigan, I only have one question. When do you need the work done?"

"Well, uhhh........first week in January."

I mentally put on my glove, knocked some dirt from the cleats and jogged confidently out onto the playing field. Oh boy, my arm feels good today and I've got a whole box full of hundred dollar bills on the mound to work with.

And that screeching manager in the dugout, waving his arms, making the cutoff / choke sign, trying to get my attention? It couldn't be Stu.

Nah. Couldn't be. Heh. Play ball, baby.

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