July 31, 2004
I finally got a job! Maybe it’s the blue moon.
The County Wellness and Welfare Human Resources
Department found me a job as a night clerk in a hotel.
Also, they have me lined up to be a partime caregiver
through Meals on Wheels.
And also, I have a job in a glue-fold factory.
This is a new program they have called “Workfare.” It
means, you either work, or they cut off your benefits.
But who knows? Maybe this is just the push I need to
start an exciting new career in Hotel/Motel
Management. And delivering food to invalids, that
might be fun. I don’t know what a glue-fold factory is,
but I guess they'll show me on my first day.
I'm joining the workforce again. It feels pretty good. A
little honest work never hurt anybody. Gosh!
July 30, 2004
I can’t see the TV screen very well
during the day
because of all the light that comes in through the
curtains. But I
leave it on. Everybody sounds happy.
July 26, 2004
I was a little surprised to see
Mrs. Topanga at my door.
She's a neighbor, a really old woman, and I hadn't seen
her for years. I thought she was dead.
She missed her ride and asked if I would drive her to the
hospital for her chemo. I said sure.
We got there, but they didn't give her chemo. They just
gave her a little card with the number for Hospice of
The doctor put a hand on her shouldler and a hand on
my shoulder and he said it was a really good hospice as
he steered us toward the exit.
As we left, it was quiet, except for the sound of some
nurses laughing about something.
July 21, 2004
Stephen Hawking was wrong about
I kind of thought he was, but I didn't want to say anything.
July 18, 2004
Homeland Security Chief
LOS ANGELES (AP)
— The California director of
resigned to take a new position with
The Walt Disney Co.
Ronald L. Iden, 53, will
join Disney as a senior vice
A 22-year-FBI veteran, Iden
headed the bureau's Los
Angeles division for
two years after working as a special
agent responsible for investigations
foreign counterintelligence, financial crimes and
governmental influence peddling. In his new position,
among other duties, he will oversee the Jungle Cruise,
The Pirates of
the Carribean and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
Iden worked at FBI
headquarters in Washington as chief
of the public corruption
unit and the information resources
technology used by the bureau around
the world. At Disneyland, Iden is expected to revamp the
shuttle bus service so it will conform to a new color coding
Looking back on his
government work, Iden wrote that he
was pleased to
have "put into place a plan and framework"
for the homeland security office that "will ensure that an
aggressive security posture will be pursued and maintained
in the months and years ahead."
During Iden's tenure,
Disneyland was granted a 24-hour air
space security zone
that puts it on par with President Bush's
Texas ranch, nuclear submarine
bases and stockpiles of
In addition to making the
park safe from hijacked passenger
planes on their
way to crash into the Matterhorn, the no fly
zone bans competitors' aerial
advertising planes and
In his July 9 letter of
resignation, Iden described the new
position as a "wonderful
opportunity" that "for personal and
family reasons, I cannot forgo." Furthermore, "Disneyland
has always meant wholesome entertainment and American
family values and I want to be a part of that."
His salary was not disclosed
but his compensation package
includes a moving
allowance, full health care coverage, and
a life-time supply of season
passes for his children from two
The Chicago native joined
the FBI in 1978 after 10 years
with the Elk Grove
Police Department in Illinois. Working
for Disneyland fullfils a life long ambition.
July 12, 2004
Sold to Non-fan
Ranch, used for
location shots in the
television show "Bonanza," has
been sold to real
developer David Duffield for
and federal officials
expressed shock and
saying the sale
thwarts their efforts
and preserve the prime
real estate for the
invested so much time and
hard work in this,"
Wilcox, administrator of
the Nevada State
Division, "and it really
sucks the big one."
the public buyout
most of the
property as open space
into a monument honoring
the values they brought
into the living
America every Sunday
envisioned preserving the
Ponderosa Ranch buildings
made his millions off
the backs of
labor in the tech
industry, was ominoulsly
his plans for the
are concerned about the
future of the
Ranch," he said in a
statement. "I, myself,
the ranch up for sale
in February, the
they preferred to sell
to the government,
unscrupulous developer with
president of the
officials' efforts to
put together what
he called "a
very complex project."
but he said their
still in the formative
stages and had an
awful lot of
contingencies. For us,
this was the right
decision for our family."
words, Geddes' concerns
for preserving the
legacy took a backseat to
his lust for gold.
Anderson, co-owner of the
Ponderosa, said the
Duffield did not evolve
until about two weeks
ago when a
manila envelop arrived
in the mail
photographs of Anderson
taken with Geddes
on a hayride.
sometimes known as "Little Joe."
Ranch, which was
opened to the public
in 1967, was
the home set for the
NBC show Bonanza
that aired from 1950 to 1973.
It concerned the exploits
of the Cartwright family who
lived there and got to ride
the No. 1 TV show in
the United States
years and spent most of
its 14 years among
shows. The show has
been in syndication
July 11, 2004
I swore upon a big Bible that I
wouldn't tell anybody
this, lest I be afflicted for all enternity, but here goes.
I joined a secret order in high school thinking it might
be a way to meet girls. No, there were no girls. And it
To join, we had to memorize, word for word, a long
pledge to be faithful to God, to honor our father and
mother, to eschew debauchery and self-abuse, and
above all, not to reveal any secrets of the association,
like the stuff I'm telling you right now, including there
were no girls.
The initiation ceremony took place in a basement
auditorium. The veterans wore robes and the place
was lit by candles. In the middle of the room on a little
coffee table altar was the big Bible.
One by one, we knelt in front of it with our hands
clasped behind our back. We recited the pledge and
then to seal the pledge, we leaned over and kissed
the open page.
This Bible was like the Book of Kells except it was all
in small type and there weren't any illustrations.
After every boy, the Enlighted Wizard turned the page.
I guess for sanitation.
This Bible was really special. Like I said, it was huge.
It had the Greek, and Hebrew and English translations
side by side. It looked like an unabridged encyclopedia
and there probably weren't many like it in the entire
world. It was the word of God and it weighed a ton.
When it was my turn, I knelt down in front of it and I
was afraid that I wouldn't remember the entire pledge
but I got through it without missing a word. Not like
My nervousness made my voice tremble slightly but I
made it seem like I was just being awfully sincere. And
my mouth got a little dry and sticky, too, but nobody
knew that until I was done and I leaned over and kissed
the page in the Bible. The page was very thin and dry
like airmail stationery and it stuck to my lips.
I couldn't peel it off because my hands were behind my
So I just slowly, slowly pulled up and away.
And everybody was looking at me.
And I could hear the sound of the page starting to tear.
I honestly don't remember what happened next.
I just know that moment lasted forever.
July 10, 2004
I like the way my dental hygenist takes an interest in
what I've been up to though she's the one who does
most of the talking.
But I finally managed to ask whatever happened to the
haven't seen him for years. She paused. And
then I asked her not to
take it personally.
Well, it so happens that he had a religious conversion.
He's now a
member of a church that belives in the
healing power of the Lord, and
not modern dentistry.
So he stays at home now. But they don't.
And she told me all of this with a perfect smile.
July 4, 2004
Wait a minute.
Didn't we already catch Ben Laden?
It was some guy with a beard.
June 20, 2004
I went to the vet and he noticed that my dog is
sluggish for his age. And he didn't like it when I said I
fed him just plain old dog food.
You see, I grew up and my dad had this philosophy.
"He's just a dog."
And when I wouldn't buy the 50 lbs. bag of Science
Diet, I got a really unpleasant look.
And I remembered Dad once said, "He's just a vet."
June 29, 2004
Annie came by. Just out of the blue. Something in
insides sort of jumped.
But there wasn't any coffee. And she didn't stay long.
She said some good things about Jim. And then she
said some bad things about him. And then some more
good things, like how they share and stuff like that.
And then she said, "I even told him about you."
"What did you say?"
"That you're easy to talk to."
"Because you don't say anything."
June 28, 2004
I got a postcard from the vet. It's time for some shots,
I'll skip heartworm this time. My dog doesn't see other
June 27, 2004
George Bush means right but bad things keep
happening and his words come out all wrong, most of
the time, even when he says the right thing
I know how that is.
But I still don't think I'll vote for him.
June 19, 2004
As I drifted off to sleep last night, I thought
special time when Annie came by.
As she left the porch and she was walking down the
steps, I said, "Bye, Annie."
And she didn't say "bye" back. What she did was turn
and smile at me and she winked.
It's a nice memory.
I could never wink very well. I mean, when I try it, both
June 18, 2004
My dog is getting old and he now he just mostly
sleeps. Maybe he's old and tired. Or maybe he's old
and it's dawned on him that there just isn't a lot
to do. Especially if you're a dog.
I went over to pet him and he turned his head around
and looked at me like, "What are you doing?"
Annie hasn't come by or anything.
One time I remember I came home and my dog was all
over me. And this wasn't too long ago. You know
what? It felt pretty good.
But he just smelled another dog. I was on the corner
and this little pug licked me. Probably thinking I had
Thursday, June 3, 2004
I didn't have any clean clothes this
morning. I didn't
have any yesterday, either.
I'd wash clothes and take a bath, but I don't know.
It feels like I don't have time. I don't
have a lot to do,
but I feel behind.
And I don't think anybody's going to notice. Maybe
Wednesday, June 2, 2004
Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I know how
I'm going to feel for the rest of the day.
And sometimes, you know, I sort of stay in bed a little
longer when I think about that.
Tuesday, June 1, 2004
I had a little argument with Annie but
it was all in my
head. She made some good points.
And she didn't come by today.
Monday, May 31, 2004
Today I got
up and and this time I put
some sugar in
my coffee. And then I sprinkled on some nondairy
creamer and watched it float.
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Annie came by this morning. It just so
happened I had
some coffee on hand and her World's Best Dad cup
was clean. I sat down on the porch but she remained
standing. She was sort of smiling.
She told me about Jim, a lot of little stuff. I couldn't
follow how any of it was connected but maybe that
was just me.
Suddenly, she said she had to go. She hadn't finished
her coffee but I said she could take the cup with her.
Saturday, May 29, 2004
A telemarketer called. I listened to
everything he had
Friday, May 28, 2004
I saw Annie this morning walking down
the street. She
was with somebody. She didn't look sick.
Thursday, May 27, 2004
I still make coffee every morning and have it ready for
Annie but she hasn't been coming around lately which
is kind of strange because there's all that grass to cut
in the neighborhood.
She likes the coffee cup that says, World's Best Dad
so I make sure it's clean and ready for her.
And sometimes in the afternoon I keep the front door
open so I can better hear her footsteps when she
comes up the porch but I haven't seen her in the
Maybe she's sick. I don't know how to make chicken
soup but I could try.
I'd go see if she's OK but she never told me where she
I used to spend a lot of time with Annie. And now I
spend just about the same amount of time waiting for
her or wondering when I'll see her next.
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
I shouldn't have been eating Hot
that was is the house. So I had to get up around 2 AM
and go to the downtown 7-Eleven to get some Tums.
As I walked around the corner, there was a woman
leaning against the wall in a leopard skin dress. She had
a cigarette and she whispered to me if I had a light.
I stopped and looked at her and said I didn't smoke.
She reached out and touched my hand and said, "Of
course you don't, Honey."
So, that was that. Except a cop car cruised by and she
I kept thinking, how odd. Her skin felt so soft. And so
nice and warm.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Oh, man. That woman wrote me again.
Monday, May 24, 2004
I got a call from Fontaine. He saw my
I don't know how he saw it unless he was doing a search
for men but I didn't bring that up. He likes to be really
clear about his orientation.
I was about to tell him about this woman I was going to
email. I liked the fact she didn't include her picture
because I imagine she might be shy like me. Or maybe
she's so pretty that she doesn't like to show it off. I
heard that some woman wish they weren't so pretty
because that's all men see when they see them. Maybe
she's like that.
But Fontaine said, "What's her age?" And I said 48. And
he said, "Forget it. At that age, their juices dry up. And
then what are you going to do?"
I told him I hadn't thought about that.
That's the truth.
Sunday, May 23, 2004
I got an email from an aging woman.
She didn't like
what I said about the webcam.
I couldn't make heads or tails of the email, but that
part was pretty clear.
Well, I'm sorry.
There are a lot of hurt feelings all over the world. I
don't know what to do about it. I guess try not to
add to it.
Monday, May 17, 2004
I got some spam.
After getting a lot of spam, it was still a let down.
"Hot." "Wild." "Wet." You know, I don't open any of
that anymore, even when I'm really bored. Don't they
I'd like to see some spam titled,
Aging Women Sitting Around Drinking Taster's Choice Webcam
It would be a nice change. And all those college
need to get back to studying.
Sunday, May 16, 2004
OK. I'm casting my net farther and wider. I'm now on
Nerve.com. Again, as RobertofSanJose.
I'm going to be more careful who I write and what I say.
Mrs. Honeychurch was right. Spelling counts.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
PirateQueen, I found out, winks at everybody.
I don't want to talk about it.
Friday, May 14, 2004
PirateQueen sent me a wink! She wants to share smiles,
thunderstorms and dinner.
But she didn't say if that was going to be all at once or
She says, "I maintain a positive inlook that shapes my
outlook in life." And that laughter is her middle name.
That's great! I'm going to write her back.
My middle name is Carl.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Gosh. The news stories
refer to him as "The Beheaded
American." That woman with the cigarette and now
The Beheaded American.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
OK. I'm on Match.com as
RobertofSanJose and since I
haven't gotten any winks or emails, I thought I would work
on my profile a little.
like to share sunrises and sunsets scattered with
walks on the beach.
You know, that sounds nice, but I get sand in my shoes.
things that are fun.
Well, no, I don't. And even if I did, I wouldn't say that.
Sure. I can say that. But I'm afraid it'll create a false
I'd like to be unique. And spell better.
That's more like it.
have definite ideas or goals because I like to
keep my options open. Every day presents me with
challenges. I look forward to reaching achievable
even though I radiate doubt. My friends tell me
They say I'm like a rock.
Actually, they say I remind them of a rock, but I figure
that's pretty close.
I have a
Well, that' true.
I'm intuitive, but I'm not sure.
to find somebody without a sense of humor.
I think that would be really funny.
Maybe that's too much information.
Monday, May 10, 2004
Those prisoners are being treated pretty bad.
Gosh, and that woman smokes cigarettes even
though she's four months pregnant.
She says she was just following orders but it still
looks pretty bad.
I mean, what if somebody told her to jump off a
Friday, April 30, 2004
A lot of people are upset about the pictures of
coffins on TV and the reports about the war dead.
Maybe they should just show one coffin with a flag
drapped over it because I'm pretty sure they all look
And as for reading the names of everybody who died,
I think they should have done that months ago when
the list was a lot shorter.
Thursday, April 29, 2004
A poll just came out that says that most Iraqis don't
They don't like me and they don't even know me.
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
You know what I found out? If you
keeping saying the
word "Iraq" over and over again, like 100 times, it
almost sounds like it doesn't mean anything.
Sunday, April 18, 2004
I thought I'd record some of my
journal with a microphone. This is
what I've got so far. Click here.
(It might not work right.)
Saturday, April 17, 2004
I came upon your website totally by accident. A friend of mines
Rob Wright passed away from liver failure in Washington State and I
was trying to reach them thru the internet. I stumbled onto your
and felt compelled to write. Your words disturbed me because they
reflect the thoughts of someone that doesn't appreciate themself,
possibly family and friends around them, and their own potential.
You briefly described your experience as a crossing guard. My
observation is that you approach any job with the intention of doing
your best, no matter what the job is. Maybe you could have smiled
the kids, wished them a good morning, stood tall and assertive when
directing the motorist. You were hired to protect the safety of
youngsters, that is a very important job. You could have assumed
each child was your own and that they were dependant upon your
directions to safely cross that busy street.
Each of us has a "cross to bear", it is our attitude that we have, each
morning when we get up, get out of bed and begin our day. I
each day the good Lord gives me for being alive. The attitude
and I have each day we rise, will result in the kind of day we will
would suggest that you get up before the sun rises, grab some coffee or
tea, and take a walk to see the sunrise. Think about what gifts
been given by God and how you can use them. Tell the people
how much you love and appreciate them in your life. Try to live
as if it were your last, remarkable things may happen. Finally,
try putting a
smile on your face, people respond to individuals that have a pleasant
on their face, plus you use fewer muscles to smile than to frown (as in
photo). A change of attitude, focus on prayer with God, early in
morning, be positive, always do your best, appreciate who you are, what
you have and the people the love you. Pray to God for strength
wisdom, it will change your life.
A friend that cares,
Thanks for writing.
I'm sorry to hear about the Robert Wright who died of liver failure and
hope you are successful in locating his family.
I also hope you never suggested to that Robert Wright that he live
day as if it were his last because maybe he knew he was going to die
and that might have sent the wrong message. I don't know. I tried it
living a day like it was my last, and all I did all day was mope around
depression. I don't know how that it supposed to improve somebody's
attitude, but maybe it does, because this isn't the first time I've
people say this.
About my crossing guard job. I did try to stand tall and assertive but
cars didn't want to slow down and some of them honked at me. I think we
all have our special talents. Stopping traffic doesn't seem to be one
Now about the Good Lord.
If Jesus sent me an email, he would say something like,"Hey Robert, I
read your website and I love it. The next time I'm in town, how about
for a beer? I'll buy." He wouldn't say I disturb him and that I
need to change
my attitude. And boy, he certainly wouldn't tell me to get up before
You don't have to be all-seeing and all-knowing to figure out how much
to sleep in.
Now about smiling. If a person smiles because you tell him to smile,
he's got to be retarded. Or maybe he smiles because he's embarrassed
you would say something that dumb. Or maybe he smiles so you'll get
you want and you'll go away.
I've heard that before, that it takes more muscles to frown than to
I don't know if it's true. A lot of things they told us in third grade
verify. But let's say it is true. Do I want people to look at my face
and think I'm
just avoiding physical exertion?
In my photo, by the way, I am smiling. Maybe I'm lazy.
But anyway, thanks for writing.
Friday, April 16, 2004
Christ the Redeemer. You're not supposed
Everything is priced as mark. If something is missing
the round red tag, you can't buy it until it gets
repriced and the clerks aren't allowed to do that.
But one time there was this guy in his early 30's who
had a pencil mustache and everything about him was
jerky and aggitated. He picked up an old computer, a
kind they stopped making years ago, and he flipped it
over and over, squinting at it, and frowning. The red
tag said $10.00 and it was marked "AS IS."
He said, "This CPU needs more memory." But he didn't
open it. He just shook it and scowled.
He called over a clerk and said, "This has no memory."
She didn't speak English so she left to get somebody
He looked at me and said, "No clock speed. Not a
problem. I have one at home. But you need memory.
This has no memory." He took a pencil from his pocket
and poked into the opening where a disk drive would
Another clerk came over, this time with a manager. He
was starting to get loud.
"You don't understand. I have one of these at home.
We need memory. The BIOS, no problem. The DOS is
OK. That's not the problem. It's memory."
The manager said it was priced "as is" but the guy
scoffed at him and said, "I need memory. It has no
memory!" He turned and gave me a look that seemed
to say, "Isn't it incredible in this day and age that there
are still people on this planet who don't know a damn
thing about computers?" Not wanting to be rude, I
Then there was silence. Then he looked at the manager
and said, "No memory!"
The manager just turned and walked away.
The clerk bowed her head and in a low voice said, "Five
This calmed the man immediately. But as a quiet man,
he looked immensely sad.
Thursday, April 15, 2004
I have to watch my pennies until I get a regular
again so sometimes I go to Christ the Redeemer
Thrift Shop. Their stuff could be a little cheaper but
the profits help pay for a 19 year old girl who's a
missionary in PaPua New Guinea. They have a couple
of photographs of her taped to the register. She's
been gone for what seems like a long time.
Christ the Redeemer. They always have about twenty
electric can openers priced to sell. But they just sit
I saw a little wooden thing there and I couldn't figure
out what it was until somebody told me it's to hang
bananas on. I like this place.
One time I saw my old English teacher there nosing
around. I said, "Hi, Mr. Perkins! What are you doing
here?" He said, "Christmas shopping." I thought he
was joking but Annie said he was employing irony. A
few months later he died of AIDS. None of his
students liked him. It makes you think, sort of.
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
I've been spending so much time with Annie
had to have a little talk.
She said she wanted a platonic relationship for once in
She asked me if that was OK. And then she said that
was a rhetorical question because she already made up
I said it sounded good to me.
Annie cuts grass in the neighborhood. She used to teach
junior college but she got mixed up with drugs. We have
coffee and talk whenever she drops by which is just
about every day now that the weather is good. She does
most of the talking.
So after she left I looked up Plato and found out he was
really smart. And then I found out he never suffered from
"For once in her life." Shoot.
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Joe Montana. I wish I had a name like that.
One summer at camp I told everybody my name was
It didn't stick.
Monday, April 12, 2004
I can tell it's spring because Mario talks baseball
whenever I drop by the deli to pick up my sandwich.
So I told him I stopped following baseball when Joe
Even then, I wasn't what you'd call a big fan.
Sunday, April 11, 2004
It's Easter. Happy Easter. This is the day my
used to go to church.
My allergies were pretty bad back then.
Saturday, April 10, 2004
I was in Fan Bonanza today, chatting.
Not saying much
I don't even know why I go there.
It doesn't do anything for my prostate.
Friday, April 9, 2004
O.K., it's Good Friday, but I decided
to give it another
I thought about the time Denise and I hiked to the
water tower. It was a summer day above the timber
line so I was hot and sweaty. She said, "Let me check
you for ticks." I just looked at her. And then, without
another word, she started checking.
True, I embellish, but it helps.
Thursday, April 8, 2004
This probably should just be a matter
between me and
my God, but I thought I'd give that prostate prevention
thing a go. But it didn't work out.
With me, it can't be planned. It has to be spontaneous.
And nothing to do with flossing.
Wednesday, April 7, 2004
I couldn't sleep last night. I was
thinking about that new
study that came out about prostate cancer.
I was thinking about that ounce of prevention. Just one
ounce about three times a week, so to speak.
I could do that.
Well, you know, by myself. And there'd be no guilt. It
would be like flossing.
Tuesday, April 6, 2004
This being unemployed is ridiculous
but I don't feel
like laughing. So I applied for and got a job as a
school crossing guard.
I got a hat, a whistle and a little stop sign. And this
yellow thing that goes diagonally across my chest
which was supposed to be adjustable but I couldn't
get it to work. Whoever had it before me was pretty
My first day was yesterday and today I called in sick.
Tomorrow I'm going to be sick again. No, nobody got
They assigned me to the busy street in front of Gus
Grissom Elementary School. Not only is it busy, but
early in the morning people are late for work, especially
right after Day Light Savings, and the way they have
me dressed, I think I look more like a disoriented clown
than a figure of authority.
I didn't stop traffic very well and kids just don't like me.
They never have. Even when I was a kid myself.
One time I put my sign out and the cars looked like they
weren't about to stop. I jumped back to the curb and
they just kept going. I was right.
No, there weren't any kids in the crosswalk. They were
on the curb and they were giving me dirty looks.
Friday, April 2, 2004
I went looking for a job.
I thought Kinko's would be a good fit since I'm used
to being around copy machines but I went down there
and I changed my mind. Young people were working
there and they were moving around pretty fast and
they seemed to know what they were doing.
This Kinko's was next to a Starbucks and they had the
same kind of young people over there too.
I just wouldn't fit in.
I want a government job like Ron used to have. He
worked for the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Somebody would call up with a complaint, like maybe
they bought a lawn mower and it didn't work and the
store wouldn't give them a refund.
Ron would send them a form to fill out so they could
put it all down on paper. They'd mail it back to Ron
and Ron photocopied it and forwarded it to the store.
If the store had a different side to the story, he'd give
them a form, they'd fill it out, he'd photocopy it and
forward it back, and so on, until somebody just gave
up or forgot about it.
If the consumer gave up first, the case was closed. It
the consumer didn't give up and the store wouldn't
budge, Ron mailed the consumer a flier all about small
One time I visited Ron and I said, "Hey, your phone is
off the hook."
And he said, "I know. People complain too much."