...All's Well Here in the Rose Garden

I awoke this morning to the blustery onslaught of the high winds and rain that proceeds the dire chill of an impending winter. They say this one will be a doozy. Ironic somehow that the fuel prices are so high. I think it was just the other day that I received a notice in the mail that my "barely cover anything" health insurance policy was going from $528.00 a month to $632.00. Why should this bother me? Tra-la-la-da-dee-dee-dee. The letter cited technological advancements and other such sound reasoning that it would surely make me sound like a curmudgeon if I were to say anything adverse to their logical explanation. The letter went on to explain that there was a number to call to address any concerns and to perhaps help me lower my billing amount. I want to do my part to help them keep pace with rising costs so that they can pay future claims. Maybe they can change my deductible from $5000 per person per year to $10,000. Makes sense to me. I think it's outright silly of me to worry about the fact that we are not at war anymore... yet daily, human beings, much like myself, are being killed in an exercise that is going to insure my liberty and my freedom. I wonder what the average Iraqi pays as deductible for their family's (or what's left of it) health insurance? The "Check Engine" light comes on sporadically in my van these days. I reckon I should call the dealer who I'm sure is going to charge me to check the engine. The dealer is the one that possesses the computer that can tell me all about the inner workings of this little steel beast. You'd think that would be a free service, wouldn't you?

The "Early Bird" special in a restaurant I enjoy has gone from $7.95 to $10.00. No problem here. One starts to pick up the justified reasoning especially now that beef is coming back into favor and bread, the old staff of life, is going out. I wonder if there is such a thing as Mad Bread Disease. Oh well, I'm told that everything works out for the best in the end. I had an electrician over a week or so back to partially correct a mistake he had made and to install a simple switch. Two people showed up...$80.00 and hour...plus an $80.00 relay and a $60.00 DPDT switch...BINGO...a $600.00 dollar bill. Why should this bother me? My pension check, wee as it may be, which was designed to be a set amount for the rest of my life, is now under the auspices of the government, which may or may not reduce the amount at whim and pretty much at any time. The government took over my former corporation's pension plan ...I think cause it did not really trust them. It's all very confusing but I just listen to what they tell me to do and try not to bleat really loud about any issues that may arise. Social Security...the perennial cash cow, is always under scrutiny. It's one of those deals where something really works well, so let's destroy it. I'll bet you anything that it will fall apart in the year 2009, just about the time I'm eligible for it. That's what I get for being a baby-boomer...a phrase that has kinda been phased out. I see where the stock market is coming back and I can't help but wonder why all the money I had invested before things got bad didn't? Is it something to do with the mutual fund scandal? Is it possible that some folks were doing something underhanded with my money? Why should a small thing like this get me down. At least gas prices are more reasonable lately, almost. I just finished a yogurt (didn't it used to be spelled different?) which was more like a tub of candy. It had 240 calories. As I best recall, twas a time not too long ago, yogurt had kind of a "different" bitter-flat-tangy taste and was much less fattening. I suppose it has evolved for the best. I'm on a diet now...not for any other reason other than it was getting tight around my waste. It was so easy for me to let myself slip and gain 8 or 10 pounds by mere dint of ingesting food that's just so darn easily available to me. I think this is not a problem in places like rural India and China, but why should I care, after all, I have my insurance woes to face. I have an old Apple Personal LaserWriter (LaserWriter being one word with a capital in the middle). It's getting very very old by today's standards. It works sporadically well now. I called a tech yesterday in a city near here and he gave me a little clue as to how I might possibly keep a certain ongoing problem at bay. It worked! I would hate to see this thing die and have to see it thrown into a big hole in the Earth. The holes are all filling up, you know, and there are a few "nasties" in this machine that, if they should ever find there way to the water aquifers that sustain our life here on Earth...Whew!, I shutter just to think about it. Life with no water. Well, me morning cup of tea is finished and I'm feeling on top of the world. It's time to start on the more practical things in my life. I have to raise the Gross National Product proportionately, get this yogurt tub into the waiting waste stream, get the van over to the dealer's, pay my electrician, and kick the side of my LaserWriter to get this printed out and off to the publisher. If our society is so all powerful, can it create a rock that's so heavy even it can't lift it? Have a nice day.

J. Jules Vitali is a sculptor, columnist, moral philosopher and poet who resides in Freeport, Maine. He is the creator of the art form, StyrogamiTM which can be seen on the web at www.styrogami.com . He is also an Artist in Cellophane (www.artomat.org).