West Palm Journal: January 22

Dinner tonight with friends who live in an affluent, gated, retirement community, then dinner in the club house. Definitely not for me.

The engineer from Crewe, England, fixed my Bentley while I was away. It had refused to recognize any of our keys once brought in for service. They gave me a Bentley loaner, but it’s nice to see that kind of responsiveness. These cars are so complex that things go wrong with things that are supposed to prevent things from going wrong. What does it cost to fly a guy from England to reprogram your car, plus tie up the service facility for two weeks? I don’t want to know and I’m glad they’re embarrassed enough to want to get past it. They threw in a complete detailing and fixed a rim I habitually scratch up for free, as well.

Nice day on the beach with some trips to one of the pools (an “infinity” pool, which is kind of neat, with the water running into the horizon, so to speak). Lunch at the grill, outdoors, overlooking the ocean, with a foot-long hot dog. “I’m expecting that this is actually a foot long,” I kidded with the server. “It is when it starts before cooking,” he assured me, “but there is always some shrinkage.”

My wife stared at him, he lowered his eyes, and hurried away.

I’m used to the seagull who usually sits on our balcony railing, webbed feet and all, but when I looked up at a bird stationary in the breeze watching me write, it turned out to be a huge hawk. He gave me a smart-ass look and moved on.

Five calls on the beach today, two dozen emails tended to, and my work is done. Why do people have to swear they won’t do work on vacation and won’t take vacation during the week? It’s not a personal life and a work life.

It’s your only life.

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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