Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Why I Don't Get Enough Writing Done

I decided to start Monday with a telephone call to the Eastern time zone, to the Bank of New York, which had messed up a stock transfer from my parents' estate, and to which I had sent fresh instructions on 21 April.

"We never received them," claimed the telephone representative, who undoubtedly is told in training to "always blame the Postal Service."

So, I downloaded new W-9 form and stock transfer form. The latter requires the infamous Medallion signature guarantee, which means a 25-mile drive to Canon City, home of the nearest bank that participates in that program. So if I'm going to Canon City, I might as well replace the sand-pitted windshield on the Jeep TJ (its third in five years). I called McCasland's glass shop downtown and got an afternoon appointment. I passed the rest of the morning preparing the stock-transfer forms and doing other paperwork. If I am going to Ca?on, I might as well stop in Florence and talk with my insurance agent, because Colorado's auto insurance law is changing in July. (Called him, made appointment for 1:30).

I left a little after noon, stopping at the Wetmore post office to mail various things, including a packet for the new publisher of The Pomegranate in the UK. (Expect big announcement soon.)

Then 45 minutes with the insurance agent while he explains that the return to tort law instead of "no fault" car insurance means that I need many, many more dollars' worth of liability coverage.

Then to the UPS store to send a painting by my father to Fritz Muntean, the Pomegranate's founding editor.

I dropped the Jeep at the glass shop and walked to Fremont Bank, finding an idle vice president to stamp my stock-transfer form with the Medallion stamp. From there it was a couple of blocks to the old courthouse to meet with the county assessor about getting Dad's name off the deed to some lots in a ghost town near Cripple Creek that he and I owned. It turned out that I need to record a special "personal representative's deed," something that I had never asked the estate lawyer to prepare.

Ate a late lunch at Pizza Madness, walked the downtown business district, full of new enterprises that are high on quaintness and low on capital. My slogan for Canon City, based on Mary's and my six years there: "Canon City, the town that never quite gets it right." A smelly old cafe that we knew as The Shanty is now The Frying Pan. Loosely painted on its window was "Open 7 Days," and below that hung a "Closed" sign. OK, so they serve breakfast and lunch only, closing at 2 p.m., but somehow that contrast seemed characteristic of the town.

Went to the library and read an issue of The Economist. I'm too economical to subscribe to it. Drank a cappuccino at a marginal coffee house, Wicked Brew, started up in old house on Royal Gorge Boulevard by what appeared to be a single woman with teenage daughter(s). A bit of cognitive dissonance there: various signs, such as "The fortune teller is [reversible sign] OUT," and a strategically placed table suggest the occasional presence of a Tarot reader, most likely. Yet nearby was a stack of brochures about The Rapture, suggesting a conservative evangelical Christian presence. You would expect those two influences to be incompatible.

I picked up the Jeep just before five, made a stop at the supermarket, and was home shortly before six o'clock. And there was the day gone. After supper, I wrote the letter to the lawyer, caught up on e-mail, and felt as though I had done something all day but I wasn't sure exactly what.



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