Monday, October 31, 2005

November Guest

The Writer's Almanac has Robert Frost's "My November Guest" as its poem today. It's one of my all time favorites, so enjoy.

My November Guest

My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She's glad the birds are gone away,
She's glad her simple worsted gray
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
For they are better for her praise.


This poem appeals to me today because it invites me to inhabit its imagery: "the sodden pasture lane" and "silver now with clinging mist," and "The desolate, deserted trees, / The faded earth, the heavy sky."

With Robert Frost, the form is there, and the metaphor is there, but the greatest pleasure for me is often the way he evokes natural images, particularly images of the changing of seasons, and the way those natural images stand as a surrogate for the narrator's inner feelings.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Reflections on Iraq and Other Things

U.S. Military deaths in Iraq reached 2,000 yesterday.

In an unrelated note, back in 1999 I started a college fund for my oldest daughter. Mostly, I invested some money in S&P 500 Index funds, but I picked some individual stocks for a small portion of the fund. One of those stocks was JDS Uniphase, a Nasdaq company specializing in Internet infrastructure components.

When the bubble burst, the stock tanked. My investment guy says that I should sell it, because in the face of mounting losses, I am just throwing good money after bad. I told him that if I sell my stock now and admit defeat, all the college money that I invested in JDS before will have been invested in vain.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Kay Bailey Hutchinson, today in NYT talking about impending indictments (emphasis mine):

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas, speaking on the NBC news program "Meet the Press," compared the leak investigation with the case of Martha Stewart and her stock sale, "where they couldn't find a crime and they indict on something that she said about something that wasn't a crime."

Ms. Hutchison said she hoped "that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars."

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson's statement about the Clinton impeachment, from the Congressional Record:

Lying is a moral wrong. Perjury is a lie told under oath that is legally wrong. To be illegal, the lie must be willfully told, must be believed to be untrue, and must relate to a material matter. Title 18, Section 1621 and 1623, U.S. Code.

Yeah, it would be a miscarriage of justice to impose sanctions on someone who lied about an activity that was legal.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Family Medical Leave Act

Any of you experienced lawyers out there able to help me clarify something?

My wife has serious, chronic, but undiagnosed migraine headaches. She is finally acceding to my suggestion to see a doctor and get it diagnosed this week.

Last week, she had to leave work on Thursday, and by doctor's orders, was not permitted to return Friday because of a severe, crippling migraine that left her barely able to walk, much less operate a car or a computer. When she finally gave in and asked for help, her employer refused to call an ambulance for her, opting instead to force her to call family members to pick her up.

Now, the employer is writing her up twice, essentially putting her on final probation, due to her absences having exceeded her permitted sick time. Her employer told her first that she can't get FMLA time because she failed to provide advanced notice, which I'm sure isn't true. Then they told her that because she doesn't have a diagnosed migraine condition, she is not eligible, even if she gets such a diagnosis ex post facto.

Does this sound right to you? It seems to me that we would never suggest that a pregnant woman be denied FMLA leave because she was unaware of her pregnancy at the time she experienced severe morning sickness.

Leave me a comment or drop me an e-mail if you have thoughts.