I spend a lot of time alone.  I get an assignment as a contractor and I go off to do it, alone.  I search the listings for permanent jobs or recruiters through a long day in front of my computer screen, alone.  I work on my novel or my budding collection of fairy stories set in Saint Paul, alone.  My work has me spending a lot of time going through things on my own.  What does this mean?

Continue reading

Copyright Eternal

Law exists primarily to defend property.  In medieval world, the primary concern was how real estate, often defined by a title, was maintained and passed on by the nobility.  This was dramatically extended by the American Revolution when fundamental rights were determined to be something that everyone possessed.  The idea of intellectual property, which are rights based on inventions of the mind, was also carefully codified.  The US Patent and Trademark office was opened up to define just what property would be protected by law.

From there, it eventually starts to get a bit strange.

Continue reading

Over a Liter

I got to the bar on West Seventh a bit early.  I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to swim the mile through the sticky air, so I made sure I had too much time.  If nothing else, it was good to have some time to sit in the AC and imagine the sweaty stink drying off of me.  This was a meeting with someone who I hadn’t seen in a while, someone who might do something really great for me.  Some work was a possibility, but what I was hoping for more than anything was a little confirmation.

Continue reading

Failure is Impossible

The list of calls I had to make was numbing, long enough that it settled itself into a simple routine.  “Hi, my name is Erik, and I’m calling for Jim Scheibel, your DFL candidate for Mayor of Saint Paul.”  The 1989 election was going to be close, so Get Out The Vote (GOTV) calling to loyal Democrats was even more important than usual.  But just as I let the routine propel my calls with their own mometum the soft yet gravely voice of an old woman stopped me cold.

“Oh, dear, you don’t have to remind me to vote.  I’ve been voting ever since they let us.”

Continue reading

Father’s Day

Father’s Day.  It’s not quite my holiday, and not just because I gave up ties for fashionable banded-collar shirts some years ago.  My problem isn’t with being a Father, since I can think of nothing else I’d rather be called.  What I’ve never liked about the idea is that if you take being a Father really seriously, it’s 24/7/365 and more.  One day?  Not even close.

Continue reading