For the Week Starting: 7/24-30/2003

“Methought I was enamour’d of an ass.”
Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream [IV.i.76]

Hello Leo! Hello Mars Retrograde! What’s a Mars RX like? I was heading south on First Street, just crossing Ceasar Chavez to hop onto the pedestraian portion of the bridge, returning homeward from the downtown post offfice. A “cute as could be” jogger was approaching from the other direction. She was going one way, and I was going the other. Mars is heading into apparent retrograde motion. She feinted left, I feinted right. “Sorry!” we both mumbled. She dodged right, and I dodged left. Looked like we were dancing by this point. Never saw her again. Mars? He’s like that.

Leo: Good news: Leo time. Better news: Venus is fast approaching your sign. Bad news? Not a lot, not really. So maybe there’s one bad thing going on, and I’d tie that to Mr. Mars. One of the lads I hang around with, affectionately known as “Bubba,” gets these great ideas from time to time. Usually, the ideas are tequila fueled, and usually these are “get rich quick schemes,” or, “I’ve got the greatest idea for an ad for you,” or whatever the concept is, whatever these idea are, and wherever they come from, it’s all a little suspect.

I’ve taken to carrying a pencil and paper when I get together with this one lad, as he’ll want to sketch out an idea. “Look, dude, see you can do it like this!” Looks good on paper, doesn’t work in the real world. Enjoy, embrace, cultivate some of these ideas as your minions surround you for your birthday, and enjoy the coming attention from Venus. Of course, at the end of the evening, at the end of the week, you might want to pull out these scrapes of paper and look them over. Might be a good idea or two. Might be some birthday well-wishers. Might be a certain amount of drunken ramblings, you never can tell. Enjoy the good stuff — let someone else worry about the details.

Virgo: Since Mars is heading into apparent retrograde motion in the sign that is opposite Virgo, I’m going to rerun a metaphor. The message must not have gotten through to the Virgo slice of the sky, not the first time, so I have to recycle a tale. Out on the lake, predawn, motor churning along and it suddenly died. There we were, in the middle of the lake, no place to go, no big Mercury [outboard motor, not the planet] to push us around at 60 knots.

Against my wishes, we started fishing and had a very successful day. The trolling motor gradually powered us back to the truck and boat trailer — although it took four hours to get back to the launch pad. Along the way, I hooked a dozen fish or more. I managed to reel in half of that, and a couple of them were big boys, too. I also got one small perch. I wondered what that perch was doing, going after a bass lure, but you never can tell with nature. The lesson here is about motivation and what is the correct course of action when something goes awry. Me? I wanted to take the motor apart, right then and there. My buddy? He just said, “Shut and fish.” His boat, his rules, worked out fine. Try it, “Shut up and fish.”

Libra: Dallas has two commercial airports. There’s the big one that most folks know about, called “DFW,” and there’s a smaller, regional terminal called Dallas Love Field. Love Field is old, really old, and it’s in the middle of town, making it one of those “business commuter” places. Plus it hosts Southwest Airlines. Incidentally, it’s the airport I’m in most often.

Doesn’t matter much where you’re going, air travel in Texas usually take you through one of those two airports. I was waiting on a connecting flight out Love Field, not long ago, and I was sitting at the end of one arm of the terminal building, watching the weather. Texas weather. Summertime Texas weather. It was raining on one side of the terminal and it was sunny on the other side. The older terminals are like that, small enough to see both sides. Normally that sort of weather would be deemed as “unusual,” especially in parts of the country not familiar with typical Texas weather. But around here? Normal.

Look out one Libra window, and it’s raining cats and dogs. Look out the other side of the Libra window, and it’s sunny. Which window are going to face, now that you know that you have decision — and options? You can sit there and watch the rain coming down, or you can cast your gaze upon the sunny skies. Your call, Libra.

Scorpio: “You can have my girl, but don’t touch my hat.” [Lyle Lovett] I’ve never actually had a chance to ask him myself, but I suspect that Lyle is a Scorpio, an October one, if I recall. I’m not debating it, just never got a chance to get the facts right. To be brutally honest, I don’t much care what his sign is, he’s a fabulous entertainer with the driest wit. Scorpio suggestions follow that one song from Lyle, and carried in that song, as with a number of his performances, is the dry wit.

Instead of Scorpio sarcasm, something like Lovett’s style, his presentation, his wonderfully, soulfully, evocative nature would be the way to go. Here’s a caution, too, as not everyone is going to be able to understand your delivery. Doesn’t mean you should get up in arms about it, though. Doesn’t mean that there’s a battle you have to wage, no none of that is implied. Like Lovett’s music, something that occasionally gets missed by mainstream music outlets, your Scorpio wit is going to get missed by mainstream signs. It’s a temporary condition, and if you stick to the dry, understated delivery, you’ll find that your Scorpio message gets remembered.

Sagittarius: I embarrassed a date one time by wearing a perfectly normal [for Austin] T-Shirt. The front of the shirt has familiar deer logo, and that logo is smack dab in the middle of crosshairs, like a deer rifle’s scope. It’s a funny shirt with a bunch of rude and vulgar letters on the back. I was wandering around town with my escort, and she was just shocked that I would wear such a horrible piece of attire.

At first, of course, it was really funny. But her dismay was real, not feigned. However, it is in the Sagittarius nature to figure out what’s about one word over the line of good taste and exploit that weakness. Deal is, we’ve all got to be a little more careful with our Sagittarius-brand of excess. Not everyone will see how a shirt like that, with its crude message on the back, is really that funny. Careful while trying to figure out what’s profound and what’s just profane — not everyone shares our twisted slapstick these days.

Capricorn: I was listening to one of my little Capricorn friends complain about the current state of her dating adventures. She was hating life. She had about a half-dozen gentlemen callers [okay, guys, not really gentlemen], but none of those guys really sparked an interest. She liked them okay, but she wasn’t exceedingly turned on by any of them.

One had a boat, took her sailing. One had a motorcycle, took her riding. One offered a trip to some far-flung destination, but again, this didn’t really interest her because it would involve an overnight stay. There were a couple of other guys in the mix, too, but I glazed over at one point and quit keeping track as I wasn’t particularly interested in the daily diatribe.

None of the guys had that special spark that it take to ignite the flame of passion. So you’re kind of stuck between brilliant passions these days. Just the way it is. Sure as can be, I’ll get least one note with someone asking me for the phone numbers for those guys, since my one Capricorn friend isn’t interested, there would be plenty of other takers. But I’m not running a dating service — sorry.

What turns on a Capricorn is a delicate balance of exciting adventure and more pedantic stuff, a little less of the adventure. Capricorn’s are dealing with a weird situation, both good and bad, and it’s matter of accepting a few elemental truths. Look: that one example? She really didn’t have a lot of room to complain, I mean, she was getting the attention she wanted. Just because it didn’t work for her doesn’t mean it’s all bad.

Aquarius: I was in a little town in West Texas, stopped as we were driving through. I like the little towns as each one has a certain flair, a certain charm, a distinct feeling. Plus, listening to the local dialect is entertaining as well as illustrative. I’d asked about the local economic base, in one place, and the reply? “We make a lot more off hunters than ranching.”

To judge by the amount of ranch hardware displayed, the number of big 4 X 4 trucks splattered with mud, I’d have thought it was just the opposite. Dove and Dear & Beer Seasons are big business in that one community. There’s a problem with depending on something as ephemeral as the tourist trade, though, as some seasons are just a lot better than others. Aquarius: listen up. It’s either feast or famine, boom or bust, big losses or bigger wins. It’s either really going well, in which case, it might crash down around your Aquarius ears, or it’s already crashed, and you’re “just fixin’ to” rise up like a Phoenix from the ashes. No matter how look at it, it won’t be a boring old week.

Pisces: I know this one Pisces girl, and she claims she’s a triple Pisces [Sun Sign, Rising Sign and Moon Sign]. I had one comment for her, “Teflon.” She agreed wholeheartedly. Sure enough, as she meanders through life, bad things just seem to not stick to her. At least, not usually. But these are unusual times.

In the prairies of Texas, maybe in other parts of the country, but certainly here, I’ve had an occasion to get a sand burr stuck to my foot. Nasty little guys, too. They have a series of points tipped with Nature’s Finest little barbs on the very end. I get one of those on barefoot, and as soon as I try to extract it with a hand, I manage to get the little sand burr stuck to fingertip.

Means I can continue walking, but now I’ve got this little barb embedded in my hand. If only I had more Pisces in my chart… but I don’t. Not enough Teflon-like ability to escape harm. There’s a theme kicking up out of your Pisces chart, and there’s a small problem, just like one of those sticker burrs. Some problem from work, career, or what you do to earn an income is back, and like me trying to flick that thing off my foot, then off one hand, and onto the next, it just sticks. Something’s penetrated that Teflon coating, and it will require some serious attention on your part in order to get this resolved. Can’t just flick it away like you usually do.

Aries: One of the biggest problems in the computer world is the noise that the internal fan makes. These little processors have to run pretty hot, getting hotter with each new version, and that fan makes a difference. I can remember a now-antique computer I had, the fan on it sounded like a small jet turbine, just about to take off. The computer’s box itself, it had one of those industrial-strength packaging arrangements, so this fan did sound like a monster.

The racket echoed around under my desk, then set a tone to the rest of the day, like a small, persistent buzz in my ear. As opposed, I would guess, to a small, persistent buzz in my brain. While that buzz might be preferable, the noise is what’s annoying. But that bothersome whine of the fan? It’s important as it keeps everything cool. Keeps the computer running the way it’s supposed to run. Mars is like that fan, a small, persistent whine, but you’re going to have to endure that sound so everything can keep its cool.

Taurus: I’ve only done this once or twice, but I’ve arranged to meet a client for an appointment then I forgot to check the date book to see what was up for the day. Off I go, merrily wandering along to go swimming some place, or off to fish, or something equally entertaining, and I completely forget that I had an important client to meet. Doesn’t go over well, and makes me look like a complete flake. Which I might be, but that’s not the question.

The trick, the point, is to remember to check the date book, the appointment calendar, that little place where you keep track of everything that you do. It’s relative to the motion of Mars, and for a large percentage of the folks I know, the fine Taurus people, there’s going to be a forgetful moment or two. Or a tactical blunder, or just a time when you forget something important.

Between your Taurus self and me, I’ll tell you that it’s okay, but I’m a flaky Sagittarius guy to begin with, and getting stood up for one thing or another really doesn’t bother me too much. I’ve also found that if an appointment doesn’t get entered into the schedule, I won’t make it. Even then, if I forget to check that schedule, on occasion, I do blow it. That’s what comes from living the relaxed lifestyle I’ve got. I know you want a relaxed lifestyle, too. Consider this fair warning that things are going to get hectic and you might want to double check your plans to make sure you get everywhere you’re supposed to be.

Gemini: You can never have too much duck tape. Okay, I know, the correct term is “duct tape;” in my circles, we call it “race tape,” and the nomenclature doesn’t matter that much. So you can never have too much duck tape. This stuff is great for holding bits and pieces of your Gemini life together.

The silver tape can stick like a booger to stuff, and that’s important. Matter of fact, I got this tip the other day: use old credit cards as a place to store a little extra duck tape. What you do is wrap a few inches or a few feet of silver tape around the card then you can carry some extra tape in your pocket. Why do you need to have some extra race tape on hand?

“Thing fall apart; the center cannot hold;” [William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming” line 3.] Just about the time you managed to pull everything together again, you’re going to feel like a few bits and pieces are starting to fall off, or spring a leak, or otherwise come unglued. Race tape doesn’t permanently fix anything. However, I have at least one kitchen appliance in my trailer that is perfectly operational, has been for years, thanks to duck tape. Mostly Mr. Mars is to blame for the stuff coming unglued — carry a little bit of tape for a hasty fix.

Cancer: I built a few web pages for friends. Not exactly work that I enjoy, but it’s not bad. The problem with web work though, some the technical stuff can be a headache. Some servers are case sensitive while others aren’t. It’s the bothersome details like that, which get in the way. Some servers are very picky about what goes where, or how something is spelled.

Mistype one little letter, or capitalize something, or add a comma instead of period, and then nothing works. It’s this attention to detail that’s all-important. Concept in web design is cool stuff, “Imagine: it’ll look like this, and then there will be a picture of you, and we can rotate the text around like this,” and so on.

Execution, though, means some fairly intensive mouse & keyboard routines. While I could, at one time, knock this stuff out pretty fast, and do all the coding by hand, it’s not that easy anymore. As the complexity increases, so does the room for error. You’re facing a tough task ahead. I’m not sure that you’ll actually be coding a web page by hand, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find it’s a task that’s very similar. And one little typographical mistake on your part will render the whole thing useless — until you track down the problem. Fortunately, over the next two weeks, your ability for hard, patient work increases. Take your time — that focus will help you.

About the author: Born and raised in a small town in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel spent years honing his craft in trailer park in South Austin. He hates writing about himself in third person. More at KramerWetzel.com.

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