For the week starting: 4.17.2008

"The silence of pure innocence
Persuades when speaking fails."
Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale (II.ii54-5)

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tau Taurus: Happy Birthday! Taurus Time! Yes! (Excitedly pumping fist in the air!) Most comments around now should be punctuated with multiple exclamation points. That lends a degree of typographical excitement to what's shaping up to be an exciting week. There's the added emphasis that multiple exclamation points push across, and that's really what this is all about. What! This!! Is!!! All!!! About!!!! Except that my excitement and the ambience that I'm trying generate doesn't seem to pervade the Taurus slice of the heavens. Well, it should.

The airline I use the most, more like a commuter rather than as a real airline, they had a sale. I had just bought a cheap seat for my next flight, and canceling that purchase, then rolling the credit over to the next purchase, all in all, would've saved me about $20. Total. Just a small percentage savings. Then, too, there's the time spent on the website, charging the new flight, getting credited for the old flight, and is this much effort really worth the $20?

Here is something I can't get excited about. I like saving money, if I had waited, if I had gambled that the price would go down, I might be able to save some money. It's just making arrangements, on the far side, that's sometimes not worth the $20 in excitement. So it's birthday time in Taurus. Get excited.

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gemGemini: As I changed locations, I've found that I get treated differently. In Austin, there was one question I was faced with, and I even get queried, to this day, "You that guitar player?" No, no I'm not. But elsewhere in Texas, I don't get the question as much. I did have, the other afternoon, a similar comment, "You know who you look like, don't you?" (Famous right-wing nut job guitar player.) Not that I mind, as we're both Sagittarius. But this isn't about Sagittarius. Nor is this about guitar players.

This is about Gemini, and with the full moon, and the gradual shift from Aries to Taurus for the Sun. Gradual shift, starts next week. You're going to go places, wander into a store, and they will think you're someone who you're not. Not that it's bad, I just don't see famous people shopping in big (discount) sporting goods stores. Could be me, and I might have this all wrong, maybe famous people do shop there. But this isn't about shopping in discount brand sporting goods stores.

It's about the perceptions of other people, what they see in you, how they see you, what's going on that other people judge you by. Be aware, me, when I'm wearing a ball cap, I realize, with my long locks, I look like a guitar player. I carry myself with the same air and attitude (apparently). So I give off that vibe. What vibes are your Gemini selves giving off? The answer, you will find, in the next week when people start asking you, "Are you that guitar player?" Or something like that.

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can Cancer: Lower score wins. Who ever came up with such a silly notion?

I was hanging out, and you can imagine, guys with large bellies hanging over their belts, that sort of hanging out. One of the guys, a little younger, he was trying to explain about his girlfriend, his plans for marriage, and he was also rubbing in our mistakes.

"Marriage is like golf, the lower the score, the better," he explained.

Two of us slapped our heads, almost simultaneously. So that's the great secret? Here, I've had it all backwards, expecting the higher score to win. I never did understand golf. Lower score wins, not higher score. He then launched into a tale about a guy he knew, married four times before age 40, not a good bet, be my guess. It's that whole "lower score wins" thing. Remember how you're scoring, as the week rolls by. Lower score wins? Whoever came up with that one?

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leo Leo: This was hilarious. Monday, the Monday after Easter, I stopped by a superstore to pick up a few items. Mostly grocery, but I was also going to cruise the Easter goodies. Like, buy plastic easter eggs for next year? Maybe an Easter-color bait bucket, should be on sale, right?

Great idea. Didn't work. I watched, there was a purple bucket for easter eggs, with little bunnies or chicks or something seasonal on it. Before Easter, the bucket was priced at 99 cents. End cap full of them. So I figured, after Easter, and I can always use a spare bait bucket, those ought to be priced even less. This is the curious part. The very same make and model of bucket was in the clearance section, the special "Easter Mark Down" area, just a little to the right of the entrance. Only, there was, like, a feeding frenzy. One overwrought stocker wasn't even getting a chance to empty his cart of product, as a swarm of swarthy heavy-set women would, never mind, just not a pretty sight. Until I came upon the price of that Easter bucket. It was $1.29. The markdown price was thirty cents higher than the regular retail price. I watched, in horror, as a lady grabbed three of the pails, "We'll save them for next year," she was saying. "Why not make it four?" I thought, "makes the math easier for me."

I don't begrudge a superstore, a leading retailer, from making money -- I just know that I need to watch the sale price a little more closely. And I suspect there's an element of plain psychology at work in the special sale price, as well. As far the Leo corner is concerned? Watch it. Watch it a little more closely that you would normally watch it. I'm not saying you're going to be duped by a sales end-cap, but some supposed good deal? Might not be a such good deal. Just do a little checking. Some would call it "shopping" while others might call it fact-checking. Call it what you want, just don't take the bait. Unless it's from me.

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vir Virgo: I've got a reference book I've carried around for years, a book about the roadside geology of Texas. It's where I live, so the book naturally fits with me. I'm not too interested in specifics, other than what I might be able to see if I were to stop at a roadside cut, and what strata of rocks would be visible.

I was flipping through the book, as I stumbled across a section of the country side that I know intimately. Turn outs, like I didn't ever realize this, the area I was looking it has a sub-strata of Permian overlaid with Cretaceous. The basin, the ponds (lakes) I like to fish at? Out there? Cretaceous. Like that means a lot to me. I don't really know what it means. I thought it was cool, at the time to be have better understanding about when some of the surrounding countryside was molten or sea bottom, or molten sea bottom. Stop. This is the kind of intellectual detail that's fun, but not always useful.

With Saturn riding up on your butt, and the early degrees of Virgo getting hit hard, the time spent in a geology book, is that really a productive use of your hours? What Saturn's about, and what I'm about, as long as you've got this in front of you, the time spent leafing through a book about rocks and stuff? Although it's interesting, it really doesn't serve any value. Consider what does add value whereas what's just a complete waste of time. To me, it adds value to gather up scholarly abstracts. But to some people, it looks like trivia.

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lib Libra: The way the song went, the singer (or the songwriter) "Might hop a freight train," and that's a wonderful sentiment. To get back to the girl, or to get back to Texas, or to get whatever the song was about. I tend to walk along railroad right-of-ways because they are long, often underused, pathways to my destinations.

I happened upon a freight train that was stopped. Traffic on the line, something at one end or another? I'm not sure. There was a loud "clank" and the rail cars started to move slowly, sort of gentle lurch to start. Gradually, those cars will gain momentum and pick up speed, and eventually, they'll be rolling at 30 MPH, or later, 60 MPH, or maybe faster than that.

Hopping on the freight train, that would've been easy. Especially for me, when the train was at a dead stop. The part to be concerned with, though, isn't getting on the train, it's getting off the train. I looked at the right-of-way, chunky gravel, not exactly a soft landing spot. The week starts out easy, like that freight at a dead stop. Use your Libra mind, though, think about it some, are you sure you want to hop aboard now? It's the disembarking part that makes for the rough landing, next week.

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sco Scorpio: I was cruising along a surface street, South Side San Antonio Style. Just, maybe a block, south of the interstate, there was a street named "Big Foot." I guffawed, made noises, maybe even snorted in glee. At first, I was sure, I got out, a took a couple of pictures of the street sign, thinking it was all a joke, and I got back on the road. I was headed out towards some fishing that morning, if you must know, hence my haste and yet, still, a sense of wonder and amusement.

I chuckled over the name, "Big Foot," as moniker for various mythological critters. From the Far East to Far East Texas, the term "Big Foot" invokes those images of hairy man, running away, sleeping in hollow logs, and so forth. Half-man, half-ape, no real evidence. Doesn't stop the myth. But this isn't about the stories of that "Big Foot," or the "Yeti," it was about a street in old San Antonio.

I'm not sure, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the name was probably, more than likely, derived from "Big Foot Wallace," and one of the original Texas Rangers. Who got his name from his size. Big guy. Back in those days, brawn won the fight, not cunning. So as we motored on down the street, I gradual lost the illusion that someone was having a good joke with the name of that street. Probably named long before the Sasquatch inserted itself in our popular mythology. Old Big Foot Wallace, the real source for that name. A good Scorpio shouldn't jump to hasty conclusions like I do.

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sag Sagittarius: "And since I'm stuck here in the office, and you're coming to see me anyway, you can bring me a Grande White Mocha Half-Caf, one Splenda, with whip." It was phrased, like, to be a question, but it was really a nicely put command. In this situation, it worked.

It was a Saturday morning mission of commerce for me, but I made it look like a mission of mercy for the Sagittarius stuck behind the desk, and I thought about how she phrased her demand. There was an authoritative tone, yet, it sounded like a question, only, the "will you please" was missing, and there wasn't really a question mark at the end of the sentence.

Sagittarius women have that ability to command without making it look like a command. Sagittarius guys, like me? We're just, well, we're just not as smooth. Her command that was a question, only it was really a direct verbal order? That's the way phrase it this week. It's about the pitch and how can that kind of a pitch be refused?

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cap Capricorn: I was sitting, in a lawn chair, by the edge of a south Texas lake. I had two poles, with lines in the water. I'm not sure, might've been cut-bait, might've been chicken livers, might've been shrimp. Probably shrimp. Using a heavy sinker, I'd gotten the lines way out there, and I was taking it easy. Watchful, yet relaxed, waiting for that telltale movement. My belt jiggled, and it was the cell phone. I glanced at the inbound number, a steady, dependable client.

Someone I maintain an easy friendship with, and I like doing readings for. So I figured I could set an appointment time while I was there, or answer a simple question. Both the Sun's shift Aries to Taurus and the phase of the Moon (full) are good for fishing, in my estimation. With that client, I was fishing for dollars, really. But I did have two lines in the water. I answered the call, we chatted, and then, as she was getting to a point that described a harrowing moment, the tip of a pole began to move. "Gotta go, fish on..."

And I promptly missed a fish. Fish got the bait and I got nothing. This wouldn't be be problematic, except the same afternoon, my belt jiggled again, I looked, another client call. I watched the poles. I answered. The one pole bent over, I grabbed at it, juggling the phone, and the fish got clean away. Twice in one afternoon could be disconcerting. Well, it did irritate me. I thought about myself (Sagittarius) and Capricorn (you), and Jupiter (Sagittarius planet now in Capricorn), and then I thought, just as an idea, how about not answering the phone if you're fishing? One task at a time.

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aqu Aquarius: I probably have a picture of this up on the site someplace, but I'm not sure. There are trees, mostly Live Oak, that grow along the edge of the South Texas Plains where the beach sort of dead-ends into the prairie. The one I'm thinking about, they are not more than a couple of hundred yards inland from the Inter-Coastal-Waterway, yet, the constant off-shore breeze has shaped the growth of the trees. They have an umbrella, perhaps a canopy, shape to the growth of the branches, and the trunks, which normally grow straight, are hunkered over, trying to get away from the ever-present wind.

It's not really a genetic adaptation, it's more along the lines of a growing adaptation. Shaped by their constant pressure, the trees are leaned over in a graceful, yet oddly eerie manner. There's some bending associated with Aquarius. Call it a Mars' influence, call it what you want to call it, but there's a suggestion that you could be shaped by environmental forces. It's matter of adopting and adapting, and learning what forces can be fought. Sometimes, there are issues that you don't need to battle against. Like that coastal breeze.

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pis Pisces: Low clouds, moisture laden air drifted up from the coast the other week. Looked like rain, Didn't really rain, but looked like it. And as I left that morning, on foot as usual, I looked at the heavens, the skies above, and I guessed it would be cloudy for the better part of the morning -- and afternoon. As I would be out of the office for most of the day, I decided against taking some sunglasses with me. Last pair of cheap sunglasses. Didn't want to lose them, not yet.

About halfway through the early afternoon, the sun burned through the low cloud layer of Gulf moisture, and it was a very bright, warm afternoon. And me without protective lens. Anyone who enjoyed the balmy and bright afternoon, they would be owing me a debt of gratitude. If I had taken my sunglasses with me, then it wouldn't have been so nice. I'm sure there's an inverse law of climate control that affects such matters, and I'm none too concerned with the details.

In my mind, I'm sure that my lack of sunglasses controlled the weather and the clouds. The clouds, anyway. You have similar kind of control. A good luck token, a gesture, maybe just some cheap sunglasses that you leave behind. Whatever that measure is, you've got to make sure that you've still got it. Or, in my example, that you don't have it. There's a factor, be it symbolic, luck, superstition, or the odd deities, something. Make sure you've got it. Unless, like me, you want sun and then make sure you don't have it.

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ariAries: My hair is thinning on top. No surprise here, as I've been like this since I was but a mere lad. Always had a receding hairline, and once I quite trying to hide from it, the easier maintenance became. I was out, last week, week before, sometime, and I was fishing. Due to perturbations in my schedule, I wasn't my usual dark, tan self. And, that afternoon, I left the hat in the truck.

Bad move. Results? Sun-burned bald spot. Whose fault is this? Mine. No one to blame but myself. It's not, like, a bad burn. It's just that thinning patch of hair in the front, eventually, as the summer arrives and the warm weather becomes hot, I'll get some color back in my scalp. It's just that first "burn and peel" that caught up with me at tax time.

I don't know what I was thinking, there was a hat, right there, and I could've easily grabbed it. Would've saved me the trouble, this time. Now, the way I gracefully accept my receding hairline? That's like Aries. The way I forgot my hat? That's like Mars (in the tropical zodiac sign of Cancer). I'm not saying you have to wear hat right now. I am suggesting that there's one, simple, easy, preventative measure you can take, and I'm suggesting you take it, otherwise, you get a bad sunburn -- or something -- on bald spot -- or someplace mildly embarrassing.

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.