Coded green.

Payday 11 August 2000

Red tree

Pic of the day: This tree doesn't lift a finger to work, and probably doesn't worry overmuch either, and it's still more impressive looking than I will ever be in my life. Not that I'm eager to switch places, though...

Payday! Payday!

We usually get our pay on the 12th in each month. But since that day falls on a Saturday, we got it today instead. Woo hoo! This time I actually looked at how much it was. You see, people sometime ask me what I earn, and it's a bit sheepish to confess that I only have the vaguest idea. It turns out to be just a little over $2000 before tax.

There was a time when payday was a big event. Now for all of my working life, as I recall, we have had the money transferred to the bank account of our choice; we don't get cash. Norwegians have bank accounts and use them effortlessly. In my younger days, checks ruled supreme. Then magnetic cards started to catch on, and giro (a kind of bank to bank transfer). These days, more and more of us are using a combination of Net banking for bills and smart cards for shopping. Me, I also like to have some cash on me at any time. But I haven't touched my check book for years, and honestly I don't even know if that batch are legal anymore.

So today I fired up the browser and told the Norwegian bank to transfer kr 12000 (ca $1350) to my account in the pure Netbank, the Swedish-owned SkandiaBanken. Then I proceeded to that bank and started to line up bills for payment. To my surprise, I found that when I had queued up the bills for this month, I had not yet used the money that was on my account before this mont's pay came in. I guess that is a good sign, and a welcome change for sure.

It used to be that I had to postpone the bills from one month to the next, because I did not have money to pay them on time. Typically this would cost me extra fees, though I never went so far as to become blacklisted. (And for small bills, I just did not care, and often waited, even if I could pay them.) At the same time, payday and the first days after gave me a feeling of money burning in my pocket. I would rush out and buy something until the money was reduced to a manageable level.

I am hardly rich even now, in terms of money at least. But I don't feel the need to worry over my regular bills, and that is good. Reducing our earthly demands brings peace and increased, sustained happiness. So far I have applied this to various merchandise and to friendships. I have not yet come to terms with reducing my expectations for health. As you know, suffering comes not just from the bad circumstances, but from circumstances not meeting our expectations. If you are born blind, you don't generally miss your sight the way someone does who lost their sight last week. If you are born poor, you don't miss money the way a rich does who loses their fortune.


On that note ... Health update. The pain on the left side of my head has subsided quite a lot. And a good thing too. I went to the dentist today, and he declared my root canals fine. He did however think that I had a lateral sinusitis (or whatever it is called in English). He would rather I wait it out instead of taking antibiotics, and definitely did not consider prescribing any since it wasn't his domain after all.

It is worth mentioning that Norwegians use less antibiotics in general than for instance Americans. Antibiotics are not used preventively in people who still have a functional immune system. Of course, doctors in Norway are much less likely to be successfully sued for malpractice if anything happens to their patients, which may be one reason.

(Oh, that reminds me of a stray comment in Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars: "In this at least the Martians are a happy people: They have no lawyers." Funny - unless you are a lawyer, at least. In Norway we have so few lawyers that we don't even have our own lawyer jokes.)

As for me, if I survive long enough to see a doctor (probably ca 2 weeks) I don't need to, so the case is largely closed with this. Right now, only my left ear is hurting anyway. I don't have the slightest fever, either.

(I did have a slight fever in the afternoon, but that was probably just because I was so horny. One reader imagined that she could use my color coded calendar to study the male hormonal cycles. I wish her the best of luck, I have certainly not been able to find them out.)


I thought about it today: I have all my senses and all my limbs, and almost without exception they work as they are supposed to. Same seems to apply to internal organs. I'm pretty lucky, actually, or have been so far. The thing that worries me is really more religious in nature: I fear that I'll eventually die and get what I deserve in the beyond. Now that would not be cool.

It just doesn't seem fair that anybody should have such a good time as I have had for the last 20 or so years, without there being a price to pay. It may be this feeling more than the objective illness that makes me feel scared. We'll have to see, I guess. If I suddenly stop posting, it was the illness after all...

Because I'm not planning on going away anytime soon, if it's up to me.

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