A whole plethora of stuff

First, tomorrow’s the big day at the cardiologist. Wish me luck. I am, shall we say, apprehensive. I just hope I don’t have to wait for results, or it will be a very long weekend. I’d have preferred the test not be on 9-11 because it’s got so many bad memories for me, but I didn’t have much choice. I have insurance but no card since we just switched from Aetna to AvMed so tomorrow’s visit will be very expensive, indeed. I’ll have to file for reimbursement.

That being said, let me segue into this: tomorrow is the anniversary of 9-11 and it seems like just yesterday. I remember what I was doing when I found out — didn’t even know what it was at the time. That horrific news came later. It remains the slowest sales-volume day in our company’s recorded history. We sent everyone home early with pay. The next workday I was catching up on my faxes and I had one that was time stamped at the exact moment the plane hit the first tower. The fax was bad news from a customer, and I’ve still got it in my drawer. I remember the joy of air travel before that date and the utter hassle it’s become since. I used to love to fly and would travel anywhere on a moment’s notice if I could get a cheap fare. Now, not so much. I bring up 9-11 because today SkyNews has released a never before seen video of the second plane hitting the tower. This video is, to me, more disturbing than the others. Read the story before you click to watch the video, so you know what you’re seeing. It’s quite disturbing and I’m sorry I watched.

At work we have a shared laptop. I rarely need one except when I’m travelling for extended periods of time: China, Europe, Vegas for a convention, that sort of thing. We always kept it in the same place in the back room with all the other computer equipment that’s not in active use. Pretty much nobody knew it was there except two or three people. These people are beyond reproach.

I went to get it today because I wanted to prepare a presentation for one of our salesmen and let him go show it to a client. It wasn’t there. It was last seen months ago (as I said it’s not used very often) probably May or June. I have no suspects except maybe the cleaning people, but I doubt she’d know what to do with a computer and they’ve had more than ample opportunity to steal far more exciting things and more expensive things. A printer is missing too. Some old HP inkjet.

I tried to find the receipt at work but at about three years old, maybe four, it’s not around. So it’s hard to file a police report without a model or serial number. “Yeah, officer, we’re missing a silver Lenovo laptop. No further information is available.” On the plus side no confidential data is kept on it. Everything is kept on the person’s personal USB drive. I suppose I need to replace it and keep it locked up. I don’t suppose a laptop that old has much value, but it irks me. Just so you know what sort of random crap pisses me off.

Speaking of work crap: we have a raccoon in the building. Been trying to catch it for three weeks without luck. Even the professional has given up. I have nothing against raccoons but we come in and there are some very large “presents” that really stink. You have no idea what a few of those in a sealed building with 100+ degree temperatures smell like when you walk in. And that’s why it needs to go. The no-kill traps keep catching our cats and not the raccoon. Blech.

I had to buy a forklift because ours is on its last legs. That’s $25,000 plus tax we didn’t have down the tubes. Not sure how to make more cuts to cover that unexpected expense. sigh

I made steak for dinner but the meat didn’t taste quite right. So I am displeased with how that turned out. It wasn’t a cooking issue — it was a product issue. I am growing increasingly pissed at Delta (still no reply), Tower.Com (still no reply), and AvMed (slower than dirt). 

The Balsillie Circus with the NHL is growing more entertaining by the day as the two sides fight on the fate of the Phoenix Coyotes. Only two bids remain out three made — one bidder gave up and I can’t say that I blame them. One by Canadian billionaire James Balsillie is contingent on moving the team to Hamilton, Ontario, over the overwhelming
opposition by the NHL. The other is by the NHL, which says it will resell the team outside of the bankruptcy process, either to an owner who would keep the team in Glendale or, failing that, to someone who would relocate the franchise. 

Wait? Isn’t that the original reason they said Balsillie couldn’t buy the team? Yes, the NHL rejected Balsille as an owner because they don’t want the team moved. Yet that’s part of their plan. So Basillie offers nearly double what the NHL is willing to pay for the team and move it to a Canadian (Hamilton, ON) market that will support the team (but is an admittedly small TV market) and the NHL is opposed and would rather leave the team in Phoenix (Glendale, AZ).

I’m not a judge, but if I were, this is an easy decision. There are two sides; either $140 Million (NHL) vs $210 Million +$50 Million* (Balsillie) — in bankruptcy the interests of the creditors come first. If the debts are over the NHL’s offer the judge HAS to decide for Basillie. The NHL must know this so I suspect the offer is just above the team’s debts. And if you read the article, the NHL is only offering $2 million extra and is trying to dictate which creditors get paid — that’s got to piss off the judge because they don’t get to decide that. Balsille’s offer means everyone gets paid. See my previous blog post for more ruminations on this topic.

I hope you’re still with me. This has been an inordinately long post.  Lastly, a book review. Yesterday I read Orson Scott Card’s novella A War of Gifts. It’s a brief vignette that takes place during the Ender’s Game time frame. I wanted to like it. Really, I did. But it was just so overwhelmingly bothersome. There’s the main character, Zeck, who is very interesting although not likeable — which is the point. And the writing is, as all of Card’s writing, utterly brilliant. So what’s my beef? Card is getting preachier and preachier. I want to read, to be entertained, and I don’t even mind an author sharing his views with me through his characters. What I do mind is being preached at, and as Card’s personal views have moved further and further to the religious extreme, his stories have gotten more and more preachier. And I just don’t like it.

I am still trying to get wind-storm insurance before my current policy expires since Liberty Mutual has given me a non-renewal notice. That’s been quite the chore. Nobody is writing insurance in Florida for wind-storm. But I’ve got an agent working on it. I just hope I can afford it. My cancelled policy (homeowner’s + wind-storm) was showing a premium of damn near $8,000 a year and all my neighbours are paying well into the five figures. It’s like a separate house payment. But Wilma reminded me why I have it. (This doesn’t include flood which is a separate policy.)

  • He offered Glendale $50M to break the 30 year lease. 

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