End Of NIFS and the Flight Home

The purple bit is excerpted from our corporate Facebook page (full note here): We’ve always had warehouse cats, for over 30 years in fact. We’re on train tracks – now abandoned — and if you’re on train tracks, you have a mouse problem. After trying two-legged professionals, we found the four-legged professionals worked better, are cheaper, cuter, more entertaining, and make the warehouse a better place. (And they, just like the two-legged kind, are tax deductible as a business expense.)

Over the years we’ve had a collection of various cats — always between two and three. Most die of old age, although one (Telico) was shot to death by some kids with a BB gun. Smokey came to us about 8 to 10 years ago. No idea from where the ball of fluff (and was he fluffy) came from. He was just there. Very friendly. He was in great shape when I left for the fastener show. While I was gone, unbeknownst to me, Emily (the official Keeper of The Cats) noticed he was not feeling his usual very, very friendly self and took him to the vet. The vet called this morning — that’s when I found out Smokey went to the vet — and asked permission to do a small exploratory incision to see what the source of the problem was as they couldn’t figure it out. A few hours later, they called and said there were several tumours including in the liver. They said they could stitch him up and send him back to the warehouse, but he probably wouldn’t last a week. Smokey isn’t coming home. RIP Smokey.

I didn’t get to say goodbye and I’m sad. Smokey loved me to death and would follow me anywhere I went in the warehouse. He’d head butt me for attention. And drool like Niagara Falls when you pet him. I’d pick him up and carry him with me sometimes. Visitors were fascinated by him because he always went on warehouse tours with guests. I’ll miss you, you ball of grey fur with white tufts.

On the plane ride back from Las Vegas they showed a movie called Land of the Lost with Will Ferrell and it really sucked. I mention this because today BBC News released an article that named him the ‘most overpaid film star’ and I couldn’t agree more. He still personally owes me a refund for Talladega Nights.

Wednesday morning I woke up and had a meeting before I packed and headed for the airport to fly home from Lost Wages Las Vegas. I arrived at the airport just about two hours before my flight and checked in without any incident. I went through security where TSA gave me a lecture and big hassle. Why? I took the company laptop out and put it in the bin as one must do. I’ve done it many times. I also put my belt in the bin with the laptop — something I’ve also done many times. Apparently, that’s against the rules and I shouldn’t do that. It’s a belt. Assholes.

I take the train to the gates and notice there is a non-stop Miami flight still at the gate. I was certain the last non-stop was at 805am and it was 11am. (My connection was via DFW at left at 1245pm). So, I went over to see if I could get on, but they said ‘no’ because I had checked luggage. This flight was the 8am flight that was having a mechanical issue. I used my Priority Pass card and used the Continental President’s Club and took advantage of their free WiFi and their free cheese. Yummy. I went to the gate and boarded and left without incident. The plane was full of fastener people who left the show early like I did, skipping the last day. When my DFW flight left at 1250pm, that 8am flight was on the ground. Glad I wasn’t on it. Arrived in DFW nearly 20 minutes early at terminal D gate 24 and was told my flight to MIA was in terminal A. I took the train to terminal A (10 minutes) and went to the gate to find that there was a gate change. Where? To D30 of course. Back on the train, and I go into the Admiral’s Club where I find there is no free WiFi. Bastards. I pay $6 for an hour. The plane is due to board at 655 so I get to the gate at 645 — after a brief stop at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company for a chocolate Valencia truffle — just in time to board. Instead, they announce a 30 minute delay. Then a 25 minute delay. Then another 20 minute delay. And so on and so forth. We finally board at almost 9pm. Yeah, two hours late. I have friends in Dallas who I could have called to come out and visit but they didn’t just tell us the plane was two hours late coming in (which it was) and instead just strung us along. That pissed me off royally. We arrive in Miami at 1213am. My luggage shows up around 1248am because the baggage people in Miami suck. I find my car, pay for parking, swing by the post office to collect mail, and then come home to find my AC circuit breaker had tripped. It was 84 in my house. I fixed that. I decide to unpack and shower because the baggage area was 500 degrees and I was soaked with sweat. I can’t fall asleep due to the heat in my house so I watched my DVR episode of House and finally go to bed at 248am but sleep like crap. Today, I am the walking dead. I offered Mom the use of 25,000 US Air miles because they’re expiring soon but I can’t get her a good flight on the days she wants to travel. If she can’t use — we’re still trying — them and any of my friends want a free ticket, I’ll gladly book you a flight. I hate for them to go to waste. Now, it’s time to pay bills after I catch up on reading Fake Michael Yormark. He’s been busy while I’ve been gone. Karen reports feeling better still. (And thanks to everyone who offered to help her….)

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