Half a Life.

Jul. 20th, 2017 05:27 pm
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Since I was in Bankruptcy Court at butt o'clock this morning, it only seemed right for me to do some math. (This, notwithstanding that one of our three district bankruptcy judges has admitted on the bench that he's lousy at math.)

When I got out, I saw some birthday posts for Eleanor on my Facebook feed.  She only joined recently, mainly to connect with one art-community friend, and we cautiously friended each other even more recently so she wouldn't get a scad of friend requests from bare past-life acquaintances I still keep in touch with from church and other places.  I always try to post something a little different and unique on peoples' birthday roundups, so this is what I thought of:

Your 32nd birthday I've shared with you. May it be among the best ever. I love you.

A little further math reveals the other "half" of that story. When you add up the years, I now realize that for more than half of the birthdays my beloved has ever had, I have shared them with her. They've had their ups and their downs, they've been shared with relatives and in restaurants, but the one constant has been what our wedding service referred to as "a love which shall endure." 

She's talking with Emily on the phone as I write this, and soon after we will head to a favourite Italian caffe for dinner and dessert.  It's cooled a bit after some monster t-storms came through this part of town (and possible tornadoes hit not far to the south), and tomorrow is the end of the workweek for both of us.

May the next 32 years of birthdays commence. I love you:)

Back to Busy-Ness

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:11 pm
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After a largely off-things Saturday, yesterday began and ended early. Began at the dog park, where we met up, after the second go-round with Ebony and Ursula, with this beautiful grrl:

Well, four, counting Ann on the left and the traces of the pups on the ground

She just hopped up on that picnic table while our friend Dave, whose pup can't make it round twice, waited for us.  That tag is more of a chip, so we had no idea whose she was. Finally, we saw three people coming round with two dogs, and they called her over.... only to leave her at the entrance all over again as they headed down the path just as we were leaving.  Sheesh.

Once home, we turned our attention to things BBCish. News finally reached us of the casting of the first actress to portray The Doctor come next year; she looks like a worthy successor to the title.  Eventually, we got to the previous night's Orphan Black, which tied up some loose ends, opened a few other cans of clones, and of course kept us laughing every moment Krystal was on the screen. (Semi-spoiler: the bearded douche about halfway through the episode is played by Tatiana's IRL boyfriend, and she got to act two separate scenes in which Spoiler spoilered him in the spoiler- once as Krystal spoilering, the other as Sarah watching it.

Again this morning, I needed to be up and out very early for a day in Rochester- which concluded just before 2 with me finally getting one of my crazy real estate deals closed. Although they pushed every envelope, including not getting me the vital "how much to bring to the closing" figure until fewer than two hours remained before it, the session itself was quick and painless, the numbers all balanced, and the documents were all properly completed.  I think.

Rather than go back to either office, I opted for a scenic drive home, with two stops for out-of-the-way process service en route, maybe a 20-minute-south detour on Route 20 with the two about 10 minutes apart. Neither found their intended targets at home (and both were homes, despite the claims being against businesses), but at one, there was a sticker on the front door alerting first responders to be on the lookout for their seven dogs. No sign of them; at least they weren't left out on a picnic table outside:P

----

Before those errands, with little else to listen to in the hinterlands, I "treated" myself to the latest right-wing spin on the disastrous health care proposals now stuck in the Senate.  According to Limpbutt, millennials should be embracing the El Cheapo™ catastrophic plans that Senator Rafael "Dudley Do-Wrong of the Mounties" Cruz insists on being sold in exchange for his vote.  The pitch goes something like this: Millennials hate the cable companies, because they make you buy channels you don't want. They only want to stream the shows they DO want and they cut the cord on the rest. Well, health care is exactly the same. You should be free to buy only the services you want and not be forced to buy things you may not need and might never even be able to use (yeah, asshole, men and maternity care, we get it.)

The cynicism in this equivalence goes beyond meanness and straight into outright cruelty. Because OF COURSE deciding on the logistics and economics of covering yourself in the event of serious or potentially fatal illness is EXACTLY the same as wanting HBO and not SNY on your cable bill.  (Why, just last week Eleanor and I were trying to figure out whether a Roku or an Apple TV would deliver the best dialysis if we eventually need that. ) Oh, and worse? If a millennial does cut the cord but eventually decides he or she does suddenly need to start watching a channel they didn't originally order? The evil cable or satellite company will be more than happy to add it to your lineup for whatever it costs.  Not so under the Ryanide/McConnkill bait-and-switch currently in negotiation: if a healthy young person buys a "stripped down" plan and then discovers they need coverage for one of the "essential benefits" now required by the ACA?  Sorry, Charlie: that doesn't count as "continuous coverage," so you'll only be subscribing to the Pre-Existing Condition Channel as far as Republican Cable is concerned. You'll have to pay for that condition on your own for months or more until Mitch the Cable Guy can come out to your place and Git'R'Done.  (Even though, best as I can tell, he's Doin' his constituents already.)

----

Staying close to home, jiggity jog, the next three days. Only oddity of tomorrow is a meeting with a new referral who has the exact same name as one of my recent co-workers. 
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I had three court appointments today. The clients proceeded, over the preceding 24 hours, to outdo themselves in stretching my patience and imagination into territory where it was hard to keep my CONTROL;)



In order of receipt of their excuses (and for ethical reasons, there will be some obfuscation here):

- Mother of Client 1, scheduled for what would have been a routine hearing in Buffalo late this morning. Called to tell me Client 1 would not be able to make it.  I checked with the guy running the hearing, who had already reviewed Client 1's file, knew it was no-brainer easy, and pretty much would have allowed something resembling a Weekend At Bernie's appearance if I could only get a body in the chair and a right hand raised in the air. Nope, didn't happen. We reconvene a week from next Wednesday if things have improved by then.

- Client 2, scheduled for an early afternoon hearing in Buffalo this afternoon. Not coming, either- death in the family.  Out of town arrangements.  Suffice it, the funeral is likely to be closed-casket. Yum. I attended that one (the hearing, not the funeral) with Client 2 in absentia. It did not go well, but at least we could take solace that it went even worse for the deceased.

-  That brings us to Client 3, who had the earliest (9 a.m.) and furthest (Rochester) of the three scheduled for today. That one sent an email after 6 last night to ask for a postponement because a car would not be available.  Having already gotten the other two bits of news, I insisted on going forward, even offering to provide the transport (since Client 3's residence is on my way into town and actually close to a place where Emily used to live).  We worked this out, and the hearing went fine.  It wasn't just a flat tire or some other inconvenience, but the sign of a marital breakdown. Making that worse, I'd also consulted with Client 3's spouse about a similar case- who I will not now be representing. It's not a technical conflict of interest but a visceral one- you don't treat people the way Client 3 got treated.  I got up stupid early, picked up C3 in plenty of time for another easy hearing, and even provided return transportation, given the circumstances.

The rest of the day was spent mostly on driving and on three separate real estate cases. Because I keep taking them on even though I work with people far more experienced at them and inherently draw cases with hosts of problems.

Sorry about that.
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* In our living room, yesterday morning:



The perils of online ordering; she's tried and tried to find a pair on zappos that fits, but they're always almost as big as she is;)

After that photo, I left for the first of what promised/threatened to be three weekdays this week in Rochester. Met two clients; missed a third; connected with a fourth after discovering that I'd been an idiot last week and not signed the check to him that was sent in payable to me late the previous week. Just as well: I needed to drop off a thank-you and gift card for the installer the client sent to our house last Friday.

----

* Hop hop!

Last night, I turned in a little earlier and slept in a little later (although Evil Cat-erwauling woke me up round 0300 and got her tossed in the garage until just about six). When I did leave, I had company on  our side lawn:



He barely moved while I zoomed in for that photo, or even after I began backing JARVIS out.  By day's end, we were joined  by a mama Oriole on our birdfeeder- lateish in the season for the likes of her, but lovely to see.

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* Beasts at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

Who shot JR? Himself, in the foot. By confirming the veracity of the Times' reporting of the email threads between him and Soviet agents, he essentially confirmed that Daddy was offered damaging oppo research from a foreign power and did nothing to deny or report it.

Their only reply? But her emailllllllssssssss!

But his impeachmmmmmentttttt!

Seeing the Light.

Jul. 8th, 2017 08:10 pm
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When I awoke this morning, Eleanor had already installed all of the bulbs along the track light that was finally powered up yesterday. It's a beautiful thing.

Less beautiful was what I had to work on once sentient. Clients waited until the 43rd of 45 days to send me simple documents- in a mishmash of unprintable pdfs and nearly unreadable photo files.  I spent most of my first awake hour trying to open/print/save all of the above, then scan them into a form I could upload to the court on Day 44.

This did not go well.

For one thing, my ol' reliable home printer decided yesterday that its carriage would no longer carry, and it set off a cascade of errors every time I tried to print copies of anything. I tried mightily to figure out where the phantom "carriage jam" was, eventually replacing all four of its ink cartridges in case their hooky thingies were blocking the path, and trying to clean out an apparent oil slick of ink under the cartridges' resting place at the end of the carriage.  None of it worked, and the missus and I got pretty grumpy about it as I left ink stains all over my path.  I finally quit, switched to her printer at the other end of the hall (once I remembered that my HP7110 driver wasn't going to do shit since we switched that one out with Emily a few months ago), got mine to at least scan the resulting funky products, and uploaded the wholly unholy mess. Hopefully they'll allow me to redo it on Monday, aka Day 46.

I then went off to a workout, ran some other errands, came home and geezer-napped, and finally tried again. Found an even oilier spot of oil slick, cleaned it out, and I think the carriage is no longer jammed. At least I'm not pushing my luck about it until I need to.

It's been a nice late-day since. We ate out in the back yard, both watched things we wanted to before turning in, and I have a morning of plans involving one dog (playing), several track lights (returning) and some Wegmans items (buying) already planned for tomorrow.
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Yesterday was a blur. It began with me covering a City Court arbitration hearing for a friend of mine who had a last-minute conflict. Twenty-odd years ago, this was my bread and butter: get notice of the hearing a few weeks ahead, send a letter to the client contact telling them that their "witnesses having personal knowledge of the facts in this matter should appear at the [hearing location] at least 45 minutes before the scheduled start of the arbitration; they should have in their possession all original documentation in support of the claim."

(I still have that form letter in my collection. Just haven't used it in an age.)

This one, same shit, different year- only I didn't get the notice until late the previous day, got a half-dozen panicked emails before 9 yesterday morning about whether I'd received the file electronically (half I did, the other half not until just after 9), and I didn't meet my witnesses for the 9:30 hearing until minutes past 9:30. It went,... mmmkay. One did NOT have original documentation in support of the claim, while the other was a good witness but was completely contradicted by the equally good witness from the other side. So, he-said/he-said.  I don't miss this shit.

From there it was on to Rochester for two scheduled appointments and hopes of resolving two other matters. Met them, didn't resolve them.  By the time I got home, it seemed I'd just left. At least the second client who met me is also the client who promised to send an electrician to our house to finish the track lighting job- promised by 8 this morning.

----

Okay, it wound up being after 8:30, but no matter. The tech, who's been here before for other work, was kind and professional and prompt- explaining exactly why Eleanor's professional installation of track lights hadn't worked without being demeaning or mansplainy about it. Took him under an hour to get power in the whole track.  Tomorrow, she will order the remaining parts for the job from Home Depot- and a gift card for Spencer to thank him personally (in addition to whatever the invoice is from his company).

Once he finished, we headed off for a Friday that was shorter than usual for me and moderately annoying for Eleanor. While she is still happy about avoiding foot surgery, she's still having reaction to the cortisone shot, and to other meds she's taking for other conditions, so we made tonight a Chill and Chinese Food evening.

Next week will bring at least three mornings for me in Rochester, likely with at least one overnight involved- and I got a mix of news on pending cases today that will bear on those days.  But at least we can see what we're looking at as we head down the hall to sleep at the end of each day:)
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