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Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...

Not that it was, entirely. I count 18 outbound emails, 55 inbound ones (not all responded to, but all looked at), and close to a dozen phone calls in and out during the day.  None were major, and I kept to my goal of keeping my own mental health ahead of the rest of them.

Things I did accomplish in between all of that and then tonight on the eve of Getaway Day:

* Visited Town Hall and got the details on getting our house set up for solar panel installation. They're pushing a townwide effort to encourage this, waiving electrical permit fees and coordinating site assessments and ultimate installations with three different town-approved contractors. One of them is the one which installed our dedicated outlet for the electric car, upgraded our panel and did some other fiddlybits in 2013; we told the town we preferred hearing from them, but one of the other two got hold of our application and has been pretty aggressive in pitching us to do the work.  I'll call them Monday if the Frey Guys haven't responded by then.

* Did a bunch of things around the house and in my home office that I usually do over the weekend.

* Watched yet another laser light show as thunderstorms continued passing through here. We never lost power, but Wegmans did, briefly, and when I got to a late afternoon workout, the trainer mentioned that they'd lost power earlier in the day, killing the treadmills and requiring some serious improvisation. (None needed when I got there; thundering still went on, but the power held up.)

* Loaded up at Tarjay, mainly for dog food. The place was frighteningly empty during the thundery late afternoon, with red-shirted associates running hither and yon with surprisingly nothing to do.

 *Tried watching the Channing Tatum/Joseph Gordon-Leavitt riff on 80s communism and police procedurals, Comrade Detective. It had its moments, but not enough of them.

Now it's just to pack and get on the road.  The room is mine at 3, the reunion at 8, and I have a variety of plans of fixed and unfixed times on Sunday and possibly some other meetups before the reunion on Saturday.

And Monday, regardless, will be back to work....

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"I'm not even supposed to be here today!"

That, at least, was The Plan. I'd cleared tomorrow from my work calendar, the Mets were returning to Queens for their first home game in almost two weeks on Friday night, and their best pitcher was both starting and starring on a free-for-all t-shirt.  So The Plan was to leave for NY either this afternoon or first thing tomorrow, catch the game tomorrow night, and then be close by for my high school reunion on Saturday night.

I put feelers out, and got little feel back. Most of my usual compadres (notPadres, yo) replied that they would not be there. One dear family confirmed that they would be there, but I know from past experience that their season tickets are in the armed-patrol sections of the stadium right below the broadcast booths, and I have never, in several tries, been able to approach their seats with plebian ticketing.  Plus, I wound up with an unexpected, and largely unnecessary, Rochester round-trip today, and I wanted to be home this afternoon and tonight, so the extra day of the trip loomed even longer and more annoying.

And so we made the Executive Decision: No Game Tomorrow.  (The Saturday afternoon game is too close to the time of the reunion itself, and the Sunday game is disgustingly at 8:30 p.m. because ESPN thinks the whole country wants to see the Mets get slaughtered by the best team in their league.)  Instead, I will work, but not From Work, for most of tomorrow. It won't be a full Mental Health Day but will have Mental Health Components- including a workout, a trip to Tarjay for various things, and a stop at Town Hall to check out the current (see what I did there?) incentives for residents to install solar panels on their homes.

Saturday will then be a straight shot of driving to the Suffolk County hotel hosting the reunion (and my room for the night).  There've been very few details about it despite it being less than 48 hours away, but I did hear from one of our furthest-away classmates yesterday, who moved to Australia sometime in the intervening 40 years; she won't be there, but will be Skype-ing with some friends from back then who will be.

Once recovered from the reminiscences and the rubber chicken dinner, I have a fairly full day back on Sunday: stops in my old home town Sunday morning, lunch with a Met blogger friend in a famed East Meadow diner, and finally home Sunday night after the inevitable repast at my sister's at the halfway point.  I plan to be home, and unconscious, by the time the Mets are down seven runs on Sunday night.

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I know it doesn't rhyme. Don't blame me. English is weird.

John McCain redeemed himself after my last post about the healthcare debacle, refusing his support to the so-called "skinny bill" which really should have been named "Anything for a Win." The resulting tantrums from the Orange House have been predictable, along with the other distractions- from Da Mooch whacking the Cheeto's chief of staff (now replaced by the Homeland Security Secretary, a now-unfilled position because we're so safe now:P), to the Cheeto openly encouraging police brutality (what Don Imus once referred to as "the fun part of law enforcement") to whatever shit went down on the Sunday shows.  I wouldn't know; I was outside. More about that later.

The workweek up to that point was quiet- just one hearing, with the widow of a client who required some very delicate care and feeding, as another client will later this week- except for my one and, I Promise, Last Ever real estate deal going to shit like all my I Promised, Last Ever real estate deals always do- and Friday was deathly quiet. Must be vacations or something. Wouldn't know about those, either (although I will be away for two days at the end of this week for my first-ever high school reunion and possibly a Mets game).


Last night, we got out to the Spiderman:Homecoming film. I've seen all of them since the first Raimi reboot (I even remember the Nicholas Hammond TV turn from the 70s), and haven't been impressed with any of them since, well, the first Raimi reboot, not even with the last Amazing 2 end of the Garfield Administration despite many of its non-CGI Blow-Up-BOOM scenes being filmed in downtown Rochester (NYC having silly rules about superhero film car chase speed limits).  This one, for the most part, was the best since Raimi I.  My takes on it soon after getting out:

-Best of them since the Raimi original, which was homaged, along with many of the comics and even the 60s cartoon.

-Overall good weaving of the character into the MCU. When Tony Stark is understated, you've done something good.

- Good focus on Peter throughout, and best casting ever of the part, but the Blow-Up-BOOM scenes, especially the last one, could've been 15 minutes shorter and about 70 decibels quieter without the story suffering at all.

- Spoiler: the boat sinks. Well, almost.

-Special Guest Villain: Michael Mando, who plays Vulture's henchman, played Vic the Dick in early Orphan Black.

(And that's all I have to say about Orphan Black until I process what we just saw.)


That got us to this morning. Ebony and I made our usual Parp visit, meeting a couple from Maine who brought their dogs through Buffalo on a van tour of the great dog parks of our great nation.  They really liked our little Bark Park Island, but it only made it to Number 10 on their list.   After getting home, the dog settled into a quiet spot in the garden, while Eleanor weeded and I got the fun job.

At the edge of one of the front beds was a bush in need of removal.  After cutting back its evergreeny-needly top parts and machete-ing my way through the weeds all round it, it was time to dig.  Some of my oldest childhood memories are of playtime largely being "digging in the dirt," but the thrill has largely gone out of it. I pruned, I pried, I cursed more than a few times, but after about two hours and a couple of changes of clothes, I was ready to announce that I'd "found the squishy!"  (Okay, I did say something else about Orphan Black.) A few rocks with a shovel, a few snips of the final roots, and the bastard was on the ground:

My shoulders, especially, are sore as shit from all the TRX work that went into that, but I am so glad it's done.


Road trip tomorrow; court Wednesday and maybe Thursday; I Promise, Last Ever real estate deal might actually close this week, and then it's off to Queens on Friday and Suffolk (why the reunion's there, I have no idea) on Saturday.

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It's been one of those hurry-up-and-wait weeks at work. Only two court appearances all week, the second and last of them early tomorrow, and both of them local; but I'm waiting on any number of clients, courts and opponents to get off their respective arses to schedule things, and I'm largely in limbo until they do.

This gives me unexpected time to watch the Parade of Idiocy going by. Frankly, I'd rather just be busy with work.  Yesterday gave us the grand spectacle of Senator John McCain being rushed back to DC, his brain cancer freshly diagnosed and the Best Care Anywhere for him assured, so he could get a round of applause on the Senate floor before casting the deciding vote to begin the process of taking such care away from thousands of his own constituents and millions of his fellow citizens.

He will tell you it was just a procedural vote.  He followed it with a much-praised floor speech where he decried the divisiveness of the chamber he's been a part of for decades and called for a "return to regular order." This, right after enabling debate, probable bribes, an exhausting "vote-a-rama" (that's the actual term they use) and an eventual final vote on the aforesaid stripping of health care from millions- on a bill that doesn't even exist in printable form yet. THAT's regular order?

But for me, the money quote in the speech was this:

Both sides have let this happen. Let's leave the history of who shot first to the historians.

If McCain really meant that, he wouldn't have enabled the continuation of this hyperpartisan process. He might have suggested, moments after the "no" vote he didn't have the balls to cast, that we depoliticize this whole business.  As I posited last week:

Would you buy a house that was designed by a hairdresser and built by a baker? How about getting behind the wheel of an automobile engineered and sold by the Ford Anvil Company? Stupid, right? And yet for my entire lifetime, we've been entrusting the repair and reform of our health care system to a bunch of politicians of both parties who couldn't surgically reattach their asses to their elbows if they even could tell the difference between them.

The Clintons tried and failed. Dubya tried and failed with Medicare Part D. Obama tried and failed. And now the Cheeto's going down in another spectacular failure.

Why don't they all say, WE QUIT. Turn the whole thing over to a blue-ribbon, nonpartisan panel of doctors, hospitals, patient advocates and pharmaceutical companies. Lock them in a room for a month- no politicians or lobbyists allowed- and see what they come up with. It's got to be better than this shit.

But that won't happen. Because as any fan of Star Wars could tell you, the history of who shot first is established here: Greed-o did.


But at least we don't have Death Panels, like them socialist medicine countries do. Or so they would tell you- and did, repeatedly and with fake poignance, over the saga of "Little Charlie Gard."  This infant became 2017's poster child for the triumph of Make American Medicine Great Again over those horrid National Health rationers in England.  On any number of occasions during the current US health care battle, the Cheeto and his minions have trotted out Little Charlie Gard as proof that socialized medicine will kill ya.

Bullshit.  No, assholes, your disease is what kills you; it's US profit-driven medicine that turns a baby into a political football so a doctor over here can diagnose him over the Internet and propose treating him with an experimental med that the doctor has a personal financial stake in.

Now that he's been outed, Doctor Profit has concluded that, well, no, his untested experimental med won't work after all, and the tragic little kid will be sent home for a death that will be as peaceful as it was inevitable. But "Little Charlie Gard" will no doubt still be a rallying cry for those who love him as a symbol but who ignore the inconvenient truth of his status under the horrors of Trumpcare: that from the moment of his birth, Little Charlie Gard was a pre-existing condition.

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♫....nothing survives, but the way we live our lives.♫

I reference these lyrics with some hesitation and modification: the former, because the song is called Daddy's Tune while I'm using it in a sisterly context; the latter, because I'm replacing Jackson Browne's 45's with my own age of 57 in comparison to what would have been our sister Sandy's 78th birthday today.

Sandy did make it to her 45th, but never to her 50th; by the fall of her 50th year in 1988, the demons had won and the sister, the daughter, the mother we knew was no longer with us. Except she was, and is: every day her daughters and grandchildren awake and face their days. Every day her remaining sister and I remember her words, her musical memories, her unique ways of looking at the world. Every moment we tolerate a spoiled pet because we have inherited the honor of receiving those special souls who get to be reincarnated as Sandy's cat.

I am not much for family chats on the phone, on holidays or otherwise, but today, with the luxury of her 78th birthday falling on a weekend, I called both of my nieces to check in and remind them that they, and their kids, were in our thoughts and prayers and that their mom would be- is- so immensely proud of the strong, independent women they've become.

Her last birthday was her 49th.  I've now passed that on my own calendar nine times and am heading for a tenth in November.  Two weekends from now, I will spend time with people I knew from 40 years ago; few of them ever met Sandy (being 21 years apart in age and school will do that), but all I speak to will know the importance of her to me, my family, and the person I've become.

Eleanor and I began the day taking Ebony to the dog park. We gardened, we watched BBC programmes, we had a Sunday dinner befitting so many Sunday afternoons I remember sharing with her.  And we celebrated a life that will always be celebrated in this world as long as her memories and DNA and the words from us continue.

And when the morning light comes streaming in,
I'll get up and do it again, Amen.
Say it again, Amen.

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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:)

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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.


* 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!

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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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Since I'll always be among the first here to bitch about things, when a day distinguishes itself for goodness and niceness all (okay, most) of the way around, I should be just as quick to acknowledge it.

It just doesn't happen all that often.

The day began with nervousness. I had a 10 a.m. court hearing scheduled- or rather, not scheduled. I'd done all the work, sent the papers where they needed to be sent, but waited a day or so too long to upload them to the court computer.  I'd forgotten that Bankruptcy Court took Monday off- so come my check of the online calendar, it wasn't there.... and it was fitting, since the filing was a favor for a friend who'd forgotten something, as well.  I called in as soon as the court opened, and not only did I get it put on the calendar (and approved once called), they took it in its usual place near the top of the docket; they go in order of original case filings from oldest to newest, and this one was pretty old, but they could have just as easily stuck it at the bottom. Thanks to that kindness,  I was back in my office close to 10:30, even with stops for Timmys and traffic.

By then, I also got Eleanor's good news. She had her consult with the foot surgeon today over her bone spurred left foot, and he has ruled out surgery, at least for the time being. He gave her a cortisone shot, prescribed insoles, and even taught her a trick for tying sneaker laces so they don't bear down on the aggravated part of the foot. She (we) can breathe a little easier knowing there's not an extended period of layup in her immediate future.

The rest of the workday went as close to "as planned" as they ever do.  The client who was supposed to show up and pay, did. The filing that had to get filed (the old-fashioned way), got. While I did not get my Closing From Hell (Circle Five) scheduled, at least no new roadblocks came up toward it, and I could now be reasonably confident that tomorrow would be free to schedule things, which were. A new bankruptcy client in Rochester, two longtime ones coming in to sign things there, and a chance to help out another friend covering a last-minute court hearing for him here before I leave tomorrow.

Even the horrors have had their humour in them. The Interwebs have mocked the shit out of Chris Christie's Beached Whale routine from the other day, and other Republicans have taken stupid to a comical level- getting mad at NPR for tweeting out the Declaration of Independence on Independence Day because they mistook the Madness of King George for the Madness of Orange Numpty.

Then there was one oddity I can't decide on whether it's good or not. Remember the photo of my sister that occasionally appears here?  I got an email from a guy from a website called Artsy, who must've picked up the Winogrand references in some kind of webscrape and wants to share links between his site and mine.  I don't know if this is a scam, but if you've had any contact with them, or just want to look at the site (it's dot net, not dot com), you'll see a lot of his other works- not the one with Donna that I could see, but many in the same style.

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We kept to the "no plans to speak of" promise for today's holiday, but it was a gorgeous day and we did something short of All The Things:

Eleanor did some draw, did some weed (of the pulling-up-outta-ground variety) and did some cook of a half-organic chicken.

I did some bookkeeping, got roughly halfway through the final-ish season of Sense8 (Netflix has reconfirmed its cancellation, but last week promised a two-hour streamed finale next year to tie up its loose ends), and mid-afternoon, decided to give Ebony a bonus Bark Park trip before the unofficial fireworks started blowing up all over the general vicinity. We took the electric Smart car, since it was already in the driveway and was fully charged.

The Park was much busier than it usually is at our usual 8 a.m. Sunday hour. She seemed a little disoriented with her usual two-dog pack not being there, but plenty of new friends came up to greet her (usually from the hind end) during our two laps round the main drag.  Didn't see any offensive Cheet-shirts as I did the Sunday before; they probably boycott the Fourth in honor of Hitler's birthday, anyway.

I then ran her over to Wegmans for some refreshing beverages, only to be stymied by (a) the dog bolting from the car despite me leaving it on with the AC running for her and (b) me realizing that I'd forgotten my wallet. So we just came home by a slower route, but one which actually increased the charge on Ziggy's battery by a point or so. 

We're both turning in early for early days tomorrow; Eleanor has her foot surgery consult at 9, and I need to call Bankruptcy Court as soon as they open because I didn't upload a file in time for a hearing tomorrow morning and I'm hoping they will respect that it's an errand of mercy on my part in letting it be heard at 10 a.m. anyway.

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Slept in until almost 9. By the time we were both sentient, Eleanor was back up on a ladder trying to finish a project that she assembled and we mostly she tried to assemble yesterday. This was a track light to replace a single aged fixture at one end of our hallway, which did nothing to provide light for our hall closet-turned-CD/DVD cabinet.  By mid-Sunday morning, she'd fired me from helping.  While she circuit-tested and troubleshot this morning, I was sent outside with a simple task: fill the birdfeeder and clean/refill the birdbath.

But first, there was this:

Several hundred thousand of these guys decided to re-enact a beloved DMB ant-hem in the general direction of the sprinkler hose across our front entry sidewalk. So I drowned them- which, Eleanor thought, was probably what they wanted all along, being thirsty and all. Within an hour, the whole mosh pit was gone.


I then ran over to my half-ish day of work for the first of two trips. No mail or email worth mentioning, but a text from home, saying that my beloved had surrendered to the Edison/Tesla collective. Which was fine: I have an electrician client, who I'd already called to put on standby in case this happened. He will have a guy here Friday. She was liberated and appreciative that her effort, though not complete, was still good and fine. Which it will be.


We both had separate plans for late afternoon, so I booked Wonder Woman tix for just past six, and we both headed off for geezer naps. Mine was joined by the most evil companion we've ever housed, who in a moment of weakness allowed me to get the quintessential photo of her in her native condition:

That's Michelle all over: the evil eye, the exposed fangs, the just-trimmed claws nonetheless ready to strike. She's been better the past week- only one wee-small trip to the garage to shut her up- but this reminds us just what we're up against.


Second office trip didn't accomplish much of anything- although a 3:55 email just after I left did narrow down one pile of BS on my desk- and we were both ready to head over to reserved recliners for the 6:30 WW show.


The casting, the action, the story, the faithfulness to its varied roots in DC comics and other adaptations- pitch perfect.  Eleanor reported being more riveted to a story than in anything we've seen in quite awhile.  I failed to fall for the Who-He? diversion about the Major Bad Guy, but missed totally on who MBG really was (a well-respected performer perhaps too old to be such a Baddie, who happens to be four years younger than me #getoffmyParadiseIsland).  We will love to see the Gadot/Pine outtakes from many scenes, which they must've been busting their guts over.


No plans for tomorrow to speak of. So I won't speak of them.

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When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

So I will. Donald John Trump is a fucking moron.   Each week brings further, deeper and more dangerous evidence of his unfitness to be a member of polite society, much less in charge of the largest military arsenal on the planet. But the chances of getting 218 of his cronies in the House and then 67 members of the Senate to remove him from office- the only option until 2020? About the same as the odds of him grabbing Rosie O'Donnell by any body part. 

Military coup? Massive civil disobedience? Not bloody likely. (Or I should say: not likely. Quite probably bloody.)

No court will convict him. None of law, nor of public opinion. He's already at the lowest ratings of any incumbent and dropping them week by week, but his base, many of who really are just as deplorable as Hillary Clinton said they were, double down and back him up at every turn. And while there are fewer of them than there are of us, they are smart, they are internet-savvy, and they are meaner than anything I've seen since the second-grade playground.

But there is one thing that can be done to at least limit the damage we face in the next seven-eighths of our time being stuck with him. I thought it as soon as he was elected, and after events of the past week, I think it even more:

Twitter needs to ban his Terms-of-Service violating ass.


To figure this out, I was ready to voluntarily commit myself to the 140-Character Insane Asylum- the one social media platform I have completely avoided and the one perhaps singly the most responsible for getting us into this mess. Fortunately, I did not have to: Twitter's Terms of Service are readily available for review, as are the Twitter Rules,  "which are part of the User Agreement and outline what is prohibited on the Services."

His ass is grass less than two screens into the Rules:

In order to ensure that people feel safe expressing diverse opinions and beliefs, we do not tolerate behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice.

Any accounts and related accounts engaging in the activities specified below may be temporarily locked and/or subject to permanent suspension.

    Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.

    Harassment: You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Some of the factors that we may consider when evaluating abusive behavior include:
        if a primary purpose of the reported account is to harass or send abusive messages to others;
        if the reported behavior is one-sided or includes threats;
        if the reported account is inciting others to harass another account; and
        if the reported account is sending harassing messages to an account from multiple accounts.
    Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.

The sum total of the last six months should be more than sufficient. Then there's this:

    Multiple account abuse: Creating multiple accounts with overlapping uses or in order to evade the temporary or permanent suspension of a separate account is not allowed.

Dude has been using not only his primary account but the @POTUS account and, according to many sources, other online names. The terms above make clear that multiple accounts can lead to the banhammer. (There's a @whataboutism about this, which we'll get to.)

Moving right along:

You may not use the Twitter service for the purpose of spamming anyone. What constitutes “spamming” will evolve as we respond to new tricks and tactics by spammers. Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be spamming are:::snip::
    if a large number of people are blocking you;
    if you repeatedly create false or misleading content;
    if you are randomly or aggressively following, liking, or Retweeting Tweets;
    if you post misleading links (e.g. affiliate links, links to malware/clickjacking pages, etc.);
    if you are creating misleading accounts or account interactions;
    if you are selling or purchasing account interactions (such as selling or purchasing followers, Retweets, likes, etc.); and
    if you are using or promoting third-party services or apps that claim to get you more followers (such as follower trains, sites promising "more followers fast", or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account).

It's well-established that the Cheeto has millions, if not billions, of autobots who are following him to bump up his numbers. These along should bring him in for an interview with the Twitter TOScops.


There are any number of alleged defenses to this action. They have been well documented and debunked on, where else?, Twitter, by a NoCal commentator named Mike Monteiro. He gathers them in a series of tweets labeled Why Twitter should ban Donald Trump.


And-a- two:

(This is also where he gets into noting that he still has, and uses, the @POTUS account and gets into THAT as a basis for the banhammer on account of double-posting.)

Ah, the @whatabout: "But Obama!"

Three and four:

Five, six, seven (there's no eight. Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Citizens United Incorporated!)

(BTW, "@jack" is Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter who could end this nightmare with a single click; and "the frogs" are the alt-right assholes who've adopted Pepe the Frog as their iconic/ironic Latinx mascot.)

So there you have it. A premise, a conclusion, a debunking. We may be subjected to 3½ more years of shit, but we don't have to endure reading what he puts out at 3:15 in the morning on Shitter- if only Jack Dorsey will man up.

You might send him a card.

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It wasn't that busy of a week, but it still managed to get away from me. After my Tuesday overnight with the kids, Wednesday in Rochester went as smoothly as could be expected from Grumpy Guy, and I got back home at a decent hour. No court the last two days of this week, but came back into work Thursday to find a note from a client firing me, an unfavorable decision in another case, and my latest effort at real e-shaming having made only an inch or two of progress. We pushed it much closer yesterday, but "closer" does not equal (or even rhyme with) "closed," so I will likely not know until Wednesday when this thing's going to finalize.

The client who fired me, once I called him, proceeded to walk it all back. He apparently had been put on a BP medication which proceeded to raise his blood pressure to a near-dangerous level until a PA figured it out and got him stabilized.  We will meet next week to figure out where we are.

Yesterday was then full of short-but-stressful moments: having a car come at me as it drove the wrong way down the Tim Hortons drive thru lane (I checked today: there is a "do not enter" sign, but an inconspicuous and non-MUTCD one); Eleanor called in sick after picking up a bug the day before; and I had at least one TMI moment I won't share because, TMI.  Most of the working world took the day off or left early, so little progress got made on anything. Monday will be a weird day: some, but not all, courts and other such offices have taken the day off; one of my offices is fully open, the other fully shut down. Eleanor asked for the 3rd and 4th off, so my plan is to play mostly keep-away on Monday, checking just for mail and any possible schedulings of things for the stub of a week to follow the Fourth.

That gets us to today, which has been decently productive if definitely on the humid side. Eleanor was rejuvenated after the day off and had the front lawn mowed, the dishes done, and a whole agenda of errands planned before my first cuppa was down.  I eventually did my usual Saturday rounds to office, post office and library, made two Wegmans runs (the place is crazy busy but they have their college kids back for the summer and had almost every register open, so no waiting), and got half of the backyard mowed before folding a bunch of wash during the late afternoon Mets game.

Our annual Big House Project is also underway- minor, compared to the kitchen of a few years back, but still plenty of boxes.  For years, we've despaired of only having one light fixture in our entire hallway, and it being too far from where we store our CD/some DVD collection to be able to find anything. Eleanor engineered out a system of track lighting to replace it all down that hall, and by the day I left for the kids' this week, the last of the pieces for it had arrived. Today, she began the preliminary measuring and engineering for the job:

That's where the current fixture is, or rather was- it's now just hanging down looking like something out of a Booth cartoon in the New Yorker. By the fifth, I expect, the new track will run off that voltage and light the whole hall and media cabinet with brilliant and adjustable lighting.

It will also, no doubt, highlight how much the hardwood floors need refinishing. If you give a mouse a tracklight.... This entry was originally posted at http://captainsblog.dreamwidth.org/1495276.html. Please comment here, or there using OpenID.
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Humans 1, Cat 1. For now it's a draw, or maybe a paw?  Last night, I reran the cat fud drill around 2:30- and by 3, Michelle had found the stash, run over to the desk, pawed incessantly and knocked the whole thing on the floor. Nothing spilled, since the lid was still sealed shut.  For her, though, there is no Win, just a choice of losses- and the meal was back in the fridge, she back in the garage, and me back to sleep by 3.  Eleanor's got the patrol tonight- I'm with the kids- but I will also be bringing back the calming spray they used on their kitty, which is non-prescription.

Got here around 6:30- closer to her new arrival time home from the Rochester job. They've decided to renew their lease and have Em do the extended commute for one more year while they save for a house, rather than doing the whole moving-apartment drill in just over a month. I'm hardly one to complain about someone driving too much; here I am for the first of probably two times this week after three trips last week.  Tomorrow's first-thinger is a doozy that is going to make Grumpy McGrumptrustee even grumpier than usual, because of the lack of advance information from the clients.  Then I'm almost certain to be back Friday to try to close my latest adventure in real estate.  I've decided I need to motivate myself against getting into these deals by duplicating those Bad Dog signs you see online. Forget Dog-Shaming; this is what I call Real Es-Shaming:

That's not Friday's. Friday's is worse:

Or maybe I'll just go with a "kick me" sign on my ass.

Today's bankruptcy hearings in Buffalo were much more pleasant. Nice trustee, quickly sorted through the issues and closed out the cases. It's enough to make me want to stay home more often.


Eleanor and I spent Sunday night catching up with the current Orphan Black storyline. A fun return to the yuppie crafty Hendrixes of Bailey Downs, complete with echoes of Alison and Donnie's past indiscretions ("found the squishy" is the newly immortalized line from that) and a rendering of a 60s song that melted everything in sight. After Tatiana Maslany had one of her newer characters killed off last week, it was a refreshing hour of lighter clone fare.

IMDBing Tat's amazing abilities, we discovered tonight that she guest-starred in two episodes of Parks and Recreation which aired on NBC just after Orphan Black's first series and which we watched on Hulu tonight.  She played a doctor visiting Pawnee to save it from West Nile virus- a minor part, but you got early hints of her comic chops.  I am probably also going to have to start binge-watching this thing- along with Bloodline, Fargo, House of Cards and at least three others I started and am behind on.

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Since I ended my workweek with a grumpy bankruptcy trustee, I wound up paying it forward on my day off.

I had three stops to make on the eastern edge of town yesterday: a workout, at Wegmans and in a pet store.  The workout went fine.  I headed into the Wegmans next door, needing a couple of food items plus, you know, hungry (see: workout). There was a line at the sub shop, so I grabbed my other things and came back to find just one in line.

Unfortunately, stupid things can come in small packages. The one customer turned out to be a snowflake in a Rascal mart cart, ordering five specialty subs. At noon. Tripling the line behind her. I got snarky and asked my sandwich artist (when I finally got one:P) if they ever considered putting in a catering department or a call-ahead number for big orders. Which of course they've always had to service complex orders like hers. He just rolled his eyes; she either didn't hear me or didn't care. 

The pet shop wasn't as bad, although I did have to wait through one customer at the only open register who was buying $500 of merch for some kind of reptilian terrarium setup (never saw so much cicada meal in one place in my life:P). But on my way home, the entitled reappeared- this time behind rather than ahead of me.  I was a few miles an hour over Sheridan Drive's 45 mph speed limit on a busy but moving stretch of two lane westbound traffic. Up behind me, I see a rapidly approaching front bumper and, then, headlights flashing at me. Not a cop or an emergency responder; just some chick in an Urban Assault Acura who I wasn't moving fast enough for.

So I brake-checked her.  Only for a fraction of a second, and with no risk of collision, but I'm not sure if she even saw it, either, because when she finally got pissed off enough to pass me on the right, there she was, yakkety-yakking the whole time on her handheld phone.  And just to prove that good things never come to those who don't wait, I wound up stopping at the same red light she got caught behind a mile or so down the road.  I kept going; she turned left into, what else?, the Sheridan Drive Wegmans.

I gain more and more respect with each passing day for how much Eleanor has to put up from these idiots when she's at work.


The Petsmart trip was originally for just one item- a replacement cat-scratching cardboard infill- but while I was in there, I decided to make another effort to address a more permanent problem.  Michelle, the 14-ish-year old senior cat in the house, has become positively unbearable to have around here in the middle of the night.  She needs to sleep with a human or she meows incessantly.  Usually, I take one for the team and let her settle down next to me (or, just as often, on me), but in recent weeks, without fail between 3:30 and 4 a.m., she gets off the bed (or me), moves to a nearby howling perch and starts to cry for her kibble. And will. Not. STOP.  My solution to this has been to exile her to the garage in the middle of the night- she still meows, but it's muffled from down that end.  It's warm but not-too-warm, I've added a catbox which she now sometimes tries to run out and use in the daytime, and other than the shuttling part, this could work long-term.  But it will get cold here eventually, and there's also the cat-and-human game of catching her to put her in the garage, which I would really like to stop having to do every freaking night.

And so, the brilliant idea: an automatic feeder for the little varmint.

Those dials allow you to set each side to pop open at a set and even different time up to 48 hours apart, and is intended for you to be able to feed your kitty while you're away for a day or two.  But in theory, one can also set it for, say, six hours after going to sleep and have it pop open right at Whine Time for the little shit.  Eventually I may switch to the dry food you see there, but for now the cats are Nine Lives wet-food grrls, so this involves a little more work: loading the thing before bed, putting it in the fridge, and then coming out to get it and bring it to Michelle's howling post at whatever closer-to-midnight hour I'm up anyway, because of either insomnia or a need by me and/or the dog to get up and pee.

We did a dry run (well, a wet run of Nine Lives) at din-din time last night to get her used to associating the feeder with food. Boy, did she. She proceeded to paw at the closed (and empty) second side of the thing in search of any food molecules that may have been in there. (Solution: both sides will have to be set to pop open at 4 a.m.)  Before turning in, I set it all up and put it in the fridge.... and for the one time in recent memory, neither I nor the dog needed to get up until just before her usual whining hour.

Mission accomplished. I just tossed her in the garage as usual, fed her (and everyone else) as usual, and got my (no more than usual) hour or so of post-feeding sleep before the alarm went off to take Ebony to the dog park.

So we'll try again tomorrow. There remain the variables of how the dog and the other cat will react when and if this experiment ever works. We're also waiting for Emily to get back to us about another solution- in this case, a spray-bottle solution. They have an automatic feeder, as well, but they only use it when they're away; theirs is the tower-type, and Gwenny has figured out how to defeat the dispensing mechanism and feed her face full of kibble like a coke-addicted lab rat. But Emily also mentioned that her vet has used a calming spray on the cat's crate before sending Gwenny home in it, and it seemed to relieve her anxiety enough so she didn't turn into a complete lunatic on the trip home. If we can figure out what it is, and if it works with this problem, I'll try anything short of Napalm on this cat.

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Five days. Seven hearings. Three road trips. Back in town before 3 today and home just after 4.

Three of the four before today were easy. The fourth was postponed until September. The rest of my week before this morning was just assorted running-around on other matters in between this wire mesh of commitments, plus preparing for the final three, all in one place out of town, with one of today's flagged for "issues" and all of them assigned to a Grumpy McGrumperson of a court official.

I know his schtick. I can virtually repeat it to my clients before they even hear it: "Zero tolerance." "I've never lost a motion if you don't cooperate." Yada yada yada.  One at 9 this morning, the other two at 10. But I left one of the three files in my office on the other side of Rochester, so I was out the door before 6:30 to pick it up and print out the needed useless forms that nobody else this week asked for.

Two of the three had significant-enough-to-discuss issues. We knew what they were, we were prepared for them, we will work through them. But the third: move along, nothing to see here. The client owned nothing, earned nothing, was entitled to nothing worth a piss and a half about. So naturally G McG got testy with him.

You have to list your bank accounts when you file bankruptcy. We did. You also have to list, and in most cases get to keep, the money in those accounts under various permitted "exemptions." Which we also did. But I've tired of the drill where you list, a day to a week before filing, what you think is in the account. I know, everybody knows, that the only figure that matters is what is on the bank statement(s) as of the date of filing- which, by definition, is unavailable until after you file. So I now list those assets as of an "unknown" value, that value properly and by official form permissibly determined as exempt as "100% of fair market value, up to an applicable statutory limit.” This option was expressly permitted by the Supremes in a 2010 case which allowed it, and was expressly incorporated into the current bankruptcy forms.

The trustee is still entitled to check on how much was in such accounts as of the time of filing. I ask clients for that information as soon as they receive it. Unfortunately, some banks, particularly credit unions are (and this is a technical term) dicks when their members file for BK.  This client had his credit union checking ("share draft," technically) account closed when they got notice of his filing; they essentially said, "Take your $75 worth of toys and go home." And they shut off access to his account information so he couldn't provide the needed proof of the amount of his toys. So Grumpy got grumpy: he stared my client down, and asked him to state, "on the record, under penalty of perjury, that he did not have more than $3,000 in his accounts in the 90 days before he filed bankruptcy." The client gave it some brief thought, then confirmed that this was the case. (PS: He could have had closer to $10 freaking thousand in that account before it would have exceeded his exemption, but let's not go there.)

I finished my one case after his, with minor but resolvable issues, did a few other things in the office near there, and got out of Dodgechester by 1:30. I was on the drive home when the email came in: OMG am I going to jail? The credit union finally deigned to send him a paper statement, and for one brief moment, his balance was about $60 above the $3,000 he'd testified to. My crest fell: my one easy case of the day, suddenly kiboshed by FACTS.  I would've emailed him asking for the statement information, but:

(a) I was driving, and THAT WOULD BE WRONG (not to mention how unlawful texting would've conflicted with the new labeling on my car)-

- and (b) my stupid new Speculum internet provider won't send emails from my phone if I'm using cellular data, only if I'm connected to (most, not all) wifi networks. So I had to wait until I got back to the Buffalo office to see his actual attached statement- which showed, conclusively, that client's illegal perjorous deposit didn't occur until about two weeks after he filed his case. Which, in bankruptcy terms, is "nunya bee-yai-business."  So his case will close out without any issues, and Grumpy will have to commiserate with the other six dwarfs about cases other than mine:P


Next week: another four straight days of hearings, but only one on the road, and while it, too, is with Grumpy, I know exactly what to expect out of him. Heigh-ho, heigh-ho,....

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Humpday is done. Three down, two to go in this marathon. Each of the past two days brought a tale of someone I know, at least one of whom could stand to be wished into a cornfield:

Yesterday was my one court-free day this week, but it turned out to be far from stress-free. The lawyer for owners of a $500,000 house, who have a contract to sell to new clients of mine, dropped at least one F-bomb on me in telling me where his people want my people to go. A government agency questioned the bona fides of a client whose teen-early-20s kids live in a property that she owns and who, amazingly, are not reliable in making payments on her mortgage on that property.  But the worst actor of the day was not a client, but someone I sued, and have judgment and a pending contempt motion against. Our office's new tenant (who's also been chasing the guy) reported yesterday morning that the local US Attorney indicted and perp-walked the owner for not paying his income taxes, and for hiring illegal immigrants to work on his construction jobs.  This put me in a bind between client loyalty and personal schadenfreude- because I knew, from my past interactions with the guy, that he was a major Cheeto supporter, with a lifesize mockup of 45* in his showroom, and who's also posted pro-MAGA slogans on his business's marquee over the past year.  Having him hiring the very workers who'd be turned away and/or prevented entry by The Alleged Wall? Seems a lit-tle hypocritical- but certainly par for the (Mar-a-Lago) course for this crowd.


Then, today. A 9 a.m. bankruptcy hearing in Rochester, where all the trustees administering these hearings seem determined to outdo each other in scaring the assembled petition filers with threats of the FBI knocking on their doors if they're not completely honest.  Many of them repeat their favorite war stories: one reminds debtors of "the guy in Rochester who didn't disclose that he owned an ostrich farm." Another regales them about the truck in the back lot that turned out to be a classic. Today's, though, was from one of the newer trustees to be appointed, which I hadn't heard before.  His VERY bad woman was the subject of what many of these trustees warn about as the "X factor"- the ex-spouse, ex-neighbor, ex-business partner, who's pissed that their former beloved is asking for a release from his or her debts. In his cautionary tale, he explained, D only listed $250 of costume jewelry in her case, but an anonymous tipster sent a letter asking the trustee to look into her actual jewelry box containing a $30,000 diamond engagement ring.  D didn't get away with it, the trustee warned, even though he had to go to Syracuse to get a court order denying a bankruptcy discharge to her.

My client, with no such issues, got in and out quickly; but my curiosity was piqued.  Syracuse, New York may as well be in Sicily as far as local bankruptcy practitioners are concerned; it's in a different federal district and has completely different rules, customs and "legend and folklore," lowest on the official protocol of court practice but in reality among the most important. So it was easy to use court searches to identify the case in which this misbegotten soul had lied to a bankruptcy trustee.....

And as soon as I saw the name of the case, of course I knew who she was.

D (not her real initial) was a receptionist hired in my original law firm in the 80s, not long after I started practicing. She was a (insert ethnicity here)-American Princess; was drop-dead gorgeous, although not quite as DDG as she thought she was; and dressed to the Nine Wests with heels to match and kept the then-partners quite happy as she typed whatever little she was expected to type.  Until one day, I think after my mentor's unexpected passing, she pissed off the successor senior partner by engaging in the following exchange with him:

D: says something on the phone that P didn't like.
P: "You might have handled that phone call differently."
D: "I didn't do anything wrong."
P: "Now now, you don't need to get defensive."

P sent her packing on the spot- the only employee I can remember to be fired for anything in the almost ten years I was there.

D's case with this trustee was only a few years ago. In addition to tracking down her Bad Behavior case, I found her current Facebook page, which mentions none of it, confirms her happy marriage, and notes that their teenage daughter is now on the pre-Dancing with the Stars circuit.  I wish better things for her than I ever will for P, and just hope that she learned more from the bad experience than P ever would have (or the contractor guy ever likely will).

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