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Fits and Starts and Stops - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Fits and Starts and Stops
After two straight days of court that led into, now, four straight days of sick, I did manage to get out of three scheduled court appearances in the past three days (only one remained, and that was by phone). So I managed to get a lot of other things done- or at least tried to.

Wednesday, the bug was at its worst, and I showed my raggedy face in the office here for all of about ten minutes. Somewhere in those ten, I thought I'd managed to forward my office calls to my cell phone, but apparently I didn't- because by the time I headed back in there at around 6 that evening to drop off some office supplies, my voicemail light was blinking, and its content was maxed out. Including repeat calls from one nervous client (very confused about the message being different from my usual mobile one), and one from a judge who kinda wondered why I hadn't responded to papers due to be argued the next morning (answer: they were mailed to the wrong address, and I'd adjourned the thing with them earlier that day anyway).

And why was I stocking office supplies when I was home sick? Because my home printer naturally chose this occasion to run out of ink. I could've sworn I still had a full four-pack of replacement cartridges for it, but that appears to have been hallucinatory, so at day's end I stumbled out to The Only Nice Motel, urr, Office Supply Store in Town, hoping there might be a deal on this ridiculously expensive product.

Not exactly. The four fountains of print retailed for over 70 bucks, or more per ounce than the most expensive of perfumes, but. With a purchase of over 60 in HP ink, said the sign, you would receive a free Bluetooth remote speaker!  No sign of the swag on the selling floor, so I took my empty ink box to the register to be switched out for a real one from within the time-locked safe, and I asked for my prize.

Oh dear, she said, after headsetting her fellow minion.  We're out.

No problem, I replied. A different brand of speaker will do nicely.

Minion to minion, she squawked, he wants a substitute. None of those.

Well, how about a raincheck? Squawk squawk. Sorry, no rainchecks.

Now I'm mad. I mentioned that I'm an attorney, and that I know this guy who's also an attorney, but also the Attorney General. They love going after retailers for false advertising.

And, moments later, mirabile dictu (some minions apparently speak Latin), this magically appeared in my hand:

Took me the better part of a day and a half to suss out how to charge it and make it work, but the sound on it is quite nice, and it'll make a nice addition to the loo.


I called the judge who'd called me first thing yesterday, putting on my best Sick Voice without even really faking it, and got sympathy and adjournment for my effort. With an hour and change thus freed up before the one phone conference, I headed to run a couple of errands. One involved two banks in our lives. First, the current local one which now holds our joint checking account more or less by default, its original Rochester savings bank home having been merged, renamed, sold, traded and merged again in the 20-odd years since we moved here. Second, the credit union I've belonged to since college, where we also have a joint account that we recently decided to revive to use as an emergency fund/extra debit card for Eleanor to use.  Credit union did its part earlier this week, sending the new cards and more paper checks than we will ever use in our lifetimes- but with a slightly different account number than Bank has had through multiple switchovers.

You cannot change this thing online.
You cannot change it at the bank.
You have to call the service line.
Which caused a wait which really stank.

They finally succeeded- but only in deleting the old linked account. I could add the new one online!, they said.  And they were right- but the process of doing so was about as intuitive as changing a baby's diaper by using a blender (there's a black-and-white-and-red-all-over joke in that).  It took another half hour in Call Center Hell to acquire THAT secret knowledge, but it's now, hopefully, all done.


I picked up two Redbox films at the end of the day- Marshall, one largely filmed in Buffalo last summer in and around our retired but preserved-in-amber Art Deco 30s federal courthouse, and Lady Bird. We did not get to finish the latter, since it had been a long day for both of us and we wound up turning in quite early.  I, however, set an alarm- because last night was my final chance for the annual humiliation of taking and failing the Jeopardy! contestant test.  The previous two nights at 8 and 9 eastern, I'd simply forgotten- but for this, I simply had to be awake at 11 to catch the Pacific Time slot on the final night.  Given my previous years' fails, I figured I had nothing to lose by being sick, exhausted and (I admit) drunk.  I mean, it got Sean Connery on the show, right?

Alas, it did nothing for me, because by the time my phone went off to wake me, it was actually 11:11. After blowing the start time by a similar number of minutes last year, I simply said Fuck it and rolled back over.

So the show is safe from me for another year. Suck it, Trebek!


Today, I felt generally better, but still stayed away from the office for much of the day. Got some work done at home with the printer actually printing, ran some errands, picked up groceries Eleanor shopped for right before going into work, and got some decent time in at the office in the last half of the day before deciding to fix my Lady Bird problem- returning the rental and buying the thing from good old Wally World. As with most of these recent events, I ultimately succeeded, but not without some hiccups.

One way the Waltons are combating the Amazon scourge is by pimping out their selling floor to third parties who want to sell their own wares to the relatively few remaining customers. And so it became nearly impossible to buy a simple electronic item without being accosted by two cable-entertainment salespeople with tables blocking the DVD racks.

First up was the rep from my own current cable-internet company.  I dispatched him easily enough, by telling him we already had their internet service and asking if he could help us with cutting the cord from the cable box, as we're planning on doing any day now.  Not ten feet away from him, though, was the Direct TV rep, whose table was literally in front of the new release rack. She proceeded to tell me that, no, she didn't think Walmart had this film (you know, the one just released three days ago after being a leading contender for about eight Oscars), but hey! If I signed up for her satellite service, we could watch it on demand!

She may be coming out of surgery any minute now, after being operated on for the death stare I gave her.

And yes, they had the damn movie, if not terribly well located.  We can finish it any time now.  What I'd prefer to watch first is her and the cable guy, dueling to the death with a set-top box and satellite dish at twenty paces.  Worked as the ending for Hamilton, didn't it?

(Speaking of: my friends made it to the matinee the other day and loved it- plus they got to see Springsteen again in Manhattan last night:)


Quietude is planned for tomorrow, until we see a beloved folk singer in Williamsville tomorrow night for the third time in several years.

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