Friday, February 22, 2008

Dinner Last Night

Why make a big deal out of dinner last night? Because it was so yummy, and because I made it happen on the fly while caught in traffic (a constant commuting state of existence these days) and we quit after a mere ten hour day. As I was driving the hour it takes to go 17 miles from my office to my house, I started daydreaming (multi-tasking, naturally) about the sushi you see below as I was driving.

So I got my wife on the phone and asked her if she would be offended if I took her to dinner at her favorite Chinese restaurant. Her only question was if she should meet me at the restaurant or at home first. When you have been married since the beginning of recorded history plus two days, you learn to do some things well with your wife.

The tray on the left is called Spider Roll and is made with soft shell crab and crab leg. It is so delicious that I order it and something else to go with it. They put a sauce on it that I can't describe, but I invite you to come join me. You too, Puss. The tray on the right is Dragon Roll. If you look carefully, you can see the layer of eel and avocado on top of the roll, and the greenish caviar on the 'head' of the dragon. Even Judy, who doesn't particularly care for sushi rolls like the dragon when I made her a piece that was half eel and half avocado.

The beauty of this restaurant is that Judy can get great Chinese food, and I can get great sushi. Everyone's happy! We both get soup, she likes their egg drop soup, I get the hot and sour soup. We're totally compatible. As a 'friend with privileges', it's a good time to see if she's like to exercise her privileges now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Strongly Recommend, In No Uncertain Terms ...

I try to stick with my original premise of dealing with quality, that ephemeral term. I have made a lot of recommendations, and no one has ever said, "that was terrible." Anyone is alway welcome to disagree, naturally, we all have different tastes, but I am probably the worst writer of anyone I have ever recommended.

I am certain that I have recommended Open Grove Claudia's blog Out On A Limb With Claudia to you before. She puts a lot of herself, and a lot of work into making the blog a first rate place to visit. I almost always come away feeling something better than before I got there, and having left a comment. Sometimes, like during a recent free association, I was just left speechless (read comment-less). Claudia is an amazing woman, exceptionally intelligent, even more, very insightful.

Now, she has another blog, Everyday Kindness that you really ought to visit. Watch a really very smart woman change the World for the better. It only takes a little bit to get it started. Be a part of the Revolution to make a Better World. Not that I have an opinion, naturally.

Stand And Be Counted Addendum

That is my I Voted sticker in English and Spanish on the Maryland directions for voting. I made it through the ice storm to vote. Only a mere hour and a half to go seventeen miles. Nothing to it.

I was raised to take voting seriously, and I was taught that it was my responsibility. The words 'right' and 'privledge' were never uttered. You didn't vote and you knew that the vote cops came and got you, and your father executed you. It's easier being a good citizen. All together now...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Time To Stand Up And Be Counted

Today is the Maryland Primary, and I will once again go in and vote. It's the first time since I have been married, which happened two days before recorded history began, I will not be voting with my wife. My wife, in her infinite wisdom (almost as infinite as the State of Maryland, but not quite as much, she's only one person you know) decided to answer the call and be a Closing Judge at the Polls. Turns out, she is a Closing Judge at our Polling Place. She's voting in the morning while I'm at work, so she can be a Judge when I come home and I vote. Theoretically, she could challenge my credentials and challenge my identity. In practice, the lady who sits behind my letter has been there for years, and she will automagically pull Judy's card with mine. Is she going to be surprised tomorrow when Judy's card isn't there. That will cause more commotion that anything, explaining to her what happened.

This brings me to my real point. I have been barraged by phone calls telling me why I should vote for a particular candidate. Every candidate. Candidates I can't vote for. In Maryland, in the primaries, you register for a political party, and vote in their primary only, there's no crossing over. So Democrats only get to choose between Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama while the Republicans chose between Mike Huckabee and John McCain. In the Great State of Maryland, In Its Infinite Wisdom, you can also vote for none of the above for people like me, that think that CMHL should have run. Unfortunately, I don't think she's 35 yet.

It's a shame. I don't have to vote for her because she's a woman, or a ex-war vet, or anything else, no, I can just vote for her because she's smarter than I can ever hope to be and she is unbelievably competent. The perfect President. Now that's my kind of candidate. I'm going to call it a night, I have to go to work, and then vote. I never miss an opportunity to vote MY conscience.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Still Crazy After All These Years

It's only fair that I warn you that besides Beethoven, I also adore Paul Simon. Paul Simon is fortunate that I never had political ambitions, because if I had ever been elected President, he would have to go. That guy always seemed to know exactly how I felt. My partner John, I call him John because that is his name, although I never go to the Men's Room, which should clue you in to the level of humor that is almost always prevalent unless a client is within earshot, and then, it depends on the client.

Every day, I get e mails generated by the computer. An example was when I got fourteen (14) different e mails, a third of them from the Managed Accounts Department. The complaint was that there wasn't a signed contract for the person with the account. This contract is 27 pages long. The account was for John's mother. Two days before, the account had successfully transferred from another brokerage house. The day before, a person in the Managed Accounts Department had called, and asked if the Manager could sell the transferred portfolio and construct a new portfolio. I said that it was fine (it was in an IRA and hence not taxable, and there are a lot of other reasons). Today, they couldn't rebuild the portfolio because there wasn't a signed contract, everything else was seemingly OK????

I then called the guy who I had talked to the day before who had asked for the authorization to liquidate, and he said that he couldn't find the contract, and hence, the portfolio couldn't be reconstructed. I told him I'd fax him a copy. I then called a different person in the same Managed Accounts Department, but she's the one I had learned to call when I wanted to get something actually done. I asked her for John's mother's contract. She said, give me a moment, I just saw it a little while ago. Let me call you back when I find it.

An hour later, she faxed me the signed contract, complete with her Departmental cover sheet. I then generated fourteen different fax cover sheets,and faxed the 27 page document to 14 different people, before starting on the next 'problem' for the day. These things happen sporadically throughout the day. Not all are as stooooooopid as this one, but enough are. Days like this, Paul Simon wrote "The Boxer" for us. I'm waiting for my "Ode to Joy" Day. Or maybe that's what sex is for?

If you live in Tenn., please speak up and let everyone know you're OK, and we'll do the Hallelulah Chorus!