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~Wednesday~  Because I had to leave work at 4:00 today, I was up at 6:00 and into the office by 7:30, via a Wolfline bus from the Avent Ferry Park & Ride.

A cute guy sat across from me intermittently drinking coffee from a large travel mug and listening to something that emanated from his pocket and traveled through a long white cord that snaked up his torso. He wore a wide silver band on the thick ring finger of his left hand.

Aside: In that previous paragraph, I particularly like the "snake" allusion juxtaposed with the imagery of "something in a pocket" and "creeping up a torso," but I digress...

Another student sat in the upper rear section of the bus, where he worked on an HP laptop. He had on black, knit gloves that had all the fingers cut off them at the knuckles. At a couple of points, he closed his eyes until his head dropped quickly enough to startle him awake—always before his laptop became a floortop.

I attended a Lunch & Learn: "The Changing Face of e-Books and NCSU Libraries" from noon until 1:00 in the Poultry Sciences building across the street from my building. While walking down a hall to use the restroom before the seminar started, I thought I heard birds chirping. At first, I asked myself if I was hearing things, and then I wondered if it wasn't a sort of joke that instead of musac, they had bird chirping piped in for effect—being the poultry building and all.

On my way back, however, I followed the noise to the door of a room and looking through the 4-inch wide window in it, I saw wings and heads pop up every now and then under the red light:

The seminar was quite educational, and one thing I learned is that if you buy a Nook brand e-Book Reader, which is made by Barnes & Noble, you can use it to read any book in their store for free for as long as you're in there.

On my way back to my office, I swung by the Brickyard Atrium, where when I was leaving, the girl in front of me threw me off with a social miscue. She was holding the door for me, and when I took it, she said, "Thank you." Hey, that's what I'm supposed to say. And I did, so when she spoke over me a little I thought, "Did she really say thank you?"

We went through the next doors and she did the same thing. It came across as thanking me for accepting her thoughtfulness. Interesting. If not confusing.

Mid-afternoon, annoyed, I once again called the insurance rep of the person who hit my car as she still hadn't returned my call from Monday. I reached her voice mail again, but instead of leaving another message, I pressed "one to speak to someone who could help me right then."

I reached Ellen Alexander, who was a great customer service rep—reeling me into liking her by noting when I gave her my birthdate to confirm my identity—that she, too, was a Libra. She checked my record and it had just been updated to note that their driver had admitted rear-ending me, changing the status of the claim from "Fault Not Yet Determined" (which was driving me crazy) to "Liability Accepted."

After we hung up, she was calling the body shop where I had my estimate done to let the rep there know the status change and to have him call me to schedule my repair work.

I arrived in North Raleigh at Nathan's office for our financial planning meeting. We talked about approximately $14,000 that I have in cash in one of my investment accounts, and I approved investing it in two Brazilian-based funds that are down right now, which of course, is the time to buy.

A quick review of my overall investment portfolio showed a 15.5% return over the last twelve months. I'll take it.

I asked him if he could summarize my net worth for me, and after enumerating the few bits of information he needs from me (that he doesn't already have, such as the current value of my house, and my mortgage balance) to calculate it and get back to me on it, he asked, "What is your goal for that?"

I said, "Well, what I would like to be able to say, what I think would feel really good to be able to say... is that it's three-quarters of a million dollars."

That captured his imagination so much that he asked me to quickly estimate the values of the information he yet needed, and he said, "You know what, I'd be comfortable in saying that you're close enough to that right now that we could most likely get you to that number by the end of this year." I'll take it.

When I got outside, I had a missed call from my friend Myra, whom I called right back, but reached her voice mail. She called me back while I had stopped in the grocery store, and when I answered, she said, "John, Sarah's husband died."

My heart immediately sank thinking it was my dear friend Sarah's husband, Andrew, which was unfathomable. "Who's husband? I asked in disbelief.

"Sarah's," she said.

"Egan-Warren?" I asked.

"Oh, no, no. Sorry. Sarah Ash's husband, Mark."

Sarah Ash is a mutual friend of mine and Myra's, and in fact, we're scheduled to have lunch with her next Tuesday. I had actually met her husband once when I was invited to dinner at their house when I used to work part time, with Myra actually, in the now defunct Center for Excellence in Curricular Engagement at NC State. He seemed like a nice guy, and he was only 57. So sad.

I spent about an hour-and-a-half at work before heading to dance, arriving at Flex to a pretty much empty bar, other than six or so dancers. Van's arm was in a sling, and it turned out he'd been mugged recently. They took his credit cards, and spent on at least one of them before he could cancel it, and he didn't get a look at whoever did it. Hate it for him.

After dancing, I stopped back by work, as I had a document that needed to go out by midnight, but I didn't end up e-mailing it until about 12:30. Oh well. Fire me.

I'm still on schedule with my reading:


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 24th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
Something about the idea of attending a videoconference seminar - assuming it was the same one we had some staff (not) attending yesterday, but I digress - in a building known as the Poultry Sciences Center makes me glad I'm alive in 2011...

Edited at 2011-02-24 07:55 pm (UTC)
Feb. 24th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
Which came first, the chicken or the videoconference? :-)
Feb. 25th, 2011 01:25 am (UTC)
Tech stuff AND transit
Hey John, I got an interesting email today. Maybe you can develop some app that plays a show tune when your bus is a minute away or something!


" Last week, GoTriangle launched a Developers Resources section on their website to allow open access to regional transit information for those who want to create mobile apps, desktop widgets and the likes:

Now we need help spreading the word to the appropriate faculty, student groups, and any other interested tech parties, so we can get the app center populated! I've attached a press release with more information.

Please pass this along to anyone you think would be interested, or send contacts to:

Lauren B. Parker
GoTriangle Marketing Coordinator
lparker@gotriangle.org "

Feb. 25th, 2011 06:44 am (UTC)
Re: Tech stuff AND transit
I want one that alerts me to two things: 1) the interior temperature of the bus that's pulling up, and 2) when you're at the Hillsborough Street bus stop. :-)

Thanks for reading and commenting, my friend.
Feb. 25th, 2011 04:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Tech stuff AND transit

If we can't manage to meet up at the bus stop, maybe we need to make plans to have that beer (or bourbon & Coke)!
Feb. 25th, 2011 08:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Tech stuff AND transit

Let's do!

Is there any day that's better than another for you next week? If next week's not good, we'll have to look at the week after the next week, as I'm in New Orleans over the university's spring break week, from March 7-11.

Here's a link to my calendar if would help at all in planning.

Edited at 2011-02-25 08:27 pm (UTC)
Feb. 26th, 2011 12:47 am (UTC)
Re: Tech stuff AND transit
You are scary organized, man.

Monday or Thurs work for me. Mitch's @ 5? (The only place I know on H'boro LOL)
Feb. 27th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Tech stuff AND transit

Ha! Let's do Monday, like in tomorrow, correct? I'm leaving for my spring break trip next weekend, and I'm afraid as the week progresses it'll get crazier at work trying to get things done before being gone for a week.

You know how to contact me via phone if something comes up? I'm in the campus directory. You know my last name, right?

Looking forward to it!
Feb. 25th, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC)
Slings and muggings
"Van was in a sling" - say what!? I didn't think Flex was that kind of club. Then to follow up that he'd been mugged made for some interesting visual images.

Oh wait, it's probably Van's arm that was in a sling huh. Nothing to see here, move along :)
Feb. 25th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Slings and muggings

Oh good lord! I clarified about the sling. :-) Thanks!
Feb. 26th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC)
"you can use it to read any book in their store for free for as long as you're in there"
Wow, I didn't know that about the Nook...

If I didn't already have an iPad, I might've given that a go.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )



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