Friday, October 30, 2009

Rejoice and be glad!

I've known JFM's nephew since he was born; now he is a grown, married man. He and his wife have just welcomed their first child, a son, into the world. I couldn't be happier for them all.

May God bless all three of them.
I have the 80s music station on TV, and I'm hearing We Are The World for the first time in forever. I would love to see a "Where are they now?" list for all the stars who took part in that recording. Some of them are still headliners today, while others have gone on to do things other than music.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I don't BELIEVE this! My freaking laptop hard drive has died AGAIN!

[insert long list of colorful, multilingual expletives here]

OF COURSE it died when JFM asked me to fill in and send a mass emailing to the civic association he co-chairs.

Fortunately, said laptop went on the fritz just as I was chatting online with a fellow techie friend, RD. He set up a GoToMeeting session on one of his computers so I could log on THERE and send the mass email.

The email is being sent out even as I type.
Thanks, R! I appreciate the help!

Technology... when it works, it's grand, but when it acts up, ARRRRGH!

I probably will be minus a laptop until Sunday at the least. Thank God I bought this netbook in March. It's been a life-saver.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yesterday they had The Last Stroll at the Spectrum, including tours of the Phantoms' locker room (which the Flyers once used), the press box, autographs from Broad-Street-Bullies-era Flyers alumni, and the ability to visit our Season Ticket seats one final time. I took as many photos as I could OF our seats and FROM our seats, as well as getting pics during the above-mentioned tour.

I didn't have anything for the Flyers alumni to sign, so instead I took photos with Joe Watson, Orest Kindrachuk, Bob Kelly, and the deity of goaltending Bernie Parent.

I wish I could get in a time machine and go back and tell the 10-year-old me, who was going through those tough times but was also an avid Flyers fan, that I was able to thank members of that Flyers team for making me a hockey fan, and make them smile. :) And that on encountering Orest "O" Kindrachuk, I cheered, "O!!!!!!" and he got a huge kick out of that. And, most of all, that I got a smile from Bernie Parent when I told him that he had made me a fan of goaltending.

Knowing that such great things were in my future, even 30+ years in the future, would have made life easier on 10-year-old me. Or at least it would have made me more interested in sticking around long enough for those great things to happen.

Maybe that's God's way of reminding me that I should ALWAYS keep on wanting to stick around, no matter how tough times are, if only because some future me will then be able to do something that would make the current me do handsprings for joy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

WHEW. After calls to our Flyers ticket rep, ComcastTix, Flyers Box Office (who then called ComcastTix's Box Office), we got our old Phantoms season ticket seats for the Phantoms game in December.

I've only been making calls/playing telephone tag since 11 AM.

I need a nap now.
Skype is my new toy. :) Yeah, I know, it's been available for years, so I'm a little late to the party. Well, better late than never. I didn't expect the call quality to be anywhere near this good. I'm very impressed.

In other news, the GOOD news is that the Phantoms will play a game in Philly in December. The BAD news is, I can't specify my Season Ticket seats during the freaking presale. I have to wait until tomorrow to do that, when the tix go on sale to the general public, to specify seats.

So I called the person in the Flyers box office who helped Mark and me straighten out our season-ticket seating issue. She, in turn, put a call out to someone in Comcast's box office, who was going to look into the situation and reserve the two seats "if they're still available". (Arrrrrrrgh!!!!!)

I want my freaking seats to see my freaking team! I don't think that's asking too much of anybody.

Stay tuned. If a PayPal button appears on this blog with a request for bail money donations, you'll know that someone else got my seats. If that's the case, please give generously to the bail fund. ;-)
Aw, man. Soupy Sales passed away.

Another fixture from my childhood gone. :(

Thanks for the memories!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I can't recall if I mentioned that at my recent doctor's appointment, I had a couple of tweaks made to my prescriptions. One of the new meds lists "drowsiness" as a possible side effect.

Boy, they weren't kidding! Geesh. I'm sleeping 12 hours at a shot with this stuff, plus or minus a brief wakeup here and there in the midst of all that. I usually end the sleep pattern when I decide, "Good grief, look at the clock! I have to get up!" and then I do just that.

But I haven't even had the med a week yet, so I'll wait a bit more to let myself get acclimated to taking it. If the drowsiness doesn't die down, back to the doc I go. Alleviating symptoms by hibernating through them wasn't the sort of relief I had in mind. ;)

Monday, October 19, 2009

There will be a Last Stroll at the Spectrum, open to the public and free of charge, on October 24 from 10 AM to 1 PM.

They'll be selling memorabilia there. No suprise.

They'll also be taking orders for Spectrum chairs. I have to see how to go about getting my season ticket seat. I sat there for over 10 years, so IMO they owe me and other former STHs first crack at our seats.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Oh, well. It would have been a nice idea, if it had been meant to be.

I got an ad in the mail for pet medical insurance. Knowing what we've spent on Captain and Stanley in the past two years, I looked the program up online.

There are four levels of coverage, and only the most expensive of the four covers dental care. But then I read the "what's not covered" list, and gingivitis is specifically excluded. So forget THAT plan. The cats both have chronic issues with that, to the tune of both cats needing three separate dental procedures involving extractions in the past four years. If I can't get gingivitis treatment covered, it's not worth having the plan.

I wish there were pet medical insurance plans that didn't restrict away the main things that I would actually WANT them for, like geriatric care or, for the reasons stated above, gingivitis. It would actually be worth the investment to me if I could find REAL coverage for veterinary expenses, instead of just a bare-minimum amount of coverage. I do realize that these companies are in business to make money, but on the other hand, I want to actually get something for what I'm paying for. Why would I subscribe to a veterinary insurance that refuses to pay toward anything I actually need to have coverage for?
Joe and I saw these Muppets on display at the Michener Museum in Doylestown yesterday. They have a Jim Henson/Muppet exhibit that's running until November 29.

Then I had this song as my earworm for the rest of the day.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Muppet exhibit at Michener Museum

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The Jim Henson/Muppet exhibit at the James A. Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA is GREAT! See it if you get the chance!

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Ads on the Ceiling

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I've joked about the potential of boosting revenue by plastering ads on the ceiling. SEPTA is actually doing it! LOL! :)

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

I have been reading articles about the immense data outage that's taken place for users of T-Mobile's Sidekick device. Having worked in IT for over 16 years, I still can't wrap my mind around the idea that NO usable backups existed from which the corrupted file could be restored.

When I worked for the bank, we had backups of our backups. Literally. There were two parallel files containing the data, always updated simultaneously, and both files had backups both onsite and offsite. We had things set up so that, IF the main data file got corrupted, the only record that would have to be recreated would be the ONE record that was in the process of being written to the file at the moment the crash occurred. If the system didn't fail at a time when a record was being written to the file, we wouldn't lose anything at all, because everything else was backed up in multiple places.

Now, granted, I'm talking about a BANK and there are about a bazillion Federal regulations governing everything banks do, including maintaining data integrity. So that instills a particular "Safety First. And Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth" mindset in the people in the bank's IT department, as well it should.

But IMO, it shouldn't take the looming threat of Federal Regulators Getting In Your Face for a company to take the stance that preserving data integrity is more important than life itself. That is an attitude that SHOULD be a given.

I am just flabbergasted that any company anywhere could suffer a significant, possibly permanent data outage. Whatever money they may have saved by cutting corners, and downsizing away the people who knew the system best (which happened as part of a recent MSFT takeover of Danger) is now going to be spent paying damages on class action suits. So not only did they not save money by restructuring, they lost a lot of consumer trust into the bargain. To me, this looks like a worst-case-scenario for what can happen when a corporation thinks solely with its wallet.

This morning, I saw an article proclaiming that they think they can restore "most" of customers' data. Color me unimpressed until I see a percentage to quantify this nebulous "most". After all, 50.0001% would qualify as "most", as would 99.9999%.

There's one part of me, as a person who was downsized out of a longtime IT position, that wants to say, "NYA NYA NYA, corporate bigwigs, that's what happens when you cut your staff to a skeleton crew." But I can't, because the people this REALLY hurts are the consumers whose data was lost. The freaking bigwigs who gutted the department, even if their heads roll as a result of this, will get their golden parachute severance package and land with some other big corporation. The consumers are the ones who'll be up a creek if that data can't be restored.

Argh. I probably shouldn't read the news before my morning coffee. As you can see, it makes me think too much.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I get such a smile out of seeing where some of the hits on my Phantoms blog come from. In particular, the hits that come from the hometowns of our players, and from the cities where some of our guys previously played, make me glad. I feel like I'm doing something constructive both for myself and for other long-distance fans when I see that. :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Phillies Phillies Phillies! We eliminated the Rockies and are advancing to the NLCS! WTG! :)

First Regular Season Game: Phantoms Vs Sharks :: Photo Gallery :: PostStar.com

First Regular Season Game: Phantoms Vs Sharks :: Photo Gallery :: PostStar.com

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I just realized that it's MY orange hat that's visible in the lower left quadrant of this pic. :) This is from the Post-Star's coverage of the Phantoms home opener.
For once, being a chronic insomniac is working in my favor. The freaking Phillies game is STILL ON at 1:41 AM Eastern Time. Thanks, you morons at MLB and TBS for starting a PLAYOFF game at 10 PM. @*#&$!*&$#

Friday, October 09, 2009

Fed Up With Nasty-grams

Boy, a couple of my preferred hockey message boards have turned into nastygram-fests lately. Everything people post seems to be a complaint about something, even when the Flyers win, or else insulting comments made to other posters.

Strange that the bout with Nasty-itis would happen simultaneously in multiple locations, no?

But wait... what were those lyrics from Clouds again? "But now, my friends are acting strange. They shake their heads, they say I've changed..."

Hmm. Maybe the message boards are the same as always, and my tolerance for the snarkiness is what's dropped in recent days.

Either way, for the time being, I'll be spending less time on the sites that have gotten on my reserve nerve recently. (I can't entirely leave either site, as I'm a moderator at one, and the other has non-nasty people on it whom I've known online since the 1990s.) So I'll merely curtail visits to those places for a bit. When either the atmosphere on those sites or my tolerance for the goings-on there show some improvement, I'll go back to spending more time there.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

.

At the AT&T Pavilion (at the Wach Center) watching the Phillies game prior to the Flyers game. Who let a Penguins fan in here? ;)

LOL, I'm Keeping This

BWAAA HAHAHAHA!

A few times a year, I do a Google search on my own name. Every now and then, a piece of info like an address or phone number will show up online. Goodness knows where they get it, as I make a point of NEVER posting either of those details online, ever. But if they do show up, I either remove them myself or inform the site in question that I want them removed. Problem solved, at least for a while.

I just did another "Let's make sure nothing unwanted is showing up online" search.

To my surprise, there's an online phone directory which has an address and phone number listed for me, as well as an employer. I have never provided any such information to any online directory, as I prefer my info to remain unlisted. However, the info on the site isn't really mine anyway. The address that they have listed is that of my favorite, but soon-to-be-demised arena. The phone number is the former Philly number of my favorite, recently-departed AHL team. And the directory site also thinks that I am an employee of said AHL team.

What the...?

And then I realized that somehow, some data mining program must have connected my name to my duties on the board of the team's BOOSTER CLUB, and extrapolated somehow so that the team's contact information ended up in my directory entry. Because I've certainly never provided team-related information and claimed it to be my own in any way.

Anyway, I'm laughing my head off about the "information" on that site. I think I'll leave it alone. The team in question is no longer in this city, the phone number for its former office is most likely gone, and it's only a matter of time until the building at the address itself is no more. So in the highly unlikely event that someone actually would look my name up, even if they call or write to that address, they won't disrupt anyone's workday. There's no one at that address/phone number to be disrupted.

And anyone who REALLY wants to get hold of me online should have no difficulty doing so. This blog page offers some workable options for anyone who actually is interested in saying hello.

LOLOL! Seeing my name connected to that address is the best laugh I've had in a while.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

.

I can see Sign Man behind the Flyers bench for the pregame skate. The season is finally upon us!

'Bout time!

Monday, October 05, 2009

I've compared losing the Phantoms to feeling like I've experienced the death of a loved one before, both aloud and in print.

Over the weekend, I was surprised by one particular psychosomatic symptom that I've only experienced in the past after a bereavement. I'll spare my readers the details, though people who know me offline may already have an inkling of what I'm referring to.

In any event, let's just say that my subconscious mind is grieving, even to the point where my conscious mind needs a few moments to register where some symptoms are coming from.

Never discount the mind-body connection. The state of the one *will* make itself be reflected in the other, especially at times when a person is trying to gloss over or ignore the fact that some situation is truly hurtful to them.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Phantoms Home Opener: the writeup will be posted on Sunday

There's a bit of an issue with the hotel wifi, so I will post the game writeup for the Phantoms Home Opener on Sunday.

I am extremely pleased with the number of Philly fans I saw at the game. My only disappointment on that score is that Glens Falls is too far away for us to make this kind of showing at every game.

We came oh-so-close to getting at least a point out of this contest, but it wasn't meant to be. With 11 seconds and change left, Worcester scored a tie-breaking PP goal and won, 3-2.

I'm now going to go keel over. It's been a long day. Good night!

Phantoms Block Party

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Adirondack Youth Hockey is having a shootout at the Phantoms inflatable.



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We arrived a while ago. I have since checked in, called Mark, had issues with the hotel wifi, and logged in with my cell phone connection so I could post this.

It's really hitting me, since seeing all the Phantoms stuff outside the arena, that my team is gone. REALLY gone. Not Coming Back gone.

:-(

I did subscribe to the AHL cybercast, so I could watch games online, but that's not the same thing. It is, however, far better than not being able to watch at all.

Pics will be forthcoming tonight or tomorrow.