Archives for December 2009

My Last Blog Entry for 2009

My family gets pretty annoyed with me at this time of year.  They get tired or hearing “This is the last time in 2009 that I…”  So, to all my readers — yes, all three of you — this is the last time in 2009 that I’ll post in my blog.  Not to worry, I’m sure I’ll have a few things to say over on facebook throughout the day today as we try to get everything out of our petri dish of a building.  It is going to be a long day.

To prepare for our move out, we’ve been cleaning our home office.  That will become the center of our business.  Our plan is operate ForYourSalon.com and continue to serve our local customers (salons, barbershops, spas, senior care facilities, and individual stylists,) delivering their orders to them.  Delivering to our customers isn’t new, our top 10 customers never set foot into our building.  They would simply phone or fax their orders in.  Our challenge will be to convert those customers who would come into the store multiple times per week (some, multiple times per day) because we were close by.  It won’t be easy, but it is better than spending all day in that building with all the mold and mushrooms.

As were cleaning the office, we’re coming across things that we should have thrown out or recycled long ago.  Like tickets, with parking, to the 2003 NHL Eastern Conference Finals.  The Flyers were bounced in the semis by Ottawa.  I didn’t go to any of the playoffs that year, or since.  I had eye surgery in February that year and only went to one game after it as a season ticket holder (it was 1 April vs. Columbus — Jeremy Roenick bobble head night.  Eliz and I stayed until the end of the first period when it was clear I’d have a better chance at growing new hair on my bald head than I would seeing the game.)  Then there’s the Dreamweaver 2.0 guide, complete with a 3 1/2″ floppy disk!  You would have thought that I would have gotten rid of that after I purchase the Dreamweaver 3.0 Bible or the Dreamweaver MX 2004 book.  That scenario repeated over and over again with Photoshop, Illustrator, QuarkXpress, and a few other programs.  Why I still have the box and manual to the Canon A40 I purchased in 2002 is beyond me.  I guess I wanted to take advantage of the whopping two megapixels.  It is amazing what we’ve saved over the years.

I’m looking forward to turning the page to 2010; I wish you a happy and healthy year.  Of course, I’ll be back with a post in a day or two.  That will be the first time in 2010 that I’ll post to my blog…

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A Good Day

I don’t often write about good days here, but today was one of those days that I wanted to share with the world.  It wasn’t exciting, extravagant, or exotic.  Nor were the burdens that weigh on us every day removed.  Today was a simple day spent together.  It’d be a normal day if it happened more frequently, but we’ll have to take them one day at a time.

After lunch, we went to visit my parents.  We do that every weekend and sometimes during the week if they need something.  Today we took them a couple of rye breads, a frozen dinner they asked for, a box of Tastykake cupcakes courtesy of my friend Alex, and a couple of treats.  While we’re visiting, we talk for awhile, watch TV, and help them any way we can.  Usually, the kids and Eliz hang out with my mom, while I talk with my dad.

Today was a bit different because my mom was preparing dinner when we arrived, so we all kind of hung out in the kitchen and dinning area.  When we arrived to their apartment, there was a gift on the shelf outside their door for my dad.  After we went through all the stuff we brought for them, he opened the present.  It was from a few ladies who my father taught to shoot pool.  My parents both laughed as Eliz read who the pound of fudge was from.  Between that gift, the treats we brought them, and the ice cream they have stashed in their freezer from the “cafe” down the hall, they should have enough sweets for a week or two.

After my mom had everything simmering on the stove, my parents, Eliz, and I went into the den, while the kids went into the bedroom to watch TV.  We talked about Shavu’ot, a jewish holiday that Jake has to do a presentation on at school (which neither I or my parents knew anything about,) Jake’s decision to got to Japan with the Japanese club from Westtown, some trips we took when I was a kid, and business.  We spent between and hour and a half and two hours visiting, then we headed across the street to Borders and then came home.

Since it is Hanukkah, we wanted to do one of our family traditions: make potato latkes.  (The kids are being raised without religion, though they are exposed to both jewish and catholic traditions.  If they want to pick a religion when they’re older, that’s up to them.)  The best part of latkes this year was that both kids wanted to help in the preparation.  They both peeled potatoes.  Jake then cut them up for Jane to feed into the food processor for shredding.  Eliz then grated the onion in the food processor.  I added the other ingredients and cooked them.  Jane later said she wanted to form some and cook them, so my cooking duties were over for the day.  Don’t tell her, but she is better at cooking them than me…  We then enjoyed them together, along with roasted turkey breast, at the dinner table.

Simply eating together at the dinner table is good.  We don’t get to do it as often as we should.  We all had a hand in making the latkes and spent real quality time with one another.  Eliz and I both really enjoyed it.

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What a Day

My day started off with Eliz telling me that we had water in the basement from the all the rain overnight.  While it’s not too big of a deal, it wasn’t the way I wanted to start the day.  We have been cleaning out our basement in preparation of bringing some inventory and all the documents, computer equipment, and office supplies from our business location, which we are vacating as soon as possible (more on that later.)  The water was coming in through two window areas, one of which looked like an aquarium, minus the fish of course.  Unless the water is coming up from under the window wells, we should be able to eliminate the problem by simply building up the slope along the outside of the wells and the wall.  There is a project for this weekend…

After a few minutes of looking around our basement, we get in the car and head to our business.  As we pull into the parking lot, Eliz notices water coming down in the vestibule.  As we open the door, water is pouring in and there is a good two inches on the floor of the vestibule.  With our heads down and mouths closed tightly, we enter the vestibule and hurry to the second door.  As we open that door, we are clear of the water pouring into the vestibule, but hear what sounds to be a couple of spigots running in the store.  Water is coming down all around the counter except on the counter with checkout terminal.  The glass showcase is wet, the storage containers are about half full of water, and the Coke box has water on it.

I head back to my office to check on the leak just outside my office door in the showroom.  The bucket is about half full, the floor is wet, and water is dripping on a table that was damaged by water last week.  As I peer into my office, I notice that the ceiling tile that had a six inch square wet mark on it after last week’s storms, now has a 12 inch by 15 inch wet spot.  Luckily, the tile is still able to absorb the water and none has dropped onto my desk or filing cabinet.  I had slid my computer and phone farther away from the danger zone Tuesday night before we left.

I grab my camera and begin to shoot video.  Eliz points out areas she thinks should be shot.  We both go into the warehouse together with the camera.  Water coming down the front wall and pooling in several places.  We also notice water coming down the side wall near the loading dock bay.  This is a first.  We then head back to where our cabinet shop (R.I.P.) was.  Water was dripping down the walls in at least half a dozen places, plus dripping down from the ceiling in another half dozen spots, including into our laminate bin.  I got it all recorded on video, in case we need it later.

Ginny helped us out and came out of retirement for a couple of hours so Eliz could take me to my cornea doc appointment, which is over on Presidential Boulevard in Bala Cynwyd.  We’re about halfway to the appointment when Ginny calls.  Seems that the lights have gone out in several areas of the showroom and store.  She’s tried the flipping the light switches off and on, but nothing happens.  Some lights still work and the computer hadn’t lost power, so we tell her to remain open if she feels it’s safe.

Once at the appointment, we wait awhile before i get called back.  It is not to see the doc, but to check my vision.  Eliz stays put in the waiting area because we’re told the room is small and I won’t be in there long.  The tech has me cover my left eye (the good one) and waves her hand in front of my face.  Nothing.  I told her if I looked up at the lights and she did that I could probably see it.  She agreed and I saw the brightness change as she waved her hand.  I then cover my right eye, why, I don’t know.  She puts up the big E on the screen.  I knew it was there.  Completely blind people know it is there.  Hell, even Wesley would know it was there when he was mostly dead.  Trouble is, I really couldn’t see it that well.  The tech then flips the pinholes down and I see it much better and can also read the next line (SL.)  She then asks if I can read the next line after that, which is the OPLB line (yes, I have it memorized down to 20/60.)  I always try to spot the corner of the L, but can’t distinguish any of the letters.  They all appear to be black marks.  I head back to the waiting room.

After I sign a couple of forms Eliz filled out and we wait a few minutes more, we are called back to the examination rooms.  Today, we’re in Pod 3.  We wait for a bit then Dr. Ayres comes in.  He has a look at my chart then gives me a look.  He says the cornea looks good and he that he doesn’t know why my vision has decreased to 20/400.  We discuss my options of getting some sight back.  There is only one he thinks could help.  That solution is removing the cataract in that eye.  That wasn’t the answer I wanted.  While removing a cataract isn’t usually that big a deal for most, it holds more risk for me.  Cataract surgery, as Dr. Ayres explained it, could wreck last years partial cornea transplant.  That would mean I’d have to have that all over again.  Also, any surgery could destabilize the eye and more glaucoma problems.  Dr. Ayers told me to think about it and talk to my other ophthalmologists about it.  I told him it isn’t something I could do in the next month or two because of the business, but after that we’d consider it.

After my appointment, we went across City Avenue to Starbucks.  I love the Apple Chi Infusion.  I only got a tall because if I gain any more weight my friends might throw me a baby shower.  Time to go back to the mess at 617A Grant Road.  About two minutes after we walk in the door, I get a call from Paul from CareOne.  CareOne is a senior community operator that has ordered salon equipment for two of their new communities in Jackson, NJ and Holmdel, NJ.  One of the pieces in today’s delivery was damaged in transit from Belvedere, the manufacturer.  Great.  I try to call Belvedere, but can’t even get an operator on the line.  Once I do, fifteen minutes later, I can’t get my rep, so I leave a voicemail.  I head out of my office and try to get the lights back on in the store.  A good customer is in shopping for his monthly order, so I put the lights on hold and grab a flashlight to help him in the dark areas.  He keeps telling me, “You ought to kick his ass,” referring to the landlord.  As Eliz starts to ring him up, I head to the electric panel.  I search for breakers that feel like they’re not on.  I find a couple and mess with them.  After a couple of minutes, the lights are on again!

After we closed at 6:00, we headed over to Crozer for my GP appointment.  She had ordered a blood test to check to see why I’ve been feeling less than 100% for a long time (since mid-summer.)  For some reason, all of the things she wanted to test for where not done, so I’ve got to have another blood test.  Hopefully, we can go before work on Friday.  I finish up at about 8:00 and head to Wing Hing in Brookhaven to pick up dinner.  We finally get home at 8:35 and eat.  Our long day is done.

I am pretty disappointed about needing the cataract surgery.  I honestly don’t believe it is the reason for my decreased vision.  I also don’t feel that removing it will get me to anything better than 20/200.  Is that better than I have now?  Absolutely.  Would I see well enough to throw a ball around or shoot hoops?  No.  I am starting to believe that this is just how it is supposed to be.

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