Saturday, February 11, 2006

#563 Date

Well, I had my first online match date today. (Well, actually it's the second, but the first doesn't count - that was a guy from Connecticut whom I had earlier turned down, but we continued to "talk" for a few weeks, and I met him for dinner one evening in Fishkill as he was passing through, nothing there. Nothing to report.)

This guy was nice, and much better looking than his photos on the site, which was a pleasant discovery. We had coffee/tea and cheesecake at Barnes & Noble, and then, even though all the rules say never to go anywhere in his car, we went to Woodstock, to Cooper Lake, one of his favorite spots. I felt perfectly safe because he checks out thoroughly in the internet, has a lot of relatives and friends and contacts in town, and a reputation of his own to protect.

Plus Daughter had all the info if I went missing.

Naturally, I did something even more stupid - I left my gloves in his car.

His emailed response when he found them was amusement. I hope he believes I'm much too honest and naive to be so devious. I really didn't do that on purpose! It's very embarrassing.

So, we'll see what happens next.

It hasn't started snowing yet. I moved the van down to the bottom of the driveway, and verified that I have gas for the snowthrower, so I'm ready. 'Cept I don't have my favorite gloves....

Friday, February 10, 2006

#562 Trivia

Snow is coming, probably Saturday night, somewhere between 7 and 12 inches, depending on whom you believe. Which really means we'll get either none or more than 18 inches.
[Later update - Channel 6 says the storm will be passing off the coast, and it probably won't affect us at all. Channel 10 says 6 inches. Channel 13 says 4 to 8+ inches, maybe. Channel 23 says 12 inches or more.]

It's cold outside now (23 degrees). Even though the air is still and the thermostat says it's 74 in the house (it lies!!!!) my nose, shins, and hands are cold. Times like this is when I want to go to bed in the middle of the day. I hate cold.

Something I noticed - since I've lost a little weight, I feel the cold more.

Of all the Mensans who were so interested in Trivia last night, Tom and I were the only ones who showed up. We were joined a little later by two nonmember friends of Tom. We played under separate ids, but collaborated on the questions. Out of a few thousand players nationally, I came in individually at something like 125th, and we managed to bring our bar total in at 24th (and there were only the four of us playing! That's pretty good). Tom regularly scores in the top 10 or so individually. I still need to improve my time. When I'd be the first to say the correct answer, and the guys and I would all hit the buttons as soon as I said it, over and over they got the full 1000 points, and I got 875 (the points drop as time passes), even when I said the correct answer when the question first came up, before we were offered the multiple choices. I'm slow finding the right number to go with the answer, and then I'm slow on the button. And I was using BOTH HANDS!

I ate too much. I got the pulled pork quesedia, and Tom ate 1/4 of it, and it was so good I got another (of which Tom ate another quarter). Then Tom got a chicken platter and I ate half his baked potato. Then the other guys got a sampler platter, and I ate some wings, and sausage, and onion rings, and cheese sticks. Not to mention the wine.

I was afraid to step on the scale this morning.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

#561 The Patent Is in Approval!

Thursday, 02/09/06

I missed yesterday's entry because I spent most of the day on the internet. When I opened my email in the morning, I found a note from Jay's old manager, CB, saying that the patent had been approved! This is so exciting. It's for a database management process that Jay had conceived, designed, and was lead programmer on. The Company first submitted the patent application in early 2001. (Naturally, the names on the patent include Jay and the other programmers and their managers, listed alphabetically, but it's really HIS.)

Jay and I had spent many afternoons in the courtyard of the Staten Island rehab facility while he was undergoing immunotherapy, with me reading page after page of the application and description to him. I took notes on his comments and corrections, and typed them up and sent them to CB after I got home every night. By then Jay was hemi-paralyzed and blind, and 1/3 of his brain was nonfunctional, but his comments were all still right on the mark. He didn't miss anything. It was good for him to feel useful, too.

So after five years, one "non-final" rejection and two "final" rejections followed by appeals, it has finally been approved. CB did a heroic job countering the rejections.

The patent office information is at this link, if you care to torture yourself.

Jay did have some prior patents and disclosures, but I don't know how many. And no, there probably won't be any monetary award for it, although I really think there should be. He worked on that concept through two years of surgeries, radiation, and intense chemotherapies. And even after he went on disability, his coworkers were telephoning for guidance.

So there were notes to send people, notes of congratulation coming in, and of course I had to read the whole online description again. I also sent notes to Jay's sisters, but I haven't heard anything back from them.

In the evening there was dinner and class. I skipped the exercise machines yesterday, but I do intend to go today. Incidentally, I tried on the bathing suit I had bought on August's cruise, and it's now a good three inches too large in the waist. If I tried to wear it in the water, the bottom would fall off.

The dating site contact in Kingston is looking promising. We've been emailing back and forth since Monday, long conversational emails, and he's going to call tomorrow, and we'll likely meet Saturday, noonish. He "sounds" nice.

I'm going to Pok tonight to play that national trivia game with some other Mensans. Wish me fast fingers on the buttons.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Tuesday, 02/07/06

Last night, QuickBooks class, dinner before with Roman. You know, I think this new relationship could work. On this level, we are both much more relaxed with each other.

I had tea this morning with the neighbor from an earlier entry, Annalisa. She is unhappy because they will be moving again. Her daughter wants to go to college in the city (or Europe), so they will be moving to stay near her. Wow.

Then I went to the deli, then the bank to deposit the Exxon stock sale checks, then to Piper's office to deliver a personal check for the same amount, where I also got a major one-hour lesson in how bonds work (I think I finally understand), then to the exercise machines, then the CVS, then to pick up the van and return the rental, then .... somewhere, for something.... Whatever. By 3 pm I was wiped out.

I got a wink on the dating site from a retired corporate lawyer, who lives "within 15 miles"! We've exchanged some emails. Looks promising so far. He seems open, has moved here from California because he was born and raised here, and his elderly parents live here. If there's any potential problem it might be that he's BIG into playing tennis. Um, what's tennis? So, we'll see.

Monday, February 06, 2006

#559 Van Has a Headache

Monday, 02/06/06

I got a call from the folks who have my van. There are a series of sensors on the van that tell the computer if something isn't working right, and if one of them senses a problem, the "get service soon" light goes on. The guy told me Saturday that it's almost always a problem with the sensor itself, not what it's sensing.

So yup, it's the blah-blah-blah something-or-other oxygen sensor on the van that's bad, and they're going to replace it, for a hair over $200. The oxygen, by the way, is just fine.

That's why people drive around all the time with that light on, because it's usually the sensor that's bad. However, if the light is on at inspection, it's an automatic "fail" in New York State, regardless of why it's on.

There's something very silly about the whole thing. You go getting fancy, you raise the risk of bugs. More not-very-important things to expensively break, and for NYS to insist that you expensively fix, regardless of what's actually wrong.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

#558 Blah Today

I got up early enough this morning to make it to the dance class and drumming, but ... I feel awful, so I didn't go. Bubble bath instead. My lower back, upper back, and legs ache, and my chest feels like it's stuffed with cotton. I suspect I'm fighting off a virus or something. No head involvement, though, so it's NOT a hangover!

Of the people from my high school class that I was looking for several posts back, I have found Joe, Gene, Helen, and Deloris. And I also re-found a neighbor from Washington, Carolyn. Making progress. But now I have increased my correspondence responsibilities.

Another quick tip from Roman: I fill out a lot of online forms, and almost all of them have one of those drop-down lists when it comes to the state (and sometimes country). I hate them, because New York is so far down in the list, and it won't allow you to just type in "NY". It turns out all you have to do is type the first letter of what you want, and each time you type that letter, the system will cycle through all the words in the list starting with that letter. So, given a list of states, if you want NY, type "n" and it will give you NE (and that's the point at which in the past I said a bad word and quit) but then you just keep hitting "n" and it will cycle through until it gets to NY. It works for all drop-down lists, even when they're not in alphabetical order. Very nifty.

I didn't know that. I wonder how Roman finds out this stuff.