Morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“To get something done, a committee should consist of no more than three, two of whom are absent.” Robert Copeland

I’m assuming that my fingers are hitting the keyboard in proper sequence so that recognizable words will form. Yesterday I was the final patient at the eye doctor’s office. I was warned that the eye drops and subsequent internal eye exam would “make my eyes sensitive.” Nothing was said that this would last into the evening and that even this morning it’s more comfortable to ‘hunt and pick’ with my eyes closed—something I really have never been able to do. Possibly my morning mug of coffee will push me into eye normalcy.

My eye condition is formally diagnosed as “Geezer Eye.” This starts at some point in a person’s forties. In my case, in a matter of weeks, I went from reading the telephone book as I normally had to having to lay it on the floor and try to read a number by squinting at it. The realization that I had joined the legions of geezer eyed hit me like a brick. Yesterday my condition was again confirmed.

To the edge of New York City and back in 24 hours
Normally I compartmentalize work into one slot and my post-able events into another, and then not mix the two. I’ll make an exception this week. This is done as a lesson in planning; under the heading “not to do”.

Last Monday morning, right at five, I mentally started to review notes for a meeting I had that morning. Six people were coming in from out of state for a planning session. The plan was for a working lunch so that we could finish and leave quite early and I could take a flight for Newark, NJ. By two in the afternoon a brand new roll of blueprints was placed on the table. I excused myself and went to my travel person – eight pm was the last flight out – to Philly, then I’d have to drive the rest.

My flight left at 8-pm sharp.

I hightailed it through the Philadelphia airport terminal and curbside in time to see the back-end of a Hertz bus leaving. Then two more Hertz shuttle busses, an Enterprise bus, another Hertz, a Dollar—I had a car booked with Avis.

Fifteen minutes later the first Avis bus showed up. Five minutes later we are idling by the curb in front of the Avis car lot. With 5 busses waiting inside to process their loads of ‘satisfied’ renters we could not even get into the Avis compound.

Thirty-five minutes later, rental papers in hand, I made my normal walk-around inspection of the “premier” level car assigned to me. It happened to be the only one sitting on the lot with front-end damage.

Since the line of people snaked out of the rental office and onto the lot I chose to hunt down a young employee – meaning someone who has no authority but could be ordered (by me) to make a note about ‘pre-existing damage’ on my rental agreement. Actually, I wrote it and he signed.

Next I plugged in my GPS and fired up the engine. By ten-thirty I was on my way to Newark. My GPS worked flawlessly, even when it informed me to make a right turn onto a ramp leading to the Jersey Turnpike. I was on a city street and the ramp curved and sloped down and under. As soon as I was absolutely committed to proceeding forward I saw new signage informing me “Easy Pass Only – No Cash.” Since my car did not come with an Easy Pass tag I quickly assessed the situation, opted for one of the two lanes and blew through. I think the lane camera clicked just as I passed.

About midnight the Turnpike opened up into something like sixteen lanes. The end of my run and my hotel was now only minutes away. In Chicago they tend to place the “cash” lanes to the right of their toll roads allowing “Easy Pass” vehicles to fly through on the left. Dutifully I moved to the right. All I could see were large neon lit red Xs marking various closed lanes and others marked “Easy Pass”. About 600 feet from the gates I noticed the first “Cash” sign—eight lanes over! A fast moving stream of semi trucks were the only real obstacle between me and my cash-lane goal. Again, I quickly assessed the situation, opted for one of the lanes immediately in front of me and blew through. Again, I think the lane camera clicked just as I passed.

All weekend, I had been happily contemplating having a quiet, great, little Italian dinner in nearby (to Newark) Hoboken, NJ. Hoboken, home to Frank Sinatra, was a disheveled working-class town overlooking the river and Manhattan skyline. Over the last several years it’s turned into a fun place with streets filled with great little specialty shops and dozens of wonderful small restaurants.

Since Tuesday I had an eight-thirty meeting and a five pm flight out I knew that any dinner plans would have to be for the Monday evening. I also knew, prior to leaving, that if I were going to eat at all I had to grab some limp airport food. Dinner with the spirit of “old Blue Eyes” floating nearby was just not going to happen.

I still can’t figure out why, while driving that dark Jersey Turnpike, not a single Sinatra song played in my mind. Instead, all I heard were the words of Sarah Brightman singing her One More Walk Around the Garden. Especially the line; “one more walk around the garden…to gather one more rose, before I close the garden gate”. If you have any interpretation for all of this drop a line would you.

Make it a great week. Keep on singing – no matter what.



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