It began at 9am yesterday, when my alarm went off. I was due to mentor Roop Prasad at 10:30, my regular partner once a month during the day.
First thing I did, of course - after hitting the ladies' room and putting a fresh pot of coffee on, was come in here and see what was going on in my computer world.
Well, to my surprise, there was a notice from Zone Alarm, telling me that my subscription had expired. I thought, "Whaat!?!" (My son-in-law takes care of all such things. Surely there must be an error!)
I rebooted, thinking that something was amiss with the system. No, nothing was amiss with the system. Meanwhile, without really giving them a whole lot of consideration, I okayed a couple of requests from someone/something trying to access my system. And so, all **** is probably breaking loose in there. My firewalls are down and I am unprotected. Who knows if I'll be able to access the internet when I try to get back on later?
Sent my son-in-law three e-mails all told, then had to exit the house for the bridge studio. Meanwhile, back at his ranch, he's in business meetings and unavailable for comment/getting on to see what's happening/renewing my subscription, etc. and blah. Ye gods and little fish hooks!
Roop and I played and had a decent game, altho it could have been a lot better. We scratched, which is a bridge term for placing amongst the top pairs. Interestingly enough, several different notrump bidding sequences came up - ALL of which she mishandled. Would have made a great article for the Examiner, but I've all but given up on that rag.
I spent over four hours a few weeks ago trying to get my article on Arlene Weingarten published. I had some really good things I wanted to say about her, too. She's some kind of woman!
I had articles 'in the works' about Beth Stuart and Dottie Ann Goodloe, Eddie Wold, bridge teachers ... all sorts of great stuff, actually. Last week, when I tried to 'get on' to start the article on Eddie's squeeze class, I was interrupted in my signing in by Examiner's request for me to fill in a form so they could declare my income.
WHAT income??? I have made a total of 13 cents so far. I kid you not. If anyone in the bridge world wants the title of "Houston Duplicate Bridge Examiner", they can have it as far as I am concerned. However, I must warn you that the pipe-smoking frog is my personal property and may not be used without my express written permission.
Meanwhile, Roop and I had a really good after-session about notrump bids and I'll be creating a fairly hefty e-mail for her future reference on that subject. Hope she takes it to heart, studies and learns from it. She's a nice lady and I enjoy playing with her. We'll not be playing again until January 20th, for some reason - it's usually the second Wednesday, so I wished her a happy new year.
She surprised me with a gift. A lovely stone (of some sort) pendant on a silver chain. I was pleased as all get out, as you might imagine, and went around showing it to everybody.
Ran into Julian Barr, with whom I'm playing later today (another 10:30 start). I told him, "I found our card." (Referring, of course, to a convention card.) His response? "Does it have any similarity to what we've been playing?" I answered, "Vaguely." We both got a good laugh over that.
Evelyn James - one of my students for many years - came by to ask if I would play with Margie, Edna and her on a Swiss team in the Regional coming up in February. It didn't take me very long to accept. Years ago, I was the fifth on their team. (Anne was still with us then.) This was when they were all still students of mine. I played with each one during the two sessions. It was a lot of fun. We just might decide to dedicate this one to Anne.
Well, that's about it for my day yesterday. Tried to stay awake for Andre Rieu's special on PBS (They're having another fundraiser.) - are you familiar with him? (Wonderful!) - but couldn't. Had to hit the pillow. Just in case you don't have the foggiest idea who he is, here's what he looks like ... ...
Wiki has a nice writeup about him here. He's a tremendous showman and exudes great warmth, love and joy in all of his shows.
I'll leave you with an excerpt from one of his performances. You won't get anywhere near the total picture from this little bit, but perhaps it will entice you to look further into this man's persona.