The event of the day was an alleged social security finance workshop in Campbell, and I'm glad I left home early because my GPS lied about which lane to be in exiting the freeway (it said any of the three left-turn lanes when the correct answer was the one straight-ahead lane) so it took me on a tour around the Pruneyard to get back to a better approach. And then it told me I had reached my destination when I was actually passing a Home Depot two blocks beyond it.
They had promised lunch in the form of sandwiches, and that was true. Plus a nice spring salad with feta and Italian dressing on the side, and large cookies cut in half, and pickle spears. And a bottle of water. There was also coffee available because it is, after all, an office.
The presenter started late. He was late, but only half of the expected 6 audience members materialized by the time he did, but then someone showed up 15 minutes later. She sat where he suggested, at the far end of the conference table, but after about 10 minutes she interrupted and said she wanted to sit next to her husband, who was at the other end of the table.
She also made a nuisance of herself toward the middle of the talk by taking a phone call. The presenter paused for that, and it only took her a couple of minutes to notice everyone was looking at her. And of course she left before he was done, but in her defense it was 1 pm, which was advertised as the ending time. And her husband was there. Though he paid zero attention to her the whole time.
Of course I knew going in that this was going to be a sales pitch to subscribe to their financial advice service, but I expected to hear helpful news on recent changes to SS benefits, and maybe a clue or two on things I did not already know about SS. Nope. The pitch was aimed mostly at people 10 years younger, married, with a house and children. He did mention one thing I had not known, and that is a spouse can claim a small slice of SS when the other spouse gets SS benefits. So a 55 year old man married to a 62 year old woman can get spousal benefits based on her claim.
He kept holding up a spreadsheet. Landscape, legal sized paper, laminated, printed in 6 point type, which he said was an example of the kind of chart of our income which his firm would put together for us if we signed up. He never shared it with us. For all I could see, it could have been the box scores for the 1989 West Ham football squad.
He was very articulate, but rushed through the presentation too quickly. He didn't take questions. He lost me when he started - with a video of a 1986 comedy routine by Alan King, where he read and had women in the audience help read, obituaries of men - all of them ending with "survived by his wife". Before he played the clip, he pointed out that "he takes the Lord's name in vain, which I don't approve of".
After the clip he launched a series of slides showing his family, and his partner to whom he was introduced in church. As if that was a qualification to be a financial adviser.
The man has a technical degree from Cal Poly, so he must have been pretty smart as a lad, but it was not in anything financial.
I left as soon as it was over, did not sign up for a one on one session.
Being in Campbell, I went downtown and walked along the main street for a bit, eventually going to Starbucks, sitting outdoors because there was more eye candy but also more seating. Did some Ingress, and walked to the former Gaslighter Theater to find it being renovated. Gutted, actually. That has been done before. There is now a plaque in front of many of the elderly buildings, including this one.
Home, wasted time in front of the TV, and on FB and also checked in on LinkedIn where I congratulated a very old and dear friend from UW folkdancing who went on to marry a girl we both had a crush on, and have many kids, and move to Davis and get a doctorate in vine-ology. He has been in business as an ag consultant for 15 years, it said. Probably longer. At least twice during college we drove in his van to San Francisco over Thanksgiving for the Kolo Festival. Two girls I met there later turned up at Reed College when I went to folkdancing there.
Delivered was a package of 8 tins of monkey balm. There was an added gift of a vial of some liquid for pain relief, the label is mostly in Chinese, I'll read it later.
It's basically menthol in a paraffin base, or maybe a petroleum jelly base. It's solid, but comes off on your finger when rubbed. Rub a little under your nose. Great for colds, but okay for every day use. Very popular in Bangkok to mask the smell.
Avoided watching the Giants' wild card game against the Mets, because I didn't think they would win, but win or lose it was bound to be a frustrating game. And here is some irony. When the Giants left NY the Mets filled that gap, poorly. Turns out the Giants won, I thank my many FB fan friends for the updates. And yes, it was torture. I hate pitching duels. I want to see numbers on the scoreboard, runners on base, stolen bases, sliding into base, etc. There is no fun for me to watch batters strike out for 9 innings while everyone else just stands around.
Instead I found a rare mid-week college football game in ESPN2 or something like that. Arkansas State vs. Georgia Southern. The latter was heavily favored. And they lost despite multiple turnovers, in the final minute by a spectacular touchdown catch.
Spook had some fun this evening. She unearthed one of her favorite toys, a velour ball about the size of a tennis ball, but soft and light and able to be carried in her mouth. She loves to stampede down the hall with it, or chase it when I throw it. Or when it's just sitting there.
Got a tour of Lee's jungle. I told her it needs monkeys, and maybe a tiger. She was amused. What I am trying to do with the front of my house is what she has already done with hers.
Dinner was shrimp and faux crab spring rolls and butterfly shrimp, strawberry popsicle for dessert.
At *$s I had a banana-strawberry smoothie, and read more of Three Body Problem. It is starting to get boring. It has gone past the end of the computer game, and deeply into politics. Radical Chinese politics.
And a note to filkferengi: it's a London recording, so the DVD may be for a region which your player won't play.
Plans for tomorrow:
NOVA in the afternoon to try to re-register so I can get help with funding for training.
Football. I have chips & dip