Friday, March 30, 2007

Lumpy dog

Poor Bernice, the eldest of our three dogs (at 9 years old), is getting lumps and bumps. A few months back, she got a bump on her head. The vet used a needle to check it and couldn't tell anything from what he drew out. So we let him surgically remove it. He thought it looked bad, but the lab said it wasn't cancerous. We were very thankful for that, although Bernice wasn't thrilled with having gone through that. Not that I can blame her--she didn't know why she had to endure that pain!

So now she has another bump on her head (actually two--one tiny and the other larger). It wasn't cancerous last time, so I only called the vet's office. I'm not rushing her in there this time. After all, he had no idea what it was last time. Also, she HATES going to the vet.

I just feel like there must be something to do for her. She's getting arthritic, too. For that, we give her Synovicre every night. That seems to have helped, but I worry about the future.

If any of my Bernice's issues (bumps of unknown origin, arthritis or anything else) cause her discomfort, I want to be able to give her something to help. So far, the vet has acted like there's no such thing as pain meds for dogs, but there must be something. I'll find it! If my puppy gets really sick and is suffering, that's another issue, but if she has the aches and pains of age, then we'll need something to make sure she has good quality of life in the months and years ahead.

If anyone has any advice, it's always welcome!

And if anyone knows what these bumps might be, I'm all ears. If it helps, Bernice is (as far as we have ever been able to tell) part Doberman Pinscher (or is that Doberperson Pinscher these days?) and part German Shepherd.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A fine? How about life in prison?!

ITT to Plead Guilty In Export Case

ITT sold night vision technology to the Chinese. This is technology that has given our troops a real advantage over adversaries for years.

ITT broke the law, sold the Chinese the technology and will pay a $100 million fine. Well, isn't that nice?

The company didn't make the decision. People did. Companies don't make decisions, the people who run them make the decisions. The people who decided to sell this technology to a foreign nation have endangered the men and women who fight to protect us, and they should spend the rest of their lives in prison.

I don't care how big the fine is (and compared to what ITT rakes in every year, it ain't much). That's not the right result.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Why do I always get the new nurse?

I've ranted before about the antiquated, bigoted blood donation rules and how I'm not going to let them keep me from saving lives through perfectly safe donations. Heck, I'm even CMV-negative, and less than half of the population (even the straight ones!) can say that. Okay, I'm not going to rant about that again. That's not the reason for this post anyhow.

Being unemployed, I have a fair amount of time on my hands. So I've been running errands and making the most of the time. Actually, what I should do is a relax a bit, but that's another story. So one of the things I had on my schedule today was a visit to the local vampires (although they prefer to call themselves "blood services"). I had scheduled a platelet donation.

The RN assigned to me was no kid. He looked to be at least 20 years older than me, but I soon learned that he was new to doing this kind of work. And as many nurses--and doctors--can tell you, doing a good, clean needle stick is a special skill.

To do the most efficient platelet extraction, they use two needles, one in each arm. The one in one arm draws blood out into the fancy centrifuge-containing, platelet extracting machine, while the other one returns the remainder of the blood (missing some platelets, plasma, etc.) into the other arm.

So the extracting needle went into my left arm. No problem there. When they tie off that arm, there's a vein that I don't find easy to see but every IV nurse looks at like it's a Christmas present. My right arm, on the other hand, is another story. Never an easy stick, but this process left no choice but to find a vein.

So he started poking around my right elbow. He felt that he'd found a vein. It was quite far off of center, near the side of my elbow. Um, okay. I'm no nurse, so I shut up. Well, sort of. The needle stick--never a comfortable thing--didn't feel right. I told him so, but he felt he'd found a good vein. Hmmm. Fine.

So we got things rolling, and it soon got uncomfortable. I told him something was wrong. He checked it out. He looked at the "reinfusion" pressure on the machine. Everything was looking good--except that it didn't feel right to me.

And then things got interesting--as my arm began to expand!!! Yes, he hadn't found a vein. Perhaps a veniole or some such, but mainly what was happening was that the machine was returning blood, saline and such right into the muscle and other tissues of my arm. At the moment, I have a lovely bloody patch under my skin, and it promises to get much bigger.

This particular mishap is a new one for me. I've had regular blood donations go wrong when the nurse put the needle clean through the back side of the vein, and that always brings a lovely huge bruise that takes weeks to heal. This may really get good. We shall see.

I should note that most visits to the blood donation folks result in almost unnoticeable little marks from very clean punctures, because most of the nurses there have done thousands of them. However, if there's a new nurse in the house, I always seem to draw him or her. Is there a sign on my head? I'm still glad I went, knowing how one of these donations can help a number of people, but MY ARM HURTS! That I could live without! :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Chad Vader

Did you know that Darth Vader has a younger brother? No? Well, neither did I. Turns out he has a brother named Chad who works in a grocery store.

Check it out: "Chad Vader, the younger, less charismatic brother of Darth Vader"

Monday, March 26, 2007

Two possibilities

I have a couple of job leads. No telling if either will amount to anything, but they're interesting contrasts. One is for a prestigious hospital here on the Island. The pay is okay but not great, but the environment at the job may be very good. Also, they're likely to have good employee relations, etc. The level of the job is comparable to my old job.

The other possibility is at a hospital that's further away. In fact, it's far enough (35+ miles each way) that I'd owe a pile of money at the end of my new car's lease (70 miles a day x 5 days a week x 52 weeks=18,200 miles a year, not counting leisure trips with Marc. The lease only includes 12,000/year), but owing some money on a car lease is no reason for passing up a job. As for the job itself, a colleague whose opinion I respect tells me that the hospital isn't the nicest of places, "but it's a VP job." And a VP job should pay more and have better benefits than a Director job, too.

Breaking into the VP ranks would be nice. The future opportunities would get more interesting and possibly more lucrative.

Perhaps I won't have to worry about any of this. Nothing says either of these places will even want to interview me, let alone offering me a job!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A dream to drive

What the sophisticated unemployed man drives...

Yes, Friday's events notwithstanding, we went ahead and picked up my new car yesterday. The monthly payment isn't much more than the Explorer anyhow. Besides, I'm an optimist, and I'm sure something else will come along before I have to resort to escorting to make some money. ;)

The car has been every bit as wonderful as we expected. Our short test drives didn't tell us enough about what it would be like to drive on the highway. So that's what we did first. It was good timing, since our Korean tailor was in town. When he visits, he camps out at a hotel in Westchester, and we make the drive to see him. It's about 40 miles each way--not too far, but enough to get a nice first drive. Jeff came with us. He came out Friday and stayed over, going with us when we picked up the car.

Marc drove on the way back from Westchester, and it's a drive he usually hates (because of some of the PITA connections, turns, etc., close to and in NYC). Well, this time he loved it, despite the annoying moments on the roads. He raved about the car--how it handled, how the ride felt like it was gliding across glass, etc.

So we're quite happy. Today we went with Jeff to one of our favorite spots, Robert Moses State Park on the westernmost part of Fire Island. After that, we went to Smokin' Al's Barbecue, probably the best barbecue place on the Island. It was wonderful, although our waitress was in over her head (it was just too busy, and she wasn't a good multi-tasker).

After the meal, we drove Jeff past the nearby LIGALY Center, so he could see where that is (it's one of our favorite local charities), and then we took him to the train. Now we're back home, just relaxing.

I hope you all had a nice weekend!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

What about all of the other guys who serve?

This morning, while watching NBC's Saturday morning news program, they discussed the latest in the Pat Tillman story. You may recall that he's the pro football player who left the NFL to join the armed forces after the attacks on New York and Washington and was killed in Afghanistan.

What irks me is the part these newswhores must say every time they report this story. They stress that Pat Tillman walked away from a (and this must be said slowly and with awe) multi... million... dollar... NFL contract.

Yes, that was noble, but do these people think everyone else who went to fight had nothing better to do? There are plenty of men and women who have careers and families they left behind to join the fight. And there are plenty of others who have made a career of the military. What about those men and women who have served when the whole nation wasn't so psyched about the military?

It's sad that Pat Tillman was killed, but it's sad that so many others have been killed, too. They're all tragic. Enough with his NFL career. It's no more important than some guy who left his software design job or running a hardware store or any of the others.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Not the right place

I resigned from the new job today. I had high hopes for it, but there are some truly deceitful, treacherous people there, and the whole place is way too fucked up.

In the end, I got sandbagged. I really didn't plan on quitting. I was working to improve things, figuring I could fix everything if given the time. But the way things played out left me no choice. I've never seen such stupidity. They're letting incompetent people get away with murder.

So be it. I've been keeping quiet about it and putting a smile on my face, but I really haven't been comfortable or happy since I got there.

The funny thing is how well Marc can read me. He's known this wasn't right, and he now seems relieved. In a way, so am I.

I may share more details eventually but not tonight. I'm just going to relax tonight.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

So depressing

The news of Elizabeth Edwards' cancer returning really hit home for me. The type of cancer she had/has is the same type my Mom had. The cancer being "treatable but not curable" is the same thing my Mom was told when her cancer came back.

According to what the doctor (one of the best in the business, supposedly) told us at the time, my Mom should be alive and well now. The cancer was going to be held in check. She couldn't be cured, but the treatment would keep the cancer in check for many years.

I truly hope Elizabeth Edwards--and all others in her situation--have better luck than my Mom did with her treatment.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Hunter?

Wayne suggested that his readers take "The Seduction Quiz." I did, and this is what I got...

Marc says that's about right, but I think he's trying to flatter me. For one thing, there's sure no one chasing me down the street these days! But I guess all that matters is that Marc holds me in high regard. :)

Monday, March 19, 2007

That is one fugly plane!

I like airplanes. I always have. I've long admired the graceful lines and majesty of the Boeing 747. Another favorite was the Concorde. That was a gorgeous plane. I'd see it flying into and out of JFK. It looked like a giant bird of prey.

On Saturday mornings, when I was a kid and went to work with my Dad, we'd watch it fly over the store. It was a thing of beauty.

So what's the newest arrival to our skies? This Beluga Whale with wings...

The Airbus A380

What the hell? The thing was even built in France by a multi-national consortium. France! Stylish, artistic, classy France was the birthplace of this monstrosity!

For crying out loud, could they have made it any uglier? I guess the company name Airbus is a warning. They're bringing all of the class and style of a bus to aircraft design.

This thing may carry more passengers than the 747, but it's just not in the same class. Ick!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

More weekend stuff

So yesterday was just COLD! Everything was iced over...

Ice-covered Leyland Cypress

Berry plant

Not that any of it bothered Mandy...

Happy dog

Other dogs were happier inside...

Hey, what's that hanging from my chin? (Think I shed much?)

Oh, someone just scratch me!

So check out this photo I took of Bernice (with the help of my lighting assistant, Mister Marc)...

Today, we went to a party for my cousin's birthday. Our nephews Owen and Quinn were in attendance. They've cornered the market on cute.

Quinn in mid-lollipop

Owen dissecting a cupcake

Quinn being messed with mid-cupcake

Quinn and his dad (a/k/a my younger brother)

All in all, it was a fun time.

Just what is going on at Toys R Us?

I'll admit to seeing a number of DILFs in Toys R Us yesterday, but it's still supposed to be a "family-friendly" environment. So can someone please explain this to me?

Poppers are in Aisle 6? In Toys R Us? That's just wrong!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I almost forgot

I should have mentioned this in my last post...

If Jet were alive today, she'd be 43 years old.


Sadly, Jet's in heaven now. But I guess she's with Mom and Dad, so that's good. She always thought Dad was the best thing ever. All dogs felt that way (and so did lots of people). My Dad had this amazing power. Not just with dogs. Lots of animals were drawn to him. It's like they could see his goodness and how he cared for them.

Anyhow, Jet was our dog when I was growing up. She was older than me, but she never held that over me or tried to boss me around. I appreciated that. :)

Jet was part Labrador and part Terrier. In essence, she was a small black lab with a pointier snout than a Lab and a wee bit of (charming) insanity. :)

I loved her dearly, but she didn't make it to her 43rd birthday. So I'll just have to hope she knows I'm wishing her a happy birthday--which it probably is, because Dad's probably sharing Vienna Finger cookies with her, as usual.

This and that

So the weather sucked around here for the past day or two. It didn't snow. That wasn't snow. It was ice pellets--sleet and/or freezing rain (is there a difference?)--and a lot of them. Nasty stuff. It meant scraping the car repeatedly. Marc's car broke one of its windshield wipers, the poor thing. So we took it to Gus today. Gus is an automotive magician, and his prices are reasonable. He's been the family mechanic for ages.

Not surprisingly, Gus had it fixed in no time and charged almost nothing. That's why his shop is always flooded with business.

So what other exciting things did we do today? Well, let's see.

Marc put some ice melter on the walks early today. Then late this afternoon, once the ice melter, together with temps slightly above freezing, had softened the ice up, I broke it up and Marc shoveled the pieces aside.

I know, I know. The excitement is too much! ;)

As if that wasn't enough, we went back to the car dealer so I could fill out lease paperwork. Ooh, so exciting.

On a serious note, I do like that the salesman spotted our rings the first time we came in and always has treated us as a couple. Today, he asked whose name we wanted the car in. As backward as I know this country can be, little things like that give me hope. I can't imagine this type of reaction from any car salesman (at least here in suburbia) just a few years ago.

We also went to a restaurant today to buy a gift certificate for my cousin's 60th birthday, and we went to Toys R Us to buy our nephews some presents for their upcoming birthdays.

I guess that's about it from here. Hope you're all having fun this weekend!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I'm so excited

The car has been ordered. It's on a ship somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic right now, but it should be here with us in a few weeks.

2007 Volvo S80
Oyster Grey Metallic paint
Anthracite Black Leather interior

A few key options:
-Premium Sound System (5 x 130 watt amp, 12 speakers, 6 disc changer, Dolby ProLogic II Surround, iPod input, etc.)
-Front & rear parking sensors
-Interior Air Quality System (shuts out harmful gases, filters pollutants, etc.)
-Climate Package (Heated seats, Heated windshield washer nozzles, Rainsensor wipers, High-pressure headlamp cleaners)

Now that may not seem like much in the way of options, but we didn't need to add much. The car comes very well equipped. Almost everything I'd want is standard, and, of course, the safety features are very impressive. But then it is a Volvo.

We took two test drives, so each of us could drive it. The ride, handling and comfort of the seats (oh, those Volvo seats! I've missed them!) are all wonderful!

In closing, a couple of photos. Just picture Marc and me on one of our beloved weekend day trips...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I forgot to tell you about jury duty!

I was subpoenaed for jury duty. I believe in doing one's civic duty, but it's always a waste of time for me. I'm a lawyer and used to be a trial lawyer. Nobody wants me on their jury. I could change the whole direction of the jury with one good anecdote or one, "what the judge meant by that is..."

Still, in New York, they don't give exemptions anymore. The Chief Judge of the state decided that everyone should serve, so I have to go in.

So this morning I went in, ready to go through the process. I was sent over to County Court, where they try felony criminal cases. The case being heard was a rarity for these parts. It was a murder. Thankfully, we don't see much of that kind of thing on Long Island. In fact, I knew the case. The guy who was killed was someone who had been a criminal, did time and then, having reformed, became an activist trying to turn young people away from crime. When he was killed, it was thought to be an assassination by a former associate or gang member or something. As I recall, the police later said they thought it actually was a random robbery gone bad or some such.

When it was my turn to tell the judge if there was any reason I might not be suitable as a juror, I said, "I'm the former senior trial attorney for the county attorney's tort & civil rights litigation bureau. Among others, I represented the police department and the DA's office, and I think I bring a bit more knowledge of the process to this than you'd like in a juror."

The judge was chuckling, and, without the slightest comment from the prosecutor or defense attorney, he excused me from that case and any other criminal case. The clerk marked my card "civil only" and sent me back to the main jury waiting room.

Once I got there, I was able to get the ear of the deputy commissioner of jurors. Under the current system, they at least had to try me for one jury panel, but they'd done that. He knew I'd never get on a civil jury either (again, too much knowledge of the process, etc.), so he told me to sit tight. As soon as they started excusing jurors, he'd let me go--and he did.

So that's it. I'm done with jury service for a few years.

That went quite well

So I saw the accountant. After saying hello, I said, "I owe you an apology." I then explained the error and that I should have double-checked before questioning his figures.

It actually was kind of funny. He looked stunned. I gather that most people don't apologize to him if they've incorrectly given him grief. Anyhow, once he absorbed that, he said, "first of all, you couldn't have been nicer or more polite when we spoke the other day, so there's no need to apologize." Then he said, "besides, it's your money. You have every right to question what we do."

Well, I remember my days with a private firm when I had to deal with legal clients. I remember how I just loved when they questioned my judgment. So I felt bad for having done roughly the same to him, and I told him so.

Anyhow, all's well, and I'm still getting a decent refund. Thousands less than I expected, thanks to the AMT, but still not bad.

By the way, once I corrected the error in TurboTax, the program's result and the accountant's result were very close. Just had to get rid of that pesky double counting. :)

Damn, I think the accountant is right

I'm going to see the accountant later this afternoon, and I think I found the error. Sadly, I think the error is mine.

I've been puzzling over the huge discrepancy I mentioned in a prior post, so I went through TurboTax's numbers line by line. When I got to the line of the return with the amount I left with the IRS from last year's refund and the amount I paid in estimated taxes, it looked too high. So I made the program show me everything that went into it.

It appears that I correctly entered the amount I'd let the IRS keep from last year's refund. It appears that the program also automatically carried over that amount from last year's return. So it (with my help) wound up double-counting that.

Damn. Bad enough I have to eat crow and apologize to the accountant--but I will, since he was right and I was wrong--but the worst part is that the AMT has swallowed a huge chunk of what I expected to be a very nice refund this year.

Now I just have to worry about an accountant who doesn't know Roth IRA limits as well as I do. Oh well, I guess I should let that go. The man did what I hired him for, and he did it right. That's what matters!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

My tax prep mistake

I feel bad. I'm not sure how much of it is from feeling like I made a mistake in going to the accountant and how much is from pissing him off (although he says he's not upset), but I do feel bad.

I've never used an accountant for my taxes before. Well, that's not entirely true--I hadn't used one for my main return before. This particular accountant filed a revised return for me last year, due to a deduction I hadn't known about before, one that I got from my Mom's estate but only learned about after I filed my original return. This year, there was one last deduction from her estate, and I wanted it done right, since the deduction is quite large. It was worth a few thousand dollars to me, so I didn't want to just trust it to TurboTax like I did with my taxes in the past.

So I sat with the accountant a few weeks ago, but he didn't give me the most positive feeling. Even so, I let him go ahead. In the meantime, since I had TurboTax anyhow (for doing Marc's taxes), I went ahead and entered my info into it. It even knew what to do with a form K-1 and a 1041 from an estate (which is where the deduction is coming from).

When the accountant finally gave me my results, he said that I was being clipped by the AMT. On that, he and TurboTax agreed. Damn AMT. I sure don't make the kind of money that thing was supposed to be aimed at, but that's another story.

Where the accountant and TurboTax disagreed was on the amount of the refund I'm owed. On the state tax side, they're very close, but on the federal side they're very far apart. TurboTax's numbers were much, much higher. By thousands. So I thought about it briefly and then told the accountant to give my papers back. I told him that I meant no offense--and he said he didn't take any--but it's too much money to leave on the table. I'll re-run the numbers in TurboTax to be sure, and then I'll pay TurboTax the extra $30 for "audit defense," since this will be a big refund year. With that, I'll file it with TurboTax.

The only reason I went to the accountant was because his firm had handled the estate. So I felt like they'd be the best ones to handle my taxes with the piece that came from their estate work. Sadly, something's not right.

I just feel guilty. Like TurboTax is the bane of the accountant's business, and I just rubbed salt in their wounds. I guess I should have just stuck with the program in the first place.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Damn depreciation

We've been car shopping for weeks. It doesn't have to do with the job change. It's just time. My current "car" is actually a truck--a Ford Explorer. It's very nice. I got the Eddie Bauer version with the V8 (yeah, I know, very fuel efficient--I actually buy carbon tax credits to offset the pollution, but I digress...). It's a nice truck, but I'm ready for something new.

My old car was a Volvo S80, and I was excited to read that they have a new version. I wasn't going to just jump right into a new car, so we've also checked out Lexus and others, but we're as impressed with the new S80 in person as we were in reading about it.

We've been on two test drives. I took it out a few weeks ago. Then today, since I wanted him to drive it before we went any further, we arranged for Marc to drive it. So then we got into a serious discussion with the salesman. Here's where the problem comes in.

What he said they'd give for trade-in on the Explorer was very low. Well, at least very low compared to what I'd expected.

I used the Kelley Blue Book site to price trade-in value, and their estimate was over $2,000 above what the dealer offered. The dealer insisted that the KBB number was too high. He said that gas-guzzling trucks weren't so popular now, that there is a glut of such vehicles and that their (the dealer's) numbers were from actual wholesale auctions.

So I told him that was too low and we couldn't do anything now if that was the case. Then we left.

Here's the fun part. I came home, ignored KBB and looked in the online classifieds for trucks similar to mine. Sadly, the asking prices for those trucks support the dealer's number. Rats.

I think I'll lease the next car. Then I don't have to worry about this crap. The lease ends, I toss the keys on his desk and get a new car. That's that. It's just easier.

The underlying numbers are about the same either way--and none of it's cheap--but actually seeing such a clear demonstration of the truck losing 75% of its value in three-and-a-half years is just depressing!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

One small step for my checkbook...

It shouldn't feel like such a big deal, but I always have this feeling that a new job isn't really mine until I get my first paycheck.

Now that my first paycheck has come, I feel like it's real. Is that silly?

Now I just need a few more checks like this, so I can dig out of the hole created by things like the four-figure plumbing bill accumulated in this (and last) month's multiple furnace repairs.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Partying the night away

Last night, we went to the annual Mardi Gras party hosted by LIGALY, Long Island Gay & Lesbian Youth, an organization we've supported for a while.

We had given them a donation to support the event, and they gave us extra tickets in thanks. So we used the tickets to draw Michael and Anthony out from the city (something we've been trying to do for a while!) and to repay the hospitality of a straight couple I know from the old job (they'd invited me out on a night when they knew Marc was out of town, and they didn't want me to be home alone on a holiday--that deserves a return gesture; besides, we like them and wanted to hang out with them).

(I took the little Canon camera along, so I could share a few photos.)

This event is fun, and attending is worth it for some of the costumes alone...

Here we see Michael and Anthony...

That photo really doesn't do them justice. Not that they look bad here, they're really a very handsome couple! I just don't think that photo does it.

It was such a fun evening that we even got to see Marc put on a silly mask...

Isn't he adorable?

Here are two more shots of Michael and Anthony...

There were two performers. The first was a guy named Georgie Porgie. I have to admit that I didn't know of him before last night, but he sure could sing! At one point, there were music problems, so he went on with his song a capella...

But while he was good, the real headliner of the evening was Ms. Martha Wash...

I shouldn't even have to say this--in fact, gay men who don't know Ms. Wash may need to turn in their cards *wink*--but she was half of The Weather Girls ("It's Raining Men") and was the voice behind C&C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat" (better known as "Everybody Dance Now").

The lady sure can belt them out! She was terrific!

And here we see a gracious Ms. Wash posing with my Bokey...

There were other performers there as well, working in time to the music. This was a nice show. Here's one of them...

Of course, any night with my Bokey is a good night for me...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Job update

I survived my first week at the new job. This clearly is going to be a busy one, but that's good. It makes the days go faster.

I do like the small company feel. The fact that it's not small (11,000+ employees in 13 states) hasn't made them abandon the small feel, since it's still privately owned. The guys who founded it over 30 years ago are in the office every day, and the senior management has been smart enough to avoid bureaucracy.

A simple example? I mentioned to my new boss (the CFO) that I could use a piece of software for the computer. He asked if I knew where to get it. I said, "sure, I can pick it up near here." He said, "so go get it, and we'll reimburse you." So I did.

Having been in an organization with all kinds of approval levels and such, that was refreshing, but then it got better! MIS came down to install the software (and they came down the same day--in fact, within minutes of my calling and saying, "hi, could you...?"). But the computer had trouble running the software.

So the guy from MIS took the computer upstairs and popped in more RAM. Still, it wasn't ideal. He was going to try another upgrade when I mentioned to the CFO how helpful they were being by doing this. At which point the CFO said, "Get a new computer. They can send yours to one of the branches where they don't need something with more power."

And that was that. He said this Thursday evening. Friday morning, MIS installed a new computer and put all of my stuff on it. The software works great, and I'm a happy camper.

I could get used to this! :)

(I just hope everything else in the job is this sensible.)