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Which is the tagline of those commercials/adverts for that company that buys annuities and structured settlements from people so they can have all the money in one lump sum.  What provoked my uttering it today was Paypal.  As has been pointed out before, Paypal is annoyingly cumbersome to deal with and would not have been my method of choice for getting paid.  However, the company I’m now working for pays its employees through Paypal, so I’m having to deal with it as best I can.  And today, when I went to transfer my first “paycheck” and read that it takes 3 to 4 “bidness” days for them to transfer your money from their account to yours — yep, you guessed it.  I’ve been spoiled by having my pay electronically deposited directly into my bank.  Of course, the utility company and my landlord, and the phone company, etc., want their money now, too, and this is making this transition period rather nerve wracking.  Rent was due Friday as was my utilities bill, but I can’t pay both of them with what I have in the bank at this minute, so I have to choose who will howl loudest and pay them first, and pay the other one when my pay gets transferred from Paypal to me and I get it transfered from my savings account to my checking account, which takes another day to happen.  But then, again, this two-bit outfit I’m working for pays weekly, so after I’ve worked for them for more than a week, that will ease the cash flow bottleneck somewhat.  Just to give you an idea of what my work is now like, I transcribed a 31 minute audio file Saturday night and ended up with an 8,026-word transcript — that’s 12 single-spaced pages of typing!  I thought I never get finished with that durn thing! Took me almost 6 hours! I think I’m going to have to stick to doing the shortest available files, unless it’s something really interesting (this one wasn’t).

I got a bottle of 40 glucosamine-chondroitin tablets yesterday and I’m going to take one a day, to see if it helps the pain in my fingers, which is essentially an auto-immune induced osteoarthritis (as a result of having had scarlet fever).  I’ll see if it makes any difference in my pain levels, and if so, I’ll keep on taking it.  The jury is still out on whether taking these supplements benefits osteoarthritis: some studies say, “yes.” and some say, “no.”  We’ll see what happens.

I sat with my dad yesterday while my mom and some of her “girlfriends” went to the Lady Raiders basketball game.  My mom played basketball in high school and enjoys watching basketball games in general and women’s basketball in particular.  When she was playing basketball, (the early 1940’s), they played the “women’s” version of basketball with 6 players on a team, three guards and three forwards (men play on 5-man teams).  In this version, guards had to stay on the “home goal” half of the court and the forwards had to stay on the “opposing goal” half of the court, which means only forwards could score, and nobody could run farther than half the court.  This was because regular full court basketball like the men played, where all the players run from one end of the court to the other, depending on which team has the ball, was thought to be “too strenuous” for women.  I’m not exactly sure when the rules changed and women started playing the same version of the game as men do, but it’s been at least half a century.

The “Lady Raiders” are the women’s basketball team of my alma mater, Texas Tech University (the men’s football, basketball and baseball teams are all called the “Red Raiders”)  This year marked the 20th anniversary of the year (1993) when the Lady Raiders, coached by Marsha Sharp, won the NCAA national championship.  Now, sports are a big deal in Texas, and when one of your University’s sports teams wins the national championship, that’s a really big deal, not just for the alumni, but for the whole town — a big enough deal that Coach Sharp got a campus sports center and a freeway named after her.  (It was the construction of that freeway, and the fact that they would have to demolish the building I lived in, that forced me to move to my current digs in 2001.)  This being the 20th anniversary of same, they had reunited the championship team, and there was a little recognition ceremony for them and coach Sharp during the game.  The outcome of the game my mom went to see was that the Lady Raiders beat the University of Texas Longhorns 69 to 62.  Having said all that, I feel constrained to point out, I haven’t the slightest interest in sports. I might note something in passing, but I wouldn’t choose to watch a sports game.  I’m just not a sports fan. Sorry.

Earlier this afternoon, I had an interesting insight about an interesting philosophical differences between my mom and I.  We both like to play the computer version of the card game “Spider Solitaire” which is essentially a puzzle game with only one player, which you “win” by making the correct sequence of moves to get all the cards stacked up in a particular order.   To her, however, the object of the game is to “beat Sol,” who she sees as her “opponent.” When she succeeds in solving the puzzle, she has “beaten Sol.”  Interestingly, she thinks of “Sol” as masculine, as she has said things like, “try to beat him,” “couldn’t beat him,” etc.  On the other hand, to me, the object of the game is to put the cards back in their “proper” order.  My satisfaction comes not from beating an opponent, hypothetical or otherwise, but from bringing “order” to “chaos.”  I’ve taken something that was all jumbled up, and “made sense” out of it.  Of course, one’s success at playing the game depends as much on the luck of the draw as it does on the skill of the player. The game is set up to “score” by keep a running total of wins versus total number of games played, but I never pay attention to it.  Sometimes, if I don’t win, I’ll replay that “hand” from the beginning as many as 3 times in an attempt to win.  If I don’t win after three attempts, I just start a new game.  Most times, though, if I don’t win, I’ll start a new game.

There are those who view all such games as a waste of time better spent in doing something more “productive” and  “worthwhile.”  I can see their point.  But I also see the “brain exercise value” of such games, and their value as a distraction and outlet for stress.

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