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Nov 07

One Mystery Solved – Another Created!

Well, my lost luggage finally arrived from United Airlines and I am not going to kid you, I was surprised that it did. In fact, I was shocked. I had several conversations with people representing United and the inefficiency that I was forced to deal with was maddening. I answered some of the exact same questions (asked by various United Airlines representatives) over a five day period at least six times. It was as if the process had to start all over again with each call. Not that they didn’t call, mind you. In fact, I got a call every single day from United. It was always a different person who had my name and lost baggage account information but each and every time, I had to answer the same exact questions … what did the bags look like, what color were they, what was in them, what identifying marks or labels did they have on them, when was the last time I saw them … and on and on it went. Maybe they don’t issue writing materials or computers to their lost baggage guys at United. I’m not sure. After awhile I wanted to scream!

But then, on the sixth day after my bags had disappeared inNewark,N.J.while I was making my connection fromDusseldorf,GermanytoChicago, a lady called and said they were on their way to my house and would arrive shortly. And they did indeed arrive shortly after the call. I don’t have any other details about who found them or why they were held up inNewark, but the mystery of the lost baggage was solved and that’s what really mattered most.

However, upon opening up the larger of the two pieces of luggage that had been lost but now recovered, I found something else that is as much a mystery to me as was the lost luggage thing to begin with. You see, right there, on top of my shirts, pants and brown sport coat, was a backpack but not just any backpack. It was a pinky-purply-bluey Dora the Explorer backpack. And trust me, that backpack was not in there when I leftGermany!

One Mystery Solved – Another Created  so who did the Dora backpack belong to and just how and why did it end up in my suitcase? By the way, in case you are wondering, this is a true story. It is impossible to make this stuff up! So I looked through it carefully and found a couple of dolls and a few doll outfits, a coloring book and some crayons, but nothing that could help solve the mystery. So I called a couple of my friends who live inNew Jersey (yes, I have friends inNew Jersey) and asked for their help. One of them told me that the only person from the Garden State (although of late I guess it could be called the Swamp State) that he regularly saw using a Dora the Explorer backpack when he traveled was Bob Price (JEB). So I tried calling Bob to see if it was his, but after several attempts, he has not as yet called me back. So now I’m thinking that indeed, we have found Bob’s luggage, but somehow he has now gotten lost … or is spending his every minute vainly searching theNewark airport for his backpack. If any of you can help, please do so. I’d sure hate to lose Bob.

The Mysterious Backpack

Last thing on this lost luggage situation. I do need to give some credit to United Airlines for finding and getting my lost luggage to me. There were some very important documents and equipment in the bags and I appreciated the fact that UAL stayed with it and ultimately delivered the bags. Therefore, I am herein publicly thanking them and taking back exactly 33 percent of the bad things I have said about them during the past week and a half!

Last Week’s Blog Slideshow  Yes, the pictures from last week’s blog were all taken by me and were part of a set of approximately 475 or so pictures I took and turned over to USGlass Magazine and USGNN for their use. As for my favorite photo, that’s an easy one. You see, every time I walked by the Guardian booth (which was easily one of the busiest and most crowded at the show) I would see Earnest Thompson with a crowd around him. If Guardian’s booth was the most popular display there, and it very well could have been, then Earnest may have been the second most popular person at the show, only outdrawn by Guardian President, Scott Thomsen, himself.

The Sports Thing  I have been asked if the 7-1 Chicago Bears are for real or if they have been successful so far this season only because they have faced such weak competition. This is an interesting question for several reasons but because this is supposed to be a “business type” blog and because I am supposed to be a “business type person” let me turn the question a bit. Specifically … does it matter? Don’t you think that quite often a poorly managed business or one with weak employees and mediocre products is successful not because they are so good but because their competition is weak? I think I have seen this situation a number of times and my guess is you have too. In fact, from time to time I have had to deal with businesses that I thought were downright awful but because of limited competition or distributorship arrangements, I had no choice. OK, OK, I know that one or two of you are starting to think that I have just gone down this path to avoid answering the question about my hometown Bears so let me just say this as we finish off this matter … the second half of the season will find the Bears playing several very good teams including the one from Texas that is 7-1 this coming Sunday night. Soooooo, I guess we are going to find out just how good they are, or are not. That’s just the way life works – usually!

The ongoing NHL Hockey lockout has me going through some kind of withdrawal anxiety or something but I know I have it better than most. Two of my grandsons play hockey and both are good and both play on good teams so I get to see at least two live games a week. But I don’t know how some people are going to make it through the winter without NHL hockey. I have a friend or two that live for NHL games on TV. If you get too desperate, call me and I’ll give you my grandsons’ schedule. Not quite the same as the NHL but lots of fun and the tickets are “free’ which is hard to beat.

The Quotable Thing  This week’s quote comes form Jim Ricci who I think appreciates a good saying as much as I do if not more so. It is a little out of season, but it struck a chord with me. Like most, I too have my moments of discouragement or frustration and it helps to know that while everything doesn’t always go exactly the way we feel it should each time we step into the batter’s box of life, you gotta keep taking your swings!!! Thanks much Jim!

“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” –Babe Ruth

HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!!!

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