At first reading, I didn’t see how the story could be true. It just seemed too farfetched … too improbable … too unrealistic. Unless of course there was something sinister at play. When sinisterism (I don’t actually think this is a real word but it sounds kinda cool so I am going with it) is at play, all bets are off. Anything can happen and often does. But let me explain. According to a Bloomberg BusinessWeek report, Brazilian business guru Eike Batista had a net worth of $34.5 billion in March of 2012, which at the time, made him the eighth richest person in the world. But now, at this very moment, his wealth is estimated to be only $843 million. This means he lost $33.657 billion is less than two years. Now I have made some really bad financial decisions in my day and paid the consequences, but this poor guy … wait a minute, what am I saying? Am I actually feeling sorry for a guy who is now worth only $843 million??? Never mind!
Some Sad News
I’m truly sorry to report on the passing of Albert Hershkopf, owner of Columbia Glass in Chicago. Albert and his business were legendary in the Chicago region. If you couldn’t find it (a piece of rare, unusual or discontinued glass) anywhere else and a substitute product was simply not acceptable, you usually ended up at Columbia and more often than not, they had exactly what you were looking for. The business is being closed today (December 4) in honor of Mr. Hershkopf but will reopen at 7 a.m. on Thursday as usual.
The Cancer Thing
Today, December 4, 2013, I get what is called a pheresis catheter installed in my chest. This will allow for a more efficient transfusing process when blood is either taken from me or put into me. I won’t go into the details of this but will say that this is kind of a big deal at this point because it signals the beginning of the stem cell transplant procedure which I am anxious to get started. Over the next 30 days or so, I will be at the hospital daily (including weekends), first as an outpatient and then for about a three-week actual in hospital stay. Not easy … not fun … but necessary. So here we go!
“The Broken Tomato” Update
To answer the question of the moment – YES, “The Broken Tomato” would make an excellent Christmas gift for almost anyone. After all, the cover is green and red!
A Very Good Report for the Construction Industry
EXCEPT … Last week I reported the very good news that construction industry accidents and injuries had once again gone down (year over year) and that the trend had been tracking this way since 2007. Well, I received more than a few comments about this from various readers and the general tone was not to give OSHA or any governmental initiatives credit for this because it was the insurance industry that was actually driving it. In essence, you can’t get insurance if you have a questionable safety history and without insurance, you’re not allowed on a jobsite of any size. While an uninsured person can jump in a car and take off down the road, construction industry firms must provide proof of insurance coverage before they are allowed onto a jobsite. The consensus among those I spoke with was that in spite of government involvement, construction safety had improved and that the improvement was mostly tied to costs and availability related to insurance coverage. Not sure I’m done with this subject yet. We’ll see.
The Sports Thing
Traded emails over the past few days with Russ Ebeid, the former leader at Guardian, who couldn’t resist pointing out to me that not only were his Detroit Lions in first place in the NFC North but that they also had handily beaten my Chicago Bears twice this season. Unfortunately, I had no comeback on this. Russ then went on to state that the Lions were undefeated this year. Now I really like and respect Russ and have known him for close to 40 years. But I had to correct him on this, pointing out that there are actually no undefeated teams in the NFL as of this date and that according to the newspaper I read, the Lions have a current record of 7-5. Russ then quickly reasserted his claim about the Lions being undefeated and went on to state that on seven occasions, the Lions had defeated other teams and on five occasions, they had chosen to defeat themselves and therefore he was standing by his claim that they were an undefeated team this season. You know, now I remember why I never won an argument with Russ Ebeid. Just way too quick for me!
The Quotable Thing
Some time ago, Bobbie Rovner, a wonderful friend and 36-year co-worker in the glass business, sent me an item that she had gotten from her daughter-in-law, Dottie. Dottie is married to Bobbie’s oldest, Michael, who for a very brief period of time also worked in the glass industry but was smart enough to get out at his first opportunity … he went into banking. Anyway, the item that was sent to me was a list of answers that a group of fifth- and sixth-graders had given on various history tests and Sunday School quizzes at a school in Ohio. Two teachers who administered these tests then pulled out and compiled some of the “better” answers. I came across this while looking for something else and upon re-reading it, thought some of them just needed to be shared. So I’m going to do a couple a week for the next few weeks (this will also help me out schedule-wise as I start my next round of medical procedures). I hope you enjoy them. Grammar and spelling is as the kids provided it. No editing! Thanks, Dottie and Bobbie!
“Ancient Egypt was old. It was inhabited by gypsies and mummies who all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert. The climate of the Sarah is such that all the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.”
“Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was canonized by Bernard Shaw for reasons I don’t really understand. The English and the French still have problems.”
Have a Wonderful Week, Everyone!