Wednesday, October 31, 2007



Every other day, I inject myself with Betaseron. It's an interferon drug designed to slow the advance of my Multiple Sclerosis.

I can handle the injections, I've never been very good with needles, but I've been able to deal with this pretty well. I rotate the injections as I've been instructed. I've very rarely had reactions at the injection sites and of nearly 200 injections now, I can count one one hand the number that have been painful or even unduly uncomfortable (I am jamming a needle into my thigh, arm, abdomen or buttock, after all...). Those are the last good things I will say about Betaseron.

Every other day, after an injection I feel like crap. I have Multiple Sclerosis, after a Betaseron, my MS symptoms are worse. I often have a bad headache. I have difficulty at writing or typing. I have to plan things around my injections. For example, I would never try to do laundry the day after an injection, it would be too hard to tramp up and down the stairs, I would be at major risk of a fall. I'd wear out way too fast to be able to do the job properly.

Luckily, my job requires sitting and using my brain. Still, days after injections are tough at work. There's always some walking involved. If I'm doing a special event, extra movement is required. I have done special events the day after an injection. It's been exhausting, but I've decided to never beg off of a job because of my condition. We do special events on a rotation, if it's my turn, even if I had an injection the night before, I take my turn.

I'm also one of the people [Nameless Company] would like to be in charge of master control on weekends. I'm given the occasional day when I'm the team leader. This duty requires a lot of walking around, a lot of monitoring what other people are doing and walking to the printer, which is ludicrously far away. I have performed this duty on the day after an injection as well. If running a special event is exhausting under these conditions, being team leader is brutal on me. I have begged off of this duty recently, and, somehow, I'm the bad guy.

Betaseron recently went up in price to over $1800 per month. I'm responsible for 20% of that total. [Nameless Company] pays their employees shit. My medication (not physicians or physical therapy, just medication) eats up 14% of my salary. Including everything, I figure about 1 hour and 40 minutes of every work day is spent paying for having MS.

The worst thing about Betaseron, though, isn't the way it makes me feel, or even the price. The worst thing is actually buying it. I get my medication through Cigna Teldrug. They have screwed up about half of my orders, their customer service representatives have been rude, they have threatened to ban me from purchasing medication from them because I have complained. Talking on the phone with them is a baffling ordeal. Hold times have been measured in hours.

Unable to get through on their 800 number to make an order, I was given a number I could call. It was a number that incurred long distance charges. I requested some sort of monetary reimbursement for this. I was told I would receive $20 for Teldrug.

I waited. I didn't expect to receive $20 immediately from Teldrug, their are hoops to jump through, I've worked in large corporations before, I know how they are abou money going out. Still, this company is receiving over $1800 from me monthly. Before I am off the phone with them that $1800 is out of my account and into their possession.

When I asked where my $20 was after 30 days I was that they had up to 30 days to make refunds. When I told them it had been over 30 days, I was told that they meant 60 days. When I called approaching 90 days, I was told that they had 90 days to refund me.

At this point I called my corporate benefits office. They told me the person they dealt with at Teldrug wasn't in but they'd get me an answer as soon as possible. Three days later I received an answer, I would be sent a check. I called Teldrug, they told me my account would be credited, that I would receive no check.

I was upset. It cost me. I have been written up at my place of employment, I cannot receive a raise, cannot be promoted or transfered for six months. The team leader duties I'm doing? I was told I would get a promotion and raise to do that. Now? Nope.

I was told by my manager that if I didn't take on these extra duties that it would reflect poorly on me. So I'm doing a job that I was told I'd get a promotion to do, without the promotion, and if I don't, that it's bad for me.

[Nameless Company] is in the business providing television programming to customers via satellite. It breaks down to people in dark rooms pushing buttons, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That's what I do. Every other job at [Nameless Company] is in place to support what I do.

If I have a problem with my benefits, our corporate benefits office, our Human Resources, WHO WORK FOR ME, should do their jobs and support me. If it takes over 90 days for Teldrug to refund me $20, the corporate benefits office shouldn't agree with Teldrug and say that 90 days is a reasonable amount of time. That is not reasonable! If I receive poor customer service from a company that gets $1800 a month from me, benefits should be all over Teldrug, forcing them to clean up their act. Corporate benefits shouldn't suggest that I find another pharmacy:

As a consumer, you have the right to choose to continue to spend your money with a service you find satisfactory; perhaps one of the in-network pharmacies will service you better.

Teldrug is in-network. Tedrug is owned by my insurance company. If Teldrug is broken, it needs to be fixed. You don't fix things by walking away from them and hoping they get better, you confront the problem. Benefits should be doing that, at the very least, they should support me in that.

Being on Betaseron costs me a ridiculous amount of money, causes me physical pain, has effect my opportunity for advancement in my job, has caused me emotional distress by having to deal with Teldrug, has caused me emotional distress by having to deal with [Nameless Company] corporate benefits and Human Resources. Worse, I have had to fight against Teldrug to get service, and have been hampered in that fight by corporate benefits and Human Resources.


In clinical trials of Betaseron, one subject commited suicide and there were four other attempts...


Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Holiday Update

An updated list of my Personal Holidays:

Ground Hog Day - February 2nd
Muddy Waters' Birthday - April 4th
Barney Gumble's (The Simpsons) Birthday - April 20th
Whacking Day (The Simpsons) - May 10th
John Lee Hooker's Birthday - August 22nd
"C" Day - September 6th
Repeal of Prohibition - December 5th

New additions are Barney Gumble's Birthday (same as Hitler's), Whacking Day and "C" Day.

I think lots of drinking is in order for Barney's Birthday. I'll drive snakes to the center of town and kill them (or beat up the Irish) for Whacking Day.

I'd love to discuss "C" Day in more detail, but that's between me and [someone]. We'll discuss how to celebrate that each year later on today...




Things to Be Positive About

I'm not at work, I won't be for the next two days either.

I didn't take a Betaseron injection last night, so I feel pretty good. I'm still in that period when I'm feeling good and not yet dreading the way I'm going to feel after the next injection.

I get to see [someone] in a couple of hours. I'm getting all of my laundry done so that I could stay a little extra time if possible.

I'll be away from a phone, so Cigna Teldrug and [Nameless Company] Human Resources won't be able to bug me.



Friday, October 26, 2007


Just What Should We Be Regulating?


Jackson Duo Charged With Selling Sex Toys

JACKSON, Miss. -- Two men charged with selling sex toys were arrested Wednesday in Jackson.

Officers conducted an undercover sting at Adult Video and Books. James Saulters and Jayson Paige were arrested at the shop on McDowell Road.

"They don't leave here and rape nobody. They don't leave here and rob no banks," Paige said of the customers who buy the toys.
Click here to find out more!

Selling sex toys is illegal in Jackson.

Police said they've gotten complaints from residents who said they heard radio ads about the sex toys.

"They still doing the same thing over and over again -- just blatant violations; even advertising it," Sgt. William Gladney said.

Overview of State Gun Laws for Mississippi:

Rifles and Shotguns

* Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No.

* Registration of rifles and shotguns? No.

* Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No.

* Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No.


* Permit to purchase handgun? No.

* Registration of handguns? No.

* Licensing of owners of handguns? No.

* Permit to carry handguns? N/A

Other Requirements

* Is there a State waiting period? No.

* Is there a FBI *NICS check for firearm transactions? Yes.

* Permit to carry a concealed weapon required? Yes.

* Record of sale: No.




I attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. A good school, a small school in a small town. USD enrollment when I attended was about 5,000, in a town with a population of about 10,000. Both are much bigger now, but I haven't been back since 1995, so I remember Vermillion as a small town, it's my reality which may or may not still be true.

I have been through Brookings, SD since then. Driving from the Twin Cities to Eastern South Dakota in 1998, a friend and I bought hunting licenses to hunt pheasants in Brookings on our way to the hunt. Brookings didn't look much different than it had the last time I'd been there, but even that was nearly 10 years ago now. I'm sure it's quite different today than it was the last time I drove through.

Brookings is the home to South Dakota State University. SDSU was the arch rival of USD, the big dog among South Dakota Universities. We USD students disliked, hated SDSU and by association the city of Brookings. License plates in South Dakota begin with a number that identify the county the plates were purchased in. Brookings county has the identifier of '6' which my ex-wife noted was the number associated with Satan. She first told me that twenty years ago, and I remember it to this day. Association is great for remembering little bits of information.

I would run into people from Brookings as I lived in the Upper Midwest, not unreasonable as I work in a technical field, many SDSU grads being in fields associated with what I do. When I ran into an SDSU grad while working at DirecTV in Long Beach, CA I was a bit surprised. Surprised, but my feelings for Brookings were now a little different. Brookings was no longer a rival, a city dedicated to evil. Brookings was now that city up the road about two hours, this person didn't represent a rivalry as much as he represented a person in Southern California with a lot in common with me. It didn't matter if he'd attended SDSU, it didn't matter that he was Iranian. We had lots in common, we'd both lived in Rapid City and the Twin Cities, we'd graduated from universities in South Dakota. I'd forgotten my infantile disdain for a community based on a university within its city limits.

I met TIG while living in the RC. I was playing with Patient 957, she was in town working on a friend's play. I didn't think anything of it. Later we posted comments on the same website, she hunted me down, cyber-stalked me as it were, and has been a frequent commenter on The Globex Corporation Newsletter ever since.

Last August, a graduate student, FYA, moved into the building I live in. While I'm not allowed to write about her (blog policy...), for the purposes of this post I will mention that she lived in Brookings while her husband attended graduate school. She even knew who TIG was when I mentioned her real name. That's two fake girlfriends with connections to a small city in Eastern South Dakota. Freaky, huh?

It gets better. In May, I met [someone]. Very early on, she talked about living in Brookings, not just living there, but teaching at SDSU. Over time, our relationship grew, and I can now proudly say that I have a real girlfriend with ties to Brookings.

Life is funny.




Thursday, October 25, 2007


Live From Congress: Representative Wants To See, Meet More Kids Online



Another Pointless List

Has Pointless Shit Thursday turned into BOJ's NFL Rankings Thursday? Maybe, I haven't decided yet

With that in mind, on to this week's NFL rankings:
(Last week's rank in parenthesis)
  1. (1)New England Patriots (7-0)
    Handled a winless Miami, but really looked impressive doing it

  2. (2)Indianapolis Colts (6-0)
    Impressive against a quality J'ville, but they're not on the same level with the Pats

  3. (4)Dallas Cowboys (6-1)
    I should have had them third last week, if, for no other reason, than that they gave the Pats a game for almost a half...

  4. (3)Green Bay Packers (5-1)
    At some point they're going to have to prove they can run the ball

  5. (-)New York Giants (5-2)
    Five wins in a row after an 0-2 start

  6. (8)Carolina Panthers (4-2)
    I don't know who starts at QB this week, but WR Steve Smith may be the best player in the NFC

  7. (5)Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
    A loss at Denver? It drops them in the rankings, but not much

  8. (-)Tennessee Titans (4-2)
    Won without Vince Young... that's gotta be worth something...

  9. (9)San Diego Chargers (3-3)
    Coming off a BYE week, we'll see if they can keep it rolling, wherever they play this week..

  10. (6)Jacksonville Jaguars (4-2)
    The loss to Indianapolis doesn't drop them to 10, injuries do

OUT OF TOP 10: Baltimore (4-3), Tampa Bay (4-3)

Send your rankings to me at this address and I'll include them next time!



Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Out of Town

In my least mean-spirited MBW ever, here's what's annoying me today:

Girlfriends who aren't in town.

Hey, [someone] can be out of town, but I'm allowed to miss her. I'm also allowed to be jealous of the fact that she's in Hawaii. I'm still in Wyoming. It was 72 degrees here today, but let's get real, it's October and the weather is going to get nasty sometime soon.

That's today's bitch and I'm stickin' to it...



Monday, October 22, 2007


Cross Posting


You can find more infintile jokes like this at The BOJ News Service.


A Different Chapter

On May 6th of this year, I wrote a post called Chapter. I was writing it as a neighbor was moving, someone who had been important in my life but, by this time had turned into a constant source of pain for me on so many levels.

I wrote about how a chapter of my life was ending, more a relief for me than anything else, not the cause of great celebration by me. I wrote about how I didn't know what was next in my life, how, as one chapter was ending in my life that I didn't know if another was beginning.

About 3 weeks later, I met [someone]. All thoughts of chapters were gone from my head by that point, and I was simply going on with my life, meeting a new person, not putting any pressure on myself or her, trying to force a new chapter out of my life.

But a new chapter of my life started that day. So far, it's been a really great chapter. Even if the other things going on in my life aren't exactly the best right now, the portions of the story about [someone] and Jacobo have been great, some of the best in the story that is my life.

Here's the thing, though. The Chapter I wrote about in May had to end for this new one to start. It's not that I held any feelings for FYA, it's that she needed to move, to not talk to me, to not try to make up with me. The cycle of her doing things that she needed to apologize for then expecting me to accept her apologies needed to be over. I was out of forgiveness for this person (I realize that I never reached the "seventy times seven" example that's been set, but I never claimed divinity). When the previous chapter of my life intruded upon the current one, I probably over-reacted. Then again, I've never been that guy who can read two books at the same time.


Saturday, October 20, 2007


From Friday's Pardon the Interruption, Tony Kornheiser's PTI Back Tattoo.


Friday, October 19, 2007



Thursday, October 18, 2007


Pointless List.

I've wanted to do an NCAA style poll. but for NFL teams for some time now. What better place than pointless shit? So here goes...

  1. New England Patriots (6-0)
    They've blasted through opponets and they're not even 100% healthy

  2. Indianapolis Colts (5-0)
    Playing a lot better defense this year, the champs are just a bit behind the Pats

  3. Green Bay Packers (5-1)
    Favre, Favre, Favre... Somebody please talk about that defense!

  4. Dallas Cowboys (5-1)
    Their only loss is to the best team in football, in the game least resembling a blowout the Pats have played

  5. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1)
    Look out everyone, they're getting healthy...

  6. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-1)
    Was a change at QB all this team needed?

  7. Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
    Enough defense, but not enough offense to rank any higher

  8. Carolina Panthers (4-2)
    No running game and their QB is out for the year, this team somehow keeps winning

  9. San Diego Chargers (3-3)
    Are they back? Only time will tell...

  10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2)
    Defense and Jeff Garcia. What more does a team need?

Fun, but I'm just one man. Got an opinion? Send yours and I'll include it in next week's NFL top 10.




For You


In Love

Let me start by pointing out that this is the furthest thing from Pointless Shit I could possibly do. I'm thinking of changing the Pointless Shit feature to something else. I've got an idea. Maybe I'll change it during the day today. Gotta make a new graphic and crap, so we'll see. Let's just be clear, this isn't Pointless Shit.

So, I'm totally in love. I've been in love before in my life. In truth, I've never gone into any relationship thinking anything other than "this is the last relationship I'll ever be in." I've never gone into any job thinking anything else either, but that's an unrelated thingy.

So, like I said (or, typed, as it were), I'm in love. I've been in love before, so much so that I considered getting, and even once, did, in fact, get married. I've dated women with kids, I've met parents, I've done all of that scary-ass crap that a guy has to go through in this sort of situation.

But I'm over 40 now. Part of me thinks that I should be able to go on, I've been here before, nothing new can come up that I haven't seen before. Another part of me thinks that I should be scarred shitless to be in this again.

Both are completely wrong. Both are entirely accurate. I can't explain it, but that's how I feel.

And the woman! [someone] is one of the most amazing people I've ever met! I've stated before how much I like smart women. I got one. For those of you who don't know, I was on Jeopardy! in 2003. I realize that being on a TV gameshow, even one as awesome as Jeopardy!, is as much a function of luck as it is of actual knowledge.

So I watched two episodes with the lovely [someone] last night. She was tired and was coming off of a bad week. She was a little out of it from a big meal eaten late.

She kicked my ass!

I'm dating a woman smarter than me. Yeah, she has a degree that puts mine to shame, earned from a University of higher status than mine (although we had Rhodes Scholars in consecutive years, the only public University to do so). But when I talk to her, it's so obvious that she has more upstairs than I do.

I'm completely fine with that. I respect it. More to the point, I love it.
[someone] has a son, the amazing [her son]. I was in Colorado on Tuesday night to see him play in his eighth grade band concert. [her son] is a trombonist, the same instrument that started the musical career of one "Blind Orange" Julius. He also plays guitar. I so want to buy the kid a bunch of harmonicas and give him my old harmonica neck rack. The first time I met him, we watched about two hours of Simpsons episodes together. I can't imagine a better and less intense way to meet my girlfriend's son.

I've met [someone]'s brother and her parents. I'll admit a bit of nerves before all of these meetings. I was able to be myself and be accepted for it.

For her part, [someone] has done the same, she's been herself, met my family memebers, and been accepted. She's who she is when she's around me. The woman I love doesn't put on airs when she's around people she needs to meet.

She lives a little far away for my tastes. That just makes the time we're able to spend together more special. Remember, I was seeing someone who lives in my building. Of the many things wrong with that relationship (and there were, oh, so many...) being so close together, so convenient was a huge problem, particularly so early in a relationship.

We are on the phone with each other constantly. I thank Al Gore, the inventor of the internets, for making it cheap and easy for me to make phone calls and send constant emails. At this point, though, money wouldn't be an object. I'd spend myself broke to spend this amount of time of the phone with my La guera.

So where does this all go? I know where I hope it goes, but if I've learned anything from past relationships, I've learned that one never knows. I'm happy though, as happy as I've ever been.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm watching Feasting on Asphalt 2 on Food TV. It's Alton Brown at his best, among the people, exploring small town America and looking at cuisine of the country.

Tonight's episode took place along the Mississippi River in Iowa and Illinois. It's not what you'd call haut cuisine (assuming I've spelled that anywhere close to correctly). The mentioned the Pork Tenderloin Sandwich (state sandwich of Iowa). I lived in Iowa for a scant 14 months, and let me tell you, there are few things better than this sandwich.

I respect well made food, food that people attend culinary food to be able to create. I understand French and Italian cuisine, I love Thai food. Tonight's show had pork tenderloin, rhubarb pie and smoked carp. It's cuisine of small town America, good food that is made in the heartland of this country, food that is every bit as valid as anything taught in the most excellent culinary institions in the world. Stuff made by farm wives and in small town diners.

Let's give real American food a chance, food from truck stops or served to combining crews as they harvest wheat in the heartland of this country. There's nothing wrong with learning to create fine cuisine, there's nothing wrong with enjoying it. Give good old American food the same chance.


...had hot dogs and a locally produced ale for supper...


Tuesday, October 16, 2007



I try to put a different spin on things sometimes. Maybe it's because my life sucks. Maybe it's because I'm (believe it or not) generally a positive person. I don't know, but I feel oddly positive about this.

I scrapped the frost off of my windows when I got off work. I had to use the defrost, I had to turn up the heat, in a few minutes, I'll crawl into a warm bed (heated mattress pad - what a great invention!). My nose is cold. My knees ache. Life continues as normal. It's just the way I want things to be.

I live in a land of four seasons, even if summer and winter are too long, even if spring and fall are far too short. Four seasons, all wonderful in there own way. Four or five months of winter follow.

The last 3 bottles of bourbon barrel porter are in a closet, waiting for the first snowfall, and event that, I learned today, has already happened, I missed it, all evidence of snow gone by the time I woke up on Sunday.

Seasons change, life goes on.

I couldn't ask for anything more.



Friday, October 12, 2007



Saturday, October 06, 2007


The Time Zone TV Forgot


Eastern 2-4 (.667)

Central 2-2 (.500)

Mountain 4-0 (1.000)

Pacific 0-2 (.000)

Next game: Arizona at Chicago
6pm Eastern, 3pm Pacific - the rest of the country, figure it out for yourselves...


Friday, October 05, 2007


The Other Woman I'm Crazy About
(Maybe Even More So...)


A new Mac Book computer with built in camera, a visit to Colorado and my first photo of the wonderful [someone].

See, she does exist!!!

Photoshop Alert!!!

I've done some stuff to this photo. Shooting people with glasses is always interesting. Other subtle things, but really, this is pretty much what we look like!




Thursday, October 04, 2007




Wednesday, October 03, 2007

You know what I hate?

Not being treated fairly. Not being treated like everyone else is treated. Being involved in similar situation as someone else and watching them fucking skate through it while I have to wait shit out for six months.

Oh well. Life isn't fair.

Never bitch at Human Resources. They have all the power. If you want to be rude to someone, do it to someone at my level or below. Nobody will care.


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The Bert Convey
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