Monday, June 22, 2009

Why Chase Sucks

Aside from my Facebook status, I had not posted the events that occurred on the way to Barbara's viewing. In addition to helping take care of all the arrangements, we had Lizzie's graduation from VPK, Shane's championship hockey game and Lizzie's dance recital. As an aside, the graduation went fine, Shane won his championship, and Lizzie danced her heart out (with a little help from Daddy[no videos will be posted]).

Following Lizzie's recital, we had to go to the funeral home in North Miami for the viewing. On the way we decided to stop for (Lunner, Dinch, whatever). We stopped at a Chinese buffet on N. Miami Blvd. While we were in there, some scumbags did a smash and grab on Brenda's van. People inside the restaurant saw them, but only tried to call the manager. After the smash and grab, it started to downpour, so in addition to having her purse stolen, the inside of the van was soaked.

Once I saw that the van was broken into, I went back inside. The manager called the police while I was on the phone with the bank cancelling Brenda's debit card. We got everything cancelled, put a fraud alert on her credit report, and moved on.

Well, a couple of days later, I noticed two charges for Chevron on our bank account that we did not make. I called up the bank and they reversed the charges, and sent me a letter that I need to fill out (it just came in the mail today). I was hoping that was the end of it, I was mistaken. I have alerts on my checking account that e-mail me and text me when certain things happen within the account. On Thursday the 18th I received one of these alerts stating that a Withdrawl larger than $200 was posted to my account. I knew that all bills were already taken care of then, so I checked it out. It turns out there were two deposits on my account ($1400, and $2400) and a deposit reversal of $2400. There was also a hold of $2300 on my account. I immediately called the bank to let them know that I did not make those deposits and I was very concerned because of Brenda's purse being stolen. They said they would investigate, and put a fraud alert on the account.

On Monday, the 22nd, after paying my bills in the morning, I received another e-mail saying there was a large withdrawl from the account. I thought, it's probably Brenda's car payment but let me check to verify. It wasn't the car payment, it was a "customer withdrawl" of $1800. I was now livid and called the bank again. They said I would have to talk to the branch where it occurred. They transferred me to the branch and the guy who answered the phone said he could not give me any answers and I would have to go to a branch to discuss the situation. I flew out of my office and went to the branch across the street.

The manager at the local branch (David) was very understanding and helped me out. He said he saw the fraud alert on my account and couldn't understand why the idiot at the Weston branch (teller 109) would release the money to the person in the drive-thru. He called the other branch and asked why the teller did that. The teller said that the person had ID that said she was Brenda and she was driving a Cadillac. I said that was impossible because Brenda drives a toyota and was at work all day.

I spent the rest of the afternoon (with a break to pick up the kids) at the bank opening a new account, trying to only leave enough in the old account to cover everything that I had already written a check for, or initiated a payment for, and tried to figure out who I had on an automatic withdrawl. David and Jaime were very helpful where the rest of Chase I feel failed miserably. There is now another alert on the old account stating that either Brenda or I must be called before any withdrawl. Let's see if that happens.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Barbara M Fogg 9/28/1949 - 6/5/2009

I have other updates to come later, but I want to give my thoughts on my Mother-In-Law.

I could start into a long diatribe with things such as she was born in 1949 in Miami and never left (except for vacations), then in 1969 she had a daughter, etc. but I only had the pleasure of knowing Barbara for just about 10 years. I met Brenda on April 16, 1999 so I know I had to have met Barbara a month or so later.

Barbara Fogg always did things on her own terms. If you were dealing with her in a business sense, or actually in any sense, and you told her "no," she would explain to you why you were wrong and give you 5-10 reasons of how you would correct your mistake. She would not take no for an answer and sometimes, yes wouldn't be good enough either. If you worked for her and did not do exactly what she wanted, or screwed around, you would be fired. However, she was also fair, and I have heard of many times where some "long-term" employees would either be fired or quit and come back a week, month, year later.

One thing that was very evident from Barbara, if she didn't like you, you knew it (sort of, because she still kept her southern roots), and if she liked you, she loved you. However, Barbara had her own way of showing love, it was usually by speaking her mind whether it hurt your feelings or not. I found this out by the multiple times that Barbara would be hitting the wine bottle (or even when she didn't) then called Brenda to discuss the way she was raising our kids, or her job, or any other various subject. I also found out in the last couple of days that if Barbara or her mother (Mozelle) did not like who their kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews were dating they not only let them know, but the person they were dating. I suppose I was very lucky in the sense that they liked me, because they allowed me to marry Brenda. The idea of the Father being in charge of the daughter was definitely not the case, and the women were definitely in charge in the Miller-Fogg family. That continues to be the case with Brenda and Stacy.

Barbara really was the best Mother-In-Law that a person could ask for. She was really down-to-earth, and just an all around cool person. After knowing her and Brenda for a while, she took me up in her plane. She told me to make sure I had air coming in on me so I wouldn't be nauseous. When we were up in the air, she tried to tell me to open the window by pointing out where the crank was. The only thing I saw was the door handle, and I wasn't about to open that while in the air. She then turned the plane around and landed before I got sick. For one reason or another, I never got another chance to go flying with her.

Barbara also showed her extreme coolness when it came to shopping. She didn't get stuck going to malls or any "girly" type stores, it was usually going to the cool places like BJ's and Best Buy, you know, places that had "toys." This also showed through when it came to Christmas time, she would usually get herself something, like a Wii, a 400 disc DVD changer, or GPS, and she would in turn get the same thing for her girls. I'm sure it was to make sure her girls got the same enjoyment that she did out of whatever it was. I'll also forever cherish the gifts that she found for me including the motorcycle rider and the huge "pocket" knife that are sitting on my desk at the office.

Barbara of course loved her grandkids and would always be there whenever she was called either to babysit or attend whatever function they had coming up. The one thing about her though, you always had to let her know well in advance, then keep reminding her, because she would never put anything in any type of calendar. Many times the week of whatever was going on turned into a mad scramble because she forgot, or we forgot to remind her. Regardless, she would always come through when needed.

I'll also always be impressed with her memory skills when it comes to her personal business. For instance, she would remember who was programmed into her phone, even though the name was spelled incorrectly 9 times out of 10. Additionally, she was always able to log into her various accounts even though she had 20 different passwords for 20 different accounts. I'll never figure out how she was able to keep everything together.

Barbara was diagnosed wit Leukemia in early March, 2009. She spent 72 days in Baptist Hospital in Miami. After two rounds of chemo, none of the Leukemia cells went into remission. Barbara was released from the hospital just before Mother's Day. She was no longer a candidate to go to Moffitt Cancer Center for a bone marrow transplant. On Mother's Day, Brenda, the kids and I went down to their house in the Redlands. We had a great day, we took Barbara to BJ's to get everything she needed, we went to Best Buy to get a couple of universal remotes so she could control everything in the living room and her bedroom. Barbara watched the kids go swimming and ride their bikes. As an aside, Lizzie today said that was one of her best memories, having her Nanny watch her ride her bike. It was just really nice to spend the day with her. Sure it was somewhat shocking to see her without hair and everything, but under the circumstances, I thought she looked great.

Soon after Mother's Day, Barbara decided to try again with an outpaitient chemo treatment, and blood transfusion and getting platelets. A day or so after getting her transfusion and platelets, she said her leg was bothering her. Her doctor said to go back to the emergency room. The pain was not a blood clot. She ended up getting admitted to the hospital and placed in the ICU because of her very low blood pressure and various other things. She was coherent and understood what was going on. In the end however, she just wanted to be comfortable, and she was not comfortable in the ICU. Brenda, Johnny and Stacy arranged to have her moved to another room. They were planning a meeting with Hospice on Friday, June 5 to try to get Barbara home, just to abide by her wishes. On Thursday afternoon, Brenda received a call from the nurse at the hospital telling her that she did not believe that Barbara would make it through the night. We ran down there and sat with her. She was there but not there. We originally thought she was waiting for Stacy to arrive from Orlando. After Stacy arrived, we thought she might be waiting for her brother to arrive from Minnesota. Jerry arrived around midnight, and I was sent home around 12:30 - 1:00. Brenda, Stacy, and Jerry, Jr. sat at Barbara's bed side all night. In the end, Barbara decided she would once again do things on her own terms and not let anyone tell her what to do. She proved the nurse wrong, she waited until shift change, saw the light of day, then passed away at 7:30 am on June 5, 2009.

Barbara will be deeply missed by her immediate, and extended family and by everybody who ever came into contact with her, possibly even the people who told her no.

p.s. Please either join a walk, or donate to my team on Light the Night which is sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Busy, Busy, and other stuff

The kids and I had a busy weekend this past weekend, and next weekend is going to be even busier. We started off on Saturday with Lizzie's dance class in Coral Springs. While she was in Dance, Shane and I ran some errands, then got back, picked her up and bought a hockey bag at Play it Again Sports which is right next to her dance studio. Quick plug, if you ever need skates sharpened, or reasonably priced equipment, go to Play it Again Sports in Coral Springs. He really knows how to sharpen skates. Anyway, after that, we went home for a short bit, then had to go to Shane's hockey game. Shane played great, his team was outstanding, and the goalie was phenomenal. Shane's team won 7-1, and Shane scored on a shoot-out goal. After the game, we had dinner, then went home to watch game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

On Sunday, we had to wake up early because Shane had practice at 8:25. After practice, we saw 'Up' with Eric and Dave. I thought it was good, and there were parts that the kids probably did not understand. Overall a well-done movie, and we will probably see it again so Brenda can go. We had lunch at Cracker Barrel after the movie then went home. I seriously thought I was going to fall asleep on the drive home. After relaxing for a couple of hours, we had some great ribs with Mom and John, then finally got home just in time to go to bed.

Next weekend is Shane's championship game on Saturday, and Lizzie's dance recital on Sunday. This of course doesn't count the dress rehearsal tomorrow, skating Wednesday, and hockey Thursday. Sometimes, I just want to strap a bed to my back so I can sleep wherever I am.

I haven't really done this yet, but I wanted to give my opinion for some things happening in the news. First, I'm very pissed off at the stupid fuck who thought it would be a good idea to kill a doctor while he was at church because he performed late-term abortions. Give me a fucking break. I can't speak from experience, but I feel that 99.9% of the time a woman has an abortion performed, it is a heart-wrenching decision. I really don't think that people use an abortion as a crutch or as birth control. I also don't think that an abortion performed after the first tri-mester is something that somebody wakes up 6 months into a pregnancy and decides that they no longer want the baby. I think that if the health of the mother, or child is in question, there are extreme thoughts that go into any decision of that matter. To say that this lunatic was justified because of the services the doctor performed is insane. I think if these people are true Christians and they want to make sure no abortions are performed, they should help the mother through the pregnancy with anything she needs, then adopt the baby once it is born. Additionally, these are the same people that don't want homosexuals to marry or adopt kids. Seriously, it's a no brainer, let the gays adopt the kids, then there will probably be less abortions. If these people just thought about things rationally, then the world just might be a better place. I could go on. . .

Another thing that is pissing me off is this whole idea of people on the right calling Sonia Sotomayor a racisit because she essentially said that her life experiences will help her reach conclusions. At least that is my interpretation of what CNN wrote in its story. If Sotomayor is a racist for that comment, what does that make Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings? Rush Limbaugh and the others calling her a racist should shut the hell up and let the Senate do their jobs. I did not elect Limbaugh, the senators are the ones who need to be asking questions, and let the facts speak for themselves.

I just found out that Jacques Martin is no longer GM for the Panthers. The Panthers let him walk out of his contract with no compensations from the Canadiens so he can now coach the Habs next year. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I think he has done a serviceable job as GM, could be better, could be worse. I will say that if the owner brings back Mike Keenan as GM, I will find a new team to support.