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It's Friday, my friends, and I'm as happy about that as you probably are!  Lots going on for me personally and elsewhere, so let's get right into some stuff, shall we?

Starting with baseball (naturally), as my Cincinnati Reds cannot win their division (the St. Louis Cardinals have eliminated the Reds mathematically) but they can at least host the single-game wild-card playoff they'll most certainly have with the Pittsburgh Pirates by winning two of three games this weekend from those same Pirates.  The games are in Cincinnati, so my son and I are trekking north to lend our support tomorrow.

While we're in town we plan to visit the world-famous, legendary Montgomery Inn.  Haven't heard of this?  Then I'd guess you aren't from the midwest.  This place is so well known that Bob Hope actually did their radio and television commercials years ago.  The ribs are baked, not smoked, but slathered with a unique sauce that contributes heavily to many other items on their massive menu.  They have multiple locations, including a very scenic one on the banks of the Ohio River, but we're going to my favorite, the original in Montgomery, Ohio, a township northeast of the main part of Cincinnati.  Filled with endless sports souvenirs, jerseys and photos.  Sort of like eating in a sports museum!

I love a good customer service story, since they're kind of rare.  And if you visit here periodically, you've read my impressions of Colonel Littleton, Ltd. of Lynnville, TN.  I have many of their products, most of them personal leather goods.  A while back I added their brass luggage tags to my collection and one has "lived" on my Saddlebag Briefcase since it arrived.  I was in an airport Tuesday evening and discovered that my tag had separated from its hardware and was nowhere to be seen!  I was NOT happy, mostly because I liked that tag and it was beginning to show some age and gain some patina.

I sent an e-mail to one of the nice folks at the Colonel's operation and she told me that someone from the returns department would be in touch.  Instead, I received an e-mail from a parcel company with a tracking number....they already have a replacement on its way to me!  How's THAT for service?

If you've been living in a cave without media available, you don't know what the rest of us do, that the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, takes effect on Tuesday.  Confusing for some, depending on circumstances, but if you'll visit, you can probably get most of your questions answered.  And Texas Senator Ted Cruz will not be the one answering them, most likely.

Have you sampled any of the new TV shows?  I had lunch with a friend yesterday and we compared notes about a few.  He saw a couple of sitcoms which he said weren't good, and he's watched one show that my wife and I have yet to watch from the DVR, "Hostages."  He said it was pretty good.  What we have watched are "Marvel's Agents of Shield," which was not bad, but should get better as we get better acquainted with the numerous characters.  And we also watched "The Blacklist," which was VERY good indeed.  I won't spoil it for you if you haven't watched, but it's well written, well acted, and contained a most unpredictable plot.

My new company requires that we travel using the lowest available fare, which makes a lot of sense.  But when I traveled to Chicago earlier this week, that meant that I didn't take one of the two airlines that offer direct flights to Chicago from Lexington.  No, I used a different airline, albeit my preferred one, to get there and back.  One hour trips turned into five hour processes with changes and layovers.  But it's their money, so that's how it is.

I saw a few of the new iPhones on this trip, including a gold one being used by a young woman at a restaurant in downtown Chicago.  I updated my devices to the new iOS7, and I like it for the most part, although the differing appearance is a little jarring at first. A friend is trying to migrate from an iPhone 4 to the new 5s and he's not having a good time of it, unfortunately.  But he's an IT professional, so I'm confident that he'll get it whipped into shape.

OK, back to work.  Have a good weekend, go Reds, and we'll see you next time.


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