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Old 10-31-2018, 07:49 PM   #551
suitedjustice
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Polaris business class seats on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Japan.



It's as good as sitting in the living room watching TV for 12 hours, with the added feature that you also have people bringing you food and drinks.

Beat: I left my laptop power cord on the plane. Down to 35% and dropping.
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Old 10-31-2018, 08:31 PM   #552
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

RIP laptop
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:33 PM   #553
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Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

That’s the most comfy way to potentially die I have seen yet Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:53 AM   #554
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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Polaris business class seats on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Japan.



It's as good as sitting in the living room watching TV for 12 hours, with the added feature that you also have people bringing you food and drinks.

Beat: I left my laptop power cord on the plane. Down to 35% and dropping.
you traveling with a Dr. Suess fan?
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:04 AM   #555
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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you traveling with a Dr. Suess fan?
Those are United Airlines socks provided gratis at the beginning of the flight. I'm guessing that they striped them so to minimax actual usage over the perception of available comfort.
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:42 AM   #556
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

****ing rock so hard.

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Old 11-01-2018, 08:57 AM   #557
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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Old 11-01-2018, 04:39 PM   #558
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Kanpai

Months after leaving my old job, I've been asked to join my old boss on the company's biennial trip to Japan and Taiwan, for a round of trade shows and sightseeing and being wined and dined by various vendors. The current trip will be our eighth.

I was asked partly out of some remaining inertia and tradition, partly because the old boss and I travel well together, and we have the routine nearly perfected--like a polished old Vaudeville duo--and partly because I'm well-liked by our Japanese and Taiwanese hosts, having made an effort over the years to crib notes on their cultures and to act on those notes.

Finally, I was asked because I know how to be a fun heavy drunk without getting out of hand and becoming inappropriate--one of the most important Asian business skills one can possess.

After the whole drinking properly business, the next most important thing to know about Japanese firms is that they favor process in distribution over profits. The goods must be sold through the proper channels. If that means selling less goods, then so be it.

If you are a foreigner wishing to do business in Japan, then best of luck insinuating yourself into these proper channels. Every non-vetted foreign buyer is a potential Nigerian Prince just waiting to send out a backdated third-party check for three times the stated price, then asking to be wired back the difference.

You have to counter this (let's just come out and say it) racist perception by showing up in person and proving yourself to be a Real Person who is Serious about Buying the Product. Thus the trips out here, repeated largely to reassure our Japanese vendors that my old company did not devolve into a fly-by-night malware phishing factory during the two years since they last saw us.

Today was spent with the foreign sales team of a very large Japanese industrial hardware and fastener firm, which has made my old company a metric ****-tonne of money over the six years since we landed a US distributorship from them.

Here I'll tell the story of how I nearly put the kibosh on this lucrative deal three years ago. You see, back then I'd run across an ad for the World's Largest Trade Show for Fasteners, to commence out in Las Vegas a few months from that time, and I had then somewhat cavalierly forwarded said ad to the guys in Japan under the subject line Anyone for Vegas?

Of course anyone's for Vegas. WTF was I thinking?

Two months later, they sent me an email confirming that they were going to the Las Vegas show per my suggestion and that they wanted me to join them out there, having already secured me a badge for said show.

I had spent zero seconds researching that trade show, and now our biggest distributor had already spent thousands of dollars to fly three guys from Japan out to Las Vegas to see it with me. I presented the situation to my boss as the sort of fait accompli that it was, and he sighed and booked the plane and hotel reservations for me.

The World's Largest Trade Show for Fasteners turned out to be one of the most pathetic displays of capitalism that I've had the displeasure of bearing witness to in all of my medium-long life.

We walked the entire floor of the World's Largest Trade Show for Fasteners in less than 15 minutes; all just little sad booths of wooden bins holding assorted screws and cotter pins, mutely watching me sink lower and lower into the floor as I trailed behind a trio of stone-faced men from the East.

All too soon, we got to the end of it. I apologized profusely and I bowed.

Don't ****ing try to bow if you're a Westerner. I don't care who you are. You don't know how to do it. It takes years of practice and minute observation, and you probably needed to start learning it back when you were a child, and you need to know every last nuance of the situation, along with the current status and exact trajectory of every relationship and social standing between you and everyone else involved. Just don't do it.

Spoiler:


So I flubbed the bow, on top of everything. There was nothing left for anything but to get drunk and to hope for some miraculous conspiracy of silence amongst these gentlemen when they got back to Japan.

We left the Saddest Trade Show for Fasteners in the World and we hit a couple of places at the Venetian. I don't remember which ones, as I don't go there much if I can help it: there was a pub and there was an Asian noodle place, and much carousing was done. The subject of my facility for playing the "Texas Poker" came up, and it was agreed that we would head to the Mirage and that I was to show the guys how I played the game.

So I found myself at the Mirage $1/$2, three-quarters drunk and being sweated by three besuited Salarymen. And the poker gods came through that night. Three hands in I flopped the nut flush vs a set and an overpair, and I raked in a $500+ pot to much acclaim.

That pot was all that they could talk about for the next few hours, until later on when the vice president of foreign sales won $900 playing baccarat. When the reckoning came due, somehow, he and I had managed to save face for all of the involved parties, and my rash incitement of large expenditures on this pathetic trade show was forgiven, and the shame of it flowed away like water in the sand.


Last edited by suitedjustice; 11-01-2018 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:05 PM   #559
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

I enjoyed that immensely. You really fastened your seat belt for that trade-****-show.
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:28 PM   #560
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natamus View Post
That’s the most comfy way to potentially die I have seen yet Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis
Fortunately I'm not going anywhere near an Indonesian based airline

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I enjoyed that immensely. You really fastened your seat belt for that trade-****-show.
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:37 PM   #561
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Rat-fink murderer Whitey Bulger finally got what was coming to him. To mark the day, here's an old and very tl;dr (don't believe the disclaimer up front) tale of my possible run-in with him.

RIP You Horrible Man

Last edited by suitedjustice; 11-02-2018 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 11-02-2018, 05:10 PM   #562
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

In 2010 before I sold my first screenplay I was working at a running shoe store in Santa Monica. I never (that I know if) interacted with him or his GF personally but I was told by coworkers after they were caught that they would each come in from time to time. Just pretending to be any other retired couple living out their sunset years beachside. So crazy to think any old dotting neighbors could be on the run from some big time crimes
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:57 AM   #563
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Yeah, he looked normal enough until he realized that I knew who he was, then he quickly didn't look normal any more. I'm sure that I'm not the only one he intimidated over all those long years spent hiding in plain sight.
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:57 PM   #564
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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Yeah, he looked normal enough until he realized that I knew who he was, then he quickly didn't look normal any more. I'm sure that I'm not the only one he intimidated over all those long years spent hiding in plain sight.
For that kind of money, I would stand up stare back at him and would have called information to get the local FBI number, then called and reported him in front of him staring at me, while semi-daring some crazy old lunatic to attack me in a crowded building. But that's just me I guess.
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:02 PM   #565
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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For that kind of money, I would stand up stare back at him and would have called information to get the local FBI number, then called and reported him in front of him staring at me, while semi-daring some crazy old lunatic to attack me in a crowded building. But that's just me I guess.


Oh snap, so you’re like, currently on Meth Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:07 PM   #566
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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Oh snap, so you’re like, currently on Meth Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis
Lol, no. I'm just pretty sure I could defend myself if needed vs an old man, and it's worth the money I'd gain as a result.
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:14 PM   #567
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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Lol, no. I'm just pretty sure I could defend myself if needed vs an old man, and it's worth the money I'd gain as a result.


World,

Yea I was just messing with you. I can see where SJ was coming from meth’d out of his soul with stories of Bulger’s many murders dancing in his exhausted, speed fueled mind.

The man himself trying to determine if SJ was taking a pic or video, texting someone that he spotted him, or if he was just high lol
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:17 PM   #568
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

We think we know what we would do in a given moment, but sometimes we just let it go by. It doesn't help when the moment comes completely out of left field. I was in a Hamlet spot there and, like the young Dane, I thought too much.

Last edited by suitedjustice; 11-03-2018 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:21 PM   #569
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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We think we know what we would do in a given moment, but sometimes we just let it go by. It doesn't help when the moment comes completely out of left field. I was in a Hamlet spot there and, like the young Dane, I thought too much.
****it. it's a great story. you win.
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Old 11-04-2018, 05:20 PM   #570
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Having left my laptop power cable on the plane, it was time to hunt down another.

Walmarts, Targets and Best Buys are not a plentiful option in Japan. In Tokyo, one needs to take the subway out to the Akihabara Electronics District, one of the living templates from the older Blade Runner movie.



Serious Western basement-dwelling Japan nerds dream about this place, with its bevy of Japanese girls dressed as anime characters or in French maid costumes, all beckoning lonely losers into their cafes--themed as a sort of anime Hooters, but with the already high creep factor dialed even higher. There's also a Square Enix cafe for Final Fantasy fans, along with cat cafes, owl cafes, and one cafe each for ninjas and vampires.

If one ignores all that and steps inside one of the towering 6+ floor electronics superstores, one runs into an immediate sensory overload, some of it visual...



Most of it just an all out sonic assault: dozens of high pitched recorded motormouths making a candy coated cacophony overlain by one hundred overcaffeinated schoolgirls chirruping their high speed Freddy Krueger pre-appearance sales pitch to the tune of John Brown's Body (aka Glory, Glory, Hallelujah) repeated ad nauseam, until you want to tear your teeth out and run away jabbering and trailing mouth blood.

My Japaning skills are not good enough to find a laptop cable in the midst of this, so I recruited one of my old company's vendors to tag along and to basically find it for me. I had no interest in spending the entire day trying to hunt down the exact cable for my specific model, when a universal cable with multiple connector options will work just fine.

After a half an hour of being told by various clerks that it was impossible to find an item that would take an idiot 5 minutes to find at a Best Buy, my helpful vendor hunted it down himself using the brute force method of pulling the identical-looking plastic clamshell encased cables off the pegs one by one and squinting at the tiny printed specifications on each.

And so, thanks to his heroic efforts, I was once again able to ****post in BBV without worrying about running out of juice. Arigatou gozaimasu!

Last edited by suitedjustice; 11-04-2018 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:21 PM   #571
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

This man is a true hero. A hero of heros. A man suited for justice. Suitedjustice's suited justice.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:47 PM   #572
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

This may not be a great post. At the moment, I'm wearing a patch over my left eye, and I feel as if some vital elements of my right brain function have been shut away from me. Likely this will not be the most creative or aesthetic or flowery of posts.

Let's start with Monday, when we rode in comfort at upwards of 200 mph to the Echigo-Yuzawa high speed rail station near Niigata in Japan, all for some serious sake tasting. I was too busy with the drinking to take a picture, so I'll just steal one from the Internet.


Courtesy: Internet

There are 117 tasting stations. Each large shot of sake costs less than a dollar. I believe that I tried 15 varieties. Near the end of it, the taste room manager gave me a free bottle of pretty good stuff. I don't know why he did that; this is our third trip there in six years, and it's my first freebie. I'd like to think it's because I finally reached some secret threshold of quantity drank without becoming obnoxious, but that's probably not the case.

Tuesday was to be a travel day to Taiwan. I woke up with two purchased bottles of sake next to me and no memory of having bought them. I do have a vague recollection of my old boss and I passing around the missing free bottle on the train. I hope that we finished it and that I didn't disrespect a nice gift by leaving some of it to be thrown out.

I also woke up with a stinging, tear-leaking, and heavily bloodshot left eye. I've had trouble with one eye or the other from time to time over the last six months. I haven't had them looked at, because I don't have health insurance. It always happens to me while I'm sleeping, and I wake up with pain and blurriness in one eye or the other. One day, it will happen to both eyes, and I'll be truly screwed.

My main fear then was that the immigration authorities in Taiwan would see it as something contagious like pink eye and that they would not let me in. Having the stewardess on the plane point it out to me twice did nothing to allay those fears.

At the airport in Taiwan, just before customs, they have a health station gate set up where you walk past an infrared camera (checking for fevers), as well as the dutiful glare of health officials. Well, they must not have been that dutiful: I closed my eyes and ducked through the far end of the gate, unchecked.

I gave it all of Wednesday to get better, hanging around the hotel room and skipping meetings and whatnot. I had noticed that the trouble always either started, or got worse when I slept, so I tried to sleep for small stretches and to open the eye as much as possible.

It got worse. On Thursday morning, I woke up after the last quick nap with most of the sight gone in the eye. We were due to meet with my old company's biggest Taiwanese vendor at 10am. I sent them an email spelling out my predicament and asking them if they could take me to a doctor or a clinic that would take cash.

Having just $250 USD worth of Taiwanese dollars on me, I converted another $250 down in the hotel lobby. Anything beyond that could be covered with credit cards.

The Taiwanese are great people: polite, thoughtful and caring as a rule. Yes, I'm sure there are jerks here, but I've never run into one. Their political reality has been shaped almost entirely by 60 straight years of my country's bumbling and schizophrenic foreign policy.

I could write a huge long post on Taiwan's post-WWII history and how the US and China have completely ****ed it up at almost every turn, but that's beyond the scope of this post, and my poor good right eye is already being heavily taxed here with double duty.

Cliffs: In spite of all the ham-handed meddling from superpowers, Taiwan is a highly productive and stable democratic close ally of the US, and filled with some great people.

The vendors took me to a clinic. They helped me fill out the forms, and they somehow got me to a doctor early in spite of a full waiting room.

I have a torn cornea.

Here's the deal as far as I can understand it: I'm very nearsighted, and that makes my eyes (or something in my eyes) larger than usual. That feature makes them subject to being torn up more easily. It wasn't sleeping that was causing the wound, it was opening my eyes after I slept. So I guess I have to be more careful when I open my eyes.

Spoiler:


In Taiwan, they don't have pharmacies, per se (sorry AlwaysFolding!) They just give you the medicine you need at the clinic. JFC, why don't we do that (sorry AlwaysFolding?)

The bill came due.

Doctor's visit.
Eye Test.
Eye Patch and Tape.
Full course Antibiotics.
Eye Drops.
Other Eye Drops.

Our vendors insisted on paying the tab, and I got into a big argument with them about that. This wasn't a free dinner to be expensed, this was personal medical treatment.

I lost the argument and they wouldn't take my money, but I at least got them to tell me how much the bill was...


Spoiler:


So, in a day or so, I'll take the eye patch off, and hopefully I'll be able to see again. I'm anxious about that part, but I'm anxious about everything, so that's nothing new.

Last edited by suitedjustice; 11-08-2018 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:07 PM   #573
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Good choices, and I hope that you are adherent to your medications so as to see (hurrhurr) through to a positive resolution!
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:22 PM   #574
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Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

$18 sick I got hit with an $800 bill for an ER visit for pink eye after hours on a Sunday night (so no urgent care or regular eye doctor to see) about 3-4 years ago
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:26 PM   #575
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

SJ, since I opened an a account on this forum about two years ago, I've managed to expose my limited poker skills, my lacking in proper English grammar, my lack of political conviction, my feeble character in comparison to other " dominant " characters, and all around embarrass (make an ass of) my self, but I'll risk it one more time to say what I have to say, haters will be haters. From Bostonian to Bostonian, Ich liebe dich.
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