Yesterday will go down as one of the more memorable Valentine’s Days in my life to date, not for anything special given and received from a romantic partner, rather for a fun-filled and productive outing to Rochester.  I didn’t arrive home until well after midnight following training, networking and playing.  The Abilene Bar & Lounge was rocking with an eclectic assortment of skilled musicians well-versed in blues, the upbeat jam-style that gets you wanting to shake your booty if not at least a steady head-bob.  Steve introduced me to a couple kats including multi-instrumentalists “Radar” and Chris English, who tore up the drum kit before taking lead vocals on another cut.  Genesee Bock in the can was going down smooth and it’s a brew I’ve never seen here in our neck of the woods, presumably confined to immediate environs in its native Rochester.

Upon arrival Steve, Mel and I headed over to O’Call’s for a “business information group” luncheon.  I was introduced to a host of sales folks including an IT consultant, commercial real estate broker, video game vendor and an A/V equipment installer.  I noshed on a bacon lettuce tomato avocado on sourdough as I listened to the group catch up on the latest in the local restaurant/ bar scene.  I chimed in sparingly without much to contribute from a very novice perspective.  The luncheon carried on back to the office with a couple of the guys sitting down to pitch an international investment deal to us, involving a hotel and strip mall in Ireland.  Steve was brilliant in the preliminary negotiations offering his marketing expertise for a substantial retainer while deferring to our CFO Tommy to review numbers in their proposed business plan.  I was again mainly a fly on the wall taking away some wisdom in business dealings.  After the investment brokers departed Steve was quite candid in his position clarifying that they approached us and so we establish what we’re worth in any would-be deal.  Always act like you’re worth a million dollars.

From there we shifted gears to training on how to enter accepted proposals for new merchant accounts into the corporate database.  Steve completed one deal and allowed me to enter the second deal cautious not to mistake any critical numbers or contact information throughout the process.  Of course the deals took us almost 2 hours as we got sidetracked on related conversation pertaining to other aspects of the credit card business interspersed with spiritual insights, naturally.  Our guests arrived to the office with plenty of work remaining including preparing me for a presentation to the WNY Blues Society this evening.   We got into a 12-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbons sorting it out as Tania and Lianne entertained themselves while we wrapped up.  I’m definitely winging it tonight and yet totally ok with it as I surrender attachments to outcomes.  I’m going to be sure to make it fun regardless.

We finally locked up the office at nearly 8 pm and made our way to a cocktail party hosted by a most attractive and sincere gal.  Judy had some snacks ready for us and whipped up gin and tonics as we sat down for a game of euchre.  Tania wasn’t able to recall the rules so we played cut-throat with Steve cruising to a lopsided victory over Judy and I.  We stepped outside for a cigarette and I proceeded to roll the melting snow into 3 large, medium and small ball-shaped compacted masses stacking up into a snowman that appeared more like a dog than a human form.  Judy was delighted as she delivered a couple sticks to serve as arms.  I can’t remember the last time I made a snowman.

In common wealth,