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Monday, January 20, 2020




 In high school I was on the wrestling team.  I was not particularly good and I did not like the sport, but the football coach was also the wrestling coach and he wanted his football players to also wrestle.  He thought it would give his players more speed and endurance.  It was probably the reason our football team was not very big.

While other kids used the off season to rest up and put on weight, wrestlers fought to “make weight” or lose pounds in order to compete in a lower weight class.  Working out in sweats in a 90 degree gym and feasting on carrot sticks and celery during the teen years probably resulted in stunted growth for several of our football players. 

I never wrestled higher than junior varsity and my record was about 50/50.  I generally won by a pin, or lost by a pin; I just did not have the stamina to go the full nine minutes of a three period match.  Much as I despised wrestling it did provide some good stories.

In one tournament I was matched against a kid from Hunterdon Central, a known New Jersey wrestling powerhouse school at the time.  I expected a tough match and was surprised to find from the very start that my opponent was not a very good wrestler.  At the referees first whistle I had this kid on his back. 

He was not an experienced wrestler, but he was a tough competitor and would not give in to a pin.  He bridged (arching ones back while lifting your shoulders off the mat to avoid being pinned) the entire first period.  During the whole time I had him in a near pin, there was a loud clear voice from the thin crowd exhorting him to avoid defeat.

“Bridge Tommy bridge…move Tommy move…fight Tommy, move…bridge Tommy bridge.”

This voice did not stop for the whole first period as I attempted to pin my man.  In the second period I once again took down my inexperienced but gutsy opponent and had him on his back in a near pin situation.  The voice from the crowd rang out loud and clear once again.

“Bridge Tommy bridge…move Tommy move…fight Tommy, move…bridge Tommy bridge.”

For almost three minutes the voice did not stop rooting this kid on, and in turn he refused to be pinned.

The third period was more of the same.  I had “Tommy” on his back, and the voice from the crowd could not be missed.

“Bridge Tommy bridge…move Tommy move…fight Tommy, move…bridge Tommy bridge.”

With only seconds left in the match, my opponent’s strength finally sapped and just before he gave up and submitted to being pinned he screamed out at the top of his lungs,



As much as I hated this sport, it did teach me in later years to root for my own children silently.
Most of the time.
Re-run from January 2013

Saturday, January 18, 2020



I hate when my computer decides to update.  Why will it not just do whatever needed update it does on my schedule…like let me say “OK, but three hours from now” or “NO!, I’m happy with everything now.”


Sometimes when they update my computer I don’t like the changes.  I have to get used to a slightly different screen.  I am old, old people do not like change.

Even worse is when you need to check something quick and the machine tells you it is updating and DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER.

“Joe hurry up we are late to the movie.”

“Just give me 30 seconds, I want to check the weather for later on tonight.”

“OK, but hurry up.”




“Windows is updating.”

“So don’t worry about the weather, turn it off and lets go.”

“It warns me do not turn off the computer.”

“You don’t listen to me but you listen to the computer?”

“The computer scares me more than you do.”

“Tun it off, we’ll miss the previews and the direction for getting out of the theater if there is a fire!”

“OK, but I hope this doesn’t screw up my computer.”

When this happens, I also think about what if I REALLY needed my computer?

When I read a Dean Koontz action novel, the hero is always pulling up information from his computer remotely from his car while being chased by the bad guys.  He gets GPS information, alerts police and even hacks into traffic lights to change signals in his favor. 

Well not every book, but in a bunch.


If these novels were real, the hero would get:


That never happens.  I guess that is why they call it fiction.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Government Ceremony

Government Ceremony

Well the President of the US was impeached the other day.  I don't want to discuss or comment on the impeachment, but what I found interesting is something I’ve seen many times before and never really given it much thought.
The signing ceremony. 
Nancy Pelosi signed some historical stuff and for each letter of said signature she used a separate pen and gave each pen to a person who had, I assume, played a part in what ever led up to the historical signing.  There must have been multiple papers as I counted 33 pens.

I’ve seen this many times before, usually the President signing important legislation.  Multiple pens on a silver platter and souvenirs handed out to prominent people.  Probably costs the taxpayers an extra couple of hundred dollars, not even a whisper of moisture in the bucket, and makes for a nice ceremony rewarding people for a lot of hard work passing the measure.

What caught my attention as I watched this time, and for some reason never thought of before was…WOW!  I would love to own one of those pens. 

I have a dozen ball point pens

RT-are there any other types these days?

and every time I use one, I have to first scribble on a piece of paper to get the ink moving or risk tearing up the paper I am signing.

As I watched this ceremony, I envisioned them using my pens.

“And so my fellow Americans I will sign this historical document of impeachment…hmmm it does not seem to be working…(after scratching circles all over the document) FUCK!...wait, now it is working.  Hand me another pen for the next letter please.”

“Um there are 32 more letters to go Nancy.”

“Well lick the damn points, or heat the end with a match!  I can’t be scratching circles and ripping the document, the Senators will send it back!”

“Maybe you could just finish with the one pen that is working.  When you are done, we can mix all the pens in a hat and hand them out so everyone can claim that they may have the actual signing pen.”

“That would not be acting very Congressionally!”


Every pen worked right away.  No scratching licking of heating needed.  It all went smoothly without a hitch.  For 33 pens, that is impressive.

It gave me hope.  It is comforting to know that government officials can do something smoothly.

Our government representatives can sign stuff without a hitch and in my experience, that is quite an accomplishment.