Do I Really Need This?

“Hello?” I say into my headset. “Is this the main computer user of the house?” Following my script to the letter.

“Yes, it is.” A male voice answers.

“My name is Bob Smith from Microsoft, we have been noticing virus activity on your computer and I would like to help you to remove these viruses today.”

“‘The’ Bob Smith from Microsoft? Microsoft the very, very, very big computing company in the Redmond, Microsoft? Viruses, you say? That is no good! No good at all, we must removing them in an immediate way. Will you be helping me with this virus removing, Bob Smith from Redmond?”

I was sure that this was an American when he answered the phone, now he sounds more like my idiot cousin Najeeb from Mumbai! “I am here to helping you now sir.” Still following the script on my desk. “Are you where you can see your computer, sir?”

“I am seeing very much from it being right in front of me, yes.”

This guy is sounding like he is trying to speak with a mouthful of curry. “Is your computer on, sir?”

“It is very much on, it is on a table, a very good table. My wife bought this table for only a few rupees and I told her that I am sitting my computer on it and there will be no argument about the thing…”

“Can you turn the computer on, sir?” Najeeb is sounding smarter and smarter. I cannot believe that I gave up the Hot Curry Pedi-cab job for this, it is a hard way to make a rupee to be sure.

“The computer switch is being in the ‘on’ position now. Tell me, Bob Smith of Microsoft, how will we make the viruses to stop coming from the computer now?”

Finally he calms down. I am thinking that I am having a live one at last. “Can you see the box in the bottom right hand part of your screen, sir?”

“Is this the one where you get remote control of my desktop and download a virus onto it and then charge me to get rid of it?” The line goes dead, disconnected.

-sound of dialing-

“Hello, Najeeb? You must leave Mumbai at once. Come work with me at the call center, rupees are falling from the skies…”

Hello, My Name Is…

…Brian and I love to tell stories.   Short stories were my go-to companion from a very early age, no sweltering, noon hour naptime under the drone of a huge iron box fan or dreary, drizzly down-time sitting in a corner full of overcast spilling in through a rainwashed window was complete without a quickie from Ruth Rendell, Ray Bradbury or the like.  Living vicariously through the printed page, following word strings in and out and over and down wherever they led made me wish that someday I too could tell a tale and give back some of the wonder that I felt.  And then I got a job, got married, raised two wonderful daughters, and here I am still, I haven’t forgotten I’ve just been busy.

I look forward to meeting all of you.

What Do You Do For Sports?


I hate broadcast TV, 20 minutes worth of ads an hour, they never seem to care about the sports I am passionate about, just revenue. Then there is cable sports, cable was supposed to be the answer to broadcast TV because, no advertising. Well, that turned out well. I quit watching football, baseball, basketball, even bowling because of the ‘lets make this sport better for TV’ attitude.

12 years ago a partner and I were hired to video the local Junior A hockey team that was new to town. I was hooked. Let me tell you, there is no more exciting way for me to spend 3 hours than to watch people skate back and forth fighting over a rubber puck. Now I still get on the internet and watch snooker, UK Masters, World Championships, all of the opens, and all because of Ronnie O’Sullivan, I love the Rocket. I also enjoy the Spring Basho, and any tournament that is likely to crown a new Yokozuna, but my abiding love will always be hockey.

The owner of the team has decided to step away from the team and with him goes any hope of another season, that is not acceptable to me or any of the many other die-hard fans. I had to accept the fact that in order to feed my hockey jones I would have to subsist on substandard network feeds from the internet or the infrequent roadtrip to Dallas to watch the Stars from the nosebleeds.

I thought about this and decided that the alternatives were unacceptable. I had to do something. Crowdfunding. It was the single solution that would accomplish all of the goals that were needed. We would have the capital to show the league we were serious and could fund a team for the entire season. We could hire a coach in time to get the right players on the ice. We would be in control of the front office and able to correct the egregious wrongs that were done to season ticket holders in the past. But the most important goal of all, getting our players scouted by college teams. Over the years we have been able to get a large number of our players scholarships at Division I schools. Scholarships that changed their lives for the better in every way possible. This is the point. This is the purpose. The rest is just the mechanics of how to get them there. Altruistic, sure, I can accept that, but if that is what it takes then I will gladly take one for the team, our team.

How far would you go to save your local team?