A Close Encounter With Verne And Larry

As many of you heard by now, wrestling legend Verne Gagne passed away Monday at the age of 89.

When I lived in Marietta, I visited CNN Center in downtown Atlanta a couple of times.  I was once on CNN’s “Talkback Live” asking a question or two about the Republican primaries of 1996, so maybe someone will dig that up on YouTube. Susan Rook was a good host to that show, and was just happy not having to talk about the O.J. Simpson trial anymore.

Also headquartered there at the time was World Championship Wrestling, better known as their acronym of WCW.  One day I’m on one of the escalators and I see the unmistakable image of Jimmy Hart, formerly of The Gentrys but perhaps better known as a megaphone wielding manager who always wore sunglasses, unless a wrestler was beating the snot out of him.

Another time I was there, I noticed the presence of Verne Gagne and his son-in-law, Larry Zbyszko.  Zbyszko, who I saw in person in Jacksonville about four years prior, was a legendary villain in the business, while Gagne (who had retired in the early 80’s) was a legendary hero.  Very few knew that Larry “The Legend” had married one of Verne’s daughters.

No, I wasn’t about to expose the kayfabe on that in Atlanta that day.  I was too far away from them.

Train Wreck?

Even though I’ve been a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers all my life, I’m hoping beyond hope that they do NOT draft Jameis Winston Thursday night with the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

I think he’s a bad seed, and I know the Bucs are saying they vetted him, meaning they checked out his background and such.  I have little doubt he’ll be at least an effective NFL quarterback.  However, he won’t be any good to the Bucs if the trouble he’s alleged to have gotten to at FSU follows him to Tampa Bay, or if he fails to show any maturity that he is alleged to have lacked in Tallahassee.  The people who may have protected him there won’t be able to here.

Hopefully, I’m wrong about all of this, but it just has a bad smell to it.  I hope all goes well for all involved, and if the Bucs made another choice, I’d be very pleased with it.

Flashback Friday: “The Best” by Tina Turner

The first time I heard this song was in 1988, and it wasn’t Tina Turner singing it, but Bonnie Tyler on her “Notes From America” album.  That album also had a version of “Hide Your Heart” on it before KISS made it their own, and a version of “Don’t Turn Around” that Ace Of Base made famous in the mid-90’s, which Tina Turner also covered.  Confused yet?

When I heard Tina’s version of “The Best” a year later, I thought it had hit potential, doing somewhat well on the charts, having a much longer shelf life on the TV promotion circuit.

More next week, as always.

Be Grateful For Your Enemies

I wrote the tweet above on Sunday, getting little excited about how I thought a neighbor was moving out, but may actually be vacationing.  Crumb!

Anyways, here’s how I deal with the people in my life that make my life more difficult.  Thought it might be worthy of passing along, as it may help your life too.

When I was younger, I used to worry about everything.  Friends feared I’d have a heart attack at a young age being such a worrywart.  At 43 and having been overweight most of my life, it hasn’t happened yet, though I realize I’m probably whistling through that particular graveyard.

Anyway, take the prodigal neighbor I deal with.  When he starts making his racket, I smile, I don’t not get mad.  Hearing that noise for another day just reminds me that I’m getting one day closer to NOT hearing his racket, one way or another.  I don’t know how many days I have to deal with it, and finding out that kind of data might just meddle with the primal forces of nature, for which I may have some atoning to do.

You don’t have to be the force of nature to be an agent of change if you are patient long enough, unless the system you’re in is completely one-sided.  Change will come your way, one way or another.

What’s In A Name

I often get asked (with my last name of Blom) whether or not I’m Jewish.  I don’t take offense to the question, but the answer to it is no.

I’m at least three-quarters Irish.  My mother’s family is entirely Irish, and I’m at least half-Irish and half-Dane on my father’s side. My mother’s grandfather owned a Bronx bar called McGinn’s Tavern in the Woodlawn section of the borough for many years, which has since been renamed.

There’s a legend in my family about an incident that took place there one night, though I’m not sure what year it occurred.  These two young women were having drinks at the Tavern one night, but one of my grandfather’s employees was suspicious about the ladies being of legal drinking age.  When he approached the women to ask for ID, the women didn’t grab their purses and flash the necessary documentation.

They instead hiked up their tops and flashed something else: their breasts.  How the story ends, I have no clue.

The Antisocial Computer

Earlier this week, the spare computer I’m now on and the printer I had weren’t on speaking terms.  I spent most of the past three days thinking of anything or everything that could be wrong, even getting a new wireless printer that doesn’t need a USB cord to talk to the computer.

In such instances, Google is my friend.  I type in the problems, and Google finds me the answers.

I try re-installing every driver I have Monday night.  When I powered up Tuesday and tried to load the printing software and drivers, nothing happens of consequence.  The printer and computer are NOT getting along.

It was now time for desperate measures, so I did a factory reset of the computer.  That did the job.  If it didn’t, I’d really be in trouble.  The bad news was, I didn’t have to get a new printer after all, as something corrupted the registry of the spare computer.  Only a factory reset could get it right, and that’s what I did.

My old printer, which I have had since 2008, now sits in my closet, in case something goes wrong with the newfangled one.  When it comes to computers I am very much a pack rat, because you know whether or not you need that spare lying around.