Potpourri


I have to admit that I do like some of the benefits of the FCC’s push toward HDTV. A few months back, I looked at ways to save money. I looked at how many non-broadcast stations SWMBO and I watched and compared that to the amount of money we paid for satellite service. It wasn’t a difficult choice, especially considering how many times storms blocked reception. I fashioned an antenna for less than $20, based on instructions I found online and mounted it in the attic, out of sight. We pick up all the major stations of our metropolitan area, except ION, which doesn’t broadcast from the same vicinity as everybody else.

SWMBO was not happy at first, but she does appreciate how sporting events and shows about blowing stuff up don’t dominate the TV like they used to. Another benefit is that the TV is usually off on Saturday and Sunday mornings because of all of the infomercials on then.

Sunday I found out that I lost a fraternity brother. I hadn’t seen Gaz in over 20 years, but through the miracle of facebook, I tracked him down along with many other fraternity brothers. I talked with him on the phone a few months back. We caught up on the lost years and remembered some good times together.

I went to a school that had a lot of students from families with money. It was something to get used to with my modest background (part Californian & part redneck and fully middle class). Most of the fraternities were the typical mix of Omegas and Deltas from Animal House, but I stumbled upon the exception. The Tri-Chis were more like the Revenge of the Nerds. That was more my style. I’ve never been cool, nor have I pretended to be. These guys were down to earth. I knew I found a home while at college. Gaz had graduated the spring before I started, but he still lived in Nashville, so he would hang out with us from time to time.

Gaz had to get by for a while delivering pizzas. I remember him telling us about a time when he got robbed. I vowed never to try to get a job delivering pizzas again. Gaz was also married shortly after college, and by my junior year, he and his wife had their first child. Before the child was born they did host a party or two over at his apartment. Ah, Tri-Chi parties. Instead of the typical drinking games, one of the brothers tried to have us do silly parlor games. I don’t drink, but I would rather watch drinking games than participate in parlor games. (Did I say that the fraternity resembled the cast of Revenge of the Nerds?)

Eventually, most of the brothers I liked graduated, and we had trouble replacing them. I started doing less with the fraternity, too, until my senior year. Then it was attending fraternity functions more out of boredom than brotherhood, killing time on Friday nights before Saturday rugby matches.

Gaz didn’t live his life delivering pizzas. He eventually started working professionally for election campaigns, mostly for Republicans. He was also active in the Naval Reserve for a while. Eventually, he became an entrepreneur and a hasher.

Gaz will be missed by his children, his fraternity brothers, and all of his other friends. May he rest in peace.

A couple of months ago, I started playing with Facebook. A little background is in order here. I have moved around a lot in my life, (No outstanding warrants, hidden bodies, or debt collectors, though) so I have circles of friends from high school, college, and different jobs in completely different parts of the country. None of my high school friends know any of my college friends that I am aware of, etc.

Now that I’ve started collecting a longer friends list, Facebook is kind enough to suggest more possible friends. On two occasions, FB has listed people having two mutual friends with me. I didn’t recognize the name or face, so I looked at the profiles. The first time, the mutual friends were two people that I met about 20 years apart. One has lived almost his whole life in Florida, and the other has lived almost his whole life in North Carolina and Virginia. The other instance was with two women who have multitudes of friends on FB, so the mystery isn’t that great, except I know the two have never lived closer than about 2000 miles from one another.

It never ceases to amaze me how small the world can be.