Anyone who knows me knows that chess has been a big part of my life. I was captain of the chess team in high school, college and played on the German – American team in the nineties. Then work and life got in the way. I still played when I could and even ran a club out of the local library.
Last week I was considering playing in the Parma Open. Friday night I played poker until 2am so planned on just going there and watching. I was surprised when I awoke at 7am so I said what the hell and went.
It had been fifteen years since I had played a rated game so I had low expectations. I sat down and was amazed at how relaxed I was at the table.
I ended up getting 3 ½ out of 4 games and winning the U2000 division. My rating jumped up over 100 points. I’m excited.
Then to top it off on Sunday I placed first in a poker tournament. Retirement is good.
I’ve been playing a lot of poker lately and decided to level up and enter some bigger tournaments. The Ohio Poker Championship is coming up in a couple weeks and decided to enter. I went to their website and found you couldn’t pay online. You had to print out the entry form, fill it out and mail it in. It was truly bizarre. I am so used to paying all of my bills online.
I printed it out, filled out a check, filled in the banks, found an envelope. I looked in my financial drawer and found a bunch of stamps and realized I hadn’t actually mailed anything in years. The stamps had no value on them so I went to the post office. They only had one clerk and about fifteen people in line. I stood in line for ten minutes and finally it moved slightly. I started talking to people and an older lady saw my stamps and said they were forever stamps. I hadn’t noticed the word forever on it. Life was good, I could just affix one to the envelope and I could be off.
The whole process seemed so antiquated and labor intensive. I left feeling like I had just visited an Amish community.
As I approached my car I noticed an older black guy standing next to my car. I knew what was coming. He said his house had burnt down and was now living in Cleveland. He came for his check and it wasn’t there and he didn’t have gas to get home. Could I help? He was either lying or stupid as his check wouldn’t come on the thirty-first but both my wife and I have been in a situation like this. I followed him to the gas station across the street and put six dollars in his tank.
I don’t give to charities as a rule. I find it annoying that they pay their big wigs hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. I’d rather help some poor schlep every once in a while.