Monday, March 21, 2016

Of Titans and Wimps

Well, it's 10:00PM, the evening news is on; Channel 2, NBC news out of Anchorage. I'd like to be in the living room watching it, resting in my easy chair, but instead here I am, sitting at this stupid computer cranking out a blog post. It's something that I've tried to do for the past week or so, but for reasons unknown, the Internet has been unbelievably unreliable. Thanks Hughes Net. You know, when you pay for something, you should actually receive it. Every month I get a bill from Hughes Net for Internet service, but about half the time I try to get on, there is some kind of problem. What if that happened when you went into the store? You walk through the door, looking to buy a few bananas, a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk, for some reason they're out of what you're looking for. However, you still end up having to pay before you leave, even though you don't have anything in your grocery bag. It's the same principal. Something is seriously wrong here. In any event, a few weeks ago, I came into the office to check my email, and I couldn't get any Internet service, so for some unknown reason I decided to see what other options were on my computer. I saw an application for games and came across Chess Titans. I've never played chess, but I thought it would be a good idea to learn- you know, kind of stimulate my mind a little bit. Increasingly as I age I find myself unable to pull words out of my brain. It's quite frustrating, so instead of spending countless hours in front of the TV, I thought I would give this a try. As I mentioned, I never played chess before, but that didn't stop me from trying. I can't recall the number of games I lost. I think I played something like ninety some games before I accidentally won one. For me, chess is kind of like fishing. I can sometimes go hours or even days on end before I finally catch something, but boy when I do, it's just the encouragement I need to keep going for more countless hours. I finally spoke to a friend who gave me an elementary understanding of what each of the pieces was able to do. I finally started to win a few games, although the computer is still giving me a sound beating. Frankly I think its cheating. There are times when it seems like its able to move its pieces wherever it wants, but if I try to do that, it won't let me.What's that about? Frankly, even though playing chess may be marginally good for my brain, the stress of playing and losing so often takes it's toll. I have a stress ball that I keep on the table beside my chair. I like to squeeze it after I'm done playing chess or when I'm watching TV, especially when I'm watching the news. The news is so uplifting that I've managed to break two stress balls so far. I start squeezing them and after a while the ball starts to get a mushy feel and then all of a sudden all the silica starts to spill out. I've noticed an improvement in my grip because of the stress ball workout. I recently shook hands with a friend whom I haven't seen for awhile. He commented on how good my grip was. Granted, he's ninety four years old, but he's still chopping wood, so it wasn't like I had an advantage over him. When it comes to playing chess, I may be a wimp, but come shake my hand and you'll see I'm a real titan. I'm going to close now. My eyes feel like they've been jabbed with hot pokers and I'm developing a hump in my back like Quasimodo from leaning over looking at this stupid computer. I'll try to do another blog post some time in the not too distant future, but it will all depend on whether or not the Internet provider will let me. Oh the joys of modern life. I think I'll go read a book.


  1. Good to hear you are getting the hang of chess. I don't dare try to learn it. Love you

    1. Hi Camille,
      I'm still in the elementary stages. I win a few, but most of the games I play I lose. I'm just a glutton for punishment I guess.

  2. Good for you, Tom! I always thought learning chess wold be a good thing, but I've never been strong at strategy....Squeezing a stress ball while watching the news is a good idea. I tend to watch a couple of nights in a row, then I take a hiatus, just so my head doesn't explode. Afraid my arthritic hands couldn't take squeezing a stress ball. Hope your internet woes improve soon.

  3. Hi Jill,
    The new is enough to make anyone want to move to the woods and tell the world where to go. That's obviously not the answer though-been there, done that. Sorry to hear about your hands. That's one place arthritis hasn't claimed yet- hopefully it won't. I need to squeeze the ball just so that this summer when I'm trying to gaff a fish I don't lose the grip on the gaff- not that it's ever happened!