On The Loss Of Ray Dobratz

I never met Ray Dobratz. His son, Erik, is a friend of mine and co-worker at the TV station. I know about Ray because Erik talked about him–told me stories about him.

Ray Dobratz was killed Sunday in the explosion that leveled the power plant in Middletown.

Sometimes life catches up with you in a hurry. No one said goodbye. Ray left life unfinished.

What I heard about Ray I liked. More importantly, you couldn’t listen to Erik talk about his father without immediately understanding the deep affection they had for each other.

If it’s any solace Ray knew how Erik felt abut him. Erik’s conversations with me left that point perfectly clear.

Not saying goodbye is sad. Not knowing love would be tragic.

We all mourn the loss of Ray Dobratz. Please keep his family in your heart.

Tech Support

I’m good, but not that good. What kind of crazy industry has so many of its products needing so much work, so often?

So far today I have worked on my friend Barry’s PC (in the Philly suburbs using logmein), helped Ann Nyberg with her website for the new Katharine Hepburn Theater in Old Saybrook, and scouted for parts to help preserve data from my friend Erik’s totally dead laptop.

I’m good, but not that good. What kind of crazy industry has so many of its products needing so much work, so often?

Imagine if cars or airplanes, both of which are incredibly complex, were as dependable as a PC!

Luckily, I enjoy doing this stuff. In a good world, I wouldn’t have to. At some point, computers will have to work as if they’ve been perfected!

Poker Night With The Boys

With Helaine gone, and me alone, it was the perfect night to have some friends over to play poker. They were scheduled to arrive at 7:00pm. I had six here by 6:45pm.

First, it’s nice to entertain. When I lived in Philadelphia as a bachelor, I did everything humanly possible to keep friends from my place. I’m a little more prepared now. Helaine may be away, but her influence is here.

This was an eclectic group of ten. There were Jeff, Matt and Erik from work, Tim and Steve who went to high school with Erik, Woody, Rick, Dennis and Ashley who drove in from Boston.

Ashley actually writes about poker for a few magazines. In a good and just world, he won’t write about my bad play… or bad hosting. If there are points to be made from what he experienced, he’ll make them gently.

There was beer and soda and snacks and lots of good conversation. At its essence, poker at home is really about conversation. Card playing is secondary.