Sunday, November 4, 2012


Many of us are fortunate that we were not in the path of the recent hurricane just like most of us were fortunate that we were not in the Twin Towers on 9/11 or the "like" from the other cowardly attacks.

I just received this morning the woeful news of Lazaro Munoz, a friend, customer, and attendee at the Last Chess Clinic (2010). As a person who has sold "collectibles" of various kinds since 1968 (!) the thoughts of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes is never off my radar. My sympathy and prayers go out to all such victims not just because of something they have acquired and had fun acquiring all their lives, but because for a while it grieves the heart in all such losses. Sometimes, though it is hard to believe, it lets us loose from certain "material things" which have "trapped us" for years. What good is it to have a fantastic library or collection, for example, compared to losing a great friend? Fortunately that did not happen to Laz. Here's what he wrote:

"Hi Bob, our house was severely damaged by 70ft tree during the storm.  We are living out of hotels right now because my relatives are still living in homes with no power.  We came out of it with no injuries so we have [that] to [be] thankful for; our nephew who lives with us was lucky that he got stuck on Long Island due [to] the train shutdown or he would not be with us since he lives with us in the attic room that was completely demolished.  Part of the roof in the living room fell down on us, but nobody was sitting where the debris landed.  We cannot reenter the home to gather what we can until the tree is removed.

"Please hold any subscriptions for me.  Right now I don't even have a chess set.  I am on emergency leave from my ICCF games.

"As soon as we can get to a more stable location I will file a temporary change of address.  Right now I talked to the mailman and they are leaving at my "former" next door neighbor."


Bob Lynch (NJ, and attendee at the Fall Chess Classic) told me he finally got home on Thursday (he left Sunday morning) and everyone was safe and sound.

Over the past few days a lot of thoughts about what this all means has raced through my mind. CNN has writers who keep harping on "climate change" when the reality is:
1. Take care of problems NOW;
2. Worry and "fix" the "future" later.
These "writers" somehow think that anyone gives a damn about their views when many can't even "read" them if they tried.
Bad News is not really on most of these folks' minds right now, survival and "what's next?" is.
The media NEVER seems to get it. They act like they do, but like our local WQAD television station--when they have a choice between an auto accident or someone's house burning or showing something uplifting such as the arrival of a well-known entertainer, they will choose the tragedy.

On the Other Hand
When I was in North Carolina years ago I was amazed at "gawkers." These are people in cars who stop traffic while they survey the scene of a car accident, backing up traffic for miles! And the ones behind them do it too! You don't want to get caught in such a traffic jam. This is some kind of perverted visceral entertainment for people without a life (it sure isn't empathy).

Now, I will drop Laz a written line for delivery to his next door neighbor.


  1. Bob, I have to take exception to your CNN comments about climate change. Of course the immediate problems on the ground must take precedence, but the media is constantly reminding us about the root cause of these events for a very good reason! The common perception (especially with one of our political parties) is in fact "Worry now and fix the problem later." Our children and our children's children need a world to live in! Huge deposits of methane (another greenhouse gas) have been discovered in the polar ice caps. As the world becomes warmer and the ice melts, these pockets of gas will be released into the atmosphere—accelerating the warming effect. I say, "Keep at it CNN, we need to be reminded of how serious a problem this is!"

    Steve L.

  2. I hope that Laz is doing okay now. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on lots of properties. Some even lost their homes and properties. Those who are more fortunate received only minimal damage like torn off roofs. Still, it caused a major hassle to owners, like what happened to Laz. The only thing to do is to move on and start again. [Willie Norman]

  3. It's hard to imagine, but I find CNN to deliver the latest breaking news of almost everything, including the weather. Anyway, it's a good thing that everyone is fine after that incident. How are you guys doing right now? I suggest that you and your family to be safe at all times, and stay glued on all weather news forecast in case incidents like that would happen again. Make sure you have stocks of canned goods, bottled waters, and extra batteries. Also, have a regular inspection for your house structure, most especially the roof and walls of your dwelling place.

    Danielle Bailey

  4. Whoa! Hold it right there, Amigo. Steve and Danielle are both right. CNN can never deliver such news. They'll always update each and every one of us with the freshest news. I guess what you're trying to say is their accuracy in their weather forecast. If you don't mind me barging, I'd like to share to everyone here that everyone must keep in mind of what Hurricane Sandy delivered. It was a tragic experience, and it's important that our home must have a good foundation. It's important to have a good roofing structure, and make the walls more full-bodied. Also, keep a garden for those plants can serve as a barrier against the wind.
    Allyson Duguay