TERRE HAUTE — Generally I can’t say enough good things about my grandson Joey … except for that one black mark on his record.
One of my two grandsons who are certifiable geniuses when it comes to computers (certainly not heredity working here, at least not from me), he’s a great husband and father, a valued teammate in any family game competition, has great taste in music and is kind and respectful to his elders.
Which is why it’s really hard to get mad at him from time to time when that failure of character comes up.
Prepare to recoil in horror, because Joey works on automated answering systems.
There are a few things that bug your mild-mannered reporter from a small Midwestern newspaper as he reaches curmudgeon status, but the two that are generally at the top of the list are slow drivers in the left lane and lack of humans on the phone when he needs help with something.
(Fortunately for us all, he usually doesn’t make calls for help while driving.)
And as the Amey summer vacation approaches, it should be all of Joey’s good qualities that help it become a success, assuming I get the ticket snafu straightened out.
Tribune-Star sales may plummet in late July, because frankly I can’t see a great vacation column coming out of the two weeks I’ll be away from the desk.
We’re not going anywhere glamorous (unless you count Brunswick, Carmel, Reelsville and Indianapolis), and we’ve got enough family stuff going on that it would have been hard to plan something anyway — not that family stuff is a bad thing.
Today we’re sort of in Brunswick, a wide spot in the road between Cedar Lake and Beecher, Ill. Good luck finding that on a GPS, and we’re actually a few miles down the road from Brunswick (suburban Brunswick?) for the annual Jung family reunion, softball marathon and never-ending meal.
Either Friday or Sunday we’ll be somewhere in Hamilton County for some of grandson Garrett’s last baseball games of the summer with the Carmel Pups and yes, becoming a Carmel fan at my age has been something of an adjustment. By the time Garrett’s younger brothers Owen and Andrew are teenagers, however, I expect to be outfitted in full Greyhound regalia from that massive souvenir shop just outside the gym door at CHS.
Saturday is the Reelsville trip, which is where Joey comes in. He and his wife Jessie are the hosts for Stella Grace’s first birthday party, which I fully expect to be staffed by all the major entertainment networks. She’s a beauty, she’s smart, she’s talented — and she has most of her other older relatives similarly discombobulated.
My issues with automated answering — and a website problem or two — arose recently while planning the Indianapolis trip to see the Fever play the Minnesota Lynx next week. As I write this, however, I have in my possession the actual number of an actual person, so hopefully being unable to print out tickets (what ever happened to Will-Call anyway?) won’t keep us outside the gym.
You may recall, by the way, that this is our second straight year to see the WNBA, and it’s a league that really does have some good things going on.
The Fever is the defending league champion, you know, and has the fabulous Tamika Catchings leading an otherwise injury-riddled roster. Even with my old friend Stephanie White as its assistant coach, don’t look for Indianapolis to repeat because of:
* The Lynx, the 2011 champions and 2012 runners-up, who have one of the best players in the world in Maya Moore, the greatest tattoos in the league on Siemone Augustus and a bunch of other good players coached by another old friend, Cheryl Reeve;
* The Los Angeles Sparks, with perhaps the best player in the world in Candace Parker;
* The Atlanta Dream, led so far this season by an MVP-worthy performance by Angel McCoughtry; and
* The Phoenix Mercury, who took advantage of last year’s injury-plagued season to add Brittney Griner to a roster led by Diana Taurasi, the other main possibility for best player in the world and/or MVP.
The games are fun, and they have some of them in the afternoon so we can go, have a nice lunch in Indy and still be home in time for Jeopardy. We’ll be back for more — if we can solve the phone thing.
* One more near-relative with whom I have issues — Another guy with most if not all of Joey’s great qualities (good taste in women being one) that I’m not totally happy with right now is Devin Walsh.
I wrote about him five years ago when he married one of my best unofficial nieces Arielle. He’s a brewer and budding author/playwright, and a few months ago he sent me a Linkedin invitation. Great, I thought, a way to keep up with him and Arielle.
I sense some snickering out there, and I think I know why.
Since then, there’s rarely a day when I don’t get invited to link up with somebody else — which would be fine if our computers at work were a little newer, or if the links on the emails would remain viable when I forward them to my other email accounts. Now I’m riddled with guilt, because I keep getting computer-generated emails from these folks — most of whom are really fine people that I actually know — wondering why I haven’t responded, and is it something they said, or why have I forsaken them?
Seriously folks, it’s not personal, it’s computers — and why is something electronic so pathetically whiny?
Just in case you were wondering about my Twitter profile.
Andy Amey can be reached after 4 p.m. (but not for a couple of weeks) at 812-231-4277 or 1-800-783-8742; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN, 47808; or by fax at 812-231-4321. Follow TribStarAndy on Twitter.