Oh, how times have changed

Jul 25

A couple of weeks ago, a local radio personality who has a column in the local paper wrote about a topic I truly could relate to – collecting baseball cards.

Though my collecting in recent years has slowed, I still enjoy it. He touched upon collecting as a kid and how things are now changed, especially with the cost and value of cards. Back in those days, he noted, you traded away good cards to get ones you wanted. As for those players you didn’t like? You attached them to your bike tires to make the flipping noise.

So true.

I’ve covered my baseball card collecting here before, so that’s not what this is about. Instead, it got me thinking a bit more about growing up when I did and how things have drastically changed since then, and not always for the better.

Though I know kids still ride bikes, it doesn't seem to be as much as when I was a kid.

Though I know kids still ride bikes, it doesn’t seem to be as much as when I was a kid.

Some things are definitely better – such as knowing where criminals or predators are located, if they’ve been convicted before. Or kids are, usually, a little more on guard. They know what to look for and how to react in certain situations. When I was younger, you reacted to the situation. You knew what was right and what was wrong. And you knew things you should or should not do.

Now that is true, but also in a much bigger way.

When I grew up, we handled bullies the only way we knew how – we teamed up to overcome it. Maybe it was a schoolyard brawl. Maybe it was getting even. Now, it gets more drastic as it seems more and more common for kids to respond to bullying with suicide.

That baffles me.

Technology can be a wonderful tool. The issue truly is that it can be used as a weapon, too. Bullying – or cyber bullying – is more rampant. It’s easier for people to be anonymous on the Internet and say nasty things or bully others. It happens more and more. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen Facebook groups created specifically to attack a person or people. And it’s not always easy to get Facebook to take them down.

And maybe it’s things like technology that make growing up completely different.

When I was a kid, we were outside. During the summers, we were out the door in the morning, came home briefly (sometimes) for lunch, again for dinner and then when the street lights went on. We played baseball, explored woods, went swimming, rode our bikes, and played. We built forts, dams in creeks, and used fake guns (imagine that?) such as cap guns and others to play “war.”

We’d play tackle football, full-contact basketball and made dangerous jumps for our bikes. We stole cigarettes from our parents to act cool (remember the first time you inhaled? Yikes!), we made mini fires in open parking lots (see, we knew better than to try and light these things in the house), threw “snappers” at each other’s feet and climbed trees.

Our Wiffle Ball games were played with the rules that the only way you got out was if your ball was caught by a fielder in the air or if somebody threw the ball at you and you got hit before you got to the base. And don’t let anybody say anything about throwing like a girl – we had two in our neighborhood who threw as hard, if not harder, than most boys.

On days that it rained, we’d be inside bored as can be. Maybe then we’d play some video games, but back then we are talking an Atari 2600, original Nintendo or something along those lines. A friend of mine had a Colecovision.

On the nights we were allowed to stay out a bit past the street lights – like when we got a little older – we were heard throughout the neighborhood playing kick the can, ghost in the graveyard or a game like that. When’s the last time you ever heard of a kid playing kick the can? If you have, imagine me at the can noting “Tap, tap, tap on you reading my blog!”

That was in the warm months. In the winter months, our parents would make sure we were dressed warmly and out we went. Snow forts, snowball fights, or sledding down hills were usually the choices of the day. We’d come home to some hot cocoa and then curl up to read a book (imagine that!) we had gotten at the library (!) or watch some good cartoons.

There wasn't as much fear for kids being out and about back when. My father was a local cop and always seemed to have a grasp on where the local kids were playing and such, too.

There wasn’t as much fear for kids being out and about back when. My father was a local cop and always seemed to have a grasp on where the local kids were playing and such, too.

We never dreamed of cell phones, video games, computers or anything along those lines. And, believe me, I love technology. I have gadgets and love as things advance. And it’s not as though things were always easy. There were moments we were sheltered slightly, but parents looked out for each other’s kids and made sure we were safe. And wherever I went, my father always knew where I was. He was the chief of police back then and he made sure during his patrols (he worked days) — he always knew where area kids were and what they were up to.

But I also miss the days gone by because it’s scary to think how many kids will never get to enjoy a carefree existence, even if just for a few years.

Kids don’t seem to get the chance to be kids anymore, and that’s a shame. Part of it is society, that’s for sure. Another part is definitely parents being way protective of kids, and that’s fine. But some of these new parents grew up in a time when more freedom was giving to kids.

Will we ever get those days again? Probably not. In the end, it makes me happy I grew up in the era that I did.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Oil and gravel … is it worth it?

Jul 24

Let me start by saying I realize there has to be a cost factor in what I am going to write about – and I get that. I truly do.

But there also has to be a true though process in doing what is done.

I work in two places, for the most part. They are basically in opposite directions of one another. So two times a week, I head in one direction. The other three days, I go to the other. There’s a site or two other I sometimes have to add in, but those are the main two.

Nobody goes 25mph, which of course means all this loose stone goes pinging off my car.

Nobody goes 25mph, which of course means all this loose stone goes pinging off my car.

Heading to one of the sites one day, I got caught on one of the roads with an oil/stone process going on. I never realized how fast that happens, though. Basically, they asked me to pull into a driveway as they passed. First, the oil truck passes, dousing the road with hot oil. Then a spreader comes, distributing the stone. Just like that, it’s done. And it’s fast.

As noted, I realize there has to be reasons for this and I’m sure cost is one of the top ones. Think about how fast this surface can be laid down, compared to, say, traditional asphalt. And on back roads, I can see the benefit of this.

Something happened on the way to my other job site …

A stretch of road – a county road that is heavily traveled – of about 15 or so miles was also done this way. So a road that is generally 55 mph is now suggested at 25 and, reality is, until the stone truly becomes part of the road, 40-45 mph is about your safe bet. On top of that, stones ding the undercarriage of your car, speeding cars coming the other way flip up stones that ping your car and window and people drive dangerously slow, at times jamming on their brakes.

How can this be looked at as a positive?

Pretty sure it's not fresh oil anymore.

Pretty sure it’s not fresh oil anymore.

I got my car in December and I am not enjoying the feeling that, some seven months later, I am facing a barrage of flying BBs coming at me as I drive.

It’s just not fun.

While there are other ways to head to this job site, they add time, traffic and the possibility of roads that, at times, can be worse. Go figure.

The reality is roads need to be fixed. They need to be effective with cost and time the best they can, but there also needs to be a middle ground here. People pay a lot of money for cars and to have stones flying all over and dinging vehicles, it isn’t good.

And, at times, I imagine it’s quite dangerous.

Anybody else have these issues in their area? What are your thoughts?

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Summer of Baseball: The game is the main event in New Britain

Jul 23

If you’ve ever read books about baseball players and their growth through a system, you probably realize what the minor leagues are all about.

It’s not glamorous, that’s for sure.

Often enough, stadiums aren’t that great, travel is tough and the living conditions differ from place to place.

New Britain is a pretty solid place to watch a game.

New Britain is a pretty solid place to watch a game.

In recent years, it’s becoming more of a money-driven setup. Top-of-the-line stadiums are being built. Former major leagues coach and manage young prospects in their ascent to the big leagues. Travel conditions have improved and, in some spots, the living setup has changed.

But with big-money comes bigger places looking to take these minor league teams to a new spot. I watched it happen when the new owners of the then Oneonta Tigers packed up and moved to Connecticut a year after buying (despite agreeing to keep the team in Oneonta through its lease). Other small towns have watched it happen (to be fair, Norwich watched it happen, too, before snaking the Tigers).

Of course, when that happens, it also means these smaller areas lose a part of their community and identity.

New Britain, Connecticut appears to be next on that list.

The city is trying to keep the team from moving to nearby Hartford.

The city is trying to keep the team from moving to nearby Hartford.

It was announced in June that the New Britain Rock Cats would be moving to nearby Hartford in two years, once a $60 million stadium is built. I didn’t know that until actually heading to New Britain for a game and to take in New Britain Stadium, built in 1996, which makes it far from a relic.

The Rock Cats are the Double-A affiliate for the Minnesota Twins. New Britain has hosted a Double-A team since 1983, but a move to Hartford could signal the end of minor league baseball in New Britain. Often, when a team leaves an area, another will move it. That might mean a lower level (such as a Single-A team), but with Hartford being so close to New Britain, territorial rights will likely come into play. That being said, it appears there are some issues with the whole Hartford thing, so we’ll see how it all plays out and if the owner has to eat crow and stick it out in New Britain.

I didn’t know about all this until the day of a visit to New Britain Stadium. Waiting in line to get in (it was Ted Williams bobblehead night, so worth getting there early), a few fans chatted with us about the impending doom of their team and how it seemed like attendance had started to go down since the announcement, which is fully understandable. Signs were handed out as we parked, asking people to support and save the Rock Cats.

Free programs are always appreciated!

Free programs are always appreciated!

And from reading reports, it doesn’t sound like Hartford – at least those who pay – are too thrilled with paying for a new baseball stadium when other things (such as a good supermarket) are needed.

New Britain Stadium doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles. It’s a baseball stadium. The seats are decent (though the ones we had were permanent bucket seats, almost like enlarged child seats) and the sight lines were pretty strong. But, much like stadiums built in the past 20 or so years, there’s not a lot of cover, which is good and bad. It’s bad because there isn’t a good way to get out of the sun, but good because there aren’t any beams and such blocking views.

There is a walkway between the box seats and upper seats that goes from the third-base line to the first-base line, giving you open looks at the park. The concourse is covered and behind the baselines — and below the main seating area. The club store is a tad small and the prices are average. I did walk out with a past-season sweatshirt for a good price, which was nice. They have the normal offerings, however.

Rocky was easy to find.

Rocky was easy to find.

One bonus — and I’ve seen this at more stadiums than not this year — free programs. That’s truly a bonus. The programs were given as we came in the stadium and you could get statistics and a lineup at the customer service booth, which was directly in front of the main entrance.

Food offerings were normal ballpark fare. The hot dogs weren’t bad, but there were no cups for drinks, rather just a bottle. That’s a little on the odd size as it’s nice to have a cup with ice to keep your drink cold. It’s also another stadium without a souvenir cup, which was disappointing. I’ve been trying to collect them at most stops this year, at least when they are available.

In the end, I enjoyed the park. It’s in an easy-to-reach area, the parking is right at the park (if I remember right, I think it was $3 or $5) and it’s easy to get in and out. The old ballpark is next door, though we didn’t check it out. It’s a shame if the Rock Cats do leave. as it’s a nice setting for a minor league baseball game.

Park Notes:

New Britain Stadium
New Britain, Connecticut
Home of the New Britain Rock Cats (AA affiliate of the Minnesota Twins)
Visited on:  June 14, 2014
Opponent: Trenton Thunder (AA affiliate of the New York Yankees)

Ratings (out of 10):

  • Stadium: 7.5
  • Concessions: 7
  • Parking: 8
  • Ambiance: 8
  • Friendliness: 10

I am embarking on a summer of baseball with the plan to hit a minimum of 10 stadiums this summer. Hopefully, there will be more than that. I will report on each park that I hit on the blog.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Living with diabetes: Taking the next step to keep improving

Jul 21

There’s one thing I have finally realized with this whole diabetes thing – it’s a lifelong battle.

See, when I was first told I was a borderline diabetic, I didn’t take it seriously, which is probably why it continued to escalate. That’s not to say I wouldn’t be where I am even if I had done something, but at the same time, who knows?

But I kind of laughed it off. It wasn’t full-blown, I told myself. And, despite going to a workshop of sorts and meeting a few people who didn’t take care of it and what it could do (one guy also taking the class, to learn how and eat better, had said he once went as high as like 600 on his blood reading and was blind – yes blind – for a few days), I still thought I had it under control.

Despite a spike a few weeks back, things keep improving, as seen here.

Despite a spike a few weeks back, things keep improving, as seen here.

I was younger and dumber then. In fact, I don’t even know when that was, but it was after college, so I was probably right about 30 or so, give or take.

Checking blood was done sometimes, but I often shook it off. Or I said I had, and I hadn’t. I was completely stupid about it and I’m probably quite lucky nothing major happened.

Let’s fast-forward a few years to current day. I’d love to be able to go back and time and swat myself in the face and say to take it seriously. I’m really lucky that I don’t have any serious complications right now with how I let things go. I’ve written about how things have gone and how I’m getting back on track.

From medication to watching my diet to seeing what other things do to me and to adding in more exercise, I’m starting to push forward.

However, it’s time to take the next step.

The one thing I keep learning is you don't have to knock stuff like this out of your life -- you need moderation and understanding of what it does.

The one thing I keep learning is you don’t have to knock stuff like this out of your life — you need moderation and understanding of what it does.

See, diet and such can work for a while. But you need to be active. There’s no secret that I’m not in the best shape in the world. So I need to move to the next level and start doing more to make sure I keep improving.

What’s that mean?

First, in regard to diet, I need to now start watching calories and things like that. As I’ve gotten things under control, I have watched what I eat and what it does. And though I’ve slowly cut some calories away, I probably haven’t been doing as much. But, I’ve also noticed I don’t feel the need to snack as much.

That’s a start – making sure I am eating right and also making sure my portions continue to shrink as I’ve slowly been doing. That will help as I keep looking to shed some pounds.

One thing I also have to realize is though the weight isn’t always coming off, sometimes the fat portion of the body is. I’ve definitely lost some inches (my pants don’t fit as well anymore) during this span, but the weight comes off slower.

Then, there’s the exercise factor.

For starters, softball season is ending soon. That takes away twice a week where I get out and am moving more than other days. So I need to replace that with something, as well as add more items.

Going to the gym, as of now, isn’t an option for me. I buy a membership, go for a little whole and then piss away the money because I never use it. So I have to find ways to do things without the gym. (Honestly, the winter is what scares me, because if it’s cold, I don’t want to really venture outside to exercise).

Therefore, I’ve come up with these goals, which I am slowly starting to implement:

  • Walk more (which is going to mean starting to add in strolls at times I usually might not, such as at night etc.)
  • Start riding my bike again (I can go out for an hour-long ride, cover several miles and burn a lot of calories)
  • Getting back into disc golf (a truly great sport where you are moving a lot of the time and always walking)
  • Geocaching more in areas where I can go on small hikes
  • Trying to get out and find places to take photos, where, again, walking is better.

The activities part of this is just making it so I get out and go. Things like disc golf aren’t easy because there isn’t a course too close. This will likely be my replacement for softball when the season ends. I’d like to get to a weekly league a friend runs. That’s about an hour or so from where I work on Tuesdays, so it’s possible to pull off if I plan right.

My FitBit has helped me push a little extra for exercise. And badges don't hurt, either!

My FitBit has helped me push a little extra for exercise. And badges don’t hurt, either!

With the walking aspect, I have a hard time just going for a walk – so I need to make sure I have things to do when walking. Maybe it’s taking some photos. Maybe it’s running errands.

For example, I am going to be getting some of my personalized postcards made again and get back into Postcrossing. It’s truly a fun hobby. How does that help? If I send a postcard out each day or two and force myself to walk to the Post Office to mail the card, it gives me a reason to get out and walk.

I’m also trying to find some spots around my areas with some trails where I can go and place some geocaches. The idea, of course, would be so I can get out, hike and hide and then maintain the caches. There are some trails and public lands around, so I just need to find the best spots for them. I have plenty of containers, too, so I am ready to go.

In the end, it’s fully up to me to make sure this continues going in the right direction. Hopefully these ideas will help me do just that.

Recent look:

Since my last report, I’ve been pretty steady on my readings. I had two or three spikes, which, of course, dropped my 100 percent in-range readings down (I was at 96 percent during that time). But, that changed in the last day or so as I’m now back in the 100 percent range. Those spikes, too, weren’t too crazy, but enough to pretty much piss me off as I’ve worked hard. But, I realize there will be setbacks.

Numbers can jump, but in recent weeks, things have continued to improve.

Numbers can jump, but in recent weeks, things have continued to improve.

I’ve had a couple of lows, once being a 76 at one point over the weekend. I think the key to maintaining is making sure I have that eating six times a day thing under control and making sure I actually do it. It’s hard during the weekends, sometimes, as I attempt to sleep in a bit more and that sometimes messes up my schedule. I need to learn to adjust it some so I don’t go extended times without something.

Here’s one thing I’ve noticed, too: my fasting levels were kind of higher. I finally figured it out. I know the amount of carb servings I’m allowed and thought I was in that. However, one of the proteins I was adding also had nearly a full carb serving, so I was basically having an additional serving each time. Now that I’ve adjusted that, the numbers (for the most part) are coming down even more. Score one for me!

In the end, I can’t complain. Compared to where I was a few months ago, this has been nothing short of amazing in my eyes. I meet with the diabetes educator again at the end of August, so hopefully I’ll have a better snapshot and ideas of other things I can do to make sure I keep moving in the right direction.

This is part of an ongoing series of posts about me living with diabetes and what I am doing to try and improve my situation. I’ll try to post these updates once or twice per month. You can read past posts about this by clicking here.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Snapshot Saturday: July 19

Jul 19

Another blast from the past!

A little from both sides of the family in this one.

Around the table. Maybe a holiday?

Around the table. Maybe a holiday?


Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Back behind the lens: Time to start snapping away again

Jul 17

It’s time to start getting back into photography with more than a phone.

It’s time to get back into photography.

And, no, I’m not talking about taking more photos with my iPhone. I mean get back into it for real — with my DSLR camera and multiple lenses and trips with the idea of taking photos.

For most of my life, I’ve been into photography. I started with a newspaper when I was in middle school and I’ve always enjoyed taking photos. I went in the direction of journalism as it allowed me to mix and match writing and photography.

But in the past year or so, I’ve let it go. Take, for example, the photo blogging challenge I run. For the bulk of the past several months, I have used photos taken with my phone. Though I am totally addicted to things like Instagram, I totally have ignored my camera, outside of if I needed it for something like work etc.

Finding different things to shoot makes it easier to keep with it.

Part of the problem is ease of use, without a doubt. The phone is always with me. It’s easy to grab it and snap a shot. Carrying a regular camera can be cumbersome at times and get to the point where it’s annoying to have. But… if I am using it more often, maybe it won’t be as cumbersome.

I have a pretty good messenger-style back for my camera, but at times, I just don’t want to carry it around. I have ideas to see if I can do other things with it, so we’ll see.

One good thing is recently getting a new lens (a 28-75 2.8, so a nice walk around lens) and having something different to use. This will allow me to do more without having to change lenses so often, or so I hope.

Still, I need to come up with some sort of a plan – for carrying the camera around, for where to go and for what to do. I’ve recently been thinking about this while my camera was at Canon getting repaired.

My plan:

  • To find a new, comfortable backpack bag where I can carry my equipment as well as other needed things (health etc.) for day trips. I’ve found one that has two side pouches for water bottles, which is outstanding.
  • Plan in two or three days per month where my goal is to go out and take some photos.
  • Rent a different lens or two (such as a Lensbaby) to try and get into different things.
  • Use some different things (lenses, attachments etc.) I’ve gotten over the year to see if that helps.
  • Get back into Flickr, post photos, interact and, hopefully, get inspired.

I know a lot of people put transfer their photos and put them on Instagram. I’ve done that once or twice in the past, but I think I’d rather keep my images there as ones taken with the phone. That might change from time to time, but for now it’s good as is.

Sometimes, one needs a personal challenge to think outside the box for cool photos.

Unfortunately, I don’t live in an area where photographers are rampant. Therefore, it’s rare to find people interested in, say, a photo walk. Depending on the weekend of Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk, I may actually try and run one in my area to see if there are some locals who enjoy shooting. I have loved attending other walks, but I always travel for them … so we shall see how that works out.

It also helps if I am going places where photography will be something I can concentrate on. Let’s be honest, I’m pretty worn out with my area for photos. I’ve taken things over and over. And though I can always find something new when out and about, it’s tough to plan a photo day, per say. So I have a few places I want to try and go this summer/fall, as time and cash flow allow.

Possible weekend/long weekend trips include:

  • Maine (specifically Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park)
  • Montreal
  • The beach (as I try and do each year)
  • New York City (which I try and do at least once a year)

If I can pull these places off, maybe I can get back into it.

One thing I am hoping to really get me going is to start thinking deeper about the one challenge I am in, and maybe even look at one of the older challenges I was involved in. But I did notice that challenges are hard for me because I sometimes rush them and don’t think about them until the last minute. I need to actually think more about each of these and see what happens.

Long exposure/night shots are something that could help me get back into it, too.

Finally, I think I’d like to try and learn some techniques or ideas. These may come from books or photo blogs or whatever else. But I need to start thinking outside the box some to make sure I am not doing the same things over and over. One example of this is to learn lighting a bit more and maybe learn about off-camera flash and things like that. This will likely require the purchase of a new flash, but I’ve wanted to do that for a long time, anyway.

So it’s time to start snapping away. I always love seeing what I can do with a camera and beyond and I’ve taken too much time away from it. I’m not saying I’ll shy away from the iPhone camera – far from it as I like apps such as Instragram etc., rather I’m saying I want to add something back into my life in hopes I can have the same enjoyment with it.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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2CW’s rise: A winding road to fulfill dreams

Jul 15

(I originally wrote this for the 2014 Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame program. I am posting it here for other fans, who may have not have seen the program, to see).

The world of independent professional wrestling isn’t easy.

For the wrestlers, it’s a tough lifestyle – going from town to town, performing in from of crowds of all sizes and having to try and get by on small checks.

As for the owners of these promotions, it can be much harder. The lifespan of most organizations isn’t always too long. Owners have to juggle the finances, worry about talent showing up, promote and market and then make sure a quality product is delivered to the fans – no matter how big the crowd is.

In some instances, this is too much to handle and promotions either fade away or struggle to stay afloat, having fewer shows and hoping things work out in the end.

For others – like the Syracuse-based Squared Circle Wrestling – the key is developing a cult-like following, delivering a solid product and being known as one of the best independent promotions in the country.

Even then, it’s not easy and it has to be about the love of professional wrestling — not the money.

2CW is born

In November 2005, Josh Jeanneret and some friends were watching the WWE Survivor Series. His impression of that show wasn’t a high one and, already being involved in the independent wrestling scene, Jeanneret thought he could do better.

“I remember after, me and some other people were kind of like ‘this sucks,’” Jeanneret said. “It was as simple as this sucks, our (stuff) could be so much better.”

This happened at the first 2CW card I attended. Needless to say, I was hooked.

And like that, the idea to hatch an independent promotion based in upstate New York was born. He got the ball rolling and did all the necessary work.

Driven by passion for the business, Jeanneret worked to that first card, which eventually would take place in April 2006 in Syracuse.

“We were just like we’ll be better and way more awesome,” Jeanneret said. “There was no grand plan of we’re going to be the next this or that or anything. It was only ever about having the best possible show. I wanted to melt people’s faces off so when people leave, they think it’s amazing and have to go next time. It’s about nothing more than the magic.”

The idea was hatched, but it was time to market, brand and get an identity, which starts with a name.

Already decided for the federation was a Johnny Law character, a spoof on cops. So one night, Jeanneret was speaking with “Johnny Law.”

The first idea was JPW — Just Pro Wrestling. Jeanneret dismissed it for being too tongue-in-cheek.

Next up was Ring of Glory, an obvious play off Ring of Honor. That was also dismissed.

“I was like ‘we might as well call it Squared Circle Wrestling because that would be just as horrible as Ring of Glory,’” Jeanneret said. “He was like ‘yeah, that’s a good idea. We could put a 2 in front so they could chant 2CW.’”

Jeanneret even argued the validity of using it … as mathematically, it would be impossible.

And with that, 2CW was born.

“Weird stuff will happen like that. When it happens, it seems lame,” Jeanneret said. “Looking back, it’s kind of cool. There was no marketing meeting or big items. It was just there.”

The first card — the original Living on the Edge — took place April 8, 2006. It featured eight matches. The names on there might resonate with newer 2CW fans as many of them still remain with the company, such as Isys Ephex, Loca Vida, Jason Axe and Steve McKenzie. JD Love was also on the card — Jeanneret’s wrestling identity.

It also included Spike Dudley, who was still active in the mainstream world of pro wrestling at the time. Dudley proved to be a massive supporter of 2CW and became a close friend of Jeanneret as he looked to build 2CW.

The Growth of 2CW

The key, Jeanneret said, was developing feuds. The early cards often featured the same opponents, though the in-ring work differed from match to match. The feuds were in-depth and helped create storylines.

“At first, our feuds went a year,” he said. “We tried to establish ourselves. We were getting heat at first. Every show is the same matches. Not in the ring, but booking the same matches. That’s what happens when there’s a feud.”

Within five shows, the name really started kicking in. Jeanneret said at the September 2006 show in Syracuse, he remembers the first chant. It’s one any 2CW fan will recognize when the crowd breaks out in a “2-C-Dub” chant.

I was lucky enough to see two 2CW cards at the Pastime Athletic Club, including one that featured Sami Callihan vs. John Morrison.

“I remember people chanting 2CW,” Jeanneret said. “I never had any expectations. Me and Isys (Ephex) talked about it and were like ‘that is awesome.’ Now there are people with 2CW tattoos. The fans are passionate and show they care.”

Taking it to the next level was going to take more than developing a chant, however. Local wrestlers needed to be built up and established. In the end, the fans are ones who decide if it’s cool or not by coming back to future cards.

In total, 2CW held seven cards its first year. Spike Dudley was on five of those shows.

“For people who have done stuff in the business, I don’t respect anybody more than Spike Dudley,” Jeanneret said. “He  always was willing to do what was best for us and the company. He was willing, more than anybody else, to do whatever needed to be done to get the local guy over. I don’t think there was any feud better than Spike and Jason Axe. They just killed each other.”

One thing, though, has been very obvious since the beginning and during the growth — it’s not about the money for Jeanneret. His passion for professional wrestling goes beyond the checks.

In fact, the first year, Jeanneret lost $20,000.

The second year was down to $17,000, followed by $13,000. It fluctuates during the years, but it always seems to be the same.

“It’s always a losing proposition,” he said. “If I was married and had kids, I wouldn’t be able to do it. The situation I am in affords me the opportunity to live my dreams and allow other people to live their dreams.

“Financially, it’s not worth it,” he continued. “It’s never about the money. It gets tougher the longer you go. Even when you do make money, you want to improve. Like ‘hey, we made money. Let’s buy a new ring.’ Or, ‘oh, we can buy tag team titles.’”

Improvements included giving away two internet free-for-views, which each received rave reviews. From those broadcasts, 2CW got exposure.

Jack Trades is a big part of the promotion in many aspects.

The other aspect is bringing in big names to headline cards. Some stars cost more than others, which means Jeanneret had to weigh all options, including the market they are in and who can draw.

Another aspect of the growth is surrounding yourself with a core group who will battle with you. For Jeanneret that includes Kevin Parker (Jack Trades), Steve King, Steve McKenzie and Ted Stillwell.

“There are horrible times, like after every show when it’s 4 a.m. and you are unloading the ring into an empty warehouse in the middle of nowhere,” he said. “It’s dark, there are no cheers, no fans, no nothing. There’s the five or six people who are really passionate about it who are with you and doing the work.

“People like Jack Trades and Steve King who are with me in every fight,” he continued. “The people who are in the cellar with you from 3 a.m. one day to 3 a.m. the next. … It’s lonely. It’s easy when there are 500 people cheering for Rob VanDam and Sami Callihan at the venue. When it’s you, Jack Trades, Steve King, Studly Steve and Ted Stillwell who are unloading the ring into an empty warehouse at 4 in the morning, it’s tough.”

Becoming the best

For the past few years, 2CW has cleaned up in Internet awards. They have earned the independent promotion of the year, had the matches of the year and so much more. The cult-like following the organization has developed is impressive. Some of the fans are as important as the show as they add to the ambiance and excitement of each card.

But with that, there’s bad with the good, such as getting calls in the morning from the police or hotel where your wrestlers were staying. There are crazy things that happen in the ring where Jeanneret has to react quickly.

Still, it’s what makes him such a tireless worker and why it seems wrestlers come back and go to bat for him without hesitation.

“Who am I to complain when I am lucky enough to be in the situation to really live my dreams,” he said. “How many people really get to live their dreams? Even when there is bad stuff, it’s still really is awesome.”

2CW creates a great atmosphere for professional wrestling, giving an old-school feel with new-school action and, usually, loud and excited crowds.

Jeanneret has come under heat for some of the angles 2CW has run, but in the end, he points out it’s a show. Such as the night in December 2010 when Jason Axe hanged Jay Freddie in the middle of the ring.

“Pro wrestling is live theater,” Jeanneret said. “People pay to see it. People want a product they can be wowed by. But fans also have this line where they can’t believe we crossed it. Like Jason Axe hanging Jay Freddie. We got so much heat for that.

“There’s no over-the-line in a movie or a play in New York City,” he continued. “They can have Nazis marching around and having people getting killed. That’s pretend, it’s OK. They are just portraying something in the past. Then, all of a sudden, you cross this weird imaginary line that wrestling fans have and you can’t do that. It’s live theater. Who cares? Why get so mad about it?”

Jeanneret is the first to point out he never has a plan, outside of working to make his product awesome. Nothing is official until it happens.

“I never thought people would get 2CW tattoos or chant 2CW or have successful iPPVs,” he said. “There was never a plan.”

Part of the beauty of 2CW is the ability to make moments people will talk about and do them on the fly.

Take, for example, a night of diving wrestlers, which happened in Binghamton in February 2012.

Eddie Edwards came to Jeanneret about 15 minutes before a match and had the idea of basically emptying the locker room to have people dive out of the ring. Jeanneret, at first, said no. Then told Edwards if he could arrange it, to go with it. Edwards made a list, which eventually included former WWE star Carlito.

“We didn’t think Carlito would want to do it because of his position,” Jeanneret said. “Eddie didn’t put him on the list. Carlito then came down and said something to Trades. He was watching on stage. Here’s a dude who wrestled at Wrestlemania and is watching and even he was caught up in the moment. He was like ‘I want in on this.’”

Even Jeanneret got in on it, doing a dive.

“A lot of moments create themselves,” he said. “When you are doing a title change and stuff, that’s planned. But there are times there’s no planned finish. We’ll feel how the crowd is. The guys will know when they go to the match, but 10 minutes before the match, we might be gauging how we feel what the audience wants to see.”

Sometimes it takes some quick thinking on Jeanneret’s part. Take for an example, also in Binghamton, between the Super Smash Brothers taking on former WWE starts Brian Kendrick and Paul London. The match was filled with beer drinking and seemingly was getting out of hand.

So at the end, Jeanneret said he knew he had to do something.

“That wasn’t planned. That was a Josh audible,” he said. “How do we get out of this segment? London and Kendrick were so drunk, we had to do something to end it. The crowd thought it was great.

“I was like ‘give me the microphone and get everybody out there and give hugs,’” he continued. “It was an audible that really happened in five seconds and then go.”

The now and future

Jeanneret wouldn’t commit to any time line for the lifespan of 2CW. He said they keep making moments, such as having successful iPPVs, reaching show 100, taking 2CW out of New York and getting some top names, such as Rob VanDam and Tajiri.


“Our goals are exceeded at this point,” he said. “We had to get to 100. If you walk away at 99, you know in five years you’ll say ‘we should have just done 100.’ It’s personal satisfaction.”

Tajiri is a long-time coming, too. It’s taken Jeanneret three years to convince Tajiri to come back to the states and wrestle for 2CW. He said that is a personal win.

No matter, what, though Jeanneret sticks to his true beginning — put out a top-notch product and make the fans keep coming back for more. And he doesn’t do it in a sneaky way — he makes sure the fans and wrestlers go home happy.

“Unlike everything else in wrestling that’s usually lies and smoke and mirrors and stealing money, you’ll find no wrestlers or any fans or any people who will ever say that they felt like 2CW hosed them,” Jeanneret said. “That they didn’t get paid or were overwhelmed. You’ll never find that. Because at the end of the day, there is nothing more important than your word. Actions speak louder than words.”

(Final note: I am working on a much bigger and more expansive story about 2CW. I already have a lot more info from the owner that wasn’t included in this. The project will likely take some time, but will be a fun one to work on and, in the end, should be quite the read!)

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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