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President's Message, April, 2018

posted Mar 20, 2018, 9:43 AM by Gary Urbatis

Mike’s Message for April

I wish you all a happy and blessed Easter. Some of you have heard this historical story of mine before, but I think it deserves a rerun for those CACers who are clueless (I mean about our history). Many of you have heard that CAC history dates back to the 1960’s. While that may be true locally, in fact, archeologists have recently uncovered evidence of CAC back in the Aztec civilization, where it was called AAC, or “Aztec Alumni Club.” (Aren‘t we lucky that I am able to read and translate ancient Aztec writings? And you all thought speaking groundhog was impressive…) Yes, the Aztecs also had single people like us, who were seeking fun things to do with like-minded singles their own ages.
But back then, it was much more difficult. Attempts to organize such classic events as movie night, bowling, and dinners were unsuccessful. You see, the Aztecs were rather shy and afraid to try new things. And since movies, bowling and restaurants had not yet been invented, very few of these shy Aztecs were courageous enough to show up at such events. Furthermore, being single was apparently a dangerous status back then, at least for women, because single women were always being sacrificed to appease some temperamental Aztec deity. For this reason, few Aztec women showed up at AAC events for fear they might be selected to “dance” with the sun god.

Thankfully, all these problems had been solved in the modern era. Today, you can show up at movie night, bowling, and dinners and actually expect to enjoy a real movie, bowling, and dinner. And since it is no longer legal to sacrifice women to sun gods (at least, I think so), there is no longer any stigma associated with being single. In short, the CAC of Pittsburgh has solved almost all the various problems that prevented the Aztec Alumni Club from being successful. I say “almost” because there is still one problem that CAC has in common with its Aztec counterpart. We still have shy people who are afraid to try new things. Sadly, they are missing the chance to make a lot of good friends and enjoy some interesting conversation and pleasant, good times. To these people, I reiterate my personal theme for this year: Welcome! Please come on out and join the fun. And for our regular active members, I encourage all of you to go out of your way to try something new, some event that is a bit different from the usual ones you prefer to attend. You may be very pleasantly surprised.  So come on out and join in the fun. (Aztec deities need not apply.)

Sincerely,
Mike Kernan
Emperor Czar Potentate Supreme

President's Message, March, 2018

posted Mar 20, 2018, 9:40 AM by Gary Urbatis

Mike’s Message for March

Wow! I am into my third month as your President, and no one has bumped me off yet. (I would credit that to my bodyguard, Mugsy, except that he took a swing at me himself.) Anyway, we have been moving along rather smoothly, but I would like to increase membership participation in our event planning. Rather than sitting around and waiting for a good event to show up in the newsletter, all members (as well as Associates and Subscribers) have the ability to suggest an event. It’s so easy. We have a simple and easy form on our website at http://www.cacpittsburgh.org/events/suggest-event. The event will be reviewed by our social committee, and you will be contacted if questions arise. So if there is something you would like to do, go ahead and suggest an event. If you prefer instead, you can call me or another board member and talk about it.

I would like to give you some examples, but my own ideas did not always work out. In fact, many events that I had suggested over the years were subsequently designated taboo by the Board. I will list a few here so you can avoid suggesting events like these: Frog Races in Carnegie Library, William Tell Apple Archery, Gorilla Petting at the Zoo; Jenga with Eggs; Pin the Tail on the CAC Board Member; Dumpster Snorkeling; Hands Across Antarctica; Armpit Orchestra Karaoke; Trivial Pursuit-Intestinal Edition; Slinky Bungee Jumping; Ants-in-the-Pants Dance Marathon; Anatomical Pictionary (don’t ask); Relay Alligator Wrestling; Wheelchair Races at the nursing home, and Underwater Hockey. (There may be a few more.)

So don’t be discouraged if your event does not work out. I was told that my events were “uniquely qualified to be designated taboo” (whatever that means). I am confident that you can do better. We welcome your suggestions with enthusiasm. (It’s only mine they don’t want.)

Mike Kernan
Emperor Czar Potentate Supreme (No need to bow. Just throw money.)

President's Message, February, 2018

posted Feb 2, 2018, 9:32 AM by Gary Urbatis   [ updated Feb 2, 2018, 9:48 AM ]

Mike’s Message

My second month as president is fraught with a problem. How can I reach out to members who never come to any events?  As luck would have it, a fortune cookie had the answer: “Seek professional help.” So I traveled to Punxsutawney to consult with the wise and renowned Punxsutawney Phil.  (I hope our Treasurer will allow me to expense this.)  Since it is near Groundhog Day, the wise (and fat) seer was accepting visitors, and was seated in a Santa-like throne at the top of the stairs at GC Murphy’s. I waited in line for over an hour before I got my turn to see him. I asked him, “Oh wise and famous whistle pig, why do so many CACers stay at home month after month, and fail to enjoy our friendship and fun events?”  He snorted and pointed to his tip jar.  So I tossed in a buck. He laughed. I ended up coughing up $20 before he spoke. (I really hope the Treasurer will let me expense this.)  The rotund rodent raised his paws and said, “CACers who never come out are afraid. They are afraid that people will see them as misfits, or that people will detect their flaws and their funny mannerisms and they will be embarrassed. Whenever they plan to come to an event, at the last minute they start to worry, and they find some reason to duck back in their little hole and hide from the world.” 

“Wow,” I said.  “How do you know all this?” He replied, “Personal experience.”  After a pause, I said, “But that’s so silly.  Nobody actually fits into a neat category, so everybody is a misfit of sorts. And we all have flaws and funny mannerisms. But that is what we love about each other.  Those things are not embarrassing. They are endearing. We love the oddities about our friends. It reminds us that they are just as warm and human as we are. How can we make them see this?”  He gave me a wise and understanding look, and pointed again to his tip jar.  Another 20 bucks later he replied, “You have to tell them that there is nothing to fear. You must make them understand that CAC is the warmest, friendliest social club out there. Only then will they venture out to events and see for themselves.”

So there you have it.  Words of wisdom from another soul who hides in a hole hoping for sunny days. CAC has put together a lot of sunny day events. All you need to do is come out and meet us.  Try it once. You won’t regret it.

Mike Kernan

(Emperor Czar Potentate Supreme)

P.S. I’ll bet you are all impressed that I can speak ground hog. It is one of my many talents.

P.P.S. Bob, tell me I can expense this.

President's Message, January, 2018

posted Dec 27, 2017, 9:18 AM by Gary Urbatis

Dear Friends:

In case you haven’t heard, I have been elected President of CAC---again. You’re probably asking the same question I am: “How could this travesty happen?" Well, here’s the story: Near the river I found an old oil lamp.  When I picked it up, it smoked, and suddenly there was this tan guy wearing traditional Arabic clothing and claiming to be a genie. Of course, I didn’t believe it. (He didn’t even have light-brown hair.) But I figured, oh heck, just go with it. So I said, “This is the part where I get 3 wishes, right?” And he said, “No, we stopped that at the turn of the millennium. But you can have a herd of camels.” I said, “What?! All I get is some lame camels? I should stuff you right back in that lamp!”

So he said, “Alright, I’ll give you one wish. But don’t go overboard. I’m only a 3rd class genie.” 

Well, I didn’t want to blow this. These guys can be tricky. After careful thought, I told him, “I always had a secret hankering to conquer the world. But now that I have this wish, I can skip the conquering and go straight to the ruling part.”

“Well,” he said. “That’s a tall order. Such a ruling position does not even exist. Would you settle for something like President?” “Wow,” I said. “That sounds pretty good. Imagine me, President.” So I took the deal. Still, I wanted to get some clarifications. But before I could say anything else, he uttered some kind of alakazam mumbo-jumbo. With a flash and a poof, I found myself at a CAC General Membership Meeting, where I was being congratulated for, (you guessed it) for being the only nominee for CAC President. (So don’t anybody complain to me. I am the victim here.) But there are two things you can all do to help me. First, rather than calling me President, I would very much prefer the title of “Emperor Czar Potentate Supreme.” It is not much to ask. And with a little practice it just rolls off the tongue.

Secondly, this is a great social club and offers a tremendous opportunity for fun and camaraderie. Look over your newsletter and check out the activities and upcoming events. There is something for everyone. Make a point to try something different, just for kicks.  You will be glad you did. And for those who are so shy that you have not yet come to an event, please do come soon. We don’t bite. I would be delighted to see some new faces sharing our many good times with us.

Mike Kernan
Your Emperor Czar Potentate Supreme

President's Letter, December, 2017

posted Dec 27, 2017, 9:09 AM by Gary Urbatis

I can’t believe that it’s almost December.  Where has the year gone?!  Oh, I know, attending CAC events, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying many other things that life has to offer.  I hope that you had a memorable 2017.

We haven’t reached the 100 member count yet.  Hopefully in 2018 we’ll not only increase our membership numbers, but also our event attendance numbers.  We had the most people at the General Membership meeting than we’ve had in a long time, including four attendees that joined CAC in 2017.  One of them asked “Why aren’t there more people here?  This meeting is about their club.”  I couldn’t give an exact answer.  I could only speculate.  A few possibilities…1.  They have other plans.  2.  They trust that the board members will be responsible with the finances and continue to offer a plethora of enjoyable events.  3.  They don’t attend many other events, why would they show up for this free one?! 

Your board members need your encouragement and input.  Please take a few minutes of your time to give it to them.  Two simple words can make the difference between someone continuing to plan events, or thinking “Why bother?!  People don’t appreciate what I do anyhow?!”  Which attitude would you prefer to have?

We have a pretty good club with wonderful members.  I’m requesting every one of you to spread the word about CAC and to invite and encourage people to attend our events and play in our tennis and/or softball leagues.  Do you have single relatives, coworkers, neighbors or friends who would benefit from our friendliness and activities?  Please use this as a personal invitation to help make our club better.  Don’t be surprised if they start to attend more events than you do.

Thank you for your support as your 2017 president. 

Sincerely,

Gary Urbatis

President's Letter, November, 2017

posted Oct 30, 2017, 7:03 PM by Gary Urbatis

This is my second to last inspirational (hopefully) letter that I’m writing since my term is coming to an end.  It’s been a rewarding experience.  I hope that I’ve made a difference for OUR club.   We’ve had many wonderfully attended events and a few with only one to 3 people.  Our board members do their best to spread the events around the greater Pittsburgh area.  If there isn’t something fairly close to you one month, hopefully the next month there will be.

Your board members volunteer their time, talents, and gas money to attend the monthly board meetings.  When you see a board member, tell them “thank you”.  We know our members appreciate everything that we do, but it’s always nice to hear the words and see a warm smile.  It doesn’t cost you anything, but means a lot to the person receiving it.

Thanksgiving is this month.  I’m sure that you have many things to be thankful for.  Why don’t you attend a couple of community service events to give a smile to someone less fortunate?  A few of the attendees commented that seeing the joy on the faces of the mentally challenged adults when winning bingo, was wonderful to see.  Most of us wouldn’t get excited about winning a dollar store prize, but to them, it was like winning $100. 

Are you willing to help YOUR club in 2018?  We have a good club.  With your help, we can make it better!  Every little bit helps.  You can be on a committee or chair it yourself.  We could use a mini golf chair and hospitality, to name a couple.  Come to our General Membership meeting on November 11th and see how valuable your assistance and suggestions can be.  We started this year with 90 members.  As of 10/12, we have 95.  I was hoping we would reach 100.  We need your help to accomplish this by the end of next month.  Who do you know that would benefit from membership and have as much fun as you do?  If we permit divorced people without an annulment to join our club, I’m sure we can reach it very soon.

Sincerely,

Gary UrbatisHhhhhhh

 

President's Letter, October, 2017

posted Oct 30, 2017, 7:01 PM by Gary Urbatis

Only 3 months left of 2017.  We’re starting to put our summer clothes away and swap them for warmer ones.  We’ll be spending more time indoors.  If you don’t want to be a couch potato, we have plenty of events to keep you active.

We’ll start off the month with mass and lunch at a Polish church, and attend a Faith on Fire seminar.  We’ll attend a spaghetti dinner to support a nursing home, and we’ll help to brighten the lives of children from Make a Wish, at least for a few hours.  I plan to wear a costume for it.  Will you?  For those of us that love the outdoors, if the weather cooperates, we’ll get in our last biking and mini golf outings for the season.

Several of our events this month are in the north.  We try to have something in all areas so that the same people don’t have to drive as far.  That’s why I chose a new place near Bridgeville for a Happy Hour event.  And not to forget our annual Fall Almost-a-Week getaway.  We’ll hike, play tennis, bocce ball, and other activities.  Contact Margie if you want to join us for the weekend (if space is available) or a day or two.

My term as president is almost over. We are looking for people to be on the 2018 board for several positions.  Please consider helping your club to be the best that it can be.  Contact a board member for more information.

Sincerely,

Gary Urbatis

President's Letter, September, 2017

posted Oct 30, 2017, 6:59 PM by Gary Urbatis

September is upon us and we still have plenty of time to enjoy the warmer days.  Although the evenings may require a jacket and for me, a hat.  Margie would prefer to wear a hoodie.  Seven of our events will be outdoors, five will be indoors.  Our board members have scheduled a variety of events that I’m hoping that you can attend at least one of them.

Labor Day is the unofficial end to summer.  I say let’s embrace it and have a great day on the river!  If being on the water isn’t your thing, how about biking along the river?  Or the Rib Fest along the river?  Or a picnic next to a pond?  Or even a mini golf game with a 12 foot waterfall and 2 water fountains?  Or maybe the Irish Festival along the Monongahela River?  If none of these entice you to be outdoors, our indoor activities include dinner, bingo with the residents of Emmaus House, and Oktoberfest.  If you want to have flash backs from attending a Catholic Grade School and get a refresher, Late Night Catechism is where you want to be.  Remember to sit up straight and don’t chew gum.  Answer a question correctly and you may get a colorful pencil or erasure.  You may even get moved to the front of the class.  Or was it the disruptive student that got moved to the front.  I don’t remember since I wasn’t the teacher’s pet or the class clown.  I will admit, that in first grade, Sister Mary Beatrice Ann broke her yard stick on my behind for talking in line for the water fountain.  Oh, the memories…

This is also the time of year when we start to consider new people to be on the board.  For 2018, we’ll need a new president, 2nd VP, Membership Chairperson, mini golf chairperson, and maybe a couple others.  Are you willing to help your club to continue to offer quality events and leadership?  If yes, please let me, or any board member, know that you may be interested.  We’ll find a position for you.

I hope to see you soon.

Gary

President's Letter August, 2017

posted Aug 15, 2017, 9:59 AM by Gary Urbatis

President’s Letter, August, 2017

I hate to say this, but the peak of Summer has past and I know that I haven’t taken advantage of the warm weather as much as I would prefer to.  Now that I reflect back, I did go biking a couple of times, attended happy hours, mini golf, camping, outdoor volleyball, picnic, and outdoor concert.  I guess I did more than I originally thought.  I know that I had wonderful experiences with our club members.  How many outdoor events did you take advantage of?

Our board members have filled up the August calendar pretty well.  Three events are indoors, 12 are outdoors.  If you prefer indoor concerts, we have one.  If you prefer free outdoor concerts, we have one of those too.  If you enjoy the challenge of mini golf, we have one scheduled.  If you want to “go back” to the old country, we are traveling to Morelandshire for a day of laughs, watching a joust and other shows, listening to music and singing (participation not required).  Nearing the end of the month, we have our monthly spiritual event that includes mass, dinner and festival.  Spectators are always welcomed at our softball, tennis and volleyball events.  Biking will be at another wonderful location encouraging us to get some exercise and fresh air. 

I encourage everyone to enjoy the events that we have scheduled.  I have made many friends over the years, and I’m looking forward to new experiences with them and our new members.  Come on out and enjoy some good great times with us!  You’ll be glad that you did.

Gary Urbatis

President's Letter July, 2017

posted Jul 7, 2017, 4:04 PM by Gary Urbatis

I can’t believe that I’m writing the July President’s letter.  Where has the past 6 months gone?!  I know that I’ve been busy attending our club events and home maintenance responsibilities.  I hope that you have been attending our events, meeting new people, enjoying yourself, and doing things you probably wouldn’t do by yourself.

I was at a Diocese of Pittsburgh Lay Apostolate meeting recently.  There were many organizations in attendance.  We shared our mission statements and the good works that we do.  Fr. Mele thanked us for leading our very important organizations.  As your club President, I couldn’t do it alone.  We have many talented leaders on the board of CAC.  We still have a couple of positions open if you are interested.

One of our newest members, Susan, noticed that we were lacking a Spirituality chairperson, and asked if she could fill the position.  Please welcome her to this important role in our Catholic Club.  Chris, Margie and I especially thank her for filling the position.  The three of us have been taking turns planning events in addition to our other responsibilities.  Susan is planning a mass and dinner.  I’m not able to attend.  I hope that some of you will support her first event.

Our other committees also have wonderful events planned.  Our annual 4th of July camping trip, playing cards (poker, blackjack, or other games) with our military veterans.  Please use this opportunity to give a little of your time to someone who potentially could have been on the front lines fighting for your freedom.  I have attended many VA events.  It’s a very rewarding event.

Ivan is leading us on another bike ride in a new location.  I welcome the opportunity to experience a new trail with other adventurists.  Bill is busy planning the picnic at North Park.  Are you available to help set up or clean up?  If you can’t commit ahead of time, just ask him, or one of the board members what you can do to help.  Many hands make light work.  To round out the month, Ken has scheduled a free concert and Victor is challenging us to a game or two of mini golf.  Par 2 is much more forgiving than some courses that we’ve played.

If you have any suggestions for new events, let me or any of your board members know.  I hope to see you soon!

Gary Urbatis

President, CAC Pittsburgh

 

 

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