The SSQQ May 2005
Written and edited monthly by Rick Archer
Previous 2004 Newsletters
Previous 2005 Newsletters
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WHAT'S NEW AT
SSQQ: BRYAN SPIVEY TAKES OVER, TWO-TIMIN' TESS, THE
EXCEPTION RULE, SLEAZY BAR PARTY STORY
A CLOSER LOOK AT
THE UPCOMING MAY DANCE CLASSES -
HUGE CHANGES IN SALSA
WRITES ABOUT THE ADVENTURES OF TWO TIMIN' TESS!
HELP WANTED - GARY RICHARDSON CAN'T GO ON THE ALASKA
CRUISE WITHOUT HIRING SOME PART-TIME HELP FIRST!
ALASKA CRUISE IN JULY IS NEARLY SOLD OUT. WE ARE AT
72 PEOPLE! YOU STILL TIME TO JOIN US.
SAME TIME NEXT YEAR SEPTEMBER RHAPSODY CRUISE IS UP TO 32
PEOPLE! THE USUAL SUSPECTS ARE ON BOARD.
HERE COMES THE 2005 SLEAZY BAR
WHIP PARTY FEATURING LUTHER AND THE HEALERS!!
"ADVENTURES OF A DANCE TEACHER": THE ORIGINS OF THE SSQQ SLEAZY
BAR WHIP PARTY
IT HAS BEEN ONE YEAR SINCE JACK BENARD
RICHARDSON'S TFW COMPUTERS IS ABOUT TO SELL ITS 100TH COMPUTER
TO AN SSQQ STUDENT! Win a Prize!
WASHED-UP OVER-40 BASKETBALL PLAYERS NEEDED FOR SATURDAY MORNING
MAJOR POLICY CHANGES - THE ADDITION OF THE EXCEPTION RULE
AND OTHER FEATURES. PLEASE READ.
PICTURES OF DARYL AND
JOANNE ARMSTRONG'S DAUGHTER ALI
WHY IS THERE NO ADVANCED WESTERN
SWING ON FRIDAY?
STAFF TRANSITIONS: TWO
PEOPLE LEAVE, SIX NEW PEOPLE JOIN
FORBIDDEN LOVE: A SENSITIVE LOVE STORY WRITTEN BY
RICK ARCHER THAT NO ONE DARE READ!
STORY IN THE
STORY IN THE NEWS:
rape convictions in
pakistan thrown out.
STORY IN THE NEWS:
MASTURBATES IN COURTROOM
STORY IN THE NEWS:
SENDING OLD MEN TO WAR
(contributed by noted troublemaker Chris Holmes)
STORY IN THE NEWS: GREG NORMAN'S YACHT - contributed by Gary
STORY IN THE NEWS: lawsuits
that make you want to throw away the legal system
START OF THE HEADLINE STORIES SECTION
RETURN TO HEADLINES
NEW AT SSQQ THIS MONTH
WHAT'S NEW AT SSQQ IN MAY 2005!!
Welcome to SSQQ, the world's most complicated
So much has happened in the last few months that I don't even
have the energy to tell you all the stories. I tried to get out
an April Newsletter but all the crazy things that happened in
March prevented me from finishing in time. So what
For starters there was an enormous blowup
over at Southwest Whip Club. The shakeup over there resulted in
a decision by Bryan Spivey to assume far more responsibility in
the dance world. This story makes for VERY INTERESTING READING.
Bryan is not only teaching at SWWC, he is also the new dance
director at SSQQ. Check it out!
Before I forget, I have to remind you that
Luther and the
Healers will be playing their powerful Rhythm and Blues music at
the Sleazy Bar Whip Party on Saturday, April 23. Luther and the
Healers are the "house band" at the Big Easy. They are extremely
well known and very popular around Houston.
Then be ready for performances by State
Champions Bryan Spivey and Lisa Palmer plus City Champions Trent
and Michelle Haynes. Then throw in all the Sleazy people
who will be dancing themselves silly and you should be a great party!
There will be photographs, so be sure to comprehend the dress
Wear Red and Black or watch your Back,
Dress Sleazy or
your night won't be Eazy.
Did you know the Sleazy Bar Party idea was
cooked up by SSQQ? Yup, the whole idea started here. But
the first party almost didn't get off the ground. Even worse, it
was raided by the Bellaire Police!! It is a pretty wild
story. You don't believe me? Well, read the story and see
Sleazy Bar Whip Party
Speaking of Sharon Crawford, she and Bill
Shaw got married recently! It was such a great wedding!
Read the story and see some pictures.
SSQQ Slow Dance and Romance.
Did you know my friend
Gary Richardson is about
to sell his ONE HUNDREDTH SSQQ COMPUTER soon? That's
right, almost 100 computers have been sold to customers from
SSQQ over the past six years. Gary's immense knowledge of
computers is a major reason SSQQ has been at the forefront of
technology for all these years. We were the first dance studio
to have a web site, the first to use an email newsletter, the
first to have online registration, and the first to use
computers to play all our music. And that's just for starters.
Gary's marvelous photographs are a major part of every cruise.
Plus Gary has taught me everything I know about computers and
was too stupid to figure out on my own. Be sure to read the
story of how this one man has had such a profound influence on
This month we have a terrific new story from
Violet Steplightly. She tells the fascinating story of a
girlfriend who tried to date two guys at SSQQ simultaneously and
got BUSTED! It is a Must-Read for every unmarried person
at SSQQ (and maybe some of you married ones as well!). Don't
miss the story of "Two Timin' Tess"!
The SSQQ ALASKA CRUISE scheduled for July 16 - July 23 has
72 people signed up. Do you believe that?
And we still have a few cabins left.
Email Marla Archer at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call her at 713 862
Rhapsody Cruise is beginning to pick up some momentum as
well. We have 32 people signed including almost all the
Troublemaking Usual Suspects back from last year's trip. Only
the Great Gabino and Lollabridgida are hold-outs. Let's put some
pressure on both of them!
We have made several important changes to our
Whip program and to our Salsa program starting in May. These
changes are so important I ask all of you to read about them in
our "EXTRA" section on the SSQQ
Web Site. Read about the new Martian Technique classes and the
new parallel Advanced classes on Thursdays and Saturdays.
SSQQ LOGIC PUZZLES WINNERS FOR MARCH (The Aleutian Islands
1. Steve Upchurch (Sixth
Month in a Row!)
2. Anita Leung
(Second Month in a Row!)
3. Jennifer Wise
(First Time Victory for the girl with the Ideal Logic Puzzle
4. Paul Foltyn
(The Third Victory for the man who says he never gets to
use his math degree)
5. Kathleen Parker (My beloved former assistant left the studio
to get married in 2001 checks in!)
6. Ritesh Laud
(That makes a solid year for Ritesh with his twelfth
7. Karen Babb
(Six Victories in a Row prove it is possible to overcome
the curse of Blond Hair!)
8. Stephanie Barrow (Three Months in a Row for Ms. Rocky Horror
9. Carlos Mattioli (First
10. Lorraine Gibson (First Time Winner!)
11. Mara Rivas
(Once the SSQQ Logic Champion, Mara fell from Grace, but
now she's back!)
12. Susan Arevalo (In 2nd Place with 18 months in a row)
13. Ann Faget
(Our current Champion at nineteen months in a row
successfully defends her crown!)
14. Patty Harrison (The first Logic Puzzle victory ever for
This month's Logic Puzzle is probably the
EASIEST puzzle we have had in a long time. It is about a bunch
of SSQQ College Kids. If you have ever wanted to get your
name in the Newsletter for something POSITIVE, this is clearly
an easy opportunity.
"Recently five SSQQ fathers had their
college-age kids in visiting them from college during Spring
Break. One Saturday night all 5 Dads decided to drag their
college students along with them to an SSQQ Country-Western
As a result all five pairs of Big Kids and Dads ended up in
the same Beginning Twostep class. At first the college kids
were embarrassed at being caught hanging with their fathers,
especially doing something as uncool as dancing.
However by the end of the evening, the Dads were smiling as
they watched what a good time their almost-grown children were
having dancing with each other and talking about their
colleges. The only thing that bothered them was that their
kids had dumped them completely, but then that's what being a
parent is all about, yes?
The young women in this tale are Diane, Emily, and Jane. The
young men are Peter and Fred.
From the clues below, can you guess what the major is of each
college student, what part of town they are from, and what
their father does for a living??
Noted Troublemaker Chris
Holmes outdid himself this month with his
fascinating Joke Picture of the Month
offering. Have you ever heard of hiding in
the plain sight? Well, here is the story of a pretty woman
who took this idea to the extreme. You better not miss this one!
We have ten brand new jokes
this month contributed by
Leroy Ginzel, Judy Walsh (4!!), Stephanie Barrow, Sam Longoria,
John Hall and Tom Easley. My favorite was John Hall's joke about
SSQQ Slow Dance and Romance struck gold this month.
Not only did Sharon and Bill get married, but
so did another couple plus there were three engagements
We have introduced a major new Policy known
as "The Exception Rule".
As anyone in business knows,
succeed or fail based on the quality of its Customer
Service. The number one axiom in Customer Relations has
always been "The Customer is Always Right."
But what happens if the needs of one customer conflict with the needs of another
No one has ever come up with an axiom that covers this idea:
"How to Decide Which Customer is always right".
As a business owner, I am
often forced to make tough choices between sticking up for studio
rules or bending the rules to make a customer happy. Now I have
a question: "How does making an exception for an individual
benefit the students who have already cooperated with the rule?"
If you ever want to bend an SSQQ rule, then you should read this
article. Or if you majored in Philosophy in college, you are likely
to enjoy the logic that went into the creation of the new
SSQQ Exception Rule.
Enjoy your SSQQ Newsletter!
SCHEDULE OF CLASSES
MAY DANCE CLASSES BEGIN THE WEEK OF
SUNDAY, APRIL 24TH
Note to SSQQ Students: May 2005 will go down in
studio history as a month in which we made some very significant
changes in the Whip/West Coast Swing program and in the Salsa program.
We think you will like the changes very much. However we do need
to explain what is going on for it to make any sense.
The problem with both
programs is that they have grown so big that a huge gap has developed
between the lower and higher levels. Most graduates of the SSQQ Lunar
Whip class struggle mightily entering our Martian Whip program.
Most graduates of Intermediate Salsa find Advanced Salsa bewildering.
A few do well enough to make it, but many others get frustrated and
Consequently we are taking
steps beginning in May to help our students bridge the yawning gap a
bit more gracefully.
We have added a new level called "Martian Whip Technique I" to the
Whip program on Sunday and Thursday. We will explain this
class in more detail below.
For Salsa we have made two changes. We added a second Intermediate
Salsa class in April and in May we will add a third class as well.
The fourth Intermediate class will debut in August. This will give
our Intermediate students four months of seasoning if they so choose
instead of the previous "one month" before starting Advanced.
The other change is that we split our Advanced Salsa classes in two.
Tuesday Advanced Salsa has become our Honors Salsa class. With that
in mind we added a new Adv Salsa class on Saturday that will run
parallel to the Adv Salsa class on Thursday. The
Thursday/Saturday Advanced Class will still be difficult, but not as
hard as Tuesday. Plus with two chances to practice, things should
get easier. More info below.
We hope you like the changes. Please send your comments to Rick
Here are the Descriptions for the classes in
Gloria Sanchez will offer
the final level in her Lindy Hop
Sundays in May at 4:30
with Super-Advanced Lindy Hop.
The last time Gloria taught Lindy Hop,
the class was so popular it continued for nearly half a year!
2005 has witnessed the same phenomenon. Come
discover the magic of America’s 1st Swing dance, the
Ladell has worked the same magic with his Hustle class that Gloria
Sanchez has accomplished with her Lindy program. Scott is preparing
to teach the first SSQQ Level 5 Hustle class in history
on Sundays at 4:30.
Known as "Latin Hustle" when it first appeared
back in the "Saturday Night Fever" Disco era, Hustle is used
to Disco music and soft R&B hits. A very
smooth, flowing dance, Hustle footwork & timing is very
similar to West Coast Swing. However its
patterns are more similar to East Coast
Swing. These two elements make Hustle a unique
dance all of its own.
- The Beginning Whip/West Coast Swing
Superclass returns on Sundays and Thursdays in May.
We start with Sundays at 4:30 and add our parallel class on
Thursdays at 7 pm.
We call this a "Superclass" for five reasons.
First SSQQ has the only
program in town that allows you to take the course on 2 different
nights for the price of one.
Second, no other program runs for two hours like ours does. While
all other classes meet for one hour a week, if you choose to come
both nights, you will see progress far more quickly with four hours
of instruction! That is "Super" right there, but there is
Each night after class we open up our studio for an hour and a half
of practice. The other programs are so limited that THEIR students
come over to SSQQ to join our practice. Best of all, this class has
No other program in Houston combines Whip with the West Coast Swing
like SSQQ does. The Texas Whip was the only game in town for forty
years until West Coast migrated in during the mid 90s. This posed a
loyalty challenge for many instructors. It became common for
teachers to teach one system or the other. SSQQ teaches both Whip
and West Coast Swing side by side and we show you how easy it is to
merge the two systems. Pretty soon you won't even know they are two
Fifth, each month your group will graduate and be able to move up to
the next level with the same two night a week offer for four months.
Two nights a week, two hours a class for four months. Throw in our
free Practice Night and you will be groomed to zoom when you
No one ever said Whip and West Coast Swing are easy to learn. You
will soon discover the four hours a week gives you a fighting chance
to catch on to these two complicated dances. Flashy footwork, sexy hip motion,
intricate patterns, and eye-catching turns make Whip/WCS a popular
option for all dancers
seeking new challenges.
- Sunday night at 7 pm
introduces a brand new Whip class at SSQQ known as Martian Whip
Technique I. That's a pretty big title so let's shorten it
to Whip Technique. In conjunction with a parallel
West Coast Swing Technique class on Thursday, the two Technique
classes can be taken for the price of one.
Furthermore if you wish to bypass the Whip class and just take the
WCS Tech class or vice versa, that's fine. Both classes are
completely independent of each other, but serve the same purpose -
the Technique classes were designed to give graduates of Lunar Whip
a place to get more seasoning before taking on Martian Whip on
Taught by Rick Archer, the Sunday Whip Technique class will
concentrate primarily on polishing the women's Whip hip motion so
that it is graceful. Many women fail to master the hip motion
because it is so difficult to learn the first time around. Well,
guess what? The second time around should be the charm.
In addition to polishing the hip motion for the ladies, Whip
Technique will concentrate on the flashy two-hand double resistance
leads. This important feature of the Whip is NO LONGER TAUGHT as
part of the Beginning thru Lunar classes. It is so difficult
to do well, we dropped it from our program so the classes could move
faster. Whip Technique offers the perfect opportunity to bring this
important Whip move back. Have you ever noticed that almost all West
Coast patterns are led with one hand? Interestingly,
most Whip patterns are led with two hands! We will show you
how the two dances fit together like a glove.
Have you ever heard of the Stray Cat Strut? Or the Sleazy Bar
Walkaround? What about the Snaparound? Or the Hook Step?
These are all major two-hand Whip patterns that we ignore in our
earlier classes because there isn't time to get to them. These
patterns are just some of the many features of the Whip you never
see taught anymore because West Coast Swing is major game in town.
And did you know there are a half-dozen Bump exit patterns we never
cover in levels 1 through 4 that you will learn in this class?
Suddenly all these patterns are ready to be brought back to life in
the Sunday Whip Technique class.
Please note that we reserve the right to expect a certain skill
level to take these classes. The two Technique classes are for
graduates of Lunar Whip or an equivalent class elsewhere. The two
classes are meant to form a bridge between Lunar Whip and Martian
One more note: there will be a Technique II class on Sundays and
Thursdays in June if you wish to continue, but we go back to Tech I
in July. This program is limited to two-months.
- We will
have a Beginning Ballroom class
on Monday evenings at 7
pm in May with Tracy and
You probably have not a clue how complex learning
to Ballroom dance can be. For starters, there are two major
categories (Smooth and Latin) and two major styles (American and
International). Then there are "Street Dances" and "Nightclub
Dances" that are spinoffs of the Ballroom dances.
The "Smooth" Ballroom dances include Foxtrot, Waltz,
and Tango as the most famous three dances. For experts, you
also have Quickstep and Viennese Waltz.
The "Latin" Ballroom dances, also sometimes known as "Rhythm Dances"
include Cha-Cha, Rumba, Samba, East Coast
Swing, Mambo, and Bolero.
However depending on what part of the world you live in, Mambo could
be replaced by Salsa, East Coast Swing could be replaced by Jive,
Tango could be replaced by Argentine Tango, and Twostep or Slow
Dancing could be substituted for Foxtrot. Is your head
Fortunately we simplify everything in our Beginning Ballroom class
by sticking to four dances - Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, and Rumba.
In other words, this class gives you a pretty good overview of
Ballroom Dancing in just one short month. Foxtrot is the dance
for Sinatra music, Waltz is considered the most beautiful dance in
the world, Tango is the dark and mysterious dance of Count Dracula,
and Rumba is a marvelous dance perfect to use to sensual slow Jazz
Right after each Monday class we have a free hour-plus Practice
Night where you can spend some time mastering your patterns and
footwork as well as spend time with the other students and
Then once you learn enough about each dance to make some educated
decisions, the next month we will have follow-up classes that
concentrate strictly on one or two dances.
- Beginning Tango will be offered
by Rick and Marla Archer on Mondays
at 7 pm. We will the American style of the
Tango is a timeless symbol for the dark side of
romance. The music is haunting and mysterious. In
fact the unusual rhythms are so eerie and brooding, you almost want
to look over your shoulder for Count Dracula. It doesn't help of
course that we teach the class with the lights very dim...
With songs like "Jalousie" (Jealousy) and
"Ecstasie" (Ecstasy), Tango takes it place in legend as the dance
of powerful passions.
Stylish and very dramatic, Tango combines sleek,
hip-locked gliding steps with abrupt stops into fans, flicks, flares,
dips, and lunges. The eerie music, sultry motion, and the haunting sense
of dark moods barely under control make Tango a truly fascinating dance!
American Tango is more structured than its Argentine counterpart. Using
Basketball for example, American Tango relies more on "set,
predetermined plays" while Argentine Tango is more improvisational,
make-it-up on the spot. Most insiders consider American Tango vastly
easier to learn and more practical for the occasional dancer
to use. Once you get serious, you can
always drift over the vastly more difficult Argentine style for a
- In May, YJ
Pu and Jenny Shen will offer the first Super-Advanced Tango Class
(Level 4) taught at SSQQ in over 3 years. In April we had 8 couples
deep in concentration over the Fallaway, the Double Cortez, Advanced
Fans and Lunges, plus syncopated footwork. Now in May this same
class is poised to become experts at this challenging and intriguing
Tuesdays in May, Steve Gekas and Danielle Lam will introduce SSQQ to
the first-ever Advanced Salsa 11 class.
Salsa first exploded onto the scene in 2000 with Ricky Martin
singing "Living La Vida Loca" against the backdrop of the Bush-Gore
struggles down in Florida. Since then Bush has been re-elected and
Salsa has grown to become the most popular single dance style in
Steve and Danielle spend so much time dancing in the clubs and
practicing at the studio that they have come up with their own style
of exciting and complex Salsa patterns. Since their students
are mostly very experienced dancers, Steve and Danielle work hard to
stay ahead of this talented group. As a result, Salsa dancers from
around Houston flock to the studio on Tuesday to see if they can the
challenge of this "Honors" Advanced Salsa program. Indeed, the
Tuesday Advanced Salsa class has become so popular our biggest room
regularly fills up with classes that approach 100 students. If you
can handle the heat, this class can't be beat.
Now in May Steve and Danielle introduce a new Advanced level
consisting of new patterns and new challenges. Don't miss it!
- Sharon Crawford and John Jones
continue their Lord of the Waltz Saga with Intermediate Western
Waltz scheduled for Wednesdays in May. Several graduates from
previous years were planning on joining in this month. Welcome
- Thursdays in May
mark the start of two major changes in the Salsa program. Starting
with Advanced Salsa 6, a parallel to this course will also be
offered on Saturdays at 4:30 pm. Although the pace will be more
sympathetic than the frantic Tuesday Adv Salsa classs, this level
will still teach the original Level 6 syllabus that has been around
for several years. In other words, the class will be difficult, but
with two chances to practice the material, it should be easier than
The other change is that we will rotate instructors on Thursdays and
Saturdays. This means that Jill Banta will teach the Thursday class
and Martin Anderson will teach the Saturday class.
- As mentioned
earlier, the Beginning Whip/West Coast Swing
Superclass returns on Sundays and Thursdays in May. SSQQ is the only
place in town that allows you to take the course on 2 different
nights for the price of one. Flashy footwork, sexy hip motion,
intricate patterns, and eye-catching turns make Whip/WCS a popular
option for advanced dancers.
- Thursdays marks
the start of Texas State Whip Champion Bryan Spivey's new Martian
Technique class I. Bryan's Thursday class will concentrate
strictly on West Coast Swing. The West Coast Swing is a
national dance. If you were to take our classes anywhere else in the
country, you would not hear a word about the Whip. WCS would be the
only game in town.
So we are going to pretend you live in another city. You will take
this class as if the Whip never existed. One immediate advantage
will be that you will learn how to dance with someone who only knows
how to West Coast (which is 98% of all Swing dancers in America!).
For example, do you know how the Closed Basic is handled in West
Coast Swing? Here at SSQQ we use primarily the Whip version of
the Closed Basic. But after you finish Bryan's WCS Technique class
you will discover how the West Coasters handle this important
Bryan's WCS Technique class will start with everything you learned
in the first four months of SSQQ Whip/WCS and cover the WCS aspects
again in fine detail. Not only will the ladies learn their
ball-crosses and passing steps all over again, they will learn more
about the "And 1" WC Basic, they will learn six variations on their
passing steps, six variations on their anchors, when to hijack, how
to hijack, plus flicks, dips, lunges, and every other footwork trick
in the book.
And what will the men learn? They will improve their footwork
dramatically as well as their leads, master the difficult two-hand
"Rock and Go" patterns, learn to lead lunges and dips, and much
more. And don't forget the ultra important Tarzan and Jane patterns
- ask Bryan to explain!
In a nutshell there are so many fundamentals in West Coast Swing
that all we can do is give you the highlights in the first four
months. Now in West Coast Technique I and II, Bryan can polish what
you know and introduce many new dimensions of the dance as well.
So you graduate from SSQQ Lunar Whip. Here are your new options:
You can go straight to Friday Martian Whip and skip the Technique
You can take Friday Martian and the Technique classes
You can wait on Martian Whip and stick to the Sunday-Thursday
Technique program while you get your skills up to speed.
The Technique Program is a very sophisticated new feature of our
dance program. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how
rugged these two classes will be while we polish old skills and
introduce new areas you never even knew existed.
And you can take BOTH for the price of one. And you can repeat them
for Half-Price at any time further down the road.
Western Swing returns to Fridays in May. Adv WS used to be
taught three nights a week including Sundays and Wednesdays. In
recent months we have bypassed this class to offer some of the
alternate Western dances like Western Waltz, Night Club, Triple Two,
Western Line Dances and Western ChaCha. You can expect those
classes to return at some point, so we can't promise you Adv Western
Swing will be on Fridays every month. However here it is in May.
Please take advantage of it.
- Ghost Town 12
Scott Ladell returns on Fridays. Scott has
developed a reputation as a phenomenal teacher for upper level
Western dancing. You should enjoy this class thoroughly.
- In May, the
SSQQ Martian Whip class will only be offered one night a week on
Fridays. Taught by Texas State Whip Champions Bryan Spivey and Lisa
Palmer, the pace of the class should pick up for two reasons.
First, dancers who aren't ready for Martian Whip now have another
option to turn to (Martian Technique) for seasoning. Once
these students polish the things they already know to the point of
excellence plus learn the new dimensions to West Coast and Whip,
they will catch on to the faster pace of Friday Martian with greater
Second, now that the Thursday class is gone, people will no longer
divide their attention between two nights. Bryan and Lisa will be
able to expect more consistent attendance and can build on previous
week patterns with more confidence that each student will be able to
remember what they did the week before.
The size of Bryan and Lisa's class has been steadily increasing.
Expect the Friday Martian Whip class to capitalize on the recent
momentum and move to another level in May!
Salsa 3 comes to Saturdays in May. Taught by Linda Cook, this is
the first time this class has been offered so you will be the
pioneers. Fortunately you are in experienced hands so the class
should be a slam dunk success. Enjoy! In June, we will
offer Intermediate 2 again. In July, we will offer Intermediate 3
again, then in August we will complete our expansion of the
Intermediate Salsa program with Level 4.
Please note we will make all 4 levels roughly the same difficulty.
This will allow students who finish Beginning Salsa to take any one
of the Levels first. In other words, they can start with 3 just as
easily as 1. Another nice feature is our students can stay at the
Intermediate level just as long as they wish for more seasoning
until they are ready to move up to Advanced Salsa.
- As promised,
Advanced Salsa 6 will be offered on Saturdays at 4:30 pm as a
parallel course to the Thursday Advanced Salsa 6. You can attend
both nights for the price of one. Eventually we will iron
things out so the Thursday-Saturday program will have 6 Levels (1-6)
and the tougher Tuesday Advanced Salsa class will offer levels 7
- Zydeco is
a dance from Louisiana that is taught by two phenomenal teachers
Willie Bushell and Ronnie Alexander. This class is one of the
great undiscovered joys of SSQQ. These two men pack their class
wall-to-wall, but everyone has so much fun I never hear anything but
compliments on the class. Plus they take their students out on the
town after their final class. Laissez les bon temps roulez!
will Luis Castillo and Merengue with Jill Banta are two Salsa
dances that will also be offered on Saturdays at 4:30 pm in May.
Considering the exciting Int Salsa 3 and the Adv Salsa 6 classes
will also be taught on Saturday, we expect the House will be Rocking
on Saturdays in May!
VIOLET STEPLIGHTLY WRITES ABOUT HER FRIEND TWO-TIMIN'
As usual, I've been hanging around Practice Night keeping my
eyes and ears open for a good scoop, but I managed to find
inspiration in our very own newsletter.
I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the February logic puzzle
about Casey Casanova. In case you've forgotten, Casey was taking
dance classes five nights a week, and each night he romanced a
different woman. All was well for Casey until his girlfriends
decided to take more classes, and Casey had to take evasive
action to avoid being caught in his tangled web of deceit.
Several months ago, one of my SSQQ classmates found herself in a
very similar situation. As much as Rick loves intrigue, I tend
to wonder if he knew about this story when he chose the puzzle.
It was such a coincidence.
Her name is Tess. Like so many others, Tess started taking dance
lessons after a heartbreaking divorce. Actually, her marriage
was much more heartbreaking than the divorce, so you could say
she is now dancing to celebrate. Nevertheless, she turned to
SSQQ to find the companionship she was missing.
Tess was bitten by the dance bug during the Swing Revival of the
1990's (by watching a certain television commercial that
inspired so many of us), but her overbearing husband, Jason,
wouldn't let her take dance lessons. To make a long story short,
Jason had no interest in dancing, so he refused to support
Tess's ambitions. I wonder if he knew Will? During the remaining
years of her "marriage", Tess's desire to Swing Dance burned
deep inside her, but she kept it secret to avoid arguments.
Let me explain why I said "marriage" the way I did. I define
marriage as a loving partnership between two people. Let's
examine Tess and Jason. Tess worked to pay the bills, and she
considered getting a second job to help make ends meet. Jason
refused to work, and he spent what little money Tess made on
things to entertain him. Tess was expected to come home right
after work, clean up any mess Jason and his friends made, have a
full dinner on the table, and "perform" whenever and wherever
Jason demanded it. Jason would often deny Tess the basic
necessities for survival, so forget about providing her with
something that would bring mere happiness. Loving? Partnership?
I think not.
Fast Forward: Tess finally decided enough was enough, so she
obtained a divorce. For once, Jason's laziness worked to Tess's
advantage. Jason was too lazy to hire a lawyer, not that he
could have afforded one, so the divorce went uncontested and
rather smoothly. In a matter of weeks, Tess was single again.
Jason's behavior challenged Tess's spirit for years, but it
didn't break it. Freedom brought Tess out of hibernation, and
she was ready to live again.
Tess never forgot about her desire to learn Swing dancing, and
she wanted to meet men who liked to dance too, but she wasn't
sure where to take lessons. Luckily, Tess mentioned her dilemma
to a friend of hers who knew Rick during his days as a Social
Worker, so she enthusiastically pointed Tess directly to SSQQ.
I don't have to tell you what Tess's first days were like.
You've all been there, so I'm sure you can relate to how nervous
she felt among strangers, how frustrated she felt when she
couldn't follow a pattern correctly on the first try, and how
excited she felt when she finally perfected her rock step.
Tess was thoroughly in love with Swing Dancing, and she managed
to meet a man. For now, we'll call him East Coast Ernie. Tess
and Ernie just started out as dance partners. During Practice
Night, they'd find a spot in a corner of Room 1 and practice
their moves. Ernie is a good dancer, but he lacked the
confidence to really dance. Tess was sweet, so she was patient
with Ernie's shyness, and she made every effort to encourage
him. Tess and Ernie grew closer, and they eventually started
seeing each other outside the studio.
Dating Tess was good for Ernie because they could practice their
dance steps between classes, and his confidence grew with each
passing day. Dating Ernie was good for Tess because she was
finally interacting with a man who liked her and dancing enough
to want to do them both on a regular basis. Oops, did I just say
that? Holy Freudian Slip, Batman!!
One night, Ernie wanted to take Tess to Wild West. Tess didn't
know how to Two Step, but Ernie offered to teach her, and he
assured her they'd have a chance to Swing. Tess proved to be a
good student, and Ernie led her through Two Steps, Polkas, and
Cha Chas. True to Ernie's promise, Tess got to Swing. She never
imagined she'd have so much fun at a Country Western club
because she's never been a fan of the music. Tess decided the
dancing was enough fun to make the music tolerable, so she
signed up for Beginning Two Step right away.
Ernie was already a pro at Country Western dancing, so Tess
didn't ask him to take the class with her, but she did wish
she'd have someone to practice with after class. Her wish was
granted as she walked into her first class, and she met Western
Wayne. Much like Tess, Wayne had gotten a taste of Country
Western music, and he was coming back for seconds. Wayne was
experienced with Ballroom dancing, so he had no trouble with
rhythm, frame, etc. The other men in the class were adequate
dancers, but something about Wayne's confidence (and the way he
looked in blue jeans) drew Tess in, and she decided that he was
going to be her practice buddy.
Tess really should have seen this one coming, and I suppose I
could have warned her, but things developed with Wayne exactly
as they had with Ernie. They started out practicing in the
corner of Room 1 after class, then they'd practice outside the
studio, and then finally Wayne was asking Tess out on actual
Poor Tess was so taken by having attention paid to her that she
didn't ever consider the consequences of dating two men at the
same time. In her defense, she never allowed herself to get too
intimate with Wayne since she was already on that path with
Ernie, but she also never told either man what had been going
on. In a nutshell, Wayne would get Friday nights, and Ernie
would get Saturday nights/Sunday mornings. This arrangement
actually went painlessly for a couple of months, but then worlds
Ernie's sister Ellen was turning 40, and she wanted to have a
huge birthday bash, so she extended invitations to all of her
family, friends, and coworkers. The party was on a Friday night.
If you recall, Friday is Wayne's night, but Ernie put so much
pressure on Tess to accompany him that she agreed to go. How
could Tess turn down Ernie's sister's birthday?
Tess explained to Wayne she had something to do with some
girlfriends on Friday, an innocent-enough explanation. Wayne was
a little disappointed to lose his usual Friday night with Tess,
but the thought of seeing her on Saturday instead made up for
As best as I can understand it, Tess did not know that Wayne had
also been invited to Ellen's party. Nor did she spot him at the
party. There's one thing I forgot to mention about Wayne. He
apparently likes to make an entrance when he goes anywhere
because he's always "fashionably late". Ellen's party was no
The time came for Ellen's birthday cake celebration. All the
guests gathered round to sing "Happy Birthday" to Ellen. That is
when Tess caught sight of Wayne at the exact same moment Wayne
caught sight of Tess standing unmistakably close to Ernie with
his arm around her.
Tess had no idea Wayne was even at the party. The look of shock
and dismay on her face left no room for wiggle room.
Uh oh. Busted. Wayne walked straight out the door.
Ernie witnessed the incident and no longer wanted to stay at the
party. On the trip home, Ernie exacted a confession from Tess.
After Ernie unceremoniously dumped Tess back at her apartment,
she phoned me two minutes later.
Tess broke down in tears as she talked about it, and I never got
much more out of her than "(Whimper) Wayne left . . . (squeek) .
. . and Ernie . . . (gasp) asked . . . (quiver) . . . "who was
that guy?" (Wheeze) I didn't . . . (high-pitched, unintelligible
sobbing) know what to do!"
Okay, Tess, calm down! In between the tears and sobs, I never
did get the complete story. But I at least gathered that neither
Ernie nor Wayne were too thrilled at the discovery that Tess was
dating both of them at the same time behind their back.
For the next week, Tess engaged in phone diplomacy, but it
didn't do any good. Ernie, the guy she had been intimate with,
no longer trusted her. Wayne, the guy she broke a standing date
with to see Ernie, no longer trusted her enough to try again.
Probably the only thing Tess accomplished was discovering how
she got caught. A man who worked with Ellen was also taking
dance classes. In fact it had been at Ellen's suggestion that
both Ernie and the guy from her job had wandered over to SSQQ in
the first place. Ellen wanted some of the SSQQ crowd to come to
her big bash, so she asked her friend at work to invite people
from the dance studio to the party. That's how Wayne heard about
the party. He didn't give it a second thought until suddenly his
Friday evening opened up. He would have to go stag, but at least
it gave him something to do.
Casey Casanova may have dated 5 SSQQ girls on five different
nights in the logic puzzle, but this was the real world. Tess
learned the hard way that in SSQQ social circles, the odds of
getting caught were probably a lot higher than she realized. You
can only take classes at SSQQ for so long before you're socially
connected to someone in another class. Think "Six Degrees of
Separation", but add music.
So both guys checked out her life and I inherited her for the
interim. For the past couple weekends Tess has been spending
Friday and Saturday nights on my couch watching chick flicks on
cable and eating ice cream. Each time she goes home I have to
clean the makeup off the couch from all her crying.
I truly believe that Tess was never trying to lead Ernie and
Wayne on. I think she threw herself into dating too soon, and
she didn't know how to handle it. She was used to an absentee
husband, so she couldn't help but make the most out of two
attentive men. I think the part that bothers Tess the most is
that she lost two terrific dance partners, but she finally
started talking about taking lessons again. Hopefully Tess
learned the value of communication and honesty, and hopefully
she'll deal with her partners one step at a time. So, if Two
Timin' Tess ends up in any of your classes, do her a favor and
remind her she's just there to dance.
Thanks for reading my latest twisted tale. I hope you enjoyed
it. Swing by next month and find out how Mr. Shilly-Shally
strikes again, and this time he's contagious!!!!
GARY RICHARDSON NEEDS FULL OR PART-TIME HELP
AT HIS COMPUTER STORE
Note: Story Nine of this issue
deals with Gary Richardson's computer store and all the things Gary
has done to help the studio. With that in mind, I would like to help
Gary a little so he can go on our Alaska Cruise (someone has to mind
"Rick, if you know of anyone who needs
a job, and has some computer building/repair knowledge, I would be
interested in talking with them and discussing a position that I
It is a Monday thru Friday position from 1:30pm to 6:00pm and
Saturday 10:00am to 3:00pm position. This is the maximum hours the
position would be for. However, in the beginning, three or four of
those days I would not need help. I anticipate training the person
and if he/she can handle the job it would expand to more hours
relatively quickly. The days that I would need someone, for sure, is
Tuesday and Friday and maybe Monday.
The job would be repairing, upgrading and building computers. I am
willing to train, but the person does need to have a pretty good
basic knowledge of Windows overall."
713 461 8660
NEWS - THE ALASKA TRIP IN JULY IS UP TO 72 PEOPLE
In 2005, Marla and I have two trips planned. In July we take a
dream trip on RCCL's Radiance to view the magnificent beauty of
Alaska. Then in late September we have our Same Time Next Year
Rhapsody Reunion Cruise.
THE JULY 2005 SSQQ CRUISE TO ALASKA (SATURDAY, JULY 16 -
SATURDAY, JULY 23)
(THIS TRIP HAS 72 PEOPLE SIGNED UP!)
Trip Status as of April 15, 2005
We still have space, but it is only a matter of time till we run
out. The trip is practically sold out. Our contract
says at this point if Royal Caribbean wants to reclaim the
unused space we have left, we have to give it to them. When this
happens - tomorrow? one week from now? - not only will it be
hard to find a spot, you will have pay several hundred more
dollars to go.
I am not going to fib and say this trip is
cheap. In fact, this is an expensive trip. What I can say is
that right now the SSQQ price for this trip is $200 to $500 a
person below market price. This discount is available because we
booked the trip back in November!
IN OTHER WORDS, IF YOU WANT TO GO, WE ADVISE YOU TO DECIDE
TO JOIN US THE MOMENT YOU READ THIS ARTICLE OR FORGET ABOUT IT.
WE NEED A $250 DEPOSIT FROM YOU
Please note that you can still back out of the trip and
get a COMPLETE REFUND UP UNTIL MAY 7th.
So there is no reason not to lock in a cabin at a tremendous
bargain by acting now.
Act now!! Email Marla Archer at
email@example.com or call her
at 713 862 4428.
By the way, don't forget about our September Rhapsody Cruise.
See the next article below.
Same Time Next Year.
THE SAME TIME NEXT YEAR SEPTEMBER RHAPSODY CRUISE IS UP TO 32 PEOPLE
Late last September we had the best cruise in
studio history with 120 people sailing aboard the Rhapsody. This
trip was wild beyond imagination. Our misbehavior is
well-documented with lots of steamy pictures as proof. Visit
Rhapsody 2004 to read and see what happened with your
This year's numbers are slowly beginning to
rise. The glamour of our Summer Alaska Cruise has obscured this
year Fall Rhapsody trip to some extent. Nevertheless the
key players in last year's adventure are climbing aboard for
another round of mischief.
Almost all the Usual Suspects are back for another round. Mara
Rivas and George (Mr. Handsome) are in training for a week of
misbehavior. Center of Attention Phyllis is announcing to
everyone who will listen that she plans to cause more trouble
and that she has a NEW CAMERA. Is that a threat?? The
Grapevine is coming again and so is Eva Blue. We also have Last
Year's Mischief Rookies Stephanie I and Stephanie II. Maureen is
coming again. All we need is the Great Gabino and we know the
Rhapsody is in for serious trouble. Last year the Great Gabino
narrowly missed unseating the Mischief Champion Mr. Handsome.
This year Mr. Handsome has a girlfriend and has been a model of
decorum. That is so boring!
Surely Mr. Great will have no trouble out-trouble making Mr.
Handsome. But will he even try? Hmm. Why don't you ladies
start putting some pressure on Steve and see if you can get him
back on the ship.
In the meantime, to guarantee a place on the September Trip, it
is time to make a deposit since May 28 is a deadline. I will not
say it is the "Final Deadline", but I will say the ship is
practically sold out and we are at great risk of losing our
Group Space. Why take a chance? Lock in your spot with a
$250 deposit and then you have till July 15th to make your final
Call Marla at 713 862 4428 or email her at
For a look at this year's list of people who are going, click
THE INFAMOUS SSQQ SLEAZY BAR
As most of you know, April
marks the Annual SSQQ Sleazy Bar Whip Party. This year Bryan
Spivey asked me if he could teach a Sleazy Bar class featuring his
own thoroughly horrid moves. I explained that Ben was already down
for the course, but there was no reason we couldn't have one taught
by Bryan two weeks earlier at the Broke and Penniless Party.
Over the years, Ben Liles has danced to the mantra 'Damn the morals,
full sleaze ahead'!! For all these years Ben has been the
unquestioned legendary SSQQ King of Sleaze, but he may be softening
a little. It is tough for a happily married man with a great wife, a
terrific son, and another child on the way to be out there keeping
his tools of sleaze sharp. And look at the advantage Bryan has -
Bryan is young, virile, powerful, SINGLE, and unimpeded with the
conscience and guilt that traditionally goes with the institution of
But don't count Ben out just yet. Ben is just so naturally SLEAZY!!
And his beautiful wife Diana understands just how harmless his
shameless behavior really is. I know Bryan will give Ben a run for
the throne, but I don't think Ben intends to give up the title so
easily. I fully expect Ben to not only touch upon the line of
indecency, but perhaps even completely cross that line into the
realm of totally disgusting, immoral dance floor debauchery.
I think any person planning to dance lewdly and lasciviously at this
year's party has much to learn from both men. I suggest you take
both classes, then give me your opinion.
As always, Ladies, I suggest you wear several layers of clothes to
both classes. You are clearly in the danger zone and subject to
horrible collateral damage in the struggle btw these Titans of
Sleaze. Whatever happens, definitely do not come to me whining about
what occurs behind the closed doors of the infamous Sleazy Bar Whip
Workshops. No one will feel sorry for you. The only thing I want to
hear from you is the facts. Just stick to the facts and check the
In the May Newsletter we will report back to see which man won the
2003 SSQQ Sleaze Championship, a true honor. We shall find out
whether experience and guile can defeat energy and enthusiasm…
IF YOU LOOK POOR, DON'T WORRY, WE WON'T SHOW YOU THE DOOR!!
Music Swing in Room 1 plus requests, Salsa in Room 4 plus requests.
THE INFAMOUS SSQQ SLEAZY BAR WHIP PARTY
Saturday, April 26, 9:15-Midnight Cover charge $7
Wear Red and Black and Watch Your Back.
Check your Guns and Knives at the Door; Leave your Morals at Home...
CRASH COURSES 7-9 pm
BEG C&W : TEXAS TWOSTEP - Melissa
INT TWOSTEP: CIRCLE TURNS - Ann
BEG WESTERN WALTZ - Brian
SHAGGIE JITTERBUG - Rachel
EAZY SLEAZY WHIP - Rick
BEG WEST COAST SWING - Charlene
DISGUSTING SLEAZY BAR MOVES- Ben cpls only
Music: Western, Waltz in Room 1, Whip, WCS in Room 4, and whatever
is asked for in Room 6.
adventures of a dance teacher: THE
YEAR RICK ARCHER WENT WHIP DANCING 201 NIGHTS IN A ROW
Adventures of a Dance Teacher is a
series of different stories written by Rick Archer about his various
ups and downs in the World of Dance. As of March 2005, the total is
up to 46 and there are five more stories just waiting around till
enough free time opens up to write them all!
201 Nights of Whip Dancing
In 1986 over a seven month stretch I was crazy enough to go out Whip
Dancing for 201 nights in a row. I never missed a night of dancing
the Whip the entire time. You have my word on that.
Each night after I finished with my teaching, I would leave the
studio to practice the Whip at various clubs around Houston.
The Streak began as a solution to a very deep depression. My
personal life hit a rocky note.
In April 1986, I ended a stormy two year relationship. I had always
believed that "communication" and good will could solve any problem
between a man and a woman, but now I knew differently. I had
discovered the hard way that sometimes no matter how hard you try, a
relationship cannot be saved. I was crushed.
I turned to dancing to deal with my pain. The Adventure that
followed changed my entire life.
To read the entire story, visit
It has been a year now since our beloved
friend Jack Benard left us to move back to California (I believe
this Jack's home state).
A few SSQQ people have stayed in touch. The job offer didn't
turn out as well as Jack hoped. He left us to join a
The last I heard, Jack had joined a super-intensive Scientology
training program. The vast majority of us know little
about Scientology other than like hypnosis, there is a swirl of
controversy surrounding the name. All I know is that Jack
is fascinated with mysticism and the hidden side of life, so it
is no surprise he might be attracted to this unusual
All I wish to add is that I miss Jack a lot and hope he will
come visit us one of these days.
If anyone has information to share, send it to
In the meantime, If you would like to read
the story I wrote about this fascinating gentleman, click here:
GARY RICHARDSON'S TFW
COMPUTER STORE IS ABOUT TO SELL
ITS 100TH COMPUTER TO AN SSQQ CUSTOMER
Rick Archer Note: In this
issue, Gary asked me to add that he has a job opening at his store.
For more information about Gary's Computer Store,
713 461 8660
(Editor's Note: Throughout my career there have
been several people who were instrumental in taking this studio
to its next level. I would have to say that Gary Richardson
ranks in the top three people.
Back in early 1997, Gary and Betty Richardson started taking
Western dance classes here at the studio. Gary wasn't a natural
and he wasn't even sure he liked dancing, but drawing on some
natural tenacity he stuck with it. Pretty soon he started to get
the hang of Twostep and Western Swing and began to enjoy his
Due to a similarity in age, Gary and I struck up a friendship.
Once I found out he owned a computer store, I wound up asking
him questions about computers each time I saw him in class.
As I got to know Gary, he told me of the
many things a computer could do to help me in my business.
I said I had the money to afford a computer but
was clueless at figuring out how to operate one. What was the
point of buying a computer if I didn't know how to use it??
Gary felt sorry for me and said he would help me get started.
With that encouragement, I went ahead and
bought my first computer from Gary in October 1997. I
took the plunge!!
However the computer just sat at his store. Rather than pick up
and take it home, every day for practically the entire
month of November 1997, I would drive over to the Floppy Wizard
(later renamed TFW Computers) and hang out for a couple
of hours. Whenever Gary had a free
moment he would help me himself or assign one of his assistants
Tim and Rick to help me. I knew Gary didn't have the time to
help everyone like this, but I think he took pity on me. Slowly
but surely I developed enough skills to be able to take full
advantage of my new computer.
Finally I bravely decided to take my computer
home. I labeled every cord and every port on the back of the
computer. Plus I took a photograph to guide me. I was very
worried I would get the keyboard and the mouse and the modem and
the monitor and the scanner and thisthatandtheotherthing all
plugged into the wrong spot. That is how bad it was.
More than anything else
what I remember after I took my computer home was that Gary would
help over the phone whenever I would get
stuck at home. Many times Gary rescued me from the depths of despair
with a helpful hint that went way past the call of duty.
My goodness did I ask some stupid questions!
The dumbest question ever came when I bought my second computer. The
damn thing wouldn't turn on!! Yes, it was plugged in! It
had just worked at the store. Why wouldn't it turn on?
That is when Gary explained that there was another switch in back.
Try turning it on. I'm a moron.
Fortunately not one time did he ever lose
his patience with me. I would never had gotten that kind of help
from any other computer store in the city.
Since then Gary has
helped SSQQ take full advantage of every
technological development. We were the first dance studio in Houston
to have a web site, the first to have On-Line Registration, and the
first to use computers to play music. Plus Gary has used his
long-time joy in photography to add wonderful pictures of each SSQQ
cruise. After we combine my love of writing with Gary's love
of photography, it is little wonder that our Travel Web Site is
Now you know why I am so grateful to Gary Richardson.
A couple years back, Gary was fond of telling me
how so and so from the dance studio had come into his store to buy a
new computer. After the numbers started to grow, I suggested to Gary
that he keep track. Ever since then Gary emails me every time a new
computer is sold to an SSQQ Customer.
In the past couple weeks Elizabeth Carillo, Mike Blaha, and Linda
Cook has pushed the overall total to 98. There is a better
than even chance that April will be the month that SSQQ and TFW
Computers hit the Magic 100 total.
Since April is also the birthday month for the store (the store will
be 22 years old on April 29), I asked Gary if he wanted to make a
special offer to Mister or Miss SSQQ One Hundred. Gary said he
would be happy to make an offer, but preferred not to make it
exclusive to just his hundredth customer because that might lead to
Gary said that for the entire month of April,
system ordered in the month of April we will give a FREE DVD burner
(NEC 3520a Dual Layer...the best
burner on the market) installed in any new system ordered in
April. That is better than a $100 savings on a system.
offer is for SSQQ students, teachers and
their referrals. He added however that you
have to mention your SSQQ connection or he won't say anything.
One more thing: last month as I had the idea to write this story
when Gary hit 97, I asked some people to say a word about Gary and
his computers. You may not recognize some of the names, but their
comments are very accurate.
Gary has a heart of gold and does anything to help people when they
get stuck with computer problems. He is like a "computer lifeguard".
Just when a virus or a hard drive failure or spyware is about to
drag your computer down, he will come to your rescue in a way you
would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
The only thing you have to watch out for is his lousy sense of
humor. Gary loves to tease. He may save your computer, but he is
pretty tough on your self-esteem.
The first story involves the notorious Ann Faget, a NASA engineer
who just happens to be the reigning SSQQ Logic Puzzle Champ.
Unfortunately she is also on the SSQQ Hit List for her
indiscriminate use of puns around polite company, but that's another
GARY STORY ONE
From: FAGET, ANN L. (JSC-CC) (SAIC)
Date: 02/23/05 12:58:38
Hi Gary - I am a regular at SSQQ
on Wednesdays, and I have read a lot about your computer store and
everything you have done for Rick in the newsletter. I hope
you can help me. I have a Dell Inspiron laptop, which I bought
in late 2001. Last week, out of the blue, it wouldn't boot up.
When I open the top and press the power button, nothing happens, the
screen stays blank. I believe it's getting power, because the
green light is on. I will bring it to your store if you think
you can help.
Thanks, Ann Faget
From: TFW Computers
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 1:10 PM
To: FAGET, ANN L. (JSC-CC) (SAIC)
Subject: Re: Help!
Yes, bring it to
me so we can diagnose. Sometimes (often) the power supply is
putting out only enough power to light up a LED, but not the
system...so it may be just a bad power supply.
From: FAGET, ANN L. (JSC-CC) (SAIC)
Date: 02/23/05 13:23:57
To: 'TFW Computers'
Subject: RE: Help!
Thanks for prompt reply. I
could come by this evening. I will be coming from the Clear
Lake area, leaving about 5:30, not sure I could make it by 6.
Could you stay open a bit late? Thanks, Ann
From: TFW Computers
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 1:33 PM
To: FAGET, ANN L. (JSC-CC) (SAIC)
Subject: RE: Help!
Maybe 15 minutes I can stay as I have to be somewhere at 6:30pm, but
it is close by. Do you have a cell phone you can keep in touch with
From: FAGET, ANN L. (JSC-CC) (SAIC)
Date: 02/23/05 14:02:52
To: 'TFW Computers'
Subject: RE: Help!
I'll just come by now, and then
stay and work late. I should be there between around 3:30.
(Editor’s Note: Gary
told me he fixed her system within five
Letter from Ann Faget:
Hi Rick - I'd like to add to your collection of Gary Richardson
My Dell laptop quit working
earlier this month, and I had no idea what to do. I remembered
you had recommended a computer store, so I researched it on your web
site and found out about Gary and TFW Computers. Despite the
fact that I live in Clear Lake and his store is in northwest
Houston, about a 45 minute drive for me, I preferred to go there
based on your strong personal recommendation.
Well, in the end, the problem
turned out to be easy to solve. All he did was plug it in,
take out the battery and power it on. It booted up no problem.
Then he shut it down, put the battery back in, and started it up
again, and it worked like a champ. Apparently this has
something to do with resetting the battery. Although this was
quite simple, the point is that he knew what to do, and then he was
gracious enough not to charge for his time. So just add my
voice to the chorus of admiration for Gary and TFW Computers.
GARY STORY TWO
It's late and I gotta get to
bed. 5:00 am makes for a short night.
I will tell you that my
experience with buying a computer from Gary Richardson has been
nothing but pleasant in every way. He truly goes out of his way to
make sure his customers are happy, including the moronic computer
illiterates such as myself. His patience with me after the
sale, especially when it came to using the ghosting program he sold
me, was "above and beyond the call of duty".
When I get ready to buy another
computer, TFW's is my first and last stop.
GARY STORY THREE
I have to admit that Gary has been a vertebral magical worker.
Between myself and Joseph my partner who had a penchant for doing
even dummer things to his computer that I have been know to do to
I am basically computer tolerant and I know that they know that I do
not like them and they do not like me. Gary repeatedly made
peace with the computer god (without having to find a vestal virgin
(it they still exist) to sacrifice. All kidding aside, Gary
has been a good friend and a patient computer mentor for many
years...and one cool dude.
GARY STORY FOUR
I never thought I wanted or
needed a computer. You mentioned TFW to me so, I went to see Gary
and he explained everything I needed to know did not try to pressure
me in any way. Now I am on my second computer, have digital cameras,
scanners, printers, MP3, etc!
Gary and his staff have
patiently answered every single one of my stupid questions over the
years without making feel that they were as stupid as I knew they
were. He regularly sends computer update info. Most of which I don't
understand, so he kindly explains it to me...I have referred my
friends and co-workers to him and feel confident that they will be
as happy as I am with whatever they get.
I love my computer:)
GARY STORY FIVE
About five years ago I asked
Gary at TFW to build a computer for me. I never had a computer
with Windows. He recommended a server for my new Windows
98/Outlook Express. I was ready to go big time. I had
questions from time to time and would go by or call Gary. TFW
was very helpful. I just had Windows XP and DSL installed, and
I'm still using the original tower.......that's what happens when
you're on social security. Computers are exhausting, but I
have Gary to help me out. Sue King
GARY STORY SIX
“Where is your back-up?
What, you don’t have one?? Well, we will just have to restore
to the original Ghost Image. I TOLD you to back it up!”
I have heard those words before.
And often in the shop… They are words to cringe by!!
No doubt that Gary and his
assistants Tim and Rick have been a lifesaver on many an issue. I
have bought well over 10 machines and paid for 5… er 8 er 10 (can’t
remember hehe!!) since I have known Gary. Always friendly and
helpful on a phone call and you can’t beat the personal service and
No… and I mean NO OTHER COMPANY…
has his service record.
Congratulations on your new
record of 100 computers for SSQQ!
I purchased a state of the art
system from you about four years ago. Since that time I have
experienced several small problems and you and your staff have
always been courteous, prompt with your service and always willing
to explain what has been done. When the system was new the modem
failed and it was replaced promptly without any cost.
I purchased a scanner and took
it home and could not get it to operate and thought it was faulty.
In the final analysis I had not properly uninstalled the
old scanner, which prevented the new one to function. During
this process the scanner was replaced and later I was advised how to
insure I had properly uninstalled the old scanner.
I purchased a DC5000 Kodak
digital camera, which has provided great pictures. My
daughter, a music teacher in the Katy school system, has used the
camera to record many of her concerts and school performances.
I purchased this camera on your recommendation and it has exceeded
The service I have received from
TFW Computers has bee outstanding. I would recommend your
organization to anyone looking for a good place to purchase a
computer system where you would receive reliable support after the
It has always been a pleasure to
do business with your organization.
GARY STORY EIGHT
Rick, I'm one of the many who
have experienced help from TFW. I asked Gary to "build"
me a computer a couple of years ago when I couldn't spell XP. I have
since had occasion to ask for help and in most cases it was
"cockpit" problems. Gary and staff have responded promptly and
graciously to my requests. (I won't list the specifics for fear of
embarrassment - to me, not TFW). I would, and have, highly
recommended TFW to others. Thanks for asking for my
GARY STORY NINE
So you want a collection of
experiences suffered at the hands of the "NEEDLER" more commonly
known as Gary Richardson, owner of TFW Computers? Well, let's
see what we may have in the ole storage vault of treasured moments
As many of Gary's customers
would relate there are numerous incidents of advice on booboo's over
the phone, computer malfunctions that are handled in a similar
manner and always in the most professional manner. As long as
you are at phone length you are safe from the needle, however, once
you enter the "domain" you are fair game. Once having suffered
myself into opening what I thought was an email from Microsoft
(wrong) I or I should say the computer became infected with a worm.
Chaos and all sorts of mischief were plaguing my computer. But
once again TFW to the rescue for a small hourly fee. The
computer and I were saved by the white knight on Gessner.
All jokes aside, TFW has been
most reliable and helpful whenever I have had problems. If you
just want to chat (not possible) or drop off a sick computer, Gary
and his staff, are usually able to assist you. Lord help you
if you go in with just a small problem on your mind for you may come
away with an estimate for the latest and greatest or you may come
away with a new machine and a lighter wallet. Over the years
(since and including the Mall) that I have associated with Gary,
Rick and Tim
I have always,well, most of the
time enjoyed my business experience with TFW Computers.
GARY STORY TEN
Jim Bohli took many dance lessons at SSQQ
and even met his wife there at the studio! They got married I
think in 1998. Jim was the one who referred me to Gary and
his computer shop in 1997 or so. Jim and I have been friends
for about 17 years.
Gary built a very efficient
Jaguar for me and I’ve been hooked every since. TFW built my
third machine over the 2004/2005 holidays and, of course; I’m more
pleased than I was with the previous two. I have two machines
set up in a Local Area Network in my study with a hub that I can
plug the laptop into and share all of the resources. I receive
a wide band signal via Dish Network. The system is fast,
reliable, and very flexible when it comes to sharing files and
resources. The nice thing is that I always have a backup CPU.
Gary taught me a couple of
important lessons about maintaining home-based PC’s. The first
was the lesson about the wireless mouse. When I purchased the
first Logitech wireless mouse and keyboard, Gary told me,
nonchalantly, that if my system looked like it wasn’t working right
that it might be the battery in the mouse. Sure enough, I
didn’t keep that little comment in my mind. After a year or so
my machine was not responding to those little mouse clicks…it just
seemed to take forever to get the CPU to respond. I thought I
had gotten a virus in the software or firmware and went to some
lengths over a week’s period to detect and remove this phantom
virus. After much hard work and frustration I thought I would
have to take the machine back to Gary and have him help. Over
the weekend, I shutdown and unhooked the machine, put it in the car,
and was ready to take it to Gary’s for troubleshooting. On
Sunday while I was thinking what an idiot I was because I couldn’t
figure out what virus had gotten in there, I remembered Gary’s
comment to me about the mouse. I was now really embarrassed to
think that was the problem. I got the machine out of the car,
hooked it back up, and replaced the mouse battery. Guess
what?? Life was perfect again. Oh Gary, I wish you’d
been a little more emphatic about the mouse battery and that I’d
paid a little closer attention to what you told me.
The second, and probably more
important lesson, was about using Norton Ghost to back up programs
and data. Not too much to be said here except that I wasted a
lot of time and spent too much money on other back up programs when
Ghost was the perfect solution. Before I began using Ghost, I
did experience the loss of some data…the worst part being some
digital photographs I had stored. Some of these were family
memories which are gone forever. Gary’s solution using Ghost
and two hard drives to back up both programs and data has proven
valuable. I only recall having to retrieve Ghost back up data
a couple of times, but it sure was worth having it available and the
restoration process is easy to perform. Thanks Gary for this
good solution to a pesky problem with home computers.
I also receive many good
software/hardware references, funny stories, and unique pictures of
the world from Gary’s email distribution. I always look
forward to them each day. I know he’s a junkie…his e-mails are
sometimes time-stamped in late or wee hours.
One of my hobbies is fooling
around in the stock market on line. Gary’s computers coupled
with good hi-speed access have made that a comfortable hobby for me.
It’s really good to have capable technical tools that give you a
competitive position with the pros.
Last and most important is
e-mail. My better half uses her computer for e-mail and
greeting cards. Both are very important to her and even though
she’s not a techno, she is proficient with both of these. She
feels connected to the world and is very impatient if her machine is
not working correctly.
So there you have it. I
hope this helps add to your list of TFW Computer stories.
Gary’s business is a gem and I wish him and the staff the best of
luck. I look forward to the next generation of computers and
software and know that Gary will be there to help out.
Bay City, Texas
information about Gary's Computer Store, click
AGING, SOMEWHAT WASHED-UP OVER-40 BASKETBALL PLAYERS NEEDED
FOR SATURDAY MORNING PICKUP GAMES
written by Rick Archer:
Every Saturday morning I play basketball at a very beautiful gym
over in the Memorial area. We start about 8 am and play till 10
am, sometimes 10:30 am when we have more players.
We are all over 40 and three of us are over 50. The one
exception is a high school senior who played at Memorial HS this
season. He eats us for lunch, but he's going off to college at
A&M so in September it after the summer it will just be a bunch
of old guys.
One player runs a travel agency, one player runs a dance studio,
two players are Shell tax attorneys, one guy is an executive for
a building management firm, two guys are welders, one guy is
retired, and one guy is a high school baseball coach. The
baseball coach just turned 40, but he is naturally slow anyway
so he fits right in.
Our group of ten (including the high school whiz kid) is not
always sufficient in generating our minimum of three on three
for our games. We need at least one new regular, even better two
more. Many of us travel a lot or have family commitments which
means from one week to the next we never know if we will have a
game or not. 2 on 2 at our age is tough, believe me.
The tallest man is at most 6' 2". We aren't sure how tall we are
anymore since all of us appear to be shrinking. I was once 6'
1", but now I barely top six feet. Even worse my daughter is
still growing. I live in constant fear she will catch me as we
both grow in opposite directions.
We are mere shells of our former selves. Inside our brains are
confused kids who can't understand why we don't jump on our jump
shots anymore or dive recklessly on the floor for loose balls.
However we can all hit an open shot, make college 3 pointers,
pass, set picks and play defense. We don't play rough, but
we do foul on an open lay-up sometimes. We are good basketball
players who operate at half the speed we used to.
The best news is we rarely get hurt (I just knocked on wood).
The only player to really get hurt was Sam, the high school kid,
who actually dove for a ball and bashed the back of his head on
the wall. He had a headache, but was back playing with us the
next week. The point is that the games are not cut-throat.
If you are a really good basketball player, forget it. If you
can touch the rim, forget it. If you are really bad, forget it.
But if my description of our players also seems to fit you, why
not email me (Rick Archer) and think about joining us some
Saturday morning? Our gym is really beautiful and we have
it all to ourselves in the morning.
THE BIRTH OF THE SSQQ EXCEPTION RULE AND OTHER
Written by Rick Archer
Starting in March 2005, we have a new rule.
Here is the
SSQQ Rule for Exceptions:
"Each student gets one Exception
Your exception can be to let a friend come watch a class, start
a class in the third week, switch a class to another month, or
make up some missed classes for free.
Your Exception must be approved by Rick Archer in advance via
email. He reserves the right to deny your request if it
If you show up at the studio to ask for your exception,
you will be unsuccessful. The
only way to get an Exception is to email
firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for
it in writing."
As anyone in business knows,
succeed or fail based on the quality of its Customer
The number one axiom in Customer Relations has
always been "The Customer is Always Right."
What if the needs of one customer conflict with the needs of another
However no one has ever come up with an axiom that covers this idea:
"How to Decide Which Customer is always right".
As a business owner, I am
often forced to make tough choices between sticking up for studio
rules or bending the rules to make a customer happy. Now I have
a question: "How does making an exception for an individual
benefit the students who have already cooperated with the rule?"
Ever since our talented Registrar Susan Schroeder suddenly resigned
at the start of the January 2005 dance semester, I have personally
being handling much of her old duties along with a lot of help from
The task of handling Susan's complex duties nearly broke me in half.
Finally I realized I would have to restructure the job or go nuts in
Did you know SSQQ students change their minds? All the time!
Did you know things come up that prevent them from finishing their
classes? All the time!
The problem is not that I get very many unreasonable requests. The
problem is I get Hundreds of Requests! The sheer volume of all
the people who have concerns is what staggers me the most.
So I had to go back and simplify our rules. One rule that
seemed hopelessly out of date was our $5 rule. This rule said a
student could take any class he or she didn't finish for $5. We took
their word for it. Then Marla showed me a situation that clearly
illustrated how this rule was being abused. That was the end
of the $5 rule.
In its place I put the Exception Rule.
We will see what people's reactions to this rule are for a month.
SSQQ HOUSE RULES:
1. ADULTS AT PLAY: NO CHILDREN (
2. NO GUESTS/NO WATCHING (
3. PLEASE SWITCH PARTNERS (
4. PLEASE TURN OFF CELL PHONES (
5. NO REGISTRATION AFTER WEEK TWO (
6. BRING RECEIPT EACH WEEK (
7. REFUNDS OR CLASS CHANGES MUST BE DONE ON FIRST NIGHT OF CLASS
8. BE NICE TO THE HALL MONITORS. (
9. SWITCHING CLASSES (
To Ask for an Exception, email Rick Archer, email@example.com
RETURN TO HEADLINES
Did you know there are a bunch of SSQQ kids out
SSQQ has assisted in creating many wonderful
marriages. Beautiful children such as Ali Armstrong pictured below
are a terrific additional blessing of these marriages
Ben and Diana Liles have two children. I have
a daughter. Jeff and Tracy King have a daughter. And Rachel
Koenig just announced she is going to have a child soon. And these
are just the children of the Staff. There are many more children
born to the students who met here and married.
We are all very
Daryl and Joanne met at SSQQ back in the
mid 90s. In addition to this pretty girl, Daryl and Joanne also
have a son named Austin who is probably about seven now.
The only sadness about Daryl's family is that Daryl doesn't
cause nearly as much trouble as he did back when he was single.
He was quite a character. These days with his ponytail gone, his
earring gone, and even his Hawaiian shirts starting to seem
respectable, he just isn't the same guy I used to know.
But then the same could be said about me. Settling down
definitely is the theme here. And when you have lovely children
like Ali, who cares!
THE EDITOR: WHY IS THERE NO ADVANCED WESTERN SWING ON FRIDAYS??
From: kent carson
Sent: Friday, March 04, 2005 3:13 PM
Subject: Advanced Western Swing
This is not really a complaint, but a suggestion/plea. Several
members of my "group", including me (we have been attending together
Sun-Wed-Fri beginning with 2-step) were concerned and disappointed
that Advance Western Swing was only offered on Sunday and Wed. and
not also on Friday. Several of my fellow members attend church on
Wed., so they will only come on Sunday. In my case, I have joint
custody of a child (every other full week) so I can only come every
other Wed. and every other Sunday.
I just thought you might want to take this into consideration in the
I love to attend every class, crash course and practice that I can
make it to. My frustration is being a guy and having to learn to
lead is somewhat difficult even if you attended every class and
practice. For example, last week (Friday, I took a private from 6-7,
class from 7-9 and practiced from 9-11:30, Sat. I took the
Sweethearts of the Rodeo crash course (Linda Cook taught this and
she is an awesome teacher) and stayed for practice until 11:30, and
Sunday I started Advance Western Swing and some of the moves are
somewhat difficult and would be easier to master with another weekly
class scheduled. Needless to say, Monday morning, I could hardly
remember the crash course pattern I learned on Sat.
I am aware that we have been spoiled by being able to take 3 classes
a week for the price of 1. I am eternally grateful that your studio
even exists. Your instructors and helpers are always supportive. I
have met many nice people and I look forward to someday taking every
class your studio offers.
Thanks for listening.
Rick Archer Reply
Subject: RE: Advanced Western Swing
03/05/05 04: 05 PM
Your request makes sense from your point of view and I respect it.
However from my point of view you are asking me to put back a class
on Friday that does not make much extra
money for the studio.
Here are four numbers for you: 32 63 77 95. As of Saturday, beg
twostep has 95 total people registered, Beg western swing has 77,
intermediate has 63, and advanced has 32. The demand for Advanced is
Your class may be offered in the future on Friday, but I am in
business to make a living. The numbers did not support having Adv
Western Swing on Friday in the final months of 2004.
When the numbers come back, this class will come back.
You have my promise on that.
Thanks for the explanation. I guess that most do not share the
passion for dancing that I have found while attending classes at
Kent S. Carson
(EDITOR'S NOTE: There is a
possibility we will restore this class to Fridays in May, but please
be aware we consider it an "option", not an "obligation. We need to
pay the rent, don't forget. Two classes for the price of one is
still a pretty good deal. RA)
In March 2005, Donna Tillery resigned her
position as Registrar. No reason was given.
Sad to say, Charlene Tees is moving to Austin, Texas. The Sleazy Bar
Whip Party will be her final night at the studio. Charlene is a real
estate agent for Century 21. She says the agency in Austin has more
homes for sale than qualified agents to sell them. She firmly
believes this is the chance of a lifetime! A close friend of
Sharon Crawford (or should I saw "Sharon Shaw"?) Charlene has been
with the studio for two years. She is very popular and will be
greatly missed by me and by the students as well. And of course
Charlene will always be given her job back here. All she has to do
is snap her fingers and say, "I'm baaack!" Just say the
Alex Schamenek has been assisting Maureen Brunetti with her Salsa
class on Thursdays since the start of the year. He has proven to be
so reliable and helpful, it is time to promote him to Staff.
Kelly Boyer was hired sight unseen. I have no idea what she looks
like! Jim Coulter nominated her for promotion, so here
she is, the newest member of our Tuesday Salsa Staff.
There is an old joke that it takes two men to replace one woman.
This is actually the case on Thursdays. In May we welcome
Trent Haynes and Eric Montes to the Thursday Whip Program in
Charlene's absence. Trent is Michelle Wann Haynes' husband. He
is also a long-time Whip teacher over at the Southwest Whip Club. We
welcome Trent with his vast teaching experience!
Eric Montes will be in the same Beginning Whip class with Michelle
and Trent. Eric is such a good Whip dancer that he has entered many
dance contests. He is a terrific dancer!
Both men have an unusual connection to SSQQ. I taught both of their
mothers how to Whip! Yes, Jeannie Haynes and Helen Villasenor
were a big part of SSQQ back in the 80s. I have actually watched
Eric grow up into the fine young man that he is now. That's the good
news. The bad news is how old does that make me? Hmm.
Jaime Mabry has been helping Linda Cook teach Western for nearly six
years as a Volunteer. Don't you think it is about time someone this
faithful and reliable gets a promotion? I heartily agree.
Jaime is on the Staff.
Unfortunately Willie Ellis doesn't have email, but if he did I would
tell him he is "hired" to help my friend Willie Bushnell teach the
Saturday R&B Twostep class. Recently Willie Bushnell had to go
out of town and Willie Ellis volunteered to step in for him. Rumor
has it he did a great job!
(Editor's Note: In 2002, I wrote
a sensitive love story and I don't think a
soul even read it. Actually I think some people
have read it, but are too ashamed to admit it!
Too bad, because this is a great
story with epic love themes!!
Now it is time to alert everyone to the existence of the best love
story I have ever written!!!
Here is an excerpt:
"It was a dark and stormy night. They were alone in the house. The
storm had come up quickly and a chill had entered the room. As the
wind-driven rain battered the house, it seemed the wrath of an Irish
Banshee was nigh!! Each time the thunder roared he watched as she
trembled in fear. He wanted to help her, but he knew it was wrong…
As the wind howled like a ghost separated from its soul, she stole a
glance at him from across the room. He seemed so brave and
powerful!! She admired his strong
presence. She wished that he would take her in his arms, comfort her
and protect her from the terrible storm that raged outside…
Then she hated herself. Her secret thoughts were taboo; she knew
that. She could never act on them!! It
was a violation of every ethical code she had ever believed in. It
was a Union totally forbidden in her culture. Yet she ached for his
comfort so badly....
Suddenly a huge burst of lightning seemed to strike the very house
itself!! The sky lit up, then the room plunged into total darkness
as the power failed. She screamed in terror!!….."
(Editor's Note: To read the powerful climax to this story visit