Give it a Shot

February 19, 2021


How many of you have already receivedYour Covid 19 Vaccine shot…

In mid-January…when NJ first announced
They were going to start making appointments
To get the vaccine shot

My wife and I sat on the computer and started…Surfing the net for information
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon
My wife and I were heading at the door
To take a walk around the Cooper River
When my cell rang…

Our friend Kathy told us she got an appointment
We immediately turned around and ran back into the house…And got online…

What’s the name of that site…
She emailed us the link…

Once on the site…We started looking at all the available dates 
Hey…here’s one for Feb 18th 
We started filling out the registration and the computer froze…

Are you kidding me
We had to refresh and start all over again…

The next date available was Feb 19…Ok….let’s try that date…
No wait…now it is the 20th

There must be a million people trying to get an appointment 

Finally…
We hit paydirt…

We both got appointments for Feb 23rd

About one week later
My wife received a notification from NJ…
That she could register for an earlier covid shot
She went online and they gave her an appointment for Feb 9th at a different location

As she’s filling out the registration…she is yelling to me…
George…Get online… You may be able to get an earlier appointment

I ran to my computer…went onlineAnd started searching for the siteAgain…
I started filling out the registration
And kept getting bounced off the site

Finally, it said…No more times available

 I was so close… 

Needless to say
Each night I would go online and continue my search…

Are there any dates available to get an earlier covid shot…
I am over 65 and I qualify 

One day I was sitting around waiting to leave the house
And I started to look once again…

I hear the hospitals are starting covid vaccines
Let me see if there are any openings…
I go on a local hospital site and they start by asking
What date would you like to request…

 I put in January 23rd

I started filling out the registration one more time

Hey Janet…I think I have an earlier appointment
Call my sister…tell her to get online

Then…I received a note…
Your vaccination has been scheduled for
 July 23rd
Are you kidding me…

Janet…It was a false alarm
Call Marge…They gave me July 23rd notJanuary 23rd 
So… I continued my search 

Last week, I was still surfing asking myself…
Can I find an earlier date…Maybe I will look at the Hospital site again 

I go onto my account and pull up my appointment
It asked me if I would like to reschedule my appointment 

Hmm, I wonder what happens if I hit this button…

Paydirt…. 

What time would you like on Feb 18th 

OMG…can this be 

I quickly hit the accept button
After much persistenceI am ready to take my first shot…

I know it is only 5 days earlier…
I can already feel my anxiety level dropping…

Today I got my 1st shot…

If you have not signed up…

Give it a Shot…


Every Day is a Gift…

Touched by an Angel

December 21, 2020

I recently received this email about Alan from a good friend. It was written by Charles Spinelli. It was so touching that I asked Charles if I could share it.

This is from the heart…

What a year!  I don’t think it’s necessary to recap all that occurred this year or how exactly we got to where we are…actually, I am not even sure exactly where we are??

But I do want to share this with you.  I met my friend Alan the other day.  Alan is an angel.  Well sort of.  He is actually a homeless man in the town we work in.  He is grimy and he smells.  His mode of transportation – a bicycle that is held together by duct tape.  I buy him lunch or give him money every time I see him.  But on this day, Alan gave me a great gift!

It was chilly and he was wearing a hoodie and a down overcoat.  He had boots on, but there was a hole in the top were his sock was sticking out.  I said hello and he immediately got up and held his hand out to shake mine.  Despite his physical condition, and the pandemic, I unhesitatingly shook Alan’s hand.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to be touched by an angel! 

With a beaming smile, he asked how I was.  Alan always asks me how I’m doing.  And not just in a perfunctory way…he really listens.  I paused for a moment and said, “You know Alan, I’m doing well.”  I expounded, “I guess the challenge in these times is to look at what you have and be able to count your blessings.  How are you doing?” I asked.  He said, “My friend, I am blessed.  I am warm and I have so much to be thankful for.  Some people have it much worse than me.”

Wow!  Angels always appear where they are needed.  I knew immediately that God was using Alan to give me a message.  Even in the midst of difficulty, we need to know that we are loved.  And that it is never, ever as bad as it seems, because God is always with us.  And, if we can love, we should love.  If we receive love, we need to return love.   Love is the only way that Alan can think that he is blessed.  His very existence hangs in jeopardy every day – the weather materially impacts him, he relies on handouts for his meals, and he can only hope that he will find someplace safe and warm to sleep.  Alan understands that God loves him, I think that is why he can positively say he is blessed.

Are we as confident in God’s love for us as Alan is?  Personally, I often lose sight of that.  The past month has been heavy.  The uncertainty of everything has caused so much anxiety.  My focus has been selfish, and I seemed to be caught up in the issues of the world.  I have been at times anxious, scared, hopeless, angry, frustrated…sound familiar?

In a sense, Alan and I are very dissimilar.  I have everything I need and most things I want.  Alan, well, he literally has nothing.  The world would say we have zero in common.  But the world is wrong.  God sees it another way.  In fact, from His eyes, there is nothing different between us.  We are both simply His children.  In this sense Alan and I are brothers and God gives each of us the same gift – love.

I was really amazed how Alan could say he is blessed.  I was also very embarrassed about why I think my troubles are numerous.  Alan gave me the gift of perspective.  As I paused to take stock of my life, I came to understand that there is indeed much to be thankful for.  Just focusing on some of the things that I take for granted, gave me so much to ponder and pray about.

So, this week, let’s take a minute to contemplate all the gifts we have.  Look at our spouses or your children; our family or our friends; and know that they are truly gifts from God.  Reflect on how God is always there to help us along.  And maybe we can also say that we are blessed…just like Alan the angel.

Charles

Thank you, Charles, that was beautiful….

Merry Christmas to all and……Stay Safe….

Every Day is a Gift

Attention to Details

October 29, 2020

It is always nice to hear good things about your company…

In my previous life

When we were looking to make a major purchase or an upgrade

I always made it a point

To get as much information as possible

I was not looking to be sold

I was looking to be educated…

Who would be the most qualified…

To implement the program or vision

We were looking to achieve

I never a fan of long-winded explanations…

Just give me the facts…

We were always looking for…

An Apples to Apples comparison…

This is the best way for you can make an objective decision

If a presentation leads to more questions

Then answers…

That can be disheartening

Okay Hutchie….Just what are you trying to say…

Recently I was delighted

When a client complimented HBS

On the completeness of our presentation

They were upfront in telling me that…..

They had interviewed other consultants but…

Found their presentations to be confusing….

Always leaving more questions….then answers…

They found the HBS presentation to be self-explanatory

It told them all the information they needed to know

They liked our attention to detail

Our goal has always been…

To build a relationship while educating our clients

People like to deal with people they…

Know…

Feel comfortable with and…

Can Trust

Building trust in our relationships

Is our primary goal

We are here to serve…

As 2020 comes to a close…

Companies are putting budgets together for next year

Do not take for granted

That what your spent last year is…

The cost of doing business

Yes…You may be making money but…

Do not let that provide a comfort level

As business continues to evolve

There are many opportunities to…

Lower costs and increase efficiencies

On many items we all take for granted

As the cost of doing business

HBS has been providing

Smart solutions for Smart Business

For over 20 years

We invite you to be our next success story…

Every Day is a Gift

Thank you for your continued referrals

Need Some Water

February 11, 2020

Need some water photo black-and-white-person-sport-competition

Growing up in grade school I was always looking forward to playing on the school teams. You had to wait until 5th grade to go out for football. Christ the King was a touch league with other Catholic Schools in the area. It may have been touch football ….. but it could get rough.

In 7th grade we thought we had a pretty good team so we challenged the town midget football team to a game of tackle. They thought they would walk on the field and just run us up and down the field. We had a great group of players and boy …. were they surprised? They thought they were playing a bunch of the Catholic School wusses.

We knew most of the kids on the other team for we had grown up with them playing town sports. Initially there was a lot of trash talk going both ways in a fun manner. However…I am pretty sure they had a new found respect after the game.

Standing on the sideline you always waited for your name to be called by the coach. Hutch, we need you to do a fast sweep around the outside. I was always waiting…I was ready. I specifically remember one game, standing on the sideline watching our team, it was a hot Saturday morning. The score was close, everyone was tired.

Finally …. it happened…my name was called… our coach says “ Hutch come here.” I hurried to put my helmet on and as I am running down to him I am desperately trying to buckle my chinstrap.

Yea coach…what do you need? “It’s getting near halftime, the players are tired and thirsty, why don’t you run up and get them some water for half time.”

My heart sank…I was ready but I was not deterred. I loved football and I was determined to hold my head up high. My time would come.

And it did come, in high school I played 3 sports….Football, Basketball and Track. I went out for football my junior year when I realized my career in basketball was waning. Although I loved basketball, the starting 5 when I was a freshman were all sophomores, I could see the writing on the wall, I needed to find a new sport to excel in. I looked to football and track.

I remember a basketball game against one high school in my sophomore or junior year. The other team was playing a man to man defense and I was playing the forward position. The defender kept trying to trash talk me… “Hey, you gotta jockey on,” he kept pushing me and throwing jabs at me as I was making cuts. This went on for the entire quarter. Trying not to get sucked in to his taunting….as I was going up for a rebound, he was just about hanging on my back, I jammed my elbow down his throat. I think he was caught a little off guard. As I made my way up the court he said…”Ohhhh, you shouldn’t have done that, now you really going to get it.” I just ignored him and continued to play.

A few minutes later I got the ball on the right side and I faked a jumper and went down the baseline and under the basket for a reverse layup. As I was extended and in the air the center from the other team came across the lane and punched me in the privates, and as I came down bellied over in pain, he proceeded to do an upper cut that landed on my left eye. He then pushed me and I fell into the stands and the crowd took a shot.

The ref called a foul, Hey, how about throwing them out of the game…

I could barely see and had to leave the game after the foul shot. You are probably asking; did I make the fouls shot?

I really don’t remember. I do remember that I had to wear a patch over my eye for 3 days and I had a slight limp.

What You Say

January 23, 2020

seance

Have you ever been to Key West…

It is one of our favorite spots to visit…

 

Anyone who has dropped out of life….

Has relocated to Key West

 

Quite an eclectic crowd

 

Some years ago…

We were at a neighborhood party and I was speaking to a friend

He and his wife had just got back from Key West

I told them my wife and I were heading to Key West in a couple of weeks

 

He went on to say that while they were in the Keys

They had attended a Séance and…

It was unbelievable

 

A….. Séance….Really…

 

When Janet and I got to Key West, we decided to check it out

We found out where it was located

Walked around the neighborhood

(It was an older home)

We got up the courage to go up

And knocked on the door

 

After a brief discussion

We were told

The Séance begins at 7pm

We told them we would be there

 

The next question was…

Should we eat dinner before the Séance

Around 5pm and then head over

(There was a small restaurant down the street)

Or do we want to grab something to eat afterwards

 

We decided we would do dinner at 5…

 

After a nice dinner

We walk up the street and knocked on the door

As we walked in we saw about 10 people standing in the foyer

They all asked….

 

Are you guys here for the Séance…

 

We did some initial small talk…

 

Where are you from…

How long are you in the Keys…

And of course….

 

Is this your 1st Séance…

 

Suddenly, the door opened,

We were asked to come into the dining area…

There was a large Dining Room table and…

We were asked to take a seat around the table

 

The Seancer welcomed us and introduced himself

 

He started by saying…

 

 I know you probably have a lot of questions about…

What can you expect from the Séance

 

Have you ever heard of Kreskin…

(He was a very famous mentalist in our day)

That is what I do…

 

I am a mentalist and I can read peoples’ minds….

And…. I can communicate with the spirit world

 

To give you an idea of what I can do

I want everyone to think of someone

Who is very special in your life

I want you to concentrate on their name and…

I am going to tell you who that person is

 

Ok….Is everybody ready…

Now I want you all to concentrate

 

He looks at my wife and asks…

 

What is your name…

I am Janet…

 

Have you thought of someone special in your life…

Yes, I have…

 

Please stand up and I will tell you who you are thinking of

Better yet…

 

He points to the person sitting next to Janet

 

Will you please stand up…

What is your name…Jim

 

Do you know Janet…

No, I just met her when we came here tonight

 

While Janet is thinking of her person, I am going to send it from my mind to Jim’s mind

And Jim is going to say the name of the person Janet is thinking about

 

Yeah right…

 

Before I reveal who Janet is thinking about…

I want Janet to do one thing…

 

Janet, in front of you will see a tray of ashes

Please pick up the tray of ashes and dump it onto the plate next to it

Now…I want you to take the napkin laying there

Open it up and place it over the ashes on the plate

 

Ok…Now we can get started

Janet… you are still thinking of your name

Think real hard and…

Jim standing next to you is going to say that name

 

Are you ready…

 

All of a sudden…

Jim blurts out the name Janet is thinking about

 

My wife shrieks….

 

How could he possibly know who I was thinking about…

 

Now we are coming to the best part…

 

Janet…was that the name you were thinking of…

Yes, It was my grandmother’s name

 

Ok…

Now I want you to take the napkin off the plate with the ashes

 

As she removes the napkin

Janet see the name of her grandmother

Spelled out with the ashes on the plate

 

It was spelled in the original Gaelic form

 

Bessie

 

The way her grandmother used to spell her name

 

We have never seen anything like that in our lives

 

How did he do it…

I don’t know

 

I could go into more detail about rest of the night

But all I can say…

 

We never saw any of these people before

We will never see them again

And that night will live in our minds forever

 

The spirits were active that night

It was draining on all of us

 

I am not a big fan of the dark…

 

All I can say is…

That there was a lot of energy flowing around the room

 

Good thing we ate at 5pm

We would not have been able to go dinner afterward

 

We all walked out of the house numb…

O Holy Night

December 19, 2019

choir boys Dec 2019

How many of you like to sing?

When I was in 5th grade I decided to join the choir. We would meet at the school gym at 7:30 in the morning on Tuesday and Thursdays and once again on Friday nights in the choir loft at the front of the church. Our job was to sing the 11:45 am High Mass 3 Sundays a month and sing all the Religious Holidays.

I can always remember standing in the pew while I was singing and looking up at a special set of steps that was in the front of the choir loft. Christ the King had a men and boys choir and the men would be standing on the steps in front of us. At times, Mr. Curia would pick some of the choirboys to join the men up on the steps.

Were they the better singers….. I was never picked.

I always thought I was doing a good job…I was singing my heart out.

I must admit, I loved singing in the choir. My Mom would always say, I could hear your voice today, it sounded beautiful.

But Mom, you are not supposed to hear me, I am supposed to blend. Oh George, don’t be silly, you help make the choir better.

Isn’t she sweet….. That reminds me of the song….Don’t say nothing bad about my baby…. Mom was always positive and loving. Her children were the apple of her eye and I was her little boy.

Our big sing was always Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Not only were we able to stay up late on Christmas Eve but when I got home my parents would let me open 1 present before I went to bed. When I was in 8th grade Mr. Curia selected me to do the solo in front of the whole church at Midnight Mass. I sang….

O Holy Night.

What a thrill. It has to be one of my all-time favorite songs and still gives me the chills every time I hear it around Christmas. I still remember, Mr Curia saying… It is time George…

I slowly walked out to the front of the Church and then it was me and the organ. I heard the intro, I was a bit nervous, I took a slow deep breath and began to sing. I was in a complete zone and my voice just carried and took over….. I nailed it.

After Midnight Mass we all went back to my Grand Mom Hutch’s house. The kitchen table was full of coffee, tea and assortment of cakes and cookies. Besides my parents, several of my aunts and uncles also were there. My Grandmother said… “George you sounded beautiful tonight; can you sing O Holy Night again for us”….

You didn’t have to asked me twice. I smiled and started an accapella version for the family. What a thrill. I couldn’t stop smiling.

Looking back, I have a lot of great memories growing up and celebrating Christmas with the family.

May you and your family have a Merry Christmas and cherish the memories of being together. May they bring a smile to your face.

Yardstick

November 13, 2019

1st communion jpg

I went to a Catholic grade school. One of the most important things you do when you are in 2nd grade is study for your 1st communion.

Back in the day we had the Baltimore Catechism. To this day, I know many people whose faith has not grown beyond what they learned in the Baltimore Catechism….

You might remember some of the questions:

1….Who made us……God made us.

2…Who is God… God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things.

3…..Why did God make us…. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in heaven.

To make your 1st Communion you had to not only study the Baltimore Catechism, but you were constantly quizzed on the questions and you had better know the answers.

One thing about Catholic Schools in the 1950s…. we had nuns. They were real sticklers when it came to learning your Catechism.

“I would like you to go home tonight and review all these questions and tomorrow we will have a quiz.”

I went home that night….I studied and highlighted, took notes and went over the questions and answers multiple times. I was going to be ready and know all the answers.

The next day, in class the nun decided to have an oral quiz. I was in the 1st row and she started asking the 1st question to the 1st person in my row. The 2nd question went to the person in the 2nd seat.

I sensed, there is a pattern going on here… Now let me see. I am in seat number 7, that means I am going to get question number 7. What is that question? I know I know the answer. What was that question? Let me take a sneak peek in my book.

Ahhhh. Question 7

“Mister Hutchinson. Will you please come up here.”
Why did you open the book….”

I did not open the book.

I was caught red handed. There was no lying my way out of this one…

“Come here Mister Hutchinson…
Stick your hand out.”

Wow….What is going on…. What have I got myself into…

At this point, she reaches back and on the ledge of the chalk board is a yardstick…

Uh Oh…

“I said stick out your hand…”

I’m thinking….What are you going to do with that yardstick…

Crack….

Not only did she hit my hand with the yardstick…

The yardstick breaks.

The nun is very upset now…

“Now look what you done…
you are going to have to buy me a new yardstick.”

What…

Not only am I experiencing pain…now you are going to make me pay you for your infliction…

Is this some sort of Purgatory….

“You have to bring in $2.00 tomorrow so I can buy a new yardstick.”

I am thinking…

Well the yardstick wouldn’t have broken if you didn’t hit me with it.

Lying…Is that a venial sin…

Can I still make my 1st Holy Communion…

For those of you worrying…

Yes I did receive my 1st Communion and I went on to be an altar boy in later years…

Dominus Vobiscum…..Et cum spiritu tuo…

Timetables

October 30, 2019

timetables

People always compliment my math skills. What they don’t know is the story behind my wizardry.

In 5th grade I had Mr Costigan. If you ever acted up in Mr Costigan’s class, he would give you an assignment. Do the timetables 1-10…25 times and bring them in tomorrow. That was how my year started out.

Back then I always a little bit antsy…I had trouble sitting still in my seat. I was also nosey and I liked to talk…

“Mr Hutchinson….let’s pay attention back there.”

Well as the year progressed…so did the number of timetables I had to write…

“Mr Hutchinson…do the timetables 1-10…100 times and bring them to me tomorrow before class.”

It got to a point…. if I had any spare moments…even when I was not in trouble… I was writing timetables. I knew it was only a matter of time.

In fact, I had so many timetables in storage that I sold them to other less unfortunate students who met Mr Costigan’s wrath. You need 25 or 50 of them? Here I got plenty stashed. Just give me $.25 cents a page. I’m just gonna keep on writing anyway.

Well, I made it thru 5th grade and my math skills increased dramatically. Ask me a multiplication question and I knew the answer right off the top of my head.

Guess who I had the pleasure of teaching me in 7th grade….

Good Ole Mr Costigan…

“Mr Hutchinson…I see we can pick up right where we left off. You might as well just start writing…I know you are long overdue and probably missed me…”

What a sense of humor on that guy… You gotta love Mr Costigan.

So I began 7th grade…preoccupied with trying to get ahead of the curve. Mr Hutchinson please write the 1-10 timetables 100 times and bring them into me tomorrow. (He didn’t even start at 25, for I was a veteran. He went right to the 100 category). One time I reached into my school bag and said….”Here ya go….100 timetables”…He just laughed and said…. “better keep writing.”

Well, I did make it thru 7th grade and again my math skill increased dramatically.

Did I tell you I won the math award at 8th grade graduation?

And the math award for all around excellence in math goes to George Hutchinson.

I almost fell out of my seat.

Really…A math award….Thank you Mr Costigan…

It’s Your Money

September 23, 2019

It's your money

When I first meet people
They always ask…

So… what do you do…

I respond…
We save companies money…

That normally gets a positive response…

People like to save money…

Now….
Do you have time for a quickie quiz…

How many of you have signed a contract…
Thought you got a good deal
Possibly a great deal and…
Never looked at the paperwork again

Can I see a show of hands…

You…

Yea…. you over there
Is your hand up or are you scratching your head…

It looks like you wanted to put your hand up

Come on…
Let’s be honest
We all have done it…

I believe that all of us have good intentions…

But let’s face it we just get busy

No matter how you planned your day
Something happens and you are once again
Putting out fires

The first thing we do with any potential client
Is validate what they are currently paying

Are you paying the exact rate you signed for…

Believe it or not…
This is not always the case

I have people tell me….
Yea… we signed a contract and I was told
We are paying well below market prices

That is always great to hear
But let’s see if that is their reality…

Do you mind if I see your contract…
And could we also get a copy of your latest bill…

I can’t tell you how many times
We find that people are being charged
The wrong rate
And most of the time it is for more than
What you signed for

We always direct them to call the provider
And clarify…
Why are we paying this higher rate…
Our contract states we should be paying xxxx amount

Guess what the response normally is…

Oh, we’re sorry
That was billed improperly
Let us correct that…

We can give you a credit
Or send you a refund

How nice of them….

If they were under charging you
I bet they would contact you and say
We have a problem

However, if they are over charging you
You don’t hear from them

This is your money…

Don’t be afraid to ask for it…

HBS clients have received thousands of dollars in refunds

Always be aware of what you are paying…

And if you are not sure…
Give us a call

HBS leaves no stone unturned in our search for savings

We find ways to save you money

We Are at Your Service

September 13, 2019

we are at your service

Many people I speak to

Admit to budgeting by….

How much did we spend last year…..

How do you know what you spent last year….

Was the correct amount

Is that your comfort level…

In today’s growing market

It is good to look at all your business costs…

Do not take what you paid last year

As the cost of doing business

HBS specializes in validating what you currently are paying and

Providing savings on everyday costs that many people take for granted…

• Communications…Voice…Cloud Solutions…Internet / Data Connectivity
• Utilities… Gas and Electric Supply / Demand Solutions…Renewable Energy
• Unemployment Tax…How do you know your current unemployment rate is correct…
• Sales Tax…State Tax laws are complicated…You may be paying too much and not knowing it
• Property Tax…Many businesses continue to pay property taxes on prior assessments

Our clients are always surprised

When they first learn how much they are able to save…

We invite you to be our next success story

You too…

Can increase your efficiencies and

Lower your everyday business costs

We are at your service…