Idioms and Our Days!

Did you ever wake up one morning and wonder how you were going to get everything you had on your plate done within the eight hours allotted to getting it done? This brings me to an “idiom” that is usually associated with the mood we place ourselves in when facing such a situation. Think about it – we have a ton of things to do and only a few hours (well, eight hours is a bit more than a few but what can I say, I haven’t had my morning coffee yet) to do it in.

If you are like me, the first thing that pops into my head is that if I am going to make any headway in the list of things I want to do I am going to have to move “like a bat out of hell!”

What does that even mean? Well, if you look it up – the expression “like a bat out of hell” is very commonly used in English. Bats have been associated with witches since the Jacobean times (reign of James VI of Scotland). Bats fly very quickly as if they are panicking, so this is how the phrase is associated with its origin.  Source: theidioms.com

But instead, I sit down at my desk and prepare a “list of things I want to accomplish” knowing full well that I will probably not get all of them done. But, by having the list in front of me, I can pick and choose those that I feel are most important and attack them first. In that manner, when the end of the day comes and I sit down to review the list once again, hopefully, those that were of most importance will be check-marked ‘done’ and I will feel as though my day was not a total waste of time. Beats moving “like a bat out of hell!”

By taking the approach I mentioned above, one avoids yet another idiom that many people fall victim to in their everyday lives – that of “making a mountain out of a molehill.” Which, by the way, I must admit, I used to do all the time.

Again, referring to the same source, the oldest record of this particular idiom “making a mountain out of a molehill” is to be found in Nicholas Udall’s translation, 1548. It was mentioned as:

“….The Sophists of Greece could through their copiousness make an Elephant of a fly and a mountain of a molehill”

He is comparing a fly with an elephant which is a clear reflection of exaggeration. It is impossible to compare an elephant with a fly because of the difference in their size. Since then, this idiom was used rapidly in order to highlight the dramatization.   Source: theidioms.com

My point to this entire post is that if we slow down and think things through and not fly off the handle “like a bat out of hell,” the tasks before us on any given day are not those of the “making a mountain out of a molehill,” but instead are as simple as that!

Source: theidioms.com

Until next time!

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Telemarketing

Will he ever stop asking questions?

With all the telemarketer calls today – wouldn’t you like to see the following scenario play out when one calls your house. You would have to play the role of the young child and imitate the voice he or she – for the purposes of this post – let’s say it is a boy – uses. The conversation might go something like this:

The telemarketer calls and the little boy answers. The little boy whispers, “Hello?”

The salesperson says, “Yes, can I speak to your mommy?”

“No, “the little boy whispers, “She’s busy.”

The salesperson then says, “Okay, can I speak to your daddy, please?”

“He’s busy, too,” the little boy whispers.

By this time, the salesperson is becoming a bit annoyed but still hungry for the sale and so the salesperson says, “All right, is there another adult in the house?”

“Yes,” the boy whispers. “There’s a policeman.”

“A policeman?!” the salesperson gasps. “Can I speak to him?”

“No,” whispers the boy. “He’s busy, too!”

As a last resort, the salesperson asks one last time, “Okay, are there any other adults there?”

“Yes,” whispers the boy. “There’s a firefighter.”

“A firefighter!” exclaims the salesperson. “Can I speak to him?”

“No,” whispers the boy. “He’s busy, too.”

“Little boy,” says the salesperson, “with all of those adults in the house, what are they doing?”

After a short pause the little boy whispers, “Looking for me.”

Until next time!

Wake Up Call

As has been the case lately, I have not been writing posts as frequently as I would like to. It would appear a small thing called ‘life’ tends to get in the way. I know ….excuses, excuses, excuses! But, having said that I have another reason for not writing and that is that my “Idea” box is empty. Empty, that is, until around three o’clock this morning.

It was after I woke to go to the bathroom (one of three or four trips that I make in an evening – “Oh, the joys of getting old – but having reached age 78 last month, I am not complaining – just confessing!” During one of these trips I started thinking about what my next post should be about. What entered my head was a combination of things – one, I was feeling sorry for myself because lately I have been having some minor health problems and how this minor health problem could be looked upon as a  disability!

But then, my mind then wandered (which it tends to do a lot lately) to item number two which was about some of the posts I recently read where some retirees complain because they do not know what to do with themselves now that they are retired.

This combination of ideas got me to thinking, not of myself, but of others, people with true disabilities, not the mediocre ones many of us feel we suffer with during our daily lives. I got to thinking how these people managed to hold it all together and have the strength to move forward and do something with their life. Many of which probably never did retire as they were too wrapped up with what they enjoyed doing every day of their lives.

People like: Helen Keller – born June 27, 1880, and became deaf and blind at 19 months yet went on to become involved in significant political, social, and cultural movements of the 20th century and worked diligently until her passing to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Or, John Nash – an American mathematician, born June 13, 1928, whose life, marked by acute paranoid schizophrenia, is known to us thanks to the film “A Beautiful Mind.”  Knowing of his illness, Nash fought against it and went on to develop a successful academic career that earned him the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994.

Christy Brown, an Irish writer and painter who had cerebral palsy yet went on to write or type only with the toes of one foot and his most recognized work is his autobiography, titled My Left Foot.

I could go on an on as there are so many – Stephen Hawking, Marlee Beth Matlin, Michael J. Fox, Stevie Wonder, Nick Vujicic, Andrea Boccelli, and Muhammad Ali to name a few.

Many of us handicap ourselves into thinking “woe is me – what am I going to do with myself – I have it so bad” or “what is happening to me ‘sucks’.” When such a thought crosses our mind, what we need to do is “Gibb slap” ourselves on the back of our head and thank our lucky stars we are not ‘disabled’ in the true sense of the word, straighten up, and get on with our lives doing something instead of whining about it – myself included.

Besides, ‘wine’ is best served at the end of the day as we sit back, put our feet up, relax, and take stock of what we accomplished today. After all, we are retired, we have as much time as we need to get it right! Or do we?

Until next time!

Life – Hard – Complicated – Or is it Just Us!

If there is one thing I have learned and am still learning the older I get is that we humans need to lighten up and not think life is always hard. Life truly isn’t all that difficult, unless of course, we ourselves, complicate it.

How so, well let’s take a step back and look at the schedules we set for ourselves. If we are still in the workplace, although I am not and I will get to us retired folks in a bit, in the interest of self-preservation or looking out for our future, we usually take on more than we should. Notice I said, usually. Oh, we get done whatever it is we say we are going to do – but at what cost?

We do not spend as much time with our families. We stay at the office or workplace longer than we should. And this can cause holes in our relationships with family later on in life. Being a retiree now for 22 years, I am becoming aware of some of my own short-comings when I was in the workforce. Although, truth be told, had I not done what I did over the years, my guess is that we would not have been able to enjoy our retirement years as much as we have and continue to enjoy. No regrets.

But, we do need to take time for ourselves and enjoy life. Whether still working or retired, we need to think twice about what we agree to do when asked. We do not need our activities swallowing up our lives. I used to work with an individual that early on said: “I work to live, not live to work!” Fact is we should make it a point to stay active and busy because we want to live.

Whether working or not, by treating our lives as a gift to be treasured and enjoyed, versus a commitment to be fulfilled, chances are we may just find that little piece of happiness we are all searching for.   

It’s the Paperwork that is the Pits!

Have you ever thought about ridiculous accidents that you have heard about over the years? Take the one where a guy was out shopping for groceries and was reaching into one of those freezers where you must bend over as far as you can to get the leaf spinach that is on sale – you know – BOGO – buy one and get one free. Why do they make those freezers so deep anyways?  Anyways as this guy was bending over – he was short you know – like me – he bent over too far, lost his balance and fell headfirst into the freezer.

Another guy happened to be walking by and being a big guy, grabbed our freezer diver –you know the guy hanging onto two boxes of frozen spinach with ankles shooting straight up in the air, dragged him out and decided they had best go to the hospital to have him looked at, treated if necessary, and hopefully released.

Chances are that falling into the freezer was the easy part. My educated guess is that the real trauma came later when the guy had to answer all the questions posed by the people who fill out the insurance forms he had to complete. Can you see it now?  Or should I say can you picture the type of questions that might have come up? Questions like:

Was this an accident? 

The guy really wanted to answer: “No – I always go freezer diving for several boxes of spinach!”

But being a gentleman: he merely replies: “Yes”

Wanting to cover all the bases, the insurance adjuster then asked:

“Was there any other way to get the spinach out of the case?”

Thinking about this for a moment, the guy recalls that there was a tall gentleman on the opposite side of the freezer he could have asked to reach down into the freezer case to grab the two boxes. But being a ‘macho’guy, he didn’t want to embarrass himself by asking.  And yet. knowing that the mere presence of a tall stranger on the opposite side of the case was, in fact, another opportunity/way to secure the spinach, he responded: “Probably”

Then the adjuster asks the question: Have you ever obtained your spinach like this before?

Knowing that he has – he replies: “Many times.”

Next would come the part where the individual has to fill in the explanation of the accident onto the small space provided on the form.  And so forth and so on!

Keep in mind we are talking about weird/ridiculous accidents.

Everyone knows that if there is anyone that knows about weird accidents, mothers know. Mothers know more about weird accidents because over their child-rearing years I am sure most accidents that happen with children border on the ridiculous. When you get right down to it, our children never seem to do things in a conventional manner. Think about it – kids stuffing pennies up their nose, catching their arms in weird places, sticking their heads through fences, or getting their hand literally stuck in the cookie jar – are typical of the type of accidents kids endure.

Think back to when you were raising your children and they got into some weird type of accident – first few words out of your mouth were probably:

“How in the world could something like this happen?”

But, as parents, we learn to accept the fact that strange things do in fact happen.

It gets to the point that when something strange does happen, we just prepare ourselves accordingly. All we end up doing is defend ourselves as we ride to the emergency room when and if the accident does happen. While riding to the hospital, we are contemplating the questions that will be asked of the accident and the fun the individual asking the questions will have trying to squeeze the answers into the limited space provided on the insurance form.

Can you see it or hear it now? “How did your daughter break her arm?”

“Falling out of her tree house!”

“Your daughter has her own tree house?”

“Doesn’t yours?”

Or,here is one for you – “Patient cut his tongue while hiding a G.I. Joe soldier in his mouth that his brother needed to complete his army battlefield just to aggravate him. Try inserting all that on the: “Description of accident line.”

And this is just a brief sampling of the probable statements the nurse will attempt to write in the short spaces allowed on insurance claims forms.

Okay, I have rambled on long enough now – one more hypothetical story with you that, if you can attempt to picture the incident in your mind, might just have you rolling on the floor by the time you are done reading this article.

Thinking about the numerous road trips we have taken over the years and watching people use the bathroom often whether on a train, bus, or plane, I can just see the face of the individual that had to fill out the claims form when the accident is described as follows: “Individual had his buttocks lodged in an emergency exit when, while in the rest room of a bus, the bus swerved, forcing him into the window.”

I can see it now – before even attempting to complete the paperwork, one of the hospital staff is surely going to ask the following question of the victim:

“Was this your assigned seat?”   

Great Intentions or should the title be Stupid Questions?

I woke up this morning with “great intentions.” I have been putting this list of “To-Do’s” together and thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if today I accomplished most of them. The mere thought of all that was on my list though, tired me out and so I decided to sit down and rest a bit.One minute led into two minutes which led into five and before I knew it an hour went by and guess what… the feeling went away!

With that thought in mind I decided to cool it and spend some time with friends. During the course of the evening, one thing led to another and before I knew it one of my friends brought up the topic of “stupid questions.” As is usually the case, someone in the group chimed in by saying: “There are no stupid questions.” Hearing this, I couldn’t let it go so I said to him: “If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask?”

I’ve noticed lately that we as a community have become a community of worriers. Did you ever notice how worried some people are about what their neighbors might think of things they might do? Why one friend of mine told me that no matter how bad things get, he is sure that he would never take his own life. To make him feel good, I said that is a good thing because suicide is not the answer. His response to that was: “No, it wasn’t that he was afraid to take his own life if things got really bad. He wouldn’t commit suicide for fear of what his neighbors might say about his doing it.” 

Duh,and they walk among us!

Okay, we all have dirty little secrets (hopefully none about suicide). With that thought in mind here is a thought for us to ponder over. Did you ever wonder about white gloves and how dirty they would get if they fell in the mud? Think about it for a moment….if you drop a white glove into the mud, the glove will get muddy. But the mud will never get glovely.

Gotcha!

By now, my guess is that many of you out there in never-never land are saying time to call the little men in white suits to take Irwin away. What can I say I should have mentioned at the beginning of this piece that there is no rhyme nor reason for this jibberish. I am just rambling on and hoping that those taking the time to read it will find a little bit of humor in my ramblings. Oh, and for all those individuals out there in never-never land wishing that you had a helping hand. Suck it up butter cup, there is one at the end of your arm. But I digress yet again! Remember above we were talking about stupid questions. Here is one for you: “What happens to the hole in swiss cheese when the cheese is gone?”

It is amazing where the human mind goes when attempting to find something comical to write about. I just learned that the older I get, the more I worry about money but after taking stock of all my assets recently, I have determined that I have enough money to last me for the rest of my life – unless I buy something that is. There goes my beach house,ranch in Arizona, and convertible we always wanted. Oh well, easy come, easy go. Who am I kidding – I never had it to begin with.

To conclude this wild and crazy piece, allow me to provide you with my two cents worth which, I must admit, I copied from a source long ago.  If it weren’t for my lawyer,I’d still be in prison. It went a lot faster with the two of us digging. 

And the beat goes on!

You might be a redneck if:

You can burp and say your name at the same time, you’re shur’ nuff a redneck.

You carried a fishing pole into Sea World.

You think a quarter horse is a ride out in front of the Walmart.

Your front porch collapses and four dogs git killed.

You’ve ever had to scratch your sisters name out of a message that begins, “For a good time call….”.

You think fast food is hitting a possum at 65 mph.

You can get dog hair from out of your belly button.

Advantages of being an “Old Geezer!”

Did you ever notice all the advantages we have of being an old geezer?

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Before I go any further, allow me to clarify one important thing about much of my writing.  I have but one goal when I sit down to write and that is to amuse myself. When I post these articles here on my site, should those of you that take time out of your busy day to read my rants and raves, enjoy same, well then I am doubly pleased. The deal here is to get us to smile and for one short minute or two forget whatever troubles we might have. We all have good days and bad days, but if we get a chance to smile every now and then, well, chances are that brief moment in time may be all we need to make it through yet another day.  As to how much of what I write is fact or fiction and whether or not it is a page from my own playbook, well, I will leave that up to you. And no, that isn’t a picture of me above!

Lately I seem somewhat bored when I have some excess time on my hands. When that happens, so that I do not become depressed, I tend to think of things to amuse myself. For instance, even though we all know that getting old does have a lot of disadvantages, one must admit that there are some advantages too.

Why just a few short years ago, I had to get the last few teeth I had in my mouth removed and so that means that I no longer have to go to the dentist. Chances are, had not that happened, were I to need a tooth pulled, I would probably have attempted to pull them myself. (it is what us old geezers do)

Oh, and when it comes to driving, at our age, driving recklessly is actually expected, although many of us drive like old grandmas – and you know how slow they drive!

When we go out for the evening, at our age we can stay out and party as long as we want. Just so we are back home before dark.

For some, giving up brushing teeth, using deodorant, and shaving, even though such habits are disgusting, is expected.

Not that I ever worked in road construction, but truth be told, at our age, we never have to work such type jobs again. Nope, our place is as a Walmart greeter, or a supermarket bag boy. More our speed. See, yet another advantage.

Depending on how long we have been in our home, chances are we no longer have any house payments and even if we do, an educated guess is one of two things might happen should the Mortgage holder decide to evict you, 1. Due to how long it takes to evict someone, you will either have gone to meet your maker already or (2) they will just place you in an assisted living facility – which was probably what they intended to do anyway.

Here is a definite advantage and payback as well……as we get older, we may or may not suffer from incontinence problems. For those of us that do though, now we can get even with our children for when we had to change their diapers.

While I wouldn’t wish Alzheimer’s disease on anyone, an advantage might be the ability to insult people any time we want because chances are they will just let it pass saying: “That’s okay, it’s just Alzheimer’s or him being old and crotchety.

Getting old is also advantageous to our pocketbooks as well. How? When they take our drivers license away, we will save a bundle on auto insurance premiums.

Being an old person allows us to stop worrying about our weight, how we dress, and so forth. I know this sounds a bit extreme, but hey, we are old now, chances are no matter how much we care about our weight or how we dress, no one is going to take notice or even care.

Being old means we now get to watch our sons and daughters deal with their wild teenagers, have sleepless nights, and figure out how to live from paycheck to paycheck.

At our age, we can sleep in as long as we want….who is going to care?  Chances are though that the children might just pop in now and then to see if we are still breathing.

Finally, at our age, we realize that most of the things we run across during our day are more trouble than they’re worth.

And last but definitely not least, at our age another big advantage is that we no longer have to save money. Why save it – as I like to say to my kids – do not expect us to leave anything as we are spending your inheritance.

This particular old geezer has been enjoying retired life for almost 22 years (it will be 22 years next month) and the ‘old geezer’ part of retired life……..well……I will get back to you on that one as I haven’t felt like a true ‘old geezer’ yet but I am sure it is coming. Truth-be-told, I have been having too much fun to even think about, let alone worry about, the fact that I am actually getting old. In eleven more days I turn 78 but apparently for me, that isn’t looked upon as old, it is looked upon as getting better.

Growing old is mandatory

Until next time!

Wild and Crazy Things!

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One of the things we do not talk about is some of the crazy things we do and the times we do them. I am talking about waking in the middle of the night and making your way to the workshop so that you can spend a few hours sorting screws, nuts, and bolts by size and placing them in containers or that cool container you recently purchased from Home Depot.

And then there was the day you decided to empty all the clothes from your closet to categorize them, match them by color and what shirt would go with what pants. You know you’re really in trouble when you did the same thing with your shorts (you can tell from reading this that the author is from the south – well, let’s put it this way, we have now been in Florida longer than we have ever been in PA – our state of origin – so I figure we earned the right to say we are from the south).

There are also the days you sit at your computer and say you are going to write – be it the Great American Novel or a blog post or two and instead decide that you had better organize the files on your computer.

Let’s face it……….you really didn’t want to do any of the above-mentioned stuff but you did it because you were either bored or depressed. Let’s look at these two words. The first …..bored is defined as feeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity. The second…… depressed is defined as in a state of general unhappiness or despondency.

Now that we are retired, so that we do not become bored or depressed, we need to fill those hours we used to spend at the office, factory, or wherever we put in our eight to ten hours a day with something …preferably something of consequence. Otherwise we are going to spend our days doing ridiculous things – things like flushing a Boston Crème donut down the toilet because you were watching some exercise program on TV to wile away the hours and were told donuts were not good for you.

While it is true, many retirees get bored shortly after they retire. Truth-be-told though and in my humble opinion, that is because they haven’t figured out what to do constructively with all their new-found time (you know the time I am talking about – the time you used to spend driving to and from work including the time spent on the job). I mean why else would someone, in the middle of a hot summer day, rush outside to sit on a bench talking to the septic tank cleaner guy while he is pumping out your septic tank. It has been known to happen!

And if you are one of those individuals that listens to the radio during the day and are tuned in to a station that accepts calls to discuss various topics, chances are you call in, not that you know about what they are talking, but primarily so you can talk to another human being. Or now that we have television, many of us turn the television on first thing in the morning so that we have someone to talk to. Oh yeah, I mean where else can you provide your two cents on a subject and not have to listen to the other person tear down all your well-thought out ideas?

When you stop and think about it, when our children were still children (I am talking about when they had pets, you know before they became teenagers), little did they know about the lengthy conversations we had with their hamster and even more intelligent conversations when they graduated from hamsters to guinea pigs.

Some might say: “Get a life!” But I like to think that those of us that do these weird and strange things in the middle of the night are truly enjoying our lives now that we are retired. We probably owe our current state of happiness or bliss due to the crazy things we did when we were much younger.

After all, what was it we used to say to the new employee after he was on the job for a few days: “You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it helps!”  Same thing applies in retirement – be your wild and crazy self – my guess is that you will enjoy your retirement years much more than the average bear.

Now where did I lay my yo-yo!

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What is Newsworthy?

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Ever wonder where news comes from today, who thinks it is newsworthy, and most of all, that it is something we are even interested in?

Seeing that I want to rant and rave a bit today, I decided to do a comparison of some ridiculous news as compared to news some would think is newsworthy and that which we should be reading and digesting.

What follows are headlines being presented as events or happenings our news media thinks we should be interested in:

“What to expect from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding.”

“Tracking who is spending money at President Trump’s D.C. hotel.

“23 breath-taking UNESCO World Heritage destinations in the United States.

Cuba was counting on Americans to visit. Then tourism dried up.

Now we come to articles provided as news that – well – who cares, but you be the judge:

“Loose monkey found climbing outside London apartment building.”

“Man wins $4.38 million with lottery ticket he got for free.”

“Moose blocks entrance to Alaska senior center.”

“Zoo charged for taking bear out for ice cream.”

It may just be me, but personally, other than being somewhat curious about the latter, somewhat ridiculous articles, none of these articles strike me as something I would want to waste my time reading. And people actually get paid to report these events as newsworthy events?

Other than posting these headlines as the rants and raves or ponderings of an old and getting older by the minute ‘geezer’ I cannot think of what they are good for. Can you?

Until next time!