Am I Getting “Geeky” or What?

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Here I stand in our back forty trying my best to determine if I want to get on with raking all this hay and stuff or if I want to take a break and share some wild and crazy facts I recently learned with the hope that you do not know about them and once read, well, you will be as “geeky” as me.

One of the things I learned in all my readings is that the next time we visit Hawaii, I had better remind any of the single guys with us that they had best not flirt with any Hawaiian woman sporting a flower over her left ear. Why, you ask – because it is a sign that she is taken.

Oh, for those individuals out there that just love to clean their houses and so forth, did you know that Play Doh was originally designed to be a wallpaper cleaner. Can you see it now: Your three-year old grandson is playing on the floor with his Play Doh and grandma reaches down, snatches the Play Doh from his hand and says: “Sorry Bobby, but Grandma is cleaning today and you will have to find something else to play with as this is my Doh!    Meanie!

While on the subject of households, do you know why people use rat poison to rid their households of rats versus traps? It is because a rat is unable to vomit. Look at it this way, at least you don’t have to remove the pest from the trap.

Want to paint your kitchen a different color? Here is a hint: Never use the colors yellow and orange to spruce up your kitchen walls. These two colors are known to stimulate your appetite and we all know what happens after that – it makes you hungrier and well, there goes the diet!

Here is an interesting fact – next time you are in a Starbucks, take notice that the tables are round and not square. I know – now you are wondering why this is? Believe it or not, it is to encourage conversation among solo drinkers. Could be a good thing or possibly a bad thing. Depends on your reason for being there in the first place. If you are there to get some writing done, chances are the last thing you are seeking is companionship and someone to gab with. But if you are lonely looking for some conversation – well, need I say more?

Here is a piece of interesting trivia… ever give thought to what might have been the item that was used as a carburetor in the first ever Harley Davidson? Believe it or not, it was a tomato can. Hard to believe but then the only thing I ever used a tomato can for was when I used two of them and we had a string attached to the two of them as a means of communication (early walkie-talkies). I know, you are beginning to wonder – how old is this guy?

Here is an interesting piece of history – did you know that in 2005, a Wendy’s store was robbed by a Ronald MacDonald. Don’t believe it – look it up. Google – Ronald MacDonald – Wendy’s – and McDonalds. Oh, and add the year 2005. Guess he didn’t care for Wendy’s burgers.

Did you know that there is a real town in North Carolina named Boogertown? I know, who knew! And here is the fun part of this story. According to Wikipedia, this town, located in Gaston, North Carolina had moonshiners and they (these moonshiners) warned visitors that the bogeyman lurked in the forest to deter visitors from visiting the forest. As a result, the name Boogertown was selected.

Talk about cheap advertising – I read recently that a Canadian farmer once rented advertising space on his cows. Don’t think it is true – well – once again, Google the words – Canadian – advertising – and cows and see what you come up with.  Honestly, would I make this stuff up?

Ever wonder why pirates wore eye patches? So they could fight in the dark. Think about it. Chances are when fights would occur, they would extend to below the deck in addition to the fights occurring on the top of the deck. By wearing an eye patch, the pirate could easily and quickly adapt to low light conditions (as those beneath the deck would be) by switching the eye patch from one eye to the other. The eye that the pirate had covered was already used to the low light conditions and the pirate wearing the eye patch could resume fighting rather quickly once below deck providing him an advantage over his competitor. Who knew?

Isn’t it amazing how we entertain ourselves as we age – especially on rainy afternoons such as this one is. Well, I have other things to write about and bills to pay. If I get really energetic, I may even do some work around here this afternoon.  Nah, I lie – this is too much fun!

Enjoy your day – until next time!

 

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Is This All There Is?

What is it about retirement that bothers us the most? Is it that we feel useless, bored, or that life and ourselves have become mundane? You know the days I am talking about. Those days where we say to ourselves: “Why bother getting out of bed – it is just going to be another day like yesterday!”

Why did I pick those three words to start this article? Let’s take a minute to look at the definition of those words.

Useless – Not fulfilling or not expected to achieve the intended purpose or desired outcome.

Bored or boring – Not interesting, tedious.

Mundane – Lacking interest or excitement; dull.

Now let’s take a look at the word retire – Retire – meaning having left one’s job and ceased to work.

Work – activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. Prior to retiring – work usually meant that activity necessary to put food on the table and a roof over one’s head. Another word for work is employment.

Employment – the condition of having paid work; a person’s trade or profession; the action of giving work to someone.

If you will notice, both words – work and employment refer to activity one had to do. Retire or retirement is usually the time of our lives where we no longer have a job to go to and our time is now truly “our time!”

Unless we worked at a job we truly loved and enjoyed, chances are work was not truly fun. It was as the saying goes: “A means to an end.” According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary – the definition of “a means to an end” is ‘something done only to produce a desired result.’ Hence my reference above when I talked about putting food on the table and a roof over one’s head.

Now that we are retired though and going on the assumption that we have adequate income to still address the needs for food and shelter, the time once given to work should be given to ourselves. How else can we avoid boredom or the feeling of being useless?

I say this because even being as active as we try to be, there are days that I do feel useless, well, not so much useless as “Gee, isn’t there more than this?” But, then I also say to myself: “What is this? You are the one just sitting here looking at old “Murder She Wrote” reruns!”

Bottom line is that to enjoy our retired lives, we need to stay active. Read a book, put a puzzle together, go for a walk, visit the zoo, grab a cup of coffee with a friend, learn a new language, anything to keep both body and mind active. A busy person does not have time to sit and ask the question: “Is this all there is?” They are too busy living life and as a result, enjoying retirement.

Until next time!

Posted in Live for Today, Senior Moments, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Seven Acts of Man

Even though I like to consider myself a writer of sorts, if I were truthful with myself, I would come right out and say that my taking the time to put words on paper is more of a hobby than an actual vocation of say, writing!

Oh, it is true that I wrote business articles when I was part of the working world and when I first started fooling around with ‘writing per se’ I wrote a few short stories, essays, memoirs, poems, and created one or two blogs. Am I a published author – well, if you can call two online e-Books for Kindle being an author – then, yes, I am an author.

Lately though I have run across the blank page more times than I care to admit and so today as I sit here contemplating what I am going to write about, I decided that I will attempt to create a short spoof based on Shakespeare’s “The Seven Ages of Man” just for the fun of it because I happened to come across it while researching something else.

If we will recall, according to Shakespeare – all the world is a stage and all the men and women are merely players on this stage. As Shakespeare would have us believe, one man in his time plays many parts – seven in all.

There is the infant which would be any of us when we are first born. You know – that adorable bundle of pink flesh all the nurses want to hold and cuddle and say cute things to even though at times the crying might drive one up the proverbial wall, not to mention the times we might have to clean up the occasional vomit or change a nasty diaper.

the infant

Time passes and as we grow, being the male that I am, it is time to become the schoolboy. Some children couldn’t wait to get to school because they just loved both the atmosphere and friends they made in addition to the learning experience school gave them. While others seen school as an escape from the house because their growing up years were not what they look back upon as fun years. For them, even though it was school – hey they were out of the house for hours on end, and to them that was a good thing.

the schoolboy

School years behind us, many of us begin to forge new relationships and if we are truly lucky in these endeavors we do our best to find the right mate and thus the lover in us comes out. With luck, love, and careful planning, hopefully it is at this point in our life that we are able to build a family and settle down.

the lover

But, as luck would have it and with the world being what it is, somewhere, someplace, war occurs and wanting to be altruistic, our patriotic duty shines through our rough veneer and we become the soldier ever vigilant in our desire to protect not only our loved ones but the American way of life.

the soldier

Soldiering duties behind us, we re-enter the civilian workplace, business world, however one wants to categorize life as we know it from 9-5. Now that we are older and more knowledgeable of the ways of the world, some of us realize many of the injustices occurring in the world today. Enter the justice side of man as we do our best to defend what is right and speak out against what is bad in the world today. Some men find and act upon this phase of their lives earlier in their lives but many times it does not happen until we are either at middle age or almost at retirement age.

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Having addressed the fifth age and remember now we are getting older as we go through these phases, it is time to enter the pantaloon or fun-filled age where, while we still care about a good many things, fun and frivolity is more our game. During this stage we do not take ourselves so seriously anymore. In some instances, we sometimes let ourselves go and are not as particular about our dress and appearance but instead look for enjoyment wherever we can find it.

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Finally after decades of going through the various acts just mentioned, man is destined to enter what could be considered the second childhood phase of life. In Shakespeare’s version the question is raised: “Is second childishness and mere oblivion, sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything?

second childhood

Interesting question seeing that once we become, say an octogenarian, how many of us still have our full mental capacity, all our original teeth, can still see without glasses, haven’t lost most or some of our taste buds and whatever else we had once cherished but have lost along the way?

There you have it – “The Seven Ages of Man” – It seems so simple, doesn’t it?

Can living our lives be simplified into a seven-act play? What do you think?  Shakespeare thought it could!

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Until next time!

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Aren’t You Glad You Stopped By!

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Did you ever wonder where so many of our unusual sayings came from? Take the one that goes:

“Fancy meeting you here!”

 This particular salutation actually was a line of dialogue in an old 1927 Broadway play (“The Royal Family”) that ran for over 300 performances and was about the Barrymore family, (John and Lionel Barrymore as well as their sister Ethel Barrymore). I am sure that many of you reading this will not remember the Barrymore’s. But I am sure that many of you will know the name Drew Barrymore. Miss Barrymore is the granddaughter of John Barrymore and many of you might also remember her as the child actress that played Gertie in Steven Spielberg’s film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial which debuted in 1982.  Small world, isn’t it? Oh, another interesting tidbit of information is that the play went on to become such a hit that they made a movie of it in 1930 entitled (“The Royal Family of Broadway”) but alas, none of the Barrymore’s were in the film. The actors tapped for the roles were Frederic March and Ina Claire. Who knew? No problem, but do not shed any tears over this piece of history.  Speaking of tears – another saying from some time back had to do with:

Crocodile tears!

Remember way back when and you heard someone make the comment: “He or she is shedding crocodile tears!”  Did you think of the following question like I did: “Do crocodiles even cry?”  Well, I believe I read somewhere that they do not cry. As for the saying, the expression “Crocodile tears” goes way back in time to tales spun by Pliny the Elder. Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher during the early Roman Empire. Supposedly as the story goes, after devouring the body of a victim, the crocodile shed many tears over the head before eating that as well. As I understand it Bogorad (1928) and Kaminsky (1929) applied the name “crocodile tears” to the syndrome of excessive lacrimation while eating. Again, who knew? Now, let us leave the realm of unusual sayings and turn our attention to:

Fact or Fiction

 Over the years, we have heard about or read stories about some of our well-known personalities. Try this one on for size! Did the actress Lucille Ball assist the FBI during World War II?  Rumor has it that one day while driving home after having just visited her dentist where she had several teeth filled, Miss Ball, suddenly heard sounds coming from her mouth. Those sounds were due to a wireless transmitter apparently within the vicinity of where she was driving. Rumor also has it that the sounds were similar to dots and dashes. Informed about the incident, supposedly, the military authorities may or may not have realized that the sounds coming from Lucy’s mouth were because of the fillings within her mouth.  The thought was that her fillings might have acted as a receiver. Later although never confirmed, the government was able to unearth a secret Japanese underground transmitter that was operating in California. What do you think …… fact or fiction?  Who knows! My guess is that we will never know.

Okay, my time here is once again rapidly coming to a close. Hope I made you smile as what I just shared is merely the rants and raves of an old fart trying to keep his mind active and having a ball while doing it.  That which I share is meant to be both  informative and entertaining. Hopefully I have met both criteria. Until next time!

 

 

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Life Can Be Complicated – Keep it Simple!

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Did you ever stop and think how complex this world is?  Were we to try and figure out everything about this world of ours, we would drive ourselves crazy very quickly. This thought process applies to all levels of life including most areas of life as well.

Not everyone thinks alike nor do they follow the same pattern of living as we do. In many respects, this is good because just think how boring life would be if we would all follow the same pattern day in and day out. The secret is to recognize this fact early on. Knowing that things happen that are out of our comprehension enables us to go about our business without allowing these “things” to, how shall I say, distract us. Were we to attempt to figure out why some people do the things they do when they seem contrary to our way of doing things – we would be in the loony bin before we knew it. Better way to handle it is to accept the fact that there will always be stuff happening that we won’t understand and just move on with our own lives.

And I am talking about both small stuff as well as big stuff. An example of small stuff might be when you agree to assist someone doing, say a project that should only take an hour to do, but a third party to this project allows their mind and actions to wander off onto some other project that also needs being done but can wait, causing everyone to have to wait for them to get back on track. Small problem – Yes – irritating – definitely. Earth shattering, No. Just something we learn to accept and move on versus making a big deal out of it.

This same principle works whether we are talking about small stuff or large stuff. Just as people don’t make sense about some of the small things they say and do, same theory holds true with some of the other things that happen in our lives. Fact is – at times I am sure that we all think “Life doesn’t make sense”. But so that we do not drive ourselves crazy trying to figure things out that we probably never will, best thing to do is to just let it go.

One thing is for certain – if we let it go and no longer worry about it, we will discover the peace of mind that will come over us as we say to ourselves:

“I know I will never know or understand everything, but as long as I can make sense about most of what our lives are about – well, I am satisfied. “

Until next time!

 

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One Day At a Time!

How often do we hear that saying or for that matter say it to ourselves on any given day or during any given week?

Life today can be hectic but for the most part, enlightened people throughout the ages have understood sayings such as this. As a matter-of-fact, a more common saying which is more of a prayer than a saying is The Serenity Prayer, you know, the one that goes as follows:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Most of us know or should be cognizant of the fact that all life takes place in the present, or more precisely, in this very moment. And as the saying goes, this moment is a gift which is why it is called the present.

Each of us no matter where we stand in the hierarchy of things all get the same 24 hours in a day. Let me clarify a bit. No matter what our circumstances – we each get the same 24 hours. Therefore, time is the one commodity all people get equally. What we do with those 24 hours is what determines whether we will be happy or sad, angry or peaceful, coolheaded or upset, you name it – our mood, no our attitude is ours and ours alone to choose.

Keeping the above in mind every day is one of the reasons why I do my best to make a list each and every day. The list keeps me focused and is my way to stay on track with what is important to me, not others. Checking off items on that list at the end of the day provides me with the assurance that what I am doing is what I consider to be important and that all else sort of becomes secondary.

My decision as to what would be the best use of my time, i.e., living in the moment, is what keeps me grounded and why I take “one day at a time!”

Other signs we may follow could be: “Live and Let Live”

                                                            “First Things First”

                                                            “Think, Think, Think”

Following such a philosophy does keep one grounded and, speaking for myself, quite content.

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Where is the Fun in That?

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When Is a Test Only a Test?

What does the above sentence mean? I have always been fascinated with various quotes and what they mean. Most definitions or comments pertaining to this statement have religious connotations. Seeing that my style of writing stays away from two subjects, namely religion and politics, I prefer to go with a quote by Tom Bodett (remember him – the Motel 6 guy – “We’ll leave the light on for you!”), who said:

“In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”

Isn’t that what we face every day – new lessons. The secret is to learn from them which in many cases we do. True, in some instances, we wish we would have known the outcome before-hand but where’s the fun in that.

Believe it or not, at age seventy-seven, I am still learning and it is comical (shame on me) at times to watch our children or even others go through the process of learning some of life’s simple lessons.  You want to share your knowledge of the subject involved and many times do. But, sometimes it is best to keep one’s mouth shut and let them learn for themselves.

While it pains me to see my children go through some of life’s lessons – how shall I put it –  sometimes it is for the best. If you are like me, we seniors learn early on, life is much simpler without confrontation and family confrontations. While they do happen, fact is they aren’t the most fun things to go through.

At our age, the only test I want to take anymore, is the one that I take every morning – that of searching the obituaries to see if my name is there. If it is not, well – the lesson I learned for the day is that I have one more day to get it right!

Until next time!

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SEENAGER

Yet another of my crazy rants and raves that I thought I would share with you as it seemed rather appropriate for those of us that are “seniors” but truly do not feel our age.

Don’t like the title Senior Citizen – Let’s call ourselves “Seenager” (senior teenager)

Think about it:

We have everything we wanted as a teenager – only problem is it is 60 or so odd years later.

We no longer have to go to work or school (assuming of course that we aren’t working or becoming better educated).

We get an allowance every month (If that is how we want to look at our Social Security paycheck)

We have our own pads – Yay – Beacon Terrace!

We do not have any curfews (other than self-imposed ones)

For those of us still driving – we have a driver’s license and our own car.

The people we hang around with are no longer scared of getting pregnant and they do not use drugs  (unless pain medicine or caffeine counts as drugs)

And we are no longer pimply faced kids.

Life is great!

Happy couple on beach

Until next time!

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Why and Where Does the Time Go?

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As has been so evident by my absence from this blog I have been experiencing a dry spell lately. Part of the problem has been deciding how often to post. With our schedule being as crazy as it is at times, attempting to post on a daily basis is not an option which caused me to think about posting once a week. With that thought in mind, I then thought to myself – okay self – of the seven days in the week – which day would be best for you to set aside to post one of your crazy rants and raves. Seeing that we are home most Saturdays and Sundays (chore day and rest from our weekly go…go…go…schedule), I decided that Sundays will be the day I post to this site.

So, as I sit here pondering on what to share with those of you who are kind enough to follow my rants and raves, I think of how busy we sometimes are and wonder why that is? After all, we have been retired now since 1996 which means we have had twenty plus years to do all that we had ever wanted to do.   In searching for the answer, (why…. in retirement are we as busy as we allow ourselves to be), I came across a quote by Henry David Thoreau which pretty much asks the same question. The quote reads as follows:

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”Henry David Thoreau

Some time back I was in the habit of reading a different quote each morning and after reading it, if it appeared to be something that would be appropriate for what happened to be on my daily agenda, wrote the quote in my journal. The question posed by Thoreau pops up quite often in my thoughts primarily because I am constantly asking myself why I do the things I do each day, or in the words of Thoreau…..

”What are we busy about?”

When at home and it is time to leave the house to go to line dance practice – I know the reason why we will be busy for an hour or so.  The reason(s) are two-fold: One because we need the exercise and second (probably the main reason), it is fun to do. While, it is true, at times we do find ourselves saying: “Gee is today Line Dance practice again?” Especially on a day where we did not get a good night’s sleep the night before or it may be pouring outside. At times, we seniors would just prefer to be at home. But most line dance days we look forward to going because it is also a time to socialize with many of our friends not to mention the fun we have while dancing.

As I said, there was a time I used to start my day by entering one quote or another in my journal. But I have gotten away from recording such quotes and it is a habit I would very much prefer to get back to. Inserting a quote daily in my journal sort of enables me to put whatever is happening in life for us on that day in a truer perspective. Even more so if the quote is one that is somewhat profound. Just another way to reflect on why I’m doing the things I do each day.

Some individuals blog or write articles for an income – I blog for the sheer joy of sharing my “rants and raves,” as I like to call them, with others. In many cases, what I write is trivia or as I sometimes refer to it –  “useless information.” I have been known to choose some of the most absurd information I can find because I have found that it is crazy stuff like that, that tends to bring a smile to the face of the reader and quite possibly, for at least one brief moment or two, assists that individual in his or her escape from all the negative stuff television, radio, and the Internet provides us with. You know that stuff they like to call news or entertainment.

How does my day go when following this philosophy? In my opinion, pretty good. Each morning when I prepare my “To Do” list, which is yet another tool to make sure I am never bored in retirement, in reality, I am writing down what it is I intend to be busy about throughout the day.    Following this philosophy, I am reminded of  the many little tasks that – even though one is retired – still have to be done. Such a to-do list also gives me purpose for getting out of bed every day. A daily “to-do list” is – least ways in my opinion, a good way to avoid boredom in retirement. When you get right down to it, completing the many tasks found on such a to do list tells us at the end of the day what we have been busy about. We also need to keep in mind that – being retired – what we do not get done today (I sometimes go overboard on my list of things I would like to do), merely gets carried over to the next day.

In my humble opinion, having a list of things to accomplish on a daily basis goes a long way in enabling us to stay balanced in our everyday lives. Such an action is not only inspirational, but it provides us with  motivation to live each day to the fullest. Believe me when I say  “to do lists” do assist when one is retired and by creating one every day, a person should never become bored with retirement life. And if your days are like ours are, at the end of each day, hopefully you will feel as we do which is – well – we usually end the day by saying to ourselves:

“Life is good!”

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With that I will end this piece with yet another favorite quote of mine – this one being from Confucius who said:

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

Until next time!

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Absence

Not much to say other than to explain why I haven’t been posting here.

First, we have been on a two week adventure without the benefit of the Internet.

Second, I have been working on and finally published my second book entitled:
My Spoof on the Unexpected Retirement: World’s Longest Coffee Break 

By the way, it is on Kindle and will be free for the next 24 hours.

Third, upon our return I caught the flu or cold bug and so have been under the weather.

Hope to get back up to speed shortly but as we age, these little distractions seem to take a bit longer to leave us and so it may be a few more days before I am up to speed.

I trust all my Word Press friends are doing well.  Take care!

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