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!

Words

Have you ever looked at a list of words and wondered – gee – what kind of weird yet funny story could I concoct with them. Something dumb and foolish if for no other reason than to create something funny – something worth while reading because it makes me laugh versus some of the crazy nonsense we are subjected to every day of the year.

For instance, just look at the following so-called headlines that we are subjected to:

Report: NFL owners didn’t vote on anthem rule

US cities where you may live next to a millionaire

‘Bachelorette’ Becca Kufrin fell in love with 2 men

Shailene Woodley and boyfriend make red carpet debut

The nation’s hottest job markets are in this state

To be frank with you, none of these so-called headlines interest me in the least because:

  • I do not watch sports
  • Why would I even want to live next to a millionaire
  • Who is Becca Kufrin
  • So what is the big deal – who is she anyway
  • What about the jobs in the state where I live

Getting back to the beginning of this post, allow me to share with you some of the words I feel would be funny if inserted in a news article that we would see in our local newspaper.

Words LM Post

Most of us when being asked to remind someone to do something at a specific point in time think of things like: Don’t forget to take your medicine at 3 o’clock pm or do not forget to mark your calendar that we are going to the movies at 7 pm Friday night.

But then there are some individuals that have a different idea of what the word remind means or how it is used. I am referring to the famous author Mary Shelley and her masterpiece “Frankenstein.” In her case, the word remind meant the brain transplant for her monster.

And then there are oxymorons – you know a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction. But, is that statement true – is it a figure of speech or could it be that an oxymoron merely means as dumb as an ox. Think about that for a moment.

Depending on what part of the country you are visiting, another word might have two different meanings. Most of us think of the word rectum as making reference to a part of the human anatomy. But then, depending on where you are at and the matter being discussed, that word might be used in a completely different context. For example, if you found yourself in the hills of West Virginia in a conversation about some guy that was just in a bad automobile accident, you might just hear a conversation that goes like this:

Billy Bob: I hear that old Jasper was in a bad auto accident that almost rectum.

Bobby Joe: What do you mean rectum? That accident darn near killed him!

Most of us know that the word polite refers to having or showing behavior that is respectful and considerate of other people. Notice that I said most of us. My educated guess is that those same people not knowing the definition of rectum would merely be thinking that the word polite is nothing other than making reference to a lamp on a pole.

Shucks, these same people would not know that a sonogram is a graph representing a sound, showing the distribution of energy of different frequencies. Chances are, if used in a sentence around them – one of them would surely announce something like: “Oh, you got a sonogram (telegram) from your son, too!

That’s it……that’s all I got – just trying to get back in the swing of things by writing something wild and crazy once a week. Time to start my research for next week’s little piece of craziness.

Y’all be good and take care. Until next time!

Old/Ancient

Here are a few of the ways you might want to try so that you do not feel your age or so that others might not refer to you as old/ancient:

Keep in mind the fact that it is 2018, not 1967

Give a kind thought to that little tummy of yours that wasn’t there 10 or 20 years ago. If no one else likes it and you are a pet lover, you can be sure your dog or cat will love to cuddle with you and snuggle right in

Stop shopping at stores like Old Navy

Stop holding your waist in when in the company of those younger than you – all you do is limit the oxygen going to your brain – which might also be the reason why you are starting to forget stuff.

Remember what you were taught in the Army – Never Volunteer – I know it is hard because: (a) you are over 65, (b) you are both a grand-father and a great – grandfather, (c) you are retired, (d) and you are so used to saying “Yes, dear, of course you know I will do it”, whenever you are asked to do anything.

Admit you don’t like wearing shoes with shoelaces and prefer clogs, flip-flops, or anything you can just slip your feet into so you do not have to bend over.

You don’t have to be a fan of “Demi Lovato” or “Miley Cyrus” – saying so just makes you look like a “creepy old man!”

When out with friends, stop whining about every ache and pain you have – most of your friends have the same aches and pains and know how you feel. Besides, at your age, whatever it is will go away after a few days and be replaced by a different set of pains for you to complain about.

Go to Walgreens and buy an expensive pair of reading glasses. The expensive part will give you incentive not to lose them like you have been doing for years now.

When out with friends, quit referring to yourself as a relic from times gone by – especially when you kid about when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Fact is that not everyone is up to date with science today and you will just confuse them more.

When you cannot remember something, do not claim that you are going through early onset of Alzheimer’s. Continuing to do so will enable the dementia fairy to find you no matter where you go.

Well, that is all I got this afternoon. Wanted to get back in the groove of writing and thought this might be a good way to start. Hope you enjoyed my rambling on about the words old/ancient.

Now let’s see, where did I set my cup of coffee? Uh Oh, brain fart – what was I thinking – it is time for my glass of wine – “Ah, there it is!”

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By the way, that is not me in the picture – I found it on “Free Images.com

Until next time!

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!

 

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!

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.

justice

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!

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!

 

 

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!

 

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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