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!

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.

pantaloon

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!

shakespeare

Until next time!