One Man’s Opinion!

Here it is time for my weekly post and I am at a loss for words. I keep up with a lot of blogs from other great writers and yet at times have a hard time getting my own thoughts down on paper or in this case, my computer screen. So, I am going to cheat a bit today and go back in time and I am going to share with you a piece I shared with the members of our community via my column entitled “Irwin Ponders.” The article seems appropriate for what we all are going through right now. Not exactly on point – but if you take the time and read between the lines – you should get my drift.

Irwin Ponders

Normally my posts are based on my experiences but every now and then I read something that strikes a chord or something and as such resonates with what is happening at this precise moment in time. Such is the case with what I am about to share with you. The piece refers to something George Carlin said a few years before he passed.

George Carlin’s wife died early in 2008 and George followed her, dying in July 2008. It is ironic George Carlin – comedian of the 70’s and 80’s – could write something so very eloquent and so very appropriate.

Wondering what has happened to the world today!

An observation by George Carlin:

Quote:
“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.
George Carlin”

How many see the world today – Upside Down!

I believe, after reading this, that George was much wiser than many people gave him credit for. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. The sad news is that it pretty much says quite a bit about how the world (our world) is seen by many today! Change is definitely needed. The question everyone asks themselves though is: “Will we see it in our lifetime?” One can only hope!

Until next time!

Castaways!

Getaway from it all!

How many months has it been now – going on three months – since we have been told to stay indoors and stay well. We are doing this to expedite the world getting back to normal, whatever normal may be. Hopefully by doing so, we will see the numbers regarding Covid-19 get lower and lower. Of course, one has to ask: “What is normal?”

Me – normal!

But being completely honest with everyone, now and then I just feel like disappearing into a scene such as the one that I used to open this post. Can you picture it? No worries, nor a care in the world. Just a little escape to “Never-Never Land!” A land of dolphins, birds, turtles, frogs, and the like, and guess what – they do not talk. Okay, so maybe after a while I will get lonely for human companionship.

I know, should I want for human companionship, in addition to my wife perhaps I could round up five more individuals and we could have ourselves whisked off to an island, somewhere in the South Pacific. But the ship would not stay. We would not have the comforts of home. Why no comforts of home? Because, this is an adventure! As the ship sails away from the island and we see it disappearing over the horizon, we realize that we are now ship-wrecked and must fend for ourselves.

I can picture it now, Dolly would be the skipper and I would be her first mate and if anyone would be responsible for us not getting off the island, it would be me. A boy scout I am not! Good luck with me starting a campfire by rubbing two sticks together.

Of course, depending on the individuals chosen to accompany us on this adventure, we, in all probability, would have dissimilar tastes. But that is where the fun part would come in. Chances are after a very-short time, most of the others would want to escape back to the real world, if for no other reason than to get away from me. And thus the challenge begins.

However, due in part to my being the dysfunctional individual I am, their escape plans would back-fire due to my usual and sometime dumb comical shenanigans. I am sure that if anyone would be responsible for us not getting off the island, it would be me. An outdoorsperson, I am not.

I am sure it would not be long before the group of us would end each day singing:  

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
a tale of a fateful trip,
that started from this tropic port,
aboard this tiny ship.

The mate was a mighty sailin’ man,
the Skipper brave and sure,
five passengers set sail that day,
for a three hour tour,
a three hour tour.

The weather started getting rough,
the tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
the Minnow would be lost.
The Minnow would be lost.

Is that Robinson Crusoe or me?

Why did I write this little story? Well, as I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I was becoming a bit dis-illusioned and feeling somewhat walled in, if you will. But now that I have channeled my frustration into my writing, the good news about writing this little post – is that it took my mind off everything (Covid – 19; politics; protestors; and so forth) happening in this crazy mixed-up world of ours today.

So, by now you are thinking, okay, how is he going to end this wild and crazy story. Well, seeing that it is  nigh onto eating time as I am finishing this little post of mine, I have but one question: How does one open a can of sardines? What? You didn’t think that just because I was stranded on a deserted island that I was going to fish for my own dinner did you? What type of castaway do you think I am? Now where did I put those crackers?

Din-Din!

If by chance, this little romp into Never-Never Land made you, for one short moment, forget about Covid – 19; politicians, protestors and so forth, well then – my work here is done. Done that is until next week. I try my best to look at our lives as this great comedy and we are merely some of the many characters within said comedy. What about you? What are you doing during this time to keep yourself sane? Stay safe and stay well my friends.

Until next time!

Growing Chin Hair

Not a picture of me!

One might think that I would receive tons of emails from adoring fans of my blog posts. Ok, as we all know, the only types of emails I probably would receive for my blog posts would be from people in Nigeria who have millions of dollars they need to deposit into my bank account or individuals that want to sell me some Viagra. When and if I do get a genuine piece of mail, it would probably read as follows: ”Where do you come up with such wild and crazy blog posts each week?”

I am sure that many of you following my dribble wonder the same thing, so I’d like to give you a peek behind the logic I use to write a blog post. Beware though, the making of humor blogs resembles the making of scrapple; traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and wheat flour, often buckwheat flour, and spices; it’s not always a pretty sight.

The hardest thing facing me when trying to write a blog post is coming up with a topic. While I tend to think of myself as having both a wild and crazy brain, that doesn’t say I always have a topic on the tip of my tongue. One can always think of a family member or even a friend that does something considered funny or ridiculous and once that thought is implanted in my brain, well, I just let my fingers do the rest while either writing with pen and paper or typing on the computer as I am doing this moment.

In these wild and crazy times topics are usually so plentiful. For instance, should one go to their class reunion, just think of the stories one might come up with. And then there are always the presidential debates and upcoming campaigns. Both instances have a bevy of ideas that could strike me upside the head. But, as most of us know, without such ideas, those of us that enjoy writing are left with our usual ways of arriving at many rants and raves – by conducting in depth topic research.

My usual research occurs either immediately before I retire for the evening or first thing in the morning. Although I have been known to do my best research while I’m asleep. After reading some of the rants and raves I post, one might think that I sleep a lot. Truth be told I am somewhat of an insomniac. Fact is though, enough sleep or not, when I do come up with a humdinger of a topic I awaken at least long enough to write a few notes in the notebook I keep by my bed so that I do not forget what the idea was.

Then when I wake, I head to my office and get more of my idea down on paper or on my computer.  As a matter of fact, being a blog writer, as I write this blog post, I am sitting in my favorite recliner which is conveniently placed in front of the TV. What? How else can I keep up with the news and other items worthy of my writing a blog about.

While I am sure those who actually make a living writing, be it a novel or having created a successful blog site, will admit that writing can be a grueling, even painful, endeavor. And some, may even be driven to the edge of madness in their quest for perfection. I must admit that while I do enjoy writing and attempt to do it somewhat often, the one quote I try my best to follow is a quote by George Singleton who said:  

“Keep a small can of WD-40 on your desk—away from any open flames—to remind yourself that if you don’t write daily, you will get rusty.”
—George Singleton

At my age, and not having any true schedule to follow other than the one I set for myself, I do not attempt to be so driven that I would go mad (the thought of Van Gogh slicing and dicing his ear comes to mind) if I didn’t write.

My wife teases me every now and then when I attempt to grow a mustache or a goatee because it takes forever to even see the indication that some fuzz hair is straining to make its appearance on my cheeks and chin. Let’s just say that I have been known to pluck some of these straggler chin hairs while waiting for my creative muse to strike. I am attempting to do so during this lockdown period we are enduring.

Lately, what with the lockdown and some other personal crisis we have been going through, my muse has tended to be what one might call fickle, that is if she even shows up at all. It is tough to be witty and brilliant (a much better choice of words than wild and crazy) when faced with personal crisis, lockdown due to the Coronavirus, trying to grow a mustache and goatee along with insomnia. But wait, if memory serves me right, Van Gogh had both a mustache and a goatee.

Hmmm, maybe I could write a blog about growing chin hair!

Until next time!

P.S. By the way, I got tired of trying to grow a beard and mustache so I shaved everything off. What took two months to grow took all of two minutes to shave off.

After Effects of Self-Isolation!

Same old – Same old!

They say that this self-isolation may last another month or more and that is fine with me if it keeps everyone safe and may assist the coronavirus run its course.

Of course, that will mean I need to put my brain in gear and come up with more material to share with everyone. Not an easy task but a fun one. It would also appear that the longer one is in self-isolation – the wilder and crazier one’s imagination might be.

So, I got to thinking – seeing that we have been cooped up for so long and haven’t been out to restaurants and/or shopping,  (for many of us it has been over two months now), what wild and crazy things would I like to do once we get the go ahead to be around other humans again. By the way, before leaving the house, I would stick a banana in my pocket (I’ll come back to this later).

Below are just a few of the wild and crazy things I might be prone to do.

They say that public bathrooms are places we should avoid but if necessary, we need to be extremely careful when frequenting them. Seeing so many wild and crazy things one can do in a public bathroom, I couldn’t resist sharing some of the shenanigans I might concoct when visiting same. Come take a walk with me on the wild side as we visit a bathroom or two. Having been cooped up so long – who would blame me, were I to – while visiting a public bathroom:

Make loud groans after I entered the stall and then drop a cantaloupe in the toilet and sigh in relief.

Or

Upon seeing that one of the stalls was occupied, I could enter the one next to it and after smearing chocolate on my hands, reach under the other occupied stall and ask for toilet paper.

Or

One more wild and wacky thing I could do when in a public toilet is I could pass a note under the door next to me saying, “They’re onto us. We need to go.”

Let us leave public bathrooms and go to a shopping mall.

When visiting a furniture store, I would love to hide in a wardrobe and when someone opens the door scream, “Welcome to Narnia”.

Upon leaving the furniture store, I  could just linger outside the store for a moment waiting for that one customer who always needs to know the time and when they ask me if I know what time it is, say yes and walk away.

As we all know, people are constantly on their cell phones no matter where they are, at the mall, restaurants, and wherever. Not wanting to be different and trying so hard to fit in, I could call someone and when they answer I would just tell them that I can’t talk right now.

Okay, you’re still in the mall but you see this electronic store across the way. Time to bring out the banana I mentioned earlier. I would go into the electronic store and handing the banana to the clerk, I would say: “I want to upgrade this to an apple.”

Okay time to leave the mall but before I leave, just to have more fun, I would linger around the exit and as people pass me, I would stop random individuals, show them my ID, and say, “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN?”

What’s that you are saying – he needs to get out! I agree, but not just yet. I’m having too much fun enjoying Groundhog Day! Stay safe.

Until next time!

P.M.A.

How can I tell what I think until I see what I say? – E. M. Forster

Crazy times!

Lately I have not been myself and I am sure it is due to this crazy coronavirus, our period of self-isolation, as well as our current political situation. I am thinking that quite a few Americans today are feeling the same way.

My desire to watch TV has waned and while I join my wife and watch a show  every so often, I can tell my mind is not with it unless it is a terrific movie or television show that has a good plot to it.

As far as my wannabe reading habits go – I started a short mystery novel May 5th of this year (Sunshine Hunter by Maddie Cochere) and I am still only about two-thirds through it. It appears I only feel like reading it twice a week.

I try my best to post short funny quips on Facebook every day, but even that has become more of a chore versus something fun to do. But I need to take my own advice – Positive Mental Attitude! Watch for this below.

So, getting back to the reason I opened this piece with a saying associated with E.M. Forster.   

My goal is that by the end of this post we all will be laughing because as the quote states “I cannot tell what I think until I see what I say” and my goal is to say nothing but stuff that will make us both laugh. Fair enough!

I have decided that what it all boils down to is “attitude” and I am determined to have P.M.A. by the time this piece is written. And for those of you that wonder what it is I am talking about, here goes:

Positive Mental Attitude

I am determined to turn things around and be more Positive, and while many of my friends have already told me this, I am also going to be more Mental (Okay, you can stop laughing now – I know I am mental). Last, but not least, you all know I have Attitude! There you have it – A good Positive Mental Attitude is what will get us through this time of our lives.

Positive thinking

One other thing we need to keep in mind as we get older is:

With old age comes “Multi-Tasking”:

We can: Laugh, Cough, Sneeze, Fart, and Pee – and are you ready for this– we can do it all at the same time.

Ah – Old Age!

Another thing I noticed now that I am truly considered old, experts say that caffeine is bad for us, fat is bad for us, sugar is bad for us, and guess what – we cannot worry about it because, well, they say worry is bad for us as well.

We only live once!

Sorry, not done yet. With all that is going on in the world today, did you ever think about running away? I did but the sad part about that idea is that I’m so afraid that by the time I put my teeth in, my glasses on, and find my keys, I’ll have forgotten why I’m going! And let’s not even get into where I might be going!

Where are my dentures?

Is it true I will turn 80 later this year? Wow! There is something about soon becoming 80 years of age. It seems the older we get, the more we think about various things. One of the things I think about is the possibility of my needing some type of operation in the future. Don’t get me wrong, the thought of the operation doesn’t really scare me. What does scare me is waking up after the operation and having the doctor tell me that everything went well … Short pause. But! There is that darn but as he continues his talk with me, and says: Oh, one other thing I need to tell you: “The digital medical records were hacked and mixed up, so we won’t charge you for the C-Section!”

What did you just say?

Okay, I am coming to the end of this post. So what do we do?

We have to look at life as though it is a camera: We need to just focus on what’s important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, just take another shot!

Just one more shot!

Hope this post brought a smile to your face.

Until next time!