It’s the Paperwork that is the Pits!

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

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

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

Was this an accident? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Falling out of her tree house!”

“Your daughter has her own tree house?”

“Doesn’t yours?”

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

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

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

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

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

“Was this your assigned seat?”   

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Great Intentions or should the title be Stupid Questions?

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

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

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

Duh,and they walk among us!

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

Gotcha!

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

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

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

And the beat goes on!

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!”

senior-with-redwine

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

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!

Where is the Fun in That?

quiz-1-1189422

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!

NONFUNCTIONAL CALENDAR

Here is my thought for today:

Ever feel like inventing something – but not wanting to be famous or anything like that – the invention would have to be something completely useless or nonfunctional.  Here’s a thought – Perhaps we could invent a nonfunctional calendar. I know exactly what is going through your mind – what do I mean by nonfunctional?  Well, each month would have 40 days instead of the usual 30 or 31; with that thought in mind each week would have 10 days. Oh, and let’s not list any of the days of the week, you know like Monday, Tuesday and so forth and so on. And for pictures – instead of great landscape scenes or for us guys – pictures of babes in bathing suits – we could use photos of random objects – you know like a rusty old wheelbarrow or a pile of broken concrete blocks. Something like this:

wheelbarrow-1427771

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

By now you must be thinking – is he well? To respond to that allow me to leave you with a quote by the late and great Robin Williams, who said:

“You’re only given a little spark of madness; you mustn’t lose it.”

I try real hard not to lose my little spark of madness.

On a different note, due to the holidays and all we have on our plates for the balance of 2017, this will be my last post for the year. Here is wishing all my fellow bloggers –

A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Safe, and Healthy New Year!

Be back in 2018.

 

Count to Ten!

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How many of us remember hearing one or both of our parents use the expression “Count to Ten” whenever they got angry? Back in the day, this was supposedly the sure-fire way to cool down when one was on the verge of becoming angry.

Today we are usually told to breathe – take a long breath – hold it in while saying one – exhale and then take another – hold it in and say the number two – and so on until you reach the number ten. Naturally if it is something that really has you frustrated and angrier than usual, you should probably do this until you reach the number twenty. Those of us who have meditated on occasion, might recognize that this is a form of meditation.  It is the systematic rhythm of counting and breathing that relaxes the mind so much so that it is almost impossible to remain angry once you have finished.

It is the oxygen intake you are getting due to the breathing in and out while counting that enables our brain to sort of relax by the time the entire counting process of one to ten or one to twenty is over enabling us to increase our perspective of the whole picture subsequently making the so-called “big stuff“ that created the problem or dispute in the first place to look like “little stuff.” Believe it or not, this little exercise works well whenever we get frustrated too. So, next time you find yourself – how shall I say – a little out of sorts with yourself or a project you are working on – try this counting exercise.

Actually, one could perform the exercise anytime during the day or week if for no other reason than to keep us calm and prepared for whatever might come next in our daily list of things to do. One doesn’t have to be angry to do it as it has a great calming effect and keeps us focused. Once you try it, you might just enjoy it as I do and sometimes just practicing it daily keeps me from losing my cool in the first place.

 

Old Geezer/Old Fart!

In my quest to meet the recent challenges I set for myself with regards my writing, I decided to define what an old geezer – or in my case – an old fart is.

First off – Your Dictionary.com defines the term “old geezer” as follows:

Old geezer is a somewhat insulting term for an older person, especially one who is no longer cool, hip, or with the times. An example of an old geezer is a grumpy old man who sits on his porch all day yelling at neighborhood kids.

Now the definition of an “old fart” is: An elderly person who holds old-fashioned views.

Now that I have provided dictionary definitions, let’s look at this from a different point of view. Seeing that I have expressed myself on my blog as an old fart ranting and raving, let us take a moment and see what the word fart means:

Looking at the noun: A fart is a flatus expelled through the anus or could be defined as an irritating or foolish person.

As a verb: A fart means to expel a flatus through the anus; break wind.

As a synonym: Cut one, cut the cheese, fart, let her rip, rip one, pass gas, or toot!

Are you with me so far? Seeing that I define myself as an “old fart that rants and raves,” and being that I am not only past the age of 70, but closer to 80 than 70, let’s have some fun with what it means to be an “old fart.”  

And with that I will “let her rip!”

Below is a partial list that, in my humble opinion, represents why I fall on the list of being an “old fart”:

(1) I make more noise getting out of bed in the morning than I did twenty-five years ago during a heated night of passion.

(2) As an ‘old fart’ I prefer to eat dinner at a restaurant that provides quiet ambiance than today’s typical Sports Bar atmosphere.

(3) I no longer consider fiber to be or represent a thread or filament from which a textile is formed. Fiber represents a whole new meaning in my life.

(4) Years ago my knees cracked when I used to walk up and down stairs. Now they creak when I walk period.

(5) It used to be that I could get out of a chair and make a mad dash for whatever I was going for be it a snack or a bathroom break. Now, just standing up is a challenge and after having done that, next thing to do is have my brain send a message to my feet and legs that says  “OK old person – you are up – now you also got to move!”

(6) While I was never into going to bars much when I was younger, going to wineries today is now a favorite past-time.

(7) When younger – one went to hospitals for operations – nowadays they are called procedures.

I could go on and on (you know me – I like to rant and rave) but instead allow me to end this with a quote from Pablo Picasso:

“It takes a long time to become young!”

old man cartoon-character

“I Can’t Believe I Ate the Whole Thing”

At times I wonder why it is I continue writing, be it for this blog, the one I contribute to at http://community.retirement-online.com/profile/IrwinLengel or my monthly column for our community newsletter. But no sooner does the question pop up in my mind, it disappears almost immediately once I turn on my computer and start thinking of wild and crazy things to write about.

Yup, to steal a line from Steve Martin – I am one wild and crazy guy. With that thought in mind I decided that I would try to write a post this week using a one-liner from a past tv show or in this instance an advertisement from one of those shows.  The hard part is going to be to try and work the one-liner into the blog so that it seems to be part of the post. But here goes:

For instance, for lunch today we had home-made Chimichangas.

Chimichanga

Now, for those of you who have had this Mexican Spanish dish, you know that in some restaurants they are moderate in size while in others they might be rather substantial. Well, with ours being home-made and a way to use up some of our fresh vegetables, suffice it to say ours are pretty substantial. But before I go much further allow me to give a brief summation of the history of the Chimichanga.

As a matter of information and thanks to Wikipedia – the words chimi and changa come from two Mexican Spanish terms: chamuscado, (past participle of the verb chamuscar) which means seared or singed, and change, related to chinga, (third-person present tense form of the vulgar verb chingar), a rude expression for the unexpected or a small insult.

Enough with the Mexican Spanish lesson, let’s get on with one of several stories about how this Mexican Spanish dish came about. According to Wikipedia and one of its sources, the founder of the Tucson, Arizona, restaurant El Charro, Monica Flin, accidentally dropped a burrito into the deep-fat fryer in 1922. She immediately began to utter a Spanish profanity beginning “chi…” (chingada), but quickly stopped herself and instead exclaimed chimichanga, a Spanish equivalent of “thingamajig.” We will leave it there by saying and the rest is history.

Upon devouring our huge chimichanga for lunch, when finishing the last bite, I looked at my wife and coyly said: “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” For those of you too young to remember this saying it is from an old Alka Seltzer advertisement. When someone overate, and was full of gas and/or bloated, they would reach for the Alka Seltzer bottle and prior to popping two alka seltzer tablets into a glass of water would say: I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!”  Hope you enjoyed my craziness.

alka seltzer

 

When Do I Get to Laugh?

Here it is time for me to rant and rave once again as an old fart. When I first started blogging several years ago, it was suggested that I find my niche – “Niche: a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted, i.e., finally found his niche.” 

As one might surmise from reading my “About Me” page – I have no true niche. Basically, I have two thoughts that serve as my ‘niche’ – talking about and sharing retirement experiences and ranting and raving on just about anything that crosses my mind. But, there is usually one common thread I weave through anything that I write about and that is – I try to make it comical.

For me, pretty much I am the happiest while in front of my computer attempting to create a piece of writing that is both informative and comical – and for those of you who have been following my rants and raves for some time – I am sure you will agree – at times the information provided is more comical than informative.There is a reason for my madness though and that is with all the negative news floating around the Internet, TV, Radio, Facebook, Newspapers, and whatever other means of communication is available to us: “Enough already” – when do I get to laugh?

With that, allow me to take you into my crazy mixed up world of sayings, signs, and a picture or two. Within the confines of my office one will find all types of mementos that we have picked up over the years, had given to us or are pictures that made us laugh at some silly moment in time. For instance – in the morning if I am not feeling up to par – all I need to do is look at one sign I captured via my camera once and I am ready for just about anything.

 

 

Drink Coffee

And then there are days where I must do considerable research but don’t feel like it. What do I do – you got it – look at yet another plaque on the wall like this one about studying:

Why study

I could go on and on but I should save some of these for another post. Fact of the matter is that we all have our – how should I put it – our “Out of Sorts Day!” Fortunately, I do not have many of those days but when I do, all I need to do is make a cup of coffee, go in my office, sit down in my chair and just reminisce by looking at all the mementos, pictures, and wild and crazy sayings I have hanging there. Before you know it, I am back to my old self – thinking up goofy posts to write about and share with you here so that you can share in my madness too!

Remember: “Growing Old is Mandatory – Growing Up is Optional” and I choose not to grow up. Plus, I would rather be happy than grumpy – and besides, believe me when you get right down to it – it is so much more fun! 

 

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Have a great day.  Until next post!