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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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!

What is a Drabble?

 

Over the summer I had two goals as they related to my writing – First was to make it a point to write 200 words a day and save same for possible editing at a later date to incorporate into yet another book I would like to write.

Another goal I had was to begin dabbling in “drabbles.”

A drabble is a short work of fiction of around one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author’s ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space.

With that thought in mind, I thought I would share one of my drabbles here on this site which will do two things:

Enable me to meet my goal of posting once a week here on my Word Press account while at the same time introducing you all to Drabbles.

Here is one drabble I wrote while on vacation over the summer:

“It is 4:30 am in the morning. Shortly I will be done with my paper route and off on a fishing trip. I climb the steps to the entrance of the apartment building.  I enter the building to drop three papers for the customers that live there. He is just standing there at attention – a soldier in full uniform – he doesn’t say a word – it’s almost as though he is dead. I drop the papers and run the rest of my route. Upon arriving home, I waken my mother and ask her a question – “Mom, have my hair turned white?”

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Hope you enjoyed this little piece of nonsense!  Until next time!

What is a Back Burner?

Many people say: “those who think they are doing good by ‘multi-tasking’ are really only doing many jobs or projects at one time – but not necessarily to the best of their ability.”

stove burner

I used to multi-task and to some extent still do more than one thing at a time like glance over something I want to read while also watching a TV show. But when I want to truly occupy my mind, while doing a project around the house, I will allow a different project I am thinking about to mull around in the “back burner” of my mind. The back burner of our minds operates like the stove in our kitchen once the meal is prepared but not quite ready to serve. We move the pot to the back burner to simmer allowing all the ingredients to mix, blend, and simmer creating this wonderful tasty meal for others to enjoy.

Back burners operate like a slow cooker – you toss in various ingredients, mix them up, and then walk away from them for several hours. The less times you open the pot to check on how they are doing – the better the meal will taste once done.

Many times, when I have problems that need solving and aren’t so earth-shattering that they need to be attended to immediately, I toss the idea around in the back of my head – usually subconsciously – allowing the problem to simmer such as the meal in the crockpot. We may not know it, but our back burner is always there ready to help us in situations like this.  While we are scurrying around doing our daily tasks, this back burner – while quieter and softer than our everyday mind – is intelligently thinking of ways to solve the problem(s) we have no immediate answer for.

Taking things to task this way enables our brain to be utilized both while working on current projects and silently thinking about the problems we want to tackle a day, week, or month down the road. It is not meant to be used to procrastinate though. When we toss the problem onto our back burner – it is to obtain – at a later date – a solution to the problem. Not only can this method assist in solving many problems, it should also reduce the stress in  one’s life.

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

 

“Living in the Moment!”

”What is meant by the saying “Living in the Moment!”

Life is Good

I would like to think that it means enjoying whatever one is doing at any moment in time be it reading a book; writing in one’s journal; having dinner with friends and/or family; or working on a project such as a minor home repair job, hobby, or possibly attending to an odd job for a friend.

Living in the moment though does not mean we can forego looking towards the future. Oh, I am sure there are some people that think – “with all the turmoil going on in our world today – who knows what tomorrow might bring and therefore I am going to live for today and let the chips fall where they may with regards tomorrow.” That may be all well and good but as those of us who have recently made it through Hurricane Irma know – there is more to the statement “Live for Today” than some people realize.

I recently wrote an article entitled “Bump in the Road” and how life tends to throw such bumps at us now and then. Well, Hurricane Irma was one such bump. What some people may not be aware of are the “after bumps” we must take into consideration as well.

While many of us made it through Hurricane Irma ‘unscathed,” the fact of the matter is what if we would have been one of the unfortunate ones that weren’t so lucky? It is a thought that crosses my mind every time such an event takes place.

In planning for the evacuation of our home, we had to gather food, water, prescription drugs, clothing for two or three days, flashlights, important papers and so forth just in case our homes were damaged or quite possibly destroyed. Note: It was mentioned in the news that 25% of the homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed by Hurricane Irma. One of the thoughts, if not the main thought, that runs through one’s mind other than merely surviving at times like these are: In addition to what I am supposed to take with, what other possessions should I take with – you know – just in case?

They say material things can be replaced and I concur with that thought process but another fact is: while houses, cars, clothing, and high-tech toys can be replaced – what constitutes important information? How many of us have taken the time to record and keep safe data necessary to rebuild our lives after an event such as Irma should we be one of those unfortunate individuals that lose everything? I am talking about having a record of such things as bank account information, driver’s license numbers, insurance policy information (house, car, health, life), wills, passwords, and so forth?

These are the essentials needed to rebuild (yes – rebuild) one’s life in today’s high-tech world when a tragedy such as Irma strikes. While I have tried to maintain such records over the years – it is events such as this that always leaves me wondering – “Am I truly prepared?”

I am reminded of a television commercial some years back – and I believe it was for “Capital One” where the commercial says: “What’s in Your Wallet?” By the way, disasters come in all forms – they do not have to be the result of a hurricane.

Living in the Moment is one thing – attempting to revive all the data that proves you were living and are still living is yet another thing. Some things need to be thought about today, and tomorrow, and the next day as well.

Until next time!

Bump In The Road

Mistake

The only problem with getting out of bed at night to write is that I do not get up as early as I would like to the next day. But, when retired, like those of us who are, “Does it really matter?”  My answer to this question is a resounding yes – it does matter! My thoughts on this subject are that we should strive to be as consistent as possible with our daily routines.

For me, having a consistent schedule allows me to function without confusion, doubt, or whatever as to what it is I need to do each day. Getting up at the same time every day, stretching, taking my morning walk, taking my morning prescriptions, etc. enables me to prepare my mind for whatever I had thought about doing that day. Some days I prepare a list before I go to bed as to what I want to accomplish the next day and other times I wait until I am having my morning coffee to make such a list. I try to make it a point to retire at the same time each night and most nights stay in bed and not get up and write.

This daily “to do” list keeps me grounded. I know exactly what I want to get done and at my age I also recognize the fact that some of it will be done while other items may get moved to the following day’s list of “To do’s.” The neat part about such a routine is that, in life, we come across what one famous person called “bumps in the road.” Having such a list enables us to – address the “bump in the road” and come back to the list another day. Most of the time the list represents things that we would like to do and in some instances, need to do …………….but………..chances are none of them are emergency type situations thus should a “bump” occur, we can easily stop everything and address the “bump.”

Do we ever complete our list of “to do’s?”  If you are like me, probably not. Some get done on the day you planned on doing them, others get moved to the next day, and some get moved so often that eventually you say to yourself – apparently this one is not that important and it gets deleted completely from the list.

Bottom line is that the list gives us a purpose and should a “bump in the road” occur, enjoy the good times you had prior to the bump – address the bump whatever it may be or if possible, walk away from the bump – do not let it get the best of you, and get on with your life.  Remember – you are in charge of your own destiny!

Until next time!

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!

What to Say – What to Say?

writing

Have you ever sat down to write an article to share with your readers and come up with: “zero, zip, zilch, nada”, or in other words, a blank space and nothing to insert in it?

Well, that is the dilemma I faced when I sat down at my desk this afternoon. However, as you will soon see, my attempt to not to let that stop me, found me looking back at previous writings and I came up with something that will hopefully make you laugh, smile, or even say – uh, oh: “Irwin has finally lost it!”

But, what can I say – I am determined to write even if it is jibberish – so be it! Chances are you will get a kick out of it and if so – well, my job for today is done and I can get back to wondering what I will write tomorrow. So here goes:

I love to play with words and see what I can do with them to make others laugh, smile, or at least get a chuckle out of my nonsense. So here are a few words along with a “different” definition than what you would expect.  I can only hope that after reading them you will get a laugh or two out of my zaniness. Enjoy!

Rectum – nearly killed ‘em

Remind – a brain transplant

Sonogram – a telegram from your son

Stagnation – a country of single men

Sweet 16 – just down the hall from suite 14

Oxymoron – as dumb as an ox

Polite – a lamp on a pole

Now that you are all as smart as I am, I guess I will go on to writing more jibberish as I need to come up with yet another post for a different website I post to. And then there is the quest of meeting my daily quota of writing 200 words as day with the intent on publishing another Kindle eBook sometime in the near future.  Wish me luck!

Have a fantastic day. Until next time!