Welcome to Bud’s Blog

Posted March 1, 2009 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes - Marcel Proust

Sometimes Older Eyes work, too - Bud

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Necessary Definitions

Sage – a wise man; a man of gravity and wisdom; especially, a man venerable for years, and of sound judgment and prudence.

Curmudgeon – an ill-tempered old person full of stubborn ideas or opinions.

Fool – A person with poor judgment or little intelligence; a jester, a person whose role was to entertain a sovereign and the court, often with foolishness.
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I’ve been wondering lately what it would be like to be able to relive my life knowing what I know now. Or if I was able to give my grown children a view of the world through my Older Eyes, would it change their lives? Here’s a provocative proposition: If I could get every twenty-year old to look at the world through sixty-four year old eyes for just a few minutes, it would either change them for the better or kill them. Provocative but probably not true. I doubt there are many young men making bucket lists as a result of watching Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

With a do-over unlikely and getting my children to listen to my archaic opinions only slightly less so, I’ll record the view through my Older Eyes here in Bud’s Blog.   As you read each post, you decide … Sage, Curmudgeon, or Fool … we can agree to disagree on which is which. Your comments are welcome, whatever your age.   If what you read changes you for the better, I’d especially like to know.   Hopefully there will be no casualties.   If you are new here and want a taste of my Older Perspective before diving in, The Best of Feeling Older offers a few of my favorite posts on aging.  Finally, if my work inspires you to try blogging … or even if you think, Jeez, I can do this better than Older Eyes – there are a series of posts on doing just that on my page, Starting a WordPress Blog.

Small Choices

Posted October 24, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

image I was standing in line at MacDonald’s on my way to the park this morning, waiting to get a large Diet Coke (All Sizes – $1.00).  Ever since we got home from Rome where Coca Light costs €5.00 for a mini-can, I’ve been craving the stuff.  Yes, I know, all that aspartame isn’t good for me.  Give me a break, OK. I’m probably too far along in life to worry about Long Term Effects.  Anyway, the guy in front of me was ordering for his work crew, and when his order came, the hostess had misunderstood … he was supposed to have three combos (with drinks) and she only brought him two.  When he complained, the young woman just handed him a cup and additional French fry.   He offered to pay but she said, No, you don’t have to.  It was my mistake.    Uh-huh, the glass-half-empty side of me (often known as my Inner Curmudgeon) thought.  It’s more work for her to take the money than to just hand him the food.  As she waited on me politely, getting my order perfect, I realized that she’d perfectly executed that maxim of customer service – The Customer is Always Right.  As I filled my drink, I turned to the guy with the three combos and said, That was nice of her, wasn’t it, to give your your order without charging you.   He looked at me blankly as if he hadn’t noticed then smiled. Yes, that was nice, he finally admitted.

Every day there are seemingly insignificant events that can be seen in a positive or negative light and most days, my attitude at the end of the day reflects the sum total of how I responded to those events. I can listen to the ranting of my Inner Curmudgeon and end the day a bitter old goat or I can relegate his ravings to my curmudgeonly rants on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog and end the day, if not smiling, at least content.

Mood Music

Posted October 23, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: music

Tags: , , , , ,

moodWhen I was a young man (approximately three eons ago), there was a genre of music known as Mood Music.  Usually, Mood Music was recorded by large, string-based orchestras like the 101 Strings or Mantovani and His Orchestra.  It was not very cool to like Mood Music but since I loved the standards of the American Songbook, I owned several Mood Music recordings.  Yeah, I wasn’t especially cool.  I even had a 101 Stings recording titled Backbeat Symphony that consisted of classical music set to a late fifties rock and roll backbeat.  As you’ll see by the end of this post, it was pretty dreadful.  By the time I reached college age, I’d discovered jazz, where I could hear much hipper versions of the standards I loved and I joined the rest of my contemporaries in referring to Mood Music as Elevator Music. Read the rest of this post »

Senior Commuting

Posted October 21, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: curmudgeonly rants

Tags: , , ,

trafficIn my big industry days, I was very fortunate.  I never had a commute much longer than forty minutes.  That wasn’t all that uncommon at my first two places of employment back East because few New Englanders will put up with a long commute.   However, here is California, it wasn’t uncommon to come across people with commutes of more than ninety minutes.  Sometimes, that was because they chose to live in the ultra-suburbs of Greater L.A., where the home prices were two-thirds of what they were in town.   The commute was acceptable at first until more and more people decided they wanted to do the same and the freeways into the city became bumper to bumper during rush hour.   Others chose to live at the beach and pay the commuter-price for the privilege.  Sometimes, that perfect job was on the other side of the city with a drive that took forty minutes at night but two hours in broad daylight.  For roughly ten years, while I was doing my graduate work at USC, I had an hour and a half commute to class twice a week.  That was enough to convince me that no job was worth over an hour on the road.   So, now, I’m retired or semi-retired, depending upon when you look in on my office.  My commute?  Left at the foot of the bed, through the bedroom door, forty feet down the hall, slight left into my office.  Total time, forty seconds, if I stop to pet Mister P, our Siamese cat.   Delightful.  Of course, during busy times, it makes it a little too easy to go back to work at odd hours but I don’t have many of those times these days.  Read the rest of this post »

Monday Smiles – 10/20/2014

Posted October 20, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: Monday smiles

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home2At about 4:00 yesterday, I pulled into our garage in Anaheim Hills, home from a weekend retreat at the lovely Santa Barbara Mission.  Muri’s car wasn’t in the garage but there was a note in the kitchen that she’d gone to a movie which was fine.   As renewing as the retreats can be, they are also exhausting … lots of meetings, late nights and, for me, the difficulties of sleeping in a strange bed … I always require a nap upon my arrival home.   I slept for over an hour and when I awoke, there she was, sitting on the sofa, smiling.   As we get older, we miss each other when we are apart, even for a day or two, even though, if we were both at home, we might be doing different things in different rooms.  It is interesting to hear some men give different things in different rooms as a reason for leaving a relationship when it is part of what makes ours work.  We are together even when we are not together.
Read the rest of this post »

Retreat. Powerlessness. Surrender.

Posted October 18, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: spirituality

Tags: , ,

image

It’s midnight.  I’m in a modest room in the Mission Santa Barbara Renewal Center for the Fall Retreat of my Thursday Night Men’s Meeting.  The first meeting is over, 32 men on a retreat talking about things like powerlessness and surrender, things you don’t usually associate with machismo.   Critics of 12-Step Programs often say that the Steps suggest we are powerless just when we need to take things into our own hands and that we are told to surrender when it is time to fight back.  Of course, what the Steps REALLY tell us to do is to accept powerlessness over things we cannot change and to surrender control that we never had in the first place.   Instead, we focus on the place we do have some power and control … over ourselves and our own lives.  And we turn to a Higher Power for the strength to lead better lives.

Have a good weekend. I will.

Sacred Treasures

Posted October 17, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: perspectives

Tags: , , , , ,
Basilica of the Sagrada Familia

Basilica of the Sagrada Familia

I’ve been home from our trip to the Mediterranean for a little over a week.   I’m back on California time doing California things (today Muri and I went to lunch at the Corner Bakery).   And this old brain is starting to put in perspective the sights we saw.  Perhaps nothing stirred me more than the churches, cathedrals and basilicas, particularly if you allow me to count the Sistine Chapel.   While the duration of our trip didn’t allow us to tour many museums, we did get a whirlwind of the Vatican Museum, which holds an amazing collection of art, both secular and sacred.   Walking through St. Peter’s Basilica, I had a short but interesting philosophical discussion with my friend Ron.  Essentially what he said was that he’s bothered by the vast wealth the Church possesses and that makes it hard for him to appreciate the art and antiquities.  I suggested that most of this was acquired in the distant past not by the modern church but that belies the fact that nearly €30,000,000 a year in admissions to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is being used to finish the cathedral instead of help the poor.  And that outside the lovely Church of Santa Croce in Florence’s Piazza di Santa Croce, there were countless poor selling tchotchkes or outright begging.  My friend. Ralph, back home in Socal had the same thoughts.  It would be a lot easier for me to appreciate the art if it were in a library or public museum, he said. Looking online, I see there many people who question whether the Church should have such wealth when people are starving.   There’s a particularly stimulating discussion on AskaCatholic.com, here. Read the rest of this post »

Peeves. Large and Small.

Posted October 15, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: curmudgeonly rants

Tags: , , , , , , ,

curmudgeonYou may have noticed that someone’s been missing here from Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog for a while.  That would be my cranky alter-ego, my Inner Curmudgeon.   But he’s back with some pet peeves, from small ones like internet ads and Facebook to big ones like the current over-reaction to Africa’s Ebola outbreak in the U.S.

1.  Internet video ads that play automatically when I navigate to a page: I understand that advertising drives the internet these days, but as a music lover who sometimes leaves his speakers on LOUD, I’ve been practically knocked out of my chair by some loudmouthed bozo selling some product or other.  I assure you, my response has never been, Oh, I think I’ll buy one of those.
Read the rest of this post »


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