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


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.

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.

Monday Smiles – 10/20/2014

Posted October 20, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: Monday smiles

Tags: , , , , , ,

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 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: , ,


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 »

Monday Smiles – 10/13/2014

Posted October 13, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: Monday smiles

Tags: , , , , , ,

image I’ve posted before about my friend who says that, Gratitude isn’t a feeling it’s an action.   I know what she means, too, that we can practice gratitude even when we’re not feeling grateful, for example, by making a gratitude list.   But of course, my friend isn’t entirely accurate either.   I can think of at least three kinds of gratitude that indeed are feelings and there may be more.  There’s Type 1, that overwhelming rush I get when something wonderful happens, a sudden windfall or a joyous vacation or a friend recovering from an illness.  As much as we humans seem to be programmed to take things for granted, these are moments we will remember for the rest of our lives.  Then there are those days when we wake up with our new eyes on and in spite of the humdrum around us, we notice things.  The cat greets us at the bedroom door or a particularly sassy blue jay takes a bath in the birdbath.   A loved one says, I love you, just when we need to hear it or a friend calls unexpectedly.  It’s Type 2 gratitude and it makes our eyes shine and the humdrum seem less important for a few wonderful minutes.   Then there’s Type 3, the there-but-for-fortune sort of gratitude when we look upon someone elses misfortune, whether it be a homeless man on the corner with a badly scrawled sign that says, NO FOOD.  NO MONEY.  PLEASE HELP.  GOD BLESS or a friend who’s struggling with the early effects of Alzheimers.  We instinctively think, Thank God it’s not me, then (maybe) throw in a God bless them in order to not feel so guilty about our self-centeredness.  But there’s a spiritual value in this most bittersweet gratitude, too …. it may make us grateful for the million things in this life we take for granted every day.
Read the rest of this post »

A Million Words

Posted October 11, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: travel

Tags: , ,

P1000739They say A picture is worth a thousand words.  That may or may not be true but the pictures in my high school history books were not enough to make me a history buff.  Perhaps if I’d visited Rome in my teens instead of in my seventies, I’d have been a more attentive student in Miss Matthew’s Ancient History class.   Perhaps Being there is worth a Million Words and nowhere was that more true than during our visit to Pompeii.  Traveling in a part of the world where there’s another impressive ruin around every corner, it’s easy to become jaded, to notice art and architecture but forget the human dramas seen by the crumbled walls and broken columns.  Pompeii was different.  The excavation of Pompeii left intact a more complete footprint of the city, its roadways intact and enough of the dwellings, shops and even a brothel still standing to offer the echo of the human pulse of the place.   I’d seen, in my history books, pictures of the plaster casts of the inhabitants who died in the storm of volcanic dust in 79 A.D. but seeing them in person and life-sized … some with bones protruding from the plaster … made the tragedy that occurred there very real.  The cast of a dog, contorted in anguish, perhaps told the story best.   I was touched in a way that history in words rarely touches me, much the way I was touched visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Read the rest of this post »

The Real World

Posted October 10, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older, perspectives

Tags: , , , , ,

from colosseumIf you are among my small cadre of regular readers … mostly lurkers, by the way … you may have noticed that I haven’t posted since Monday.  It’s a bit ironic, I think, that for our first three days home, when I was entirely exhausted with my internal clock ticking along on Rome time as I shuffled along in Southern California, I continued to post daily, then, once I made it through the totally exhausted phase, nada.  The truth is, my posts last weekend were already written … in my head … while we were on vacation.  It didn’t take much energy to simply sit down at my laptop let them pass from brain to fingers to keyboard to WordPress.  The rest of the week was spent trying to get back into our at-home routine.  I’d been counting on a small assignment from the attorneys I’m working for as a technical expert to force me into a modicum of discipline but at the last minute, they didn’t need my service.  I was on my own. Read the rest of this post »


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