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.

A Long Ago Fourth

Posted July 4, 2015 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

Tags: , , , , ,

01_fireworks_thumbI have always loved fireworks.  Of course, a zillion years ago, when I was a kid, we not only went to fireworks displays, we watched as our Dads set them off in the street in front of our house.   And, if we could come by a string of firecrackers or a few cherry bombs … by hook or by crook … we would set them off in the woods by ourselves.  The first time I remember actually buying fireworks was during at a stay at the lakefront home of my father’s boss, Joe.   Approximately sixty years have dimmed the details of this story, but I’ll fill them in from my imagination as necessary.   Joe had four kids … the oldest was a boy.  We’ll call him Billy.  I would guess I was about twelve at the time and he was several years older than I.  There was a younger sister named June on whom I had a terrible crush but I was a shy twelve year old so it has remained unconfessed until now.

Shortly before Independence Day, Billy and I took Joe’s rowboat across the lake to a fireworks stand on old Route 80.  My Dad had given me some just in case money and buying some fireworks seemed like a good just in case.Cherry-bomb   Naturally, being boys, we didn’t buy sparklers and ground flowers.  It was cherry bombs, electric cannons, and a few exploding sky rockets.   Cherry bombs and electric cannons were serious explosives … they could hurl an empty soup can hundreds of feet in the air, blow a hole in a rotten tree stump … or blow off a twelve year old’s fingers.   Somewhere along the line, Billy’s Mom suspected we were up to something and interrogated us separately.  He stonewalled but I confessed and so, on the Fourth of July, when our Dads set off our fireworks in front of the house, I was allowed to watch and he was confined to his room.   Watching the fireworks wasn’t quite as much fun that year knowing I’d ratted on my friend.

So what is this post about, other than finally shedding a bit of guilt I’ve carried for years?  When this story came to mind, I found myself thinking how things have changed since then.   Were my parents … and Billy’s … irresponsible for giving us such freedom?   Or did they simply believe that the only way to become independent adults was to experience the freedom to make mistakes?   I believe I grew up more independent than most kids do these days.   Sometimes, the world can be made less dangerous through rules and regulations.   But every rule and regulation chips away at our Independence.  And Independence is inherently dangerous.  I think that’s worth thinking about on this Independence Day. Have a happy and safe one.

Monday Smiles – 6/29/2015

Posted June 29, 2015 by oldereyes
Categories: Monday smiles

Tags: , , ,

doubleThis weekend was a two-movie weekend for Mr. and Mrs. Eyes.  Even though we are both movie fans, that is a rarity.  Our two-movie weekend was the result of two unrelated occurrences.  First, when the Social Director (that would be me) consulted the internet, there were no live events that I cares to see.  Has anyone else notice that they’ve never heard of the bands at music venues, or if you have, you don’t know why anyone would want to see them?  Yep, I’m and old curmudgeon. A movie is the default date for Date Night.  We saw a film with the peculiar title Infinitely Polar Bear at the Westpark Theaters in Irvine.  The Westpark shows films that don’t make it to the mainstream theaters, hence its nickname, The Artsy-Fartsy Theater.   It is a good name indeed because, when you see indie and small market films, they are sometimes excellent (artsy) and sometimes peculiar and/or awful (fartsy).   Polar Bear was, in spite of its odd title, and excellent portrayal of a father struggling to keep his family together while suffering from bipolar disorder.   Mark Ruffalo, who is becoming one of my favorite actors managed to bring both humor and pathos to the role of the father.   The film managed to be a drama about a serious subject and yet find humor in the situations.

Read the rest of this post »

Still Here

Posted June 27, 2015 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

Tags: , , , ,

tmp_24821-index(2)993262561There was a time when I was a regular blogger … and a regular reader … if I went week and a half without posting, another blogger would stop by and ask if everything is OK.  That was several years ago and most of those bloggers are not Still Here posting.  It’s my observation that many bloggers run out of enthusiasm in about three years.  Posts gradually taper off to once a week then once in while, after which the blog becomes an unloved archive.  Am I there?  Good question.  This post is an attempt to convince myself the answer is no.  Life has been in session lately and I have been treading water as fast as I can to stay out of the darkness.  I have always tried to portray both the good and bad sides of aging but nobody likes a whiney blog … or a whiney blogger.  I’ve probably been feeling a little depression rising above my regular dose of Prozac.  Many people think deprression means I’m sad.   It doesn’t … it means I don’t care and I haven’t cared to post.  Sometimes, the way out of the Don’t Cares is to just Do Something.

Of course, I am at an age at which what is going on in the lives of my contemporaries and near-contemporaries gives Still Here a much larger meaning.   In fact, several years ago, one of my regulars posted that she had been diagnosed with inoperable cancer.   That was her last post and her blog is no longer on the web.  Several friends and family members that I counted among life’s greatest blessings are not Still Here either.   My favorite philosopher-poet, Mark Nepo, often writes that nearly dying of cancer made him aware of the preciousness of every moment.  I try not to have to nearly die to realize that.  I don’t take being Still Here for granted … and if I’m going to be Still Here living, I guess I’ll try to Do Something by being Still Here blogging.  Hope you stop by again soon.

Robert

Posted June 20, 2015 by oldereyes
Categories: humor

Tags: , , ,

kidsIt strikes me that it’s been a little serious around here on Bud’s Blog for a while, maybe even a little grumpy.   Even some of my Monday Smiles have been of the I-don’t-feel-like-smiling-but-here’s-something-that-makes-me-smile variety.   My Inner Curmudgeon, that persona who has been responsible for bringing humor (of a cantankerous sort) to my blog since 2009 seems to be on vacation.  So, I thought I’d tell a grandkid story today just to brighten the place up.  Whats more fun than a grandkid story … unless it’s a grandkid story with poultry. Read the rest of this post »

There IS a Free Lunch!

Posted June 19, 2015 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

Tags: , , , , ,

P1010610One of the great advantages of being a self-employed consultant is the flexibility to work both where and when I want.  When can be virtually any time that inspiration strikes … or, other times, when a deadline looms.   Where is frequently at a picnic table in Yorba Regional Park.  Yesterday, our housekeeper, Eva, was cleaning our house so I came to the park fully intending to spend most of the day.   I set up my office away from the office at a picnic table in one of the shelters near Lake Number 3.  I travel with a backpack that weighs about 40 pounds and when I’m spread out, my array of electronics (from laptop to bluetooth speaker and a camera just in case one of the park denizens stops by for a photo op) covers most of a table.   I was busy writing an email to a friend when a van parked nearby.  Suddenly I was surrounded by about 30 people.   There was a time I would have said old people but I’m less inclined to do that since at 71 I’m clearly in the club.  From the van, I could see they were from the Town and Country Manor, a retirement facilty, and it was pretty clear they were setting up for a picnic lunch.   Kidding, I said, If you want to have lunch in my office, you’ll have to feed me.   That got a few chuckles and appreciative smiles.  Then I went about my business while they set up table cloths and a food table.

A while later, someone came by and offered me lunch. I was only kidding, IT AND C 2 said, I’m fine. Then someone asked again, saying there was plenty of food.   So I had a lunch of fried chicken, baked beans and potato salad while I chatted with several ladies who stopped by to comment on my electronics or ask what I P1010609was doing.   I helped one woman get her digital camera working.  Just because we’re old, she said, doesn’t mean we can’t use electronics.  Amen.  One woman mentioned how nice it was to be able to walk around the park at her age.  Ever politically incorrect, I asked how old she was.  She was 75.  I’m 71, I said.   You don’t look it, she replied.  My wife assures me she was flattering me and if so, it worked.   When a gaggle of Egyptian Geese swam by and someone said, Look at the baby ducks, I politely corrected them and they appreciated the information.  By the time lunch was over, they were calling me Bud and I was one of them.

t AND c 3

It occurred to me that I would like to post about the experience so I showed them my blog on my laptop and asked a director if it would be OK.  She talked to everyone and they said yes.  It is a perfect subject for Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog because it highlights one of the best things about getting older.   I become part of a community that is, for the most part, kinder, quieter and more appreciative of the small things in life, like a beautiful day in the park.   My new friends were a reminder of just that.   As they were leaving, several stopped by to tell me what a wonderful place Town and Country Manor is to retire.  But I already knew that from watching the faces and the interactions of the people who happened to stop by for lunch in my office.  You can read about Town and Country here.

Seventy Talks to Forty

Posted June 17, 2015 by oldereyes
Categories: curmudgeonly rants

Tags: , , , ,

rothman_advice_postOK, I admit it … it’s seventy-one.  What’s one year between friends?

Monday was June 15.  If you are self-employed, it is likely that you know this as the day on which your second installment of estimated taxes is due.  Therefore, Monday afternoon, I found myself standing in line at our local post office waiting to mail my payments to the United States Treasury and the California Franchise Tax Board.   Paying money.  Standing in line.  In a post office known for its not-so-pleasant workers.  Not a formula for happy but at seventy-one, I’m pretty good at distracting myself from potentially annoying situations.  In this case, I was looking for an old Linda Ronstadt song on You Tube on my smartphone.  When I made it to the counter, I handed my two envelopes to the postal worker and said,  Since it’s June 15, you probably know where these are going.  She glanced at the addresses without expression and asked, Are you sure you don’t want a signature on delivery?  Oh, I don’t care if they get it, I said, I just want to be able to prove I sent it.  Still no smile. Read the rest of this post »

Monday Smiles – 6/15/2015

Posted June 15, 2015 by oldereyes
Categories: business

Tags: , , ,

TECFOCUSAs 2014 was drawing to a close, the only job our company had was coming to an end.  It was awarded under the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Innovative Research program.  These contracts are reserved for small research companies, giving them an opportunity to compete for government contracts that address critical need of the various agencies.   The initial contracts are quite small, with only enough funding to show that a solution to a problem might work.   Based on the work done in this Phase 1, a few companies are awarded Phase 2, which brings enough funding for up to two years.   About one in ten companies go on to Phase 2, and sufficient time has passed that we had pretty much decided we weren’t one of them.  It was OK … my business partner (who is my age) had talked about fully retiring anyway. Read the rest of this post »


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