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.

Getting By

Posted April 26, 2015 by oldereyes
Categories: spirituality

Tags: , , , , , ,

park sunriseI belong to a spiritual community.  Unlike most spiritual communities, it does not require me to believe in anything, even something as fundamental to most spiritual communities as a Higher Power.  That has been a good thing for me because it has been the pressure to believe things contrary to my experience that has led me to keep religions at arms length, even as I pick and choose from their spiritual concepts.  One of the spiritual concepts of my spiritual community is Take what you like and leave the rest.  Imagine that.  But  being able show up and participate believing whatever I want doesn’t mean there aren’t orthodoxies, notions that are largely accepted and commonly shared at meetings.   When I came in as an agnostic/atheist, the continual use of the slogan, Let go and let God, drove me crazy.   I’d ask myself, Let God what? since many seemed to be saying that the act itself solved problems, phrased as God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.   Now, I say it myself as means of accepting whatever outcome occurs.
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Light Breezes

Posted April 25, 2015 by oldereyes
Categories: photography

Tags: , , , , ,

Sometimes I go about in pity for myself , and all the while a great wind is bearing me across the sky —  Ojibwa saying

This is the epigraph that appears at the top of the page titled What We Often Miss in David Kundtz’ book, Quiet Moments.  The Ojibwa are a large group of Native Americans, more commonly known as the Chippewa nation.  Apparently, even in a culture known for its appreciation of the natural world, people lost in their day-to-day troubles forgot to look and up to notice the amazing world we live in.   And it isn’t always a great wind … sometimes, it’s a light breeze.   Carrying a camera when I walk is one of the best way to keep myself looking up and away from the things that are troubling me.   Walking along, looking for opportunities for photographs, my mind is searching for, to use the Ojibwa metaphor, great winds and light breezes.  Today, I looked for small beauties that I’d probably miss if I was walking with my Runkeeper App nagging me to go faster.  Here are a few of them:

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Have a great weekend.

Bad Words

Posted April 24, 2015 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

Tags: , , , , ,

It is in keeping with the subject matter of this post … and my attitude towards it … that I warn readers that this post contains Bad Words and is also somewhat irreverent.   I’d blame my Inner Curmudgeon but this one’s on me.

bad wordsI am a word guy, that is to say, I love words.   I particularly enjoy the written word in the hands of a master.  I enjoy a finely crafted description but even more, I am a fan of dialog, the kind of gritty conversation that made the novels of Elmore Leonard so enjoyable.  When I was working on my Certificate in Creative Writing, I remember one of the text books noting that good fictional dialog isn’t realistic.  Paraphrasing, the text suggested that we listen to conversation when we were out among the peeps, noticing how disjointed and banal most conversation can be.  The trick, the text continued, is to craft dialog that sounds realistic, like the sort of thing your characters would say but that will hold the reader’s interest.  Not easy.   It should surprise no one that using so-called Bad Words is often part of that process.   A hardened criminal who says, Give me the fucking money or I’ll blow your Goddamned head off, sounds a lot more realistic than one who says, Well, shucks, would you please give me the freakin’ money, right?  So, imagine my mixed feelings when I discovered that there is an app for Android called Clean Reader that edits out Bad Words in e-books, replacing them with empty gray spaces.  Some author spent significant effort on that choice of words being censored. Read the rest of this post »

Monday Smiles – 4/20/2015

Posted April 20, 2015 by oldereyes
Categories: Monday smiles

Tags: , , , , , , ,

ART FORThis post has been buzzing in my head for a week or so, and today, it is determined to get onto the page.  If this wasn’t a Monday, the post would be titled, Art for Art’s Sake, not a very original title.  But it works, even if I use it a way different from the meaning intended by the French philosopher, Victor Cousin, when he said L’art pour l’art.  He meant that art needs no justification, that it need serve no political, didactic, or other endI believe that for sure but it’s not what I’m smiling about on this warm Monday morning, when the skies are hazy with smoke from a wildfire several miles down the freeway.

I was raised by a rational Dad and an artistic Mom, and my Dad’s influence has dominated my professional career with my artistic side relegated to hobbies.  If that sounds dismissive, that is an echo of what I felt for much of my life.  I painted in oil and watercolors, drew in pencil and charcoal and pastels, but never considered myself an artist.  I loved writing and even earned a certificate in creative writing in my fifties.  A short story I wrote in one of my classes was published in a minor literary magazine and I actually completed a novel.  But I never felt like a writer.   My upbringing had taught me that you had to make a living at something to earn the title.  Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog was intended to talk about the experience of growing old(er), the positives and the negatives.  Yes, there are positives, like shedding the notion that to be a writer, I have to earn money or have thousands of readers.  Or that to be an artist, I need to sell my paintings.   The fact that I have posted 1702 posts here is adequate evidence that I am a writer, and while I love Likes and Comments, I write for writing’s sake. I post my photographs here and that makes me a photographer, and when I base a drawing on one of my photographs, I am indeed an artist.  I am happier when I create.


If that sounds like much ado about nothing (another stolen title … I do steal from the best), think again.  It is one of the true gifts of having An Older Perspective.  And it makes me smile.  But you don’t have to wait until you are older to do it.

Dr. Doctor

Posted April 19, 2015 by oldereyes
Categories: curmudgeonly rants

Tags: , , , ,

diplomaEven if you have been stopping by Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog for a very long time, I doubt that you would know that Older Eyes is Dr. Eyes.  He’s a doctor.  I don’t talk about it much, on my blog or in my life.  It is a title I use only in business, and even then, I prefer to be called Frank once a client is aware of my credentials.   However, I do use my title when making travel and restaurant reservations because I get somewhat better service that way.   Of course, there’s often the question, What kind of doctor are you?  … then a slight disappointment, a sense that I’ve somehow deceived when I say, I have a PhD in electrical engineering.   The academically aware may even say something like, Oh, Piled Higher and Deeper, huh?   Occasionally, someone will ask, What does a doctor in electrical engineering do?    Oh, I developpogo advanced algorithms for the extraction of weak signals in noise, is usually a conversation killer.  My ego is fine with that.  Earning my doctorate was one of the most interesting experiences of my life, one in which I learned the true meaning of Pogo’s declaration that We have met the enemy and he is us. The degree has opened professional doors and if it gives me some extra respect until people find out I’m not a neurosurgeon, that’s just frosting. Read the rest of this post »


Posted April 18, 2015 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

Tags: , , , , ,

MEDINAPI first posted about meditation back in 2010 in a post titled, Meditate? Me?  Since then, I have at least mentioned meditation in 93 posts.   Those two sentences would probably make you think I meditate regularly, but I’m willing to bet that more than half of those mentions involve NOT meditating because for all the good I know regular meditation brings to my life, I find it hard to make myself stop and do it (see Stuff We Already Know, Tuesday’s post). I first tried meditation back in the seventies when the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was hyping Transcendental Meditation, capitalizing on his association with The Beatles.  Transcendental Meditation, or TM as it was called by friends, suggested 20 minutes of meditation twice a day using a mantra given to you by you instructor in return for several hundred dollars.  It was suggested that you sit upright in a straight-backed chair to avoid falling asleep.   I managed to stick with twice a day for about a year, even though there was absolutely no doubt it made me calmer.  Twenty years later, I would begin to work the 12-Steps, which among other things recommend prayer and meditation.  I began to meditate every morning on my way to work (stopped in the park, of course).  I found an mp3 track of meditation bells online for 15, 20 and 30 minute meditations, one gentle bell at the start and three at the end.  You can find them here.  And I reached seventy, still meditating sporadically in spite of the benefits with one more obstacle.  Of course at my age, I needed more sleep, a notion I have trouble accepting … so most times I fall asleep, chin-on-chest before my meditation bells ring, straight-back chair or not.  The Maharishi would not approve. Read the rest of this post »

Stuff We Already Know

Posted April 14, 2015 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

Tags: , , , , , , ,

indexMy wife, Muri and I, have not been sleeping very well lately.  To some degree, it seems to be a phenomenon that strikes human beings as they age, not sleeping then dozing on sofa in the middle of the afternoon.  And walking around yawning the rest of the day.  We each have our own peculiarities that wake us during the night and subjects that keep us awake thinking once we’re awake.   Saturday, while I was in the park I found and article in Forbes Magazine online titled Twelve Ways to Beat Insomnia and Sleep Better No Matter What’s Keeping You Awake , so I emailed a link to Muri.   She must have been sitting at her computer reading email because she wrote back within ten minutes:  Isn’t this Stuff We Already Know?  Indeed.
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