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.

I.C.

Posted May 14, 2021 by oldereyes
Categories: art

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ICBetween the years 2005 and 2010, I filled two large portfolios with drawings and paintings (plus a few that ended up on my office walls).   The impetus for this surge in creativity was something called art journaling, which I first came in The Artful Journal – A Spiritual Quest by Maureen Carey, Raymond Fox and Jacqueline Penney.  When I found the book I had been doing Morning Pages (a form of freeform written journaling recommended by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way) for years.   Morning Pages is three pages of longhand writing done first thing in the morning, stream of consciousness, no stopping, nothing off limits.  Connect the brain to the pen and go.   There are many good reasons to do Morning Pages but the one I want to talk about is silencing the fellow who provides the title of this post, I.C. – your Inner Critic.  We all have one, that voice in our heads who is fond of telling us we’re not very good at things, especially that first attempt at a poem or short story … or a first watercolor or drawing with pastels.  Why?   Well, According to Hal and Sidra Stone in Embracing Your Inner Critic, it started out when you were a child as a guide to meeting the standards of those around you, correcting you internally before you get in trouble.   But somewhere along the line, it tries to take over, becoming a specialist in telling you what you can’t … and shouldn’t … do.  Mostly by telling you you’re not good enough. Read the rest of this post »

On Sadness

Posted May 8, 2021 by oldereyes
Categories: family, feeling older

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poemsI try to read one poem from Garrison Keillor’s poetry collection, Good Poems, every morning.  I open at random to a page and start reading.  I admit, at least half, I don’t get, nor do I know why they are good poems.    But this morning I opened to John Updike’s poem, Dogs Death and found myself crying.  It is an incredibly sad piece about a rescued dog that has an undetected illness.  Beyond the sadness of the poem, it reminded me of losing my beloved Tuxedo cat, Claude, to cancer 2 years ago.  But when I was still crying 5 minutes later, I knew I was about to relearn a lesson that I’ve relearned many times before:  If I continually stuff feelings of sadness, they will come out as anger or disinterest in life or in isolation.  And eventually find their way out as sorrow, triggered by some totally unrelated (and probably minor) sad something.  An old friend and psychologist once told me that the reason we like sad songs is that they allow us to indirectly process sadness we can’t (or won’t) deal with directly.  Obviously, sad poems work, too. Read the rest of this post »

Coming Around (Again)*

Posted May 6, 2021 by oldereyes
Categories: music

Tags: , , ,

music notesRecently, someone posed this question on Facebook:  If you followed your childhood dreams, what would you be doing today?   It is the kind of post that catches my eye for a minute or so (leading me to see what others answered in the comments), then move on.  But it hangs around on the edges of my awareness until my own answer turns up out of my distant memories.   My oldest recollection of What do you want to be when you grow up? is … NUCLEAR PHYSICIST.  Chances are I was just trying to sound smart.  I ended up an electrical engineer.   A more interesting question is as an adult, what professions do I wish I pursued?   I have never been dissatisfied with being an engineer, but having such a left-brained profession has often given my right brain little to do except wonder what might have been.   In high school, several wonderful teachers taught me the love of writing, not just reports and term papers, but composition and fiction … and this combined with my love of reading … led me to wonder if I should have been a writer (more than a technical report writer and blogger with one published short story).  My Mom taught me to draw and paint, a habit I have continued sporadically throughout my life, and naturally, my right-brain has whispered, I bet you could sell this.   I love music and have dabbled with the guitar since high school and whenever I watch a guitarist, whether it be John Williams, Peter White or Carlos Santana, I imagine what it would be like to be able to do that. Read the rest of this post »

Monday (Smiles)

Posted May 4, 2021 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older, Monday smiles

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Back when I was a regular blogger, posting every day, I had a theme for each day of the week.   I don’t know where I found thee inspiration to post every day back then  … and I certainly don’t have it now.  My theme for Mondays was Monday Smiles, the idea being that starting the week with something to smile about would be good to keep my dark side at bay.  There are almost 300 Monday Smiles posts (here) but I haven’t posted one since 2015.   This Monday did not start with smiles.   I didn’t sleep well and awoke with aches from some gardening I did Sunday.   I was grumpy, a state that seems to be more common first thing in the morning as I traverse my seventies.   As I said in my last post, High Maintenance, it takes considerable effort to be the kind of old soul I hoped I’d be.  When my usual Morning Practice failed to lift my spirits, I suggested to my wife, Muri. that we drive down to the South Jordan River Trail, a lovely little spot that has be come our enclave.  Still, no Monday Smiles. Read the rest of this post »

High Maintenance

Posted April 25, 2021 by oldereyes
Categories: spirituality

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Over the almost 77 years of my life, I have discovered that I am High Maintenance. Like an old car, I need regular care if I am to keep running.  But instead of oil changes, spark plugs and the occasional lube job, I need maintenance to keep me from turning into one of the grouchy old curmudgeons I swore I’d never be.   Fortunately, I am mostly High-Self Maintenance. Unlike our vehicles, I can change my own oil and give myself a tune-up, figuratively thinking (sounds a little dirty, doesn’t it?). As to whether my wife Muri thinks I’m high maintenance, you’ll have to ask her.  But here’s the thing … just because I know I’m High Maintenance doesn’t mean I always do it.   My personality (and my ego) really like to be spontaneous (sometimes known as undisciplined). Therefore, just as the maintenance manual in my car’s glove box reminds me when service is required, I have a self-maintenance manual to remind me to take care of myself. In keeping with being a modern old goat, my maintenance manual is stored in my phone. It is stored in a cool little app known as Daily Checklist in which I can check off each item as it is completed.   Every day at midnight it resets, but keeps track of how regularly I do each item.  No pesty reminders or notifications … just a helpful guide that I can look in on periodically.  So, what is in my maintenance manual, you might ask.  Well there are 5 categories.

The first is what I call Morning Practice, a list of things I try to do every morning: Morning Pages, two pages of stream-of-consciousness journalling;  prayer; a gratitude listreading from several inspiring daily readers; and meditation.  Meditation is my challenge … it lubricates my life like nothing else but doing nothing for 15 minutes challenges my personality. 

The second is Social.  In this year of the COVID, isolation can turn me bitter so I need to:  talk to someone (besides my wife and my cat and more than just hello).   This year that has usually meant phone calls or zoom meetings); and write or text someone (I have several prolific e-mail pals).  

The next is CreativeWrite something (usually, on this blog);  Draw or paint something; Photography (often birds); and the catch all, Create something (some days that is a computer program).  I would subtitle the Creative category Feed My Soul.

Then there’s Spiritual, a tricky category for a spiritual but not religious curmudgeon:  Pray; Read something spiritualdo something that touches your soul (usually involves nature or music); and accept something that’s hard.  I could write a whole post on this category and probably will.

Finally, there’s ServiceChores; Take a Contrary Action (do the opposite of one of your bad habits);  Do something for someone (and preferably don’t get found out);  Contribute to something; and Tell someone you love them.

Do I do it all every day?  Nope.  Every other day?  NO!  Do you think I’m Obsessive-Compulsive?  But if I do some of it each day, it keeps me on the rails.   And that’s what making it through your seventies happily is all about.   Do you have a self-maintenance list, either written down or in your head?

Spring Walking Music

Posted April 19, 2021 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older, music

Tags: , , ,

Winter is fighting hard to stay around this April.  During two consecutive days last week we had temperatures in the 70s only to awake to the following day to three inches of snow.   The saying is that April showers bring May flowers but we’ve had as many snow showers as rain showers as well as that undecided precipitation known as wintry mix.   As a California transplant I have learned to walk in the cold but I draw the line at snow and wintry mix, mainly because I don’t want to risk a fall at my age.  I have managed to keep up my 6000 steps per day by store walking (thank you, Home Depot, Target, Walmart and Costco) but I miss my music.   No, I don’t  know why I don’t just put in my earbuds inside but I don’t … maybe I’m afraid the sight of an old guy singing along with Bohemian Rhapsody would frighten the clientele. Read the rest of this post »

One Hundred Percent

Posted April 17, 2021 by oldereyes
Categories: health

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coronaThere is a scene in Zero Dark Thirty, the film about the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, in which a group of CIA agents is pondering whether Osama is  hiding in a certain house in Islamabad.   The CIA Director asks around the table for opinions about how certain each of the senior agents (all men) are that it is indeed Osama.   Each of them offers a cautious estimate of the likelihood on the order of 60%.  Maya, the agent who gathered all the intelligence, becomes increasingly agitated with each estimate.   Finally, the director turns to her and says, And what do you think?  Without hesitation, she says, One hundred percent.  Then, gauging their reaction, she says, OK.  Ninety-five percent.  I know certainty freaks you guys out.  But it’s him.   In my line of business, we are often trying to find a very weak signal (say, an object of interest to a radar) surrounded by other objects we don’t care about.   The likelihood that we detect the target is known as the probability of detection and our customers would love that to be 100%.   Many times we are lucky to give them 50%. Read the rest of this post »

Miracles

Posted April 4, 2021 by oldereyes
Categories: humor

Tags: , ,

matzosProbably most of you know that last Friday was Good Friday, the day that Jesus was crucified.   A likely lesser number know that it was the 7th day of Passover, the traditional Jewish commemoration of the escape of the Jews from Egypt. The juxtaposition is no coincidence, of course … Jesus was a Jew and the last Supper was a Passover Seder.  Although I have never converted to Judaism (something about a ritual circumcision … just a tiny knick, the rabbi said), I do join my wife Muri in not consuming leavened bread grains of legumes.  To be honest, some years more than others.  I am a bread addict and I admit, sometimes I indulge in sneak treat when I’m out alone.  Not this year.  Now, in case you are not Jewish … or never took  some kaocomparative religion in school …. you may have never tasted Matzoh, the unleavened cardboard (er, bread) that we eat instead of real bread during Passover.    For me, eating too much Matzoh is like drinking a bottle of Kaopectate with breakfast.   My digestive system stops working and I lose my appetite … and by Friday breakfast time I was dying for carbs.   I decided to sneak off to McDonald’s for a sausage McMuffin with Egg, Read the rest of this post »

Old

Posted March 25, 2021 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

Tags: , ,

curmudgeonThis has been a difficult year: my wife’s breast cancer, COVID and the isolation that it brought, adapting to life in new place away from old friends in our 70s.   Both my wife Muri and I agree that this year has aged us more than a year.  I won’t make a guess about how many years it has aged us but I do know I entered the year a fairly content seventy-five year old and find myself, at the year’s end much more of a curmudgeon than I care to be.   One of the things that has made the year livable was living near my daughter, Amy, her husband, Lars and our grandchildren, Reed, Maddux and Savy.  We have not lived near family in many, many years and beyond the comfort of knowing they are nearby, we had the joy of seeing them, albeit less than we’d have liked because of COVID.   Of course attending the grandkids activities is wonderful (Reed swimming and water polo, Maddux soccer and Savy dance) but just hanging out together, talking or playing games is special, too.  And we are lucky that we are not only relatives to our daughter and her husband, we are friends.  One of the things we have missed due to COVID is going out to dinner with just the adults, where we could talk (and laugh about) adult things. Read the rest of this post »

Health Care Quiz

Posted March 8, 2021 by oldereyes
Categories: humor

Tags: , , , , ,

I am concerned about the health care decision making of our populace these days, so I am offering as a FREE Public Service this health care questionnaire.   By answering the questions then checking your answers against the answers at the bottom of the page, you can assess your own decision process.

  1. Your doctor finds an odd lump on your neck which be suspects might ne cancerous and wants you to see a specialist.  Which of these should he call?   (a) a lawyer;  (b) the governor of your home state; (c) an electrician; or (d) an oncologist.
  2.  You are in a bad traffic accident and have lost a lot of blood.   What is most critical to a successful transfusion?   (a) your blood type;   (b) who you voted for in the last presidential election;  (c)  what your friends say on Facebook; or (d) what your Uncle John, the shoe salesman says.
  3. A new virus is sweeping the nation.  As the death toll rises, who do should you listen to for advice about how to avoid being infected?  (a) Your congressman;  (b) Fox news;  (c) CNN;  or (d)  the Center for Disease Control
  4. Your toilet is backing up into your guest bathroom, flooding the floor with odorous waste.  Who should you call?   (a) a surgeon;   (b) a gastroenterologist;  (c) a lawyer;   or (d) a plumber.
  5. You have a severe case of the flu and want to avoid hospitalization.  Whose advice should you follow?  (a) Sean Hannity;  (b) Dr. Jill Biden;  (c)  Senator Rand Paul;  or (d) None of the Above.
  6. Who should you trust your life to when it comes to COVID-19?   (a) Greg Abbot, the governor of Texas;  (b) the United States Senate;   (c) Dr. Fauci;   (d) what “they” say on the internet.
  7. Your brother-in-law. Bill, who works as a tech at the local hospital says COVID is a hoax.   Who should you used to fact check his assertion?   (a) Dr. Phil;    (b)  Dr. Oldereyes (I am a Doctor of Engineering); (c) Dr. Golden, your orthopedist;  or (d) none of the above.
  8.  The CDC recommends that we wear masks while the COVID vaccinations continue.  They recommend this because;   (a) they are all Democrats;  (b) doing so helps prevent the spread of the disease;   (c) they are trying to take away your rights;  (d) the virus is a hoax promoted to make money for the medical profession.

Read the rest of this post »