Archive for the ‘curmudgeonly rants’ category

Nothing To Do But Write

March 6, 2017

It’s 1:45 in the afternoon and here I sit, in the Dallas Fort Worth Airport, American Airlines Terminal B, to be specific.   Back in the days when I was a regular business traveler, I was a member of the Admirals Club, a private lounge for American Airlines travelers willing to pay a hefty fee … in dollars or miles.  The Club has comfortable seating, private working areas, and snacks … plus sandwiches and drinks for a price.  If I was stuck with a three hour layover … like I have today … it was better than sitting at the gate.   Quieter, for one, at least until business travelers starting bringing their kids along.  Today, I am sitting at a counter with USB ports in the Gate B5 waiting area.   I have no special attachment to gate B5 but there are no flight scheduled for the next several hours so it is relatively quiet.   For about ten minutes, the alarm on an employees-only door kept going off, a high pitched squeal that leaves my teeth vibrating.   Desperate for power for my laptop, I waited it out.  A speaker on the ceiling over my head is prattling on about the madhouse that has become our national government.  It is only slightly less annoying than the alarm.   Terminal B mostly serves American Airlines secondary routes … like those to Huntsville, where I’m headed, so in front of me passengers trickle by in ones and twos, hunting for their departure gates or talking quietly.  Even with occasional gate change announcements, it’s not a bad place to write, especially when there’s nothing else to do.  It’s not the Admirals Club, for sure, but it’s better than the madhouse in terminal A, where I arrived from Socal.

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For Singing Out Loud

January 13, 2017

savy-singerMy granddaughter Savannah’s favorite gift this Christmas was a karaoke machine.  Once all the presents were opened and we each went to our corners to play with our favorite gifts, she switched on the machine, turned it up to full blast and began to sing … over and over … Call Me Maybe by Carly Ray Jepson (yes, I had to look that up).  To these old ears, Call Me Maybe sounds like a corny pop tune aimed at pre-adolescents in the midst of their first crush.  It’s harmless enough, easier to listen to than what Kohl’s plays over their sound system in the stores on a regular basis but … played more than five times in a row … it could be used in place of waterboarding.   I would conservatively guess Savannah sang it thirty times Christmas morning.

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Hello President Trump …

November 10, 2016

… Goodbye Social Media.

tmp_2659-th21438624336I did not sleep well on election night.  A man I would not allow in my home is now the president-elect of the United States. My feelings about Donald Trump were clearly stated in my election eve post, Enough.  But now the election is over and he has won, fair and square, in spite of his carping about rigged elections.  If you look at the voting demographics it looks like certain parts of the Democratic base didn’t turn out for Hillary and it is likely that the third party candidates hurt her as well.   Let me say this … if you didn’t vote or voted for a no-show in protest, you don’t get to complain.

This is the point at which, in most years, I would try to accept the will of the people and hope for the best from the winner.  But I find Trump so reprehensible that hope is difficult to come by.  Last night, before I went to bed, I said a prayer for our country, which is the best I can do for now. Perhaps the man will turn out to have a conscience after all, or as several people have told me, his theatrics reflect the salesman he is … once the presidency weighs upon him, he will be a better leader. Perhaps the Republican leadership or VP Pence will help him find a steadier course, in spite of their failure to do so during the campaign.  I can look back to voting for Romney four years ago and hope for rightward movement in some of the areas in which I am conservative.  And I will keep on praying. (more…)

Thinner

September 15, 2016

scaleMy Mom had weight  issues for as long as I can remember.   She would diet, lose weight, then gain it back plus a little.  I didn’t understand how discouraging that was until the metabolism I’d inherited from her caught up with me.  The first time was in the late sixties, the dreaded newly-wed expansion brought on by my wife’s cooking combined with my own denial that I no longer had an adolescent metabolism.  I believe it was during this time that my Mom cautioned, Don’t ever gain more weight than you can lose in a year.  It will be so discouraging you’ll never even try.  I fought the good battle into my late fifties through diet and (a sometimes ludicrous amount of) exercise. (more…)

(Not Quite) Instant Replay

September 8, 2016

wp-1473320738150.jpg Last night, I got a late start to the park to top off my walking for the day … and keep my Fitbit off my case.  Twilight was well underway as I handed the ranger my Regional Park pass.  I needed about 5000 steps to make my daily goal and may have been driving a teensy bit fast on the way to my usual parking place.  Heck, there was nobody around, or so I thought … but someone shouted, Slow Down!!!! in a four exclamation point tone of voice.  My Inner Curmudgeon, IC, always on the lookout for a confrontation, whispered, Did you hear that?  I pretended I didn’t.   I parked my car and was minding my own business, putting in my ear buds, when a gangly fellow in an orange tee skated up on roller blades. Check that.  Actually, his dog, a medium-sized retriever mix, was pulling him along. (more…)

(independent)

August 1, 2016

partiesIf you were consult the California voting rolls, you would find that I am a registered Republican.  Please don’t tell anyone.    As a conservative on defense and fiscal issues but a moderate on social issues, the party to which I am registered usually reflects my priorities at the time of registering.  I am used to being unhappy with certain avowed policies of my party of the moment, but I have never been embarrassed to be registered to a party until now.  I don’t blame the Republican party for nominating Donald Trump.  The party leadership did everything it could to convince a certain segment of our citizenry that he was unfit to betrump president.   Inexplicably, those citizens ignored the party leaders and nominated The Reality Show Candidate anyway. What I’m embarrassed about is that once the deed was done, so many of those who said he was unfit turned around and supported him.  GOP leaders John Ryan and Mitch McConnell were particularly outspoken in their criticism of Trump and therefore looked especially hypocritical when they decided to back him.   During the last election, I was a lukewarm supporter of Mitt Romney.   He’s looking pretty good to my eyes now.   Integrity counts.  So-called conservative talk show hosts like Limbaugh and Hannity, too, have shown their true colors and supported The Reality Show Candidate.   So, please, in spite of my current party affiliation, call me independent. (more…)

Pokemon. Stop.

July 28, 2016

downloadThe park I fondly call My Park is Yorba Regional Park, perhaps the most beautiful of Orange County’s Regional Park system, a mile and a half expanse of lightly wooded grass along the Santa Ana River between Anaheim Hills and Yorba Linda.  It has four small lakes, asphalt trails for walking and biking, playgrounds for children and large shelters frequently used for company picnics or family reunions.  A loop around the entire park is about three miles, which makes a perfect place for getting in the 8000 steps a day demanded by my Fit-bit.  For about a week, at the East end of the park where the bluebirds are plentiful and the park walkways open onto the Santa River Trail, people have been congregating in small groups, mesmerized by the cellphones and tablets their hands.   Yep.  It was my first official sighting of people playing Pokemon Go, the mobile device trend that the media has been salivating about for a couple of weeks now.  Now, given a choice between following a trend and leprosy, I’d gladly choose the latter but I am also a technology geek, so I was curious about the game and, in particular, why people would gather in a particular place to play it.  I found Beginners Guide: How to Play Pokemon Go! online and learned that the game includes special locations known as PokeStops where players are more likely to find the critters that are the objects of their quest.  I am inclined to think of such games a complete waste of time … and to be quite honest, my Inner Curmudgeon regards that bevy of Pokemon players staring at their mobile devices as they sit in the prettiest part of the park as idiots.  It’s opinions like that that usually keep him my Inner Curmudgeon.

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