Archive for the ‘curmudgeonly rants’ category

Delayed

December 22, 2022

hellIf there is a hell … and I am in fact bound there … the perfect torture would be sitting in an airport, waiting for a flight that is delayed.   Originally, say, it was scheduled for 11:42, boarding at 11:02.  It is now10:30 and I have been sitting at the gate for almost an hour trying to ignore the guy in the next row talking loudly into his phone, closing the deal of the century.  Seriously, don’t you wonder if there’s no one on the line and these guys just want to sound important. There is a gaggle of business folks returning from a convention, bursting with comradery and yucking it up about something that happened as they finished the day in the hotel bar.   There’s a family with three adorable kids who just got off a connecting flight and are so full of energy spontaneous combustion is not out of the question.  They squeal and laugh and run.  I love kids but I hate airports which cancels out the love of kids.   As I am fetching my Bose noise cancelling headphones from my carry-on, I look up just in time to see the departure time click from 11:42 to Delayed 12:05 on the flight status board.  Shit!   And over the next two hours, the flight delay will advance maddeningly in 20 minute increments until either the flight is cancelled or, finally, blessedly, the loudspeaker announce We will begin boarding in 20 minutes.   But wait.   This is hell!   The flight delays go on for eternity and the businessman never stops talking and the conference goers laugh louder and louder and more adorable kids show up and my headphone batteries are dead.  I would be pulling out may hair if I had any.

I bring this up because at 9:30 am we were just getting ready to leave for the airport to send Christmas with our grandkids in Texas.   For three lovely years they live only ten minutes away, so enjoying Christmas morning with them didn’t require trips to the airport.  But now they live in Texas and we have to fly to see them.   Fortunately, my daughter texted us that our flight had been delayed just before we were ready to leave for the airport, so I was spared.   After three delays, it looks like we will be leaving two and a half hours late (since the incoming flight is finally on it’s way).  So, here I sit, passing the time by writing this post and grateful it’s just another day at the airport.  But of course, our outgoing flight could still be delayed due to weather in Dallas (believe it or not, it’s colder there than it is here in Utah).  But I know we’ll get there eventually because my wife is entirely too good to be sentenced to airport hell.

Continuing Education

June 2, 2021

curmudgeonIf you’ve read the opening post on Oldereyes – Bud’s Blog, you know I offer you the opportunity to choose how you would describe me after reading a post: Sage, Curmudgeon or Fool.   I believe that sometimes I have the wisdom to be a Sage, although no one has ever called me one, and I try hard not to be a Fool.  But I am convinced that being a curmudgeon …  an ill-tempered old person full of stubborn ideas or opinions … is the natural state of the aging male.  I do my best to keep my curmudgeon Inner but as I curmudge about more things, that gets harder and … I swear … after a half century of marriage, my wife can read my mind anyway.  One  of the things I’ve gotten more curmudgeonly about is television.   There used to be shows my wife Muri and I watched together.  MASH. Taxi. Hill Street Blues.  I miss those times but if I try to watch her shows with her these days, my Inner Curmudgeon fights his way out and makes snide comments, and eventually, she sends me away. (more…)

Sick and Tired

October 9, 2020

I’ve had it. I’m sick and Tired. Of reading about COVID-19. Of reading about the election. Of seeing statements in the news that anyone with an ounce (a gram!) of critical thinking would know is a falsehood. I am tired of getting twice-daily solicitations from politicians even though I’ve already given more than I ever have before. By the way, I am tired of getting thank you notes for charitable contributions that include a request (and envelope) for another. I am tired of the news and knowing exactly what position each source will take on any given issue. I am tired of opinion masquerading as news and of people dismissing what they don’t want to hear as Fake News.   I am tired of listening to people’s opinions on subjects that require expertise they don’t have. I am tired of polarized opinions, even mine. I am tired of politicians. CEOs. So-called reporters. I am tired of Facebook and disgusted that the ultimate dumb idea, Twitter, is so influential in our society. (more…)

Fake. News.

September 13, 2020

Fake: [fāk] ADJECTIVE:   not genuine; counterfeit.

News: [n(y)o͞oz]  NOUN: newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or                                                    important events.

Fake News: a form of news consisting of deliberate disinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional news media (print and broadcast) or online social media.

I absolutely  hate the term Fake News.   First and perhaps foremost, it reflects the dumbing down of the American language that seems to prevail right now, even in the media.   You would expect better of journalists who are presumably trained in the use of language.  Look at the first two definitions above.  Of course, you could say not genuine news or counterfeit news but it really is a poor choice of words.   Inaccurate news or incorrect news is more precise, sounds better, and to be honest, sounds less dumb.  But bear with me as I dig a little deeper.  News is defined as newly received or noteworthy information.   But if I look at the definition of information, I find knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance.   So if a statement is Fake … not genuine or counterfeit … it conveys no knowledge, hence it is not News.  So, that makes Fake News is an oxymoron, which speaks not to the intelligence of those who say it but the juxtaposition of two words that are contradictory, like original copy. (more…)

Rambling

August 22, 2020

I’m sitting at my desk in the middle of a hot Utah Saturday afternoon.  I’ve already walked (South Jordan River Trail), journaled, gone to the store (dinner and sundries), picked up the mail (our mailboxes are all in a not-so-central location), filled up my gas tank (I smile each time I get to see again how little gas costs here compared to California), and cleaned up the mess it made when I didn’t close the freezer all the way (how many times is he going to do that?).   I’ve fed my cat, Tyson, twice and groomed him.  He is prone to cat-dandruff, you see.  Yes, he’s spoiled.  I think every rescued cat should be spoiled to make up for their bad luck in being abandoned. I thought I was tired enough to nap but after 15 minutes on the sofa, it didn’t happen, so here I am, at my keyboard with a hankerin’ to post and not a topic in mind.  When that happens, you get a ramble.  What’s a ramble?  Reread this paragraph for an example.  It’s a post that is basically (roughly) 600 words of stream-of-consciousness.  Or maybe unconsciousness.  You decide. (more…)

The Great (Gasp) Google Conspiracy

July 25, 2020

If you come around here very often, you know I am a scientist. A scientist with an Inner Curmudgeon who is totally exasperated by conspiracy theories, especially those that can be dispelled by simple reason. Personally, I am sometimes amused by the more ridiculous claims. Consider what I will call The Great Google Conspiracy about COVID-19. For some weeks, this has been circulating on Facebook and Twitter. It goes like this. Open your device or computer and Google any three digit number, followed by the words new cases. Up will pop multiple news pages showing exactly that number of new cases, proof positive that Google is faking articles to match any number of cases for some nefarious purpose. A few days ago, someone posted this YouTube video of an unknown woman demonstrating this in order to blow your mind. The truth is she ought to use hers instead of trying to blow yours.

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Stranger in a Strange Land

June 20, 2020

Dying of old age is not the same for everyone. Some are taken by diseases, some fast and ruthless, others that slowly sap away the will to live. I suppose you could include the process of aging into that latter category. For a long time, I’ve thought that for many of us, the feeling that we don’t recognize the world about us anymore is a prime contributor to that loss of will. That’s one of the reasons that I have worked hard to maintain a positive outlook on life in spite of my natural tendency to be cynical. a tendency that has earned me the nickname Bud Dark in certain circles. And that’s why the world I see around me right now scares me.

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Grokking the News

May 11, 2020

Just in case you are not a science fiction nerd, the term grokking came from Robert Heinlen’s sci-fi classic, Stranger in a Strange Land.   It means to understand, profoundly and intuitively.

My Dad used to come home from work, sit down in his chair and read the New Haven Register every evening.  Dad liked to be informed as to what was going on in the world.   I have never subscribed to a newspaper, although for many years I picked up the Los Angeles Time Sundays.  I read Newsweek and Time (although not religiously) and watched the evening news until it became so biased and banal that it interfered with my sleep rhythms.  For some years now, I’ve made a habit of reading a number of news sites on my tablet over my morning coffee.   I read a number of sites because while it is possible to find pages that aren’t banal, they are ALL biased to some degree so I hop across a variety of sites to try to counteract my own confirmation bias and get an unbiased picture of what’s going on in the world.  Since the election of Donald Trump as president, the partisanship of the media has made it harder and harder to read enough to really grok what’s going on …. and the media’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has turned me into a news skimmer for the sake of my own sanity.  Here are some of the headlines I skimmed today: (more…)

Experts

April 22, 2020

I have stopped posting on the current coronavirus pandemic because, quite frankly, I am tired of reading opinions (and more opinions) on the subject.  But when you are a 75 year old man with a very vocal Inner Curmudgeon, you have to let him out, so to speak, or he can erupt among family and friends.  I don’t have enough of either to risk that so today’s post is his … on a subject other than (but certainly applicable to) COVID-19.  He has promised to avoid the subject except for the cartoon at the top of the page.   The subject is Experts. (more…)

Life-Changing

March 5, 2020

This morning, as usual, I picked may way through the news on my tablet, carefully avoiding coronavirus hysteria and articles on what ‘our president tweeted concerning things he knows nothing about.   It seems there is less and less that I bother to read.   Oh, there are a few things I liked.  The coronavirus has at least pushed climate change off the front pages … and Kindly Uncle Joe is making a comeback against Crazy Uncle Bernie.  And as always there’s something to give me a laugh to offset the grim news.  Today’s gem is an article on BGR titled This hidden Google Maps trick just changed my life.   Having recently been battling with Google Maps to get my home address to appear in the right place, I was intrigued.  Imagine my disappointment when I found that the trick was a way to add preferences to the restaurants that Google Maps suggests when you search in an area.  Really?   If that changes your life: (1) you are eating out entirely too much; and (2) you really don’t have a life. (more…)