Archive for the ‘feeling older’ category

Meet Claude

September 14, 2018

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For months now, I have been volunteering at Cats in Need, a local cat rescue. I clean cages and cat boxes, feed the cats and (best of all) I get to play with the temporary residents. I try to take a photo of every cat I meet there but I’ve probably missed a few. What is gratifying is to see cats, especially older cats, go home with a new owner. But I admit, in addition to helping the Cats in Need, I had an ulterior motive. A while back, my son’s cat, Elvis, was diagnosed with a massive tumor and had to be put down. While I got over the loss of Elvis, I was keeping an eye open at the rescue for my next cat, who would really be my first cat. The cats in my past have belonged to my mother and my kids. They are, in order, Bambi, Purry, Norman, Mr. B, Kitty, Mr. P and Elvis. Last Saturday, I brought home Claude, six year old Tuxedo.

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The Neighborhood

July 8, 2018

neighborhoodWhen my wife Muri and I were looking at our current house in Anaheim Hills, the owner told us it was a very friendly neighborhood that frequently had neighborhood block parties.  My Inner Curmudgeon didn’t see that as much of a reason to buy the house and I was inclined to agree.   But otherwise, the house was just what we wanted so we bought it.   Here we are, 17 years later and there hasn’t been a single block party.  The neighbors are friendly enough but not in a get-together-for-the-holidays kind of way.   Consequently, on Wednesday we were having a minor case of the All-Alone-with-Nothing-to-Do-on-the-Fourth Blues.  A movie is always a good place to escape the blues on a hot California day but, as usual, our choice was limited by the fact that we see a lot of (too many?) movies.  Limited to Jurassic Park Episode 132 or Won’t You Be My Neighbor.   Hmmm.  CGI dinosaurs or Mr. Rogers.   WYBMN had unbelievably good reviews and I’d rather have a sharp stick in the eye than another overdose of CGI, so Mr. Rogers won out.   But I have to admit, the thought of an hour and a half of Mr. Rogers gave me pause. (more…)

Independence Day

July 4, 2018

3dflags-usa1-3I consider myself a patriot. A right-leaning but moderate patriot. I believe that which way you lean … right or left … has nothing to do with whether you are a patriot. In part, being a patriot means truly believing that the way you lean … your political and moral compass … is best for the USA.  That, however, is just a start. In this country, acknowledging that others have a right to believe differently … and say so … is also a condition for being a patriot. As a patriot, I want to post something for our nation’s birthday, something positive, or at least hopeful. Not easy, watching what is going on in my country these days, both sides yelling and calling names. Just out of curiosity, I looked back at Bud’s Blog over the last nine years and found a post, Independence, from five years ago.   We had a different president and a different party in charge, but my message applies just as well today.  In part, it said this:

declaration I got up this morning and read the Declaration of Independence in its entirety, not just the beginning that we all find so stirring. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Stirring. To my embarrassment (blush) as I read on, though, I realized I had never read the whole document, even though I’ve stood in front of it … in some awe … in the National Archives.

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Fidelity and Resolution

June 30, 2018

This is Part Three of a post on the journey of my music listening from high-fidelity to mobile phone earbuds and back again.  You should probably go back and read Part 1 and Part 2.  Or not.

earbudsAt the end of Part 2, I was listening to music stored in the MP3 format on my smartphone, happy as the proverbial pig to have my music portable where I could listen as loud as I wanted.   But I kept seeing articles about high resolution audio online.   Neil Young, of all people, made a passionate plea to save music through his high resolution  player and streaming service, Pono (since abandoned).   Other articles sing the praises of so-called lossless compression formats like FLAC and ALAC.  On Amazon, I found pocket devices claiming to be high resolution music players ranging in cost from $25 to almost $4000.  Even given the tendency of audiophiles to equate high cost with high fidelity, that seemed suspicious.   Suspiciously, too, I can find articles claiming high-resolution audio is anything from audio Nirvana to practically a scam.  So just what is high resolution audio?
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Art History

June 3, 2018

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Recently, I posted an photo of me, my parents, Florence and Frank, and my siblings, Glenn and Pat in the living room of the house I grew up in. That room was the center of my universe from the time we moved there in 1952 until I went off to college. When family … grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins … visited, we sat in the living room. Dad would often move the table from our smallish kitchen to the living room to give us more room for Thanksgiving. Christmas trees were decorated and presents opened there. I told my parents that I had proposed to my college sweetheart there. Dad took countless naps while reading the paper in the chair by the door and I learned my love of classical music listening to Mom’s records on the stereo under the picture window. In my college years, Mom and I would sit up watching Johnny Carson and talking on the sofa under “Dad’s mirror” (he never walked by it without a little gavotte). More than once, he’d call from their bedroom at the end of the hall, Would you two keep it down out there?

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Coffeetoo

June 1, 2018

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As I get older, I find that the poignant feeling of nostalgia is becoming a regular companion. I suppose that 74 years of experiences … tastes and smells and what Jackson Browne calls the fragments of the songs carried down the wind from some radio … give me ample opportunity to touch some nearly forgotten moment.  I remember as my Dad was pushing into his eighties he became a sentimental old guy who would tear up regularly over memories. I know now that those weren’t usually tears of sadness but of gratitude for a good life.  This morning, as I was getting ready to go to the park, I had such a moment.

I do not go lightly into the park. I bring a briefcase full of electronics, pads and writing instruments. I bring a camera, and today, a light lunch, quickly assembled in our kitchen. I bring a large vacuum cup, usually filled with Diet Coke from Mickie Dee’s but today I didn’t want to stop so it was full of lime fizzie water from Trader Joe’s.  As I loaded my paraphernalia into my car, I remembered that I had a fresh pot of coffee brewing in the kitchen, so I went back for my travel cup. I’d left it upstairs, and as I retrieved it from the vanity, my wife Muri, said, Coffee, too? And instantly I was a child again, in my Mom’s kitchen. Dad was having a cup of coffee and I was having a Coffeetoo.  No, my Mom didn’t give me coffee.   She used to stir some Eclipse Coffee Syrup in a glass of milk for me.   The first time she made it for me, she said, Buddy, would you like some coffee, too? And from that day on, it was alwayscandy-cigarettes_1 known as Coffeetoo.  These days, I see kids coming out of Starbucks with their Moms carrying five buck concoctions of I don’t know what.   But that can’t hold a candle to my memory of a Coffeetoo with Dad, made especially for me by Mom.  And, by the way, nothing topped that off like a candy cigarette on the way to school.

Have a great weekend.

 

Driving Tests and Pedestrians

May 11, 2018

dmvThe great state of California requires drivers over seventy to take the written driving test every time they renew their license. This is in spite of the fact that as a group, drivers from 70 to 80 are safer drivers than drivers from 16 to 30 … and it is not until they pass 85 that the crashes per mile traveled comes close to that of drivers under 30. Can you say ageism? (of course, you can)  So, yesterday, I went to the DMV to take the test and renew my license. The written test consists of 18 questions on rules of the road and driving skills … getting 15 or more correct is a passing score. For the most part, the questions are easy, even if you haven’t reviewed the CA Driver’s Manual. If you are lucky, you might pass without studying. But there are always a handful of questions that require specific knowledge found only in the driver’s manual or the dozens of practice tests online.  It is illegal for a person 21 years of age or older to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is _____ or higher.  (a) .08%; (b) .10%; (c) .05%*. Or how about A white painted curb means: (a)Loading zone for freight or passengers;  (b)  Loading zone for passengers or mail only;  (c)  Loading zone for freight only**. (more…)