Archive for the ‘perspectives’ category

Not Resolutions

January 1, 2023
nudge

   Courtesy Washington Post

There was a time, I made New Years resolutions every year and posted them on New Years Day here on Oldereyes – Bud’s Blog.  The last time I did that was 2014.   Sometimes, I would grade myself on how well I kept them at the end of the year.  I was not an honor student.   At some point, I realized I was making basically the same resolutions every year, so I decided to convert my resolutions to a daily checklist that lives on my phone.   For a while I religiously recorded my self-improvement performance daily … until after a while I didn’t.  Oh, I know what’s on the checklist and try to follow my goals but nothing gets recorded.   There is a part of me wants to spontaneously be a better person and there is part that doesn’t want to be bothered.  My Inner Curmudgeon says, You are 78 years old.  You are what you are.  Still, I think resolutions are good for the soul … and unlike my mother, I don’t believe the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Without good intentions, we never improve, and the same Mom that warned against good intentions taught me that life is for growing. (more…)

Giving

August 21, 2022

charityMy wife, Muri, and I could hardly be called philanthropists, but we do our best to support charities.  We have been most fortunate in our lives and it only seems right.  Muri mostly takes care of the medical research organizations like the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association.  We usually support research in areas that have affected us, our family and friends.  Monthly, she donates to one or two of our causes, using a rotation formula only she knows.  I donate monthly to several causes and donate, mostly online, to causes as the urge strikes me.   In addition to medical causes, I donate to animal causes like the ASPCA and Humane society and to environmental causes like the Sierra Club.   And political contributions.   I never made political donations until 2020, when Trump was threatening to get four more years.   I donated to anti-Trump organizations like The Lincoln Project, to the Democratic Party and to critical democratic candidates, quite generously for a mostly non-political guy. (more…)

Not MyTube

April 19, 2022

UtubeYesterday, I posted about how much I enjoy listening to live music on YouTube and how well their algorithms seem to find similar music and similar artists that I enjoy.   I concluded by saying that, at least when it comes to music, YouTube is MyTube.   On topics other than music, however, the YouTube algorithms seem to miss their mark as to what I’d like to see. (more…)

Oh My, Omicron

December 28, 2021

covidIs anyone else tired of reading about Covid-19 and its variants?   How about reading different and conflicting accounts of how dangerous the new and improved (from the virus’ point of view) omicron variant will turn out to be?  After all, in South Africa, the onslaught seems to have petered out but reliable sources tell me that won’t necessarily be the case here.  So, here I am again, trying to decide whether I should attend activities in our over 55 community or be one of the small percentage of (mostly) seniors wearing masks in the market.  With two vaccinations and a booster for both my wife and I, life seemed to be returning to a semblance of normalcy and, sure, I’m glad to hear that this provides some protection against omicron … but how much some is enough?  Sometimes, I wish I was brain-dead enough to follow the Q-Anons down the conspiracy theory rat hole and dismiss the entire thing as a hoax.  But seventy-seven years have left my brain still functioning, at least enough to dismiss idiotic theories. (more…)

Stupid? Or Not?

August 31, 2021

dunceToday a friend sent me an article from the Wall Street Journal by Lance Morrow titled You Are Living in the Golden Age of Stupidity.  The article pretty much describes everything that has happened for the last four plus years as stupid, regardless of political party.  We live in a golden age of stupidity, he says.  It is everywhere. President Biden’s conduct of the withdrawal from Afghanistan will be remembered as a defining stupidity of our time—one of many. The refusal of tens of millions of people to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus will be analyzed as a textbook case of stupidity en masse. Stupid is as stupid does, or, in the case of vaccination, as it doesn’t do.  Every buffoonery of the president and his people was answered by an idiocy from the other side, which in its own style was just as sinister and just as clownish. (more…)

COVID Roulette

August 5, 2021

covidEverybody, I assume, has heard of Russian Roulette , the game you play with a revolver pistol for thrills (in this case the thrill of risking your life).   You need a revolver, a bullet and at least two players (I suppose you can play with one but in that case you might as well load six bullets and get it over with).   You put the bullet in one chamber, spin the cylinder, then the first player puts the barrel to his head and pulls the trigger.  The odds are 1 in 6 that the gun will fire and end his life.  At this point there are two variants of the game … the gun can be passed to the the next player without re-spinning the cylinder, in which case his chances of blowing his head off is 1 in 5.   You can see where this goes … on each turn that the gun doesn’t fire, the odds of the next player dying increases.   OR, the players can spin the cylinder before each turn, in which their odds of dying are the same each time.

I bring this up because it seems to me that many people in this beautiful country of ours are playing COVID Roulette, a game in which you choose not to not be vaccinated, risking illness or death for no good reason at all.   Yes, I know the odds of dying are much smaller than with a bullet and I know that it is your fundamental right as an American to risk your life if you want.   But here’s the thing … unlike Russian Roulette, COVID Roulette risks the lives of others.   What?  You say they can get vaccinated if they want to reduce the risk.   That might be a pretty good argument if it weren’t for the COVID variants you’ve probably been reading about.   Let me talk to you about variants for a moment**. (more…)

Neither Side Now

May 27, 2021

I’ve looked at life from left and right, as each side claims to own the light.   But it’s life’s delusions they both sell, as anyone with brains can tell. – apologies to Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now.

maybenotIt is hard being a moderate in this polarized country.   A trip through the morning news ranges from annoying to infuriating as I encounter one article after another espousing a point of view that I see as too extreme.   So, after a long election year in which the positions of the right made me align with the left in spite of my reservation’s about the so-called progressives, I have tried to step back from the news and worry less.  Of course, I knew that the left would eventually campaign for something that seemed just as outrageous as The Big Lie.  This week, while we were visiting with my daughter, she mentioned that California is reducing access to higher math in public schools because teaching it is racist.   Now, my daughter travels a more rightward path to the news than I do, so I was skeptical, but as a 50 year Californian, I wouldn’t put anything past the California Democrats, so I did some research.  Yikes. (more…)

Louie the Loser, Pt. 2

December 12, 2020

This is Part 2 of a two part post.  You can read Part 1 here.

Louie began to take our bus home from school 2 or 3 days a week then follow Vinnie to his house. And when I’d changed my clothes to play, there he’d be in The Hayfield, waiting. I want to be captain. I want Vinny on my team. No fair, you cheated. Vinny had to go along with him because of his Dad’s job, and Glenn (not my brother Glenn, Glenn from down the street) went along because he had a crush on Louie’s sister, Anna. My Mom said Just ignore him but I couldn’t do it. Finally one afternoon I lost it and called him Louie the Loser to his face. He shoved me and I busted him right in the nose. He ran to Vinny’s house, blood dripping down on his shirt … and we all scattered, figuring trouble was ahead. (more…)

Louie the Loser, Pt. 1

December 10, 2020

I grew up in the small suburban town of East Haven, Connecticut, on Bradley Street, a neighborhood of modest ranch style homes. Behind our house was The Hayfield. I don’t think it was ever used for hay, but that’s what we called it. Across The Hayfield were several miles of woods, home of the Arrow Patch, where we harvested long straight sticks to make arrow for our homemade bows, and Indian Cave, a pile of huge boulders that formed a natural cave. The Woods were the home of our adventures, real and otherwise. The Hayfield was out athletic facility. Several times a year, we would borrow our Dads’ lawnmowers and mow a large area that served as a football and baseball field. Once, we mowed smaller areas to be the tees and greens for a golf course, but the grass was so course that most times, we lost our balls, and even if we got the ball on the green it was too rough to putt. So, we’d have to sneak onto the nearby municipal course for golf. (more…)

Playing the Percentages

September 3, 2020

I’ve been thinking a lot about how this diverse nation of ours can survive the polarization that seems to be gripping us. And while President Trump is clearly the polarizer-in-chief, we all seem to be taking part in some way or another. For every person posting Black Lives Matter on social media there is someone else posting, I support the police … share if you agree. But I digress, I don’t want to talk politics, I want to talk percentages, although certainly these numbers relate to politics. I just found these interesting when presented together.   I’ve included references and for the most part chosen sources with no political axe to grind: (more…)