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Posted November 9, 2017 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

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ArkTraveler

Back in the dim corners of my memory, I recall a song in which a farmer-fiddler sat on his porch fiddling away while his roof leaked rain all over him.   A passing traveler advised him to fix his roof, to which the farmer replied, I can’t.  It’s raining.    The logical traveler suggested that when the rain let up, he could do it easily.  The farmer kept fiddling and said, Get along for you give me a pain;  My cabin never leaks when it doesn’t rain.  As a kid, I thought that was pretty funny. Read the rest of this post »

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Life in the Drivethrough

Posted November 6, 2017 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

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mcdees dtI will confess that I find myself in the drive through at McDonald’s more often than is good for me.   There was a time when I was there for a Quarter Pounder or Big Mac meal, large please with a Diet Coke.   These days, it’s more often a large coffee, two cream in, and a Sausage McMuffin with Egg on my way to the park, or a large Diet Coke on the way home.   I know, I know … that diet soda isn’t good for me.  I came home from our trip to Italy a few years ago with a serious Diet Coke habit.  I’ve got it down to one a day.  Italy is an expensive place to get hooked on Diet Coke, by the way … five bucks for a mini-can.

Like many Mickey Dee’s restaurants, our McDonald’s has put in a two lane drive through.  Two ordering lanes converge in to a single line to pay and collect your food.  When I first saw it, I was sure that our always-in-a-hurry, aggressive Socal drivers would be cutting each other off  trying to be first in, first out.   But after more than a year, I’ve watched customers take turns, left lane then right lane.   The design is such that once a car has pulled forward from one lane, a car in the other lane can pull far enough forward so that it cannot be cutoff.   Brilliant design, I’d say, ever the engineer.  Small things amuse small minds, you might say.  I’d respond that it’s a pretty big drivethrough.

But no drivethrough design is completely immune to human foibles, so customers still manage to slow the pace of service.  This evening my wife and I stopped to get an iced coffee and a soda and a woman in an SUV had positioned herself between two lines so she could choose whichever line moved first.  It’s not the first time I’ve seen the old supermarket strategy brought to the drive through.  There are customers texting in line so they don’t move when the line does, which is doubly annoying because the when they finally get to the ordering station they don’t know what the heck they want.   There are Sally Albright customers who, like Sally in When Harry Met Sally have to customize every food order, something McDonald’s is unfortunately encouraging with their new menu.    There are can’t find my wallet customers and there are have a life changing conversation with the cashier customers.  Happy meal orders are particularly slow … C’mon, Jeremiah, Heather, Andrew and Rebecca … what toys do want? Apples or fries?  You don’t even like orange soda, Heather.

Then there was the little old guy who, while searching his cup holder for loose change, rolled into the Audi SUV in front of him.   Oh, yeah, that was ME.   The driver of the SUV, a forty-something woman dressed for business was all-business when she stormed out of her car with steam coming out of her ears, photographed the back end of her car with her phone  and said to me, Do you realize you just hit my vehicle?   Now, my Inner honeyCurmudgeon wanted to have a little fun.  He suggested, Oh really?  I didn’t notice … or maybe, It was just a little kiss, sweety.   Fortunately, at 73 I am capable of keeping my Curmudgeon Inner, so I said, Yes.  I’m very sorry,  Is there any damage? Disarmed by the politeness of the cute old guy looking up at her, she glanced at her car then back at me, smiled and said, Don’t worry about it.  There’s no damage.  So, that old saw about catching more flies with honey than vinegar is true.  Thank goodness.

So, that’s Life in the Drivethrough for Monday.   Have a great week.  And don’t text in line.

Fire

Posted October 12, 2017 by oldereyes
Categories: perspectives

Tags: , , , , ,

Monday morning at 10:00, my wife, Muri, and I set out to deliver Meals on Wheels, our monthly service date. As we left our neighborhood, strong Santa Ana winds were blowing in from the East, filling that air with ash from the recent Canyon Fire.  The fire watch truck was parked at the top of Weir Canyon Road, as it usually is when fire danger is high but we saw no sign of smoke. By 10:30, we had loaded our cooler of meals into the car and were on our way to our first client.  Now, a large smoke plume was rising above Anaheim Hills, so we turned on the radio.  A fast moving fire has broken out near the site of last month’s Canyon Fire.  Evacuation of Anaheim Hills is imminent.   We Read the rest of this post »

Whackers and Blowers

Posted October 7, 2017 by oldereyes
Categories: curmudgeonly rants

Tags: ,

`As I write this post, it occurs to me that this particular title could be taken in a very different context than I intended.   So let me say first that if it is sexual titillation (one of the great words in the language, don’t you think?) you are looking for, there are much better places to get it than the blog of a 73 year old curmudgeon. So, take your dirty mind and move on.

20171007_115339464794329.jpgIt is Saturday morning, and I am in the park.  That is no surprise any day of the week but Saturday is my most consistent day, my day to assess my week and do some of the things that keep this old brain ticking … write, pray, make a gratitude list, and read some inspiring essays.  Maybe (only maybe) meditate. But there is a surprise this morning and it isn’t a good one.   The park landscape crew is out and for the last forty minutes I have been serenaded by the annoying drone of a weed-whacker.  And you know what that means … soon to follow is the main act in the parade of annoying noises, the leaf blower.  Yorba Regional Park is a beautiful place, partly because of the work of the landscapers but I’d be happy to have a some long grass around the trees and a few leaves on the sidewalks to be spared the constant whine.  And on Saturday, yet.  Saturdays are supposed to be reserved for screaming children, the thump of too-loud-music from family reunions, and the drone of weekend traffic on the nearby freeway. Read the rest of this post »

Very Punny

Posted October 4, 2017 by oldereyes
Categories: humor

Tags: , ,

A pun is the lowest form of humor, unless you thought of it yourself  – Doug Larson

I grew up in a family where corny humor … and especially puns … were the order of the day … every day.   My Dad was the Master and anything was fair game.   Every year when King Melchizedek turned up in the Catholic gospels at Mass, my Dad would pronounce him King Melted-Cheese-a-Deck, eliciting the required snickers and groans from everyone but my mother, who’d just shake her head.  Another Dad classic was his response to Grey Poupon Dijon mustard commercials.  He referred to the stuff as Gray Poop on De John.  Dad taught us well and by the time we reached junior high we were all accomplished (awful) punsters.  Dad’s annual King Melted-Cheese-a-Deck routine might be greeted with, That’s not punny anymore, Dad.  Cue more groans.   Like Doug Larsen, we thought of punning as the lowest form of humor, which was why we loved it and because, as an anonymous author once said, A pun is a short quip followed by a long groan.

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Fixes

Posted October 2, 2017 by oldereyes
Categories: family, humor

Tags: , , ,

According to the dictionary, getting a fix means To obtain something necessary, especially a dose of an addictive drug or anything else compulsively sought after.   Of course, the phrase is an idiom in the sense that it’s definition can’t be determined from the meaning of the words.  So, I tend to drop the addicted and compulsively and let it just mean doing something I really enjoy.  Back in my running days, after a long day at work, I’d put on my Nikes and go out for a running fix. Yeah, my friends told me I was compulsive about exercise.  OK, as ice cream lovers, my wife and I sometimes head to our favorite shop in Dana point for an ice cream fix.  But believe it or not some geniuses at the New York Times (all the news that’s fit for the bottom of a birdcage) published an article comparing ice cream consumption to drug use.  OK, music.  When I’m down, nothing lifts me like listening to some music I love.  But sure as shit, there are articles about the problems of music addiction.  It seems to be in the nature of our modern world that some idiot is out to find fault with liking anything too much.  Read the rest of this post »

What Would You Take?

Posted September 28, 2017 by oldereyes
Categories: perspectives

Tags: , , , ,

heloAs I sit here trying to feed my poor starving blog, helicopters fly back and forth at low altitude over our house, rattling the windows, a reminder that the 2,000 acre Canyon Fire, to the east of us, is under control but not out.  Wildfires are a fact of life here in Socal and the heartbeat of anyone who has lived in proximity to the many wilderness areas here is sure to accelerate at the sight of a smoke plume nearby.   And they all look closer than they are.  The Canyon Fire started 5 miles to the East of us, almostcanyon fire exactly where the devastating Freeway Complex started in 2008.  That monster burned 20,000 acres and took 190 homes, several within a mile or so of us.  We were evacuated for that fire and the 2006 fire 2 years earlier because our house is one house-row away from a wilderness area.   As a wildfire veteran, when the smoke first appeared on Tuesday, the first thing I noticed was which way the smoke was blowing.   It was not blowing over our house, which is a good thing, at least for us, but it’s no promise of safety.  In the late summer, early autumn winds shift frequently from primarily eastward offshore to Santa 0926_nws_rpe-l-corefire-wp12.JPGAna winds, which howl westward down the Santa Ana Canyon where we live.   The Canyon Fire spread rapidly eastward toward Corona, prompting the evacuation of 1,500 homes, including our good friends who live in one of the neighborhoods most closely threatened.  It is never good when you see pictures of a friend’s neighborhood on the news. Read the rest of this post »