Posted tagged ‘curmudgeonly rants’

How Are You?

August 29, 2022

how are youYesterday, we needed to get my wife, Muri’s, car smog checked and registered.  Unlike smog check and registration in California, here we can do it in a single stop at any authorized shop.  And we can generally do it without an appointment and in fifteen minutes or so.  When we walked into our favorite auto shop, Tunex, the manager said, How are you?  I instinctively answered, I’m good. When I went back to the sit next to my wife in the waiting area, she looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said, Liar!  Hmmm.  Well, the truth is we have been going through some difficult times and my answer was a lie.  The incident brought me back to a vacation in Clearwater, FL.   My kids were really kids back then and my daughter, always a social butterfly, made friend with a girl her age in the pool.   We soon met her parents and began to hang around with them.   Her dad was Scottish and spoke with a brogue that was sometimes hard for these American ears to understand.  One afternoon, he looked at me and said, When you folks say, “How are you?” you don’t really mean it, do you?  It’s just a way of saying hello.  Of course, he was right, and we had a good laugh about it. (more…)

Cats, People

March 5, 2022

 

catstoo

Every Thursday morning, I get up early (for a man or 77} … 7:00 am to be exact … and drive to the Best Friends Animal Society Lifesaving Center in the Sugarhouse neighborhood of Salt Lake City for my shift doing Morning Cat Care.   Typically, there are between fifteen and thirty cats to take care of, which means clean their kennels, feed them, and spend some time with them, since many of them are traumatized to be in another rescue facility.  After all, there is no way for them to know that they have ended up in the best place they could, a facility that will give them medical care, food and a warm bed, and human attention until they can be adopted or placed in a foster home.   The cats I care for are typically a mix of new arrivals from other shelters with no room for them, cats that are too sick or agitated to be in foster or adopted, or … and these are the cats I want to talk about … cats that have been adopted then returned. Now, I am happy that most shelters will take back cats that, as their temporary owners say, haven’t worked out … after all. it’s better than simply dumping them somewhere or dropping them at the Humane Society.   The favorite excuses for returning adopted cats seem to be:  the cat bit me or scratched me, unprovoked; I discovered I’m allergic to cats; the cat required too much attention; or the cat was too aloof. (more…)

Retired

February 22, 2022

retiredOn the last day of December 2021, I retired.   There was no retirement dinner, no gold watch, just an emailed letter to my business partner stating that I was retiring and the business was now his.  We really hadn’t had any business since early in the year … my only responsibilities had been maintaining contact with certain websites that allowed us to work for the government.   So, there is really no change in my days to mark the occasion.    But even at 77 years old, it feels odd.   For over thirty years, I have written in a journal most morning, a remnant of something Julia Cameron called Morning Pages in her book, The Artist’s Way.  It was part of a plan to bring out my Inner Artist, and indeed it did.   I took classes in creative writing, published a short story and wrote a novel (unpublished).   I began painting and photography.   I started this blog that has over 2000 posts on it and another to display my art.  At the end of my pages each morning, I would write four letters (M for Mystic, A for Artist, S for Scientist and E for entrepreneur).  In a small attempt to keep some balance in my life, I would order the letters to correspond to the extent that my previous day was occupied with each of the four.   For example, S, A, M, E would mean that most of my time was spent on Science and Art, while spirituality and business were less important. (more…)

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…)

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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Uh, Not the Flu

June 30, 2020

As of yesterday, face coverings are required in public in Salt Lake County where our new home town of South Jordan is located and, perhaps surprisingly, when I went to the store today, virtually everyone had on a mask. That, dear readers, is good for Oldereyes’ disposition. Watching more than half of the people in our local stores wander around maskless (and clueless) as the COVID-19 cases surged in Utah was making me crazy because, you see, I am 76 years old, mildly diabetic and mildly asthmatic, which puts me on the edge of the coronavirus’ favorite victim-group. And as anyone with the sense to listen to the news should know, wearing a mask primarily protects OTHERS, so a decision not to wear a mask is not about your rights to choose but your right to infect other people. I wish there were some way to get that through the thick skulls of the idiots that were protesting against wearing masks outside the capitol today but a lobotomy is probably a surer thing.

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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…)