Posted tagged ‘curmudgeonly rants’

Just Breathe

June 16, 2017

breathMy sister is a trained Yoga instructor.  If you have ever done Yoga … or practically any meditation technique … you know that proper breathing is part of the way to a relaxed, mindful state.   Through the nose, breathe into your belly, then gently expel through the mouth.  Notice how it feels on the inhale and how it feels different when you exhale.  Breath in light.  Breath out negativity.  You get the picture.  When my Dad was in assisted living, his primary caretaker was my sister, since she lived less than an hour away, while I live in California and our brother lives in Ohio.  Whenever my Dad was agitated about something, my sister would say, Just Breathe, Dad.  Just Breathe.  My Dad, disinclined toward Yoga or any other New Age nonsense, would answer, I am breathing.  Sometimes, I am breathing, dammit. Interestingly, though he never followed my sister’s suggestion, his annoyance would distract him enough from whatever was bothering him and he would indeed end up less agitated. (more…)

Nothing To Do But Write

March 6, 2017

It’s 1:45 in the afternoon and here I sit, in the Dallas Fort Worth Airport, American Airlines Terminal B, to be specific.   Back in the days when I was a regular business traveler, I was a member of the Admirals Club, a private lounge for American Airlines travelers willing to pay a hefty fee … in dollars or miles.  The Club has comfortable seating, private working areas, and snacks … plus sandwiches and drinks for a price.  If I was stuck with a three hour layover … like I have today … it was better than sitting at the gate.   Quieter, for one, at least until business travelers starting bringing their kids along.  Today, I am sitting at a counter with USB ports in the Gate B5 waiting area.   I have no special attachment to gate B5 but there are no flight scheduled for the next several hours so it is relatively quiet.   For about ten minutes, the alarm on an employees-only door kept going off, a high pitched squeal that leaves my teeth vibrating.   Desperate for power for my laptop, I waited it out.  A speaker on the ceiling over my head is prattling on about the madhouse that has become our national government.  It is only slightly less annoying than the alarm.   Terminal B mostly serves American Airlines secondary routes … like those to Huntsville, where I’m headed, so in front of me passengers trickle by in ones and twos, hunting for their departure gates or talking quietly.  Even with occasional gate change announcements, it’s not a bad place to write, especially when there’s nothing else to do.  It’s not the Admirals Club, for sure, but it’s better than the madhouse in terminal A, where I arrived from Socal.

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Earth? Flat.

February 21, 2017

flatI was a bit astounded, even in this age of alternate facts and pseudo-science, to hear Kyrie Irving express his belief that the earth is flat.  My first reaction was what my Dad used to say when someone said or did something that was ridiculous …. What and idiot!   But of course, I know Irving isn’t an idiot or is he dumb.  He attended Duke University, for Pete’s sake, even if it was to play basketball.  I wondered if he was joking or trying to make a subtle point about fake news, but given a chance to retreat, he stood by his assertion.  Several other players, including LeBron James, defended his right to believe that the earth is flat.   It is certainly his right but why would he … or his friends … want him to look incredibly uninformed in front of the world, especially when there are so many simple ways to see that the earth is indeed round?

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The Glass Man

February 6, 2017

tmp_26154-th41331107174I have never liked to use the phone. Conversations and transactions, whether personal or business, that I easily conduct in person become loathesome by phone.   I don’t know why.  Perhaps it is because I come from a family of phonophobes.  I don’t think I have ever had a conversation of more than five minutes with either my father or my brother, and while my mother and sister were more that willing to converse on the on the phone, neither seemed to know that it was a device that could both place and receive calls.   On the other hand, perhaps it is a characteristic of most men. In my Thursday Night Men’s Group, calling the guys, whether it is for help with a problem or just to talk, is part of the program.   Whether it is the dislike of using of the phone or of asking for help, most of the men refer to the phone as too heavy to pick up.  Having lots of company doesn’t make being a phonophobe any more acceptable at home. (more…)

Razors

January 25, 2017

gilletteWhen I was about sixteen and headed off to a high school dance with a date … which means it was probably a prom … my Dad stopped me and told me I should shave before I went.   In a town that was largely Italian, I may have been two or three years past the usual first-shave age, but I was thrilled none-the-less.   Every boy wants to be a man until they’ve tried it for 20 or 30 years, at which point he realizes how much fun being a boy was.   My first shave was with my Dad’s electric razor.   As my beard thickened, I got my own Gillette double-edged safety razor, just like Dad’s.   You may not know that King Camp Gillette was the inventor of the disposable double-edged blade and was the supplier of safety razors to American troops during World War I.  Because GIs were allowed to keep their razors when the war was over, Gillette had a guaranteed customer base for his blades, making Gillette the dominant force in shaving supplies. (more…)

For Singing Out Loud

January 13, 2017

savy-singerMy granddaughter Savannah’s favorite gift this Christmas was a karaoke machine.  Once all the presents were opened and we each went to our corners to play with our favorite gifts, she switched on the machine, turned it up to full blast and began to sing … over and over … Call Me Maybe by Carly Ray Jepson (yes, I had to look that up).  To these old ears, Call Me Maybe sounds like a corny pop tune aimed at pre-adolescents in the midst of their first crush.  It’s harmless enough, easier to listen to than what Kohl’s plays over their sound system in the stores on a regular basis but … played more than five times in a row … it could be used in place of waterboarding.   I would conservatively guess Savannah sang it thirty times Christmas morning.

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A Year (or Five)

January 4, 2017

belated2Since I started Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog, I have tried to present a balanced view of aging … focusing as much as possible on the positives without ignoring the fact that, as people my age like to say, Getting Old is Not for the Faint of Heart.  I was 64 when I wrote my first post, Feeling Older, which is now the frontispiece to my home page.   Three years later, I wrote Feeling Old.  Looking back I can see that I wasn’t considering that going from Older to Old so quickly made titling a continuing progression of posts about aging problematic.  I mean, what now?  Feeling Ancient?

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