Posted tagged ‘curmudgeonly rants’


December 22, 2022

hellIf there is a hell … and I am in fact bound there … the perfect torture would be sitting in an airport, waiting for a flight that is delayed.   Originally, say, it was scheduled for 11:42, boarding at 11:02.  It is now10:30 and I have been sitting at the gate for almost an hour trying to ignore the guy in the next row talking loudly into his phone, closing the deal of the century.  Seriously, don’t you wonder if there’s no one on the line and these guys just want to sound important. There is a gaggle of business folks returning from a convention, bursting with comradery and yucking it up about something that happened as they finished the day in the hotel bar.   There’s a family with three adorable kids who just got off a connecting flight and are so full of energy spontaneous combustion is not out of the question.  They squeal and laugh and run.  I love kids but I hate airports which cancels out the love of kids.   As I am fetching my Bose noise cancelling headphones from my carry-on, I look up just in time to see the departure time click from 11:42 to Delayed 12:05 on the flight status board.  Shit!   And over the next two hours, the flight delay will advance maddeningly in 20 minute increments until either the flight is cancelled or, finally, blessedly, the loudspeaker announce We will begin boarding in 20 minutes.   But wait.   This is hell!   The flight delays go on for eternity and the businessman never stops talking and the conference goers laugh louder and louder and more adorable kids show up and my headphone batteries are dead.  I would be pulling out may hair if I had any.

I bring this up because at 9:30 am we were just getting ready to leave for the airport to send Christmas with our grandkids in Texas.   For three lovely years they live only ten minutes away, so enjoying Christmas morning with them didn’t require trips to the airport.  But now they live in Texas and we have to fly to see them.   Fortunately, my daughter texted us that our flight had been delayed just before we were ready to leave for the airport, so I was spared.   After three delays, it looks like we will be leaving two and a half hours late (since the incoming flight is finally on it’s way).  So, here I sit, passing the time by writing this post and grateful it’s just another day at the airport.  But of course, our outgoing flight could still be delayed due to weather in Dallas (believe it or not, it’s colder there than it is here in Utah).  But I know we’ll get there eventually because my wife is entirely too good to be sentenced to airport hell.

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



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…)


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.


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.


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.