Posted tagged ‘feeling older’

Fire

October 12, 2017

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 (more…)

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New Landscapes … New Eyes

September 17, 2017

horizonIf you bothered to read my Home page, you will see a quote by Marcel Proust prominently displayed:  The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.  It is  a motto that suits me.  For most of my life I have been good at appreciating the life I have and found fulfillment in looking inward for adventure rather than outward.  But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t benefited from an adventure that stretched my boundaries now and then.

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Older … Sadder … Wiser

September 4, 2017

SWI am aboard a Southwest flight from Cleveland OH to Orange County, returning from funeral services for my sister-in-law, GeorgeAnn, who passed suddenly from a massive heart attack last Monday.  There was a viewing on Friday night and on Saturday, a brief memorial service at the funeral home and grave side, then a luncheon back at the funeral home.  Everything was beautiful and in keeping with GeorgeAnn’s personality, upbeat, a celebration of her life rather than an occasion for grieving.   Personally, I am a crier.  When I lose someone, I need to cry and I’d rather do it with loved ones than alone at night or in my car at the park.  I didn’t know GeorgeAnn as well as most of the people attending so I went with their lead and only teared up a few times.

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Tell Them … Again

August 31, 2017

This week, my brother’s wife, GeorgeAnn, passed away from a heart attack.   Just over eight years ago,  my sister-in-law, Sandy, passed away after weeks of fighting to recover from cancer surgery.   One passing sudden, taking your breath away, the other slow, agonizing … but the shock is the same, a loved one taken too soon, at least from our perspective here on earth.  And in the case of GeorgeAnn and Sandy, two truly good people who brought love, light and care to the lives of family and friends.   Back in 2009, I wrote a short post titled Tell Them, wondering if Sandy knew how much we loved her, how special she was. The message of that post was this: Tell them. Tell the people you love just how much they mean to you and tell them how you think they’re special. Don’t wait. Don’t be wondering someday if they knew.

So, here I sit in mentor OH, waiting to attend GeorgeAnn’s viewing tonight, wondering if I’ve gotten any better at this business of letting those I love know how much I care.  George Ann was funny, quirky, outspoken and compassionate.  She was a natural caregiver who cared for friends and family during difficult times, including my sister, Pat, and she was the light of my brother’s life.  She literally saved both my sibling’s lives in the past few years.  Did I thank her enough?  Did she know how much I loved her?  Perhaps.  But I’ll pass on the same message: Tell them … again.  Tell the people you love just how much they mean to you and tell them how you think they’re special. Don’t wait. Don’t be wondering someday if they knew.

The Eclipse Curmudgeon

August 22, 2017

Clipboard01When I was a boy, I saved up my money and bought a 3 inch reflector telescope from Edmund Scientific.  I believe it cost $29.95, which tells you how long ago it was, in the 1950s.  I don’t remember how old I was … I would guess twelvish.  With this telescope, from the hay field behind our house I could see the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, some of the larger nebulae, double stars and of course, incredible detail of the surface of the moon.   Nobody ever told me not to point my telescope at the sun.  Nobody had to.  I was a smart kid.  But when I learned about sunspots and heard a report of exceptional sunspot activity, I certainly wanted to.   I don’t know where I found the piece of green plexiglass that became my solar filter.  To the eye, it was opaque but if I held it up to the sun, I could see the sun through itplexiglass … which gave me an idea.  Using my Dad’s jigsaw, I cut a circular piece the size of my telescope tube and taped it over the open end.   Wallah.  Sunspots at 60X power.   I seem to remember watching a partial eclipse using my improvised solar filter, too.  Those was the good old days … or the bad old days, depending on your point of view.  No one checked the transmittance of my plexiglass disc, checked if it was compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.   Was my tape job sufficiently secure to assure the filter wouldn’t fall off, vaporizing my eyeball?  Yep, it was.  I still have two working Older Eyes.

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Biased

August 12, 2017

I posted this on my other blog, Both Sides Now, but I’m posting it here because it’s relevant to the purpose of both blogs.   It’s also think it’s a good post and gives me an opportunity to promote my new blog to readers of Older Eyes.  If you are one of the few who already subscribe to both, I apologize.

biasI like to begin my day with a cup of coffee at my side and my tablet in front of me, seeing what is going on in the world from the various news outlets. I have searched for years for a source of unbiased news (a phrase that should be a truism but turns out to be an oxymoron) but have finally settled on reading biased news from a variety of sources, then drawing my own conclusion. Over in the blogosphere or on social media, it is worse. Opinions masquerading as facts may not win the day but they dominate it. It is as if we are pre-programmed to be biased, which we are. The culprit is not some brain-hacker out of The Matrix but a fundamental characteristic of our species known as Confirmation Bias. Our Creator (or Evolution, you choose) has endowed us with a very strong tendency to sort through the array of information available to us at any instant and choose that which supports our currenttiger2 opinions, thus strengthening our belief. Some scientists explain that for our ancestors, dealing with simpler (but more critical) situations (like Is that a Sabre-Toothed Tiger and is it likely to eat me?), reaching a quick decision in the face of sensory overload was a matter of life or death. If this is the case, then Confirmation Bias is strongly linked to our Flight or Fight Response, becoming strongest when the situation seems threatening.

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Bad Reputation

August 10, 2017

shower.jpgWe have recently been doing some renovation on our guest bathroom.  As is often the case in tract homes, the builder used a cheap bathtub that rusted through and began to leak water into the garage, which is directly below the bathroom.  Some heavy-duty caulking stopped the leakage for a while, but in July, the drip-drip-drip started again.   We called our friendly neighborhood plumber (he really is, here) and had our tub replaced with a high-quality cast iron one.  The plan was to remove the lower portion of the tile tub enclosure, but when that was done, it revealed some water damage to the framing behind the tile, so we had the entire enclosure removed and the framing replaced.  Then it was time to call our friendly neighborhood masonry guy (also really is, here) to redo the enclosure.   This was turning into a marathon (to the tune of the ka-ching ka-ching of money leaving our bank account). (more…)