Posted tagged ‘humor’

Playing Favorites (5/20/1944)

May 20, 2022

wpid-happy_birthday_to_you.jpgNo, that’s not a typo in the title.  In spite of my advanced age, I know what year it is (2021, right?).  But I was born on this date in 1944, making this my 78th birthday (2022-1944=78.  See?  I is still good at math).  So the question of the moment is what a music loving septuagenarian music lover will play on his birthday.  The obvious (if not original) choice is the classic Happy Birthday we been forced to sing since we were kids.  My favorite version:

Happy birthday to you,
You belong in a zoo.
You look like a monkey,
And you act like one too.

Cute but hardly appropriate … monkeys rarely life beyond forty.   Or, I could find a page like 33 Best Birthday Songs Of All Time and choose one of the dozens of birthday songs that were recorded by various artists.   I could reach back to my youth and choose The Crests Sixteen Candles, but that would be about 55 candles short (see?  I is still good at math).  Besides, the song is about heartbreak and I am a happy old goat today.   I could choose Happy Birthday songs by The Beatles or Stevie Wonder, but as much as I love both artists, their birthday songs feel like half-hearted efforts.   I could go modern with 2 Chainz – Birthday Song featuring Kanye West and the lovely lyric, All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe.  Not a freaking chance … we’re talking music here.  And it’s crap like that that makes me feel even older.

So, I’ll pick a birthday song with a brain by one of my favorite singers, Carly Simon, who tells a story in every song.   In her Happy Birthday song, Carly talks about all the things growing old has cost her, including caffeine and dessert.  It’s a great birthday song, but it’s also a reminder of all the things you have to do make it to your seventies.  And appropriately enough, she’s also a septuagenarian.  Be sure to listen to the lyrics (or read them here).

Wordle, Hard or Easy

April 12, 2022

wordleLike what seems like 90% of the country, I am caught up in the Wordle craze, trying to guess an arbitrary five letter word in six (or fewer) tries.  Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock, here’s how it works.  You enter your first guess into the first row of the Wordle board the press Enter.    Wordle responds by showing you which letters are actually in the word of the day, green meaning the letter is in the right place in the word and yellow meaning the letter is in the wrong place.  Letters that are not in the word are shaded gray.   Each guess must be a word in Wordle’s list of acceptable five letter words.  The best part is sharing how many guesses you needed (without givingstats away the answer) by posting your solution on social media showing only the color of your guesses without letters.  Wordle keeps track of how many guesses it takes in a chart shown on the right.   You can see that most often, it takes me 4 guesses but that on good days I can get 2 or 3 … or 5 or 6 on bad days.   In 63 games, I’ve always gotten the word in at most six guesses.   My average score (using the well-known formula) is

            Ave = (1×0+3×2+13×3+23×4+17×5+7×6)/66 = 264/66 = 4.19

(more…)

The Gym

February 26, 2022

My Dad was thin for his entire life even though he ate pretty much whatever he wanted.  My Mom struggled with her weight continually.   Through high school and college, I was trim and muscular, if I do say so myself, even though I ate (as my mom would say) like a horse.  Watching me as I lifeguarded at the local beach, our next-door neighbor once remarked that the more clothes I took off the better I looked (Embarrassing but flattering to a 16-year-old).   I assumed, therefore, I had my Dad’s metabolism.  I was wrong.   Once I was married and working, I began to gain weight.   When we drove to our new home in California, my wife Muri snapped a photo of me sitting on the hood of our car in the middle of the desert.   I was wearing a bright purple shirt and I looked like a giant grape.  Thus began a lifetime of working out to keep my weight down. (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…)

Going to the Dogs

January 14, 2022

Ten years or so ago, when I was a regular blogger, one of my readers told me that she liked the way I started out as if I were going to write about one thing, then pivoted to my real subject in the second paragraph.  As this post will show, I still do it, not because it is my signature style but because I am easily distracted by shiny words, interesting figures of speech and sidelights.   For example, this post set out to talk about how my wife Muri and I (who are cat people) ended up dog-sitting three dogs.  But when Going to the Dogs came up as a possible title, I was distracted by the origin of the saying, which according to theidiom.com originated as follows: As far back as the 1500s, bad or stale food that was not thought to be suitable for human consumption was thrown to the dogs. The expression caught on and expanded to include any person or thing that came to a bad end, was ruined, or looked terrible.   On the other hand, according to phrases.org.uk , if you speak of ‘the dogs’ in the UK you be assumed to be talking about greyhound racing, a popular pastime since the early 20th century.  For the roughly 4 million people/year who go to the track, ‘Going to the Dogs’ suggests a good adventure.  Hmm.  Not for the dogs.  Mistreatment of dogs in greyhound racing has led to the closing of many dog tracks in the US and we’ve all seen dog lovers walking their rescued greyhounds in the park. (more…)

Rich Guys in Space

December 12, 2021

(Almost) space, the (almost) final frontier.  These are the brief trips of the (almost) starship New Shepard.  It’s continuing mission: to stoke the egos of billionaires; to explore absolutely nothing except new ways to waste money; to briefly go where quite a few men have gone before (and they had a genuine scientific purpose!)

blue originOnce again this week the news is punctuated with the latest flight of Rich Guys in Space.  This time it’s Blue Origin’s ship, the New Shepard, that carried six passengers, including football player Micheal Strahan and the daughter of (real) astronaut, Alan Shepard, on a sub-orbital joyride.  According to Insider, the six space tourists experienced a few minutes of weightlessness 62 miles above Earth, widely considered the edge of space, before floating back to Earth in a pressurized capsule that detaches from the rocket.  The reports on the flight are filled with exclamations about exploration and missions and the crew but for the most part, these are paying passengers and invited guests … and the flight is a mini-vacation.   What says exploration more than a football player and the offspring of a real astronaut.  What says mission more than one seat on a future flight selling at $28 million dollars in auction or science more than bringing along (on a previous flight) the guy who played a captain of the Starship Enterprise on Star Trek. (more…)

Lost and Found

September 16, 2021

forgetAs far back as I can remember, I have been a little absent-minded.   I remember when I was in junior high coming home from fishing in Pirot’s Pond with a baitfish still on the hook.  I put away my tackle box and stood the fishing rod … kelly still hanging on the hook … in the corner of the closet.  At that point, my Mom called, Buddy, come here a minute.  Off I went to see what she wanted, making a mental note to come back and get rid of the bait.   As so often happens, I lost my mental note until a week later, when Mom detected a putrid smell coming from my closet.  She was not happy.   Once I was driving, a favorite trick was locking the keys in the car … once, when I was in graduate school and late for a class, I locked the keys in with the car still running.  By the way do you know an ignisecond* is?  It is the instant of time between the time you close the car door and your brain screams, The keys are in the ignition !!!  For those of you of a certain age, you will know this is a sniglet. (more…)

Where to Go?

June 17, 2021

clark park

Back when I worked for big industry, Hughes Aircraft Company, to be exact, I used stop at Craig Park in Fullerton, CA on my way to work to do my reading, writing and  sometimes-meditation.   Craig Park is one of the beautiful and expansive parks in the Orange County Regional Park system, this one built into a hilly piece of land near the 57 Freeway.  Every morning, a small brown woman in a traditional saree would walk slowly by, stopping to say, Good morning, Sir.   She shuffled more than walked and up close I’d have guessed she was in her eighties but she still navigated the three mile perimeter of the park everyday.   After a while, we began to talk, her about her family here in California or her life in India before moving here to live with her son, I about what I did sitting in my car by the lake every morning and what I did for a living.   Her name was Hasna, and we became friends, even though she always approached my car as if she were afraid to interrupt and never stopped calling me Sir.   She told me that it was hard living with her son because her daughter-in-law didn’t like her, which was why she walked so much.   Still, most times when I asked, How are you doing? she would simply respond, Oh, I’m alright for a woman my age in an Indian accent so heavy that I sometimes had to ask her to repeat herself several times. (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…)

Small Things

May 29, 2021

crows2Last night, I set out on my walk later than usual, needing about 4000 steps to reach the daily quota dictated by my Fitbit.   It was springtime warm and  to be honest, these old legs didn’t want to go.  Often when I need motivation to walk … and perhaps something upbeat to give me a brisk rhythm to walk to … I put on my Uplifting Tunes playlist, which is an assortment of favorites like Moondance, Rise, and Dance with Me.  Guaranteed to lift your spirits.   But my legs said, Put that crap on and we will go on strike.  So instead, I put on Linda Ronstadt’s Hasten Down the Wind, a beautiful mix of mostly slower songs better matched to my mood and my condition.   And how can you go wrong with Linda, on of the most incredible voices of my lifetime? (more…)