Posted tagged ‘humor’

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…)

Smog Check Hell

July 22, 2017

2007smog No one would ever accuse me of being an environmentalist but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it when measures imposed by our government successfully improve the environment around me.   When we moved to California in 1971, there were days when the smog tinted the air brown, it hurt the eyes to go outside and the simple act of breathing burned the lungs.   In the car-obsessed L.A. metropolitan area, automobile exhaust was the primary cause of such days, and … although having to have my car smog certified every two years is a pain … the smog check program has dramatically improved the air here in Socal.   As I sit here in the park on a sultry summer day, the air around me is colorless and the sky is blue. (more…)

Tops, Drawers and Doors

July 21, 2017

Neat_NotMy wife, Muri, likes things neat and clean. Older Eyes, not so much, which is why I have a private office with a door that remains mostly closed.  When Muri comes to my office to talk, I can tell, she tries not to look around to the debris of several days work … plus empty soda cans, coffee cups and miscellaneous papers … scattered around on my table and desk.  Sometimes the floor.  I try to do better in the rest of the house, but I admit, it never meets Muri’s goals for me.   When I’m busy … meaning I’m doing something I’m interested in, things with a lower priority slip past my attention.  I think to some degree it’s a guy thing, although I certainly know neatnik guys.  And guys much messier than I am.   Muri tells me, I don’t know anyone who leaves things open as much as you do.  What do I leave open?  Tops, Drawers and Doors, mainly.  When I think about it, she has lived with one man for most of her life, so how would she know anyone else?

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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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Travels with Britta and Barney

February 20, 2017

OLD COUPLELast week, Muri and I traveled to Florida to spend the week on Siesta Key with our good friends, Britta and Barney.  Let me say at this point that Britta has no use for social media, not even high class literary social media like Older Eyes- Bud’s Blog.  Hence, in the interest of preserving a very long friendship, Britta is a pseudonym, as is Barney.  They had rented a small cottage near the beach and invited us to join them and their two dogs, Keppah and Kishka.  Also pseudonyms.  Kishka isn’t fond of social media either.  Because Britta and Barney live on the East Coast (in an undisclosed location), we see them only occasionally. (more…)

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…)