Posted tagged ‘nostalgia’

Old Music

November 16, 2017

art journalThis fine Southern California morning I am in my office.   I have just finished the wash for a watercolor painting.  OK, it’s not so much a painting as a visual journal entry, paint going where it will until something hopefully emerges.  So far it hasn’t.   That is one of the points of art journaling, to teach creative patience.  I have been listening to music and came across an old favorite I haven’t heard in a long time, Desafinado by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd.   I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much music slips into obscurity over time, sometimes because tastes change (I don’t listen to much Neil Young any more) but just as often because there is so much music in our personal soundtracks (you do have one of those, don’t you?) that we can’t possibly listen to them all.   That seems a shame. (more…)

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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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A Father’s Day Story

June 18, 2017

buddyWhen my Dad got out of the service, we moved to small apartment on the Boulevard in New Haven, Connecticut.   As I recall, it was a refurbished Army barracks.  My mom told me that when the wind blew, you could feel it through the walls.  I am fortunate to have some pictures of our years there but my memories of the Boulevard are sparse and dimly lighted.   I do remember them as good times.   There were tons of kids to play with, my parents had lots of friends (many of whom they kept touch with through most of their lives) and there was lots of space to play baseball or tag on the apartment grounds, even if it was mostly dirt.   What more could a kid ask for?

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Motown Memories

September 2, 2016

yearsI am an introspective sort of old guy.  Being old … seventy-two, to be specific … is an advantage for an introspective man, providing lots of life to introspect (no, it’s not a word … consider it senior literary license).   I am also a lucky man.   As I move inexorably into my seventies, I am, as they say, comfortable in my own skin.   No, I am not quite perfect … defects of character and irrational prejudices still haunt me … but for the most part, I manage not to act on them.   Mistakes?  Yes, Frank Sinatra, I’ve made a few but I’ve tried to learn from each of them and I think I am a better person for the effort.  Pardon me if I pat my own back and say I have an examined life, which, according to Socrates, makes life worth living.   These days, I find myself looking back over the years not in judgement but in curiosity, trying to understand what made me turn out as I am.  So let me ask you this.  Have you ever asked yourself, What was was the most significant year in determining who you are? (more…)

Friendly Furnishings

August 13, 2016

oldFifteen years ago, with my business doing well and our neighborhood of 30 years declining, we decided to buy a new, larger house across the freeway in Anaheim Hills.  Much of our furniture was as old as our old house, so we decided to completely furnish our new home from scratch.   I had always liked the idea of a recliner but didn’t care for the looks of most of them and my wife, Muri, liked them a lot less.   But in a corner of our favorite furniture store, Hector’s Fine Furniture, where we were picking out a Mission-style entertainment unit and tables for our family room, was a Mission-style leather chair.  I tried it out.   It was not only comfortable, it was a recliner that both Muri and I liked.  It came home with us and found its place in the corner across from the TV. (more…)

Night Lights

June 18, 2016

led clockNo one but a few regular readers may have noticed but I have.  I haven’t posted since May 24th.   That may be the longest period of time between posts since I started Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog.  I miss it.   If you are not a writer, that probably makes no sense to you.  If you miss it, then do it, you say. I’ve tried.  There are half a dozen stalled attempts waiting patiently on my WordPress dashboard waiting patiently for me to finish them.  Here I am, trying again.   This time, I have a theme … Things That Have Changed Since I was Young.  That should cover a few posts, don’t you think?  You may think, Here he goes, pining for the good old days, talking about how much better things used to be.  There may be some of that but what I have in mind is something smaller and simpler, changes without social consequences or value judgements.  No, I can’t promise my Inner Curmudgeon won’t have some cranky opinions but isn’t that what Curmudgeons do?  Anyway, let me give you an example.

A few nights ago, I was finishing up my last game of Classic Words on my tablet.  The lights in our bedroom were out and my wife, Muri, was snoringcw softly.  I turned my tablet off, plugged it into the charger and made my way to the bed, being careful not to trip over the pair of shoes I always leave out.  As I climbed into bed, I looked back at the room …  a dozen tiny lights pierced the darkness.  The LED on my phone was glowing red to tell me it wasn’t through charging and amber one on the cable box said it was standing by.  The time glowed in red, blue and green respectively on Muri’s alarm clock, mine and the cable box.  Naturally, the times didn’t agree.  On the wall, the carbon monoxide detector winked green to tell me it was doing its job, keeping me safe from an invisible enemy, and on the ceiling above, the smoke alarm did the same.  Intrigued, I got up and walked though the house.  Every room glowed with illuminated times and tiny colored lights.  The kitchen offered competing times on the oven, microwave and coffee make.  The blue LED on the dishwasher signaled the dishes were done and a green light on the master GFCI power outlet assured me that the circuit breaker had not blown.  In the family room, the Tivo glowed green … if it was recording, it would change to red.  The wi-fi range extender twinkled and flashed with each digital message from the router upstairs in my office you where can practically read by the light of the electronics.

When I was a kid, I tried hard to be asleep before my parents went to bed.  As you probably know, trying hard to go to sleep is not a great strategy for SCARYsleeping.  I knew the themes song of the TV shows my parents watched and knew that when I heard the closing theme of their ten o’clock show the house would soon be dark.   No glowing LEDs or digital clocks to keep me company.  Really dark.  Would an assortment of multi-colored LEDs reassured me or morphed into the eyes of scary creatures peering at me in the darkness?  Perhaps I’ll ask my grandsons.

If you are waiting for a point, there isn’t one except that the world has changed a lot in sixty years.  Technology has pervaded our lives and houses.   It is everywhere around us but takes a seventy-two year old man who slept in a pitch black bedroom to notice the evidence everywhere around us in the Night Lights.

One More Sunset

May 15, 2016

One of the best things about our time spent in our Little House in the Desert has been watching the desert sunsets from our patio, which looked over the San Tan Mountains.   Last night, Arizona offered me one more sunset before we leave for good.  As always, my camera was nearby and I recorded it to share with you.  It is a fitting farewell, I think.