Posted tagged ‘Top Sites Tuesday’

Getting By

April 26, 2015

park sunriseI belong to a spiritual community.  Unlike most spiritual communities, it does not require me to believe in anything, even something as fundamental to most spiritual communities as a Higher Power.  That has been a good thing for me because it has been the pressure to believe things contrary to my experience that has led me to keep religions at arms length, even as I pick and choose from their spiritual concepts.  One of the spiritual concepts of my spiritual community is Take what you like and leave the rest.  Imagine that.  But  being able show up and participate believing whatever I want doesn’t mean there aren’t orthodoxies, notions that are largely accepted and commonly shared at meetings.   When I came in as an agnostic/atheist, the continual use of the slogan, Let go and let God, drove me crazy.   I’d ask myself, Let God what? since many seemed to be saying that the act itself solved problems, phrased as God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.   Now, I say it myself as means of accepting whatever outcome occurs.

Stars and Superheroes

June 2, 2014

TSTWhen I used to commute to work … on freeways, not down the hall to my home office … the best sports-talk shows were on the radio during commute times.  Best meant host that were … first … knowledgeable about sports and second, able to talk sports in an entertaining way.   Sports talk has changed.  I would call the most popular format these days the Loudmouth and the Doofus.  A knowledge of sports seems secondary to the ability to generate controversy with baseless opinions, a sophomoric frat-house sense of humor and, of course, world-view to match.  But there are a few good shows still around, mostly exiled to mid-morning or afternoon.  One of those aired locally is Mason and Ireland who feature a daily  bit called Fast Track.   During Fast Track they ask each other five questions, often but not necessarily about sports, to be answered on the spot.   I thought it would be fun for a Top Sites Tuesday #255 post, as long as you’re willing to let my Two Thoughts on Tuesday be Two Questions.  As if you have a choice.  Here we go. (more…)

Easily Distracted

May 27, 2014

TSTI’ve probably said it before here on Bud’s Blog but I’m going to say it again.  I am easily distracted and it sometimes drives people crazy, particularly if we are outside.  We’ll be having a serious conversation and I’ll catch a flash of color in my peripheral vision … and I just have to look.  Oh, yes, and comment.  Look at the color of that flower, maybe.  Or, Look it’s a male goldfinch.  People who know me may glance in the direction of my find to shut me up, then go on with what they were saying.  People who don’t know me may just keep on talking.  I’m used to it.  Now, since as Laurie Tarken says in an article on, “I think I have ADHD” is the line of the year–or maybe the decade, I suppose I should wonder.   But no, I don’t think so.  I can be very focused when I need to be and besides, I only exhibit three of the nine signs of ADHD she lists in her article (she says there’s no need to call my MD unless I have six).  And no, it’s not that I have particularly uninteresting friends, either.  I actually have an assortment of very interesting friends and they must find me interesting because they put up with my distractedness.  A study done at Harvard suggests that easily distracted people are more creative, so I”m going to go with that.  Not ADHD, just Easily Distracted.  And creative. (more…)

Hamburgers and Hamsters

May 6, 2014

TSTA few years before I retired from Big Industry, an enlightened Division Manager decided that all his executives, including Principal Engineers, needed to learn about marketing.  He enrolled us in a ten week Executive Marketing Course at an unnamed university** in Los Angeles where we learned how to do market research and and conduct advertising campaigns.  I got to participate in a focus group, testing the market for electronic tire pressure monitors among Harley Davidson owners.  I learned how to design advertising for different market segments and I learned about target demographics.   It was all very interesting … and a great deal of fun … but since we only dealt with the Department of Defense, which told us exactly what they wanted in specifications, it was pretty useless information.  Sometimes, though, it all comes back when I watch the advertisements that make it to TV. (more…)


April 22, 2014

TSTThis is a story my Mom told me when I was in high school.  We were always a one car family, so when she needed the car, she’d drive Dad to work then pick him up at quitting time.  She’d sometimes find herself talking to my Dad’s co-workers while he finished up a job.  One day, she happened to mention how pleased she was that he never swore at home.   Their response?  Frank?  Never swear?  You’ve got to be kidding.  I had never heard Dad use anything stronger than hell or damn … or, under dire circumstances, a Jesus H. Christ, which always elicited THAT Look from Mom.  But as was the case with many men back then … he had a different vocabulary among other men than in public.  There were, of course, men who used those words no matter who was around.  Mom knew where they all lived and strongly suggested I avoid those places.  I still managed to pick up a few choice curse words, though … and followed in the hallowed tradition of using them with the guys but never in front of the girls.  And never at home.  I had friends who had their mouths washed out with soap or pepper sauce on the tongue for swearing.  Dad was more direct … a quick backhand got the point across. (more…)

To Eat … or Not to Eat

April 1, 2014

TSTFor roughly 50 years of my life, I’ve battled with my weight.  It was a battle my Mom fought all her life, so I’m sure I inherited her genes since my Dad was thin until he passed away in his nineties, his fondness for cookies and desserts not withstanding.  The only time I was able to keep my weight down was in my forties and fifties when I did a ridiculous amount of exercise training for marathons and triathlons.  Since an Achilles tear limited my exercise to more modest forms, I’ve had one eye on the scalecoffee and another on the media, looking for a diet that I can stick with.  Yes, and an occasional hopeful glance in the direction of a miracle diet product like green coffee bean extract or raspberry ketones promoted by some supposed-doctor on TV.  I’ve lost weight with Atkins, I’ve lost weight with Weight Watchers and I’ve lost it on the South Beach Diet … and I’ve gained it back when my maintenance phase went too far from the base diet.

Perhaps nothing is more frustrating to the perpetual waistline battler than the continual parade of new diets and new diet supplements, the ebb and flow of what’s good for me and not good for me. Not to long ago, low carbs was the only way to go … now, it’s hard to find a low carb product in the market. Instead, we get low effective carbs (which take into account fiber and don’t count certain alcohols), or low glycemic index. Meanwhile I have friends who jellyare vegetarians and vegans and gluten-free. I even have one who eats according to her blood-type. I think it has something to do with the origins of her ancestors based on her blood type. I suspect my ancestors subsisted on a diet of jelly donuts. So, here’s Thought Number One on this Top Sites Tuesday #246All this confusion is just about enough to make me give up and eat whatever I want in moderation … which doesn’t translate into weight loss for me … or just throw my hands up and eat whatever I want, shouting, “We’re all going to die eventually,” as I do.

To make it all the more frustrating, recent studies reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation indicate that a gene known as the Mrap gene not only causes obesity, it may tend to make those who have the gene inclined to eat high-fat foods. It is freakin’ genetic !!  And now there’s this.  A paper published yesterday in the prestigious European Journal of Health has found that the Mrap gene not only contributes to weight gain but is also a marker for a shorter life-expectancy. The paper by Drs. Adrian Higglesby and Jon Catlin titled False Correlation Between Obesity and Life Expectancy Due to Life-Span Effects of the Mrap Gene suggests the shorter life span usually associated with obesity is actually due to the gene itself.  According to Higglesby, if the effects of the Mrap gene on life-span are included in the analysis of weight-mortality data, it appears that a weight approximately 35% higher than the UK National Institute of Health guidelines is healthiest for people over 60.  Hallelujah!  Furthermore, Read the rest of this post

Madness, Matchsticks and Money

March 18, 2014

TSTWith the selection of the teams for the NCAA Basketball Tournament on Sunday, one of the most participatory rituals in American sports gets under way … the filling out of the March Madness bracket.  I find it amusing that the scrupulously amateur NCAA (at least when it comes to players, but that’s another post) produces the event that is the second busiest for Las Vegas behind the Super Bowl.  But it’s not just your traditional gamblers and sports nuts.  Sports fans, both serious and casual, will meticulously examine brackets available virtually everywhere online and pick each game over the next three plus weeks in hope of winning the office pool, a wager or an online bracket competition.   According to, The FBI estimates that more than $2.5 billion is illegally wagered annually on March Madness each year. According to the NCAA, more than 10 percent of Americans participate in March Madness office pools.   Why? (more…)

I Hear Loud People

March 11, 2014

TSTTwo weekends ago, Muri and I were flying from Phoenix to Las Vegas to meet our friends for the weekend.   Since we were flying Southwest Airlines … and were unwilling to spend the extra $12.95 each to upgrade to early boarding … we ended up in the B boarding group, B10 and B11 to be exact.   Since Muri can be a bit claustrophobic and needs an aisle seat, we ended up in the last row.  Across the aisle was a forty something man was telling his date what a wonderful time they were going to have in his best overbearing, I’m-a-confident-guy voice.  There’s always one, Muri said.  And indeed, no matter where we go, there always does seem to be one voice loud enough to annoy … and it’s almost always a man.   Last week, my friend Ralph and I were sitting at Starbucks having coffee.  The young man in a not-even-twenty-couple at the next table was talking so loud Ralph and I could hardly hear each other.  I wish they’d take their first date somewhere else, Ralph said.  Yesterday, needing to get out of my office for a while, I decided to work at our local Corner Bakery, where there’s a regular supply of coffee and an occasional treat.  Of course, working there is impossible without my handy-dandy Bose noise cancelling headphones   Today the culprits were a thirty-something guy in a suit checking in with his home office on his smartphone and two businessmen of some sort discussing what must have been the deal of the century. (more…)

Computers and Cats

March 4, 2014

c and cIt is Tuesday and on Tuesdays for quite a long time now, I’ve been participating in Top Sites Tuesday, tossing out Two Curmudgeonly Thoughts on Tuesday.  Over the weekend, I started a post on computer-generated writing that I fully expected would be my Tuesday post.  Yes, I know … you’re probably relieved that you don’t have to pretend to read it.  It was to be to be titled Chimpanzees and Computers, as in … if an infinite number of chimpanzees given an infinite amount of time could write Shakespeare, how long would it take how many computers to do the same?  If you stop back later in the week, you might be surprised by the answer.  In the meantime, you get Computers and Cats, which  is the answer to the question, Why didn’t I finish Chimpanzees and Computers?  Let’s start with the computers. (more…)


February 18, 2014

RMS rideThere is nothing like my grandkids to make me see the world through much Younger Eyes or to get me down on the floor playing.  I color with Savy, throw the football with Maddux and … well … help Reed with my computer or his Kindle (except when he’s showing me something I didn’t know).   But they can make me feel older, too.   The trip up from playing on the floor is more challenging these days and Maddux can plain wear this old guy out.   This week, with a still-sprained wrist from a fall I took, I wasn’t up to much football, either, but Maddux and I managed to play together on the computer.  Yesterday, Savy stopped in the middle of whatever she was doing to ask, Are you really going to be seventy this year, Papa?  She said seventy as if it had two or three more zeros, as if it was an impossibly old age.   And even though I’m fairly with it culturally and technologically for an old coot, they can make me feel Old-Fashioned, too. (more…)