Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday April 29, 2010...Tests

My grandson was complaining about tests.
“I really hate tests”, he said.

I told him that I really LIKE tests and he groaned.

I had to explain that without tests you wouldn't know how much you were learning or if you really understood what you were studying. I told him that a test was like a game to me and I tried to win the game. I also told him that tests are with you throughout your whole life, so you might as well get comfortable with them.

Each job you do is like a test to see if you can do it and if you can do it with the least amount of mistakes then you are successful.

He groaned again and told me that I was always too positive.

I agreed that I prefer to see things in a positive way and try to accept what I can't change and to change what needs changing if I can. I have striven to see the glass as half full my whole life. I would hate to always be down in the dumps and negative. If you look for the joy in the moment, it is generally there to be seen.

I sure hope that I can pass along this philosophy to my grandson, because life can be so beautiful and joyful if you just open your eyes and look around.

Tests really are fun! Their like games to be won.
You just have to keep trying.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010...Life, Death, Memories

Generally, we live each day much like any other without looking up and seeing the big picture. But, on occasion, we will be reminded of our human frailty and be forced to consider our place in life.

This past week one of my high school classmates passed away. He was one of our finest athletes and one of our idols. Dick Kenworthy was a prime example of health and energy and athleticism that we all aspired to. His smile and his energy set the example of youth and vigor for us all. His death as well as the death of Richard Copaken one year ago have driven home the impermanence of life. Richard Copaken was one of our brightest classmates and had so much enthusiasm and energy and intelligence that we all seemed dim in his presence. Now with both of these fine examples of our generation gone, our class seems enervated and smaller.

Times like these make us reflect on life and death. Some of us know through our faith that there is more beyond the portals of life. Some of us are unsure and hope there is light beyond the curtain. And some of us assume that there is only life and nothing beyond. No matter what our beliefs, we all cling to the here and now with a tenacious grip on what we know for sure. We cling to each moment and each breath and each memory and hope for just one more adventure in this world of ours. The years have left us with many experiences and memories and knowledge that we hope will survive in the elemental spark this is us deep inside. We see our parents, our classmates, our friends and relatives pass away from our world and we hope that their spark lingers on after they shed their frail bodies. We hope and we wonder while we appreciate each day just a little bit more.

As life passes on, we still remain in the memories of those who remain. Dick and Richard still live in my memory as vibrant and energetic youths from long ago. They will always be there and that's a good thought.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday April 22, 2010...Believe in your dentist?

I've often said that as you get older parts of you retire earlier than other parts.

I've heard of people losing their hair or losing their balance or losing their hearing, but I seem to be losing my teeth one by one. I've spent a whole lot of money over the years on root canals and crowns and fillings and bridges and even partial plates. It's been fun!

The dentists always said “We can save your teeth!” and “you'll be sorry if you don't take care of those teeth”. I believed them.

But now the base teeth that were root canalized and crowned are starting to give out. I've had some get infected and some have just plain broken off. Currently, my front top tooth broke off at the gum line so I look like a goofy guy with a goofy smile. We tried putting in pins and anchoring the crown to the pins, but that didn't last a week.

So, now we can spend another thousand dollars trying to bridge or anchor pin or partial plate the durn thing. At the end of last year my dentist convinced me that I should spend the two thousand dollars to create the 2 partial plates for missing teeth instead of pulling the remaining teeth and getting trouble free dentures. He told me that I had “good root structure” and should keep those remaining teeth.

I accepted his reasoning. I believed him. It's good to see your dentist on a regular basis.

I'm just glad that my hair isn't falling out. My barber is a lot friendlier and a whole lot less expensive.

I guess my teeth retired but my hair is still working.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday April 21, 2010...Fragmentized?

My computer was running very, very s-l-o-w-l-y and I wanted it to run like it used to run when it was young.

So I decided to clean up the registry and get rid of the cookies and then to defragmentize the hard drive.

This took most of yesterday and is still running today. My hard drive was really fragmented. When you defragmentize the drive, you take all the stored bits and pieces of different files and put them all together in one place. Over time, as you add more information, the computer will store this bit of information here and that bit of information there so that a file will be fragmented into different places on the hard drive. When you call up a file, your computer librarian has to go and get all the fragments and bring them together (which takes time). Once the fragmented files are all back together, my computer should run much more efficiently and faster (like it was young again).

This got me to thinking about my brain working like it used to when I was young. If I could only defragmentize all the bits and pieces of information my brain has stored away over all the years, I would be able to remember trivial information more quickly. It's amazing what little bits of information your brain has tucked away over the years. Without even trying some of these bits that you didn't even know you retained will come to the forefront. A particular smell or sound may remind you of a remembered time in your life and a memory will jump forward to be re-experienced. This is really great when it happens, but it really bothers me when I can't remember my neighbors name or what I started out to do first thing this morning before I started doing this. I'm sure it's all because of fragmentizing of my thoughts.

Maybe electro-shock treatment would help. I could stand in a puddle of water while plugging in my hair dryer?

But first I need to clean the cookies out of my registry.

Now what was I doing?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday April 19, 2010...Gasping?

Is it grasping at straws or gasping through straws?

The first makes no sense to me but I can clearly visualize the second. It would be really, really hard to breathe through a little straw.

Anyway, the reason I was gasping through straws was that I had a really very big, humongous, startling, earth-shattering thought last night that I was sure to remember and pass along in my blog today, but I'm gasping without remembering. I do remember that it was a true revelation and would probably change the world's thinking about whatever it was that I realized.

Oh well, what the heck - who wants to go changing an already perfect world? (me)

I know that these sort of things never occur to other people – it's just my own miserable misfortune. I vow to keep a notepad and pencil by the bedside, but keep forgetting when I go to bed. Often I find myself falling asleep with my face down on a book and can't remember the last few pages I'm sure I read. Maybe my brain will suck up the information through my facial pores?

Sometimes life is full of little tragedies like these, but they are soon to be forgotten and probably soon to be repeated. Someday I'll figure out a way to keep those thoughts and will help change the world for the better – sure I will.

I'll pass along these great thoughts as soon as I remember what they were. Just wait patiently for the next installment, but don't go gasping through straws.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday April 18, 2010...Organized?

I used to be so organized on the weekends.

I would have a list of things to do and I would get up Saturday morning ready to charge. Weekends were project days and you were worn out when you went back to work on Monday, but with a feeling of accomplishment.

Now that I'm retired and have plenty of time, the weekends mean less. There is always manana to finish projects. I try hard to keep my list of things to do short and sweet. I figure if I do one thing each day, but do it well, it has been a successful day. There is little pressure now and more time to waste on simple pleasures. I really enjoy writing, but have a hard time actually sitting down to start. Once I begin, the words flow, but it's so easy to procrastinate and spend the whole day just reading the paper or reading a book or catching a movie. It's a rough life, but somebody has to do it.

It took a few years of retirement to get to this relaxed state of mind. At first, I felt I had to multitask and do all the things I now had time to do. People when they first retire scurry about quite a bit, taking trips or working on home projects that they have always wanted to do but didn't have time for. Later, they settle into a more relaxed and peaceful style of living. The pressure lifts and you live life each day joyfully and relaxed. I smile and lot and laugh a lot more than I used to.

I wish I had enjoyed this attitude for more years of my life. I always pushed so hard to do as much as I possibly could as efficiently as I could without taking much time to smell the roses or look at the sky. Many years passed by with little notice. Now I have a better feeling for the natural order of life on this earth and enjoy the cycles of the seasons and pay more attention to the simple pleasures. Each day is a treasure with something new to discover and enjoy.

One of these days I will probably get more organized, but for now I'm just enjoying life – every golden moment.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday April 15, 2010...LISTS

I'm on LISTS now!

I get emails from the right, I get emails from the left, I get emails from computer companies, I get emails from office supply people. I get emails from financial advisers. I get emails from political action groups. I get emails from angry tea party people. I get funny emails. I get sad emails. I get emails asking for contributions.

I don't get emails offering me money.
I guess I'm on the wrong LISTS.

There must be people out there just slobbering over excess money they want to give away and I would be more than happy to help them achieve their goal. I would take bills. I would take coins. I would take checks. I would take stocks. I would take jewelry. I would take property. I'm not selective at all. I would be glad to send a personalized autographed picture saying “Thanks” for any contributions.

So spread the word while I hold my breath.........

I can hold my breath for quite a bit (especially if it's for money).......

Come on, send in those cards and letters and checks.....

Oh, by the way, please take me off of the other LISTS.

I'll be happy with just this one list.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday April 14, 2010...Waiting for what?

I was looking online at

I have been dilatory in maintaining my elucidations on current events. I will attempt to ameliorate that situation now.

I've been watching the reactions to the passage of the health care bill with wonder. I'm wondering why there is so much antagonism about trying to help people get health care at a reasonable cost. I see other industrialized countries like England and Canada and France and Germany and Australia and even poorer countries like Cuba and Costa Rica with their government run health care systems that cover most all of the people and wonder why we never did the same. I looked up some interesting statistics on Wikipedia:

I keep hearing people talking about us having the best healthcare on the planet, but the statistics don't bear that out. We pay much more per person than any other country, but what we get isn't the best healthcare system. Oh, it's lucrative for the insurance people and the medical people and the drug people, but it isn't giving us the best health. I'm hoping that in the upcoming years we will get a better system for our money and that all of our people can share. Time will tell.

Maybe the anger in the air isn't about the healthcare at all, maybe it's just frustration that our system isn't working as well as it used to. We seem to have have lost our direction and feel that we are slipping behind. We see a lot of greed and mismanagement and not as much charity and sharing. It seems to be more of us against them instead of one for all and all for one. We're waiting for someone or some event to galvanize us into action and get us going again in the right direction with a plan.

That would be nice, to move ahead instead of looking back and wishing.