Monday, June 19, 2017
This is the best advice in all situations. What else are you going to do?
That pain in your shoulder will probably resolve with some physical therapy. (And you can find plenty of physical therapy on the Internet without going broke paying for it.) Those chest pains are almost certainly just an unfortunate, but not too dangerous, side-effect of the medicine that's got your blood pressure down to the very good range. And seriously, I'll bet almost nobody gets the side effect called, "kidney damage." Losing a few teeth might get you a nicer smile, and lots of people seem to eat very effectively with dentures. Lying quietly in bed is almost as good as sleeping, and without those annoying bad dreams!
Look on the bright side! If that gets too difficult, try a trip to Walmart. Looking around at your fellow shoppers should do wonders for your perspective.
Your job should cheerfully renew your contract for next year. Why wouldn't they? Not paying your salary would represent such a small savings to them, why should they bother firing you? The likelihood that those merciless gangsters in Washington D.C. could do such financial mischief that it would destroy the savings of everyone in America is very, very slim.
So why worry? Especially if you're pushing seventy, like I am. It's only a couple of more years, whatever happens. You're short! A few hundred days and a "wake up." As the Marines used to say, "you could do that walking on your hands."
Look for the good!
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Saligia! The mnemonic for the Seven Deadly Sins in Latin.*
1. Superbia (Pride);
2. Avaeritia (Greed);
3. Luxuria (Lust);
4. Invidia (Envy);
5. Gula (Gluttony);
6. Ira (Wrath); and
7. Acedia (Sloth).
Most of us have a touch of these things in us, more or less. Like the professionals say, it’s not a problem unless it affects your life, or the lives of loved ones. Some people are experts in many or most of these things. They’re going to hell for sure.
The only person that I can think of who excels at all seven is President Donald John Trump.
Oh, I hear you say, but President Trump is not lazy at all! Well, it may be technically true that he is busy for much of every day, but he spends much of that time sitting around thinking his horrible thoughts and otherwise violating the other Deadly Sins. He is proud of the fact that he takes no exercise, correctly declining to claim that golf qualifies. And he is certainly lazy-minded. When asked about his favorite book, he seemed to be at a loss to recall just what a book was, exactly. “The Bible!” he finally blurted out, and “The Art of the Deal!” Sad!
Concerning the other six, there is no argument. Guilty!
It’s another interesting point of comparison with our most recent ex-president, Barack Obama. Mr. Obama may be guilty of a touch of pride, although I would argue that even that would be forgivable. Of the rest, Mr. Obama is innocent. Compared to DJT, Obama is a saint.
You may apply the list to other recent presidents if you wish. It’s an interesting exercise. Of the saints, there is room for discussion. Who is the most innocent of the bunch? But of the sinners, it’s really no contest. We have a winner! Ladies and gentlemen! President Donald J. Trump!
*I learned about Saligia in Dan Brown’s latest railway novel, Inferno.
Monday, June 12, 2017
Jimmy Stewart actually flew bombers in World War II. He was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the French gave him a Croix de Guerre to boot. You've got to watch out for the quiet ones.
I love this movie. "Strategic Air Command." It's got great flying footage by the yard, and just enough drama to keep it off life-support.
Sunday, June 11, 2017
An adolescence is a sudden burst of growth, after which we find that we are different enough from our former selves to require a period of adjustment. When doctors or police refer to “adolescents,” they mean teenagers, but that’s not the only adolescence. We all go through a few that are well observed by medical professionals and a couple more on our own personal schedules. They can be difficult.
Changes overtake us as we get older, and the entire thing can be confusing. There’s a dynamic at work that will be familiar to anyone who has raised children. You spend a year or two getting the hang of handling a baby. Then the baby is gone, and you must learn to take care of a toddler. After that, you need to discover the comforts and dangers of being responsible for a four or five year old. The point being that none of this prepares you for the pleasures and dangers of having a six or seven year old on your hands. At each stage, you must master a new skill-set, and when that stage is complete you are thrown back into ignorance by circumstances. Our own lives come in a very similar pattern.
In my case, right now, I wonder what exactly is causing that new pain in my left shoulder. Is it a late onset of rheumatoid arthritis? That would be terrible. Is my new mattress too hard? Is it a reappearance of an injury-based discomfort that was caused when I was about thirty-years-old at a job that required repeated impact shocks to my shoulders? That pair of injuries was never diagnosed, even though my shoulders hurt more or less for over ten years. Is it part of what the doctors characterize as the normal degenerative changes of osteoarthritis? What is the whole range of things that it could be?
I’ve been putting off seeking a medical opinion on the matter, but I suppose that I should go to see an orthopedist. It has been a year now, and it’s getting more annoying. There’s no sense in waiting, really. X-rays and exams are cheap where I live. And what’s the harm of asking? It might even be something that shows up clearly in x-rays and could be dealt with in a straightforward manner, perhaps arthroscopically. Who knows?
That’s the real point, isn’t it? “Who knows?” Certainly I don’t know. But I know that sleeping exclusively on my right side is not going to work out in the long run, and waiting around for miracles is never a good plan of action. So that’s it, then, go to the hospital and see an orthopedist.
Having learned the intricacies of many of life’s phases already, I must now master a new set of variables. I, along with many of my fellow Baby Boomers, am in a new adolescence. My current stage of life could be called, “officially old but not yet decrepit.” I have resolved to keep my happy-face on. After all, it’s only pain, time, confusion, embarrassment and money. Life has worse things than those to throw at us. And that’s the real point: if the worst isn’t happening yet, don’t start to complain! It could be much worse, and it probably will be much worse before long. I must enjoy myself while I still can, or be condemned as an ungrateful wretch.
That was fun! Writing things out really does enhance understanding.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
You can pass a pleasant hour listening to versions of the Peter Gunn Theme, most of which come under the name of one guitar player or another. Then you come to the version by Roy "I Don't Need No Fucking Saxophone Players" Buchanan.
Good one, Roy.
Well live and learn. I've been familiar with this song in versions by Free and Ike and Tina Turner for forty years but I just caught on to the Albert King connection. In the comments to this YouTube entry we are informed that the song was written by "Booker T. and the M.G.'s," who provided back up on Albert's album.
Music can be a long, strange road.