Blah, blah, blah

The older I get the more I like things that are rock solid reliable. My problem is that the rest of the world doesn’t seem to want reliability as much as they want change. A friend recently recommended I cure my difficulty with passwords by using a password manager. He also shared information about the one he uses. I went to the website and began to register to buy into this software. A message returned that my computer wasn’t up to the level they require for their program to work. Now I must search for software that does. Yesterday, one of my hearing aids died. I called to bring it in for repair. The answer was that the guaranty on my aids expired in February but they will fix them for $400. It was a grand three years of rock solid performance, but it came to an end. Now I am looking into buying a new brand which is touted to be the best in the world, online. How scary is that? Buying something like hearing aids online is terrifying, but I’m gonna do it.

My latest car has been a solace to me. I have owned it longer than any other car in my lifetime. I rid myself of most cars because they have become unreliable, and are atrocious looking rust buckets. This one is running fine and looking good. I love it, but I’ve reached a point where I fear it too will begin to have issues, and I don’t like having issues. So I’m looking for a new car, a carbon copy of the one I have with very low mileage. I learn there are very few new cars available. It seems that COVID-19 shut down production last year and disrupted the supply chain. Now that the car companies are getting back into production, they have learned that there is only one supplier in the world that makes the computer chip needed to make a car. Hence a shortage of cars. That has pushed the buyers to buy used cars, hence the price of used cars is approaching that of the unavailable new ones. All I can say is “Shame on you car companies for not using multiple supply sources for your product.” At the opposite side I say, “good for you chip company, you hit a home run.” Now we realize why Henry Ford believed in vertical integration of his manufacturing process. He wanted control of every nut and bolt in his model T’s.

To me reliability is the gold standard. It signifies a healthy product built to give me years of service. WordPress has been in that category for ten years, although they have experimented with format changes on a regular basis. They always seemed to have a way for an old bastard like me to return to the old format. It takes me forever to learn how to use a program and when i do I don’t appreciate a change just to appease a millennial. This post is an experiment to learn if WP has solved their problem of not liking Safari, but loving Google. If I write enough words I will reach the black out stage and end the post.

he Last evening, I. and I attended the Tuesday night meeting of the Stray Group and had a really wonderful time. Both of us had too much wine and were exhausted upon returning home. The group was hungry for talk and sharing experiences of life with each other. A new member who is on summer break from his teaching job at Joliet Junior College comes to New Lenox, our meeting place, from Glen Ellyn (30 miles) a very northern suburb. Why? He loves the discussions and the camaraderie of the group. I learned the hard way that he suffers from hearing loss as I do. Every time I spoke to him he asked me to repeat and had to look straight into my face at the same time. Hearing impaired people automatically learn to read lips, and they don’t even know they are doing it. Next week the group moves to Bourbonnais, IL to meet at the home of one of the premier members. That will make this man’s trip ninety miles, just for conversation.

During COVID-19 times when we were required to wear masks I found on that I loved, and bought it for my personal use. I have had many comments regarding the election. It is a simple light green cloth with the word Blah blah arranged at random all over. I’m thinking we should rename our Stray Bar group to the Blah Blah group, because that is what it is all about blah,blah, blah.

The blackout just appeared below and that is my signal to shut the pie trap.

At this point I tried inserting the pictures and failed. I switched to Goole and everything worked normal. As much as I hate Google I will use it from now on.

My Update on COVID-19

With all the new knowledge of Covid-19 it is becoming more apparent that people don’t give a damn any more. Our Governor just announced that Illinois is not ready for Phase Four reopening. I agree. Last night after supper I was invited to meet a group of friends in town for a drink. I thought, why not? I’ll take my mask and have a beer with some friendly chatter. I’m tired of talking to myself even though I am the smartest person I know.

We were meeting at the bowling alley. Frankfort’s bowling alley is very old and has been in business non-stop since the forties. It is in a two story building which houses a number of shops. The bowling alley is on the second floor. Phase three rules state that restaurants and bars can open only if outside on patios with tables spaced apart and servers must were masks. The bowling alley has a small strip of property adjacent to the building which they fenced off and converted to a patio.  To make it nicer they installed a tent over the entire space.

When I arrived, the patio was crowded with people, none were masked. They congregated in groups around stand up tables, and were being served by an unmasked server; the owner behind a makeshift bar. It was an enjoyable evening seeing friends whom I haven’t seen in quite some time. I even managed to make a new friend who happens to live in my neighborhood on the next street over. That made me happy. What didn’t make  me happy was how congenial everyone was and handshaking like old times. That made me uneasy, and I couldn’t wait to get home to wash my hands. Granted, these people were ten-twenty years younger than me so they are not as affected by the virus. I’d like to think that I’m in great shape and have robust health enough to resist the virus or to beat it if I contract it. The statistics don’t say that. I should not take a Laissez-faire attitude about it all, I should maintain strict adherence to the Covid-19 protocols. I told myself that I must refuse new invitations to meet with my friends.

Will County, Illinois which is where I live is still reporting thirty-five cases of the virus daily with surges to over a hundred. That tells me the virus is still present and very close to me. Nationwide, the spread is concentrated in the southern states. They are stretching toward a peak. A month ago, my son in Texas reported to me that the virus was not very active, but now, the hospitals are nearing capacity and the number of deaths is increasing. This southern wave extends all across Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. When will it end, who knows? While it is stretching across one part of our country the northern states are beginning to allow people to travel and to enter the country from other places. No doubt, the virus will be like a ping pong ball going back and forth across the lines and probably changing forms as it does. The big news was that Disneyland in Florida reopened. They thrive on visitors from South America, and the virus is spreading like wildflower in Brazil; we shut down air traffic from Brazil.

In my younger days I would have dreamed up a plan to take my anger out on China. My plan would have been to drop a bomb with COVID-19 on Bejing and Shanghai. In my current state of mind, I have too much empathy for the common folk who live there. They wouldn’t deserve such treatment. So, I have to modify the plan to develop a bug that only evil government officials are affected by, but instead of that I will concentrate on developing a vaccine to take out COVID-19 and all forms of corona viruses. The only form of selective bug that I know of for taking out evil people is the bullet. It is better to think positively and to do what is least evil to mankind.

Boredom Yields Grief

A few days ago I completed a project that took me several months to execute. Begun in March of 2019, and then set aside in May of 2019 to spend time with my wife. I restarted again in January 2020 a full six months after Peggy died. During the time I worked on this animal, my life was never lonely. This week, I found myself with a couple of hours of free time that I didn’t know what to do with.  I missed going to my shop to cut and grind, sand, and finish wood pieces. I found myself getting lonely and wishing Peggy was still alive, what a terrible feeling. Not that I didn’t want her to be with me, but that I wanted her to be with me so badly.

To ward off the loneliness, I dressed for winter and took a long walk. Exercise helps ward off grief. My shoes are beginning to show signs of wear because I am walking so much. Somedays, I will walk several times. If I need a book, I’ll walk to the library, if my hair needs cutting, I’ll walk to the barber shop. If i am meeting friends for a drink I’ll walk to the bar. Today, I’ll walk to a noon meeting with my men’s group for lunch. (KETO for sure.)

Loneliness is an emotion that causes me to be depressed. Therefore, I must avoid it with a passion. Instead I find more powerful activities to fight depression. I pray when I walk, I watch movies that absorb, I read books with stories that engulf my mind, the last thing I will do is nothing, because then the mind begins feeding me bullshit about how tough I have it when the exact opposite is true. My blessings far out number my adversities, and I thank God for having blessed me so much.

Yesterday, a friend texted me with a link to a Lions event which is in September. I texted back that I have not been able to think that far in advance. Then immediately, I signed up for the event, a three day training session called the USA/Canada Leadership Forum held in Louisville, Kentucky this year. I thought, what the hell. there is nothing holding me back but me. I have looked at this event for three years always thinking that when I am free again I will go. I am going.

While on the Forum website I was reminded of a newer Lions educational program. One can earn a Bachelor’s, Master’s and a Phd in Lionism online from Lions University. I signed up for it while Peggy was still alive and I was President of my club, but put it aside. I clicked the button and completed the first of ten sessions required for my Bachelor’s Degree. I want to receive the degree at the forum in September. Why not? I can be a widower who sits and watches grass grow, or I can be a widower who attends Webinars to get a degree.

Activity, activity, activity, is the key to trudging through grief, along with writing about it.

 

Time Gets Better With Age

A good friend surprised me today with this wonderful insight into the development of insight as we age.

Thanks Chuck, I really enjoyed this.

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Grumpa Joe, Grampa Jim, and Sis

Time Gets Better with Age

Read it through to the end, it gets better as you go!

I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night”.
Age 5

I’ve learned that our dog doesn’t want to eat my broccoli either.
Age 7

I’ve learned that when I wave to people in the country, they stop what they are doing and wave back.
Age 9

I’ve learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up again.
Age 12

I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up.
Age 14

I’ve learned that although it’s hard to admit it, I’m secretly glad my parents are strict with me.
Age 15

I’ve learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice.
Age 24

I’ve learned that brushing my child’s hair is one of life’s great pleasures.
Age 26

I’ve learned that wherever I go, the world’s worst drivers have followed me there.
Age 29

I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it.
Age 30

I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don’t know how to show it.
Age 42

I’ve learned that you can make someone’s day by simply sending them a little note.
Age 44

I’ve learned that the greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater his or her need to cast blame on others.
Age 46

I’ve learned that children and grandparents are natural allies.
Age 47

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on and it will be better tomorrow.
Age 48

I’ve learned that singing “Amazing Grace” can lift my spirits for hours.
Age 49

I’ve learned that motel mattresses are better on the side away from the phone.
Age 50

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.
Age 51

I’ve learned that keeping a vegetable garden is worth a medicine cabinet full of pills.
Age 52

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die.
Age 53

I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
Age 58

I’ve learned that if you want to do something positive for your children, work to improve your marriage.
Age 61

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
Age 62

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
Age 64

I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
Age 65

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision.
Age 66

I’ve learned that everyone can use a prayer.
Age 72

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
Age 82

I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch – holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
Age 90

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
Age 92

 

No Excuse For Not Exercising

For my friends who sit in front of computers all day passing around funny stuff here is a solution for staying fit through exercise. One picture is worth a thousand words.

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