30 August 2019


I am "of a certain age".
And I try, always, to remember that.

We LOVE to watch the black and white movies from the late 30's through the 40's. And the thing we notice most about them now, (in addition to wondering if there really WERE that many coupe automobiles running around on the streets back then), is that EVERYONE... and I mean all the really cool folks... smoked.
If you wanted to be like the cool people, the only question you had to answer was whether you'd smoke Chesterfields or Camels.
My Mom and Dad both smoked. Back then cigarettes weren't almost prohibitively expensive, so I can't throw stones at them for hurting our family financially.
But my Father died of lung CA and I will always wonder how long he'd have lived if he had not allowed the fad... the desire to "be like Humphrey Bogart... (remind me how he died?), to influence him.

They come and go.
One of 'em that irritates me now is this craze to permanently scar your own body.
Sara Jean and I walk four miles or so every evening. The other night, from about a football field's distance, I saw an attractive woman in short-shorts unloading groceries from her car.
Long-legged, I hoped she had more groceries to unload when we got closer. She did, and when we got close enough to say "Hello" I could she her legs were completely covered with tattoos.
I admit being disappointed. God gave her a wonderful gift. And in my opinion, she had willingly defaced God's artwork.

I know...
We have no indication (yet) of long-term unintended health consequences from defacing your body this way.
But it once was fact that you couldn't give blood within a certain time-frame after receiving one because of the possibility of infection.
So there's that.

I once heard a story of a Marine Enlisted Father advising his son not to get a tattoo because "you'll never be considered Officer material if you get one."
That Marine Dad was obviously "of a certain age" too.

Yeah, fads come and go.
I'll be happy when this one is gone.
(And I hope to live that long.)

22 August 2019

The Man With No Name

I've never smoked.
Well, unless I was mocked and given a dare.
But, as a child, I was offended by and resented the air my parents forced my baby sister and I to breathe during Winters in our old automobiles. And I promised myself I would NEVER do that to my own children.
But I must admit to being tempted.

Images of Clint Eastwood with his Cheroots...
WOW! Was he cool or what?
And on the screen, when he slowly removed that cigar from his lips, the indentation was still there!
I wanted to be Clint.
I bought a pack of "HavaTampa Jewels".  And hated the taste.

A few friends smoked pipes...
Pipe smokers in the movies were smooth dudes... intellectual. Smart. Upper crust.
I wanted to be intellectual, smart, and maybe, "upper crust"... eventually.
I bought a pipe. I bought some tobacco I had smelled others smoking. Their "second hand" smoke smelled wonderful.
I hated the taste.

Now, "electronic cigarettes" are in the news.
I'm WAY BEYOND being influenced into trying them by movies and TV, but I fully understand how cool it looks to kids and folks wanting to be "in".
And I'm surprised at how many folks I see "vaping" around me.
It ain't cheap. The screen doors on your home are in disrepair.
How can you afford "strawberries and bananas with cream"  E-Juice?
(Yes, I see that it's cheaper than cigarettes, and agree it's probably not so unhealthy as smoking them.)

I can't help thinking, at some point in the future, thinking people will look back at things we've done to ourselves in wonder.
"Doctor, it hurts when I do THIS."

-"Don't do THAT!"

17 August 2019

Bit By Bit

It's August.
It's HOT in Middle America.
It's EASY to sit in the Air Conditioning and push buttons on the remote control-
Made easier by the fact nothing I need to do around our property must be done NOW.

My neighbor across the street suggested-
"I get out early, while it's still cool, and do ONE constructive thing every day. That way I don't feel so guilty."
Good advice.
Today I trimmed a couple trees with the pole saw.

It's five O'Clock somewhere, right?

14 August 2019


He was in line behind me, wearing a ball cap that said "Viet Nam Veteran, 25th Infantry Division".
"25th, huh?" I asked. "Where was that?"
"Pleiku", was his response.
"Oh really? I was there too, at Camp Enari", says I.
He got a strange look on his face...
"Where was that?"
And at that point I knew I was dealing with a pretender.

A few other questions yielded "Facts"-
He was a LRRP, (a member of a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol).
His unit was absorbed by the 4th Infantry Division, (yet he's unaware of Camp Enari, the 4th's HUGE main base?)

I wish there was a fast and easy way to punish these liars.
I'm sure he, like me, gets the "Thank you for your service" comments, and maybe even discounts on meals, etc..

I hope my dead fellow Veterans haunt him.

11 August 2019

As Time Marches On-

In this political environment I normally say, "I'm glad I'm old".  But...
Last week we watched archeologists exploring the caves around the Dead Sea, trying to find more scrolls in jars. Only 10% of those caves have been investigated. Now they have new technology that gives them ways to read the scrolls without opening and damaging them.
As death approaches, political me will say, "good riddance!"
Curious me will say, "WAIT... what's next?"

08 August 2019

"By The Time We Got To Woodstock..."

"We were half a million strong!"

Like Apollo 11, we're approaching another 50th anniversary.
And just like Apollo 11, I viewed the event from half a world away in Viet Nam.
Enroute to Sydney, Australia for my R&R, I picked up the most recent "TIME" magazine in Cam Ranh Bay and saw the photo of the crowd.
WOW! What in the world was I missing back home?

We're watching a PBS produced documentary devoted to the event.
It is, at times, unintentional comedy.
"Peace. Love. And Music."
A HUGE crowd living in peace, doing what they wanted without interference.
Taking care of themselves.

They ran out of medical supplies the second day of the event.
New York's National Guard TO THE RESCUE in UH-1 Hueys. The Guard Hueys brought in supplies AND Doctors to take care of the drug overdoses, babies being born, and normal minor injuries that happen in a city of about 500,000 people.

The third day of peace, love, and music they ran out of food for the crowd.
People from the two nearest towns heard of the trouble and decided they had to do "the Christian thing" and feed the multitude. They raided their pantries, refrigerators, and freezers. Farmers donated what they could... one of 'em boiled thousands of eggs and had them transported, by civilian helicopter this time, to feed the, now mud covered, crowd.

I can't help but laugh.
Good, responsible people are such wonderful suckers.
We never learn, do we?

To my readers:
Peace! LOVE! Happiness to you.