Archives For February 2011

 

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This was part of the village at the Farms. The main attraction were three farms representing different eras of America’s past. It was a neat place to visit.

This like the other posts in the category is from the book entitled “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all small stuff” by Richard Carlson. It has many items that are particularly useful to us seniors. Our retirement years should be sweat free so to speak.

Making peace with imperfection is something that I don’t have much of a problem with but I know several other seniors who still have a problem with things that are not perfect. My wife is one of them. Perfectionist seem to go through life fretting almost everything they encounter. Things like: dirty cars, disorganized desks, and windows that need cleaning just drive them crazy.

Let’s look at some of the words in the book:

The very act of focusing on imperfection pulls us away from our goal of being kind and gentle…. It is about realizing that while there’s always a better way do do something, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy and appreciate the way things already are.

Our senior years should be peaceful and enjoyable so learn to allow things to be the way they are. It is not up to any of us to make everything perfect.

And the journey goes on…

U.S. vs. the World

February 26, 2011

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I started getting the National Geographic magazine again. I used to look at them regularly when I was in grade school and high school many years ago but haven’t noticed them much since then. Many joke that older people like myself get NG because of the larger print. Smile  Personally speaking there is probably some truth to that. But it does have a lot of very interesting topics in between the covers and I have more time to read them now. This month there is also a large wall poster about the "World of Seven Billion”. I will spend a few posts here discussing that topic.

In the U.S. the top 20% of households are make more than $90,000.  The top 20% of the world households make more than $12,000. This is a huge disparity! In the overall scheme of things everything seeks balance. As the world becomes more connected we become more homogeneous. Some don’t like that at all but it generally the case over the long run. Given the fact that there are so many people in the world that will the unskilled work for $1/hour it seems very unlikely that our industrial base will ever return to the U.S.  So, the factory work that paid $20/hour or more is pretty much gone. The sooner we accept that fact the better.

Where the U.S. excels is in new discoveries. That is what keeps us in the affluent lane of the world. But since new discoveries pretty much depend on a strong math and science background, how long will we maintain that technological advantage?  Long story short, we need to do a better job of educating our youth.  The big part of that is to get away from the ‘nerd’ mentality. Instead of mocking nerds all of us should be one!

But what do I know…

Waiting to Die….

February 25, 2011

One of the most depressing things to me is that some seniors seem to spend their lives just waiting to die. They have no ambitions or goals for their senior years. They spend their days do little or nothing. In other words they are very passive seniors; they say they gain their joy from inactivity but is that really true or just a cop out for not doing anything?

I must admit that I am probably more adventurous than many seniors.  I enjoy constant stimulation. I enjoy planning and doing things that I have never done before. To sit around the house day after day is very boring to me. My senior years certainly give me an opportunity to do some adventurous things. Unfortunately, like many other seniors I imagine, I am married to a spouse who doesn’t share my sense of adventure. She is much more inclined to spend her day just lying around the house. To her an ideal day is pretty a pretty passive experience. She says she enjoys the simple things.

Living for the past twenty five years together has been a interesting experience. Our differences in personality, she is yin and I am yang, have made for some unusual times. I have mellowed a little over the years and she has shown a slightly more adventurous spirit but not to any significant degree. So, here I am wanting to travel and enjoy new things in my senior years and here she is just wanting to do pretty much the same thing from one day to the next. I’m not sure how to resolve these differences? Compromise doesn’t seem possible. That is what is most challenging for me right now. Do I dare suggest that we both do what we each went (she stays home and I travel)? I just don’t know.  But I know I don’t want to spend the rest of my life just waiting to die. I am dreaming of too many adventures just to do that.

And the journey goes on (or not)…..

 

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I must admit that I am a Internet junkie.

  • I pay most of my bills on-line.
  • I get most of my news on-line. 
  • I purchase a lot of goods and services on-line.
  • I follow friends on Facebook
  • I get and receive many emails daily

As a result of all this activity I have a lot of logins and passwords strewn across the Internet. I also must admit that until recently I had not really taken my many account passwords very seriously. That changed about a month ago when I discovered that someone had gained access to one of my accounts and had ordered some pretty expensive equipment.  The perpetrator had not managed to change my shipping address so I guess the hack was more for a thrill than for material gain. After several weeks working with the company I managed to get the purchases and their corresponding charges removed and now the account it back to its normal charges.  Of course one of the first things I did was to change the password on the account to make it much harder to break.

I’m pretty sure I am not alone in being lazy with my Internet accounts. It is just easier to remember a simpler password than making it harder to break. I picked up one of the password generating and storage software programs that are available. With some work I am now pretty sure my accounts are much more secure than they once were.  So, my advice to all you seniors out there is to take your security info seriously. It will save you many hours later on.

This incident has not scared me away from the on-line world but has made me more aware of potential problems.

And the journey continues….

Global Food Crisis…..

February 22, 2011

This is just too sad to take lightheartedly. There is a global food crisis in much of the third world. Part of that is due to us using so much corn for ethanol. We have so much in the country and so much of the world is starving. Something is wrong with that!

Here is a converted barn in Door County Wisconsin near my favorite winery. I must admit that I am hooked on cherry wine from there.

 

It is a rainy day here in Indiana but considering that it is not snow it doesn’t get me down. And the fact that between July and September of last year we had less than an inch of rain total, I welcome a rainy day now and then.  The picture above is one of my favorite ones of my hubby. It was taken about 25 years ago during our visit to the Wisconsin Dell.  I love her more now than I did even then.

What is Satire?

February 21, 2011

I just changed the word “Satirical” to “Lighthearted” for this blog title. It seems that the word “Satirical” has come to mean something quite different than in Will Rogers’ day. Looking at what Wikipedia says http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire some might get the wrong opinion of what I am trying to do here. According to Wiki there is now a definite dark side to satire that is more predominant today than the more light hearted approach that Will Rogers used. I am definitely not on the dark side and neither was Will! :)

Its funny how some words change at time goes by. In Will’s day if he called someone a gay person it had an entirely different meaning than today. I guess the same thing applies for satire. It just doesn’t mean what it did in earlier times.

Some of the current definitions of satire include: sarcasm, ridicule, demeaning!  I often purchase pictures from the website http://www.canstockphoto.com for use on this and my other blogs.  When I entered the search word satire it came up with, among other things, an image of the “middle finger of an arrogant man”!  One of Will’s most famous quotes was “I never met a fellow I didn’t like”.  The current meaning of satire is definitely not aligned with that quote or with Will’s life (or mine for that matter).  Some say today’s satirists include: Glen Beck, and that radical right and radical left crowd. Will would have definitely steered very clear from them yahoos!

So now I will start calling Will, and humbly myself,  a humorist-philosopher instead of a satirist. To that end I am taking a lighthearted look instead of a satirical look at today’s world now.

About being Religious

February 20, 2011

I seem to be on a Pickles streak here but it is nice to see something focused on us seniors.  Almost everything else is for the 18 – 35 crowd. :)

Over 85% of the people in the U.S. claim to be religious. But just what are they religious about?  That is the question.