February 28, 2009

Column by Jane Gross of the New York Times
oreword by jimkitt

This column by Jane Gross of the New York Times is fine as far as it goes, but it's a primer on political correctness among us geezers. Geezers is the term my wife and I use speaking of each other when we want to make a point relating to age and our position on the chronological ladder. Speaking only for me, I would only be offended by the use of age related words if I believed the speaker was inferring in using a certain word that I was befogged or incapable of understanding because of my age. A person who is aging is incapacitated mostly by physical limitations and not in the majority of cases by anything mental.

As we all know, or some of you will find out when your time comes, the mind seems to function well enough but sometimes I do wonder why it takes me so long to get up from a sitting position, or whose wrinkly hands am I looking at. But in fact we really do. We don't have to like it, but the majority of us really do know where we are on the mortality tables but would rather discuss the latest shenanigans of our politicians than dwell on a subject where the ending is so predictable unless there's an escape clause I haven't heard about.

Goodbye, Spry Codgers. So Long, Feisty Crones.

Comparable to racism and sexism, “ageism” refers to stereotyping and prejudice directed at individuals and groups because of their age. The term is believed to have been coined in 1969 by gerontologist Dr. Robert N. Butler, the founder of the International Longevity Center in New York City, which as recently as two years ago published a comprehensive report on the problem.


Now the center, along with Aging Services of California, has put together a stylebook to guide media professionals through the minefield of politically correct and politically incorrect ways of identifying and portraying the elderly.

Lesson one. “Elderly” is a word the two organizations would prefer we eliminate. Oops. We have used it here often.

But now we know better. In the glossary of the new stylebook, “Media Takes: On Aging,’’ the authors state their case against “elderly” as follows.

Use this word carefully and sparingly. The term is appropriate only in generic phrases that do not refer to specific individuals, such as concern for the elderly, a home for the elderly, etc. In other words, describing a person as elderly is bad form, although the generalized category “elderly” might not be offensive. (Suggested substitutions include “older adult” or simply “man’’ or “woman” with the age inserted, if relevant.)

Also to be avoided are “senior citizen” (we don’t refer to people under age 50 as “junior citizens,” the guide notes) and “golden years” (euphemisms are probably not the best way to go, we learn). “Feisty,” “spry,” “feeble,” “eccentric,” “senile” and “grandmotherly” are also unwelcome terms, patronizing and demeaning, as is calling someone “80 years young.”


The guide is ambivalent on use of the word “home” as a replacement for “skilled nursing facility.” On the one hand, it can be both anachronistic and condescending to harken back to “old folks’ homes,” which is one of the reasons Aging Services of California changed its name from the California Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. But elsewhere the guide notes (see paragraph four above) that “these facilities are indeed people’s homes,” often permanently. Thus, the people who live there should be called “residents” rather than “patients.”

The guide’s other “obviously ageist words and phrases to avoid” seem far less ambiguous. Among them are “biddy,” “codger,” “coot,” “crone,” “fogy,” “fossil,” “geezer,” “hag,” “old fart,” “old goat,” “prune,” “senile old fool” and “vegetable.” None of these — whew! — have appeared in The New Old Age. (Until now.)

February 27, 2009

My theme for today seems to center around rain.

Looking out the window this morning I don't see snow piling up, but in it's place is a gray gray overcast day with varying amounts of rain coming down. In short it looks like a day that would depress a monk. So I am going to post a few funnies, maybe to bring a chuckle at least to me.

February 25, 2009

I am hopeful listening to President Obama that if he can get enough of the pols listening to him last night to pitch in and help then things will be better. Is that hopeful thinking? Perhaps it is, but I am reminded of someone who like the Grinch who stole Christmas was rooting against any success, unless it has his brand on it.

While watching President Obama last night, I was grateful for at least one thing; I could understand what he was saying. Thinking back to former president Bush's speeches I can only assume President Obama will be in line for some big bucks in his retirement years.

Bush is ready for new job: speechmaking

Newser) – George Bush is officially ready for his new job: speech-maker. Now signed up with the Washington Speakers Bureau, Bush plans to make at least 10 speeches around the world in the next year. The first—"A Conversation With George Bush"—will be March 17 in Calgary to business leaders, reports Politico. But his ambitions on the lecture circuit go far beyond a simple “conversation,” as his promotional materials show.

Bush served "for eight of the most consequential years in American history,” his brochure reads. “Faced with challenges from a terrorist attack to a global financial crisis, he made difficult decisions that will shape the nation's course and world affairs for decades to come.” He promises to "share candid insights," and fees are "based on location." But can he outdo Bill Clinton? Bush's predecessor has made $40 million so far, notes the London Times.
Sources: Politico, Times (UK)

February 23, 2009

Good shot Bunning. Shows the old sensitivity gene must have gone awol. Well I know those justice openings are important and if you can pick one up for the old conservative side, you can't start campaigning too early can you? As your old baseball pitching days taught you, you gotta be able to fire one at the batters head. Ginsberg looks big enough to stick up for herself, right? Well that's enough from me, but it seems politics prevails as usual no matter what.

(AP) – Sen. Jim Bunning apologized to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for saying he believes she is likely to die in less than a year from pancreatic cancer. The Kentucky Republican said over the weekend that Ginsburg has the type of cancer that is usually fatal within 9 months. In a statement released today, he said that it wasn't his intent to offend Ginsburg with the remarks and apologizes if he did.

Ginsburg returned to the bench today, and Bunning says it is great to see her back at work. The two-term senator's remarks came in the context of discussing the need to push for a conservative judge next time there's an opening, which he expected to happen "very shortly," given Ginsburg's prognosis, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. Doctors removed a small tumor this month from the 75-year-old Ginsburg.
Source: Associated Press

Do hot drinks cool you down?

Yes. They make your body think you are hotter than you really are so you sweat more and that leads to heat loss.


Of the six men depicted in the picture, three (Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block, and Michael Strank) were killed during the battle; the three survivors (John Bradley, Rene Gagnon, and Ira Hayes) became celebrities upon their identification in the photo. The picture was later used by Felix de Weldon to sculpt the USMC War Memorial, located adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington, D.C. and the picture taken by Joe Rosenthal won the pulitzer for that year. Taken on Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945.

February 22, 2009

One of my favorite speeches from the movies.

February 20, 2009

My God that's my autobiography condensed down to the essentials.

I absolutely love chocolate covered marshmallow cookies. My first all-time favorite was Mallomars put out by Nabisco I think. For some strange reason they no longer make them OR just make them available in certain locations. BAD on them. But back to present day, when Mallomars were no longer available I needed a replacement. Through extensive research, yeah research yummy, I have concluded that the best chocolate covered marshmallow cookies now available are..taa daa. Pinwheels, again by Nabisco, again I think. Here is a video of how they make those delights. The cookies look like the original Mallomars, but they're not.

February 19, 2009


Have you had an operation, or are you scheduled for one? At this website you can watch assorted operations in blazing technicolor as it used to be billed years ago. I, myself, do not have the stomach to sit in a first row seat and watch the surgeon do his stuff, but others do. So for those of you with stomachs of steel, take a look and bone up on what is in store for you or just satisfy a curiosity. Click here to enter the operating room.

February 18, 2009

Actor Robert Wuhl teaches a class on American History and Pop Culture, that subject that all of we bloggers like to post about. This is about 28 minutes long and I must tell you the language gets a little R rated from time to time. Click here to enter the classroom.

It seems that General Motors has come to a decision about which brands of cars to keep and which will disappear. The decision pleases me, because I have been a Buick fan for many years, and am driving my fourth Buick now. Here is the story.

I do hope that General Motors survives, along with Ford among others. I believe America should continue to be a producer and a builder. There must be a way to accomplish their retention.

February 17, 2009

I have the book titled THE WOMEN on hold at my local library. It's about Frank Lloyd Wright, someone I've developed an interest in. He was such an eccentric and of course his architecture is famous. I one day would like to go see his FALLINGWATER house in Bear Run, Pennsylvania. But about the book, perhaps this interview with the author of The Women, T.C. Boyle, will give me a clue if I will like it or not.

February 16, 2009

Perhaps this might be a little too up close and personal?

February 15, 2009

February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day Ms. Eula.

See, This is just what I told my mates at the anchor your arse to the barstool bar the other day. Next it will be all the fish in the sea if we don't start rehabilitation and reprogramming centers soon. ARRRG matey, can you imagine gay whales cavorting. Or gay sharks, they might become finicky about what they consume. AARRRG. Blue dolphins would not be satisfied wearing blue day after day. AAARRRGG.

February 13, 2009

This is a great picture from Shorpy.com. It was taken on July 16, 1926 in the reflecting pool of the Lincoln Memorial. The comments from others mentioned that they would have been jailed if they had taken a dip nowadays. Another mentioned that these boys were destined to be part of the Greatest Generation. There may be other comments by now, but for sure it is a feel good picture and all the boys certainly looked happy on that day. Their futures were unsure with the war in their future, but luckily or not we can't look into the crystal ball and once being a boy not unlike those boys they and I would have been living for the moment.

February 12, 2009


Regrets and conscience are brothers conceived together, live together, and die together. It's not just me who have those two brothers with me all the time, I am sure most all of us do. I would imagine we all have them in varying degrees. Certainly there are some in the world who do not know either one of them. Their purposes I don't understand completely. They arrive after the crime is committed, we need them before the fact. Well maybe that's their other brother, knowledge, that explains why we should not do such and such, but he arrives a little late in most cases.

Regrets, like a blues tune in full mournfulness seems determined to race with me to the end. It seems in my experience that the size of the misdeed mattered not at all. The really big ones are intermingled with the small ones for my constant attention. It's not that I am terrified of bringing them all with me to the great beyond on judgement day. I am a believer, but I interpret the do's and don'ts with the easy going judgement values situated in my head. The one thing I do believe is that God forgives us all if we really want to be forgiven. It would be nice if like in some religions the officiating religious official would listen politely, then tell us to do A,B, and C, and we would be given a blanket pardon and our minds and consciences would magically be expunged of a lifetime of erroneous, embarrassing, hurtful deeds. Maybe it does work that way, but I think I am too much of a casual believer to qualify for that bargain.

No, I think I am doomed to carry them all with me to the very end. It is not only misdeeds, but just plain stupid things I have said through the years to some people, some of whom I don't even remember their names. People who, I can only pray, have no recollections of me or my stupidities. I seem to carry a permanent 'jiminy cricket' on my shoulder, that I cannot lose.

So, come along Jiminy for the ride. I can't guarantee much improvement, because being a flawed human being with a brain that gets into gear too slowly, and a mouth that opens too frequently without pre-censoring what is going to come out of it; with advancing age and less inhabitions; I will soon need a keeper whose sole job will be to put duct tape over my yapping mouth. I don't need anymore added to my chain of regrets, of unthinking stupidities, added to my collection of a lifetime that I will ,like Jacob Marley, have to carry for penance it seems forever, or until my all too human memories fade.

February 11, 2009

Keeping up with the upkeep

By Steve Brewer
Published author who maintains a blog titled HOME FRONT with various writings that can be found here.

Having recently “celebrated” the passing of another birthday, I’ve given much thought lately to aging.

I’ve decided it’s not impending mortality that makes getting older so hard to take. It’s not the decline in vitality and possibility. The worst part of aging is all the damn maintenance.

Talk about a paradox. We have less life ahead of us with every passing day, but more and more of our dwindling time is spent on caring for our faces and our bodies and our overall health. By the time we take our final breaths, we’re ready to die, just so we can stop fussing with our hair.

It’s so much easier for the young. I watch my sons get ready for school in the morning and marvel at how little effort is required. They roll out of bed, throw on some clothes from the array on the floor, shovel in some breakfast, and they’re ready to go. They barely give the mirror a glance. They’re teens, they’re male, they assume they look fine.

If pressed, I can still do the quick shower and dress and out-the-door in fifteen minutes. (What we call around here “sliding down the Batpole.”) But most mornings require that more attention be paid to the mirror.

We aging men have skin spots to study, wrinkles to sigh over, gray whiskers to shave. The hair on our heads may get thinner, but stray hair pops up in strange places -- our eyebrows, our ears, our shoulders. Fallen hair apparently migrates while we sleep until it finds new and more interesting places to attach. These migratory hairs must be addressed. Throw in a beard, like I wear, and you can easily snip, snip away the entire morning.

(An aside to those men who sport bushy, spidery eyebrows: Dudes, buy some scissors. Really. It’s not funny anymore.)

When I was young, I gave no thought to working out. I got enough exercise shooting hoops and chasing women. I couldn’t gain weight if I tried. Now, I work out every day, and I’ve never been plumper. You’d think the fat would smooth out the wrinkles, but no . . .

Age weakens our eyes, loosens our teeth, flattens our arches, broadens our backsides. Remedial action is required at every turn, and it‘s all so time-consuming.

If personal upkeep is a hassle for men, it’s a hundred times worse for women. Society puts more pressure on women to look their youthful best, but every wrinkle and sag is a reminder of futility. No wonder they spend so much on cosmetics and hair dye and magnifying mirrors and Botox. No wonder it takes them longer to get ready in the morning. No wonder they resent their hairy, slovenly husbands.

As the years pile on, the physical maintenance becomes too much for us to handle alone. We seek professional help -- doctors and dentists and cosmetologists and manicurists and plastic surgeons and personal trainers. We spend our golden years wandering from one waiting room to another, trying to maintain our health and our teeth and what little looks we’ve got left.

Having an aging body is like owning an old car. Lots of dents and dings and strange noises. A little leakage now and then. Too much time in the shop, and we can’t rely on the old clunker the way we once did. But as long as it keeps running, we’ll keep on driving.

We’ve still got many miles to go.


This was spotted on The Best Of YouTube, and you really have to view it. When that door opens it is pretty much unbelievable.

February 10, 2009


Proof That Pickles Are Bad For You

Look at the Pickle that the pickle people have put you in!

Pickles will kill you. Every pickle you eat brings you nearer to death. Amazingly, the thinking man has failed to grasp the significance of the term "in a pickle". Although leading horticulturists have long said that Cucamis Sativus possesses Indehiscent Pepto, the pickle industry continues to expand.

Pickles are associated with all the major diseases of the body. Eating them breeds wars and Communism. They can be related to most airline tragedies. Auto accidents are caused by pickles. There exists a positive relationship between crime waves and consumption of this fruit of the curcubit family. For example:

o Nearly all sick people have eaten pickles; therefore, the effects are obviously cumulative.
o Of all the people who die from cancer, 99% have eaten pickles.
o 100% of all soldiers have eaten pickles; therefore, pickles must be related to wars.
o 98.8% of all Communist sympathizers have eaten pickles.
o 99.7% of all the people involved in the air and auto accidents ate pickles within 14 days preceding the tragedy.
o 93.1% of all juvenile delinquents come from homes where pickles are served frequently.

Evidence points to some startling long term effects of pickle eating:

Of all the people born in 1865 who later dined on pickles, there has been a 100% mortality rate.

All pickle eaters born between 1890 and 1900 have wrinkled skin, brittle bones, have lost most of their teeth and are afflicted by failing eyesight... if the ills that come from eating pickles have not already resulted in their death.

Even more convincing is the report from a noted team of medical specialists. They found that rats which were force-fed with 20 pounds of pickles per day developed bulging abdomens. It was further noted that the rat's appetites for wholesome food was completely destroyed.

I finally got around to watching the film, Angela's Ashes. What a very good film it is. Great is a term we apply loosely and too often, but as far as telling a story about poverty during Ireland's depression, it hits the mark. The cinematography is fantastic. It rains a lot in Ireland and you will feel waterlogged by the end of the film. The acting by Emily Watson (Angela) and Robert Carlyle (Malachy, the father) are uniformly excellent. The child actors amaze me as all child actors do, how do they get kids to act that well? Like all good actors, they make it look like they are living it and not acting.

The eldest son Frank McCourt, and family go from depression America, back to depression Ireland, and Frank succeeds in getting out and returning back to America. In a nut shell that's the plot. Frank McCourt has written the sequel to this story and titled it TIS. Of course, I will have to read it and find out the fates of the rest of the family, and what is the exact meaning of the title Angela's Ashes? I can tell you the movie is well worth picking up at the video store.

February 9, 2009


There is nothing more exciting to a young boy than going to a major league ballgame. I can attest to that from my own life and to my eldest son who I think loves the game more than I do. Going to the game is the epitome for a fan, seeing the beautiful stadiums and the beautiful green outfields (if it's real grass) or even if it's not and the ballplayers who stand ten feet tall in a boys eyes. As a boy ages the ballplayers size shrinks closer to a human beings size, but always remains a little larger than life to us fans. Catching a ball while at a game is almost one of the biggest thrills there is. Meeting a hall of fame type player being the highest I think. My son became almost sick, literally, in anticipation of a game we went to in Detroit, and in fact we landed a ball at that game. I believe he still might have that ball at the age of forty something. This CBS interview with a big time fan is quite good about the psyche of a big time baseball grabber and what he does to get one.

February 7, 2009

John Updike has died. He wrote the RABBIT series about life in America in the sixties. He also wrote an essay about baseball and Ted Williams. It is thought of by some as the greatest essay on Ted Williams and by some others as the greatest essay every written, period. All baseball fans should have a go at it, especially now with spring training only a week or so away.

February 5, 2009

The Redhead to the rescue. Is it too late to save the company? To save the American economy? We sure could have used a 'Redhead' or a red Mustang. or automobiles of that ilk. When American auto companies were innovators and seemed to be excited with their product.
They seemed excited and in turn they excited the American public. Well they are so much on the defensive now, I don't know if that is possible.

Boy oh boy, isn't this the truth.

Call me simple or easily entertained, but I appreciate people, or if you want to call them artists, who are clever enough to launch something like this.

February 4, 2009

February 3, 2009

Then and now. Yesterday stopped in at Bob Evans for a sandwich and looked at the menu. My eyes landed on their Pot Roast sandwich with some fries-$8.50 or thereabouts.
Here is a 1950's menu from Woolworths lunch counter. I guess it's all relative, we made less money, we paid less for lunch, but somehow it doesn't seem exactly relative when you dish out almost twenty dollars for two sandwiches and some fries.

February 2, 2009

The return of coal, a multimedia presentation from the New York Times, seems a good idea coupled with windmills, and solar energy. OPEC has inadvertently done us a good deed by pushing us finally into action and diversification in our energy sources.

February 1, 2009

Sunday is a good day to check out all the movies that are at the theaters, even if we can't afford to check them out in person. These are compliments of the New York Times.