Tag Archives: musings

What’s Your Age Animal?

An old guy called me Sir the other day and I about fell over.  What the hell!

Okay, he was probably younger than me (maybe?).  I admit I suck at guessing ages, but he was definitely beyond middle-age and had no business showing me old-man respect.  Yeah, so my hair is more grey than black these days, and I’m sure my hairstyle is what they call vintage, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to be put out to pasture (Actually, that doesn’t sound so bad).

I just don’t feel that old.  I was talking to my mom about this the other day, and she said she doesn’t feel her age either.  I don’t think this is uncommon.  According to a (fairly) recent study:   Older people tend to feel about 13 years younger than their chronological age.

Okay, that makes sense.  So even if this guy was ten years younger than me, I’m thinking he’s older.  Not because I’m hung up on age, but because I’m just as deluded as the rest of the old people out there.  That (kinda) makes me feel better.

To be honest, I rarely think about age, or how old I am.  My wife says I lie about my age all the time, but I really just forget that I had another birthday (or two).  And this isn’t a new thing.  I was thirty-five for something like five years before I remembered (she reminded me) that I was older.

This thinking I’m younger than I am stuff is too confusing.  I think I’ll just come up with my own aging methodology.  If I feel younger than I am then I’ll just start using another scale.  You know, like human years vs. dog years.  They say one year for a dog is like seven for a human, but that’s not quite right.  There’s an actual chart and everything.  While my wife says I’m a dog sometimes I’d be about 8 if I went by the dog chart.  So I decided to look around at the different animal-to-human age comparisons to see which one works better:

  • Sheep – 10 — Still a bit young and I’ve not ever been one to follow the herd.
  • Pig – 10 — All men are pigs, right? Still too young though.
  • Donkey – 17 — While I’ve been known to act like an ass a time or two, it’s still a bit young (Although 17 wouldn’t be bad, I doubt I could pull it off).
  • Elephant – 32 — Now that sounds more like it.

So from now on, I’m going to convert my age to Elephant years.  It makes sense in a way because the older I get the more round I become (It has nothing to do with the Reese’s Cups), and besides elephants are my wife’s favorite animal.

I’m all set for the next time some fortyish dude calls me Sir.  I’ll just give him a look and say, “Yo, I’m thirty-two bro.”  Then I’ll stomp past him trumpeting in triumph.

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Filed under Humor, musings

How Many Times do you Sneeze?

Ahhhh-chooo!

Sounds like a strange question, right?  Let me take you on a guided tour of my mind (Buckle up, this could get bumpy).

I always sneeze twice—not once, not three times, but twice—every time.  I can’t explain this.  When I sneeze, my wife will just stop and wait for the second one.  No use in continuing the conversation, because we both know it’s coming.

Maybe this isn’t all that odd, but then again…my son always sneezes three times.  Same thing, if he sneezes, we just wait until he gets all three out.  Just a strange coincidence, right?

Then I start to think about it.  I’m a junior, named after my father.  My son has the same first name, which makes him Freddie the third.  If he had a son and named him Freddie, would my grandson sneeze four times?

Then my mind starts to churn.  Maybe it’s a sneezing curse laid upon one of my long dead ancestors.  Let’s say my ancestor was attending a sacrifice in Tenochtitlan and happened to sneeze just when the priest was slicing open his victim.  The knife slips and the priest stabs the heart before he can pull it out of the victim’s chest.  Of course, this is a bad omen which eventually leads to the Spanish invasion and the fall of the Aztecs.

As punishment, the priest cursed my ancestor.  With each generation, another sneeze is added until eventually, the line dies out from chronic sneezing.  The only way to beat the curse is to not pass on the name of the ancestor who caused the calamity.  The family will actually have to forget him in order to survive.

Of course, I come from a wily family.  Their solution was to alter the name every few generations to reset the curse.  So a few generations after the curse began, one of my ancestors switched the name to Spanish – Fernando.  My grandfather switched from Spanish to English, but now the curse has caught back up to us.  Now, I have to find a way to beat the curse without losing the family name.

Yeah, I have a weird imagination, but that’s where stories come from.  I think writers are always putting together these strings of strange facts and coincidences and weaving stories out of them.

Of course, if I have a grandson named Freddie who sneezes four times, I’m going to have to take a trip to Mexico City to sort this mess out.  Do you think that priest’s spirit is still kicking around the place?  On second thought, maybe we’ll move to China.

How do you say Freddie in Chinese?

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Filed under Humor, musings, Writing Process

Garden In Winter

Winter Garden Crop

The only thing sadder than a garden in winter is no garden at all.

 

 

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Filed under Gardening, musings, Pictures

Turkey Time!

It’s Thanksgiving in the old US of A.  I love Thanksgiving not just for the food, but for the cooking of the food.  Yes, I love to cook, and I always look forward to a day in the kitchen.  Sounds odd right?

In modern America, being a foodie is a badge of honor, but that means eating out not cooking in.  Forget that mess.  Eating out is okay when I’m too tired to cook, but the food tastes so much better when you make it at home.

So this Thanksgiving I am thankful for my kitchen.  It has plenty of storage, and counter space, and all the utensils and condiments I need to create a traditional Thanksgiving feast.

So while you’re driving miles down the highway to your in-law’s house to avoid cooking, I’ll be in the kitchen humming away and enjoying the tastes and smells.

My wife will be watching football or one of those boring Thanksgiving Day parades, rolling her eyes at me for enjoying the kitchen.

Of course, I’ll get the last laugh.  Afterwards, while I’m lounging on the couch in a turkey-induced haze, she’ll be on cleanup duty.

I cook, you clean — it’s the best deal I ever made.

 

 

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Filed under Culture, Holidays, musings

Sugar Mountain Day 2

When I was a young man (and quite a bit more antisocial than I am now) I thought it would be cool to be one of those hermits living on a mountain top.  You know, meditating and contemplating the meaning of the universe with no one around to bother you.  It sounded kinda cool, but I  always wondered if those hermit types were maybe a bit crazy.

Being an introvert, I like my alone time, but I’ve never spent an extended time away from other people–particularly my family.   After two days alone on a mountain,  I’m happy to report that I am not insane.  Okay, so I talk to myself (but not any more than normal), and I sing aloud (mostly to music), and I look forward the each meal as it was my last.   But I haven’t started talking to the furniture (although the fake tree in the corner has been watching me all day).  I figure this means I’m as sane as the next guy.

I spend a good part of the day writing.  I’m up to around 4000 words today. I don’t know if I’ll win NaNo, but I should reach my goal of finishing the draft by the end of the year.  The book’s working title is The Queen’s Man.  It’s one that I’ve been writing on and off for a couple of years between drafts of other novels.  It’s time to finish it and put it in my publishing queue.  I expect it’ll come out late 2018 time frame.

Here is a snippet from today where one of my protagonist is talking to his mentor:

Derrick looked up at his mentor.  He knew Karl had been tasked with his education as a warrior, but the kail warrior had become much more than a teacher to him.  Derrick felt closer to Karl than his own father, and sometimes wished Karl was his true father.  “Why couldn’t I have been born and kail?” he muttered.

“Why is a fish born a fish and not a bird?” Karl had risen from the bed and stood over Derrick.  “The fish doesn’t even know about the air above.  He breaths the water and is happy with it.”

“How do you know he’s happy?” Derrick retorted.  “I have seen fish jump out of the water as if they wished to fly.”  He looked up into Karl’s face.

“Maybe if you pray to the Trickster, he will turn your scales into wings so that you can fly.”

Derrick knew the story.  Karl had told it to him.  “Yes, but he wouldn’t change my gills into lungs, and I would suffocate instead.”

Karl nodded his head.  “But you can still learn to jump, my dear little fish, and knock the birds from the sky when they come to taunt you.”

“It is not the birds I want to pummel, but the other fish,” Derrick grumbled, but he realized that he felt better after talking to Karl.

“How can a fish who can jump so high not sail above the other fish in the pond?”  Karl sat next to Derrick on the bench and leaned in towards his young protégé.  “I doubt that Sir Roger could jump so high.”

Derrick let out a sigh and nodded his head.

Karl leaned his back against the wall and Derrick followed his example.

“Nor your father,” Karl said.

Derrick felt himself relax against wall at his back.

 

Oh yeah, and here is a picture from my balcony.

 

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Filed under musings, Nature, Writing

I am a Loser

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Some lady yelled “Loser!” at me the other day.  I don’t know why.  I was driving well within the speed limit.

Then I got to thinking maybe she was right.  My mom always told me that I’d lose my brain if it wasn’t attached.  Come to think of it, my wife tells me all the time that I’ve lost my mind.  Hmmm.  They can’t both be right, can they?

And I realized:  the older I get, the bigger a loser I become.  I’m constantly losing my keys, or my glasses, or forgetting where I set down my glass of water.  Just the other day, I lost my glasses, and then I found them on my head.  Good thing they were attached.

So calling someone a loser is considered an insult, but is being a loser a bad thing?  You win some, and you lose some, right?  We’re all losers at some point, and hopefully we learn from the experience.

So when someone calls me a loser, what they are really saying is that I am full of hard-earned wisdom.

Yes, that lady the other day saw me as a wise man, like Socrates or the guy that invented the Reese’s cup.  That was one perceptive lady.

 

 

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Filed under Culture, Philosophy, Society

Guess What I’m Having for Dinner?

I talk about all my favorite things on this blog except food.  Why you ask? (you know I’m going to tell you anyway.)

My brain works in peculiar ways, and I often feel it is just as important to explain why I don’t do things than it is to explain why I do.  This habit has been reinforced over the years by having to explain to my wife why I didn’t wash the dishes, or any number of other tasks that I should have done in her estimation. (sound familiar?)

So why don’t I blog about food and cooking?

Cooking is actually one of my favorite things.  I love to cook and share food with friends, but there is a difference between sharing food with a friend and the food videos I see all over the internet.  Here’s the difference:

I like to play a game with my mom when we talk on the phone.  If I made something for dinner that I know she loves, I’ll say “guess what we’re having for dinner?”  Then I’ll describe the dish in detail and, of course, invite her over to share the meal.  My mother lives six hours away.  So, in essence, I’m rubbing her face in it.  I’m saying “Nah, nah!  See what I got and you don’t.”  If I really want to get her goat, I’ll take a picture and text it to her.  Of course, she does the same to me.

Those food videos and pictures all over the internet are basically the same thing — “Look what I got!”  Oh yeah, you can have some too.  Just rummage through the pantry and try to find all these ingredients (Who keeps capers in their pantry anyway?).  And good luck getting it right!

Don’t show me food that I can’t eat.    It’s like going to a topless bar (or watching Magic Mike for you ladies I suppose).  What’s the point?

So I’ve decided that I will start a food blog just as soon as someone develops a food replicator like in Star Trek.  I’ll happily share my food with you online.  I’ll just shove a slice of lasagna in the chute, and you can pull it out of your replicator without having to rummage through the pantry.

Until that happens, I guess you’ll just have to come to Charlotte if you want to check out my cooking.  Tonight we’re having BLT’s.  See you at seven.

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Filed under Culture, musings, Society