New entry in my Kilt blog 9/21/2011

Friday, December 31, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Baron Bettino Ricasoli a man who has given me great pleasure

Baron Bettino Ricasoli (later Prime Minister in the Kingdom of Italy)created the Chianti recipe of 70% Sangiovese (san-jo-veh-zeh), 15% Canaiolo and 15% Malvasia bianca in the middle of the 19th century.

In 1995 it became legal to produce a Chianti with 100% Sangiovese. For a wine to retain the name of Chianti, it must be produced with at least 80% Sangiovese grapes.

As a wino whose experience goes back more than fifty years I find Chianti to be my first choice. I have other wines from time to time but this is my everyday table wine. Not this particular brand as I use this bottle as a decanter. This particular brand was good but not outstanding. That goes for about any of the higher priced bottles as well. Chianti is always Chianti. I buy in bulk and decant.

Leave it to the Italians to make a wine that is good for breakfast, lunch, dinner and still be suitable for celebrations. Leave it to the Italians to design a bottle that is nearly as pleasing to the eye as a woman's thigh.

I drink wine daily and usually in the style of the vineyard workers that had to go back to work after lunch by adding a little water. Not many wines can stand that but Chianti can. For those prudes that think those people were irresponsible for giving their children wine please be aware that it was likely to be watered down a great deal but by doing so included the children. Something that seems to have evaded most Americans.

This New Years Eve I'm laying low to avoid the battle zone outside. The sound of gunfire and bombs is not a celebration to me especially since it will be accompanied by the sound of ambulance and fire truck sirens later. The triage in the local hospital is staffed and ready for the many that have not yet grasped the concept of not putting a lit firecracker in your eye.

I'm happy to say that SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) is getting better. I went out and got her some of her favorite junk food yesterday and luckily I was able to get my fingers out of the way in time to save them. She has so much metal in her teeth that she makes sparks when she is that hungry. She is getting back to her old argumentative self and that's good. I do love that woman.

We have some good old California sparkling wine mislabeled as Champagne which I'm going to chill for later. That is if I can stay out from under the bed. There are mortars and bunker buster artillery two streets over going off and I can see the flash even with the shades pulled.

Happy New Year again. I know I said it at the real New Years but nobody pays any attention to a foolish old man. I'm hoping to get a creative fire going again soon and give you some more foolishness.

Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Old Fools Journal: My Nest

When I go here it's to shut out the world outside my head. There is a very small aperture between here and there that I close on a temporary basis but never for very long. I am not ready to close it permanently yet. When I say I am hiding under the bed this is the space I am talking about. Hiding under the bed is just a name for it left over from childhood. Everyone seems to know what I'm talking about.

I like it when I go here with a clear head and small troubles I can shut out. I like it when I have drugs that will help me shut out imagined big troubles for a while so I can gather strength to deal with them. Nothing shuts out the disappointment, grieving or longing that we all have to deal with but it can at least be dulled until it is just annoying and not overwhelming. Sometimes during those rest periods the mind heals itself. Sometimes not. Sometimes I go here to travel as it is a time/space gateway to the multiverse.

This nook is in the back of the old Greyhound Bus I call home. It ain't much but when I close my eyes and I'm warm it is a place of safety and great comfort.

Expand your mind

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Christmas 2010

We went through the motions but really without children and friends there is no Christmas. We ate, we drank and we exchanged gifts but it was all just going through the motions. No guest, no children and no phone calls. Grandma is sick but I think she is past the danger part at least I hope so. The weather turned bitter cold. To some it may not be bitter cold but to us thin bloods it is the kind of windy cold that goes through your skin straight to the heart of your bones.

I am happy to say there was no arguing, yelling or crying this year just a general feeling of sadness. The crying will come later as I'm sure it is only postponed. Our grandson has been on his best behavior and has been our bright spot. If we don't see the Princess this season it will be the first since her birth. That is likely to be the case.

This may seem like a depressing post but actually it's not. It's an over the hump post and that time of limbo time between Christmas and new years that is just a waiting period. Waiting for it to be over, all signs of it obliterated and to get on with life.

I'm spending a lot of time in my cave of reflection. Reflection on the past present and future. The past because it's worth remembering, even the bad times bring back memories of good people, good pets and good times. The present? Not so much but I am thankful to have plenty and not have to sally forth to do battle.

My time is spent thinking of the future and how I can make this time a better time next year. Maybe we'll go south but that will mean knuckling under to the bureaucrats and getting another passport. Not likely to happen.

SWMBO had the TV on this morning so we saw the list of those who died this past year. Most were younger than I and some I thought had been dead for years. I really should keep up more I guess.

It's time for some noon coffee and I just happen to have some Irish Cream to go in it compliments of a really beautiful old woman who always seems to pick the right stuff.

I am about out of firewood so I'll be back on the inadequate electric heat soon. I was hoping the firewood fairy would come but it hasn't happened. When the wind dies down a little I'll cut some more. I guess that I am the fire wood fairy as usual. I need to work off the ham, potato salad, fruit salad, Hawaiian bread, chips, salsa, candy, Irish cream and red wine. As you can see I didn't hold back and I didn't just sample. The only thing we didn't have was fried turkey but it was just too windy to do it. We would never have gotten the pot hot enough and frying a turkey on the porch is a good way to burn your house down.

There are plenty of left overs so I think I'll go have some and see if I can get my creative juices flowing again.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Old Fools Journal: A Warm Day and A Nice Ride

Yesterday was the first day I've been able to get the Schwinn out since I tuned it up last. I know I'm a wimp but I just don't seem to be able to face the elements like I used to. The temperature was in the 70's and the wind was light from the west. The excuse for the ride was of course errands but the real reason was to get out there and ride.
The first thing I saw as I was taking random streets out of Trollville was this:
What an unlikely sight in this low wealth area. A 1930 Model A Ford Town Car I believe. Even though the model T was the real innovation I think this auto doomed us all. It was an unnecessary upgrade due to business competition pressure. It made automobiling attractive to sissies. All enclosed, electric start and able to go fast enough to kill everyone in a crash. You could even get an after market add on heater. I wanted one when I was 16 and I still want one.

These automobiles were quite common when I was a child and would be my auto of choice if I were moneyed. Add the heater, an air-conditioner, an optional trunk, bicycle rack and what else would you need? My grandfather use to hide an Easter egg on the radiator cap at Easter. In plan sight so I could never find it.
I put this new chinaland bell on my scratched up handle bars to replace the old chinaland bell that has pretty much given up the ghost. The compass is for decoration as it indicates where the steel handle bar is. I knew that when I bought it and since I know how to swing a compass I could fix that but I like it because it looks cool in a Pee Wee Herman sort of way. Hong Kong $1.99 with compass an .99 without, free shipping. It's like shopping at Kresses 5 and 10 cent store when I was a kid.
New extended length stem waiting for the coming of the rust. I've had this 1975 Schwinn for about six years and I don't know why I took so long to do this. It makes the bike so much more comfortable for me. It was already great now it's better.
My faithful side kick Kodak died yesterday. It was a sudden death. It's an easyshare C813 and I can not recommend it. It took 1452 photos so I guess I got my moneys worth. I liked it because it was pocket size but big enough for my hand, used a regular or high capacity SD card and used regular AA batteries. It was less than 100 American dollars. Everything I want in a camera. The reason I can't recommend it is apparently a lot of these die a sudden death after the guarantee has run out. It's video output is in MOV which I didn't like but with You Tubes video editor that converts to AVI it wasn't a problem. Like most all modern electronics it's made to self-destruct.

The Fuji F650 I am currently using has longer zoom, makes videos in AVI, plays back with sound while in camera and has a slightly better quality lens. The display screen is bigger as well. It has taken 2351 photos and videos. I bought it used for $23.00.

The things I don't like is the battery is special and expensive and so is the memory card. The largest memory card I could get was 2 gigs. The old camera I put an 8 gig in. With a cheap Hong Kong battery and new memory I've got another $20.00 in it. With two batteries and 2.5+ gigs of memory it's OK around here but I wouldn't go off into the wild with it.

Yesterdays ride was warm and I rode in knee socks and shorts with a long sleeve cotton shirt. With a light warm wind I could tell I have been off the bike. Being the holiday season I found vast areas of broken glass on the road. There's always lots when the good God fearing rabble are celebrating a religious holiday by throwing beer and whiskey bottles (Crown Royal seems the preference here) into the street.

I was honked at once and very nearly run down only once so it was good. I got my adrenaline fix. The honk was in fun by a truck driver with a big toothy grin when I took the lane but the "run down" was by a dumb ass in a parking lot full of pedestrians. He missed but only because he had quick reflexes. Brushed my leg but I just kept going otherwise I was likely to work over his windshield with my walking stick. That would have probably put me in jail besides I was in a hurry to get home and make sure SWMBO (she who must be obeyed), Mrs Old Fool herself, got herself inside and warm. She has been doing poorly lately with a really bad cold and she can't seem to get warm but she keeps trying to go to work. I try not to tell her what to do but I guess I'm going to have to brave the feedback and make some demands. I can only get away with that if she's sick and weak.

One last thing. UPS just came but I haven't ordered anything. I found this inside.
At first I thought that Santa sent it but upon further investigation I found that my darling daughter must be reading these post. I haven't told you about her and the happiness she has brought her mother and I. I will though. She is in my thoughts daily. My mother used to tell me she thought of me everyday and I thought "yeah sure". Now that I am a old geaser and do it myself I believe she did.

Thanks sweetheart, darling daughter of mine. You know what I'll be doing for the rest of the day.


---For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.---
- H. L. Mencken-

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Solstice Eclipse 2010

Photo added 12-21-2010
It's hard to get a picture of an eclipsed moon.

I can't believe I got up in the middle of the night to do this but I couldn't stand it I had to go see. After all it's been 372 years (1638) since there was a full eclipses on winter solstice. I was very young then and missed it. When I looked up through the tree tops into the black depths of space and saw the eclipsed moon with the bright stars arranged around it I knew I had done the right thing. It was natural art that lifts the spirit. A feeling far better than drugs.

Of the many pictures I took only this one showed anything but the picture I have filed in my memory is clear and permanent. I wasn't around the last time this happened on winter solstice and I may not be around for the next time (2094) seeing that I will be going on my 156th birthday. I was not about to miss this one.

I imagine that Stonehenge is quite busy this evening since winter solstice is a major event for us heathens. I myself being a grove of one will dance nekked around an oak fire (in my dreams if not in actuality) absorbing the heat from the wood that was blessed by the sun, drinking the fermented drinks made in the summer and partaking of the meat slaughtered for winter. Tomorrow I will touch every tree and celebrate the return of the sun.

Happy real New Year. The real new year starts at 23:38 UTC which is 5:38 PM central standard time in the USA.

Reading back over this I realize that it was written by a lunatic. Oh well, as Popeye says, "I yam what I yam".

Friday, December 17, 2010

Old Fools Journal: The Douglas Racer


This is not a DC 3 but it is me and it is a DC 10 somewhere in the sky.

Today being the 75th anniversary of the first flight of the DC-3 and seeing that most of my working life has been involved with flying I just can't let this birthday of my favorite airliner/cargo airplane of all time go without mention.

I titled this because in my youth I flew with men who flew airplanes of this vintage commercially and in the military. Many of them referred to the DC-3 as the Douglas racer because it wasn't.









When I was a Young Fool working as flight engineer on a Boeing 720 (short version of a 707) one captain once told me that the DC-3 was the prettiest of the swept wing airplanes.

There was only a little over 600 of them built but I've read that there were in excess of 15000 variants built. Many are still in service today. The reason for that is summed up in this statement I heard when I was a young pilot "the only replacement for a DC-3 is another DC-3". So far that has held to be true.

DC 3- A Legend In Her Time by Bruce McAllister has just been released and I'm looking forward to seeing it. I've only heard about it so I don't yet know where to find it. As soon as "Books A Million" has it you can bet I'll be in there spilling coffee and dog earing the pages.











We have a working DC-3 at the airport here and I see it flying at least every 90 days. I can hear it coming, I know what it is before I see it and I always look up. Most of these ground pounders around here don't. Some time I'll tell you about how it feels for a flyer to be unseated. I have seen it be the death of a those who didn't have an alternative plan.

When you see one flying you will have plenty of time to observe it as it moves pretty slow by todays standards. It's way fast enough for me.


After I finished this post I found this.
DC-3: A Legend in Her Time: A 75th Anniversary Photographic Tribute
Out of my price range I'm afraid.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Old Fools Journal: December is a waste of a good month.

Susy holding court.

Thanks to all for the comments for Susy. Susy had a good life and she was old enough to die of old age. Thankfully she did not become incapacitated she just got slower. The day before the night she passed she was following me around the back yard and getting behind her ears scratched a lot. She liked that. I wish I had done it more.

She appeared to have just gone to sleep.

She is buried in a place of honor in the garden in a deep hole. A tree will be planted there this coming spring. Words will be said and wine will be spilled at that time. I did not attend with my camera and I apologize but I just couldn't do it. I still can't go near that spot but that will pass.

I try not to think of the dogs I've grieved for over the years but it started as near as I can recollect when I was five years old with "Lady" and I can still name every one of them. It doesn't get any easier in fact it gets harder and it does not ever go away so they pile on top of each other. Since I have a brain and can learn I know that I will outlive any dog that takes up with me. Now, not so much. I don't think I want to do it again. I guess I'm getting soft in my old age.

December is a bad month for us. Mrs. Old Fool's eldest living son who burned in a house trailer fire in Arizona in this month 17 years ago. She believes that it was murder. It was nearly unbearable and for her nearly unsurvivable. I've never seen anyone will themselves dead before but she came close. Needless to say I don't look forward to this time of year.

Having the grand kids healed a lot of wounds over the years but now we can't seem to contact one of them (the Princess). Drastic measures may have to be taken. December was the last month her mother spoke to us. Her father will not answer his phone. Grand parents have no rights in Louisiana even if they raised the grand kids.

There are some things that you will never get over but fortunately you can get used to them. Sometimes you have to work hard at that part.

I know that this will all pass. Meanwhile I'm going to pay for my sins by getting soaked in wine.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Susy


R.I.P. She is missed already and she is just barely gone.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Airships and VW Buses

This image is of a painting by Matthew Porr who is represented by Hunter Plaid Gallery, Arcata, CA www.hunterplaidgallery.com)

This has been the kind of mood I've been in lately. Day dreaming. A very healthy enterprise. This machine takes me away often. It's powered by imagination and is not limited in either time or space.
The interior. The navigation deck actually. It's bigger on the inside than on the outside much like the tents in the Harry Potter novels.
The living quarters and main library are up the staircases.
The pipe organ is located at the aft end of the Navigation Deck.
Of course one needs ground transportand recreation. Pedal powered and you can grow your own. I may have a tomato obsession.
There are bikes for the crew and guest neatly stowed.
The ships mechanic/engineer won't ride in the ship so we have this for him to travel in. It's slightly faster than the airship. I find it suspicious that he won't go up with us but then cocktail hour rolls around and it's forgotten.

I've own a couple of airplanes but I've never owned an airship except in my daydreams. I have owned several VW buses. They have a magic of their own unlike any other vehicle I have had sort of like little boats. It's impossible for me to even begin to explain. I think it's something that must be experienced.

Today is a good day for day dreaming as it is noon and just above 40*F (4*C) and windy. It was 33*F (1*C) at 0700 this morning. The only thing I'll be doing outside will be emptying the ash bucket and gathering more wood. A good day for a long leisurely lunch, reading a book and a nap.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Apologizing to a Tomato

I bought a couple of tomatoes last week that were still as hard as baseballs and put them up on the refrigerator to get a little riper. I didn't expect them to smell or taste like tomatoes and I told them so. I said aloud "you phony piece of shit red things haven't got a chance of ever having any smell or taste of a real tomato. I only bought you to give a little color to my tacos so don't go thinking you are going to rise to greatness".

So yesterday morning I needed a "pork fat fix" and decided to have some fried out spam tacos with the tortillas fried in butter. For those of you with heart ailments you might not ought to be reading this. Just reading it will send your cholesterol into orbit and cause arteries to close.

So I fried out the spam and drained it, fried the tortillas de maiz and took down one of those red imitation tomatoes. I figured that at least it would make my taco pretty and add to the taste by offsetting the saltiness of the spam. Having the old age ailment of loss of smell makes it rough but sometimes it kicks in and I get a treat. I sliced into that tomato and sniffed and I could almost smell a tomato. Then I stuck my nose right in it and took a bite. What a surprise. I got a burst of tomato flavor that shook me right to my toes. So there I was apologizing to a tomato out loud for saying such disparaging things and for profiling. Just because it looked like the crappy grocery store tomatoes I'm used to doesn't mean it was automatically one. Then I ate it. Delicious. One in a thousand.

Damn, it's been cold.
And don't you people from up north start in on me. I know cold when I feel it and it doesn't make much difference to me whither it's 40 above freezing or 40 below I'm miserable just the same. My poor bride SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) suffers more than I. She has some nice round parts and she is nice to touch but she just doesn't have any insulation at all. My fall tomatoes didn't make it even under cover. No cost to me as I had everything including seed I had saved. A few days ago they looked so good and now it's over.
This basil doesn't look to good either. With temperatures dropping to 27*F (-3*C) and staying down there for over four hours just doesn't do these southern plants any good. Growing your own food is too expensive anyway.

It was warm when I got up this morning 67*F (19*C) so I thought to go for a bike ride. I've made some adjustments and additions to my Schwinn and haven't had a day warm enough for me to ride. After checking the weather I decided I'd better replenish my wood pile instead. So a couple of hours on the wood pile had to be done.

It got up to 74*F(23*C before I finished so that is the second time that wood has warmed me. The third time will be in the stove. We are expecting lows in the upper twenties the next two nights.

This Radio Flyer I picked out of the trash 5 years ago has been doing this a lot lately. My new stove has a voracious appetite. You can see the new Poulan electric chain saw on top of the pile. I finally admitted that I can't really safely handle the gas Homelite now. I don't know why but I don't seem to be as strong or tough as I used to be.

That old Homelite has been around a long time. It belonged to my dad and is probably about twenty years old. It has never failed to start until lately and probably only needs a spark plug. Even at it's best it requires upper body strength that I don't seem to have. I'll get it running again then pickle it. Can't ever tell when I might need it (after hurricane).

I have a bucksaw and can use it but the new electric saw is my concession to old age. It's cheap enough that I can afford to buy one a year but I don't think I'll have to. I put it to work on some really hard oak and it chewed it right up.

The new wood burning heater showed up on my electric bill comparing last year and this year same billing period. A very noticeable saving and that's with a longer period this year and a slight increase in rates. Not bad for burning what was laying around going to rot.
These things are so expensive that they don't even put a price tag on them and are shocked if you ask. I understand they cost as much as an automobile. The only people I see riding them are old people and fat hairy old guys. These were not the bikes of my dreams when I was a young man and riding. Just one more thing I don't need now. I'm sure someone will get one for Christmas. Along with cars they are being pushed for Xmas corporate Americas big holiday. Ho ho ho buy more shit, make more debt in the name of the baby Jesus.

Not being a Christian or any other organized mythical religion we don't celebrate Christmas. We do however celebrate winter solstice and gift giving on Christmas day. We generally call it Santa Clause day but really we know it as Christmas, myth or not and we decorate just like anyone else. We celebrate Spring at Easter. Our holidays are older than the Christian ones. Except for me dancing naked around a fire at winter solstice we are nearly normal.

I just haven't got the spirit this year. I thought yesterday I'd go out into the world and see if it would rub off on me but it only made it worse. I met a lot of surly, depressed folks. I didn't find any yuletide joy going around and I got tired of smiling at granite faces.

I thought maybe I'd find some inspiration on the boob toob but to no avail. All I found there was more of the clown show our so call leaders (American and world wide) seemed bent on performing. I am embarrassed for them since they seem to not be. It's no wonder I seldom turn it on.

Then this young lady Wartime Housewife turn me on to this;

I can't say it put me in the "spirit of the season" but it made me feel good watching everyday people with a passion making other everyday people feel good. Their reward? It makes them feel good.
I love Flash Mobs.
They certainly made me feel good. Now I have one slice of that tomato left and I'm going to eat it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Old Fools Journal: A Serious Matter

USS Arizona - Taken with a Petri 35mm camera on Kodachrome 1959

This post was supposed to be about frivolous things but I cannot let December 7 go by without mentioning it. It always causes a bitter taste in my mouth and a heavy feeling in my chest. You see I was two years and nine months old when Pearl Harbor was bombed and for the next five years I was indoctrinated to hate Japs and Nazi's (it was thought that all Germans were Nazis). The entire country worked at it. When the news came out about the treachery Americans went on a hate campaign hammer and tong. Kill all the Japs was heavy in the air. In that period of time before seven years old a child is like a sponge and apparently I had extra sponge like qualities.

After I visited Japan in 1959 I kinda got over it, in my head at least. I found that my indoctrination missed in a lot of ways. Over the years trying to understand how the Japanese people think and how their value system worked I found to be near impossible. It seemed that what was right to them was wrong to me and what was right for me was wrong to them. I finally gave up and just accepted it as "it is what it is" and that we are more alike than different. It is just as well as I no longer have the capacity to hate.

When people ask me how I can be so "anti-war" yet believe in a strong military I tell them to read about Pearl Harbor and the aftermath.

Now on with life and the original post.
Looking Down into the Fires of Heaven or Man! that's hot

I live at N29*39'33" Latitude and I can tell you that it is not far enough south. Global warming is giving me some cold weather and cold weather makes my joints hurt. Those guys that bite the heads off frogs and peer into the neck hole to predict the weather predicted 27 degrees F (-3 C) last night and they were close enough. Havana is looking better all the time.

Meanwhile I am stoking the fire and keeping warm. I don't know why those who believe in the myth of hell picture it as all fire. Without fire humans would still be scrabbling around in the dirt eating bugs. Have I mentioned I don't like cold?

It seems to me a person ought to be as smart as a duck and go south in the winter.

I posted about this heat engine back in October, 2009. Seems like only yesterday. It operates on three candles at full capacity but will run on two. Sitting on the stove it smokes. It literally smokes. It has heat resistant paint but this stove exceeds the paints upper temperature limit.
When it stops turning it's time for more wood.
Meanwhile for those of you who have been wondering how to re-purpose those old bathtubs here is an example of how some here use them in landscaping decoration.
Waste not Want not. At the current price of large planters this is a good idea however I might have done it a little different then again I might not.
Fuel to split firewood. Eggs scrambled with sauteed shrimp tacos.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Mister Little

I did not know Mister Little in fact I do not recall ever even seeing him. Oh I saw his house, although some would call it a shack, and I saw his old broken down T-model truck in front. I don't recall him having a dog.

Maybe I better describe this setting. We lived on a one lane track west of Little Rock, Arkansas that was loosely called "lovers lane" probably because of the folks that would pull in there to have sex. Lovers lane ran off Rodney Parham Road at an angle on the south side for about a mile past our house about where Barksdale Road is now. , the Grays, the Leagues, the Crowders then made a left right angle turn and went up the hill past the Herrington's, Andersons and Barksdales before dead ending at the bottom of the hill on the other side at Rock Creek. If you crossed the creek and traipsed through the woods over the next hill you would eventually come to some isolated houses at what was at that time the end of Markham road. There was no trail that I ever discovered it was just beating through the brush.Where "Lovers Lane" makes that right angle left turn there was a gate and a lane that went straight on. That gate has been transformed in my mind to a magic gate. It is where I start in my dreams of paradise.

The fields there on both sides belonged to the Brady's who were dairy farmers. The lane went straight on through the gate to intersect Rock Creek and with not much more than a trail from there connected with Hinson road, another area of isolated houses. It was said that if you kept following the trail you would end up in Perryville eventually. I never found out as I entered puberty and there were new obstructions to exploring called girls that required another kind of exploring. Some of my first hot torrid love affair involving the touching of skin was held there with a beautiful girl that had the voice of an angel.
About a quarter to a half mile past the gate west bound and just before you came to rock creek on the left side sat a lonely little shack of a house with a broken down T-model Ford truck in front. That's where Mister Little lived. We were scared to death of Mister little. I did not know one story about what evil he may have done. I did not know anyone who ever said they had seen him and I never saw him but we knew he was there and scary.

Now, when I want to take my mind away to piece and tranquility I go to a place just beyond Mister Little's just over the rise at where the lane fords Rock Creek. In my mind that is paradise. The creek is shallow, cold and clear there burbling over the rocks ankle deep. It flows out of the woods bounded by a steep hill on either side from the north side off the lane crosses the lane curves around a grassy area on the east side and is bounded by a clay bank on the west side it has cut out when the water was high. It continues out into a field of high grass and then disappears into the trees further on. That little grassy spot with it's lone tree is where I'll be if you need me.

If I am not there then I will be at Mister Little's house. You see, I am Mister Little now. Without ever knowing him I have taken his place, I am the scary old man now and I know Mister Little's pain.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Reminders to Myself

The Universe is a big place.
Always we hope someone else has the answer.
Some other place will be better,
some other time it will all turn out.
This is it.
No one else has the answer.
No other place will be better,
and it has already turned out
-Lao Tzu

I somehow find it disappointing. Is this it? This is all there is? At least when I was looking for some other place or some other time I had hope.
I think I will keep looking for some other place, some other time and someone else with the answer. I will always keep Lao Tzu's words in mind but I am not ready to give up hope.

The following uses the word "touch". A word that I assure you is not a "bad" word. It's not a word to be sniggered at or used to imply sexual abuse any more than the word fondle. These are perfectly good words and there is nothing sexual or dirty about them. If you see them that way then I am truly sorry for you.

The Plight of the Old.
Old people and especially old men suffer from loneliness and not being touched. I guess old men give the impression that they have a harder exterior or something but I can assure you they suffer from being walled off the same as women do. Old women are treated somewhat better but not by much.

This is amplified many times by the way we live in these modern times. Modern meaning current and not meaning advanced. We are far from advanced. The splitting into communities according to age is not healthy but then neither is any other sort of fractured families and/or neighborhoods. I do not want to live in an old folks village and I will not willingly do so. I would live under a bridge first. The young keep the old from growing old so fast and the old help the young to get to grow old.

Somewhere between being a very young child and adulthood many develop the impression that old people are nasty and somewhat untouchable. Some are but people don't change their cleanliness habits just because they are old. If anything I am more careful of my grooming now than ever just to guard against falling into lazy bad hygiene habits.

If you are young bear in mind that if you live you too will grow old. You too will grow hair in unusual places (like the top of your nose), you too will grow hair in you ears where you can't see it. Your eyes will dim and that glaring blackhead that looks like a crater to everyone else will escape your detection. Your skin will start to lose its DNA memory and although it will continue to replace itself it won't get the recipe exactly right giving you a few unpleasant surprises.

To the old I suggest that you practice smiling. If you force yourself it will soon become habit and I can guarantee good results. I see an awful lot of upside down smiles on old faces. Keep your predictions of gloom and doom to yourself. Sure it's likely to turn out that way but nobody wants to hear it. No one wants to hear how it was "in your day". It just pushes those that you might be able to influence by example further away. Besides I know it's hard to fathom but you could be wrong.

Force yourself to say "good morning" to a stranger. The first few times I did that as an old man I didn't get much back but one day I said it to a squatty little women that looked as if she had not smiled in her lifetime and that her face was about to break. What I got back was a melodious strong bell ringing "good morning" from a face that transformed itself into bright smiling rays of sunshine. It was a doubly appreciated reward because it was so unexpected. That transformed face transformed my day. I think it probably gave hers a boost as well.
Let's party.

Words from a Wise Man.
I have posted this before but it is worth repeating. I don't think this is the last time I'll repeat this either.
I complained about my personal life to a friend a few years ago and this is what he wrote me.

You are not getting what you deserve. You are getting what there is. I figure deserve has nothing to do with it. You will get what you get regardless of your past actions. Someone does not hold back a touch because you held one back in the past. They hold back a touch for the lack of wherewithal to offer it. They don't think to offer it most likely for the lack of touches over time offered them. More about their past than yours I think. It is not a good thing, bad thing, or evil intent. It just is what it is. If the ones you love do not reach out a touch to you, touch them twice. They need it more. A touch accepted, is a touch returned. Keep no score cards, pass no judgments, spend no time mourning what you don't have. “ -Terry Miller

Terry is a wise man.
Thanks Terry. This is on my "refer to often" page of the just "be" book.