Who is our Zelinskyy?

We exist in a game of lifelong dodgeball. Life throws a lot of challenges and problems where we have to bob, weave, duck and adjust. However well we dodge what is thrown at us, the last throw always hits us and eliminates us from the game.

Antidotes for anxiety and depression: a warm shower, a long walk, favorite music, and leafing through old family pictures.

I had a conversation with my 95-year-old uncle a week or so ago. He mentioned to me that he never feels angry anymore. He views it as a waste of time and given how short of time he may have left, he has downsized useless emotions and feelings. Anger does seem to be one of the top items that all of us should downsize no matter what our age.

If I had a choice and given the unity and bravery of the people and leadership in Ukraine, would I prefer to identify myself as an American? Or as a Ukrainian?

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) at Trump’s Save America Rally in Commerce, Georgia tonight: “And you know what? Pete Buttigieg can take his electric vehicles and his bicycles and he and his husband can stay out of our girls’ bathrooms.” The crowd actually applauded this line…

List of women (Trumpunts) who have me reaching on my remote for the Power Off, mute or change channel buttons…
Marjorie Taylor Greene
Lauren Boebert
Ginni Thomas
Laura Ingraham
Jeanne Pirro
Kayleigh McEnany
Maria Bartiromo
Marsha Blackburn
Toni Lahren
Candace Owens
Ann Coulter
Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Soundtracks of My Life

Most movies, documentaries and TV shows skillfully incorporate musical soundtracks to highten various scenes or stages in a story. If I made a movie about my life, here are the songs I would include as the soundtrack.

Solitary Man Neil Diamond (Title Theme for my Life—fatherless boy goes it alone)

You Belong to the City Glenn Frey (growing up in Camden)

What’s New Pussycat? Tom Jones (My lullaby to get my sister Monica to sleep and not cry when she was a baby.

Break My Stride Matthew Wilder (High school days)

I Can’t Stop Dancing Archie Bell and the Drills (playing basketball)

Love Her Madly The Doors (college dorm life)

Ohio Neil Young (Vietnam politics)

Superstar The Carpenters (first love, lost love)

Honey Please Can’t Ya See Barry White (discos and trying to find a girlfriend)

Christine Ben Jelen (girlfriend and wife found)

You Take My Heart Away Bill Conti (wedding)

Theme from Rocky (running, tennis, basketball)

She Believes in Me Kenny Rogers (wife’s faith in me as I struggle)

I See Your Smile Gloria Estefan (Sandra’s death)

Running Down a Dream Tom Petty (career struggles)

The Lonely Bull Herb Alpert (going it alone)

As Good as I Once Was Toby Keith (getting older and accepting limits)

I Am a Rock Simon and Garfunkel (protecting myself from hurt and disappointment)

The Greatest Love of All George Benson (self reliance)

One Moment in Time Whitney Houston (achieving a dream)

Eloquence

“My money was losing 7% every year due to inflation so I decided to invest it in the stock market. Now I’m losing 7% every day.” Not Jerome Powell, Twitter

***

“Here we are with a vaccine that can save you from dying or going to the hospital with Covid, and tens of millions of people refuse to help themselves by taking it. Which goes to prove that no pandemic is deadlier than stupidity.” Bret Stephens NYT

***

Humorlessness has crept in its petty pace to the right, where it is conducted with North Korean-level solemnity by the bellowing myrmidons of MAGAdom. A sense of humor, much less self-awareness, is not a trait found in cults of personality. If Tucker Carlson has said anything advertently funny, witty or self-knowing from his bully pulpit, I missed it. Maybe you had to be there.”Christopher Buckley PJ. O’Rourke and the Death of Conservative Humor

***

There is no official count of the number of pregnant women who have turned to hospitals and clinics when something goes wrong, only to be denied the medical treatment they need on religious grounds. And it’s not easy to publicize the most intimate details of traumatic experiences in order to prove what should not have to be proved: that pregnancy carries significant risk of complications, and hospitals and medical professionals in a modern society ought to allow best practices, rather than religious dogma, to guide their protocols of care.

Why was a Catholic Hospital Willing to Gamble with my Life by Katherine Stewart NYT

***

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was asked to evacuate Kyiv at the behest of the U.S. government but turned down the offer. An American official tells me Zelenskyy said, “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.”

History Repeating Itself

The similarities between the invasions of Poland in 1939 and Ukraine in 2022 are striking…

September 1, 1939February 23, 2022
PolandUkraine
HitlerPutin
rationale: revenge for Versailles; reparationsrationale: revenge for 1989; NATO expansion
Final SolutionDenazification
Allies Strategy: “Peace in our Times”NATO Strategy: Sanctions
Start of World War IIStart of World War III???
Father CoughlinTucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Candace Owens
Charles LindberghDonald Trump
Propaganda: Joseph GoebbelsPropaganda: RT and Fox News
compliant German military and citizenscompliant Russian military and citizens
EAB

Pickleball Aphorisms

Success strategy in a marriage partnership: “What’s yours is mine, what’s mine is yours.”
Successful strategy in a pickleball partnership: “What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is yours.”
Poacher strategy: “What’s mine and yours is mine.”


Often I’m more often impressed by the mettle a player displays than the medal a player may display.


To clear their heads in order to think.
Many pray, many meditate
Some dink.


Great pickleball partners aren’t judged by their wins and losses together but the banter, support and smiles as they play.


Close pickleball line calls have sparked more “border disputes” between teams than Russia and the Ukraine.


There are two different types of players when it comes to choosing sides for a game in an “open setting.” One who seeks the surest way to win vs the one who seeks the most competitive game.


Just about everybody enjoys an ESPN worthy moment (great volley, great passing shot etc) during a Meet-up or session.


Pickleball: 2022 = Amazon: 1995

It’s Your Friends Who Break Your Heart

It’s Your Friends Who Break Your Heart by Jennifer Senior in The Atlantic is a timely article for me. The subtitle of the article suggests that “The older we get, the more we need our friends—and the harder it is to keep them.” I can’t agree more! I might add that it’s not only friends who can break your heart but family too. The pain is indistinguishable.

It is a long article but worth reading. I have listed points of the article that I agree with and are worth sharing…

“You lose friends to marriage, to parenthood, to politics—even when you share the same politics.”

“The unhappy truth of the matter is that it is normal for friendships to fade, even under the best of circumstances. The real aberration is keeping them.”

“You lose friends to success, to failure, to flukish strokes of good or ill luck. One could argue that modern life conspires against friendship, even as it requires the bonds of friendship all the more.”

“Most of withered friendships can be chalked up to this terrible tendency …not to reach out.”

“This is, mind you, how most friendships die, according to the social psychologist Beverley Fehr: not in pyrotechnics, but a quiet, gray dissolve. It’s not that anything happens to either of you; it’s just that things stop happening between you.”

Senescence: Round 5

Sorry Neil Young…but not only love can break your heart. 💔 (Disappointment can)

Even when a singer or musician dies, their music and songs are their cryogenic legacies keeping them alive.

Despite getting much older, the shadow of the young shy boy I once was still walks besides me…

Age I feel when I play pickleball: 35. Age I feel when I stop playing pickleball: 69.

Most people have two versions of their life story. The first version is the highly edited story they wish to communicate to friends, associates and family. The second version is the unedited story they occasionally retrieve and reflect by and for themselves.

As one ages in the party of life, one may feel like an uninvited guest… events and conversation swirl around and not with you as you blend into the tapestry as a monochromatic spectator.

Maybe the best advice for marriage that I have read: “Choose a wife rather by your ear than your eye.” (English proverb)

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya from Pexels

What quickened my pulse (1972): thump-thump of bouncing basketball on a court
What quickens my pulse (2022): thwack and pop of pickleball hitting a paddle.

When having to choose between an old movie or TV show that I viewed and really enjoyed or a promising new movie or TV show that I might enjoy, I usually opt for the former.

Stupidity continues to spread faster than omicron in this country. Stupidity offers many variants and there is no proven vaccine, not even a high dose of education.

NFL = WWE
In professional wrestling, Vince McMahon largely directs which wrestler (or entertainer) will “go over” and win. Now we are hearing allegations that owners of pro football teams in Miami and Cleveland have directed their coaches to lose games in order to improve their positions in upcoming drafts. pro wrestling is defined as “entertainment” as the outcomes are scripted and pre-determined. Is pro football different?

If you are a sports bettor, do you worry less about the performance of a team’s Quarterback or focus more on the competitive mindset and financial status of the team owner?

2022 China Winter Olympics Game = 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics Game
These Olympics weren’t so much sports events as propaganda displays for the promotions of Messrs. Hitler and Xi. The screams of repressed Jews and Muslim Uighurs are drowned out by the cheers and applause for the athletes.

Stock market is largely driven by narratives (agree with Professor Bob Shiller) less on fundamentals, data and financial results. For many companies, the role of the CFO has taken a back seat to the Director of Communications and Media.

Observations that I have read and found worthy of sharing…

Having been retired for about three years, I look back on my “career” in various positions as defining a job as an inconvenient interruption between weekends. Phil from Philadelphia (comment on NYT article Public Displays of Resignation: Saying ‘I Quit’ Loud and Proud)

“To keep Trump and his epigones away from high office, it isn’t enough to have the moral high ground. It’s like something Adlai Stevenson supposedly said once when a voter told him that every thinking person was on his side. “I’m afraid that won’t do,” he replied. “I need a majority.” Democracy needs a majority.” (Bret Stephens NYT Covid 3.0, Biden 2.0 and Trump Number …1/10/22)

Ageless Wisdom* in Ninety Seconds

True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends but in the worth and choice.
Ben Jonson Cynthia’s Revels

Much silence makes a powerful noise.
African proverb

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools.
Ecclesiastes 7.5

Choose a wife rather by your ear than your eye.
English proverb

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read.

Too often… We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
John F Kennedy

There is no pillow as soft as a clear conscience.
French proverb

When the character of a man is unclear to you, look at his friends.

Japanese proverb
  • Aphorisms from Ageless Wisdom, A Treasury of Quotes to Motivate and Inspire by J.S. Felts