Senescence Round 7

Regrets I have a few but then again too few to mention…
If I could enter a time machine that could take me back 55 years and with my current knowledge and life experience, I would still repeat 90% of my lifetime decisions and actions if I had the chance to relive them.


What convinces someone of the value of your judgement and advice is not by what you say but by what you have accomplished.


Sanskrit is more decipherable than an angry woman.


Most men pursue the second prettiest woman at a party.


The best parties often involve only two people.


Flirting, like intimate conversation, has become a lost relationship art.


Those who strive to impress the least, impress the most.


Caring what other people think of me is a blessing and a curse.


I’d rather be the underdog than the top dog.


What would cure many ills and problems is a good night’s sleep.


There is no antidote to grief except time. However time does not heal all wounds but masks like a scab to cover the pain.


My mind often creates an illusion that my body understands is just a delusion.


Picture by EAB

Senescence Round 6

For older guys, Pickleball: Exercise = Viagra: Sex

Ukraine: Their legislators are dodging bullets.
USA: Our GOP legislators are dodging ballots.

Hollywood: A slap results in one suffering a 10 year ban from the Academy of Arts and Sciences
Washington: An attempted overthrow of the government results in one being the favorite for the GOP nomination for President in 2024

I am a hoarder of cluttered life experiences and emotional baggage including insults remembered, disappointments, unfulfilled expectations, envies, failures and missed opportunities. Time to declutter…

My most irrational belief is that people should act and think like I do.

Most men should be ending their political careers at age 70 not beginning or renewing it.

Voters are doing a poor job of eliminating politicians whose ages may be less than 70 but so are their IQs.

In their teens and 20s, baby boomers crammed to study for exams and finish class papers. In their 60s and older, baby boomers now cram to complete their bucket list while they are still healthy and active.

In their teens and twenties, baby boomers pulled “all nighters” which was staying up all night to study or finish papers. In their 60s and older, all nighters usually represent the hours between 10 p.m and 7 a.m. where baby boomers try to get a good night sleep.

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

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“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

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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

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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

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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.”

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

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

Miscellanea

Friends generally fall into tiers, like those old food-pyramid posters in the school cafeteria, except in this case, the tiny triangle at the pinnacle is where the good stuff is, your best friends who provide the most nourishment. The broad base of the pyramid represents the acquaintances, the kinda-friends, the friends of friends and amiable whoevers that, like matcha cupcakes or pigs in a blanket, are great to sample at a party, but do not make a full meal.

I Want My Friends. But How Many? Alex Williams

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“The two most important days in your life are the day that you were born and the day you found out why.”

Mark Twain

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“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

 Philip Dick

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This country is in the midst of a 5 alarm fire, & so many of the democratic leadership, the media, & much of the general population don’t get it, can’t believe it, or think someone else will stop it. If you don’t see where we’re headed in 3, 5, 10 years, your head is in the sand.

Kurt Eichenwald

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As I do for the first time in my 62 years, my biggest worry is for my country. But the darkness on the edge of town has spread to the main roads and highways and neighborhoods. It’s now at the local bar, and the bowling alley, at the school board, and the grocery store. And it must be acknowledged and answered for. Grown men and women who swore an oath to our Constitution, elected by their constituents possessing the kinds of college degrees I could only dream of have decided to join the mob and become something they are not while hoping we somehow forget who they were. They’ve decided to burn it all down – with us inside. 

Brian Williams on his final MSNBC telecast

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“You know, look, one thing that nurses also told us is that not only are they treating these people, but these people come in and ask like it’s Starbucks there. No, I don’t want that treatment. I want ivermectin. I want this, I want that, I want all these other things I’ve heard about,” said Marquez. “And the hospital has to actually fight their own patients to give them the treatment that actually works!”

Reporter on Covid treatments at Sparrow Health System Michigan

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Expectation is the grandfather of disappointment. The world can never own a man who wants nothing.”

— Aphorisms for Thirsty Fish

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“Here is a formula for staying young well beyond the days of youth…

“Grow old in a place where you do not think you belong. You will feel like an adolescent, because adolescents always consider themselves outsiders. Then, after decades, just as you have gradually habituated yourself to your surroundings, pack up and leave. It is time for another, perhaps the final beginning.”

Willard Spiegelman

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Mental Defragmentation

Sorting through various and disparate ideas in my mind…

Friends disappoint, strangers rarely.

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The greatest gift one can provide to another person is their attention.

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Generally the people who urge the banning of certain books rarely (or can’t) read.

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Too many Americans can’t read between the “lies’ much less read between the “lines.”

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The most thoughtful commentary and analysis of our political and cultural discourse are often found in comedy. (See SNL openings, Doonesbury, Bill Maher etc.)

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The most preposterous, unintentionally comic and inane commentary and analysis of our political and cultural discourse are often found from the mouths of politicians, pundits and government officials.

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For me, gambling ads on social media, television and websites are as morally and ethically repugnant as cigarette ads decades ago.

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If you can’t stand up to a dictator in your own party, why should anyone trust that you would stand up to a dictator in another country?

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Home prices, gasoline, food, cars and other hard assets continue to inflate, good judgement, rationality and truth continue to abate.

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Regrettably there is no one-shot vaccination against one of our major contagions, stupidity. Worse, the ones who are most infected would refuse to take it.

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Three unappreciated occupations dealing with unrealized expectations and public disdain: Detroit Lions head coach, convenience store cashier and public school teacher.

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Pennsauken High School has an 81% graduation rate. However only 26% can pass a reading proficiency test; only 6% can pass a math proficiency test. How low is the bar to graduate from Pennsauken High School? Which business would take a chance to hire a graduate from PHS based on those statistics?

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Coincidentally Pennsauken voters will be voting on a bond referendum that includes funding for a new indoor pool. Makes sense as a lot of Pennsauken students are already drowning in terms of their education and future.

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We live in a country where many people believe professional wrestling is real, the 2020 election was stolen, Joe Rogan is a better health expert than Dr. Fauci, vaccination mandates are totalitarian, the Capitol takeover on 1/6/2021 was: justified/a liberal plot/a peaceful demonstration of American patriots/not instigated by Trump. So much for American exceptionalism!

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Sage 4

Past pearls of wisdom explaining what is happening today…

Current HeadlineWisdom from the Past
Jan. 6 Was Worse Than We Knew NY Times“We are a paper frigate sailing on a burning lake.” —Frederick Seidel
Republicans Shout Down Lindsey Graham for Pushing Vaccine“The central belief of every moron is that he is the victim of a mysterious conspiracy against his common rights and true deserts.” HL Mencken
Doctors grow frustrated over COVID-19 denial, misinformation“While people are entitled to their illusions, they are not entitled to a limitless enjoyment of them and they are not entitled to impose them upon others.” Christopher Hitchens
Dow sheds 300 points as investors ditch technology stocks, Nasdaq drops 2% CNBC“you cannot cling to anything in a changing world.” 
Osho
Trump, talked out of announcing a 2024 bid for now, settles on a wink-and-nod unofficial candidacy Washington PostStupidity is knowing the truth, seeing the truth but still believing the lies. Richard Feynman