Running on Empty

As I get older, there is a growing list of things that I can longer do or have lost interest in doing them…

Image by publicdomainpictures from pixabay
  • Playing basketball
  • Sex
  • Jogging or running
  • Ability to focus on a televised sporting event or show
  • Enjoy dining out
  • Patiently waiting in lines
  • Doctor appointments
  • Driving at night
  • Driving long distances
  • Children parties
  • Commercials, advertisements, public address notifications
  • Traffic
  • Politicians
  • Talking politics
  • Elections
  • Donald Trump
  • Eating apples
  • Religion or talking religion
  • Feigning interest in conversations or with people where I have little compatibility

Takeaways from the Results of the Midterm Elections

  • While Democrats did not win (they lost the House), in betting parlance, they easily covered the spread and earned a draw.
  • The Democrats backed into a decent result as opposed to earning it.
  • Democrats’ best friend = Donald Trump. Trump handpicked, endorsed and campaigned for many of the GOP candidates who were generally mediocre, unqualified and sometimes uncivilized.
  • Trump also selected the Supreme Court members who put over the repeal of Roe vs. Wade that spurred angry young single women to the polls.
  • Possibly voters took notice of the January 6, 2021 Congressional Hearings and decided to mete out their punishment of a party that supported a takeover of the nation’s Capitol and electoral process.
  • Election results have encouraged Joe Biden to run in 2024. Election results did not discourage Donald Trump to run in 2024. Both are delusional old men who should leave the game for younger players.

Thoughts after Reading The Pope at War by David Kertzer

  • Excellent book. Reads like a novel. Highly recommended for students, scholars and readers interested in World War II and specifically the Catholic Church’s role dealing with the leaders of Italy (Mussolini) and Germany (Hitler).
  • While understanding that the Pope needed to proceed cautiously on the diplomatic front to protect the Church and Catholics who lived in Italy and Germany, Pius XII generally caved to the demands of the Fascists and Nazis.
  • In pre-war Germany, there was evidence of abuse committed by Catholic priests. This was used as a negotiation card by the Nazis to get Pius XII to agree to their terms.
  • Pius XII’s reluctance to speak out against the atrocities committed against the Jews was an act of moral cowardice.
  • Pius XII did not address the Nazi bombings of London, Rotterdam and Warsaw as they occurred. However he lobbied the Americans and British not to bomb Rome and the Vatican.
  • Kertzer provided stories where priests and nuns refused to aid Jews seeking to hide or flee from Nazi pursuers.
  • Pius XII did lobby Nazi authorities to protect Jews who did convert to Catholicism. He did very little to protest the poor treatment and murder of Jews.
  • Pius XII was fully aware of what atrocities were occurring.
  • Many of the atrocities against Jews were committed by Nazi officers and soldiers who were Catholic.
  • Pius XII does not merit any consideration for canonization. He certainly was no saint.

Not Recommended for Prime Time

Around this time before the elections, newspapers endorse candidates who they feel are the best qualified for legislative and executive offices. Listed below are 15 GOP candidates who I believe are unqualified for office. They all share endorsements from Donald Trump which I think is disqualifying by itself.

However here is a list of election deniers, racists, intelligence challenged, mediocre, language mangling, lying GOP candidates.

1.Herschel Walker Senator Georgia

2.Marjorie Taylor Greene House Georgia

3. Doug Mastriano Governor PA

4. Kari Lake Governor Arizona

5. Mehmet Oz Senator PA

6. Tudor Dixon Governor Michigan

7. Blake Masters Senator Arizona

8. J.D. Vance Senator Ohio

9. Ron Johnson Senator Wisconsin

10. Mike Lee Senator Utah

11. Lauren Boebert House Colorado

12. Matt Gaetz House Florida

13. Jim Jordan House Ohio

14. Sarah Sanders Governor Arkansas

15. Kristi Noem Governor South Dakota

If more than five of these idiots win, democracy will be on life support.

Book Review: Profiles in Ignorance How America’s Politicians Got Dumb and Dumber by Andy Borowitz

I got it. We have experienced some really dumb men and women in Washington and national politics. Borowitz picked on Reagan but at least Reagan had some very wise and experienced people on his staff and Cabinet. Contrast the quality of intelligence and expertise with the various iterations of the Trump cabinet.

Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush and of course “The Donald” are cited in the book as national embarrassments. The dumbest candidate of all time was not mentioned in the book, Herschel Walker. Walker was outed for paying for an abortion after he claimed that he did not. This font of sanctimony is decidedly pro-life. He has consistently lied about his education and credentials. Yesterday he received a standing ovation from members of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta.

There were various spokespeople who went on news shows to defend him. Who is dumber? Walker or the people who still support him?

Borowitz’s book was meant as satire. I saw no humor in his stories. It was depressing. So very few of the people profiled by the author read books. Aides could not dumb down information for Reagan or Trump.

Unless you have been in a cave or quarantined for 40 years, most of the stories in the book have already been reported. This is not a book for Republicans. There are a number of Democrats who have experienced issues with judgment but not like the GOP.

From my notebook…

A new word for my vocabulary, “smokeshow.” I heard it used in a Saturday Night Live skit on YouTube. Smokeshow is an attractive or hot woman.

I would classify myself as an “intellectual omnivore.”

I also strive to be an “autodidact Polymath.”

Looking for a Lebenskunsler: Master in the art of living…

marks: wrestling = trumpsters: politics

There are two checklists at or near retirement age. The first is what is also commonly known as a “bucket list.” These are things one wants to try, do or accomplish before they die. The second checklist writes itself, maybe appropriately termed a fuck-it list. These are things that one cannot do or try for physical, mental, emotional, or financial reasons. This list expands exponentially and generally is beyond our control.

The Affair
I was told of the affair
Which I was not aware
So I was not there
Given that I do not care

Excerpt from The True Meaning of Life by Pat Fleming
But how much I reached out,
To others when needed,
Would be the true measure,
Of how I succeeded.
And how much I shared,
Of my soul and my heart,
Would ultimately be,
What set me apart.

And what’s really important,
Is my opinion of me,
And whether or not,
I’m the best I can be.
And how much more kindness,
And love I can show,
Before the Lord tells me,
It’s my time to go.

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

Best of South Jersey Dining

Most of the time when reviews or lists of restaurants and dining are written, the ones selected are at a very high level in terms of costs and formality. This is a lower brow list based on my limited budget and accessibility.

Best Bars and Casual Foods

  1. Blue Monkey, Merchantville NJ
  2. Ollie Gators Berlin NJ
  3. Rexy’s Audubon NJ
  4. Kaminski’s Cherry Hill NJ
  5. Dooney’s Delran NJ
  6. Vagabond Burgers Egg Harbor NJ
  7. Pat’s Cherry Hill NJ

Best Pizza:

  1. King of Pizza, Cherry Hill NJ
  2. Manco and Manco Ocean City
  3. Nick’s Cinnaminson NJ
  4. Carollos Pennsauken NJ
  5. Bertucci’s Mt Laurel NJ
  6. Tacconelli’s Maple Shade NJ

Best Hoagies:

  1. Jersey Mike’s Cinnaminson and Cherry Hill NJ
  2. Chick’s Deli, Cherry Hill NJ
  3. DiPascales at Meadowbrook Pennsauken NJ

Best Formal Restaurants

  1. Il Villaggio Cherry Hill
  2. Filomena’s Deptford NJ
  3. Iccara Italian Bistro Cape May NJ

Best Wings

Pronto Merchantville NJ

Best Diners

  1. Ponzio’s Cherry Hill NJ
  2. Pandora Cinnaminson NJ

Best Fast Food

  1. Bagelati Cinnaminson
  2. Chick-fil-A
  3. McDonalds

Best Mexican

  1. Plaza Azteca Sicklerville NJ
  2. La Cita Authentic Mexican Cherry Hill NJ

Best Japanese

Yokohama Maple Shade

Verbal drop shots

On Sunday, I actually watched more of the PPA Cincinnati tournament on Tennis Channel then I did pro football, including the Eagles game. What a huge difference in production value are pickleball games televised on Tennis Channel or CBS Sports network! I was pleased to see that both Tyson McGuffin and Simone Jardin won gold medals in their respective competitions. Both are being prematurely written off as serious competitors due to their age and the influx of younger players. I identify with older athletes trying to stay competitive and relevant.

I did notice that the Cincinnati crowd thinned out for the men’s singles final in Cincinnati. Possibly it was because it was a long day with five finals being decided and the men’s singles final was the last event of the tournament OR fans are just not that interested in singles competition.

I have heard some positive reviews from local players using the Selkirk Vanguard Power Air Invitka. The paddle has a steep selling price of $250 but these players seem to think that the potential results and benefits are worth the cost. They feel it provides more “pop” to their drives and touch to their third and drop shots.

Professional pickleball has not yet developed any significant rivalries like Nadal vs. Federer, Evert vs. Navratilova, Cowboys vs. Eagles or Army vs. Navy. But it is coming. On court, I don’t have any “rivalries” but I do have people I use as “measuring sticks.” These are players whose skill levels are better than mine and I contrast how competitive I am to their game. My measuring sticks include both men and women who help me improve my game.

I really am enjoying the competitive level at Berlin Intermediate meetups. The styles of play vary and I was able to play a few games last weekend that focused on the soft game including third shot drops, cross court dinks and a more cerebral approach to shot selection .