It Just Ain’t Fair

OK, so it’s like this, right?? My Beautiful Girlfriend went to Florida for a week to visit her sister and other family. Therefore, I formulated some grandiose plans of doing some work in the garden, and even though it’s late I was really hoping to get my garlic planted. I was also toying with the idea of stacking a bunch of firewood that was delivered on Tuesday. We store much of our wood in the basement to keep it dry and ready for burning you see.

Mother Nature, however, had other plans. I mean, yes I’m fully aware that climate change is here, and that we can’t expect the weather to behave in a very predictable way much of the time. But several inches of snow this early in November is simply not fair. I mean seriously, I have things to see and people to do!! Or something like that… I did get a little wood in the house before the sky opened up and dumped white stuff on us; so that was a good thing. No gardening though. I was worried that if I ran the rototiller to prepare the garlic bed; the ground would get too cold and it would be pretty much ridiculous to plant.

One thing I completely forgot to do earlier this week: I forgot to throw coat hangers at the sun to force it to do my bidding. This is a tried and never proven method of weather control; but you have to remember to only use metal coat hangers. Metal hangers are essential because they transmit bioelectric brain waves from the person who is tossing them. This of course has absolutely no effect, and may cause a stray hanger or two to become lodged in a tree, only to fall on your noggin the next time a bit wind comes up and then maybe the pointy end will stab you in the nostrils while you’re looking up and if that doesn’t happen you might instead forget to pick it up if it’s in the lawn and then the mower will go KERCLACK!! when it flings the hanger out of the grass chute and then of course it will add insult to injury when the hanger smacks into your car window and makes you want to write ridiculously long run-on sentences.

Hanger flinging at least gives you a way to let off steam, though. Wait!! Maybe I should try steam!! That might warm it up outside!! Yes!! I’ll get a bunch of camp stoves and boil water outside for a few days!! Oh wait… those run on propane. More carbon footprint stuff. More climate change. Sheesh. Never mind.

Well I did get a half bushel of apples chopped up and thrown in the freezer. We’ll keep them there till we’re ready to make applesauce or, even yummier, apple butter. Mmmm I love that stuff. And much of the other outside chores might have gotten done (maybe) ( I don’t know) (but there are too many parentheses now) if I was retired. I’ve often told my Lovely Bride, “work really interferes with my free time.”

That’s OK… only 1 year, 3 months, and 16 days to go till retirement.  Then maybe I need to learn from Grampy and try my hand at inventing some solutions to all these chores…

Bye Bye Baby

Well, my Beautiful Girlfriend’s gonna go visit her sister for a week. All the last minute to-do’s are getting scratched off downstairs as she whirls around to make final preparations. She’s been feeling a bit crappy lately, so there wasn’t much “gettin’ ready zooming” until today. But I’ll be taking her to the airport tomorrow morning and on the way home I’ll try to avoid crashing into November snowflakes (November snowflakes!?!? It’s too early for these stinkin’ snowflakes!!) as I cry my eyeballs out while singing at the top of my lungs a new song I just made up that I’m using a run-on sentence to introduce to all of you who have dared to read this far:

Oh me, oh my, I ain’t gonna cry

My baby’s leavin’ me

Oh me, oh my, bought her tickets to fly

My baby’s leavin’ me

Everything’s gonna be OK

It’s gonna be alright

It’s gonna be OK I say,

I’ll catch her on the return flight

This of course is sung to the tune of “Oh me, oh my, I ain’t gonna cry.”

Or something.

Anyway, I’ll be OK I promise. After all, her sister hit a milestone birthday yesterday, and she wants some Sister Time. Rightly so, my Beautiful Sister-In-Law lives in Southern Florida, which is more than 3.75 miles from West Michigan; so they don’t get to visit in person very often. And believe it or don’t, I’m not even jealous that my Lovely Bride Lady will be enjoying temperatures in the 70s and 80s while I get to enjoy the early arrival of wintry weather here in Beautifully Frigid West Michigan. Yeah… ha ha on us, we Michiganders will be frolicking about in 20s and 30s, and most of us haven’t even gotten our leaves off the ground yet.

Well OK maybe I’m just a tiny bit jealous. After looking at the weather, could be I might actually have to shovel snow!! No fair I say!! It’s too early outside for this crap!!

But of course when the Cat’s away, the Mouse will play… it’s only fair, right? You bet!! And I’m guessing you all know what that means! Yes! Pizza! I think so anyway. Maybe not. I just made a boatload of soup we had for dinner to try to knock my Honey Pie’s coughing-sneezing-sore throat bug in the dirt (we actually seem to be winning). So I’ll have some soup till it’s gone I suppose. Ooooo… maybe a Bad Breath Sandwich or two: sardines in tomato sauce on some caraway rye (with the seeds of course) slathered in mayo and lots of diced onions. Oh my that’s yummy!! Then I come to your house and breathe near your face so you can enjoy my fish breath!

Tomorrow I might do something really crazy and rototill the garden. Depends on how much it’s snowing I suppose. Sheesh, haven’t even planted the garlic yet!! And yes, I think I can still plant if I do it soon. According to what I’ve read, it just needs to be in the ground before the hard freeze comes. Might be able to pull that off… Oh and another wacky time is in store for me: clean and bake the two monster pumpkins that “volunteered” themselves out of the compost pile this past summer. Yeah, we were gonna carve them up for Hallowe’en, but they look good enough to eat, so that’s what’s in store for them. Mmmm… pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, maybe some pumpkin bread. Who knows? I’ll just clean them out, bake them, bag them, and chuck them in the freezer. Oh wow I also need to chop up that half bushel of apples we got from the farmers market before they get rotten.

Oh and not to forget: the firewood people are supposed to deliver sometime this week. They dump it in the driveway so that will keep me busy for a while. And then there’s work… which makes me to barf on the ground… but I’m all out of vacation for this year so I suppose I should show up and do stuff. Those darn employers… they actually expect people to do things for the money they get!!

So I have really nothing much to do.

I’m also looking forward to some alone time. I don’t get that very often. But of course, I’ll miss my Beautiful Best Friend Who Let Me Marry Her Many Years Ago. When that happens, maybe I’ll start singing…

No Time Was Saved

So here we go again, this coming Sunday morning we go back on Standard Time. Well many of us do anyway. I’ve always welcomed the late sunsets that Daylight Savings time brings in the summer; and have often cursed the early ones when we “fall back.” Many times I’d even whine out loud to strangers, whether at a grocery store or gas station. “Why don’t they just spring ahead and leave it alone!?!?” is often exclaimed. Some will also grunt that “we’re the only country that uses this, aren’t we?” And I have to confess, “I’m not sure.”

Well I simply had to look it up. There’s a very interesting map that shows who uses Savings Time and who doesn’t; and you can find it here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time

Turns out lots of folks use it. And I’m betting lots of folks whine about the change. I’ll have to admit, though, I really do love that extra hour of sleep in the fall.

Doesn’t feel like any time is actually saved. I mean, yes it gets dark later. But the amount of time in a day is still 24 hours, right? So who’s saving all this time? And if they have some extra, where do they keep it? I want some either yesterday or the day before please.  I mean seriously, May I have some this time that was supposedly saved??

You may have noticed I’m switching gears here a little, but hey, I’m old enough to remember when The Beatles came to the US on the Mayflower. So I’m allowed. I just have a very simple question: where the HECK did all the time go?? Anyhow?? I really do remember when The Beatles first set foot on US soil. We were in our grandparent’s apartment in Brooklyn, NY; and I jokingly told Dad, “hey! The Beatles are in town!! Wanna go see ’em??” And he simultaneously smirked and snarled, “yeah, right!!” It was a definite snarlsmirk.

That happened in 1964, kids!! FIFTY FOUR YEARS AGO!! How come it feels like a couple months ago? Well OK, maybe a couple years. Now I hear there’s a 50th anniversary edition of the White Album being released. Yikes!! Sure, I’m 64 now… but that’s how long my body has been roaming the planet. My spirit is still convinced I’m in my 20s or 30s. But my body slaps me back into reality when I do normal chores like chopping wood or hoeing in the garden. The mind says “GO!” and later the body says, “OK, so now you hurt everywhere. Happy??”

Well yes, I’m happy, but in pain.

Yeah, we’re getting old. I can accept it most of the time… I certainly like it better than NOT getting old. And I’ve learned to embrace and even celebrate the milestones. For example, I’ve asked Santa (or more accurately Mrs. Santa) to put the 50th Anniversary White Album on my wish list for Christmas. Another celebration: this Friday we get to hear Arlo Guthrie perform what’s perhaps his most famous piece of work, “Alice’s Restaurant.” And that’s 51 years old!! Sheesh. Arlo is still making music but he’s not as popular as, say, Adele or Katy Perry or Elton John or whatever. What that means in commercial terms is the ticket prices for his shows are MUCH more reasonable. We even have some very nice seats about 6 rows back from center stage! His music has always been dear to us; so we’re looking forward to a nice evening. We’re driving down to Kalamazoo tomorrow afternoon, getting a room for the night, out to dinner, then to the show. We’ll hit the hay in the hotel after the concert; then get back in time to set the stinkin’ clocks back for that extra hour of shuteye.

Us old farts gotta get our rest ya know.
———————————————-

A dear friend of mine got me a t-shirt awhile back that reads, “I May Be Old But I Got To See All The Cool Bands.” Well lots of them anyway… here are a couple examples. Good times!!

A Funny Hallowe’en Story

Here we are again, the grandsons are at our house, it’s late outside, and cartoons are done. Time for the youngsters to hit the hay, and if the hay doesn’t cry too loudly or hurt too badly, then Ollie and Gabe might be able to get some sleep. The hay may not like being hit you see. Not sure if anyone has ever asked. Anyway… teeth are brushed, grandsons are settled in for the night.

“Good night you guys,” I say to both.

“Will you write us a story?” asked Gabe.

“What should I write about?” I queried.

“Ollie,” said Gabe, “what should Papa write about?”

“Well it’s gonna be Hallowe’en soon…” I offered.

“Yeah,” says Ollie, “write a funny Hallowe’en story.”

Well I don’t know about funny, but I do know how to write very silly things. So here goes:

I think this Hallowe’en should be extra special. Ollie could maybe dress up like a vacuum cleaner, and Gabe could be an electric train set. No… that won’t work; we’d have to have very long power cords so they wouldn’t be able to go very far. Perhaps Gabe could be a corn stalk and Ollie could be a bean pod. Or maybe we could color them both green and they could go as two peas without a pod!!

Or not…

I know!! They could just wear their regular costumes, but we could go trick or treating in that one neighborhood where the only treats you get are pepperoni and venison jerky. I believe that’s in the Upper Peninsula of Italy if I’m not mistaken. On the other hand, we could stay local and when we get to people’s houses we could sing “How Much Is That Turkey In The Window” and ask for drumsticks and wings. We could keep the gravy in our pockets… nothing is more satisfying that dipping a turkey wing in your gravy pocket just before a nice nibbling session.

The new Hallowe’en tradition that never happened is the truly awesome practice of yodeling with a mouthful of chocolate milk. This is done by the full moon while walking between houses during trick or treating. If you are actually able to do this it sounds like a strange gargling noise. Try to keep the chocolate milk in your mouth while you walk, we wouldn’t want the werewolves to slip and slide on the milk trail.

My costume will probably be… um… I dunno… how’s about I dress up like a raisin tree. You know, a tree that is in full bloom with raisins. Yes, I know there’s no such thing as a raisin tree; but walking around makes me hungry and when we go trick or treating I’ll be able to pick the raisins off my costume and eat them with my face and hands.

Finally, when we all get back home we’ll need to dump out your trick or treat bags to count how many pieces of turkey venison pepperoni jerky you get. We’ll also need to make sure that if you get any chocolate by mistake, that I take them and quickly plop them into my gravy pockets so I can munch on them later.

If you don’t like any of these ideas, I suppose we could just go regular trick or treating and just get a bunch of candy and stuff.

But that might be boring.

A Silly Letter To Fossilfeet Grandsons

Dear Fossilfeet,

Now that you have been eating all those bug flavored crayons, please remember to wash the tree cups with yellow potato hair before Santa starts singing rodeo songs again. You probably know by now that only really good children will get spaghetti with baseballs for dinner. That’s exactly why I have gone to the Coconut Store for a fresh batch of pencil slime.

Sometimes I can see through walls!! Other times, I walk right into them. It all depends on whether they are made of glass or gravy. The gravy can be scraped off with a Radio Rake and used to make a very yummy Chocolate Pudding Pot Pie. Just add a few handfuls of ice crackers and about 3 quarts of raisin skins and you’ve got yourself a brand new bag of fluffy pajamas. This is best served in a steaming hot squid basket just before the full moon drops its corn dust in the hall closet.

All joking aside, I really need to ask you both an important question: why do you keep asking the toaster where the cat is hiding his new computer?? Don’t you know that toasters will make a horrible clanging noise when they fall out of bed?? Do you really think the cat will use his computer to draw up plans to make another burping shed? I mean, I don’t even know why people have to use the shed for burping… you can burp just about anywhere these days. Just always remember to be polite after you burp and say, “more soda please.”

Now we get to the part where I issue you your work assignments. After all, there is much to be done around here. Always remember that doing chores with a smile on your face requires you to be both quick and slimy at the same time. Chores include mud making (we need 372 pounds for the upcoming Snork Festival), telling stories to the lawn tractor, and on Tuesdays we also need someone to grease the bath mats. Oh, and not to forget: we need someone to wash, dry, and fold all the firewood before we plant it in the seaweed sauce for next year’s log harvest.

Very well then. As you can see, the sky will turn purple with pink polka dots shortly after we put the macaroni and cheese in our pillows. New dust lanterns will walk to school together to learn about ketchup farming in New Norkulus. The cream cheese I put in my shoes will give my ankles great happiness; and I can’t wait to tell them how silly they looked at Harmonica Harry’s liquid television store. Snakes will give more money than ever before to all the owners of cellphone activated minnow traps in Northern Michigan.

I like you very much, and I’m glad we don’t have to argue over that last piece of peach dust I found in the Martian Money Basket I’ve been sniffing. Please tell your parents that we are very pleased with their nervous systems. Remember to have the scientists inspect your nostrils before you go flying backwards through the jelly spraying trucks.

Peace, Love, and Hugs,

Papa

 

Are You Ready For Some Football?

No. I’m NOT ready for no stinkin’ football. Call me any name in the book you like. OK, get any book you like and call me names out of it, see if I care. I’m not afraid to admit it: I’m a US citizen and I am not fond of football. Actually, I’m not really fond of any sport when it gets right down to it. Sure, I know how to go to a game and support loved ones as they run out to the field and chase the ball. I mean, sheesh, I can play nice. On such occasions I’ll even find myself jumping from the stands and rooting for the home team. I’ll consider myself innocent on those counts due to temporary insanity.

You see, sports are basically against my religion. But then, religion is also against my religion. Both activities generate way too much ego driven squabbling if you ask me.

I know… nobody asked me. Well as Grandma Loftus used to say, “that’s my two cents. Nobody asked me fer it, but I give it to ya’s anyhow.” Not sure if she liked sports or not, but every once in awhile she’d belt out her rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.”

I really loved that lady.

Well wait now… I actually did have a rather enjoyable football experience recently.  Although many Michiganders remain what often appears as irrationally hopeful, the Detroit Lions have often been accused of impersonating a professional football team.  However, a couple weeks ago, I was flipping channels and noticed they were winning… against the New England Patriots!!  The Lions whomped the Patriots 26 to 10 !!  Now that was cool!!

Now baseball is OK. Yes, I know it’s a sport; one which I’ve actually played!! Ah, Little League… those were the days. Even though I’m originally from New York, I think the Yankees need to come in last place for a few decades. It’s someone else’s turn for crying out loud!! Here in West Michigan if the Tigers fall on their hineys we turn to Chicago and root for the Cubs. The Cubs have actually done pretty darn good lately!! I don’t really know any of the player’s names, so of course I have no idea about their records. And I guess the only time I really watch much baseball is during the World Series; and only then when I’m rooting for one underdog or another. And much of the time I don’t even watch the Series.

So OK, I don’t really care that much about baseball either.

So much money!! And all that merchandising!! Oy yoy yoy. Not to mention the interference with many of my favorite programs because a game precludes one of my favorite shows. We don’t really watch all that much TV as it is, so when one of “our shows” gets knocked out of the schedule by a ball game we get a bit annoyed. Some would say we’re still in the stone age because we get all our TV from our antenna. Mostly we find ourselves watching BS television: CBS and PBS (ha, ha ha, I make silly joke of BS) (ha). We have a few favorites that we watch consistently, so one can imagine the frustration when NCIS is delayed because “it’s a big game tonight!! The Packers are playing the Red Wings (or something).”

“Awww Mannn!!”

But WAIT!! There really IS some baseball I’ve always enjoyed; for as long as I can remember really. It’s a special team that Bud Abbott and Lou Costello talked about. The team was known for their strange names. Maybe you’ve heard of them…

My Car Is Not A Professional Wrestler From Detroit

Rather weird title to a story, right?? I mean, nobody has ever asked whether my car was a professional wrestler. Come to think of it, nobody has ever asked whether my cordless drill is a veterinarian; nor has anyone wondered if my antique radio is related to the Queen of England. And I have absolutely no idea what any of that is all about, but it was fun to write those silly things with my typing fingers.

OK… so one might (or might not) ask, why would I tell all of you that my car is not a professional wrestler? Well you see it’s like this: my car is a minivan named Sienna. I only recently learned that she is female; but when I went to the Google to look up her name, the photo of a woman from Detroit popped up on the side of the screen. Apparently, Sienna the wrestler is a “two-time Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion.” I never met her, but I’m thinking I’d never want to make her angry.

No, my Sienna is from a factory in Princeton, Indiana. We recently found her sitting in a lot in Holland, Michigan. Her appearance was very timely; because my brand new 2001 Chrysler Town and Country was starting to behave rather badly. I don’t know if the Chrysler was a boy or a girl, but I dubbed it “Old Rattle-Bonken” because of the strange noises the suspension made when going over even the smallest bumps. I was hoping to drive it a couple more years, so we got the transmission rebuilt. Then the speedometer started dancing strangely and my brain started worrying about what was next. Therefore, Old Rattle-Bonken was traded in for Sienna.

When we first got the Town and Country, we thought we had something really special. Heated seats, leather interior, electric sliders, no rust… very clean. But then came this crazy Toyota thing. All kinds of bells and whistles, many of which I still don’t know how to use. It even warns me when cars are coming if I’m backing up!! Warns me if somebody is next to me in my blind spot!! Has a navigation system!! Moon roof!! VERY QUIET!! One of the quietest cars we’ve ever owned.

Just like the Chrysler, Sienna has steering wheel controls for the radio. Also has even more… I can connect my smellphone to her brain with bluetooth. Haven’t done that yet. Oh wait, I did by accident once. Then the other day I noticed this strange picture of a face with its mouth open on one of the little buttons on the steering wheel. I pressed it… a menu came up on the dashboard, and a woman started talking to me!!

“Blah blah blah… voice recognition… blah blah commands blah blah help.” I was so amazed I only comprehended bits and pieces of what she was saying. Then she went silent and the menu disappeared from the display screen. My experience with computers started to kick in, and I pressed the button again. More voice command stuff… but this time after she quit talking I said, “play the CD please.” She replied “disk,” and I answered, “yes.” Then she said “yes;” and VOILA!! the CD started to play. Then I said, “FM radio,” and she echoed my command, and I said “yes” and she said “yes” and the FM radio started to play.

Was this cool or what??

Then I got more adventurous: “tune to 720 AM.” She replied, “pardon?” Hmm… ok let’s try FM… “tune to 90.3 FM.” “Pardon?” she responded. I guess some commands just don’t register. Tried to go to the Google again and look for a list of voice commands that work but came up dry. Oh well, I’ll just keep trying. Maybe I’ll scour the interwebs some more to see what I can find. I’ve often wondered how safe some of this high tech car stuff might be, but looks like it might actually be helpful. Unless I’m hungry.

“Sienna, where’s the nearest restaurant?”

“Pardon??”

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And now for something completely different…

I Had A Code Id By Doze

I hope none of you can forgive me, but as some of you may know I missed the “Happy Friday!!!” deadline this yesterday; which was the day before today because today is Saturday now and I haven’t posted a new “Happy Friday!!!” until just now, which actually makes it a “Happy Saturday!!!” but I have a very good excuse in spite of this questionably punctuated run-on sentence.

Yes.

You see, Wednesday evening I snorked something jingly in my nose, and my throat started to raspify and also sorify, neither of which are words but they describe in pretty accurate detail the ouchiness of my throat place. I was getting a stinkin’ cold for cryin’ out loud. This was not something I deemed fair; so I tried to gargle some Listerine and HOLY ACKKK PTOOO that stuff is NASTY!! Didn’t help much neither.

Then I sucked on a zinc lozenge or two or maybe three and that didn’t stop the onset neither. OK, now it was time for the Holy Moly Vitamin C With Extra Goodies Fizzy Thing and the nasty bug didn’t let go. So… then I went to work Thursday morning.

Then, I came home from work Thursday morning. I had some Campbell’s Chicken Gumbo soup to which I added about 1 teaspoon of thyme, 1 teaspoon of sage (those open the sinuses) and heated it up to a bubbly wazoo. As soon as the boiling wazoo was blubbining, I took the soup off the heat and added the finely chopped VERY LARGE CLOVE of garlic that I harvested from the garden the other day. Covered it quickly, came back in a couple minutes and the garlic was cookified enough to be palatable but not harmed. Too much heating of fresh garlic reduces its cold whomping properties you see.

Too soon old, too late smart sometimes, but I’m getting better at listening to my body and my friends. On Thursday, a friend told me just before I left work, “you need to be warm and get some rest.” And my body said, “I’m sick, take me home now.” Then I called in sick for Friday too, and enjoyed more cold killing soup and much sleeping.

OK then! I feel much better now thank you. And although I’m a very huggy guy, we went to a large gathering tonight and I warned all my friends that I’ve been fighting a cold. Most ran away screaming and flailing their arms in terror (I exaggerate slightly perhaps). Others hugged me anyway. Well, only three hugged me anyway. But I don’t blame those who didn’t… I don’t want anyone to suffer. My Beautiful Girlfriend had me look it up today… you can be contagious for 5 to 7 days after the cold symptoms appear!! So, I’ll be warning my friends until Thursday because I love them.

There, that’s the story my friends. As I mentioned earlier, I’m getting better at taking care of myself when illness attacks. In the “good old days,” I would have taken cold medicine and tried to tough it out at work, and continue my daily routine. This would inevitably cause a cold to last for well over a week rather than a couple days. I’ll try to make this a habit when a cold knocks on my snotlocker.

I like ditching the bugs more quickly, thank you.

Ker-Choo!!

Life Is Good And I’m Livin’ Lard!

My Beautiful Girlfriend and her Beautiful Friends will soon be having a Beautiful Time “camping” in a cabin up in Beautiful Lelanau, and leave me All Alone with the Beautiful Cat Mr. Freddy The Freeloader and No Adult Supervision; as described by this Beautiful Run-On Sentence with Beautifully Superfluous Capitalization And That’s Just The Way I Roll.

Isn’t that Beautiful? Yes, it is.

This is PARTY TIME, kids!! That’s right, when the wife’s away, the husband will, well… EAT!! Yes, I know, this is something most people do every day. But when I party down, I don’t mess around. I go for the high-calorie, high-cholesterol goodies that give my mouth and flavor flingers great joy. Yes my friends, I plan to eat pizza and other nutritious snacks.

Perhaps I’ll have a Fried Chicken Night, with a Side Order of Macaroni & Cheese. These delicacies are Capitalized because I rarely eat them anymore. And our local Meijer makes some pretty darn good Fried Macaroni & Chicken Cheese. Not sure what Fred’s having… his “goodies” come in a can and it doesn’t look very appetizing to me. Sure, there are enticing labels like “Sea Captain’s Choice,” and “Mariner’s Platter,” but even though I love to eat dead fish it just doesn’t really give my sniffer anything to drool about. Unlike many of our previous critters, Mr. Fred has little use for people food. Oh well, that’s more for me!!

Of course, I suppose I could do something really silly like go out in the garden and pick some more beans. The scarlet runner beans are producing like crazy, and I don’t want any to go to waste. Got some greens that need picking too… Might even get ambitious and blanch and freeze some. I mean, hey, do I know how to party or what??

Well regardless of all that weird, healthy garden stuff, I’m looking forward to some alone time when I can have me some good eats. I believe my mouth will be very happy, and my belly will feel like I ate a wheelbarrow load of lead sinkers. I’ll watch my limbs very carefully to see if any large cholesterol molecules glob together and travel about under my skin. I’m sure I’ll pay for my fun when it’s time to step on the bathroom scale.

I have a feeling that when my Beautiful Girlfriend returns I’ll be really ready to behave myself. I don’t wanna croak from Lardening of the Arteries.

I’ll be eating at home mostly… and if not, you can bet I won’t be going to this restaurant!!

Adjustment Between The Ears

Hello, and thank you for tuning in to this week’s antenna ranching installment. Work has been removing my capillaries again, and although I was in a bit of an emotional slump recently I’ve decided to staple feathers to my cat’s pajamas and anonymously send ice cream to the corporate headquarters via parcel post. Surely these stress relief methods will result in at least two or perhaps even seventeen new buttons on Mrs. Jingledweeb’s radish basket.

Huh?? Not to worry… just letting off a little steam there…

Those of you who know me are aware that I am a geek by trade and a gardener by passion. The geek boy role pays the bills, the garden feeds my soul (and also my family!). In other words, computer support is what I do, but it’s NOT who I am. Today’s economy, however, can make one wonder what the future will bring. For the first time in my life I’m learning what it feels like to focus WAY too much on my job; especially the part of the job when I retire.

The result of focusing on retirement can be very detrimental to productivity. I’ve said out loud to my friends, “I’m really getting tired of this crap.” Not a very good attitude, really. However, the increasing workload can make a person frustrated at best, and at times even depressed. Too much to do, and I could literally live at work and never get it all done.  This situation is certainly not unique to me, many of my coworkers find themselves in the same or even worse boat. “Efficiency,” they call it. That’s a euphemism for “we’re gonna whittle the number of employees down to the bare minimum (or less) but all those who are left get to have all their work.”

Our upper echelon seems to have absolutely no clue what we peasants are going through… they just keep saying things like “right-sizing” and “cost effectiveness.” We working folk look up the corporate ladder and see an upper crust that is getting their pockets lined nicely each year; but we’ve had miniscule raises for several years now.

And guess what? This is a worldwide phenomenon over which I have absolutely no control. I’ve been taking my job way too personally lately. I’ve been trying to manage an unmanageable workload, and then I go home in a somber mood. “I just can’t keep up… people must be getting impatient,” I tell my lovely wife. “It’s not your fault,” she reassures me. “Just try to do the best you can… it will be over soon.”

Yeah, I know. Only 1 year, 5 months, and 19 days left to go before retirement.

Even though I’m growing older, I’m still a child in old man’s clothing. I’m usually the one who likes to be silly and help people at work laugh. I do my best to stay grateful; and I verbalize that to my friends. Needless to say, when I’m down, they are often alarmed. Some of them remind me of things I would normally be saying to them; and believe me, that’s a very good thing for me.  I just need to adjust what’s going on between my ears.

The reminders all basically boil down to these simple guides:

A) Don’t sweat the small stuff.

12) EVERYTHING is small stuff.

7) Maintain some boundaries – balance the job with your real life.

p4) Don’t take this work stuff too seriously.

*@) Try to smile. It is much more pleasant than frowning; and

Red) There are many in this world who are much less fortunate than me.

So, the last couple days I’ve been reprogramming. Funny how the older I get, the less I know. If I can stay in that frame of mind, I can survive this work stuff by learning new ways to cope. I can let go of the things I simply can’t control. I can have a life outside of work even! I can raise a nice garden and get my hands nice and dirty! I can take time to laugh! I can even stop using so many exclamation points!

Or not!!

And, I can include a video that is very silly indeed… and laughter is very good medicine.