Saturday, April 27, 2024


     This morning I came across  a post on Facebook about a 1942 Model 12A John Deere Combine used this past fall to harvest some grain.  This antique jogged my memory of a 1950's summer job with a farm equipment dealer.  At the time I was a student of agricultural engineering at Cornell  University.  I proved myself with the veteran mechanics on that job when I was able to field service that particular model of combine and get it working properly when others had been baffled about how to fix it.  So why is it that I can remember the name of my employer from fifty years ago,  but have a huge deficiency in remembering names in other contexts.   To be honest, I have always had a weak spot about remembering names. That leads me to pondering about being aware of our weaknesses and whether we will do something about that weakness.   In the past I did try some things to improve my deficiency with a set of audio tapes.  

    Continuing with another thought I would like to comment about awareness--  especially awareness of ones impact on others.   I currently volunteer as a docent at a local museum.  I do like to tell stories about the items of interest in the museum.  However, I try to be sensitive to the reaction of the guests!  I am forthright about that by assuring them I will tell them as much as they are interested in, or simply be available for questions.   Even when they have given me permission to tell some stories, I keenly observe their reactions.  When the eyes glaze over, I know it is time to shut up!

    Further on awareness, I have to share my pet peeve about individuals  who are totally unaware of their annoying behavior.    I wonder if their minds are simply shut down by their egocentric processing of the world around them.   I find it especially annoying in conversations that are not really conversations.  I have encountered at least two of that type in recent weeks.  They will start a thread of a topic and segue from one element to another with no chance for you to make a comment.   That is bad enough, but it gets worse in that the thread of the topic can literally go on for 15 minutes or more.   Both of these persons I encountered are fine citizens and tragically they are alienating a whole community of "friends" by being unaware.  

In closing, I hope that I continue in my senior years to be aware of my own  idiosyncrasies  and to find a way to gently suggest changes for others who are unaware of their annoying behavior.


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Expressions In Poetry

     A few days ago I was reminded that April is designated by the Poetry Foundation as National Poetry Month.   There are all kinds of poetry styles.   I particularly like writing Haiku.  The poems are three lines with  of 17 syllables.  The form is five, seven, five for the three lines.  I appeals to me in simplicity and my engineering side.  Hear are some thoughts in poetry as I transition in the glories of spring and summer.

April Poetry Month

Life rhythms abide
In spite of day light saving
Time to abolish?

Positive thinking
Season pass purchase now
Geezer optimist.

E-bike riding now
Glorious activity
Spring bloom were observed

Museum gig calls
Volunteering my wisdom?
Captive audience

A final thought!   In my freshman year of college my writing skills were so bad that I had to take a remedial class in writing.   I daily thank the astute teachers that recognized my need.   That learning has enhanced my whole career as an academic where publish or perish has been so evident.   Maybe, I should get some remedial lessons in skiing before it is too late.  

Friday, April 12, 2024

Prime Time

     Just had a birthday!   Almost finishing nine decades.   One more year to go.  My son reminds me of every time my age is a prime number.   Yes, the 89th is prime.  Therefore, I can say I am in my prime!  Too bad that is not so.  However, I am blessed enough to be active both mentally and physically.   However, there is a significant difference in my physical activity versus my son's activity at 65.   On the 9th of April, he climbed Mt. Baldy at Alta Utah to ski some pristine snow.  His birthday call yesterday filled me in on his adventure.  As an avid skier myself, I get vicarious pleasure from his adventures!  From the time he was nine, he was the pace setter for our family skiers!  I think he continues to do that today with his companions on the great slopes of Utah, British Columbia and so on.   We agreed during his call that we both have been blessed with great time of skiing, both solo and with groups of friends.  I will not be around to see it, but I expect him to be one of those people that will be ripping up the slopes well into his nineties.  Perhaps he will be part of the Wild Old Bunch in Utah.  

   Meanwhile,  I hope to be celebrating my 90th birthday on the slopes at Greek Peak in 2025.   Since it is not likely the Peak will be open on April 11th, I may have to prematurely celebrate in March.   It would be nice to be able to hang around in enough good health to ski at my next prime time birthday of 97!  However, the probabilities are pretty low.   But as a friend at the museum where I volunteer who is just a few day younger than me,  reminded me that is good to aspire to better things.  Would you believe his sights are on 100.   So be it.  L'Chaim.