Friday, April 29, 2005

Howdy, Miss, Haven't I Seen You Somewhere?

Pick up lines

Who cuts your hair?

Don’t you just love pickled beets?

Didn’t I see you on Jeopardy?

I love the way your chin moves when you chew.

Can I read you your rights?

What’s your sign?

I had a pit bull with eyes just like yours.

I need a hug

Do you know any ATM machines near here?

Sell me some of your sizzle.

Am I hearing your beeper, or mine?

I’m not wearing any underwear.

May I show you my favorite magic trick?

Please check and see if my fly is open.

You could charm a snake.

I bet you wonder how I got my Purple Heart.

I teach the severely retarded.

I teach tongue placement to lispers




Your teeth would look good in a cup beside mine.

I’m ready. I have a new battery in my pacemaker.

If you’ll sit on my lap we can go riding on my scooter.

I have some Geritol on ice in my apartment.

Your hearing-aid is squealing, or is it mine?

What are you doing after Bingo?

Quick, have you got a spare nitro-glycerin capsule?

My life expectancy is two years seven months. Yours?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


   Sometimes the word we want to use to describe an experience doesn't exactly fit.

   For example: this morning the sunny alarm woke me at seven. Then I had a warm fuzzy breakfast of Farina, muffin, and scrambled egg.  Then I took a delicious hot shower.

   One of the creatures in Alice in Wonderland says, "When I use a word, it means exactly what I want it to mean.  It's just a matter of who is the boss: the word, or I."

    That of course is from the author who said, "Twas brillig in the slithy tome." 

   Why should the meaning of a word be cast in cement?  Words should be like butterflies, flitting about and each one beautiful.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Before the Hereafter

   Up at 3 am thinking I should add something to the journal, just to keep it "alive".  So here is some drivel to add to Dribble.
   My niece and I were discussing the purpose of life.  She felt that she was wading through the "muck" of her life hoping her life would exhalt Christ.  I asked if she thought her life was really "muck", her word, and she back-tracked a bit, saying she meant the dull daily routine.
   I am non-religious, so that explanation for life did not fit me.  I said that my life was a novel that I am reading.  It has had its exciting chapters and its dull ones. The chapter I am on is pretty dull, but that the conclusion ahead would, I hoped, be more interesting.  There might even be an epilogue, I surmised.
   She said the epilogue would be the most important part. By epilogue we meant after-life.
   Actually I don't expect an after-life, but it is reasonable to at least consider it.
   My cousin, 89, expects an after-life without pain, in which she could wear loose white frocks with blue trim, and people keep their appointments.  She would have a large bed in which she would not feel cramped.  Her garden would grow without weeds.  In fact, she was describing her present life without the constraints she has placed upon herself.
   One of my tablemates believes in an after-life, but will only make jokes about it, saying she is going to "Republican, cat-free, heaven."  Some of my journal friends would say that if there are no cats in heaven, they aren't going to go there either
   The Menonite choir that comes to visit our old folks home sings regularly about "Streets of Gold" and "Dinner time in Heaven and the table's heavy laden."  I asked what they eat in heaven and no one answered.  I wonder what gold streets are good for?
   Well, wondering about the purpose of life, and the nature of a possible after-life has filled forty minutes that would have been spent tossing and turning in bed.  It has added an entry to a sparse journal. 

   Big finish with a joke:The parson asked the elderly resident of a rest home if he ever considered the hereafter.
   "Oh, yes," said the old timer.  "Often I walk into a room and ask myself, 'Now what did I come in hereafter?'."
   --Chuck at 4 am

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Another Car Survey

My tablemate, Wilma, was shocked to find that her new Toyota had no keyhole on the passenger side door.  Car must be opened from the drivers' side.

I thought that was curious, so I took a tour of the parking lot on my scooter.  Ah hah.  I found a Lincoln that has no passenger side keyhole.  In fact it had no keyhole at all, just a combination keypad on the drivers side.  I wonder if it works when the battery is dead.  Maybe Lincoln's batteries don't go dead.

I also found a keyless passenger side door on a Jeep, a Nissan, a Ford, and a Honda.  Is that the way cars come now?


In the comments section below...ryanagi tells why... car doors are "keyless" now.  You press the key in your hand and the door unlocks.  Wilma, the car owner mentioned above, found this out too, to her amazement.  She says, "One of these days, I am going to read the owners manual."

We're just twentieth century kids that have lived into the twenty-first.  We have a lot to learn about modern conveniences

Singing the Blues

Lenny, the Paradise Gourami, has been renamed Herman, and moved to a larger bowl with some living plants in it.  He must be happy because his fins have turned from pale white to bright blue and he moves about more.


   Lenny, before                      Herman, after

Monday, April 18, 2005

As Changeable as the Weather

Eva, see entry below, who was engaged, then wasn't, then was, who fell and broke her hip, now has broken leg instead.  It was, or was not depending on who is telling the story, operated on yesterday.

This adventure may, or may not, be continued later.

Getting a straight story in the old folks home is difficult.

As the housekeeper told James Thurber in My Life and Hard Times, "They are here with the reeves."

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Life in an Old Folks Home -- Continued

   Eva, octogenarian, who is engaged to Milton, likewise, fell while getting out of bed and broke her hip.  She is in the hospital.

   Enough said, that's life in the old folks home.

                           == 0 ==

   Emma reported that someone stole her wine while she was at dinner.  She showed the empty bottle to prove her loss.  Later it was found that her son took her full bottle away because the caregivers said she "couldn't have wine in her room without a doctor's okay.":

                           == 0 ==

   Maxine reported that during the recent rain, people came in from outside and got into her bed with their muddy shoes.  They brought all their animals with them and they are on the walls, all around, and were "still there".

                             == 0 ==

   One night I heard a disturbance in the hall and looked out to see Ida in her nightgown, standing by the outside door, directing Frank to search for an intruder between cars in the parking lot.  Frank was armed with a pocket knife.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Viva Amerika!

Things are getting back to normal.  I spotted the best looking car in the parking lot.  I drew close enough to read the make.

I am proud to report it was a Ford.

Well, there actually was one that looked even better.  It was Lincoln, a Ford product. 

Let's hear it, three cheers for the red, white, and blue.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Two Updates

1. Milton and Eva's wedding which had been announced, then postponed, then called off, is back ON again for May 21st. 

2. The fish, see entry immediately below, was not abandoned, has an owner and a caregiver.  A larger bowl is promised.  He (she) is not my responsibility. (whew).  He was alive this morning.  Thanks for tips on caring for fish.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Someone put a small plastic aquarium, about a quart of water, with a bit of plastic seaweed, and one small goldfish on a table in the common area of the old folks' home. 

How long can the fish live there?  Even if I adopted it, what could I do to sustain it? 


You fish owners, suggestions please.

Chuck, Wednesday evening, 7 pm. and counting down.


   What is life like, living in a residence where folks eat their evening meal at 4:30 P.M. and go to bed at 7:30 P.M.?

   Very quiet. 

   After supper seven, sometimes eight, of us old folks gather for a game of rummy.  It is a simplified version we have adapted for old folks.  No longer do we shout "rummy" when a person discards a playable card.  That would occur too often in a senior game.  Instead we merely gently point out the error and ask the miscreant to make the play and discard a different card.

   We freely look at one another's hand and suggest adjustments. "You could discard that Ace, it doesn't go with anything."

   "But I like Aces.  Do they count ten or fifteen?"



   When someone "goes out" we lay our cards on the table face up, and the fun of adding the score begins.  Some of us have forgotten our basic addition facts, and others mis-remember them.

   "Seven and eight is seventeen, and ace makes twenty, and two jacks is forty-one." 

   "How much is 35 and 28?"  Who knows?  Adding single digits is challenge enough.

   We dutifully record the scores in a note book, but no one cares.  However a record is nice because we all like to complain, "I haven't won in six months."  And others can look at the book and say, "Oh, yes you have, you won on August 18th."

   "Well, I wasn't counting that."

   We play with two decks and have to use Large Index cards, or we couldn't see them across the table. We announce out-loud each play to help old eyes discern.  "I am playing the seven-eight-nine of clubs."

   To make matters merrier, we add the jokers.  We're still laughing because one night Nancy was dealt three of the four jokers, and couldn't play 'em becauseof some improbable combinations.

   "How can you simplify rummy," I hear you ask.  "It's a child's game already."  Well, we have, so we can cope, and we still have to help each other.  It is cooperative rummy

    Isn't it boring to play such a simple minded game night after night? 

   Oh, Lord, yes.

Monday, April 11, 2005

A Mind of Its Own, or...

...It's Midnight and the Kitties are Sleeping.  Cats

   At three A.M. I pass the computer on the way to the bathroom, and I notice that it is on.  The monitor is dark but the mouse is glowing. 

   I am sure I turned it off at bed time.  Maybe it turned itself on to download something it thought I should have, or maybe it needed to do some hard drive housekeeping that I forgot to do.  It seems to have a mind of its own sometimes.  It loves to interupt me while I am working to look for viruses or spyware.  I have a program that I have to disable before I can do anything in the morning. 

    Thanks Karen, Donna, Paula, Judy, Sylvia, Sara, Val, and soulmate Krissy for being such a nice harem. Trouble with thanking your loyal regulars is that you forget to mention some and some I know by screen name only.  Paul, I didn't think you'd want to be included in my "harem". (Karen, I think I'm through editing now.)

   Back to bed. 



Sunday, April 10, 2005

Three for No Reason

Here are three items for no reason except I haven't posted for three days, and I am compelled to do so.

My college sweetheart whom I married.   My latest doodle in Paint

A confession:  someone put a bottle of brandy in my refrigerator months ago.  I hate brandy.  After working around it for a long time, I finally THREW IT OUT. Perfectly good brandy.  I reluctantly confess this heresy, but confession is good for the soul.

Friday, April 8, 2005

Weekend Assignment #54-- Words of Wisdom


Thursday, April 7, 2005

Paying Bills Online -- Maybe

   I was born back in the Industrial Age, and am now living a busy life in the Information Age.  Here is child of the Roaring Twenties paying his bills online like a baby-boomer, or whatever it is that people born late in the last century are called.

   In February I had my Chevrolet Astrovan "smogged", as we call it, and the confirmation of that inspection sent electronically to the state capitol in Sacramento where Arnold Schwartznegger resides.

   AND then I got online and sent my credit card number to the Department of Motor Vehicles for my 2005 registration.  And that was that.  Or so I thought.

   Today I got a notice of overdue automobile registration, with a bill, AND WITH A $ 47 PENALTY ADDED ON.

   Tomorrow, I will put an old fashioned check in the old fashioned red, white, and blue mail box, and hope to get my new old fashioned 2005 decals back... the same way.


Wednesday, April 6, 2005

How I Simplify My Life

   To leave room in my head for mind games, such as the ones mentioned in the entry below, I am constantly trying to simplify my life. 
   How can one simplify life in an old folks home more than it already is?
   One: dressing down.  I wear two, count ‘em, two garments.  Pants and T shirt.  I can get dressed and ready for breakfast in less than one minute.  Oh, I do have to add one sock and one shoe.  The other sock and shoe are on my wooden leg all the time.  What? You don’t wear underwear?  Yes, I do.  The pants are loose washable garments and they are my underwear.  I just don’t wear any outerwear over them.
   Two:  bed making.  This is even quicker.  I don’t. Zero time spent.
   Three: Food preparation and clean up.  All done by the old folks home staff.   Zero time spent.
   Four: Medication.  I am stuck here.  Seven pills in morning and I can’t reduce that further.  I have to open each pill bottle, take out the medication, close the bottle, and then take the pills I have lined up on the kitchen sink.  I even have to split one pills so I can take half. Ten minutes, minimum, time spent. 
   Five:  Plan the day’s activities.  The staff does that with current
events, games, bingo.  Time spent by me, another zero.
   So what do I do with all this time I have saved? 
   Write in my journal, silly stuff like this, and the entry below. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

A Modest Proposal: A Ten Hour Clock

The wonderful Decimal World

   Observe: a wonderful world where some Arabs invented names for quantities up to nine.  And, even more wonderful, a name for nothing: zero.  Who do you suppose decided that nothing needed a name.  It was lucky for us because, with the nine names for small quantities, it became the decimal system we use for counting.
   We, most of us, have ten fingers.  We could name our fingers, pinkie, ringy, middie, pointer, thumby left, and pinkie, ringy, middle, pointer, thumby right.  And we could use them for counting too.
   A transaction in the pinky counting world might go like this.
   "How much is that doggie in the window?  The one with the wiggly tail?."
   "That doggie is pinky right dollars."
   "That’s a lot for a three legged dog."
   "Well, he is marked down from pointer right dollars."
   "I’ll give you thumby left dollars for him."
   How much easier it is to know that the dog is six dollars, marked down from nine, but the offer of five dollars is acceptable. 

    I really appreciate the decimal system when I try to do math problems using binary numbers, or hexadecimal numbers.  In binary counting there is only one and zero.  Binary counting goes 1,10,11,100,101,110,111,1000,1001, 1010,1011,1100,1101,1110, and 1111...etc.  Complicated?  Not compared to hexadecimals with numbers 1 through F.  ("F?,"  I hear you ask.  "How did F get into it?")
  Well, numerals in hexadecimals are 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,D,C,D,E,F.  Counting beyond F brings you to 10,11, ...etc… to  19, 1A,1B,1C,1D,1E, 1F.  ("effteen" if you please) followed by 20, 21, and on through 2F. ("Twenty-eff")
   Can you guess what comes after "twenty-eff"?  If you said "thirty", good for you.
   (For extra credit…what comes after FF (‘effty-eff") ?)

   There can be as many numbering systems as your imagination allows.  I once made up a numbering system with the names of playing cards as numerals.  Counting started one-club, one-heart, one-spade, one-diamond, two-club, through king-diamond, joker, one-club-oh, one-club-one-club, one-club-one-heart.  Try doing arithmetic in that system.  Just learning your basic combinations for addition would kill you: for instance, what is jack-heart plus joker?  (one-club-Jack-club, I think, but I am not sure.)

   So decimals seem easy in this ten-fingered world.  So why do I get resistance when I propose a decimal clock.
Present day clocks use three numbering systems: decimals up to sixty seconds and minutes, twelves for hours, and binary for am-pm.  Quick: how long is it from 9:57 am to 1:18 pm? 
   You may have done it (3 hours 21 minutes) but it wasn’t quick, and you had to use your fingers, admit it.
   Now, my New Clock has a day divided into 10 hours not twenty-four, 0 through 9, and one hundred minutes per hour.  Further there are 100 seconds per minute. 
   Time is written with three digits: 198 for example.  That is almost 2 o’clock, written 200.  You need seconds expressed?  Use a decimal point.  198:99 comes two seconds before 200:01.  It’s as easy as dollars and cents.
   But can I sell the idea.  No way.
   People don’t like the idea of getting up a 257 to get to work at 323.  Lunch time is 500 sharp to 520.  Twenty new-minutes is time for a leisurely meal, since new minutes are longer than conventional minutes. 
   And think of counting time.  Now we have to count one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, to count seconds.  New seconds are shorter than conventional seconds, so you count one two three four  etc for seconds.  Much easier. 
   Dinner at 8 become fashionable again, and prime time TV viewing starts at 817.  Try to get to bed by 975 though, because 257 comes early.  

Monday, April 4, 2005

An Extra Hour

   I like this daylight Time.  I get an extra hour, not of daylight, but of night.   

   I woke up a few minutes before six am.  It is still dark outside.  Whoa!  I like that.   

   I get up and come to the computer.  No need to get dressed, I live alone.  I start my journaling at night.  Curious and delicious.

Friday, April 1, 2005

Adjusting to Life in the Old Folks Home

Conventional Wisdom according to chuck:  Meals

   There are four meals a day in the real world:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, TV Snack. 

(Sunday is different: Brunch, TV snack, munch what you can find in the fridge or on the kitchen counter.)
   Breakfast is breakneck, hurried because you are late for school or work, probably grabbed on a run through the kitchen.
   Lunch is served out of a brown paper bag in most cases or from a lunch counter or school cafeteria.  It is casual, come-as-you-are and served at a table shared with classmates, co-workers, or homeless strangers who always seem to find an empty seat next to yours. Often at a lunch counter there is someone standing behind you, waiting for your seat.
   Dinner is served in the family room at six p.m.  An effort is made to appear to be dining together.  Most families are guilt-ridden enough to make an appearance of togetherness, though prime-time TV starts at seven p.m. in Central Time zone and at Six p.m. Mountain time. The start of Prime-time is the end of dinner.
   TV Snack meal takes place after the sit-coms and before the autopsies on the crime scene investigations.  Crime shows now feature mutilated corpses, bodies in morgue drawers, and mangled victims as they lie.  Last night there were close-ups of doctors peeling dead flesh from a barely living victim of an immolization. Nearly spoiled my appetite for peanut butter and mayonnaise on crackers. TV snack has become such a tradition that a special device had to be invented to serve it on: the TV tray.  Each family member has his own tray for this impromptu meal so he doesn't have to miss a single minute of the so-called drama.
   Now, when we move to an old folks home we have to re-learn our eating protocol and establish new habits.  Old habits are hard to break.  The new meals are three, and three only -- period.  Breakfast, Dinner, and Supper.
    Breakfast takes on new meaning.  It is no longer hurried because of a dash to work or school, who cares when they start on the day's crossword puzzles or rocking in the sun. It is leisurely, copious, and elegant.  There is choice of juices, orange, apple, tomato, or for those special cases, prune.  There is a dish of fruit followed by hot or cold cereal.
The day's entree follows: french toast, pancakes, or eggs, with  potatoes, buttered muffin and jam.  With coffee, cocoa, tea, or milk, that makes three breakfasts actually.  Takes some adjustment on the part of the new resident.
   Lunch is gone, replaced by Dinner.  The big meal of the day takes place at noon, before you have digested that enormous breakfast.  Salad, entree, dessert on top of your breakfast puts you to sleep for an afternoon nap.
   You wake up from your coma, I mean, nap, just in time for your Supper, at 4:30 p.m.
Your evening meal is in the middle of the day.  The evening meal is kept light on purpose.  Otherwise a diet this heavy might kill us.  Soup and sandwich, with a single cookie for dessert is enough.
   But That's It.  No TV snack.  Nothing more until breakfast a whole fifteen hours away.
   Adapting to the feast or famine routine takes some adjustments.  I adapted but put on twenty pounds of fat.  I was somewhat overweight.  Now I am gross. 
   There are other changes in life style when one moves into a Retirement Inn, but that is another story.