Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Birds! I know about birds.

Bird Facts and Fiction
When I met my wife she was an avid birdwatcher. I had heard about birds. I knew that some of them fly. Some don't. I had always considered myself a knowledgeable person on most aspects of life and I thought I knew quite a bit about the bird world.
A few examples of my knowledge were:
Larry Bird played for the Celtics for many years.
Turkeys are bigger than chickens. Both make delicious sandwiches.
I thought penguins were fish or mammals. (They didn't fly to Antarctica...duh!)
Actually, that's about the extent of my bird learning.

I did learn a few new things about these little creatures.
Did you know bat were not birds? (They fly!!!)
I thought penguins were fish! (They didn't fly to Antarctica!...DUH!)
Did you know Robins could fly? (I thought they just hopped every where.)
Cardinal's are actual bird!!! (I had never seen a live one.) I thought they were a mythical or extinct bird. They do exist. I have seen them.. I have taken pictures of them.) As Yogi Berra said " you can see a lot by observing."....perhaps George Dubbaya said that. It was all very confusing.

My little French sweetie thought it would a great idea to go to a spot in Montreal where there were nature trails. We would see some birds and enjoy nature. We paid 4$ CD (the french way) each to see a chickadee. I think we saw more birds in the parking lot.
I saw a Ford Thunderbird, AMC Hawk and a Plymouth Roadrunner parked.

It was time to upgrade my knowledge base on birds. My wife presented me with "The Audubon Field Guide for Birds." I found out that there are a few more classes of birds than I thought.
My categories were: Flying Birds and non flying birds, edible birds and not so tasty birds. Any previous book I had about birds was a cookbook.

Since my "Little Chickadee" introduced me to birdwatching, I have discovered a whole new world. A world that was flying by my head every day and I was not noticing any of it. Once you start noticing it is a "wow" experience. A "wow" world. Some birds are very intelligent (Parrots, Crows) others are dumber than Dodos (Dodos, Mourning Doves are not real clever). Some soar like Eagles (Eagles, Pelicans) Some hop around a lot but can actually fly (Robins). Some think they can fly and give it an occasional try. (Turkey). Mockingbirds seem to have an identity crisis. (Who am I? What am I?)
I enjoy watching the sanderlings on the beach. They are constantly trying to avoid the surf. They run in and out trying to avoid the surf while they are trying to find food.
When they get home at night they are too tired to eat. What a life that must be.

Birdwatching can be a lot of fun. A few things you might need:

  • Some type of bird book like Birds of North America by National Geographic or Audubon Field guide. There are many other good ones.
  • Binoculars 8 by 40, 10 by 40
  • Note pad and pen: record the day you saw that yellow bellied Sapsucker.
  • digital camera: Was that really a Yellow bellied Sapsucker?
  • Pith Helmet (optional)
  • Nerdy Companion (optional)
  • an interest in expanding your horizons. (absolutely necessary)

Monday, September 28, 2009

A letter from the Chairman

Dear Mr. Hemlock,

As the Republican chairman in your area it is my responsibility to keep my constituents well informed on current events.

As you may have heard, there is some debate going on about the Democratic sponsored health plan. There are a few issues with this health plan. I will list a few.


starting at the age 65 you will be asked yearly if you wish to be executed. You will be rewarded $1,000 at 65 if you say "Yes". If "no" Every year thereafter the amount will diminish until you reach age 70 at which time It will cost you $10,000 per year to keep your life coverage. Life coverage allows you to live another year.

If you do not wish to renew your life coverage, you will be asked to make funeral arrangements within the next 30 days and choose your "terms of Passage". this will give you the option of mass burial or mass cremation. All proceeds such as Life insurance, real estate, will be "donated" to the National Treasury to balance the budget.

You may wish to go with option "B". which is the "death lottery". It is like the draft lottery of the 70's. Your birthdate and 365 others put into a cage and then they are selected by a man who is going to be executed the next day. He really doesn't have much at stake. He's history after the drawing. If you are in the top 122, you won't make it through the year. 123 through 244 you better hope for some natural disaster wiping out a whole lot of people. 245 to 366 your home free (unless you die).

You may wish to go with option "C". It is known as "The hitman clause". Where a hitman will try to track you down. (sub clause 1*) If you wish to have advance warning it will cost you $15,000 less expenses for a week's warning, $5,000 for a days warning, $1,000 for a hour's warning that the hitman has scheduled you and is on his way. (run, limp, or crawl as fast as you can)

You will be happy to know that we talked the Democrats out of the "Irish Solution." This was proposed by Jonathan Swift in the essay "A Modest Proposal". It must be noted that many business men thought it was a wonderful idea and had business models ready in the event of eventual acceptance.

If you wish to stick with the current Republican health plan where you will be left slithering on the floor off the emergency room until you can prove you have coverage or your health plan decides to stop paying for your treatment or you have to pay out of your pocket until you and your family is bankrupt, this service will continue to be free under our plan.
I know a lot of you don't have the time to read an eleven hundred page document. We do!!
This is our interpretation of the Obama, want to kill my Mama health plan.
Oh Daddy, Oh daddy
Don't be a fatty
Obama will cook you away.

Another service rendered by the Republican party.
Save Mama and Daddy. Vote against the health plan.
...ummm...did I scare you?

Wyatt Srong

Spokesperson for American's for Truth and Stratigery (heh...heh...hee)
Crawford, Texas

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I was born in a house I helped my father build.


In my youth, my best friend, Andy, began to write his autobiography. He was eighteen at the time. He must have known something was amiss. His first sentence was: I was born in a house I helped my father build. I thought that was profound. Weird, paradoxical, impossible and profound. I knew what followed would be humorous and it was. He was a funny guy.

We would go out drinking.We would have heated discussions. He would play the bad guy and I would play the good guy. We would start out discussing a subject and he would always take the unpopular view. He would make outlandish statements like: Adolph Hitler wasn't such a bad guy. We would discuss, harangue, argue with each other, not giving any ground. Finally a little smirk would come on his face. He would be testing your convictions. He would make you think outside the box. He would make sure you knew what you were talking about. He would look for the weakness in your argument.
His whole bad guy bit was just an act.
He occasionally got a little carried away with his act. He would often mention what a wonderful country Germany was. He would refer to it as the "homeland." It was his idea of making himself interesting. The fact is: He was part Swiss and part Norwegian. He had relatives in Switzerland. Everyone knew he was not German. He knew that everyone knew. No matter..he had fun with it.
He always had German Shepard dogs.
They would have German names like Shultz, Max, Gunther, Gretchen. He would take particular delight when a little French Poodle would walk near his dog. " My Shultz could chew your little French poodle to bits". (kinda like the start of WWII.) The fact is: most of his German shepards were really sweeties. Nice dogs.

He only had one that made me nervous. I think he named him Heinz. He would not hurt you as long as you didn't move. If you blinked or breathed he would probably chew your face off. He was sit about two feet from you and stare. A blink would make him show his teeth, a breathe would make him growl. The only movement I probably would not be able to avoid was a bowel movement. This dog scared the shit out of me. Thank God, Heinz was not around for very long.

Andy was a man of the arts. We both were. We were both very pretentious about it.
We both liked Jazz for about a week, I think we liked Art for two weeks, Opera-four hours, Classic Literature was good for about three weeks, Classical music lingered for about three months. We both tried to learn Spanish one summer. (We had flashcards)
We couldn't put a sentence together but we knew words. We were men of the arts

We both liked sports. I actually was the one who played organized sports. He was the intellect. However.....anytime we competed against each other in sports, I found it difficult to beat him. He was very competitive. We liked to make our competitions interesting. We played Croquet. This sounds like a very genteel and refined sport. Wrong!!! We did not have the manicured flat lawn. NO! This was laid out like a par 90 golf course. We had hills, holes, water hazards, deep grass, and building on our course.
If we could have found an alligator, it would have been on the course. There was a lot of good natured cursing, throwing mallets at each other, fist fights all in good fun. Andy's wife usually started the fist fights.....She's feisty.
Any game we would play, we would add our own twist.

He liked to write poetry. One was called "A cat with two tails". It was about a constipated cat. You get the picture. funny!

Andy liked horses. Andy liked beer. Andy actually owned two race horses. They were really hay burners. One was a thoroughbred, one was a trotter. He brought the trotter to the county fair grounds and entered him into a race. He had a friend who was a professional driver. It was not pretty. after the race the driver said, "Run? this horse can't even walk right." The horse became a pet after that.

Andy use to like to go into town and have a beer or two/three/four. He was losing his vision due to diabetes. He couldn't drive any more so he road the horse to town. He would tie the horse to a post outside the bar right next to all the cars. Andy would bring a beer out to his horse if it was a hot day. I guess the horse liked it. It did have grain in it. I guess the horse was either very smart or an alcoholic. One day Andy went to town with the horse. He wanted to push on a little further to the next bar which was about 300 yards down the road. The horse stopped at the first bar and would not go any further. No matter what Andy did the horse would not budge. He stayed at the first bar.

My friend Andy's life was cut short. He loved his beer. This is a bad thing when you have juvenile diabetes. He decided he was going to live life his way. He tried to adjust his beer intake with insulin. It was not a good plan. He once told me he would not live to be forty.
The wheels started to fall off. His vision started to go. His kidneys started to go. After both vision and kidney's were pretty much gone he moved closer to the hospital for dialysis. One day I drove him to the hospital in a blizzard. I was scared, if he could have seen what I was driving in, he would have been scared but he kept boosting my morale and encouraging me. I made it to the hospital then I had to watch his dialysis.
I drove him back home later in the day. whew!!!
Andy finally got a kidney transplant from his brother. He had lost a couple toes, his vision and his kidneys. He never lost his thirst for learning. He learned how to be a ham radio operator. This is mind boggling to me. One of the criteria is that you have to be able to read and transmit morris code. Can you imagine learning dots and dashes and making words out of it while you are blind? Amazing!!!
After a couple of years the transplant rejected. He was waiting for another transplant when he passed away. He was 39 years old.
Something good did come out of this. Andy's wife was his caretaker for many years. She was not a high school graduate. But she went to a vocational nursing school and became a certified nurse. this is good....but not the end of the story. She continued her education. She received her bachelor's degree and her masters degree. she is in charge of the intensive care unit at the hospital where Andy spent many days. she is an amazing lady. Donna.
Andy, You were a great friend. I still think about our fun times. You are missed.
When I meet are common friends(we had many) we always talk about you. We often laugh and sometimes we get a little misty eyed. Didn't we have fun!!!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009



Incidently, If anybody recognizes this place let me know. My wife went kayaking there one weekend and she won't tell me where it is.

This blog was inspired byBozoette's list of 100 things about her and thought I'd make one for myself. Bev in white (me in RED).

She gave me the idea yesterday. (growing up in the fifties)

1. I turned 60 in February of 2003. (How did I get to be so old? It was 2002 for me. live fast, live long, and leave no good parts to harvest.

2. I am left sided: left handed, left footed, left eyed, etc. I am ambidextrous. I can't do much with either hand. I was born a lefty but people kept trying to make me right handed.

3. Red is my favorite color, though I wear more blue than red.Ditto for me!
4. I've never owned my own car.
First car:Austin Healy Sprite)
5. I dropped out of UC Berkeley after only a year. I never graduated from college.
1 year of college plus a whole bunch of night school.
6. I'm a dog person, not a cat person.
I like both, prefer a cat.
7. I've longed to feel like I was one with a horse, but never learned how to ride.
difficult to litter box train a horse.
8. I am a third generation native San Franciscan.
A New Yorker by birth.
9. My first job was distributing campaign literature for a candidate for San Francisco Supervisor (he lost). I was in grade school at the time.
I mowed lawns and shoveled snow.
10. I attended 12 years of Catholic school, but no longer consider myself a catholic.
Public school, altar boy, lapsed.
11. My blood type is O+. I am a blood donor.
O+ not a donor
12. I've been on diets since I was 10 years old.
8 pounds over HS grad weight. (Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.)
13. My first computer was an Apple IIc (before hard drives!)
I like my MacBook.
14. I hate...hate...hate Word (I'm a WordPerfect girl)
I like word and pages. never used WP.
15. My favorite movie is
A Star Is Born (the Judy Garland version--I've probably seen it over 100 times) The Graduate
16. My first pet was a cat named Socksie, who ultimately ran away.
1st pet; a dog named Wolf, he ran away, but we got him back.
17. I lost my tonsils when I was 4. (I always was careless with my things)
I still have my tonsils. My wife wishes they were in a jar. She thinks they make me snore.
18. I once took ice skating lessons (I was terrible at it)
I can rollerskate.
19. I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout.
I like Brownies and Girl Scout.....cookies.
20. My favorite food is cracked crab.
21. My favorite place is anywhere near the ocean.
I am 500 steps away.
22. Countries I've visited: Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Australia. (Also the airports of Singapore; Inchon, Korea; and HongKong) I
have been to Canada, my wife forced me to go. She lived there at the time.
23. I've been in Chicago many times, but never left the airport.
I have been to Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati, and Washington Airports. I like the rocking chairs at Charlotte airport.
24. Spring is my favorite season.
I like fall.
25. I rode in a hot air balloon once (loved it).
I have been to a few balloon festivals.
26. The first president I campaigned and voted for was Lyndon Johnson.
I am not very political.
27. I have no allergies that I'm aware of.
Don't wash my clothes with chlorine added unless you want to see a strange dance.
28. I gave birth to five children, naturally, with no drugs.
Yikes! I cry if I am constipated.
29. I hate sewing and am terrible at it.
I only buy wash and wear.
30. My first date was with Bill Farrington. I was 13 and I never dated anyone else until he went into the seminary 3 years later.
My first date was with Mary Margaret O'malley. She went to the convent to become a nun a week later.
31. I was a virgin when I married.
Not me!
32. My favorite offbeat classical composer is Gottschalk.
I like that Polish guy, Chickenowski,
33. I never "got into" rock and roll.
I love it...still.
34. I once rode a camel in the pouring rain (it was silly and fun)
I smoked a camel in the rain. I got a soggy butt.
35. I have seen orcas and humpback whales up close and personal.
This week I have seen horseshoe crabs and jellyfish.
36. I have a mole on my right cheek (face...face...face!)
I have dimples on my cheeks...Not my face, Not my face!
37. In high school I typed faster than anybody in the school.
I was an average typist in school.
38. My guilty pleasure is pancakes loaded with tons of butter and syrup.
39. I have always been a compulsive letter (now e-mail) writer.
I always enjoyed writing.
40. All I want for Christmas is world peace and a clean house--and I may have a shot at one of those, finally, this year.
Well, I am glad you hired a maid.
41. My feet would rather be bare and don't like shoes.
I second the motion.
42. I've been diagnosed with Type II diabetes.
No diabetes in my family.
45. I've been to New York three times, and have bad memories of two of those trips.
I like NYC.
I was a professional cake decorator for a few years. I don't eat cake, even on my birthday.
47. I held a snake once; he peed on me.
I held a baby once. it peed, pooped and threw up on me.
48. I sleep with the TV on most nights.
Not happening here.
49. I've done publicity for just about every organization I ever joined.
I am not a joiner.


50. I hate sunbathing. I enjoy sunbathing.
51. I speak a smattering of French and a smattering of Portuguese.
I smatter almost nothing.
52. I took piano lessons for 2 years in grammar school. Sister Mary Victor used to whack my knuckles with a ruler. I quit. My father never let me forget the money he "wasted" on those lessons.
I had a teacher who threw projectiles at her students.
53. The most beautiful sight I've seen is a tossup between the Cliffs of Mohr in Ireland and the Indian Ocean in Australia, both "sea sights."
Well I am going to have to go with my Farrah Faucet poster.
54. Two of our children died too early.
A parents nightmare.
55. I wrote a book once.
56. My favorite quote from a movie: "Ditto."
"Get off my lawn"
57. I
can iron, but don't. wash and wear.
58. I once met Judy Garland (she was very tiny).
I once met Wilt Chamberlain at a football game. He was not tiny. HUGE!
59. I have worked in medical offices for the past 20 or so years.
I have been in medical office numerous times.
60. I've never had a speeding ticket (but talked myself out of two).
2 speeding tickets for me.
61. I cry at supermarket openings, sunsets, and at the drop of a hat.
I cry at supermarket closings. remember Grand Union.
62. I'm very strong in moments of crisis. Unfortunately I've had lots of practice.
I handle crisis ok.
63. I had one sister, who was murdered.
a bummer.
64. I was the romantic lead in my high school play. I
n HS, I was in the audience of the play.
65. I wanted to adopt children, but couldn't stop birthing them long enough to apply.
not me!
66. I was either pregnant or nursing (or both) for 10 years straight.
not me!
67. I have had a pie thrown in my face (I have also thrown a pie in someone's face).
what flavor?
68. It is possible to fit two grown women and two large Christmas trees in a very small car.
It is possible to fit thirteen clowns in a VW.
69. Most people in my family have died of lung-related illnesses.
Most of my family just got old around 90 and died.
70. I have never smoked cigarettes.
I gave it up 12 years ago.
71. I smoked pot once. I was 57 at the time. It did nothing for me.
I smoked a few joints about 30 years ago. I had to give it up. people were getting suspicious. They would ask me how I was and I would roll on the floor, laughing hysterically, dropping my two bags of Doritos, My 15 slices of pepperoni, my eight slices of cheese, my 12 ritz crackers and my quart of Pepsi.
72. I kill houseplants.
I am not allowed in Florist shops for the same reason. They have my picture at the cash register.
73. There is no better chocolate than See's.
I must give it a try.
74. Coffee of choice? Peet's French Roast, black.
Seattle's best (Henry's blend)
75. I danced the polka when I was 9+ months pregnant (Jeri was born the next day).
I did the limbo under a pay toilet stall.
76. I once climbed to the top of Mt. Lassen. I was much younger then. I
heard that you were younger, years ago.
77. I don't like Shakespeare.
I like the guy, but I don't like what he writes. oh! that's the same.
78. Never been on HRT.
me either!
79. I am reluctantly pro-choice.
I know what you mean. Birth control to late.
80. I have marched in three Gay Pride parades.
I have been a parade watcher. Someone has to do it.
81. I love the sound of rain on a roof; I love walking in a light rain.
I like a soft rain, not a downpour.
82. I am not a hot-weather person.
I like hot.
83. I couldn't decorate my way out of a paper bag.
I once decorated a paper bag.
84. I have over 600 VHS tapes (anybody want an old movie on tape?)
pack em and ship em!
85. I am a shy person and am uncomfortable in the limelight.
My wife and I sing and dance in the aisles at Walmart.
86. I once wrote a weekly mental health column for the local newspaper.
Where did you get my file?
87. When I graduated from high school, I planned to be a nun.
you obviously enjoyed getting your fingers whacked.

88. I've never danced ballet, but wanted to take lessons when I was in grammar school. In my younger days I would not minded lessons from a ballerina.

89. I rarely drink alcohol. I have an occasional beer. I know when I have had enough. I usually pass out before I get there.
90. Favorite ethnic foods? A toss-up between Mexican and Chinese.
Have you ever tried Burrito foo Yung? 20 minutes later you want to pass gas.
91. I took two series of Chinese cooking classes from Martin Yan.
I can cook. How hard is it to read the instructions on a TV dinner?
92. I have always enjoyed photography and once learned how to develop my own photos--now I have gone digital.
I love digital. It covers up my 100 mistakes.
93. My favorite things to photograph: animals and young children.
My cat, birds, the beach, scenic pictures, my wife.
94. Eclipses of the sun are cool!
It gets cooler because the sun dissappears. somebody should have told you.
95. I once broke a toe by dropping frozen beans on it. (Not deliberately)
see answer 91
96. I'm afraid of roller coasters.
I love it. did it the first time at 50.
97. I fell asleep the first time I saw "Cats" and missed the whole thing.
My cat falls asleep watching humans.
98. No matter how thin I get, I will always have fat ankles.
I had thick glasses until I got the ultrathins.
99. I love watching birds, I've discovered.
I discovered a semi palmated plover on the beach the other day. We are bird watchers.
100. I hope there is an afterlife. There are a lot of old friends I want to see again.
I would like to see a few people myself. My best friends life was cut short by Juvenile diabetes.

Thanks Bev

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Growing up in the 50's (part 2)

Once upon a time there was a magical land called 1950's America. It was a strange and wonderful place.
The main occupants of this wonderful place were called "Teenagers". I was one of them. To this day, People still try to capture the essence of that era.

Cars: If you go to a vintage car show, people want to see the 1957 Chevy, the 1957 Ford hardtop convertible. (It retracted into the trunk). The look at the 1955 Corvette, The 1958 Ford Thunderbird. Let us not forget the Henry J or the Nash Metropolitan (Clark Kent's car).These vehicles are now the cornerstone of any nostalgic car show.

Fashion: I remember wearing white bucks and a coonskin hat at the same time. It was the Davy Crockett era. I also did the Mickey Mouse Club ears and penny loafers thing. after that I pretty much gave up the hat thing. They just don't make stylish hats like that any more.

This is the time that Bermuda shorts came into style. I lived in a very rural area. The first people I saw wearing them (and sandals too!) were some Jewish people from New York City. My little clique of friends were rolling on the ground laughing our asses off.
The city folks obviously didn't know how silly they looked. We got up from our moment of mirth, put our packs of Lucky Strikes back in our white t-shirt sleeves, dusted off our blue jeans, adjusted our duck's ass haircut, put our coonskin hats back on our heads and walked away muttering to ourselves.

The woman dressed a little different back then. The use of hair spray was common. In fact, it was so overused that a woman's hair was just about bullet proof. The woman also had hoop skirts with poodles or some other little creature on it. Under that they had 35 petticoats. This was also bulletproof. Well, maybe not bulletproof, but impenetrable by the average youth of my era. I didn't know women had soft hair, curves and an ass until I was 16 years old.
We didn't have hair stylist back then. The girls went an got a stinky "permanent" which looked ok for about a day. It was just not the same the second day. It was really a "temporary".

The guys went to a barbershop. My barber looked like Larry Fine of the 3 stooges. Larry is the one who is balding on top but has curly long hair in the back. He was called " Slow Joe" or "Hacker". He often had a cigarette dangling from his mouth while he cut your hair. This guy was so slow that my hair was growing faster than he was cutting it. One day I walked out of his shop and I felt something wet on my head. It was a puddle of wildroot cream oil. Yuk!!! I walked a short distance, went into a store and the clerk started laughing like crazy. He said, "You just got a haircut from "Hacker", didn't you?" I knew it was time to find someone else to cut my hair.

Music: To this day ad agencies use songs of the fifties in their commercials. It was great music and it has held up to the test of time. Every radio market still have their "oldies" stations. we even had rap back then. We didn't call it rap. I mean, Walter Brennan singing "old rivers" Lorne Greene singing "Johnny Ringo" and let's not forget "Ambrose, Part 5". Actually, the first real rock and roll song I remember was "Rock around the Clock" with Bill Haley and the Comets from the Movie "Blackboard Jungle" with Glen Ford and Sidney Poitier. Good movie; great song. Who hasn't danced to "The Platters"?

Reality check: It was the best of times. but it was not without danger. I remember friends getting polio. It was a very dangerous disease. I saw some people come back to school with withered arms, or they couldn't walk. a few made a full recovery. many were messed up for life.
I remember the threat of Communism. We had a drill in school where you would dive under your desk in case of Nuclear attacked. Wow! I was saved by my desk from a Nuclear explosion. Hmm! They didn't mention anything about fallout. You know; A week later when your hair falls out, your teeth fall out, and your internal organs fall out.

Politics were about the same back then as now. weird as it may seem, they were trying to get through a universal health care package as far back as the Truman Administration (1945-1952). The Republicans shot it down. In the early fifties, Joe McCarthy could say you were a communist. If he did, you were screwed. He didn't need any proof. People were so terrified they let him do what he wanted. One day someone stood up to him. Edward R. Murrow. That is when News people had integrity. Most politicians had integrity. Now you have Rush Limpaw and Mark Sanford. The Democrats have their share of jerks too. But these guys seem to stand out.
Well, Life was better back then. remember only one parent had to work. The company you worked for took care of your health plan. When people say that America is the best country in the world, the are talking about the 1950's, not today.
This was the time of Roy Rogers, Hula hoop, American Bandstand, Mickey Mouse Club, (I still have a crush on Annette Funicello), flat tops, ponytails, drive in movies, jujubes, Frank Gifford, ....Frank Gifford!!! ummm!...Frank Gifford?

Monday, September 7, 2009

My two cents (muttering and sputtering)

I must start by saying that I am an easy going person. At one time I was as calm as a Buddhist monk at a petting zoo. To be more truthful, I used to be an easy going person.
What happened? I am sure that the crankiness comes with age. Perhaps it comes with wisdom. Quite possibly medication. Maybe tight shoes. Possibly the guy driving behind us, texting, while driving up on the curb with his Hummer that has a dented bumper. (That happened this morning.)
At one time Andy Rooney was a wonderful, happy go lucky guy. He may have been a comedy writer early in his career. A joke teller, a raconteur, a delight to be around. Now he gets on television every week and tells people, " stop sending me all this crap. No, I will not clean my desk off. No, I will not do something with my eyebrows. Yes, I like my belt up to my nipples. Leave me alone!!!"
I have recently noticed that Clint Eastwood has been getting a little peevish in his movies. Hmmmm! After thinking about it for a minute, he has always been peevish.
In fact, he has probably done in more people than Rambo. The thing about Clint's movies is that they are filmed in the USA, so naturally the people were better armed in this country. Rambo only had to face AK47's in SE Asia. Clint had to face whatever the NRA said was legal, which was everything. (I often take my Bazooka and Uzi deer hunting.) When someone sends a few missiles at Clint's car, he gets annoyed. But his writers come up with some great lines when stuff like this happens. Not once did I hear Clint say"WTF? No, It's do you feel lucky, Punk?" or "Get off my lawn."

You just don't know what will set us old guys off. It is such a tricky balance. It could be the person in the theater who calls a friend and says, " guess where I am?" My answer to this person would be " in your own little bubble?" They wouldn't do that in church, would they? I can picture it now. "Could you hold still, Mr. Pope, so I can take your picture with my cell phone." In such a case, I can picture the pope slapping that person and it would be an acceptable response.
The world is just being overwhelmed by annoying people. You have your telemarketers that call at dinnertime. You have your annoying religious people who try to give you a copy of Watchtower magazine or tell you that they are at your door to save you from the Eternal fires of hell. I usually tell them "I am prepared" and then I spray them with a fire extinguisher. That is the only way to get them away from my door.
Then you go to the supermarket and when you check out, a cashier asks you if you want to donate to the "Save Governor Sanford from the Eternal fires of Hell". I asked "How will I know this won't go for plane fare to Argentina?" She could not give me a satisfactory answer. I did not donate. Then I go to the mall. There are people giving away free meals at these little kiosks in the mall. All you have to do is sign up to buy a timeshare after the meal. If you refuse, they sequester you until you sign. I had a friend who went to one of these "informational dinners". He was missing for 3 days. When they released him, his hair was totally white, but he is the proud owner of a timeshare in Haiti. He cries a lot. These are a few of the type of people that make me cranky.
Umm! Someone just pulled into my driveway. Hmm, They have Utah license tags. They are wearing black suit, black tie, white shirt, and sunglasses. Either it's the Blues Brothers or the Mormons. I better get the fire extinguisher ready.