Poetry — NaPoWriMo: NoMo’ Workshuns Retiremeizations

The third day prompt of the 2018 National Poetry Writing Month: Write a list poem in which all the items are made-up names. This poem is based on a tongue-in-cheek look back at working from the perspective of retirement.

NoMo’ WorkShuns of Retiremeizations

No mo’ traffic commushuns
No mo’ Monday bluesifications
No mo’ burnt coffee offeringtoshuns
No mo’ why I’m late excuzations
No mo’ performance evauliebations
No mo’ worrying about promousayshuns
No mo’ office gossip whosaytions
No mo’ workmate envy whodaypaytions
No mo’ idiot bossbigheadiztions
No mo’ recovery vacatoshortations
No mo’ meeting bordeathpations
No mo’ engineering gobbledygookovations
No mo’ organized rejobmobettatryzations
No mo’ more with lesspraystaions
No mo’ work aggravation peepsalazations
No mo’ monthly disgruntiliations
No mo’ hallucinational goalaberations
No mo’ feckup fairy malfunctioniztions
No mo’ maybenots of probationosensations

(Bill Reynolds 4/3/2018)

Working or retired, look both ways.
Mind those workday gaps.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

Tuesday’s A-to-Z Update

I have not posted in over a week, since my A-Z Reveal. I want to post a brief update because my reveal plan is morphing, if only slightly. Things are not going as planned.

I hoped to include words provided by others in the poems. In writing my first few little ditties, I now realize that writing any poem is a sufficient challenge, especially for a rookie. Adding complex, unfamiliar words to a poem may detract from any bits of quality in the piece. However, I have discovered a different approach.

My son, Steven, suggested onomatopoeia. It is an interesting, six-syllable word that means the name of a thing or action from a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it, such as buzz or hiss. Onomatopoeia in poetry refers to a word that phonetically mimics or resembles the sound of the thing it describes. Shell Silverstein’s work provides excellent examples. Like this one.

Joey Joey took a stone
And knocked
Down
The
Sun!
And Whoosh! It swizzled
Down so hard.
And bloomp! It bounced
In his backyard.
And glunk! It landed
On his toe!
And the world was dark,
And the corn wouldn’t grow!
And the wind wouldn’t blow!
And the *bleep* wouldn’t crow!
And it always was Night,
Night,
Night.

All because
Of a stone
And Joe. ~ Shel Silverstein

I decided that I would use poetic forms, or literary devices, or types of poems, or methods of writing as the subjects. In other cases, it may be the title or the topic of the poem.

Where I can, I’ll still make use of the words for the letter of the day within the poem or poems. But if it wonks up the piece, the word goes the way of defenestration (yes, that’s one).

My first poem, Abilene, will publish in my blog on Saturday, April 1st (no fooling). Saturday also marks my completion of two years in (laughable) retirement. I have learned that being retired truly means that I am no long paid for my work – not less work It does not mean idleness, luxury, or boredom. However, I do get to call my own shots, pretty much (wife, children, grand kids, friends, and many others get their share).

Look both ways and mind those damn gaps.

Changing Priorities

“Here’s to When I Gave a Feck”

Tom Selleck
Tom Selleck

“Look, Garrett, I’m closer to the end than to the beginning. So, some of this stuff, I just don’t have it in me to care anymore…It’s the rest of it, the posturing, the little digs, the wasting my time….” ~ Police Commissioner Frank Reagan; from the TV show Blue Bloods, Season 6, Episode 9, “Hold Outs.”

 

I can relate. I often say, “I don’t care.” But I do; in an odd, almost cavalier way. Normally, when I think I can help someone or fix something, I give my time and effort to the issue. I now care less about many of the things that were high on my list when I worked at my paying job. I haven’t lost my motivation; I now own it.

Opinions others have of me have lost much of their importance. Nowadays, I care more about issues that were of little interest during my past. Conversely, my “that’s bull shit” list is longer than ever. I worked, if you can call it that, for about 50 years. Now retired, my perspective on what’s important is changed.

Since age 18, excluding my time as an undergrad, I had one six-month period of unemployment. Even then, I treated my job search and being Mr. Mom, as two jobs. I enjoyed them both. The pay was horrendous, but the benefits were good.

I learned about myself during that time, simply by being me. That was the early 90s, the decade that I like to call my figure it out for myself years. Looking back, I now recognize that I was depressed and confused. I worried about things like money, a job, and my kids. I was more overwhelmed than I like to admit. I paid my dues. But now?

You know you want it, right?
You know you want it, right?

I wear blue jeans, shorts, or sweat pants. It’s like every day is casual Friday, but it’s really another Saturday. I’ve not worn khakis more than twice in 18 months. I haven’t worn a tie, suit, or sports jacket either.

I care about style, as long as it’s casual. While I still think wearing argyle socks with sandals is a sin for which any man should burn for eternity, there’s something to be said for not caring what others (like me) think, even in the choice of clothing styles. I toy with the idea of wearing a kilt cuz wife says I have great legs. Some opinions will always count.

It shouldn’t matter what most other people think. I’ve read that what they think of me is not my business. But it often does matter. If I ask you what you think, feel, or believe, you should want me to care about your answer. If I do, it’s fair enough.

If I like your idea, I may accept it, implement it, or otherwise go with it. When someone says, “You should do a blog on that,” it gets my attention. I often write with inspiration like that from someone else.

I’m a grandparent. A parent called to complain about a grandchild. I listened, but said nothing. I allowed my child to rant and get it out. My wife wasn’t home, so I was on my own for the call and the associated drama. These are my monkeys in my family circus, after all.

i-dont-care5Then I hear, “You haven’t said anything, Dad. What do you think?”

I take a deep breath and wonder if I should respond (the answer here is no).

Raising my kids, I made the same mistakes. But now, I have a different perspective. I answer with a quetion, “Are you sure you want to know?”

My ranting offspring responds, “Yes.” The tension builds. While I knew that this wouldn’t end well that day, I also knew it would eventually pass, and it did. I blurted out my answer as the Frank Reagan of my family.

“It doesn’t matter. What you’re so upset about is no big deal. There are more important issues in your child’s life. This is minor and kind of expected. As children, we’ve all had problems like this. We get over it and so will he. Allow him the dignity of experiencing and learning about life on life’s terms, not your conditions. I suggest you calm down and wait.”

Dial tone.

Blue Bloods writers would handle this scene at the family dinner table with everyone drinking wine.

snarkasm12I’m a here and now kind of guy. While I firmly believe in living in the present, I acknowledge that each life has a future and that’s the direction we live it. Today’s crisis is tomorrow’s funny dinner chat or neighborhood gossip.

Life goes on, and everyone should enjoy every possible breathtaking minute. What other people think is probably unimportant, and may be dangerous. So learning when to have had enough, to be tired of the BS, and to move on; to no longer give a shit, is good.

“But Mikey’s father, champion of all pint drinkers, is like my uncle Pa Keating, he doesn’t give a fiddler’s fart what the world says and that’s the way I’d like to be myself” ~ From Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt

So, care as you must. Live in your world and in your time. Figure out what’s important to you and to people close to you. Make choices, change your mind, look back and look forward. That makes perfect sense to me, I hope it does to you, too.

Meh takes a big swig of the foamy grog and grunts, “I don’t give a feck.”

Live life forward, understand it backwards,
mind the gap, and look both ways.

Free from Religion

atheism8

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards. ~ Soren Kierkegaard

Talking about this is difficult enough, but putting my spiritual story into words has been a challenge. It’s 70 years long. While details are normally important, I cut them out because there are too many. I’ll save the “rest of the story” details for a memoir.

I grew up Roman Catholic–I prefer Irish Catholic. In parochial elementary school (K thru 8th grade), I was taught by nuns (Sisters of Mercy, who had none). That was a lot of church and religion. Then, I attended public high school (9-12).

Around age 13 or 14, I would leave home for church on Sunday mornings. But, I would go play pinball for an hour and then walk back home. Maybe I believed in god as a teenager. Because of the way I lived then, I don’t think I did.

My friend Jack and my girlfriend at the time, both attended the Episcopal church down the street. I started going to that youth group, but my participation there had nothing to do with religion.

Following high school graduation, I joined the Air Force at age 18; I met and married a girl in Texas at age 19; graduated from college and started having children by age 25. Two years later, I was back in the Air Force and flying B-52s.

While I sampled some other Christian denominations during the 70s, I also ventured back to the Catholic Church for a couple of years. We had our marriage made official (sometimes incorrectly called blessed) in the eyes of the Church.

We had three children in the 1970s: boy, boy, girl. While we played on the Pope’s team, the boys were baptized. The girl was born in 1978, but she was not baptized Catholic.  So we must have stopped going to the Catholic Church before mid-1978. By that time, my wife and I decided that Catholicism was not working for us as a family.  Perhaps the anti-Catholic sentiments in her family contributed to her part in that decision. My wife and I always wanted to have a church home for our family. So, we kept looking.

The 80s decade began with us living on the island of Guam for two years. We seldom went to church there. Then we moved to California where we attended a Methodist church. That went well for a long time, and our daughter was baptized. However, our try at Methodist fell apart after the Methodist leadership decided to write political letters. They had no right to speak for me. Eventually, other distractions overwhelmed us, and we stopped going.

We next moved to San Antonio, Texas, then to Oklahoma. From the mid-1980s through the mid-90s, we participated in no religion. While that time was among the most difficult of my life for purely secular reasons, spiritual help would’ve been welcome.

About 1997, we again tried religion. This time it was the First Christian, or Disciples of Christ, denomination. During that time, I was reading books about, and trying to learn about, eastern philosophy and religious thought (Buddhism, Taoism, etc.). That led to my reading of Thomas Merton’s autobiography, The Seven Story Mountain. I was spiritually moved by that book, by him, and by other mystics. I considered myself a searcher in the spiritual sense. I was looking for something and trying to understand what I was going through.

In 2000, as we prepared to move back to San Antonio, I told my wife that I intended to go back to the Catholic Church again. Her response was, “Good. I think I’ll go with you.” We did, and this time she became a confirmed Roman Catholic, which means she joined the Church through the sacrament of Confirmation.

We did everything to be good, active, participating members of our large Parish: pray, pay, and obey, as one guy called it. If there was anything we could do, we did it. We went to every adult religious education class, and we participated in many other “ministries.” I ended up teaching those adult classes and I added several lessons to the curriculum, including a critical one called, The Problem of Evil.

I read all of the Bible and started adult Bible Study classes. I did all the lesson plans and taught every class for years. I also taught children’s religious education classes.

I applied to be ordained as a Deacon, but later withdrew my application for a variety of reasons. One was time, and becoming a Deacon required a multi-year program. For two years, I was a member of the Parish Council, then I served as its President for two more years. We were in the top five percent of financial donors to the Parish. My oldest son was married in the church. We did it all. My wife was also employed as the Parish Office Manager for more than 10 years. After she retired, I applied for and received a job promotion that required a move to Florida.

Before we moved, I began to realize that my twelve year immersion into the religion and church of my youth had crystalized within me what I was trying to avoid. I was deeper in doubt. Oddly, it was like I knew too much. I began to realize that I didn’t believe any of it. I felt unfit for any religion because no matter what I did over the years, I did not believe what I professed. I couldn’t. I don’t do hypocrisy well.

I was not ignorant. By 2012, short of most clergy and some long-time apologists, I knew as much about the Christian faith and many other religions, as any layman–more than most. For the next two years, I pondered my beliefs and all that I had put myself through. I am a… I’m… what?

I no longer considered myself a Catholic, practicing or otherwise. I was peeling away the nonsense and discovering my personal truth. I knew the answer, but I avoided it.

I watched a documentary about former ministers who are now atheists. Some were still ministers. I was in awe of their courage. I couldn’t imagine doing that. I still can’t. That’s when I knew I was going to come clean. But how? When? As what?

I probably have not believed in god since I was about 12, but I kept trying. I couldn’t bring myself to write or to say words contrary to belief. I didn’t want to tell anyone. For a long time, no one asked. About three years ago, I did volunteer to a coworker, “I don’t believe it—none of it.” He’s an apostate Mormon and told me that his father, a life-long Mormon, eventually said the same thing.

Question One1Retiring and moving to the Seattle area provided time for me to consider my beliefs in greater detail. I read more about atheism, and I started to write about it.

Then, a few months ago while meeting with my writer’s group, one lady asked me, “Do you consider yourself an atheist?” I didn’t answer the question right then. After more thinking, I knew that I had to say it. So, days after being asked, my answer was yes–I am an atheist.

I gave up on religion because it never worked. Perhaps it never worked because after I reached the age of reason, I never believed again. I wanted to believe, and I wanted it to work. Now, I know that was impossible. I accept that, and I’m pleased with the outcome.

give up religion

I have few regrets about any of my life-long spiritual journey. However, I do regret that so many people consider atheism a dark, bad, evil thing. It’s not. Admitting my atheism freed me from the last of my self-imposed, people-pleaser bondages. Now, I need to find a pinball machine for Sunday mornings. Free again, at last.

May your spiritual journey lead to discovery of your personal truth. Let no one place limits on your life, so that you may grow and learn. We need not fear the truth revealed to us, by us.

 

Recovery from Middle Age

When It Happened

Middle age is in my past. My t-shirt says, “Beware, second childhood in progress.” When people ask, I tell them it’s an old shirt. I’m long past that.

At 27, I knew everything (we all do). I would live forever. By age 40, I thought I might not live that long. Around then, I was sure that other’s opinion of me was paramount. I included everyone, especially any man who could possibly effect my life personally or financially.

Unfortunately, I often said what I thought – more than I would now. Today, I’m unlikely to answer personal questions. I may. But usually I want time to be calm and ponder consequences.

Back in the day, if my boss told me to do something that I felt was against my personal opinion, I would say, “No, sir.” Often, this happened in front of people. I enjoyed two things about it: watching him try to hide his anger (if he did) and some other middle-managers joining my mini-revolt. I wasn’t intentionally a trouble-maker. It just turned out that way.

recovery from middle age3What It Was Like

Looking back to my forties and fifties, a lot happened – both good and bad. But, I recall the difficult times well. In the 90s, I lived away from my family as a weekend commuter for two years. I drank way too much and began to ponder things that I’d never thought about. I was confused about life. I was not happy, and may have been clinically depressed. I was surrounded by others in worse shape than I, thus my problems went unnoticed. I was fine with that. Men do not have such issues, right? No longer did I feel safe. I didn’t understand the rules or what to do. I had morphed into a people pleaser, but I wouldn’t have admitted it.

Add to this, my wife had gone to work and was living as a single parent on weekdays (and nights). She had her issues too. And we had teenagers who’d aged up to their early twenties. Life was not easy for us or them – certainly not emotionally. Denial was my strength and maybe hers. Our dysfunctional family was extended and there were problems in that area over the horizon.

Possible Consequences

recovery from middle age1I’ll spare you details. But during the 1990s all hell broke loose in my life and I thought it had gone into the proverbial toilet.

I recall giving consideration to suicide. I also seriously considered homicide. To be clear, while I never seriously intended either, I considered both as solutions as I never had. But then, I made an important decision. I decided that I would try everything possible to get over it. If my life was not working, it would not be my fault.

If you type middle age American male in Google, you’ll find articles relating to suicide, alcoholism and drug addiction, and the almost inevitable consequence of death. Middle age male suicide is a bigger problem today than 20 years ago. But I can relate to middle aged men today who secretly struggle with something they don’t understand. Looking back over the years, I think I figured out a few things.

What I Did

recovery from middle age2I like to joke that I’m recovering from middle age. But, I am simply living my life. My life is good now, but recovery is an ongoing process. While many of my decisions may have been random, they seemed logical at the time. I was desperate, but knowing that I was not alone mattered.

I read books on self-help, mental health, and recovery – all were about mental and physical well-being. I attended counseling sessions for family members. I became active in a 12-step program. I started to learn about eastern religious thought and philosophy. I took a deep and detailed (analytical) look at myself. I did that twice, six months apart. This was much less about who I am and more about me being me, or me not being me, but being what others thought I should be. This may seem minor; it wasn’t.

My discovery was two-fold: I didn’t know myself, and I wasn’t being true to myself. I couldn’t be. This was important for me to figure out because the solution that followed was not complicated.

My change was from the inside-out, and from the outside-in. I simply was myself. While I could continue to be a good employee, a good friend, a reasonably nice person, and a willing family member; I no longer identified myself by what others thought I should be – what I should think or what I should feel. I was not only ‘okay’ with this. I was delighted. It was not a new me, but just me being me. That is the way I saw it. My motivation was inside and based on how I felt. But as I changed my behavior, that effected more emotional adjustments, which led to being more able to do more with my behavior.

recovery from middle age4

A short while after all this my son told my wife that he didn’t recognize me because of the changes. That was 20 years ago. I’ve hung onto that way of thinking ever since. Being comfortable as me (‘in my own skin’ is the cliché) did not change my life so much as it revealed my life to myself. Now, as a senior American male, I am still as wrong and as programmed as anyone. But when I realize my error, I’ve learned to admit it quickly.

How It Turns Out

As much as I like the phrase, it is what it is; I have my own motto: It is all about how we feel.

cropped-img_0551-e1469756636276.jpg

Probably my most positive boost has been retirement. No longer subject to the corporate nonsense and politics, I feel “free at last” to keep moving forward with my life on my terms. Virtually all that drama is in the past, and there it shall remain (at least for me).

May you find a path through life that is long and revealing. While giving up is an option, may you never choose it as long as you have any others yet to try. May your days of light be long and may your dark days pass quickly. May you be constantly aware; you are not alone. We are one.

 

The Art of Aging

birthday 70 2

Forty years ago tomorrow, I was the father of two boys: one age five, the other was two (two years later we added a daughter to the pride). Tomorrow would be my 30th birthday.

I was the navigator on a B-52 bomber crew. I recall that as I was taking a shower about fifty yards (roughly 45 meters) from a nuclear armed airplane cocked and ready to go blow the crap of somebody, I was quietly lamenting my age.

B-52D Navigator's Position
B-52D Navigator’s Position

I would no longer be in my twenties. I thought that I was not young and never would be again. I was knocking on the door of middle age, or so I thought. I was feeling down because I was turning the dreaded big three-zero. “Don’t trust anyone over thirty” was the phrase. I still don’t really know what that means. I just knew it was bad.

A Young B-52 Crew Dog
A Young B-52 Crew Dog

Our society convinced me that I was getting old and that I should be sad about it. In four days, that five-year-old I mentioned turns 45. He and his 42-years young brother really are middle aged, and their baby sister is knocking on that door. I was not old, but I was depressed thinking that I was. Thanks to our shallow, f***ed-up, foolish American culture that values all the wrong stuff in people, my thinking was foolish (and not only about age).

birthday 70 1Is it all that important to be a thin, white, dark-haired, strong, male member of this country? We seem to think so. I hope that continues to change.

We have to pass laws to keep people from discriminating against older people, and the age in the law is 40. WTF? Forty is not old. Again, forty is not old! At most, it’s lower-middle aged.

And if you plan to call this foul-mouthed, hard-drinking, Fightin’ Texas Aggie, Irish-Welshman elderly; you best be certain that you can kick his ass. Because this one is standing straight-up and walking your way (in silence) to demonstrate that old is not elderly!

But, I will indeed become a septuagenarian at midnight tonight. In the game of life, I will be at ‘Level 8.’ I’ve literally been there, done that, and have the scars to prove it (which I wear proudly). I am on a first-name basis with my cardiologists, and if my peripheral vascular surgeon would do a better job, I would be running three miles a day, instead of walking. I ride a Honda Forza motor scooter because my 800-pound, 2007 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe touring motorcycle got too heavy to pick up (last year). But I still ride on two wheels. I’ve retired from the jobs that pay, but I work every day. I’m a writer and do volunteer work. My only boss is the one I’ve been married to for 50 years.

I like people and I want them to like me. But I also don’t give a flying f**k what anyone else thinks of me or my opinions, politics, religion (or lack thereof), foul language, or beer breath. I do not, and never will, wear socks with sandals. I remain a teenager of the 60s.

birthsday 70 6I am retired. All the shit/crap that I put up with for all those years of school (nuns-groan), yes, sir and no, sir; kissing up to very few idiot bosses (most were great), scrimping and saving and working – it was all worth it. As my wife would say, “Rave on, dog shit!” And so I do. Every day is a weekend and I can do what I want (with her permission—I’m old, not stupid) whenever.

I want to be happy and I am. My last meal will truly be a good pizza (my wife makes the best) and a fine stout brew. When the time comes, I want to walk into Dr. G’s office and say, “Time to shut it down, Doc. It’s been a great ride and I’ve loved it all. Let’s talk about the final git-er-done.” But that day is some ways off. Getting old is not dangerous, driving on our roads is.

Get ready big eight-zero ‘cuz here I come. ~ Me

birthday 70 3

I toast the good health of my birth year (1946) peers: Cher, Barry Gibb, George and Laura Bush, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Linda Ronstadt, Sally Field, Ed O’Neill, Reggie Jackson, Daryl Hall, Jimmy Buffett, Dolly Parton, Tommy Lee Jones, Al Green, Loni Anderson, Cheech Marin, and others. We’re still kickin’ the can down the road.

birthday 70 8

May you have love that never ends, much money, and many friends.

Health be yours, whatever you do and may the universe bless you and yours. Rock on, my friends.

I’ll publish my promised blog on creativity this next Friday. I am also tinkering with one on recovering from middle age (men only, I am unqualified for the experiences of the softer, better looking, and smarter sex) because I have been there and done that too.

Bill’s Top Five (No taco today)

Top five3The internet is loaded with lists. Lists are recommended for writing/blogging because we read them. My wife likes to read lists to me. Neither of us have any idea why. This is my personal short list with explanations for why the item is here. In a way, it’s a gratitude list, but that’s not exactly what this is about. It’s about me, not the list. Please comment with your top five. I’d like to know if you share my opinions.

I call this the top five inventions now affecting my life. Back in history, each of these might have been considered magic. In a way, I consider them the magic of science. Many discoveries, inventions, and innovations were necessary predecessors to make these possible, and for those I am also grateful (things like electricity, fire, internet [actually came later], printing press, writing, etc.) Some are closer to my heart than others. Bill’s top five inventions are (random order):

Top five2

The computer. The PC, laptop, and gadget after gadget (smart phone) using the science and technology to make my life better. I sat in front of one of these things for years at work and then spent more time on-line at home. Now in retirement, I use my laptop, smartphone, or iPad more than 8 hours a day. I type/keyboard with all ten fingers, like to write, and can make a mess with a typewriter. (electronic digital computer, 1939, Atanasoff and Berry)

Top five6Global Positioning System (GPS). I was a Master Navigator in the United States Air Force. Navigating was my profession. I was also a bombardier faced with the challenges of dropping things on targets (to put it nicely). 35 years ago, I was delighted to have technology that would tell me how fast I was going and in which direction. I used the sun and stars to determine where on earth we were, errors of miles were not unusual. I actually had mechanical/analog computers, which were also often wrong.

What I would have given for a GPS! Sometimes, we dropped hundreds of bombs hoping one might find the target. Today they use a (as in one) GPS-guided ‘smart bomb’ that can hit someone’s dinner plate. They need only one bomb per target.

Driving home, I can see a map of the roads all around me, traffic conditions, my position, and my arrival time. In 1978, the first satellite was launched and it was Y2K before GPS devices became available for personal use (instead of military only).

The Spell Checker. I often joke that the only thing worse than my handwriting is my spelling. Top five5Actually, I have no idea which is worse. Together, they conspire to make anything I handwrite virtually useless. Even I can’t read it. Professional, highly trained code breakers would never figure it out. It’s like a disability. Fellow writers often proclaim the great value of writing by hand. One page and my hand hurts. My head hurts from trying to make it legible. And my brain is pissed from focusing on scripting and spelling and not on content.

My poor penmanship has been replaced by computer writing software. Part of that software has been written to show me wrongly spelled words, and sometimes it even fixes some of them. Look – I fully understand all the pitfalls and problems of spell checkers. I’ve read the cute little poem (joke) about this. If your handwriting and spelling are adequate, good for you. Mine aren’t. This software has saved my ass from the constant embarrassment of ugly hand writing and atrocious spelling.

Example of coronary artery sents and placement
Example of coronary artery sents and placement

Stents. I am a medical science advocate. I may not agree with every practitioner, but I agree with mine. I inherited several things from my father: fondness for beer, a temper, and a circulatory system that likes to clog-up. It eventually killed him as it probably will do for me one day. But not today.

Several years ago my leg went numb while walking. A doctor said, “I think I know what’s wrong and what we can do about it.” He put three stents into my iliac arteries. They worked. Years later, I was told that coronary bypass surgery was too risky for me due to my calcified aortic arch. A Cath Lab team lead by my doctor inserted four stents to open my clogged/blocked coronary arteries. Six months later, I had two more inserted. Not heart attack required. Stents work immediately and the recovery time is measured in hours. I have a total of nine. Dad had none.

 

Top five1Airplanes. I like to fly. Much of my first career was spent flying or teaching others how. My second career was still associated with teaching others to fly. I like aviation museums. I also like books and movies about flying.

When I moved, I left Florida in the morning and was at my new home in the Pacific Northwest by dinner time. A forty-hour drive flown in seven. Until teleporters are perfected, we can travel to any place on earth during the same day, provided we do it in an airplane.

Beam us up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life down here.
“Beam us up, Scotty. There’s no intelligent life down here.”

I could add things like the internet, automobiles, digital music, and sliced bread. But five’s enough. Right?