Showing posts from June, 2009

Sad Week in Boomerville

Three celebrities who were a big part of Boomer life died this week, two of them on the same day.

Ed McMahon wasn’t a Boomer, but he was part of a television show we all watched. He came into our homes every night on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. “Heeeeeeere’s Johnny!!” became part of our language.

Farrah Fawcett was one of our angels as much as one of Charlie’s Angels, although Boomer males had somewhat more devilish thoughts about her. She died this morning at age 62, which means she was a Boomer too. That poster picture is more than 30 years old, yet it is still instantly recognized by Boomers.

And Michael Jackson is a music icon whose career spans our own coming of age. He died today at age 50, making him a Boomer too. I will not miss the oddity he had become, but I still love his music. I bought the Thriller album twice over the years, originally on vinyl and later on CD. The song Thriller is still one of my all time favorite songs.

Dad and Tools

My dad died several years ago and we lived in different cities for twenty years before that, so I rarely saw him more than three or four times a year. But now I see him nearly every day.

No, he doesn’t appear in a vision. I ‘see’ Dad in the tools he gave me. Not the tools of life, but literally tools, like hammers, screwdrivers, C clamps.

He probably had enough tools in his garage to start a hardware store and he always intended me to have them one day. So one day in 2003, a few years after he died, I loaded them into a U-Haul trailer for the journey from his garage to mine.

Every time I reach for one of those tools, I think of him. Some of the tools are older than me. He and I used them together on many projects when I was a kid.

This week I started moving the tools again, from one location in my house to another, and as I began to clean and re-organize them, I realized Father’s Day is this week. Interesting timing for my tool moving project, isn’t it?

Dad had a tool for every si…

Two Georges Who Make Aging Look Good

Former President George Bush (the older, smarter Bush) celebrated his 85th birthday with an endeavor that is now a tradition for him. He went skydiving. This was the third time he did it on a birthday; he jumped two other times in recent years and once during World War II when his plane was shot down.

Clearly, he does not let age get in the way of doing things he wants to do. His post-landing walking looked a little unsteady … in fact, I think he regularly uses a cane now … but he is still strong enough to do a tandem skydive. Bravo!!

Country singer George Strait keeps scoring number one songs in a career that now spans more than 25 years. The chart-topping part of a typical country music career usually lasts only five or six years. George is now 57 years old and he seems to have the physique of a twenty-something. This picture was taken yesterday.

I’m the other guy in the photograph. I am also fifty-something. I should have asked him for fitness advice instead of my lame “…

Rage Is Ageless

An 88-year-old gunman walked into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC today.

Yes … an 88-year-old guy with a loaded rifle!

He went from blasting Jews and African-Americans with words on his white supremacist web site to blasting people with bullets and the intent to kill. He did kill a security guard before being shot and seriously injured by other security guards.

On one hand, this guy is a delusional paranoid whack job. On the other hand, he is a high-IQ Mensa member and a decorated World War II PT boat captain.

Ironic. Contradictory. Scary.

This wasn’t the first time he entered a D.C. building with a gun. He did jail time in the 1980s after he entered the Federal Reserve Board with a handgun and a rifle, took a security guard hostage and tried to see the Fed chairman. He surrendered the guns that time without firing a shot.

Some observations about age, rage and brain power:
- Don’t assume an old guy can’t be dangerous
- Don’t underestimate the power of blind hate f…

Road Trip Coming

Back in my ‘hippie’ days I’d take a road trip at the drop of a hat. Jump in the car just to see what’s three hours west? Sure, let’s go! I even bought a van and planned to customize it for travel. I wanted to take a year off and just live on the road.

That was back in the 1970s, when gas was cheap and airfare wasn’t; and my career hadn’t really begun.

The ‘living on the road’ dream never died, but it was sidetracked by making a living. I sold the van and bought a practical car. Through the 80s and 90s, my travel usually involved planes and rental cars, except for relatively short trips to the beach. I spent so much time in traffic that I lost my love of driving and busy schedules didn’t leave time for long road trips.

But something changed in 2005. My sister and her car survived Hurricane Katrina, I flew south to meet her and we drove back from Mississippi to Maryland. The situation was stressful but the drive was quite relaxing. And my love of the road began to return.

Another road trip …

Time Keeps On Slippin’ …

… slippin’, slippin’,
… into the fuuutuurrrre

That Steve Miller Band song lyric from 1976 popped into my head the other day as my ‘to do’ list stretched onto a second page.

When did we get so busy?

And why?

And does it mean anything?

I like being employed and I know how lucky I am to have a good job, so I do everything I can to keep it; that includes taking on additional responsibilities whenever asked, even if it adds to my ‘lack of time’ dilemma. I spend at least two hours a day commuting to and from that job. Add to that some work-related activities that occur outside of work hours.

Personal ‘obligation’ time includes more and more maintenance on my thirty year old house, plus chores like grocery shopping, laundry, cooking. Time keeps on slipping away.

Admittedly I’m one of those Boomers obsessed with the search for meaning and purpose in life. The older I get the more I want my life to count for something and the less time I have to make that happen. I’m very active but I’m not sure that …