2018-10-06 / Viewpoints

The Old Timer

By Howard ‘Mac’ Mcdonald

Old-timers most of the time only think they know what they are doing. In reality, they are often off in left field when they believe they are in right field. I fit that category.

Today, I learned that I had a typographical error in an email address that I had been using to send off all kinds of words of wisdom. I didn’t save the items, so I guess I am sunk.

It turns out my computer has a “helpful” function that automatically fills in an email address when I start to type it. Since the address had a flaw, every email I sent to that address was never received.

My emails contained the secret to achieving world peace, ending hunger, stopping the destruction of the planet, and bringing the warring factions in Washington together to actually serve the public and get something done.

Like I said, I thought I was in right field, but I was really sitting on the bench the whole time. So it’s up to somebody else to solve all of our problems.

One of the things I sent in those emails was a clipping I saw about memories. The gist of it was that recollections people have from when they were around two years old are fiction.

I must dispute that conclusion. Nothing can erase the memory of the time I saw my mother when she came home from the hospital after being treated for tuberculosis.

Also, the sound of my great-grandfather’s fiddle still echoes in my think tank. I remember dancing to his notes.

Based on what I read in that clipping, maybe I am a writer of fiction and didn’t even know it.

There was a time when I looked forward to a commercial air flight. Any more, I would rather ride a donkey across the desert than go through the misery of getting on an airplane.

The seats are squeezed together and the security checks are humiliating. It is a sign of the times when an old woman has to take off her shoes and get frisked at the airport.

Today I am headed to see my podiatrist. This appointment that comes around every 62 days is important to me because I am a diabetic. I am able to control my blood sugar by watching my diet and taking my medication.

My neighbor has not been so lucky. He is just 60 years old and has been in a wheel chair. He just received an artificial leg. It is good to see him out of that chair.

The doc always tells me that I am in good shape and he hopes he is this healthy when he reaches my age. I usually respond that, if I am doing so well, why am I so grumpy?

After talking to him, I guess I will cut down on my griping and enjoy my so-called good health.

The hot, dry desert heat can be hard on a car battery. This morning we discovered that our battery was as dead as a doornail. A call to AAA will remedy that situation.

The battery in this 2005 Chevy is buried under a lot of electrical equipment. That is more than I want to be involved with. I used to be an ace mechanic, but somewhere along the way I have lost that ability.

Computers have taken over a lot of functions on our motor vehicles. That technology leaves us old-timers in the dust. I think I could still change a tire, but that is debatable.

It is a good thing that Shirley was here so she could read my AAA membership numbers on our card. I can still handle the paperwork in the bathroom, but my eyesight has seen better days. When it comes time that I need help with my bathroom paperwork I will call it quits.

Emporium’s venerable Dr. Joe Blackburn gave us a scare when he went through a spell. A pacemaker seems to have things under control.

Just because you are a couple months older than me does not mean you win the race to the Promised Land. Hang in there, my good friend.

Watching the Senate committee hearing on the Supreme Court nomination was enough to make me lose my appetite for breakfast. So I gladly accepted an invitation to ride along while our grandson’s wife drove Shirley to Luke Air Force Base to get a new ID card.

You may recall that she lost her wallet and has to get all of her cards replaced. Well, after a 60-mile drive we were skunked again. There was a base function going on and the office was closed.

At least we found a place to enjoy a hearty breakfast, so the trip was not a complete loss.

Along the way I started counting cars in my head and calculating the amount of tax revenue that is funneled to Washington on every gallon these machines consume.

What is being done with all this money? Until somebody proves me wrong, I will continue to believe that it is diverted by the robber barons to pet projects for the politicians while the budget deficit continues to grow.

People in the Land of the Endless Mountains like to complain about the weather. Just think what the folks in the coastal area of the Carolinas have been going through. There are other areas where the weather can be destructive and even deadly.

One thing my stint in the Air Force taught me was to never let the weather run your life. I lived in Alaska, Arizona and many other places around the world. You just have to adapt.

The hot season is on its way out here in the Valley of the Sun. Maybe we will have a decent winter. The snowbirds are drifting in at a slow pace. It won’t be long before our population explodes.

I observed on Sunday that many folks were tuned into their TVs watching National Football League games. I may have been the only one who turned my dial to the country music channel.

The millionaire players who do not respect our flag and country have turned me off. Then we have the jackasses who jump up and down and thump their chests when they make a good play. That kind of crap is something that most people outgrow when they reach fifth or sixth grade. It is not conduct that is becoming of these advanced college basket-weaving scholars who put on a football uniform once a week.

Keep your bifocals clean and your powder dry.

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