I Get It. I’m Getting Older

          This is a tricky one. I value all my family and friends dearly and don’t want to offend anyone. But enough is enough. For some reason, a number of folks in my age group seem to be obsessed with getting older. That’s fine and it’s really none of my business nor should I be evaluating their fixations or state of mind. But some lines are being crossed. 

If you have reached your golden years, perhaps you will identify with my dilemma. In a nutshell, it seems I can’t go a day without someone telling me how worthless they’ve become because they couldn’t think of a name or some other fact. This is always accompanied with the obligatory complaint about growing old. Also, every day my email contains more than one “funny” cartoon and/or forward about the perils of growing older. 

In a lesser vein, I also receive numerous emails taking strolls down memory lane. Did you know everything was better back in the good old days? Performers, automobiles, and virtually every other thing you can think of. Really? You may actually have some memory issues. 

Now before someone actually gets angry, let me say I understand. Fact is we do slow down in almost every way as we age. And yes, I would love to be riding around in my red ’56 Chevy. But here’s the deal. We are living in this world today. Key word here is living. Sure, we have some years on us, but there are questions we could be asking and answering each day. What would be productive and interesting for me? What can I accomplish? Who can I help? What would be fun? 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not up in some ivory tower scolding and passing judgment. I’m an observer of the aging process. In my humble opinion, we don’t really miss those old cars; we miss ourselves at that age driving those cars. Were drive-in movies really better than watching our big screen plasma with surround sound in the comfort of our home? No, but we remember being at the drive-in with that hot date on a Saturday night and miss all the fun of being young and having our lives in front of us. It’s perfectly understandable.  

But this is life. I’m always inspired by those who accept life and live it fully to its completion. You pick the cliché, but while we still have the ability to think and love, I would hope we would embrace life with every bit of energy and passion we can summon.         


Government Stupidity!

When I pulled up to this stop sign, I broke out laughing. Just had to get a picture on my iPhone. Do I turn right as instructed, or heed the no right turn sign? If it wasn’t so sad it would be even funnier.

As it’s often been said, “We get the government we deserve.” It has become obvious to most thinking individuals our government at all levels is terribly inept at best, and corrupt at the worst. Even more frustrating is the way so many people are played like violins by slick politicians and their friends in the media.

Here are a couple of my favorite examples:

“We can’t ask voters for identification, that might disenfranchise someone.” Really? The states involved in these controversies have offered free identification cards for anyone who needs one. Who would be disenfranchised? Is anyone so completely stupid they don’t recognize this as a ploy to make sure the ballot box can be stuffed by illegal votes and in some cases, illegal citizens. In what transaction in this country are you disenfranchised if someone asks you for identification? I’m asked for it at my bank, grocery store, health care facility, airport, liquor store, video store, department store, hardware store, etc. Is our stupid government really telling me in order to vote, our most sacred right as a citizen of this country, I shouldn’t have to show my identification? Very stupid.

“The oil companies are gauging us at the pumps.” While the term gauging can be debated, when our own government officials make this statement, it makes me cringe. The fact is, oil companies make on average, 6.7 cents profit on a gallon of gas. The average government tax on a gallon of gas is 49.5 cents. Of course in those well-run states like New York and California, the taxes are closer to 70 cents a gallon. Very stupid.

Heads Up!

Do you realize that 42 billion dollars in government student loans is held by individuals over 60 years old. What’s more important is according to the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, an individual’s Social Security benefits can be seized up to 15% over $750 each month. Whether it’s original loans or co-signed loans, the government is going to start coming after you.