Thursday, July 25, 2019


This week's topic is reunions. I chose it because Ramana is attending one this week and I will soon embark upon a 6 day train adventure to California to attend my high school class 70th birthday party. The attendees of our 50 year reunion 2 years ago had so much fun they elected to hold one more - and it is scheduled for 8/23 in Sacramento, CA..

Attendance looks to be 80 or more Mt. Eden High School (MEHS) class of 67 members. I have not been to a reunion since the 20th if memory serves. Many things have changed. Under normal circumstances I would not attend - simply because my real HS friends are still my friends. We scattered asunder to many different places but have managed to stay close over the years. And then along came Facebook and suddenly old acquaintances and friendships have been renewed.
 Here's a pic of the old alma mater - somehow I do not think it looks quite this nice today and I guarantee it looked better with all of the garbage cans on the roof and the hundreds of rolls of toilet paper weaved throughout the trees and bushed. And then there was the time someone (yeah yeah -my friends and I) toilet papered the band room and filled the teachers office with wadded up newspaper. That was serious stuff back in the day - LOL. The fact that we had keys to the entire school really irritated the principal and his cronies. And the basketball coach went ballistic when his house was papered. He thought he was special because he lived in the Hayward Hills with lawyers and Doctors. At one point in our senior year Mayfair Market refused to sell us toilet paper - so great was our legend and reputation LOL.

So now we gather one last time. Time to renew old acquaintances and friendships.  Perhaps rekindle an old flame or add fuel to budding new relationships. Share in each  others successes and failures. Share photos of kids, grand kids and great grand kids. Nerds who struck it rich can strut and compare bank accounts, brag about who has the biggest boat LOL. But mostly this will simply be a  chance to get up close and personal with old friends. compare life stories. and have one last big-ass party to celebrate what for many were four very important years.

I was primarily a jock in high school - a three sport guy - football, wrestling and baseball.  I actually graduated in the top 10% thanks to my pal Benny dragging me kicking and screaming through advanced Algebra. He went to Oregon State and then the Navy. He is one person I'd like to see again but  he is not anywhere to be found. 

On a particularly sobering note, the list of class members no longer with us is very extensive. I also found that to be true of my late  wife's class of 67 at Skyline in Oakland. Particularly hard for me was seeing her photo on their  deceased students wall. I felt like I lost her again.

In case you wonder what I looked like back in the day, that is my HS photo in the middle of the three images at the top of the screen. Razor cut hair and all.Probably wearing Jade East, Brut or some other sickly sweet  smelling cologne. Possibly even Hai Karate. 

Reunions are what you make of them. Go to them with a smile on your face and a positive attitude and I wager you will have a helluva lot of fun. I certainly plan on that - after I collect on the hugs Vicki Martinez and Lyn Schuller have  promised. Yeah - those will be fun too.

See ya next eek, same bat time and same bat channel. Be sure to check Ramanas Musings to see what he has to say.

Friday, July 19, 2019


Ramana picked this week's topic - contentment. Be sure to check his take at Ramana's Musings.

Contentment.  A state of happiness and satisfaction we all strive for and occasionally, if everything falls into place, achieve. Sometimes it sneaks up on us- I am content with a simple life due to financial restrictions - I live on my social security check. Acceptance is a primary step toward contentment, it seems to me.

Many people are content with their relationship with God. I am not one of those. I am content with my place in the universe. There is a spiritual bent to the universe that I am convinced implies balance in life. 

Contentment is clearly in the mind of the beholder. It is a very personal thing that can change as time or circumstances warrant. Personally, it is not something I have a lot of experience with.

Strange as it sounds, I think one of the longest periods of contentment I have experienced was when I was caretaker for my late wife Lynn during her struggles with Huntington's Disease. I was content knowing she was getting the care she needed from people who truly cared about her. I do not think one could ask for more under those circumstances. But beyond that and my contentment with my place in the universe, my experience with contentment is limited. Considering the clock is ticking, it seems my chances of future experiences are somewhat limited. Perhaps my upcoming trip back to California will offer something. It will be the first time I have seen a large part of my family in almost 30 years, Time will tell.

 That's my quick take on contentment. I wish I had more to say but as I said, I am relatively inexperienced with it. I do accept my lot in life which in and of itself implies a certain degree of contentment.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Is it more important to be respected or liked?

This week's 2 on 1 topic  poses an age old  question - is it better to be liked or respected.

I think people make this more difficult than necessary as being liked and respected are mot mutually exclusive. As a general rule of thumb I'd prefer to have respect for those in authority over me and be liked otherwise. So I respect, for example, police, military personnel, and the like. In a work environment I respect those I report to. Of course it is possible to like many in those positions as well. I have friends whom I like that are police officers, in the military or who were co-workers who have been promoted.

Occasionally inherent respect collides with the notion of like or dislike. For example, I  have enormous respect for the office of POTUS. But, currently I hold nothing but contempt for the current office holder. I find him a truly contemptuous human being - an amoral pathological liar only out for himself. Although his policies are not all bad, some are downright immoral and his attitude toward others is despicable. 

Another example is the author of the infamous Mueller report. I have tremendous respect for Mr. Mueller but I do not find him a particularly likeable fellow. I doubt very much having a beer with him would result in scintillating conversation.

I suppose most of us have friends or relatives we like  a lot but have little - if any - respect for. For whatever reason the way they live their lives in a manner we do not approve. maybe they are alcoholics, gamblers, or generally neer do wells. Can't hold a job, etc.. They are great company but not worthy of much respect for some of their life choices.

There are endless examples of like and respect but the bottom line to me is fairly straightforward. Treat people the way you wish to be treated and you will be respected and liked. It's not really that complicated IMHO.

Be sure to go to  Ramana's Musings to see what Ramana has to say.

Thursday, July 4, 2019


Gratitude is this week's 2-on-1 blog topic, suggested by Ramana.

"If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get." —​Frank A. Clark

"The soul that gives thanks can find comfort in everything; the soul that complains can find comfort in nothing." —​Hannah Whitall Smith

Both of the above quotes ring true to me. I am thankful for my family - yes we occasionally fight like cats and dogs but we also laugh until it hurts at other times. We don't live in big house or drive fancy cars but we have  plenty of food to eat and a roof over our heads and wheels to transport us.

I am grateful for the 10 years I was my late wife's caretaker when Huntington's Disease was taking her away from us. I knew that with me there she would aways be loved regardless of how the disease ate away at her very fiber of being.

I am grateful for the 7 decades I have lived in. We have been through more changes than the previous 2 centuries. and, I dare say, the music of our generation is the best ever. Sorry millennials. I saw the Beatles live. I have a friend who composed multi-million selling records in the sixties. I have visited 48 of our 50 states. I have visited other countries. life in general has been decent to me. I am grateful for the aches and pains I feel every morning when I get up. Consider the alternative.

My children and grandchildren have infinitely more life choices available to them than did I. They control their own destinies by the choices they make.  I hope they choose wisely.

I am grateful that I live in a country that allows us to correct the mistakes we make in election judgments every four years and that system will likely prevent us from ever being under authoritarian rule. 

Nobody is perfect by themselves. We all rely on others for assistance, friendship - in nearly every task we undertake we get input from friend and foe.  Be grateful for input from all fronts, and learn from it. 

Gratitude is a primary component of a meaningful life. When gratitude is part of your makeup, you will have a positive approach to nearly everything. If that is the case your chance of success is always better.

That's my quick take on gratitude. Be sure to visit Ramana's Musings to see what Ramana has to say,