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Observation's of an old guy
Sunday, 13 March 2005

Topic: Books I'm Reading
I read all the time, the good and the bad. Currently I seem to be selecting titles that
will be easy to read and perks my interest. To that end I am reading or have read three novels
of the military genre. I didn't plan that, it just came out that way. I am not a military devotee,
I wasn't really a very good military type when I did my four years it seems a century ago. But
here they are:

ARTICLES OF WAR. A short novel by Nick Arvin, a man who has not ever been in the service, so
I guess you don't have to experience something to write about it. It is about the second world war and a young man's experiences to it, and the insanity of war. It is not exactly a cautionary tale, but more reporting on the day to day happenings from an eighteen year old boy who wonders what he is doing here and the fear he must learn to use to his advantage to survive it all.

HOMEFRONT. By Joel Rosenberg. A novel set in Minnesota and North Dakota about a man and his
old war buddies from the Vietnam war trying to protect a daughter of one of their band of brothers. It has the small town closeness that we all sometimes yearn for in a town where you don't lock your doors at night and a plot that intends to set things right the only way they know how to, by using their skills learned in the old war. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Violence is at a minimum even though it is omnipresent at times. This is the first I have read of Joel Rosenbergs stuff, but I think I will read another.

PRIDE RUNS DEEP. An out and out adventure story about submarines and their crews in WWII,
Written by R. Cameron Cooke. Published in paperback, did you know they cost eight dollars a pop now? it is quite enjoyable with familiar plots of sailors at war under the water. How they can stand being in a boat under the water puts me into fits of clausterphobia just reading about it. Enough said, it is a good read. I enjoyed it.

Posted by jim2jak at 10:35 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 13 March 2005 10:38 AM EST
Saturday, 12 March 2005
Comfort of Winter....enough is enough

Winter was a comfort,
darkness gently wrapped
around my waning self.
In gray light, soft snow
fell outside my window
and darkness came early
bringing me rest.

I almost missed spring,
a bud on the tree,
a crocus or two.
It dashed by the panes,
so fleeting
that I was left unprepared

when summer arrived.
it glares through the glass
Too brilliant,
the multitude of flowers.
Sun glistens
off leaves and grass
jarring my vision.
Heat drains
away my spirit.

So I wait
for autumn's release of fire,
bringing me back,
to comfort of winter.

? 1996 Anne Johnson

And so I endure once again those 'comforts of winter'. It get's harder to wax eloquent of the joys and beauty of snow and ice when you have had your fill of it, and spring is only a couple weeks away. Here is a picture I just snapped with one of those wonderful digital cameras showing a new batch of that 'comfort' that came in the night. jak

Posted by jim2jak at 8:25 AM EST
Thursday, 10 March 2005
Average weight for adult males soars to 191 pounds
Average adult Americans are about one inch taller, but nearly a whopping 25 pounds heavier than they were in 1960, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The bad news, says CDC is that average BMI (body mass index, a weight-for-height formula used to measure obesity) has increased among adults from approximately 25 in 1960 to 28 in 2002.

It would seem that painter Fernando Botero, who paints all his subjects supersized, was physic and knew we Americans were going to adjust to his desired dimentions.

Posted by jim2jak at 9:09 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 10 March 2005 9:22 AM EST
Wednesday, 9 March 2005

Isn't it always the way, spring will be here officially in a couple weeks and it doesn't seem possible with snow still on the ground here in the midwest. I don't want to wish away my life, but come on spring.

Wouldn't it make a good story if someone would write a book or make a tv movie about Arthur Godfrey. He was so popular and omnipresent in the fifties. He seemed such a nice guy, but I read where he wasn't all that nice.

In the spring in the world of baseball, all our hometeams seem invincible and surely this year everyone will see that my team will emerge from the pack and set the baseball world afire.

Posted by jim2jak at 9:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 9 March 2005 10:49 AM EST
Friday, 25 February 2005
Sorry for being away so long.
Apologies for being away so long, but the winter doldrums set in. The world turned slate gray day after day, and I couldn't seem able to conjure up an original thought.

My wife has kept herself busy cleaning out the attic. It's amazing how much 'stuff' we carry along with us from place to place for no reason. At first I think maybe we believe we will need the stuff sometime or another, well that didn't happen. Then I think we just keep it because it is a part of our past and it seems cold to just pitch it in the trash and/or we think we should keep it for our children to peruse when we are gone to fill in gaps of our history. Well those reasons don't pan out and it just becomes junk taking up needed room even in an attic. But there seems to come a time when we start to become detached in certain ways to our past and the pitching out becomes easier. We have reached that stage.

We have one of these large plastic storage units filled with photographs that we say we will neatly put into albums, marked with who is who and dates as close as we can figure. Doubt is setting in about that also. But those we won't throw away. Those will be left for the kids to throw away eventually.

The sun is shining today. It seems an ersatz kind of sun but I think soon it will contain some warmth and we will all feel better. Later gang.

Posted by jim2jak at 3:31 PM EST
Tuesday, 18 January 2005
work savers
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: work savers
I think I must be a slow learner. I live in Ohio and that means snow in the winter, sometimes plenty of it. One of the two outdoor things I dislike about homeowning is shoveling snow. It's very hard work for even the youngest and strongest among us. People die from doing it for crying out loud. Well I am not one of youngest or the strongest anymore. That sort of sounds like I used to like doing it..WRONG. The other outdoor thing I dislike doing is bagging leaves in the fall. But to my point, I now have purchased worksavers that help me cut both of those tasks down to manageable size. The leaf problem was eradicated by a mulching mower. That baby chops those leaves as they fall into little pieces that is actually good for the yard I'm told; so no more raking for me. The snow problem was just this week cut down to size when I purchased a snow blower. What a good thing, as Ms. Martha Stewart says. It is easy to handle, lightweight, powerful enough, 5 HP and all I have to do is guide it down the driveway and back again. Oh, I do have to change the directional thingee that throws the snow where you want it to go. I can manage that. Now if I could just figure out how I would not have to go out in the cold to do it. One help I discovered a couple years ago is a watch cap. Pull it down as low as you can and still be able to see. It doesn't look pretty, but whose looking?

Posted by jim2jak at 9:24 AM EST
Wednesday, 12 January 2005
No Power
The new year is starting out 'not so good'. We had a very large snow storm amounting to 23 plus inches, followed the last week by a mamouth ice storm that brought down power lines and left everyone in darkness and COLD. Have you ever sat in a dark house in 39 degree inside temperatures. You cannot believe how cold that is. It's like being inside a meat locker in the dark. We piled on layer after layer of clothing. I wore a coat, muffler around my neck, watchcap down to my eyes, and gloves. We put up with this for three days until we could stand it no longer. But deciding to bail out was not quite so easy, as this whole year has been, because all the hotels, motels, etc. were occupied. I got lucky thought and tried a brand new hotel in town and of course everything was taken, except she told us, a room that was a suite. We snapped it up. Everyone else must have been waiting for a cheaper model, but necessity to enter the living world again set aside all the worries of economics at this point. It was heaven. It had a burning fireplace in the lobby and the room had all the amenities, including two televisions. We had to stay there for two more days, until finally our power was restored, and we could return home. Home sweet home, I should say home sweet warm home.

Posted by jim2jak at 10:05 AM EST
Saturday, 1 January 2005
Retirement: A Poem
Now Playing: Found this on Frank Keiser's SUDDENLY SENIOR site. Check him out.

I worked forty-five years
for someone else
So that I could retire.

I dreamed of sleeping late
And sitting by the fire.
I dreamed of long vacations,
Enjoying stage and song.
But, let me set you straight
on that concept,
It is simply wrong.

I did junk my safety glasses
And the work boots that
cramped my toes.
But, the rest of it had
a mind of it's own
And this is how it goes.

My wife had been
thinking of retirement
And had plans of her own.
She had spent much time with the kids
But, now they are grown and gone.

We sold our cattle and horses
So we wouldn't have that chore.
I poured concrete over my alarm clock
But, I still wake up at four.

I get my eyes checked on Monday.
Ann gets hers checked the next day.
I go for a colon check on Wednesday
And pass my wife going the other way.
I have a dental appointment on Thursday.
Ann goes for a test on her heart.
Friday we go get prescriptions filled
And browse a while at Wal-Mart.
Saturdays we just stay home
And try to get the paper work right.
We can't take any overnight trips
'Cause we can't see to drive at night.
Restroom confusion keeps us out of
church on Sunday.
And we really do hate that.
There's nothing wrong
with the restrooms,
We just can't remember where
they're at.

We don't need to plan next week,
Just make sure we can drive.
And not forget where the
hospitals and clinics are.
We'll need them to survive.

So, don't build your castles
too high, my friend,
While strolling through the clover.
This is a typical week in retirement
And on Monday we start all over!

Author Unknown

Posted by jim2jak at 1:53 PM EST
I did something I have not done for a long time, I made a New Years Resolution. If you look at my writings you are probably included with me in the not very desirable, but inevitable class known as senior citizenry. Of the myriad of health programs that can pop up as we age, one of the most common is weight gain. In and of itself it does not pose much of a problem, you can be overweight and healthy. But extra weight will agravate back problems, breathing problems, leg problems; problems that can be diminished somewhat by taking off some of those excess pounds we carry around on us. In my case those excess pounds now amount to twenty five. I doubt if I can rid myself of all of that, but I will try hard. In my case it is a little easier. I love desserts of all kinds and partake generously of all that are graciously offered. If I knock off all desserts, that alone will help. I also love bread with my meals, that can be stopped. Those two things, if I can keep my resolve for ninety days might work for me. Fortunatly for me this does not reqire a change of life style. I will just have to develop better eating habits, and not forever, just ninety days. I WILL DO IT.

Posted by jim2jak at 1:32 PM EST
Thursday, 23 December 2004
Now Playing: BRRR COLD
Topic: Observations of a old guy
Yesterday and today for a while, we got a lot of snow. I mean a lot of snow. It is up to our knees once you break through the hard crust on top. In addition to the snow we are going to have cold, repeat cold temps. Tonight one below and tomorrow night maybe ten below. The wife and I went out to use the shovels to make a path for the mailman to get to the box if he makes it today. It is now about seven P.M. and he still has not. What ever happened to that 'in all kinds of weather etc."? But they do good work, It will get here sooner or later.

I remember in my youth, in the forties, I would go out in the snow and play all day, sled riding, snowballing, or whatever and I would not come home until my mother would call for me to eat supper, or lunch. I remember standing on the register which shot up a lot of hot air from the coal furnace until my limbs started to thaw out. I was not unique for those days, and it's a wonder we didn't get frostbite, but we survived. Now, as they say, everything has a time under heaven, and old guy time is not the time to want to be out in the snow too long.

Posted by jim2jak at 7:21 PM EST

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