Monday, December 9, 2013
Friday, November 29, 2013
The technological age that we live in provides us with many advantages that, in theory, should help us to age a little more gracefully. Most of us lose our dental insurance when we go on Medicare, so we need to take care of our teeth or we’ll catch it right in the pocketbook. For my teeth, I have my Sonicare toothbrush. Vibrating at 500 strokes per second, that little sucker makes the plaque fly. But don’t let the plastic back of the brush near an older filling. When the filling flies apart, you’ll feel that in your pocket book too.
My dentist told me that halitosis tends to plague older people, but that I could prevent it by also brushing the roof of my mouth and my tongue. If that sounds gross, perhaps you should stop reading now. However, if you want to try this method of preventing bad breath, read on, but beware!
The professor at Texas A&M who taught me German said that to pronounce the letter R properly one needs to vibrate their uvula. When I picked up my Sonicare and shoved that electronic bumblebee down my throat a little too far and touched my uvula, I did far more than say the letter R in German. The German R came out with the voice of Alvin, the chipmunk. But there is more to the uvula than meets they eye. There’s a physiological tie between the uvula and our gag reflex. Vibrating the uvula at several hundred pulses per second kicks your gag reflex into warp drive. I had the dry heaves for at least a half-hour before the nerves recovered from their state of shock. Just hearing me caused my wife to join in on the chorus.
No … growing old ain't for sissies. I would swear that some little gremlin keeps putting Rogaine in my saline nasal spray. In my ear drops too. In fact, I think it’s pouring it into my body wash at night while I’m sleeping. Now this malady probably affects men more than women, although none of us are completely immune to the hairiffic curse of aging. But we have a machine or a medicine for just about every condition that plagues us, and for this, we have the nose and ear trimmer. If you’re a bit hairophobic and decide to use one of these gadgets, beware!
I have tried different makes and models of trimmers, all with the same result, microscopic nicks in the surrounding tissue which constitute a breach in our body’s most important defense mechanism. Normally a nick in our skin would not be a big problem, but our nose is the first line of defense against any nasty microorganism that we breathe in. And over the course of a day we can breathe in an incredible number of bacteria, viruses, even super germs. Once inside, germs hang out in our nasal cavity waiting to attack, to give us a cold or some other infection. You trim on one day and, by the time you get up the next morning, a million bacteria have had a free shot at your nose. Even with a healthy immune system, you'll have a bulbous beak that Rudolph would be proud to display. And don't even think about touching it, or you're scream will make your spouse think the security alarm went off.
There are other conditions we experience as we age and there are other devices that I could mention, but things would deteriorate rapidly. And, let’s face it, old-age humor can get a lot more gross than little-boy humor. So, we're going to stop right here. But, whether you go retro, sporting bushy eyebrows and all the rest, or opt for the latest gadgets to keep you looking a little younger ... growing old ain't for sissies.
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Hide and Seek -- espionage thriller with romance: "He expected security breaches, but the conspiracy she uncovers sends them running for their lives." Hide and SeekTrailer
On the Pineapple Express – human-trafficking thriller with romance “How much will she risk to save a group of girls from international traffickers”
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Growing up just outside of San Francisco in the '60's, I wanted to be a hippie. I embraced the idea of living with less, and being content. The book, written for young people but appreciated by adults, shares those ideals.
The pen and color wash illustrations are minimal in detail. The limited hues hint at the spare sand and hill desert setting.
Mountain Girl, the adolescent narrator, calls a family meeting to discuss their poverty. As an example she points to their scratched, hand-crafted, repurposed dining table, proof they aren't rich.
So her parents introduce her to their unconventional economy.
"We don't just take our pay in cash, you know. We have a special plan so we get paid in sunsets, too" her mother says. And they start the bookkeeping with a credit of $20,000.
They add generous amounts for dad's pleasure of working where he can sing. They get a bonus for the unique color of a cactus bloom, the presence of day-loving and nocturnal birds. Finally they add the value Mountain Girl brings to their lives, including her list-making abilities. At a whopping one million dollars, she brings the family assets up to $4,055,000.
When she considers her ledger, all on the plus side, it doesn't seem important to add the actual cash they earn. "I suggest it shouldn't even be on a list or our kind of riches."
When I first read this wonderful book I laughed aloud. I had two Mountain Girls at home who complained about our one-car status and having to use public transportation. They thought our decision to not spend money on a TV was ridiculous, while I counted the hours of reading aloud to them as pure gold.
I really wanted the oral reading of this book to be part of our Thanksgiving tradition. Sadly, it didn't catch on. Perhaps this year, as we scrunch husbands, four kids and a baby around the table, I'll try again. I want us to always be mindful that we are blessed beyond reckoning, but still it's good to count those blessings.
I pray you will cherish your time together next week as you sit at the table with the rich people.
Monday, November 18, 2013
When we decided to move to the Detroit Metropolitan Area, one of the most segregated communities in America, we chose a suburb with an excellent high school for our fourteen year old daughter. Our friends were astonished. How could we, who had always fought for civil rights, move to a suburb so racist that the deed to every house forbade Blacks and Jews to live there?
Betty seemed startled, but she didn’t argue. My friends looked interested, not antagonistic. I felt elated. I had found a way to stand up for my values when prejudiced remarks were made. I needed to learn facts, work on my temper, and practice making “I” remarks in front of my mirror until I could get a genuinely non-blaming expression onto my face.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Link to the whole video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9ZcN_6wzp8
Tom has spoken in churches across America, and in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
ARE OLD LADIES CUTE?by Linda Lange
I’ve been thinking about something my friend Pam said. We were planning our annual trip back to our hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and I e-mailed her to say the Packers autograph session we’d wanted to attend was sold out.
Pam replied, “We could crash it and be on the front page of the Press-Gazette! We are so old that people will say, ‘Aw, aren't they cute?'"
But take Betty White. At 91, she's pretty cute. So maybe I'm just not old enough ...
Friday, November 8, 2013
My wife, Linda is fantastic, beautiful, the love of my life and she has a ton of other wonderful qualities but there is only one most beautiful woman on the planet at any given time.
I saw this young woman on the Buffalo State campus in the fall of 1962. She was too gorgeous to have a name that equaled her appearance. Rather than discover her parents hung Hilda or Dorcas on her, I intentionally didn’t attempt to find out what her parents tagged her with. Because of her flaxen hair, azure eyes, and pure unblemished skin she lives in my mind as “The Swedish girl."
Less is not enough and more is too much.
She was at her zenith and I had to lock her in my memory at that point. It hurt to watch Willy Mays continue his career after he headed down the other side of the mountain of perfection. I couldn’t let that happen to the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen.
In addition I was a tall skinny guy with acne, an offbeat personality and a 2.9 cumulative grade point average. I was also a third string outfielder on our college baseball team who couldn't hit a high inside curve. History told me a girl like her was scoping out the hunks and the bad boys. Second place is painful, never getting a second look is much worse.