Opinions from Some Retired Guy (me) with No Politics!

Now that I’m retired and in the “Golden Years” I can have opinions (and express them) about a lot of things.  You’re welcome.

  1. I Love Lucy was not that funny.  I watched those old shows in the 50’s, when I was a kid (really young kid) and I have watched them more recently.  I thought they were contrived even before I knew that word, and I still do.  I thought maybe my perception would change with age.  It didn’t.  And just in case you thought that I did not like female comics, I give you Carol Burnett.  Now there was a funny lady.
  2. The Three Stooges were funny.  That should not need any defense, but I know they have their detractors, so listen carefully–the visual schtick was played for humor, and so was the cartoonish violence.
  3. Television today typically consists of some 200-400 channels per household.  Before cable, each household got 3 or 5 channels, maybe 10 or 12 if it was in an urban area.  BUT…many of those 200-400 channels today are showing old shows from the earlier era.  There has to be some humor in there somewhere…
  4. I have a Facebook account.   I share certain things on it from time to time.  Since I have a variety of Facebook friends from different countries, I am used to seeing posts on my page in a couple of foreign languages, and I can read them.  I am also used to seeing posts from younger (these days, most people are younger than I am) people, Americans, in such debased English that they are more difficult to decipher than the foreign ones.
  5. Further to #4 above, it appears that quite a few people rush into writing words/expressions either before having ever seen them in print, or without regard to English spelling or usage.  Gems like “Your a jerk” and “You was to late” are just a couple that I’ve seen lately.  OK, OK, I know, don’t criticize.  But why not?
  6. Golf is the most frustrating, boring sport there is.
  7. Tee time at 8:30?  Sure, I’ll be there.  Can’t wait to try this new driver!
  8. Modern cars are so technically superior to their counterparts from a few decades ago that any comparison is plain silly.  When I traded my last car, a 2013 model Ford, on a 2016 model, I had driven it 40,000 miles.  I had spent nothing at all on repairs for it, and though it was a “midsize” SUV (an Edge) it often got 30 MPG with the cruise control set on 65 and the A/C on full.  My 2016 Edge  is a little better on gas at 32 MPG on a trip.  A car of comparable size and capacity in 1980 would have been a marvel if it got 24.  And it would have had to have frequent replacements of parts.
  9. TV fathers have gone from the 50’s model (Jim Anderson of  Father Knows Best or Ward Cleaver of Leave it to Beaver): the taciturn but wise and gentle type, through the “Dad is a dummy” phase (Al Bundy on Married with Children) to a broad caricature of how dads really think.  Think Red Forman (That 70’s Show) or Murray Goldberg (The Goldbergs) or even Jay Pritchett (Modern Family).  Isn’t it fitting, by the way, that Ed O’Neill got to play one of the dunce variety and one of the modern, wisecracking types?  “OK, we’re done here.”
  10. PS: Kevin James, also a TV dad (Kevin Can Wait) who has now played two chunky, clueless oafs married to women too attractive and smart to give him the time of day in reality, was not funny in the first one and is equally unfunny in the new one.
  11. A second view department: when I was young, I really did not care about Westerns, either on TV or at the movies.  Recently, I saw about 20 episodes of Have Gun, Will Travel with Richard Boone as the cultured gunslinger based in San Francisco, post-Civil War.  I was off base.  This was great TV, with a tense morality play in each 26 minutes.  I may have to look at some others again.
  12. A second view department, part II: Clint Eastwood movies.  Though I did like those spaghetti westerns when they showed on the old drive-in screens in the 60’s, it was an immature admiration for a hero with an exaggerated alpha male persona.  Now I watch them and marvel at the subtleties apparent in Eastwood’s squinty, hard-bitten portrayals (often almost without dialogue) of men in the days of the (romanticized) Old West.  This turns out to be a man wounded by life and determined to wound life in return.  And the Dirty Harry series deserves to be revisited, too.
  13. 20 years ago, I couldn’t stand either hip-hip or country music.  Now I…nah, I still can’t stand either one.
  14. 39 years ago, I went to see a movie that promised to be a bit of entertaining what we called “space opera.”  (I was a reader of serious science fiction, after all, thank you very much.)  Two hours later, at the end of the very first Star Wars film, I was part of a whole theater audience who stood and cheered as the Death Star exploded.  Who would have thought it would grow into one of the biggest movie franchises ever?
  15. I love Canada.  I have heard from some sage that Canadians are less like us (Americans), and like us less, than we might suppose.  Having lived for a time in Canada and visited many times, I would guess that the saying is true (to a degree) but for reasons many Americans will not embrace: Canada as a country is not afraid of self-criticism, and not afraid of self-correction if that self-criticism shows a flaw.  They have the best of the North American experience without much of the worst.  Of course, it’s still too cold, for the most part.  Nowhere is perfect.
  16. I was somewhat in dread of retirement before I transitioned into it, not least because so many told me so many times that I would be bored without a job to go to each day, and I would have nothing important or interesting to do, and the time would just drag on and on.  Four years in, I have to say: ha ha ha.  I do not miss work, though I do miss the travel that resulted from it.  Playing golf a couple of times a week, tending to some fruit trees, and undertaking an occasional wood working project will not change the world, but as I recall, I did not have much success at changing the world from work, either.
  17. There is something transcendent about watching the sun set into the sea.  It seemingly grows bigger and redder until it just disappears.  People tend to forget that Florida has a West Coast–you don’t have to be in California to observe this wonder of nature.  And sitting next to the shore with one arm around your wife (or husband, if that’s the case) is the best way to do it.
  18. I hate cell phones.  Really hate them.  No, that’s all.  I really hate cell phones.  I’m ready to concede, they can save lives, but…no, still find them a bother.
  19. Being this age (talking to all you millennials out there) means I got to see all the good bands in their heyday, some of them live.  I still remember seeing the Who in performance in 1979.  Keith Moon, to my immense regret, was already gone, but the show was still unbelievable.
  20. And finally, one bit of advice: if you are making no progress with someone you are trying to convince, move on.  There are others.  Oh, wait…that’s in the New Testament.  Jesus Himself advised the apostles to “Shake the dust from your Feet.”  Good advice then, and just as good now.