Tuesday, November 30, 2010

THE YIN AND YANG OF TECHNOLOGY

As I said yesterday, much as I am grateful for technology I am also wary of it. One obvious glitch has to do with authenticity. It is as simple as not knowing for sure who the email is really from or its intent. It is as complicated as all of the ways, cyber-crooks have figured out how to steal our money.

It also involves photo shopping pictures and editing videos in ways that can trick us and deceive.

In addition, people can say things in an email that they would not utter in face to face communications.In that sense the communication is not authentic. These lead to ugly and wasteful e-fights that bite.

Not to mention that dating web sites are filled with distortions designed to impress. Both ages and waistlines somehow get reduced in that "disinformation" exchange. My son experienced one of those extreme "makeovers" years ago where the picture was either very old or someone elses. He drove his boat right on by the dock as it swayed beneath her weight!

And for all its helpful information double check Wikipedia as sometimes its facts are more creative than real.

As I said many years ago, "It is not paranoid to be paranoid these days!" And that was before the home computer age.

So, let's enjoy all the advantages that our techno-revolution provides while approaching it with a cautious eye of curious concern. The old adage still applies,"If it seems too good to be true it probably is!"

Bye For Now,

Bill

P.S. How do you know Bill really wrote this? Well,because who else would be silly enough to be sitting at his Apple at noon on a Sunday? But you will never know for sure!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

THE YIN AND YANG OF TECHNOLOGY

There is nothing quite so amazing to me as being able to text my son to make sure he arrived safely on his four hour ride back home and have him respond while he is attending a hockey game. Remember, I am from the pay phone (anyone remember them?) era.

But much as I am grateful for these amazing advances I am wary of them.Nothing so powerful,in my opinion, should be without regulation, supervision and oversight.In fact, wherever deregulation has entered the scene, trouble has followed.Think banking here! I believe that was the point of the book, "Lord Of The Flies", which if you haven't read, is worth the time.

I believe this is particularly true with children and teens and am a firm believer that parents install spyware and do whatever else it takes to make sure that no harm is done. I also believe that the minimum age for social networks should be 18 as these seeming simple networks of communications can quickly become hurtful and even lethal. Rumor mongers and shit stirrers can and do cause much pain.

I am also concerned about authenticity. More on that tomorrow.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Friday, November 26, 2010

AS WE HEAD TOWARD THANKSGIVING : PART III

Be grateful for your home. It may be a mansion or a hovel. It may be a studio apartment that hardly gives you room to move about the cabin. It doesn't matter. It is your home. It is special. It smells nice even when it is not so neat.

Coming home is always a nice feeling. Even when you travel all over the world, getting home is nice and comforting. It is not a hotel or friends house. It is your space. Your territory. Your stuff. It is not living out of a suit case. It is living in a place to which we have become attached and which gives us comfort and a
sense of security.

Feel grateful that you have some place to call your own.

I hope you enjoy the holiday in your space. If not, I hope you come home to it real soon and feel grateful to be back.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

AS WE HEAD TOWARD THANKSGIVING : PART II

Today is your turn to receive gratitude from YOU!

Take a few minutes. No matter what state of mind and body you are in. No matter the state of your house or your finances or your stress or whatever.

For what are you grateful to yourself? What have you done for yourself lately? It doesn't have to be big, but it can be. Little things often mean the most.Please finish this statement, "I AM GRATEFUL TO MYSELF FOR______________________________. Hopefully, your list is long.

We tend to be frugal in heaping praise on our self. Go for it. "Why?" you ask. Simply because, silly rabbit, the likelihood is you deserve it.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

AS WE HEAD TOWARD THANKSGIVING: PART I

Loyal readers of my blog (all 5 of you) know that I am big on gratitude which helps our attitude.

So let's be grateful for being alive,for living in America, still the greatest democracy on earth despite some mismanagement,for having a roof over our heads and "what to eat" as my Grandmother would say.

Let's also say thanks for all the the amazing things technology does for us from health care to information access to communications and turning a blind eye to the silly or hurtful things.

Let's say thanks to those around us, our family and friends who give us love, support, acceptance, understanding and so much more.

And tomorrow, let's say thanks to us!

Bye For Now,

Bill

Monday, November 22, 2010

I FINALLY REMEMBERED

what Woody Allen said,

"I don't believe in an afterlife, but just in case I am taking a change of underwear."

Cute. Always hedge your bet and protect your butt!

Bye for Now,

Bill

Friday, November 19, 2010

APROPOS OF YESTERDAY'S BLOG

I still can't remember what Woody said, but:

If you're going to be able to look back on something and laugh about it, you might as well laugh about it now. Marie Osmond

Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times,it's the only time you've got. Art Buchwald

It is not enough to reach for the brass ring. You must also enjoy the merry-go-round.
Julie Andrews

I went to the bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where is the self-help section? She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose. George Carlin

I will keep looking for the Woody--quote that is!

Bye For Now,

Bill

Thursday, November 18, 2010

NOT A LAUGHING MATTER, BUT LAUGHING MATTERS

I have been reading about the healing and therapeutic value of laughter. There is powerful anecdotal and scientific evidence to show that it works in all kinds of ways.

I have known this for many years, I always inject some laughs in my helping others.

I believe that if we laugh throughout our day we will be happier and more positive. Laugh at the silly things that happen or that you do. Laugh at the world, even during these challenging times. Laugh at Lucy or Archie B's reruns or any comedy of your choice.

Laughing vents and stimulates healthy brain chemicals, naturally. It is a salve for our bodies and our minds.

I wish I could think of something funny to say to make you laugh right now. Woody Allen once said, "....", well I can't remember, but I know he said something funny once or twice.Read my blogs about aging and you will understand why I can't remember. Wish they made Viagra to stretch and strengthen our memory.

Now, what was it I was talking about?

If you just smiled or laughed score one for you and me! LOL every day and you will find it to be an elixir,not of youth, but of life.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FROM HERO TO VILLAIN TO HERO AGAIN

It is interesting to observe that some people can regain their status after taking a major hit.

Think Bill Clinton, Rick Scott(Florida's new Governor) and now Michael Vick, the quarterback for Philadelphia. Not so long ago he was the SOB who was the dirty dog who did something dirty with dogs. He went to jail, did his time and is now a hero once again.The announcers on Monday night football are tripping over themselves praising his poise and performance.As I type they are talking about how he made up his mind to do it differently this time around.

In a certain sense, these are good stories. They show that people can be seduced toward glop, flop and bop back having learned from their experience. What more can we ask? That they and we get it right the first time around. So much easier. So much calmer. So much less costly.

Watch the glop so you can avoid it completely.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GRATITUDE IS COOL

I talk, from time to time, about feeling grateful for the small things. It is an important part of maintaining our mindly matters and happiness.

I am grateful for the cooler weather that we have enjoyed the past few weeks after the hottest summer on record. May it be a white Christmas or at least a cool one.

Hope you are grateful too!

Bye For Now,

Bill

Monday, November 15, 2010

SOMETIMES LITTLE THINGS DO MEAN A LOT

You just never know in life what can make the difference. A friend of mine, who is part of the excellent team at Sierra Tucson hospital in Arizona, gave me a spiral notebook that has the hospital's name and "celebrating 25 years" on the cover. I assume people don't really use that most of the time, especially with notepads right on cellphones.

However, I carry mine everywhere and use it to write down thoughts about the books I am writing that pop into my head out of nowhere. As I said in Thursdays blog, at this age/stage I must write it down or lose it forever.

It was just a small gift, but became so helpful to me. Do something little for someone today and assume it will become something large.

You can find a relevant article on williampenzer.com that I wrote many years ago. It is called "Little Kindneses." They still work!

Bye For Now,

Bill

Friday, November 12, 2010

HOW QUICKLY WE SEEM TO FORGET

I predicted that the rescued miners and the rescuers had their day of fame and would quickly disappear from our radar. Information seems to travel beyond the speed of sound these days and today's headline news is quickly gone. In the case of the miners it is not a big deal as they got many big deals for their ordeal.

But what about Haiti? They were hit again with torrential rains and the cholera is running out of control. It's New Orleans all over again and we can't even imply that the President is racist!

I don't think there is really much you and I can do, but perhaps donate some clothing or money if anyone is still collecting. World leaders need to take note of the disaster and send whatever is needed to help clean it up and rebuild the place ASAP.

There is too much suffering going on for it to be ignored. And there won't be book deals or endorsements for those who survive. I don't even think Disney will invite them. It is really a very sad scene. I am optimistically hoping the world responds.

Bye for Now,

Bill

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NOT SO SOFT BALL

For a while now I have been questioning the involvement of our young in extracurricular activities. Often, they seem much too extra for my comfort. I believe in the learning, discipline and team work value of sports and other activities for children. But, everything in moderation.

OK. In previous blogs I have admitted to being an older,senior person, aka an old fart. Maybe I am missing something. But maybe I'm not!

When I call a person at 8:58PM and her young daughter just walked in from softball on a school night,I think to myself this is crazy. When I observed families over the summer, traveling all over the state for softball tournaments for their 10 or younger daughters, I thought to myself, this is crazy. They play 2 or more games in a day. It is 100+ degrees in the shade in July. It consumes the whole weekend and much money and almost all the quality family time.Not much one on one when your kid is in the outfield sweating like a pig,while you are doing the same in the stands. And there is no beer to be had.It's a triple...bummer! Not to mention the dirty looks you give your kid when she strikes out or drops the ball. Stop with the looks! Its just an f'in game don't you know?

This all reminded me of a family in a traveling hockey league whose young sons played in a tournament each year as far away as Canada or Chicago over Thanksgiving weekend. Seemed like a turkey t(rot) to me.

Remember, sports for me were unorganized, disorganized treats on the streets of the Bronx, N.Y. or the school yard. No uniforms, coaches, practices, etc. Just pure fun and games. We made up the rules as we went along. These were our fields of glory, all in the name of playing.I define play as having fun in a relaxed and easy atmosphere.Organized sports, etc. seem much too serious with frustrated jocks as coaches. But even when my kids were young it was one practice during the week at 5ish and a game on Saturday morning or afternoon.

By the way, I am not only picking on sports. I encounter children who do piano lessons, gymnastics and swim team all in the same week. My personal feeling is that kids have plenty of time to be stressed in their adult lives,just not by the age of 10!

I think we should go back to the calmer days. I fear the wave of super parents are trying to raise super kids and are simply super stressing the family out. Kids really need and deserve to be kids.Parents really need to be practical and protective, as well as enjoy their weekend family and personal time out. Multi-game tournaments in the South Florida heat really need and deserve to be abolished.There is really no point.

I know some of you will disagree. Meet you at the school yard for a showdown game of one on one hoops. No, maybe just a game of HORSE. After all, I am an old fart!!

Then again my set shot is 8 out of 10 from the free throw line! OK, maybe 7 on a windy day!

Bye For Now,

Bill

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

FLYING HIGH AND BEING TAKEN LOW

A few years ago I wrote an article called, "Vulture Culture," which I failed to edit and post on our web site. Hope to get that up soon.

There, I predicted that banks would charge an entrance fee for admission to a branch and airlines would charge for using the bathroom. Neither of these have come to pass just yet, but the charges keep coming.

Spirit Airlines charges extra for a seat(even though that is what you buy for your fare), carry on luggage and check in luggage. They also charge for water, other drinks and snacks. Their seats do not recline, but they will probably charge someday for that option.

I wonder if eventually we will be charged for a licensed pilot, less for an unlicensed one and even less for a robot. Prepare to pay for a pee!

The good news is that the airlines are finally making a profit. Better they should just raise fares and not nickel and dime us into annoyance.So far, Southwest has taken the high road. We appreciate that.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

WHERE DID THEY GO?

A few blogs ago I predicted that the miners of Chile would quickly disappear from the radar hype.In fact, they did.

May all those greedy SOB's who raced there to take advantage of their fifteen minutes of fame lose their ass.

May the miners enjoy their rising, literally and figuratively, to the challenge. They did well. The world, well, not so well.

Bye for Now,

Bill

Monday, November 8, 2010

ACCEPTING YOUR AGING

Getting older is a little weird. To me it feels as if I went to sleep a 40something year old man and woke up the next day,Rip Van Winkle style, looking much like a hairier version of my grandfather.Inside my mind I still feel forty something,but inside and outside my body I am 60something, almost 70. OMG! Holy Shit!! How did this ever happen, I ask myself, along with all the other macabre questions that go with it?

All I and you, if the worn shoe fits, can do is accept it as part of the never changing life cycle. We are born, we grow older (and hopefully wiser) and ultimately we move to the next level. It has always been this way and will always be this way.

All we can do is stare aging square in the more wrinkled face and say, "I will be OK. I will keep striving toward healthier. I have more time and more good times ahead. I will apply all the life lessons I have learned and try my best to age with grace,dignity and balance.I will accept that I can't do all of the things I used to,but that I can still do many of them.I will use my time wisely and enjoyably.

And after I do all that I'll get a tummy tuck, face lift, hair transplant,botox, tattoos, butt shaping and start using that penis enlarging stuff I receive 3 emails a day about!" Just kidding about the latter stuff,but not about the former, though I must admit those before and after photos of the enlarger do look impressive.

The only real anti-aging ingredients lie in acceptance and positivism.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Friday, November 5, 2010

INTO THE LIGHT

I like the saying, "Better to Light a Candle than to Curse the Darkness" attributed to Confuscius. The older we get the more important it is to do just that. We need to light one, before ours goes out.

It doesn't have to be major. It just has to be.

Bye For Now,
Bill

Thursday, November 4, 2010

IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO GROW OLD GRACEFULLY

Apropos of yesterday's blog


You are as old as your mind,
not the calendar.
Make each day a new day.
Refuse to relive old days.
Make bold plans.
Set new personal bests.
Journey into the unknown with abandon.

From "It's Never Too Late" by Patrick Lindsay.

GO SENIORS. NOW IS YOUR (OUR) TIME TO SHINE BRIGHTLY.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I PUT IT SOMEPLACE FOR SAFE KEEPING

For those of us who struggle with aging I have good news. We are not alone.

You know how you take that important paper and place it somewhere safe and special so you will remember where you put it. And then, like me, you can't for the life of you remember where it is. Well, there is hope for us yet!

The Island of Figi was granted its independence in 1970 by the U.K. As it celebrated forty years of independence this year the paper granting that, presented by Prince Charles, went missing. The order is nowhere to be found.

Fortunately, the U.K. agreed to send over a photocopy.

We should be so lucky!

Bye For Now,

Bill

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

ONE PLUS ONE EQUALS WHATEVER YOU MAKE OF IT

I read today that the average American has 13 credit cards. That collective credit card debt is in the trillions of dollars. Those are pretty scary numbers. Will we all go belly up as time goes by? What if we all went bankrupt in the same year? We would drown in red ink and China would buy us for a large discount.

I think it is time for all of us to cut back. The wild spending days of the last decade need to be reigned in. Reality needs to be faced. We are not as wealthy as when the stock and then real estate markets were flying high. The middle class is heading for extinction.

Now is the time to adopt some more conservative philosophies that invest, rather than divest, in your futures and those of your young. We need to bring back the phrase of my youth. Namely, "We can't afford it." An I phone in every hand is a nice ideal, but it just may not be practical in our New World Economic Order.

I played with a "pregnant" basketball because my parents could not afford to buy me a new one. I survived as did my jump shot. You will too.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Monday, November 1, 2010

THEY MUST HAVE READ MY BLOG ON WEDNESDAY!

The Heat's home opener on Friday night was a blowout. The dream team connected well. They showed focus, discipline, teamwork and hunger. They wanted it badly and they took it all the way.

The same is true for us. We need to draw upon those same characteristics in how we live our lives. We need to be at the top of our game. We also need to love the ones we love. The Heat don't have to do that. We do!

Bye for Now,

Bill