Good Riddance

2014 turned out to be the year I wish hadn’t happened. As chronicled here and here, during 2014 I recovered from a broken clavicle, then broke and recovered from a broken elbow and a broken hand, and one of the favorite cars I’ve ever owned died without warning. Also in the broken bone category, my grandson who plays for his high school soccer team, was “cheap-shotted” by an opposing player which resulted in a broken arm and surgery to repair the damage. It’s been a pretty awful year, so good riddance! It’s an understatement that I’m looking forward to a much improved 2015.

My resolutions for the New Year:

  • No broken bones
  • Better physical condition and improved golf game
  • Learn something new that will improve my quality of life
  • Did I mention NO BROKEN BONES?

Here’s hoping anyone who takes the time to read this has had enjoyable end-of-year holidays and to all a spectacularly successful 2015. How freaking “New Age-y” can I get?

Requiem for Ravioli

In August 2006 I purchased a previously-owned, red 2002 Toyota RAV4. We nicknamed it “RAVioli.” RAVioli took us on many adventures, exploring local treasures and driving hundreds of miles to see what other places had to offer.

RAVioli took me to golf tournaments and outings in far-flung locations such as Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Blairsville, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis, Indiana; Nashville, Tennessee; and Masillon, Ohio. For over eight years RAVioli carried me safely on my daily commute, fifty miles per day for most of it, in almost any imaginable condition — rain, snow, sleet, and ice; as well as blistering heat and humidity — in wonderful comfort. It carried all my golf equipment, I have a lot, as well as groceries, travel paraphernalia, and most of whatever we could stuff inside, and it did so without complaint.

Among RAVioli’s many traits was its amazing good looks. It turned heads; iceravI know it did. It was always easy to find in a grocery store parking lot; it stood out in a crowd.

But now it’s gone. The alternator quit. When I got the call from my local mechanic I was told that there were some other items that needed attention — a significant oil leak and brakes led the list. The projected total for repairs exceeded the resale value of a 13-year-old car in fair condition. It was time to let RAVioli go and move on to the next vehicle. It was with a heavy heart that I traded in my beloved RAVioli for a pure white 2012 Camry — I have entered the character-free zone.

Yes, the new girl has technology better than I’ve had in a car, but it has no soul. What could I possibly name it — Snowball? iCar? Who knows? I’m confident the Camry will take me anonymously, and in comfort, wherever I choose to go. But that’s no fun.

Memories of Dave

David Letterman will host Late Night for the last time at the end of May 2015. I don’t watch much television and certainly not the late-night variety with it’s celebrity-obsessed theme. But on those occasions when I have tuned in I’ve always had a fondness for Letterman over Leno (or his retirement replacement du jour). My memory is such that I remember little of any specific episode of Late Night, they all blur together for me. There is, however, one episode that stands out, not for who was on, but the circumstances under which I watched.

It was May 2002 and I was in a hotel in Luxor, Egypt (yes, the real one) attempting to get some sleep after spending much of the previous morning exploring tombs and temples in the Valley of the Kings. I’d napped in the afternoon, so now sleep eluded me. As I tossed and turned into the wee hours I thought, “It’s not like I can watch Letterman, or anything.” I turned on the TV anyway. I was stunned! There was Dave! With Arabic subtitles!

That two week excursion flying a small, single engine aircraft through the Middle East and Europe was an amazing time for me. Finding Dave on the television that night is one of my favorite memories. Even though I rarely watch, I’ll miss him when he’s gone.

What’s Wrong With News?

I quit paying attention to the news, this time, on November 5, 2014, the day after the most recent mid-term elections. I’ve done this before, although it’s probably been a couple of decades since the last time.

If you’re wondering why, it’s because both local and national television news is either depressing, they’re trying to scare me, or it’s junk feel-good entertainment. Don’t believe me? Check out America’s most-watched newscast.

Once highly-respected, world-class news organizations are assigning producers to scour YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to find videos and photographs of cutesie crap for the last third of the evening “news”-cast.

The stuff that gets into “the news” has no effect on my life. The day-to-day shit they throw at us isn’t worth anything. So that’s why I no longer check Web sites for local, national, or international news. I don’t look at local news or national news on television, either. If something important happens, something that effects my life, I’ll know about it.

I’m feeling much better.