Living Retired — ‘Dear Deer’
By Gary Chalk
Jan and I went online and ordered an outdoor Christmas decoration: a 2-piece reindeer and sleigh set with 150 LED lights. I know, we should have known better.
The words on the box indicated the deer and sleigh measure almost 6’ long and over 4’ tall. What arrived on our porch was a 2’ square carton crammed with deer legs, the head and neck, a set of antlers, the body, sleigh runners and plenty of pieces for the sleigh. Counting spare bulbs, fuses, and ground stakes there were 24 individual parts and 42 pieces of hardware! What the Fa La La La La La La La La were we thinking!
I took the box to our basement and waited until Jan and I got our nerve up to assemble the deer and sleigh. That day was last Saturday, well, okay, Saturday and Sunday.
Jan said, “Gary, while you open the carton I will go upstairs and make some hot mulled wine, it’s called wassail. This is going to be so much fun!” I shook my head.
Suddenly, Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ came to life…
‘I sprang from … Read the rest here Read More
Living Retired – ‘In The Studio Audience’
By Gary Chalk.
As a kid The Ed Sullivan Show was must-watch television. Every Sunday night at 8 o’clock my parents, my sister Dianne, and I were entertained by buxom Charo (the ‘Cuchi-cuchi’ lady), a stuffed mouse called Topo Gigio, and some guy in a tuxedo running like a madman across the stage spinning China plates on sticks. Now that was show business!
I enjoyed when Ed introduced people in the audience. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Yogi Berra from the World Series Champion New York Yankees. Gentlemen, please stand and take a bow.”
That was the type of studio audience that impressed me; but it is different these days…
Ron Popeil the infomercial guru made a fortune with his rotisserie chicken invention. But I couldn’t get over the nitwits in the studio audience screaming “SET IT AND FORGET IT!” Every time the camera panned over to the bleachers these simpletons were rapidly clapping their hands together staring in awe at each other like the Toronto Maple Leafs had won the Stanley Cup! Instead of “GO LEAFS GO! “they chanted “SET IT AND FORGET IT! SET IT AND … Read the rest here Read More
Living Retired — ‘Fearing Needles Is Needless’
By Gary Chalk.
I never enjoy getting needles. There I said it.
And I am not alone. Researchers at the University of Michigan cite that approximately 30% of adults say they are concerned when it comes to having needles — everything from mild anxiety to a phobia that even prevent them from seeking out medical care.
Over the past few years having had all my Covid vaccinations, Covid boosters, flu shots, and blood work for my annual physical I have endured having my share of jabs in my arm.
I did my own research and discovered a 2-step strategy to help relieve the anxiety people have when they have a needle, which may help you.
The first step is to avoid unnecessary eye contact with the person who is about to jab you in your arm. Look in the opposite direction — down at your feet, outside a window, even close your eyes. The nurse holding the needle may think you are being rude but what the heck.
The second step is to start a friendly conversation with the needle-giver. Chatting, while avoiding looking at them, can create a sense of calmness. Hopefully, … Read the rest here Read More
Living Retired — ‘I Snooze I Lose’
By Gary Chalk.
Have you taken up the sport that is all the rage these days, pickleball? I haven’t. Instead, I am into another activity — snoring.
It began one morning a few months back when Jan said, “Gary, do you know you are snoring so much that I can’t sleep?”
“Jan how would I know I am snoring so much that it wakes you up? I am sleeping!”
The only proof Jan can provide that I snore are the bruises on my body from when she leans over and smacks me in the middle of the night. WHACK!
Stirring her coffee at breakfast, Jan said, “Gary, I am very sorry, but you are snoring like a freight train and the only way I can get your attention is to whack you.”
Massaging the welts on my ribs, I said, “Jan, I already stick one of those nasal strips on my nose. Maybe I should also wrap myself in bubble wrap so when you smack me I won’t bruise.”
“Gary don’t be silly. I am trying to have a serious conversation and you suggest coming to bed covered in bubble wrap! Besides, if … Read the rest here Read More
Retired Living — ‘Livestock Emission Tax Stinks’
By Gary Chalk
I usually do not write about politics. However, a ‘too good to be true opportunity’ presented itself last week. I read a report by the Associated Press that outlined a tax being proposed in New Zealand. I concluded that this tax is nothing to sneeze at, ahh, err, fart about! Let me explain…
The tax being discussed is on New Zealand’s farmers, ahh, rather, their livestock. As part of the government’s greenhouse gas reduction plan, the elected officials are honing in on the country’s 10 million beef and dairy cattle and 26 million sheep. Collectively these 36 million animals account for — get this — close to 50% of New Zealand’s methane gas emissions. But the way I see it, the number is even higher…
The population of New Zealand is approximately 5 million people. They are fervent rugby fans. Thousands meet up in stadiums all over the country to cheer wildly for their team, and drink lots of beer. The outcome is you guessed it: farting! So the number is actually 10 million beef and dairy cattle, 26 million sheep, and 5 million drunken rugby fans. So now we … Read the rest here Read More
Living Retired — ‘Bum Toilet’
By Gary Chalk.
I am not a home handyman, a fixer upper kind of guy. Never have been. I don’t have many work tools — although I still have all ten of my fingers. Perhaps this is because I don’t fix things. Sort of a chicken and egg thing, or a nail and hammer thing. This is what I mean…
If a light bulb needs to be replaced, I go to my seldom-visited workshop. On my little-used workbench I have a yellow plastic Toys ‘R Us ‘On the Go’ toy toolbox. Inside, I grab the red hammer with the fat bright blue handle. I like when the batteries are working and it makes a sound every time I smack something.
So when anything in our home needs to be repaired Jan insists that I call our friend Rick. She says flat out, “Gary, it is non-negotiable. Call Rick.”
“Gary, don’t you remember our wedding vows? You said when it came to home repairs ‘Through better or worse until death do us part to call Rick.’”
Over the years Rick has bailed me out with our home fix-it issues. One time it was dire! He dropped … Read the rest here Read More