Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Facebook Observations

So I recently gave in and got me a Facebook page.
Not that I ever saw a huge desire or need for it, but I figure
it is easier to monitor my daughter, and then I found out that
my MOM has one, so what the hell!

I didn't know what to expect, since I had no previous experience
with it, and at first I was very confused. But now that I kind
of got the hang of it, here are my observations:

From what I can see, all it really does is show a bunch of
messages that people are typing to each other. OK, fine, I can
understand that. But the part that got me for a while was
trying to understand who all these people are, and how can I see
THEIR stuff, and how can they see MINE?

I figured out that going 'Home' meant I can see whatever people
have written to each other that are part of my friends' network.
I also found that just clicking on my account would just show me
my OWN stuff, and that my 'Wall' was where people could type
stuff that I can see.

(All you Facebook pros can laugh at my 'newbie-ness' if you want,
or just ignore this post altogether).

But as I acquired Friends, it began to get more interesting. It
became more of a virtual room with all these people that I know
talking to each other, and we all see what everyone is saying.
I had some fun with my nephews...who are both young men in
their early 20' posting some pictures of them when they
were like 15. All their cousins got a kick out of it.

Here is where it gets even more I get more
friends, then those people are friends with other people, and
they are friends with even MORE people, and I find that I am
re-establishing contact with people that I have not seen or even
thought about in like 30 years or more!

It is pretty fascinating to see how these people interact with
each other, and how I discover that groups of people know each
other that I had not realized were part of the same circle.
Kind of like the six degrees of separation principle, if you are
familiar with that.
(Everybody knows someone who knows someone who knows
who knows someone who knows someone who knows
the President of the United States personally)...
click to enlarge this so you can see it:

Like most people, I have my own circle of friends and
aquaintances that I always imagined were separate groups of
people. I had no idea that these groups branched off and
interacted with each other until all these friend requests
started to come in.

I am astonished to see how many I really know...having never
been a really 'cool' or 'popular' person, I am reminded that I
really do know lots of people!

But...there are some annoying things as well...mainly when
people want to send me all these 'apps'. Anyone who uses
Facebook knows what I mean. But frankly, I don't have the
inclination to mess with these things, I don't want to load my
PC down with all these little add-ons it needs to install to
make them work, and it is not my bag or reason for getting on

So the problem is...when I choose to 'Ignore' the
people get a message to that effect? Am I offending them? Is
there a way to tell them "No thanks, and please don't send me

So I am loaded down with all these requests that I have not
answered, such as 'so-and-so wants to send you a fish from the
farm' or 'so-and-so wants to give you a virtual pet'. By not
doing anything with them, I am effectively 'ignoring' the
request, but in the meantime I have all this 'stuff' sitting
around that I would like to clear out.

If I specifically select 'Ignore' can I do that without them
getting a message that I HAVE ignored it? What I would like to
do is be able to click 'Ignore' and not have them get any type
of response at all.

Peace be with you

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Last night we had our Christmas Eve dinner. We had a hankering
for pasta. Very good, filling, and easy to clean up.

My wife and kid think I am 'anal' because I always want to get
the dirty dishes cleaned up right away. But I don't get that,
it makes absolute perfect sense to me to get things cleaned up
as fast as possible.

Who wants to go to bed at night knowing that I have this to look
forward to in the morning??

By then, it will be caked on and hard to clean. I can never
relax until I know that whatever I need to get done is DONE.

The dishwasher must be loaded correctly. How can anybody load
it up and mix all the cutlery into different compartments? Am I
the only one who thinks that putting all the forks in one spot,
and all the spoons and knives in their own spot makes complete
and logical sense? What other way is there to do it?

And while I am at it, why NOT set up the coffee pot the night
before? Isn't it so much easier to wake up in the morning and
then flick the switch, knowing you will have your coffee without
screwing around with it?

My wife and I have an 'accord'...I don't do the laundry (I don't
do it right) and she lets me take care of cleaning up the

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and God's Peace on us all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Diamond Is...

I am consistently amazed and flabbergasted at the value that
people place on certain objects. Now, don't get me wrong, I
can understand that a wedding or an engagement ring is a very
special object, a precious symbol of the commitment and love
that a man has for his woman.

I am talking more along the lines of the old saying that "A
diamond is a girl's best friend". Why would a diamond be a
girl's best friend? As far as I can tell, only because of its
monetary value, thus giving the girl some security.

I do not understand why a person would desire the biggest and
brightest emerald, diamond, or ruby. Sure, they are beautiful,
but so are fake stones. Putting aside the fact that the stone is
worth money, it appears that some people just like to show it
off to others, as if to make them jealous. A diamond-studded
Rolex watch? I couldn't see myself spending ten grand on a
watch no matter how much money I had.

Sorry, but these types of useless objects are for the people who
can afford them, wealthy people who have nothing else to spend
their money on. A working slob like myself is not about to go
into hock for a piece of rock when there are either bills to
pay, or other more useful utilitarian things to spend money on.

I do understand that just by virtue of being rare, almost
anything becomes more valuable, but still, the object must have
some kind of intrinsic value. I don't believe that a rotten
tomato is going to be valuable just because it is the only
rotten tomato in the world.

Gold, however, is very has three qualities that
make it extremely actually is quite rare, it is
very beautiful, plus it has the added benefit of being a very
useful item! Forget about jewelry and baubles, gold is
used in industry because of its resistance to corrosion, its
durability, its electrical conductivity, and because it is so
malleable that it can be shaped and pounded into any shape with

It is used in electronics to ensure reliable and stable
connections in circuitry, and by NASA to protect delicate parts
from the harsh environments in outer space.

Precious gems and stones are also used in science and
manufacturing--a diamond is used for precision cutting of very
hard objects, and gems such as rubies and emeralds are used to
purify the light in lasers.

Given all this, I find it ridiculous for a working man to go
into debt to buy useless jewelry that he cannot afford. The
paradox here is that it is becoming ever more common for even
the wealthy people who own expensive jewelry to not actually
even wear it! They keep the real items locked up in the dark,
and often do wear costume jewelry modeled after the real items
they possess!

What is the logic? Are they afraid of being robbed? Why even own
it, unless purely as an investment, which actually is the only
logical reason I would ever have to purchase such trinkets.

This would be the same thing as a man buying an expensive car,
and then locking it away in the garage, only to drive a clever
imitation. Is this supposed to impress someone?
"Yes, this is a fake, but I really do own the real thing!"

Peace be with you

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Why Blog??

An interesting thing I have discovered about blogging is
that I have been doing this kind of thing off-line for a
great portion of my life. Having been one who has always
written short stories, miniature novels, music, and
journal-type entries that nobody reads, I realize that
when I look back on some of my 'old stuff', I can use it
for this present-day blog!

So I have to ask many of you probably have...
what is the point of doing this blogging stuff? Why do I
bother to write all this stuff down that, frankly, nobody
is ever going to read anyway?

Unless something cool happens and I get lots of followers, I
might as well be talking to myself. Which is okay, actually.
None of the articles and stories that I have written off-line
for the past 45-50 odd years have really ever been read by
anyone except myself anyway.

So maybe I do this because it is easier to go onto Blogspot
and read all my old stuff than it is to dig up all my old
typed manuscripts? No, that can't be it, because if I wanted,
I could just scan or re-type everything into Word and save it
locally on my PC. That is handy and convenient to read, so
why go the extra step and put it in a blog?

Well, maybe it is fun to pretend that other people read my
stuff, and maybe find it interesting and fun to read? But
to go one more step farther...even if people really WERE
finding and reading my blog, why do I care about THAT?

Probably, then, it is because I am compelled to write.
It is what I do. It doesn't matter if anyone sees it or not.
I also write music, and pretty much nobody has ever heard
any of that either.

In fact, even if I suddenly found that I was the last person
alive on earth, I would still continue to write.

I think perhaps that when I blog, I am officially 'published'.
Even if nobody reads it, I am still technically a published
author. What do you think about that?

Oh, wait, nobody is reading this, so I won't get any answers.
So I can just write whatever I I could just go:
"Blah blah blah blah..."

If this means anything to anyone, I can state that I DO enjoy
reading other peoples' blogs...I really do. I am interested in
what they have to say, what they experience in life, what their
views and attitudes are. And some of them are very witty and

So there you go, you anonymous and un-read bloggers...keep going!
Because I AM reading yours!

Peace be with you.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Leon's Grave

I ran across this little entry I had written about fifteen
years ago. It's pretty old was originally
written in 1994, AND it mentions events that had occurred
eighteen years before that!

I present it not because I think anyone will ever read it,
but for the same reason I write anything...because I am
compelled to write:

(Originally written on)
Thursday, October 6, 1994

Last Saturday night I decided to head out to the desert with a
couple of my buddies. What I thought was going to be a mellow
evening of partying and bonding turned out to be more of a
philosophical learning experience.

Starting around 1976, along with a large group of friends,
I began going to the desert each summer. The first trip of the
season was usually Memorial Day Weekend. Three or four trips
would take place during the summer.

Most of the guys were riding dirt bikes, buggies, and four-by's.
(That's off-road lingo for four wheel drives...trucks, jeeps,
etc.) I used to ride bikes when younger, but my coordination
factor was low, and the potential for serious bodily injury
high, so now I just relax in the desert.

Our original group started out small, just three of us. In the
following years, however, the group swelled to about thirty or
more people on one trip. In the later years, with wives,
girl-friends, and kids included, we would have a major campsite,
need three separate camp fires, and consume over sixty cases of
beer in a three-day weekend.

These trips were looked forward to for months. The season
opener-Memorial Day-was an event to be planned far ahead of
time. Beer was bought by the case over a three week period, so
we didn't have to buy it all at once. Trips to the deli, camp
store, and gun-shop were completed well ahead of time.

It's difficult to express how emotionally satisfying these trips
were. I imagine it was just having all of my closest friends
with me at the same time, and being able to drink beer in the
middle of nowhere, where we couldn't get into trouble.

The camp site became literally a mini-community, with its own
laws, rules, and rituals. For example:

All empty beer cans must go in plastic bags. Paper goes into
the fire. NO LITTERING!

No shotgun shells or bullets can be thrown into the fire.

No kicking up dust clouds with bikes near the camp.

These rules were obeyed, and nobody got mad at anyone.
Special projects included the baking of cookies, with a real
Coleman oven, and live musical jam sessions with drums and

We experienced all types of weather at one time or another, hot
and sunny, cold and windy, rainy, foggy, even some snow. It was
all shared by a group of drunk friendly people, loving each
other, loving the company, and loving nature.

It was always fun at night when you would see a car's lights
approaching on the dirt road, and everyone would try to guess
who it was that was coming.

Over the years, something changed. People got divorced. People
moved away. We got tied up in our lives, lost touch with each
other. After about ten years, we began to skip some trips.

Of course, I still kept seeing several of my closest friends,
and we often talk wistfully about how it used to be. If we made
a sporadic trip, it was often only an over-nighter. But
something was missing. Something was different.

Last Saturday, I finally discovered what it was. Of course, I
knew the obvious reasons for the change. We're older, more
responsible, not just kids anymore, blah, blah, blah. But
still, there is something else that has changed.

I stood in the open desert, and soaked in the warm sun. (As it
turned out, this was to be literally the very last perfect,
warm, still day of the summer. One day later was windy, cold,
and dusty).

I had gotten lost trying to find the old campsite. Some of the
dirt roads were changed, there may have even been new ones. I
was able to find the old site merely by getting out of the car
and staring at the horizon.

I knew I was in the wrong place because the horizon looked
different, but from memories and hundreds of old pictures, I knew
exactly how the panoramic view should look, from the flat, close
eastern horizon, to the small, rocky hills to the west.

I kept driving a bit, got out of the car and looked, drove some
more, until things started to "look" right.

There were four of us this time. I had a few quick beers when I
first arrived, and then, just at sunset, walked off by myself to
stare at the open desert. It all looked exactly the same as in
the pictures of eighteen years ago. As I turned in a slow
circle, it was if ghosts were out there, silently reminding me
of my youth.

When we had first come out to this site in 1976, there was a
metal frame of a discarded TV set sitting in the dirt, and since
nobody had removed it, every year when we came back, it was
still there. It almost became a known 'landmark'.

And now, in 1994, here it still was.
(For all I know, it is still there today).

And Jeff came up to me and said, "What are you doing,
remembering how it used to be?"
"You've got it."

Then Jeff explained to me that years ago, we really WERE just
dumb kids, and we really DIDN'T have any responsibilities, we
didn't worry about the future, we were just here to party.

When we are here now, the stress and tension of life are always
just below the surface. We used to drink more, sleep less, and
go for a whole week-end without even thinking about work.

I can't believe that now when I go out there, I actually worry
about my pants getting dirty when I sit down on the desert sand!

As night fell, we drank beer by the fire. We didn't go rabbit
hunting that night because we realized that while shotguns,
beer, and darkness seemed to mix well years ago, they don't

Every few moments, a boring, responsible thought would
enter my mind, such as work, money, bills, the future, and work.

The next morning, Jeff took me to Leon's grave. Leon had
been a faithful, loving desert dog owned by a friend of ours.
Leon had been on all the desert trips since 1978, and was only
one of a pack of dogs that usually accompanied us.

As Jeff led me up the side of a gentle slope towards the grave,
he explained that there had been an actual funeral, with several
guys taking off work to attend. This was no joke, the funeral
was emotional and sentimental, this was real.

As we climbed up the hill, I couldn't help but feel I was
approaching hallowed ground.

Leon's grave was about a mile or so from the same campsite we
had been going to for eighteen years. Leon was in a small
wooden box, encased in solid concrete, and buried four feet
down in hard desert pack that had taken four guys all day to
dig out.

There was a cement plaque among some large rocks, that read


There was a small caricature of a dog crudely etched in the
cement. And this was real.

Jeff led me back to camp, telling me we can still drink beer,
but we have to be sober sometimes, too. The desert can still be
fun, but it cannot be an escape from life, but a vacation from

Jeff and I buried our own ghosts that day, but we did not destroy

God bless Leon.

Peace be with you.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Random Musings

The following are just bits and pieces of odd thoughts that I
have from time to time, and have been waiting to put them all in
one place for quite a while. I call them random musings:


It can only get so hot, anywhere on earth,
but there is almost no limit to how cold it can get.

How would it be if you were so internationally famous that you
were known world-wide by your first name only? Examples: Elvis,
Cher, Elton, Madonna. Imagine seeing your name up in lights:

And by that one given name, everyone knows who it is.

I personally own three toilets.

It's amazing how animals like cats, dogs, and even birds know to
look at your eyes when they are interacting with you.

Animals are nothing more than robots programmed by God.

The entire human body serves NO OTHER PURPOSE than to
nourish, protect, mobilize, and entertain the brain.

None of the worries and problems I had as a kid were any less
stressful to me at the time than the problems I have as an

All the dumb things you did as a kid to impress people, or not
have them think you a wimp, are things you are proud of NOT
doing as an adult.

Funny how people used to introduce themselves to others in
many old movies. "The name is Franklin... Ben Franklin."
Right. Like I can picture myself saying, "The name is Capuano...
Joe Capuano."

Honesty, dependability, loyalty, integrity, and hard work do not
guarantee success in life. There must always be some luck

If you test this, you will find that you can only smell things when you INhale, but you can only taste things when you EXhale.

Why is it that whenever you get the slightest injury to your face
people always assume you were in a fight?

When I am working, I work just as hard as I would if it were my
own business.

Nobody knows a man like his wife knows him. Example:

I have known Raymond since 1964. We have lived together while
being broke and unemployed. We didn't even start the cars.
It's not like either of us had any money and could go anywhere.
We didn't say to each other one night, "Hey, see you later! I'm
going out." We were literally together 24 hours a day.

Even so, there are things that Sabine knows about Raymond
that I'll never know.

You know you're getting old when your first inclination after a
big snow storm is to shovel it, not play in it.

There is nothing wrong with wanting money and material things,
as long as you go about securing it in a legal and moral
manner, and help people when you have it.

I can not possibly imagine myself doing the things today that I
used to do myself when I was a younger man, such as changing
my own oil, installing my own car stereo, replacing a water pump
or an alternator, etc.

Okay, I know this is gross, but you have to admit that when you
blow your nose and a lot of weird looking gook of different
colors comes out, you like it, 'cause you know that it is out of
you now.

I don't think radio stations should be allowed to play certain
sound effects, such as car horns, squealing tires, and sirens.

While it may be subjective whether the things I write are
"good" or not, there can be no doubt that I AM creative.

There are 2 types of people: those who stand still while brushing
their teeth, and those who walk around while brushing their

There are 2 types of people: PC users and MAC users.

There are 2 types of people: those who like cats, and those who
hate cats.

And here is an interesting Grand Finale.
When I first wrote the following musing not so many years ago,
the point was to illustrate how rapidly things change:

Amazing, this modern age, eh? In the old days, you never went
anywhere without your canteen of water, your gun, and your hat.
Today, I think it's a good idea to always have a video camera, a
cassette tape recorder, and a couple of 3.5 formatted floppies
with you.

Now look how dated it is! It should be amended to state that you
should always have a USB stick and a cell phone with you.
Give me five or ten years and we will see what has changed!

Peace be with you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

For the Love of Money

It is a sad thing that money is so important in today's world.
But it is also inevitable that in a 'civilized' world there had
to be some way of compensating a person for work done for
someone else. To understand this, we need to look at the way
most animals earn a living.

All living things on earth, humans included, require a few basic
things in order to live, and if luxury allows, they get a few
extra things that may not be essential, but make life a bit
easier. Animals need to eat in order to survive, and whether it
is an antelope grazing the fields all day, a cougar hunting for
his meal, or a human being punching a time clock, it is all the
same thing.

At the beginning of their existence, humans were like any other
pack of wild animals...they wandered, they hunted, and ate
things that grew. Humans were undoubtedly social from the
beginning, living together made team work possible, much like
many carnivores in today's world.

Carnivores have an advantage over herbivores in that their food
source is much higher in calories and protein, which means they
get more nourishment from it than grasses and leaves can
provide. Plant eaters must spend nearly all their waking hours
in the single act of feeding themselves just to get enough
energy to survive and grow.

A meat eater may have to hunt his food down, but once he gets
it, he can gorge himself on one huge meal and be sated for a
time. It is not uncommon for large mammalian carnivores to go
several days without a meal, and cold-blooded predators such as
snakes and lizards can even go for several weeks between meals.
Predators, then, could afford the luxury of some free time...and
in the case of humans, this gave them more time to think.

Sometime in our dim dark past, several separate bands of humans
discovered that they could trade items with each other, such as
tools for food reserves. If a particular man happened to be
adept at fashioning a certain kind of tool, then he could trade
these services for something else that he desired. As human
experience and knowledge grew, it became more and more
difficult for a single individual to possess all the knowledge
his race had collectively.

This is why a bartering system would not work for any other
animal in the world, regardless of their intelligence or lack of
it. Individual animals of different species pretty much all
have the same amount of knowledge, their life is pretty simple,
mostly controlled by instinct. Take a herd of antelope, a flock
of birds, or even a herd of intelligent whales...each individual
pretty much knows all he needs to know to survive, and they're
all fairly equal on what they know.

There are some minor exceptions, such as matriarch elephants
who have the knowledge of where the good watering holes are,
and these animals are true leaders. But generally speaking,
animals do not have the intelligence to diversify, and an individual
cannot produce something that another member of his species will
want badly enough to "pay" for.

Humans, however, are so intelligent and multi-faceted, that when
the individuals combine all their knowledge and experience into
the whole, we find that it is impossible for any one person to
know everything there is to know, even thousands of years ago.

So we have someone who is good at farming, but not so great at
building shelters or fabricating tools. How can this farmer get
the tool-maker to create a tool for him? Well, we can
trade...we can pay the tool-maker with food. Civilization has
now progressed to the point where human society cannot exist
without money...and that is why money is so important.

Once our physical needs are met, such as food, clothing, and our
hundred thousand dollar shelters, then we can look toward the
luxury items. Humans are intelligent and clever, someone is
always inventing something new that others will we can
pay these people for their toys. Computers, fancy cars,
vacations, means far more today than just
surviving. If we have enough of it, we don't have to do
anything we don't want to do...we can pay someone else to do it.

And this is where money can become ‘evil’. If it is so
important to us that we lose sight of anything else, where we
are willing to employ immoral or illegal means to get it, or if
we become so greedy that we think only of ourselves and are not
inclined to use it for the benefit of others, then it has become
our main focus in life…our ‘god’.

I do love my vacations and electronic gadgets, to be sure, but we
can't let money control our lives so that we care about nothing

I also predict today that money will always exist...of course
not in cash or coins, but some kind of credit and debit system.
Some science fiction stories imply that money is abolished in
the future, but I contend that there will always be jobs that
nobody wants to do in this world, and there must always be some
way to compensate the people who end up doing these jobs.

Peace be with you

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Putting Up the Tree

Well, today we finally got our Christmas Tree. If it wasn't
going to be today, then this year, it wouldn't have happened,
what with Christmas only being less than three weeks away.

Okay, let me say right off that I am not a Scrooge. I do love
the Christmas season, and just as much as for the festivity as
because of the fact that it celebrates the birth of Jesus. But
doing Christmas decorations...not so much. For lots of reasons.

Storing all the stuff is kind of a pain. Where we live, it all
goes up one of those narrow pull-down staircases in the garage
attic. Each box has to be shagged up the rickety tiny ladder
one by one, and then carefully shoved into a corner (being
mindful of the nails sticking out from the inside of the roof
mere inches from your skull):

I guess though, rather than complaining about having to do it
every year, I should be praising God that I can still DO it at
my age! My retirement home, wherever that may be, will for
sure have a small storage room on the ground floor of the house
where I can just walk in and dump the boxes on the ground. For
that matter, I am tired of hiking up and down stairs anyway, so
we will definitely be looking for a single-level house when that
time comes.

Every year, I lobby for an artificial tree, and this year I came
really close to success. I try to state my case as convincingly as
possible...they come pre-lit, so you don't have to string
lights. Just set it up and plug it in. No mess, no watering,
no fire hazard.

Really, the only advantage I can see that a real tree has is the
fantastic smell. That is huge. I concede that. But I can
never get them to stand up straight without messing around with
it. Those stands have the metal things that you screw in to
hold the tree. You know what I mean:

And you can screw them in real tight to hold the tree if it is
leaning one way or another:

But I never seem to get it right. Even after I think I have it
right, you have to let it sit for a while before you un-do that
plastic netting, because it will still lean:

I usually end up stacking magazines or newspapers under the
stand to compensate for the lean. The potential for a fall is
scary, because you have water and electricity mixing together,
not to mention the danger to these vintage ornaments that have
been in my family since the early 1960's:

I almost won this bride told me "Fine, this year you can
go get a fake tree, it's ok by me."

Now, I have been married since 1988, and I TOOK the marriage
class before we got married. This was a special class just for
guys. And this little event is right out of Chapter Two...

How to Decipher the Hidden Meanings behind Random Statements

After a while, you just know how to interpret the hidden meaning
accurately. You do what needs to be done to preserve stability
within the domicile. For now, I will anticipate my favorite
time of the year...January 1...the date it all comes down and
goes away.

Peace be with you.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oh, how we age!

But, like the saying goes, getting old is better than the alternative.

I don't mind getting older, really, and I am very fortunate that I still have pretty good health. I have my various odd aches and pains, but I am very blessed. I generally don't have any severe back pain, I am very active and can get around pretty well. The knees are a bit stiff, but I am still able to run, walk, and work out.

Death does not scare me, but I would prefer to be as robust as possible while I am still around!

Still, it is odd to look how the progression of age changes us.
Compare these, from 1976:

And these, from 1983:

To this 2008 pic of me and my little sis!:

WHERE did all the hair go??
And what's up with the fact that my nose is growing bigger!

And not only that, but how could my daughter have gone from:


And then to this:

In only twelve years??

You know how you felt when you were sixteen...that anyone
who is over thirty is old!
Hell, I can remember when I was ten years old, I thought
the “big kids” in eighth grade were almost adults! Then,
when I entered my mid and late twenties, I felt as if I had
grown into a man. Now that I am fifty-three (as I write this,
anyway), I think of thirty year-olds as being kids!

There is a saying that the forties are the old age of
youth, and the youth of old age...and you have to reach your
forties to understand this. I really think of the fifties as
being middle aged, you realize by now that you are never going
to accomplish many of the things you dreamed about when
younger, but you also know that there is lots of time left to live.

By now you have settled into the kind of person you are. You are
comfortable with who you are, and your place in the world.
If you do not have a crime record by now, chances are you
never will have one.

Life seems to me to go in stages, I think of these stages
as “eras”, each one is twenty years. I feel this way
because by the time you reach “middle age” you understand
that twenty years is not such a long time.

I can clearly remember myself twenty years ago, and so it
is not difficult to project myself twenty years into the future.
Twenty years is a good length of time for a person to
evolve, both psychologically and physically.

When I look at pictures of myself from ten years ago, I
really don't appear all that would not be
hard to show someone a picture of me from ten years ago
and convince them it is fairly recent.

I think it takes a person a good twenty years to change
dramatically in physical appearance. I don't imagine I will
look all that different ten years from now than I look now,
but in twenty more years, I will notice a difference.

This is why it is so difficult (for me, at least) to guess
someone's age. If a person is forty, it would be easy to
place them anywhere between thirty-five and forty-five. A
few more wrinkles, maybe a little less hair, but you can't
use these physical characteristics to judge age, we all know
men who have been almost completely gray or bald by twenty-five.

Now, this may sound a bit strange, but I actually don't
mind if I start to look like I am getting older...I think
of aging as a sort of badge of is not easy to
survive in this world, and reaching a mature level is kind
of like achieving a goal.

Another thing interesting about old age is that once you get
there, you really don't have to worry about the world anymore!
Yes, you have to worry about your health and your financial
situation, but you also have to admit that those worries are
with you throughout your whole life.

If you reach the age of, say, seventy, and are still in
pretty good health, have some money, and don't have to work,
then I would say that's a pretty good deal! Who cares
about the world situation, politics, global warming, or a
population explosion? Hell, you know you will be dead in
twenty years tops, and remember how fast that goes by!

Yes, I am concerned about the evil in the world, and always
will be. The crimes that people can inflict on others truly
pain me to the heart, I cannot fathom how any human being
can do the ghastly things to other people that you know happens
every day. I hunger and thirst for justice, but I know it
will be served eventually for all (myself as well) by God.

Peace be with you.