Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Am Getting Old – Part Nineteen

I am getting old because…I am having a hard time spelling numbers out in words. I may have to change the title of these posts. lol I thought for a while that I did not have anything to write about but once I started writing, I found that I did. Have you noticed lately how many ads there are on television for medications for every ailment you can think of and some you cannot? It makes me wonder how in the world my parents, their parents, etc., survived. It seems that perhaps greed by the pharmaceutical companies may have created a pill for every ache and pain people have and given a name to the aches and pains. To me this is just fodder for hypochondriacs. The ads tell you to ask your doctor. Give me a break, you are lucky if you get to see the doctor for five minutes and if you have anything to ask or say, you better talk really fast. I have resorted to making list of the questions I want answered and still do not find out what I want to know.

If you listen to the side effects that these new drugs have, why would anyone want to take them anyway. I know, you get one of the side effects and there is a pill to take. Some of the “new” ailments are, PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease), PVD (Peripheral Vascular Disease) RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) ED (Erectile Dysfunction), “going to much”, to name a few.

While writing this post, I did some searches and read some articles on WebMD. You might be surprised to know (maybe not) that smoking is listed as a major cause of diseases. Alcohol is listed as a cause of some of the diseases, far fewer than smoking. I am not being flippant but my previous physician blamed hangnails on my smoking so it was hard to take him seriously. Since it appears that smoking is really bad for you, WHY HAVEN’T THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES CONCENTRATED ON A DRUG TO END THE NICOTINE ADDICTION? Are they owned by the tobacco companies and is there a conspiracy to keep people addicted to nicotine?

Seriously, nicotine and alcohol addictions need to be treated as diseases themselves. The pharmaceutical companies should allocate R&D dollars to develop a drug to end the hold that nicotine and alcohol have on people.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Thousand Marbles

I posted this back in December of 2006. I thought I would share it again.
“A Thousand Marbles”

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's "dance recital" he continued. "Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays." "I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear."

"Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.

There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."

"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast." "What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles.

Copyright © 1999, Jeff Davis, KE9V ( previously N9AVG )

(Start of Addition)
A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friend.

And so, as one smart bear once said..."If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you." - Winnie the Pooh.

Pass this on to all of your FRIENDS, even if it means sending it to the person that sent it to you.

And if you receive this e-mail many times from many different people, it only means that you have many FRIENDS.

And if you get it but once, do not be discouraged for you will know that you have at least one good friend... And that would be ME.
(End of Addition)

Used with the permission of the author and these are the author’s comments –

The Author writes: I wrote this story a few years ago for the amateur community. In a very short time it became quite popular and was picked up by various email lists, newsgroups and 10,000 other Web sites.

It has since appeared in the Philadelphia Enquirer, Chicago Sun-Times and a dozen other newspapers. I've had friends and co-workers email it to me with "Author Unknown" on the bottom of it.

The "outside" world has sometimes modified it slightly to downplay the amateur radio in the story. You may see other variations but they all come from this one story.

In September 2000 Andrews McMeel Publishing asked me if I could turn the story into a book ... of a "thousand things to do on your day off" so I did. A Thousand Marbles will be on the bookshelves in June, 2001. I hope you pick up a copy. This has been an amazing adventure for me!

Jeffrey Davis, N9AVG

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I Am Getting Old – Part Eighteen

I am getting old because…well, I cannot really remember why. Recently I bought some Aveeno Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser with naturally calming “feverfew” to use as a face cleanser. (Feverfew is a member of the chamomile family of herbs.) It does work as advertised for your face, reduces redness and calms your skin. Now if I can only figure out a way to buy enough to take a bath in it and “calm” my whole body. At approximately $6.47 for 6fl. Ounce bottle and according to my calculations, I would need at least 10 bottles. We are talking $64.70 in order to be calm. For $64.70, I could pay for one session with a psychiatrist, at least for one half hour.

I am once again in the midst of quitting smoking. I have not had a cigarette since 5:10PM, Saturday, June 16, 2007. I have been using the 2 mg nicorette lozenges and use fewer of them each day so I can get the nicotine out of my body quickly. I have also been taking my “nerve” pills so that I would not actually commit murder during this time. Just kidding. I am doing well so far even though I want a cigarette RIGHT NOW. The hardest time for me is when I eat a meal so I have decided that I will stop eating for a while. Not!

It is vital that I quit smoking because of my asthma and COPD with chronic bronchitis. I can already tell there is a marked difference in my breathing and it does feel good to breathe without feeling as if you are out of breath. It is stupid for me to smoke and I know that. I keep telling myself that each time the desire for a cigarette hits me. What is strange to me is that you are ostracized when people find out you smoke, but when you tell them you have quit or are in the process, they do not seem to care one way or the other. Oh well, at least I know I am trying to quit.

Enough about smoking and on to other things for another day.