#30 When “Good Enough” is Good Enough: Wine

Questing for the superior or the elegant is a healthy activity for the young. Learning there is a difference between “good” and elegant is wisdom that must be learned firsthand. The quest is profitable if it brings awareness of the cost of going from “good enough” to elegant.

It is true that a qualified wine expert can distinguish between a “good” wine and an “elegant” wine in a blind taste test. But ask the expert to describe the difference will get you a muddle of non-quantitative descriptions. The vintner can be quantitative about the cost and effort and expertise he expended making the wine elegant. But the fruit of that extra endeavor is ephemeral.

In the real world the purpose of most wine is to complement the enjoyment of food in a meal. The subtle difference is masked and Good Enough is as said, good enough. By the time you and I are Biddies and Geezers we should have gained the wisdom to appreciate good enough. No?

Well, my friends if not then learn today and be ahead of the elegant pretenders for the rest of your life.

See all my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

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#31 Run Away

 

There are times for all of us when there seems to be only one solution to the day’s problems. RUN AWAY.

Oh by the way. Some of you might have noticed that this is # 31. What happened to #30? Well … there are several number blogs I started but did not finish … yet. I ran away. Until I could face what needed to be done to put it online to you. I just ran away.

And … I’ll bet there are days that you wake up and feel like just running away. . LOL.

I watch old reruns of “Frasier” and he sometime “runs away” to someplace like Bora Bora, spending a pot full of money. Yvonne, a Biddy friend of mine says, “I am not going into old age quietly!” and last week she ran away to go parasailing. Great. But I can’t spend the money to go to Bora Bora … and I don’t need the excitement of parasailing. But I often need to run away … just get out of Dodge. Here’s what works for me:

I take the subway to the Amtrak South Station in Boston. It’s a busy place. People are taking busses and trains to destinations all over the country. Departure times and track numbers and a PA announcement regularly gives departure and track information. There are dozens of fast food venues and a sit-down restaurant.

I like to get some coffee and food and then go up to the mezzanine where I can get a table, enjoy my meal and watch the action below. I am out of my empty apartment and surrounded by people of all descriptions on their own adventures and it inspires me. Sometimes I bring my marble composition book and start writing a new story.

So … are you feeling blocked, frustrate, fearful, angry, whatever? I recommend running away for a bit. If you can afford Bora Bora … fine. Want the excitement of parasailing ,,, Ok. Or jest a new scene like South Station which works for me, just do it. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

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#25 No Sex or Love Scenes

“You don’t do sex and love scenes well!” That is what a friend of mine said about my writing. She has read much of the stuff I write while it was still in draft … unpublished. She was, “of course” saying that about my “writing.” I never did any sex or love scenes live with her. So, she would not know if I was “awesome” live. I’m a Geezer but I still have some life. How about you?

Maybe my friend likes her sex and love scenes hotter than I write. My writing is not “overtly” graphic for a reason. I want the reader’s imagination to fire the scene to their desired level of passion. I’ll just supply the clues.

My friend “hated” the draft of a novel of mine she reviewed that dealt with some love and sex issues. So I put the work aside for a while. I picked it up later and did some rewriting and finished it. And gave it a new tile, “Love Outside the Lines.”

My intended readers are Biddies and Geezers. I don’t think the younger readers have enough life experience to appreciate the situations the characters of the book live through. But you do!

Read it and give it a review on Amazon or Goodreads. See it by clicking the link:

See all my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

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#24 Random Thoughts

It’s 2 AM. Could not sleep. I made myself a cuppa coffee. Not a good idea for sleeping but I needed the caffeine. Wanted to talk to you. I’m thinking of you, my Biddies and Geezers. Are any of you awake? Maybe some on the left coast never went to bed yet. On the East Coast some are sleeping and some are awake like me, could not sleep. Hi!

A sip of my sweet coffee brings me pleasure. In self-defense I quickly apply discipline to my thoughts to only be in the very moment. In the very recent past there are a couple of sad events I want to exclude from thought. Another sip of coffee stimulates me in the present.

My mind is now awake enough to realize it is decision time. In the discipline of being in the moment observe my room. Spartan. But … nothing is missing that I need right now. And therefore between happiness and misery, the choice is easy. I choose happiness and live it. Oh, and now another thought joins the thoughts of you my readers Joy. Joy at the thought of sharing these feelings with you. I am not alone in my Spartan room. So my love for you flows from my heart, down my arm to my fingers, and through the Bic pen to the page of my marble composition book. Later I will type if on my laptop, and send it to my blog on the internet to you.

As I pause in my writing for the moment a few thoughts cross my mind. What shall I do today? I don’t need food. I should restock a little wine so I will take a little trip on the bus to Quincy Center today. Will I have lunch while I am there? I don’t need that decision now. Now I need to reheat my coffee.

As I zapped my coffee, my thoughts went to you, my reader. Loving thoughts whether you are male or female … you are my companions in my Spartan room as I write.

One of my writings, “Writing in the Wee Hours,” is at :

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LKXBJVO

But another book you might like is “Murder at the House of Prayer at:

https://www.amazon.com/Murder-House-Prayer-Doug-Olsen-ebook/dp/B019501BRG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

See all my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

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#23 Just Showing Up

My profound wisdom for today is to just show up. For us Biddies and Geezers, just showing up can be seen as a revolutionary act.

Dear God, there are lots of groups of very angry people showing up to demonstrate these days! Protestors for all sorts of causes populate the landscape and the TV news. They are everywhere.

But when I show up… I could be in danger. I plan to show up with a smile and I could be mistaken for a counter-revolutionary. And more dangerous … if I laugh, it might start a riot.

I am amazed at the modern logic that leads people to believe that working a crowd up to a lather of anger and frustration and venting it upon people of a different opinion will bring about a better world.

Because of media reporting it is easy to believe that the entire world is angry and is fighting for some righteous cause, Or against some person for some misdeed or even something they said or tweeted. Burt reality? The real world is different from what we see on TV.

As a bone fide Geezer I have a special window into today’s world. Sometimes I ride the T, (the Boston subway), during the rush hours. The following is a typical scenario. A crowd stands on the platform just behind the yellow line as the already train rumbles into the station. With a swish the doors open and, shoulder to shoulder, the people, (and I) push into the train. All the seats are filled and the rest of the people hang onto straps and bars as the doors swish closed and the train lurches into motion and picks up speed. I stand in front of specially designated seats right by the door.

A large sign designates those seats for “Seniors and Disabled” and most often the people in them are young and able-bodied. But they do not see me because their heads are bowed and they are intent on their smart phones. Their bodies may be in the seats but their minds are far, far away. Never showed up to the reality of the situation. But they are not the point of my story.

Often a young hero or heroine halfway down the car will wave at me and motion for me to come take their seat. A seat not “designated.” I always accept, not just for me, but for the blessing that the universe will bestow on them for their gift. But more. The passengers in the car have been taught a very strong lesson that is far more effective than the signs designating priority seating for us Biddies and Geezers. A lesson possible by Just Showing Up.

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See my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

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#9 I Stole $89,620.12

For an 85 year old Geezer like me, the Internet has been a blessing. I live alone, but with my laptop and smartphone I am in daily contact with friends and family all over the country. Actually all over the world.  But there is a problem.

There is a culture of crooks on the internet whose occupation is stealing money from people like me. (And you.) The thing is somebody in a grass hut in the Philippines with a laptop connected to the internet can get into your computer and then into your bank account and rob you blind. It happens every day.

So, we Biddies and Geezers must make sure that we have the right kind of security protection on our devices that will detect and stop viruses, worms, Trojan Horses and other malware that the crooks use to steal our money.

I wrote a little book, “I Stole $89,620.12” to warn Biddies and Geezers. It’s fiction, but it could happen. My purpose is to give you an example of the type of thinking that can get you scammed and flimflammed out of your money. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary English is full of words concerned with trickery and deception, ranging from the colorful “flimflam,” “bamboozle,” and “hornswoggle” to the more mundane “deceive,” “mislead,” and “delude.” Flimflam” is often used specifically to refer to swindling someone out of money. The ultimate origin of “flimflam” is uncertain, but the word is probably of Scandinavian,

Anyway, there is a lot of it going on. My little book is available on Kindle for $0.99. (Free if you have Kindle Prime.)

Click the link to check it out.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NACNR51

Doug Olsen’s Author Page

https://amazon.com/author/dougolsen

Daily Prompt: Narcissism

For Biddies and Geezers a daily dose of a little narcissism can give us a better life.

Narcissism is an elevated opinion and love of our bodies and ourselves. It can be the antidote for the common belief that “Life’s a bitch and then we die.” A belief that seems to be coming true as our body and mind seem to deteriorate a little more with each passing day. That small elevation from reality can make a profound difference when it manifests as a measure of hope that we can and will be better.

Just that small dose of the difference between what we are and what we can become acts magically on our body and mind delaying or reversing the decay of age. I know this is true because it happened to me. And is still working.

The facts? I am in better health and better physical condition than I was ten years ago … even though I have been through several emotional trials including the loss on my wife of many years. And I have asthma and COPD that severely limit my physical activity. A daily dose of a little narcissism and a routine of forty minutes of Tai Chi have made the difference.

As we get older, our encouragers thin out. Friends move away or die off. Family is good but they are usually busy with their own stuff. We need to become our own best friend and encourager. Yes we need to love ourselves, in whatever condition we are in. A little narcissism? Why not if it gets the job done?

A little book I wrote,”Battling the Birches,” gives the Rx I use each morning to gently love myself into shape for the day. A better day for a Geezer like me.

 

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Click on the link to see Battling the Birches:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MV11I8S

See my other books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

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via Daily Prompt: Narcissism

#14 No Preaching

I will try to have no preaching in Doug’s Blog for Biddies and Geezers. There are plenty of people who live to preach to others to get them to do something. I learned No Preaching when I was a little boy, 7 years old. It was a hard lesson for a little boy of seven but it has stuck with me (mostly.) Here is how it went down:

Even at 7 years old I was pretty serious about “God Stuff.” And I was chosen to recite a spiritual poem praising God at a meeting of the entire congregation of my church in Eltingville, Staten Island, New York. Great … but there was a problem.

I had just lost a couple of baby teeth and there were gaps in my mouth. Those gaps caused my speaking voice to have a definite lisp. A pronounced lisp. Words like “lisp” would sound like “lithp”, but I soldiered on. I stood before the congregation and began reciting the poem from memory and as my lisp sounded out to the congregation, there began a few snickers and giggles from the audience. But I continued on. I was determined they “get the message.”

But as I “lithped” on, the giggling grew louder and finally I could not help myself, I interrupted my recitation. I shook my 7 year old fist at the audience and said to the entire congregation, “Be quite and listen! This is important!” The room erupted with thunderous laughter at the cute little boy with a lisp trying to preach.

Years later people who were there remind me of that night. None remember the message of the poem. They only remember the ridiculous spectacal of being preached at by a very flawed little boy. When I am tempted to preach these days, I remember that although I am still flawed in many ways, maybe I can use my flaws to help illuminate the message rather than diminish the messenger.

 

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A book where I try not to preach is Sacred Silence. You will like it:

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XBJXGL8

See my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page

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#12 Silliness Deficit Syndrome

Biddies and Geezers can get immunity from from the rampant social disease of Silliness Deficit Syndrome. Simply recite the following Rx every day for a week. For best results read it to another of any age. Here it is:
Secret research at Mousetrap, Minnesota, has determined beyond the glimmer of a doubt that a debilitating disease has deleteriously effected most of the population of the United States.
Silliness Deficit Syndrome, a malignant crippling malady, is rampantly raging among the cognoscenti and spreading out from this elite population to even the upper levels of the hoi palloi. But not, however, among the lumpen proletariat who seem to be immune.
Awareness of this serious threat to society first appeared when secret interviews were conducted on the Harvard campus of members of the New Ashmolean Society and the Student’s Conservatory Band.
IGGY CROPPED

Ligatures on the free expression of silliness by the political classes have been extant historically. And there have always been strictly enforced bans in primary and secondary education as well as in business. The business community is perniciously prejudiced against licentious laughter.
Sesquipedalian tomes critical of any politically correct student activism are now unacceptable and discouraged on the campi of universities.

While egalitarian insipidness is still tolerated, any slippage into subjective silliness concerning the behavior of protesting persona is condemned as treasonous. It is in this atmosphere that unexpected consequences have developed and are now becoming pandemic. The malady of Silliness Deficit Syndrome has become enteric and almost incurable. It requires immediate and uniquely surreptitious and clandestine action by all who love freedom.

The health and sanity of the entire earth is now in danger of the loss of laughter. Forever. Resulting in the extinction of homo sapiens, leaving the planet to be managed by the monkeys or their uncles.

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Click the link below to see my satire on politics in Washington:

https://www.amazon.com/Doug%20Olsen/e/B006QUVNC2/ref=la_B006QUVNC2_pg_2?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_82%3AB006QUVNC2&page=2&sort=author-pages-popularity-rank&ie=UTF8&qid=1459797571

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4 The Happiness Two Step

Hey guys and dolls! I’m happy today. Why? I did my Happiness Two Step. But … this morning I should be unhappy. I woke up, put on my sippers, went into my kitchen, and made an omelet. Only two minutes in the microwave with a plastic omelet dish. I made toast while it was cooking and boiled water for instant coffee. Into a large ceramic cup I put a heaping teaspoon of sugar and a heaping teaspoon of instant coffee, poured in 8 oz. of boiling water and a generous splash of milk.

Then … bummer! My hand slipped, brushed the cup, and it fell off the counter and smashed to pieces on the floor, coffee spreading out and splashing my slippers. Full disclosure … I loudly uttered an expletive. But then I quickly went into TIME OUT!

BROKEN CUP

So … in TIME OUT I kicked off my slippers and put my bare feet into penny loafers. Then I got my sponge mop and let it absorb the coffee on the floor, squeezing it out and rinsing it out in the toilet. Sweeping up the shards of the cup with a dustpan and broom and then TIME OUT was over. Now it was time to start the day over … with THE HAPPINESS TWO STEP!

Step One … I decided to live in the very moment. The past no longer existed in the NOW. Hmmm … no more cups in my cupboard. So I grabbed a glass measuring cup with a handle, dosed it with sugar and coffee and completed the brew with boiling water and milk. And joy! There on the counter was my still warm omelet. With the omelet and coffee I sat at my little table and and then …

Step Two of the Happiness Two Step.  JUST DECIDE TO BE HAPPY!

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One of my stories that has a strange route to happiness is  The Gift Click on the link below to check it out:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CWJMSX8

Click the link below to see my books and stories on Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Doug%20Olsen/e/B006QUVNC2/ref=la_B006QUVNC2_pg_2?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_82%3AB006QUVNC2&page=2&sort=author-pages-popularity-rank&ie=UTF8&qid=1459797571