Apr 142014
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Unbelievable as it seems, not everyone is cut out for cantankerosity. Conformity is seductive at any stage of life. The risks of taking the road less traveled and leaving the herd behind can seem too overwhelming. The temptation to settle for boring conformity always beckons at the first sign of trouble. Only the willful and pigheaded will persevere and move forward.

Walter Mitty

Relase your inner Walter Mitty

If you are in that majority, you have two choices. You can rationalize or you can surrender. The Cantankerous Old Coots accept you either way. We don’t criticize. We don’t blame. We don’t demean. We merely observe. Going along makes the world go round. It keeps the trains running on time. It pays the bills. We understand. That is why we created Lessons for Sanctimonious Old Sheep.  Go ahead and Embrace the Conformity.

If you are a committed go-alonger then the Cantankerous Old Coots say ‘More power to you’ and :Good Luck’ because you probably won’t be happy spending much time here. If, however, within you there is just a glimmer of cantankerous wannabeism, we say ‘Stick around’. Let you inner Walter Mitty indulge fantasies of cantankerosity while you live a life of deadly conformity. Let your fantasies run wild. Imagine yourself in cantankerous full form from time to time. Who knows? One day it might just break loose. Indulge those fantasies by reading the Cantankerous Old Coots Lessons.

 Posted by at 11:13
Apr 022014
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Originally posted 2011-08-05 06:39:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

North America at night - Satellite image - Pla...

Image by PlanetObserver via Flickr

What the???? It is already Friday?  Wow where did the week go.  Now, I know the title of this post is going to make people think I am jumping on Bob’s political bandwagon and talking about Political parties but I am not that sophisticated.  The parties I speak of are actual parties, with people invading your house and spilling punch on the rug, kids who drop cake on the floor and that rogue ice cream cone you find the next day on your nice table and are just thankful that it is on the marble part and not the wood part.

Yes, parties can suck.  They sound like a good idea but they are entirely too much work for me.  Plus there are people coming over and judging you to the enth degree and looking down on your decisions and…well that is just my parents.  If you haven’t guessed by now, we are going to have a party on Saturday.  I am not looking forward to it.

Party may be a stretch to say, but a reception with cake and punch ends up being the same thing.  And family will be there.  Some of which we haven’t had any contact with for months.  Some who should have at least called during the turmoil of the past couple of months.  But enough about my Father.  It will be interesting to say the least.

See, my son is getting baptized into our church on Saturday and this is one thing that I don’t think Grandpa will miss.  Birthday’s and major catastrophe’s are not important enough but this just may be.  We will have to see.  I may have another great post for next week all about it.  Monday may be interesting around here.

On a side note to that, Bob has found that his video posts are very time consuming and he has way too much life to live over the weekend to not stay up all Sunday night getting a post ready.  He will be moving his videos to Tuesday.  I think I have finally figured out what to do with my podcasts as well.  I now have a garage and I am going to build me a little studio in there to go hide   record in.  I am going to shoot for next week on Thursday for a podcast!  Just audio though, I still am just lukewarm on video.

On another disjointed side note Pink Floyd is not bad for writing too.  Throw on “The Wall” and start a rant….not bad.  And I am not even on anything…..

So back to parties.  They sound like a good idea but I think I would rather go to a party than host one.  Leave my house alone and save your derision for someone else.  It is easy on the net to let things roll off of your back.  It is easy to dismiss any evil that is given to you via email or a comment.  It is another to sit in relative silence and deal with the eye rolls and nauseated yet sarcastic phrases that are spat out.

I have respect for my elders and I will always respect my Father for being my father.  I just don’t want to talk to him right now.  I am hoping that he doesn’t show up, but that is a horrible thing for him not to be to his Grandson’s big event.  I am afraid that there will be a shouting match and more people than should will end up in tears.

What a $#@&ed up situation.  In general, take your parties and count me out, I don’t need the stress.  I had better make sure my migraine pills are handy.

For all of you, have a good weekend, or go to hell.  I don’t know that I care right now.

See you next week.



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Apr 022014
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Lesson One

Lesson One

Back in the day, when Justin and I created Cantankerous Old Coots we were naive. I won’t speak for Justin but, for sure, I was naive. I misjudged our audience. I thought that everyone aspired to be a cantankerous old coot. All they needed was inspiration and a little nudge to move on from their bland, complacency to outright rebellion against conventional go-alongism. Now, nearly four years later it is apparent that go-alongism isn’t so easily dismissed. We have readers aplenty but along the way, only one hardy soul embraced our mission and neither Justin nor I would dare to claim that Bob was inspired by the content at COC. Bob is an original piece of work and an inspiration to Cantankerous Old Coots everywhere, even though lifestyle change has limited his contributions lately. Life moves. Even Justin the mastermind behind COC has turned his attention elsewhere leaving me to hold down the fort. So, in the absence of leadership from the top, I’m stepping into the void to attempt a bit of refocus.

Is it time to throw in the towel? Given the number of years COC has been blazing a trail of non-conformity, you might conclude that everything new has been said. How much creativity can one Coot stir up? Maybe it’s time to retire? That’s what bland conventionalists would say but Cantankerous Old Coots aren’t bland conventionalists. Conventional Old Coots see an opportunity and are prepared to seize it. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 10:36
Mar 182014
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Originally posted 2010-07-09 07:53:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

“There is another Coot” my wife announced as we merged onto the surface street near our home this week. We were returning from our semi-monthly visit to the big box warehouse store. I was distracted trying to figure our what was new in the ongoing construction of the overpass and was startled by impatient honking from the car behind.. In the mirror I saw an old, bald guy in a Toyota scowling at me. I waved at him (all five fingers carefully extended) and sped on to the the next stop light.

“That is no Cantankerous Old Coot,” I told her. “That is an Angry Old Fart.”

Today’s lesson my be the most important of all. Being a Coot is not just letting it all hang out. There is an art and finesse to being a Coot that may not be obvious to the beginner. This is an important because you may be confused so far. Coots are not hostile or angry. They aren’t mean or malicious. They aren’t evil and vindictive. Those are the characteristics of Angry Old Farts. Coots are blunt and direct. They don’t suffer fools. They don’t hide their feelings and down deep, sometimes so deep that you might miss it, they like people, annoying as people can be. Coots are optimists, confident that even the biggest fools can be redeemed once they are shown the error of their ways. If you have missed this subtlety then pay close attention to today’s lesson.

This is where the whole effort becomes difficult. Not everyone has what it takes to be a Cantankerous Old Coot. It takes finesse and good judgment to know where the line between a Cantankerous Old Coot and an Angry Old Fart lies. Once you push past that line, there is no return because when you are tagged as an Angry Old Fart, all your actions will be seen as mean and angry no matter what you might intend. This is especially important for Coots in training because you don’t want your early mistakes to condemn you to live as an AOF. If it happens to you, you pretty much have to relocate to another state and start all over if you don’t want to live the rest of your life as an AOF.

Far better as you are learning your craft that you underplay your role, even at the risk of being perceived as a wimp. As you perfect your skills and hone the phrases you use, you can gradually work your way into the sweet spot that is the essence of Cantankerous Old Coots. The essence of this weeks lesson is to go easy; test the ground and evaluate the responses.

Many people, maybe even my scowling friend in the Toyota may have aimed for the perfection of a Cantankerous Old Coot only to fall into the realm of Angry Old Farts and once there discover that there is no way back. Don’t let that happen to you. Aim high but move slowly to develop your skills, Don’t let impatience or poor judgment make you an Angry Old Fart by mistake.

Mar 182014
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Originally posted 2012-06-06 10:32:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

There is an unwritten law in California.

In California we believe that if you don’t think it’s broken, your standards suck.

Following this law has given us a whole new election process.

A Dictionary of American Politics, Comprising ...

A Dictionary of American Politics, Comprising Accounts of Political Parties, Measures and Men, Etc. (Photo credit: Cornell University Library)this law, Californians have gone from being the best state in the union when I moved here in 1970 for such things as roads and schools to being last today. Having ruined the state infrastructure, the focus these days is undermining governance.

Yesterday was the primary election. Californians never expect to have an impact on the candidate for President. Still we get to express our preference and vote to determine who should be on the ballot in November. But California has decided that regular primary elections are just too ordinary for the Golden State. This is a primary election with a twist. This year everybody gets to vote for everybody; parties don’t count.

What I mean is that no matter what your political party preference, you get to see the entire list of candidates and vote your favorite. No more of those arbitrary distinctions between candidates and voters. Everybody is as good as everybody else. The idea that you should limit yourself to one party when you vote in the primary is like believeing that the Earth is flat. No flat Eathers alowed in Califronia. California is challenging the tired old routine of elections. They shook everything up by putting all the candidates on one ballot. No matter your political party you can vote for any candidate and only the top two vote getters will appear on the November ballot.

Why? you ask.  In California you learn not to bother asking.

Nobody I know has offered a rational explanation for this change or any evidence that it is an improvement over what we used to do. I can’t even remember how this new process got established. It was probably one of the plethora of ballot initiatives that confuse California voters each election. Nobody can understand what the language means and both supporters and opponents lie like rugs.

Whatever, the result is that instead of all the miscellaneous political parties having a candidate on the Primary ballot in November, there will be only two candidates and there is no requirement about what party they represent. The voters will choose.. It might be two Democrats. It might be two Republicans. It might even be two Greens or a mix with one Democrat and one Republican or even a Libertarian and a Peace and Freedom. There are no petty rules about party representation.

 Tradition never looked better as California improves itself to death.

As I watch California deteriorate these days I’m appreciating tradition more and more. Change isn’t always good. I don’t much like this change but it is something you have to accept when you live in California. It’s what they like to do in California, shake things up. Like they did a few years back with the ‘new’ math back when my kids were in elementary school. I have no idea what ‘ new’ math is, or was. I couldn’t make heads not tails of it. I always assumed that the teachers understood but there is no clear evidence that they did either. All I know is that my kids never understood math, new or old and hate math to this day, in spite of tutors hired to remedy the failings of the California education tyranny.

They never admit failure. 

Eventually, (after my kids were past saving) California abandoned ‘new’ math and without fanfare or explanation returned to ‘old’ math. It’s a tradition in California to do new things, just because they are new. They rejected phonics as well but lucky for my kids they were already reading by then. They went back to phonics without skipping a beat or admitting failure. We shudder to think what might be next – new traffic laws?


So, it remains to be seen how this new election practice will fare. I fully expect that Californian’s will shrug the new practice after a year or two off and return to the old ways. I fully expect that the politicians will shrug it off as well just like they shrug off any responsibility to the people who elected them. What I do anticipate is that whatever the intent of the bureaucrats that designed this monstrosity, they will be upset when nothing much changes. That isn’t good either.  I can’t believe that they will be satisfied with letting things go back to normal. Fortunately there are always plenty of new ways to do things.

Even California normal.

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 Posted by at 13:06

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