Down with Spring

 Posted by at 11:03  Uncategorized
Feb 232015
 
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lkjlkj

Spring is over rated.

You dream about it all Winter long and then when it gets here, all it means is more work.

Those long, cold winter months are a real trial.  Each day, it seems that the Sun just gets above horizon and it is already setting. You eat breakfast in the dark and it is already night time when you have supper. There are only a few hours of sunlight each day. Then with the Winter storms, you often don’t even get that. All through the Winter, you dream about those first Spring days, the warm breezes, the flowers. It’s barely enough to keep you sane.

Spring is a tease.

She doesn’t just appear. She comes and goes. Maybe you will see a string of warm sunny days early on, catching the early Spring flowers and highlighting their beauty. But then, just as quickly she will disappear . You turn the furnace back on and wonder if Winter will ever go away. And the pattern continues. You think each patch of warm weather will mean no more Winter. Each time, there are a few more flowers, but it is still a day to day thing. Winter holds on tight and the fact that they days are longer only serves to increase the frustration that it’s not warm yet.

Eventually, though, the day begin to stay warm. Buds are popping all over the place. The leaves break out on the trees and flowers are everywhere. Finally you can shut off the furnace and thankfully, it’s not yet time to turn on the air conditioner. Spring is finally here.

Not so fast.

Spring is a devious lass, full of mischief. All the while, she is teasing us with the promise of her charms, she holds back so that we never really get to indulge in the pleasures of warm weather. We get out briefly and then scurry back to the warmth of home when she lets Winter return. So this means that while the plants are gearing up their show, we never get the opportunity to clean up the winter damage and neglect. All those months indoors have left a lot of work to do putting the yard in condition.

So when Sprint finally is here instead of being able to enjoy it, we don’t get to sit around and smell the flowers. That patio furniture sit lonely and unoccupied. Now that the weather is finally nice, there is a big backlog of yard work. It’s going to be Summer before I get caught up.

 

Ralph

Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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Feb 232015
 
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Coping in the age of information is a challenge. Every day some incredible amount of new information is added to our store. There is much to know and explore and too much to retain. The trick is to organize that information and have a system to pull that information for review when you need it. In my youth there were dictionaries, encyclopediae and my favorite place, the public library where knowledge was available to anyone mastering the Dewey Decimal System and the card catalog. Back in those days we were dependent on physical documents: books, magazines, newspapers and the like. I used and appreciated the systems that made the information accessible. I highly valued the secretaries, librarians and researchers who developed filing systems and then used them to make the information accessible. But things change.

My filing system.

My filing system.

Today we still have those archaic systems to organize physical documents although they are dwarfed by the amount of cloud based information flooding the universe and made accessible through search engines driven by principles only understood by Google. I am awed by the Internet and the search engines that somehow allow me to find the information I need with a few keystrokes. I can use my computer to find information anywhere in the world. I can print it out, review and edit. I can create documents, spreadsheets and files. I can assemble information from many sources at my desk. It is efficient and convenient. It is what happens next that is my problem. I have never mastered filing. Continue reading »

Ralph

Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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Feb 232015
 
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Relief map of Europe and surrounding regions

Image via Wikipedia

Ralph likes to dish stuff out.  He likes to rail on myself and Bob about not getting our posts out.  I have one thing to say to him!  You’re right.  If it wasn’t for Ralph, this blog would be like my other one.  By the way, if you have ever visited my other blog at justinsbrainpan.com, you may have noticed that the domain now shows a girl who I am sure is way to young to be desireable and some ads.  If you missed it, I have changed the domain (and host) to www.catharsisofthebogue.com.  Like the phone company lady says, Please make a note of it.

Now back to that…..Ralph.  Yes my balls have been dropped, wait, that sounds wrong.  I have repeatedly dropped the ball and posts have not been flying from my fingers like the proverbial roomful of monkeys.  I am not going to promise a change, but at least there are a few of my posts peppering the site from here and there, unlike Bob.  He is into taking the video world by storm and making a site that will make all of the other “How To” sites weep like little girls.

But where are the posts that were promised Robert?  I only hope that the Political Coot is a hit and we are getting loads of undeserved traffic.  Well slightly deserved traffic.  And you know what else? I keep finding places where www.catharsisofthebogue.com is not the current link for my stuff.  Good grief I have a lot of things that are pointing to the old site and not at www.catharsisofthebogue.com.

But I digress.  What are we going to do this year as the coots?  Well we are going to let Ralph carry us for the most part.  He doesn’t seem to have anything to do other than write anyway, (well there is that Europe trip so his wife will not either castrate him or hang him by his ankles in the town square) and Bob and I will contribute infrequently and sporadically.  That way it will keep you readers guessing when I am going to shower you with shit er wisdom.

Cantankerous Old Coots is a great site with some wonderful things going on in the cantankerous realm of Cantankerosity.  I can’t exactly recall what those great things are right now, but trust me, they are great.  Keep coming back here and reading this drivel that I am producing, you will be grateful for the poetry that Ralph puts out.  Bob is on his own, he likes video anyway.

Stay tuned faithful readers, there will still be variety here at the coots most of the time.  Otherwise, I guess this is just ralphcarlsonblog.com part deux.

Have a dandy weekend.

-Justin

PS I am curious to know why the “suggested post tags” came up with Preparation H as a term…..I am confused.

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Justin

Justin is the young Coot with a Cantankerous Soul who continues to be educated by older, more cootish Ralph and Bob. His Cantankerosity is his own.

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A Coot hits the road!

 Posted by at 11:02  Uncategorized
Feb 232015
 
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Hola Coots!

The pressure is mounting.  Tomorrow my wife and I leave rainy Sacramento for sunny and warm Buenos Aires.  We’ve never been to Argentina and we’ve never taken a trip longer than two weeks so there is plenty of room for anxiety.  There is the fear of over packing.  This trip we want to take only what we need after over packing last time.  The alternative might just be under packing.  What is the right amount of clothing?  I don’t know.  I’ll probably get it wrong this time too.  The one nice thing is that summer in Argentina means no need to take a heavy coat.

Then there is the electronics.  Modern travel  requires a computer, my wife’s iPad, telephones, cameras and all the connections, power supplies and batteries to keep them operating.  The apartment has wifi so we can connect on the web and talk via Skype.  We did pretty well last trip where the only thing forgotten was a charger for a camera.  It wasn’t a serious problem.  Camera chargers are found everywhere tourists flock.  This afternoon we will set out all the equipment for packing and make sure that it all is there.

The only loose end this time is our cellphones.  For the last trip we rented them.  This time we intend to use our regular cell phones which we unlocked and buy local prepaid sim cards.  This is more adventurous and will tax our limited Spanish but it is cheaper and provides us with local Argentine telephone numbers.  The downside is that it can’t be done until we get to Argentina and apparently there is a 24 hour delay after buying the card before you get your number and the possibility of dealing with customer service in Spanish.  We will be testing our Pimsleur Spanish.  One thing we learned is that we won’t go hungry or thirsty because it seems that the Spanish word for bar is bar and the Spanish word for sandwich is sandwich.  We can build on that.

We anticipate that there will be some problems as we settle into Buenos Aires for a month but we are making our entrance as simple as possible.  For about the same price as a taxi from the airport, you can arrange for a driver.  So when we make it out of customs at the airport there will be someone standing with a sign that has my name on it.  He will lead us to our transportation which will drive us to meet the apartment agent who will settle us into our home for the next month.   We could have hassled the trip like a native but after a long flight, who needs more stress?

Once we have our home base, it will be time to check out the neighborhood, buy some provisions and those sim cards and try our Spanish (or as they say in Argentina- our Castillano).  I can’t promise regular posting during this trip but the plan is to show some pictures once a week with observations about interesting and quirky things I discover.  Stay tuned.

For a taste of Buenos Aires, check out this video.

 

Ralph

Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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Feb 232015
 
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Double Double Animal Style

Happiness is a hot cheeseburger!

Well, it’s finally here. Today is National Cheesburger Day. What could possible be happier than a sizzling burger dripping with juices and smothered with cheese. I’m salivating just thinking about it. Naturally something as good as a cheesburger was invented in the USA by good old Americans. You know it’s good because you can find cheesburgers anywhere you go these days, not even McDonalds can damage the cheeseburger mystique. So wherever you are today and whatever you have planned, just drop everything and get yourself a cheeseburger. Maybe you want a bargain burger for 25 cents or a have it your way and pull out all the stops burger. Maybe you go fast food with a Big Mac or made to order with a Double Double. It makes no difference. Get yourself a mouthfullo of happiness and celebrate the miracle that is a cheeseburger.

And what to have with your cheeseburger?  Most of us enjoy an order of fries with our cheeseburger but these days it isn’t so easy. If you want fries with that you are going to need parental approval.

Michelle Obama to join Olive Garden announcement

And, of course nothing goes better with your cheeseburger than a coke.  Even without the fries that cheeseburger is a mouthwatering delight. Add a coke and your tastebud just cry out in pleasure. Could you be any happier? The answer is, of course, yes you can and Coca Cola wants to prove it with this video.

W+K’s fifth ‘Happiness Factory’ spot is a six-minute musical spectacle

If you haven’t developed diabetes by now, there is just one more bit of happiness for yon today. The great wall of Tujunga has been restored to its original glory.

Video: The Great Wall mural in the Tujunga Wash in Valley Glen gets a facelift

So there is no excuse for anybody to be unhappy on National Cheeseburger Day.  Next week will surely be harder.

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Ralph

Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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