Feb 232015
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English: Evidence of Logging. The photograph s...

English: Evidence of Logging. The photograph shows the main track through the woods on Houghton Moor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know I should channel my annoyances at my aging body into wonderfully articulate and cantankerous rants, but I am not sure I am ready for that.  As if I need any more of this getting old stuff.  We went camping this weekend for my 12 year olds birthday.  Man oh man, I felt old.

Let’s just say that this trip I was glad to have a mattress to sleep on in the tent trailer.

I was glad to sleep in until 9 AM on 2 of the 3 days.

I went to bed before midnight.

I couldn’t get up the hill without falling and messing up my knee.  Well, I probably would have done that anyway.

So here I sit.  I feel like an old man when I move.  I am slow to get going and tired all of the time.  My body is betraying me.

But then, in my mind, I feel like a 14 year old kid who is going to be in trouble all of the time.  There is not the place where I feel like the 38 year old man that I should be, well am in reality.

When do you actually start to feel the age you are?  Where do you feel like the adult you should feel like?

Hell I have 4 kids, the oldest just turned 12.  I shouldn’t feel like I am barely older than her.  But I do.

Maybe I am just tired and the constant stream of caffeine is eroding my psyche, maybe I need a therapist.  Maybe I need a big jug of rum.

Whatever shall I do…..I want to end up similar to Ralph, retired and cantankerous, living life how it comes, but right now, I am going to lose my mind and be running around the nursing home in a loincloth, waving my cane and flashing the old ladies.  Ahhh Dementia….you minx you.  When will you visit?

Anyway, what think you all?  I want some constructive information on what to do, or you can just go and jump off the short pier.




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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Feb 232015
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Well hello there!  I know at least 2 of our regular readers just fell off of their chairs when they saw that I had written this article and not Ralph.  It has been a long time since this site has been much of anything except Ralph’s other blog.  But fear not!  Ralph is not the only one ready to Cantankerify your brains.  I have grand plans of a series about Mother in Law’s that has taken a month to get the venom out of.  More on that to come.


Cover of Yes

So gentle readers I am back.  And here is what I have noticed.  One of the key words for this site is Old.  Yes, old.  And I am getting old.  Granted, I am almost 38 and in the grand scheme of things, that is not considered old.  These days, even Bob and Ralph are not really considered old, retired or not.  But, I am getting old.

Long time readers of any of my blogs (links here to my other blogs…..well maybe not) know that 5 years ago my 1 year old daughter ended up in kidney failure.  2 years of dialysis, a kidney transplant, and 3 years later we took her on a Make A Wish Trip to Disney World(can’t help that link it is the whole trip).  That whole experience during those 5 years aged me.  Enough to be a viable member off this blog, even if not old yet.

Life has thrown me some cement curve balls the past couple of years and I can’t catch very well.  So I have been knocked down bleeding, but I still have managed to stand back up.  But it ages me further.  So here I sit, with 4 kids growing up, a pile of bills (that could really use some help from you if you happen to be shopping at Amazon.  Just click to Amazon through my link over there in the sidebar.  Thanks.)  an attitude that is becoming more and more cantankerous, and a body that just feels old.

Ralph is always jealous of the sweet music that emanates from the kettlebells.   I still like using the things but my rapidly aging body keeps telling me to slow down.  I have finally got my elbow back to useful after 2 weeks.  And then there are the grey hairs, and the unwanted ear hair that my wife seems to find great pleasure in curling with her fingernails if I don’t get it trimmed fast enough.

(St Mary and St Barlok)Monument to Sir Ralph F...

(St Mary and St Barlok)Monument to Sir Ralph Fitzherbert,d.1483,and his wife:detail of tomb-chest. Ralph’s children are shown on the side of the tomb. first three are Richard, Thomas and John – this is John who was Ralph’s heir. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And the need for sleep.  And it goes on and on.  And it will not end until someone is nailing shut my pine box.  One of the most disturbing things that my wife and I have been looking at over the past little while is what to do with our kids if something happens to both of us.  That is a, well necessary thing but good hell it is depressing.  And then looking at life insurance for both of us, and on the kids.  Not to mention retirement savings.

As much as I hate thinking about it, one of these days, hopefully about 65 years in the future, I will be gone.  My kids will need that life insurance to pay for the funeral or at least the dynamite to blow me up with.  And maybe they will have a bit left over at the end.  There is insurance for that as well.  Now I am bumming myself out.

We all get older.  in reality it all happens at the same rate.  There are still 365.25 days in a year and the years go by one after the other.  The adage is still true, “The only certainties in life are Death And Taxes.”  And they will tax the hell out of you when you die.  Bah.  I need to get with Ralph and have him teach me how to not feel so old.  But for now, I have kids to raise.  16 more years and the wife and I are buying a 1958 Corvette  2 seater and cruising the country….sans kids.

I had better get writing, but first some liniment and a nap…..in the middle ages I would be an old man…and most days lately, I feel like it.

What about all of you out there reading this?  How do you feel?

Anyway, here is to more blog post from someone other than Ralph, as much as we love his take on things.


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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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Feb 232015
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There are many things to complain about when you get older. Take my knees for example. They just don’t work as well as they used to. On top of that, there are pains that become routine. You learn to ignore them and keep going. That is  a lesson for later  but it sets up the dilemma a Coot faces growing older. It becomes harder and harder to keep doing everything you used to do and on top of that you finally start to accept that the end is in sight.  You are in the home stretch.   You don’t have all the time in the world to accomplish your goals. You have to cut out the shit!

One of the things your mother probably taught you was to respect people, particularly your elders. If you paid attention, then throughout your life, you listened respectfully to worthless advice and suggestions. Maybe you ignored the advice later or maybe you acted on it. Either way you invested time in hearing and considering what somebody else had to say. Most likely they were people without any evidence that they knew how to manage their own life – let alone yours but you remembered what your mother told you. Maybe you got a benefit from this. Maybe you enjoyed the respect from your elders. Maybe you took the advice and steered your way around life’s obstacles or more likely got stuck in a swamp. But maybe you ignored it, did what you damn well pleased and screwed up anyway.  It doesn’t matter much now, does it?

So today’s Coot Lesson is: Don’t listen to advice from fools. Forget what your mother told you.  Like most everything else she said, it doesn’t help you now. After all, at your age anybody older than you is surely senile. Nothing good will come from listening to them. And if they are younger, they are nothing but snot-nosed kids, still wet behind the ears and maybe their bottoms, not to mention being infused with entitlement thinking from our public schools. Stop wasting time and stop listening to fools. At this stage in your life, you don’t have time to play around.  Life is nearly over. You can see the finish line. You don’t have time to waste and you particularly don’t have time to listen to advice from people who have nothing better to do than to give it to you.

From now on, if you insist on taking advice, then only take advice from yourself – the only fool you can trust. You got yourself this far didn’t you?


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

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Up with ‘Vim and Vigor’

 Posted by at 11:02  Up With
Feb 232015
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The whole idea of ‘vim and vigor’ used to amuse me. It seemed old fashioned, the kind of remark that my grandma would make. Of course that was back when I had it. Now that I’m older than my grandmother, it’s not so funny.

The dictionary says it means strength and enthusiasm, qualities which are becoming more elusive with each passing day. I never thought that ‘vim’ was an actual English word. I learn now that it is; derived from the Latin for strength. It doesn’t matter because, for me, ‘vim’ is a quality in short supply.

Not me!

Not me!

These days I find I’m spending half the day finding the ‘vim and vigor’ to get our of bed. I don’t feel old exactly- although I couldn’t tell what that might mean. I can find the energy to get up and at ’em eventually and when I do I feel just as capable of taking on the day as ever. It’s just that the sense of urgency is gone. Getting up is driven more by a full bladder than eagerness to take on the day.

I have plans, hopes and dreams just like always. What is misssing these days is the urgency.  Even more I have the feeling that I’ll be much more energetic if I lie here just a few minutes more. Certainly the body is less willing these days. What troubles me more is the realization that so is my mind.

C’est la vie. Continue reading »


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

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Oct 202010
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**If you missed Bob’s debut here at the coots check it out here.  If you wan’t to read some sage wisdom about simple living check out his great blog at JuicyMaters.com.  Thanks for another great article Bob, you are most definitely now one of us Coots**

Sheesh!  Lately it seems that this is Old Cantankerous Coots instead of Cantankerous Old Coots.  Ol’ Ralph over there concentrates on retirement over there at his blog, and then links us to other bloggers who talk about retirement, some very active retirement but retirement just the same, and I just sit here, fat and happy, making those funny raspberry noises…phlettttt…

I’ve done my best to ignore the aging issue, and some health problems have conspired to help me do so.   After all, I can blame my inability to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail on diabetes based foot problems, NOT on the aging process.  My lack of endurance I can lay at the feet of my own stupidity, smoking induced COPD, NOT on the aging process.  Same thing with my lack of strength.  A couple of years ago I decided that my shrink in rehab didn’t know what he was talking about, that I could have a drink, just one little itty bitty drink before dinner, and not go back to the half gallon of gin a day I had indulged in for a few years before going to rehab.  Eight months later I found myself in the ICU almost dead from malnutrition and a badly damaged liver.  See?  My lack of strength is due to the booze, NOT the aging process.

This morning though, I got slapped in the face with the cold dead fish of reality.  Oddly, it was not a physical limitation that woke me up, but a mental unwillingness to do what I used to do.

A little you need to know about me so this make sense.  Either I am Oscar Madison or Oscar Madison is me.  I purchased my housekeeping skills at Oscar Madison R Us.  My philosophy tends toward, “Wash the dishes?  Why?  There are still clean dishes to use…”

Combined with that has always been a college kid’s nonchalance toward left over food storage.

OK…  With that background, I ordered a pizza last night.  Not a personal pan size pizza, not even a large pizza, but a super sized great big humongous pizza.  After all, the difference in price between a small pizza and a ginormous pizza these days is about 37¢, and (college kid thinking here) the leftovers would make  a fantastic breakfast this morning, right?

Well, I got up this morning, fixed my coffee, and felt my stomach say “feed me, feed me”.  I walked into the kitchen, saw the pizza box on the counter (where any college kid would have left it), and started to eat the remainder for breakfast.

“Started to” is the operative phrase here.

Shit!  Maybe I am getting old(er).

Bob@HayleStorm Interactive

Bob comes to us with a skeptical attitude and a full cup of Cantankerousness. He also writes about homesteading and yurts over at JuicyMaters.com and rants about politics at Common-Sense-Conversation.com Most of the time, though, you'll find him at HayleStorm.net, cranking out great websites for clients OR writing tutorials teaching them to build their own sites.

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