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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Today's Tidbits, 072217

Maria van Oosterwijk, Vanitas--Still Life (1693)

The other day would have been my darling mama's 95th birthday - strange to say.  Perhaps you will think it even stranger if I say, I'm glad she did not live to see the world as it now is, nor any of my kin.  Things high and low are out of hand, out of joint, out of control, and I fear that evil days are upon us.  But what do I know.

Long-time readers of this blog know that I used to have a lot more to say about gay rights and politics and all sorts of topics.  But once past 60, one realizes that the steam in the boiler drops gradually but steadily lower, and one has much less patience for the foolishness and futility of the world.  One also understands, finally, that one is just a very small ripple in the immense, immeasurable ocean of life, an endless rolling tide of change -- like it or not.  So why waste the time left to you, be it long or short, with utterly useless protests?  Leave that to the armies of youth, who have strength and passion a-plenty, and still believe they can change the world.

All that being said, I suppose there's really no point in my continuing this blog -- but somehow I just can't quite let go of it yet.  Even at only one or two posts a week, it gives a little rhythm to my otherwise mostly bland, blank life in retirement, a something to look forward to.  But what to post?  I am so utterly disgusted and outraged and horrified by the shambles in Washington and elsewhere that I have stopped reading news articles almost entirely - most days I can hardly bear even to glance at the headlines.  So no more of that here.

I do, however, spend my days looking up and contemplating many other, much more interesting things.  But I have usually hesitated to post that kind of potpourri here, since it falls under no heading and would be such an odd mix of unrelated topics.

Still, perhaps a potpourri is better than an empty bowl.  So starting today, I may from time to time give you all a sampling of my finds - none of which are necessarily cool, groovy, sexy, personal to me, or relevant to anything happening now in the world.  But they recall a memory, delight the eye, raise a smile, or give food for thought - is that so bad?  At any rate, it is the best this tired old sod can manage.  And it passes the time.

Click images to enlarge:

Fritos fried chicken recipe, 1950s

Grocery prices in Perry, Georgia, 1940; multiply by 17 to get today's equivalent.

Cutaway view of a Pan Am Stratocruiser

Still as true as ever.

Benham Park, Berkshire, England


Mistress Maddie said...

Blogging can be hard at times to find the time, or what to post, but even if I ever did stop, I'd always keep it out there. Sometimes just posting a funny video or nice photography or hot men can make just one persons day.

Frank said...

Our sentiments often run parallel. I too have been less enthusiastic about blogging, and also less interested in posting political or LGBT stories. I agree that the political scene is too atrocious to follow closely, though I do try to keep up with the headlines. It has become obscene. And I do feel that my little voice is insignificant, especially if I am preaching to the choir.

My original intent in starting my blog was to do some creative writing...an endeavor I began with enthusiasm but for several years now I've left nearly abandoned. I spend my time on the internet looking for recipes, sales, information about insignificant queries, and, of course, gorgeous men. The rest of the time I am walking the dog, doing household chores, in the garden, cooking, grocery shopping (driving 35 miles into town), putzing around the house or picking up after myself (an endless chore).

I would sometimes like to make an income other that my meager Social Security, but have almost always hated work and I'm still holding out for my "dream job" though I still don't know what that is. (Perhaps selling sun lotion at the gay nude beach "free application with every purchase" or being a marine biologist).

We returned form a trip to California almost a week ago and I had planned to do a post about the trip...so...maybe I'll do that today while Leon is at work.

Tim said...

Oh Bubba,

I’m not sure I have anything to offer, but I’d like to join the club anyway. It is, I think, in part a ‘seasonal’ issue. If the cold fog of Winter brings about the ‘Blahs’; the "leave me alone I want to forget the world and hibernate.” syndrome, then the heat of Summer, brings about the irascible and tetchy ‘Blehs’ The F'-off I hate you all illness. For those of us in the winter of our own lives, faulty thermostats and creaking plumbing mean that all four seasons and their associated malaises can be enjoyed in the space of an afternoon. Alas, there is no known cure, botox injections, dyed hair, fake tans and plastic surgery are no defence against the skeletal figure in the black cowl carrying a scythe.

It is the way of things and a new generation must now discover for themselves all the problems we’ve been trying to warn them about. BUT, and Maddie is right here, as are you in your closing paragraph. If we can do something, to pleasure a few, one or indeed, ourselves; why not? Why not rattle the bars of the gage once in a while, bang the tin mug on the bolted door. Just to demonstrate to ourselves and those who may care to listen that we haven’t quite given up the ghost....just yet. That we’re not quite ready for St Peter, or his multi-faith equivalent, to read us the riot act. Better to look him in the eye and say “Well, at least I tried till the very end. I didn’t give up, even if no one else listened.

So carry on, even ad-hoc, with the magnificent organ that has always been the Blue Truck, And if we fail to ‘like' or ‘comment’ every time, know that we’re not dead yet, merely resting!

Bubba, Frank, Maddie (C’mon Davis where are you?) Your views parallel my own I think, but about this writing business. You know it was Russ himself who got me into it, here on the Blue Truck, encouraged me to try and then of course one day I flew the nest. Frank, until that sun lotion position comes along, why not put your experiences into a fictional setting. That’s why I’ve done, saddled two handsome military men with my experiences and observations. It’s very liberating, letting someone else tell your tale, especially when they can tell it in an more open and gay friendly environment than the one I, and most of us, enjoyed in our youth. Just a thought. And Bubba, I’m sure you have the potential to be the Armistead Maupin of the deep South! I love writing and reading short fictional stories laced with real-life observation. If it only pleasures yourself, its a good thing.

PS In case I didn’t make myself quite clear, don’t you dare quit on us Russ!

PPS Frank, was that a US Marine biologist of something fishy? I would prefer the former myself. :)

Russ Manley said...

Appreciate ya, fellas -- thanks for keeping up with me.

Davis said...

A lovely post - I'm there with you in so many ways Russ. But we must go on to enjoy what we can, to give joy to others as we can, and to make even a small difference in human history at the micro level. Yes I do believe in the butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil...

affectionately as ever


Russ Manley said...

Thanks, kind friend.

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