Saturday, January 14, 2017

Keeping It Real

I posted two entries earlier today that I originally wrote some time ago. don't know why I didn't post them when I wrote them but at least they are posted now.


I like to talk and dialog with folks however there aren't a lot of folks to talk and dialog with. Sometimes I attempt to engage my wife in conversation but she is usually busy playing "Word With Friends," doing Facebook or engaged in something else. Sometimes I kind of go off on my own and then she does interact with me. Interesting isn't it.


My wife is at a luncheon today celebrating the founding of her sorority -- Delta Sigma Theta. She is one of the speakers. I know she will do a good job because she is a very conscientious person who doesn't take on things lightly. She is a dedicated and responsible person. She was recently elected to the Board of our local South Bend Duplicate Bridge Club and she was also elected Secretary of the Board. She is an excellent and conscientious Bridge player. She studies and tries to figure out what errors (if any) she made. Me on the other hand, I am just a kibitzer and player. I am a social card player. I'd like to win but winning isn't all that important to me. The interaction, laughing, joking, and playing are more important to me.


There was a time when I used to be very serious about things but not any more. I just kind of take it easy these days and calm my anxieties. Not exactly sure what I'm anxious about but I do seem to get nervous and preoccupied. I guess a lot of it has to do with failing health. I get frustrated at not being as healthy and capable as I used to be. Probably the most frustrating is dealing with failing eye sight. I can still see but just not as sharp as I used to see. Oh well, se la vie.


I don't wantta to get off on feeling sorry for myself so I'll probably end this post for now. Take care and have a good day.

Looking for input and suggestions!

     I think that if you are going to blog, you probably have to do it with some regularity otherwise you forget things and are not familiar with new things that are added. I've been trying to get to this point so that I could make this blog entry for the past half hour. The software keeps taking me to different places and I couldn't get here. Not exactly sure how I got here!
    Perhaps part of the problem is that I have two g-mail accounts. I don't want two accounts but an organization I belong to insisted that we have a separate e-mail account on g-mail. Perhaps, this 2nd g-mail account is messing with my ability to blog. Right now, I don't intend to eliminate the first e0=mail account. That is how I got here!
     I am 75 and retired. When I was younger and working, I interacted with people all of the time. When I first retired, I was real active with a lot of volunteer activities in the community. Now, my interactions are limited. See folks at church -- basically once a week. See people at fraternity meetings (once a month) and a civic/social organization which meets every quarter. This is not enough interaction for a guy like me who likes to socialize. On the other hand hanging out just to be hanging out does nit have a particular appeal to me.
     I used to do a lot of volunteer activities in the community but over the last few years, I've developed some health issues that tend to limit my mobility. Seem to spend a lot -- in fact, an inordinate -- of time just fooling around reading Facebook posts, tweets, and random stuff on the computer.  I should be searching blogs to see if there are some out there  that invite interaction. I tried to find some blogs but wasn't very good at it and kind of dismissed it. Perhaps I need to give it more time and develop some skillss and techniques to search the blogisphere for entries that might be interesting or amousing. If your reading this post and have any suggestions, please past them on to me.
     I probably also need to become more active. I used to play golf, swin, and walk. Don't do any of those things now. Not quite sure why. If anyone who reads this has any deas or suggestions, please past them along. Don't know That I will adopt any of your suggestions but it would be nice to have some suggestions to consider.

Nostalgia

I grew up in Carlisle, PA. Our next door neighbor to the south was Mrs. Lena and Mr. George Frazier. Next door neighbor to the north was a girl about two years younger than me named Ginny. I don't know what happen to either of these neighbors. The Fraziers are probably long dead by now.
I can see the old neighborhood and many of the people and families that lived there but I don't know what happened to them. Perhaps that is because I joined the Air Force when I was 19 and never really moved back to the neighborhood. I moved back to Carlisle but not the neighborhood in 1969, ten years after I graduated from high school. Never really reestablished connections. Was there for two years but spent most of that time completing my bachelors degree at Penn State Harrisburg.

Friday, September 2, 2016

A Professional Retrospective

When I was child, I thought like a child -- When I was a teenager, I thought with my hormones.


I didn't give much thought to anything other than the moment and was consumed in high school athletics enjoying a fairly successful scholastic sports career that included all-state and all-conference football honors, basketball reserve, javelin champion, and solid baseball outfielder. My first year in college, I experienced a compound fracture of my left ankle that required steel pins to repair, a less than enviable academic experience, and went to work in a local carpet manufacturing plant. After five months in the plant I decided to go back to college to play football but just didn't have it and I still was nor academically inclined. So I opted for the U.S. Air Force.


I experienced my first academic success in an air force technical school at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS. That success was followed by my being the first individual to detect a dog on-board a Soviet missle shot into space. This was followed by recognition and advancement as an Electronic Intercept Operator and a Command Post Technician where I ws awarded the Air Defense Command's Commendation Certificate.
 
Following the air force, I realized I needed to be more responsible, complete college and begin a career. I re-enrolled in college, met a young lady, got married, fathered a daughter, secured a job to support my wife and daughter, brought a home, and continued college on a part time basis. By the time I was 30 my wife had died, my daughter was three, and I  knew I had to complete a bachelor's  degree and become a responsible adult. So I sold my house in West Chester, PA, returned to my hometown (Carlisle, PA), secured a job locally and enrolled in college on a full-time basis.


I was a full time student during the day and worked as a house parent in juvenile delinquent facility. An opportunity presented itself for me to return to the labioratory as a quality control technician on the second shift. Since this would allow me to continue school on a full-time basis during the day I took it.  After two quarters at ib college as a full time student, I had staright 4.0 average
 at night. Two tears later I was remarried to a beautiful young lady who agreed to share my life.


I graduated Penn State Harrisburg with a Bachelor of Social Science degree magna cum laude and was on my way to Syracuse University for a Ph.D. in Political Science (emphasis: Comparative Government).
Two and a half years later I had an MA in Political Science, finished my PH.D. course work in Higher Education Administration and was employed at Norfolk State University as the Director of Institutional Research.
The next three and a half years were filled with professional recognition, publishing professional papers, and holding national offices in both the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) and the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP). In addition, my wife and I had two sons in addition to our daughter and things were looking good.
By now I was 39 years old and was actively looking for a better position in college and university administration with more pay and responsibility. I was offered an opportunity to explore employment with IBM however I was not interested in leaving higher education administration.
I was hired as the Executive for Management, and Planning at the University of Arkansas Little Rock. Things went well until the Chancellor who hired me departed (UALR) to take another position. A new Chancellor was hired, I was more or less demoted, and things went down hill.
A former colleague was hired as the President of a small liberal arts college in Alabama and he asked me to join his staff as Director of Planning, Management, and Analysis. During this period, the VP for Finance was discharged and I was asked to fill his position on a temporary basis. This I did until a new individual was hired for the position. The new person and the President were discharged and again I was asked to assume the chief fiscal officer's position. I agreed to accept it on a temporary basis until someone else could be found but was told that was unacceptable. I either had to accept the position on a permanent basis or be discharged. I opted for the later and was unemployed.
A good friend and colleague who I met in graduate school at Syracuse became aware of my situation and contacted me about a position with him as a planning analyst for a consortium named Graduate Engineering for Minorities  located at the University of Notre Dame. I accepted the position and we worked well together. My friend retired, a new Director was hired and he brought in a friend of his to be the Associate Director.. Within a year or so after the new Director was hired, I was dismissed.
Given my age and the family not wanting to relocate -- this was made clear before I came to Notre Dame -- I started a consulting service with my major client being the state of Michigan. After about three and a half years, the governor of Michigan declared a revenue shortfall and terminated funds that were used to support several consultants, including myself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Idelness

Here I sit, piddling around. I started to say doing nothing but I'm writing in this blog so clearly I am doing more than nothing. It may not be a lot more, but certainly more. ;-) Spent a lot of time on Facebook -- basically doing nothing! Read past blog entries  -- not very productive! Now I'm about to piddle some time on this blog. One might ask :Why?" Of course, I could respond "Why not?" I truly wish I understood my motivation -- not only for this but for many of the things I do.


One would think, why not read a book. Perhaps the condition of my eyes is the reason I don't read as much as I used to. My understanding is my condition is called "diabetic retinopathy" or something like that. Oh well, this may or may not be the reason that I don't read as much as I used to; however, I will use that as an excuse not to read. Perhaps things will change as the doctors continue to work on my eyes. The eye surgeon said there will be six more injection in my eyeballs to stop the leaking. In addition, he and the ophthalmologist have decided to do cataract surgery on my right eye following the next two injections. Those injections will be in the next few weeks: September 14th for the right eye and September 28th for the left eye. We don't have a definitive date for the cataract surgery, but it looks like it will be the third week in October. So the long and the short of the rationale for not reading is that it is difficult and not enjoyable.


Well, I could clean up my study. Goodness knows that it is a mess and needs cleaning up. Do I have a valid reason for not cleaning it up? No, not really. I could use the excuse that Margaret and I are going to leave at 4 p.m. to play golf and it is 3:50 now. Clearly that isn't enough time to clean up this mess. Why I would barely get started before we would have to leave. Naw, that is not a viable idea.


If the truth be told, I just don't want to do it. It is tough when you get old ..... and lazy. WAIT, am I really lazy? I'm going to go play golf. That means I am going to do something. So if I'm going to do something I'm not being lazy -- interpreted to mean do nothing. And hey! I'm typing this blog. Right. That is doing something. :-)


Well, "tenpus fugit!" Need to finish up and edited this piece before I save it. Take care and have a good day.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dialysis end wk 1

Determining how you count things, this was the end of week one on peritoneal dialysis. With the new cycler, everything went well. Margaret said she was woken up a couple of times earlier in the week but I didn't notice a thing. AND since I am the dialysiser rather than the dialysisee, I guess we have to go with "the sick and not shut in" version rather than the care-taker version. I must admit, Margaret is doing an excellent and wonderful job. She said the cycler alarm went off a couple of times earlier in the week but I never noticed. Slept right on through the alarms like a champ. Makes me wonder how people who are doing it on their own with no caretaker make out! Truthfully, Margaret has been a champ. She is right on top of this stuff.


One of the things the doctor said was is that I'd feel better after I've been on it for a  while. Perhaps it is too soon to tell but I don't feel as good as I was anticipating I would feel. I admit that I am not as groggy and sleepy as I was but I'm also not feeling like a young spring chicken wanting to run around and get into everything. Maybe being 75 years old has something to do with that! You think? Don't get me wrong, I am pleased with how I feel but I am not "up and at em" like I thought I would be. To be honest, I am a little apprehensive because I'm not feeling all bright and bushy tailed. I guess you just can't please some people. On the other hand and with a more serious frame of mind, I need to keep in mind that this has only been one week. I seem to sleep longer -- i.e., I sleep about 9 hours a night rather than the six to seven hours that I was sleeping. I've also noticed that I fall asleep in the easy chair after dinner before I get up and go to bed.


Talking about not feeling as tired, sat right here and fell asleep at my desk. I'll try to keep better track of my napping for my next entry.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Beautiful Wife

I am looking through the different screens trying to figure out how to edit and manage this blog. I found one entry that appeared twice -- once in a draft mode and once in an edited mode. I think I finally found a way to eliminate the draft mode. Wow! I probably need to go back to see if there are any other double entries. My intent is to make entries that make some sense but also to share (i.e., with who ever is interested) my thoughts and reflections. In addition, I hope to get some feedback to help me understand this marvelous phenomenon that we call life. I think about things that have happened in my life and wonder "What if...?" The answer to that question usually generates a series of other questions,


For example, my mother died when I was four years old (I'm 75. now). I frequently think about all of the what if(s) had she lived. One of the results(?) of her death was always a longing to belong. I don't know that I was looking for motherly love but I know I was looking for companionship and compassion -- someone to be with, care about me and someone I could care about. Consequently, when I was dumped in the 11th grade by the first girl I was pseudo dating -- we weren't really dating but that is another story --  I felt rejection. The sad part about that is neither one of us claimed or declared the other as a special friend or that we were in a special relationship. The significance of that relationship was that I never took boyfriend-girlfriend relationships seriously. After all, I played football, basketball, baseball, and was on the track team participating in field events and running the 440. The big deal to me at that time was being a good athlete and playing professional football. And given that I was named to the Associated Press' All-State football team as a junior, I was well on my way -- or so I thought! But you know, fate has a funny way of dealing with those things.


What's the point? Well, the point is that my wife and I have been married 45 years and I don't know what I would do without her. I love this girl -- mature young lady? -- more than you can imagine. Never saw it coming nor thought our relationship would be so great and fulfilling. I mean she was beautiful and pretty when we met but she has taken on the characteristics of a fine wine, Miss America, and imperial goddess! To put this in perspective, I was engaged to a girl for 4 and a half years but we broke up because she was in college and marriage didn't seem important to her. I met another girl broke the engagement, married the new young lady I met, had a daughter and shortly thereafter my wife died. My daughter was only a year old when her mother died. Whoa! Here I am,  single again. All because God took or allowed someone  to go out of my life again. This exit or departure was by death which no human being had any control over. Admittedly it wasn't voluntary  but hey my mother and my wife both left me. Tends to make one a little insecure.


Ah, but I digress! As I indicated previously, my wife and I have been married 45 years. You talk about being close, I love her more than you can imagine. I just enjoy being with her in the same space, house, room, etc. To top that off, she is beautiful, intelligent, smart, and witty.  She is such a comfort. We laugh, joke, talk, walk, play, and have fun together. I don't know what I would do without her. She takes good care of this crochtity old man and has really been a trooper since we found out I have stage V renal (kidney) disease. She seems to be on top of things and has this peritoneal dialysis machine down. She takes notes and compares things with the nurse and doctor(s) to make sure everything is going the way it should. I don't know what I would do with out her. I have been blessed!