I Hate Sundays but Yesterday was Very Exciting

I hate Sundays.

When my wife was alive and my children were young, Sundays were spent on picnics, going to the movies, and long drives.

We had special lunch at home and dined out evenings.

Now that my wife is gone, and my children are gone, Sundays always find alone. It’s not the loneliness that pains me but the memories of the things we did as a family. And they come back in torrents in my loneliness on Sundays.

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Exercise: The Fun and Invigorating way of Growing Old

Have you seen a senior citizen doing tai chi looking grouchy and grumpy at the same time?

Or crying while he’s brisk walking; or bitching about life while putting his loving touch to his flower garden?

I am sure not. It’s like salt sprinkled on the icing of a yummy hazelnut chocolate cake.

It’s because exercise, or any physical activity, has the transforming power of making a lethargic and boring day to a sweat-drenched and invigorating one.

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Warning: Diarrhea can Induce Paralysis or Cause Death

It was a very vigorous doubles game of tennis and we were slowly catching up. Suddenly I couldn’t catch my breath anymore, and my legs began to melt under me like snow touched by sunshine.

It was my first day of play after a week of diarrhea. I thought I was well enough for a game. I was wrong. For that we lost because I lost steam.

And it made me so hungry too and had a McDonald’s on the way home. Welcome back diarrhea.

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Of Toilets, a Mug of Coffee, and no Wifi: Ruminations of an Old Man

Typical day in my favorite coffee shop.

Typical day in my favorite coffee shop.

“We’re sorry Sir, but we don’t have a wifi connection since this morning,” said the barista when I ordered my regular brewed coffee.

Around 1:30 pm every afternoon, I am in my favorite coffee shop. It is my anti-stress therapy., I go to my favorite coffee shop. It’s my anti-stress therapy.

It is also my way of getting away from the boredom of home, and to do part of my writing time.I do it for two reasons: First, to get away from the boredom of home, and, Second, to do my writing.

Not that my home is lifeless and non-exciting. My helper sees to it that I have a load of both. She never does anything unless told, and she always changes every instruction given her.

Thanks to her, my home is a place of constant stress. She makes the anti-hypertension pill I take every morning practically useless.

Well, nobody’s perfect…

Surprisingly all I said was, “Aw shucks, I will be spending an entire afternoon doing nothing. No writing, no surfing, no nothing.”

I would have bitched and fumed and complained to High Heavens for denying me my little pleasures in such circumstances. It was a catastrophe. But all I did was shrug my shoulders.

As a writer, like all writers, I have become a wifi junkie. It is my umbilical cord to the outside world. I can’t imagine life without it. Without a connection I would wilt and die, like a plant denied of water for so long.

But aging carries with it some bits of wisdom, and wisdom dictates that there is no sense in fretting over things I have no control of, and to improvise when things are not as expected, like today.

So I ordered my coffee and found me a place to get settled and started ruminating.


Where’s the Toilet:

The first thing that came to mind was how to get to the nearest toilet as fast as possible.

Four days ago, I ate something that gave me a bum stomach. Since then I have been having a slight pain in my gut, and off-schedule bowel movements.

It’s unlike regular diarrhea that comes in torrents. Mine was squirts of soft stool that beckons me to the toilet more often than usual.

So while slowly enjoying my coffee, my mind was busy monitoring the slightest tremor – like a volcanologist keeping close watch of an active volcano – of my stomach.

I carefully put up a toilet strategy for a quiet but fast exit, just in case. Dirtying my pants in the middle of a crowded coffee shop is totally unacceptable even for an elderly like me.

I am sure you know how it feels. It’s kind of sitting on smoldering coal. You have little beads of perspiration on your forehead, fervently hoping that you will have sufficient time to make a clean getaway before eruption starts.

With my strategy safely tucked in place, the next concern is making use of the rest of the afternoon.

With no wifi to do Internet things, I had to improvise.


Old Age – an Age of Revelations:

I went back up to my laptop which, without a connection, was as useful as an Apple2e, my first desktop.

But it can still give my thoughts some form and substance.

As I stared into the blank screen, a lot of age-related revelations started pouring in.

For example, aside from my lower back pains, and my knee pains, I now know that my stomach could no longer tolerate an avocado smoothie left in the ref for more than three days.

I also realized that my days are getting scarcer while I still have a lot of things to do.

I don’t want to bow out feeling sorry for not having done the things I have always wanted to do.


Born to be better:

You and I are born to be better, to live beyond our self-imposed expectations.

No, you don’t have to run the Boston marathon, or a champion in an age-based weightlifting competition (though nothing is stopping you from doing them).

But you can do a lot better on things you passionately care about. You can do a lot better if you are not so scared of getting out of your comfort zone, of your self-doubt.

You are too scared to fail, afraid to be ridiculed. You think you are not good looking enough, not masculine enough, not rich enough, or intelligent enough.

Maybe you are right. Maybe you are the ugliest dumb ass in the neighborhood. But should you accept that for the rest of your life? To mope and sulk until you are buried six feet beneath the ground?

For what it’s worth, nobody ever succeeded by talking a walk in the park. Nobody ever achieved happiness by wishing to be happy.

You have to work for it. You have to have a sweat in your brows to achieve a fulfilling life.

Nobody succeeded because he was born rich, strong, good looking, or intelligent.

Every endeavor of man is littered with people who think they are born to succeed; that they have a birthright to fame.

No. Success is only bestowed on people who believed in themselves; people who surmounted all the difficulties they encountered along the way. People who, despite having fallen so many times, got back up and continued with the race; people who never gave up.

I want to be recognized as a good writer. I don’t know how long it will take to get there, but I must get there.

I want to see places I have never been to before. I don’t know if I can cover them all, but I must set foot on those that are on top of my bucket list.

I don’t want to go remorseful of not having seen the places I am curious about. Before I go, I want to give a good shot at things I’ve always wanted to do.

You may think these as too ambitious. Maybe yes, maybe no. But it is definitely a lot better than gluing my butt on my sofa, watching inane soap operas.

In closing, let me pose this question to you.

When the time comes for people to toss dirt to cover you, would you want them to simplay say,

“He That he was a good man, a good father, and a good husband?”


“He lived a full life, always on the go, always trying to do more, discover new things, and be of value to others?”

Maybe it doesn’t matter to you. But it does matter to those you left behind.


David Beckham: A Touching Encounter with an Elderly Patient and a Paramedic

Who is David Beckham?

He is a lot of things to a lot of people.

For those who follow soccer like a bloodhound, David Beckham is an English soccer superstar who played in several teams during his entire career, the most significant of which was with the England national team where he holds the appearance record for an outfielder player.

Because of his contribution to the field of sports, he was conferred the OBE (Order of the British Empire), by the British government.

For those who know him personally, he is simply, David Robert Joseph Beckham, born on May 2, 1975, married to Victoria, father of four children.

For the UNICEF (United Nations Indigent Children’s Emergency Fund), he is its long-standing Ambassador of Goodwill.

For the people of Tacloban, Philippines, he is a symbol of hope and inspiration to their battered homes and lives caused by Haiyan, the world’s strongest typhoon to ever hit land.



For an ambulance driver and her elderly patient, well… Get it straight from the The Guardian (theguardian.com):


He may be a long-standing Unicef goodwill ambassador who has been to the Philippines to see for himself the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, but David Beckham’s most recent charitable act occurred closer to home.

The London Ambulance Service has revealed that the former Manchester United and England footballer treated a paramedic and an elderly man to tea and coffee on Monday.


Thank you David Beckham for buying a tea and coffee for Cycle Paramedic Catherine and her patient #buyitlikebeckham


Catherine Maynard, works with the Cycle Response Unit, was helping the man who had fallen down, when she spotted Beckham near Endsleigh St., in central London.

“I was waiting with my patient for an ambulance to transfer him to hospital and although I was keeping him warm it was very cold outside,” she said. “All of a sudden, I looked up and saw someone who looked like David Beckham walking past us. He said hello and got in his car. I said to the man I was treating, ‘I think that was David Beckham.’” Ten minutes later, he came back with a cup of coffee for me and a tea for the patient.


David Beckham and Paramedic Catherine Maynard

David Beckham and Paramedic Catherine Maynard

“We were both very amused, and flattered. It was awful cycling around in the cold today and I couldn’t believe it when he came back with some hot drinks – I was so chuffed.”

Beckham posed for a photo which was tweeted by the London Ambulance Service.

Thank you David Beckham for buying a tea and coffee for Cycle Paramedic Catherine and her patient #buyitlikebeckham


Other Celebrities with a Compassionate Heart:

Each time we hear random acts of kindness from celebrities, people who are adulated by other people, it makes us, ordinary mortals blush with embarrassment or shame.

What makes their acts significant is that they do this away from the fanfare that accompanies their celebrity status. They do it at the spur of the moment.

Here are a few more heartwarming examples from people we never thought would stand up to the occasion:


Mila Kunis:
When a 50-yr-old man working in her home suffered a violent seizure after choking, vomiting and coughing up blood, Mila rushed to his aid, turning his head to the side to prevent choking while another stuffed a wallet in his mouth to prevent swallowing his tongue, which he had bitten through. When the paramedics arrived, she reportedly volunteered to ride in the ambulance with him. The man eventually recovered.


Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel:
After returning from their honeymoon in Tanzania, the newlyweds took a visit to Queens and were seen handing out supplies to the victims of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.


Jessica Simpson:
In 2006, when Jessica won a Chrysler Crossfire at the MTV Video Music Awards, she requested that the car company exchange her sports car for a minivan so that she could donate it to the Casa Hogar Elim, a Mexican orphanage that she visited as a child and continues to support. The next year, Jessica personally delivered the Town and Country van to the orphanage. She and her parents enjoyed a celebration with a mariachi band as they hung around to take pictures with the throngs of excited children.


The Family Hustle star was on his way to a video shoot when he heard that a man was threatening to jump from the roof of a 22-storey radio station building.

T.I. arrived at the scene and recorded a video message for the suicidal man, saying, “…Nothing is life is worth taking your life. I’m here to help you. Please come down to talk to me.”

After the police showed the man the video, he stepped back from the ledge and met T.I. in the lobby.


Johnny Depp:
He’s either brimming with goodness in his heart of bad rap happen to people when he is around. Consider these…

He’s shown up in hospitals and schools dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow, saved a group of extras from being hit by a spiraling stunt car on the set of Public Enemies, adopted a horse on the set of Sleepy Hollow so it wouldn’t be put to death, and saved British musician, Stephen Jones friend from being mugged with a broken bottle in L.A., and gave a couple of homeless men he met in New Mexico a gig as background actors in his latest film, Transcendence.

When Depp saw it, he told the mugger to “back off.” When the poor guy realized who was talking to him, dropped the bottle and said, “I ain’t stealing from Captain Jack.”


Paul Walker:
The late Fast and Furious star Paul Walker founded a non-profit organization, Reach Out World Wide in 2010 and was the first to respond to the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

He also secretly paid for a $10K engagement ring for a young couple back in 2004. This was made known only after his untimely death on November 30, 2013.

Why did they do this?

They didn’t have to. They could just have easily looked the other way, like most of us, but they didn’t.

But they did. At the spur of the moment, they went to the plate to bat – without being asked, no cameras, no newspaper reporters, no paparazzi.

They did it simply by the dictates of their heart.

Shouldn’t you and I?

What do you think? Give me a spur of the moment kindness by making a comment.

Image: www.nydailynews.com


10 Apps that will Definitely Make Your Retirement Hassle-Free

Now, where the hell is that App?

Now, where the hell is that App?

An App, short for Application, is a self-contained program or piece of software intended to fulfill a particular purpose, an application.

It is downloaded by the user to his/her smart mobile device, i.e., tablets, iphone or android. Some are free while others are paid or with subscription fees.

Apps have come a long way since 1997 when Ericsson coined the word “smartphone,” to brand its latest product, the GS 88, or “Penelope.”
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Sex Life of Seniors Revealed: Unbelievable but True

How is your sex life?

Got a sudden lump in your throat? Your mouth going dry, as you ponder whether to lie or tell that it is as dry and arid as the Sahara?

It’s alright. This question is embarrassing for most male seniors. Nobody wants to talk about their sex lives. If they do, they do it in a jocular and condescending manner, like telling of the day they wet their paints in the middle of an important corporate presentation.

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Warning: Your Home can also be Your Place of Doom

When you think of home, what comes to mind is a place of rest, of comfort, of peace, serenity and joy in a safe home environment.

Sadly, your home may have more than a dozen hidden hazards that can turn your peace upside down at the blink of an eye.

And seniors, especially those 65+, are more susceptible because of their failing eyesight, wobbly legs, poor balance and diminished cognitive functions.

Skeptical? Here are some startling figures that will make you look at home safety precautions more seriously, make you think otherwise:

o  In 2009 in England and Wales alone, over 7,475 people aged over 65 died
from home accidents, 49% of which were due to falls; – rospa.com

o  According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), millions of people,
65+, suffer a fall. It estimates that one out of three elderly falls each year, but not all tell their doctors about it. – cdc.gov

Home accidents involving elderly people have become a great concern for government institutions, and society at large, because some of these are preventable and avoidable.

But because of complacency, carelessness, or ignorance, millions end up in hospital ERs all over the world, or died untimely.

These simple tips are meant to help you do better so that you won’t become a figure in this ghastly statistics.


Most common home safety threats and how to mitigate them:

1.  List down all emergency numbers:
Have all the contact numbers of your children, close relatives, 911, poison control, fire department, your personal doctor, or a suicide help center.

Put the list in your wallet or some secure and easily accessible place. Or put them into your phone’s Contact list.

If you are hi-tech savvy, load Apps in your phone so you can get in touch with them fast and easy.


2.  Check possible sources of falls:
Your home can have more than a dozen sources of falls you are not aware of:
Frayed floor carpets, lamp stands, wobbly dining table chairs, stepladders, welcome rug on your porch, too high cabinets or cupboards, extension wires across your living room, stools you occasional use to sit or stand on, etc. the list can go on.

Don’t take them lightly. Even if you can move around your home with eyes closed, the threat of a fall is never far away if your legs, eyes, and balance are weak.

Attend to these things before it is too late.

o  Sleep in the ground floor, not in the second, if possible;
o  Have handholds along the walls of your home – from your living room, kitchen, to your bedroom;
o  Secure the carpet edges to the floor, or remove it. It is just a good place for dust and mites that can give you discomfort or allergy;
o  Put shoes and books where they should;
o  Keep your food items on your kitchen counter top so you won’t have to reach up when you need them.


3.  Identify possible sources of fire:
In 2010, 143 people died in the U.K., due to fire-related accidents.

Home fires are normally caused by faulty electrical wiring, overloaded electrical outlets, using inferior plugs and sockets, unplugged electric appliance, smoldering cigarette butts, oily rugs thrown near a hot source, failure to turn off the gas, etc;

To remove these potential hazards:
o  Use certified wires, sockets, plugs and outlets;
o  Turn off appliances before going out or going to bed; properly store flammable items, don’t overload sockets;
o  Install smoke alarms in your home and make sure they are functional;
o  Have fire extinguishers in your bedroom, living room and dining room And be sure you know how to use them or that they are always fully charged;
o  Don’t attempt to douse a fire if it has already started. Get out of the house and call 911.


4.  Burns and scalds:
Burns and scalds can come from radiators, cookers, kettles, hot bath, or even a cup of hot chocolate you drink before going to bed at night.

Don’t take this lightly. Contact burns among people over 65 can be fatal if they get infected.

To avoid this risk,
o  Do not take hot drinks more than you need to;
o  Arrange your tea or coffee utensils as near to each other as possible.
o  Handle your cooking utensils with extreme care;
o  Use gloves all the time when working around hot items in the kitchen;
o  When taking a shower, always turn on the cold water first, before slowly turning on the hot water knob to prevent burning.


5.  Is your bathroom safe?
Bathrooms, as small as they are, are big when it comes to home accidents.

Accidents happen around the toilets, shower stalls, and bathtubs.

To avoid these risks, be sure to:
o  Use non-skid mats;
o  Have grab bars installed;
o  Set the thermostat no higher than 120 deg F to minimize the risk of scalding;
o  Use special chairs if you have difficulty getting in and out of toilets and bathtubs;
o  Have your cell phone nearby to dial an emergency number should you need to.


6.  Get rid of toxic substances:
Seniors are especially prone to poisoning because of weaker immune system and lower metabolism.

Accidental poisoning or drug overdose happens if you have no adequate knowledge of your prescription drugs, or taking drugs not meant for you.

Storing partially opened canned goods too long in the ref can also cause food poisoning.

Don’t’ stretch your food budget too thin to eat stale or moldy foods. This can give you food poisoning, too.

To help avoid this home risk:
o  Always wash hands before working around food;
o  Avoid recycling food that has been in the ref for more than two days;
o  When buying canned goods, always check their expiry dates;
o  Don’t store canned goods in partially opened cans;
o  Throw away moldy fruits and other food stuff;

Regarding your medications:
o  Always buy from credible and reputable pharmacies;
o  When asking for prescriptions, ask your doctor possible adverse reactions with other medications you are talking;
o  Never experiment with drugs. Be sure you are taking what is prescribed by a doctor, not suggested by a friend;
o  Don’t take medications of others just because you have the same illness. Different people react to medications differently.

Last year I ate something at dinner that gave me a severe case of food poising. I had diarrhea starting 5am in the morning, until late in the afternoon. Every hour on the hour, I had to rush to the toilet to discharge.

It subsided when my daughter and son-in-law, both doctors, IV-fed me with saline solution.

Last night, while attending the wake of an aunt who died four days ago from a bad fall, I met a young girl who was also attending the wake of a neighbor.

She was already in her 60s, alone at home, and died from a fall while using the bathroom.

When relatives found her she was already bluish, with a large gash on her head.

No matter how safe you feel at home, accidents can happen at the most unexpected time and circumstances.

The safety of home can easily turn into a disaster; your retirement days can easily be cut short by a sudden fall, a stale food, or a smoldering cigarette butt on your mattress as you slowly drift into sleep.

Please share your latest home accident to rouse other seniors from their complacency.

Image: www.levininjuryfirm.com