60 Ways To Know You’re Almost 60

60 not for the weeok.

  1. You never pull anything out of your pocket without Panadol falling out
  2. You try to use the same *cup all day so that you don’t have to reach up into the cabinet and feel that hot-10-penny-nail-jabbing-into-your-shoulder-socket feeling
  3. You become the ultimate Christian hypocrite when you start wildly boogeying to the Stones, but then you think about what their lyrics actually say, but you just can’t throw Mick away
  4. You realize there’s nothing better than watching a 2-year-old joyfully chase pigeons in the park
  5. You find one day that you are wearing a shirt, at work, around important people. that has the kind of wide stripes that went out with the Rat Pack
  6. You had at least one “hippyish” item destroyed by a parent who went completely mental
  7. You realize that, right now, your kids or nieces and nephews have jobs that are way more important than yours
  8. You much prefer Facebooking about Shih-Tzus and cats than talking about work or politics
  9. You don’t go a day without praying for someone’s intentions, solicited or not
  10. When you wake up in the morning, it is a miracle if you can get to the bathroom without a cramp or stabbing pain or brain aneurysm
  11. When you were little, you and your cousins got up to mischief that no one, to this day, knows about
  12. When a Facebook friend mentions watching Johnny Carson reruns. for the next 10 minutes, you are laughing about the Carson clips airing in your head
  13. You hit something so often while backing up your car that you no longer bother getting small dings fixed, because, really, what’s the point
  14. The most analytical you get these days is when you and your adult child watch the latest Star Wars or Avengers movie, and you spend hours looking for plot holes
  15. Every time you see a Facebook mention of a soldier who has died or a child undergoing chemo, you pray for them; you really pray
  16. You get up from your computer and start walking down the hall, and everything looks blurry, so you wonder if you are having a stroke, but then you realize you’re still wearing your computer glasses
  17. When you want to put on old Norman TBT photo on Facebook, and you realize there aren’t many photos of your family because film was really expensive
  18. You remember the story about Narcissus, and you wonder whether this ‘selfie’ thing is a very, very bad habit 
  19. You hear an old song by the Stones or Hendrix or Led Zep, so you CRANK IT UP, and then you wonder how you ever made it home alive from **parties
  20. The thought of winning the billion-dollar lottery scares you to death because you have personally seen how love of money truly is the root of all evil, and yet you buy a ticket anyway
  21.  You have recently opened a kitchen drawer, removed a utensil, and scratched an area of your old body that you don’t talk about
  22. When you see young lovers out in public, and your mind wanders, it usually seizes on a memory from a time when you were below the age of consent
  23. Pretty much every major new invention or government policy that you read about reminds you of George Orwell’s ‘1984’
  24. You still have a phone/fax machine in the garage even though the last fax you received was during the Bush Administration
  25. You see a guy driving down the road in a mint condition 1966 G.T.O. and you immediately want to be his best friend or kill him and steal his car
  26. You need to hear a baby laugh every day, just to get you through the stuff, so you’ve watched this clip of Laughing Quadruplets about a hundred times
  27. You have figured out that vinegar and baking soda will clean or cure pretty much everything, and you wonder why you need all the expensive crap in your cabinets
  28. You also wonder why stores don’t carry ‘fat guy’/’fat gal’ pants like they used to, back when you didn’t need them (Yes, we know Walmart is the center of the obesity epidemic)
  29. Other than your kids being born, your best memories are simple, and almost always involve laughing with old friends
  30. You realize that you are way closer to your death than your birth, and you’re okay with that
  31. Most of the major dental work you had in your 30’s is now falling to bits, but you are not willing to pay to get it all fixed
  32. You realize that a John Wayne cowboy movie and a stiff drink with a really old Norman High School friend will fix any damn thing
  33. There are at least three times that you could have gotten really rich if you’d taken a moderate financial gamble, but you did not, and that really annoys you
  34. Your new laptop comes with built-in software capable of landing a man on Mars, but you mainly use it to search for stuff that’s lost in your computer
  35. When you go to the mall, you always park in the same area. Always. Because, otherwise, you would never find your car. Never.
  36. The Groucho Marx glasses that you bought for 79 cents were the best single investment you ever made

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37. You have OU jerseys that predate Barry Switzer.

38. If you had a dollar for every time someone in your family said, “if I had a dollar for every time…” you’d be rich

39. You are very clear about Saturday Night Live: there’s Belushi, Aykroyd, Murray, Gilda and Lilly, then a lump of ***everybody else

40. The only way you are ever going to lose 10 pounds is if tacos or DQ Blizzards somehow start to metabolize fat and scar tissue

41. About 20 years ago, you realized that elected officials in Washington, D.C. were not smarter than you, they were jut less ethical

42. You are pretty sure that if a man, or woman, cannot ride a horse, they should not be President

43. You or your spouse have had at least one operation that cost more than the house you grew up in

Ho-ho and Pokey

44. You know that Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters were really great at ad-libbing, but, truly, nobody was as good as Ho-Ho and Pokey

45. And, speaking of brilliant children’s programming, WKY TV’s Foreman Scotty and Xavier T. Willard were the best rootin-tootin’ cowboys of ****all time

46. You would love to go into the garage, find an old tire tool, and then wrap it around the head of the guy who said “60 is the new 40”

47. You’d then bend it over Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ big, fat head, just because

48. You are a man who has at least one scar from the time:

… as a kid, you pushed the neighbors normally good-natured dog too far by, hypothetically hitting her with a rope because you were trying to be a cowboy and she simply refused to stampede

… as a teenager, you opened a can of beans with your Dad’s U.S. Military issue can opener just to see if you could do it, which, turns out, you could  not do without serious blood loss

49. You are a woman who has at least one scar from:

… touching the million-degree metal ends of the electric hair curlers of death

… breathing in clouds of Aqua-Net hairspray, which is way deadlier than  the DDT the city sprayed to kill mosquitoes

50. You want to throw your computer RIGHT INTO THE DUCK POND when you write something important late at night, and technology and formatting get all bitchy

51.  You have come to accept that you will never be able to properly back a trailer or use Excel

52. As a kid, you thought baby chicks that were dyed different colors at Easter were cute, not something to be reported to the FBI

53. At least once a month, you would give just about anything to have a little more time with your departed Mom

54.  You are pretty sure that your kids would have benefited from having their mouths washed out with soap, at least once

brownie 55.  You spent hours and hours looking through the glass viewfinder of your Dad’s Brownie Instamatic camera, and pretended to take thousands of photos of your pets and siblings (especially if they were in the bathroom)

56. Your wife or husband is right this minute wearing the exact same glasses that your aunt/uncle wore in 1966

57.  Your chest constricts and you can’t breath properly when you hear the theme from the *****Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone

58. You frequently watched black-and-white TV shows and at least one sibling had to hold the rabbit ears wrapped with aluminum foil just so

59. You believe that people in their seventies, eighties and nineties must be tough as a boot full of barb wire, because they still get around and you can’t hardly do it anymore

60. And, finally, you know you are almost 60 when you’re no longer embarrassed by those times when you open your mouth and your Mom comes out; in fact, those moments really make you smile.

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*Yes, you’ve been known to drink wine out of a coffee cup

** Don’t ask, don’t tell

*** OK, Wayne and Garth are close

**** Sorry Duke

***** Auughhhh


SPOILER ALERT — Top 10 Hogs Blogs from 2015

(Happy New Year from New Zealand!  Here are our favorites from 2015, with the more serious ones at the bottom. Cheers.)

 

 

Bobby and buddies from the Norman High School "Trail".

Bobby, left, and buddies, circa 1973 — NHS “Trail”.

The older you get, the more you understand how hard it is to find a “good man” in this life.

The outpouring of emotion this week in Oklahoma, following the premature death of TV sportscaster Bob Barry, Jr., proved that in spades.

I honestly encourage you to have a look at “BBJ’s” memorial service, which was televised live.  It is compelling, heart-rending and enlightening viewing.

Loving husband? Check.

Doting father? Check.

All round good guy? Check.

Even so, I’ve heard of many men who checked all these boxes.

But in my 35 years of working in or with (frequently “precious”) media types, I have never seen such a tidal wave of love from friends, colleagues, competitors and “plain, old, everyday people.”

Click here to continue.

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Junior on keys for the Rat Pack.

 

Junior emailed me this morning that he would go ashore in Ecuador and Skype us in the afternoon.

Which was great, except that he didn’t say whether this would be HIS afternoon in Ecuador or OUR afternoon in New Zealand.

As it turns out, it was both — his 6 p.m. and our noon.   Win!

Except that wi-fi had not come to Ecuador.

Everything would have been just fine if he’d been in Peru, which is where I thought he was and which has wi-fi.

Who knew there was any difference between Ecuador and Peru?  I mean, they are both somewhere in South America. Or possibly Africa.

I’m not totally sure about that.

Click here to continue.

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(WARNING: reading this blog could give you hypoglycemia)

bazooka-bubble-gum-box

I honestly don’t know why Mr. Uhles put up with us.

He ran the neighborhood store that was exactly 79 steps from my best friend Steve Madden’s front door on Nebraska Street.

We went there so often we wore a trail along Berry Road to Mr. Uhles’ store.

We loved his store, but we hated his old, asphalt parking lot.

It would heat up to about a billion degrees in Oklahoma summer.

Since we were always barefoot, we’d have to hot-foot it across the “lava”, trying not to get a stubbed toe or cut on glass or concussed by our buddy (because boys are always smashing each other just for fun).

Mrs. Uhles had let it be know that we had to smarten up before coming into her store.

That meant wiping the small stones and tar and glass and goatheads from our feet.

Once accomplished, we’d then storm into the store like the U.S. Marines.

At least 900 times every single summer day.

Click here to continue.

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Somebody posted a photo recently of a goat head, the evil nemesis of my youth.

I cannot hardly express how much I hated those things.

If you grew up in Norman, Oklahoma, you didn’t wear shoes during the summer.

Every now and again, you’d step on those suckers.

They’d stab you right in your heal, and bury the “horns” to the hilt.

When you tried to rip them out, half the time the “horn” would stay embedded in your heel, and blood would start trickling out.

That would cost you important play time, because you’d have to limp home so your Mom could perform surgery, using a needle, tweezers and Methiolate.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the wound would ache for days, because the evil goat heads had some kind of poison in them.

It was sort of like getting finned by a catfish on your bare foot.

Click here to continue.

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My Great Grandma Ashley wasn’t big as a minute.

So when she threatened to whip me, I wasn’t scared, even at age three or four.

Besides, when she threatened to swat me, she was smiling that sweet old lady smile.

And brandishing her embroidered hankie — that’s what she was going to whip me with.

Click here to continue.

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Fightball

 

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Writers are supposed to write 1,000 words a day.

Rain or shine.

Summer and winter.

In sickness and in health.

Or something like that.

But this blog has been on something of a hiatas  hiatias hieties break of late, especially from funny.  We have none.

We did manage to blog about Great Grandma Ashley, who was a pistol, and Millennial Douches, but we have no funny.

We blame it on Kris Wehrmeister, my butthead writer friend in Oregon.

Her insanely funny new book, Fightball: Dying of Suck, which YOU CAN BUY RIGHT NOW ON AMAZON!, has pretty much sucked all the available humor molecules right out of the whole entire universe.

Click here to continue.

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miracles happen

(Editor’s Note:  I wrote this and three other stories as part of what I’d hoped would be a book on miracles. That did not happen, so this will.)

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One of the hardest things I ever did was emigrate to New Zealand in 1993, but that’s what was required by my young family.

My Mom had a chronic, debilitating lung disease that not even the Centers for Disease Control could diagnose.  I knew she was not going to get better.  So moving halfway around the world was really hard.

Thankfully, we got to stay with Mom and my step-dad C.B. for about a month while waiting for NZ Immigration to give us the go-ahead.

The delays and red tape about drove my Missus crazy.  But I saw it as a time of grace that gave me precious extra time to spend with Mom.  This was enormously important to me, because I didn’t know if I’d ever see her again.

We made the most of our time, cherishing the simple things.  Mom and I would take short walks, talk, eat, play with my 4-year-old son, and laugh a lot.  Then at night, I would beat Mom.

Click here to continue.

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(Editor’s note: Part Two of Four Stories on My Miracles)

miracles happen part 2 version one fr rookey and our lade

Back in August, I wrote about the many miracles that surrounded my Mother’s death in 1996.  But, I never mentioned the related miracles that occurred in New Zealand … until now.

In 1994 or 1995, Mom was on oxygen 24/7 and had wasted away to 75 pounds. An undiagnosed spore had destroyed her lungs and was killing her. We were all praying for a miracle.

So when I was asked to organize a “healing Mass” in Auckland, New Zealand, by a miracle-worker named Father Peter Mary Rookey, I said ‘yes’! But only after I’d done a fair bit of homework to ensure his bonafides, as old reporters are wont to do.

My research included reading Man of Miracles, the book respected British journalist Heather Parsons wrote about “the famous healing priest from Chicago”, who himself had miraculously regained his sight as a young child.

Fr Peter Rookey

Heather had “embedded” herself in Fr Rookey’s healing ministry, following him across Ireland, and chronicling what she called “miracles of biblical proportion”.

Click here to continue

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Yesterday, I was shopping in our version of Walmart when I saw her.

The first thing I noticed was her short, purple hair.

Then the “circus tent” dress, her 350-pound bulk, and the painfully swollen feet that were somehow stuffed into brightly colored Crocs.

I thought to myself, “I bet Mom would’ve loved this lady.”

Click here to continue.

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(A very, very serious one about abortion)

Oh little baby, you’ll never cry, nor will you hear a sweet lullabye. 

Oh unborn child, if you only knew just what your momma was plannin’ to do.

You’re still a-clingin’ to the tree of life, but soon you’ll be cut off before you get ripe.

When I was a senior at Norman High School, in 1974, I remember happily buying the new Seals & Crofts album, then getting really angry at the lyrics to the cover song.

It was the year after the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade, five years after Woodstock’s “sex, drugs and rock’n’roll”, and six years after Pope Paul VI released his encyclical Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life).

I was a heathen and a virgin.

The LAST thing I wanted was some “anti-abortion” musicians moralizing their way into my bedroom.

Turns out, nobody else did either.

We were Baby Boomers, and it was all about us, not some unborn child.

Sadly, that sweet song could do precious little to hold back the abortion tsunami.

So now, 42 years after Roe v Wade, these are the *facts:

Click here to continue.


Marvelous Meadowlark

Meadowlark

“My leg, my leg!”

Poor Meadowlark Lemon would hold his leg and wail in agony.

So loud that everybody in the huge basketball arena could hear him.

And, somehow, as his teammates helped him limp around the court, in comedic agony, the magic would happen.

Read More…

An Attitude of Gratitude at Christmas

gratitude-journal-745x395

We are sitting here wearing our NHS 30th Anniversary t-shirt and our once-were-nice-until-we-got-yard-chemicals-on-them camo shorts, while drinking a $9 bottle of Heineken.

This means that: we have totally down-tooled for Christmas; we are as per always waiting for the Missus at the mall; and we’re getting gouged by this flashy new restaurant.

We have two hours up our sleeve while the Missus gets “just-a-few-things”, so we shall spend it writing this blog on GRATITUDE, because this is not something that comes naturally to Hogs but is a good think to think about.  Here goes:

We are grateful for:

  • Junior kicking ass and taking names this year musically, including his five-month, world-cruise gig on Crystal Serenity, writing some bodaciously awesome new tunes, gigging with some pretty awesome Kiwi muzos, and even scoping out the studio he wants to record in;

Read More…

Get Mad at that Damn Deck!

Westbrook angry

I just realized that I paint the front deck like Russell Westbrook goes to the rim.

Russ hates that damn rim.

And I hate that damn deck.

Russ and I have the very same DNA of RAGE.

And when we tap into it, Missy, you best get out of the way.

Read More…

Duck Med

Duck Med

Pretty much for the last month, I’d say 99% of my discussions with the Missus have been duck related.

Most of the conversations begin with her walking into the living room and saying, “They are just so INTERESTING”.

At which point I might as well turn off the TV or close my book because, for up to an hour, the Missus will explain how each duck walks and talks and eats and swims and quacks.

And how this particular duck has a dirty face and that duck has a funny walk.

As you might guess, watching the Missus explain all this is far more entertaining than watching Richard Attenborough doing one of his nature shows.

Because he only talks about stuff.

The Singaporean Missus acts out her duck stories, complete with “zooooooming” (duck chases), “peck-peck-pecking” (self-explanatory), and “splashy-splashy-quacking” (see photo above).

In our initial DUCKDATE, we explained a lot about the Missus and her ducks.

Read More…

Mother Nature Always Wins, And Here’s the Itch

?

Stupid, evil tree of itch

This blog has mentioned before that men are creatures of action.

Sure, we spend 99% of the time in our recliners. But that other 1%? When we are in the yard and armed with cutting devices? We are  creatures of action.

And once we get a head of steam? There is no stopping us.

We will cut and saw and slash and burn the greenery until the cows come home. And then we will cut and saw and slash and burn the cattle.  It’s what men do.

Men think greenery should be trimmed to within an inch of its life.  That way you don’t have to trim it again until next year. Or maybe never, if you do a really good trimming job and it dies.

Tragically, this angers women folk — namely, the Missus and, even worse, Mother Nature.

Women folk believe trimming trees should be done as carefully as brain surgery.  And they grow certain kinds of plants designed to keep me away.

These plants and bushes and trees usually explode into a wondrous range of reds and yellows and general prettiness once a year.

It makes the women folk all misty eyed.  It makes men want to trim.

stupid tree 2

Stupid Evil Tree of Itch

Case in point, we give you the Rhus tree (toxicodendron).  We assume the name translates to “will turn a man’s body into an oozing, itching red rash of great pain”.

Oozing Tree

A few days ago, we decided to get out of our recliner (read “get away from the Missus”), and go out into the yard.

We honestly had no intention of actually cutting anything.  But we live in the west Auckland suburb of “Titirangi”, which is Maori for “The Fringe of Heaven”.

In Titirangi, Mother Nature insists that everything grows quickly.  So if you don’t stay on top of it, you will find yourself living inside a tree, because greenery will come in through your windows as you sleep.

At first, we sere content to get the small hedge trimmer and do only a little bit of trimming.

But, of course, one thing led to another.  And the vine trimming session turned into our annual Jihad Against Mother Nature.

tree cutter

We hauled out the 12-foot-long, spring loaded, two section, rope driven Secatur of Death that will cut through steel.

And we decided to trim the hated Rhus tree that has been covering our camper van with leaves and sap and blocks our bedroom’s sun.

And by “trim” we really mean “kill the bastard”.

So despite our bad neck, for the next hour we looked upwards and cut the absolute crap out of the stupid sappy, bee-attracting Rhus tree.

We did not mind the fact that limbs would frequently fall straight down, scratching our face and arms, and occasionally stabbing into our brain.

Manly men do not care about minor flesh wounds when we are in a cutting rut.  Nor do we mind a little itching as we gather up armfuls of branches and leaves.

But we do mind, about an hour later, when we have to put down our beer and go into the bathroom to see why we feel like napalm was dropped on us.

On this occasion, there were super itchy bumps covering about three-quarters of our body including, and there is no way to say this delicately, the Johnson Region.  

It itched so bad you had to scratch, and scratching made it itch even worse.

After three miserable days, we still had not found the right combination of creams and pills and vinegars to make the angry red bumps and blotchy rashes go away.

The Missus, still angry about the wee trimming of her favorite tree, decided that it was not enough to quietly enjoy my misery.

She needed to rub it in by reminding me that I am way allergic to this tree, a fact she claims to gave mentioned every year.

She then decided to read to me from her big fat gardening book:

Allergy: Toxicodendron species  contasin oleoresins known collectively as urushiol. In susceptible individuals, these compounds trigger a type IV delayed hypersensitivity reaction:  a “bullous allergic contact dermatitis.

Especially to some men’s Johnson Zone, turns out.

Bugger.

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Go HERE for other stories about men being stupid out in the yard.