Birthday milestones, at least for me…

Sure, your 18th is a major. It lets you drink legally, for a change, and you can vote (which maybe explains Bush’s election). It’s the age of majority. I remember my brother-in-law saying you should get drunk and kick an old man’s crutches out from under him the day before you turned 18 because you were still a kid and wouldn’t be thrown in jail. (Says a lot about my brother-in-law, I know.)

It’s 21 that’s really always been the age of being a “grown-up.” But it’s lost in university days, and how can you be a grown up when you are still in school?

For a guy, 25 was a MAJOR birthday because your horrendous car insurance rates fell by half! Insurers believed by then you were through with being stupid for awhile (no more backing into poles, bending fenders trying to parallel park, kicking in the occasional car door).

By 30 you are married or, like I was, about to be.

At the big Four-0 the black balloons come out, and all the birthday cards are jokes about your life being over. Your career is ascending, and life’s pressures are too.

At 50 you stop thinking about birthdays. There’s no doubt that you’re closer to your death than to your birth. Health problems are no longer on the horizon. The empty nest is getting closer. You’re backing into poles again. Your career stopped being a career long ago. In fact, making a living at something you DON’T hate is increasingly hard.

Can’t comment about future birthday milestones. But I note that the happiest people in New Zealand are in their early 70s.

Here’s hoping…

Harry, enough already with the butt scopes

CBS’ Harry Smith was all smiles (great drugs?) as his live colonoscopy was beamed to millions of viewers.

Somehow Harry was on his back, and the scope was stuck through the sheet at a strategic location. No idea about the geometry involved.

If having a probe shoved up his tailpipe wasn’t enough fun, he also had the lovely Katie Couric gowned up and standing by his side “in the splash zone.”

Any man getting a buttoscopy does NOT need Katie Couric in the “splash zone”. It’s OK to have Geraldo Rivera in the splash zone if there is likely to be MAJOR spray. In fact this should be required.

Hopefully Harry’s butt-u-mentary will save lives. But it was nowhere near as entertaining as Dave Barry’s column “A journey into my colon, and yours.

Men, get your butt scoped, and think of Dave Barry. Or Geraldo. But keep Katie out of it…

Simple dogs – and why we love ’em

We have two dogs – well, one almost-a-dog (Cassie the Shih Tzu) and one moosedawg (Buddy the 100-pound, half German Shepherd, half moose, bark-o-holic). Both are 77.

Like most septuagenarians, they have health issues.

Cassie, bless her heart, has crappy skin and has scratched and scratched since we inherited her 9 years ago (note: ALWAYS look a gift dog in the mouth). She has “wonky hips”. And, like most in her ex-optholmic breed, her buggy eyes are always a problem – she’s going blind.

The ever-happy moosedawg (who is actually half Huntaway, a New Zealand stock dog bred to bark at sheep) has a huge growth on his keel. Like a tennis ball. The long-distance medical prognosis from a vet friend in the U.S. is “ugly and probably not harmful”, but not safe to be whacked off at home by the family’s medical professionals. Not going to pay the vet a thousand dollars to remove it from a 77- year-old dog. Figure I’ll mount a fifth wheel on the growth if it gets much bigger.

But the point is this. These dogs have many health issues but they are happy. Really happy. Always. They don’t complain. All they want to do is be with their pack. Taking a walk. Going for a ride. Getting a plate full of dog food. Reclining on the porch in the sun. Or racing around like a deranged beast after a bath. It’s all BEEG fun.

At 54 myself, next week, I’m now willing to pay more attention to nature and to learn about the simple pleasures of life. Believe I’ll go lie in the sun with my pack.

Boosting Boring Oscars With Tasers, Paintball Guns

I’ve seen so many headlines about OTHER movie awards that I thought the Oscars were already over.

I’m bored. But I’ll tune in if they:

o Give Alec Baldwin a telephone and let him get all likkered up before the show
o Give Sean Penn a large mallet to play ‘Whack The Mole’ with 100 paparazzi
o Spike pre-Oscar drinks with a Botox antidote, so we can watch tons of facial flab fall the floor.
o Gary Busey gets a megaphone to announce stars arriving on the red carpet, and Ryan Seacrest gets a Gary-sized taser, and many refills
o Afterward, all Oscar winners have to run a gauntlet made up of nominees who lost and who are armed with paintball guns, cream pies and Ryan’s taser.

Now That’s Entertainment…

Simon Cowell Sorts Out North Korea, Obama

In New Zealand, our episodes are behind the US schedules. Last night we got the first of the girls’ top-12 shows.

For the thousandth time, I was thinking thinking that Simon Cowell gets it, says it, and sorts it. His annoying black skin-tight shirts aside, the guy suffers no BS or fools.

Made me think how great it would be if he was Speaker of the House. Better, if he actually ran the country and had ultimate power – picture Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew. I can hear President Powell…

To Nancy Pelossi: “If I’m being honest, I couldn’t listen to what you were saying because I kept wondering if you would ever blink. Song choice is more important than face lifts.”

To President Obama: “I found it a bit indulgent. ‘Yes we can’ may be a terrific campaign song, but, really, it’s mindless toss. And you’re far too skinny for an important black man. How can we take you seriously for the long run?”

To Iran and North Korea: “Let’s get real. You have nukes. You are insane. You need to be stopped. You are going home.”

It would work, eh?

The news comforts me yet…

– The young child who was allowed to direct traffic at JFK airport had ADULT SUPERVISION. No worries then, mate.

– All 5,000 of the nekkid Aussies photographed outside the Sydney Opera House now have their kit back on. Many of them should not even SHOWER in the nude. In the Outback. At night. Ever.

– That madcap Sasha Cohen won’t be presenting at the Oscars. With time on his hands, maybe he could do his skits for a group with a bigger sense of humor, like the NRA. Or Iran.

Simple solutions are the best solutions

Scattershooting while honouring the winner of today’s award for best email from the US:

Here’s a solution to the controversy over full-body scanners at airports:

Develop and install booths that you can step into that will not X-ray you but, instead, detonate any explosive devices that you might have on or in your person.

This would be a win-win for everyone, and (since everyone would have to pass through these booths) there would not be any issues about race-, ethnic- or other profiling. Plus, there would be no need for an expensive trial. Justice would be quick and robust.

MY COMMENT – There simply has to be some application of this technology for use in presidential primaries.