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Tom Lashnits Writer, Blogger

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What Happened To Tom? &Raquo; 916Ba2Dkqpl. Sl1500
What Happened to Tom?

     I haven't posted for a long time. But I'm inspired by Confessions of a Grandma. Like me, she hasn't been blogging lately. But recently she brought us up-to-date on her life and times. Spoiler…

     I haven't po…

     I haven't posted for a long time. But I'm inspired by Confessions of a Grandma. Like me, she hasn't been blogging lately. But recently she brought us up-to-date on her life and times. Spoiler alert: She seems very active and happy in Florida.     As for me, I've been doing the things that retired people normally do.      This past winter my wife and I spent several weeks in South Carolina visiting family -- well, mostly for the grandchildren. We played games, read books to the kids, went to the playground. We attended a 5th birthday party. Now we're heading to Wisconsin at the …

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Bigger And Badder Suvs &Raquo; Img 2217 Copy
Bigger and Badder SUVs

     My wife and I know enough not to go out on the road on New Year's Eve. But we don't always know enough not to drive when the weather gets bad.     My wife B desperately wanted to drive up t…

     My wife and …

     My wife and I know enough not to go out on the road on New Year's Eve. But we don't always know enough not to drive when the weather gets bad.     My wife B desperately wanted to drive up to New Jersey to see her grandkids the other day, especially since her last trip was canceled when her son and granddaughter got sick.     But then the weather report turned bad. A storm was coming in, bringing snow overnight, then turning to rain. It was supposed to stop, so B thought she could still make the drive. But she really didn't want to be out on the highway with the trucks and the spe…

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How Not To Be Cool &Raquo; Music 7014127 640 1
How Not to Be Cool

     I was recently a guest on the podcast Awe-Inspired and Retired. We talked about all things Retirement, from where we're going to live, to what we're going to do, to who we're going to do it w…

     I was recent…

     I was recently a guest on the podcast Awe-Inspired and Retired. We talked about all things Retirement, from where we're going to live, to what we're going to do, to who we're going to do it with . . . or what we called the "three likes" of Retirement.     (You can now listen to both of the podcasts I've done using the links under "Retirement Podcasts" on the right hand side of the blog.)     Anyway, toward the end of the conversation, hosts Caleb Miller and Riley Anderson brought up the subject of "tribes." Apparently, some of their previous guests, talking about Retirement, sug…

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Choices in Retirement

     For the most part I have stopped bogging because . . . well, because I've gone on to other things. I'm more involved in my local center for learning in Retirement. I've taken up pickleball. I …

     For the most…

     For the most part I have stopped bogging because . . . well, because I've gone on to other things. I'm more involved in my local center for learning in Retirement. I've taken up pickleball. I still play golf. I do my daily back stretches and leg exercises.      My wife and I have noted that as we've gotten older, just taking care of ourselves seems to eat up most of our time. Going for walks, doing our physical therapy, making doctor appointments, brushing and flossing, trying to eat right, getting enough sleep . . . it's exhausting!      But the real reason I've cut back on …

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Notes From The American Road &Raquo; Img 6267 2
Notes from the American Road

     We just got home from a road trip -- three weeks from Philadelphia to Madison, WI, then back through Canada and upstate New York to a family gathering near Boston. We drove 2,500 miles in all.…

     We just got …

     We just got home from a road trip -- three weeks from Philadelphia to Madison, WI, then back through Canada and upstate New York to a family gathering near Boston. We drove 2,500 miles in all. Oh ... my aching back!     Aside from the reminder about my arthritic back and knees, here are a few things I noticed about being on the road in America.     People are still speeding. There are stretches of road in Michigan where the speed limit is 75 mph. That seems awfully fast to me. But there are plenty of places around metropolitan areas and construction zones where the speed limit is…

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Never Say Never

     My intention was to close down this blog (see my May 2023 post "Last Lines"), because I've written around 1200 posts, and -- good Grief! -- how much can we say about Baby Boomers, Retirement, …

     My intention…

     My intention was to close down this blog (see my May 2023 post "Last Lines"), because I've written around 1200 posts, and -- good Grief! -- how much can we say about Baby Boomers, Retirement, or our personal lives?     But never say never. I have a few more topics that could addressed . . . including a particular medical procedure that I last suffered through about five years ago. And after that humiliation, I said I'd never do that again!     Well, here I am five years later, and guess what? I found myself lying on my side on a cold hospital bed, after a full day at home in the …

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Last Lines &Raquo; 71Lpuzrdvol. Ac Uy218 1
Last Lines

     We've all read about the last words of some famous people. For example, drummer Buddy Rich died after surgery in 1987.  As he was being prepped for the operation a nurse asked him, "Is there …

     We've all re…

     We've all read about the last words of some famous people. For example, drummer Buddy Rich died after surgery in 1987.  As he was being prepped for the operation a nurse asked him, "Is there anything you can't take?" And he responded, "Yeah, country music."     Or the composer Gustav Mahler who died in bed. He reportedly was conducting an imaginary orchestra. His last word was: "Mozart!"     Basketball great "Pistol" Pete Maravich collapsed during a pickup basketball game. His last words were: "I feel fine."     John Wayne who died in L.A. at age 72 turned to his wife and sai…

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What I'M Learning These Days &Raquo; Mind 544404 340
What I’m Learning These Days

     They say that we older people need to keep our minds active, keep learning things. We're supposed to learn a foreign language, or do crossword puzzles, or practice the piano.     I've alway…

     They say tha…

     They say that we older people need to keep our minds active, keep learning things. We're supposed to learn a foreign language, or do crossword puzzles, or practice the piano.     I've always resisted learning things just because I'm "supposed" to; hence, my less-than-stellar career in algebra and my brief fling with calculus. (I learned enough to pass the final; then immediately forgot it all.)     Something has to interest me. Otherwise I lose motivation, and my attention drifts off. I admit, this happened to me with photography. I got a camera, purchased photoshop, attended a c…

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The Art Of Washing Dishes &Raquo; Dishes 197 340
The Art of Washing Dishes

      There's the James Beard Award for chefs. Celebrity chefs like Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri show off their talents on TV. Famous cooking competitions are refereed by Gordon Ramsey and other culina…

      There's the…

      There's the James Beard Award for chefs. Celebrity chefs like Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri show off their talents on TV. Famous cooking competitions are refereed by Gordon Ramsey and other culinary stars. But as far as I know, there are no celebrity dishwashers, no dishwashing TV shows, no dishwashing competitions that bring fame and fortune to the winners.     But there should be. There should be an award.     Cooking is considered a highly skilled occupation, a calling, an art. But dishwashers are taken for granted, if they're lucky, otherwise they're abused and forgotten.     …

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How Old Do You Feel? &Raquo; 51Hwut5Atml
How Old Do You Feel?

      Research has shown that subjective age -- how old we feel -- and not our actual age is a better predictor of our overall health, memory, physical strength and longevity. So instead of asking …

      Research ha…

      Research has shown that subjective age -- how old we feel -- and not our actual age is a better predictor of our overall health, memory, physical strength and longevity. So instead of asking someone how old they are, you should ask: How old do you feel?     Cues about age can influence how old we feel. So one way to feel younger is to socialize with people who are younger. An older person married to a younger person may have a younger subjective age -- they feel younger, act younger. Spouses who are significantly younger actually tend to live shorter lives, older spouses live longe…

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You Retired . . . Where? &Raquo; Travel 2650303 340
You Retired . . . Where?

     I recently read a couple of articles about the best places to retire. For example, U. S. News rates the best cities for Retirement. (Hint: most of the top ones are in Florida or, believe it …

     I recently r…

     I recently read a couple of articles about the best places to retire. For example, U. S. News rates the best cities for Retirement. (Hint: most of the top ones are in Florida or, believe it or not, Pennsylvania). Wallethub focuses on the best states for Retirement. (Virginia is Number 1, Florida 2, Pennsylvania 14.)     These lists are typically based on statistics about climate, income, life expectancy, access to health care. But all these are theoreticals. I wonder what people really care about when they decide where they're going to live after they retire.     We had neig…

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State Of The Country &Raquo; Question 5663412 340
State of the Country

      Possibly you've seen reports about a Wall Street Journal/University of Chicago poll that recently took the pulse of American sentiment.     To me the amusing -- and somehow sad -- thing a…

      Possibly yo…

      Possibly you've seen reports about a Wall Street Journal/University of Chicago poll that recently took the pulse of American sentiment.     To me the amusing -- and somehow sad -- thing about it is that the conservative press (like the New York Post) screeches that the poll is proof Americans have fallen for the "woke" agenda. They have become soft and spoiled, interested only in money and pursuing their own pleasures. They are not as patriotic, not as religious, and not as family oriented as they used to be. Young people aren't even interested in having kids anymore! In other wor…

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Simple Pleasures &Raquo; Img 5675 3
Simple Pleasures

     It seems that most of the Retirement advice we get these days is either about money -- when to start taking Social Security, how to invest your 401K -- or else about how to find meaning in lif…

     It seems tha…

     It seems that most of the Retirement advice we get these days is either about money -- when to start taking Social Security, how to invest your 401K -- or else about how to find meaning in life -- you have to volunteer somewhere or maybe find a job.     Well, that might be true in the early days of Retirement, especially if you retire young, in your 50s or early 60s. But the older we get, the more it seems like the simple pleasures become more important.     Here are a few of my simple pleasures. Maybe you have some others you can suggest.     Dinner.  I really enjoy sitting …

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Whip Inflation Now &Raquo; The Sanctum Sanctorum 1872194 340
Whip Inflation Now

     Remember that old line from President Ford? Actually, I think it was subject to a lot of ridicule, because it seemed so ineffective at the time. And of course it is ineffective as a national p…

     Remember tha…

     Remember that old line from President Ford? Actually, I think it was subject to a lot of ridicule, because it seemed so ineffective at the time. And of course it is ineffective as a national policy. But there are some practical ideas -- as well as a particular frame of mind -- that can help us save some money and deal with inflation that's currently running at about 6 percent or so.     For example, Billionaire Warren Buffett knows a thing or two about saving (as well as earning) money. He famously lives in the house he bought for $31,500 in 1958, now worth about $700,000. He equall…

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The Odd Oscars &Raquo; 91Zitfwrvpl. Ac Uy218
The Odd Oscars

     The Academy Awards are bring held on Sunday night, a time when we find out the best actress, best actor and best picture of 2022. I know you're supposed to be breathlessly amazed at how wonder…

     The Academy …

     The Academy Awards are bring held on Sunday night, a time when we find out the best actress, best actor and best picture of 2022. I know you're supposed to be breathlessly amazed at how wonderful these movies are. But, at least for the moment, I take a more jaundiced view.     I read an article the other day reporting that the "Oscar Bump" has not been as big this year as in years past. The Oscar Bump refers to a sudden increase in ticket sales for the nominated movies, since the nominations pique people's interest.     The article blamed Netflix for the lack of Oscar Bump, becau…

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Sea And Sand Festival &Raquo; Img 1949 2
Sea and Sand Festival

      We just got home from our Snowbird trip to Florida and South Carolina. Our last weekend in Charleston -- or at the beach outside of Charleston -- the town held its annual Sand and Sea Festiva…

      We just got…

      We just got home from our Snowbird trip to Florida and South Carolina. Our last weekend in Charleston -- or at the beach outside of Charleston -- the town held its annual Sand and Sea Festival, which includes a street fair, live music, a sidewalk sale, lots of eating and drinking . . . and among the younger set, more drinking.     The highlight of the weekend is the sand castle building contest, which started on Sunday surprisingly early in the morning. We sauntered out to the beach a little before noon, thinking we had plenty of time to watch the festivities, only to find that the…

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Outsmarted by Artificial Intelligence?

     Have you heard about ChatGPT, a user friendly application of Artificial Intelligence? You're supposed to be able to ask any question, and it will write an essay that gives you a cogent answer …

     Have you hea…

     Have you heard about ChatGPT, a user friendly application of Artificial Intelligence? You're supposed to be able to ask any question, and it will write an essay that gives you a cogent answer that is accurate and reasonably comprehensive. Or as the website says, it "is trained to follow an instruction in a prompt and provide a detailed response."     So I decided to try it out. I made a simple request:  Explain how the world is different today compared to 1970. Here is the response:The world today is vastly different from the world in 1970 in several ways. Some of the key differenc…

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Longevity Report Card &Raquo; Paprika 3212148 480
Longevity Report Card

      How long we live, and how healthy we are, depends partly on the lottery of birth -- how healthy our parents were and how long they lived. We're winners if we drew the longevity card from our …

      How long we…

      How long we live, and how healthy we are, depends partly on the lottery of birth -- how healthy our parents were and how long they lived. We're winners if we drew the longevity card from our parents, not so lucky if we drew the fat card, the alcoholism card, the cancer card, or a predisposition to any other disease.      Still, there's a lot we can do to help ourselves live longer and feel better, no matter who our parents were -- or however much we may have mistreated ourselves in our younger years. If a person smoked when they were young, for example, but has not touched a cigar…

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