Fast Talk Learning to cope with age-related changes
by Ron Swift for the Patterson Irrigator
Mar 14, 2012 | 596 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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All of us, except maybe Jack LaLanne, experience changes as we get older.

With some, it might be the feet or knees. Or maybe the hips. Possibly an achy back. Or all of the above.

Pleasures change, as well. While at one time we might have had visions of enjoying a sporty BMW, now we settle for just a good BM.

And for many of us, we must learn to use bifocals, as the eyes need all the help they can get. The same goes for our ears.

My turn was coming, so early this week I bit the bullet. My hearing aid days had arrived.

Actually, those days didn’t just creep up on me. I’ve realized for some time that those folks on TV were mumbling; just last week that not all of Garrison Keillor’s stories were as funny to me as to those sitting nearby; and that young Boy Scouts were not talking as loudly as boys 25 years ago.

But what really brought the problem to my attention was when I realized my coffee buddies — those Knights of the Square Table — were telling jokes that I didn’t understand. And those jokes undoubtedly were about me.

So to those of you who had to shout at me over the phone or were asked to repeat themselves in person, have it be known that the problem is solved.

If only the hip were so easy.

From the mail bag

Ron: You told us (last week) what you don’t do, being technologically deficient (TD). Do you do anything? — Quizzical

Quiz: Not much. Nap a lot. Have plenty of free time and enjoy it this way. Being TD has many advantages, and time is near the top of the list. For instance, I don’t talk six hours a day on a cell phone.

Another 90-plusser gone

Services were held this week for longtime West Side farmer John Ban, 90, of Crows Landing. Unfortunately, John was not on our list of 90-plussers, although he had observed that birthday last July 14.

Come on, spies, I need your help.

Back to politics

More political tidbits for all of us to ingest:

n “We hang petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” — Aesop

n “When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become president; I’m beginning to believe it.” — Clarence Darrow

n “Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.” — Doug Larson

n “Don’t vote; it only encourages them.” — Author unknown

n “Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel.” — John Quinton

For the sports fan

San Francisco sportswriter Scott Ostler had it right when he proposed the Olympic Games be held at a permanent site.

Eliminate the billions spent every four years on sports facilities, housing and infrastructure needed to host the Games, much of the cost borne by the taxpayers of the host country.

Ostler cites these figures for this summer’s Olympics to be held in London: a $14.8 billion cost to the city, with an expected income of $1.6 billion from the Games.

And finally…

Did you know that Humphrey Bogart and Princess Diana were seventh cousins? They probably didn’t, either.

You have to search far and wide for information like that.

•Ron Swift is editor/publisher emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at

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