A driven woman

When I came to America, I was extremely surprised by the number of women driving cars. In France at that time, a woman behind the wheel of a car was still a rarity… and a curiosity.

Women today are everywhere, drive and fly everything (including large airliners) and nobody raises an eyebrow about this. They have proven time and time again that they can do absolutely everything that a man can do, and that’s that.

And this point was driven home forcefully yesterday when I visited a friend’s home. This woman (recently divorced) used to live in a large, but poorly designed dwelling. While she was married, it looked like she was totally under the sway of her husband and did very little without his consent. But shortly after her divorce, the chrysalis morphed into a butterfly.

That woman rolled up her sleeves and took it upon herself to totally remodel her home, learning every skill as she went along. She tore down walls, redesigned and remodeled the kitchen, moved chandeliers, replastered, and repainted partitions, polished and repainted floors… a spectacular tour-de-force, done almost entirely solo.

Honestly, I don’t think that I could have accomplished all she did… But in fact, anyone can become a true hero.

During World War Two for example, as men were drafted, women were needed to replace them. They took almost every job usually attributed to men and did very well. They were also needed as codebreakers, and they excelled there.

The work required a strong understanding of math since many ciphers replace letters with numbers and then hide the original message with equations. The codebreakers also needed a good memory, patience, and persistence. The women learned tricks, such as looking for short phrases that sometimes marked the start of the coded notes, like “begin message here.” This would help them pry open the rest of the code—but the work was never easy.”

 So, don’t ever underestimate the power of the “little women”. They might be small in stature, but mighty when determined. Personally, I would welcome a woman to lead our nation. She certainly would not do a worse job than a certain has-been, egotistical, unrepentant former head of state.


Our man in Napa

Jean-Claude Etallaz, a well-known member of our community suddenly disappeared a few months ago, and some crazy rumors started flying about his whereabouts.

According to some sources, Jean-Claude had enlisted in the Ukrainian army and was fighting in Bakhmut. Some other individuals mentioned to me that he was seeking enlightenment in an Indian ashram. A few more even hinted that Jean-Claude was hiding from the Mob in Punta Cana

Today, I want to debunk all these crazy rumors by letting you know that our man is well and alive (although minus 30 lbs.) and resting somewhere in Napa Valley.

Jean-Claude’s saga is hard to believe but is nevertheless true. Almost a year ago, he started to experience intense itching on his entire body. He went through numerous tests, and MRIs without ever being told precisely what the source of his problem was.

“Physicians do a lot for a patient when they give his disease a name.”

It is difficult to believe that in the 21st century, doctors would be incapable to determine the cause of one’s suffering. Finally, desperate for a cure, he started to do some research on the Internet and was able to put the doctors on the right track. They started a new treatment and Jean-Claude is now feeling (and looking) much better. He is pain-free and walks around the facility when he gets a little restless.

He is sharing a room with an old dude who is stone-deaf and likes to watch old black-and-white series like The Honeymooners or the Andy Griffiths Show. Nothing wrong with this, except that due to his hearing decrepitude, the old guy is blasting the show several decibels above the danger zone. A rather difficult roommate…

But the good news is that our man in Napa is going to go home in about a week and will continue his life-saving treatment in the serenity of his home.

I always believed, and I am hoping that visiting a friend who is ailing is a morale booster that helps to heal someone faster.

In any case, Jean-Claude is feeling better, and we all hope to see him soon where he naturally belongs, on our playing field.


Old Fart story

I recently saw Henry Kissinger on television. He is 100 years old and looks like it. He seems to be the perfect embodiment of an Old Fart; seemingly unable to move and enunciate properly. But he is still coherent and can still argue convincingly.

What precisely qualifies anybody as an “old fart”? An old fart, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a “contemptible or tiresome person, especially one who is old-fashioned, stuffy, or close-minded.” I am older granted, and I don’t prance like a young goat anymore, but I don’t think that I qualify (yet) as an OF.

I am open-minded and do not harbor old-fashioned ideas. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that Supreme Court Justices are infallible semi-gods. They should be impartial and incorruptible… but obviously, they are not. They are imperfect human beings (many are indeed old farts) subject to the laws of the land. They should be unbiased and honest… or quit without any feeble excuse when caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

Lately, as you can see, I have been wondering about old farts, because it seems that I might reluctantly be turning into one. Yes, there is the age factor, but in my defense, I would at worse consider myself a “progressive old fart”.

Despite advancing age, you should not be classified as an OF if you keep your sense of humor and can laugh at yourself (and mostly at everybody else). Because the world is full of unpleasant old farts, still trying to convince you that they are not prejudiced (Roe versus Wade) close-minded extremists.

So, what do you do with real old farts?

“Just let them sit in the goddam sun. But the world won’t let them because there’s nothing more dangerous than letting old farts sit in the sun. They might be thinking. Same thing with kids. Keep ’em busy or they might start thinking.”— Frank McCourt


%d bloggers like this: