LPM Annual Meeting

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Mark Shirkey

Last night I attended La Pétanque Marinière’s Annual Business Meeting at the Villa Inn (courtesy of Mireille Di Maio) … with mixed emotions. I was pleased and disappointed at the same time.

I was pleased by the smooth organization of the event and disappointed by the low attendance. A club is only thriving if all the members pull in the same direction. In our group, we seem to have too many passive individuals. One way or the other (and according to their ability) every member should strive to help our association and attend this particular meeting. If you have grievances or suggestions, this is the place to voice your concerns.

On the plus side, a very nice cold spread was offered by Donna Von Edelkrantz. She has a cooking background and did an excellent job of showcasing her talents.

Mark Shirkey operated behind the bar and Sandra and Lynn McCloskey acted as usherettes.

After everybody had their fill of goodies, perennial president Christine Cragg offered a summary of what happened in the club, and what to expect.

First of all, I was very pleased to hear that Lynn McCloskey joined the Board of Directors. She is pleasant and looks like a very capable person; I am sure that she will do a good job.

Christine then recognized the people who contributed their time and labor to benefit the club. Mark and Sandra are at the forefront of this group. Without fanfare, they do a lot to benefit our club. Then there is Mike O’Leary who quietly does some heavy lifting. A real asset for our organization.

Lately, our field has been spruced regularly by indefatigable Charlie D, Jacques Gautier, and Mark and Sandra. I tip my hats to these dedicated workers.

Recently Martin Ressinger (who just came back from his French “chateau”) joined the crew and helped to collect the innumerable quantity of dead leaves inundating our ground.

Christine will remain president for another year or until a worthwhile candidate applies for the job. The club’s membership fees were increased to $40.00 a year. Still a bargain.

There was a small contentious exchange about the Federation, but frankly, I don’t think that too many people care about this. We should be more concerned about the club than far away Federation. One of our main challenges is to attract new members and everybody should give a thought to this issue.
My suggestion is to offer a bounty fee for each new catch… and a bonus for an exceptional haul.

At the end of the evening, there was a little raffle and a few lucky people took home a little gift offered by the house.

I took a few pictures of the event with my iPhone, but due to the poor lighting conditions, the results were not very successful. Sorry, but still worth looking at.

See you soon in the trenches.


In praise of older women

“All women of all ages do not feel their ages anymore. The young girl feels older, and the older woman feels younger.” Reem Acra

Old age is not what it used to be.
According to Wikipedia, in the 1800s life expectancy for people of most countries was less than 40 years. In 1950, the global average was 46. In 2015, the global life expectancy was around 71, while in Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom it was above 80.
So today, at 40 a woman is still a fully functional, low mileage individual.

But women seen today on television or in movies are basically navel baring ingénues or know-it-all-ass-kicking-marathon-runners. They are usually under thirty and pretty much self-centered.

Why stick with such empty, insipid characters, when older women are sooo much more interesting? Any true aficionado will tell you that a woman doesn’t come into her own until she reaches the forties.

The advantages of older women are obvious to anybody who cares to find out. And French President Emmanuel Macron was always fully aware of this. He married his wife Brigitte who is 24 years his senior, and who has been pivotal in his career.

Most of the time older women know how to cook. It can be very beneficial if you are a fast-food regular.
They have grown children who are out of the way and don’t require babysitting.
They know how to mix drinks. They are more experienced in the art of Kama-Sutra (they probably can teach you a thing or two). They are not built for speed, but for a smooth ride… and above all, they are grateful.

A young woman is like a pair of jeans. It doesn’t fit and doesn’t have any character until it has been kicked around for a few years.

So why would anybody bother with nymphets or Barbie dolls look alike? Can they cook? Can they part with their smartphone for more than fifteen minutes? Are they solicitous enough listen to your problems? Can they empathize?

Take my word gentlemen, invest in a mature woman and you’ll get more bangs for your bucks.

“Age to women is what kryptonite is to Superman. Inside every older woman is a younger woman screaming, ‘Get me the hell outta here.” Kathy Lette



Staff Sgt. Alyxandra Anguiano, a 363rd Training Squadron aircraft armament instructor, poses with an F-22 Raptor trainer and munition at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, June 22, 2018. She said she is proud to be a transgender woman and is proud to be true to herself even when others might not accept it. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Ingle)

A little while ago I read in Time magazine that a person who was born female, journeyed to manhood, and then gave birth to a child.
The man wearing a beard is seen breastfeeding the newborn baby.
I have nothing against public breastfeeding, but I find this picture a little unsettling.
The beard might have something to do with it.

When I was a child, gender identity was simple. There were men and women. Period. Something easy to remember. And we were taught to be polite… bonjour madame, bonsoir monsieur, merci mademoiselle.

But now, the distinctions are more fluid or diluted. With age, it becomes a little more difficult to absorb new notions, particularly about sexual orientation.
Today you have asexuality, bisexuality, demisexuality, homosexuality, pansexuality, and God knows what…

And then you have the transgender phenomenon.
Transgenders are individuals who feel uncomfortable in their own skin.
They might have been born with the attributes of a male or a female, but they feel that they really belong to the other group and yearn to transition to the other side.
Many do.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful, and I understand their aspirations but I feel a little uncertain about the whole thing.

As I understand it, trans gendering is a complicated and lengthy physical and emotional process, and it takes a long time to reach the desired sense of well-being.
I sincerely tip my hat to those who dare to jump to the other side and I wish them all the happiness they are seeking.

But no matter what, trans gendering is still viewed with suspicion, even hostility.

Let’s say that this nice Jewish boy meets this charming, smart, good looking girl. He becomes besotted with her and he shares the good news with his parents. They are is thrilled and they want to meet her.
But at the last minute, he blurts out that his inamorata used to be a man.
Oy vey! goes the Greek chorus.

Life used to be a bowl of cherries, but now it seems that there are many pits among those cherries.