Time Machine

Inside Job

Corny

Silver to Gold

ESSAY

FICTION

TRAVEL

ARTS

GALLERY

 

ESSAY

 

 

 

Silver into Gold

 

Longevity market. That’s the term being tossed around for over-50 market. I like the sound of it. If only because it infers that boomers are going to be around for a while.

 

We know that entrepreneurs are going to profit off us by coming up with products and services that are specifically targeted to an aging population. And I’m okay with that. Whether it’s electric bicycles or stylish walking shoes or home care, I’m in.

 

According to AARP, this longevity market accounts for $7.6 trillion in economic activity. That’s a trillion pound elephant. What makes it interesting is that millennials are coming up with great product ideas out of personal experiences with parents or grandparents. Grandson sees how hard his parents are struggling with Grandpa’s care and he comes up with a new app for homecare providers. Daughter wants to help her parents continue to exercise and designs an electric bicycle.

Note to self: the next time I want to disparage a millennial, remember that she might be the one who invents an automated prescription pill dispenser.

 

New business ideas that cater to baby boomers are most likely going to be coming forth in a constant stream over the next decade. Ironically, that means that millennials who have been blaming boomers for everything wrong in our society may one day be thanking us for all the start-up opportunities that we have stimulated. Venture capitalists have taken notice and there are now numerous crowdfunding options for any startup that has targeted the longevity market.

 

What’s in it for boomers? Investment opportunities for one thing. I’ve been saying for years that I really should invest in whatever company makes the most advanced and barely visible hearing aid, because that should be a very profitable business. Just the fact that so many millennials are interested in creating products and services targeted to boomers bodes well.

 

Now we just have to worry about Social Security remaining solvent enough for us to pay for the new products and new apps. What am I thinking? Some millennial out there is working on a Social Security Management App at this very moment.

 

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

 

 

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FICTION

 

 

 

Time Machine

 

For all outward appearances the TMI looks like a sophisticated virtual reality machine. You wear this clunky looking goggle-like apparatus with a wire coming off of it. Then there are the earphones to enhance the audio experience. Maybe some day it can be surgically placed right on top of our retinas, but that’s way off in the future. The one piece of technology that makes the Time Machine Input completely different from VR is the cord that goes right into the brain’s cortex to the neurons that control our sense of time.

 

If you have visions of Hot Tub Time Machine (or Hot Tub Time Machine 2 or 3), let me assure you that the TMI does not take you back in time. It’s not going to fulfill some juvenile fantasy of going back in time to be cooler than you were in high school or to erase all those embarrassing moments that all of us would like to delete from our memory bank. The TMI extends time, stretching the boundaries of time and space in a way that just a few years ago we thought would be impossible.

 

We hear people say all the time, “if only there were more than 24 hours in a day, I could get so much more done.” The amazing TMI technology makes that possible. You need more than one hour to get yourself going in the morning? TMI can add as much as 15 minutes to the basic 1 hour block of time. Repeat that setting for a full 24 hours and you pick up a net gain of 6 hours. Over a week that adds up to 42 hours, or almost 2 full extra days in your week. But that’s not all. You could gain 104 days in a year, and over a lifetime, are you ready for this, you could gain 260 months or an extra 21 years.

 

Personally, I’m not interested in extending my lifespan by 20 or more years. My goals are much more modest. I just want that extra 15 minutes when the clock is running down and I need that boost. Let me spend 15 more minutes with the one I love, or sleep for 15 more minutes in the morning, or take 15 minutes our of my day to do nothing more than contemplate my navel.

 

The choice is yours with the TMI. You decide how and when you want more time. Just remember, batteries are not included.


Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

 

 

 

 

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TRAVEL

 

 

Corny But Sweet


Corn!

 

I love corn! My earliest memory of corn is vivid and indelibly imprinted on my brain. I was four years old and living in Kansas City, Missouri. My brother, Robert, and I were just two little kids sitting in the back of some old gray car. I don’t know the make of the vehicle, but I can still smell the interior of that car.

 

My Mom was in the passenger seat looking a bit stiff and uncomfortable. There were some dead squirrels on the floor of the back seat. I don’t remember my dad getting out of the car to shoot them; I just know they were laying there. Robert and I were so quiet, you wouldn’t even know we were there.

 

Who wouldn’t be? Dad screamed at us, “You kids! Don’t make a sound or I’ll take the belt to you when we git home!”

 

He pulled the car over to the side of the road. Mom turned to the back seat and put her index finger to her lips. We got it. I felt my heart pounding in my chest and hoped the loud noise it made in my ears couldn’t be heard by my dad.

 

The back door flung open, and a whole bunch of giant ears of corn were dumped into the car on top of the dead squirrels. The door slammed, and Dad pulled the already running car onto the road and sped off. Although I knew we were doing something bad, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of that corn; sweet and delicious right out of the field.

 

When my friend, Bill, told me he was driving through Iowa on his way home to California from Michigan, I gasped, “Corn!”

 

“Uh, yeah … corn. There’s plenty of corn  – miles and miles of corn. Corn as far as the eye can see.”

 

“Please, please, please – could you bring some? I love corn!”

 

He laughed. “I’ll see what I can do. There may be a problem getting through the agricultural check station crossing state lines. I don’t want to get arrested for trafficking corn,” he joked.

 

Bill Brought Me Corn!

 

Bill came to see me a few days later and brightened my day with an armload of corn. I don’t know if he schlepped it from Iowa or picked it up at Safeway. It makes no difference – it was just as sweet! As is Bill – he also brought me flowers. I like those better than dead squirrels.

Carole Connolly is former expat who makes an adventure out of anything and find humor in everything. Her blog, Carole Jean's Capers covers expat life as well as stories from her former lives as an international flight attendant, real estate agent, and dancer.

 

 

 

 

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ARTS

 

 

Sacred Places Within

 

We musicians have a special relationship with our instruments. We fall in love with them, often name them and sometimes refer to them with either male or female pronouns. When I got my very first guitar, a little $14 6-string that my dad brought home to me as a surprise for my 14th birthday, I took it everywhere I went, even to bed at night, where I gently placed it on the other pillow.

It was my first 12-string, however, that I fell head-over-heels for in 1968. I’d been wanting one for over a year and I finally found one at Disco, a forerunner to today’s Walmart or Kmart. After I saw it I knew I had to have it so I saved the $42 it cost from money I made working in a local music shop after school. JP Deni’s Mom drove us there, and I came home proudly hugging “John Dylan Bumagy” (pronounced boo-MAH-gy… long story). That guitar took me to San Francisco, Hollywood, Laurel Canyon, and across country on tour. I played it in concerts and on television, in schools and prisons, weddings and funerals, nursing homes, coffeehouses, and a whole lot of parties and jam sessions.

 

It wasn’t until 1973 that I got a really nice 12-string, a Takamine. Unfortunately, that was stolen in 1978 when my house was burgled, and John Dylan Bumagy ended up getting auctioned off (along with all my other instruments which included a Martin 12-string, a Story & Clark piano, a clarinet, a 5-string banjo, some penny whistles, Indian flutes, and recorders, an Irish bodhran, and a bowed psaltry in The Big Dump of 2001. My heart breaks when I think about it, so I just don’t. Moving on…

 

So you see, I have a certain idea of a musical instrument being a kind of sacred space, where the music grows and swells and then bursts through the sound hole to fill small rooms and concert halls alike. Recently, I found some photos that just amazed me. They were taken by Bjoern Ewers for the 2009 season of the Chamber Orchestra of the Berlin Philharmonic. Fantastic views of the inside of musical instruments that make them appear to be sacred spaces—cathedrals—dedicated to the one truth that is Music.

 

So next time you are holding your guitar (or any instrument) in your arms, close your eyes and think about the space inside. Imagine yourself there. What an amazing sanctuary to contemplate the music uniquely yours to express, the songs uniquely yours to sing!


Steph Waller is an author and composer. Books One and Two (With A Dream and With A Bullet) of her rock and roll series, Beyond The Bridge,  takes places in late 70s London. Read more at Bucksnort Chronicles and SKWaller.com.

 

 

 

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GALLERY

 

 

 

 

 

10 - 10<>

 

Chester Johnson is a rodeo and stock show fan and his action photos of horsemen and women capture all the excitement. View more of his photos on flickr.

 

 

 

 

Links of Interest to Boomers Going Like Sixty Baby Boomer Daily Curmudgeon    Viva Veracruz The Bucksnort Chronicles