Saturday, April 11, 2015

3 dot journalism - a variety of topics

Spraying to all fields-3 dot journalism

Often, Champs respond to newsletters with sage comments that I cannot share with you immediately but want to at a later date. Sometimes, I have to lump comments on different topics into the same newsletter. Such is the case today, which is why the newsletter is called, "Spraying to all fields."

Actually, I must admit, that I borrowed that title from the iconic formerSan Francisco Chronicle columnist, Herb Caen, who called his form of writing, 3-dot journalism. He referred to many of his columns as "spraying to all fields," a baseball term that refers to batters who hit to right field, center field, and left field, all over the place, spraying the ball in many and all directions. 

Caen's columns were a series of unrelated paragraphs; he was a genius and was loved by readers, especially in the Bay Area. That being said, here is our version of spraying to all fields today.

From Terry, Thailand, aka "The Funny Plumber," who is married to a Thai woman, lives part of the year in Thailand and part of the year in southern California. Regarding background checks, he responded, "I had to go halfway around the world to find a lady that could not do a background check on me." Terry always puts a humorous and refreshing spin on topics.

Regarding all of the stuff we keep stored in attics, garages and basements, most of which we likely do not need, two Champs commented.

Joanne emailed, "I did got rid of stuff 15 years ago. Everything I have now fits in my Jeep or I can't have it. Every once in a while I think about something I no longer have but then I realize I gave it to someone who could really use it, or, I got rid of it because it wasn't worth saving. I did not have corporate papers to hang onto, but I could not believe how much stuff I threw away. Makes you feel a lot lighter."

Tom's response: Does this mean, Joanne, that you live in your Jeep?

Liz, Illinois, "I got rid of stuff years ago, weeding out and keeping only the very minimum when I moved into my current house six years ago. I loved all of the empty spaces I had created and breathed more freely.
"And then, guess what? 

"My son moved in with me, with all of his pack-rat clutter, and now my basement, attic and two garages are once again filled--with his stuff. My plan is to get a pickup truck and, in the dead of night, haul all of this stuff away. Wish me luck on that!"

Tom's response: Liz, you aren't the only one who is housing a return-to-the-roost son or daughter, and the stuff that accompanies them. Some Champs would need a semi-truck to haul their kids' stuff away. I have no children so I can't comment on what to do in a case like this, other than to say older kids should understand the imposition they are putting on their parents and set a deadline to get out from under foot.

Sometimes, circumstances make that hard or impossible to do. I know of Champs who have grandchildren living with them. When I owned my deli, I would see younger employees move out of their parent's home to live on their own and quickly discover it's a tough world out there, and before you know it, they were back at home.


Marta, Montreal, responded: "Your recent newsletter regarding marriage and responsibility for a spouse's health care costs, made me think how unfortunate that there is no national health care program in the USA. If people WANT to get married, it is a shame that they might not because they fear financial disaster through a medical crisis.

"My American cousins fear 'government involvement' in their medical care might mean poor care, and our Canadian system is not perfect, but it makes me happy to know that my contributions all of the years that I worked mean that my poorer neighbor, who contributed less, or those on welfare, receive the same care I get.

"My cousins' fears and attitudes mean they vote for a system that keeps them paying over $800 a month in premiums before they receive any medical care, and then there are the 'co pays' when they see a medical professional. Whenever we visit our American cousins and other friends, much of the discussion is about the outrageous cost of medical care, whereas that is never a subject at home here in Canada.

"Thanks for the newsletter, much appreciated, but you have not billed me for a while. Isn't there a charge? I'd be happy to pay it."

Response from Tom: The newsletter, currently at least, is like your Canadian health care, there is no charge. I charged a small fee at one time, but then decided to stop charging because I wanted to be able to write about any topic I wanted, and not only about dating later in life. That is why the newsletter title is "On Life and Love After 50."

I made that decision years ago while I was gainfully employed. Now that I am retired, if the money gets tight, perhaps I will have to start charging again, but not for now.

Which leads me to mention that the newsletter, during the next couple of months, will likely include some travel columns, since my life partner, Greta, and I are heading for Austria on April 14. Any Champs interested in following that trip will be able to read my travel blog on the Travel After 55 website.

That is a website of mine that contains articles and pictures of many of the trips Greta and I have taken in the 17 years we have been together as a couple. The Austria blog has been started but there is not much on it yet. We will be staying in Graz, Austria, the second largest city.

Here is the link:Tom's Travel After 55 website. On the home page, click on the white tab that says "travel blog" and the Austria story begins in the upper left hand corner where you see this photo. 

Photo Old city Graz, Austria, our home-to-be for one month

                 photo courtesy Christian Schachner

I love hearing your comments, stories, questions and experiences. Keep them coming. They make the newsletter possible. 

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