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Yesterday was my 81st birthday, and I got some free pancakes at IHOP, well, not quite free— they had to be matched by my companion buying something of equal value. I never get the strawberry banana pancakes there, but usually a tilapia senior meal and was surprised at how good the pancakes were. There are a few perks to being old, but the big one is the disabled parking sticker. I don’t have one because I’m still in good shape, but I can easily do an old guy walk convincingly, and I do have a consistently sore foot that has bothered me for years. Possibly that’s from jogging some ten thousand miles, but can I get any disability creds from an injury that may have been self-inflicted? There are locals that have disability parking passes from skiing injuries. The way I see it jogging is for cheap health exercising, and downhill skiing is for expensive and dangerous adolescent thrills. Why should the taxpayer encourage stupid behavior?

One thing becomes apparent as one ages … some of your friends die and it becomes increasingly obvious that risky behavior is what gets them. Perhaps the easiest self-destructive behavior to observe is people trying to solve their problems with some sort of pleasure. Drinking to cure problems and depression is a sure health wrecker and life shortener. It’s usually combined with smoking. Both of those interfere with even moderate physical exercise like walking. Those were all obvious to my grandmother, and I remember her cautioning me against them back in the 1930s when I was a child. She also wanted me to wear long sleeve shirts, gloves, and a hat when outdoors, but I didn’t like to because they were hot in the summer. The back of my arms and top of my head are now showing the effects of excess sun exposure. She was also promoting what she called roughage in my diet, what we now call fiber.

A lot of the ideas being promoted these days as recent scientific discoveries are just things known long ago but with new words attached to them. So, anything I would suggest as my having discovered and would like to pass on to today’s youth would probably be ignored.

Perhaps the best advice would be to find friends who are trying to do something worthwhile and important. Being involved in creating the computer stuff in Silicon Valley was great for the last fifty years, and will continue for quite a while.

Look around and find the next great thing and participate.