I don’t know about you people, but I can’t get over how fast the months fly by these days. I mean, shoot, faster than a speeding bullet and all that krypton stuff. Half of 2014 is history already and it’s still Twentieth Century Fox as far as I’m concerned. And Heavens to Betsy, Diane Sawyer is following Barbara Walters into retirement. Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods should confront their crossroads with equal aplomb and grace. But don’t bet on it.

A sage once declared that time is important only when you’re in prison. And the older you get, the faster it flits. I don’t know about that. The second part, that is. Recently I started doing something I never ever considered possible: taking a nap. No, in the spirit of Ole #16 Honest Abe, make that read “naps,” like in the plural. A.M. and P.M. Naps were pro forma early on when sucking on a bottle or facsimile thereof. Later when it held a different liquid, it was referred to as passing out. So why has CR2S suddenly decided to trade taps for naps?

I don’t know.

Really, I do not know. My activity schedule hasn’t experienced any major shakeup. As per always, I stay up until after eleven o’clock news but seldom watch the late-night antics of Jimmy, Jimmy or David. The hours after supper usually include a Dodger* game, reading, doing crossword puzzles and sudoku, email dabbling, CR2S column composing or editing, rarely watch any commercial television programming. Lights out between 11:30-midnight and alwaysawake by 6:30, without benefit of alarm. That’s because I don’t know how to set the alarm mechanism, if truth be told. [* Sports Illustrated announced only 52,000 television viewers were able to watch Clayton Kershaw’s fantastic no-hitter last week on Time/Warner cable. Ho ho ho. CR2S made the elite list.]

So there you go. Nothing earth-shaking or extraordinary during routine evening hours. And the average day sked is just as unexciting. Although Keiro Retirement Home offers a world of extracurricular activities (origami, calligraphy, hula, karaoke, exercise, movies et al.), CR2S usually spends his time reading (J.D. Salinger, Eleanor Roosevelt, “City Girls,” any war). Unfortunately, it’s a bit late to learn to play the alto saxophone, a la Johnny Hodges, or piano riff like Nat King Cole.

The hours between rising at six-thirty and suppertime? What is productive work time for the employed is now wide open for a retiree. With a full breakfast under the belt by 8 a.m., it’s time to leisurely read **The Los Angeles Times,** cover to cover, including comics and obits. Then it is time for CR2S to take a Rip Van Winkle time-out #1. Because now there are two. Yeah, after nen-neh time in the a.m., time is now allocated for an after lunch siesta as well. After a briefing with my appointments secretary, I check out the incoming mail, both e- and snail. I award myself the second snooze session before the four o’clock news.

[For those of you contemplating or nearing retirement age, not to be dismayed. It’s not all that boring or boringly routine. I know some (ladies) who play cards two-three times a week, golf, shop, lunch, brunch, get weekly foot massages, attend matinee movies. I mean geez, LG, Life is Good, it’s what you choose to do with it. There is no one size fits all.]

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Since we’re mixing and matching, maybe you’ll excuse me for venting about a couple of personal concerns. First there’s something called Burnt Tongue Syndrome that suddenly invaded my comfort zone. From what I can gather, it’s a mysterious ailment that can mean a whole lot of things; or not. As the name implies, the sufferer has a tongue/inner mouth that feels like it was singed gulping too-hot coffee (or tea) too fast. Apparently it can disappear as mysteriously as it comes about or stay for a week, month or longer. There can be a variety of reasons for BTS but no treatment to cure or alleviate. I’ve also been told it could cause drowsiness. Ergo, explanation for the napping binge?

Much more of a concern is a left eye problem that has made reading a chore. Forget about agate type and sports page six-point box scores, even regular newsprint is now fuzzy and difficult to make out. Which is an unfortunate happenstance since the right orb has been dysfunctional since childhood; the reason batting .400 was but a dream. Eye drops aren’t the answer, and squinting does no good. Seeing is not a problem, only when trying to read words or numbers. Time Magazine, with its minute print (and color), is now totally impossible, doing a difficult crossword puzzle now takes double time. I’m hoping a session with Dr. Fred (yesterday) will provide relief and answers.

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You can tell when someone is listening to you and when they are just waiting for you to finish speaking.


W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at williamhiroto@att.net Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.


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