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The friendship material wasn’t higher quality then. You just had more opportunities to meet it and time to refine it.

The friendship material wasn’t higher quality then. You just had more opportunities to meet it and time to refine it.

Last week, I came across an interesting thesis expounded by a reporter in a Boston paper. He says the biggest threat facing middle-aged men isn’t obesity or smoking, but loneliness. Middle-aged men let their friendships lapse, experience depression as they age, and spiral downward from there.

I’m certainly guilty of letting old friendships stagnate, but I probably have a better excuse than most. I moved around a lot and far away after university, before there was e-mail and social networks to make staying in touch effortless, not that most of us do. I now live half a world away. I calculated that in the last 25½ years, I’ve only seen my best friend from university a total of less than two weeks. I went eight years without seeing him after college, though we stayed in touch by phone, and another seven years from the time I left the US to the time I returned for my first visit.

Seven or eight years ago, when I was living in a beach resort town in Thailand, I made a concerted effort to have Guys Nights Out at least once a month. Three to five guys would show up, enough to make it worthwhile and still keep it personal. All the better if one of the other guys brought along someone I didn’t know as long as the occasions remained a night out for just the guys. As time progressed, some of the other guys didn’t take the nights out seriously. One brought his prostitute-like ‘girlfriends.’ People didn’t make the time, they started moving away, and the nights got shelved.

[Click the picture to read the rest of this brilliante articlo, okay mates?]

Categories : Lifestyle
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A lot less information would have done wonders for this guy's psyche

A lot less information would have done wonders for this guy’s psyche

There is a fine Indian restaurant located on the street parallel to the one on which we live. Five-star hotels in the area often use them to cater the occasional Indian wedding. By Thailand standards, it’s on the expensive side. 

A couple of years back, my wife noticed they’d begun to offer a weekend brunch for around $17. Inflation has since raised that price to $26. This brunch isn’t so much a buffet as an all-you-can-order feast. You select any dish on the brunch menu, and the waiters deliver it to you: appetizers, salads, tandoori platters, mains, desserts.  The first time we went, I got a little carried away and ordered eight dishes up front. When all eight were delivered at once, occupying every available square inch of the small table, my wife became overwhelmed and barely spooned in a morsel.

Too much, too soon.

[Click the picture to read the rest of this brilliante articlo, okay mates?]

Categories : Health
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How painful is it to accept never seeing another person again?

How painful is it to accept never seeing another person again?

When I was in grade school, possibly all the way up into high school, the custom was to have your fellow students sign your yearbook at the end of the academic year. This is a quite interesting concept if what people wrote in your yearbook ingenuously captured the relationship between the two of you at the time.

I briefly re-read some of the signatures on a trip back to my father’s recently. They read like this: “To Doug, a person in my social studies class.” “Thanks for the fun and the stories.”  “Good luck. See you next year.”

Harlequin romances make better reading.

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Categories : Reality
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Jan
13

The Credential Thief

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How much of what you tell other people about yourself is fake?

How much of what you tell other people about yourself is fake?

It’s nothing new that people embellish their curriculum vitaes, humbly known as resumes the last time I drafted one. This avenue of fabrication has been paved for centuries, possibly millennia, as long as employment-for-remuneration has existed. Wherever and whenever somebody requires another somebody to do something, there will always be an applicant reinterpreting his or her past accomplishments to be on par with discovering the cure for cancer.   


Go to LinkedIn and read over random peoples’ profiles. Everybody is a “problem solver”, a “team leader,” an “entrepreneurially-minded visionary.” Past experience as a line cook becomes “food science maverick innovator.” Household cleaning is rewritten as “domestic service engineering.”

Let’s not ignore outright fibbing. Have a five month gap somewhere between jobs? Suddenly, the job that lasted for three-quarters of 2013 now takes up the whole year and then some.

[Click the picture to read the rest of this incredible article, okay?]

Categories : Success
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All exits ultimately lead to the same place on these circus grounds

All exits ultimately lead to the same place on these circus grounds

In Part 1, I outlined a very valid reason why voting in a U.S. Presidential election is an utter waste of time.

You can readily think of why you show up for your job, at your favorite restaurant, at your friend’s party. But showing up at a polling station to vote for the President produces no measurable return for the average voter.

Contributing cash or volunteering time and then voting is more of a waste.

[Click the picture to read the rest of this kick the s–t article, okay?]

Categories : Politics
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Guess what?  The joke's on us.

Guess what? The joke’s on us.

An American citizen can’t legally order alcohol at a bar Stateside until he’s 21; but by age 18, as a legal adult, he has the ‘right’ to vote.

Most of those young ones find the alcohol imbibing privileges the more meaningful of the two.  So do plenty of older folk like myself.

Am I being overly simplistic and droll? Voting might yield personal rewards for the scads of local elections that don’t make the news , for positions like county treasurer, president of the city council, or precinct committeeperson.  Even then, most of the local voting public probably derive more joy from choosing what beer or whisky to drink.

[Click the picture to read the rest of this kick the s–t article, okay?]

Categories : Politics
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When receiving can be more taxing than giving

When receiving can be more taxing than giving

I have had a fascination with Life magazine for over 20 years. It first started when I was on my way out of Burma in 1994. An American I’d met there, Mike (whom I’m still in touch with now), returned to our Yangon hotel holding an issue from the 1960’s that appeared like it had just been printed the week before, a Life Asia edition the original owner must never have read. Inexplicably, these issues were being peddled on street corners along with Burmese bags and trinkets. Mike had paid just a couple of bucks for his one souvenir issue. 

The power of Life after death. 30 years after these magazines were issued they were boosting Burmese GNP!

I was so impressed digesting Mike’s blast-from-the-past that I beat the streets of the Burmese capital to start my very own Life magazine collection. I picked up only 8 issues at that time. I would have purchased more but I was in the middle of a longer trip and shipping things back to the USA in 1994 from Burma or Bangladesh, my next destination, wasn’t a slam dunk. I later amassed a sizeable collection living in Los Angeles which eventually went into storage in a remote town in Oregon for 7 years.   And I picked up another dozen issues in Australia. Ironically, the issues purchased Down Under, not the ones from Burma and Bangladesh, never made it back to the USA.

[Click the picture to read the rest of this kick ass articlo, okay mate?]

Categories : Misc
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The minute it's captured, it's dated

The minute it’s captured, it’s dated

Have you ever looked over old pictures of your parents or grandparents and, noting the month and year that was once commonly stamped on the bottom, calculated they were younger there than you are now?

It doesn’t matter how old they really were. To you, they always looked older.

Part of this, I imagine, is vanity. We’d like to believe that we look better for our age than our grandparents and parents ever did. 

[Click the picture to read the rest of this really truly amazing article, okay?]

Categories : Media
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North Korea's appeal as a travel destination lies in being surprised. With that gone, all it has going for it is Kim Jung Un's ripped body

North Korea’s appeal as a travel destination lies in being surprised. With that gone, all it has going for it is Kim Jung Un’s ripped body

When the television show Star Trek hit the TV airwaves in 1966, viewers got a glimpse of Captain Kirk and his crew exploring strange new worlds and boldly going where no man had gone before, though it does seem odd, does it not, that everyone spoke perfect English in all these previously undiscovered locales.

On our own planet, there aren’t so many or possibly any undiscovered pastures left.   In the 1980’s and early 1990’s, Albania sounded like one such place. I couldn’t think of anyone who’d ever gone. Today, it’s a member of NATO and the European Union. In 2014, The New York Times rated Albania #4 in a list of 52 places to visit. Albania’s not such a secret anymore.

In the 1990’s, Myanmar (Burma) was also rarely touristed. A mandatory $200 exchange, a restrictive visa regime, and a repressive government kept the masses out. When I visited in 1994, the country had a rather ambitious goal of reaching 1m tourist arrivals by 2000. They fell far short of that, but have since more than rebounded. In 2013, the country saw over 2m arrivals.

[Click the picture to read the rest of this kick ass articlo, my mates]

Categories : Lifestyle
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We couldn't be cool forever

We couldn’t be cool forever

It doesn’t feel all that long ago when my generation saw the life ahead of us like the start of a wide-open book that could proceed any way we imagined, far from the predictable lives of our parents. Now, I skim through social media profiles of people I haven’t seen in decades, a lot paunchier, a lot greyer or balder, and I realize we’ve become our parents!

I find it eerie to calculate the year my own father was my present age and then think about how I viewed him at that time. One thing is for certain: I didn’t classify him as an a-hole.

My dad was a practicing surgeon in those days, and he wasn’t around a whole lot. That’s what I remember. You have to be around and come up with a lot of strict rules your kids despise to be considered a professional a-hole. Compared to my friends’ parents, my own were quite lenient. When my father was almost exactly the same age I am now, to the month, he and my mother traveled to France and Israel on a two-week holiday. They gave me and my brother credit cards, ample cash, and the use of the cars. We had more cars between us than people.

[Click the picture to read the rest of this kick the shit ass article, okay?]

Categories : Egomania
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