Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 11, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 15

Mountain View News Saturday, March 11, 2023 15OPINIONOPINION Mountain View News Saturday, March 11, 2023 15OPINIONOPINION 




Susan Henderson 


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello 


John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola 


Stuart Tolchin 
Audrey SwansonMeghan MalooleyMary Lou CaldwellKevin McGuire 
Chris Leclerc 
Dinah Chong WatkinsHoward HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Rich Johnson 
Lori Ann Harris 
Rev. James SnyderKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanJeff Brown 
Marc Garlett 
Keely TotenDan Golden 
Rebecca WrightHail Hamilton 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Jewish ritual 
Sabbath practice of amplified self-observation. The Sabbath 
is a day when one should do as little as possible and just observe 
all that is going on inside and outside of themselves. 
The awareness gained by this practice is said to be essential 
to Judaism. It is suggested that in order to know God you 
must first know yourself which is sort of the same thing. My 
whole life I have been a disbeliever in any kind of knowable 
God but learning about myself seemed like a good idea so I 
have been observing. 

This morning, as I tried to write this article, my dog started barking which 
to me meant that it was time for him to be let outside to do his morning business. 
I opened our front door and saw that there was trash all over the street. Thursday 
morning is trash day and many neighbors bring their filled barrels out the night before 
so as to not have to worry about it early in the morning. My wife and I, uncharacteristically, 
did the same last night. As I opened the door this morning I saw trash 
all over the street. I had also written an article saying that a good person is someone 
who not only picks up his own trash but also picks up other people’s trash which is 
strewn in the street. 

Well, this morning was my chance; and what did I do? Almost immediately 
after opening the door my dog and I fled back into the house. Why? Notwithstanding 
my good intentions to pick up the trash, it was freezing outside and we went back 
into the house to get comfortable. Let someone else pick up the trash I am going 
upstairs to finish my article. All at once I “observed” my overarching desire to be 
comfortable. No matter what I say I do very little that is outside my “comfort zone” 
whatever that is. 

Soon I abandoned the article I had been writing about old people falling particularly 
in relation to Senator Mitch McConnell falling yesterday. What seemed 
more important is that I understand how a refusal to leave own my comfort zone 
rules me. I am constantly complaining about my overall isolation since retirement as 
increased by the COVID pandemic. Actually, I am very comfortable about complaining. 
My whole life I have criticized and complained about the mistakes that other 
people have made. Since being retired I have complained about feeling inadequate 
around the house. My wife does all the household stuff like cooking and cleaning 
and paying bills and almost everything else. The only requirement I have of myself 
is that I compose these articles and submit them to the publisher by noon Thursday. 
I have just a few hours left but I am comfortable knowing that I will achieve that goal 
and for a while, at least, will feel good about myself. 

The question is what else might I do to bring good feeling? Being the kind of 
person you probably are you might suggest that I go out and pick up the trash that I 
have described above. Well, the trash truck has already come by and anyway it’s still 
cold outside. More importantly. I realize that I am not a person particularly interested 
in picking up other people’s trash. I barely pick up my own. Why that is germane 
to this article is that I know I typically spend a lot of time complaining about the evils 
of the world. This should imply that I intended to do something about it. It doesn’t. 
Firstly, I don’t know what I can do but what is even truer is that I know I don’t reallyintend to do anything. 

My daughter suggested that I volunteer at a food bank which she has done and 
found satisfying. I also know she has worked with the Habitat for Humanity helping 
to construct houses or something. I don’t know exactly what she did but I wouldn’t 
even know what end of the hammer to use. My wife is always hauling stuff over 
contributing to Goodwill but I barely notice. Every day in my IPhone there appears 
request after request to donate to undoubtedly worthy causes but I ignore them. I sayI want to get involved in educational classes but really I know my comfort zone is to 
teach classes rather than be a student. On top of this I don’t know enough to teach 
anything, If you have closely read this article you will note that I am already doing 
my favorite thing complaining, well within my “comfort zone”. I have observed all 
this and as a first step will attempt to stop complaining. Maybe this will make me so 
uncomfortable that I will need to expand my comfort zone and actually “do something” 
of worth to me and for the rest of the world. 

My birthday is in a month or so and I will observe and report on any expansions 

unless they stop publishing my articles. Of course, then, I will have something more 

to complain about. 



Along with identifying as “Swifties,” ignoring the reported Chinese 
threat of bad dancing posed by TikTok, and pretending that 
plant-based meat is actually edible, many young people in America 
are engaging in another fascinating trend – not driving. 

According to recent surveys, around 20% fewer teens of driving 
age are getting their driver’s licenses as compared to the glorious 

1980s. Much to the relief of my insurance premiums, our youngest 
daughter, who recently turned 16, is one of these vehicular agnostics. 

Speaking of the 1980s, the nanosecond I turned 16, I raced like a scalded ape (wearing 
embarrassingly snug Ocean Pacific shorts) to the local DPS office for my license. 
I then warted my dad until he took me to a used car lot to pick up the coolest vehicle 
ever to leak antifreeze into the front passenger floorboard – a sleek, black 1985 
Oldsmobile Calais. Yes, I literally drove it until it bled to death. 

My two older daughters were also enthusiastic to begin testing our credit limits as 
soon as they were eligible to drive. We bought both of them very nice pre-owned Nissans, 
which have become grave threats to street curbs and parking blocks throughout 
the State of Texas. They also have developed acute phobias of car washes, and they 
only clean their vehicles when I threaten to curtail their Starbucks privileges. 

In my effort to afford my daughters the responsibility of soiling their own vehicles,
I continue to drive what could once have been described as a 2013 Ford Expedition. 
Having apparently reached its self-destruct date, it has now become little more than a 
chronic loiterer in auto service departments – held together with road tar and melted 
gummi bears. Instead of striking fear into my heart, the warm glow of the check-
engine light is almost comforting – because I know that at least something on the 
vehicle still works properly. 

When I first took my reluctant youngest daughter out to see what it was like to sit behind 
the wheel, I did my best to create a non-threatening experience for her. I chose 
an empty Baptist church parking lot for our practice session, praying that the Lord 
would bless our time together and that there wouldn’t be an impromptu covered-dish 
supper that day. 

I actually thought the practice went pretty smoothly. There was very little screaming 
or crying – and my daughter remained fairly composed, as well. Our good old 
Expedition even behaved throughout the ordeal – saving the major engine failure for 
the drive home. 

But, for whatever reason, the experience made her even more uneasy about learning 
to drive. (I think she was traumatized about having to survive for more than twenty 
minutes without watching a YouTube video.) 

A few days later, she came to me and sweetly said, “Dad, I’m just not ready to drive, 

And that’s fine with me. Kids seem to grow up too fast these days, anyway, and I’m 
more than happy to let her hang on to childhood for a little bit longer. 

I’m confident that we’ll be watching her pull out of the driveway and hit the curb 
soon enough. Until then, she can ride around with me in the Expedition – watchingfor the check-engine light, listening to Taylor Swift and spilling a few more gummi 


A “pet peeve” is an act that a particular 
person finds especially annoying. 
(I write this column knowingfull well it may be a pet peeve to a 
growing body of people.) 

Do you have pet peeves? Most do. Some pet peeves are particularly 

Supermarket Peeve: Take the checkout line for example. In the 8 
items or less register you notice the person ahead of you has 300 
items in their cart! A corollary to the above peeve, is the person 
ahead of you and 7 others) realize they forgot something and dash 
off to get it. This leaves the check-out professional and the rest of 
us dangling over the abyss. 

Shopping Cart Peeve: How about people abandoning the shopping 
cart in the worst possible place. It takes a special ability to 
abandon a shopping cart preventing 4 adjacent parking spaces 
from being accessed. 

Phone Call Peeve: People you call who answer the phone with 
“How come you never call?” 

Movies Theater Peeve: People talking during the movie. Even 
worse, people who have seen the film and alert the entire audience 
of a shock or surprise scene a nano-second before the screen 

Just Kidding Peeve: Any friends who will bark out a biting, belittling 
cheap shot at you followed by the phrase, “Just kidding” 

Left Lane on Freeways Peeve: Left lanes are referred to as “passing 
lanes” for a very good reason. Someone coming up behind you 
breaking the speed limit may be trying to rush a sick person to a 
hospital. Get out of the way. You could get a ticket even if you’re 
driving the maximum speed. 

Double Dipping Peeve: Ooooh, gross lol! Nothing more need be 

Chronically Late Peeve: The trick is to tell them the event starts 
30 minutes before it actually starts. 

Possibly the most egregious pet peeves revolve around the bathroom. 
And most are committed by guys (not all): 

1. Leaving the Toilet Seat Up 
2. Forgetting to flush 
3. Ignoring the fact you’ve used up all of the tee-pee (toilet 
4. Failing to turn back the valve that switches the water to 
the shower head (really bad guys!) 
5. Clogging the shower drain with hair and…leaving it 
(never my problem). 
Maybe the worst pet peeve listed in this column is my telling you 
again, that my band’s concert is this upcoming Saturday night 
(March 18th). The food is great, there is a full bar and the music 
is guaranteed to be fun. 6:30-9:30 at Nano Café. 322 W. Sierra 
Madre Blvd. (626) 325-3334 for reservations. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 
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