humor / ideation

Meandering Monday About Aging and Forgetting My Cheat Codes

I hear more and more people in “my age group” complain that GETTING OLD SUCKS. It seems to be an epidemic – every day as I look around, more and more of us seem to be getting old. Heck, it’s probably happening to me.

People think you lose your memory as you age, but that’s not it at all. The older you get, the more you’ve lived and the more things you have to remember (that’s an old joke, son.) Remembering really is hard work, especially with all the commercial jingles and pop songs that lodge in there with the important stuff. Too many distractions on the way to what you’re looking for.

That’s the real problem with aging (the mental part, anyway) – the ability to take in everything that’s going on around you without getting lost. It used to be that I could just drive along and I’d catch what was going on in the periphery before it became an issue. But now my auto-pilot is fried. You’re driving down the road and focused on that spot a few hundred feet ahead of you, but you don’t notice the SUV to your right. Or you’re backing up and have three rearview mirrors, a back-up camera, and looking over your shoulder to choose between, so you’re trying to do all five so you can’t effectively use any of them and you back into the tree (it wasn’t there before – it moved – I swear it!)

Multi-tasking is a myth – no one can focus on more than one thing. We switch between tasks quickly to make it look like we’re doing multiples, but it’s really only one thing at a time. But when you’re younger, you’re more adept at the switching, like a video-game where you have cheat codes so you don’t have to keep track of everything.

It’s not that you can’t concentrate as well – it’s that you HAVE TO. Before you could get by on a little bit of what was going on, with your concentration spread about. Somewhere in the back of your mind it would all get noted and handled while you sat in the driver’s seat and focused on – whatever seemed important at the time. Now my mind has moved to the back of the bus, and it’s harder to note everything without REALLY, REALLY WATCHING LIKE A HAWK. Like an old, easily distracted, myopic hawk, wondering why the rabbits seem so much smarter nowadays.

I remember when I first got bifocals. The doctor explained to me that when you get older, it’s harder for your eyes to switch back and forth between distances and focal points like they used to – you have to decide what you need to see and concentrate on that.

No one told me it would happen mentally, too.

Just saying…


InRobertsMemoryCoverThis week’s Smashwords coupon is for “In Robert’s Memory”:

It happens to us all – one day we discover we’re not as perfect as we thought we were, and we have to learn to function with that fact. An interplanetary tourist ship runs into its own version of an iceberg and, compromised as it is, it’s still up to R0B3rt to ensure its passengers’ survival. Careful – you spend enough time around people and they’re bound to rub off on you.

The pun of a title may have been the germ of the story – but I’m not sure. This is a story about a ship’s computer whose memory becomes contaminated by human inhabitants. It loses itself, but becomes something else.

Use coupon code UT87G to get 67% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!) The coupon’s good until April 16th – here’s the link:

“In Robert’s Memory” is also available in my third collection, titled surprisingly (if you haven’t been paying attention): Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND.


BurialDetailsCoverBe sure to bury your charges deep.

An old farmer, scraping by after the Sahrian invasion, buries his most precious treasures to hide them from the aliens’ “salvation”.

That’s right – the preorder campaign for “Burial Details” is over, and it’s LIVE at the usual places, including (but not limited to):




William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest ePub “Burial Details”, can be found in many places, including:




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