The Blood of Reagan!

Today’s guest post is by Dr. Larry Kyle of Genway.

I know what you’re thinking, but I did not enter a bid on the Blood of Reagan!

Oh, I was tempted! As the founder and produce manager of a grocery store that specializes in genetically engineered foods, I am well aware of the value of even the smallest drop of celebrity DNA. And to have a sample from the man who arguably represents the first and most blatant intersection between show business and political power … I’m still amazed that I was able to resist.

Think about the possibilities inherent in introducing Reagan DNA into our produce section alone – like Corn on the Teflon Cob – grill it all day, it’s impossible to burn! Or Supply Side Grapes! Each bunch comes with a poor person whose job it is to feed them to you! The more you eat, the better they live! Or should I say, “the better you’ll feel about they way they live”. I know it doesn’t make sense but people will accept it anyway – that’s the Reagan DNA at work!

So why didn’t I bid on the Vial of Reagan’s Blood when I had a chance?

It was a business choice, pure and simple. In my line of work, it’s bad for the profit margin to do anything that pushes up the market value of raw DNA. That’s because DNA is the material that gives my style of unsupervised and under regulated experimentation its great potential.

Sure, a whole line of Reagan-infused produce would prove irresistible to my staunch Republican customers, but once shoppers got used to the idea of foods branded with their own peculiar political persuasions, I’d have to produce Palin Pomegranates and Santorum Celery. And you thought the sweater vests were ghastly!

Of course Democrats would do the same. I don’t know about you, but I’m just not ready for Obama Okra.

I can only hope that Reagan’s Blood will be safely kept from commercial misuse by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Although like the powerful One Ring in that Tolkien trilogy, Reagan’s Blood may have the power to corrupt whoever possesses it. Pay close attention – if the foundation begins to explore cloning … watch out!

It sounds like Dr. Kyle has mellowed with age – he’s actually saying “no” when in years past his answer to every harebrained idea was always “yes, yes, YES!”

Does age lead to wisdom, or something else?

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80 thoughts on “The Blood of Reagan!”

  1. Good morning. I’m still a youngster at 70 years, so how do I know if age gives wisdom? I hope it does. I do have some hints that it gives other things. I think there must be something wrong with they way they are measuring me at the doctors office, I know I must be at least 6 feet tall or maybe I’m starting to shrink. Is that a sign of aging? Also my eye doctor says my vision isn’t what it once was. It seems okay to me, but maybe what she said is a sign of things to come.

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  2. Age does lead to wisdom for most. I think it’s more about how much the circumstances of your life change as you age, though. If you are a typical person and you find yourself dealing with new struggles and experiences as the years pass, you learn from them. You can’t help but gain a bit of wisdom the older you get. If you’re Mitt Romney or Donald Trump and you don’t have the same types of up-and-down times that the proles have, then maybe not so much.

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    1. i think mitt does have his challanges as he grows older. the other day his wife had a flat tire on her cadillac and she had to take her other one. when he was younger he would not have had to deal with that. governor george romneys staff would just have taken care of it.

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        1. You might be right tim . . . without exaggeration. I used to clerk in a flyfishing shop that catered to some incredibly wealthy folks. And they honestly didn’t have a sense about (or concern about) the cost of things. I once sold party favors to an heiress of the 3M fortune. She bought a $6 hat and a $600 flyrod as favors for two of her guests, knowing that nobody would be offended by the difference in cost. For her, and for them, there was no significance in the disparate values.

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  3. well…….ronnie was the turning point for america in the media based presidential and political based reality we now live in. i am not able to find the quote for slapstick by kurt vonnegut about the fact that the president is elected based on who has the best hair. it was a true contest between ronnie and jimmy. there were a couple heads of hair. it concerns me about mitt. his hair is like the evil professor from scooby doo. was it johnny qwests dad who had the mitt white sideburns? i think mitt like ronnie does employ the shoe polish hair assist technique. that is one thing that goes for sure, the hair of youth. the gray is a transition that some make more gracefully than others. the gentle sprinkling of threads of gray being interspersed in my beautiful sandy blonde locks has in the recent past made me look like i have groucho marx eyebrows pasted on to contrast the silver baloney ring i call a hairstyle these days.

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    1. My husband’s hair is thinning quite rapidly at this point. There is now enough visible scalp up there that my daughter refers to her father’s hair color as “pink”. He is not amused by this, but I am.

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  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I am sure without a doubt that age leads to wrinkles, stiff joints, disrupted sleep, and a lack of regard for what I wear when I go out. (I am caring for my mother this week, and never even got to the blog yesterday so I am answering two for the price of one today). Age is also leading me to view my ancestors with great regard for even living through the American Frontier into my age and beyond–I cannot even imagine being age nearly 59 in a log cabin and running for the outhouse! But wisdom? I am not so sure. I think one must begin with a capacity for wisdom, even as a young one. I’ve known some really foolish oldsters.

    Take my maternal grandfather. In his 70′s and 80′s he continued to blow money on pork belly futures in the belief that he would hit the jackpot someday. He also impulsively hooked his cane around the neck of my running 3 year-old cousin, nearly breaking the poor kid’s neck. (Daniel survived this and is now 42 years old). Grandpa drove the tractor into the side of the hog house when his arthritic legs would not respond quickly enough to the situation because he continued to insist that he could “help” my uncle farm. He wrecked the tractor and the side of the hoghouse, then he limped away. While watching the returns of the the 1976 presidential election he had the stroke that put him in a nursing home for 3 years because he was so upset that Jimmy Carter won.

    Grandpa just never gained any wisdom at all. He had a brother who was even worse! They were my templates for How Not to Age.

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    1. I can relate, Jacque. My maternal grandfather was also impervious to wisdom. He was born to Italian parents who were more or less peasant stock, and he remained stuck in that mindset his entire life. He wasn’t encouraged to be academic or inquisitive at all, and he never developed those traits on his own. He did landscape maintenance for the city where he lived in New York pretty much his entire life, and he lived and died without worrying too much about figuring out the world beyond his neighborhood.

      But my other grandfather traveled with the Army, enjoyed music and theater, and paid at least some attention to current events in the world. He was not college-educated, but he was open to taking in information. I did consider him a pretty wise fellow while I was growing up. He just had more of a clue than my other grandfather, it seemed. You are right that being born with a capacity for wisdom is essential. Without it, all you get are the wrinkles! :)

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  5. Husband said this morning that he wants his very own Lazy Boy “decliner” to sit in when he is old. I told him we would get him one for Father’s Day. Most of my relatives lived to be in their 90′s, and while I suppose they were wise, many of them got really funnier and more sarcastic as they aged. My parents are very old and very happy, and I guess that is the way I would like to be if I live to be 90.

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    1. wouldnt t be nice to be able to enjoy the golden years and do a happy swan song. i worked in an old folks home when i was a student and it was apparent that the difference in how you viewed life was the result of the choices you made as you went along. happy and optimistic or dark and ominous are not up for discussion by the time the barcalounger arrives. you are the sum total of all the processed input and output that have been run through the noodle while on the planet. a happy oldster is the result of figuring out how to be a happy person along the way. did you ever notice how a persons mouth shape is a great precursor as to what will come out of their mouth. corners curled up or down really does make a difference.

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      1. Ditto–see story of grandfather above–he was eternally Republican and eternally unhappy waiting for the Big Gamble to Pay Off. Never did.

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    2. Wait a minute, nobody has yet commented on husbands desire for a “decliner”? I love it! I just got an ‘anti-gravity’ decliner and I can’t wait to decline again. Perhaps tonight… Or wait… maybe I should be in such a hurry to decline…

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      1. It is a chair you sit in during your decline. Imagine how many we could sell if it morphed into a casket over time!

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  6. ot a little bit. chris you were talking the other day about taking a book to read when you pick up your daughter because there is a one hour wait… i had a similar situationa nt eh fix is that you pick up your kid 5 minuites before the end of the day is official. sign her out and you go right to the head of the line. reason for dismissal… appointment.

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    1. There is actually a policy in place at my kid’s school now, to prevent parents from doing that since so many were. You can’t sign them out less than 30 minutes before end of the school day. There are approx.1700 kids at her school and I guess it was getting a little hairy with moms and dads trying to beat the rush, so they put the kibosh on it a couple of years ago.

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      1. my daughters have shrink appts, piano and trumpet/oboe on three days of the week. i used to wait for school to end but the night activites of acting softballl basketball and all start at 6pm and in order to get to the other stuff and back i have to get them rolling early. i think id take the half hour and show up late.

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        1. It’s a by-product of where we live. We are in an area (South Florida) which has a regular and significant influx of families from other areas, so the schools are always asked to take on more and more kids each year. Combine that with a governor (Rick Scott – or, as I like to refer to him, Skeletor) who has no interest in providing sufficient budgetary support for the existing public schools or the construction of new schools, and you end up with 1700 kids. Truth be told, they handle it very well and I wouldn’t even say my kid’s classes are overcrowded, but we’re definitely pushing maximum density at this point and could use a new school in this area sooner rather than later.

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        2. I’d say they could use four new schools. It is nice that they “handle it very well,” but I believe research points to negative outcomes when that many kids are stuffed in one large institution.

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        3. Thanks, Chris. Up until now, most of my information about Florida politics has come from Carl Hiaason… :)

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  7. When he was in his high 70s my grandfather regularly serviced a ring of girlfriends around the little Iowa town where he and my grandmother lived. He may not have been wise, but he knew what he wanted, which is maybe the same thing. In one of my first Trail Baboon posts I called him “a horny old goat,” which brought down upon me the wrath of Barb from Blackhoof. She objected to me dissing goats by comparing them to my grandfather.

    Old folks are considered wise because they stoically accept all the things they have lost: hearing, sex, friends, teeth, respect, memory, continence, etc. The question we might ask is why we should praise old people for accepting these losses when they really didn’t have a choice about it.

    While I’m not a good sport about all the capabilities I’ve lost, I have won a shaky victory over one of the lusts of youth. I no longer lust for new Stuff. Most of the old stuff I wanted so badly didn’t make me happy, so it isn’t likely that getting more new Stuff will. I think I will do better if I learn to love the Stuff I already have. I’d love to claim that as proof I’m wise, but it probably just proves I’m too damned old and poor to go on chasing Stuff.

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  8. “Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I’m not so sure about wisedom — maybe a better recognition of what is worth getting your shorts in a bunch over.

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  9. As a young pup, I’m not sure when wisdom will come, but I know at least for now I have managed to dodge the arthritis that runs in the family…it may yet sneak up on me later. One of the gifts from my mom’s side of the family. But the thing that goes along with the genetics of that family is a pretty optimistic view of the world and a strong sense of curiosity. Both of my mom’s folks were teachers – my mom and aunt were not classroom teachers as their major careers (though both did teach some), both have been educators in non-classroom settings. Makes for an environment that encourages life-long learning, curiosity, questioning, a thirst for knowledge…Grandma lived to be 96, died in her sleep in pretty good health (well, except for the aforementioned arthritis).

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  10. I like to describe aging as “becoming more of what you already are” – in most cases it seems to me that we just carry our major traits into old age, only more so. This supports the theory that you have to have a bit of wisdom to start with in order to become wise.

    I’m sure there are exceptions – will think more about this today. I think it’s so refreshing that Dr. Kyle is continuing to mature!

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    1. I think you’re right about becoming more of what you’ve always been, BiR. If you’ve always been a complainer, you’ll become even more so when adversity strikes or the indignities of old age are visited upon you. Conversely, if you’ve always been cheerful and optimistic with a good sense of humor, those traits will see you through most anything. If you’ve always blamed others for whatever misfortunes you’ve experienced you’ll continue to be the victim of your own mistakes because you don’t learn from them. I’ve met little kids and young people who were wise beyond their years, and old folks without a lick of common sense. If you’re not learning from your experiences, wrinkles and a sagging, aching body may well be all to have to show for having attained a ripe old age.

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      1. in paul simons the boxer he added a verse in the live versions that wasnt on the original

        now the years are rollin by me and theyre rockin evenly
        i am older than i once was but younger than ill be thatus not unusual
        no it isnt strange
        after changes upon changes were all more or less the same
        after changes were all more or less the same

        sing la did dah
        lah di dah di dah di dah
        la di dah
        lah di dah di dah di dah di di dah di dah

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  11. I think the most lyrical and intelligent songwriter in folk today is Gretchen Peters. Her stuff is beyond wonderful. One of the songs on her current album touches on aging, a song by a woman who has been around the block a few times and is pretty dinged up but a woman who still wants to hang around to see what happens next::

    I’m a ticking clock, a losing bet
    a girl without a safety net
    I’m a cause for some concern
    You don’t live this long without regrets
    Telephone calls you don’t wanna get
    Stones you’d rather leave unturned
    but ooooooh – the grain of sand becomes the pearl
    yeah ooooooh – hello cruel world

    And maybe that is our hope: tucked into the general awfulness of aging is the hope that that irritating grain of sand might become a pearl.(How very cleaver of her!)

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  12. OT — FYI Just checked out the schedule at Lake Harriet Band Shell — Davina and the Vagabonds are playing there next week, Sunday 6/5 at 2:00 in the afternoon.

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      1. Oops, that is the larger Concert Band AND I messed up the date. Concert Band is July 12 (Thurs). Jazz on the Prairie is Monday July 9 7:30pm.

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  13. I hope all of you good people find a little patch of sunlight and a good book and some friendly company this weekend.

    I might have posted this a while back, but good songs are worth revisiting . . .

    Japanese Bowl
    By Peter Meyer

    I’m like one of those Japanese bowls
    That were made long ago
    I have some cracks in me
    They have been filled with gold

    That’s what they used back then
    When they had a bowl to mend
    They did not hide the cracks
    They made them shine instead

    So now every old scar shows
    From every time I broke
    And anyone’s eyes can see
    I’m not what I used to be

    But in a collector’s mind
    All of these jagged lines
    Make me more beautiful
    And worth a much higher price

    I’m like one of those Japanese bowls
    I was made long ago
    I have some cracks you can see
    See how they shine of gold

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    1. nice robin
      i have more insight than a microwave dish but i do make odd sounds the first few steps out of bed every morning

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  14. Morning,

    What I have learned is that my wife doesn’t always *want* answers to her questions. Sometimes she’s just talking things out.
    And it’s OK to ask directions or talk to strangers.

    And really, life is short, this too shall pass, don’t get your pants in wad, don’t have a cow man, it’s not as bad as you think.
    Remember that song from 10 or 15 years ago about wearing sunscreen?

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  15. In my case, age leads to “something else,” not wisdom. I’m not sure what that something else is…

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    1. In my case, Edith, confusion :-) Maybe it’s partly age, or a hearing loss, or having a different cultural background, but I often feel a bit out of step with almost everything and everyone around me. My friends don’t seem to hold it against me and grandbabies love you no matter what :-) But like VS and Ben have so wisely advised, I’m learning to let it go. Trying anyway. Every day I watch my daughter who is such a sensitive and effective parent and wish I’d had her understanding at that age. But I’m not too old to learn something new and truthfully, I’m loving this time of life. :-)

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