Uncomformities

Our last August Saturday is now “past time”.

I take great pleasure in reading, or rather devouring each Saturday’s Wall Street Journal.

I find the WSJ’s Book reviews, Lifestyle information and general journalism to be wonderful. Case study: I consumed a wonderous book review for author Hugh Raffles. His work’s title was The Book of_Unconformities, subtitled Speculations on Lost Time. Though Raffles’ writings were focused on things geological, I challenge that written counsel for Unconformities in our KABOOMER context! And for linguists, I will swap “un” to “non-” to be in stride with our Queen’s English.

I quoted J.R.R. Tolkiein in KABOOMER about non-withering oaks. Now, I thank the Hobbit and him for this riddle:

Credit: The Hobbit  

My null hypothesis and “timely” assertion?

KABOOMERs should speculate, plan. and move down their roads ahead. Leaning into Time rather peering in their rearview mirrors while dwelling on lost days of yore.

 In stamininety spirit – let’s make our next years’ our best years. My audiobook coach-turned farmer reminds me that “it’s later than you think”, yet assuredly it is NOT too late. 

We can still build skeletal muscle in our mid-eighties for instance.  Not easy. Yet investing in something important isn’t always easy. KABOOM.

Me?

I don’t conform to actuarial norms for death as a bell curve conformist. I am doing my very best to drive Insurance actuaries and Social Security actuaries loco with a physical portfolio which enhances my chances to party past ninety.

« Social Security Administration – I’m statistically muerto at ~85 years of age. 

               Of course, that’s bell curve “big data” with both lower and upper outliers. Well, I want to be an upper year outlier and I want you to be a longevity outlier as well. You know this Koach’s corollary – Add life to all those many years, too!

Living to 100 Calculator – I might make it as a centenarian. I’ll take most or all of those outlier years which Dr. Perls suggests are plausible! You and I are investing in our physical “banks” to get there.

How do we get there (to ninety or more candles) with non-conformity and nil speculation?

Well, doing things a little bit differently is what my forbear, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote way back in Civil War times; when he enticed Bostonians take advantage of Felicities of Aging. One of those nonconformist steps is to not give a tinker’s damn about what other people say. Another is the wisdom gained you get your “encore” house in order. Bang Your Own Drum in a musical sort of way. Make some noise and enjoy the ruckus!

And speaking of music, I cite a gentleman named Charlie Parker, a bellwether jazz musician; a young free-wheeling trend-maker and breaker. Young Charlie was extraordinary for his music as well as his impact on future musicians. He didn’t bang on the drum all day as Todd Rundgren sang.  Rather, Parker played a woodwind instrument, a sexy saxophone, until his untimely death at age 34. It would have been his 100th birthday last week.    

Composer and pianist George Gershwin is another extraordinary candle sniffed out far too quickly as a non-conformist. Our musical world is a better for his innovations! GG was only 39 when he passed. We Medicare-aged folks have outlived that pair of musical prodigies.  An adage goes, quantity may have qualities all its own!  And, Warren Buffett, who just blew out his quantity of NINETY candles last week, made his fortune after age 65!

Credit: Time Magazine. [I, too am bullish.]

And, you know of the resilience and persistence of a “bird” Colonel salesman, Harland Sanders.

That white-clad southerner didn’t get “fast casual” acclaim ‘til he was older than me. [He lived to ninety too].

These folks DIDN’T mark Time, they made Time!

Conformity – bah!

Physicist Richard Feynman, who helped design the atom bomb, was pretty notorious for doing crazy things as a professor at Caltech.

Admiral Ray Spruance was a non-conformist in the way that he dressed on board ships in World War II. He offered extraordinary autonomy and delegation to his subordinates. Do you sense that I admire “un” or non-conformists?

Here are four of many more [If you asked me to extend my list – Jack LaLanne would be high on it!]

1. Steve Jobs.  He  asked, would you rather be a sailor or a pirate? I pile on… would you rather be Johnny Depp or a Pirate of the Caribbean or a white hat in America’s Navy? There are certain merits and demerits for both lifestyles.   

2. Dick Fosbury. This lanky high jumper from ORYGUN was a track and field pioneer who trademarked a “flopped” better way to go “ALTIUS” in Olympic tradition. He didn’t quit, fer sure!

3. Eric Liddell. That devout English sprinter refused to participate in his main event (the 100M race) in the 1924 Olympiad, due to his sabbath. He ran to gold with an unorthodox, underdog style in the longer 400M event. He found his strength – from within.

4. Satchell Paige. Tall Leroy “Satchel” Paige may be quoted about Life as much as Yogi Berra is. Example: Don’t look back, something may be gaining on you…

 “On July 7, 1948, his 42nd birthday, Paige became the oldest player to debut in the Major Leagues, as well as the first Negro League pitcher in the American League….[Seventeen years later, he again pitched in the big show at age FIFTY NINE.] Joe DiMaggio thought that Paige was the toughest pitcher that he ever faced!  And he often quoted another non-conformist – Mark Twain, “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”   

So, non-Konformists:

  • Bang your own drum.
  • Sweat six days each week, every week.
  • Do not give a tinker’s damn.
  • Honor Father Time (and Mother Nature) => be an unwithering oak as JRR Tolkien wrote.
  • Don’t mind, so age doesn’t matter!
  • Change your world – day by day.

C’mon September – let’s see what unconformities it throws our way.

/s/

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