Those bygone cigarette lighters in cars

I’m unable to be celebratory about anything involving smoking. I lost two relatives to lung cancer, including one grandmother, back in 1996. One of my classmates also died from lung cancer, while still in his forties.

It’s true, however, that dashboard cigarette lighters were once standard accessories in all automobiles. They were common throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Automakers began phasing them out in the 1990s, as cigarette smoking became less socially acceptable.   Continue reading “Those bygone cigarette lighters in cars”

Fitness and the definition of sex appeal

Although I’ve maintained my fitness and weight reasonably well as I’ve progressed into my mid-50s, I recently embarked on a drive to “level-up” my discipline. 

I started seriously running again last summer. I’ve put new intensity into my weight training, too. I’ve also reexamined and improved my diet.

These efforts have yielded results. I’m down 15 lbs in my weight since June, to just below 165 (a good weight for my height of 5’10”). I can once again complete 7-mile runs without difficulty. Not bad for a 54-year-old.

I would post a shirtless photo of myself, but I think that most of you would much rather look at a photo of fitness model and guru Lesley Maxwell.

At the age of 64, Lesley Maxwell is ten years my senior. And as someone who has trained, in one form or another, since the early 1980s, I know the discipline required to achieve that kind of definition in one’s abs. Wow.

I first became aware of Maxwell when a Daily Star article about her (“Bodybuilding gran, 64, leaves fans gushing with tiny bikini snap on beach”) appeared in my personal Facebook feed. 

I reposted it for my friends, most of whom are over 45. Since then, the Facebook algorithms have bombarded me with post after post about “hot older women”. But no matter. There is an important lesson here.

The article in the Daily Star reports that Maxwell, “sometimes gets mistaken for her 20-year-old granddaughter, who frequently trains with her in matching gym sets.”

This is almost certainly an exaggeration. (The photo below shows Maxwell with her granddaughter.) Even at a high level of fitness, most of us can tell the difference between a 64-year-old woman and a college girl. But that’s not the point. Continue reading “Fitness and the definition of sex appeal”

Make Daylight Saving Time permanent, or ban it altogether?

This past Sunday we all moved our clocks back to Standard Time, thereby ending Daylight Saving Time. 

Spring forward, fall back. You know the drill.

And what a drill it’s become. Daylight Saving Time is yet another practice that has gone completely off the rails in my lifetime.

When I was a kid, Daylight Saving Time ran from late April through late October. For example: In 1981, Daylight Saving Time began on Sunday, April 26, and ran through Sunday, October 25.

In 2022, by contrast, Daylight Saving Time ran from March 13 through November 6. This has been the trend for years now: to make Daylight Saving Time extend for as many weeks as possible.

The fetish for Daylight Saving Time has become so intense that a new proposed law, the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021, would make Daylight Saving Time permanent. The bill has bipartisan support. Our two major political parties have finally found something they can agree on, and—big surprise—it isn’t anything that is particularly useful. Continue reading “Make Daylight Saving Time permanent, or ban it altogether?”