thinkingThe water faucet sounds like Niagara Falls. Dishes being stacked slam like a 6-car traffic accident. My own voice comes out like I’m speaking on a microphone in an echo chamber. Yes, I have just started wearing my first hearing aids and have not yet gotten used to the jingly jangly, silvery, metallic audio clatter like electronic castanets that is the sound effects of my life now. But finally I can hear someone knocking on the front door from three rooms away and am happy to no longer ask family and friends, “What?” repeatedly. I can delete the subtitles from my tv. I can have conversations in restaurants. Will I ever get used to the clanging racket? Stay tuned.

Speaking of sound engineering may I propose that senior couples without hearing aids who live in spaces larger than 500 square feet stop hollering at each other from distant rooms and install intercom systems.

When was the last conversation you had that did not veer inevitably into the subject of real estate? Everyone has a story about the home down the street that had 8 bids and went for hundreds of thousands of dollars over the asking price. Mine is a place in the neighborhood sold to a couple who owned a townhouse in London and a showplace in Noe Valley. They never moved in here. The house has been empty for a year. I don’t even want to think about the property taxes on it. Despite this plutocratic surge I’m getting suspicious. Economists tell us there is roughly an 8-year boom-and-bust cycle inevitable in capitalism. Is the current economy headed towards another cliff? Looking around at the proliferation of $2200 purses and Teslas, I am thinking it is time for a ”correction”. When you get to be our age you try to learn not to be surprised when bubbles burst.

Geezer girls rule: Mirren, Dench, Keaton, Streep, Fonda, Feinstein, Angela Merkel, Elizabeth Warren and Caitlyn prove you can stay at the top of your game deep into your golden years. [Please send your candidates to] They’ve even got their own documentaries like “Iris”. The queen of the pack is, of course, Hilary. She’s got the stamina of a 25-year old which is what it takes to keep fighting, to keep staying in the ring. I have noticed an increase in the number of strong, strongly opinionated women in my demographic. I love it.

Skip ahead if you don’t want to hear another rant. As much as I admire the depth of knowledge and articulation of Michael Krasny and Terry Gross, too many of the people I know have grown dependent on them as a source of information. I am pretty tired of geezers who pretend to have original minds simply regurgitating what they heard on KQED today.

My great fava bean experiment is over. Told that the plants make excellent ground cover, we planted a couple of dozen. What I didn’t realize is that harvesting and then shelling the beans is slooow and painstaking. After all the labor and then eating them I realized that favas are basically flavor-free like a number of other current, bland foodie favorites including the inexplicably popular kale and vile, vinegary kamobocha. Our favas are all gone now, replaced by tomatoes, padrino peppers, lettuce, zucchini, cilantro and other old fogey favorites.

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