scratchIt is hard for me to get through more than a single verse of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” with my dignity intact. Being silly is work. Though I am a besotted first-time grandfather, there are challenges. The baby car seat we borrowed for our visiting granddaughter, for example, had 12 pages of installation instructions. Our local police department has an officer who helped set it up, but I needed further lessons from a baby consignment shop before the job was completed. 2.5 hours total. But just playing with our joyous quadruped as she crawled across the carpet was a bona fide delight. Not so much my getting up afterwards. Meals were a variation of the slow food movement as I watched her give herself avocado facials. I can’t wait until my granddaughter and I have an actual conversation (She is 16 months old) and she asks me things like why the sky is blue. (I will have to look that up.)

How are you sleeping lately? Everyone I know seems to be having trouble getting through the night and are looking for remedies beyond ExcedrinPM, chamomile tea and ambien with its potential for daytime disorientation. I attended Kaiser sleep clinics which encouraged eliminating afternoon naps and instead of trying to go back to sleep advised simply getting up and doing some reading or online shopping until fatigue overtakes you. It worked for two weeks. Meditation can be helpful in tamping down insomnia frustrations. Friends recommended an over-the-combination of 56 mg of Vitamin B6 with 250 mg of magnesium which I plan to try. You can sign up for pay-for-slumber sites like Since you have so much free time at night now you might as well get up and google “insomnia”. You will find 50 million results. Any Geezer readers have their own remedies?

That bizarre design George Lucas proposed for his art museum in the Presidio was not really necessary. We already have an empty building perfect for his purposes. It’s called the Palace of Fine Arts.

With the advent of climate change and really toasty summers in our non-a/c city why not give everyone opportunities to cool off by taking advantage of our steep streets and turning a few of them into water slides?

Is this the year male seniors stop wearing baseball caps? Will dapper straw fedoras replace them? Every time I doff one of those Italian chapeau I can’t help but think of the scene in “While We’re Young” where Ben Stiller is publicly outed for wearing a hat like this to prove his hipness.

You really want to travel in the summer? Just the thought of jammed airports and cramped planes with reduced mileage awards convinces me to remain right here. I am also resolved to stay off all freeways on weekends. Unless you travel at 3 in the morning it is madness north, south, east and west. If you are feeling restless take a cool, relaxing ferry somewhere. But be warned that on the Oakland-SF Ferry you can spend the whole trip inside the boat in a line waiting to buy tickets.

As you loll on your staycation the Geezer recommends Edward’s St.Aubyn’s darkly funny Patrick Marber novels. Just as risible is Mark Twain’s classic Puddin’head Wilson. I also suggest catching up on tv’s Halt and Catch Fire, a much fresher take on computer life than Silicon Valley. If you want to travel without buying tickets why not watch reruns of Bourdain’s No Reservations? And let us click on our remotes this August 6 to the final Jon Stewart broadcast. The guy is irreplaceable. Until the first week of September when Colbert makes his return.

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