brain


I am an old fogey.  3

And I ramble a lot.  4

That's what many old fogeys do. They ramble a lot.  5

People don't really care what old fogeys ramble about. Most people don't, anyway. Why should they? They want to do the talking themselves. They have opinions, often simply to impress us with. Old fogeys have opinions too, but who cares?  6

Opinions.  7

There is an old saying: The best helmsmen are found ashore.  8

But I am rambling.  9

I have a great-granddaughter. For four or five months I doubted I that would ever see her. Or him. But I did, thanks to Drs Labinaz and Al-Atassi at University of Ottawa's Heart Institute. Was given a choice: fifty percent chance I wouldn't live out another year, or get a tavi that could add years to my life. Take your pick. Easy.  10

I didn't even know what a tavi was. Now I do. It isn't tavi, but TAVI, transarterial valve implantation. Lousy English for a fascinating procedure. The good doctor Labinaz needed to check first if there was an artery clear enough to move a replacement for my heart's aortic valve through. Shortly after came the actual procedure: moving a cow's heart valve through the chosen vessel, then pushing out of the way the valve that had served me for 90 years to make room for its bovine counterpart.  11

Lots of people were involved. A cardiologist, a surgeon, an anaesthetist, and I don't know how many medical assistants specialized in this, that, or some other thing. All those people, along with other nurses and nurses' aids, and so on. Am I worth it?  12

How do we measure worth? Our senators are The Honourable so and so's. Our prime minister is The Right-Honourable Justin Trudeau. Our Governor-General is Her Exellency. Judges are well studded with titles. But doctors Labinaz and Al-Atassi only rate a mere "doctor."  13

How do we measure worth? And what about my cow?  14

I told you: I am an old fogey and I ramble a lot.  15

My grandson had a great idea. He wrote a letter to my great-granddaughter: "Merry Christmas. I am writing the morning of 24 December 2016. You've just woken up and are making some happy sounds at 7.49 am ...." She was barely two months old.  16

He told her that his presents were notebooks; for your parents, for your grandparents, and for your great-grandparents to write their responses to some 25 questions. He'd seal them away to make them a Christmas present for her when she turns 18.  17

What kind of questions? "If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?" "I wish I had someone with whom I could share ...." "Share an embarrassing moment in your life." "Is there an idea or belief you consider very important?" All of which made me wonder, continually wonder: What would her world be like?  18

I also ramble about the past. Quietly. In the privacy of my own mind. About things I should have done, but I didn't. Things I should have said, but I didn't. Words I should have chosen, but too late now. But mostly come to mind things I did that I shouldn't have done. Things I cannot undo. Regrets.  19

Old fogeys have regrets. Lots of regrets.  20

And I ramble about the future, about any good I might do, still might do, because I have family. Wife, children, grandchildren. And a great-granddaughter.  21

Maybe I better keep my rambling to myself, quietly. While doing a jigsaw puzzle or whatever.  22

The best helmsmen are found ashore. A quick foray on the Internet took me to a site named "Sea Quotes." Mine wasn't there. No wonder, it's a translation from Dutch. But it offered something from Mark Twain:  23

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."  24

A week or so ago, on the 15th of March, hundreds of thousands students from the South Pacific to the Arctic Circle skipped classes to demonstrate against the grandies of our world for their failure to combat climate change. "No jobs on a dead planet," read a headline, "Students around the world strike for more action on climate change." Said 16-year old Greta Turnberg, who started it all, "And you know who you are, you that have ignored this." She has been nominated for a Nobel Prize.  25

I also had read, more than once, that Donald Trump is eager to be so honored. Together with North Korea's Kim Jong-un. Why not?  26

How do we measure worth?  27

Will she ever read my notes? My nearly two-and-a-half-year-old great-granddaughter. Will she ever?  28

I must go now for a pee.  29

I pee a lot. Many old fogeys pee a lot.  30

And ramble a lot.  31

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