Shake, Rattle, & Roll

Shaken, not stirred

The Mmmoon and Vvvenus!

Mmmoving Dddown the Rrroad

It’s incredibly disconcerting to raise a forkful of food to one’s mouth, only to have most of it fall off due to the shaking brought on by essential tremors. Not actually complaining. After all, I’ve had a pretty damn good life, and this is really more like a speed bump.

Still, I’m really beginning to understand – viscerally – the phrase “Growing old is not for the faint-of-heart”. Neither am I asking for sympathy. I’m merely sharing something that comes to mind almost every time I eat, shave, or hold a glass of liquid. I recall it happening to my mother; now it’s happening to me.

As I round the last turn and head into the home stretch, the changes are fascinating and, as a Baby Boomer (born in 1947), soon many of you will be following along. So get your whip ready. The race is getting interesting and it’s going to take all you can muster to finish respectably. Thanks for listening to me bitch and moan.

About Rick Ladd

I retired nearly 13 years ago, though I've continued to work during most of the time since then. I'm hoping to return to work on the RS-25 rocket engine program (formerly the SSME) which will power our return to the moon. Mostly I'm just cruising, making the most of what time I have remaining. Although my time is nearly up, I still care deeply about the kind of world I'll be leaving to those who follow me and, to that end, I am devoted to seeing the forces of repression and authoritarianism are at least held at bay, if not crushed out of existence. I write about things that interest me and, as an eclectic soul, my interests run the gamut from science to spirituality, governance to economics, art and engineering. I'm hopeful one day my children will read what I've left behind. View all posts by Rick Ladd

6 responses to “Shake, Rattle, & Roll

  • In the Nick of Time, Siri to the Rescue | Systems Savvy

    […] used Swype quite a bit on my LG, but the shaking still made it a bit difficult to spell correctly . . . or even choose the correct word when I was […]


  • Say What? When Did That Happen? « Systems Savvy

    […] naive I had been. Clearly, wisdom was still a long way off. Each year now brings new challenges: Essential tremors, deteriorating vision, and a host of other areas in which I experience physical deterioration, the […]


  • All My Stuff Has Drop-Shadows « Systems Savvy

    […] . . . and it’s progression (or deterioration) as I age. I wrote about my experiences with essential tremors and, a short while ago, mentioned some issues I’m having with my eyes. As I was driving home […]


  • Can I See You Now? « Systems Savvy

    […] little while ago I wrote about one of the “interesting” challenges I’m facing as I grow older. I was reminded […]


  • Trisha Liu (@mor_trisha)

    Thanks for sharing this Rick. I witness this with my dad, he is 76. I think his preferred eating utensil is now a spoon. He is a retired machinist, accustomed to creating useful objects out of hunks of metal down to the millimeter. Still kickin’ and still fixin’ things! 🙂


    • Rick Ladd

      Hi Trisha – Always nice to hear from you in this venue. One of the interesting things is it doesn’t happen all the time; at least not yet. If your father is anything like me he finds ways to compensate, like resting his hand against something while taking a measurement or holding one hand with the other while shaving, etc. About a week ago I had to ream out a few dozen of these tiny little holes in the piping that carries the flame in my grill from the forward element to the middle and rear ones. I used a dental tool to do it and there wasn’t an easy way to stabilize my hand. There were times it took me a good 15 – 20 seconds of poking before I could manage to stick the tool into one of those damned little clogged orifices. What would have taken a few minutes a couple years ago ended up taking about 15 minutes. Does he experience things like that?

      Eating is an entirely different matter . . . because I loves my food. I still use hashi (chop sticks for my Hakkujin readers) with Asian cuisine, but picking up individual grains of rice or single peas is a bit more problematic. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be able to duplicate Zato Ichi’s feat of grabbing a fly mid-air. Dang! I also think I will be using a spoon far more frequently as time goes by. I’m thankful this is an annoyance and not an indicator of a more threatening underlying condition. It’s actually far more common than I realized when I was younger. Funny the things you pay attention to as you age :O\


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