Rick Millians

Rick Millians

Signs I'm getting older:

  • I've still got an AOL email account. Why? Because I don't want to have to learn a new password.
  • I talk to our dogs like they are people. (Wait, maybe I've been doing that for a long time. Am I nuts?)
  • I never stay up to watch the end of a night football game. Did Clemson or Notre Dame win that game last Saturday?
  • In fact, it's a good thing "Jeopardy" comes on at 7:30. Anything on TV after 8 p.m., I might fall asleep.  (By the way, I'll sure miss longtime "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek. Like Joe Friday used to say on “Dragnet," Just the facts, ma'am." In a time when alternative facts reign, it was nice to watch a host that dealt only in real facts.)
  • On the channels we watch, Tom Selleck and Joe Namath sure seem to appear in a lot of commercials. Selleck makes reverse mortgages sound as simple as buying a loaf of bread. And who would have thought that Broadway Joe, the boozin', lady-chasin' star quarterback of days gone by, would be hawking a Medicare coverage hotline?
  • I think "Andy Griffith" is the best show on TV. But I saw an episode of "Leave It to Beaver" the other day, and I've got to admit it was pretty darn good, except for June Cleaver wearing those heels and pearls all the time.
  • I read AARP Magazine (and AARP Bulletin). Where else can you get this kind of information: When shopping for groceries, households headed by people 65 and older spend an average of $14 a month on pork. Do they spend more or less than that amount on chicken? I said, more. But the answer is less ($12 a month).
  • I get a Medicare & You 2021 booklet (The official U.S. government Medicare handbook!) in the mail, but I still don't know what Medigap means. 
  • And this time of the year, I also get mail from every Medicare supplemental plan in the country. Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Humana, Wellcare, you name it. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield people are kind enough to provide a "Myths vs. Facts" guide. 
  • I used to think Plan D was Stetson Bennett IV playing quarterback for Georgia. Now I know it's a prescription drug plan. 
  • I don't have or need a handicapped parking sticker, but I sure seem to be parking closer to the grocery store these days, even if I have to circle a few times.
  • I talk to people about joint replacement surgery. "I had a hip replacement, but I hear knee replacements are a lot worse," I'll say. 
  • I once said the University of South Carolina was making a big mistake in hiring Steve Spurrier as its head football coach because Spurrier was over the hill at 60. Wrong. He was great for a decade. At age 70, he really was over the hill when he quit recruiting good players.
  • I need bifocals.
  • I've gained 10 pounds since I retired.
  • I go to a lot more doctor's appointments. They all want you to use something called a Patient Portal. Another user name and password I'll have to remember.
  • Carol Burnett is still funny at age 87.
  • Raquel Welch at 80 and Sophia Loren at 86 still look good.
  • Tom Brady is still a pretty darn good quarterback at 43.
  • After lunch, I'm generally ready to take a nap. A 15-minute power nap — sitting in a chair — works for me. Anything longer gives me a headache. 
  • I like to go to church service and see a choir. If I wanted to listen to a band, I'd go to a bar. 
  • I like to read the "Today in History" column in the newspaper so I can say, "Oh yeah, I remember that."
  • And I like to read the "Today's Birthdays" list in the paper. Look at that, sports announcer Al Michaels ("Do you believe in miracles?") is 76. Who knew?
  • I like to play bridge (and canasta).
  • And I still like to read newspapers, and say: "They don't make 'em like they used to."
  • But I love it when breaking news pops up on my phone, or when I can get up the next morning and instantly find the score of the late-night game I couldn't stay up to watch.

Even an old dog can learn new tricks.

Rick Millians, a 1970 Baldwin High graduate, worked at newspapers in Georgia, Ohio and South Carolina before retiring. Reach him at rdmillians@aol.com.

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