Ronni Bennett's and John Oliver's Vacation

The two people in that headline, John Oliver and me, don't really have anything to do with each other except that I think he is a national treasure, and we are both taking some time off.

Last Sunday's episode of Oliver's HBO program, Last Week Tonight, was the last before the show takes a month's hiatus. Me too. Not a month like John, just the rest of this week (unless I decide on some more). But I will not leave you with empty web pages.

Oliver sometimes records short web-only essays when the show is off air and taking his lead, I am filling in with some items that require little time and effort on my part but are still worth your time.

Today, it is John Oliver's essay from last Sunday.

Sometimes things happen that make you wonder if computers are not just tracking our digital travels around the internet but that they are also capable of reading our minds right through the screen.

Last weekend, for unknown reasons – particularly since I have no children or grandchildren to worry about - charter schools came to mind. I understood pretty well how they operate, or are supposed to operate, but I also had a sense that they are big-time failures and ripoffs - for the parents and students, if not the for-profit operators.

I didn't know that for a fact so I made a note, a real note on a piece of paper at my desk, to look into those schools to see what's up with them.

Before I could do that, John Oliver's most recent program turned up in my inbox Monday morning on, amazingly, the topic of charter schools. That sure saved me a lot of work and anyway, he has a whole bunch of researchers and writers to do it. I don't, so I'll let him take it from here with the brutal truth of what I suspected.

A new installment of Interesting Stuff will be in this space on Saturday as usual, but be sure to tune in on Friday too for an excellent story you are certain to enjoy.


Good and Bad “Entitlement” News From Congress and Trump World

Good News on Medicare Observation Status

Many readers have emailed about this issue - one that is boring to read about but crucial to understand. First, a short background:

Medicare Observation Status has been a frightful bugaboo for beneficiaries for years. Patients can be treated in hospitals under “observation status” - often for days – without being formally “admitted.”

Hospitals do this, explains Robert Pear in The New York Times, “for fear of being penalized by Medicare for inappropriate admissions.”

What it means for patients is that they become liable for substantial hospital bills and nursing home care. Medicare payment requires three consecutive days of admission as an inpatient. As Pear tells us:

“Time spent under observation does not count toward the three days, even though the patient may spend five or six nights in a hospital bed and receive extensive hospital services, including tests, treatment and medications ordered by a doctor.”

The good news is that on Saturday, 6 August 2016, a new Medicare law went into effect. Named the NOTICE Act, it

”...requires hospitals to notify patients that they may incur huge out-of-pocket costs if they stay more than 24 hours without being formally admitted...

"Under the new law, the notice must be provided to 'each individual who receives observation services as an outpatient at a hospital for more than 24 hours.' Medicare officials estimate that hospitals will have to issue 1.4 million notices a year.” [emphasis is mine]

Notification will begin in January and as positive as that is, it still falls far short of protecting elders from life-crushing costs because hospitals can still keep patients under observation status as long as they notify them.

Like me, you may wonder how notification is possible if, for example, a patient arrives at a hospital in pain, bleeding or even unconscious. If I were in dire physical condition, I'm fairly certain I'd nod agreement to pretty much anything to get some relief and treatment.

Judith A. Stein, the executive director of the non-profit Center for Medicare Advocacy, agrees. She says this new law is a good first step but does not go nearly far enough.

To that end, another bipartisan bill is under consideration in Congress. Pear of The Times again explains for us:

”Twenty-four senators and more than 120 House members are supporting bipartisan legislation to address that concern. Under that bill, time in a hospital under observation would count toward the three-day inpatient stay required for Medicare coverage of nursing home care.”

When Congress returns, we will keep an eye on how that legislation is moving forward although it would not be a surprise if it stagnates until the new Congress is sworn in next January.

TRUMP BAD NEWS

Republican nominee Donald Trump has several times said he would, as president, leave Social Security and Medicare as they are.

That is not really good enough but it is a step forward from the opponents he defeated in the primaries who all wanted to cut “entitlements,” as Republicans always do.

One morning last week, 16 August to be precise, MSNBC was droning in the background as I caught up with email.

Host Stephanie Ruhle was speaking with a former Navy Seal and current Trump surrogate, Carlie Higbie, about Trump's call for “extreme vetting” of immigrants, what the phrase means and how it would be carried out.

As Higbie explained it, our current law enforcement agencies are incapable of vetting immigrants and the country needs a commission of experts to find the kind of people who can do extreme vetting.

Here is the transcript from that point [emphasis is mine].

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Who are these people that aren't currently doing it for us?

CARL HIGBIE: What we will have to do is you have to look outside of the law enforcement agencies that we have that our hands are tied so tightly they're worried about being profiled, you know, being called a radical or any type of profile, that we need to bring people in here, intelligent people from the private sector that understand this threat and that can actually operate without the fear of bureaucracy.

SR: But, Carl, what are you gonna pay them with? Donald Trump at the same time has made it very clear he's going to reduce our debt. If you're looking to get experts from the private sector, these boys and girls get paid a lot of money.

CH: They do. But you know what? There's plenty other places to cut. If we're expanding our vetting process here, we probably can get border security somewhere else. We can probably cut a number of federal programs. I mean, heck, we give trillions of dollars away in entitlements every year. We can cut some of those.

Well, heck, why not get rid of those pesky “entitlements” - you know, Social Security and Medicare that recipients paid into all their working lives? Just dump them.

Do we think Mr. Higbie is speaking for Donald Trump? I haven't paid close attention to this idea, but do surrogates lay out policy positions that candidates' don't want to say out loud themselves?

As long as Mr. Higbie is being described publicly as a Trump surrogate, I'm going to assume he speaks for Donald Trump. What about you?

(You can watch the exchange between Ruhle and Higbie here.)


ELDER MUSIC: Top 10 Jazz Albums

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

As with my previous Top 10, my criterion is a single album per artist although I rather stretch that somewhat today (almost to breaking point, some might say) as will be seen later.

This is a purely subjective list and I can't imagine anyone else's being the same (although there could be several in common). These tend to be older albums, ones I remember from when I was young.

I'm sure I could compile a column from more recent albums, and I might do that some time.

THELONIOUS MONK is THE bebop pianist.

Monk-Dream

He is represented by "Monk's Dream" but also "Criss-Cross" and others could be considered. A lot of others. But from Monk's Dream here is the title track.

♫ Thelonious Monk - Monk's Dream


MILES DAVIS could fill in the top 10 all on his own.

Miles-Someday

Naturally, "Kind of Blue" has to be present. I would also include "Someday My Prince Will Come", "Sketches of Spain", "In a Silent Way", "Bags' Groove", "Milestones" and his rock & roll album "A Tribute to Jack Johnson". Many more could also be considered.

Although I recognise that "Kind of Blue" is the great jazz album, I've decided to go for the very first Miles album I ever owned, and that is "Someday My Prince Will Come" and I'll go with the title track. Coltrane is present as he is further down.

♫ Miles Davis - Someday My Prince Will Come


My favorite JOHN COLTRANE album remains "Live at the Village Vanguard.”

Coltrane-Village

This has been released in several versions over the years from the initial single album to a later double album release. Then various CD versions until it finally saw the light of day in a terrific 4 CD set of his complete 4 day stay at the venue.

Complete-ists like me had to have that one, of course. The track I've chosen is rather long, but that pretty much goes without saying. There's a quote in Miles's autobiography where he says something along the lines of, "John, not every tune has to be two hours long.”

This isn't quite that long, it's called Spiritual.

♫ John Coltrane - Spiritual


The DAVE BRUBECK QUARTET is present with their best known album, the second biggest selling album in jazz history, "Time Out.” Miles pipped them.

Brubeck-Time

I will also suggest "Time Further Out", "Time Changes", "Son of Time Out" and "Grandson of Time Out" (okay, I made up those last two). Several others deserve to be included as well.

Here is one of the lesser known tracks from the album, called Kathy's Waltz.

♫ Dave Brubeck - Kathy's Waltz


It was difficult to decide whether to have a vocal or instrumental album from CHET BAKER.

Baker-Chet

Either would be acceptable but I've gone for the all instrumental album "Chet". This shows off his considerable melodic skill playing the trumpet. It also has Pepper Adams on baritone saxophone sounding awfully like Gerry Mulligan.

Chet's tune is If You Could See Me Now.

♫ Chet Baker - If You Could See Me Now


I played Coltrane earlier, but he's here under a different guise when he made an album with JOHNNY HARTMAN.

Hartman-Coltrane

It's hard to imagine anyone who had a better singing voice than Johnny. It's not too surprising as he was classically trained as a singer but like many who did the same he turned to jazz.

Speaking of classics, this album certainly was one, and from it we have the Lush Life.

♫ Johnny Hartman - Lush Life


While we're on a Coltrane kick, here's another album he made with one of the greatest musicians in the business, DUKE ELLINGTON.

Ellington-Coltrane

This is such a fine album I wish they'd done another but as far as I know they didn't. With all the complete releases that the record companies come out with these days, it's probably all there is. Oh well, let's be happy they made this one.

The tune I've selected is In a Sentimental Mood, written by Duke way back in 1935. It was turned into a song when Marty Kurtz wrote some words for it, but it's just the tune today.

♫ Coltrane & Ellington - In a Sentimental Mood


BILL EVANS was yet another jazz muso who was classically trained. In his case it was the piano.

Evans-Waltz

Bill first came to my notice as the piano player on Miles's "Kind of Blue" album. Miles held him in high regard and built a number of his tunes around Bill's playing.

When Bill left Miles, he mostly played as a trio with bass and drums accompanying him. From his most popular and best selling album "Waltz For Debby" this is the title tune.

However, this isn't the version on the vinyl release; when the CD came out there were extras and this is one that I prefer to the original.

♫ Bill Evans - Waltz For Debby (Take 1)


I discovered this album by MEL TORMÉ because the track I've chosen was played quite often on the jazz program on radio station 3XY here in Melbourne back in the sixties.

Torme-Red

I didn't ever have a vinyl copy of the album (but I discovered that Norma, the Assistant Musicologist did). However, I have it on CD. The album is "Mel Tormé at the Red Hill". The track is Mountain Greenery.

♫ Mel Tormé - Mountain Greenery


I only had one album by GERRY MULLIGAN when I was growing up and that was "Jeru".

Mulligan-Jeru

This album came after the fine work he did in his original quartet with Chet Baker. I've since acquired a multi-CD set of those and they're terrific but my rule is original albums (The A.M. thinks I'm too inflexible, but I like to follow my own rules. That is, until I don't).

The track from "Jeru" is Blue Boy, and it has Tommy Flannagan playing some nice piano on it.

♫ Gerry Mulligan - Blue Boy


INTERESTING STUFF – 20 August 2016

THEY'RE KIDDING, RIGHT?

Think about this as you watch: Someone, probably stoned out of his mind one evening, thought this up. But instead of having a laugh the next morning over the silliness of weed-induced ideas, he ran with it and, apparently, thinks it's a moneymaker. It is called Toasteroid.

There is a Kickstarter campaign to raise $150,000 dollars of which $109,000 has been raised with a month to go. Shipment is expected in July 2017. You can read more here but -

They're kidding, right?

LOUIS BLACK ON LARRY WILMORE

As you probably know by now, Comedy Central cancelled Larry Wilmore's Nightly Show. Thursday was the final episode but on Wednesday night, one of my top three or four favorite comedians, Louis Black, sat down with Larry's panel. They discussed the presidential campaign.

(Be patient – the video takes a few seconds to load.)

And then, THEN - on Wilmore's final show Thursday, John Stewart showed up for a heartfelt send-off. Take a look:

We need Larry Wilmore and I hope he will settle somewhere new with as much success as John Oliver is having now after, like Wilmore, his many years in a supporting role at The Daily Show. John Stewart is returning to television on HBO in the fall.

RETIREM-ANT AIN'T ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE

This item is from the Sydney Morning Herald via TGB Elder Music columnist Peter Tibbles. Here, in part, is how the story begins:

”Up on the fifth shelf of the kitchen pantry, in the back corner where all the sweet stuff was kept, a team of ants were hard at work. They were the 18th Workers' Division of the Sugar, Syrup and Jam Foragers (Nightshift Unit H)...

“One ant was working particularly hard: her name was Trish and she was scraping crystalised sugar from the rim of a Golden Syrup jar – a highly specialised task known as Golden Rimming.

“It was tough, thorax-breaking work, and suddenly she stopped, rested her aching pincers, and thought, 'This is ridiculous. I'm 65 days old today! I'm entering the twilight days of my 90-day lifespan and I'm getting tired. But as a sterile female ant, I'm supposed to keep working until the day I drop dead and my fallen corpse gets eaten by my cannibalistic compatriots.

“'Sophisticated ant society? – my posterior rectal hindgut!'”

Go read the whole thing here. It's not long and it is a delightful story written by Danny Katz.

DEADLIEST GARDEN IN THE WORLD

The YouTube page expains:

”Locked behind black steel doors in Northumberland, England, the Poison Garden at Alnwick Castle grows around 100 infamous killers. From deadly nightshade to hemlock, the only way a plant can take root in this garden is if it is lethal to humans.

“Created by the Duchess of Northumberland, this is one garden where you won't want to stop and smell the flowers.”

Wikipedia has a long list of poisonous plants.

YO-YO MASTER

Yo-yo tricks have come a long way since I was kid. As the YouTube page explains,

”Ben Conde is a professional competitor in offstring yo-yo and has been practicing yo-yo tricks since he was four years old. See how this trick master prepares for a global competition.”

JOHN OLIVER – USED CAR SALESMEN

Auto lenders can steer vulnerable people into crushing debt and there are business news stories lately worrying that car loans have become as toxic and dangerous as the housing market was before the crash of 2008.

On his HBO program, Last Week Tonight last Sunday, John Oliver invited Keegan-Michael Key and Bob Balaban to help him show how that has come to be and at the end – they give us what a used-car dealer’s TV commercial might look like if a little honesty were thrown in.

DESERT LAGOON WITH A LOVELY LEGEND

Amid the rolling sand dunes of a Peruvian desert, an oasis with a magical backstory. Let's let the video explain:

TWO U.S. OLYMPIANS BACK TO BACK

Just to show that Olympians come in all sizes. These are volleyball player David Lee and acclaimed gymnast, Simone Biles, back to back:

SimoneBilesDavidLee2

NOT YOUR AVERAGE SQUIRREL VIDEO

This is great. It's real. The squirrel stole the GoPro camera and turned in a video that is the envy of many a human photographer.

It is from Viva Frei who explains that his YouTube channel started as something else and and became “an outlet for me make funny videos, and to do fun, crazy, zany, and occasionally helpful things.” Enjoy.

* * *

Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.

You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” at the top of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog IF you include the name of the blog and its URL.


Does Ageism Contribute to Donald Trump's Appeal?

As I have explained here in the past, I didn't know 20 years ago when I began studying ageing that I would become an advocate for elders. A large part of what led me to that is ageism – what the late geriatrician who coined the term, Robert N. Butler, described in his foreward to the Encyclopedia of Ageism as being “pervasive, gross and subtle, and omnipresent.”

”It is found in the reduced delivery of services,” he continued, “time limits to mortgages, depiction in the media and by Madison Avenue, poor nursing homes, passed over promotion, and other prejudices in the workplace.

“Age discrimination is present in our language and even in our families.”

Earlier this week, I ran across a short essay at Daily Kos written by someone identified only as Soprano who thinks ageism has a lot to do with Donald Trump's popularity among baby boomer men. Let him explain:

They (“We” I should say; I’m 64) have changed our society as we have gotten older, to our advantage.

“We’ve hit a wall, though. America’s love of youth. Notice how the elder members of any cast on t.v. are, at the most, in their 40s, usually in their 30s. Models for clothing advertisements are almost always young — not too many models of my age and size out there.

“Even AARP has embraced youth; now, their magazines are full of people in their 50s, not so much with older folks.

“The articles addressed towards them are usually about how they are falling apart and need help; not so much about the positives of growing older (and yes, there are positives). People over 70 are pitiful victims, doncha know?”

Soprano goes on to explain that he thinks this is why Trump supporters, mostly men in their 60s and 70s, are so irate. It is not the economy or immigration that has made them true believers so much as it is the cultural attack on their self-esteem.

”They have been emasculated,” Soprano continues, “and like little children, are throwing temper tantrums because no one is paying attention to them anymore.”

Soprano blames the predicament these men find themselves in on media in particular and society in general that are geared only toward young people (“We have sacrificed the wisdom of our elderly for the beauty of youth.”)

The prestige and power these men had in their middle years has been snatched away, says Soprano, and

”They don’t know where to lash out because of this societal problem.

“The real answer lies somewhere in giving these people their autonomy back and helping them find a sense of purpose. People who only worry...about themselves will never be happy people.

“Oh, and god forbid, if a WOMAN were to be elected President, that would just send them over the edge.”

I think there is some merit to this explanation – at least, in part. Boomers ruled the American world for so long – all the media told us so again and again – and none of them ever believed it would end.

What do you think?


Happy Birthday, Millie Garfield

91 Rocks

My oldest friend on the internet, Millie Garfield, is rockin' 91 years today. Well, her actual birthday is tomorrow, Thursday, but I publish on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so we'll just have to celebrate for two days.

Millie began blogging in 2003, even before I started, and although she isn't doing as much of that lately, there is plenty of rich content to explore at her My Mom's Blog.

For a long time, Millie's son, Steve, produced two video series with Millie for her blog: I Can't Open It and Millie's Yiddish Class.

Here's a sample of I Can't Open It - which most of us old folks can relate to and it's is also a great example of Millie's infectious laugh:

And here is one of Millie's Yiddish videos:

Millie is still teaching Yiddish – now with fellow residents at Brooksby Village in Massachusetts where she has lived since 2012. To help you keep up, here's how to say Happy Birthday, Millie in Yiddish:

A Freilekhn Geburtsog, Matel.

Many of us, when we were kids, played Pin the Tail on the Donkey at our birthday parties. Last year on Millie's birthday here, we played an age game – adding up the number of all our years to see what our cumulative total is. Let's try it again this year.

Take Millie's years, 91. Add my years, 75, and we've got 166. Now, the next one of you, in the comments, should add your age to that, then the next of you add to that total and then the next and so on.

Of course, because more than one will comment at a time, the total will get all screwed up – but that's part of the fun at birthday parties, just being silly. Last year, the final count was 6,414. Let's see if we can outdo that this year.

So, Millie – know that I treasure our friendship, it is a privilege to know you and I wish you a rockin' great 91st birthday. Oh, and here are a few of your favorite flower – actually about a billion of them.

Sunflowers 12

Birthday greetings for Millie can also be left at her blog.


A TGB EXTRA: Good News About Social Security...

...and you helped make it happen.

Remember two weeks ago when I told you about a new requirement at the Social Security website? Here it is as explained in an email from that federal agency [emphasis is mine]:

When you sign in at ssa.gov/myaccount with your username and password, we will ask you to add your text-enabled cell phone number."

Because only 27 percent of people 65 and older own cell phones, this was idiotic; it locked millions of people out of their own information. I gave you a couple of email addresses where you could send your objections, including the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging.

Now look at what has happened.

Yesterday, a press release arrived from that Committee. Let me quote some of it to you – again, the emphasis is mine:

”Following efforts from U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Claire McCaskill, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee, seniors will once again be able to access their Social Security accounts online without needing to have a cell phone.

“Senators Collins and McCaskill sent a letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) last week urging immediate action to roll back a new policy that required text message authentication for seniors to access their “my Social Security” account online.

“While noting the need for enhanced security, Senators Collins and McCaskill were concerned that using text message authentication as the only means of guaranteeing an individual’s access to their account put an undue burden on seniors, many of whom do not own a cell phone.

“Following the letter from Collins and McCaskill, as well as feedback from customers around the country, the SSA announced it is rolling back the policy that would have limited access for some users."

Just two weeks from implementation of a bureaucratic folly to resolution. When was the last time, I wonder, the federal government worked this quickly.

You can read the letter Senators McCaskill and Collins sent to the the acting director of Social Security here [pdf]. And here is the pertinent blog post at the Social Security website.

If you are one of the people who wrote letters, take a bow. Sometimes, now and then, occasionally and once in awhile speaking up works.

It matters not that this was an easy one for the Committee. Far less goes undone in Washington for years at a time. Hurray for us.


Getting Elder Sex Out of the Closet

One of the pleasures of writing this blog for so many years - more than a dozen so far - is watching how issues affecting elders sometimes get better.

When I began doing this, the general attitude toward old people having sex was “ick” and in fact, nursing, assisted living and other care homes had rules against sex between residents - even, sometimes, married couples.

Those rules have been widely relaxed in recent years, but I recently ran across this report about how such personal rights of residents in some assisted living residences are restricted:

”...these facilities share a mission of providing a homelike environment that emphasizes consumer choice, autonomy, privacy and control” reports Medical News Today of the research done in several care homes in Georgia...

“The study found that staff and administrators affirmed that residents had rights to sexual and intimate behavior, but they provided justifications for exceptions and engaged in strategies that created an environment of surveillance, which discouraged and prevented sexual and intimate behavior.”

Contrast that to a well-known care home in New York City, that has had a rational, life-giving, respectful attitude toward the sexual desires of its residents for more than 20 years. As Bloomberg News reported it in 2013:

”'The nurse was frantic,” as Gruley relates the story. “She’d just seen two elderly people having sex in a room at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, New York. She asked Daniel A. Reingold, then the home’s executive vice president, what she should do.

“'Tiptoe out and close the door so you don’t disturb them,' he told her.

“In 1995, the home adopted a four-page policy - considered the first of its kind - stating that residents 'have the right to seek out and engage in sexual expression,' including 'words, gestures, movements or activities which appear motivated by the desire for sexual gratification.'”

Notwithstanding complications in such a policy that must be addressed for people with varying degrees of cognitive difficulty, having anything less than a policy closely resembling the one at the Hebrew Home not only breaches elders' human rights, it infantilizes them.

It takes a long time for long-held beliefs to change (see civil rights, women's rights, religious bigotry, etc. etc.) and although I can't be sure, reports of repression of sexual activity in assisted living seems to be declining fairly quickly now.

A recent story in The New York Times reveals that the Hebrew Home has further expanded its liberal attitude toward sex among residents:

”The Hebrew Home has stepped up efforts to help residents looking for relationships. Staff members have organized a happy hour and a senior prom, and started a dating service, called G-Date, for Grandparent Date. Currently, about 40 of the 870 residents are involved in a relationship.”

You can read the Hebrew Home's now six-page Residents Sexual Rights policies and procedures here [pdf].

The Hebrew Home has been ahead of many others on the issue of residents' sexual rights but stories like this one about a recently released research study of 6,800 people age 50 to 89, from Coventry University in the U.K., can help change even more minds:

”In our analysis, we took into account many factors that might influence either sexual activity or cognition – age, education, wealth, levels of physical activity, cohabiting status, general health, depression, loneliness and quality of life.

“Even after adjusting for all of these factors statistically, we established that there is indeed an association between sexual activity and higher scores on tests of cognitive function in people over the age of 50 years.”

Obviously, the next question is whether sex improves brain power or vice versa. Either way, it couldn't be a bad thing.

Sometimes it appears that the business and creative communities are ahead of science. There is a growing number of movies about love between old people, including sex scenes. I wrote about some of them last year that you can find it here.

The website Stitch has been helping elders find love - or just companionship and new friends - for two years now, and there is a movie from 2015, The Age of Love, about an evening of speed dating that was held in Rochester, New York, exclusively for people age 70 to 90. As the producers explain:

”Faced with feelings 'even our own kids never ask about,' each dater’s intimate confessions blend with revealing vérité to shed light on the intense and complex feelings that still lurk behind wrinkled skin and thinning hair.”

Here is the trailer:

The Age of Love is not playing in theaters but there is a list of about two dozen screenings in cities throughout the U.S. at the film's website along with a page where you can find out how to host a screening in your area.

Undoubtedly, there are young people who still don't want to know anything at all about old people having sex (ewww!) and that's fine. They will be glad when they're our age that our generation helped make it okay for them to be sexy.


ELDER MUSIC: Australian Favorites - Mozart (10-1)

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

As I mentioned in the countdown from 20 to 11, Australia's ABC Classical station had a listeners' poll on their favorite Mozart works. These are the top guns, the big kahunas, so counting down from 10 to 1.

Mozart

10. Exsultate Jubilate K165 – Allelujah
Wolfie didn't write many motets; this would be the best known of them. It was written for a castrato but as there are few of those around anymore, a soprano usually takes over.

In this case it's MARGARET MARSHALL with the Allelujah.

Margaret Marshall

♫ Exsultate Jubilate K165 - Allelujah


9. Piano Concerto No.23 in A K488 – Adagio
The first of two piano concertos today. This was written about the time he wrote the “Marriage of Figaro.” It was part of a subscription concert where Wolfie played the piano at the premiere of the concerto. Here is the second movement.

Piano Concerto N° 23 ~ II. Adagio


8. Serenade 'Gran Partita' in B flat K361 – Adagio
The Serenade number 10 has gained the nickname "Gran Patita", although Wolfie didn't call it that and it's misspelt anyway. There are seven movements but we're not going to sit through them all, just the third.

♫ Serenade No. 10 KV 361 ~ Gran Partita - Adagio


7. The Magic Flute K620 - Der Hölle Rache kocht
The Flute was the second last opera Wolfie wrote. At this time he was seriously involved in the local opera company and he wrote this one for them. He also conducted the first performance.

Emanuel Schikaneder, who wrote the words for the opera, played Papageno in that first production. Wolfie took note of the skills of the singers on offer and tailored the music to suit them.

The singer who performed the Queen of the Night (Josepha Hofer, Wolfie's sister-in-law) must have been a prodigious talent as performers since have complained about the difficulty of the role. LUCIANA SERRA plays the Queen here with Der Hoelle Rache.

Luciana Serra

♫ The Magic Flute - Der Hoelle Rache


6. Vesperae solennes de confessore K339 - Laudate Dominum
The complete work was composed for liturgical use in the Salzburg Cathedral. However, Laudate Dominum, the fifth movement of this work, is often performed as a stand-alone piece for soprano and choir.

I swoon for we have both Mozart's music and CECILIA BARTOLI to perform it.

Cecilia Bartoli

♫ Vesperae solennes de confessore K339 - Laudate Dominum


We had a bit from the Requiem last week and here is another. As I mentioned then, Wolfie didn't complete this work but this was another that is undeniably his, Lacrymosa or A Day of Tears.

♫ Requiem K626 - Lacrymosa (A Day Of Tears)


4. Così fan tutte K588 - Soave sia il vento
Così is a favorite of opera goers and is often performed. I had another singer pencilled in for singing this but I did a further search of my music and found CECILIA BARTOLI performing it.

Cecilia Bartoli

Naturally, she gets the guernsey today (or any day). Lella Cuberli and John Tomlinson lend a hand (or a vocal cord) with Soave sia il vento.

♫ Così fan tutte K588 - Soave sia il vento


3. Piano Concerto No.21 in C K467 – Andante
This piano concerto became very well known after it was featured in the film "Elvira Madigan". I'm rather ambivalent about classical music in films but when they play it straight it's not too bad.

Sorry, that's sounds as if I'm up myself, forget I said that. The second movement.

♫ Piano Concerto N° 21 ~ II. Andante


2. Ave Verum Corpus K618
I wasn't familiar with the Ave Verum Corpus before I wrote this column although I had it in my big box set of everything Mozart wrote (there's a lot of music in those CDs, and it takes a long while to listen to them all).

It was written very late in his life and it sounds to me very reminiscent of his not too much later Requiem.

♫ Ave Verum Corpus


1. Clarinet Concerto in A K622 – Adagio
For once, I'm in complete agreement with the voting masses - well those masses who listen to Oz classical music radio. The Clarinet Concerto is the most beautiful piece of music ever written, and the second movement the jewel in the crown of the composition.

This was the last piece of music that Wolfie completed, the Requiem (above) was not finished. Just sit back and take this in.

♫ Clarinet Concerto in A Major KV 622 - Adagio


INTERESTING STUFF – 13 August 2016

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Today's Interesting Stuff is long on animals – all but two items. I didn't plan it that way but there just were a lot of them this week so why not go with it.

Enjoy.

* * *

CLEVER DOG

Not all dogs like water. This one lost his tennis ball in the swimming pool. What to do, what to do when you don't want to get wet?

Take a look:

BABY OWLS

Sunday TGB music columnist Peter Tibbles sent this one. From the YouTube page:

”Watch as a family of three adorable owls curiously investigate a GoPro camera left running outside of their tree hole home. Credit to Sebastien Barrio.”

A PUPPY FOLLOWS A MARATHONER FOR 77 MILES

Dion Leonard is an extreme marathoner who, earlier this year, was participating in the seven-day 4 Deserts Race Series in China when this happened:

“'At the start of day two, Gobi [named for the desert] was on the start line next to me looking up at me,' Leonard told The Independent. 'I didn’t speak much to her that day thinking she wouldn’t stay with me, but at the finish line she followed me into the tent and we slept next to each other. That was it then.'”

Gobi Desert

Gobi had followed Leonard for 77 miles and he decided to adopt her but there was a glitch:

”Mr Leonard set up the crowdfunding page to raise funds towards organising for Gobi to be transported from China to live with him in Scotland.

“The process will take up to four months and cost £5,000, with the dog having to be medically checked and quarantined before she can be cleared for entry.”

Leave it to the internet to help. The funding page has raised three-and-a-half times the goal and Leonard says he will “spend any leftover money on a dog shelter charity or dog rescue facility.”

Gobi End of Race

Gobi's Facebook page is well visited as she waits release from quarantine.

THE DUCK SQUAD

This is great. Wait till you see this. As the YouTube page explains:

”They’re short, they waddle, and they’re coming to eat the snails. Meet the quack squad, nature’s very own pest control.

“Every morning, duck farmer Denzel Metthys releases over 1,000 Indian Runner ducks on the Vergenoegd Winery in South Africa. Trained to march in a long line en route to the vineyard, these ducks mean business.”

THE WORLD'S BIGGEST ASSHOLE

Now don't go getting all upset about that headline – just give it a moment. This the oddest public service announcement I've ever seen but it sure got my attention.

The link at the end of the video goes to a real organ donation registration website, registerme.org.

REPAIRING AN ICONIC GLOBAL LANDMARK

Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York the Statue of Liberty, San Francisco the Golden Gate Bridge. And Rio de Janiero, where billions of pairs of eyes are trained these two weeks for the Olympics, has Christ the Redeemer statue high up on a hill.

When lightning damaged the statue a few years ago, repairs had to me made. Here is a video about that (if heights are a bother, you may want to skip this).

There is more to read about the repair here.

THE CAT OLYMPICS

First this week, Peter Tibbles sent a story about an imaginary Pet Olympics as animals would devise the games, "reported" in The Mercury News:

”Any pet can compete in track and field, but one special event will be reserved for small dogs only - the Ego Vault. In this event, a small dog will go for the gold by challenging larger dogs, heavyset cats and imaginary monsters, showing off their ferocity. Biting is not allowed, but barking and growling are permitted.”

Then, this feline Olympics video turned up in my inbox from Furball Fables.

”Every 4 years Cathletes from nations world wide compete in a test of strength and prowless in the Cat Olympics!” explains the YouTube page.

“The Furball kitties are taking part in the games for the US team. The pressure is on for these American mewcomers, they are cute, but can they win the gold? How pawsome can they be? Dreams can come true! Winners believe in greatness! Hear them roar! Celebrating the Summer Cat Games 2016!”

PIPING PLOVER BABIES

In this short, little video, the kiddies just want to keep warm but it gets crowded under Mom whose patience is tested. Thank TGB reader Ruth-Ellen B. Joeres for this.

DOLPHIN SNATCHES IPAD

Caught on video at Seaworld: a dolphin snatches an iPad right out of a woman's hand. And then he (she?) splashes the spectators and seems almost giddy (can a dolphin be giddy?) at the success of his/her game.

THE PERFECT COUPLE

This turned up on Buzzfeed. It makes me laugh but it's kind of sweet, too.

BeardedDragonToy

* * *

Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.

You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” at the top of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog IF you include the name of the blog and its URL.