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ELDER MUSIC: Roger McGough

INTERESTING STUFF – 25 January 2014

Of course, there are cats this week. And some important political notes along with, god help me, two items of bathroom humor. I couldn't help myself; they both made me laugh. See what you think.


In Bermuda, 90-year-old Johnny Barnes is known as Mr. Happy Man. For more than a decade, he's been greeting commuters every day with shouts of “How are you?” and “I love you.”

Bermudans love him back so much, they commissioned a statue of Johnny. Here's his story in video:

You can read more about Johnny Barnes here.


You probably know that a study released this week concludes that the 85 richest people in the world hold as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion (yes, BILLION) of the world's population combined. Here's what one rich man says about that:


For as long as I can remember, shuffleboard has been used as a demeaning shorthand to indicate that old people are boring. Apparently, young people now think differently even though reporter, Joshua David Stein, just had to wallow in the ageist cliché:

”Like the lido deck of some deluxe retirement home, 10 bright blue shuffleboard courts were lined up in a neat row, but instead of retirees, they were filled with 20- and 30-something players wielding sticks and pints of beer.

“The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, which opens next week, may be the first shuffleboard club in New York, and it’s trying to turn the pastime favored by septuagenarians into the next Ping-Pong among the borough’s barhopping millennials.”

Photos and more information here.


By now, pretty much everyone has seen the videos of the skateboarding dogs. But a skateboarding cat? Take a look at this. I don't know how the skateboard is powered but let's ignore that. The cat is amazing.


The Supreme Court's Citizen United ruling has decimated electoral politics in the U.S. No longer is there any way that grassroots organizations can compete with the gazilionaires who buy their own government representatives locally and federally.

There are people who are trying to change that and they need every one us. Please take the time to view this:

You'll find more about the work of Free Speech for People here. In addition, just yesterday Gallup published a new survey showing a record low number of voters say their Congressional representative deserves re-election – just 17 percent.

Perhaps that bodes well for the November election. Read more at Gallup.


Steve Rosenberg has been in Russia preparing to cover the Sochi Olympics for BBC News. Eventually, as happens to all of us, nature called:

"The cubicle in question was inside the Laura Cross Country Skiing and Biathlon Centre - brand new, and built, of course, for next month's Sochi winter games. I tracked down the Gents' and went in.

"It was pretty much as you'd expect things to be, really, in a little WC. There was a sink, some paper towels, but oddly enough there were two toilets where you'd expect just one - full sized lavatories, they were, side by side - and no partition down the middle."


Rosenberg continues:

"Equally strange, there was only one toilet paper dispenser - within reach of just one of the toilets. I didn't really know what to do. Which seat should I sit on? Was I allowed to sit on either of them? Or was this strictly a loo for two?"

You can read more of Rosenbergs story at the BBC News website. (Hat tip to Celia of Celia's Blue Cottage)


Posting this makes me feel juvenile, like a nine-year-old boy, but it makes me laugh anyway. As someone noted, however, it's worth posting because “a deer fart is like seeing a unicorn.”


elders for the high cost of Medicare, remind them of this report about Health Management Associates, a for-profit hospital chain based in Naples, Florida:

“Every day the scorecards went up where they could be seen by all of the hospital’s emergency room doctors.

“Physicians hitting the target to admit at least half of the patients over 65 years old who entered the emergency department were color-coded green. The names of doctors who were close were yellow. Failing physicians were red.”

The Justice Department has joined others in a lawsuit challenging these strategies by the company to inflate payments from Medicare and Medicaid.

There is a lot more of this going on and it's worth your while to read the well-reported story at The New York Times.


Short, cute and funny.

Oops. Video has been removed from YouTube. Bummer.

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” in the upper left corner of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I probably 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 have one.


Hi Ronni,
I enjoyed your article on shuffleboard and all the rest as well. Thank-you for helping to inform us of so many interesting things.

The skateboarding cat and Mr. Happy Man made my day. Thanks for giving me my happy boost.

How strange that the title of the cat video was "Ollie" (and Didga).

Every time I visit the doctor I feel as though I am perceived as an ATM machine with feet. I am relatively healthy and require little or no treatment from the doc. He checks my BP, listens to my heart, asks me how I feel as wishes me goodby. A couple of weeks later, Medicaid notifies me that they are paying him $275 for that 15 minute visit.
Did someone say "cash cow".

That cat video put a smile on my face that will last all day.

It would have been nice had someone representing the 3.5 billion people poorer than the richest 85 people had been sitting across from Mr. O'Leary and demonstrated how naive his view really is.

What's amazing about O'Leary's comment that this should be a celebratory revelation ignores the fact that more people were closer to the top wealthiest people a few decades ago. The disparity between the highest and lowest income earners has grown since then. How is today's situation celebratory for anyone other than the Kevin O'Leary's of this world?

I guess when you are that rich you can demonstrate your foolishness on TV. How sad. Loved everything else tho', as usual. Dee

Actually, that article on Congress says ".... a record-low percentage of registered voters, 46%, now say the U.S. representative in their own congressional district deserves re-election."

Then goes on to say," Equally historic, the share of voters saying most members of Congress deserve re-election has fallen to 17%, a new nadir."

Just for the record... :-)

We had a Mr. Happy Man here in Berkeley for many years, who would stand on his front steps and wave at all the commuters as they went by, saying, "Have a GOOD day!" Everybody knew about him and we all felt a big loss when he died. We called him the Waving man.

Two toilets? Maybe for number one and number two.

Johnny Barnes reminds me of Eiler Larsen, the "Laguna Greeter" of the 50s, who stood at the dead center of downtown Laguna Beach greeting passersby much like Johnny. They even made a statue of him.

Re: removing personhood from corporations...There is a group called "Move to Amend" that is working on just this issue. Support is needed.

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