There's a New Octogenarian on the Block
ELDER MUSIC: Linda Ronstadt (The A.M.'s Choice)

INTERESTING STUFF – 15 August 2015

RETIREMENT HOME FOR ELDER PETS

Undoubtedly this is not a unique idea; there are probably other similar projects all around the U.S., maybe the world. But it is such a good idea, such a selfless one, so worth supporting, replicating and perpetuating.

You can find out more about House with a Heart at the website.

TOO OLD FOR THIS

There appeared last week in The New York Times, what the newspaper calls a “first person” article. Doctafil of Jive Chalkin' alerted me to it.

It is titled “I'm Too Old for This” written by a woman named Dominique Browning, the senior director of Moms Clean Air Force. It is a compelling column that starts out like this:

”There is a lot that is annoying, and even terrible, about aging. The creakiness of the body; the drifting of the memory; the reprising of personal history ad nauseam, with only yourself to listen.

“But there is also something profoundly liberating about aging: an attitude, one that comes hard won. Only when you hit 60 can you begin to say, with great aplomb: 'I’m too old for this.'”

In the middle, there is much you can relate to and Browning ends asking for a website

”...called 2old4this. A signature kiss-off to all that was once vexatious. A goodbye to all that has done nothing but hold us back. That would be an app worth having. But, thankfully, I’m too old to need such a thing.”

It's worth your time to click over there to read the entire column.

JOHN OLIVER CRITIQUES SEX EDUCATION

And does he ever with some of the most excruciating lies and misrepresentations you've ever heard. To help correct all these errors, at the end he gathers some friends to create their own sex ed video. As always, marvelous and worth every minute.

SHADE BALLS

Temperatures have been uncommonly high this summer in the part of Oregon where I live and there has been hardly a drop of rain for the past couple of months.

Some rivers are so warm and shallow that salmon have been dying as they try to get upstream to spawn. Many communities have enacted water restrictions.

As bad as it is here, it is nothing compared to California's drought. This week, the state finished a unique project to keep water from evaporating from reservoirs. It's clever, involves “shade balls” and apparently works quite well. Take a look.

THE PAST-PRESENT PROJECT

Three years ago, Christian Carollo found a collection of his grandfather's travel photographs. As he explains on his website:

”...one shot displayed a building in the small coastal town of Winchester Bay. I wondered, what if I could replicate my grandfather’s photograph 30 years later? I did just that and my new mission was born.

Carollo has been traveling and replicating ever since. Here is a sampling. First, Chinese Camp, California:

Chinese Camp Carollo

New Orleans:

New Orleans Carollo

Breckenridge, Colorado:

Breckenridge Colorado Carollo

You can see a lot more of these at Mr. Carollo's website and even more at his Instagram page.

MEDICARE STOPS COVERING PENIS PUMPS

And Viagra and Cialis and Levitra too. It seems counterintuitive but some men with ED prefer penis pumps. As The New York Times reports:

”On the advice of his urologist, [77-year-old Mr. J, married since 1959] uses a vacuum erection device, less formally known as a penis pump. It’s cheaper, over time, than erectile dysfunction drugs, and Mr. J believes it’s safer, too.

“He discreetly leaves the bedroom to use it — 'it can be embarrassing at times' — but the pump performs, drawing blood into the penis to enable intercourse.

“'It’s a little awkward and inconvenient, and it’s not very romantic,' Dr. Ira D. Sharlip, a urologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said of the pump. 'But it can be effective'”

So why did Medicare Part D stop paying for this product on 1 July? It is

”...the result of legislation Congress passed in December. Since 2006, Congress has banned Medicare Part D coverage of medications for erectile dysfunction, too, after Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, scoffed at 'lifestyle drugs' and said taxpayers wouldn’t foot the tab for 'Grandpa’s Viagra.'”

(Do keep in mind that King (R-Iowa) is the lawmaker who says immigrants have calves the size of cantaloupes from carrying drugs across the Mexican border, believes that girls cannot get pregnant from rape or incest and has said that Senator Joe McCarthy is “a great American hero.”)

If you are wondering, Medicare does cover hormonal creams, rings and suppositories for such female afflictions in old age as vaginal atrophy but often requires, says The Times, higher co-pays than for other medications.

There certainly seems to me to be both ageist and sexist elements to the ban. You can read the story at The New York Times to see what you think.

SIMPLE, EXCELLENT SOLUTION FOR DRIVING SAFETY

Darlene Costner sent this video saying that she thinks it is the best idea she has seen in years. I agree. So simple it makes you wonder why no one had thought of it before.

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S LETTER TO THE EDITOR

A week ago, I spent an evening reading reporter Jim Rutenberg's stunningly good history of how the 1965 Voting Rights Act has been systematically dismantled. It is titled, “A Dream Undone: Inside the 50-year campaign to roll back the Voting Rights Act” and I highly recommend it.

Apparently, President Barack Obama agrees with me and he followed up with a Letter to the Editor at The New York Times. He wrote, in part,

”...as Rutenberg chronicles, from the moment the ink was dry on the Voting Rights Act, there has been a concentrated effort to undermine this historic law and turn back the clock on its progress.

“His article puts the recent push to restrict Americans’ voting rights in its proper context. These efforts are not a sign that we have moved past the shameful history that led to the Voting Rights Act. Too often, they are rooted in that history. They remind us that progress does not come easy, but that it must be vigorously defended and built upon for ourselves and future generations.”

You can read the president's full comment here (it's short). You can read Rutenberg's entire story here (it's long; don't let that deter you).

A FAWN AND A BUNNY HAVING A ROMP

Or, as the Youtube site names them – Bambi and Thumper.

Their game lasted for 30 minutes or so and according to the people who have been watching them, the two have returned every day to play together.


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 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.

Comments

Thank you, Ronni. I was very touched by the Dog Retirement Home and by Sher and her volunteer helpers; I just wonder how they manage. Kudos to them for their contribution to the respect animals deserve.
The shade balls and the Samsung Safety Truck (thank you, Darlene) are encouraging. Fingers crossed.
I continue to be educated and amused by John Oliver and am grateful that he and the amazing pieces he and his brilliant team put together are getting more and more coverage.
Thank you for the welcome break provided by "Bambi" and "Thumper".
Buon Ferragosto!

The truck camera is fantastic. It would also help to have a camera on the
Cab of the truck high enough to show stop lights and streets. In new situations on crowded streets and in a small car, it is impossible to know if you are at the correct intersection for a turn you need to make, if a humongous semi is in front of you.

The disturbing thing I have seen is a truck with a video ad running on its backside--distracting, for some drivers.

We have a similar dog facility founded and run by Emmylou Harris. What a sweet and helpful gift to the dogs, but also to those who must give them up when circumstances won't allow them to continue to keep the relationship built over years.

I love the camera-eye views we now get of animals in the wild accepting each other, even while I worry for their safety as we encroach upon their habitats.

Good on President Obama for writing a letter to the editor as any ordinary, thoughtful citizen can do. Will the presses of the nation carry a story of this unusual action and present it as the positive action that it is?

Thanks Ronni for an educational and entertaining blog. I hope you are feeling better than you were on Wednesday.

Loved the dog hospice!

Thank you so much for the Christian Carollo instagram. I immediately started following. His photos are wonderful.

The truck camera video was charming, and not only because of the obvious safety factors. For this old nostalgist, just seeing roads that conform to what the term "road" used to signify even in the U.S.---i.e. two lanes through the countryside---confirmed my strong sense that I have lived too long on this earth. In my opinion, freeways are an abomination.

I saw a report about the shade balls -- pretty cl;ever. but will they work? There's less evaporation, but does that mean less moisture in the air, fewer clouds, less rain, thus exacerbating the very drought it's trying to stop? I dunno; I'm not an engineer. I also saw the Browning piece in the Times; I tweeted it out.

Representative King's dismissal of Medicare paying for "Lifestyle Drugs" just reinforces the fact that Republicans are not fun people.

Dear Bruce,

Opinions about Republicans aside, the line has to be drawn SOMEWHERE, and I have trouble imagining that if a penis pump or Viagara were that important to a person (could be her, eh?) they would figure out how to afford it..

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