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INTERESTIING STUFF: 7 October 2010

Category_bug_interestingstuff Interesting Stuff is an occasional column of short takes and links to web items that have recently caught my attention – some related to aging and some not.

All readers are welcome to submit items for inclusion. Just click Contact in the upper left corner of any TGB page to email them. There is no guarantee of publication and I won't have time to acknowledge receipt.


It's a busy week as I prepare for the TGB elderblogger meetup on Saturday so today I'm taking the easy way out with a few items of Interesting Stuff so I can run all the errands that need doing.

Have you ever noticed how life conspires against you when there is too much to do? Why are we nearly out of cat food and kitty litter around here this week? How come I let the battery run down on the hand vacuum just when I need it? And I don't suppose any of you can tell me where I stored the big serving platters when I unpacked after my move?

ELDERBLOGGER MEETUP – SKYPE
About 18 or 20 people are expected at the meetup on Saturday. For those who live too far away to attend, if you would like to join in for a bit via Skype, my Skype address is ronni.bennett (note the dot), and I will open up calls from anyone for that day only. The meetup begins at 10AM Pacific Time.

RSS AND EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS TO TGB
If requests coming in to change delivery are any indication, quite a number of readers are getting new email addresses. Please, please understand that I have no control over your subscriptions. To receive TGB at a new email address, you need to unsubscribe from the old address (there is a link at the bottom of each email) and re-subscribe with your new email address. I cannot do that for you.

FOODBORNE ILLNESS
Did you know there are 76 million cases of food-borne illnesses every year in the U.S. leading to 300,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths? A few days after Crabby Old Lady's food rant here last month, The New York Times ran a story on those alarming statistics with some good advice on keeping food safe in our homes.

100 BEST FIRST LINES
“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.” — William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)

“I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.” — Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome (1911)

“Justice? — You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law.” — William Gaddis, A Frolic of His Own (1994)

Those are three of the 100 Best First Lines From Novels as selected by The American Book Review. You can read the entire list here.

HOW RICH ARE YOU?
Although we manage to get by, most of us don't have a lot of money in our old age. We limp along with an ancient computer or skip taking a vacation or even put off needed dental work and it can seem unfair that the banksters are raking in million-dollar salaries while there is no COLA this year for Social Security beneficiaries.

There are, however, other ways to look at it, as the owners of a website named Global Rich List explain:

“We wanted to do something which would help people understand, in real terms, where they stand globally. And make us realise that in fact most of us (who are able to view this web page) are in the privileged minority.”

You can plug in your annual income here and see where you stand. I am among the top 1.95 percent richest people in the world.

LIFE AT NEARLY 100
Jan Adams of Happening Here turned me on to a diary at DailyKos from Charlotte Lucas who was set back a bit to realize the expiration date on her new credit card, 2013, coincides with her hundredth year.

“The world seems much smaller than it once was,” writes Charlotte. “Newspapers are shrinking. Phrases quickly become acronyms that have to be explained to me - I have trouble keeping up with them. I have a small library on my precious Kindle but I will always prefer the solidity of real books...

“Life is bland and rather monotonous these days but mine has more pluses than minuses. We play with the cards we're dealt and I've been lucky in having a good hand.”

Go read her entire post titled Getting Along in Years here.

GOVERNMENT A LA CARTE
You must have seen the story this week about the fire department that let a man's house burn to the ground, killing several pets too, because he had not paid a $75 annual fee for fire protection. Even when he offered to pay the fire fighters any amount to turn on their hoses, he was refused.

I am speechless. Is this the future of municipal services? Read more here.

MAHER'S NEW RULES
I don't subscribe to any premium television channels so I am reliant on the internet to catch up with the best of their offerings. Bill Maher's regular segment, New Rules, on his HBO show is a favorite and although last week's offering was mostly just okay, the final two minutes are a fabulous hoot – Maher as President Obama's imagined alter ego, “Barry Whitehouse.” Don't miss it.


At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mickey Rogers: A Desperate Fan

Comments

Ronni, since I have a short attention span, I really like your Interesting Stuff posts. Keep them up please.

I hadn't read about the house burning down. Welcome to Banana Republic, Texas style. I'd love to be a fly on the wall as his homeowner's insurance company discusses this one.

3.17....that was counting in his unemployment. I do feel rich most of the time.

BTW: My city supposedly has the best public transit last year. No transfers now....yes senior rates, but to get the lowest rate you have to buy a day or month pass. To get to my volunteer job yesterday took an hour and a half to go one mile. I'm really grateful that someone gave me a ride home.

Re: Barry Whitehouse.

Priceless!

Oh Ronni!
You made my day. I "get the message" better when people are talking with me instead of at me. Bill Maher should be the White House spokesman instead of the guy that's there now (or any of his predecessors)
Just "smile when you say that pardner" and I'll sit up and pay attention.Don't tell me that that the anger and frustration I'm feeling is "inexcusable"

My favorite new quote: "If you're tired of making excuses for Obama, imagine how tired he is of making excuses for you."

And, of course, I've got to try to re-post the subclip of Barry Whitehouse...a challenge to my technology skills...with a hat-tip to you, my clever friend. Thanks so much for the laugh this morning.

Obion County, Tennessee just became the poster child of what has happened to our country. Money cancels out humanity. I guess it has always been thus for big corporations, but now it had trickled down to the neighborhood. I hope this isn't typical of most towns.

"Barry Whitehouse".... whooo hahahahaha I have been taking all this politics stuff much too serious lately and needed a good laugh! Thanks, Ronni!

Hope to "Skype" in on Saturday!

oops, i meant "seriously!"

Loved this selection, Ronni!

I had to post the Bill Maher on Facebook for more exposure. Not good to dwell on shortcomings!

The American book review is saved for a later savor. What I read was fabulous!

Global rich list! I can do better with less! A great reminder to keep perspective.

I'm going to have to put Charlotte' post on the back burner because I've so many employment fires to put out right now - I WILL get to it though. At least I have sense enough not to stand by and expect anyone paralyzed by policy to help me out and be entertained by watching my future go up in smoke!

Skype: doubt I will have enough time to set it up by Saturday, but thanks for the invite. Have fun all of you!

Shades of Boss Tweed, letting someone's house burn that way. Very unsettling. Sorry that someone was assaulted but not very surprised. What is happening here?

Oh, Ronni, please do not fret over Saturday! It sounds like you are doing too much work and I hope you simply relax all day Friday.

I am such a night owl that I do not know what kind of shape I will be in on Saturday morning! I may be the silent one zoning away in a corner (does Ollie nap with strangers?)

I kind of disliked the Maher thing. He's very snide.

Re: How Rich Are You?

It's good to remind ourselves that on a world-wide scale we are among the luckiest. For one thing, none of us would be reading this without access to a computer, and if I didn't own one I could go to the nearby public library and use one of theirs. True, dollars will go much further in many other parts of the world, but I remind myself that having just a secure home, a warm dry bed, abundant potable water, and what they call food security, puts me well ahead of most (even many in this country). Having reliable electric and gas laid on and an indoor toilet is just gravy. Living in the midst of so much overabundance it's easy to lose track of this.

Those foodborne illnesses have seldom been a problem for me -- once on a major airline from carryon raw veggies that created abdominal issues largely due to cramped seating. More recently a problem from snacks provided at another's home. There are sometimes issues in various communities water systems -- cyclosporidium -- of special concern to infants, older people and immune deficient.

Hope I can Skype in, but for first time since having and using it, have been unable to get it to work correctly -- will see what happens.

Yeah, we're all guinea pigs when it come to tech -- companies that let us identify the kinks. I no longer instaLL much of anything unless I know I'll have hours to address what are often inevitable problems, that take hours to resolve IF they are resolved. Good luck with your Kindle. Maybe I'll succumb to one -- someday.

Ronni - I hope you get this....I won a book on bookpage.com and it is wonderful...ROOM by Emma Donoghue....can't put it down...nice information

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