ELDER MUSIC: Back in the Saddle Again
Call Congress Day and Comparative Health Costs

INTERESTING STUFF – 29 November 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.

Being one of the most extreme of tea party candidates, incoming Congressman Allen West (R-Fla) is not known to be a funny guy. But in an appearance on Meet the Press a week ago while discussing intrusive airport patdowns, he had me laughing when he said the Transportation Safety Administration had done a poor job of explaining new security procedures to the public and that they

“...should have put out some type of feelers.”

Host David Gregory and other panelists seemed not to notice. You can see that portion of the program at Talking Points Memo.

Twenty or more years ago, I decided that hip-hop music was something I could ignore. And so it has been. Then, last week, in her glowing New York Times review of Jay-Z's autobiography, Decoded, Michiko Kakutani made reference to the “soaring beauty of the chorus” in the author's “Empire State of Mind.”

Not one to let anything wonderful about my former home slip by me, I ran right over to YouTube to watch the song's official video and in a whole new way, I got teary about the city I love so much. Here it is – a duet with Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.

In an earlier Interesting Stuff, I told you about a group of bikers who revved their motors to drown out the despicable members of the Westboro Baptist Church who travel the country to disrupt family military funerals with obscene shouts and signs.

A week ago in Harrisville, Kansas, it happened again at another military funeral when thousands of townsfolk gathered to keep the protesters at bay:

By 9 a.m., an hour before the funeral of Army Cpl. Jacob R. Carver, an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 people, many of them waving American flags, lined nearly a half-mile of the street in front of the church, making sure Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church/family congregation were crowded out, peacefully kept far from shouting distance of the funeral.

You can read more here.

Most states outsource a large part of their Medicaid services to private insurers and when one in Florida denied a liver transplant to 37-year-old Alisa Wilson, she died.

”After 'scores of e-mails and…the help of a Florida state legislator,' the HMO, Sunshine State Health, finally gave in and approved coverage for Wilson two weeks ago. Yet her health was too severe for surgery by then. On Friday evening, Wilson passed away..."

Tell me again, Congress, why private health coverage is superior to government-run health care. You can read more here.

It seems to me that television commercials aren't what they used to be. Most are loud, irritating and poorly conceived. But every now and then, there's one that catches my interest, and in our troubled economic times, I know just how this dog feels. (The song is Trouble by Ray LaMontagne.)

Mary Jamison sent along the link to this site with a nice little movie set to the song, Do You Remember These?. It's packed with images from our childhood and teen years. Oh, and some Burma Shave signs too. You can see it here.

I've been a Simon's cat fan from the first video several years go. It's cat behavior as every cat owner can recognize. lilalia of Yum Yum Cafe alerted me to this newest episode.

Time Goes By's Saul Friedman sent along this item – a 50-year-old photograph of then-former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt carrying her own luggage at La Guardia airport. Accompanying the photo is this quotation from her:

“When you reach my age, it is better to care less about being in fashion and more about being inconspicuous.”

I greatly admire Mrs. Roosevelt, but I don't agree with the second half of the quote. However, we live in different times now and things change. Go see the photo. Given our celebrity culture, it couldn't happen with a contemporary former first lady to be alone at an airport.

Many of you know Millie Garfield of My Mom's Blog and, perhaps, her son Steve who has produced so many funny videos at Millie's blog. Marion Dent sent this instructive video of Steve showing how he made a book for his mom – a real, paper book – of her blog. The video is two years old – I don't know how I missed it.

One of the first people I met online is Ian Bertram who blogs at Panchromatica. This week he sent along the following from Laurence Demarco, a founder of Senscot, an organization in Scotland that supports entrepreneurs who work to alleviate poverty in that country. The quote strikes me as the only way to live in our late years.

"In October 1959,” writes Demarco, “Carl Jung was interviewed for the BBC Face to Face programme. He was 84 - I remember seeing the programme. Near the end, John Freeman asked him what advice he gives to older patients regarding the prospect of death. This is what he said:

“'I have treated many old people and it's quite interesting to watch what the unconscious is doing with the fact that it is apparently threatened with a complete end. It disregards it. Life behaves as if it were going on, and so I think it is better for old people to live on - to look forward to the next day, as if we had to spend centuries - and then we live properly.

“'But when we are afraid, when we don't look forward, we look back, we petrify, we get stiff and we die before our time. But when we're living on, looking forward to the great adventure that is ahead, then we live - and that, I think, is about what the unconscious is intending to do.'"

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, D. Sugar: Q and No A's


Well Jung's comment illustrates my mom's current state of mind (age 95). My sister & I often remark that her attitude is part of what keeps her going each day. When we spoke earlier this morning she was planning her trip to get groceries & telling me about her weekend visiting with grandchildren. Sweet lady & mostly a joy:) Dee

Hi Ronni,
I too ignored Hip Hop until recently. I like it now because I'm not hearing as much about guns and drugs.

If you missed my how to an the blurb book, you probably also missed the video I did of my mom getting the blurb bok of her blog as a gift.

Here it is:

My Mom's Birthday Gift - A Hardcover Book of Her Blog

I think on that last bit that it's good to live that way as long as there isn't an illness that indicates death is near. Then I think it is better to be realistic and live that also in a positive sense with full awareness and not denial. What I don't like is trying to fool myself about what is with some kind of positive thinking. But that is not about old age particularly but any age and being realistic for what it is.

Many thanks for the "Simon's Cat". I have several of them but missed this one and another new one. Good for my laugh for the day. I have 5 cats and I have seen all of these actions. Especially the "I meant to do that" one.

Great video!

A friend's brother was KIA in Iraq and interred in Missoula. The people there also lined the street to keep Phelps and his sociopaths away from the family.

Most interesting post today. Thanks Ronni

I do so appreciate these bits. I've borrowed a sentence from the Jung, and I agree with Mrs. Roosevelt for we can get an amazing amount done inconspicuously from behind the scenes.

I love these posts and Jung's quote is awesome!

My son and his wife gave me a book using the posts on my first blog. It is one of the best presents I have ever received. The cost was quite a bit more than the price mentioned in the video, but the company they used did a wonderful job on my 200+ page book.

Very interesting and entertaining column today! It must be absolutely marvelous to be young in New York City and feeling the excitement knowing the world is your pearl...I really get that sense from the Jay-Z/Alicia Keys video. The video is so well edited and shot...

I love the video on making Millie's blog a book, too! Great!

I feel just like Lucy - that book was the best gift I have ever received!!

Ronni - take a look at the lower left line of the book sleeve, there's a photo of you and me.

Top line of the book sleeve, a photo of me and Claude when she was visiting the states.

I love it when Alicia Keys starts the chorus....it is on my iPod.....

oops, I meant in the NewYork video....

That so-called Christian group are quite despicable. I'm glad to say that nothing like that has happened here, although if anything opposition to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is probably greater.

Coincidently I recently blogged on our attitude to the military, especially the returning dead. You can see it here:


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