The Meaning of Happiness

INTERESTING STUFF – 12 February 2011

Category_bug_interestingstuff 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.

Gail Rubin keeps a blog, The Family Plot (you can guess from the title what it's about), and she has also written an excellent book with everything you could possibly want to know about burying loved ones.

Goodbye-FrontCover2-200x300 A Good Goodbye is filled the practical and ephemeral from the dealing with funeral homes to obituaries, customs of various religions, green funerals, pet funerals, odd funerals, eulogies, webcasts of funerals, a large section on preparations for memorial receptions, TSA rules for taking cremated remains on an airplane, clear through to continuing remembrances long after burial.

There are even instructions for a true Irish wake and you'll be surprised how elaborate it is. A Good Goodbye is well-researched and, as the cover might indicate to you, not at all the grim read you might think it would be. It's the sort of thing to have around just in case – sooner or later we'll all need to know these things.

You can find out more here and the book is available at all the usual online and offline booksellers. Ebook versions coming soon.

Pam Peterson sings Memories with a whole new batch of lyrics just for us. It's very funny. (Hat tip to Nikki of From Where I Sit.)

You all know Peter Tibbles who writes the terrific Elder Music column here on Sundays. Now he's been interviewed at the Boomer Turn-Ons blog specifically about his weekly musical ruminations. You can read it here.

Having been plagued with barking dogs where I lived in New York and in Maine – I mean three, four, five hours of dogs barking without letup - I can get behind this story from Italy.

The top appeals court sentenced four people in Sicily to two months in jail because they refused to keep their 10 dogs quiet at night despite complaints from neighbors who had repeatedly picked a bone with the owners over lost sleep.

The four were also ordered to pay court charges and a fine of 500 euros ($684) each.

Lia of Yum Yum Cafe sent this video of cat's play slowed way down so you can see every leap, jump and twist in detail. It is also unexpectedly calming.

Social Security expert Nancy Altman gives us a story about a man most of us have never heard of, Robert M. Ball, who died three years ago at age 93.

“Mr. Ball was a giant,” writes Ms. Altman. “The longest-serving commissioner in the history of the program, he was instrumental in Congress' enactment of the Disability Insurance program, Medicare, and the automatic inflation protection that beneficiaries enjoy, among many other achievements. Moreover, historians credit him with helping to save Social Security at least four times.”

Along with geriatrician Robert N. Butler and journalist Saul Friedman, both of whom died last year, all elders owe Robert M. Ball our undying gratitude. Read more here.

Having improved my electronic organizational skills, I don't print nearly as many web pages as I once did. Still, I seem to need to replace printer cartridges way too often at exorbitant prices. This short video explains how you might be able to extend the life of printer ink. (I haven't had reason to try it yet.)

Marian Van Eyk McCain keeps the excellent ElderWomanBlog, and she also produces a monthly Elderwoman Newsletter filled with stories on health, spirituality, some poetry, beautiful images and more.

You can read the February issue here.

I really hesitated to post this – it is so silly, stupid even. But I watched it several times and with each viewing I giggled more. See what you think.


We are laughing....thanks. Now we will go be practical and check out the ink video. :)

May work with Epson (ink saving tip) but not with Dell. Bummer.
Great post - very interesting and entertaining, you bet!

Loved the naked guys! Good find.

This was so funny, I'd go around singing the new Memories song but I can't remember the words except for the line about is the house on fire. And the Balloon Dance, very good, Ronni, all of it.

Good stuff today. I am not sure the ink saving tip will work on my printer cartridges, but I will certainly check it out.

I had seen the Pam Peterson and the balloon dance video before, but had to watch the naked guys again. I think it's a hoot the way they show no emotion on their faces. That must take discipline.

Thank you for the links to the two blogs. I learned something new from both of them and will visit again.

Loved the balloon guys and the helpful links@@@ Thanks!!!

anxious to try the ink saving tip. I used to buy the refilled type, but my new printer is so smart, it won't recognize them. bummer bkj

These were all great Ronni. Thanks, especially for the tip on the book, "A Good Goodbye". That will be my next Amazon purchase.

The ink video showed an Epson cartridge, which is the brand I use. I checked my cartridges; no reset hole. Maybe Epson got wise to the ink "trick."

Enjoyed the slo-mo cat and naked-dance videos. The latter is a hoot!

Thanks for all of today's "stuff." Terrific diversions on a cold winter's day.

Clever use of balloons. :)

I love it when men aren't afraid to look goofy!! :)

The balloon men were quite good. I kept trying to watch their crotches so that when the did their switch I could check out their stuff. I failed miserably so I'm going to try again. I'm afraid I'm too busy watching the balloon men to find out how to save on printer ink. Alas, it is the story of my life.

I loved all the posts and forwarded to my husband the video about the printer ink. He's a computer nerd who says there was a suit against Epsom some time back and they no longer can display the ink is out when it isn't. He tells me we received about $50 back as a result of the suit to buy more cartridges. I looked at one of mine and could not find the same hole, so perhaps the problem was fixed. Don't know how old this video is.

These were great videos - and just the right length for me, too!

Technical question, Ronni - the last two editions of Interesting Stuff have arrived in my e-mail without the videos - just a black space where they normally are.
Any idea why I'm not receiving them anymore? Thanks for your time.

All very good stuff, Ronni! I followed the link to Marian Van Eyk McCain's ElderWomanBlog. It is indeed an excellent blog and I have bookmarked it.

The balloon dance is hysterical. I'm still chuckling. Thanks for sharing the link.

Wait, there was something about ink in this post? All that I recall is seeing the balloon guys. I had to share it with my husband and he laughed as hard as I did. We need more humor in this life.
It reminded me of a show called "Triple Espresso". They do something similar, although not while naked. This was better!

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