Update: Social Security and Government Shutdown
ELDER MUSIC: Roots of the Stones

INTERESTING STUFF: 26 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.

Beginning last Monday, the weathermen here were in a tizzy about an expected snowstorm in Portland and its surrounds. It finally arrived on Thursday and this is the worst it got anywhere near me and in most of the rest of the Willamette Valley.

Snow 2011_02_24

One of the best things about leaving Maine is that I'm not digging out my car once or twice a week anymore. And even if we ever do have a gigantic storm in this part of Oregon, I have a carport now, so I'll never see my little red car like this as I did one morning last winter.

Snow covered car

After his nine-hour filibuster on the Senate floor in December, Bernie Sanders asked his constituents to send him their stories of struggling through the recession.

Now he has published those letters in an online booklet titled, Struggling Through the Recession: Stories From Vermont. Here is just one from an 89-year-old woman:

“The current depression is much worse than that of the 1930s. As to the effect on my life, living on Social Security, the lack of cost of living increase which is very real, makes it hard to make ends meet. I have a very good health program...but the cost goes up and up. Property taxes are extremely high in Dorset. I must sell my property.”

Imagine being 89 and needing to sell your house in this real estate market. You can read the entire booklet here [pdf] and it's worth your time.

Forty years ago Rudy Resta, now 77, lost his wallet. All these years later, he's got it back again. Watch:

How often does that happen. You can read the accompanying story here.

I buy a lot of stuff I need online and for the past two or three months, I have been using a small browser add-on called InvisibleHand, Most of the time, it sits quietly as a little green arrow at the bottom of the screen.

But if there is a better price when I'm shopping, a bright yellow strip appears at the top of the screen with the cheaper price of the product I'm looking at and a link to the page where I can get it.

It is a terrific service. I haven't kept track of how much I've saved so far but in many cases, the amount has been substantial. It works with Firefox 3.5+, Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer. You can find out more about it and download it for free here.

There was a lot of news to keep up with and research to do this week so my collection of items for this Saturday post got lost in the shuffle and it doesn't even have a weekly cat video.

Sorry about that. You can help by sending your suggestions for next week. Here's today's final item.

Thanks to TGB reader Sharry Sullivan, we have this fantastic video of five Taiwanese elders – old friends in their 80s, all sick with cancer, heart disease and other conditions who take off on a cross-country motorcycle trip together. I promise – you'll love it.


You're right.......I loved it! (The Last Ride)Dee

What a touching wonderful "Last Ride"! Choked me up when the clip flashed to young men running in the surf to the old men facing the setting sun.



I loved the video! Wonderful!

The Taiwanese "Dream" ad was excellent but the commercialization of our lives always bothers me to some degree.

I agree, but I think we should temper our displeasure sometimes for the really great commercials that wonderfully creative people conceive and produce.

We can (and should learn to if we have not yet) separate the product and propaganda from otherwise well-done work.

The "Dream" ad squeezed out the tears. The part the got me the most was watching the young men run down the beach. Made me not dream so much as remember.

I loved "Return of the Wallet." Imagine the odds of the wallet 1) being found, and 2) its photos still in excellent condition.

I had already seen the touching video of the motorcyclists — thanks for posting it for others to see.

Thanks, too, for the link to InvisibleHand. I'm going to try it.

WOW .. does that Last Ride make me miss my motorocycles even more. My greatest wish is to get enough do-re-me together to at least buy myself a little second-hand Vespa. At least I could feel the wind on my face again and the freedom I always felt on my "bike" !! Sighhhh

Dear Ronni;

Thank you, thank you for finding the two videos and sharing them with us. Perfect.

I cried at the video. Dream - yes, dream and continue working toward a better world. I am constantly reminded of the lines from Tennyson's Ulysses.

For some reason 'The Last Ride' video doesn't appear on my screen.

Thanks for the reminder of he invisible hand. I had it installed and lost it when my computer crashed. I do almost all of my shopping on the internet so it's really handy and saves going to multiple sites. The little green arrow is now sitting on the right corner of my screen.

Forgot to mention I enjoyed seeing your "Snow Fizzle" photo of your home. Looks like a dusting of powdered sugar, as opposed to the heavy blanket of the white stuff in your Maine photo. Nice pix!

Correction: While I was typing my comment the video loaded and I have now watched it. It reminds me of the bucket list. We're never too old to dream and sometimes make the dreams come true. I may see the Taj Mahal yet.

The story of the wallet is wonderful!

Well, it's Sunday morning and I'm late to the party--have missed the video which is no longer available. Will see if I can find it on Youtube.

I did read everyone of the letters to Bernie Sanders. They are, indeed, worth reading and tell a scary story of America in economic free fall.

I don't know who I feel worse for--the older folks who, having worked all their lives, now have their retirement ruined or the young people who can't get started because they can't find decent paying jobs.

Both videos are available and they play. Check your browser settings...

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