Dear Diary: 13 January 2015
Handling Surprises in Old Age

Your Favorite Website

In yesterday's TGB story, several people posted links to websites that were only tangentially related to that post. I don't catch them all, but I generally police links left in comments with a heavy hand and I do it for two good reasons.

FIRST: Self preservation. Going way back to the 1980s and my earliest days online, more than one great forum I participated in was ruined and then killed by off-topic entries. And I'm not even talking about trolls. Just people with good intentions but who so cluttered the landscape with digressive information and links, the thread became impossible to follow.

Gradually, those of us trying to track the topic gave up and those excellent forums (I still miss them) dissolved. I cannot let that happen to TGB; I like you all too much.

One of the comments I deleted yesterday gave me the idea for today's post. Hilary wrote:

”Hope it's not too off-topic, but did you know you can read daily entries from the Diaries of Samuel Pepys ( Today's entry is for 12 Jan 1661/1662. I read him every day, together with your blog Ronni!”

Well, you guessed right, Hilary – it is too off-topic although I like knowing about me and Pepys together on your morning schedule.

Even so, that didn't keep me from deleting the comment. Yes, my post (Dear Diary) and Pepys (famous diaries) seem to be related topics but from my 1980s experience, I knew the link was permission for everyone else to leave links to all kinds of other places (like bunny rabbits, one link always breeds more) and before long, there would be no discernible thread left.

That brings me to today.

Pretty much by definition, everyone who hangs out here is a web maven. That we have Time Goes By in common means that we probably share other online interests but we undoubtedly diverge from one another too - widely, I would guess.

So today, everyone who wants to gets to leave a link to one of their favorite websites for the rest of us to know about.

You may share only one and it can be about anything at all. It can be related to aging or not, practical or silly, funny or serious, obvious or obscure, highbrow, lowbrow, fiction, news, research, politics, educational, arts, crafts, music, movies, TV, books, web video only. Even cute kitties.

Just please, no commercial or retail sites (certainly not your own; no advertising allowed) – unless it is the best bargain in the known universe.

Give us a sentence or two about why you like it and the link. And THAT – link – brings me to my second reason (see paragraphs one and two above) I delete unrelated links in comments.

SECOND: No naked links. Take another look at Hilary's link to Pepys diaries. It's naked – just a scratchy ol' web address hanging out in the open when it should be a live link.

Besides being ugly and useless, it clutters up the place - like leaving your towel crumpled on the bathroom floor. So today, I am going to show you how to properly dress a link so that it looks nice and functions properly. Don't get nervous – this is easy. Here goes:

The website I am sharing today is Credit Karma. You may have seen television commercials telling you it provides free credit scores, credit reports and a monitoring service and that is exactly what it is: free and useful.

I've been signed up almost since it began in 2008. I get one monthly email with a link to the latest reports (or I can stop by any time) and as far as I can tell, they haven't sold my email address.

That's my contribution; now the lesson. Notice how the words, Credit Karma, are themselves the link to that website. Here is how I did it:

The website I am sharing today is <a href=””>Credit Karma</a> You may...

When you use that HTML code around the name of a website, including the web address), it becomes a live link when viewed in a browser.

You can use the same code, even copy it right from my example to insert into your comment. Just substitute the name of the website in place of Credit Karma and, of course, replace the URL (http:// etc.) too.

You can copy the website URL you need from the address bar in your browser when you are at that site. Make sure you are on the home page or the page you want us to see when we land there.

Watch carefully the carets, equal sign, quotation marks and that there are no extra spaces within the code.

That's it. It keeps the comments tidy and makes it easier for others to read.

Now it's your turn to share one favorite website with the rest of us. I know it may be hard to stick to just one but let's go with that anyway. If we like how this turns out, we can do it every couple of months or so.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Henry Lowenstern: Doing Doggerels


There is something addictive and also pedestrian about this site. But it is amusing to watch out the windshield of this semi-tractor as the driver covers all the familiar highways we have traveled in the past. Enjoy:

It is probably fairly obvious that my favorite and constantly visited website is
Now that Bill is no longer broadcasting on PBS, I must go here even more, for the only political analysis and content I can stand these days.

Choosing from about 6 websites I regularly visit is tough because each give me mental/emotional nourishment much like the former food pyramid, now known as "my plate" does for the body. I won't be at all surprised if my choice isn't duplicated a few times.... This, to continue with the food/nourishment metaphor, is a veritable salad bar for the brain/mind/soul. And if you don't have time to read all of the suggestions, the site gives you a very tantalizing appetizer. Ronni, thank you for this suggestion. Another idea might be to see if the TGB readers have favorite Podcasts.

Free HTML converter..Just type and it does the work for you.

Here's a good one to actually use: Write President Obama

Lot of good stuff you won't see in the mainstream media at
Whiteout Press

I love, a free music streaming service from Canada's public broadcaster.

Not only can you time-shift your favorite programs (if you missed the eastern earlier version, you can switch to the western feed), but you have a choice of 11 classical streams, plus jazz, rock, pop, singer/songwriter, etc, etc.

The service is also available on apps for Apple, Blackberry 10 and Android. I listen from my computer, which is set up in the corner of our kitchen with good Bose speakers. The computer now functions as my radio.

Another bonus: there are very few commercials. There used to be none, but CBC now needs the money. Still, it's hardly any compared to the inundation you get on regular radio.

Some here have already listed some of my favorites -- Brainpickings, Bill Moyers -- and this one is not necessarily my favorite, and it's too new a relationship to know whether it will it be lasting. I just discovered it a couple of days ago, It's written by a woman in her early 60's, and I have very much enjoyed the few posts I've read so far. There is a recent one abut finding long lost friends, a topic which was discussed here at TGB not too long ago, so it may be of interest to others besides myself.”>free Fall

With 4 inches of snow on the ground:

At least I don't live in Buffalo.

Sorry, the Free Fall link left above does not appear to have come out right. Should be

Free Fall

Great idea, Ronni!

Here's my favorite Medical guru's website. Dr. John M

He's an Electrophysiologist Cardiologist, but I find so much more than heart related good stuff. I like his attitude about Dr.-Patient dialogue and managing illness in old people. If one pokes around in the archives at his site, one can find much of interest to the medical laity.

There's always something interesting to see on David Kanigan's blog. I don't know how he manages to find it all but it's worth your time, and he's a heck of a nice guy.
Live and Learn is one of my favorites as well. But my VERY favorite website is

I'm trying to post again or giving it up -”> for spiritual enlightenment and entertainment for the whole family.

One website I check daily is Starts With a Bang. It's about cosmology and astronomy. It's one of the best around on the topic.

Like Peter Tribbles, I enjoy Dr Siebel's blog. However, the one site that I check daily is Slashdot - a compendium of "News for Nerds".

You lucky ducks! I only have time for TGB & occasionally The Other Side of 60 from Ronni's elder blog list. I do like the suggestions, but my day is so full of so many other things, I'm lucky to check my emails. Maybe I should look for something on time management for elders/caregivers........:)just kidding. Dee

I'm not posting a link because - as I clicked to get here I'm thinking, "Jeez, I don't get to read Ronni as often as I used to." And then - you offer more?
What a great idea!

I'm too dumb to do this.

This guy is my current favorite blogger. He's young, gay, and renovating a house in Kingston, New York. His partner is an editor at Design Sponge, which is an indicator to just how great this guy's taste and skills might be:).

http://http:/”>Manhattan Nest

Dang. Trying again. Manhattan">">Manhattan Nest.

Total fail.


Ronnie, Thanks So Very Much for the link to Credit Karma... it looks EXTREMELY useful!

First, let me have a stab at mending your link, Lisa. Manhattan Nest looks very engaging.

For a link of my own, I think I will have to go with Astronomy Picture of the Day. I always learn something that expands my mind. Often the pictures are spectacularly gorgeous. And I never fail to be in awe of how much more we know now about the universe, since the time I was a kid and devouring George Gamow's book One Two Three Infinity. I love living in the future!

A daily dose of give me a regular chuckle. Plus I learn a bit more about the American health system.

This post made me realize I don't use the Web like this anymore. These days, I go to Web sites via links I encounter either thru e-mails I subscribe to, or links posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you Sylvia! is a ongoing (one post per week) exploration of what the future, both short- and long-term may bring. The author, John Michael Greer, is a Druid(!), but don't let that put you off: he is an intelligent, graceful writer and his ideas are well-grounded in history, science, religion, and many other areas of human endeavor. He has a Big Picture perspective which is pretty hard to find in our society these days.

With great trepidation, I am going to try to follow Ronni's instructions. I visit a lot of websites, but one of my favorites is

It is original and oddly out of my realm, which is why I love it. It is the product of a 33-year old millennial who, in my experience, is much smarter than his peers. It is a combination of droll stick-figure drawings, sometimes photos and a lot of philosophical musings. The commenters are fairly bright for that generation too. If you want to know how the intelligent cohort of the younger generation thinks, try it. If you go there before next Tuesday, you will find a buffet of his most popular posts for 2014.

What did I do wrong???? Anyway, sorry Ronnie, naked here I come: the website is

The link I would like to share is
>The Silver Century Foundation. Its quizzes are fun and its articles and blogs offer helpful views on growing older.

I'm trying again. The first post doesn't work. The link I would like to share is>The Silver Century Foundation. Its quizzes are fun and its articles and blogs offer helpful views on growing older.

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