Dental Week Departures
ELDER MUSIC: 1970 Again

INTERESTING STUFF – 14 February 2015


I completely missed Valentines Day until I had finished writing today's Interesting Stuff but I caught myself. So here is a holiday ditty - well-suited to such a blog as this - from Henry Lowenstern who contributes a lot of amusing rhymes to The Elder Storytelling Place:

I'm looking for a Valentine
​who'll overlook all faults of mine​,
and love me as I am 
or does not give a damn
​that I am in decline.​


Yesterday I wrote an entire blog post about three important media stars departing, each in his own way, from our landscape this past week.

No sooner had it been published here Friday morning than I discovered a report of the untimely death on Thursday evening of 58-year-old New York Times media columnist, David Carr.

I had been relying on him for news of the media world for years and finally, just a month ago, created a news alert for his name so that I could stop hunting around for his stories.

You can read about both his professional work and his compelling personal story here.

One of the hard things about growing old is losing the cultural touchstones of our generation, the people who helped define our era who are, inevitably, replaced by others of younger generations with whom our connection is necessarily more tenuous, and the sensibility of the world around us becomes increasingly less familiar.


In yesterday's post, I mentioned I was pleased that the late CBS News correspondent Bob Simon was still working at age 73. So few of us get the chance.

However, here is at least one other: 87-year old Barbara O'Malley who has been working as a U.S. Senate aide since 1987.


O'Malley is on the staff of Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and known to pretty much everyone on Capitol Hill:

”Mrs. O’Malley has greeted, trained, baked for and even scolded some of the hundreds of lawmakers and constituents who pass by her desk,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

“'She’s so funny—and she’s tough,' said retired Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D., W.Va.) who visited Mrs. O’Malley every day he was in Washington. 'When she thinks the conversation has gone on too long, she goes, 'Go to your office and do some work,’ he said.”

The median age of Senate staffers is 29, notes the paper, and O'Malley is thought to be the longest serving receptionist in Congress:

“'It’s incredibly unusual because that is a starter position,' said Ivan Adler, a principal at the McCormick Group who specializes in recruiting congressional staffers to downtown lobbying shops. “Most people stay in there until they find the next step up and she’s never worried about that.

“She has trained generations of staffers, estimated at somewhere between 50 and 75 aides who are now dispersed among the hallways of Capitol Hill and offices of downtown Washington.”


If you like detective stories or police procedurals and have not discovered him, Harry Bosch is a Los Angeles Police detective in the 17 books by Michael Connelly.

In rearranging my television habits since cutting the cable cord, I discovered a new series last week, an original from Amazon Instant Video, titled Bosch. Here's the trailer. That's Titus Welliver starring as Bosch:

I've read most of the books over a long period of time and although Welliver is a little less physically scruffy than I have pictured Bosch, I like him. I'll be tuning in for the full season as it unfolds on Amazon.

You can read more about the series here.


When I reported on an odious dental procedure (before the one this week), doctafil, who blogs at Jive Chalkin', emailed to tell me this true story:

“I broke a big upper tooth a couple years ago and was freaking out about it. Lost some pounds in the process, because it took a few days to see my dentist and it hurt to eat.

“My dentist managed to repair the tooth, but it wasn't easy. The next step, he said, would be an implant. So far, the tooth is fine.

“I took my dentist bill to the restaurant where I broke the tooth. My husband came with me. He was sure the manager wouldn't believe me. The place was packed.

“Cashier asked if he could help me. I told him I bit into a rock in their rice, showed him the dentist bill and asked for the manager. He leaned over and told me he had warned the new owners that they were cutting corners.

“Cashier took my dentist bill into the back room. Minutes later the cashier came out and handed me an envelope. I opened it. It was a full refund of my dental bill. 'We apologize and hope to serve you again.'

“Beware of rocks in rice.”

Wow, doctafil, nicely done. Congratulations to you and the restaurant manager.


I found this on Senior Planet a few weeks ago. The headline is all you need to know. Enjoy.


And more foolishness. On Tuesday Buzzfeed, notorious for lightweight quizzes and listicles, interviewed President Barack Obama. They covered many serious issues and then this emerged:

How did Buzzfeed get the president to agree to all this silliness? I'm sure you noticed the commercial for Obamacare signup in middle. Enrollment ends tomorrow, Sunday.


Darlene Costner sent this beautiful video of paragliding made by Jean-Baptist Chandelier. Well, the first few seconds are gorgeous and I suspect the rest of it is too but I can't guarantee a gorilla won't pop up in the middle. Personal problem with heights so I stopped watching.


Last Sunday, an event called Oldies Only Senior Pet Adoption Drive, was held in Singapore. In connection with that, a survey was taken to see how people feel about adopting aging animals.

”Out of the 109 families interviewed,” reports Asiaone, “only a mere 2 per cent were open to adopting pets above the age of six.”

Apparently age biases apply not just to humans but to cats and dogs. My Olliecat will be 11 years old this year and I'm hoping he will be with me for as many more. If I am still alive and healthy when he does leave this realm, I will adopt an old pet. How about you?


Many of them. Dozens of still photos.

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 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 include the name of the blog and its URL.


"One of the hard things about growing old is losing the cultural touchstones of our generation, the people who helped define our era who are, inevitably, replaced by others of younger generations with whom our connection is necessarily more tenuous, and the sensibility of the world around us becomes increasingly less familiar."

That is the quote of the week for me. Such an apt description of what I am feeling today. These media losses came from out of nowhere, and like rapid fire. Time to adjust.

Loved the animal and wind gliding videos. I do not understand how the wind gliders can bring themselves down to slide along the ground--must be control of the amount of air/gas in the sail?

Anyway they are braver than I would ever have been.

I thought of you yesterday, Ronni, when I heard on NPR about David Carr. Because of your blog yesterday, I figured you might know him or at least of him.

My evening was spent trolling the internet for news regarding the losses. (Loved the playfulness
of Jon Stewart's "Did I die?"

Yes, happy Valentine's day to you too. Thanks for the grins and cheer this morning. The Aid, the kids and typewriter, the para gliding film. Yes, too many of my friends died this last month too, so it is especially good to have a smile or two also. Thanks.

One kid was right on the money with his comment on the typewriter when he said,"It types and prints at the same time"., which may be its only advantage.

Happy Valentines Day to everyone.

The kids and the typewriter brought back times when I would have given my soul for backspace to eliminate a typo. The kid was right when he said he felt sorry for us. I do too.

I will never understand the hatred some people feel for Obama. He's a great father, husband, animal lover, very intelligent, and has a wonderful sense of humor. He can even dance and sing very well. I think he may be one of the best all around good guys to live in the White House. Maybe that's why - they just can't stand it that a black man can be as good as, and even better than, most white men. They can't find any transgressions to rail about so they have to make up vile stuff about him. I loved that clip.

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

In terms of losing the cultural touchstones of our generation, I too was stunned to read of the death of Bob Simon whose work put him in one extremely hazardous situation after another.

I was even more stunned to read that he wasn't wearing a seat-belt. Thee days it's hard to believe that some people don't always buckle up.

Loved the kids and the typewriter. I spent so many years with them in what was definitely a hate/hate relationship. My poor typing and total frustration with editing, corrections, retyping, etc. required hiring a typist for college papers and such. But I've regretted for years getting rid of the little Royal portable that I started on. It would be such a keepsake now for this old editor.

The paragliding was amazing. The man has spectacular, ultracontrol of that thing, like I've never seen before. In my wilder moments I've been tempted to try paragliding; they do a lot of it in Boulder, off the foothills. But being rather averse to pain and injury, it's never been more than a passing thought.

No I wouldn't adopt an older pet. Emotionally it's just too wrenching for me to lose them. I almost didn't adopt the current cat and dog for that reason -- knowing I'll likely outlive them and have to deal with their passing.

I'm with Darlene's comments, completely.

Your comment about losing the touchstones of our generation is spot-on.

If I outlive my current cat companions, I will consider nothing but a senior pet. There are too many sad instances of older animals in the shelters who have outlived their human companions.

Put me on the list as a Darlene fan.

Put me on the list as a Harry Bosch fan.

Put me on the list for a future cat adoption. A senior cat.

And no, it's never the right time to lose your favourite musician, author, dancer, friend, comedian, news correspondent.

Most of all, your family.

It tips your balance for a long moment.

I still have the Time Magazine cover of John Lennon.

"And what's it for, that little empty garden by the brownstone door?"

(Elton John)

I will truly miss David Carr. He was such an authentic commentator on our follies ..

We always adopt old cats. Fortunately for them and for us, that doesn't mean they don't live 10 years.

When I adopted my Amber kitty 2 years ago, she was 3 1/2 and had been in a shelter her whole life. I did so with the full awareness that she probably would outlive me, and felt sad that she would have to adapt to another person and home. But I also knew how expensive and difficult it can be to care for an older animal--my kids have all gone through that with pets--and, at age 80, I knew it was all I could do to keep a healthy animal clean and fed. She is a great comfort,and yes, I have made sure one of my children or their children will take her when the time comes.

As always, you have a great pot pourri of stuff here, all of it interesting. I too am a fan of Harry Bosch and his half-brother - two of my favorite fictional characters. I had not heard that there was a TV series. Thank for that! I will look into it as an Amazon Prime member.
Both of my rescue pets are over 9 years old. They are slowing down. I am so fond of them that I don't know how I will go on without them when it is their time to go.

I binge watched Bosch this weekend and was glad I did. Now if I can just get back to the knit tanks I was working on before that...

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