Disengagement in Old Age
ELDER MUSIC: Songs with Street Names



It's grainy, black-and-white shot on 22 July 1941, but you know immediately that it is Anne Frank.

She is leaning out of the second-floor window of her home in Amsterdam watching a bride and groom leave the house next door on the way to their wedding. It's only 20 seconds and as far as anyone knows, it is the only moving footage of her.


It is not my habit to promote corporations and in no way does this imply endorsement of the firm. But the currently airing GE commercial delights me every time I see it.

It is as stunning a good idea as the ideas it is designed to make us think about - as thoughtful as it is charming. The commercial was produced by the agency, BBDO, and there is a list of production credits here. They all deserve our applause.



Just a simple grave marker, right? Nothing important about it unless you are friend or family. If that is what you think you would be wrong.

For the past 25 years of his life, until he died in January this year at age 92, Frederick W. Guentert, Jr. worked on his own casket, a close replica to the ancient burial containers of the Egyptian pharoahs.

"Since the mid-1980s when he began working on it, the eventual three-hundred-pound, seven-foot-long reminder of mortality reposed in two pieces within his home garage...,” explains Mary Ellen Markant at the Finishing Touches blog.

"Occasionally, he 'tried it on for size,' but only when his wife wasn’t looking and wouldn’t witness him bedding down in this blatant representation of destiny."

Even the inside of the casket is carefully decorated:


On the lid is a depiction of Osiris, Egyptian god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead.


As elaborate as Mr. Guentert's final resting place is, his funeral was as simple as his gravestone:

”There would be no viewing or funeral,” explained Ms. Markant. “He wanted only to have his body embalmed, wrapped in a shroud, and placed in the box he had finessed to its completion.

“In spite of disavowing an afterlife, his face would be covered by a fiberglass mask depicting...Osiris.”

There is much more to Guentert's lifelong Egyptian obsession and you can read about it at Finishing Touches.


This is so silly and would not warrant a mention here except that perhaps it explains why the really important stuff governments should be taking care of is so often ignored. Actually, I think the license place is clever and it makes me giggle when I see it.


No explanation needed – just a lovely backyard rescue. Thank Darlene Costner for sending it.


Last Wednesday was tax filiing deadline day in the United Statesand on the Sunday before, John Oliver used it as a reason to feature the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)on his Last Week Tonight show.

He explained in simple, clear detail why the agency is crucial to the ongoing health of the U.S. economy and how Congress's budget and staff cuts have dangerously undermined it.

Keep in mind, too, as you watch, that Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is running on a platform of abolishing the IRS.

Oh, and you'll enjoy Oliver's laughs, of course, too.


Dan Price is CEO of Gravity Payments, a Seattle-based, credit card payment processing company. He announced this week that over the next three years, he will raise the salaries of all 120 employees to at least $70,000 a year.

”[He] said would pay for the wage increases by cutting his own salary from nearly $1 million to $70,000 and using 75 to 80 percent of the company’s anticipated $2.2 million in profit this year.”

Price told The New York Times that the idea came about after he read an article about happiness that said “for people who earn less than about $70,000, extra money makes a big difference in their lives.”

Here is a video of Price making the announcement of the salary increase to the company's employees:

You can read more at The New York Times.


A few years ago, a company named Zero One created an animation for a 3D museum installation for the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces. The idea was to show visitors an up close and personal sense of what happened when Mt. Vesuvius erupted destroying the town of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

It's an amazing recreation. Thank Darlene Costner for sending it.


The headline tells you all you need to know except – be sure you've swallowed your coffee or tea before watching. It will make cat lovers laugh out loud and make dog people too. (Hat tip to Joan McMullen)

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.


Am I the only one who thought the cat video was hard to watch? The cat looks sick to me. It's been decades since I had a cat so maybe playing dead is normal?

I can't believe that anyone would be so picky as to complain about that license plate! Now that is sick. Some people have too much time on their hands.

Loved the deer video. I didn't know they can make noises like that.

As for the casket, I'd be afraid someone would dig me up just to get that work of art. It's beautiful but.....

Kudos to Dan Price. Innovative management. The Pompeii video was fascinating. I scorched my oatmeal while watching it. Forgot to set the timer. Completely forgot about until I realized that wasn't Pompeii I was smelling.

Humans rescuing captives of any species are following one of the top Ten Commandments of World Repair (in my scheme of ethical living). The human capturing the scene had the easy part. Not so the woman who patiently, bravely, persistently tried everything, including the gentle laying of hands to calm, then lift, and release the panicked doe. Thank you, Darlene and Ronni.

As an Egyptian freak, I really appreciate the article on the guy and his casket. Thanks!

We live in Washington state, the young people we know e-mailed their applications for employment to this company hoping to get a foot in the door, the minimum wage here is $9.47 per hour people with college degrees make a whole lot more not in this town though, seattle is spendy but it has all the jobs, our only lived up there for about 5 years she made plenty,but the dirty little secret was that most jobs poof out of the country in about 4 years leaving a person looking for something decent and livable, even at $70,000 per year you still cannot get a home in seattle proper unless your partner is making another $70,000 which is a good wage, the fellow is 30 and brilliant and kind, he was so swamped with people going to his office he had to issue a person to tell them to drop off their applications inside at the concierge place, it was full in one hour..It is wonderful a CEO who makes millions yes he does, steps back and figures most people would love to share in the wealth that they make for him, credit cards no less..About that sweet cat, my hubs tried to put the harness on our little rescue boy and got bitten badly and scratched, he ran off with it on and my neighbor caught him and cut it off and he almost ended up keeping him, wondering who would walk that tiny fireball of a furball, he never tried that again, but it did make me laugh as our oldest kitteh cat Miss Cody acts like that when she knows she must go to the vet for her trimming of her nails and her shampoo and flea stuff done for the summer, she lays like she is dead and cries out like a whimper, my hubs who really is not crazy about cats picks her up gently and into the crate with her favorite blanky and toy, she loves loves loves him and merely tolerates me, I feed and brush her daily and I give her treats, cats are PARTICULAR AND FUSSY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who the heck takes a cat for a WALK, Really! The cat was the only smart one in this video.

Watched them all, but you were right, I laughed at the cat.

Bruce, I'd say obviously not the guy in that video!

But, it makes sense to walk a cat like a dog when you live in an urban area that gives the cat very little incentive to exercise.

I was beginning to think there was something definitely ailing the cat and that the people were not understanding that. Now, that is a wily cat.

Dan Price evidently owns the company and has complete freedom to run it as he wishes. The CEOs, I have known answer to a board of directors and investors who set the rules for companies.

As our world becomes a wholly owned playground for government supported and subsidized Corporations who hide affiliations, splitting off companies and renaming them while they avoid detection and responsibility for their dirty deeds, Dan's actions are a ray of hope. Dare I hope?

The terrified fawn had me in tears, but the cat cheered me up and then some.

Yes, S C, do hope; don't expect, though!

Never underestimate the whims and desires of cats. Fascinating intelligence in this one.

Difficult to feel sympathy for the IRS.

The cat wasn't sick, nor actually playing dead, of course, but it was amusing to watch. Growing up, we had a Siamese who had the same reaction when we would put a wash-cloth on her (dry, of course).

Well . . . I have NO trouble feeling sympathy for the IRS. As usual, Oliver nails it when he points out that (a) our civilization--the common good--is paid for by taxes, and (b) getting angry at the staff of the IRS is like slapping the checkout person at the inefficient overpriced supermarket.

I look at taxes as my membership dues in a society that has police and fire protection, roads I can drive on, libraries, schools . . . and all those necessary services are becoming eroded because of economic inequality, which means, to a remarkable extent, that the rich aren't paying their share of the taxes.

Apropos Pompeii...if you live in the Pacific Northwest or visit Seattle in the next month, I encourage you to visit the Pompeii exhibit at the Pacific Science Center before the exhibit closes on May 25th!

...and the cat was a kick! It really did seem as if something was wrong with it, Jean, but watch to the very end! Not sick...just wily!

Thank you, Ronni, and thank you, Darlene. So much good stuff. The clip of Anne Frank was incredibly moving ... watching "normal life" with our knowledge of the looming terror.
John Oliver and his team ... what reporting! And what clarity!
Was glued to the Pompeii/Herculaneum reconstruction and to the liberation of the deer ... and its screaming. Bless that lady for having the courage and ability to free him/her.

Bruce is right, you don't walk a cat, and you don't wash it either. It is not a dog. People who treat a cat like a dog are insane.

Ali, you're right about the cat. I didn't watch the last few seconds the first time, and it does prove the cat was not sick, he just doesn't like the harass. Amazing!

If I were a cat, I wouldn't want to be seen in public with those checked pyjamas either!
As for the licence plate - a subtle way for the driver to describe himself?

With the GE commercial, if you substitute the word 'homeless' for 'idea', you get a good idea of what it must be like to be homeless in this country. There are even laws in many cities that ban the feeding of homeless people.

And on the cat video - that's a classic response to a harness the first few times.Or just a supremely stubborn cat.

Good work yet again Ronni.

Love the "ideas are scary. video." I'm experiencing a bit of that now. My idea is that coming-of-age stories about older people would resonate. Not getting a lot of traction but still writing. It seems so rich a vein to mine...can't imagine it not catching on. Until then, I'll remain in my turret.

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