On Becoming 75



From AARP, here's an experiment with millennials and elders.


Over most of the history of this blog, I have posted a story about preventing falls at least once a year, sometimes twice. That's because one-third of people 65 and older fall every year. Many do not survive their broken bones.

Now comes a study telling us we elders are far from alone:

”'...in this four-month study, more than half of the college students fell during daily activities,' said Shirley Rietdyk, a professor of health and kinesiology, who only looked at young adults in this study.

"'The fall rate may be lower for older adults because they are more cautious due to the higher risk of serious, even fatal, injuries from falls. These findings also highlight that walking on two legs is a challenging task that is mechanically unstable, even for young, healthy adults.'"

Maybe we would be better off now if mankind had stayed on all fours. You can read more here.


No one can dispute that John Oliver (see below) is brilliant and that he manages to be so week after week after week with hardly a glitch.

Recently, however I have discovered another comedian who is doing some excellent political take-downs on his daily NBC show, Late Night with Seth Meyers.

It's not that I hadn't heard of Meyers before; I just hadn't paid attention. Now I know that he is putting his regular feature, “A Closer Look,” to excellent use.

There are plenty of laughs but like Oliver, the topic is a serious one. In this case, voter ID laws. Take a look.

Meyers' show is now on my VCR recording schedule.


From the 1955 film, The Seven Little Foys, comes this excellent dance with Jimmy Cagney, playing George M. Cohan, and Bob Hope as Eddie Foy.

This kind of movie production number has been out of fashion for decades but what fun to watch these two old pros from an earlier era.


A friend emailed this joke:

A tortoise walks into a sheriff's office and shouts, "I've just been attacked by three snails."

The sheriff says, "Tell me what happened."

The tortoise shakes his head in confusion. "I don't know, it all happened so fast."

Such silly fun but sometimes these days I know how the tortoise feels.


Congressman Steve Israel of New York is retiring after 16 years because he cannot face even one more call begging for money. John Oliver shows us on his HBO program, Last Week Tonight, why Israel made that choice.


For all good (and bad) comedians, Donald Trump is irresistible fodder and Oliver did not even try to ignore the candidate last week while commenting on the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.


Yup. That's right. According to the Guardian, the price of my favorite ice cream flavor is about to skyrocket:

”The price of Madagascan vanilla surged by nearly 150% last year after the island, the dominant producer, experienced a poor harvest. Now food industry executives are reporting a fresh rise in prices as supply tightens.

“Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world, after saffron, a result of its long and labour-intensive cultivation.”

These days, I don't allow myself to eat ice cream as much as when I was younger, but this is till catastrophic food news for me.

”...the pain will be felt most acutely by ice-cream makers, as it is the most expensive ingredient in the production process and some will be forced to pass on the increased cost to consumers.”

Yes, exactly what I'm afraid of. The Onion chimed in which some pithy “reader responses”:

“I have this six-year-old bottle of extract in my cupboard, if that helps things.” - Don Buckley, Systems Analyst

“Edy’s can gouge me all they want for that real slow-churned stuff.” Chet Baisell, Unemployed

“We should be able to get through this. There’s no vanilla in pizza.” Eva Landiss, Element Namer


King5 News in Seattle won a 2013 local Emmy for this affecting documentary. Alive and Thankful, about a man diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Hat tip to Chuck Nyren of Advertising to Baby Boomers.

Three of Lon Cole's poetry books have now been published. You can find out about them here.


Japan has a history of being in the forefront of animal cafes, cats being the most obvious kind that have been copies the world over. This is their latest:

Cute little buggers, aren't they. You can read more at the Guardian.

* * *

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 at the top 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.


On falling: nobody seems to mention shoes. Scuffs, sandals, and slides have caused every fall I've taken.

College kids think they're invincible ... until they aren't. Most seniors know better.

Haagen Dazs better not change their Vanilla Bean recipe. Raise the price, fine. But don't touch that recipe! I continue to fume at companies that, rather than raise their prices to cover their increased costs, cheapen their product in some way and ruin something that has been perfect for decades.

Great post. I may now stagger across the street like the young folks thought I would, but I too can still write a book. :)

I fell a month ago, trying to get out of bed. My butt slid off the side and I landed on my shoulder, breaking my collarbone. What a sad day that was. I can't do much of anything, least of all drive my car. Xrays taken 2 weeks later showed that it had not yet begin to heal (the bad part of being 75, I guess). I go back in another week and I;m hoping to hear that I can remove this damnable sling and drive. I rue the day it happened and I will do everything in my power to prevent a recurrence. People - keep your strength by any possible means!!!

I am so sorry, kenju. Geez, what a terrible thing. Here's hoping your next visit to the doctor is better news. We all expect healing of all kinds to take longer when we get old but no progress is two weeks is a blow.

Keeping my fingers crossed and sending good wishes.

About falls: I fell a lot when I was a kid. Running, hit a bit of uneven concrete on the sidewalk, boom. A scraped knee meant going to mummy for cleaning, iodine, and a bandaid, or when I was older, gritting my teeth and doing it myself, and then getting back to whatever I was doing, knowing with complete confidence that it would heal in less than a week. When I hit my early-teen growth spurt and suddenly had quite a bit further to fall, scrapes tended to be nastier, and teen-girl vanity didn't like having to wear mended lisle stockings, or having a bandaid lump showing underneath... so I slowed down, didn't run as much or as heedlessly. Still, it was never any big deal.

I adopted the first of what I thought of as 'old-person precautions' in my early sixties when I started having shooting pains in one knee. Without warning, that leg would suddenly, by reflex, refuse to take my weight. On level ground I could recover in time not to fall, but I really didn't want to have that happen on a flight of stairs, so I began making sure one hand was always on, or within reflex-grabbing distance of, a handrail. No going up or down stairs with both hands full any more! The knee pain went away after a while... but by then I didn't fully trust my ankles, or my balance, so I've kept the habit.

In other words, yes... we do fall less frequently than young people despite being less steady on our feet, because we have learned to be more careful.

The single smartest thing my husband and I have done in our new condo is install grab bars in the tub/shower in our bathroom. There are grab bars nowadays as sturdy as anything you'd find in a hospital and much less institutional-looking - in fact, downright gorgeous! I won't tout the particular brand we bought, but anyone can find them online as I did. We installed three, and we use them all - a vertical bar near the shower end, a toiletries shelf where it can be used to get up out of a tub bath, and a towel bar at the far end of the tub. These bars make me happy every time I see them... they're like jewelry for the bathroom. And, after only a year of use, they've probably already saved us each from several potentially-nasty falls.

LOVED the dance video, Ronni. Bob Hope and Jimmy Cagney... we don't usually think of them as dancers. But in their day a professional entertainer needed to be able to do it all. It's worth watching more than once, to appreciate the body language of the one who's not doing the star turn. As you said, they're old pros, both of them!

Oh damn, kenju, that's awful. I was busy typing my long comment and didn't see what you'd posted. Hang in there, and good luck. Here's hoping your next doctor visit brings better news!

No matter how many times I see that tap dancing video with Bob and James I love to watch it and have to see it twice. What ever happened to entertainment like that?

I am so sorry, Kenju, for your fall and lack of quick healing. It just takes a lot longer to heal as we age.

Good fortune, Kenju, for a good recovery from here on.

Though no injury occurred, I rolled right off the side of the bed one night awhile back- dazed, and confused, by the surprise of it!

One thing I've learned from friends also in their 70s is to throw off anything, including dignity, if needed. One took a devastating stair fall because she didn't want to spill her tea or break a well-loved cup by reaching for the railing to break any fall.

And lastly, thanks Ronni, for the entertaining and informative post.

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