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ELDER MUSIC: Seasons – Summer Part 1

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

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Summer in Australia

There are so many good summer songs that you're going to get two column's worth. I complained about Spring last week and I'll keep that going with Summer. The hay fever's gone but it gets too bloody hot in my neck of the woods. Maybe it's better where you are.

As I mentioned, summer can get a little, well hot is the really the only word for it, around here. That always gives me the blues, the Summertime Blues.

That sounds like a cue for a song, and EDDIE COCHRAN is the obvious person to start proceedings.

Eddie Cochran

Eddie could have been a contender in rock & roll (indeed, he already was) but he was killed when his taxi in London blew a tyre and the cab crashed into a lamppost.

♫ Eddie Cochran - Summertime Blues


JERRY KELLER only had one big hit in his career and it's this one.

Jerry Keller

Later on he wrote songs that were quite successful for others as well as writing songs for films and television jingles. I imagine they paid better than being a music performer.

Here is his charted song, Here Comes Summer.

♫ Jerry Keller - Here Comes Summer


I imagine you all expected this next song to be present so I won't disappoint you. There was a previous column devoted entirely to various versions of the song Summertime, so I'm not using anything from that one.

That didn't really reduce the choices much at all as I have quite a number of options from which to choose. So many, that I selected enough for a second column devoted to the song.

In the mean time we need one today. I pencilled in several over a few days but finally decided on PAUL ROBESON.

Paul Robeson

I was surprised I hadn't used him in the original Summertime column, but there you go. Here he is today with the song.

♫ Paul Robeson - Summertime


MUNGO JERRY is an English rock(ish) group who were formed in the late sixties and are still going today. However, the only member who has been there for the entire journey is Ray Dorset.

Mungo Jerry

They had a big hit in 1970 with the song In the Summertime. There were other songs of theirs that made the charts but I imagine few people will remember what they are. I certainly can't.

Anyway, here is their biggest hit.

♫ Mungo Jerry - In The Summertime


The album "Quiet Nights" was far from MILES DAVIS's finest.

Miles Davis

He had so many good albums that this one pretty much slipped down the back of the sofa along with all the change, paper clips and other things that gather there.

It did, however, have a couple of summer tunes on it, one of which we have today, Once Upon a Summertime. It's very atmospheric and even lesser Miles is well worth a listen.

♫ Miles Davis - Once Upon a Summertime


NAT KING COLE had a huge with with Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer.

Nat King Cole

His record company insisted that he rush into the studio and produce an album because of the success of the single. It was a long way from Nat's best album. Indeed, the single was far from his best either but it is Nat which means it's going to get a place in the column.

♫ Nat King Cole - Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer


Normally I'll try to use the original version of the song, particularly if that person also wrote it. Today, though, after playing both versions, I really like the way JOAN BAEZ performs this one.

Joan Baez

I don't wish to denigrate Stevie Wonder but Joannie really nailed it, I think. It was from her excellent, and best selling, album "Diamonds and Rust". The song is Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer.

♫ Joan Baez - Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer


CLIFF RICHARD started out as a rock & roller but turned into, well Cliff.

Cliff Richard

I suspect that he has a painting of himself in a locked room in his attic that he never shows to anyone. Anyway, from his early days, Cliff's going on a Summer Holiday.

♫ Cliff Richard - Summer Holiday


For people of a certain age, that is somewhere around mine, you only have to hear the first couple of bars of this next one to recognise it immediately. The players are the LOVIN' SPOONFUL.

Lovin' Spoonful

The song is Summer in the City. No more needs to be said.

♫ Lovin' Spoonful - Summer In The City


It was pretty much certain that WILLIE NELSON would turn up somewhere in this series, and here he is.

Willie Nelson

Willie's song was one I wasn't familiar with before searching my music collection for these columns (hey, I've got a lot of Willie). I'm now very familiar with the song, Summer of Roses. I could have used this one in any of the seasons.

♫ Willie Nelson - Summer of Roses

Summer - Part 2 is here.


INTERESTING STUFF – 2 July 2016

THE BERLIN CANDY BOMBER

As many of us at TGB recall or, perhaps, learned in school or from our parents, at the end of World War II, Germany was divided. Berlin was partially controlled by the Soviets, who held it under a siege.

In order to save millions from starvation, the United States and England devised a plan. They would send in basic supplies by air to defy the Soviets – including candy.

A REAL-LIFE CYBORG

Neil Harbisson is a cyborg. Since 2004, he has had an antenna permanently implanted in his head that, according to Wikipedia,

”...allows him to hear the light frequencies of the spectrum including invisible colours such as infrareds and ultra violets. Internal internet connection also allows him to receive colours from satellites and other people's cameras, as well as receive phone calls directly into his skull.”

He is also the founder of the Cyborg Foundation, a nonprofit organization to promote cybernetics as part of the human body. There have been cyborgs in science fiction for as long as I can remember. I had no idea how far along we are toward the real thing.

Here is a short video about Neil Harbisson and what he does.

SNOW WHITE COTTAGE FOR SALE

The photographs look like drawings from a children's book but they are not and the cottage is the cutest thing:

Snow White Cottage

It's a real, 2800 square-foot house located in Olalla, Washington with a street address on – are ready? - Hidden Valley Way. The asking price is $825,000. Here's a another photo with a distinctly non-fairy tale accoutrement:

Snow White Cottage

There are a lot more photos here and the actual real estate listing is here.

ANNUAL SOCIAL SECURITY TRUSTEES REPORT

The Social Security Trustees are required to report each year on the health of the program and the 2016 report was released about a week ago.

The good news is that Social Security can pay all its benefits for nearly 20 years. The bad news is that – as the trustees have been saying for many years – there will be a shortfall beginning in 2034. Here are their recommendations from the report:

"Both Social Security and Medicare face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing. Lawmakers have a broad continuum of policy options that would close or reduce the long-term financing shortfall of both programs.

“The Trustees recommend that lawmakers take action sooner rather than later to address these shortfalls, so that a broader range of solutions can be considered and more time will be available to phase in changes while giving the public adequate time to prepare."

A no-brainer, right? Blame Congress. They have known this for years, there are many easy fixes but they have done nothing except, at regular intervals, try to cut benefits.

Here are two videos. One from Social Security Works is a good explainer but puts too little emphasis on the need for fixes now.

During this endless presidential campaign, you have probably heard Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton call for expansion of Social Security. That can be done. Many experts have shown how and recently, even President Barack Obama has gotten behind the expansion movement. Here's that video:

As we work our way through the year toward the November election, many adversaries of Social Security are arrayed behind Congressional candidates who want to cut or kill Social Security and Medicare. I'll be telling you about those efforts.

The Trustees Report is here. There is a good explanation of it and the choices of fixes at CBSnews.com.

ALLIGATOR CLIMBS A FENCE

Following on the terrible death of the child by the alligator in Florida a couple of weeks ago, I heard a wildlife expert, Ron McGill, tell a news interviewer that alligators can climb chainlink fences like cats.

Huh? I wondered. So I checked YouTube. Okay, maybe not quite as gracefully as a cat but apparently, no big deal for an alligator. Oh, and keep your ears peeled at about 38 seconds in; whoever shot this video calls the alligator, Al - like they're old pals.

SOME ELECTION HUMOR

Long-time TGB reader and friend of the blog, Nancy Leitz sent us these two fun facts about the presidential election:

If HIllary or Donald wins

JOHN OLIVER – SPORTS DOPING

I should know better by now than to doubt John Oliver. Even with a subject like this that I think I don't much care about, I was riveted for the full 20 minutes.

This is the main video essay from last Sunday's episode of his HBO program, Last Week Tonight. Like every week, it is excellent. I don't know how he and and his production crew keep up the quality but I sure appreciate it – and I get to laugh a lot too.

LIVE BEAR CAMERA

I think live cameras are one of the best things about the internet allowing us to see many sights we would never get to in life. Below is a live cam at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park, Alaska. The YouTube page tells us,

”Every year over a hundred brown bears descend on a mile long stretch of Brooks River to feast on the largest sockeye salmon run in the world.

The bears are there sometimes when I visit the cam and sometimes not, so be patient.

This live cam is brought to us by Explore.org. Currently at the website there are, in addition to the bear cam, another of a big cat rescue center in Florida, and cutest bunch of three baby ospreys and their parents in Hog Island, Maine.

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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” 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.


Annual Extreme Heat Advisory for Elders Plus an Extra Treat

A lot of important, even crucial things in life are really dry and boring to read. This is one of them. So I've arranged a treat for you at the end, but only if you read all the way through. Don't skip anything. Don't peak. Don't cheat. Read it all and THEN you get to laugh your ass off.

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Sun

About half the United States has been burning up over the past couple of weeks and summer's been here only a week or two. Secretary of State John Kerry is all over television saying 2016 is already the hottest year on record, although climate change deniers are – well, denying it is true.

I'm betting those people also believe the moon landing was faked and President Barack Obama is a Muslim. Moving right along...

As you certainly know, excessive heat is more problematic for old people than most younger ones because our body temperature regulators don't work as well as they once did.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are about 650 heat-related deaths each summer in the U.S. and the number has been rising.

In 2012, one half of those deaths affected people 65 and older and that's not unusual. Among the groups most vulnerable to heat-related illness or death are the very old, children four and younger, and those with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

So this is my annual summer heat warning post. Boring maybe, but crucial to understand the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke and how you can prevent them.

HEAT EXHAUSTION occurs when the body gets too hot. Symptoms are thirst, weakness, dizziness, profuse sweating, cold and clammy skin, normal or slightly elevated body temperature.

Move yourself or someone experiencing these symptoms to a cool place, drink cool liquids, take a cool bath or shower and rest.

HEAT STROKE is a medical emergency. It can cause brain damage so get thee or the affected person to a hospital. It occurs when body temperature reaches 104 or 105 in a matter of minutes.

Other symptoms include confusion; faintness; strong, rapid pulse; lack of sweating, flushed skin, bizarre behavior and coma. Don't fool around with this. Call 911 immediately.

The first rule is drink lots of fluids during hot weather. Old people don't always feel thirst when their bodies need hydrating so keep a glass of water nearby.

Here is a list for keeping cool in summer heat.

Wear light-colored, loose clothing.

Heat waves are not the time to skimp on the electric bill. Turn up the air conditioning when you need it.

If you do not have air conditioning, now is the time – before a heat emergency – to find out the locations of your city's cooling centers. Hundreds of cities use school gyms and other large gathering places to help people cool down during the worst of the day's heat.

You could also go the movies, the mall or visit a friend who has air conditioning during the afternoon.

If you have air conditioning, invite a friend who does not have it to visit you during the hottest hours of the day.

If you must be out and about during a heat wave, do your errands in the early morning. Schedule appointments before the highest temperatures of the day.

Eat light meals that do not need cooking. High-water-content foods like cantaloupe, watermelon, apples and other fruits are good.

Keep window shades lowered and curtains drawn during the strongest heat of the day.

Some medications for diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions can inhibit the body's ability to cool itself. If your area is experiencing a prolonged heat wave, perhaps ask your physician if you can forgo or reduce the amount of those medications for the duration.

Have I left out anything? Do you have more suggestions?

JOHN OLIVER'S RIGHTEOUS BREXIT VOTE RANT

I know you didn't cheat, right? You read every word of this important extreme heat information. Good for you. Now here's your treat for being so diligent.

On last Sunday's HBO show, Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver opened with one of the mightiest, most righteous rants he has ever given us. It is about the previous Thursday's Brexit vote. It is - never mind. Just watch and enjoy.