Done With Self-Improvement
ELDER MUSIC: Sweetheart of the Rodeo

INTERESTING STUFF – 28 January 2017


In 1971, I got through the first horrible weeks of separation prior to my divorce by listening to composer Carole King's “Tapestry” album over and over and over and over again . She has been a favorite ever since.

Last Saturday, 74-year-old King took part in the Women's March in Stanley, Idaho, in a snowstorm with 29 other people, almost half the population of that town where she now lives.

She also released a video of her 1983 song, One Small Voice. Here it is:

You can read more about the song and her small-town march in Rolling Stone magazine.


Our political cartoonists are doing a better job than many news pundits of capturing the zeitgeist, day-to-day, of what is happening to our country under the new president.

And then there is this lovely one from Tom Toles about the Women's March.



There is a tiny village in China, just 300 residents, where they continue a centuries-old tradition of making nine-foot, thread-thin noodles by hand. One maker, 51-year-old Lin Fagan, worries that only the old people now know how to do this and when they die, the art will be lost.

Here is how it is done:


It will not save us from the worst developments to come out of the Trump presidency and the Republican-majority Congress, but our terrible predicament has given rise to a widely varied universe of comedy perpetrators who, along with the cartoonists (see above), help us laugh through our resistance.

TGB reader Joe Zeee was the first of at least 50 readers (the most ever for a single item) to send this fantastic video made in The Netherlands. Tens of millions of people have watched it now so you may have seen but it's so good that I keep going back to it and you might like to also.


TGB reader Peggy B sent this quotation from the “Sage of Baltimore” that could have been written yesterday.



Certainly by now you know of the folks who turn out the Bad Lip Reading videos and if you don't, their name tells you all you need to know.

This one, Bad Lip Reading the Inauguration, is one of their best:


TGB reader Bob Fenton sent a link to this collection of photographs from a recent big snowstorm in Kyoto, Japan. They are gorgeous:



More photos from the Kyoto snow storm at Bored Panda.


I'm pretty sure Jimmy Kimmel is the last late night talk show host who regularly does the once-ubiquitous (back in the Steve Allen days) man-in-the-street interviews on topics of interest and, always, comedy too.

In the past week or so, you may have read that there are people who voted for President Trump because he promised to repeal Obamacare but who are surprised now to find out that their own recently-acquired health coverage, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is the same thing.

Kimmel's crew went out into the streets of Los Angeles to ask people whether they prefer Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act.


Not too long ago, TGB reader Trudi asked for an update on Ollie the cat. It's hard to tell anyone about him because he doesn't actually do anything these days.

He will be 13 years old later this year. He is lazy, has no interest in toys and although we talk to one another several times a day, Ollie has hardly any interests beyond food and sleep.

This is where he takes his major daily nap, after breakfast and until early afternoon:


Did I mention that he doesn't like to have a camera pointed at him? He is amazingly adept at avoiding it:


You might have noticed that he's quite fat. That might be because sleep his favorite activity. Also, if there is not enough food forthcoming, he bites my ankle - sometimes hard enough to draw blood - which is a powerful motivator to keep at least a few nibbles in his bowl.


He's so fat that he's looking a bit like a furry beached walrus these days:


If it doesn't involve food or getting to a favorite napping spot, he doesn't like to move around but after many attempts, I did catch this rare (and fuzzy) shot of him strolling through the living room.


He doesn't like to be wakened from any of his various daily naps. This shot pretty well expresses his attitude about that – although not as grumpy as he can be:


And now you know why there hasn't been much to say about Ollie in recent years.

He has a lot of rules about how our household should be run and I break them at my peril. But somehow we have come to accommodate one another and we're good friends, good roommates.

My father-in-law, half a century ago, explained that he and his wife often went all day, from breakfast to dinner, in different parts of their house without running into one another. But, he said, “you know there is another heartbeat in the house.”

Yes. That's Ollie and me. If you are interested, here is an adventure tale about how Ollie the cat, ten years ago when he was three, lost his outdoor privileges.

* * *

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.


Your Saturday blog always puts me in a better mood for the w/end. Loved the Jimmy Fallon never ceases to amaze me about how uninformed much of the public is. I see it almost everyday. Gosh we need to raise the bar with our education system........Have a great w/end everyone. Dee:)

Saw the Dutch thingy a few days ago - so funny. I see also that the Dutch are going to contribute to women's reproductive rights funding and Canada has indicated it probably would. All to thwart tRump's withdrawal of funding. I hope many more countries will decide to join in.

Sad day that many people don't know the health care plans: the change is going to hit so many people so hard. Will that be a wake-up call. One can hope.

Great to have an update on Ollie and you could be talking about my two Siamese, also 13 years old. They are a couple of dumplings now and do virtually nothing, just like Ollie. Mind you, may they are just copying we humans in the house, doing less and less and eating and sleeping!

The Jimmy Fallon piece is funny and also disturbing. I had lunch with a woman yesterday who started to complain about Trump. Then later in the conversation says " she doesn't vote because she is not interested in politics". She is 75 years old and has never voted. When I told her that women were allowed to vote now she said, " do you think I,m stupid"? Ahhhh..... well....
I went home thinking that this is how we get divided because I won't be going to lunch with her again. Honestly, I don't have that much time on this earth to be wasting it.

Dear Ronnie
I read all of your blogs and have yet to disagree with you. I live in England and have suffered the result of our referendum to leave Europe. Unfortunatley it was older people who got the result to leave. As an old person myself I made a point of asking all the old people I know why they voted to leave and all of them gave the reason that they wanted things to be like it was when they were young, and they didn't like all the foreigners who were taking over our country. Looking back through rose tinted spectacles I think, as we have never had it so good since we were in the European Union. I look at the young people now and feel sorry that they will not have the freedom to move around Europe as they wish, and I think that the situation here will become very difficult in a year or two. The one hope I had was that a very sensible woman was elected to guide us through the minefield of negotiating the terms. Even though she was a remainer . However, I was dismayed that Theresa May was first in the queue to meet that abomination of a Man that is now President of the USA. I felt embarrassed and ashamed that she was there fawning over him. I loved that article from the 1920's. So true. We have an old saying over here "we are all going to hell in a handcart" That is how I feel the world is going. I am fortunately optimist, but it is hard to keep your spirits up when you see what is happening in the world.

Happy to have an Ollie update. Recently I am the can opener for a friend's rotund feline while they are away. Booboo is always glad to see me arrive and relishes brief belly, chin, and back rubs before leading me to the kitchen and the can opener. He has a huge bowl of dry food sitting out as well. He is in charge like Ollie.

Another great Saturday line up, thanks for the lift.

its all good as long as we can laugh!

Thanks for the Ollie update. Yes, he sounds like so many cats. But they love us in their own, cat, way.

Outstanding lineup today, Ronni, enjoyed it all and it improved my dour mood considerably. Each day brings new horrors via the news and I keep thinking it would be wise to just quit listening and reading. But it never works, and back I go to find out the latest.

Anyway, I especially loved the Kyoto pictures (the lineup of cats is wonderful) and all the others will have another look-see. The latest on Ollie was very welcome as I've lately been curious as to his well being. My housemate feline is much the same, a bit elderly and sleeps much of the time hence somewhat rotund. Ollie's direct stare (last photo) is priceless!

As usual great Saturday post, Ronni. I had not seen the Netherlands feature before and am grateful not to have missed it.

A long time ago our mild-mannered Taffy also had the habit of burrowing under the spread for long, leisurely naps. But then, when a relative died, we adopted and introduced a Siamese named Kim, who took over the house. One day I found Kim actually strolling over the hump that contained Taffy! Mild-mannered or not, Taffy was one grumpy cat when he emerged. Eventually, Kim died, and Taffy became unchallenged Sleeper of the House again, until the wonderful age of 18 .

my 20 year old cat, Lucy, is the same type of cat and color and she has the same life style. Glad to know she is not alone in this world...J M

Great post. I loved this, especially Ollie the cat.

Loved the Toles cartoon and thorough Ollie update and pics. I absolutely adore TGB and have been a steadfast follower possibly since the very first post. Thank you, Ronni and all the commenters and contributors of links, topics, questions, and columns that enrich this treasure.

Re Jimmy Kimmel: We can thank people like these for Trump.

Ollie and I have a lot in common this winter. Glad to see him. My 10 year old grandkids know that ACA and Obamacare are the same, that piece was disconcerting. I'm guessing that's the kind of thing that got Trump elected. The Danish video makes me laugh out loud every time I see it. I should bookmark it for when the news gives me a headache.

Thanks for your post.

Ollie is such a handsome guy! An in-law had sent me the Netherlands link earlier this week; I saw that some of my right-wing "friends" on Facebook had even shared it!

The bad lip reading was hilarious.

Great post, especially the sections on Ollie the Cat and the ACA/Obamacare. Ollie looks pretty content for the most part. We have 3 senior kitties, all rescues. The oldest is somewhere between 15-17 but he's still lean; the other two are girls (11 and somewhere in the mid-teens, we think) and they're a bit more rotund. They all love to eat and line up underfoot singing "The Meow Chorus" when it's time to be fed. Cats are wonderful!

On a news segment a few weeks ago the reporter showed that a lot of tRumpeteers in the Rust Belt (and probably elsewhere) have no idea that the ACA and Obamacare are one and the same. When interviewed, these folks were adamant in supporting repeal of Obamacare, which would not affect them since THEY were covered under the ACA. I think they are in for a very rude awakening. Maybe losing their health insurance will penetrate the bubble in which so many tRump supporters seem to exist, but I can't say that I'm very optimistic!

At class this week the teacher shared with us a calendar with each month showing a different cat in a yoga pose.....I think you must have disturbed Ollie when he was getting ready to do a "Spinal Twist" - he looks like that is what happened when you caught him unawares in the large chair.

Too cute ! Thanks for a wonderful Saturday blog to brighten up my day.

Except for the fact that I prefer an afternoon nap, Ollie parallels my life to a tee. However, I had to give up napping on the floor and eating out of a bowl as I now find it difficult to stand up from anything but a sitting position.

Enjoyed reading about Ollie! I am taking a break from news about the outside world. I participated in the Women's March 1/21. I followed the airport protests last night on twitter.

My girl, Maude, is 14 yo. She is a talker. Since I retired, we have a routine. She is taken cared of 1st thing in the AM but she now comes and gets me to be brushed (for some reason, she understands "brushbrush?" and "hungry?") and to play. She has several toys but her favorite is a long skinny leftover tie I made from a reversible apron.

Love that lamp in the background of your 1st photo!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)