Happy Birthday, Ronni
ELDER MUSIC: Life on the Road


FIRST A PERSONAL NOTE: Thank you all for your many birthday greetings yesterday. They came through all kinds of sources - Facebook, LinkedIn, the blog and email - well, until the power went out at about 9:30AM and didn't return for nearly 10 hours. So I still have more to read this morning. You are the best and let me give one more shout out to the TGB music guru Peter Tibbles for his delightful column just for my birthday. I am now officially 76 years old.

* * *


In 1965, I was 24 years old; Willie Nelson was 32 and as far as I can recall, I hadn't heard of him yet.

Back then, he was a long way from what we've come to know and love - at least in terms of presentation. Take a look at his medley at the Grand Ole Opry that year.

Anyone who heard him then would have no trouble knowing he'd be around for a long, long time. Then and now, I always end up smiling when I'm listening to Willie.


We haven't discussed it for awhile but I assume you are regularly contacting your senators and representative in Congress to let them know your opinions and thoughts.

Now there is an additional way to do that – Facebook. Here are the basics:

Visit facebook.com/townhall by looking under the "Explore" section of your News Feed on a desktop, or by looking in the menu of your Facebook app on your phone.

“After submitting your street address (will be used only for civic engagement – not advertising – purposes), you will get a list of your local, state and national representatives...”

“From there, Facebook will let you contact your elected representatives directly with a single click, by calling the first number listed on the official's Facebook page (if you're on the social network's mobile app) or by sending an email or a Facebook message.”

There are more instructions and explanation as the Washington Post.


A whole lot of U.S. states have legalized or decriminalized the use of marijuana in various forms. But there is that pesky federal law against any use of it.

President Barack Obama and his Justice Department chose to ignore that law as more cannabis dispensaries opened across the United States. Now, our new Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has indicated that the federal law will be enforced. Given the billion dollar industry cannabis has become, that should be interesting to watch happen.

Last Sunday, on his HBO program, Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver took on that topic in his usual brilliant and funny way.


I couldn't tell you why but I have a fondness for the amazing underground living and working spaces people have created. Here is one in Fresno, California.

Around the turn of the 20th century, a Sicilian immigrant named Baldassare Forestier didn't like the heat in Fresno so, explains Mental Floss:

”...he began digging himself underground caverns in which to stay cool, and kept digging for the next 40 years. Along the way, Forestiere developed methods to deliver enough sunshine so that he could grow fruit trees and grapevines in his underground home.

“The result of his digging is now Forestiere Underground Gardens, where some of his original trees are still thriving 100 years later.”


The Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow, Poland produced salt from the 13th century up until 2007. Now it is a national historical monument.

“The natural resource has figured prominently in Poland's history over the centuries, and miners created an underground world that includes chapels and artworks carved into the walls, with more added by modern artists.”


You can find out more about the Wieliczka Salt Mines here. More about the Forestiere Underground Gardens here. And you can see a dozen or so more underground destinations at Mental Floss.


A Great Horned Owl was stuck sitting on a dead tree trunk in the middle of what looks like a swamp. He/she had been there all night and into the day because a wing was caught in fishing line.

Enter a perfectly named guy, Craig Loving, who took matters into his hands when no wildlife rescue professionals were available. This is – well, loving.


For some people of a certain age – like me – it is fun, in our computer age, to recall the “click,” “clack” and “ding” of the mechanical typewriters on which we learned to type. Now, The Boston Typewriter Orchestra is, as the YouTube page says, “making these old machines “sing” again:

”Since 2004, this six-man ensemble has been playing a range of covers and original songs on both desktop and portable machines from years past. And if you thought all typewriters emitted the same sounds, think again. This orchestra's sonorous symphonies have captivated crowds all over New England.”

Perhaps you noticed at about six seconds from this top of the video a certain style of typewriter under the opening credit, “The Typewriter Orchestra.”

I love that old typewriter style – those particular keys - so much that about three months ago, I splurged on a treat for myself, this computer keyboard:


It's called a Qwerkywriter. It is a fully functional Bluetooth keyboard that does everything a standard plastic computer keyboard does but it uses old fashioned keys, is made of sturdy metal like the old-timey typewriter I learned on – with those same keys - and is gorgeously designed. Here's a little video:

I use mine mostly with my desktop computer but it also works well with a tablet that you can slip into the slot where we once rolled paper into the machine. You can find out more about it at the Qwerkywriter website and read a review at Engadget.


Last Sunday, The Los Angeles Times began a daily series written by the editorial board that pulls not a single punch in regard to President Donald Trump in his first 70-something days in office. From the first installment:

”What is most worrisome about Trump is Trump himself. He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation.”

Whether you are fan or foe of the 45th president, this is a must-read series. It begins here.


All the YouTube page tells us is that Erwin Trummer made this short compilation video of melting candies set to classic music. It's quite beautiful.


Thank my friend Jim Stone for digging out this two-year-old video for us. I promise you will laugh out loud.

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.


Thank you, Ronni, for helping start my day with a chuckle & a huge grin! Oh an how I needed that. Another winner. Love Willie Nelson too. Dee:)

The owl! And the rescuer! Woo hoo!

In their early years in California, my parents lived across the street from Baldassare Forestiere when he was digging his cave. My dad would go over in the evenings and sit with him and hear about the day's diggings. He said that Mr. Forestiere was crazy but that digging the cave was a good idea to keep cool in Fresno's seriously hot climate (100 degree days are common in our summers).

I now live only a few miles from Forestiere Gardens but have only been on a tour once. The hours are erratic and there are some years the family doesn't open it at all. There are lots of problems within the family.

Oops, sorry I missed your birthday. Happy 76th. It's a great year!

Oops here too! In my comment yesterday meant to praise Peter's salute to your birthday. And many thanks to him too for providing a wonderful musical education every week. I so enjoy his contribution to TGB.

I wasn't online yesterday, and missed wishing you a happy birthday! So today I wish you a very happy birthday and many many happy returns! I know I am one of many who enjoy your blog and all you share with us. Thank you so much.

Willie Nelson has certainly changed with the years, but then I was much younger 52 years ago, and I have certainly changed since then myself. I loved his singing then, and I love it still.

That cockatoo is a hoot!

Thank you for the Willie Nelson video. I can't believe that is Willie Nelson! I could never picture him in a suit. Amazing!
What a brave and kind man to rescue that owl. I understand they can be dangerous. Hopefully, this president doesn't cause too many extinctions.

Ronnie, I hope you didn't spend your Birthday in the dark>

So much great material today! I'd have never recognized Willie from that picture, but the voice is unmistakable. The cockatoo was hilarious. But my favorite was the typewriter stuff. I've regretted for years not hanging onto the little Royal portable I started out on. After all my years in publishing, progressing from manual to electric typewriters to word processors to computers ... what a little treasure it would be. I imagine it sitting on a pedestal under a spotlight, with a sheet of paper in it, ready for visitors to play with. Assuming, of course, that I had a huge house with an entry hall, etc.

I love your blog there is always something that brings a smile ,or a chuckle . YHANK YOU .

Have a happy birthday week, month, and year.

You notice the female cockatoo is not so interested. :-) Love the owl rescue.

A super entertaining group of videos for this Saturday afternoon -- Thanks a bunch.

Also I've been in the Salt Mind in Krakow -- overcame a lot of claustrophobia to get down there and enjoyed it very, very much -- also enjoyed the pictures and your notes about it.

Love Mr. Loving and his owl rescue and Willie Nelson is one of my favorites. Not sure I would have recognized him until he started singing. What a sad, frightening and accurate commentary about our president.

Thanks for another great Saturday post.

Just delightful, and again a happy birthday again.

Today's blog is priceless !!
Thank you, Ronni.

Loved the videos! Great blog.

Love that owl rescue.

The rescuer is fantastic.


A friend is recovering from a heart operation.

He and his wife have a cockatoo named Clementine.

They love the bird.

But, Clementine, the bird, well it has a few quirks.

It hates men.

Clementine has an extensive collection of movie theme songs, but only for women.

If you are female, all you have to do is stand in front of Clementine's cage and whistle any old tune. Never mind if you are off-key..

The bird bursts forth with a marching song like the theme from "The Bridge Over the River Kwai."

Makes my day whenever I'm over there.

Very interesting stuff indeed. Willie Nelson...who knew

Hi and a belated Happy Birthday.........tho' having a happy anything takes more effort than before November 8th!

I so appreciate your column, contributions and comments from all.........there is such comfort in knowing we are not alone in our appreciation and love for our world and our right to stand and fight against "the bad guys"........ whose numbers seem to be growing!
But those of us who believe that "No! This (fill in the blank) is not OK" and "Do your job!" are increasing in numbers. too, and realizing that we do need to make our voices/concerns be heard in order to prevent tyranny.


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