Old People and Skin Hunger
ELDER MUSIC: Scott Joplin



Since just about everyone has a mobile phone now, old fashioned phone booths are going the way of dodo. People in London, however, are finding interesting new uses for their iconic red booths. Two examples - a defibrillator and a community library:



Both photos by Andrew Testa for The New York Times where there are more photos and an interesting story to go with them.


Friend and TGB reader, Richard Lombard, sent this quotation in response to my announcement earlier this week of Ollie the cat's death.

Last June, Richard explained in his email, the American Film Institute (AFI) presented actor Diane Keaton with a lifetime achievement award. Here is what Woody Allen told Keaton when he presented her with the award – video and transcript below:

”She's always had a morbid fear of death. And I tell her there's nothing to worry about. Because if you've ever had a colonoscopy, they give you an injection and you're out! And it's black and peaceful and nice. And so death is like a colonoscopy. The problem is that life is like the prep day."

At the end of his message, Richard noted to me, “Ollie is in the beautiful place. We are still doing the prep!”


According to NBC News (and many other news organizations),

”The Trump administration is moving to reverse Obama-era rules barring hunters on some public lands in Alaska from baiting brown bears with bacon and doughnuts and using spotlights to shoot mother black bears and cubs hibernating in their dens.

“The National Park Service issued a notice Monday of its intent to amend regulations for sport hunting and trapping in national preserves to bring the federal rules in line with Alaska state law.

“Under the proposed changes, hunters would also be allowed to hunt black bears with dogs, kill wolves and pups in their dens, and use motor boats to shoot swimming caribou.

“These and other hunting methods — condemned as cruel by wildlife protection advocates — were outlawed on federal lands in 2015.”

My heart is breaking. It has always baffled me what people get out of shooting animals for sport.

The public has 60 days from Tuesday 22 May to comments on the proposed roll-back of sane hunting regulations. You can do that at the regulations.gov website.

In the search box, type "RIN (1024-AE38)" (with the quotation marks). When the next page loads, click on the “Comment Now” button.

When the comment page loads, type your message and include the words “National Park Service” or “NPS”. And maybe you could pass this on to your readers or friends.


A testy conversation ensues:

(The internet tells me the plural of lynx is lynxes. I think that sounds weird, so I made the plural lynx for today.)


My friend Ann Burack-Weiss sent these/ The sentiments are honest, real and hard to find:


You can purchase these cards and many other more “traditional” ones at Emily McDowell Studio along with a variety of other products. (Warning: this website is heavily commercial – many things for sale – but they are much more clever and interesting than many.)


As the Big Geek Daddy page explains:

”This is the latest video in the True Facts series from Ze Frank. Each episode is like a miniature science lesson from a teacher full of humor and sarcasm that any student would find entertaining.”

I agree – see if you do too.


My friend Dave Delaney posted these rules on his LinkedIn page. You wouldn't think grownups need to be told such things as, but apparently not:

Only jerks recline their seats on domestic flights. Passengers are already packed like sardines up there.

Avoid the airport seats near power outlets if you’re not going to use them. Be sure to unplug and share that power once you are all juiced up.

If the person you strike up a conversation with doesn’t ask you questions, it’s time to be quiet.

You can read the rest of Dave's rules at his LinkedIn page.


Pew Research compiled the statistics on how some demographics have changed over 16 years in every U.S. county. Just as useful, Pew allows embedding this interactive feature.

Just type in the name of your county and click on the correct one in the dropdown menu. Your selected county information will appear:

If for some reason this doesn't work here, you'll find the Pew Research page here which also has more information about the survey.


As you might imagine, I've been thinking a lot this week about how important our pets are to us. In this case, a soldier with PTSD and a stray kitten rescued each other.

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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.



Thank you very much for the gov website to post comments regarding lifting the sport hunting ban in Alaska. What a tragedy...This generation and others before us will be judged harshly, and rightfully so, for our treatment of animals and nature. Sport hunting is a psychological disorder in my opinion....I've posted it on FB and know that my tribe will also write in.

On another note, saw a marvelous HBO special last night that I think you will love: If you're not in the Obit, eat breakfast. It is a wonderful special on aging well.

It seems to me there is no sport whatsoever in those hunting practices. It seems to me that Trump's only real plan is to undo anything that is any way associated with Obama.

Thanks for the post on hunting regulations. I sent in my comments already and am posting to FB.

Love the empathy cards.

Thanks, Ronni, for the Alaska information.

Some people must have people, creatures, nature, etc., 'beneath' them, in their own minds, rather than choose to get along and respect all entities, especially mother earth and earthly creations which we need to live.

Will do whatever, whenever necessary and possible, to try righting this wrong-headedness. That may be only by example, email and $ at this stage of life! Good enough!

I just watched the cat and the vet post...and I cried. Pets can bring us comfort, companionship and support. Our yellow lab, Honey, enriches our lives. I was so sorry to hear of your loss.

What rationale can possibly justify the wanton slaughter of wildlife in a supposedly advanced civilization? I could support subsistance hunting, but this is an ugly human behavior. Even animals don't kill for sport.

I watched the lynx video several times before moving on. Fascinating. Not at all what I'd have imagined they sound like. They're cats, but don't look or sound like it.

And I still have tears in my eyes after watching the mutual rescue video ...

I loved the soldier and the cat story. Sometimes a pet comes into our lives at the right times and this little kitten certainly came into the soldier's life at the crucial time.

I think Olga is exactly right. Such a cruel petty man who is in the White House now. He is such a narcissist that he needs to feed his fragile ego with destruction. Unfortunately, the destruction is affecting real people and real animals.

-rump's sons are trophy hunters so maybe this decision on allowing trophy hunters to shoot defenseless cubs in their dens, etc. has something to do wit that. It sickens me.

I too am sickened by the hunting regulations change. I have sent my comment.

On another note--I love the air passenger rules! So many times I have jammed my knees into the back of the seat in front of me to keep its occupant from leaning into my lap. As for unwanted conversation--here is a case where I'm grateful for iPads and movies, which, for the most part, keep the chatterers occupied.

“Under the proposed changes, hunters would also be allowed to hunt black bears with dogs, kill wolves and pups in their dens, and use motor boats to shoot swimming caribou."

No hunter worthy of the name would engage in such contemptible behaviour. These aren't hunters, they're boorish louts and yahoos.

I'm Canadian, so I'm not qualified to protest the proposed changes in the USA. But I applaud those Americans who are doing so.

Having said that, I must respectfully disagree, at least somewhat, with the "what's wrong with sport hunters anyway" theme that I see developing here. All hunters should not be tarred with the same brush.

First, if anyone buys conventional store-bought meat, they have no business criticizing people who shoot their own animals (aside from the previously mentioned louts and yahoos that is). Farm animals, for the most part, no longer live their lives cavorting around idyllic farmyards, cared for by the kindly farmer. The rise of factory farming world- wide has meant that the dead animals we buy from the store so neatly wrapped and seemingly harm-free, have generally lived lives and deaths of unrelenting misery. They are very often kept in crowded conditions, pumped full of antibiotics, and/or handled by cruel, sadistic people (because what caring person would want to work with animals who are being routinely mistreated) and shipped "live" in absolutely horrendous conditions to their final terrifying and brutal place of slaughter.

This isn't some animal-rights-activist myth, it's been shown to be the case over and over again by brave people who infiltrate farm factories and video the horrors that happen within them. If there is one good thing that has come from Facebook, it would be the world-wide broadcasting of this information, from countries around the world, including our own. I had no idea until recently how widespread this ghastly cruelty to farm animals really is.

And here's the thing: we could stop this if we had the will to do so. But in my experience, most people who eat store-bought meat, turn a blind eye to the horrendous practices they are supporting with their dollars and furthermore, won't even sign petitions or send letters of protest to those who could change the laws around animal husbandry. Even people who adore their own pets, avert their eyes when it comes to farm animals, because the subject makes them uncomfortable I assume. It makes me crazy that we could change this cruelty and we don't.

The second reason for my disagreement with the "sport hunters are bad, what are they thinking anyway" theme is this: wild animals, for the most part, live difficult lives and die quite awful deaths. Nature is brutal. All wild animals are in a fight for survival, searching for enough food to stay alive and (depending on the species), fleeing from predators, competing for their own territory, struggling with deep snow and ice in winter, drought and insects and parasites in summer, as well as disease and injury in between times. And when they die, it is generally no picnic. Starvation, killed by other animals, wasting disease, whatever. So if a hunter (an ethical hunter that is), comes along and cleanly shoots one of them, that's probably as good as it gets, in terms of death.

I'm fairly well-acquainted with this subject as I've been married to a biologist (and ethical hunter) for almost 50 years. I've seen how he and his hunting friends take excellent care of their rifles, practice faithfully at the gun range so they can kill an animal with a single shot, never shoot unless they know they can cleanly kill what they're hunting (deer, moose or possibly elk) and generally behave like responsible, compassionate humans doing an important job. They hunt for their food, as humans and other predator animals have been doing since forever.

I'm a vegetarian myself and being a nurturing sort, could never kill anything other than a mosquito or a flea (unless I was starving I guess. Then who knows what any of us would do). I don't eat any meat, wild or tame. But I respect people who respect animals and who treat them well, regardless of whether they're hunters or not.

We have no store-bought meat in our house, just game meat. And I'm okay with that, because it's from animals that have been kindly-killed.

End of rant :-) Sorry, I didn't mean to rant. Cruelty to animals really gets me going.

Thanks for opportunity to weigh in on the Trumpster's latest very bad, immoral, cruel and unnecessary proposal.

Thx for the link for posting a comment on the proposed rules changes for hunting in Alaska. I left a comment.

And, thx for the beautiful vid about how a cat saved a man's life. It was so heartfelt. Well done.

We love thru loving.

A couple of years ago I took a MOOC (open online class) on ethical hunting, its purpose and practice. I have to admit that my thinking was somewhat changed by the content of the course. However, much of the changes being made today are for sport hunting, not controlling real problems or making it possible for people who live in the boondocks to feed themselves and their families, Illinois recently added bobcats to the animals that can now be shot or trapped, with a permit. Permits are very inexpensive and the number issued keeps growing annually, although the truth is that bobcats have not been found to pose a threat to farm animals, humans. or people's pets. In fact, they're shy and reclusive animals, not much larger than house cats, and mostly eat rodents, small birds and bugs. One thing that makes bobcats desirable to hunters is that their pelts bring high prices -- especially in Asia. I cannot imagine what it is that makes human beings want to take the lives of animals for the fun of it. Certainly there is no "sport" when they can shoot babies and hunt them down in their homes to do so. Disgusting.

I did enjoy the ant story. Entomologist and professor E.O. Wilson has written some excellent books and some great videos have been made of his work. He has been fascinated by ants since he was a child and has made their study his life's work and done a sensitive and brilliant job of it.

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