Some Things I'm Finished With Forever
ELDER MUSIC: 1950 Yet Again



At least that's what comedian Lachlan Paterson says. Some of his routine made me laugh – ageism is a tricky business. What do you think?


For several years years, one of the finest reporters at The New York Times, John Leland, has been hanging out with six old, old people in New York City to report on their lives in a series of excellent stories. (Here is a page with links to the individual stories).

The series also resulted in a book, Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old.

Leland's latest update on his subjects was published last week. One of them, 95-year-old Ruth Willig,

”...gave thanks for larger gifts this year: as she stayed mostly the same, her family changed around her.

“'I dare not talk about not surviving,' she said one afternoon in her apartment, where balloons in the shape of a 9 and 5 held their last whiffs of helium. 'My children, my son especially, say, “Oh, Ma, you’re going to keep going forever.” 'The thought of my passing is very upsetting to him.'

“Ms. Willig could not help noting the passage of time, especially the absence of her three siblings. Once the youngest, she was now the last of her generation. 'It’s weird to be the only one left, it really is,' she said. I can’t really call anyone: do you remember this? It was not easy at first. I’m getting used to it.'”

Here's a short video from early 2018 of John Leland explaining what he has learned about facing death from his series subjects:


TGB reader, Celia Andrews sent this video of some ideas to get the grandkids off their tablets and other screens:


...and way too many places are reporting this change as a disaster: From The Daily Beast:

“It may not be all doom and gloom, said Donna Strobino, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 'I think it may stabilize once women who have been postponing pregnancy have the births they are planning to have.'”

Doom and gloom? It's a huge part of climate change that there are way too many people for our poor ol' stretched-to-the-limit planet to support.


...since its peak of 215.1 American deaths per 100,000 people in 1991, the cancer death rate dropped steadily by about 1.5% per year to 156 per 100,000 people in 2016, an overall decline of 27%.

The is good news for individuals but also probably wipes out the gains from lower birth rate. A more detailed report at CNN.


Well, the headline is a bit of a misnomer – it's more just a history cat and human interaction through the eons.


Wow. And I thought it was a struggle to lose 40-odd pounds in one year a few years back. This guy had lot further to go than I did and his progress is remarkable. Take a look:


I knew Ben Franklin invented a lot of things we still use today but when I bought my new rocking chair, I had no idea that Ben Franklin invented it.

You can read a list of lot more interesting stuff he invented at Mental Floss.


This video is longer than I usually post – 17 minutes – but I think it's worth your time. It will make you feel good.

There is a follow-up video one year later here..

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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.


Hooray for the news of the drop in the fertility rate. We must turn the narrative around and start celebrating decreases in the world's over population.

Thanks, Ronni, for so many great stories today. I laughed all the way through Lachlan's skit. Loved the deer story and the weight loss heroic journey.

I, too, was shocked to see a drop in fertility rates reported as a disaster. Overpopulation is one of the biggest threats to our planet and the sooner all nations learn that, the better.

I did a bit of digging after watching the fawn video. Honeysada is the screen name of Darius Sasnauskas, originally from Lithuania but now living near Yellowstone National Park. And aren't we glad he does!

I'm a diehard cat lover/owner and loved the cat history video. Enlightening!

You're right - the baby deer story did make me feel good. It's always so nice to have happy endings.

Now I understand why cats rule the household. And why Ollie bit your ankle.

I also laughed at Lachlan Paterson's routine. A picture of my breakfast? Hilarious since we have all probably seen photos of someone's dinner on blogs.

To live each day as if it were your last is good advice, but hard to remember as day's slip away.

The drop in population is only a disaster for consumerism. I for one welcome it. Thanks for making me laugh!

Wow, what a great assortment! I've never thought about younger generations as grandparents, what a clever angle the comedian took.

Regarding "Learning how to think about death changed the way I live": After a life-changing experience I have no problem with the thought whatsoever, in fact I'm looking forward to it. I'm in no rush, though. I'm happy now, I'll be happy then.

Something to entertain the grandkids? Heck, I had a great time watching the video!

I enjoyed the history of cats so much I sent out to several others who will get a chuckle out of it.

Having lived where deer and fawns were common, I especially enjoyed the last video. Good person AND good pets with good hearts.

Oh, and the fellow with the incredible weight loss - BRAVO!

Great collection especially the ones on the history of cats, the man who lost all that weight and the deer family. I lost 80 lbs. MANY years ago and managed to keep it off until last year. I used to be quite active (not particularly athletic, but active). Due to pain, I'm no longer able to maintain a high activity level and have gained about 8 lbs., which I'm sure wouldn't be easy to lose. At 82, maybe I just won't bother. I can always visit the local thrift shop to replace my very basic wardrobe in the next size up.

I have no desire to become one of the oldest old. It's no secret that I'm not a personal fan of old age, although I was doing "O.K." before my body started going south. I agree with several others that overpopulation--perhaps at both ends of the life spectrum--is a major issue in terms of survival of the planet. I'd be ready to shuffle off anytime except that I don't want to leave my 89 Y/O spouse and our two senior cats!

What a delightful post. The baby deer story was so heartwarming. I was holding my breathe worrying that the mother wouldn’t show up.

I’ve tried to find Celia Andrews on the web for more tips about keeping grandchildren occupied. No luck so far.

Charlotte, at the end of the video it says Blossom. You can find them on Facebook where there is a link to their website.

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