The Alex and Ronni Show – The First One of 2020
ELDER MUSIC: Songs of Shel Silverstein

INTERESTING STUFF – 4 January 2020


Let's have the YouTube page do the intro:

”Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, cooler than a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce, it’s Piper the Aviation Bird Dog, ready for duty.

“Alongside his handler Brian Edwards, the dynamic duo protects the planes at Cherry Capital Airport from bird strikes. Birds can pose a huge threat to flight safety, but when they see Piper on his way, geese, ducks and gulls flee the runways.

“It’s an important job, but not one without its share of fun.”

I'm pretty sure I've featured a different aviation bird dog before. Maybe dogs working at airports is a larger phenomenon that I knew. And look at Piper's cool sunglasses.


That title is Portuguese for The Thursday Meeting (according to Google Translate). I don't know what that has to do with the film but it doesn't matter – just enjoy the story. The film maker is only 20 years old.

Thank my friend Jim Stone for sending this.


Wow, is all I can say.


I'm not convinced it is the best cartoon of the century but it certainly is a cartoon for our time. Thank TGB reader Joan McMullen.



With the burning of the Amazon, Australia and deforestation in general, increasing numbers of writers are telling us just how amazing trees are. Here is one short version of one thing they do.


Peter Tibbles is the proprietor of the music section of this blog whose column appears here every Sunday. But sometimes I drop in a music video or two.

This is a mini-documentary from Willie Nelson. I never tire of his warm, cozy voice and his gentle urging of us to do the right thing.


Reporter Geoffrey A. Fowler wrote an end-of-decade overview of tech changes during the past 10 years.

He says there were no break-out new products during this period like the iPad and Walkman in the past but our relationship with our various screens got stronger and we became more dependent on them.

Fowler enumerates these changes some of which were probably not good for us and mankind. Like this one:

“The voice assistants Alexa, Siri and rival Google Assistant also helped make us comfortable with the idea there is just one answer to a question. Remember when searching for information required sorting through Google links? Now a tech giant gets to decide.”

If you think about that in regard to small children who don't know it's not necessarily true that there is only one answer to a question, it is worrisome. You can read all the rest – good and not so good – that Fowler has rounded up at the Washington Post.


Reader Joan McMullen sent this item too. I've featured designer Andreas Wannerstedt in the past and his work is always mesmerizing. Each of the items in today's video is “based upon the idea to trigger some kind of odd satisfaction and that inexplicable feeling we all know,” he says.

If you want to see more of Wannerstedt's work, just google his name. He's all over the web.


Little mouse. Big cracker. Persistence.

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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.


I was interested in the dog protecting planes. Seems like a great idea, but what do other and bigger airports do?

What a great selection of stuff today! Loved the video about Piper (and his cool blue goggles), the "way trees communicate" was downright jaw dropping & now I want to listen to Willie Nelson for the rest of this quiet, rainy day. Thank you, Ronni :)

Whew, wonderful!!! Thankyou so much, Ronni!

Loved the mouse. Wonder if his new year's resolution was working on patience.

Thanks for another great morning of Interesting Stuff!

I still have tears from Willie's video. These majestic long-suffering peaceful animals that have served and served and served. I'm so thankful that there have been efforts to make life comfortable for some in their later years. If only we could re-adjust our priorities and divert resources wasted on so many foolish and useless things to their care.

Loved the mouse. Such a metaphor for the ongoing struggle of everything -- especially the tiny things -- to survive in a world that is mostly hostile to them. Oh no -- here come the tears again.

That video of the couple in traffic who give the flowers to the woman in the car next to them doesn't need any English -- the language is universal.

After some of this other, I really appreciated the Wannerstedt video to cleanse the palate. Mesmerizing!

I hope you're having a good and interesting weekend as well.

Found myself rooting for the mouse and cracker. lol

I grew up with parents who constantly argued so the Portuguese video brought tears to my eyes. The kindness of strangers. Enjoyed the airport dog and the snow train in Japan.

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