42 posts categorized "The Alex and Ronni Show"

Living and Dying in Interesting Times Plus The Alex and Ronni Show

There is no doubt that since the day Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the United States in January 2017, we have been living in interesting times. But I don't think even Trump can say we have been living in the best of times.

Well, maybe some Republicans would, but given his incessant whining about perceived slights, not Trump. It may be that he has never had a good day in his entire life.

Me? As much as I have been stunned almost daily by Trump's terrible acts – particularly the environmental ones – I have never been disinterested.

Just when you think he will never do anything more foul than praising white supremacists, neo-Nazis and armed militia groups in Charlottesville as “very fine people,” he surpasses that by miles speculating that a 75-year-old protester, who was seriously injured by Buffalo police, deliberately provoked the officers and faked his injuries.

With Trump, it is always a case of his saying things so awful that we cannot look away. The huge demonstrations and inept (at best) White House responses over the death of George Floyd give me hope that something big is happening and that this year's election will be way too interesting to miss, however it turns out.

Alas. I want to be here for it but I don't have a lot of confidence that I will make it that long. Do me a favor, please. If I'm not here on 3 November, have a celebratory drink for me. Or a bit of cry if that is what is called for instead.

Look at what I found hanging around on the web. It is a screen shot from a previous Alex and Ronni Show in the summer of 2019 when my hair had not yet grown in after I lost it to chemotherapy. I had forgotten that I looked pretty good with a bald head.


In this week's episode, recorded on Tuesday, what you'll see is a couple of old folks talking to themselves as though no one would be watching. A little of this and that and some mention of these extraordinary times we are living in.

The Alex and Ronni Show 7 April 2020

But before we get to that...

Yesterday was my birthday. Several weeks ago, I had made plans for a birthday lunch with my friend, Kirsten Jacobs, but you all know what happened to that idea. We have vowed to do it whenever the time comes for it to be safe to visit a restaurant – and each other – again.

Thank all of you who knew my birthdate from past years and who sent e-cards, paper cards, email messages and blog comments with wishes for a happy day. It was happy thanks, in part, to you.

Yesterday was a Tuesday, the day of the week when I publish a reader story, and I decided not to disrupt that schedule just for my 79th birthday.

It seems to me that 79 isn't a particularly notable birthday. However, I am surprised to be here for it. Doctors told me in June 2017, that I had (have still) pancreatic cancer. Two years later, they said I also have COPD.

Pancreatic cancer kills almost 90 percent of its victims within a year and back in 2017, I just wanted to live long enough to read the Mueller Report. Well, that didn't change much, and now I want to live to see the November election.

It's birthdays and other kinds of anniversaries that always make me wonder if I'll be be among the living for the next one. Maybe. Maybe.

Two other things happened yesterday. I attended my first Zoom meeting, Ask Millie, with my east coast friend Millie Garfield, her son Steve Garfield and half a dozen other people.

That was fun and I may need to explore how I can use it. Steve posted the video of us all at Millie's blog.

Also, my former husband and I recorded our biweekly Alex and Ronni Show. Mostly he and I talked about – what else? - the virus. Here it is.

The Alex and Ronni Show

A week ago day, I felt kind of funny. Not quite well, but not sick either. The next day, I knew something was definitely wrong. I checked the pharmacy and grocery store off my to-do list that morning, and when I got home, I went to bed.

Fatigue, body pains, temperature of 100.x and breathing difficulty. I have a home oxygen concentrator so I used that to help me sleep Thursday night and again on Friday night, a day during which my condition didn't change much.

In the world we live in now, of course, I had only one thing on my mind.

On Saturday, I telephoned my primary care physician's office. After a discussion of my symptoms, it was decided that I should stay home but if my breathing became more difficult, I should call 911 and go to the emergency room.

On Sunday, I felt slightly better and my temperature was almost down to normal but I was still tired and ache-y and mostly stayed in bed. My breathing was not not back to what it should be but it was better.

On Monday, feeling like I was back among the living, I had a previously-scheduled telehealth meeting with my palliative care provider. Of course, no one can be certain without a test, but he doesn't think I had/have COVID-19 and pointed out that beyond the seasonal flu, there are plenty of other bugs floating around.

At my instigation, we had a come to Jesus discussion about how I could expect to die if I did have COVID-19. It's not pleasant with lungs as deeply compromised as mine but there are drugs to help. The key point for me was that we didn't talk about IF I would die if I contract the virus, only how.

It's Tuesday as I write this. I did the Skype call this morning with Alex to record today's Alex and Ronni Show and was surprised how tired I was afterwards. But of course that makes sense after four or five days in bed.

Mostly, this interruption to my routine left me considering my personal end of days more closely than I have done for quite awhile and I'll bring that up another time.

The reason for this intro to The Alex and Ronni Show is that I was still tired, quite crabby and it shows in the video. So I'm making a public apology to Alex for my bad behavior.

And now that I've written this, I'm going to go take a nap.

Pancreatic Cancer. Plus The Alex and Ronni Show

Even in a jam-packed political week in the United States when the Iowa caucuses took place on Monday, the State of the Union address by the president on Tuesday and the impeachment vote in the Senate on Wednesday, I spent a lot of time being distracted by pancreatic cancer.

Because I've been living with it since 2017, that shouldn't be notable. But I have felt unusually healthy in the past few months and I was thinking about well-known people who live with the same disease.

This came to mind on Monday when Wayne State University bestowed its Walter P. Reuther Humanitarian Award to Georgia Representative John Lewis “in recognition of Lewis’s decades-long history of political leadership and grassroots advocacy.”

First noting that he voted to impeach President Donald Trump, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) recently summarized Lewis's distinguished life and career:

”Before he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Lewis was and remains a key figure in America’s civil rights movement. A key ally of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Lewis was the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington, representing the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, of which he was the chairman.

“In 1961, as one of the original Freedom Riders, he was beaten and bloodied as they rode through the South addressing laws prohibiting black and white riders from sitting next to each other on public transportation.

“The 1965 attack in Selma, where Lewis has said, 'I thought I saw death. I thought I was going to die,' sparked nationwide support, sympathy and horror and spurred Congress to move on what became the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”

Lewis was unable to attend the presentation of the award at Wayne State because he is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.

In a 1 January interview, Representative Lewis told an AJC reporter,

“'As you well know, I will be going through something that I have never been through before,' Lewis said. 'I have had friends and colleagues who have gone through similar situations. I will be talking and learning from them and obeying my physicians.'”

Me too - obeying my physicians which has worked our pretty well. And I wish with all my might that it will do the same for Representative Lewis. We need people like him in Congress, and more like him.

I don't know Lewis. I've never met him and I've never lived in 5th Congressional District in Georgia so he has not been my representative.

But if I had lived there, I surely would have voted for him in every one of the 17 elections he has won and I would vote for him again in November this year. There are not many in public life these days who are as decent and good and honorable as Lewis.

Pancreatic cancer is way down the list of cancers in terms of prevalence. Number 12 behind much more common cancers as breast, lung and prostate – the top three. But it is one of the top three deadliest.

Is that the reason, I sometimes wonder, that I feel a kinship with anyone who is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Even people I don't know. Maybe that is how Jeopardy! host, Alex Trebek – who has been treated for pancreatic cancer since early last year – felt when he was quoted on the website of radio station WABE in Atlanta:

“We’re starting a new year, and let’s see if we can’t both complete the year as pancreatic cancer survivors,” Trebek said when asked what he would tell Lewis. He noted they’re the same age, 79.”

At his announcement of the diagnosis, Representative Lewis told the AJC,

“'I’ve been in some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life,' he said. 'I have never faced a fight quite like this one.'

“He added, in a message to constituents, that he might miss a few upcoming votes as he undergoes treatment, 'but with God’s grace I will be back on the front lines soon.'”

Yes. Please. Here's is a photo of Lewis at the Pride Parade in Atlanta in October 2019 posted on the AJC website.


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Amidst all the political hullaballoo this week, my former husband and I recorded a new episode of The Alex and Ronni Show on Tuesday.

You can find Alex's show – Alex Bennett's Ramble – on Facebook and Apple Podcasts.

Internet Friends Redux and The A & R Show

To my surprise, Friday's post about disappearing internet friends drew a lot more comment that I would have expected. It appears to be a common problem, losing track of web friends.

It was lovely to hear from so many readers who are still here but who don't comment. There is nothing wrong with that; no one should feel obligated to leave a comment. Here are some notes after re-reading through the comments starting with

Some people mentioned they do not like entering their information every time they want to comment; some others don't have the problem. That is because autofill (or not) is a function of your browser. Plus, new privacy restrictions have recently gone into effect which may have removed your autofill.

Every browser handles privacy issues differently. You can find out how to change your autofill settings by searching “how to enable autofill in firefox”. Substitute the name of your browser (chrome, safari, etc.) for firefox.

I am surprised to find out how many of you have been reading Time Goes By since I lived in Manhattan, followed along when I moved to Portland, Maine, and then to Oregon in 2010. That is so nice to hear.

A few who have not commented in a long while wondered if I would remember their names and in every case, I do – it is terrific to see you here again.

I was pleased to be able to put one reader together with another to find out what had happened to a third person they both know.

Regarding my demise, I have a blog post written titled, If You're Reading This, I'm Dead. When I first wrote it, I meant to update it every year but I think I've fallen behind on that and I'll put it on my to-do list.

My good friend, healthcare proxy and executor, Autumn, will post that entry when I die. You might recall her keeping you updated in June of 2017 when I'd had the Whipple surgery and was out of commission for a week or so.

People who have blogs, Facebook pages or some other social media presence can set up something similar. It's everyone else – the people who comment but don't have an online space of their own that we lose track of and I don't have a solution for that.

Thank you to everyone who finds this online place to be worth your time. After all these years, I still enjoy doing it and even more, reading each day what you have to say.

THE ALEX AND RONNI SHOW – 25 January 2020
Alex and I recorded this episode on Saturday, the only day we were both available at the same time. (I thought retirement means you aren't so busy anymore...)

We covered more territory that we usually do: pockets (or lack thereof) in clothing, health (typical old people talk), racism, Alex's beard, hair loss, the impeachment trial and so on.

Here it is:

You can find Alex's show – Alex Bennett's Ramble – on Facebook and Apple Podcasts.


It's that time of the month again – The Alex and Ronni Show wherein the proprietor of Time Goes By and her former husband chitchat about old folks stuff.

One of the subjects that came up on Wednesday when we recorded this episode was the TV game show, Jeopardy!

Most Americans, I think, have watched the venerable program, hosted by Alex Trebek, at least now and then. I certainly have but it had been a long time since I had tuned in. Years, in fact, until last week.

The show brought back the three highest-earning winners to compete with one another for a GOAT show – the Greatest Of All Time game. I watched. It was fun and, if you're not a fan or didn't watch, Ken Jennings won.

Over the evenings of the tournament, as the well-known theme song played, a coziness settled over me. Through the shows, which were twice as long as the regular one, I felt comfort in the familiar format and in the formality of it.

The rules, which are sensible, are absolute and no one breaks them, arguments do not happen, the judges are meticulous and no one lies.

When was the last time that was true in U.S. politics? Or even in the daily news? It's hard to recall.

So it struck me that Jeopardy! is like a little island of sanity in a world of horrible chaos, of daily outrages that don't have time to run their course until the next one – or two or three – land in our laps.

Maybe I'll become a regular viewer of the show for awhile just to help maintain my sanity in an insane world.

There. Now you can fast forward through that part of The Alex and Ronni Show which is near the top of the video.

You can find Alex's show – Alex Bennett's Ramble – on Facebook and Apple Podcasts.

The Alex and Ronni Show – The First One of 2020

Here we all are having wound down the holiday season and starting a bright, shiny new year with nothing too awful yet to spoil it.

My former husband, Alex Bennett, and I recorded our bi-weekly Skype show on Wednesday, the first day of 2020.

Fair warning, the video is out of sync by about a second. If that annoys you - as it does me – you could just listen and not look at the screen. It's mostly a radio show with pictures anyway so no loss.

Alex and I got through a lot of material this time. Reacting to the media end-of-year compilations of events over the past 12 months, we talked about the sense that our individual worlds are shrinking as the touchstones of our generation die. Our world becomes less recognizable without them until we don't feel as much a part of the culture or the zeitgeist as we once did.

We moved on to how Alex's prostate cancer is being treated and how, also, after his lifetime of hypochondria over make-believe ailments, somehow it has been easier for him to come to terms with a real health threat than all those imaginary ones.

We segued from there into my little show-and-tell for Alex of the variety of edible cannabis products I use to be able to sleep a full night. Alex is a bit jealous that it's not yet legal in New York where he lives.

We followed that with some inevitable political/election chat. It appears that Alex doesn't think any of the Democratic contenders can beat President Trump.

And we finished up when Alex gave a shout-out to Time Goes By and especially to TGB's readers and their comments.

Here it is. Not the most flattering static shot but that happens sometimes.

You can find Alex's show – Alex Bennett's Ramble – on Facebook and Apple Podcasts.

The Alex and Ronni Show: A Birthday, Software Update and a Lot of Laughs

It was a big day Wednesday when Alex and I recorded this week's episode of The Alex and Ronni Show - it was Alex's 80th birthday. That's no small thing.

We had a good laugh about how, in our old age, the medical community wants to update us regularly, like a software update. It sure does seem that way sometimes.

Then we laughed some more about being one another's oldest living friend – oldest, that is, in terms of how many years we have known each other.

Actually, we laughed pretty much all the way through this video. About new year resolutions, technology, politics, old age, how childhood has changed and we also talked a little about the new-ish opening Alex cut for his online show.

It's just beautiful – a montage of gorgeously shot New York City scenes that, for me, catches the essence of the city, and it made me a bit weepy missing it. Take a look:

Later in the day I wondered how long we've been doing The Alex and Ronni Show. When I checked, I was surprised to see that Alex did an interview with me for his show way back in September 2017. That's only three months after my cancer diagnosis.

We began the bi-weekly show we do now in February 2018. I had no idea it had been that long – it is true about how the passage of time seems to go faster and faster the older we get.

Anyway, below is the latest episode. You will find Alex's show on Youtube. Or, it is also on Gabnet or on Facebook.

You can find Alex's show – Alex Bennett's Ramble – on Facebook and Apple Podcasts.

The Alex and Ronni Show – 4 December 2019

Here we are again, my former husband Alex and I in another Skype chat recorded on Wednesday.

We covered a whole lot of territory this week. Thanksgiving. Meeting the son this late in life that I gave up for adoption 50-odd years ago. My sometime resemblance to the actor Shirley MacLaine and a funny story about that.

Then there's Alex's hypochondria which, he says, has driven all his wives nuts. (I'll confirm that – at last in my case.) Of course we got round to cancer, Medicare, some thing stuff and Alex's upcoming 80th birthday.

Some of you are kind enough to tell me you enjoy these chats. I think they are maybe a bit much. But hey, we live in the age of the internet where everyone is center stage.

You can find Alex's show – Alex Bennett's Ramble – on Facebook and Apple Podcasts.

The Alex and Ronni Show – 22 November 2019

Comedians looking for cheap laughs often disparage old people for talking too much (or at all) about their ailments. It's almost true – we do talk about our arthritis, cancer, heart disease, etc. fairly regularly.

Maybe one reason is that compared to our previous lives – that is, younger adult years – we spend a whole lot time in doctors' offices, managing medications and trying to coerce recalcitrant limbs into mobility each day which uses up a lot of time we might otherwise spend on more interesting stuff.

And maybe it is also a way, when elder friends greet one another, to check on whether either will be around for a while longer. Maybe the subtext of “How are you?” at our age really is exactly that, How Are You? in the most literal sense.

It's become that way on The Alex and Ronni Show. Health is the first thing we check on when we record these chats.

In his responses, Alex is more graphic than I'm entirely comfortable with but the pattern is long set now on screen and in life. We settle any health issues before getting on to anything else.

So after that in this week's show, we get into the impeachment hearings, the 1973 Watergate hearings and the Hong Kong demonstrations.

Not that you should take any of this loose conversation as particularly noteworthy. It's just two old friends who happened to have been married for a few years a long time ago keeping in touch in their old age.

You can find Alex's show – Alex Bennett's Ramble – on Facebook and Apple Podcasts.

The Alex and Ronni Show Plus Fear of Phone Conversations

In the summer of 2018, Brigid Delaney, writing in The Guardian complained that talking with a friend on the telephone was a “time suck” - too tedious to be bothered with.

Instead, we should all be using WhatsApp or texting, she says. When her phone rings,

”I feel such a wave of animus and fear that I am unsettled for the rest of the day. Usually I don’t answer it.”

Amimus? Fear? A couple of weeks ago, a different Guardian writer, Melanie Tait, at first confesses to a similar response:

”There are lots of things to panic about with a phone call,” she writes, “chief among them being: what if we run out of things to say, and there’s, God forbid, silence?

But Ms. Tait has now discovered the joys of phone chats and her goal is to explain their attraction and benefits to the likes of Ms. Delaney which apparently means most of the younger generation. Discussing a friend who calls her in the evening, Ms. Tait writes,

”We’ll spend a lot of these conversations trying to make each other laugh, but I’ve also noticed we’re both able to share a little more in this telephonic friendship than we do in real life (our real-life friendship also being a very robust one).

“The lack of eye contact means some questions are easier to ask and some things are easier to reveal.

“It’s like being transported back to high school in the 90s, where you’d be at school all day, and at night, extension chord dragged into the pantry while the rest of the house slept.

“Phone D&Ms (“deep and meaningfuls”) were one of the great emotional releases in pre-mobile teen life, a chance to talk away the existential drama of the school day.”

Of course, people of our age have always known that and personally, it's how I keep my far-flung friends close – with long, sometimes two or three hours at a time, phone conversations where we solve all the problems of the world together. Until next time.

Tait winds up her essay as a thoroughly convinced convert:

”Tonight, headphones in, a phone call or two means I’ll discover something new about someone I care about, laugh at least three times, reveal something I wouldn’t tell anyone else and maybe even discover a new Liza Minnelli impersonator I’d never heard of.”

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My former husband, Alex Bennett, and I had our biweekly Skype chat yesterday. I think we spent way too much time on my health predicament, but he doesn't agree.

The Alex and Ronni Show – 23 October 2019

It's happened again that my life got busier than I had planned and I have come up empty for a blog post today. There was just no time left.

One of the issues has already eaten up too much of two days and it will take more telephone calls and callbacks than humans should be required to endure before it is resolved.

You might even have been here: according to the online Medicare Plan Finder, the new 2020 price for two of my prescription drugs comes to around $17,000 per month.

Did you get that “per month” part at the end? As I type, I'm still trying to pick myself up off the floor.

This is wrong on so many levels – especially that I currently pay about $200 for both per month.

Oh never mind. It's not a talent I'm proud of, but I'm good at this stuff involving long waits and less than well-informed customer service representatives. It will work out eventually and if not, you'll certainly hear about it.

Meanwhile, below is the most recent episode of The Alex and Ronni Show recorded on Monday, 21 October.

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If you would like to see Alex's entire two-hour show with other guests following our chat, you can do that at Facebook or Gabnet on Facebook or on YouTube.

The Alex and Ronni Show – Posted 19 August 2019

This episode of The Alex and Ronni Show was recorded last Wednesday, 14 August. Since then, Jeffrey Epstein's death, which we discuss about halfway through the video, has been declared a suicide by the medical examiner.

I've never been a conspiracy theorist but I still think it's fishy.

Unrelated to anything Alex and I discussed in this video, I was was watching live TV reports of the protest marches of Proud Boys and Antifa in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday while idly skimming through online news.

I found this lovely story about a former refugee who was given a bicycle by an aid worker in the Holland camp where she lived with her parents for several years when she was a little girl. "My five-year-old heart exploded with joy," she said.

As young as she was then, she never forgot the man's kindness. Twenty-nine years old now and living in London, she took a long shot recently, posting a photo of him on Twitter asking if anyone knows his name or where he lives.

Given how much bad stuff goes on on the internet, this is a refreshing story. Read it at Daily Kos. It's worth your time and you will feel really good when you've finished.

What Elders Really Want, and The Alex and Ronni Show

Every day, my email box fills with half a dozen, often more, newsletters urging me to do, do, do. (AARP and Next Avenue are particularly prolific at this.)

Walk 10,000 steps, they tell me, volunteer, get a part-time job, take a class, declutter my home and much more depending on what a new book or media star is recommending this week.

One important thing about these messages: I can't prove it of course, but I believe they are written by younger adults (let's call them pre-elders for now) who haven't a clue yet what old age is like.

This idea has been rolling around in my head for awhile now. I had intended to write about it but TGB reader Ann Burack-Weiss beat me to it in a TGB Reader Story that I published on Tuesday titled My Comfort Zone.

”You’d think they’d let up by the time you reach your 80s,” writes Ann. “That all you need do to keep yourself going is to keep yourself going. But no; everything you hear or read pushes you toward new horizons...

“Old folks are repeatedly told to heed the siren call of the untried that, from the beginning of time, has lured humans from their caves into the sun of enhanced existence...”

After giving a bunch of good reasons to reject this kind of thinking about elders, Ann concludes:

”So I’ll stay right here. Comforted by the familiar, buoyed by memories. Relaxing? Lolling? No, wallowing – that’s the word I’m looking for, wallowing, in my comfort zone.”

The comments on Ann's post, with only one demur as I write this on Tuesday, join me in enthusiastically supporting her point of view.

These days, I like being home. One trip per day out the door is about all I can tolerate now – to the grocery store, lunch with a friend, and in my particular case, doctor visits. I love it when friends come to my home for a visit. Home is my comfort zone and I “wallow” in the days I don't need to go somewhere – no matter what the pre-elders think I should be doing.

If you missed Ann's story yesterday, check it out.

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On The Alex and Ronni Show this week we covered a bunch of topics that are in the news this week. Alex emailed to say the picture freezes at some point but the audio is okay, then the video comes back. Sorry. As he says, "I'm getting to hate all technology."

The Fourth of July 2019 and The Alex and Ronni Show

In addition to tomorrow, I'm taking an extra day (today) off from the blog.

Even though the president of the United States has hijacked our country's traditional celebration in Washington, D.C. and replaced it with a campaign rally, including a VIP section at the Lincoln Memorial where only his friends and family are allowed, you and I can still celebrate in our own ways.

Usually I post fireworks on this holiday. But it occurred to me that given the kind of man we have in the White House and the many assaults/insults he has visited on our laws, institutions and ideals, perhaps it would be good to have a reminder of one of our founding documents which this holiday was created to celebrate.

It's a short video, just four minutes, and it couldn't be more timely. Listen to this women who has spent 20 years teaching the Declaration of Independence, explain the “self-evident truths” sentence in that document. The YouTube page explains further:

”Few Americans are aware of the fact that the first printing of the Declaration of Independence contained a copy error. As a result, many subsequent republications of the text display the typo.

“In a new video filmed at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival in June [2018], Danielle Allen, a political theorist and professor at Harvard University, explains why this seemingly innocuous oversight can have grave consequences.

“Interpreting this sentence correctly, Allen argues, is crucial to understanding how the powers of government are organized—and, consequentially, how to be an effective civic agent.”

Happy July Fourth, everyone - and one more thing:

Here is latest episode of The Alex and Ronni Show. I think we talked way too long about elder ailments but Alex doesn't agree.

If you would like to see Alex's entire two-hour show with other guests after me, you can do that at Facebook or Gabnet on Facebook or on YouTube.

Old-Timers' Time. Plus, The Alex and Ronni Show

Pretty much all old people complain about how time moves faster now than it did when we were younger. An hour can, and frequently does, feel like 10 minutes to me. But if you compare your clock to a young person's, they match no matter what your subjective estimate of time's passage is.

Children are well known to have an opposite “wait” problem with time. Even when their birthday is due in a week, it feels to them like the day will never arrive.

I have my own theory about what makes time perception so different between children and old people. I doubt it's unique – I probably read it somewhere but here it is:

Children have short attention spans. They switch what they are doing more frequently than grownups. Coloring is fine until the dog wanders by and the kid wants a snuggle. Then she settles down with a new favorite book until that pales and she tracks down the movie, Frozen. And so on.

In that same period of time, her grandmother has probably read a few news stories – one activity compared to several of the child's. The child, obviously has many different and more importantly, often new experiences in that period which tends to stretch out their time perception, making the activity more memorable than an adult's with fewer new activities.

I've spent a lot of time in my life trying to figure out the slipperiness of time and I've accumulated a small but impressive library of books on the subject.

The website, Exactly what is...TIME?, has collected a lot of information about time too and made it easy for non-philosophers and non-physicists to understand.

People have been trying to figure out time since – well, time immemorial. According to that website:

”Nearly two and a half thousand years ago, Aristotle contended that, 'time is the most unknown of all unknown things', and arguably not much has changed since then.”

No kidding.

In general, time cannot even be adequately defined. Many years ago, I kept a fortune cookie fortune taped to my desk because its definition of time seemed to me to be as good as anyone else's and practical too:

”Time is nature's way of making sure everything doesn't happen at once.”

Works for me. And now I find out that definition is prominently listed on the Time website, where you can also read about black holes (where time began?), the big bang, deep time, space-time and many other theories of time.

Not to mention an excellent sources and references section if you want to dig further and deeper.

Since the mysteries of time are unlikely to be solved any time soon, I'll see if there is anything I can do about my personal difficulty on the subject:

My lament nowadays is how long it takes to do almost anything compared to the past. Apparently I move at about half the speed I once did and time itself seems to be moving at least twice as fast as it did back then. You do the math – no wonder I'm always behind.

What about you?

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My former husband and I held our biweekly chitchat yesterday - The Alex and Ronni Show. We discussed my “new look”, parents, old age and related topics.

A Blockbuster Reader Story and Alex and Ronni Show

As author of yesterday's Reader Story, officerripley, certainly hit a chord with denizens of Time Goes. Lots of other readers joined in with related personal stories, useful information and no small amount of wisdom.

If you missed it, officerripley's story and the comments are all worthy of your time to read about finding our tribes in old age.

There was a consensus among some who commented that this blog is kind of a tribe of its own and some wondered how readers who get to know one another via those comments could be put in touch with one another in person or, at least, email.

We tried that a month or two ago when I explained how I would put one reader in touch with another if both agreed. After all the setup, I received only one request.

Due to how easily I tire these days because of my breathing difficulty, I can't take that on again right now, but remind me in a month or so and if enough people are interested, we might give it another try.

A long while ago, nearly 10 years, when I first moved to Oregon, I held an in-person meet-up at my home. About 10 or 12 local readers came and we had a lovely afternoon.

Yesterday, reader Charlotte Dahl left this note in response to reading about 25 comments before hers:

”Sounds like a family to me. Wouldn't it be great if we could all meet up and form our own tribe? Meanwhile we can still be pen pals.”

As I said, it is a decade later now and with my cancer, breathing, etc., maybe I don't have the energy for it now, but let's see in a month or six weeks. We're in the good-weather period of the year and maybe an in person get-together is something we would like to try - at least for people who are nearby - and perhaps other might be able to do it at the same time in their communities. We could Skype one another's meet-ups.

Now, here is today's episode of The Alex and Ronni Show - this one about a radio program we produced with John and Yoko just about 50 years ago. (The video starts in the middle and I don't know how to fix that. Just move the slider at the bottom to the left to start at the beginning.)

Growing Old Plus The Alex and Ronni Show

What a terrific discussion you made of Wednesday's post from Crabby Old Lady. I mostly keep our distance on this blog from the constant turmoil from Trump – there is more than enough writing about him and his misplaced belief in his own genius.

As Susan began her comment:

”Dear Crabby Lady: Thanks so much for making me feel not so alone in the spikes of “omg, what is it going to take for someone to do something here?????!!!)”

“Making me feel not so alone”. There is nothing quite like talking with and listening to others to help us understand our predicament whether it is a dangerous president or growing old.

Talking with others applies to both our politics and our ageing. As I wrote in these pages a week or so ago,

”...it helps – a lot sometimes - to learn that other people are struggling through the same things you are. It doesn't mean we don't also laugh, read books, go to the movies and whatever else engages us that is still possible. But letting off steam together kind of clears the air.”

On The Alex and Ronni Show that my former husband and I recorded yesterday, we took opposite sides in our discussion of growing old. Alex sees the darker side; I take a lighter view of.

It's mid-afternoon and I'm tired so I will cut this short today.

The Alex and Ronni Show Plus Medically Assisted Suicide

Yesterday, my former husband, Alex Bennett, and I recorded our biweekly video. We caught up on my condition with pancreatic cancer and talked a great deal about Jeopardy! host Alex Trebeck's recent diagnosis of the same disease.

We also spent some time on climate change, on both Trebeck's and my personal feelings of our great, good luck having so many people who send us much love, concern and care about our disease. We even managed to sneak in a short mention of “Jeopardy James” at the end. Have a look:

In the comments on Monday's post titled, High Rates of Suicide Among Elders, TGB reader Ellen asked,

”Are you, Ronni, considering suicide? I support whatever decision you make. Realize also that there is a suicide hotline phone number. Call them first.”

Not “considering suicide” it, Ellen. I have chosen it – medical aid in dying - when the time comes.

Although we have discussed this before on this blog, it has been awhile. I live in Oregon which more than 20 years ago passed the first “death with dignity law” - also known as “physician-assisted suicide” and “medical aid in dying” along with a few other names.

In April this year, New Jersey's governor signed a bill making that state the eighth to allow terminally ill patients to request prescriptions from their doctors for medication to end their lives. It will go into effect on 1 August.

Of course, using these laws is a bit more complicated than just saying, “Hey doc, I'm ready for those pills.”

All the states that allow medical aid in dying have similar restrictions in place. Among them:

The patient requesting the drugs must be mentally competent

He/she must have fewer than six months to live as diagnosed by a physician

The patient must initiate the request for the drugs

The request must be confirmed by two people who are not the patient's physician nor employed by the health care facility treating the patient

If the patient wishes to proceed, he/she must wait at least 15 days before making a second request

The patient must administer the drug him- or herself

Wikipedia has a good short overview of how the laws generally work.

The State of Oregon's website, About the Death With Dignity Act, has pretty much everything you would want to know about it. Here are links to the pages about the laws in the other states that allow it, where there are also links to more resources:

District of Columbia

I will do a more thorough post about medical aid in dying but if you are interested in knowing more now, this will get you started.