Happy Thanksgiving 2017, Everyone

Given the condition of the national government (not to mention some state governments), we in the United States could be forgiven for wondering what there is to be thankful for this year.

May I suggest we go micro, local, personal.

The biggest for me is old and new friends including all of you at this blog who have been so open, generous, understanding, giving and loving. Not that you haven't always been so but without your constant and powerful support since my diagnosis of pancreatic cancer earlier this year, I know I would not be nearly as positive as I am.

You are all wonderful people.

Secondly, I am thankful to the gods or to whomever arranges such things in the universe that I was among the 10 percent of people with this diagnosis who are eligible for the Whipple procedure.

In addition, the chemotherapy has so far been relatively easy with none of the gruesome side effects that can happen. How did I get so lucky?

And then there are the innumerable staff at the Oregon Health & Science University clinics and hospital where, without exception, every one is smart, thoughtful, experienced, caring and as far as I can tell, never has a bad day.

Moving on then to the celebration of this year's holiday...

In 2013, I vowed that due to my delight at rediscovering Arlo Guthrie's epic Thanksgiving fable, Alice's Restaurant, after the decade or two it lay somewhere in memory limbo, I would make the song the annual holiday anthem of TimeGoesBy.

As I noted that year, I was equally delighted to discover that with a couple of minor lapses, I still knew the entire monologue by heart. I can't say why but it gives me a great deal of pleasure to sing along for the entire 18 minutes, which I took the time to do (with gusto again this year) while readying this post.

Maybe you would enjoy doing that too. All together now...

It's a fine ol' song, don't you think.

At this point, I need to slip in a practical note: Last weekend, a huge, big box of baklava arrived at my door from Libanais Sweets. It has been a favorite treat – baklava – for many years.

Alas, there was no card enclosed nor could the nice woman at Libanais help me with a name when I telephoned so I have no idea who to thank. Please do let me know – the baklava, in several types, is wonderful.

Just because I can, I'm taking tomorrow off from the blog but will be back here on Saturday with the a new edition of Interesting Stuff.

For my baklava benefactor and everyone who honors me year 'round by reading, commenting and/or generally hanging out here,

Thanksgiving


Elders and Dog Sharing

Day in and day out, there is so much bad news, I decided that in keeping with the holiday tomorrow, we should have a week of light news and commentary. God knows such things as sexual misconduct, tax reform, net neutrality and whatever else comes up will need our full attention next week.

Meanwhile, in a recent story in 1843 Magazine, Edward McBride discusses dog sharing in London. Mostly, he is talking about working people whose dogs get lonely during the day:

”For those whose schedules make it hard to pay their dog enough attention, outfits like BorrowMyDoggy are a godsend.

“They match owners, who need someone to stop Fido getting so bored he chews the skirting boards and pees on the sofa, with people who volunteer to walk or dogsit lonely pooches because they want the fun of having a dog to play with occasionally without the hassle and expense of owning one full-time.”

Personally, I think such people have no business having a pet but let's go with premise for the sake of this story.

It's more than just dog walking, it's an actual visit and the idea has spread to Canada (Part-time Pooch) and Australia (Dogshare). It's that name “Dogshare” that got me thinking about pets (well, dogs in particular) and old people.

I'm perfectly happy with my cat Ollie, I'm home most of the time so he doesn't need a drop-by friend and it is in the nature of most cats that they are slow to warm up to new people so I'm applying my idea to dogs.

Ollie is 13 now. My previous cat lived to be nearly 20, but what if Ollie doesn't and what if I would like a new pet when he is gone? It is widely understood that pets and people are good for one another and that dogs are amenable to more than one person at a time:

"Most of the world’s dogs [says Alexandra Horowitz, who teaches canine psychology at Columbia University in New York], are strays living in the developing world.

"Their natural habitat, as it were, is the proximity of humans, but they do not have a specific owner. Instead, they attach themselves temporarily to whoever is nice to them.

"There is good evidence that dogs form genuine attachments to humans, and can become depressed when these bonds of affection are sundered. But they need not be exclusive. As Roger Mugford, an animal psychologist who helped to train the queen’s corgis, puts it, “'You can overplay the idea of loyalty to the last gasp.'”

Most people want kittens or puppies but there are services that pair up elder people with elder pets. A good idea. But do I really want to face outliving another pet, if it comes to that?

So taking a page from Part-time Pooch and Dogshare, what about a real shared ownership between an elder and a younger person? The dog could live at each person's house for a week at a time, then switch.

It should start when the dog is a puppy, of course, so that having two homes feels normal to him or her. Each person can enjoy the pet in a week on/week off relationship, share expenses, work out vacation time with one another and when the older person dies, there is no worry that the dog won't have a home.

Give it some thought and let us know what you think.


Downsizing and Old Love Letters

Quillandink

You might imagine that given my age (76) and with the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, I've been thinking lately about clearing out some of the detritus here in the ol' homestead.

Not that I've done much about it but it has come up in conversation recently with a couple of friends.

One of them, in New York City, tells me he tried arguing logic: “It's not like anyone is going to write my biography,” he said to himself and to me.

Too true, but I've had just that conversation with myself about my old love letters. In one case, a long, long time ago, the man I was dating spent a year in Europe as publicist on a TV miniseries while it was shooting in several countries there.

Back then, 1970s, there was no email, phone calls were problematic and expensive, and snailmail was oh, so slow – weeks even.

But he wrote me a letter every day – every single day - numbered them on the envelopes and saved them up until one of the actors was furloughed back to the U.S. for a few weeks before his or her next scheduled shoot.

Then I'd get a phone call: “Hi Ronni. I'm here in New York. Let's meet for coffee. I've got a batch of letters for you from J.”

Now, honestly, how can anyone expect me to toss 300 or so love letters with a story like that go to with them.

The fact remains, however, that no one cares and it's not like I've read them in the past two or three decades or will do so anytime soon. Why, then, am I keeping them?

Another friend here in Portland, Ken Pyburn, noted that without the fact of the letters themselves, one is free to fictionalize old stories from our pasts. I know what he means. We may change the details over time so that a story not entirely “true” to the details of what actually happened, but it's my experience that the essence remains. And maybe it becomes more true in its own way.

Most of us here are old enough to remember when snail mail was the only written communication we had and I have quite a collection – from lovers, a lot from my father, mother, great Aunt Edith, brother and friends too.

As I've been thinking that it's time to get rid of them I've also thought I should give them all one last read. And yet I have resisted. I don't know why.

It's been a long time now that email has mostly taken the place of hand-written letters and I've kept most of those too, the ones that were more than a quick exchange of information. They don't feel as substantial as words made with ink on paper and I've definitely not given them as much thought as those old ones.

Maybe all this is different if one has children, which I don't.

In the greater scheme of things, letters hardly matter, do they? I should really be getting rid of all the bigger stuff, all the duplicates, the too much kitchen equipment, old electronics and such, but so far have not done.


ELDER MUSIC: Wolves

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

BigBadWolf

Here is yet another entry in our series about animals, in this case the wolf. This animal is the top predator in many areas and as such is critically important to the ecology of the area (and surrounding areas, research has shown). Not only for animals but plant species as well. So, let us praise wolves.

The obvious place to start is with HOWLIN' WOLF, not just because of his name, but his song as well.

Howlin Wolf

It was said that "no one could match Howlin' Wolf for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits." In spite of that, he was a kind man and dedicated and loving husband and father who also paid his band very well, including all benefits.

Because of that, he attracted the best musicians. It seems that The Wolf is at Your Door.

♫ Howlin' Wolf - The Wolf Is At Your Door


WARREN ZEVON's best known, but far from his best, song makes the grade today.

Warren Zevon

A lot of you will know of which I speak. It's from his fine album "Excitable Boy" and it's called Werewolves of London. It's not to be taken seriously.

♫ Warren Zevon - Werewolves of London


So, to just another band from East L.A., as they like to call themselves, LOS LOBOS.

Los Lobos

They're too modest of course, they are one of the finest bands around. From a very early album of theirs ("How Will the Wolf Survive") they perform Will the Wolf Survive?

♫ Los Lobos - Will The Wolf Survive


PAUL SIMON seems to have become a hip hop artist with his contribution.

Paul Simon

Not completely, he does sing a bit but it's certainly different from what we expect from him. It's not a song I was familiar with until I searched my computer. It's always interesting to see how Paul stretches things with his songs. It's just called The Werewolf.

♫ Paul Simon - The Werewolf


TERRY ALLEN was born in Kansas, made a name for himself in Lubbock, Texas (home of a surprisingly high number of musicians) and lives in Santa Fe.

Terry Allen

Besides being a songwriter and singer, he's an artist of some renown and has lectured (and been a professor) in various artistic endeavours. From one of his albums (there have been about eight of them) we have The Wolfman of Del Rio.

♫ Terry Allen - The Wolfman Of Del Rio


GREGORY PORTER is the odd man out in the column today, and not because he has a great voice – we have a couple of those.

Gregory Porter

No, it's because he's more jazz oriented than the rest. I like to throw in something from left field (generally, it's not always appropriate) just to mix things up a bit. His best selling album was "Liquid Spirit" and it's from that one we have Wolfcry, although I didn't detect any wolves in the words of the song.

♫ Gregory Porter - Wolfcry


Alas, IAN TYSON doesn't have the wonderful voice that he used to.

Ian Tyson

He's not the handsome man of his youth either (well, who is?), but he's not bad (I wish I could say the same about me). However, he can still write fine songs and make good records. One of those is Wolves No Longer Sing.

♫ Ian Tyson - Wolves No Longer Sing


CHAMPION JACK DUPREE received his moniker in his early career as a boxer, he was even earlier called William Dupree.

Champion Jack Dupree

Jack was one of the great honky tonk pianists. He learned to play in the Colored Waifs Home in New Orleans when he was orphaned at age eight. This was the same place that Louis Armstrong got his start on the trumpet (well, cornet, technically).

Jack moved to Europe in 1960 where his music was in great demand. He stayed there and in Britain for pretty much the rest of his life. His contribution is Black Wolf Blues.

♫ Champion Jack Dupree - Black Wolf Blues


For the last 30 years or so there have been few better singer/songwriters than TOM RUSSELL.

Tom Russell

Tom is too modest to suggest such a thing, he would claim Ian Tyson, Gordon Lightfoot and others for the title, but we know, Tom. I would suggest searching for his albums if you're unfamiliar with them. From "Modern Art" Tom sings The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

♫ Tom Russell - The Boy Who Cried Wolf


I'll end as I began, with HOWLIN' WOLF. I think it's only appropriate.

Howlin Wolf

The Wolf rocks out with Howlin' Wolf Boogie.

♫ Howlin' Wolf - Howlin' Wolf Boogie



INTERESTING STUFF – 18 November 2017

CENTENARIAN SHARES ADVICE WITH STRANGERS IN NYC

Eileen Wilkinson's grandson set up a laptop on an upper west side corner in New York City so that his 100-year-old grandmother could give out free advice to strangers. It seems everyone is getting something good from this. (Thank Jim Stone for sending the video.)

JOHN OLIVER'S LAST WEEK TONIGHT

I haven't featured clips from John Oliver's HBO program Last Week Tonight recently because the show is broadcast on Sunday nights and by the following Saturday, when Interesting Stuff is posted, it's old news. That's how news goes these days.

This, however, is the last show of the current seasons in which Oliver discusses the year that has passed since the election of Donald Trump. Then he enlists the catheter cowboy to teach Trump what he should have learned by now but has not.

Last Week Tonight returns to HBO in February 2018, exact date to be determined.

HISTORY OF THE WORD “DEADLINE” IS DEADLY

Nowadays, “deadline” refers to a time or date when a task must be completed, but it started out much more literally.

Heinrich Hartmann Wirz rose through the ranks of the Confederate Army during the U.S. Civil War to oversee one of the most notoriously awful prisoner of war camps, Fort Sumpter, near Andersonville, Georgia.

During his tenure running that camp that house up to 30,000 Union soldiers, Wirz created a “dead line”. As the Secretary of War reported in October 1865:

”...a line around the inner face of the stockade or wall enclosing said prison, and about twenty feet distant and within said stockade; and so established said dead line, which was in many places an imaginary line...

“he...instructed the prison guard stationed around the top of said stockade to fire upon and kill any of the prisoners aforesaid who might touch, fall upon, pass over or under or across the said “dead line...”

For that and other gross transgressions, Wirz was found guilty of violating the rights of wartime prisoners and hanged on 10 November 1865. More details of the story at Mental Floss.

FAST WORKERS WHO ARE GOOD AT THEIR JOBS

They are amazing to watch and they'll make you smile too.

ALERT: After I posted this, I found that some piece of video is not cleared for replay on some websites (this one, apparently). You can watch on YouTube. It's still fun.

A CERTAIN TREE IN THE WOODS FOR ONE YEAR

A man installed a camera aimed at one tree for a year. Here is some of what happened.

You can find out more here.

25 THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH PEANUT BUTTER BESIDES EAT IT

Someone went to a lot of trouble to find all this. Here are a few samples:

REMOVE GUM STUCK IN YOUR HAIR: The oils in peanut butter make gum less pliable and sticky, therefore easier to massage out of hair. The quick fix also works to free gum from other surfaces like clothing.

COOK SAVORY DISHES: Peanut butter shines in sugary treats, whether in a cupcake or a candy bar. But peanut butter works just as well as a savory ingredient. If you have a jar in your pantry, you can add a dollop to punch up your instant ramen, or use it as a thickener in sauces or stews.

SHINE LEATHER: Your dull leather is only a few dabs of peanut butter away from looking as good as new. Rub it into the material you want to shine by making tiny circles with your fingers, then use a towel or washcloth to wipe it off. The polishing hack also works on leather shoes.

Or so they say at Mental Floss where there are 22 more things to do with peanut butter. I haven 't tried any of them so no guarantees.

WHY INCOMPETENT PEOPLE THINK THEY'RE AMAZING

It has always made me nuts that too often really nice people are not good at what they do. And, that the reverse is also too often true – that unlikable people are really talented.

Here's a sort of explanation :

MAYBE YOUR DOG ISN'T COLOR BLIND AFTER ALL

They've always told us that dogs (and cats also) don't see as many colors or as vividly as humans do. Now “they” are saying that may not be true:

”The finding suggests that, 'if you are planning to train your dog to fetch a ball that fell on the green grass of your garden, think of using a blue, and not red, ball,' said study lead researcher Marcello Siniscalchi, a professor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Bari, in Italy...

“It's a common misperception that dogs see only in black and white. Rather, research shows that dogs' eyes have two kinds of cones, the photoreceptor cells responsible for color vision. One cone type is sensitive to yellow and another to blue, Siniscalchi said. This suggests that dogs can see yellows, blues and their different combinations, he said.”

Read more details about this study at Live Science.

CLONE YOUR PET

This isn't a new service. Certainly you remember the first animal clone, Dolly the sheep. A few companies have been cloning people's pets for a decade or more and it is almost common practice now to clone farm animals such as cattle, horses, pigs and sheep.

Recently, TV station KDKA reported on pet cloning at a Texas company that charges $50,000 for dogs. Cat owners get off for half that price. Here's the video.

You can read more at the Washington Post.

* * *

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.


A Cancer Surprise

Thank you all for your concern and suggestions on Wednesday's post about my fatigue. I wrote that post late on Tuesday anticipating my regular chemo session the next afternoon. It did not go exactly as planned.

First, you would not be wrong to say that I underplayed my fatigue in Wednesday's story. For two or three days I had been unable to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen, a distance of about 20 feet, without stopping halfway to catch my breath, nor could I carry the trash to the bin or do much of anything else that involved walking even on flat surfaces.

In addition, I had noticed for several days that my face had a white, almost waxy look. Dead might be an apt description - no pinkness at all.

Usually, the chemo clinic staff draws my blood, sends it off to the lab to analyze and prepare my infusion and then we get on with it. This time, they drew blood a second time because my red blood cell count was so low they believed there must have been an error.

But no. The count was way below normal and further, way below the point where they would order a transfusion.

With hardly a how-de-doo, they canceled the chemo and checked me into the hospital. The upside of this is that I finally got a trip on the OHSU tram that travels between the campus down by the river where the chemo clinic is to the the campus up on the hill where the medical school and several hospitals are.

OHSUTram

I'm not crazy about heights like that but it was kind of fun too.

The downside to the hospital stay is that I spent the next 12 hours overnight plugged into a variety of sensors and, before it was over, received four units of blood. If you're new to this procedure – as I was – here's how it goes.

It takes about two hours to infuse one unit of blood after which the empty bag is disconnected and another attached. In between, the nurse stops by three or four times to check blood pressure, body temperature, pulse, etc.

You can see that sleep is not a priority to any of the medical staff but strangely, in those many short increments, I slept more deeply than I usually do and easily fell back asleep after each interruption.

In the morning, my red blood cell count was way up (I've forgotten numbers) and pronounced to be “great.” My face was a normal pinkish color again

This drop in red blood cells is caused by chemotherapy, it is not an uncommon occurrence and there are no promises that transfusions won't be necessary again. But I am sure happy to know it is something that doctors and nurses are accustomed to dealing with. For me, cancer treatment is scary enough; I sure don't want anything to happen that the caregivers are unfamiliar with.

I'm tired now (on Thursday afternoon) but not fatigued. I can walk normally without need to stop to catch my breath and I have developed a growing appreciation for all the things that can and might go wrong. Or, perhaps, go right.

NOTE: I returned home to somewhere between 300 or 400 emails and even after deleting the spam and unimportant detritus, I don't think I'll be able to respond to all of you who emailed. My apologies.


The Reality of Cancer Treatment Sets In

As I sit here at my desk tapping out this first sentence, I'd rather be curled up in bed. I don't necessarily need to sleep; I just want to lie down. I am deeply weary.

This is not an unexpected condition. Before I started chemotherapy, the experts at the hematology clinic within the Oregon Health & Sciences University where I am being treated for cancer told me this would happen.

Cancer, they explained, uses up energy – that is, calories – faster than a healthy body and so does chemotherapy, thereby supplying a double dose of fatigue which will increase cumulatively during the six months of my planned treatment.

In addition, tests at the clinic last week revealed that I am “severely” anemic (another not unexpected side effect of treatment). So another source of fatigue, and another pill in my cupboard to treat the anemia.

Now into my third round of chemo, I'm tired all the time. Tired when I wake in the morning, tired getting out of the shower, tired after cooking breakfast or dinner or any one of the other several meals a day I prepare to try to keep up my weight, and tired sometimes just being vertical.

If you ignore the horrible first four or five weeks of recovery from surgery after the Whipple procedure, until now I've been interested, even fascinated by this cancer, the treatment, the reaction of my body, the boundless concern and kindness of the staff who care for me, and the almost daily changes in my sensibility toward life and death.

Certainly it is not easy knowing you have one of the worst cancers. Only lung, colo-rectal and breast cancer kill more people each year than pancreatic cancer.

But it's not something I have dwelled upon much and I suspect, until I find out in March how successful or not this chemotherapy has been, the ranking of “my” cancer will remain of little interest to me.

This, I have noticed, is also true now of having cancer in general. It's no longer a novelty and I'm ready to move on.

Except, of course, I cannot.

As I have said in the past, I am grateful for how lucky I have been: that I was eligible for the surgery, that my chemo is only once a week and takes only an hour, that fatigue is the worst side effect I've faced.

It makes me feel like a wimp to be complaining while knowing other patients have a much harder time than I have had.

It's ironic this week that just as fatigue is becoming difficult to deal with, I have been freed from my the post-op restrictive diet to eat anything I want. Don't go hog wild, the nurses and doctors advise, but there is nothing I need to avoid now.

Yeah. Right. Nice. Except that the more elaborate cooking I enjoyed before this unwanted interruption to my life appeared last June is more than I can usually find the energy for now.

The doctors and nurses at OHSU tell me that depending on my blood work today, they may give me a blood transfusion which, among other things, will temper my fatigue if not entirely relieve it. Hmmmph. Who has ever hoped to need a transfusion. The ironies abound.

A long time ago, I read somewhere that house cats (and maybe wild cats too - I don't recall) sleep about 17 hours a day. That seems a good estimate for Ollie the cat's daily routine and now he's got a companion to keep him company during all those hours he snoozes.


Making Hearing Aids as Cool as Eyeglasses

A neighbor leaned in close, putting her ear near mine. “Can you hear it?” she asked, referring to her new hearing aid? Yes. Yes, I could hear her hearing aid announcing that it had been inserted correctly.

They haven't gotten any cheaper (the average price for a pair of hearing aids hovers around $4,000) and users often find them less than satisfactory. Further, many who could benefit don't use hearing aids because there is a cultural stigma attached to them.

Recently, Barnard College professor, Jennifer Finney Boylan, in an opinion piece in The New York Times, wrote about the cultural acceptance gap between eyeglasses and hearing aids:

”Why, I wonder, is it that devices to keep you from being blind are celebrated as fashion, but devices to keep you from being deaf are embarrassing and uncool? Why is it that the biggest compliment someone can give you about your hearing aids is 'I can hardly see them'?”

I've often wondered that myself. Hearing aids may not work as well as eyeglasses do, but that or the need to feel “cool” shouldn't be a reason for so many people to choose silence. Ms. Boylan continues:

”Among those in their 50s, 4.5 million people have some hearing loss. How many wear devices that would enable them to better hear the world? Less than 5 percent.

“Wearing hearing aids can change your life in an instant — not to mention that of the people you love, whose actual voices you may have been unable to hear. But we don’t get help.

“Because coverage by insurance carriers is inconsistent. Because we don’t know where or how to get our hearing tested. Because we’re afraid of what others might think. Because hearing loss is uncool.”

And they are wildly expensive but Boylan takes that on too while explaining some of the advances that are making hearing aids more successful for users.

Earlier this year, CNN reported on 78-year-old New Yorker, Peter Sprague, another who wants to make hearing aids cool. He's gone so far as to create a prototype of his idea, to start a company and to seek venture capital funding. Here he is in a short video explaining it all:

The hearing aids are called HearGlass which is, according to Sprague's company website, a

”...disruptive wearable device that incorporates full audio spectrum HiFi [hearing aids] into eyeglasses, allowing for a directional hearing experience superior to traditional [hearing aids]. Bluetooth/WiFi capabilities allow for hands-free music streaming, telephony, voice-activated commands and on-the-fly setting changes.”

You can find out more at the website. HearGlass is not yet available, Sprague is still in the fundraising phase and I have no idea if they work well. I'm not here to sell them.

I just like the idea that there are some people trying to remove the stigma from hearing aids so maybe more people will use them.


ELDER MUSIC: 1953 Yet Again

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

It's 1953 and I'm in grade 3. Most of the songs today I remember from that time, but there's a ring-in that I didn't find out about until later. I'll start with that one.

I must admit that my first exposure to the song Just Walkin' in the Rain was via the Johnnie Ray version a few years later than 1953. It was a few years after that I happened upon the original, far superior, version by THE PRISONAIRES.

Prisonaires

The song was written by Johnny Bragg and he was the group's lead singer.

♫ Prisonaires - Just Walkin' In The Rain


Hi Lili Hi Lo seemed to be around for a bit in 1952 and 1953 (and later as well). As far as I can tell DINAH SHORE was the first to record the song, and that was in 1952.

Dinah Shore

However, I think the hit was in 1953 (perhaps it was one that straddled the years). That rationale is good enough for me because I wanted to include it, and besides, I've already selected the songs for 1952.

Hi Lili Hi Lo was written by Bronislau Kaper and Helen Deutsch and it made an appearance in the film "Lili", sung by Leslie Caron and Mel Ferrer. Helen Deutsch also wrote the film's screenplay.

♫ Dinah Shore - Hi Lili Hi Lo


Not too long before he burst on the scene with Rock Around the Clock, BILL HALEY was already morphing from a country performer into rock and roll.

Bill Haley

He was already recording covers of jump blues artists, most particularly Big Joe Turner's songs, and he was also writing his own songs in the same vein, one of which is Crazy Man Crazy.

♫ Bill Haley - Crazy Man Crazy


I mentioned JOHNNIE RAY above, and here he is singing a duet with DORIS DAY.

Johnnie & Doris

At this time Johnnie was often a welcome relief from the rubbish on the charts. Alas, he sometimes slipped and fell and recorded some of that himself – like this one, Let's Walk That-A Way.

♫ Doris Day & Johnnie Ray - Let's Walk That-A Way


Between Frank Sinatra, a few years earlier, and Elvis, a few years later, EDDIE FISHER was the one that set the teenyboppers squealing.

Eddie Fisher

He was closer to the Frank mold (with less talent) than Elvis, but he was what we had at the time. Eddie seems to be a bit of a stalker in his song, I'm Walking Behind You.

♫ Eddie Fisher - I'm Walking Behind You


GUY MITCHELL was all over the charts around this time (and later as well).

Guy Mitchell

Like Johnnie Ray, he was also a relief from the music on the charts. However, he slipped as well, and at pretty much the same time, with She Wears Red Feathers. Here's your chance to catch up on your cocynuts and huly huly skirts.

♫ Guy Mitchell - She Wears Red Feathers


The FOUR LADS want to return to a city that doesn't exist anymore. Okay, it does, but under a different name.

Four Lads

Those who were listening to the hit parade in 1953 will know to what I refer. The song is Istanbul (Not Constantinople). The song was written by Jimmy Kennedy and Nat Simon and it surprised me a little that the city changed its name as recently as 1930.

♫ Four Lads - Istanbul (Not Constantinople)


Back around this time there was an English radio series, which we got here in Oz, called "Take it from Here". The next artists were all in that program. They are JOY NICHOLS, DICK BENTLEY and JIMMY EDWARDS.

Joy, Dick & Jimmy

If I were ranking the songs included today, this one would be at the very bottom (and there's some stiff competition). However, it was ubiquitous at the time and it's been stuck in my brain ever since, so now it's your turn to be so affected. The Little Red Monkey.

♫ Joy Nichols Dick Bentley & Jimmy Edwards - The Little Red Monkey


Thank heaven for PEARL BAILEY, so she can wipe that previous song out of my brain for a few minutes.

Pearl Bailey

Quite a few people recorded this one, but this is the one I prefer. Takes Two to Tango.

♫ Pearl Bailey - Takes Two To Tango


Here is a song that the Peter who lived next door and I sang together (The Two Petes – well we didn't call ourselves that, I just made that up). It's China Doll by SLIM WHITMAN.

Slim Whitman

The other Peter was better at the yodelling parts than I was (I don't know if anyone else would consider that a plus). Anyway, we had fun.

♫ Slim Whitman - China Doll



INTERESTING STUFF – 11 November 2017

VETERANS DAY

Today is American Veteran's Day and I like this video that turned up about Captain Simtratpal Singh who is a West Point graduate, a war veteran, an active duty Army officer and a recipient of the Bronze Star.

He is also a Sikh, and successfully sued the U.S. Department of Defense in 2016 to be able to wear his beard and turban with his fatigues.

WHY THERE ARE TWO NAMES FOR THE CURRENT SEASON OF THE YEAR

In the northern hemisphere of the world, the English-speaking part of it, there are two names for the current season of the year: autumn and fall. The other three seasons have only one name each. How did this happen?

”Fall was, in fact, the very last of the four seasons to become codified with a name, or even the designation as a season on par with the others,” explains Atlas Obscura.

“There are mentions of winter, summer, and spring in manuscripts dating back to the 12th century; the name of spring may not have been settled upon, but the idea that it was a full season came much earlier than with fall...

“The word 'autumn' has French roots; in modern French the word is automne. It certainly has Latin roots, coming from the word autumnus, which in turn comes from – somewhere...

“Autumn shows up in English first around the late 14th and early 15th centuries, though it coexisted with 'harvest' as a loose description of the season for another 200 years.

“Fall is different. It first shows up in the mid-16th century in England, primarily at first as “the fall of the leaf,” which was shortened to just “fall.” Like “harvest,” it is descriptive, but more evocative...”

There is much more detail about the naming of the seasons at Atlas Obscura and it's more interesting that you might think.

THE DONKEY BEEKEEPER

This is funny but also a practical solution for a beekeeper in rural Brazil.

Manuel Juraci Vieira needed a way to transport the honey he would collect from his beehives on his farm back to his home. His solution? His donkey, Boneco.

Outfitted in his very own homemade beekeeping suit, Boneco tags alongside Vieira, helping him carry the honey they gather during their hauls. Take a look:

A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME

Yes, that is the title of a book by physicist Stephen Hawking from 1989, that was cosmic in scope. This, today, has the same name but a different goal, to explain how our system of telling time was created. As the YouTube page mentions,

”Why do we divide the day into 24 hours of 60 minutes each, and put 60 seconds in each minute? Where does the definition of a second come from? And who decides what clock shows the correct time?”

There is some more written information at Mental Floss.

AMERICANS ARE OFFICIALLY FREAKING OUT

Or, so says Bloomberg News:

”The 'current social divisiveness' in America was reported by 59 percent of those surveyed as a cause of their own malaise. When the APA surveyed Americans a year ago, 52 percent said they were stressed by the presidential campaign. Since then, anxieties have only grown.

“A majority of the more than 3,400 Americans polled, 59 percent, said 'they consider this to to be the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.'

“That sentiment spanned generations, including those that lived through World War II, the Vietnam War, and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. (Some 30 percent of people polled cited terrorism as a source of concern, a number that’s likely to rise given the alleged terrorist attack in New York City on Tuesday.)”

Here's the chart of what Americans are most worried about:

Bloomberg Stress

I'm personally disappointed that climate change is last on the list. You can read more at Bloomberg.

ARE YOU WASHING YOUR HANDS ALL WRONG?

Because chemotherapy compromises the immune system and makes the patient more susceptible to infection, I wash my hand these days a whole lot more frequently than in the past.

Sometimes I use medical gloves, as when I clean the cat's litter box but mostly I wash, wash, wash.

This video turned up from The New York Times a few days ago, originally published in 2016 about the best, safest way to wash our hands.

BRINGING BACK A RAIN FOREST

What was once 300 acres of coffee and cardamom fields in India’s Southern Ghats is now lush native forest, all thanks to the hard work and dedication of Pamela Gale Malhotra and her husband Anil, explains the YouTube page.

The couple started India’s first private wildlife sanctuary, SAI sanctuary, and for the past two decades they have been nursing the land back to life. Here’s how they did it. It's amazing.

SIMON'S CAT – OFF TO THE VET

Simon's Cat has been a YouTube staple for years now. Some, in my viewpoint, funny and sometimes not. This is new, a full-color, long (13-minutes) “Simon's Cat Special” crowdfunded at Indiegogo.

The YouTube page tells us that Simon’s Cat: Off to the Vet has screened at multiple film festivals around the world and was awarded The McLaren Award for Best British Animation at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. Enjoy.

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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.