Medicare Enrollment Period for 2019: Important Information

Okay, enough for now of this dying stuff of the past few days. Let's get on with the particulars of living – in today's case, Medicare.

On Monday this week, the annual Medicare open enrollment period began. It runs until 7 December which isn't very long if, like me, you procrastinate over such tedious work. But it's important so pay attention. I'll make this a easy and clear as possible.

Let's start with this (deceptively) simple overview of the process:

Here are the things you can do during this fall enrollment period:

If you now have traditional Medicare (Part A for hospital coverage; Part B for outpatient coverage), you can switch to an Advantage plan (Part C) if you wish

If you now have an Advantage plan, you can switch to traditional Medicare

If you dislike your current Advantage plan, you can switch to a different Advantage plan

If you have a Part D prescription drug plan, you can choose another or you can purchase one if you did not do so when you were first eligible

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Remember, traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) is offered by the federal government. Advantage plans and Part D (prescription drug coverage) are commercial products although they must meet certain requirements of the government.

Here are the 2019 premium and deductible changes for traditional Medicare :

Ninety-nine percent of traditional Medicare beneficiaries pay no Part A (hospital) premium. The deductible, when you are admitted to a hospital, will be $1,364 for 2019, up from $1,340 this year.

The new Part B (outpatient) premium, deducted from your Social Security benefit each month, will be $135.50 in 2019, up from $134 this year. The deductible will increase to $185 from 2018's $183.

There is more detailed information on Part A and Part B premiums and deductibles here.

The grandmother of all Medicare information sources during fall enrollment is the Medicare and You 2019 book.

In the past, it was snail-mailed to every Medicare beneficiary in the U.S. Some people still get it that way. If you receive yours electronically or if you have misplaced it, you can download a copy online here. [pdf]

For Advantage plans (combined Parts A and B in one package with, most of the time, Part D), and for stand-alone Part D plans to go with traditional Medicare, there are differences from state to state. You can find information for each individual state here [pdf].

A NOTE ON SOME DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TRADITIONAL MEDICARE AND ADVANTAGE PLANS
Advantage plans sometimes have no monthly premiums and usually offer additional services such as coverage for vision, hearing and dental along with reduced gym membership fees and such which make them attractive.

However, each one also requires that you use their roster of physicians, hospitals and other service providers. Also, just this week, The New York Times reported on some Advantage plans that have been improperly denying claims.

Traditional Medicare leaves some gaps in coverage which beneficiaries fill in by purchasing supplemental (“Medigap”) and (Part D) policies but there are no plans with vision or dental or hearing coverage.

Generally, between the two Medicare possibilities, traditional Medicare delivers the widest choice of hospitals and doctors and with supplemental and prescription drug plans added in can result in much lower out-of-pocket costs particularly for people with serious health conditions.

That certainly is true for me over the past 16 months of heavy use and I'm now quite grateful I stayed with traditional Medicare. But needs, obviously, differ from person to person.

CHOOSING YOUR 2019 PLAN
Year after year, Medicare has been improving their Plan Finder pages - there can be more than two dozen plans depending on the state. You will find the beginning page here where you can follow it through the steps either for Plan D or Advantage plans or both.

I could take you through every step here, but as it turns out, Portland, Oregon's local newspaper, The Oregonian, has just published an easy-to-follow instruction video. Here it is.

(Note that the online pages may look somewhat different from those in the video, but the information is the same.)

Because this was produced in Oregon, the telephone help line number at the end of the video is for Oregon residents only. You can search for help where you live by Googling something similar to “choosing a part D plan in [state]”.

Or, you can telephone Medicare (1.800.MEDICARE) where a representative will help you through the entire process however long it takes.

Or, you can find personal help in your state through the nationwide State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) at this website. I've known several SHIP helpers and they are smart, well-trained and extremely knowledgeable people.

JUST DO IT
Okay. You have six weeks to get this done. With Part D, it is important to work your way through the minutiae of formularies, tiers, deductibles, etc. to find the best plan for you.

It's tedious, but doing it last year over two days in short bursts, I saved a lot of money on the Part D premium, deductible and copays. My drugs still cost me a small fortune and dumped me into the infamous donut hole for awhile this past year. But if I'd kept my previous policy the drugs would have cost a lot more.

THE DONUT HOLE

There are good changes to the Part D donut hole in 2019. It is complicated to explain and I've already carried on too long. There is a explanation at Kaiser Family Foundation.




A TGB READER STORY: Every Tuesday

By Fritzy Dean

Every Tuesday I get up and hurriedly get dressed and go to my writing class. No body makes me go. No body cares if I go. Still. I go. Winter and summer, spring and Fall I go every Tuesday to writing class.

On a Tuesday when I must miss class, the whole day feels “off kilter.” in fact, it affects the whole week. It has become integral to my life, to my routine.

Why do it? Well, I really like my class members and I really respect our instructor. He spends a good deal of energy prepping for this class. He gives of his time. He also gives us funny prompts and unusual subject matter. He makes me think and I like that. Well, mostly I like it.

There are several poets in our class and while they are not able to be there every time, when they are there I never fail to be amazed by the words that show up on their papers.

Sometimes I am even amazed at what shows up on my paper. I never thought I had what it takes to pull characters out of the air and transfer them to the page. This class has shown me I can. Not always prize-winning prose, but still I’m doing it and I like the challenge. Well, mostly I like it.

After our first writing exercise, we discuss the work. We tell the class member what we liked about the piece. Sometimes we offer gentle suggestions for how the piece could be better.

I do like that. I want to be a GOOD writer - not an okay writer, not a passable writer. I want to be Good. It is the single thing I strive for in my life. Don’t care about finding a husband, have no interest in traveling the world, will never appear on a best dressed list and don’t want to.

Have no interest in a new car or meeting a celebrity. BUT, I desperately want to be good at writing.

Why? Why this and not yoga? Or cooking classes? Or flower arranging? Why do I write?

Because I have to; something inside me compels it. Because I gain clarity; I learn how I really feel about things when I get the words down. Because I don’t want to forget. I think every life matters and I want mine to be documented.

Because writing changes my perspective. My childhood looks very different through the lens of a narrator than through he lens of a victim.

I write because I have something to say. I want others to hear it. I want someone to benefit by my experiences. I have learned much in my decades here on planet Earth and I want to leave a record. I was here and this is what happened to me.

I write because I must.


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[EDITORIAL NOTE: This feature, TGB Readers' Stories, appears every Tuesday. Anyone age 50 and older is welcome to submit a story. You can do that by clicking the “Contact” link at the top of every TGB page or at the Guidelines/Submissions page.

Please be sure to read and follow the guidelines before submitting a story. It will save me a lot of time.
]




Thank You All

Following Friday's post, janinsanfran sent this note:

”A friend whose partner has just advanced into hospice care (spinal cancers) wrote this to their friends: 'There is no good way to die. But if we must die, and we all must, may it be with a community as loving, as present, as kind as you.'”

Oh my god, yes. How can I possibly thank this community that has responded to Friday's post about my new cancer with such an outpouring of love and care and concern and humor.

I've always believed you are, each and every one of you, the most special blog readers on the planet and you proved it on Friday and over and over again through the weekend.

You have had me weeping for all the best reasons.

I read each of the hundreds of responses in the comments and dozens of others that arrived via email and Facebook. And then I read them all again.

So let's do this together and see what happens. I made a few notes from all your comments on TGB, Facebook and emails.

In just the third comment to arrive, Genie wrote:

”This morning I imagine you as the captain for this journey. I only hope the ship is large because there are so many of us coming aboard.”

And the rest of you ran with the boat metaphor, adopting it as our preferred means of travel.

Deborah May wishes for the next phase be “full of sunshine and serenity - with calm waters given the number of us on this boat (ocean liner) with you.”

Tarzana thinks we should hold a contest to name this boat we're on:

”I can already think of many possibilities,” she wrote. “Courageous, Hope, Gratitude, Fortitude, Journey's End and so forth. Your loving readers are much cleverer than I so I'd expect some real stunning, even humorous entries.”

Do take a shot at it if you are so inclined (yes, definitely even humorous entries). I'll select four or five and then we can vote.

I learned that there are more of you than I guessed who are cancer survivors or in the throes of treatment or living with the aftermath of this awful disease – or another terrible “disease of age.” I wish with all my might we did not share this.

Of course, I recognize many names in those Friday comments but there are a lot, too, that I've never seen before, first-time commenters. Quite a few of you mentioned that you've been reading TGB since the beginning or near enough – did you know that's 15 years ago now?

I was amazed to read that for some of you, the blog is the first thing you check online each morning. If I'd known that, I would have worked harder at it all these years.

Daria tells us that “a friend nearing the end of her life smiled and said, 'Now I can eat bacon anytime I want!'” Yes! Me too.

I mentioned that I instantly gave up my daily workout and am relieved to not need to worry about dementia anymore. I've since added Facebook. I use FB only as a secondary distribution channel for TGB and I have not the first clue about how to use it. To me, it's functionality appears to be a holy mess and now I have the best reason in the world not to learn it. You guys came up with some other things I don't need to do anymore.

Kathy Zachary said she won't miss flossing when she's dead. Yes. That too. Mary noted that I “won’t see the horror and dismantling of our democracy if trump is re-elected in 2020.”

Good thought but I've been saying since 2015 that I will be pissed off big time if I die before I find out what the demise of the Trump era will be like. Color me pissed.

Marilyn Dalton noted that I don't have to worry about outliving my money. Good point. And Carol Girgis gave me a smile that nearly broke my face, first quoting me, "Now I don't have to worry about dementia" and responding, “Best line I've ever read, written in these circumstances.”

Moving along, poet Tom Delmore sent a short video by Leonard Cohen who died in 2016 at the age of 81. It is supposed to be about finding his voice but it is also deeply pertinent to what I face now.

May I live up to Cohen's conclusion in these coming final days.

Apparently Leonard Cohen is on others' minds too. Faith sent a Cohen poem about courage which you will find here.

John Brayton left this quotation from Donald Hall's final book, A Carnival of Losses: Notes on Nearing Ninety - new this year and an instant favorite of mine. Hall died earlier this year at age 89:

"I feel the circles grow smaller, and old age is a ceremony of losses, which is on the whole preferable to dying at forty-seven or fifty-two. When I lament and darken over my diminishments, I accomplish nothing. It's better to sit at the window all day, pleased to watch birds, barns, and flowers."

I agree, and thank you Mr. Hall for saying it so well.

What a gift and honor to have so many of you on this new journey with me. With all you here, I think I can get through just about anything.




ELDER MUSIC: Something

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.

* * *

We had Nothing last week, so naturally, we have to have Something this week. Nothing was pretty much soul based and Something seems to have a theme as well - most of the songs are from the sixties.

That’s just the way they fell out after selection. I guess something happened during that decade.

One of the things that happened was that DIONNE WARWICK happened to meet Burt Bacharach, and a writing/singing combination was born.

Dionne Warwick

One of the songs Burt wrote (with Hal David) is Always Something There to Remind Me. Dionne recorded it as a demo and other people released the song before she did. She finally got around to doing it for real and I think hers is the definitive version.

♫ Dionne Warwick - Always Something There to Remind Me


Tom Rush recorded songs by several songwriters in the sixties before those had done so themselves. One such was JAMES TAYLOR.

James Taylor

One of the songs that Tom recorded was Something in the Way She Moves. James got around to recording it on his first album, the one few people remember, before “Sweet Baby James”.

♫ James Taylor - Something in the Way She Moves


James Taylor’s first album was recorded and released by Apple. I don’t know if George Harrison lent an ear to what was going down on that record, but it’s instructive to find that the first line of his song Something is the same as James’s.

THE BEATLES’ song was recorded a year or so later on the “Abbey Road” album.

Beatles

I’m not suggesting any impropriety, but it’s interesting to me. I prefer James’s song to George’s.

♫ Beatles - Something


DOLLY PARTON first came to general attention when she recorded with PORTER WAGONER and appeared on his TV program.

Dolly Parton & Porter Wagoner

They performed together on and off for about eight years until others started performing Dolly’s songs and she started as a solo artist. However, from back in the day, here is the pair of them with Something to Reach For.

♫ Dolly Parton & Porter Wagoner - Something To Reach For


For some reason HERMAN'S HERMITS seemed to be a lot bigger in America than in their native Britain (or Australia, for that matter).

Herman's Hermits

However, we certainly knew of their music and quite a few of their songs made the charts, including I'm Into Something Good.

♫ Herman's Hermits - I'm Into Something Good


In the period between his writing songs that became hits for other people, and becoming a success himself, GORDON LIGHTFOOT recorded a number of albums that are really interesting.

Gordon Lightfoot

Probably the best of these was “Did She Mention My Name” where he began the process of leaving behind simple folks songs for more interesting and complex material. From that album is the song, Something Very Special.

♫ Gordon Lightfoot - Something Very Special


Getting away from the sixties briefly, we have TIFT MERRITT, a young person.

Tift Merrit

Tift has obviously listened to Emmylou, Dolly and Joni and run with it, creating her own sound. Like those three, she writes her own songs that are really worth hearing. One of those is Something Came Over Me.

♫ Tift Merritt - Something Came Over Me


The album “Between the Buttons” from 1967 contained mostly typical ROLLING STONES material.

Rolling Stones

I don’t know if they ran out of songs or just decided to have a bit of fun with us with the final track on the disk, Something Happened to Me Yesterday.

♫ Rolling Stones - Something Happened to Me Yesterday


Something’s Got a Hold on Me was written by ETTA JAMES, Leroy Kirkland and Pearl Woods.

Etta James

It was recorded by Etta at that bastion of blues music, Chess Records, and produced by Leonard and Phil Chess themselves. Talk about blues music royalty. The song sounds more gospel than blues, with pop overtones.

♫ Etta James - Something's Got A Hold On Me


Another brief foray away from the sixties, this time in the other direction, we have ROSEMARY CLOONEY.

Rosemary Clooney

Something's Got to Give was written by Johnny Mercer and we first saw it performed by Fred Astaire in the film Daddy Long Legs. It was recorded by quite a few people at the time, but I like Rosemary’s version.

♫ Rosemary Clooney - Something's Got To Give


SAM & DAVE were the preeminent soul duo of the sixties. Or any time, really.

Sam & Dave

In concert, no one could hold a candle to them. I suspect that few performers lined up to follow them. They were splendid recording artists as well. One of their big hits was When Something Is Wrong With My Baby, a bit more mellow than most of their output.

♫ Sam & Dave - When Something Is Wrong With My Baby




INTERESTING STUFF – 13 October 2018

2.8 PERCENT COLA ANNOUNCED

On Thursday, the U.S. Social Security Administration announced the cost of living increase (COLA) for 2019: 2.8 percent that will show up in checks or deposits in January.

You can read more about the increase here and here.

TREATING BEARS BURNED IN WILD FIRES

This video has been hanging around the universal list since last summer and even if it's a bit out of date, it's a good story about good Samaritans. As the YouTube page tells us,

”...a Veterinarian from the University of California Davis is using Tilapia fish skins to treat bears that have been burned in forest fires. Veterinarian Jamie Peyton is working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to try and help these two bears recover from having their paws severely burned in the Thomas Fire.

“Not being able to walk would be a serious impediment for any wild animal so if the tilapia skins can help them recover it will be a happy ending for these bears.”

NEW TYPEFACE SAID TO HELP READERS REMEMBER MORE

Friend Chuck Nyren sent along this story about a new typeface called sans forgetica that is supposed to help people retain more of what they read. Take a look:

You can download the font and a Chrome extension, or hear more from the team who created it at the sans forgetica website. You can read more here and here.

TURTLE BODY PAINT

This is astonishing. As Big Geek Daddy tells us:

”This illusion of a sea turtle is so well done I bet you watch the video twice. This cool video features a work from Johannes Stötter, a fine art body painter. (For the record, yes - I did watch it twice.)

See others at the artist's website.

AUTO SHREDDING BANKSY PAINTING

Even with the approach of a horrible hurricane in Florida this week, the murder of journalist and the continuing awfulness of the leadership of the United States, this event made a splash:

”The people at this Sotheby’s art auction were shocked to see a million dollar painting being shredded right after it was auctioned off. World famous street artist Banksy has either created his most famous painting or pulled off the greatest joke ever on the buyer and the art world.

“I would imagine Sotheby’s had detected the shredder and knew this would occur so my guess is that Banksy did it as a publicity stunt. Regardless, I’m willing to bet the shredded painting is now worth several million dollars as it truly is an original work of art.”

I have no idea if that second paragraph is a possibility but for the record, here is a video of the shredding at Sotheby's. Imagine if you'd been the one who just spent more than a million dollars for it:

More information and discussion at The Conversation.

ON TURNING NINETY

It's been a while since reader Ann Pitkin sent this poem. Although the title references turning 90, given the medical news I reported about myself yesterday, it feels just as relevant for this 77-year-old.

The poet is Edmund Keeley. You can read a bit about him here.

It can be laughable
to stand in a room
and not know why
you came in there,
familiar as it still is
for the work you once brought
to lighten its dullness
now the best place
for putting things away,
so why do you still stand there
saying to yourself
what am I doing here?
turning over answers
none of which touch
what still seemed possible
so very recently,
replaced now by the gathering
of things not yet done
and the crowded mess of things
that once seemed important
stuffed into boxes
under the old desk
or piled in curious stacks
on shelves with no room left
and the date book open there
with fading addresses
but now so out of date
and the calculator needing batteries—
why did I come in there?
Yet there’s no point pretending
you can dodge the touch of nostalgia
rising as you wait for an answer,
this sense of a life that gathered
enough good moments to remain
cause for hoping the memory
of what really counted will stay,
the imagination’s awakening
and its flowering as time would have it
while teaching you the secrets of nature,
the green fields of loving,
the heart’s selfless companions,
the friends who remained faithful,
these gifts the gods brought
when they managed to glance your way,
and much else beyond understanding
since the luck of your arriving
and your staying this long
still to find those things
so worth laughing about,
so worth singing about,
after you discover that memory
has its own bargain with time
for what remnant life it can carry
whether or not you remember
why you happen to be
where your path has chosen to bring you
on any given day.

PACHELBEL’S CANON IN C(HICKEN)

A reader who identified himself only as Joe sent this video and it is such a wonderfully silly thing. I have misplaced the origin of this intro but here it is anyway:

”Eddy, a violinist from YouTube duo TwoSet Violin, has created a multitracked version of Johann Pachelbel’s beautifully romantic wedding classic – his Canon in D – with the assistance of four rubber chickens.

“The most impressive thing is that he can actually play the chickens in tune. There’s also a particularly beautiful, squawk-filled moment around 1:51, when the final two lines of semiquavers join together.”

If that's not enough for you, you will find Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz in Chicken here.

CONGRESS BANS PHARMACY GAG RULE

Some good medical price news for 2019: Congress has banned the “pharmacist gag rule.” Kaiser Health News (KHN) explains:

”For years, most pharmacists couldn’t give customers even a clue about an easy way to save money on prescription drugs. But the restraints are coming off.

“When the cash price for a prescription is less than what you would pay using your insurance plan, pharmacists will no longer have to keep that a secret.”

The new rules affect Medicare and Medicare Advantage beneficiaries along with commercial employer-based and individual policies

There is a catch, however. (Of course there is; there always is):

”Under the new legislation, pharmacists will not be required to tell patients about the lower cost option. If they don’t, it’s up to the customer to ask.”

And this:

”While the legislation removes gag orders, it doesn’t address how patients who pay the cash price outside their insurance plan can apply that expense toward meeting their policy’s deductible.”

Obviously, there is more to know so it behooves us to keep watch for additional information. Meanwhile, here is the entire KHN story.

DOG AND JAGUAR ARE BEST FRIENDS

You know how much I enjoy interspecies friendship. Here's another:

* * *

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.



Into the Great Unknown

”...progressive disease,” says the CT scan report, “with new and enlarging multiple metastatic lung nodules and new peritoneal nodules.”

It was Monday morning this week when I heard that statement paraphrased in a meeting with my oncology physician, my nurse and a social worker at the Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU), following up on a CT scan from the previous Friday.

Although I was hoping to be wrong, it's not like I wasn't expecting this outcome. Ten days or so earlier, I had seen the chart of a blood test for “tumor markers”. It looks like this:

Cancer Tumor Marker

I don't know what is being measured and we don't need to know. What matters is that the high number on the far left was reported just before my Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer in June 2017. The next one – at zero – was following the surgery and you can see what has transpired since then, triggering the conclusive CT scan at the end of last week.

The only treatment is chemotherapy which, they tell me, cannot kill the cancer but can slow the growth enough that I might have six or eight months of healthy living before symptoms begin.

The awful irony is that right now I feel terrific, in as excellent health as I was before I was diagnosed with cancer in mid-2017. Even so, the first decision I made about the rest of my life is to stop my daily workout routine. Immediately.

Because I know that regular and fairly heavy exercise goes a long way toward staying healthy in old age, I've been doing that (with the exception of the months of recovery after the surgery) five mornings out of seven for six or seven years - and I despised every moment of it. Now there is no reason and I am relieved.

Another upside is that I don't have to worry about dementia anymore. No more of those little online tests about what are normal memory problems and what are not. Whew. I'm glad to be done with that too.

I'm sure that in the coming days and weeks I'll find some other things I can happily leave behind.

So what should I do with the time left to me? Yeah, yeah, I know – everyone is dying every day but believe me, I now know that it is quite a different thing from that abstract platitude to a closely defined period of time.

I never had a plan for my life. Beyond being a professional ballet dancer for which I turned out to be physically unsuited, I didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up. I followed my nose as things came into view and had a wonderful career in media production – radio, television, internet - for nearly 50 years.

Only recently did I discover a quotation from entertainer Elton John that well describes how I have lived: “If you let things happen, that is a magical life.”

And so it has been. I've mostly “let things happen” and have rarely been disappointed.

So no bucket list for me – in fact, I actively dislike the entire idea. I already have plenty of memories to recall and anyway, I really like this life I have now.

A young person would certainly find it boring. Each morning, I commute from the bedroom to my computer. As we all can do now, I follow the news and its commentary and other kinds of writing, too, from wonderful writers all over the world online.

There are friends to have lunch and spend time with. Lots of good books to read along with many good movies and TV shows if I want. Not to mention, my current affairs discussion group which has become more important to me than I would have guessed when it began two years ago.

My main daily occupation is this blog and its subject – what it is like to grow old. I've been doing this for about 15 years and still am not tired of it. It feels a lot like the years I was employed – going to work every day doing something that I enjoy.

Five days into my new circumstance now, I have decided to keep doing these things as if I had all the time in the world. That may change in the weeks and months to come and if so, I'll figure out then what is next.

For now, from time to time I will write here about this final journey hoping that what could be taken as overly self-indulgent might, for some readers, be of possible value as another person's way of approaching the end of life.

Another quotation that has helped drive my life is from the British writer, E.M. Forster. I discovered it when I was in my twenties realizing then that it describes perfectly how my mind worked and still works:

”How do I know what I think until I see what I say.”

For me, it takes writing it down (on paper or, these days, on a screen) to know with any clarity what I think and believe. So writing for you is also for me and will help me work out this frightening last mile or two.

I have sometimes said to myself and to others, how hard could dying be? Everyone who has ever lived has done it – even the really dumb ones. But of course, it's not anywhere near that simple, is it?

For the near future, nothing will change here at Time Goes By except that I will more frequently write about heading into the great unknown. If you want to join me, I will be so happy to have you here.




A Place Holder Today

On Monday, I published a short post about why I had no time to write a story for that day. Now there has been a different kind of disruption that prevents me from getting something useful – or, at least, entertaining – done for today. More on that in a day or two or three or so.

Meanwhile, here is a fascinating video I found of moving pictures of Paris in 1900. the YouTube page tells us:

”A collection of high quality remastered prints from the dawn of film taken in Belle Époque-era Paris, France from 1896-1900. Slowed down footage to a natural rate and added in sound for ambiance. These films were taken by the Lumière company.”

I don't care much for the added audio, but that doesn't make the film any less interesting. Here is a list of what you will see at what time in the video:

0:08 - Notre-Dame Cathedral (1896)
0:58 - Alma Bridge (1900)
1:37 - Avenue des Champs-Élysées (1899)
2:33 - Place de la Concorde (1897)
3:24 - Passing of a fire brigade (1897)
3:58 - Tuileries Garden (1896)
4:48 - Moving walkway at the Paris Exposition (1900)
5:24 - The Eiffel Tower from the Rives de la Seine à Paris (1897)

And here is the video:

A few weeks ago I featured another video from this company, of New York City in 1911. You'll find it here.




A TGB READER STORY: Moving Day

By Sylvia Li

"You're not going to remember this."

I was five, going on six. Our family was moving out of the top-floor Montreal apartment that was the only home my younger brother and I had known.

Our belongings were packed into boxes already, including my favourite doll Gloria. Mummy had done that quietly behind my back. Gloria's once-shimmering dress was not so glorious as when she'd been new last Christmas. Her real rooted hair was tangled now, impossible to comb and to tell the truth, my efforts in that direction had made her a little bald. Her blue eyes still closed when I laid her down. I'd have been worried about her if I'd known she was all closed up in a box.

The moving men were coming and going, nearly done taking the furniture and boxes down to the truck. It was time to say goodbye to this place.

Daddy took us down the long hall to "the Bobs room" at the far end, where my Uncle Bob had stayed when he didn't have any place else to go. Uncle Bob was married now.

Robby had sometimes slept in that room and sometimes I had. Sometimes other family members had stayed there when they visited but for us, that room's permanent name was the Bobs room.

Daddy, Robby, and I made our way back, hand in hand, room by room, kindly acknowledging each one because we had been happy here, while Mummy dusted and swept.

When we got to the front living room, Daddy took the phone down from the waist-high telephone shelf and set it on the floor. The phone was black, of course. All phones were black in those days and they all belonged to the telephone company. The shelf was a tall niche built right into the wall. It had always held the phone book and the telephone and nothing else.

Daddy lifted each of us up to sit on that high shelf where we had never, ever sat before. "You're not going to remember this," he told us.

But we do. Both of us do.


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[EDITORIAL NOTE: This feature, TGB Readers' Stories, appears every Tuesday. Anyone age 50 and older is welcome to submit a story. You can do that by clicking the “Contact” link at the top of every TGB page or at the Guidelines/Submissions page.

Please be sure to read and follow the guidelines before submitting a story. It will save me a lot of time.
]




That #$%^&* Republican RGB “Joke” Video

Many TGB readers have emailed to complain about the video I posted nine or ten days ago of Representative Ralph Norman's [R-SC] abominable joke about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg being groped by Abraham Lincoln.

The readers were not complaining about the joke but about the fact that the damned video kept replaying every time they opened TimeGoesBy in a browser. I know. Me too.

Clearing my browser cache on my desktop helped for a day or so and seemed to work for some readers but then the video returned. Or, in my case, just the audio from it.

It's a long, painful story of frustration and failure, my week-long search for a solution. I got so backed up in the rest of my life that by Thursday, I couldn't even find time to write a blog post for Friday.

After several more hours of work on Saturday morning, I finally found what appeared to be a solution. A couple of readers say it seems to have worked for them; no more Rep. Norman.

My brain is still fried from having spent so many days thinking through and/or reading about computer minutiae – something I can usually do fairly well but don't like to and it takes forever.

So this explanation is the best you're getting for today. I took the rest of the weekend off.

Maybe you want to chat about the Kavanaugh win? Or anything else that suits you. Let's make today a rare case of TGB open mic.




ELDER MUSIC: Nothing

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.

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Nothing ain’t nothing.

Nothing is a roiling mass of quantum effects where particles and anti-particles wink into existence and return to nothingness. This happens billions of times a second. Once upon a time one of those random events got out of hand and created the universe – it expanded exponentially (generally called the Big Bang), then slowed down, then speeded up again.

Oops, sorry, this isn’t a physics column, it’s all about music. On with the nothingness.

After I had collected the songs, I noticed that it had pretty much turned into a column replete with soul music. That’s fine with me; I hope it is with you as well.

I’ll start with the greatest soul singer, OTIS REDDING.

Otis Redding

He says that I'll Let Nothing Separate Us. I hope he’s right, but this is the real world.

♫ Otis Redding - I'll Let Nothing Separate Us


Next we have the only singer who could have taken Otis’s crown from him, if there hadn’t been that “incident”, SAM COOKE.

Sam Cooke

Sam could sing songs from just about any genre of music and make it his own. Not just his own, but better than just about anyone else. His song is Nothing Can Change This Love.

♫ Sam Cooke - Nothing Can Change This Love


For a change of pace, we have the song that inspired this column. When I saw a vid of the rather fine British group, The Beautiful South, perform a cover of a song by IRIS DEMENT, I knew I had a column.

Iris Dement

Iris was also in their show. Naturally, I’m going with her original version of You've Done Nothing Wrong.

♫ Iris DeMent - You've Done Nothing Wrong


TOUSSAINT MCCALL only had two songs that made the charts, and only one that got to the pointy end.

Toussaint Mccall

That song is Nothing Takes the Place of You. I don’t know why he wasn’t more successful as he was a fine singer, but we know how fickle the music industry is.

♫ Toussaint Mccall - Nothing Takes The Place Of You


JAMES HUNTER had the help of VAN MORRISON on his first album “Believe What I Say”.

James Hunter & Van Morrison

This was a really terrific soul/rhythm & blues-based album that’s worth seeking out, as are James’s subsequent records. From that first album, with Van in tow, we have Ain't Nothing You Can Do.

It was written by Deadric Malone and Joseph Scott and first recorded by Bobby Blue Bland, whose version is excellent.

♫ James Hunter - Ain't Nothing You Can Do


Here are PAUL MADIGAN and ROSS HANNAFORD from an impromptu jam session they performed a few years ago.

Ross Hannaford & Paul Madigan

Paul sings and plays acoustic guitar and Ross plays electric guitar and sings a bit towards the end of the song. Ross was the guitarist for the group Daddy Cool (and others as well). He was easily the finest rock guitarist Australia has produced. Unfortunately, he died recently.

The song they perform is There's Really Nothing You Can Do.

♫ Ross Hannaford & Paul Madigan - There's Really Nothing You Can Do


THE BEARDS are completely tongue in cheek but you wouldn’t know because they all have big beards so you can’t see any cheeks.

The Beards

According to their song, it seems that you can achieve anything if you have a beard - world peace, stop global warming and perform several rather more interesting things. I can attest to that - after all, There’s Just Nothing Better Than a Beard.

♫ The Beards - There’s Just Nothing Better Than a Beard


There were a number of contenders for the next song but with BILLIE HOLIDAY in the mix, it’s a done deal as far as I’m concerned.

Billie Holiday

The song is from the recordings she did that later became known as The Ben Webster, Harry Edison Sessions where some of the finest songs of the era were recorded. One of those was Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me.

♫ Billie Holiday - Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me


CLYDE MCPHATTER is one of several singers that first came to prominence as lead singer for The Drifters.

Clyde McPhatter

He then went on to have a successful solo career. He was one of the best of the pop/soul singers and this song is an example. Although having said that, the song sounds more like a gospel song with some of the words tweaked to fit in, but then a lot of soul music does just that. I really like it. Without Love (There Is Nothing).

♫ Clyde McPhatter - Without Love (There Is Nothing)


It tickles me that PETER PAUL & MARY always had an ampersand in their name rather than the word “and”.

Peter, Paul & Mary

That’s just me; I get distracted by these rather trivial things. Anyway, they perform a song of Bob Dylan’s, not too much of a surprise there.

This is one from the period when he was recovering from his motor cycling accident when he wrote songs and sent them out to people he knew would do a good job with them. PP&M certainly did that with Too Much of Nothing.

♫ Peter, Paul & Mary - Too Much Of Nothing


I’ll end as I began, with a great soul singer. This time it’s PERCY SLEDGE.

Percy Sledge

Percy is another in the top echelon of soul singers - there are quite a few of them as this genre seemed to attract really good singers, many from gospel backgrounds.

Percy is best known for his classic song, When a Man Loves a Woman. From around the same time we have When She Touches Me (Nothing Else Matters).

♫ Percy Sledge - When She Touches Me (Nothing Else Matters)