A TGB READER STORY: The Sunbonnet Crown

By Jannette Mountzouris

Our grandparents, known as Mim-Mim and Daddy Harry, lived on a ranch in Kerr County along Turtle Creek. Their modest home sat on a high bluff above the creek. Inside Mim-Mim focused on meals to be fixed, bread to be baked, firewood to be split for the cook stove, clothes to be washed and ironed and other somewhat mundane tasks.

However, outside she reigned as queen, wearing a sunbonnet as her crown while she cared for her flowers, maintained a garden, milked the cow and gathered eggs laid by her free range hens.

This was no ordinary jeweled crown for it was made of recycled feed sacks whose once vibrant colors were faded from many washings. Although our grandmother died more than 50 years ago, I can clearly see her in my mind’s eye – faded dress, old apron, and the sunbonnet on her head.

Her hoe became her scepter as she gently ruled her empire of flowers, garden, the barn, and all the nooks where the chickens laid their eggs. She carried the hoe not only to chop weeds but to address snakes that might cross her path. In the summer as she gathered eggs, Mim-Mim always had several visiting grandchildren in her entourage.

From the first frost-free mornings in early spring to the last golden days of autumn, Mim-Mim donned her crown and nurtured all things growing in her outside domain. I do believe she was happiest wearing her sunbonnet as she planted, weeded, and watered her flowers and the garden.

She loved flowers and it was evident they were happy in her hands with the green thumbs. They were pleased to show off along the fence or in any cranny where they were planted. There were no brightly colored fertilizer bags with instructions about where and how the plants were to be placed in the soil. Yet the zinnias, bachelor buttons, and shrimp plants along with others grew taller than any I have ever seen.

She always seemed to choose flowers that ethereal creatures like hummingbirds and butterflies loved. To my delight one summer morning, she pointed out a hummingbird nest in a huge oak tree which served as a canopy over a portion of the yard.

While I certainly don’t remember the names of all that she planted, I am sometimes amazed when I realize I know something about a particular plant I could only have learned from Mim-Mim.

Besides the flowers, there were the staples of the garden: squash, beans, onions, and of course, tomatoes and pole beans. At one end were little hills of cucumbers which would become crisp pickles during canning season. A spot was always saved for dill which released a piquant fragrance in the heat.

While others might complain about getting up at sunrise, Mim-Mim seemed to relish going out to water the flowers and vegetables before the sun advanced too far in its ascent.

Even after they moved to town for Daddy Harry’s failing health, Mim-Mim continued to don her crown as she cultivated a much smaller bounty of flowers and vegetables. It must have felt unnatural to be outside without the sunbonnet.

Our Aunt Dorothy told me that her memories of the sunbonnet centered on her mother always heavily starching the bonnet and ironing it. I was curious about why Mim-Mim took such meticulous care of it. Aunt Dorothy said the starching and ironing were done so that the brim would not sag over Mim-Mim’s eyes – the pragmatic memory of her daughter versus the sublime memory of her granddaughter.

Today when I hoe the good earth, recollections of Mim-Mim in her sunbonnet always come to mind – sacred recollections of the mind and heart.

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EDITORIAL NOTE: You are a prolific bunch of writers and there is now a backlog of reader stories to carry us almost to summer. So for awhile, I am not accepting new stories until we work through some of the ones already on the list.




Crabby Old Lady on Honoring Cancer Survivors

Five year survival is the medical gold standard of a successful cancer cure and apparently there is a season of the year (December) to “honor” five-year cancer survivors as articles about several of these celebrations have recently dropped into Crabby Old Lady's email inbox.

Now, doing some light homework for this blog post, she has discovered that in June each year there is a National Cancer Survivors Day, “a celebration for those who have survived.”

Crabby would be ecstatic to be one of those people but her life hasn't turned out that way. Her two new cancers are incurable. And as you must have expected from the headline, here goes Crabby Old Lady again being a Grinch.

[Unpaid family and friend caregivers deserve respect too (not to mention some effective regulations about leave from work, etc.) but today is about professional caregivers.]

So. Honor the survivors? Give Crabby a break. It's fantastic when that five-year anniversary arrives and it should probably involve an over-the-top, joyous, hoot-and-hollerin' celebration with the survivor, along with his or her family and friends. But publicly “honoring” them?

When they should have been honored was during the months, maybe years of treatment. It's damned hard to be a cancer patient. Surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, things that go wrong like Crabby's internal bleeds that required two more surgeries, pain, fatigue like you've never experienced before, keeping track of all the medications and more.

Celebrations back then might have given patients encouragement when they most needed it as they wondered, too often, if they just should have skipped all the interim stuff and died sooner.

That's when the honoring of patients would mean something - for following all the instructions and doing it stoically. Well, for the most part. Sometimes you just need to have a good cry.

But the first people Crabby honors, above all the patients, are the professional cancer caregivers. All of them, from celebrated surgeons who get so much attention, through the RNs, CNAs, medical assistants, schedulers and coordinators and all the rest of them.

At the top levels, physicians, nurses and their assistants (the dozens Crabby Old Lady has spoken with about their careers during her 18 months of regular visits with them) CHOSE to make their careers with cancer patients.

Think of that: they made a conscious decision to spend their working life with people who, most of them, die in a relatively short period of time.

Patients and caregivers get to know one another over that time. They exchange personal information unrelated to cancer. They don't become friends exactly, but they do become friendly with warm feelings for one another: “Hey Sean,” Crabby might say to a medical assistant when she arrives, one who had been previously assigned to her. “How are you doing?” Or “Hi Nancy. Good to see you again.” High fives all around.

She gets the same in return from the caregivers as she walks by their desks. And by name. How many of us do they keep in mind?

Imagine what it is like for them when all too often and not unexpectedly, they get word that one of their patients has died. If you think it is hard for laymen like Crabby and you to grieve for loved ones, it doesn't happen but a fraction of the time it does for cancer caregivers.

And yet, they choose this work and they are universally wonderful people in all respects – different in their essence than other people.

As Crabby or Ronni has said before, every single one is smart, knowledgeable in their field, warm, comforting, friendly and as far as Crabby can tell, never has a bad day. They never, ever bring their personal problems to work – at least not with patients.

Yes, Crabby herself has worked hard following instructions to get through her treatment – sometimes awful stuff – questioning not infrequently if it isn't time to stop and let the disease take its course. But these men and women keep Crabby going as if it really matters to them – and it does, manifestly.

These are the people Crabby Old Lady honors first above herself and other patients. They are different in the best possible way from the rest of us. Maybe it's in their genes.




ELDER MUSIC: Wasn’t That a Mighty Storm

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.

* * *

With global warming we may or may not get more storms, but we will get far more powerful and ferocious ones. It’s probably too late to stop this happening. In the meantime, let’s have some songs about storms.

We’ll start proceedings with TOM RUSH and approximately the title of the column.

Tom Rush

The song is actually called Galveston Flood, but it has been recorded under the name Wasn’t That a Mighty Storm. Even Tom has done that.

♫ Tom Rush - Galveston Flood


There are two songs today where I found dozens of versions and you’d think it might be difficult to select one. As it turned out, the job was easy as the best one stood out in both. The first of these songs is Stormy Monday, and the standout is T-BONE WALKER.

T-Bone Walker

Just about every blues performer, and quite a few in other genres, has recorded the song. However, T-Bone did it first and did it best. He also wrote the song. He was one of the most influential guitarists of the twentieth century.

♫ T-Bone Walker - Stormy Monday


Goodness, it’s been a while since I had LINDA RONSTADT in a column. That will be rectified immediately.

Linda Ronstadt

Linda seems to have the help of the celestial choir on her song, Cry Like a Rainstorm.

♫ Linda Ronstadt - Cry Like a Rainstorm


“Blood on the Tracks” was BOB DYLAN’s finest album from the seventies. It was also his “divorce album”, I don’t know if there’s a correlation there.

Bob Dylan

There were several vicious songs on the album. Okay, it’s not the only album where that occurred. The song Shelter from the Storm isn’t one of them. Well, it is a bit.

♫ Bob Dylan - Shelter From The Storm


TERRY EVANS and HANS THEESSINK also recorded Shelter from the Storm, but it’s a different song.

Terry Evans & Hans Theessink

Hans, a Dutch bluesman, wrote this one, but I can’t help thinking that he was very familiar with Bob’s song. Terry once sang backup on one of Hans’ records and after that they recorded and toured together. Terry died recently and his last record was with Hans.

♫ Terry Evans & Hans Theessink - Shelter From The Storm


BUDDY KNOX started his career on a radio program in Texas that also featured Roy Orbison.

Buddy Knox

Roy suggested that Buddy should go to Clovis, New Mexico, where Norman Petty was recording Buddy Holly. Buddy did just that and recorded his best known, and biggest selling song, Party Doll.

He also recorded Storm Clouds. He had another go at that song again later and it’s that version we have today.

♫ Buddy Knox - Storm Clouds


JOHN PRINE can write songs that will break your heart, others that will make you laugh and everything in between.

John Prine

Whatever category into which a song falls, his attention to details is immaculate. The song Storm Windows seems to be from the in between category, and it’s a bit rockier than most of his songs.

♫ John Prine - Storm Windows


The other song that I mentioned above with all the versions is Stormy Weather. I can hear you yelling your favorites but I’ve gone with LENA HORNE.

Lena Horne

The song was around before Lena had a go at it, but she sang it in a film of the same name and since then it’s mostly been associated with her.

♫ Lena Horne - Stormy Weather


BOZ SCAGGS went to school and university with Steve Miller. They were firm friends.

Boz Scaggs

After trying to make a go of it as a solo artist, Boz joined Steve in the Steve Miller Band for their first two albums as a guitarist and singer. After that he once again ventured out for a solo career recording the album “Boz Scaggs”, which in my opinion is his best.

However, it’s not that album that concerns us today, it’s a later one called “A Fool to Care”, from which we get There's a Storm a Comin'. Just setting the mood for the next track.

♫ Boz Scaggs - There's a Storm a Comin'


There’s only one way to finish the column and that is to ride out the storm. Quite a few of you are already saying THE DOORS.

The Doors

Riders on the Storm was the very last song that the original four members of The Doors recorded together. They went out with one of their great songs and so are we, at least for this week.

♫ The Doors - Riders On The Storm




INTERESTING STUFF – 15 December 2018

DOG FINDS WOOLLY MAMMOTH TOOTH

As the Mother Nature Network (MNN) website reports:

”When Scout, a young Labrador retriever puppy from Whidbey Island, Washington, went to work digging up a new hole in his backyard, his human owner Kirk Lacewell wasn't necessarily surprised to see him emerge victorious with something in his mouth...

“After taking a few photos of the object, he passed them along to experts at the University of Washington's Burke Museum. Their conclusion? Scout's find was no less than part of a tooth from a woolly mammoth estimated to be about 13,000 years old.

Here's the whole story from a local newscast:

You can read more detail at the MNN website.

IMPROBABLY CUTE HOWLING COYOTE PUP

This just might be the cutest baby animal you've ever seen:

Big Geek Daddy tells us:

”The coyote pup was found by this boy and his friends when they were camping. They soon realized that as cute as this coyote was they couldn’t keep it so they released it back into the area where they found it so it could reunite with the rest of the coyote pack.”

FAKE NET NEUTRALITY COMMENTS BEING INVESTIGATED

Remember earlier this year when we were fighting hard, sending emails, signing petitions, calling legislators to preserve net neutrality? We lost the battle.

Now there will be an investigation into the fact that almost half the millions of comments opposing net neutrality were faked:

”More than 20 million comments have since appeared on the site, with the New York attorney general’s office estimating that up to 9.5 million of those were filed in people’s names without their consent,” reports Buzzfeed News.

“As part of the New York attorney general’s previously announced investigation, the agency in October issued subpoenas to 14 organizations — 11 of which are either politically conservative or related to the telecommunications industry and opposed net neutrality, and three of which supported it.

“The offices of the attorneys general of both Massachusetts and Washington, DC, are supporting the New York investigation, and also issued subpoenas.”

The FCC has refused to honor a Freedom of Information records request that would shed light on the suspicious comments. Expect more to come and read more now at Buzzfeed News.

DYNASTIES – LION AND HYENAS

From the Dynasties series presented by BBC Earth, an amazing clip of Red the lion who finds himself surrounded by a pack of more than 20 hyenas. His ally Tatu rushes to help. An astonishingly intense scene of life in the wild.

NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN HOLIDAY TRAIN SHOW

A terrific exhibit that features 30 sets of moving trains and 150 New York landmarks made of plant parts.

WOODEN WATCH

One of the few positive things that can be said about having a terminal disease is that if you don't count daily requirements such as food and bathroom tissue, you don't need or want to spend money anymore.

Nowadays, I don't read advertisements and I've unsubscribed from all the shopping newsletters that used to arrive regularly in my email inbox.

But this caught my attention:

It's silly and I can't tell you why, but I am charmed by the idea of a wooden watch. I don't care about the whiskey barrel part – I don't even understand why that would matter and most of all, I cannot imagine how anyone even thought this up.

But it just seems so cool - a watch made of wood.

Now don't anyone go thinking you should buy this for me. I don't need it, I don't want it, I haven't even worn a watch in more than a decade. I just think this one is cool.

You can find out more about it at this website.

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE BRAVE DOG WHO SURVIVED THE WILDFIRE?

When Andrea Gaylord arrived back at her home off Merrill Drive in Paradise, [California], she was surprised and overjoyed to see her beloved dog, Madison, survived the fire and was waiting patiently for her to return home.

Lovely story of a beloved pet's loyalty.

Find out more about Madison and his survival at Laughing Squid.

* * *

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
.




Quotation of the Year: “Truth Isn't Truth”

This seems to be happening a lot lately – that time gets away from me and I can't finish a proper post in time to publish. Mainly, it just takes longer for me to do everything these days than in the past so I get backed up.

I put this together quickly on Wednesday as I knew I would be gone all day on Thursday getting my new chemotherapy infusion – seven hours (!) of it at the chemo clinic.

It's hard to know if this list is funny or horribly worrisome.

* * *

Yep. That Rudolph Giuliani quotation took the top spot this year in Yale Law School librarian Fred Shapiro’s annual list.

A few of the others in the top ten should bring back some political memories from recent months:

“I liked beer. I still like beer.” — Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh

“While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.” — Sanofi drug company

”(I am) not smart, but genius...and a very stable genius at that!” — President Donald Trump

Do you have any favorite quotations from these past 12 months you think should be included?

You can read the rest of Shapiro's picks for quotations of the year at Huffington Post and AP News.




A TGB READER STORY: First-Born

By Jeanne Parvin

My husband and I brought our new baby home to our little furnished apartment. We were inexperienced – how to lay her down in the crib, how to cover her properly. And she cried so loudly.

I paced with her in the middle of the night to keep her quiet so my husband could get the sleep he needed to get up and go to work the next day. The visiting nurse said she had strong, healthy lungs. (Loud!)

My mother-in-law came by to pick up the baby’s laundry and brought it back all clean and fresh. She loved folding those tiny garments. She loved her first grandchild.

Now my mother-in-law is dead. My husband is dead. My first-born daughter is in her 50s now. She gives me hugs on a regular basis to make sure I still feel loved.

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EDITORIAL NOTE: You are a prolific bunch of writers and there is now a backlog of reader stories to carry us almost to summer. So for awhile, I am not accepting new stories until we work through some of the ones already on the list.




My Son, My Family

Take a look at this photograph – shot at my home on Saturday evening:

TomKathyHenry20181208E

Nearly 56 years ago when I was 21 years old, I gave birth to a boy whom I arranged to have adopted. On Saturday, I met Tom, his wife Kathy and their four-year-old son, Henry, in person for the first time.

[For readers just now catching up with this story, the background is here.]

They arrived at noon bearing food and gifts and we spent the next seven hours eating, drinking good wine (well, not Henry) and talking. Talking and talking and talking.

We told stories about ourselves and our families, we hugged a lot, we laughed, we grinned ourselves silly, with Henry's little boy voice tinkling in the background (he's a very well-behaved kid).

Henry brought me a gift he had made himself – this beautiful cup I'm using now for coffee as I write this post on Sunday morning, and will use every morning from now on as I answer email and read the news. Here it is among some of the detritus on my desk:

HenrysCup

In ways I cannot explain, I feel like I have always known these people, that they have always been a part of my life. We settled right in as soon as they arrived. Of course, there are thousands of details about their lives I don't know, but I know the essence of their being.

By the end of our day, they had made me feel part of their family and I hope they felt the same in return. But none of these words come anywhere close to the love I feel with them. And comfort with them.

When they left in the evening, I was happy and sad, too, sad that they don't live down the street or across the road from me. But they will be back. We made plans for that.

I have been teary in the best possible way since Saturday evening. How did I get so lucky that this happened. Just in time.

Look at these wonderful people, my son and my daughter-in-law.

KathyTom20181208B680




ELDER MUSIC: 1959 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.

* * *

1959 was the year I was uprooted halfway through high school (and halfway through the year) from my small country town and deposited in a really big city (Melbourne).

That was for a couple of reasons: to keep the family together (my sister had already made that move), and to ensure a good education for the next kid (me) as my big sister really had to struggle to do that on her own – she was the only person in her year 12 class.

It was also a pretty good year for music.

It was with the group THE TEDDY BEARS that we first encountered Phil Spector. This was ostensibly a trio; the other two were Marshall Leib and Annette Kleinbard. There were others who came and went, most notably Sandy Nelson who had a later career as a drummer.

Teddy Bears

Phil wrote the song To Know Him is to Love Him for the group and particularly for Annette to sing the lead. It was their only hit. Annette later changed her name to Carol Connors and had a successful career as a songwriter.

♫ The Teddy Bears - To Know Him Is To Love Him


Does music from this year get any better than this? That’s a rhetorical question to which the answer is no. That’s because we have THE PLATTERS.

Platters

The only question really is which song to play. I decided on one of their best, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.

♫ The Platters - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes


BILLY GRAMMER was both a singer a fine guitarist.

Billy Grammer

He was one of the few who had a signature guitar made and named for him. Not just that but the company changed its name to the Grammer Guitar Company. He had a few hits during his career, the biggest of which was Gotta Travel On.

♫ Billy Grammer - Gotta Travel On


COL JOYE was the second biggest rock & roller in Australia at the time.

Col Joye

He was the one the parents liked rather that the outrageous Johnny O’Keefe whom the kids liked. Sort of like Ricky Nelson and Elvis in that regard. Col’s contribution is Bye, Bye Baby Goodbye.

♫ Col Joye - Bye bye baby goodbye


By this year, FATS DOMINO had been making records for at least a decade, so he knew what he was doing by this stage.

Fats Domino

One of the things he did really well was the song, I'm Gonna Be A Wheel Some Day.

♫ Fats Domino - I'm Gonna Be A Wheel Some Day


Along with two or three others, GUY MITCHELL was a breath of fresh air in the early fifties. He, and they, showed this kid that there might be some interesting music out there amongst all the dross.

Guy Mitchell

Guy kept making good records as the decade went on, one of which is Heartaches by the Number.

♫ Guy Mitchell - Heartaches by the Number


FRANKIE FORD was another native of Louisiana who took up music at an early age.

Frankie Ford

After some minor success he was used as a backup vocalist. When he did this for Huey “Piano” Smith with Huey’s song, Sea Cruise, the record company decided to release Frankie’s version as Huey already had a couple of songs on the charts. Frankie did likewise with the song.

♫ Frankie Ford - Sea Cruise


You can be pretty certain that MARTY ROBBINS would be present this year.

Marty Robbins

Marty seems surprised that seventeen and eighteen year olds were getting together. Oh, Marty, Marty, Marty they’ve been doing that since we evolved into humans (and no doubt before that). She Was Only Seventeen.

♫ Marty Robbins - She Was Only Seventeen


By now anything the EVERLY BROTHERS recorded was guaranteed to top the charts.

Everly Brothers

This is a tale of woe that the lads don’t want Mary to know about; that is that they’re banged up in the clink. She might figure that something’s wrong when they don’t come home. Take a Message to Mary.

♫ Everly Brothers - Take A Message To Mary


PHIL PHILLIPS received a pittance from his recording of Sea of Love.

Phil Phillips

He wrote the song, recorded it and saw that it hit the top of the charts, selling more than a million. He recorded an album but refused to have it released due to the shonky deal the record company struck with him.

He’s still trying to get his due after all this time. It’s particularly galling as the song has been covered quite often and was used in the successful film of the same name.

♫ Phil Phillips - Sea Of Love




INTERESTING STUFF – 8 December 2018

[PERSONAL NOTE: For the second Saturday in a row, today's is a shorter than usual Interesting Stuff. I just ran out of time.

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REPUBLICAN VERSION OF IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE

Apropos of yesterday's post about the Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life, my friend Jim Stone sent this video - a Republican version of the film. Enjoy.

WHERE ARE ALL THE OLD PEOPLE GOING TO LIVE?

My friend Chuck Nyren who blogs at Advertising to Baby Boomers is one of the best observers I know of the absurd. This time he has taken note of the recent upsurge in concern over where all the old people are going to live.

“It used to be that old people lived wherever they lived – and that was that...” writes Chuck.

“Now there are choices. So many choices you could have a multiple strokes just thinking about them. There’s staying put (aka aging in place) where you don’t go anywhere and you’re taken care of by people or robots.

“Or you can buy a motor home, drive it around for a few years until you get bored, then park it somewhere.

“Or you can purchase a ready-made tiny house and have a helicopter dump it in one of your children’s backyards.”

Or – read the rest of Chuck's take on old folks' 21st century living arrangements here.

ALL THE VERMEERS IN THE WORLD IN ONE PHONE APP

Johannes Vermeer made few paintings in his lifetime – just 36 that have been authenticated and they are scattered among 17 or 18 collections in seven countries – hard for most people to be able to see in a lifetime.

”Now, the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague...has teamed up with Google Arts & Culture in Paris to build an augmented-reality app that creates a virtual museum featuring all of the artist’s works,” reports The New York Times.

9TO5Google tells us:

”Google Arts & Culture is leveraging augmented reality for a new Pocket Gallery feature. Opening the app and camera will display a virtual seven-room exhibition space that you can tap to enter with the ability to drag, pinch, and resize to move around.

The app is available for phones with a camera for iOS and Android.

OLDEST KNOWN CAVE PAINTING FOUND IN BORNEO

As the Los Angeles Times reports:

”In limestone caves hidden deep in the jungle of Borneo, archaeologists have discovered the oldest known figurative drawing created by a human artist, dating back at least 40,000 years.

“The ancient artwork is incomplete, but appears to depict a large mammal — probably a type of wild cow — with an oval-shaped body, thin legs and a spear sticking out of its rump.”

(You might want to turn off the annoying audio on this video. It astonishes me how badly produced many news videos are.)

AUTOMATION GONE TOO FAR?

As David Neevel explains on the YouTubepage:

”I'm always looking for ways to be more efficient in my shop. Voice commands are one way. Automation is another way. And I combined those two ways into one.

“Why? Efficiency. Have a look at my candy thrower, beer thrower, ibuprofen thrower, and other robots and marvel with me: What will I accomplish now that I don't have to throw ibuprofens at my own mouth any more? I can't wait to find out.

“Google end dictation. No don't type that. Stop the dictation. Google stop. Google stop. God damn it. Post video google.”

This is so silly. Take a look:

MANDARIN DUCK IN MANHATTAN

Have you heard the story about the Mandarin duck, native to Asia, who has been hanging out in the pond in New York City's Central Park for the past month or more?

If not, believe me, you've never seen a duck as gorgeous as this one – well, I hadn't.

You can read more in The New York Times and at The Los Angeles Times.

* * *

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.