Sunday, December 27, 2020


                            HAPPY NEW YEAR ---- 2021  ! ! !    Friday

        "The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history."

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas as this holiday weekend ends, we begin to celebrate Kwanzaa and we ready for New Year's Day.  Soon to follow are these significant countdown date facts augmented by my point of view .....

January 5, 2021:    Georgia runoff election for 2 seats determines U.S. Senate control.

January 6, 2021 at 1 p.m.:     U.S. Electoral College vote finalized,                                              certified in Congressional joint session -- if law and order prevails.

   ? ? ? ? ?                Current Lame Duck President exits the White House as he continues his desperate efforts to undermine our democracy, damaging this nation.

January 20, 2021 at noon:    President Biden is inaugurated.                                                                    

Another exciting week at my house as I continue to follow the Stay At Home admonition from health authorities as being necessary to limit Covid-19's spread and to avoid becoming infected.  

FaceTime proved to be the means by which our family virtual interaction was enjoyed Christmas Day with expanded participant contact expected in the week ahead, but probably on Zoom due to technical compatibility issues.  Additionally, I received videos of selected packages being opened to augment  the holiday fun.   Given the three hour time difference I could view the recorded action on a delayed basis allowing me to avoid having to arise at the young one's early-rising hour in their home.  

As this year comes to an end I have been reminded of how few holiday greeting cards with personal notes I wrote for mailing with equally few received.  I was made aware the already diminished number of friends and family decreased even further this year.    Additionally, I'm reminded of a virtual friend about whom I said no more than to announce her untimely departure when I learned of it several days after her death.

A tribute to this lady, Ronni Bennett, who created her "Time Goes By" blog is very much overdue.  For anyone reading this who is unfamiliar with her, I recommend you explore her blog.  Her writings, other features, can be accessed in the blog's archives under a variety of topics.  The blog will continue with her dear friend, Autumn, writing there.  

I recall with nostalgia my entry into the blogosphere years ago, first only reading, eventually cautiously commenting on TGB when I was simultaneously learning how to use a computer and discovered the Internet.  Ronni encouraged me in email correspondence to write, then later completely surprised me by asking me to be a TGB guest blogger on one occasion.  My response to her was one of incredulity, "You must be crazy!" as I did not perceive myself writing anything worthy of publication on her blog.  I did finally write  a piece for TGB, then ultimately started this blog, though my Internet blog launching was quite accidental.

I've shared Ronni's interest in presenting the life of elders as it really is.  I've enjoyed engaging in terminology discussions she fostered at TGB including our questioning the use of "senior" as applied to older people, but no one could come up with a better word.  She also wrote her somewhat controversial use of the word "elder" as meaning in the sense that it refers to those in generally older generations, whose years of experience can provide ideas worthy of being listened to by others, with respect.  She focused on overcoming the decades old practice of age discrimination which she had experienced first hand and persists today.  These are only a few issues she addressed.

Ronni's writing hallmark was truth and honesty.  She provided factual information supported by documentation on matters of vital importance, especially to those 50 years and older on topics including Medicare, Social Security and more.  Age discrimination, language used to characterize older people were issues of significant interest as she wanted to see that negative practice overcome, one to which she had been subjected.   

She pinpointed governmental actions, or lack thereof, that had bearing on elder generations, ultimately all citizens sooner or later -- everyone becomes old, if they live long enough.  She expressed her point of view on many topics, political and other.  Ronni clearly noted when what she wrote was her opinion versus a known fact as any responsible journalist would do.  She used an alter ego, Crabby Lady, on occasion to express her dissatisfaction, downright anger at any manner of injustice she perceived.  

Ronni entertained us with her good humor, sometimes stimulated our feelings of sadness as well as happiness, also arranged to provide some musical pleasure on her blog.  She demanded civility on TGB, did not allow comments designed to elicit free advertising and promotions, set a standard of quality influencing how others administered their blogs.  

I've hardly scratched the surface of what Ronni's "Time Goes By" blog, information provided there and commentary has contributed on the blogosphere and to all those who visited there.  Her influence went well beyond the blog with writings, media and technology conference appearances.   I haven't even touched on her professional career prior to starting this blog which can be sourced on TGB.

"Time Goes By" will continue, reincarnated by her dear friend, Autumn, as mentioned earlier, in whatever form she may choose which I will look forward to visiting.  I will miss Ronni Bennett, but will always remember her with high regard, respect and affection.  

                           H A P P Y    N E W     Y E A R   ! ! !

Sunday, December 20, 2020


 MERRY CHRISTMAS ... Friday, Dec. 25th ! 

"The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history."


T'is the season to be especially careful avoiding those who phish and scam.                                              I've had two just this past few weeks.

The first phishing on my laptop was a sudden pop-up of smaller screens, 3 overlaying one another allowing partial reading of content, claiming to be from Apple, looking very legitimate.  They alerted my computer was locked and anything I did would basically only make everything worse, especially if I tried to shut down the computer,  I would lose everything.   The reality was I no longer had control of my cursor, it had disappeared from my screen, so I couldn't do anything.  

This was a very aggressive attack my tech guru son thought when I contacted him.  He concluded the message was not from Apple and probably was a phishing expedition.  He determined some action we could take, so after considerable inconvenience, time and effort, with his assistance I regained full use of my computer without losing anything.   We subsequently ran some malware determining all was clear.

My son recounted the experience of someone he knew who received a similar popup, had accepted it as legitimate so contacted the perpetrators per the instructions who offered  help as purportedly from Apple.  They reportedly were in an English-speaking country very tech-savvy.  They offered to troubleshoot his problem for a fee to release his computer from this lockup preventing all the disaster that could happen.  This person purchased their service revealing personal financial information in the process.

Fortunately, my son learned of this soon after so intervention was quickly initiated to block the bank payment.  However, all of this person's bank accounts and previously arranged automatic bill payments had to be cancelled, reprogrammed with new bank accounts opened -- a time-consuming activity to insure his funds future bank safety.  

The second phishing scam has come in an email; set up like a business form.  It starts out like this:

"This tracking update has been requested by:                                                                                   Company Name:     xxxxxx Pecan Co. (I've removed co name)                                                       Name:                      Shipping Dept.                                                                                                 E mail:                     "Not Provided By Requestor"

"Reference Information Includes:"                                                                                                     An  Invoice Number and a long list of items including what says it is a FedEx number, highlighted  for me to click on which, of course, I did not do.

(Please note the actual form did not have indentations, but Blogger insisted on altering the accurate form from each line aligned on the left, one under the other as I typed it to reproduce  for publication so you could see exactly what it looked like.)

Independently in  Google Search I found xxxxxx Pecan Co. on the internet appearing to be a legitimate company, but I didn't click on it either.


COVID-19 infections rage on with no indication of slowing.  L.A. County ICU hospital beds available for coronavirus patients have declined to 0% at last report.  

One hospital in our east next door community and county continues to report: "we are in internal disaster mode."   

The hospital immediately adjacent west of our city and the one I served for a time period years ago before I associated with a local retirement community has continued to have ICU beds available, unlike many L.A County hospitals reportedly.  Our Claremont Courier newspaper's Steven Feischundneff reported:

"Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly said during a news conference on Wednesday:

Hospitals adapt and surge.  They add staff,  they clear out beds.  They discharge patients whenever they can.  They cancel surgeries, they cancel procedures that can wait.  They flex their staffing resources.  These actions, while critical, cannot continue indefinitely.  There are simply not enough trained staff to care for the volume of patients that is projected to come," Dr. Ghaly said."  

Referring to my local area hospital she said: "Outpatient elective surgeries and procedures continue being performed, but a need for post-operative admission to my area hospital prevents all elective surgeries and procedures requiring that service."  The hospital " prepared to further expand its surge capacity should it continue to experience increases in COVID-19 patient admissions."  

Vaccine:   A phone call to the hospital as I write this confirms "selective hospital personnel are receiving the Covid-19  vaccine."    

This has become very personal for me as someone I care about (not a family member) who lives in a different SoCal county has been coping with a potentially life-threatening medical problem, plus now also needs surgery to minimize, even eliminate a new  risk from a just diagnosed cancer, yet unknown whether spread to lymph nodes.   Ironic, we joke in dark humor about the poor timing that these medical problems should emerge now.  Doubtless there are many across the country, around the world even who are faced with a similar or worse situation during this pandemic. 


I will be home, alone, celebrating virtually via FaceTime with children and grandchildren from their different locations across the country.   My holiday dinner with adequate quantity to allow leftovers which I favor is being delivered the day before for microwave reheating.   Free time will allow me to indulge in whatever gives me pleasure at the time -- perhaps some Christmas music including "Silent Night", "The Christmas Song", "Blue Christmas", "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas", "Sleigh Ride" to name a few.

Another family celebrates Christmas ... old friends with whom I have contact with mostly at just this time of year report she and husband are donning Hazmat suits to fly east to spend Christmas with family.   

While all is in limbo for so many of us, we adapt, accommodate, cope in many ways, often turning to humor of all kinds.  So .....

I try to keep up with the latest health information.  In these days of ruptured truth it's sometimes difficult to recognize fact from fiction, but here's the latest notice you'll want to know about -- keep in mind phoniness, alternate truths are frequently the order of the day:

Did you receive the latest health alert?

Tonight at 10 pm local time                                                                                                                   a medical satellite is  flying over earth                                                                                                to take everybody's temperature.                                                                                                         Please stand naked outside your door                                                                                                  and wave your Medicare or other insurance card.

(Another staggering of the lines done automatically by Blogger, not at all as I set it up but cannot be corrected.)

I confess.  I cannot lie.  I purloined and edited the above health alert from a cartoon where I often get my humor fix to release those healing endorphins at Oddball Observations. 

I wish each of you a Merry Christmas ...

     Stay Well, 

           Count Your Blessings, 

                  Wishing You Peace and Joy

Diana Krall sings "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep"


Sunday, December 13, 2020



The U.S. Government Election Officials report:

"The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history."

Significant Past Date .....

December 8, 2020:  Safe Harbor Deadline -- States had to choose electors to be accepted by Congress; voting disputes had to be resolved.

Personal POV .....

The present White House occupant still continues his efforts which very much resemble those of someone trying to stage a coup in his desperate attempt to stay in office as U.S. President for another four years in any way possible, legal or otherwise, despite having lost both the popular and electoral college votes.

Just when it seems he could sink no lower in the tactics he would employ to achieve such a travesty of justice, he descends even deeper into the morass of his behavioral cesspool to establish himself in what appears to be an effort to convert our nation to an autocracy, thus destroying our democratic republic, betraying his oath of office and the U.S. constitution.

Tragically for our nation in this effort many of his cult-like supporters have mindlessly accepted his falsehoods, fear of socialism, other bizarre conspiracy tales as fact -- apparently so confused they are no longer able to discern truth from fiction.

Other Significant Countdown Dates Reminder .....

December 14, 2020:     Electors Convene and Vote in D.C.         Be alert for possible efforts to coerce Congress to alter electors legal votes.

January 5, 2021:        Georgia runoff election for 2 Senate seats -- results will determine control of the U. S. Senate

January 6, 2021 at 1 pm: The vote will be finalized and certified in a joint session of Congress.

January 30 20, 2021 at noon: The President is inaugurated.


--My city's Covid-19 infection reached the fourth highest new case rate in Los Angeles County this past Friday                            -- L.A. County ICU hospital beds available are continuing to dip down, currently at 5.3% as I write this Saturday night 12/12.                --for those with other medical requirements including from surgeries  beds may not be accessible.

--One nearby local hospital official reports in our local Courier newspaper,"we are in internal disaster mode."

Pfizer Covid-19 first shipment to Los Angeles County of 327,000 vaccines will occur Sunday, 12/13.                                     --The first hospital to receive the vaccine is Cedar-Sinai prepared to store in their required deep freezer.                                  --One-half dozen hospitals will receive the Pfizer vaccine.            --Vaccinations will be administered to health care personnel and residents in long term care facilities. 

--The first shots are expected to be given Monday, 12/14.              --A second shot will be required in the future to complete virus antibody resistance.                                                   --Anti-body immunity development will take several weeks after both shots received.                           

-- Long Term Care facilities in my city will be among the first including the one I had most recently served who report expecting to receive the vaccine and begin inoculations Monday, 12/14.

Local newspapers going out of business in cities are a concern I've previously written about. They are referred to as legacy media in the net lingo of today.  The term means media that is considered "old" which newspapers are considered to be as are radio, and television; also applies to Web sites using outdated technology.  Netlingo says: "With legacy media, the receiver does not contribute or interact with the content and remains totally passive."

Newspapers are important because they tell us what is going on in our town.  Local reporters also keep us informed about our local government and what officials are doing affecting all of us.  This can be positive actions officials take, reveal information we might want to change, and even be a deterrent to instances of official corruption.

Also, reports: "Covid-19 is crushing Newspapers, Worsening Hunger for Accurate Information."

A year ago Salt Lake City's Tribune became the first legacy newspaper to adopt a nonprofit status as described in this NPR article in an effort to adapt and survive which has been successful to date.  

My city's local newspaper, Claremont Courier, has been struggling to survive also.  I've maintained my subscription which is now only weekly, also receive their Net highlights.  The Facebook page I prefer to not access but is available which my adult children can appreciate who live in other states.  The original publisher's son who was in the newspaper business on the east coast became the editor some years ago but his parents are now deceased.

Peter Weinberger, who is that publisher is in the process of sustaining our Courier's life by converting our newspaper to nonprofit status much like the Salt Lake paper has done.  The Courier is three months away from adoption of this transition if the IRS accepts their application.  They expect to accomplish this reinvention by Spring 2021 which pleases me immensely.  I also learned in the recent update my neighbor is intimately involved through a tech company he founded in aiding with this process.

Do you have a local newspaper where you live, perhaps one that didn't survive or has adapted to the Net so you can keep your finger on the pulse of your community?  

I think this is vitally important to insure good government starting at the local level, a critical element in our democracy.  Maybe your life is such that you have less focus on these matters which may need to occur for some of us, especially in our aging years.  What do you think and how do you learn about what's going on where you live or are you caught up with other matters in your life? 


Sunday, December 06, 2020


A song lyric from "Young At Heart" keeps popping into my mind as I think about what has been happening in my life this past week.  Michael Buble's words refer to love but they also have a different meaning for me presently as I apologize to lyricist Carolyn Leigh for changing the second line here:   

"Life gets more exciting with each passing day, 

  And problems can occur or are on their way" 

Only in mid-November I wrote:

"My furnace stopped working -- the penalty of having a long-lasting piece of equipment is manufacturers stop making parts so that if you need one, it's not readily available, but if you do get one it's very expensive.  Is that what is meant when they say, you can't win for losing?  Fortunately, that part of my furnace, though determined to be at risk for malfunction, is still operating but who knows what the future may bring."

I found out what the future would bring and how quickly, a week ago, when I awoke one morning to colder than usual temperatures in my bedroom.  Of course, such problems usually occur outside normal repair company working days, instead on weekends and holidays.  I was fortunate I thought since this was a Thursday, and my always accommodating service company was able to respond the next day.

There was bad news then when the serviceman determined that motor part "at risk for malfunction" had permanently gone kaput (my technical term), would need replacement.   The other choice was installing new furnace/AC units, no inexpensive undertaking.  In any event,  I had to go through the weekend without heat before further resolution could begin to occur.  Considering my present units were 28 years old, that they had survived considerably past their life expectancy with few repair problems, I used the time to determine new units seemed the best choice.

A week later was the earliest new units' installation could occur and as luck would have it, outdoor and inside temperatures only became colder during that time period.  Keep in mind "cold" is a relative term, depending on the climate where we each live as I didn't experience even freezing temperatures.  Nevertheless, wearing thermal socks, using a heating pad on my feet, attiring myself in fleece-lined lounge wear, wrapping myself in a flannel bed sheet became the order of the day.  My fingers were also constantly cold requiring I frequently warm them, prompting me a few days later to order fingerless gloves on the internet since I expected to have to use them writing this blog piece.

I couldn't help feeling like a pantywaist as these temperatures when I lived in snow country years ago would have been considered a delightfully warm fall/winter day, but my body had acclimated to a warm clime long ago -- plus aging may have altered my body thermostat's efficient operation, too, or maybe my blood circulation is sluggish -- whatever -- I was cold.  At least, I'll be better prepared for cold in the future should the need arise.  

My wonderful service company was able to install my new units at the end of that first week instead of the following Mon., so I've enjoyed comfortable warmth this weekend as I type this.  Naturally, the weather is warming up outside now.   I was probably lucky this didn't happen earlier, too, as my service company man said they had contracted the virus which slowly swept through their staff.  So, they had just shut down the company for three weeks and only recently resumed business.  Yes, they masked when they came into my house as did I, also I wiped down knobs and various areas after they left, just in case.  Who knows what areas I may have missed.

On a broader note, Covid-19 infections continue to increase across the nation.  California residents have been severely impacted with our state plan for coping now being divided into 5 geographic regions.  ICU bed unit % of availability determines if a Regional Stay Home Order (click on link) becomes effective in each of the regions you can read about on the link.  For regions with under 15% ICU bed unit availability, the order goes into effect Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 11:59 PM.

Los Angeles County were I live has already had the number of available ICU hospital beds decrease to under 15% triggering us to be the second region needing to follow the Stay Home Order.  Nowhere in the entire U.S.A. have we begun yet to see the numbers of the possible increase in infected patients from Thanksgiving when so many people traveled or gathered in groups conceivably risking exposure to contracting Covid-19.

Lock-down conditions pretty much prevail now for those of us in Los Angeles County.  Basic safety care needs to continue -- including washing our hands, staying in our homes, wearing masks, avoiding others than those living with us and taking care even with them.  Businesses are faced with increased challenges trying to survive as many have to temporarily close.

You may want to avoid reading the remainder of this opinionated commentary ..... 
I feel compelled to say the failure of some citizens in this country to recognize the need to simply wear a mask beyond intelligent comprehension for understanding.  

I am a now retired health care worker who sometimes had to use personal protection equipment (PPE) such as mask, gown, gloves through those years.   I suffered no ill effects from having to do so even on those occasions when all I needed was a mask so wearers need not fear personal health damage.  I encountered patients needing to be protected from potential germs unknowingly carried.  I rehabilitated other patients with contagious diseases that might have infected me.  Some patients were on ventilators, many needing to be safely weaned off them to eat and speak if if they were to begin partial or complete recovery.  Should we health care workers protest the inconvenience of wearing masks, etc. by refusing to do so, too?

I think the reasons given by some in the public for choosing to not wear a mask to be the height of ridiculousness, and stupidity, not to mention dangerous, uncaring of others as well as themselves,  to put it mildly.  Religious groups refusing to do so are adopting a position 100% contrary to what they claim to believe about caring for humanity.

I shudder to think what those people would have belly-ached about had they been asked to sacrifice as people did in WWII for not just a year or two but several years.  I wonder how that attitude and behavior would have adversely impacted that war effort, lives of American troops dedicated to saving the world from fascism -- incidentally and coincidentally much as it threatens our nation and others in the world today.  

What has happened to the common sense, intelligent critical thinking and humanity of so many people in this nation, or did it never exist to the degree I thought it did?