Sunday, July 31, 2022


DEMOCRACY -- "If you can keep it."  Accountability needed for Jan. 6 insurrection.     U.S. Select House Committee on January 6th Hearings will continue in the fall.

QUESTION:  Why does gaining the release of a basketball star erroneously held and a former U.S. Marine accused of being a spy seem to take precedence over the release of a teacher, Marc Fogel, wrongfully being held by Russia, appearing to be ignored?  Is life fair?

Read Washington Post link about teacher Marc Fogel HERE.

Read Reuter's link about "Americans Held Captive Abroad" HERE.


Movies with story lines featuring older characters are few.  When I was viewing Amanpour & Co. on PBS (Thursday 7/28, Season 5, Episode 20) HERE.   I was surprised to see a couple of actually older actors being interviewed promoting their new movie.  These two critically acclaimed actors have appeared in numerous movies but primarily as character actors though never together before.  Now, here were a couple of older actors in a movie about older people.

Dale Dickey, link HERE, award winner, has played mostly hard tough women in theatre, television, movies including "Winter's Bone", "No Exit".

Wes Studi, link HERE, producer, musician, actor, Oscar winner, is a Native American Cherokee Indian.  He has frequently been cast in western movies including "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee", "Dances With Wolves".

These talented actors have been cast as the romantic leads in this rare film about a "seasoned" (of a certain age) man and woman meeting again for the first time since their young school age years.  The backdrop of open western skies above rugged Colorado mountains, lakes, solitude offers spectacular scenery as seen based on the film preview.

I have not seen the movie but this Independent Film's reviews are positive from the New York Times to Rotten Tomatoes 5 star rating. The Curvy Film Critic's review there expresses a point of view with which I agree:  "It was more than wonderful to witness Dale Dickey and Wes Studi as romantic leads while screaming to Hollywood zeitgeist of green lighting gremlins that audiences need more stories with folks that look like a regular old people..."

A LOVE SONG /Official Trailer/Bleecker Street

"THE DUKE", another movie with a couple of "old people" I have yet to view but look forward to seeing is based on a true story of a "humane thief" in what has been described as a "dramedy".  The movie stars, favorites of mine, Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent.  Broadbent's character says:  "Will return painting if provide more help for elderly."  


"THE LAST MOVIE STARS", a movie series I eventually will get around to viewing.  This film is considered to be a documentary of the lives of actors Paul Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward, the past performances of both I've enjoyed.

THE LAST MOVIE STARS /Official Trailer/ HBO Max

There are numerous other older even more well-known "seasoned" stars whose acting prowess I enjoy viewing, especially some of the women since the male actors seem to appear in more roles whatever their age.  Some of these women are Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Shirley MacLaine are just a few that immediately come to my mind.

Perhaps we might ask are their writers producing entertaining older people's stories?  Are their screen writers creating stories for films?  

Maybe you know some older people's stories that would make a good movie or you could even write one?

I'm reminded of deceased blogger Ronni Bennett's blog "Time Goes By"  (still accessible on the net) with a link there to "GEEZER FLICKS" or HERE for an extensive list of films she and readers there compiled.  The last film addition in 2020 before closed to comments.

An ongoing list of movies is provided by AARP  HERE which also includes movies starring older actors and some story lines about older people's lives.  The first awards were in 2002. 

MOVIE SCREENING FREE -- AARP offers a free movie screening HERE.

TV FOR GROWNUPS -- AARP had recommendations HERE.

This is the end of the line for what I have to write this time.  Now it's your turn.  

Sunday, July 24, 2022


This blog is either going to the dogs, is for the birds, or maybe it's just the cat's meow.  All this started when I came across a Jeanne Moos video captioned:  "People are posting their cats' reactions to this new video game" HERE

Later I found this video of cats and dogs reacting to that STRAY video game:

Subsequently I received some feline education with Jackson Galaxy and the game cat in action: 

Earlier, I had been intrigued with another of Jeanne Moos' videos given my ongoing interest in our Big Bear Bald Eagles occasionally featured on this blog:  "Eagle appears to clutch baby hawk for dinner, then decides to adopt it: "HERE".

The piece de resistance was a Jeanne Moos video captioned: 
"See what happens when you put a group of introverted dogs together".


I decided to look up this Jeanne Moos who was featuring quirky videos that appeal to my sensibility to discover them all and others on her CNN  profile site HERE.   

I immediately recognized some of the other Moos' wacky videos at which I've been laughing.  I had never before given much attention to the source.  Jeanne Moos, 72 years old, has been a national news correspondent for 34 years at CNN who eventually evolved into this entertaining video niche many of us are enjoying.  Perhaps you have or will find them a fun view, too.  
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Southern California, aka SoCal, where I've lived for 50 years is certainly having its share of hot weather as is the rest of our country.  News reports of the high temperatures in other parts of the world where some readers here live are experiencing heat unlike anything they've had before, too.  Many such countries such as the U.K. are quite unprepared with buildings lacking air conditioning as one example.

Before my family moved here, we lived a few years in the Scottsdale/Phoenix, Arizona area.  Previously we lived in the Midwestern Great Lakes area where I recall 80 to 90 degree Fahrenheit temperatures (32 Celsius) felt sticky miserable due to the humidity but few homes had air conditioning. 

Initially in Arizona we had an evaporative house cooling system in the dry heat which I liked for all but a few weeks when the air became much more uncomfortable due to higher humidity outdoors in their monsoon season.

During the few years we lived in Arizona more people were moving there as continues to occur and more land was becoming converted to golf courses requiring much watering in the summer and year 'round.  Simultaneously, we noticed humidity was increasing.  For the first time ever that winter, local news media reported the area experienced smog.  The climate was becoming much less desirable, so we installed air conditioning.  The next year an employment change resulted in our moving to California.

I recall only a few days toward the end of summer our Arizona temperatures ever were in the 3-digit area of 110 Fahrenheit degrees (43 Celsius) or above.  In 2021 Phoenix set a record for F115+ (46+ Celsius) or more consecutive days of such high temperatures since 1895.  Certainly, the humidity is no less now and probably more than when we lived there despite the drought.  

Future temperatures will only become higher.  Countries that are now experiencing high temperatures they've not had before, where air conditioning has not been needed have my concern for how well residents there are able to cope, especially our older generations.  

The nation's first publicly funded Heat Response and Mitigation Office was established in Phoenix in October 2021 with David Hondula of Arizona State University named director.

Hondula said at his appointment "...changes, including planting trees, installing shade structures and adding light-colored surfaces to streets and roofs, can make the city cooler."  He reports finding success in cooling the temperatures a few degrees with residents saying they now notice a difference with the use of special cool-grey paint sprayed over their paved streets.  Cooling ultra-white paint is being used in various ways also.  Volunteers are planting "...trees for a new Phoenix 'cool corridor' " reported in the Arizona Republic newspaper.

So little is being accomplished by our federal legislators, especially in the Senate, House actions are blocked from even coming up for a vote that address environmental issues.  We can thank them for the slow progress adjusting to climate changing issues.  I find it very difficult to accept such a short-sighted view of environmental concerns and failure to act more aggressively toward some resolution given the threat to our earth.  

Local communities and individuals can adopt ways to achieve some change as our contribution with or without federal involvement.  Perhaps more ways will be found in communities where each of us live to cool our environment.  There may be unique ideas some of you are aware of or that are being undertaken where you live that could be described in your comments here.  

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U.S. Select House Committee on January 6th Hearings 

Eight hearings have been held.  More hearings are expected in the fall.

PBS NewsHour -- "20% of Americans are paying no attention to the hearings"

Sunday, July 17, 2022


 U.S. Select House Committee on January 6th HEARING

"The eighth Jan. 6 committee hearing on its finding is scheduled for prime time July 21 [Thursday] and will walk through the events of Jan. 6, 2021 "minute by minute," Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said Tuesday.  The hearing will focus in on the 187 minutes between Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally on the Ellipse and his tweet urging his supporters to go home," USA Today reports HERE.  (check schedule where you live for date, time confirmation, where to view)

"Thank You for Your Servitude" by Mark Leibovich is a book worth reading about some in Congress who have been cynical and hypocritical "about-face" enablers now making excuses for our ex-President, shifting his accountability for words and actions by blaming others.  Fear has been a factor which is a hallmark of authoritarianism.  The author is interviewed on Amanour and Company-PBS with segments you can view on the site HERE, also on this video: 

PBS NewsHour 


Earlier today, Sat., July 16th as I write this, I received my Covid 2nd booster vaccination.  Originally, I planned to wait for the next vaccine expected in October or November.  Currently, scientific/medical reports convince me given the rapidly increasingly high level of Covid infections here in Los Angeles County that having stronger protection now would be wise.  Outdoor exposure, especially in groups, may even be a more real possibility I also read.

This BA.5 omicron variant has evolved " be more contagious and evade the immune protection that people had from infection, vaccination or both" Dr. Gregory Poland, head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, is quoted saying in the "Mayo Clinic News Network" report HERE.

"A new study published in Nature found the variant was four times more resistant to messenger RNA vaccines than earlier strains of omicron.  The Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are messenger RNA vaccines."  

Currently there is no evidence of a higher death rate from BA.5 but " have very little protection against BA.5 in terms of getting infected or having mild to moderate infection.  You have good protection against dying, being hospitalized or ending up on a ventilator."

"...among the unvaccinated with this variant, they're about fivefold more likely to get infected than people who have been vaccinated and boosted, about 7 1/2 times more likely to be hospitalized, and about 14 to 15 times more likely to die if they get infected," says Dr. Poland.

I keep wearing my "N95 masks or a KN-94 mask when indoors and in crowded areas outdoors" as Dr. Poland recommends.   What new variants may be in the offing, I wonder?

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Environmentally, the SoCal drought with hot temperatures rolls on, water usage restrictions continue -- so what's new?

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I've been trying to locate some lab sites that are easily accessible for parking, require minimal walking to the store and once I'm inside since I've been having some mobility issues.  Most of the large chain drugstores place their pharmacies, clinics, labs where they can draw blood clear at the back of their stores.  It sure would be nice if they provided riding carts as some grocery stores do but that seems not to be the case.  

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Podcasts seem to be popular with many people though I haven't devoted time listening to any of them.  They could be enjoyed I realize while engaged in other necessary activities about the house.  Maybe some podcasts could be an entertaining source of humor.  There seem to be an abundance of podcasts described as humorous including for seniors, older people, boomers, other age groups, various interest areas.  Perhaps some of you have favored podcasts.  We do need lots of humor.  

Laughing is contagious but living alone can limit that shared stimulation.  I recall when I was in undergraduate college some of us operating our campus radio station gathered in the control room one day.  We decided to record ourselves laughing which started with artificial laughs.  The next thing we knew we were laughing genuinely at the ridiculousness of what we were doing.  Our laughing kept getting more hilarious to each of us until we all were laughing so hard our stomachs hurt, tears were coming from our eyes -- we were quite out of control. 

I wonder if there would be a health care market for such a potentially therapeutic recording releasing all those healing endorphins -- a simple plain recording of laughter, nothing else, with which to laugh along?

Sunday, July 10, 2022


U.S. Select House Committee on January 6th Hearing -- Tues., July 12

UPDATE:  Hearing time had been changed to 1 pm ET (10 am PT)

     Tuesday, July 12, starting at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT

           (That's Emmy nominations morning in Hollywood.)

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Shirley Horn -- "Here's To Life"                                                                                                 John Williams and The Boston Pops 1993

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Has my daily life become too filled with routine is a question I asked myself recently?   I realize I've been spending more time in my home than in years past partially due to aging's slowing but also as a consequence of efforts to minimize Coronavirus exposure.  Maybe this perpetual sameness so many days after days I feel is beginning to be too repetitive.

Unfortunately, the number of known individuals contracting the latest Covid-19 variants BA 4 and most dominant now BA 5, is increasing exponentially daily.  The actual official infection numbers are less accurate now due to so many home tests in use with the result not being as easily tracked for reporting by health authorities.  Here in SoCal's Los Angeles County, we're being told to possibly expect reinstatement of mandatory mask wearing by month's end if infection rates continue to increase.

These virus variants, especially BA 5 are much more able to avoid some of the protections our vaccinations with boosters have provided.  Much of our U.S. population seems to behave as though this pandemic is over.  Saying or believing so does not make it so.  Covid 19 coronavirus goes about infecting at will, evolving new more virulent variants, not caring what humans may think.

At least, so far, vaccinations and booster shots have seemed to prevent development of more serious illness and deaths for most who become infected.  Still our older population, especially those with various medical conditions are at risk.  I keep wearing my N95 masks when encountering others.  Perhaps I'm being unnecessarily cautious.  

So, it seems my daily routine may continue to be somewhat limited if I want to minimize risk exposure to contracting Covid 19.  To break my routine in what is beginning to feel like a monotony of sameness I've thought I need to introduce new and more activity variation into my life.

Coincidentally, I recently encountered a Business Insider article about routine which introduced a new term to me: "Routineology":

A review I read of the book The Art of Routine said in a review: 
"Conventional wisdom suggests that the best way to navigate our noisy new world is to accept change.  Open up to novelty.  Go with the flow.  Live in the moment.  Embrace the relentless pelting of content minute by minute.  But routine experts Angel Iscovich, MD, Joe Garner, and Michael Ashley are here to say that's a bad idea.  Humans don't just benefit from structure; they require it."  

I have a certain amount of routine as I've always had during most of my life but too much of the same pattern day after day can lead to a rather boring existence absent excitement.

Some researchers emphasize commonly held healthy habits of those living long lives due to eating mostly "plant foods", also "...maintaining strong relationships, and moving regularly".  Isovich makes his point by focusing on unhealthy habits of some 100 years and older.   

This Insider article reinforces what many scientific studies have shown that routines are important in our lives including throughout our aging years.  Intriguingly, however, this article indicates that healthy eating may not be a necessary feature for all who live a long life.

People 100 or older are only a fraction of a percent of the population.

A few examples cited include centenarians who swear by the significance of their daily intake of potentially unhealthy items such as whiskey or in quantities of ice cream or bacon.

For many years or decades, Elizabeth Sullivan, a retired math teacher in Texas drank three cans of Dr. Pepper daily she reported on her 106th birthday:  
"People try to give me coffee for breakfast.  Well, I'd rather have a Dr. Pepper," she said in a 2015 interview with a local TV station.  "Every doctor that sees me says they'll kill you," she continued.  "But they die and I don't, so there must be a mistake somewhere."

Then there's Agnes Fenton, "... New Jersey's oldest living resident until she died at age 112 in 2017.  Her secret?  Three Miller High Lifes every day and a shot of Johnnie Walker Blue daily, her obituary says."

"Her habit began after her doctor prescribed her alcohol in 1943 to treat a benign tumor.  She maintained it until a few years before her death."

Dr. Iscovich argues that structure is what matters, not so much that it must be healthy.  His conclusion is:  "People who live past age 100 often have 1 trait in common:  a penchant for routine, even unhealthy ones."  

Novel and spontaneous experiences are acknowledged as important for happiness and fulfillment, but "...humans are wired to live rhythmically" as begins in the womb.  This routine extends throughout life into "...the field of chronobiology, or the 24-cycle that affects your sleep, focus, and sociability."

Coordinating these cycles is " ...the key to finding purpose, meaning, joy --- and longevity," Ischovich and his co-author Michael Ashey state, "pursuing those activities that reduce fear of the unknown and mitigate stress [that] can lead to a more controlled environment, offering stability and aiding in longevity."  They also write: "Coupled with the importance of consistent activities is the need for purpose."  

Humans will persist in seeking to learn what extends human life though there seems to be no one simple answer.  Meanwhile, we'll each make judgements  based on the latest scientific findings about what we think we need and adopt those practices.  

I don't think specifically in terms of wanting to live a century or longer.  I do think in terms of wanting to be as healthy as possible with my mind intact for whatever the number of my years.  Quality of life is what matters to me.

That said, perhaps I'm wise to reassess my daily routines to experience the best of life.  What about you?

Sunday, July 03, 2022


                          Happy 246th Birthday U.S.A. !

Celebrating our nation's Declaration of Independence 

                                     July 4, 1776

Yankee Doodle (1991 Remastered) 

The Robert Shaw Chorale -- Traditional Battle Cry of Freedom

Our nation's founding fathers subsequently wrote a constitution giving us a republic ... "if you can keep it" Thomas Jefferson said.

Threats from outside our country have been combatted  but perhaps none like the assault from within such as our current one involving our most recent ex-president.   We must be aware of what we are facing so that we can optimistically confront and overcome this threat to our freedom and independence.

Dangerous, frightening, challenging are only a few of the words I might use to describe these history-making years.  Efforts to convert our form of government to an autocracy appear to be that former president's undertaking.  He has proven his words cannot be trusted when he speaks of saving democracy, believing in law and order since his actions are just the opposite.  

His political party and most of their senators and house representatives appear to support him given their public stance.  Only a few of their number have had the courage to publicly oppose that ex-president.

Even our Supreme Court has made court rulings jeopardizing our system including some years ago when a ruling allowed contributions of what has become excessive amounts of corrupting funds to begin unduly influencing our political campaigns.  

Most recently a newer combination of SCOTUS judges appear to be making rulings based more on political ideology using warped constitutional interpretations.  

They have taken away a woman's right to control her own body's health with a ruling that may even threaten other individual rights.  Gun rights have been expanded endangering citizens even more.  The separation of church and state has been undermined which is most counter to our constitution.  Environmental health protections have been weakened with other adverse rulings possibly in the offing.

Election systems throughout our country are in danger of being corrupted by this ex-president and his supporters.  Their efforts to suppress voting continues in selected states to acquire power by any means, legal or otherwise persists.  Lies and false conspiracy theories continue to be spread by our ex-president and his supporters.

An attempt to prevent a peaceful transfer of Presidential power occurred in a seditious act January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol.  Currently, the U.S. House Committee on January 6th is conducting hearings on that insurrection to establish how it occurred and who was involved.  Our Attorney General's office will determine if the facts reveal accountability for what appears to have been a coup effort.

Much testimony suggests the ex-president demands individual allegiance to him over all else.  This is contrary to government officials' oath being first and foremost to the U.S. constitution.   Morality and ethical behavior appear to be mostly lacking in those previous administration officials.  Many refuse to testify under oath to the committee.

Given all these circumstances, my thoughts move along the full spectrum of positive to negative views then back again to our nation's future as events unfold.  I am determined to believe our nation's democratic republic grand experiment will overcome this threat from within to which we are being subjected.

Democracy is  fragile.   We the people have the power to keep this independence for which many died those many years ago and in subsequent years.  Our elections will be critical. 

I realize most if not all reading here likely recognize all that I've written.  I refuse to be discouraged and hope you will not be either.  This coming patriotic holiday simply arouses thoughts and feelings in me I feel compelled to express.   I am optimistic that truth and real justice will prevail however long is required.  

Happy Fourth of July to one and all !