SENIOR GROUP NEWSLETTER

MOVING ALONG

               _________________
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  ]|___    |   |=  ||  =|___  |"
 //   \\   |   |___||_///   \\|"
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Senior Group Newsletter September 1995 Senior Group Newsletter is the monthly publication of an informal group of seniors, community-net senior section moderators, educators, senior service providers and others interested in how the net serves seniors and vice-versa.

editor is Jim Olson

olsonj@cvfn.org

sierrajimO@aol.com

The newsletter is mailed to subscribers via e-mail and posted at several net sites including AOL Seniornet On Line.

There is no charge. Just contact the editor.

CONTENTS

   Editorial Bits and Bytes

   Feature Stories

       Better Late - Jim Olson
       Home Modification and Repair- US Dept. Human Services 
  
   Introducing 
        
   Gleanings from Senior  Postings  
 
      Dinosaurs
      Pear Shaped Happiness
      Computers and Gender
      Skin Cancer Notes
      Tailgating

   Senior Smiles              
 
   Reviews 

      Montana Senior Citizen News
      Consumer Report Articles on Nursing Homes
EDITORIAL BITS AND BYTES

The newsletter is a little late this month due to my itinerary. Nice thing about being retired is that you don't feel compelled always to meet the same deadlines you did in that other world.

Things are just as busy and the pleasure that comes with activity is there but not the pressures.

For an example of free wheeling retired fun I've included a post from Eddie Dunmore of UK regarding a morris dancing bash he attended.

Our first feature as promised deals with the issues of marriage, aging and retirement. In one of the future issues we should probably look at some of the host of problems, rewards, whatever, of the single senior life. So many factors to consider and such a variety of situations ranging from the happily single life style to the loneliness of those who suddenly find themselves alone in a world that is new and strange and often menacing to them.

As the internet changes so rapidly, it is hard to keep up. One lady rushed into the new Web scene, secured a home page and then reflected, "Now, why did I do that? What good is it? What can I do with it? Seems to me that the new rush to each stake out a little private corner of cyberspace runs counter to the values I find most rewarding, the free communication within a cyber community. Web sites are good for storing info and presenting data, but IMHO not all that great for personal communication. I'm rationalizing my laziness in learning html.

The net continues to be plagued with increasing commercialization and in the words of one of the person's who solicited me to put some commercial stuff in the newsletter, the seniors on the net are an "underdeveloped market."

Lots of people trying to remedy that, unfortunately, from sellers of cruises to those who peddle magic potions to restore youth. Heck, I have enough of that youthful stuff left over to last for awhile. One of the advantages of aging is that you shed a little of it- or at least get a more sensible approach to it.

Not, of course, as portrayed by the media in such films as "Grumpy Old Men." They are now filming the sequel "Grumpier Old Men" nearby. This time the boys will have both Ann Margaret and Sophia Loren to divide and the main object of their rivalry will be a 45 pound catfish. Since I love fishing, I enjoyed the last one and probably will get some laughs out of the sequel in spite of the stereotypes of aging and sex.

Older men don't have to look like Paul Newman and Robert Redford to be sexy- Jack Lemon and Walter Matheu will do- but older ladies need to resemble Sophia Loren and Ann Margaret.That seems to be one of the messages.

The catfish can just look like itself. They had to go to a rubber model for the catfish as local DNR said their real catfish actor was getting too stressed out. I suspect at that size it was a senior catfish and they weren't giving it an afternoon nap.


FEATURE STORIES

Better Late
   - Jim Olson

        

       Fall love
       And blackberries
       Lie just beyond the thorns;
       Ripe and sweet, however late the  
       Harvest.
A lifetime of living together can accumulate many thorns as couples continue to adjust to the various changes that aging brings, but it also develops the understanding and shared experiences that create closer bonds and make the later years particularly rewarding to share.

I've asked readers to contribute their insights into both the thorns and the rewards and a number have replied with a variety of points of view.

Typical of the tone of replies was this one from Courtney Bond at National Capital Freenet in Ottawa:

Your posting seemed long on difficulties and differences. What we have found is a growing sharing of household tasks. Father does some cooking, helps with laundry, does the non-discrimininatory part of the shopping. Each helps the other in keeping track of medical appointments. Biggest area of conflict: level of sound in playing recorded music. The female ear seems much less tolerant of fortississimos. And we men gotta hear our symphonies at full blast.

On bird watching: do you ever sight the ruffled spouse?

And from Jim Hursey:

Well, Jim, that is a tough question. I am getting ready to retire later this year and my answer is to let my wife keep working since she is a few years younger. She has to work, our joke goes, to keep me in the style to which I am accustomed.

But, eventually, she, too, will retire, and then we will be truly faced with the question. One thing we do even now: I have my study and when I say I am going to the study, that means I am going to be writing and am not to be disturbed. When she says I am going to the gym, that means she will be doing her exercises and is not to be disturbed.

But when the time comes, with both of us home all day, I know it will not be easy.

And some advice from a reader who wants to remain anonymous:

What we're dealing with here is more a question of "Can this marriage survive retirement and remain a caring relationship" rather than just surviving. People who have lived together for many years have already proved their marriage can survive. But to subject any relationship to constant exposure all day, every day, takes wit and wisdom.

One of the biggest keys to retaining your love for each other and your personal sanity is to give your partner his/her own space and time alone without interference. Another is to develop new interests both separately and together--but this is an area of caution, because many times one or the other of the partners will agree to do something just to make the other happy. This is fine in moderation, and compromise is the oil which keeps the wheels running smoothly. But consistent compromise on the part of only one is not good for the mental or physical health.

Surviving isn't enough. To make the most of what are supposed to be the golden years you need to be able to enjoy what you're doing, to greet the day with enthusiasm and be able to look forward to doing something you truly enjoy. If you have simmering resentments against your partner for what you perceive as an encroachment into your territory (the kitchen or workshop or whatever), you need to map out guidelines and create a workable situation you both can live with. And if all his/her irritable little mannerisms and eccentricities begin to really affect you, then spend some time apart doing something each of you enjoys. Changing your surroundings quite frequently can also change your viewpoint; i.e., when you see how irritating your friends' partners are, yours looks much better to you!

And exercise! Amazing how this can blow the cobwebs out of your brain--so walk, hike, garden, bicycle, swim, work out on machines--it doesn't matter, so long as you're both as active as possible. Whatever you do, no matter how tired/sore/ghastly you're feeling, don't give up. It's fatal.

None of this is new--I just happen to believe that it's what works. Communicate with each other--but not too much. People can be talked to death, too, and keeping a few things back always creates a certain intriguing air of mystery. Romance doesn't die--it simply gets bored and fades away like last week's flowers.

While not giving solutions others pointed out some areas of difficulties and a review of some of the senior related publications reveals others as well. They include such things as problems created by differences in age amnd health of spouses, conflicts in retirement life style, problems created by serious health problems of one or both spouses, and some aspects of sexual dysfunction created by aging. We can only hope to touch on some of these briefly here and suggest sources of more information.

Of particular concern is the problem that occurs when one partner suffers dementia, advanced Alzheimers or some other condition that precludes relating in a meaningful way to the remaining spouse. This creates moral and emotional problems that experts feel can only be addressed by the individuals themselves doing what is comfortable to them. Geriatric professionals seem to concur, however, that a guiding principle is that severe problems of this nature should not bring a functional emotional end to both lives. Some spouses are fulfilled by playing the role of care giver in these situations. Others are not. Often the problem is complicated by attitudes of the grown children who would prefer the behaviour of their parents to conform to a pattern that makes the children and not the parent most comfortable. I guess the bottom line is that it's your life and not theirs.

Our anonymous contributor has probably given the best advice for life style conflicts- make room for each other- maybe even some separate vacations, and some shared interests and experiences.

Problems relating to sexual relationships in the aging population are getting more and more attention from medical professionals and it is a growing area of research and professional discussion. The expectation of a continued healthy and satisfying sex life throughout life has become the norm rather than a taboo. According to Drs., Alex Comfort and Lanyard Dial, "Aging abolishes neither the need nor the capacity for enjoying sexual experience."

One of the major concerns here is male impotency caused by a number of conditions that sometimes affect older men. These problems are being addressed and any competent urologist can be of assistance in advising means of overcoming them.

Some sources of information on this topic are "Living and Loving, Arthritis Foundation. P.O. Box 19000, Atlanta Georgia, 30326 (1-800-283-7800) and "Sexuality in Women" (send SASE to American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 400 Twelfth Street. SW. Washington, DC 20024-2188.


HOME MODIFICATION AND REPAIR

A Service of the ADMINISTRATION on AGING, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Home Modification and Repair includes adaptations to homes that can make it easier and safer to carry out activities such as bathing, cooking, and climbing stairs and alterations to the physical structure of the home to improve its overall safety and condition.

WHY IS HOME MODIFICATION AND REPAIR IMPORTANT?

Home modification and repair can help prevent accidents such as falls. Research suggests that one-third to one-half of home accidents can be prevented by modification and repair.

Home modification and repair can allow people to remain in their homes. Older people tend to live in older homes that often need repairs and modifications. Over 60% of older persons live in homes more than 20 years old. Home modification and repair can accommodate lifestyle changes and increase comfort.

How Can Home Modification and Repairs Promote Independence and Prevent Accidents?

TYPICAL PROBLEMS: * Difficulty getting in and out of the shower * Slipping in the tub or shower * Difficulty turning faucet handles/doorknobs * Access to home * Inadequate heating or ventilation * Problems climbing staffs

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS: * Install grab bars, shower seals or transfer benches * Place non-skid strips or decals in the tub or shower * Replace with lever handles * Install ramps * Install insulation, storm windows and air conditioning * Install handrails for support

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Some home modification and repair programs make loans or provide services free of charge or at reduced rates for eligible older people. For more information, contact:

Farmers Home Administration: Various grants and loans are available for rural, low-income elders.

Local Community Development Department: Many cities and towns use Community Development Block Grants to help citizens malntaln and upgrade their homes.

Local Welfare or Energy Department: Two programs from the Low- income Home Energy Assistance. Program (LIHEAP) and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) of the U.S. Department of Energy, provide funds to weatherize the homes of lower income persons.

Physician or Health Care Provider: Funds from Medicare and Medicald are available for durable medical equipment with a doctor's prescription.

Local Area Agency on Aging: Funds from the Older Americans Act Title III often can be used to modify and repair homes.

Local Lenders and Banks: Some lenders offer Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM's) that allow homeowners to turn the value of theft home into cash, without having to move or make regular loan payments.

GOOD NEWS FOR RENTERS:

The Fair Housing Act of 1988 Section 6(a) makes it illegal for landlords to refuse to let tenants make reasonable modifications to their house or apartment if the tenant is willing to pay for the changes. The law also requires new construction of dwellings with four or more units to include features such as wheelchair accessibility, reinforced walls to accommodate later installation of grab bars in bathrooms, and accessible electrical outlets and thermostats.

WHERE TO GET HELP

There are several ways to modify and repair your home. You can: 1) do it yourself, or get a friend or relative to help; 2) hire a handyman or contractor; 3) contact a home modification and repair program. Programs can be located through your:

Local Area Agency On Aging State Agency On Aging State Housing Finance Agency Department of Public Welfare Department Of Community Development Senior Center Independent Living Center

USING A CONTRACTOR

If you need to use a contractor, make certain that the contractor is reliable. Older people are prime target for con artists and fraud. Be especially wary of door-to-door repair salespersons. Consider taking these steps:

Get recommendations from friends who have had similar projects completed.

Hire a licensed and bonded contractor. Be specific about the work which you want. Try to get bids from several contractors.

Ask for references from previous customers-CHECK OUT THE REFERENCES; try to see some of the contractor's completed projects.

Insist on a written agreement, with only a small down payment. Have a trusted family member or friend read the agreement. Consider having the agreement reviewed by your lawyer if it is very complicated. Make the final payment only after the project is completed.

Check with your local Better Business Bureau or your city/county Consumer Affairs Office regarding the contractor's reliability and performance record.

This document was adapted from material developed by the National Eldercare Institute on Housing and Supportive Services, Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California. Duplication of this document is encouraged with attribution of the source.

- note

Once you have the home modified you may need some help in keeping it in good condition. Try:

HANDYMAN-HINTS on MAJORDOMO@CEDAR.CIC.NET - Discussions for Do-It- Yourselfers

HANDYMAN-HINTS is a moderated mailing list on subjects related to Handyman Hints for do-it-yourselfers. One of our contributing editors is Glenn Haege, widely hailed as America's Master Handyman. Glenn's radio show, "Ask the Handyman" has been on WXYT-AM in the Detroit market since 1983, and his brand of knowledge and friendly advice has expanded into nineteen markets in the Midwest. Glenn has also authored several books including "Fix It Fast and Easy", "Take the Pain Out of Painting Interiors", and "Take the Pain Out of Painting Exteriors". If you could imagine the perfect owner of a hardware store who stocks everything and has all the information you will ever need about how to fix whatever is broken, Glenn Haege is the man.

In the coming months we'll be discussing topics such as: How Your Home Works, Info On New Products, Questions & Answers from Subscribers and other Experts, How To Fix Almost Anything, Workshop Shortcuts, How to Use Tools, Projects That Give You Lots of Impact For Not a Lot of Time or Money, Design Tips from the Pros, How to Choose the Right Contractor for the Job, ...and more.

To subscribe, send the following command in the BODY of mail to MAJORDOMO@CEDAR.CIC.NET on the Internet:

SUBSCRIBE HANDYMAN-HINTS

To subscribe to the digest version of this list, send the following command in the BODY of mail to MAJORDOMO@CEDAR.CIC.NET on the Internet:

SUBSCRIBE HANDYMAN-HINTS-DIGEST

Owner: Ara Rubyan


INTRODUCING

Sam Weissman WEISSMAN@MARY.FORDHAM.EDU

I was born at an early age, and progressed slowly until I reached the present 76st milestone. My life has been rather conventional, having spent a good deal of it working, raising a family and striving hard to maintain the average American middle class lifestyle.

I was an export manager, and later went into my own businss exporting medical supplies to international hospitals. I had always been an avid amateur photographer, but upon retirement became actively absorbed in computers, and then the Internet. Recently passed the test for Amateur Radio Technicians license. Have my own 2 meter rig, and concentrate on packet radio.

Regret to report that I have never done anything really spectacular, like climbing Mt. Everest, or dog sledding to the North Pole. How- ever, my active curiosity about everything and some imagination has supplied satisfactory fulfilment.


Laurie in Seattle bb233@scn.org lstone@heartland.bradley.edu

Men treat women on computers the same way garage mechanics used to treat them with cars. Throughout most of my adult life, I have been the one who took the family cars to the garage for servicing, repairs, maintenance, gas, etc., etc., and it was the rare mechanic who treated me as if I had more than minimal intelligence, let alone the right to be in their male sanctum.

Thankfully, that is finally changing...or is it that they are now transferring the same attitude over to the field of computers? Not too long ago I went into one of our local computer software stores for a new 14.4 modem, since they were running the best price in town. I had the misfortune to have my spouse with me--I say misfortune because the clerk (male) spoke directly to him and almost totally ignored me, until I started to do all the talking.

When I finally got his attention and made sure he understood what I wanted, he started treating me as if I were a little girl who was in a toy store for the first time. Would I like a free disk for Prodigy? (I already subscribe to the service.) Did I want a free disk of games? (I already have more than I want.) Would I like a Cue card (their in-store discount card)? (I already have one, made out in my name.) Finally, beginning to look a bit confused, he said, "Do you have a joystick?" I told him I had better things to do on my computer, and he finally gave up--thanked my spouse for the sale (it was my charge card he used) and we left. I might add that I was the only female in the store--and it was very busy. Upon reflection I could see that given similar treatment in other stores, most women who were just becoming interested in the whole field might well give up in disgust before they ever started. It wasn't the service--it was being patronized that turned me off.

And then I started thinking--a lot of what I'm reading on the Net seems to reflect the same attitude towards women; the "barefoot and pregnant" syndrome, which seems to have been a male stragem for generations uncounted. Maybe it's because for so long all little girls had to sign a non-compete contract at the age of 6 months, and they violated the rules thereof at their peril. Or maybe it's just because there are so many other things we have to do that are more vital to everyone's welfare (cooking, cleaning, shopping, caregiving, mothering, etc., etc., etc.) there isn't a lot of time left for browsing or cybersurfing.

I'm speaking primarily of seniors, because certainly very little of this applies to anyone younger than our generation. And that's mostly good, and I'm very glad of it. But I think maybe the women in this age bracket (50+) need to be encouraged to dive in and enjoy the water, because it really is fine, once you get the dog paddle out of the way and can stay afloat. For myself personally I have my son-in-law to thank. He's the one who encouraged me--pushed me, in fact--to get into computers in the beginning. And as time has passed it's his expertise and help that have kept me at it until I more or less know what I'm doing. Maybe that's what is needed--someone to give us a push (take a class) and someone with experience to encourage us and keep us at it until we're comfortable with anything new that comes our way.

It's like learning to sail--you simply have to physically take the tiller and head into the wind to get the feel of it yourself. No matter what someone else is telling you, it really isn't that hard....and like sailing, it's a wonderful feeling once you get out there and feel the wind in your face--or watch the bytes fly by.


Zvonk Springer zzspri@cosy.sbg.ac.at

I am born June 12th, 1925, in Osijek, eastern Slavonia, Croatia (ex-Yugoslavia). I went to school at this frontier town and graduated from the SecondarySchool ("Real-Gymnasium") there in summer 1943 too. Few months later, I was called into Army services. Thus, I was two years soldier of "Independent State of Croatia" (=NDH), a fascists' state during W.W.II.

I was in fights for the last 6 months of WWII surrendering to Tito's Army on 15th May 1945.

started working in 1951 already and married the same summer too. We left with our only daughter Yugoslavia for good in 1961. First, I became Senior Lecturer at the Khartoum Technical Institute (Sudan). of my 20 professional years. I retired by end of 1987 and became a "gentleman of leisure" .

Fortunately, I got a chance starting my 2nd study in grandfather's age. In fall of this year, I'll start my 8th year as a "guest-student" (because o my academic degree) at COSY. I'm their oldest Austrian student and probably in Europe too. Since 1990, I'm still SeniorNet's only overseas member and Honorary Member of their Nacogdoches Chapter, Texas. I wrote many (long epliers under title "Croatian Soldier" to Chatback's Project MEMORIES .

I like very much 'writting or talking' into CyberSpace using this devil's machine.


E-MAIL: THOR@JUNCTION.NET

James E. Thornton, Vernon, BC, CDN. I am a retired adult educator (University of British Columbia) pursuing my retirement in Vernon, B.C. in the North Okanagan. I participate in groups interested in learning in later life and maintaining individual and social competence. Currently, I chair a "Task Force" organizing The Canadian Older Workers Resources Network, an affiliate of One Voice, The Canadian Seniors Network. Professionally, I am active in the Educational Gerontology Interest Group, Canadian Association on Gerontology.

E-MAIL: GVYY00A@PRODIGY.COM

I am Sandy Rovner in Bethesda, MD, USA just outside of Wash. DC.. Semi retired journalist (21 years with Washington Post) doing an article on seniors online anywhere in the world. I'm interested in maintaining communications with seniors as well, being one myself. I also do fun things on the net. Write about health, medicine, computers, seniors and whatever whimsy piques my fancy. Widow, two kids, two grandkids, two Labrador retrievers.

GLEANINGS FROM SENIOR POSTINGS

Dinosaurs - from elders Listserv

Tom Bruce

I have sort of a non-dinosaur story to tell. I was born in Canon City, Colorado (pronounced Canyon City) and one day I found out that within 10 miles of the town was a dinosaur "grave yard." Well ... you can imagine how I wanted to go and look for the dinosaurs.

The problem is that none of my family or friends thought that that anymore were left to be found. "Oh, they all have been found, by now," was a typical response. I never go to go.

Time passed and one day when I was back home visting my family I read in the paper that a college student, at a geology camp had been sitting on the edge of a creek drawing formations and casually digging in the loose earth. Suddenly he pulled out a bone which eventaully lead to a whole dinosaur.

I have also been told that we would never get to the Moon in my life time, Alaska would never become a state (Same for Hawaii), We never elect a catholic president. etc etc etc.

Stopping to find out why, we discovered that a Thames Valley dancer had collapsed at the end of a massed dance and was receiving external heart massage from the paramedics and a holidaying doctor. My opinion was, even then, that he didn't look too clever, but we stood and made conversation while he was transferred into the ambulance and taken off. Sadly, his mother had come from her nursing home on the island to watch and his daughter was somewhere else on the island


Pear Shaped Happiness,- Elders Listserv

From: Eddie Dunmore

The weekend started uneventfully enough: I caught a train at East Croydon for Southampton Central, going the pretty way. In short, this meant heading almost due South to Hove (just by Brighton) and then turning right along the coast through Worthing, Littlehampton, etc. to Southampton. Once there, it was a simple matter to get the bus to the Town Quay and the jetfoil across to West Cowes. A taxi to the College (in Newport, just down the road from the prisons) and I had met up with all my morris-dancing friends that I hadn't seen since Father Ken's Memorial Service a fortnight previously.

The various sides clambered aboard the three preserved buses that were to ferry them around the island after team photographs had been taken and set off. The official party was split between two cars and set off for Yarmouth to watch the first pitch . That passed uneventfully and we set off slightly late to catch the "Grockles" tour at Shanklin. Passing through Godshill, we saw an ambulance and the tour bus still at the previous pitch.

.Walking back to the cars, we were asked if the dancing had finished. As some Thaxted men were still soaking up the sun, I suggested that they ask Daniel, the Thaxted Squire, very nicely and he would probably put on a special performance for the supplicant. As we drove off, I noticed that Thaxted, bless them, had already started dancing.

The massed show was on Sandown Esplanade (as ever), preceded by a procession down the hill to the pier. Thames Valley turned up and insisted on doing a show dance in honour of their \ex-colleague (by now officially pronounced D.o.a.). It was a moving tribute, beautifully danced - I can't recall having seen them dance better. Tony Stevens, the new Bagman (national Secretary) danced in and this too was a pleasure to watch. After the show, everyone had free time before the Feast back at the College so the national Officers adjourned - you've guessed - a pub, for some more beer.

The following morning (Sunday) was fairly leisurely as the Procession to the church service didn't start until 10am. The Procession produced the last incident of an already eventful weekend. An impatient motorist decided that he couldn't wait for the procession and overtook it. Phil, the Thames Valley animal, was dancing around at the head of the Procession and when he saw the car attempted to scamper out of the way.

Firom my photographing position ahead of the Procession watched in horror as I saw the car drive into him and him disappear over the bonnet (hood) to the ground on the far side. However, the animal's head came back into view and he crossed to the driver's side, threatening to report him to the RSPCA for cruelty to animals. The driver joined in a discussion that was anything but a meeting of minds, terminated only by the approach of the policewoman walkng with the Procession and the flight of the car and driver.

After that last bit of excitement, everything quietened down. After lunch I joined the bus into West Cowes with my friend Bob and his side from Weston-super-Mare and ran out my film on their dancing on the esplanade there. A jetfoil back to Southampton Town Quay, a train from Southampton Central (this time main-line to Waterloo) and I was home just in time to see my daughter off back to her mother's.

If I have a conclusion, it's this: given that morris dancing is a physical activity, and given that most morris men are demonstrably unfit (happiness is pear-shaped), it is a surprise that more dancers do not succumb to heart attacks. What will be remembered (and was already being talked about) was that he did finish the dance.

_


Computers and Gender

Laurie Stone
bb233@scn.org
lstone@heartland.bradley.edu
Men treat women on computers the same way garage mechanics used to treat them with cars. Throughout most of my adult life, I have been the one who took the family cars to the garage for servicing, repairs, maintenance, gas, etc., etc., and it was the rare mechanic who treated me as if I had more than minimal intelligence, let alone the right to be in their male sanctum.

Thankfully, that is finally changing...or is it that they are now transferring the same attitude over to the field of computers? Not too long ago I went into one of our local computer software stores for a new 14.4 modem, since they were running the best price in town. I had the misfortune to have my spouse with me--I say misfortune because the clerk (male) spoke directly to him and almost totally ignored me, until I started to do all the talking.

When I finally got his attention and made sure he understood what I wanted, he started treating me as if I were a little girl who was in a toy store for the first time. Would I like a free disk for Prodigy? (I already subscribe to the service.) Did I want a free disk of games? (I already have more than I want.) Would I like a Cue card (their in-store discount card)? (I already have one, made out in my name.) Finally, beginning to look a bit confused, he said, "Do you have a joystick?" I told him I had better things to do on my computer, and he finally gave up--thanked my spouse for the sale (it was my charge card he used) and we left. I might add that I was the only female in the store--and it was very busy. Upon reflection I could see that given similar treatment in other stores, most women who were just becoming interested in the whole field might well give up in disgust before they ever started. It wasn't the service--it was being patronized that turned me off.

And then I started thinking--a lot of what I'm reading on the Net seems to reflect the same attitude towards women; the "barefoot and pregnant" syndrome, which seems to have been a male stragem for generations uncounted. Maybe it's because for so long all little girls had to sign a non-compete contract at the age of 6 months, and they violated the rules thereof at their peril. Or maybe it's just because there are so many other things we have to do that are more vital to everyone's welfare (cooking, cleaning, shopping, caregiving, mothering, etc., etc., etc.) there isn't a lot of time left for browsing or cybersurfing.

I'm speaking primarily of seniors, because certainly very little of this applies to anyone younger than our generation. And that's mostly good, and I'm very glad of it. But I think maybe the women in this age bracket (50+) need to be encouraged to dive in and enjoy the water, because it really is fine, once you get the dog paddle out of the way and can stay afloat. For myself personally I have my son-in-law to thank. He's the one who encouraged me--pushed me, in fact--to get into computers in the beginning. And as time has passed it's his expertise and help that have kept me at it until I more or less know what I'm doing. Maybe that's what is needed--someone to give us a push (take a class) and someone with experience to encourage us and keep us at it until we're comfortable with anything new that comes our way.

It's like learning to sail--you simply have to physically take the tiller and head into the wind to get the feel of it yourself. No matter what someone else is telling you, it really isn't that hard....and like sailing, it's a wonderful feeling once you get out there and feel the wind in your face--or watch the bytes fly by.


Skin Cancer Notes

dabbs@extro.ucc.su.OZ.AU "Mrs Elaine Dabbs"

Recently a few elders have mentioned their problem with skin cancers. There is a lot of research here in Australia on sunburn as we have a very high incidence of cancer-causing rays of the sun. The latest research indicates that regular washing and wearing of cotton T-shirts should help protect people from sunburn. The weekly washing doubled the ultra-violet protection factor of the garments in 10 weeks. The main reason was that shrinkage reduced the size of the holes between the stitches. This protection factor is comparable to but not the same as the sun-protection factor of sunscreen lotions. However, the ability of clothing to protect the skin is reduced if garments are worn vary close to the skin. The results of the research are being used to help formulate a draft Australian standard for a fabric protection rating against ultraviolet radiation. Sunburn is a risk factor for skin cancers such as melanoma, which kills more than 800 Aussies a year.

Tailgating

jwhursey@cd.columbus.oh.us Jim Hursey

In the American midwest, when hot muggy summer has given way to lovely autumn, when the air is crisp and clear and sweet with the aromas of Fall, and the sky is is so deep and blue that you feel you could fall into it, when the students have returned to the campuses, and the summer travellers from their voyages, then men and women, called "alums," are wont to make tailgating pilgrimages to their alma maters.

The origins are vague and wrapped in mystery, but historians generally believe that the practice may have started when primitive people actually had simple picnics standing around the open tailgates of their trucks, while parked outside the stadium as they waited for a big game to start.

It has of course progressed far beyond this now. Indeed it would be rare to see an actual tailgate at a modern tailgate party. Some few alums, because of limited finances or just a yearning for the good old days, may actually drive ordinary cars and have simple picnics, but this would be very much the exception nowadays.

The more modern practice is to have huge areas set aside near the stadium, and long before the game, the night before or even days before, this area starts to fill with caravans and motor homes of all description, some are huge highway busses converted for the purpose, some old school busses garishly painted, the more outlandish the better, others are vans and trucks of infinite variety.

The numerous occupants of these vehicles then set up cooking grills, often huge and elaborate in their own right, where steaks and hamburgers and bratwursts are soon sizzling, huge pots of chile simmer, and elaborate displays of food are spread out on huge tables. Shelter tents are often set up against possible rain or too much sun.

Naturally with this crowding, the various groups soon mingle together, all dressed in elaborate costumes featuring their school colors, and the party atmosphere grows. T-shirts and sweatshirts with witty sayings or obscene references to hated opponents are common garb. Children run and play amongst the crowd, and American footballs are thrown back and forth over its heads. Vendors, hawking their various merchandise, work the crowd.

Televison sets are set up outside on tables and tape players blare school fight songs. People dance and cavort and sometimes impromptu street theatre will break out, quickly to be surrounded by a cheering crowd.

In the early morning bloody marys may be the preferred libation, but soon kegs of beer, iced down in huge vats, will be tapped and the suds will flow liberally. This continues all day and into the night, many hearty souls going seemingly non-stop for two or three days.

Somewhere in the middle of these festivities the game of American college football is played although it tends to be anticlimactic and often scant attention is paid to it, except by some fanatical few who actually have tickets to the game and go into the stadium to watch it. Outside, the party continues unabated.

Then, late at night and into the next morning, the tables are taken down, busses and trucks re-packed, and gradually the area empties, leaving behind only silence and perhaps an itinerant or two wandering among the piles of trash.

The following week, the wholwething is repeated

JimH


SENIOR SMILES

CHILDREN SAY THE FUNNIEST THINGS

These observations were made by school and college students around the world.\ - supplied by Lotte Evans "When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire."

"H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water"

"To collect fumes of sulphur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube"

"When you smell an oderless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide"

"Nitrogen is not found in Ireland because it is not found in a free state"

"Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water."

"Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars."

"Blood flows down one leg and up the other."

"Respiration is composed of two acts, first inspiration, and then expectoration."

"The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader."

"Dew is formed on leaves when the sun shines down on them and makes them perspire." "A super-saturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold."

"Mushrooms always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas."

"The body consists of three parts- the brainium, the borax and the abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the boraxcontain s the heart and lungs, and the abominable cavity contains the bowls, of which there are five - a, e, i, o, and u."

"The skeleton is what is left after the insides have been taken out and the outsides have ben taken off. The purpose of the skeleton is something to hitch meat to."

"A permanent set of teeth consists of eight canines, eight cuspids, two molars, and eight cuspidors."

"The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water tends towards the moon, because there is no water in the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight."

"A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is."

"Equator: A managerie lion running around the Earth through Africa."

"Germinate: To become a naturalized German."

"Liter: A nest of young puppies."

"Planet: A body of Earth surrounded by sky."

"Rhubarb: A kind of celery gone bloodshot."

"Vacumm: A large, empty space where the pope lives."

"Before giving a blood transfusion, find out if the blood is affirmative or negative."

"To vemove dust from the eye, pull the eye down over the nose."

"For a nosebleed: Put the nose much lower then the body until the heart stops."

"For asphyxiation: Apply artificial respiration until the patient is dead."

"For head cold: use and agonizer to spray the nose until it drops in your throat."

"To keep milk from turning sour: Keep it in the cow."

God remembers- supplied by Wayne Barney

        A religious man who reached the age of 105 suddenly stopped
going to the synagogue.  Alarmed by the man's absence after so many
years of faithful attendance, the rabbi visited the man.

        "How come after all these years we don't see you at services?"

        "Well, rabbi," the man said, "when I reached 105, I figured that
God must have forgotten about me...and I don't want to remind him."

REVIEWS

Montana Senior Citizen News P.O Box 3363 Great Falls MT 5903

Subscriptions $8.00 per year (6 issues)

This is another excellent regional Senior News magazine (see review earlier of Central Texas publication) and hopefully sets a trend toward more comprehensive and lively Senior magazine content.

It balances well written interesting local feature stories with stories form various senior news services such as Senior Wire and Maturity News Service. A numer of the local writers like George Engler, are seniors who have a folksy, intelligent style filled with elder wisdom and sophisitcation. Another senior writer, Bill Mcann, does a "Cranky Bill" column that gives an elder satiric look at modern life.

The choice of wire stories reflects a wide range of senior life from golfing tips to an informative story about the way nursing homes (long Term care facitlites) are handling the sexual needs of residents.

Even if you don't live in Montana, you may find this publication interesting reading.

- reviewed by Jim Olson

Consumer Report Articles
The August and September issues of CONSUMER REPORTS contain a two-part series on nursing homes -- the first dealing with quality and the second focusing on financing.

The article on finance is pretty straightforward and does a good job in outlining the differences between Medicare, Medicaid, and private pay from the perspective of the consumer.

The article on quality will spark more controversy because it rates nursing home chains based on their "average critical deficiencies per survey, adjusted for state variation."

Both articles are worth reading.

Bob Riter
Ithaca College
riter@ithaca.edu
                  At My Lake

            my lake has its own music;
            songs of friends, family,
            locked in flow of gentle waves.

            notes of that watery choir
            carry the sounds of night,
            chords of misty mornings.

            in this place, the familiar
            sends its siren refrain
            singing over the waters.

            on the shore, the empty cottage
            and old boat house still stand,
            memories glowing in twilight.

            tonight, I will remember
            and every star will shine
            a face that I have loved.

                      Mary