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Month: March 2019 | Shiny Bits of Life

We love a happy ending

the movie Roma on Netflix

…but not TOO happy.

I’ve noticed that the older I get, the more I enjoy movies with realistic endings.

When I was a kid, I loved simple “happily ever after” endings.

Now I appreciate endings that have partial resolution with a glimmer of hope.

Maybe this is because I’ve experienced more and realize that “happily ever after” endings are rare in real life. Thus, they are just not believable. Suspension of Disbelief just doesn’t cut it for me like it used to.

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Preying on older adults

provocative junk mail

There’s a whole swath of companies that sell “health products” and quasi-political organizations that spend a lot of money making more money by targeting older adults in the USA.

I know this because my 87-year-old father-in-law gets approximately a pound of mail from these groups every day.

With few exceptions, his junk mail has these characteristics:

  • Most of the text is all caps.
  • The graphic design is poor or nonexistent.
  • The copywriting is done by someone who hasn’t quite finished high school.
  • The political organizations strongly emphasize the urgency of their cause – over and over and over within each piece.
  • The political organizations fan the flames on any fear that may be lurking in the back of the recipients’ minds.
  • The political organizations ask for money.
  • The health products are not scientifically proven.
  • The health products are not approved by the FDA.
  • Most of the health products promise to reverse the effects of aging.

The worst part of this is that many older adults living on their own do not have the discrimination to identify a scam. So they give – or buy.

The best tip I can provide to combat this scourge is that when there’s a post-paid envelope in their mailing, return the part of the mailing with the addressee’s info on it in the post-paid envelope with this message: “TAKE ME OFF YOUR MAILING LIST.” That way, they will pay double to not get any business. (And they only understand text that’s in all caps.)

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The main band is usually the best

Mimi Parker of the band Low

I’ve seen a lot of live music over the years.  My favorite shows are always in small venues. I love to see musicians up close. Their interaction with the crowd is often more personal. And it’s fun to think that we could shake hands during the show if we wanted to.

Small venues like to feature local musicians as the opening acts. It’s great for smaller bands to grab a little of the spotlight often reserved for national acts. Sometimes that propels them to fame.

But often the contrast is huge. Professionalism, musicianship, and overall quality of the performances are often massively better for the national acts.

Occasionally, opening bands are better. Sometimes I’ve seen shows where I went for the main band and ended up being introduced to an opening act that became a favorite band. That’s a refreshing surprise.

I always like to give each band a chance. I may not like their style or attitude, but I try to listen with an open mind and open ears.


The photo is Mimi Parker of the band Low. I saw her and the rest of the band on Friday night, March 8, 2019.

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