Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Archive for December 2022

Age . . .

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. . .slows down a lot of people,

but it doesn’t shut them up.

Teaching Math Then and Now

By Tom Morrow

1.Teaching Math in 1950…

A logger sells a truckload of timber for $100
His cost of production is 4/5 of the price.
What is his profit? $____

 2. Teaching Math In 1970…
A logger sells a truckload of timber for $100.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80.
What is his profit? $ 
3. Teaching Math In 1990…
A logger sells a truckload of timber for $100.
His cost of production is $80.
Did he make a profit? __Yes or No 
4. Teaching Math In 2000…
A logger sells a truckload of timber for $100.
His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20.
Your assignment: Underline the number 20
5. Teaching Math In 2015…
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands.
He does this so he can make a profit of $20.
What do you think of this way of making a living?
Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes.
6. Teaching Math in 2022…

Math is Racist.  It was only invented to prove the superiority of whites. Students no longer need any math skills to go to Graduate school. 2 plus 2 equals 4, or 22, or whatever you feel is correct. There are no wrong answers, feel free to express your feelings e.g., anger, anxiety, inadequacy, helplessness etc. Should you require debriefing at the conclusion of the exam there are counsellors available to assist you to adjust back into the real world.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 30, 2022 at 2:00 am

I’ve Arrived . . .

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. . . at the conclusion

that it doesn’t matter

where you go

because you’re always there.

Simplify Visit to New Doctor

There are several things you can do to make your first visit to a new doctor more productive and help you get the best possible care.
For a start, jot down concerns or questions you may have, but don’t wait until the end of the examination
to ask them. It’s helpful to tell the doctor at the beginning of the visit because these concerns may
influence what is done in the first examination;
Take a list of your medications and include include information about when, how often, and what dosage you take. Include any vitamins or supplements you take regularly.
Call the doctor’s office and ask whether they require your medical records be sent there in
advance. Otherwise, take a list of the names and addresses of previous and current physicians to be kept with your chart so medical records can be requested if needed.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 29, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in A Musing, Health

Tagged with ,

A Long-time Colleague . . .

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. . . is in regular contact with her relatives in China.

I asked how they enjoyed Christmas

and she said they couldn’t complain.

Shop for Tax Preparer

There are some simple steps to take when hiring and reaching an agreement with someone to prepare your taxes. First of all, make appointments with three or four to discuss your situation and their backgrounds.

Find out if you’re comfortable with him or her. It’s your money you’re spending and there should be comfortable and open communication between the two of you.

Check the person’s credentials, specialized courses, range of expertise and experience, and length of time in business. Find out how busy he or she is. Will they have time to devote the time needed to meet your needs? Ask him or her about any professional affiliations and ongoing education.

And, before you leave, ask how much your tax preparation will cost.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 28, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in Finance, News / Events

Tagged with ,

We’re Told . . .

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. . .that our brain

has a left side and a right side.

On the left, there is nothing right,

and on the right, there’s nothing left.

Sedona’s Health In the Pink

Red rocks tethered to meditative vortexes are everywhere in Sedona, rising as cliffs, buttes and wind-sculpted animal-shapes cutting sharply into the deep blue sky. It was these sandstone sentinels that sparked the transformation of what was once a small artists’ colony into an upscale resort an hour or so north of Phoenix.

On our first visit here in the late 1950s, the business community comprised a cafe, drug store, market, gas station and a few other establishments. Its 2,000 or so residents would drive into town for groceries from homes scattered among the junipers, pinion pine and Arizona cypress atop red-rock slopes, or from cabins in nearby Oak Creek Canyon. There were no traffic lights and few places to stay other than cabins and camping areas up in the canyon.

Hollywood loved Sedona and built false-front towns where the heroes of countless westerns rode off toward the wind-scoured sandstone outcroppings.

Perched midway between the Valley of the Sun’s desert and the massive Colorado Plateau’s pine forests, Sedona’s dry climate and generally mild temperatures attracted snowbirds from the Midwest’s grim, gray wintery grip.

As word got out, people arrived from all over. Land values shot up. By the 1960s and ’70s, New Age spiritual gurus were proclaiming the area contained a concentration of psychic energy sites. In the late 1970s, Sedona was designated the epicenter of a “harmonic convergence” of people drawn to the spiritual overtones.

Filmdom’s false-front frontier was replaced by European spas, upscale resorts and chic boutiques. Stop lights controlled traffic on the main street, which also was the highway north through Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. Two championship golf courses and a pair of nine-hole layouts were laid out few miles out of town.

It would have become just another hideaway for the beautiful people, had in not been for the photogenic red rocks – and the pink jeeps.

Realtor Don Pratt purchased former movie-studio land in the late 1950s in the Broken Arrow area and took prospective buyers on off-road treks to ooh and aaah the red rocks up close. Noticing folks not interested in housing came back for more, he bought an old Jeep and began charging $3 for a tour. He made them all pink after a stay at Waikiki’s legendary – and pink – Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 27, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in Health, Humor / Quote, Travel

Tagged with ,

I Used To Think . . .

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. . .now I just react.

More Than Desert in Valley of the Sun

One of the early breakthroughs was the 1929 opening of the Arizona Biltmore, which is worth a visit if, for no other reason, than to gawk at the walls lined with photos of celebrities at played there and its ceilings lined with gold. More than 30,000 square feet of the glitter glistens overhead in the lobby, a special meeting room, and main dining room that look and feel old enough to be comfortable without being frayed at the edges.
The valley also has its share of notable resorts, prominent among them being the Phoenician tucked into the fold of local icon Saddleback Mountain with its eye-candy nighttime vistas of the twinkling town lights to the south.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 26, 2022 at 2:00 am

Wishing . . .

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. . . good health and fortune for yourself

is not being selfish,

you need at least one

to be able to take care

of those dear to you.

Older Bones Gain With Strength Training

Healthy seniors who can still exercise may also be able to lengthen the life of their bones with strengthening exercise, according to results of a six-month study conducted at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The men and women aged 60 to 83 who participated in the resistance training showed signs of greater bone density in their hips as well as bone metabolism shifting toward generating more bone than was being lost.

Participants were divided into three groups, one that engaged in high-intensity resistance training, one that went through low-intensity training, and a control group that did not change lifestyle habits during the six-month study. The high-intensity group showed the most significant bone-density gains. Leg presses, overhead presses and certain back exercises appeared to have the most impact on bone density.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 25, 2022 at 2:00 am

When Santa Walks Backwards . . .

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. . .does he sound like

he’s saying “Oh, oh, oh?”

Christmastime a Long Time Ago

By Tom Morrow

Another Christmas has arrived, and that takes me back more than eight decades of my life.

I recall the anticipated booty that never came but appeared in my dreamscape during the 1940s and early ‘50s. What toy-land wonders we didn’t know about weren’t missed. Comparatively speaking, post-war toys were, at best, primitive. Plastic was hard to get after World War II and metal of any kind was expensive. Toys were, shall we say, “fragile.”  

The biggest problem when fighting off Indians and robbers trying to win the American West was with six-shooters. Many toys, especially pistols, were made of compressed sawdust. When told by an opponent to lay our pistols down on the ground, we did so ever so gently lest they break apart. On more than one occasion Mom came to the rescue, but got the barrel glued back a bit crooked. A few times she glued the barrel upside down.

The only gift Santa might bring that would be close to today’s Christmas morning booty was Tinker Toys, the Legos of that time. Gift ideas for Santa were limited because there was no television or Internet. Hints for him, as well as Mom and Dad, were found primarily in store windows or in the annual Sears, Wards, or Spiegel catalogs.

Those items of joy neatly on display in store windows had price tags. The price of $3.95 seemed to be the most popular number.

Being “good” was always part of the bargain and having lots of presents under the tree measured the amount of joy you expressed. In lean years, Mom would increase the gift count by wrapping socks separately to make the day seem more abundant than it really was.

For every boy, electric trains were high on the list for most-coveted items. While Lionel train sets were the most popular, no self-respecting “Junior” railroad man would be satisfied with anything but an American Flyer. Lionel train sets were powered by centered electric track … three in total. American Flyers mimicked the real thing with just two rails.

Flyers were authentic-looking in every respect. Mom didn’t understand such things. Dad did, but had trouble with a more expensive price tag. A Lionel set was around $14.95. An American Flyer commanded $19.95 and higher. Dad never made more than $2,500 a year then so such extravagances were out of the question. 

But the Holy Grail on nearly every boy’s wish list was a Red Ryder air rifle. But Mom always said what nearly every mom did: “No! You’ll shoot your eye out.”

Gifting Mom and Dad was quite a challenge. Weekly allowances didn’t go very far. I got 50 cents a week and my sister got a quarter. If you had any money for Mom, there was always “Evening in Paris” perfume – for 50 cents, or a week’s “wages.” When my sister was helping Mom close up her house several years ago, a number of “Paris” bottles were discovered stashed away in keep-sake manner.

As for Dad, we somehow managed to buy him a necktie because Mom usually helped by giving us a dollar or three. This was for a man who had just one tie that he wore only for weddings and funerals.

One year our parents had some huge household expenditures so Mom told Dad not to worry about getting her a gift for Christmas. (You can see this one coming). Dad took Mom at her word while Mom presented him Dad with a couple of gifts. It was a very brittle Christmas morning.. From that year forward, my sister and I made sure Dad always had something for Mom under the tree.

Memories? You bet! Now enjoy the New Year! 

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 24, 2022 at 2:00 am

Got A Telephone Sales Pitch . . .

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. . .the other day

for a burial plot

and I just told them

that’s the last thing I need.

Scammers Always in Season

A Social Security scam linked to tax time can reach you any time of year via e-mail, telephone or the postal service. The thieves offer refunds of Social Security taxes you’ve paid over the years, an attractive lure during the economic slough in which everyone has been wallowing.

This is not, repeat – not – even remotely connected to the Social Security Administration.

The schemers usually offer to file a refund claim with the Internal Revenue Service in return for a percentage of the refund and an up-front fee of $100 or thereabouts for doing the paper work. The only sure thing that will happen is that you lose whatever money you send to these crooks.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 23, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in Finance

Tagged with , ,

It Seems Like . . .

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. . . we have to knock on every door

to get a response here.

Making a Will Won’t Kill You

If you want to get the last laugh on your family, don’t make a will. Let them squirm while they squabble about who should get what when you’re gone. It’s a fine way to get even.

But whether you like them or not, you’d be smarter to make out a will delineating the disposition of your belongings so the government won’t get them. Writing out a simple will – “I leave my watch to my oldest son and my baseball-card collection to my youngest son and my wedding ring to my daughter” – on your kitchen table and having a couple of neighbors witness it is still a simple and basic step toward shielding your assets from the coffers of the Capitol.

A will also eliminates much of the legal costs that can arise out of disputed estate claims.

A written will — you should talk about this and other estate plans with an attorney who specializes in such matters — avoids leaving the disposal of your assets and heirlooms open to legal maneuvering. It also can lessen the burden of death, estate, property and all sorts of other taxes local, state and federal politicians keep piling up on their side of the ledger.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 22, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in Finance

Tagged with ,

My Son Said . . .

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. . . his neighbor took her dog

to a veterinarian for some tests

and now

she’s waiting for a lab report.

No Vaccine for Scam Season

There’s no serum developed yet to shield you from crooks and con artists. The best protection is a healthy dose of anti-greed. The following premise is a pretty powerful antidote: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Some slick scams never go away. Ponzi schemes are by far the most notorious. They’ve been around so long that most people think they’d recognize one if it came their way. That’s rubbish. Gullible — and greedy — investors are pouring their money into these confidence schemes somewhere right now. All on the promise, by someone they trust, admire, respect or like, of above-average returns on their investments.

Think of the current headline-grabbing FTX crypto currency Ponzi scheme that funneled billions of dollars through the hands of 30-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried.

Offerings of viatical settlements persists. If you don’t know what that or any other investment proposal means, run away from it. Viatical oversimplified means that you buy a life insurance policy from a terminally ill patient for less than the policy payout. These transactions, whether you’re the buyer or seller, are fraught with perils.

The same applies to promissory notes often sold by independent insurance agents, according to the AARP Bulletin. These are often offered by little-known or non-existent companies with the promise of returns as high as 15 percent with supposedly little risk. Better to turn your back on such a can’t-miss sure-fire opportunity than fall flat on your fiscal face when you’ve been fooled out of your money.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 21, 2022 at 2:00 am