Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Archive for the ‘A Musing’ Category

My Brother Said. . .

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. . . the cops knocked on his door the other day

and told him there were reports

that his dogs were chasing people on bikes.

My brother said that was impossible

because his dogs don’t own any bikes.

Daily Life Changed Already

There was a never-ending stream of predictions and prognostications about how our lives would change as we emerged from of the COVID-19 shut-downs. Some have already happened.

Folks who never gave a thought to having groceries delivered have settled into this convenience for the rest of their lives. They’ve discovered the ease of shopping online and dropping by the source to have their order deposited in their trunk in minutes instead of spending an hour or two pushing a cart up and down aisles after competing with countless other vehicles to find a parking spot.

Many have realized the added comfort of having their goods dropped off at their doorstep. They’ve decided to forego the hassle of having to jostle through traffic and crowds to get their goods.

Shaking hands is disappearing. We’re learning to meet and greet each other with a fist bump or touching elbow to elbow.

Calling or emailing your doctor also is a novel approach to good health. Telemedicine has made giant strides in the few months this pandemic has been in force. Much is due to the fact that insurance companies have begun to pay for these cyberspace calls. Getting a diagnosis and medication has, in many cases, become as easy as making a phone call.

The home office and workshop have become a bigger part of working lives. Employees have discovered the comfort and convenience of not having to wear a shirt and tie and climbing into the car to spend a couple of hours on the freeway to get work. And they don’t have to drop off the kids at a chld-care center.

Employers have seen how they don’t have to provide expensive equipment and space to have their work produced, whether its schematics or sales. Computers provide the capability to have all this and more achieved remotely. Researchers report that more than one-third of office work can be performed at home. And those downtown office buildings are staying dark.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 1, 2023 at 2:00 am

Got To Thinking . . .

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. . .t’other day that

it’s OK for a gal

to wear her guy’s T-shirts, dress shirts, sweaters and such

but should he wear on of her dresses

it’s “we gotta talk” time.

Future of Telemedicine is Now

Telemedicine – the practice of getting diagnosis and treatment via your laptop or cell phone – has been gaining traction. Accelerating this drive is the unavailability of health care in rural (and some urban) areas because of the diminishing number of doctors as the over-65 crowd grows at the rate of 10,000 people a day.

One out of five residents live in areas identified as being short of health professionals. The advantage of being able to contact a doctor remotely became evident during the COVID-19 pandemic when people were confined to quarters.

Telemedicine opens the door to specialists as well as second medical opinions without taking up too much consulting time by the health experts contacted. It also reduces the stress on the patient as well as eliminating the need to travel to an appointment, which requires the patient to find a driver in many cases. Seniors fretting about their lack of computer equipment or skills find a telephone conversation may work as well.

Medicare has expanded its coverage of medical treatment by phone or computer. While not all health-insurance companies are following suit, several recognize telemedicine helps reduce the cost of health care. For example, it allows primary care physicians to schedule appointments at any time and not just the traditional “office hours” and reduces unnecessary office and emergency-room visits. It also lowers the cost of patient no-shows.

A barrier in the way of expanding telemedicine are reimbursement rules that require treatment to be conducted in specific sites, such as the doctor’s office or a health center. Government licensing laws also get in the way. Federal law requires telemedicine health-care providers to be fully licensed to practice medicine in the state where the patient is physically located. Health-care systems that have locations in more than one state may need to obtain multiple licenses.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 31, 2023 at 2:00 am

Posted in A Musing, Health, Humor / Quote

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If You Want People . . .

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. . . to remember you,

borrow some money from them.

Don’t Choke on Pension Lump Sum

A couple we know lived through a lesson for all of us when the topic of pensions arises. The question focused on was whether they should take their pension cash with them when they retire or leave it with the company so they can receive monthly payments during their senior years.

They worked for different companies but both retired before the traditional 65-years-of-age so they could travel and enjoy life and living while they were still mobile and in relatively good health. They agreed that the wife would take her money and her husband would leave his with the firm because the total was much bigger and offered a much-more substantial monthly income.

They reached their decision after contacting a financial advisor to see what opportunities were available for investing the lump-sum pension check while still having money available for travel or medical expenses. They had set aside a sizable kitty over the years in bank certificates of deposit to cover day-to-day expenses until they could draw Social Security benefits.vEvery facet of their financial lives had been probed and programmed.

Except for one drastic occurrence.

Shortly after the husband quit working, a couple of deaths in the families that owned the controlling interest in his former company suddenly made it easy prey for a takeover. This resulted in a split in ownership/management philosophy. After a rapid series of internal battles, the company was sold. The new owners divvied it up into a handful of several divisions and sold each piece by piece.

And through all this, the original company pension was defunded and disappeared. The golden years planned by the couple were turned to trash.

This story is not to be taken as an endorsement of taking out retirement income in a lump sum. It does shine light on one of the perils of walking off the job without such an enticing check. A MetLife study revealed that one out of every five retirees who did leave the job with a lump-sum retirement payment spent it all in less than six years.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 30, 2023 at 2:00 am

During Our . . .

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. . .table conversation t’other day,

one of the guys said

there was a time when

he was addicted to the hokey pokey . . .

but he turned himself around.

Travel Insurance Sometimes Isn’t

Among the many lessons a lot of folks learned during the coronavirus shutdown is that travel insurance doesn’t always cover everything. Many would-be travelers found out that the trip-cancellation coverage they thought they had, they didn’t. Everyone learned that a world-wide pandemic changed all the coverage rules.

Some airline and cruise customers were fortunate enough to receive refunds for their fares. Most of these ticket holders, however, have been given vouchers that precluded them from making insurance claims to recoup their loss.

The real lesson here is ask questions and more questions when you buy the coverage. Some insurers do not provide coverage for mishaps suffered during such activities as skiing or scuba diving while you’re on your trip. You also have to determine if your policy covers you for any misadventure or cancellations caused by any act of terrorism.

Before putting together a travel-insurance plan, check with your health-and-medical insurance agent to see what coverage travels with you. Then be aware that trip cancellation insurance pretty well settles around injury, sickness or death of you, members of your family or a travel companion. You also have to make sure you define any and all coverage you want, ranging from emergency medical evacuation to lost luggage.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 29, 2023 at 2:00 am

Posted in A Musing, Travel

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Why Is It . . .

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. . . that people

who know it all,

never know

when to shut up?

On a Mission to Travel

Grand Canyon, Old Faithful, Hoover Dam, Mount Rushmore are but a few of the famous U.S. tourist attractions. Among the many overlooked possibilities for those seeking diversion is California’s Mission Trail – the 21- mission El Camino Real that became the foundation of the Golden State.

It’s a 600-mile journey north from the beaches of San Diego to the wine-making Sonoma Valley. It includes the nation’s second-largest urban center surrounding missions San Gabriel and San Fernando and one of the country’s most sung-about city, San Francisco. Each complex is different and offers a range of experience, from scenic to serene to historic to mid-town hurly-burly.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 27, 2023 at 2:00 am

How Can . . .

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. . . a stationery store

move?

When It’s Time to Give up the Car Keys

A relative’s family keep casting hints and harpoons about his diminishing driving skills – loss of hearing, slow reaction time, eyesight not what it used to be, confusion in traffic, and on and on and on. So he lets his children drive him wherever he has to go – mainly medical appointments, although they do get out for dinner now and then. But when everyone’s away, he shuffles out to the garage, climbs in behind the wheel and takes the family flivver for a drive — around the block, around the parking lot of a neighboring mall and back into the garage.

He hasn’t told his family about these excursions but he could point out to them that older drivers are involved in fewer collisions and traffic fatalities on average than 70-plus-year-old motorists just a few years ago. One reason is safer cars. But the trend is important because the number of older drivers is growing as the population ages. And thanks to lifestyles, diet and medical advances, today’s geriatric drivers are healthier and more fit than their predecessors just a generation or two ago.

As long as you feel capable of driving and handling traffic situations, you should feel comfortable keeping your keys. You can take stock on when it might be time to give up your car keys.

Ask yourself if you can still read traffic signs readily and if you get lost or confused, especially in heavy traffic. Make sure your bad back doesn’t stop you from looking around to see if all is clear when you want to change lanes. Do family and friends still ride with you when you’re driving? And do you still like to drive?

Giving up our car keys means giving up our independence to most of us.  But the money you save on car payments, insurance, fuel, maintenance, parking and tolls can pay for more than enough cab rides. You can still go where you want to go whenever you want to, and you don’t have to drive.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 26, 2023 at 2:00 am

Posted in A Musing, Auto, Health

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My Tablemate . . .

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. . . was wondering out loud yesterday

if eating a clock

would be consuming too time.

Seeing is Relieving

Several years ago, a colleague joined a group of friends huddled around their hot chocolates on a frigid January day. After sweeping the snow off his overcoat, he took off his hat and tossed his sunglasses in it for safekeeping. Someone asked him why he was wearing sunglasses in winter. He explained that sunglasses don’t keep you cool in the heat of summer. They protect your eyes from the sun’s ultra-violet rays that can damage your eyes and help cut down the glare dancing off the season’s snow.

Many ophthalmologists recommend wearing sunglasses all year long whether it’s cloudy or sunny. Dermatologists also recommend using sun screen at all times to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays – even when it’s cloudy.

Eye-care experts have assembled a few simple steps to follow that focus attention on your eyesight.

They suggest you start with a good pair of walking shoes to get out for walks since even regular moderate exercise slows the development of glaucoma and cataracts as well as such sight-robbing diseases as diabetes and high blood pressure. Keep a pair of sunglasses right beside the shoes so you wear them when you head out the door.

While you’re out, you might visit your nearby drug store and pick up some eye drops. The pharmacist can suggest which might work best to protect you from dust, dirt and heat while keeping our eyes moist and comfortable.

When you get back home, check the lighting in all parts of the house and yard. Both harsh lighting and poor lighting can give you headaches. So can improper positioning of your television set and computer screen. Too high, low, close or far can also cause headaches as well as erode the health of our eyes. A good pair of readers will help for computer work by reducing eyestrain.

As with any health-related matter, start probing the problem and seeking solutions by discussing the matter with your family doctor.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 25, 2023 at 2:00 am

Posted in A Musing, Health

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If . . .

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. . . you want to get rid of your problems

today,

work on getting a hangover

tomorrow.

Grief Can Be Managed

One of life’s cruelest blows is the loss of a loved one. The first thing you have to do is face the fact that you’re mourning. Don’t fight your feelings as they gush onto you. They’ll range from self-pity to anger at the entire universe. They may strike right away or lay in wait to spring out at some unexpected later date. How long they last can be up to you.

Most everyone – experts as well as those who have experienced such a loss – suggest you conjure up and catalog the pleasant memories and consider how lucky you are to have had that person enrich your life. Be thankful for the happy times as you recall them. Keep trying to have the best day you can because your feeling of loss is not going to go away.

You may never whistle or hum a happy tune again, but don’t feel guilty when you get through the day without feeling tired all the time. Returning to your daily routine will help get you closer to normalcy – eat, sleep, and exercise like you used to. Go shopping, have coffee with friends, and call relatives like you used to.

If somebody in your circle is experiencing the same loss, reach out and share some time with them. Talking about your loss, and theirs, can help both of you climb out of grief. There’s no need to place the deceased person on a pedestal. The simple thing to remember is that they were your friend and you enjoyed time together.

You’re managing your grief well if you catch yourself smiling or laughing again.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 24, 2023 at 2:00 am

Posted in A Musing, Health

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Most Drivers . . .

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. . .around here

haven’t learned that

there’s more to being a motorist

than aiming a car.

If It Sounds too Good to be True . . .

A family member received an e-mail from a sender who identified themselves as an attorney in Lagos, Nigeria. They cited the list of difficulties they had tracking down any relatives of their client, who worked for the “Atlas Dreging company in Nigeria” at the time of the crash that killed him, his
wife, and two children “along sagbama express road.”
After several inquiries to various embassies, the sender decided to try the Internet to locate any
relatives of the deceased family “to assist in repatriating the money and properties left behind by
my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge
deposit were lodged…where the deceased had a deposit valued at about U.S. $5.3 million.”
The sender pointed out quick action was required because he only has six weeks to get back to the
bank with legitimate claimants to the fortune.
“You and I can share the money as follows, 60% shall be for me, while 40% of the funds shall be
retained by you. However, Upon release of the funds to you, My own share shall be held in trust
for me pending when I come over to your country for the disbursement of the funds stated
above,” the message continued.
So how can I go wrong, the victim asks. The money is in my hands and I hold onto it until this
lawyer fellow comes over and gets his share. And 40 percent of $5.3 million isn’t bad.
“Therefore, All I require is absolute trust and your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal
through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect
you from any breach of the law. please get in touch with me immediately as I do not have much
time at my disposal.”
It’s a scam. An obvious giveaway in this case is the stilted language, misspelling, and discordant
grammar in the message.
My bank circulated a warning about a resurgence of the Nigerian Advance Fee scheme,
which has been around for decades. But people still fall for it.
This scheme involves receipt of a letter or e-mail claiming to come from someone who works for the
Nigerian Central Bank or some Nigerian government agency.
The recipient is told the senders seek a reputable foreign company or individual into whose
account they can deposit funds to facilitate a large transaction, for which the recipient will be paid
a fee, usually a percentage of the funds being moved. A variation is to require the recipient to pay a good-faith deposit or bond to participate in this transaction.
The goal by the crooks in all these cases is to make the victim believe he or she has had the good
fortune to be singled out for such a munificent amount of money.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 12, 2023 at 2:00 am

Folks Who Dine . . .

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. . . have found that

some kitchen crews

are very creative on the menu

but have no idea

how to prepare what they print.

Golden Years Lasting Longer

Recent research has many experts believing that living to the currently
believed ceiling of 120 might be a reality within the next three or four decades.
But that could be just the beginning. There was almost unanimous agreement that people will live longer than that in the not-too-distant future. There was less clarity regarding the quality of these extra years of life.

According to a report by the United Nations Population Division, “life expectancy is
projected to increase steadily in all countries after 2050.” And, for the first time, the Population
Division reports that “no limit is set on the increases of life expectancy.”

There are more than 55 million people (in the United States) over age 65, and some 6 million over age 85. Medical researchers suggest a combination of genetic manipulation coupled with advances in molecular biology will likely play a significant role in longevity in the future. Technology has developed the capacity to markedly increase longevity. Stem-cell research and a field of science known as regenerative medicine will soon offer researchers opportunities to reconstruct organs before they fail.

As a professor at New Hampshire’s Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center explained it, man stood up 5 million years ago for the first time, and then it took him another 3 million years to create a hand axe. It was a slow start, but the pace kept picking up and today’s technological developments are moving at such a rapid pace that it’s not difficult to imagine something as exciting as nanotechnology right around the corner.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 11, 2023 at 2:00 am

Posted in A Musing, Aging, Humor / Quote

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