Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Archive for the ‘News / Events’ Category

My Brother Said. . .

leave a comment »

. . . 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

Historic Palomar Observatory

leave a comment »

By Tom Morrow 

With a $6 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, astronomer George Ellery Hale orchestrated the planning, design, and construction of the world’s largest astronomical telescope on Palomar Mountain about an hour northesat of San Diego, CA. 

It took 20 years to complete the Hale telescope that was double the diameter of the 100-inch-diameter reflecting telescope in the Mt. Wilson Observatory north of Los Angeles. The Palomar project pioneered many new technologies in telescope-mount design and in the fabrication of its aluminum coated “honeycomb” Pyrex mirror. Since its completion in 1949, Palomar in active use as one of the world’s largest and most-sophisticated land-mounted telescopes. 

For more than 30 years, the Hale Telescope represented the technological limit in building large optical telescopes until the Soviet Union built a six-meter (236 inches) one in 1976. Palomar remained the world’s second largest until 1993 with the construction of the two 300-plus-inch Keck optical telescopes atop Mauna Kea in Maui.. 

Palomar is operated by the California Institute of Technology and continues to conduct research programs that cover the vast range of our observable universe, including near-Earth asteroids, outer Solar System planets, Kuiper Belt objects, a variety of star formations, and black holes. Research research partners include the Jet Propulsion Laboratory,Yale University, and the National Optical Observatories of China.  

The first telescope built on the Observatory complex was an 18-inch Schmidt camera put into operation in 1936. In addition to the giant 200-inch Hale Telescope, there are the 48-inch Schmidt Telescope, Palomar 60-inch Telescope, and 12-inch Gattini Telescope, all of which are involved in continual research. The 48-inch and 60-inch telescopes operate robotically and are active in deep-space exploration.

While Palomar Observatory is a research facility, there are selected Observatory areas open to the public during the day. Visitors can take self-guided or guided tours of the 200-inch telescope daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The observatory is open seven days a week except for Dec. 24-25 and during inclement weather.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 23, 2023 at 2:00 am

Posted in News / Events, Travel

Tagged with

Just Learned . . .

leave a comment »

. . . the term “gaslighting”

used so much these days by the talking TV heads

is derived from the stage play and movie “Gaslight”

way back in the 1930s.

In which an abusive husband

manipulates the gas lights bright and dim

while telling his wife she’s just imagining it

and that she’s losing her mind.

It’s become a term for blaming you

for what I’m doing and

everything is all your fault.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 16, 2023 at 2:00 am

Posted in News / Events

Tagged with

Give A Man A Fish . . .

leave a comment »

. . . and you’ll feed him for day,

the old saying goes,

but if you teach him how to fish,

you’ll probably have to get yourself

a new rod, reel, tackle box and boat.

Missouri River Town Echoes Mark Twain

HANNIBAL, MO. —- History and heritage are linked in this northeastern Missouri community nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River. It is here, in “America’s Hometown” that adventure and charm are
alive and well.

Its most famous son is Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, author of some of the
most- loved American literature. Visitors get a chance to relive “The Adventures of Tom
Sawyer” by passing through Mark Twain’s boyhood home, museums, the Mark Twain Cave, Becky
Thatcher’s house, and the Tom Sawyer Dioramas.

Live representations of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher, dressed in authentic attire of the era,
greeted you on the town’s streets. Visitors encounter them on summer weekends or on arrival by river boat.

Hannibal visitors also find crafts, antiques, working artisans, museums, river-boat cruises, and
dinner theater. It’s fun to take a sightseeing tour on a horse-drawn wagon and pay a visit to the
“Unsinkable” Molly Brown’s birthplace.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 5, 2023 at 2:00 am

It’s Been . . .

leave a comment »

. . . one helluva year.

The major event was, of course, the move to Verena of Gilbert from Sunrise of Gilbert, the IL-AL facility Bev and I left California for six years ago. Sunrise was a comfortable and accommodating residence for me and I didn’t want to move. But its management and culture evaporated and, along with some dear friends, the move was made in midsummer to this senior-living building. I had to read my journal to recall what I functioned through last Christmas, it all seems so far away. Keeping busy has made life livable and the folks here are friendly and affable and want to enjoy the remainder of their time on this planet.

So, have happy and healthy New Year filled with good humor — and smile, its contagious.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 1, 2023 at 2:00 am

Age . . .

leave a comment »

. . .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

A Long-time Colleague . . .

leave a comment »

. . . 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 ,

The Day Santa Died

leave a comment »

 ‘Twas the day before Christmas. 

  We got to the butcher and picked up our gallantine for Christmas Eve and lasagna for Christmas dinner. Gallantine is a tradition here in Panicale. A chicken is de-boned and stuffed with everything from prosciutto to pistachios and hard-boiled eggs to eggplant, then pressed and cooked, sliced and eaten cold. Got chores done while we were out – cash from the bank ATM, started the car, and checked out our last-minute grocery list — as a humid sirocco-like wind swooped in and made this central Italian town almost summery. Brother Lou dropped by for a grappa and headed home for a shower. Landlord Riccardo stopped by about midday and said he’d skip tonight because he won’t be able to find a parking space because of midnight Mass at the church.

  Then he told us. “Bobbie died,” he said

  Bobbie Sonnenberg was ambushed by a deadly heart attack on his early-morning walk with his dog. He had been looking forward to playing Santa: “A true Santa Claus from the North,” he told me several days earlier. He was proud of the fact that he was the first non-native offered the role.  He even let his beard grow to match his thick head of white hair. He had been a technical-magazine editor in Sweden before chucking it and moving to Panicale, where he augmented whatever pension and other funds he had by managing rental properties, organizing travel tours, and dabbling in real estate.

  I skidded down to the piazza to scout out the facts. Lou was right behind me. We ran into Simone’s wife (Aldo’s daughter-in-law who owns and works with her husband at the osteria they opened in the apartment Bev and I rented on our first trip) and she told us “Babbo Natale e morta.” (Father Christmas is dead.) I asked if they found an alternate. She nodded her head: “Qualqu’ uno” (somebody).

  I asked if her osteria’s Christmas Eve dinner (30 euros per person) was full. She shook her head “no,” and explained they didn’t start planning/advertising early enough. I said they’ll start earlier next year. She nodded “si.”

  Then she added that Santa was due to land in the piazza at 3:30 p.m. We returned to the apartment and sipped a few until it was time to check the piazza. It was still warm and humid but it started to drizzle on the couple of dozen kids and their parents scattered around the 550-year-old fountain. So they trooped into a below-street-level club room across the alley from the osteria. Guillermo said the club room was made available after it started to rain. Santa and his jingling bells were greeted about 4:20 by applauding parents and wide-eyed youngsters. Everyone got something. Even the  adults — each received a little package of candy that was handed out by the children.

  But no one seemed to miss Bobbie.

  (A few days later, a hearse squeezed up through the steep archway and a clutch of mourners  followed the casket into the church for Mass. When the service ended and the remains rolled back into the vehicle, no one followed but everyone applauded Bobbie’s passing as the long car slipped down into the piazza and out the Umberto 1 gate.)

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 20, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in News / Events

Tagged with , ,

‘Tis The Season Once More

with one comment

The major item this year was a move from one old farts’ facility to another. They’re not all that far apart but I feel like I’m in a different universe. Bev and I sold our Pacific Beach house six years ago and moved into Aridzona’s Sunrise of Gilbert – a combined independent and assisted living complex in metro Phoenix. And I moved six months ago to Verena of Gilbert, a senior-living apartment building just about six miles south.

It was a good move. Sunrise management just suddenly disintegrated. This place is twice as big so that means more people and more activities that keep me busy since I’ve officially become the unofficial photographer – or unofficially the official photographer. The calendar also has me leading a weekly writing class/group and Flashback sessions. And we’re going to launch bocce once a week in the New Year,

It’s been a good year and my health has held up well for the length of time it’s been abused. Staying active and my regular bike rides help.

I still provide copy for a half dozen monthly publications through my Mature Life Features syndicate and write a daily blog that I’m going to have to promote because it’s the only thing that will survive after the papers fade away. It’s where you’re reading this –

Keep in touch and check this blog periodically. You can contribute if you wish by sending the material to

So have fun and make the most of the New Year.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 19, 2022 at 2:00 am

Haven’t Seen Any Pictures . . .

leave a comment »

. . .of Bigfoot for quite awhile.

Maybe he’s moved.

Dementia Debilitating by Any Name

A lot of time and talent has been devoted to eliminating or finding cures for all manner of diseases, developing drugs that diminish debilitation, and producing prosthetics that help make coping comfortable. Despite all the intelligence applied to the science of lengthy living, little is known about enhancing our brain’s power, particularly as it ages.

Dementia — its causes and cures — is still a mystery to the best medical minds. Experienced experts even disagree on the best ways to avoid or alleviate its ravages. Play mental-agility games, such as crossword puzzles, some say. Learn a language to foster the brain’s flexibility. Travel. Join social groups. Stay active. Exercise to maintain a healthy blood flow to the brain. Eat foods containing chemicals that stimulate brain activity and cells.

All of these may be safe and sane advice for anyone wishing to stay healthy, but there’s still no cure for such degenerative brain diseases as Alzheimer’s. The inexorably inevitable result is loss of memory, identity and mobility if death does not intervene. Alzheimer’s disease ambushes a new victim every minute. More than 5 million people in this country reportedly suffer from it. That number is expected to triple over the next three decades as the population ages.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 18, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in Aging, News / Events

Tagged with ,