Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Pour Yourself . . .

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. . . a cup of coffee

or a glass of wine

and enjoy this:

Written by Cecil Scaglione

April 24, 2023 at 8:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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The Reason . . .

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. . . so many people

have a clean conscience

is because

it’s never been used.

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Health-Care Costs Top Concern

More than one-third of the people in this country are worried about the rising cost of their health-care services and insurance coverage. This level of concern indicates that more than twice as many people are worried about health-care costs than not being able to pay their rent or mortgage.

The public also is worried about a wide range of health matters, according to a nationwide poll. About one-third said they were very worried that their health plan will be more concerned about saving money for the plan than about what is best for them.

Almost 30 percent said they are very worried that the quality of health care they receive will get worse. About the same percentage said they were concerned about affording prescription drugs. And about a quarter said they worry about the availability of health services they think they might need.

The top issues facing government, according to more than a quarter of those polled, expanding health coverage for the more than 40 million people without insurance and providing prescription-drug coverage for seniors. These two items rank higher than other health-care problems such as malpractice reform and assuring the fiscal health of the Medicare program.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

April 21, 2023 at 8:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Thirsty Thursday . . .

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. . . is always welcome and

it’s a bridge to Friday’s Super Supper Shuttle

that gets us to

Olive Garden,

Old Chicago Pizza,

Village Inn and

In.N.Out Burger this week.

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Compound Interest Beats the Odds

Famed physicist Albert Einstein is credited with describing the most powerful force in the universe as “compound interest.”

Yet just as many people who don’t understand his theory of relativity also don’t understand what he was driving at in this instance.

Three out of 10 Americans think their best chance of amassing half a comfortable financial cushion in their lifetime is to win a lottery or sweepstakes, according to a Consumer Federation of America poll. The odds of winning a lottery are one in 10,000,000 to 20,000,000.

When the Consumer Federation asked how much money you would earn by investing $25 a week for 40 years at a 7 percent return, no one guesses as high as the actual amount — $286,640. Invest $50 a week at that same 7 percent rate – the average annual return of the Standard and Poors 500 — for the same period and you double that amount, which is well more than half a million dollars.

What makes compound interest so powerful is that you not only earn interest on the money you put into an investment, but you also earn interest on the interest. If you put $100 in an investment program at 7 percent, you should have $107 at the end of the first year. The next year you earn 7 percent on the $107 not just the original $100.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

April 20, 2023 at 6:18 am

Seems Like Just Yesterday. . .

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. . . but it was two weeks ago that

the Super Supper Shuttle launched its maiden trips.

And it’s here again this Friday.

If you haven’t marked down its schedule, do it now.

It’s free and operates on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month

Departure from Verena at Gilbert is at

3 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 5 p.m.

Departure from restaurants is at

3:15 p.m., 3:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 5:15 p.m, and final pickup at 5:45 p.m.

Be at the pickup point on time or be left behind and wait for the next one.

Restaurants this month are

Wendy’s Hamburgers,

Chili’s Grill & Bar

Texas Roadhouse

Cafe Zupas.

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When the cops arrest a mime,

do they tell him or her

that they have the right to remain silent?

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Some Things Never Change

With inflation catapulting prices to stratospheric and shoving 401(k)s into the economic mud, it’s a bit comforting to learn that some things have become cheaper.

Take the humble and ubiquitous nail.

A Wellesley College economist has drafted its history from 1695 when it cost about 12 cents, to 2020, when the price per nail was half that. The reasons are a bit convoluted and his history indicates that the price per nail almost hit 20 cents in the late 1700s and sank to a low of 2 cents during World War II.

Until the 1700s, nails were hand-forged by blacksmiths hammering a rod of iron into the proper shape. As late as the 1800s, they could make one nail a minute, compared with modern machines that spit out 2,000 nails a minute.

The first U.S. patent for cut nails – a machine cut them from a thin strip of iron – was issued in 1795. It pumped out 6,000 nails an hour. This mirrored the Industrial Revolution, which saw nail production move from blacksmith to machines progressively powered by water, steam and electricity. 

If you’re wondering why such importance is relegated to such a minor piece of hardware, you might recall how Benjamin Franklin regarded its importance:

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost

For want of a shoe, the horse was lost

For want of a horse, the rider was lost

For want of a rider, the battle was lost

For want of a battle, the kingdom of was lost

…all for want of a nail.

Nails are used to fasten one or more pieces of something together. The most common objects they are hammered into are made of wood. They also are used throughout the construction industry in concert, plaster, plastic and drywall. As proclaimed in the message above, that missing nail would have fastened a metal horseshoe to a horse’s hoof.

What once was a cut piece of metal with one end flattened into a head, has morphed into roofing nails, finishing nails, box nails, flooring nails, masonry nails, two-headed nails and screw nails, among others. But its original design, which has been documented to at least as far back as 3400 B.C. in ancient Egypt, still holds fast.

The description of nails in pennies does not spring from their cost. It denotes their length. For example, a 2-penny nail means its length covers the width of two pennies.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

March 23, 2023 at 9:44 pm

Name The Movie . . .

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. . .you signed up for leaving Friday noon:

80 for Brady


A Man Named Otto

= = = =


has advanced exponentially over the centuries.

Just think,

it took only one byte out of the Apple

in Eden to change their world.

= = = =

Phoenix Embraces Desert Sprawl

Unlike its legendary-bird namesake, this sprawling metropolis ranked among the fastest-growing areas in the nation did not re-energize itself by rising out of its own ashes in the burning desert. More like that pink rabbit in the battery commercial, metropolitan Phoenix just grows and grows and keeps on growing, stretching its shopping centers and sub-divisions over and around every cactus and crevice in the Valley of the Sun.

To get our arms around this urbanized sprawl that has positioned attractions and accommodations as much as two hours apart, we traveled by car, bicycle, horse, light-rail and balloon. We launched our local exploration by visiting the Arizona Challenger Space Center. Visitors flow seamlessly through scenarios that include space missions complete with emergencies. Still in up-in-the-air mode, we headed to Deer Valley Airport on the northeastern edge of town for a mile-high 90-minute balloon ride to enhance our perspective of the local growth.

If such a diversion doesn’t sound appealing, you can take a quick drive to South Mountain Park where several viewpoints offer panoramic views of this vibrant valley. The best time to head there is the first two weeks of April when rain-fed blooms carpet the mountainside. For a closer look at those, we took advantage of a mountain-bike tour – others took a more leisurely hike – of Usery Park east of the city. That’s where we were told that one reason the giant saguaro cactus, which grows only in the Sonoran Desert that stretches from Arizona into Mexico, develops “arms” not to denote its age but to balance itself against the relentless wind.

To pick up more easy knowledge, about an hour away is a hands-on complex designed to keep anyone from 8 to 80 entertained for hours on end. While the Challenger facility transports you into learning mode without you realizing it, the Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix caters to the touch-and-feel gene in all of us.

There’s much more to this town than desert, of course, and prominent among the valley’s notable resorts is the Phoenician, which is tucked into a fold of local icon Saddleback Mountain with its eye-candy nighttime vistas of the twinkling town lights to the south. About an hour south in the Gila River Indian Community is the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort on the grounds of a casino – the largest of the more than half-dozen casinos in this metro area — built by the Pima and Maricopa tribes of Native Americans. A small parasol-protected riverboat putt-putts gamblers on a man-made creek between the hotel lobby and casino lobby. You can tour the facilities via horse-drawn wagon or range farther by heading out from the horseback riding stables.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 16, 2023 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Be A Good Scout …

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People have quit asking me

to drive them someplace

since I’ve told them I will

if they let me know when I’m snoring.

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Friends Help When Friends Pass Away

Having a coffee or chat with a friend will help assuage your grief when another friend dies. Reviewing old times with someone will help soften the blow after a pal has passed away.

Grief counselors suggest you concentrate on the good times you had with the deceased to lighten the load of grieving. It also helps to write down some of those memories and send them to members of the dead person’s family along with your expressions of sympathy.

There are a couple of don’ts. Don’t try to forget them and don’t feel guilty. Thinking of how you might have visited more often or made a few more phone calls or sent a couple more emails only fuels your grief. So does trying to shut out the times you spent together

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 11, 2023 at 2:00 am

Whenever You Start Thinking . . .

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. . . about looking for the person

who’ll change your life,

just look in the mirror.

Bocce ball fans meeting 11 a.m. beside the swimming pool

Second Opinion Always Helps

Getting a thoughtful and valid second opinion is becoming increasingly important in our fast-moving world of medical testing, innovation and disease control. Too many patients follow doctor’s orders without question regardless of the diagnosis.

After a series of tests and X-rays, a late relative’s primary care physician diagnosed spinal pressure as the cause of severe neck pain and numbness in the patient’s right shoulder and arm and referred him to a surgeon. The surgeon inspected the medical record, examined the patient and recommended a procedure that would fuse a handful of vertebrae to solve the problem. The operation was performed and, while the pain disappeared, the patient’s right hand became almost useless because of nerve damage caused either by the spinal pressure, the surgery or both.

The relative moved to a different city and, after arranging an introductory appointment with a local doctor, had his medical records sent to the physician. During his first visit, the patient was dumbfounded to hear that he might have a combination of some serious and complicated disabilities and disease, including Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), lymph cancer and neurological damage. His new doctor recommended a series of tests and referred him to a handful of specialists.

As it turned out, he did have cancer and ALS, both of which should have been unearthed during the process that led to his surgery just over a year earlier. Consensus at this stage was that the surgery was unnecessary and the cancer might have been curtailed. A second opinion at that time might have added years to his life.

It’s up to you to seek out a second diagnosis whether your primary care physician likes it or not. The situation doesn’t have to be life-threatening. It may be a change in your medication, the possibility of expensive surgery, or the feeling that you’re symptoms are being given trivial treatment. When you do face this issue, check with your health-care insurer to determine what they cover. You can ask your doctor for a referral as well as talk to family and friends about doctors they’ve seen.

When you’ve arranged to meet with another doctor, have your medical records sent to their office and prepare a list of questions you want answered. Your family doctor might have some questions to add. What happens if the new diagnosis differs drastically from the first? Then look to getting a third and fourth opinion.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 3, 2023 at 2:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Birthdays . . .

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. . . are good for your health.

The more you have,

the longer you live.

Moving May Damage Your Credit

There other ways than missing or making late payments to damage your credit rating.

Moving can result in a lower credit score because bills may get lost in the mail or may be forwarded but arrive too late to pay on time. The delayed payments, or lack of payment, become blots on your credit history.

Another bit of misinformation is that canceling unused credit cards will improve your credit score. It can do the opposite because you dump a chunk of available credit, lowering the amount of credit available to you while increasing the percentage of available credit that you’re using.

If you do close down a credit card, do it to one with a low credit limit.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 18, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

I Got Musing . . .

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. . .the other morning

about what type of work I might do

and I could see myself hanging mirrors

Exercise Exorcizes Pain

Your muscles, ligaments, and tendons have to be stretched regularly to remain limber and
lubricated. You can start before you get out of bed by lying on your side, pulling your knees up in a fetal position and pushing your butt toward your heels for about 10 seconds. This stretches and pulls your spine into proper position. Do this a couple of times on both sides.

When you get out of bed, kneel on the floor and place your palms on the floor under your shoulders and arch your back toward the ceiling for about five or 10 seconds. Reverse the motion and push your back downward while you push your head toward the ceiling. Hold this for five or 10 seconds. And repeat the sequence three or four times.

Now lay stomach down on the floor and do a half-body push-up. Press your hips on the floor and stretch your head and neck toward the ceiling. Hold this position for five or 10 seconds
and repeat the exercise a three or four times.

Now you can stand up. Spread your legs apart as far as you can without hurting yourself and, while keeping your knees straight, bend forward as far as you can. If your hand touches the floor, fine. Hold this for five or 10 seconds and repeat a few times.

If any of these, or any exercises, cause you pain, either modify the motion or quit.


Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 14, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in Aging, Health, Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Overheard The Woman . . .

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. . . at a nearby table today,

tell her meal mate

that she ran into her ex-husband on her morning shopping trip,

Then she backed up and ran into him again.

Aging Politicians Ignore

Aging Population

While there have been loud voices bemoaning the fact that we’re not paying enough attention to climate change, there isn’t even a whimper about what’s happening to our population change. It’s paradoxical that the greying heads in government are paying little attention to the graying of their constituents.

The voters’ rolls are aging at the rate of 10,000 over-65ers every day. You’d think that all those silver-haired politicians would be looking hard at how to accommodate the needs of folks who are growing old just as they are. Even the aging talking heads on television seem ignorant of what’s concerning a growing segment of their viewers.

The apparent reasoning for this blindness to a massive problem is the mantra that 70 is the new 50. And the spreading myth that age is simply a state of mind. Several studies topple this trend in thinking by supporting what we’ve always known – ailing and aching increase as you get older.

No matter how Pollyannaish we may feel, our odds of falling victim to such widespread debilitations as Alzheimer’s disease increase the longer we live. While health-care is high on the list of promises by those seeking votes, the focus usually is on the young who have inadequate coverage rather than the elderly who cannot care for themselves.

Another major concern is the strength and stability of Social Security. Predictors tell us there will be about two workers supporting each recipient by the early 2030s. This was not in any forecasts when there were more than 45 workers for each recipient of benefits when the program was instituted back in the 1930s.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 1, 2022 at 3:00 am