It's Past Time!

UPDATES: Glitter Bad, She's 10. NEW: Cats and Boxes.

Seniors, Boomers, don't stay awake nights worrying about how this or that story turns out. Not stories from THIS blog, anyway.

One of the very best things about the Internet is that (remember? --of course you do) you DON'T have to drive to the library and spend money on the copying machine to prove a point to one of your friends. (“Reno, NV is west of Los Angeles.” “Oh yeah?” “Yeah, and I can prove it.”)

[That sword cuts both ways, so unless you are 100% sure you are right, don't bet serious money. One of the worst things about the Internet is that your FRIEND can win YOUR money. Another of the worst things about the Internet is that both Boomers/Seniors can be 100% sure they are right, and BOTH can be wrong.

For example, I think Snoop Dogg has used the names

Snoop Rock Snoop Doggy Dogg Bigg Snoop Dogg Uncle Snoop Snoop Lion Snoopzilla DJ Snoopadelic Doggfather Coach Snoop

--but he's used at least 2 other ones, according to Wikipedia. Luckily, with MY friends, I'd win the money anyway, since by the time I listed four or five, either my friend would be asleep, or they'd have thrown their money at my head.]

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Pluto is, TOO, a planet.

So anyway, I've been asked to update a couple of blogs. 8-9-17's I Was Wrong--Glitter Bad, and She's 10, for which I cannot find the date.

EVEN THOUGH She could only have been 10 for around 12 months.

Give or take. (She's a lady, and maybe she fudges a little.)

Let's start with Glitter Bad. (No sense saying “I was Wrong” too many times in one blog.) Yup, glitter is bad. And the current issue of National Parks magazine (summer 2018) says that MICROPLASTICS are polluting everything.

These plastics are SO micro that PLANKTON can eat them. Though some are up to a quarter of an inch across. Obviously, since plankton are at the bottom of the food chain, some of them are going to end up on the plates of people who eat fish. And they, microplastics, are in our lakes, rivers and streams, too. Even in remote national parks.

This is NOT how to get more roughage in your diet.

Some are microbeads from toiletries and cosmetics; some are microfibers from carpets, wet wipes, cigarette butts. Some are from synthetic clothing that slipped by washing machines' filters.

Nylon, polyester and acrylic.

(Snoop Dogg, maybe you could make that your next name.)

Microplastics can be spread by the wind, and are released as the ice caps melt. A recent study found them in 90 percent of bottled water; they're also in salt (which comes from MINES) and beer. Scientists think that in 2010 alone, the oceans alone soaked up 8 million metric tons of plastic. The sun breaks up bigger plastic... and makes MORE microplastic.

(So THAT'S what that grinding noise is that I hear when I walk. I assumed it was my aging joints.)

The news that microplastics scrub up pollutants is not very good, either. They soak up wonderful stuff like mercury, flame retardants, and pesticides.

To paraphrase Tom Lehrer: “The breakfast garbage that you throw into the bay/ They drink at lunch in San Jose.”

What can WE do? Don't buy plastic. If you must, then re-use it. Re-wear it. Recycle it. And – of course--never litter.

*She's 10*.**

Our practically-perfect Golden Retriever mix is partly Bernese Mountain Dog. We didn't know that when we adopted her from the shelter; we learned that from a DNA test.

The typical life span of a Golden in the 1990's and early 2000's was 15 years. Today, that average life span has been cut to 10 to 12 . The breed's amazing popularity is not working out to its advantage.

The Bernese Mountain Dog's longevity has decreased, too, as time has gone on. Though it used to be 10 years, now the average lifespan of the breed is 6-8 years.

Our girl's 10. She turns 11 in November.

Update: she has 3 conditions that can be managed with weight control and medications, but she is still alert, enthusiastic, happy, loving, and smart... and in possession of all her faculties.

She's slowed down a lot; so have I. We make splendid walking partners.


On the lighter side....What Is It With Cats and Cardboard Boxes?

When you were a kid, wasn't it fun to make a tent or a fort in your kitchen or bedroom or yard?

Wasn't it fun to have control of a sturdy cardboard box?

Our neighbor got a new refrigerator.. and his 4 sons got the wonderful, magical, empty cardboard box. The oldest three kids in our play group cut windows that could shut into the box, made rubber-band guns and defended it as a fort against 12 to 15 attackers who were younger.

I was an older kid. Once the younger kids figured out there were “blind spots”, they rocked that refrigerator box till it tipped, which-- it seemed totally logical-- meant the fort had fallen. Honestly, it was fun to lose in a well-fought conflict.

We had one battle a day for about 6 days, till the cardboard got too floppy. No one was a bad sport in any way.

Glorious fun.

I also learned that the old adage about needing 10 attackers for every defender is a pretty good adage. The younger kids were unarmed, but they were brave, and we older kids were lousy shots. Surprisingly, the battles lasted about 10 minutes.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Cats. Cats LOVE big, rattly-sounding paper grocery bags, and love cardboard boxes big enough to contain a cat.

Even if they're only a half-box and barely contain the smug, purring cat.

So scientists last spring employed lots of different cats and cardboard boxes, and tested them to find out what it is that makes cats love cardboard boxes.

There isn't a lot to test about a cardboard box. However, publish or perish, right? The scientists decided the main characteristics of a cardboard box are:

Insulating quality


and texture.

They tried to attract cats of all sorts to:

Boxes with poor insulating properties but good cardboardiness and texture;

Boxes with poor cardboardiness but good insulating quality and texture;

Boxes with poor texture but good insulating quality and cardboardiness;

Half boxes.


See, I do have respect for the value of your leisure time.

(Boy, oh boy, there goes the Nobel Prize. Not much potential for amazing graphitude or measuritude. Can't really puff it up into a 30-page report.)

So now we are down to the boxes.

This is where I, the author, give you, the reader, a couple of minutes to churn around your familiarities with cats and cardboard boxes, and guess what types
of cardboard boxes were favored most. Hum the “Jeopardy” theme while you weigh all factors.


Cats prefer whole boxes to half boxes.


Cats are known to be fussy about a lot of things. But it did not matter to the tested cats if a box lacked some measure of one, or even two, of the characteristics of cardboard boxes. They liked ALL the boxes.

They DID prefer boxes that had about an equal amount of insulating quality, cardboardiness, AND texture.

I am stunned.

Not really.


Parenthetically... the news feed that I found this information on, did not indicate which scientists at which facility did these tests and got these results. I'm sure the cats might have been pleased to get the creds, but no.

I'm wrapping this up now, so you can go discuss this with your cats.

You're welcome.


http://www.nwboomerandseniornews.com/weblogs/its-past-time/2018/02/28/self">http://www.nwboomerandseniornews.com/weblogs/its-past-time/2018/02/28/self driving bus


National Parks, Small Plastic, Big Problem by Jacob Baynham




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