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csziggy's Journal
csziggy's Journal
November 25, 2013

Keeping seniors engaged in life

My Mom is 92 and still pretty sharp mentally and active physically. But since Dad passed away in August she is not as engaged or active as she was. It sort of started when Dad was very ill last spring. Until then, they worked two crossword puzzles and several word games every day. After Dad's illness, he was not as able and Mom was not as interested in doing the puzzles by herself.

Now that Dad is gone, Mom is not reading - she used to read books after the puzzles were finished. While she says she is going to read, it seems that she no longer has the attention span or the ability to concentrate on reading.

She used to do needlework and quilting but her hands are now too arthritic for that kind of work. She spent years editing a local historical newsletter but she's turned that over to others and is no longer active in that group on a daily basis. She also no longer is interested in genealogical research, though she did that for decades.

My sister and I are trying to figure out what we can do to keep Mom engaged and mentally active. While we visit as often as possible, most of the time Mom is alone with caretakers. They are nice people but Mom does not enjoy their company and complains if they hang around her too much. We've tried for years to get her to write her remembrances about her life, the tales she has about growing up in rural Alabama during the Depression, about her time as a Navy Nurse. But typing is hard for her with her arthritis and she won't record her memories when she is alone or just with the caretakers.

When we visit, we talk with her about her memories, photos that she has, family, etc. but that only engages her while one of the family is there to encourage her.

We're worried that her mild forgetfulness will progress and worsen if we can't keep her mentally active.

Does anyone have suggestions on what kinds of activities we might be able to encourage her to do when she is basically on her own?

November 22, 2013

28 years ago - North Florida's "Thanksgiving" hurricane

I was thinking about this last week with the unusual tornado activity in the MidWest:

28 years ago on Nov. 21, Hurricane Kate hit North Florida, a few days before Thanksgiving. Many people in this area had no Thanksgiving that year. We had no power or water for a week. One friend had no power for a month.

Kate was the first hurricane along the Florida Panhandle since Hurricane Eloise in 1975.[7] In the region, the hurricane dropped heavy rainfall along its path, peaking at 8.32 in (211 mm) in Panama City.[25] While Kate moved ashore, it produced an 11 m (36 ft) storm surge at Cape San Blas,[6] causing beach and dune erosion in Gulf County. Storm surge flooding left 150 houses uninhabitable in Wakulla County.[27] Just two months after Hurricane Elena caused significant damage to the oyster industry, Hurricane Kate destroyed much of what little was left in Apalachicola Bay. Lack of production caused many oystermen to lose their jobs in the area.[28]

Strong winds were reported across the Florida Panhandle and there was one reported tornado, along with several funnel clouds.[7] In Panama City, wind gusts reached 78 mph (126 km/h), which damaged two houses, a motel, and a fishing pier. Sustained winds reached 74 mph (119 km/h) at Cape San Blas, with gusts to 108 mph (174 km/h).[27] Across the area, Kate severely damaged 242 buildings, mostly in Franklin County; in the county, the damage was the heaviest of any other storm in the late 1900s. The storm damaged about 5.4 mi (8.7 km) of roads in the county,[27] and throughout the region many roads were washed out. High winds downed trees across the Florida Panhandle, which damaged several houses. One downed tree struck a car, killing one person and injuring another. The winds also downed power poles and lines.[26]

Many fishermen before and after the storm were suffering due to lack of fish. In addition, severely eroded coastlines lost even more beach from a 10 foot (3 m) storm surge and strong waves.[29]
Rainfall map of Kate in the United States

Along the coastline, there was extensive road damage, with potholes up to 4 feet (1.2 m) in length along U.S. Route 98. [2] Kate's strong winds and rain damaged at least 600 houses and water craft, amounting to $300 million (1985 USD) in damage.

Flooding and power outages across 90% of the city forced a curfew, taking up to two weeks to clean up. A positive aspect of the storm was the economic boost from coastal evacuees. Restaurants, hotels, and stores were full from those taking refuge from the storm.

The National Weather Service has a series of photos of the damage - I never saw any of the video or pictures - we didn't get TV or paper by the time the local media did their specials on the storm's aftermath.

While global warming might be contributing to unusual weather events, it is not new. Hurricane Kate was unusual in hitting the mainland so late in the season and in doing so much damage. But 28 years ago climate change and global warming were not as big a concern as they are now and few brought them up as a cause for this unusual storm - though they could have affected it as much as they could have affected the tornado outbreak last week.

Just musing here....
November 21, 2013

Found this little parable in my Dad's computer

From INTHEFIELD, Polk County Florida agricultural magazine.
Editor-In-Chief Al Berry’s column “Rocking Chair Chatter”:

First Man and First Woman in the Garden of Eating

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, green, yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Women would live long and healthy lives even without the vitamins of the Flintstones,

Then using God's great gifts, Satan created rich ice cream with much butter fat which was packaged in small quarts, and also he created doughnuts that were fried in lard and entombed in fine sugar icing. And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And Man said, "Yes!" and Woman said, "and as long as you're at it, add some sprinkles."

And they gained 10 pounds that were not muscular in mass. And Satan smiled.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman and Man might keep the shapes they found so fair in one another. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And their shapes began to expand.

So God said, "Try my fresh green salad." And Satan presented Thousand-Island Dressing, buttery croutons and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts, yea, even their button, following the repast.

And Satan brought forth deep fried fish and chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. God then created a light, fluffy white cake, named it "Angel Food Cake," and said. "It is good."

Satan then created chocolate cake and named it "Devil's Food."

God then brought forth running shoes so that His children might lose those extra pounds.

And Satan gave cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition.

And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them.

God then gave lean beef so that Man and Woman might consume fewer calories and still satisfy their appetites.

And then Satan created fast food outlets on every street corner and placed 99-cent double cheeseburgers within them.

And then said, "You want fries with that?" And Man replied, "Yes, and super-size it."

And Satan said, "It is good." And Man went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery!

Then Satan created HMOs.

November 7, 2013

Internet Archive and Wayback Machine Non-Profit Building Damaged

Internet Archive's S.F. office damaged in fire
Kurtis Alexander
Updated 8:29 pm, Wednesday, November 6, 2013 The office of the nonprofit Internet Archive in San Francisco's Richmond District caught fire early Wednesday, destroying equipment and damaging several apartments next door.

The blaze began about 3:45 a.m. in the single-story Clement Street office, between 12th and Funston avenues, and spread to an adjacent three-story complex, firefighters said.

About eight residents of the next-door building were evacuated, but no injuries were reported. Firefighters had the blaze under control by 5 a.m.

The Internet Archive, which hosts the website https://archive.org, is an online library that provides users free access to a collection of digital books, videos, music and old websites. The site has 3 million daily users.

More: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Internet-Archive-s-S-F-office-damaged-in-fire-4960703.php

Scanning Center Fire — Please Help Rebuild
Posted on November 6, 2013 by brewster
Scanning Center Fire

Scanning Center with Fire Damage to Left of Main Building

This morning at about 3:30 a.m. a fire started at the Internet Archive’s San Francisco scanning center. The good news is that no one was hurt and no data was lost. Our main building was not affected except for damage to one electrical run. This power issue caused us to lose power to some servers for a while.

Some physical materials were in the scanning center because they were being digitized, but most were in a separate locked room or in our physical archive and were not lost. Of those materials we did unfortunately lose, about half had already been digitized. We are working with our library partners now to assess.


What help could we use?

Funding - https://archive.org/donate/ Your donations will help us rebuild the scanning capabilities in books, microfilm, and movies.
Scanning - https://archive.org/scanning The employees affected by the fire will need continued digitization work at our alternate location while we recover.

More: http://blog.archive.org/2013/11/06/scanning-center-fire-please-help-rebuild/

Donate: https://archive.org/donate/

What;s interesting to me is the suggestion the other day that the Wayback Machine would have records of more plagiarism by Rand Paul:
November 3, 2013

Need help with Ad-Block in Firefox

I was trying to block an image in someone's signature and must have blocked more than that.

Now on DU I have no 'Rec' button, just an outline, and the lines that show the threading are gone. In the part of the page with just the subject lines for replies, all the replies are lined up and don't drop back to show which ones are replies to other messages.

I uninstalled Ad-Block, restarted Firefox, re-installed Ad-Block, with no improvement.

Where do I go to see what is being blocked by Ad-Block and how do I re-enable blocked items?

Or is this some bug on DU now that coincidentally started when I tried to block that image I didn't want to see?

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Hometown: Leon County, Florida
Member since: Tue Feb 12, 2008, 10:18 PM
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