Aging Well December 4th 2012

Can you imagine an Intelligence Scanner you wear as a ring or necklace and helps you see and remember things; or an Auto Car that transports you to the store without you having to drive it; or a gloved sleeve you wear over your arm controlling involuntary arm movements so you can drink a cup of coffee without spilling it. These are just three of the twelve projects I had the fortune of judging last weekend at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League Robotics competition for the Gorge area. Through these regional competitions, teams of 9 – 14 year old students experience real-world science and technology by building a robot that performs specific tasks, but also creating a project that offers a solution to a challenge facing the nation.

The challenge this year was “Senior Solutions” – finding solutions that help older adults stay independent, engaged and connected. In developing their project, each team selected a Senior Partner to learn more about the challenges facing older adults, and then imagined and researched a solution to a problem that was identified from the conversations with their Senior Partner.  As part of the competition, each team’s solution was evaluated based on the level of research and innovation as well as the quality of their presentation.

Several older adults from the Center were recruited to be Senior Partners for the four teams from Colonel Wright Elementary. Because of that connection with the Center, several of the Colonel Wright teams have agreed to present their projects at the Center for the 11:00 Tuesday Lecture on the 11th, It will be fun and you will have an opportunity to see budding scientist in the making. I just wish they would hurry up and build the memory enhancement device. I need it now!

Several weeks ago when I wrote about the value of support groups I forgot to mention the Women Widows of Veterans Gathering and Support Group which meets every second Tuesday of the month (which according to my Gregorian calendar is December 11th) at 11:00 AM at the Veteran Services Office at 201 Federal Street in The Dalles. The gatherings are an opportunity for grief support as well as ensuring that widows of veterans are accessing all the support available from Veteran Services. For more information, call Barb Thomas at 541-467-2651, Ruth Otto at 541-769-0078 or Joyce Powell Morinat 541-296-7266.

One last reminder. This Wednesday, the 5th, the monthly iPad User’s group will meet at 1:00, as well as the first meeting of the Kindle User’s Group at 2:00. These user groups are for both beginners and experienced users (we need someone who knows what they are doing) and will give you a chance to share what we know and ask questions about what you don’t.

Tonight at the Center, The Strawberry Mountain Band will be kicking up the dust. And next Tuesday on the 11th, Martin and Friends will be playing for your listening and dancing pleasure. The Center’s Tuesday Night Music will then take a break for the holiday season returning on January 8th. As always, the music starts at 7:00, everyone is welcome – including lonely reindeer waiting for the big trip, and donations are always appreciated.

Arlo Guthrie (the son of Woody Guthrie – writer of the local hit song from 1941 “Roll on, Columbia, Roll On”) wrote and recorded the 18 minute satirical protest song from 1967 called Alice’s Restaurant – including the lyrics “You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant – excepting Alice”. (And the winner of a Saturday Breakfast is Jess Birge.)  

When I was on the Coffeebreak last month, Al Wynn mentioned this television show that used puppets and was totally ad-libbed. It first aired November 29th, 1948 on Chicago’s WNBQ and was originally created for children but soon was watched more by adults. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this television show? E-mail your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a 1961 picture of Buelah Witch, Fran Allison, and Madame Oglepuss.

Well, it has been another week, appreciating life’s changes. Until we meet again, keep your eyes and mind open for new and exciting opportunities.

“As you get older; you’ve probably noticed that you tend to forget things. You’ll be talking with somebody at a party, and you’ll know that you know this person, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t remember his or her name. This can be very embarrassing, especially if he or she turns out to be your spouse.”
Dave Barry

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