MAY BOOK NOOK WITH DENNIS GREENE: HARRY’S TREES

BOLLI Matters welcomes Dennis Greene as he joins Abby Pinard as a  “Book Nook” contributor.

                                 HARRY’S TREES                                            This Summer’s Must-Read Novel

Review by Dennis Greene

I just read an advance copy of Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen, a novel which will become available in bookstores on June 12. By next winter, this uplifting tale will be the subject of discussion in book clubs across the country, and people will speculate about who will be cast in the movie. Opera may even get into the act. It’s that good. I encourage you to read it as soon as it is available, and before all the hype. Then tell all your friends about it. You will appear prescient to those who take your advice, and you will gain their gratitude and respect. Then, later, when that irritating know-it-all in your study group or book club recommends Harry’s Trees after it has become trendy, you can have the satisfaction of smiling smugly and announcing that you read it “months ago.” And even if none of the forgoing happens, you will still have enjoyed a fun read.

Harry’s Trees is not an easy book to categorize. My local bookstore checked its inventory listing and informed me that the book was designated as “a book about trees.” Harry’s Trees is no more “a book about trees” than The Maltese Falcon is “a book about falcons.” The computer’s one-word description confuses the backdrop with the story. Harry’s Trees is about the half-dozen loving relationships among a small group of well-drawn, genuinely decent people living in a small Pennsylvania town. Many of them are suffering from devastating losses, and several are burdened with crushing guilt, but as the action unfolds, they come together and end up saving one another. The story is uplifting rather than gloomy or depressing. As the narrative moves smoothly from scene to scene, with enough action and tension to keep the pages turning, and enough humor to mitigate the tension, the author weaves several dozen threads into an enchanting tale. There is a resourceful and strong willed nine-year-old girl named Oriana who rivals Mattie Ross, the heroine in True Grit, an ancient librarian named Olive who smokes a meerschaum pipe and seems as wise as Dumbledore, a hidden cache of $4,000,000 in gold bullion, a town where everyone knows your name, two bad guys who are too dimwitted to prevail, and one guilt-ridden bureaucrat named Harry who has fled his government office job to live in a treehouse near his beloved trees. At the center of the story is a mysterious leather book titled The Grum’s Ledger which changes hands several times during the narrative. The book influences Oriana and Harry to embark on a preposterous scheme which Oriana believes could fill the voids in each of their lives.

In a time of so much pessimism and general malaise, this beautifully written book reminds us that there are lots of decent people in the world; good things can happen; and a belief in magic can’t hurt. And as an added bonus for anyone interested, you will also learn quite a bit about trees.  Harry’s.

BOLLI Matters Writer Dennis Greene

Dennis spent five years as an engineer and then forty as a lawyer–and sixty as a pop culture geek and junkie.  He saw “The Day the Earth Stood Still” in 1951 when he was seven and has been hooked on speculative fiction ever since.  

Others who might like to contribute to “The Book Nook” should send material to susanlwurster@gmail.com.  We are happy to hear from you!

 

 

WHAT’S YOUR STORY? TOMATO PLANTS…by Maxine Weintraub

TOMATO PLANTS

by Maxine Weintraub

 

“Hey, Susan.–’tis I.  The usual used-to-be-grammatically-correct greeting.”

“Oh, Alice–hang on for sec while I check on Charlie.  Charlie?  Charlie?!”

Being put on hold at our age is a scary thing.  What looks like a small blip on the radar screen could end up being a rogue wave of epic proportions–a ship sinker, for god’s sake.

“Susan??  Is everything okay?”

“Oh, sorry.   Everything is fine except that I think Charlie has somehow flipped out.  Do you know what he has been doing in this heat?  Lugging the tomato plants around from shade to sun.  And he’s talking to them.  i really think he is getting dotty.”

Did I dare tell my friend what I had been doing before I called her?

I had been walking my tomato plants around the front courtyard, chatting with them as I moved them from full blistering sun to partial shade.  Chatting with tomato plants like a crazy old lady who lives alone with piles of outdated newspapers.  Well, I am a bit of a crazy old lady, and I live with my crazy old husband, and I am really into nurturing those tomato plants.  Believe me, I understand my friend’s husband Charlie.  Charlie–balding, rotund, and full of life in his eighties–lending a hand to those tomato plants, supplying that life force we once provided the children.

Now, I don’t talk to geraniums or day lilies, although I may whisper to them from time to time about their beauty and steadfastness.  A rose bush can be verbally scorched for a thorn-pricked bleeding finger.  But the tomato plants are different.  And I will give them all the help they need.  The real problem is the weight of the pot.  As the summer progresses, the pots get heavier and heavier.  If I let them stay in one place, i cannot go away for even a day–in that heat, they need water several times a day.  And that much water is not good for them either.  It tends to leach ]calcium from the soil in the pot, causing blossom end rot.  Now did you REALLY want to know all of that about those damned tomato plants?  And if not, think about the  black spots on the bottom of the tomatoes.  You caused that.  Bad nurturing.  Failure.  Wrong.

Tomato plants need to be raised, cared for, talked to, and moved out of harm’s way.  Be it too much sun, too much water, too much shade, tell them not to worry.  And drag them around.  You’ve got their back.

But oh, Charlie, don’t you sometimes get to the end of your rope?  Sometimes the plants can no longer be lugged around.  They are too heavy, or they don’t want to produce, or the blossom rot just breaks your heart.  Can’t you just look at the darned plant and say it’s time to sink or swim,  Early Bird or Big Boy.  You are on your own.  Leave it be.

Let it go.  You don’t have to care anymore.  Stop dragging them around.  It will kill you.  You will have a heart attack.  Too heavy a load.

They will either thrive, or they won’t . . .

Maxine Weintraub reading
BOLLI Member Maxine Weintraub

Maxine has been taking writing classes with both Betsy Campbell and Marjorie Roemer since joining BOLLI three years ago.  She has also been an active participant in the Writers Guild and serves as the editor of the BOLLI Journal.  In her spare time, she talks to tomatoes…

WHAT’S ON MY MIND? A Strange Anniversary

STORMS COME IN ALL VARIETIES: A STRANGE ANNIVERSARY

By Sue Wurster

On April 11, 1965, we huddled in our basements as a whirlwind headed straight for the town of Oberlin.  Twenty minutes later, after the tornado had blown by, the all-clear sounded.  Oberlin was unscathed, leading me to believe that the story about Oberlin’s “saucer rim” might not be just the stuff of legend.  Supposedly, a shallow, man-made ridge of land rings the town and picks up tornados by their tails, leading them to rage around the rim until they eventually either lose steam or carom off the arc—which is what must have happened that day.  Oberlin was unharmed, but nearby Pittsfield was gone.

Oberlin is a unique place—and not only because of its “tornado bowl.”  It is a grain of idealistic liberalism to be found amid fields of cynical conservatism.  It houses the county’s only four-year college whose conservatory of music is considered one of the nation’s finest–as is its art museum as well.  It houses a National Association of College Bookstores warehouse, an FAA air traffic control center, and a small manufacturer of specialized medical instruments now owned by Corning. In the past few decades, closing steel and car manufacturing plants in the county have resulted in rising unemployment, deepening poverty, and ever intensifying racism.  The latter is not a recent development.  Most of the county is made up of small “sundown” towns consisting, still, of only white people.

Oberlin takes pride in its long history of diversity.  The college was the first in the country to enroll women and the first to admit blacks.  In the 1800s, the town, considered an abolitionist stronghold, was a stop on the Underground Railroad where runaway slaves were sheltered and protected.  Many simply stayed.

One of those runaways was a young man named John Price who arrived in September of 1858.  Not long after, two Kentucky slave hunters sneaked into town, kidnapped Price from First Church where he was being hidden, and carted him off to nearby Wellington—just beyond where Pittsfield had stood.  There was no jail in Wellington, so Price was placed under guard in a hotel room until his forced return to the South.  But a small army of impassioned Oberlinians—students, professors, farmers, former slaves, a bookstore owner, a minister, and a shoemaker—took to Wellington to negotiate his release.  When that effort failed, they stormed the hotel, took Price by force, and had him conducted safely to Canada.  A federal grand jury indicted 37 of those Oberlin men who argued in court, without success, that the Fugitive Slave Act was unconstitutional.  That confrontation between Price’s rescuers and the U.S. government captured national attention and, like the Dred Scott decision, furthered the abolitionist cause.  Oberlin became known as “the little town that sparked the big war.”

Strangely, on April 11 in 1865, one hundred years before that tornado flattened Pittsfield and two days after General Robert E. Lee’s surrender, President Abraham Lincoln gave his last address to the American people virtually ending the Civil War…the country’s biggest whirlwind of all.

“Underground Railroad” sculpture in Oberlin, Ohio

 

History Sources:

Ohio History Central.  http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/John_Price

Fradin, Dennis Brindell and Judith Bloom Fradin.  The Price of Freedom:  How One Town Stood Up to Slavery.  Walker Children’s Books, 2013.

BOLL Matters editor Sue Wurster

I have  a feeling that our family’s move to the town of Oberlin in 1965 made all the difference.  For the first time, I lived in a truly diverse community (with the key word being “community”) and learned how important it is to speak out.  Hard to believe that 2019 will bring my 50th Oberlin High School reunion…

 

APRIL’S SENIOR MOMENT WITH LIZ DAVID: TWO VOICES

TWO VOICES

I offer these two women’s voices quoted from the 2003 book, Wise Women: A Celebration of Their Insights, Courage and Beauty, by Joyce Tenneson. They speak for themselves and maybe for many of us who are facing our aging with grace and valor.

#1–

​I’m a bit envious

​​of the younger generation

​They have so much freedom compared to us

​​I got married the day I graduated!

​A lot of my friends are passing away now,

​​The rest of us are worried

​​​about outliving our pensions and assets—

​we don’t want to be a burden to our families,

​​​Now I live alone with my cat.

​​​​I’m always collecting feathers,

​I use them to play with him—

​​​​we’re good for each other.

–Sadie Simms Allen, 81

 

#2–

​​I still don’t dye my hair,

​My advice is to follow your conscience

​​I’ve had several lives,

​I’m not the same person I was

​At twenty, forty or even sixty,

​​Now I’m a role model

​for women in their seventies and eighties!

When you’re this old, you can reconsider your whole live.

​​You can relive your life and

​understand it with a pleasure and perception

​​not available when you first experienced it.

​​​People are extremely nice to me now,

​because I am no longer a threat to them.

–Polly Kline, 97

 

#3–

I used to perm my hair,

but now, and for many years, I have let it go natural,

straight as a stick,  silvery white.

I used to be shy,

but now I say what I think,

choosing my words carefully

so as not to offend.

I have concerns about the future,

but they don’t paralyze me.

the future is in the faces of my grandchildren,

ALL children.

in them I have hope.

–Elizabeth David, 82

 

Who are you?   Who would you rather be?

Sr. Moment writers Eleanor Jaffe and Liz David

A friend encouraged me to join BOLLI where I began to offer courses in which we discuss our aging–from the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of our lives. My passion is to help others to gain deeper understanding of themselves and the changes, losses, gains, and glories of aging.  So, “grow old along with me–the best is yet to be.”

MAY SENIOR MOMENT WITH ELEANOR JAFFE: A GREAT UNEASE–CROWDS

     A GREAT UNEASE — CROWDS

By Eleanor Jaffe

I grew up in Brooklyn, so you’d think that I’d be totally comfortable with crowds of people.  After all, our apartment was crowded as were the schools I attended, likewise the streets—especially the shopping streets, and certainly the subways.  When we celebrated, it was to go into Manhattan  (crowded),  to attend Radio City Music Hall (huge and crowded), the circus  (a mob), shopping (cutthroat with crowds vying for bargains.)  Almost always, I’d have to wait my turn, wait for the long lines to slowly dwindle, and be prepared to be jostled or poked by people in the City, all kinds of people.

Now I live in the heart of Boston, the Marathon heart of Boston. Every year, from my living room window, one week ahead of the Marathon, city workers construct a small city of tents in Copley Square to accommodate the runners as well as the supports and services they require when they finish their 26 mile ordeals.  Soon after, the stadium seats on Boylston Street along the Boston Public Library are erected, and the metal barriers are put in place along the gutters.  Huge trailers park on the side streets.   Enormous television cameras are hung from corner buildings so that crowds of people—as many as 8-12-24 people deep— can  visualize the runners on television because  they can not possibly see the runners through the density of spectators.  Indeed, I recall not being able to walk at all on Exeter Street  on my way to Boylston Street to join the cheering spectators.

By Friday at the latest, thousands of tourists and runners have invaded Boston.  Every hotel room is full.  Crowd controlling barriers keep people in or out of these few blocks.  Mounted police patrol while police cars and, later, ambulances park all around.  Hawkers will soon be selling t-shirts, pennants, and souvenirs.  I may have to present identification to show the police that I do indeed live in “that building,” so please let me pass beyond the barricade.  Of course, all day and well into the evening on Marathon Monday, we are not  permitted to drive our car in or out of our garage or, for that matter, drive for at least one mile in any direction.  Although I live on the second floor, when I look down from my window overlooking Copley Square, I can relate to a princess isolated in her tower.  I cannot leave.  No one can enter.

All this before the Marathon Bombers cursed us with their explosives.  Now, my aversion to crowds is complete.  Not only do the crowds seem to suffocate me, but they may also be dangerous.  Someone among those thousands of spectators. might very well have malicious intent.  Someone might cause mayhem.  Some others might even die — which is not what those spectators bargained for.

Which is why, now, I leave Boston before Marathon Monday,  Patriots’ Day, a day designed for citizens to celebrate and come together.  But not with me…  Somehow, over the years, my comfort with crowds has dwindled and disappeared.  My urge to celebrate and shout encouragement is gone.  Many years ago, I would stand  on the sidelines in Newton near Heartbreak Hill and cheer on the valiant runners.  Now, I am awed from afar by their feats. 

I wonder, is this aversion to crowds age-related?  Or terrorist- related?  How much does my comfort enter into it?  It’s a whole lot different than just becoming blase or jaded.  Have I seen too many marathons?    I doubt that it’s just my “comfort.”  A great unease overcomes me, and I want to flee.  Fortunately, I can–and I do.

Senior Moment feature writers Eleanor Jaffe (left) and Liz David (right)

Eleanor says that, “as I grow older, I am more interested in the conditions, changes, services, culture, and even politics affecting me, my husband of over 50 years, my friends — and my over 100- year-old mother.  What does it mean to be growing older in today’s society? 

 

MAY CHEF’S CORNER WITH JOHN RUDY: CHOCOLATE POKE CAKE

CHOCOLATE POKE CAKE

by John Rudy

Soon after we got married, I started making an Angel Food Cake.  After it cooked and partially cooled, I made Orange Jello, poked holes into the cake and poured it in.  After some experimentation, I found that a similar strategy worked well with chocolate pudding, and I varied the type of cake.  Sometimes I baked the cakes from scratch, and sometimes I used the stuff from boxes.  Back in the ‘70s, the boxed cakes weren’t very good, but they tend to be quite good today.  Frequently, these cakes call for frosting, but with the pudding, that seems too sweet to me.

This recipe calls for a very thick frosting.  I halved the original as it is perfectly adequate.  Feel free to double the frosting recipe if you like it thick and calorific.

1 chocolate fudge cake, prepared and baked in a 9×13 inch pan.

CHOCOLATE FILLING

1 can sweetened condensed milk

¼ cup heavy cream

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

CHOCOLATE FROSTING

¾ cups butter, softened to room temperature

¼ cup cocoa

1½ cups powdered sugar

½ cup heavy cream

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bake cake as directed on box.
  2. While the cake is baking, add sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, and chocolate chips to a medium sauce pan and cook, stirring, on medium heat until the chips are melted and the filling is smooth.
  3. When the cake comes out from the oven, using the end of a wooden spoon, poke holes into the cake to create deep pockets for the filling to go into.
  4. Pour filling evenly over warm cake.
  5. Cool cake completely before frosting.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, cocoa, powdered sugar and beat on low until combined.
  2. Add heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat until creamy and smooth.
  3. Frost cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

BOLLI Matters Feature Writer, John Rudy

John says that it was his mother who inspired his love of cooking and baking at an early age.  (She cooked vegetables in boil-able packages.)

MEMOIR WRITING FROM ABBY PINARD: MY REVOLUTION

MY REVOLUTION

 

A few days after my sixteenth birthday and before Christmas in 1958, my parents, my sister and I mounted the gangplank of the M.S Italia, anchored in the Hudson River. We were sailing on the Christmas-New Year’s cruise to the Caribbean, in the days before Caribbean cruises were affordable for middle-class families like mine. But we were guests of the cruise line, which regularly doled out freebies to travel agents like my father, the would-be bon vivant who happily left behind his egalitarian instincts and enjoyed the first-class rooms, the food, and the drink.

Sailing past the New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty was awe-inspiring, the North Atlantic in mid-winter, less so. But by day three, we could enjoy the lavish dinners and by day four the water was like turquoise glass and the sun was shining. First stop, Nassau in the Bahamas – everybody ashore to buy straw hats. Next day, Port-au-Prince, colorful, French, and with the grinding poverty invisible to tourists. Then Kingston, Jamaica, where a group of us posturing teenagers hung around a beach bar that served anyone.

But these ports were the appetizers. The main course was to be New Year’s Eve in Havana. Havana! The decadent playground of the rich, famous, and disreputable, where for one glorious night the passengers from the M.S. Italia would drink and dance and gamble and gawk. That is, most of the passengers. Night life was not for my parents. Nor were they inclined to be a party to the corruption of the Batista regime. They were aware – and I was dimly aware – that there was unrest in Cuba. We knew the word “guerilla.” We knew the rebels were in the mountains, led by a patriot and workers’ champion named Fidel Castro. But that was far removed from New Year’s Eve in Havana. So while our fellow passengers, dressed to the nines, went ashore to celebrate, we had a quiet dinner at anchor in the harbor and went to bed.

In the morning, the quiet was shattered. Loudspeakers blared in two languages. We could hear the boom of cannon fire. We ran on deck to learn that in the early morning hours Batista had fled to the Dominican Republic. Castro’s forces were marching toward the capital to take control of the government. The rebels had won! Viva la revolución! We hung over the deck rails cheering and waving to the Cuban sailors on the warship anchored alongside.

I looked at my parents. They were political activists of the far-left-wing variety but they weren’t cheering or waving. Hadn’t they been working for this all their lives? They looked worried. The United States had backed Batista until the end. Maybe this wasn’t a good time to be Americans in Havana, whatever your political leanings. The loudspeakers confirmed it. We were leaving. Immediately. Members of the crew were dispatched to round up the passengers still in the casinos and hotels and within the hour we steamed out of Havana harbor, leaving the revolution behind and leaving Cuba behind for almost sixty years.

Abby Pinard

A native New Yorker, Abby moved to Boston to be among her people:  family and Red Sox fans.  She is a music lover, crossword puzzler, baseball fan, and political junkie who flunked Halloween costumes but can debug her daughter’s wifi.

 

 

FROM THE SCI-FI, SWORDS, AND SORCERY SHELF: Dennis Greene

SCI-FI OR FANTASY?

by Dennis Green

Miriam Allen deFord

Miriam Allen deFord, an American writer of mysteries and science fiction in the early 1900’s, is credited with saying “Science fiction deals with improbable possibilities, fantasy with plausible impossibilities.”  The line is sometimes attributed to Rod Sterling, the screenwriter, producer, and narrator of The Twilight Zone.  He may have been the first to recite it on TV, but I’m guessing he stole it from Miriam.  Lots of other well-respected writers–including Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and H. G. Wells–have tried to distinguish science fiction from fantasy, but none of their efforts have been fully successful. Therefore, the characterization of any given work is not clear cut.

The reason it is so difficult to distinguish among the genre of “speculative fiction” ( the term now used to include science fiction, fantasy, sword and sorcery and horror), is because they have many “tropes” in common.  Tropes like space travel, time travel, alternate universes, alternate history, new worlds, aliens, epic scientific or social changes, telepathy, telekinesis, resurrection, artificial intelligence, artificial life, and human evolution are just a few that come to mind. The effort to distinguish between science fiction and fantasy goes on, causing much confusion and discussion, though I don’t understand why anyone cares. Maybe it serves some marketing purpose.  If a work of fiction is entertaining, engrossing, and stimulating, people will tend to read and enjoy it no matter how it is labeled. Is Harry Potter science fiction or fantasy? How about Game of Thrones? Or A Princess of Mars? Let’s try to label some well-known examples.’

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The central trope of Twain’s novel is time travel, and astronomy is also important. The protagonist is placed in an alternate world similar to mythical medieval England. Though it might certainly be classified as science fiction, it rarely is thought of as such.

Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings certainly involves an alternate world with its own plausible geography, environment, political history, and characters, but since it also involves magic, elves, and imaginary beasts, it most probably should be classified as fantasy.

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth is an alternate history story, but it doesn’t occur to most readers that they are reading science fiction.

Dune involves space travel, imaginary worlds, terraformIng, genetics, futuristic weapons, and many other science fiction tropes. The story is grounded in science, and the advances are plausible. I would classify it as science fiction, though there are strong threads of sword and sorcery appearing throughout.

Kurt Vonnegut’s books Sirens of Titan and Slaughterhouse Five contain sci-fi tropes such as time travel, aliens, and space travel, but many readers who deny reading or liking science fiction, admittedly read and enjoy these novels.

Frankenstein is well known as classic literature and is even included in many high school curricula without a science fiction label. But in science fiction circles, it is often identified as the first science fiction novel.  Certainly the story’s central theme, the reanimation of life based on Galvin’s electricity experiments, clearly fits the definition of science fiction.

The list could go on, but it’s not worth the effort. If the description of a work is intriguing, or the author is someone you enjoy, or a literate friend suggests a book, read it and decide for yourself if it is entertaining. Don’t worry about how it is classified.

Our BOLLI Matters Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Swords, and Sorcery Aficionado, Dennis Greene

Dennis spent five years as an engineer and then forty as a lawyer–and sixty as a pop culture geek and junkie.  He saw “The Day the Earth Stood Still” in 1951 when he was seven and has been hooked on speculative fiction ever since.

 

 

APRIL CHEF’S CORNER WITH JOHN RUDY: COOKING FOR ONE

COOKING FOR ONE

When the kids went off to college, we went from cooking for 4 to 3 and then to 2.  (Our son ate a ton, so it was more like going from 5 to 2.)  At 2, not only did we find ourselves with a lot of leftovers, but things like half-gallons of milk would go bad before we could finish them.  That was 25 years ago.  Now, I’m cooking for one and going through that process again.  Here are a few thoughts:

  • There are a number of web sites dedicated to cooking for one. Allrecipes https://www.allrecipes.com/recipes/15050/everyday-cooking/cooking-for-one/ has 490 recipes you can browse.  You might hate many of them, but there are a lot to choose from.  What is neat about their site is that you can search for recipes by explicitly stating items you want in the recipe (like chicken) and things that you want excluded (like mustard).  You can also provide keywords like “saute”.
  • PBS also has a cooking-for-one website http://www.pbs.org/food/theme/cooking-for-one/ with browsing capability.
  • When you go to the supermarket you see almost every kind of dinner in a frozen package. Obviously you can but them, and some are surprisingly good.  But this should also prove to you that almost everything you cook can be frozen.  You might want to experiment, but things like stews work well, as does corned beef, as do a lot of vegetables as long as there is enough liquid to keep them from getting freezer burn.  Cookies, of course, freeze very well.  As does a half-gallon container of your favorite ice cream.
  • Be careful of over-shopping. Don’t buy a bag of potatoes or 6 grapefruit, or a pound of whole swiss cheese.  This is most important for produce which spoils.
  • Almost any recipe can be scaled down with just a little math. Just remember that there are 8 ounces in a cup, 16 ounces in a pound, 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon, etc.
  • HOWEVER: scaling cooking time is another kettle of fish. Microwave times are roughly proportional to weight. So two potatoes take twice as long as one potato.  In the regular oven, two potatoes take the same time as one.  A 10” pie takes more time to cook than an 8” pie except if your only concern is that the top crust bakes properly.  In that case they are about the same.
  • You can even go to Amazon and look for Cooking-for-one Cookbooks https://www.amazon.com/Cooking-One-Cookbook-Beginners-Breakfast-ebook/dp/B00LH2YIX0 This is just one of the books, but there are many
  • And lastly you can have the same meal multiple nights in a row, maybe with some modification. So buy the whole chicken, but not one that is 6#, and after a couple of days of roasted chicken, there is chicken ala king, chicken salad, etc.
Our BOLLI Matters Chef  John Rudy

John says that it was his mother who inspired his love of cooking and baking at an early age.  (She cooked vegetables in boil-able packages.)

APRIL TECH TALK WITH JOHN RUDY: FACEBOOK

Remove Third Party Apps from Facebook 

by John Rudy

Unless you live under a rock, you know that Facebook interfaces with many apps that use your Facebook ID as their login.  You know when you sometimes try to log into a site and see something like, “would you like to log in through Facebook?”  This can be helpful.  As with many of my articles, I was triggered to write this by reading Kim Komando’s blog, something I recommend to all.   (https://www.komando.com/)

Facebook is now saying that they will automatically delete apps you have not used in 3 months (we’ll see if that happens), but they are  also giving you a mechanism to delete many app links in bulk.  I did this and found that there were linkages to almost two dozen apps, many of which I knew nothing about.  Here is the process I followed:

  1. Log into Facebook and at the top you will see a triangle .  Click on the triangle
  2. This will give you a pull-down menu (I’m showing a piece of it) and one of the options is “settings”. Click on it.

3.That will bring up a new screen which includes the word “apps”. Click on Apps.  This will bring up a screen with A LOT OF APPS.  There may only be room to show you a portion of them so you can go through the next step multiple times.

To the right of each app is a small box, very hard to see.  Click on those apps you do not need/want and then at the top of the page there is a box called REMOVE.  Click on it, and the app links will be removed.  I removed 23 app links this morning.

  1. On the same screen where you clicked on APPS there is a place to click on PRIVACY. There are eight options you might want to look at to determine whether you want to limit who can see what you have.  Of course this restriction didn’t seem to hold when Facebook provided user data to a third party.

There is a lesson here for all of this:  anything you put on the computer, and that includes all emails you send or receive, texts and pictures you send or receive, should be assumed to be in the public record.  This is why I have recommended that you put a freeze on your credit bureau accounts, and that you use credit cards NOT debit cards.  The credit card companies will protect you if someone steals your card.  When I use a credit card in a restaurant, I ensure that it stays where I can see it, and is not taken to a back room for processing.  Same at gas stations.  Today, we all need to exercise caution.

BOLLI MATTERS Tech Talk feature writer, John Rudy

A long-time computer expert and guide, John provides his helpful hints in this monthly BOLLI Matters feature.  In the comment box below, provide questions or comments for John on any computer/tech topic.

john.rudy@alum.mit.edu (781-861-0402

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