Longevity: Some interesting tidbits from an essay in the Sunday New York Times on aging: "Just 10 percent of the population -- mainly the elderly -- consumes about 80 percent of health care expenditures, primarily on expensive chronic illnesses and end-of-life costs. Historically, the longer lives that medical advances have given us have run exactly parallel to the increase in chronic illness and the explosion in costs. Can we possibly afford to live even long -- much less radically longer?"
For all of you who use bike path near Beach Park, always be aware of your surroundings and personal safety. The bike path is typically safe, but I spotted this warning on a cycling email thread posted by a Bakersfield teacher: "On Tuesday, November 26, a friend of mine was riding at 4:30 in the afternoon under the Chester overpass. A black male approximately 6-foot, one-inch leapt from the rocks and knocked my friend from his bike. A lengthily tug-of-war ensued but the rider eventually scored a solid left to the temple of the would be thief which caused him to stagger off at a quick pace. The cyclist got on his bike to chase and ran into a police officer who was making a double arrest only 600 feet away, but somehow the assailant escaped. Be careful and make sure to keep a proximity to others when possible."
Diapers: Mike Sullivan dropped me this note about his own brush with bad behavior: "I hope you wouldn't mind hearing another note with reference to the totally sick behavior inflicted upon society by mindless diaper-changing antics. This past week I had the honor to escort my sister and niece into one of California's, and our great nation's, treasures, Yosemite National Park. Upon going through the tunnel they experienced the majestic site of the valley for their first time. After having a late lunch at the hotel we were getting into the truck, when lo an behold there lay a neatly rolled dirty diaper. This was within 50 to 60 feet from a trash can."
Achievers: More positive news on local Bakersfield products going out into the world and making a difference: Dick Taylor, director of the Kern County Veterans Service Department, shared this information his nephew, Matt Barnes. Barnes, now 41, is the men's soccer head coach at Lubbock Christian University. He was introduced recently as the Premier Development League soccer franchise's third coach in its six-year history. He graduated from Judson University and previously served on the staff of the CSUB men's soccer team. He also coached at the high school level at both Centennial and Stockdale.
Spotted: Gerry Huggins, a Bakersfield native and saxophonist who moved to a small community in Missouri, recently shared this on Facebook: "Almost all of the convenience stores here have drive-ups. I have never seen or even heard of this in California! You can pump your gas first, then pay for it. I think they abolished this in California when I was a kid."
Bakersfieldism: You know you're from Bakersfield if you remember the "house below the (Panorama) bluffs," an old water company house built to manage the weir.
Richard Beene is president and CEO of The Bakersfield Californian. He blogs at www.bakersfieldobserved.com. These are his opinions, not necessarily those of The Californian. Email him at email@example.com.