Jul 17, 2018

Technology in Retirement or When to Unplug the Computer

One of lots of possible warnings. Take
a look here.
We all know that going "unplugged" for a day or two is a good thing. But I am not talking about that kind of being "unplugged". This issue is an entirely differ thing.

Let me begin by telling you what happened to me the other day. You know that I have cut the cord and do not have cable TV anymore. In order to do this I have had to learn now to connect to the golf match and Major League Baseball online using a Roku. This involves visiting websites I would not ordinarily even care about. So I went out into the cyber world. Usually I don't worry because I have been very lucky.

We were trying to watch golf and a PGA tournament that was on over the weekend. I could not figure how to get that for my husband. I did find what we wanted but...there was a catch.

This where I want you to pay attention. The website I found told me the match was available for viewing but I would need to update my Adobe Flash Drive .0 something. So I clicked on the link to update my video application. Before I knew what was happening that blasted MacCleaner popped up and installed itself AGAIN. I never did see anything about the video application. I had spend a great deal of time getting rid of MacCleaner a while ago so I was not happy.

Fortunately, a tutorial was available and it went away! Thank heavens for that.

That was when a loud siren went off inside my computer and a Microsoft announcer on the computer said my IMac was infected with a virus. They had locked my computer totally. I was told to NOT turn off my computer and to call a number for help.

Even though I have an Apple computer, I do use Word for my word processor. It startled me as I thought through the possibilities and a little panic set in. But fortunately reason won the day.


I think that even if I were using a PC I would do the same thing. This is a scam plain and simple. These people will ask to get into your computer and then want you to pay the several hundred dollars so that problem will never happen again.

When I turned on my computer the next day it was as though nothing had happened. If I had had a problem I would call Apple Care. If you have a PC, call a professional locally and have them check things out. DO NOT ALLOW SOMEONE ONLINE TO GET INTO YOUR COMPUTER!

I might add that I will not be updating that type of thing without being sure of what I am doing. Chrome with tell me is things need to be taken care of. Being in a hurry is not good.

Any questions?

Have a wonderful day.


Jul 12, 2018

Retirement Saving: Cutting Another Cord to Save

Are you retired and trying to make your money go a long way? How informed are you? Do you keep up with technology and all it has to offer? AND how old is your TV or do you have a TV with a ROKU already installed?

Why do I ask? Well, I am a newbie to TV Apps but boy am I catching on to what is available and how much money I can save.

We had tried cutting the TV cable cord many years ago but it was not a good thing. And we have tried several choices for cable service but there really is no way to get a reasonably priced cable service. Going without was not what we wanted. We like our TV.

We have used a ROKU for several years now but never really taken advantage of all it had to offer. Our TV here in Oregon is not new so it is not as tech savvy as it could be. The Roku has given us a lot of choices but streaming tv service is a wonderful upgrade!.

We were missing the boat. When we were in to our AT&T store recently to upgrade our phone, the sales rep mentioned Directv Now streaming tv server. Where have we been? I did not even know there was such a thing. I had done a trial of one of the other streaming servers but never explored the possibilities.

When the rep told us that we could try it. We could cancel at anytime and that our tv entertainment bill would drop to half as much as we had been paying, I was interested. So we signed up and resolved to simply not use our dish for a week to see if we could get what we wanted.

Here is where the technology comes in...do you want to use all those apps on your ROKU or TV? If you are not using your computer, wireless network + a streaming server to get what you want, you are missing the boat. It takes a little learning but it is well worth it...money wise and quality wise. The picture is great and the money saved is a good thing.

The only upgrade we have purchased is the PBS APP.

So now we have cut the phone line and only use cell phones and we have cut the cable tv line...both are gone forever. It is a very nice feeling.

Give it a try!


Note: Other streaming services like HULU and SLING would work just a well I think. They may even be cheaper.

Jul 9, 2018

Miracle Solution for Keeping Squirrels out of Bird Feeders

Seriously, you cannot make this stuff up. Squirrels discovered our bird feeder and the would eat the whole feeder full in one day. 

Solution: WD40. Spray it on the top of the feeder and the pole it is hanging on. They will not go near it! 

No explanation...just results. :)

Do you have summer pests?


Jul 5, 2018

1969/2018: The ORIGINAL Smothers Brothers Died in 1969...now we have a "Lowlife" Colbert

Note: Be sure to go to the 2009 NPR interview with Terry Gross, author of Dangerously Funny, THE UNCENSORED STORY OF "THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR"

From Wikipedia: 
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the brothers frequently appeared on television variety shows and issued several popular record albums of their stage performances. Their own television variety show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, became one of the most controversial American TV programs of the Vietnam War era. 

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

We are going back to the future...but has anything changed?

Does anyone besides me remember laughing at the Smother's Brothers AND totally supporting their rants once a week? Honestly, in that era of war and "anyone over 30 years is the enemy" and bra burning, the Smothers Brothers were the voice of the liberal young people in America and anyone that opposed President Lyndon Johnson's actions on the Vietnam War. I honestly loved that show. 

So, when the "establishment" and President Johnson went after the show on CBS forcing the network to fire the brothers, those of us that thought that maybe the show might make a difference in history lost our innocence. In a book called Dangerously Funny, The Uncensored Story of "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour", David Bianculli tells the story that those of you that didn't live through those time need to hear. I think I will buy it for my reference library.

In an NPR interview in 2009 on Fresh Air the background for the book looked like this.

From 1967 to 1969, Tommy and Dick Smothers challenged the censors at CBS and the political establishment who tried to tame their wildly popular -- and politically left-leaning -- show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. The brothers lost their show, but later won a battle in court.
In an excerpt from the book, David Bianculli wrote:
Think of the Smothers Brothers as a pop-culture Grapes of Wrath. When Michael Moore takes his time in the spotlight during a live Oscar telecast to scold President George W. Bush for sending America to war without due cause, the Smothers Brothers, in spirit, are there. When the Dixie Chicks make an anti-Bush comment onstage and suffer a backlash from conservatives before reemerging triumphantly with a new hit and a slew of Grammy Awards, the Smothers Brothers are there. 
The protest against Vietnam were everywhere and the Smother's Brothers fed the fire of descent. 

That show that aired 51 years ago was an epic pot stirrer. The affect was stunning. See, the Smother's Brothers was not late night TV and those that watched were not people that were willing to stay up until midnight to get their laughs. We did not have recording devises so it was a routine thing to watch them during prime time. In fact, I don't really think anyone like them had ever been unafraid to say what they honestly thought. The nation lost something very precious to that era when it was cancelled.

Have things changed? Can you get away with saying anything about politics or rile the president up without being fired, or taken off the air? Not really. Even though there have been court battles, Tommy Smothers observed that he didn't see much difference between today and if they were given a shows he said he didn't "...think we could say anything more than we did back then."

So, when Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien teamed up to take a swipe at Trump, I had a flash back to 1969. Have things changed that much? Has Twitter made it unnecessary to protect Trump because of his words describing the TV hosts? I don't know. Taking it too far will still cause a problem. But how far is that? We well see. Because if the line is the same as it was back in 1969, they need to be very careful.


What do you think? I am interested.


Note: I hear people snickering about Woodstock and Burn Baby Burn. I can tell you right now, I did not think it was funny and still don't. It was a very revolutionary time and it was not easy.

Jun 19, 2018

The Birth of the Illegal Immigrant + Were They Joking About that Wall?

Do you ever wonder HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Is it a very bad joke gone wrong? First the KKK, then a very big wall.

AND...when did taking children away from parents and holding them hostage become a way of getting legislation passed?

As it turns out, determent camps are looking better and better. At least children were not taken away from their parents when German, Japanese and Italian people were held in such places during WWII.

As I understand it, our mess started with our president being easily bored. His mind is going a mile a minute so staying on the subject is hard. I understand how that is.

I question the idea than anyone was serious about building a wall when it first came up. I think that it was during one of those squirrelly hyper active moments that Trump jumped from another subject to illegal Mexicans and their drugs and guns that someone in his group suggested that we could just build a really high wall between around the USA. They were, I have read, simply trying to get him to focus. Is this true? Did that happen. But most importantly...could they have been just joking, easing the tension? Maybe. 

From Fox News. Image by Carolyn Kaster, The Associated Press

In the end it doesn't really matter. The nonsense ship has sailed. Even John Kelly said that "that some of President Donald Trump’s campaign promises on immigration were 'uninformed.'" But we will say one thing for Trump, he does keep a campaign promise, even a very bad one.

What a mess this has left us with! Honestly!

Our unwanted and hated immigrants have been a problem since the USA actually became a independent nation. Those that arrived early resented the Irish, the Catholics and then the Chinese. A law was passed in 1884 call the Chinese Exclusion Act. It was our first Federal immigration law.

If you are interested, you can go to places like Pendleton, Oregon and find how those Chinese people lived under the sidewalks in underground villages in order to survive. I have been there and seen what that was like.

As history shows us, the more we tried to block legal entry into the USA, the worse illegal entry has became. This gave rise to some vicious and illegal practices by government officials.  I give you Joe Arpaio of Arizona. His tent cities for illegals gained national attention as inhumane and he was ordered to quit racial profiling of Hispanics by the courts.  He was convicted of a ignoring that order in 2017. Trump pardoned him shortly thereafter.

But I digress.

As I was saying, that Chinese exclusion act was revised and became the 1924 Immigration Act introduced quotas that gave preference to northern and western Europe and only allowed only those who could become a naturalized citizen as defined by a law that dates back to 1790. Then that ugly law reared it's head again just lately:
Our Attorney General, Jefferson Sessions ".... stated that the 1924 Immigration Act “was good for America.” 
But according to Mae M. Ngai, a professor of Asian American studies and history at Columbia University, “the 1924 act is considered almost universally to be a stain on our history.”
History Channel has a very good article on the subject called The Birth of "Illegal" Immigration. In that article they referred to the Hart-Celler Immigration Act put into law in the mid 1960s.
Prior to this, Mexican immigrants freely, and commonly, found work in the United States. Yet after the Hart-Celler Immigration Act was passed, “Whole groups of migrants from Mexico and Latin America whose entrance to the U.S. would have been considered legal before 1965 suddenly became illegal,” writes Jane Hong, a history professor at Occidental College, in The L.A. Times. 
By ignoring the realities of migration between Mexico and the U.S., the law created a problem where there was none before. And this idea that the United States can radically alter immigrants’ legal status, for good or ill, has implications for today.
So when I got this comment on Facebook from a follower in India, I was very interested. She said
 I am not here to comment on what Trump is doing. I am not into the right or the wrong of it.

However, I want to tell you something.

Most Rohingya Muslims illegally entered India. And slowly some political parties helped in providing them with papers.

Despite living in refugee camps they have not stopped having babies. In an average each family has more than 8 kids and pregnant wives. Each day 60 kids are born.

They want all kinds of facilities from the Govt of India. They don't wish to be deported to Myanmar from where they arrived or to Bangladesh, their country of Origin.

When India talks of deporting, so called Human Rights activists cry foul. Why should we share our resources with refugees who are breeding like rabbits?
What is the solution? 
This Facebook post reminded me that people migrating around the world, trying to find some sort of life is so common. The children that the Facebook user talked about is one of our problems too. "Breeding like rabbits" is not a good idea. That is the other side of the immigration coin...illegal immigrants could be using their children to gain sympathy so they can get what they want.

Who knows where this is going! But I still wonder, is this wall idea a joke gone bad. Did the president of our country latch onto unwanted immigrants as a flash point so that the people that followed him would like him more...hatred...it doesn't really matter who the hatred is against. He just needed someone for them to  hate.

What do you think?


Jun 16, 2018

Wearing PJ's on the Street

I don't know about you but I do try to get out of my pajamas before 10 am and I would never wear them to the grocery store. I am just saying!

When we were in China 10 or so years ago, the Chinese women were wearing "leisure wear" on the street. Flannel, satin, cotton, peter pan collared pajamas.
Pajamas in Public

The Olympics were coming to the country soon and all the cab drivers were playing English language lessons in their cabs. AND the government had issued an edict...no more leisure wear in public. It was forbidden.

So no I go to my local beauty shop and pick up a magazine about celebrities and guess what young starlets are wearing? You guessed it. There was a series of various women wearing satin, flowered pajamas. The headline was "Pajamas are not just for the bedroom anymore!"

All I could see was us pointing and snickering at the Chinese women that did that back in the day. AND it occurred to me that we would do the same thing here in American today.

Goodness me. I am speechless!


Jun 13, 2018

Awkward Retirement or Are You a Bob or a Barbara

I see that Bob Lowery over at Satisfying Retirement is writing about the daily life of a retiree. He has a huge readership so I am sure many people are taking note. That is a good thing.

I know Bob and his wife and have spent time with them. I think that he and I are pole opposites in that he likes a plan and I like a life lived willy nilly! I am sure that he finds me totally unorganized and a little bewildering.

My garden reflect my thought process. It is a scattered mass of this and that. Plants from friends, day lilies here and there and one single specimen when ten would have been much better. The truth is I really have no idea how to go about organizing my garden other than getting the things I regards as weeds out. Otherwise I am just happy stepping over and among the lilly and dying snapdragons.

Retirement for me is a lot like that. We leave when we want, come home when we are tired. Our vacations, even in foreign countries, not scheduled and agenda-ed. If we want to walk we walk. On our arrival we look at postcards (thank you for the idea Norah) and see what every tourist is visiting. Then we pick what appeals to us.

I can count the "guided tours" we have taken in museums or around town on one hand.

The question is probably "Aren't you missing stuff?" Yes, I think we are but I wouldn't change anything at all. We find more than we miss by far. Even in our daily life I know people are doing things I should do or even would like to do and I am a little envious. But not enough to prompt me to change.

Retirement for us is about the people both old and young. It is about good books, learning to put down ceramic tile and trying cold brewed coffee. I certainly don't feel the need to change the world so I don't think anyone is impressed with the ease with which my husband and I approach every day.

I, on the other hand, am impressed with the things that other's do. Bob is making retirement a huge success and I love that. He started blogging long after I had taken the pursuit up. He surpassed me within a few months. The fact that he asked me a few things about our retirement lifestyle and included an article by me in his book made me happy.

So, now you have retired, what do you do with all that time? Are you a Bob or a Barbara? You tell me. I still have days when I feel lost but I have learned to adapt and have a plan for when that happens. I suppose Bob feels a little frustrated when his plans for the day don't work out. I would follow that he too has a plan.

So, if you are retired, how do you spend your day? I am interested.


Read other post about the retirement lifestyle here on this blog:

12 Posts about A Day in the Life of a Retiree.

2017 Version of Retirement Lifestyle

An Interview with me by Bob Lowery

Living the Future (I think this was is very good.)

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