Aug 10, 2018

Retirement Lifestyle: New Computer Requirements

I have always had an Mac computer...since the beginning of Steve Job's computer life we have owned a Mac or Apple or iMac or an iPad or an iPhone, an iWatch, etc. (Is there more?) I don't think it is a religion but it might be. I do feel compelled to scoff at PC users as they do me. But that is not a religion is it?

Anyway, times they are a-changing for me. I am not that fired up about change most of the time and it is not necessarily welcome. So that "changing" did not happen overnight. There was a big bang that started it all. The chain of events went like this:

My computer (the big iMac) was smashed on the way home of Arizona and now has a big ouchy on it's upper right hand corner. In this particular case, the Gorilla glass just couldn't take the punch it received. In hide-site, I think that the security people at the airport opened my bag, unpacked my bag and then repacked my bag and did not secure the computer the way it was secured when we packed it. There was a note inside telling me they had taken a look but I think they did more than that. The suitcases shifted in the back of the van so when we arrived home and my grandson opened the back hatch door, the suitcase fell out. Thankfully it did not hit and kill the grandson. It did hit the concrete on it's corner. The suitcase was just fine but the computer was not. The suitcase cost less than $100 but the computer was well over $1000.

Yes, I called everyone imaginable but no one could/would help. Sooooo. I was in the market for a new computer. That was on April 25.

I have been thinking about this since. Because the really broken Mac still works fine, I had the luxury of time. But, my husband and I both knew that the Mac could not take another trip on the airplane. If I was going to write for the six months we spend in the desert in the winter, I was going to need something to write on.

Yesterday, we went to the local mall and we visited the Apple Store. It wasn't until I stood in front of the computers that I realized I did NOT want another computer. I wanted more.  I wanted the luxury and portability of an iPad and its touch screen plus the functions of my computer.

Bottom line, we bought a 12 inch iPad Pro and a keyboard that attaches. It is absolutely beautiful and will do just what I want it to do. When I opened the online Blogger App it was exactly the same as my computer. I felt right at home.

I did struggle a little bit setting it up. I forgot the passcode, had to learn to restore the device, forgot to write down the passcode a second time but I finally landed on my feet. We are set to go. So here I am writing on an iPad and not noticing any difference. Isn’t that wonderful?

Have your needs changed at all? Are you still using the same computer as always? How old is it? Is it a PC or a Mac? Keep me posted.

Have a beautiful day!


Aug 3, 2018

Retirement and Time on Your Hands

These children are part of
why I am useful...and boy
are they fun!
Being retired does not mean that you even want to call your life your own. Really, a totally self centered existence is meaningless.

I suppose that is the reason for volunteers and hiking clubs. In my case six months of the year are all about our family and the other six are all about friends and staying healthy. We are flexible and can change that routine at anytime. WE ARE RETIRED AND WE CAN DO THAT! But it has taken me many years to figure it out.

Actually inventing the way to fill the days with something worth doing is a very new job when a person retires. I suppose even the thought of "being the boss of me" is frightening. After all the retirement dream is one of being your own boss I suppose. Happy retirement depends on whether a retiree can be a "good self-boss" or not.

I thought it might be a good exercise to see how those people who know about such things describe a perfect work boss. Google has some good ideas as to what that person would do so I copied the list verbatim. It looks like this (yawn):
  • Communicates Clear Vision.
  • Connects Vision to Daily Tasks.
  • Sets Clear Performance Expectations.
  • Provides Consistent Feedback and Coaching.
  • Cares About the Employee as a Person.
  • Shares Personal Information.
  • Makes Work Fun.
  • Fosters Team Development.
The trick is to edit the list and yet keep it's central meaning. A child might say to the boss, "you are not the boss of me" or "you don't get to tell me what to do". But when it comes to "self-talk" the shoe is on the other foot. You are bossing yourself around. Can you in fact make yourself do what you want or expect to do?

If you were to pick four of these being a good boss ideas, which would you choose?

I personally thought the list was ok but I really don't like the language at all: 
We love spending time with
our family AND we love the wine in
our part of the world. We have
fun by combining the two.
  • (Connect Vision to Daily Tasks) Do you even have an idea of what you would like to accomplish daily or even hourly? Are you being realistic about your expectations?
  • (Care About the Employee as a Person) Do you see yourself as caring for or about youself? While liking yourself is pretty basic and an over-used concept, it still remains important. If your work life simply sucked the life out of you, now is the time to put the life back into yourself.
  • (Foster team development) Remain connected to people. Honestly, being lonely is in most cases a result of choices. It may feel good to be away from people but only do that as long as it is healthy both physically and mentally.
  • (Make Work Fun) Never forget that having fun is a good thing in our retirement life. Honestly, going swimming or playing a game of tennis or pickle ball is a lot of work and takes effort. But, why would you do it if it were not fun?
There are things that we have to do. Cleaning the toilet and sweeping the floors are tasks that have to be done or maggots will grow on the junk and ants will come crawling on the floors. Make those tasks routine and don't think too much. Take pleasure in the results. As for the rest of the day remember what I just said:
  • Honestly, going swimming or playing a game of tennis or pickle ball is a lot of work and takes effort. But, why would you do it if it were not fun?
Make all of your life like that.

Have a wonderful day and let me know what you think.


Jul 24, 2018

Aging: A Story about Love

Terra Vina Vineyard
Young love is somehow pushed aside as we grow older. It gets harder and harder to remember what that was like...well at least for me.

But, there are people out there that have such a powerful story to tell that the look on their faces tells me that they have not forgotten and never will.

Yesterday my husband and I attended a wine dinner set among the vines with the misty valley spread out below. We sat across the table from a couple about our age. His name was Peter. I have never know a Peter so the visit began.

Then he introduced his wife. Minila she said when I asked her to repeat her name. It flowed off her tongue with an accent I didn't recognize. I'm a Czech she said quickly.

Are you a Czech too Peter? I asked. No, he said. I come from Portland. 

But how....?

We were pen pals was his response. He asked Do you really want to hear this story?

Well yes I did...yes I did!

Pen pals? I have never know anyone to marry their pen pal. I have never know anyone named Peter. I have never know anyone that got married when one of them lived in Portland and the other in Czechoslovakia. How did that happen?

The wonder of it all was that he was not in the military He was going to Lewis and Clark when he decided that he wanted a pen pal that spoke German. He read a magazine called USSR and came up with the idea that maybe a magazine could help. How about a magazine from Poland? That was close enough. So he wrote to a magazine called simply "Poland" suggesting they add a pen pal column to their magazine.

But there was no answer, he changed colleges and gave up on the idea. It was about that time he decided to go to Vienna to study that Lewis and Clark began getting mail for him from Europe...lots of mail. It came and many letters he could not keep up with them.

But he did open them and finally selected one from a girl from Czechoslovakia. She wrote beautiful English. It was Minila. The year was 1965. He began giving all the other letters away to friends until he ran out of friends.

She was barely out of high school when she decided to find a pen pal from the United States so she could practice her English because she wanted to study the language in college. She saw the pen pal column in a magazine.

Two prospects popped from New York City and another from Portland, Oregon. Her father wouldn't let her answer the NYC fellow...he will be over here in a flash he told her. The guy from Portland was selected. He will never make it here from that far was her father's thinking.

When the first letter from her arrived in Portland, Peter answered right back and told her he would be in Vienna in a month. Could he come and see her? Needless to say, her father was worried.

After Peter visited her on four different occasions, one bringing along his father and mother, they became engaged.

They are still in love, share the food off their plates and finish each other's sentences. They have been married for 53 years. I am in love with their story. Wow!

Life is good!

Have you ever had a pen pal?


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 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 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 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.

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