Writing the 60 Blog

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Cookie Monster:  I have cookies.  Follow me.

I am 282 blog posts in.  I have a few dozen page views a week, and I’m enjoying the process of writing something almost daily.

Today, I learned of a fellow blogger, who posted today that she has over 5,000 followers!  She was so excited when she hit 4,000 followers in June, and then collected another 1,000 followers in a month.  Good for her!  Bea writes a blog post once a week about friends, motivation, mental health, and the terrific Rimmel London Wonder’Lash Mascara.  Check her out at Bea Free.

Another blogger I follow, Mah Jongg and Me, writes about a specific topic (duh, mah jongg!) and has 141 followers.  See Mah Jongg and Me.  Cat Burchmore writes a wonderful blog about running a direct sales business while living with a chronic illness.  Visit her blog here at The Chronic Entrepreneur.

I write about more general topics.  Working after 60, aging, family, travel, coffee.  Lots of comments about lots of stuff.  I hashtag a few things, and I think that’s gotten me some followers and readers (do I know anyone in Ukraine, Denmark or China?)

So what can I do to get more followers?  More readers?  More people who comment?  My friend Sandy has written 84 comments over the months, and I want her to continue!  (She won the Willing Beauty skin care regimen last month.  I’ll see her on Sunday and I’ll be able to determine if her skin does, indeed, look younger and more beautiful.)

My blogging mentor tells us that we can start using Google Analytics for the nitty-gritty, down-and-dirty statistical analysis of our blogs….but only once we reach 500 page views per week.  I have 500 page views per month–and really, I’m not complaining!  But I want more!

You can help.  Share the Facebook page on which you see this post.  Like the photos, read the articles, comment when you can.  Let me know what you think.  MNTF.

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Filing the 60 Blog

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:  People ask me sometimes….when will there be enough women on the Supreme Court?  And my answer is:  when there are nine.

How long have you been at your job?  Do you feel as if you know all there is to know?  I used to feel that way, years ago.  Young and smart.  I knew my sh*t and no one could tell me otherwise.

As the years go on, I might sometimes be forgetful.  Nowadays, of course, it’s easier to look something up, like local court rules or procedures.  Today, I filed a document in bankruptcy court.  It’s a federal court and you would expect that each court’s requirements are the same but, alas, that’s not the case.  As legal assistants, we need to be familiar with all the rules of all the courts…or at least know where to find the information.

I put on my “think before you hit the ‘send’ button” hat.  Slowly and methodically, I finalized the documents, put them in court-approved format, and got on the court’s website to start filing the four documents.  At a procedural crossroads, I did have to ask my mentor for some advice. (Note:  I didn’t want to do that!  I wanted to prove that I could do it all myself!)

I filed the documents with no trouble.  Or so it seemed.  I received a “notice of deficiency” from the court clerk and was asked to call the help desk.  I fixed the problem.  Yahoo.  Then another deficiency.  And so on.  And so on.  Thankfully, the court clerk was very helpful and understanding.  I waited and waited for another deficiency notice, and it never came.

Then guess what?  I was given another set of similar documents to file later in the afternoon.  I’ve learned my lesson, right?  Me and the clerk, on a first name basis, didn’t have to speak again today and I’m grateful.  It seemed like an interminable amount of time waiting to see if a document would be rejected this afternoon.

So what’s the lesson here?  Take your time.  Don’t assume you know everything.  Look up the rules.  Accept your mistakes and move on.  Sigh.

 

 

Ignoring the 60 Blog

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It’s not a good deal if you don’t need it.

I mentally made all kinds of plans this past weekend.  Bank, 7-11 (gotta keep buying those lottery tickets), bagel place (always like having a dozen in the freezer), Starbucks, nail salon, post office, dry cleaners, 99 cent store, grocery shopping, Trader Joe’s, bakery.  As it turned out, I did the first five things on the list and ignored the last six destinations.

And now it’s Monday.  Some of the last six items on the list couldn’t be done on Sunday because they’re closed.  So now I have to make up all those items on my list and do them after work.

When I postpone errands, I’m only spiting myself.  I don’t like to go after work, but if I don’t do the grocery shopping tonight, we’ll be eating weeks-old salsa and stale tortilla chips for dinner.  So I’ve got my coupons ready and I’m hitting Ralphs tonight for the necessities and some impulse buys.  For me, I’ll usually wait to try something new if it’s on sale, or if I have a coupon.  I will refrain from buying something that I might want, but definitely don’t need, if it’s full price.

What do you buy, no matter what?  Organic Lunchables?  Tapatio-flavored popcorn?   Marketers and retailers tend to exploit these impulses which are tied to the basic want for instant gratification. You may not be looking for sweets, but candy, gum, mints and chocolate are prominently displayed at the checkout aisles to trigger impulse buyers – and / or their children – to buy what they might not have otherwise considered. 

Impulse buying can also extend to more expensive items such as automobiles and home appliances.  Automobiles in particular are as much an emotional purchase as a rational one. This in turn leads auto dealers all over the world to market their products in a rapid-fire, almost carnival-like manner designed to appeal to emotion over reason. Impulse buying disrupts the normal decision making models in consumers’ brains.  The logical sequence of the consumers’ actions is replaced with an irrational moment of self gratification.  Impulse items appeal to the emotional side of consumers.  Preventing impulse buying involves techniques such as setting budgets before shopping and taking time out before the purchase is made.

I’m happy to say that my car was not an impulse buy, but I may pick up that box of cereal that’s not on sale and for which I don’t have a coupon.  Leslie would be so happy.

 

Protecting the 60 Blog

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It’s called LoJack because it’s the opposite of hijack.

When I bought my new car from the credit union, I was offered a protection package.  The credit union price was about half of what I’d have paid if I bought the car through the dealer, so I figured “why the hell not?”

Today, installers came to check off two of the boxes in the protection package.   The sealant guy added protective coating on the car and inside (including the carpets and seats).  In about the same time period, the LoJack guy came to install the anti-theft device.  My credit union guy told me that when the LoJack is installed, the owner never knows where in the car the device is placed.  I guess that’s to protect the owner from being questioned by the bad guys when they try to steal the car.

Thief:  Is the car protected?
Me:  Duh, of course.
Thief:  What do you have, a stupid LoJack?
Me:  No, why would you say that?  Besides, LoJacks aren’t stupid.
Thief:  Where is it?  I wanna rip it outta the car!
Me:  I don’t know.  They never told me.
Thief:  You just let someone put something in your car?
Me:  Sure.  Perry told me it would be okay.
Thief:  Who the hell is Perry and why do I care?
Me:  Perry is my Autoland rep and a nice guy.  You’d like him.
Thief:  Do I look like I like anyone?
Me:  Now that you mention it.
Thief:  This would be much easier if you had one of those fancy steering wheel locks.
Me:  Where are we?  1991?

See, if I was being interrogated, I couldn’t tell the thief where the LoJack device was because it was secretly installed.  Besides, I’m pretty good at making witty repartee with a car thief, so I believe he would have been too distracted to continue with the theft.

 

 

Knowing the 60 Blog

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Awesome life tip:  Take responsibility for your health by connecting with your body.  Start by tuning in and asking what it craves, desires, or needs in this moment.  Rest?  Hydration?  A big salad?  Some sunshine and fresh air?  As you begin to listen to your body, you’ll start to make healthier choices, both in and out of the kitchen.

Every summer since 2001, Leslie and I watch Big Brother.  It’s like our summertime crack.  CBS puts about 15 strangers in a house to live together for up to three months, with cameras and microphones everywhere.  Over the years, we’ve seen our share of idiots, geniuses, people who shouldn’t have passed the mental exam, over-the-top clowns, savvy players, and a large portion of just plain stupid people.

I will talk about the whole Big Brother drama/comedy/saga at another time, but today it reminds me of something one of this year’s contestants said on the show a few weeks ago.

When you watch reality shows and the contestant gives his or her little confessional speech, their name and job appears under their picture.  Didn’t last season of The Bachelor cast a guy whose job was “balloon artist”?  I mean, really.  Anyway, this season of Big Brother features a contestant named Christmas (as if that isn’t fake enough…) whose job is “fitness superstar.”

This woman’s body is amazing, and she does look like she works out hours a day.  She also competes in competitions, which became a discussion point when she broke her foot.

With nothing to do in that house but work out or gossip about other players, Christmas was horsing around and fell in the backyard.  On the soundbite that the show plays over (and over and over), you can definitely hear a cracked bone.  As she later explains, she broke several bones and needed to have major surgery to repair tendons, bones, and other painful things.

After the incident, in her confessional, she stated that she just knew she broke bones and it was something very serious.  It’s because she knows her body so well.  When you’re so body conscious because all you do all day is work your body (remember, her job is “fitness superstar”), you sense when even the slightest thing is out of whack.

I confess.  I know when some things are wrong and what works for me (sometimes) to fix it.  A doctor once told me years ago that her colleague was so in tune with himself that he could tell you what his blood sugar reading would be prior to testing, and was always within one or two points.  It’s like he could hear the sound of his own blood streaming through his body.  And Christmas, the reality contestant, probably counted how many cracks she heard in that split second she fell on the ground.

Are you that in tune?  Have you always been that way?  If you’ve recently become more in tune, I’d like to know how you did it.

 

Driving the 60 Blog

If you can park it and not turn around to look at it as you walk away, it’s time for a new car.

101 miles on the odometer.  Bells and whistles which I’ve been recommended to seek help with from a 10-year-old.  An eggplant/sangria color that Leslie sees as more of a red color.  A 2017 Kia Sorento.  I haven’t had a new car since Memorial Day 2004 and I feel kind of special, if you ask me.

I can’t speak highly enough of the buying process through Autoland and my credit union. Perry was assigned to me and took care of everything.  Arranging the test drive, check.  Negotiating the best possible price and including Kia rebates and the trade-in of my car, check.  Finding me the elusive sangria color, check.  Having all the paperwork ready for me at the credit union, check.  Sitting in my new car, learning all the new stuff, in just 20 minutes, double check!

According to the Washington Post, American drivers bought more new cars and trucks in 2016 than they ever have, edging out the record set just one year earlier to give the auto industry an unprecedented seventh consecutive year of sales growth.  About 17.5 million light vehicles were sold throughout the country last year, manufacturers reported Wednesday, an increase of less than half a percent over the record set in 2015.

When did you last buy a car?  Was it certified pre-owned?  That reminds me:  what happened to the word “used”?  Does anyone realize that certified pre-owned means USED?  Okay, off the soapbox.

I’ll end today’s post with something I think we should all strive for:

On Thirsty Thursday, we get just drunk enough to admit what bothers us.  Show each other just enough kindness to make tomorrow weird.

Bottom’s up!

 

 

 

Reading the 60 Blog

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Bringing wine to your book club is a great way to make up for not reading the book.

Have you ever had an issue with an item purchased on Amazon?  After all these years, I just encountered my first issue.  I ordered a book at the end of June and Amazon tells me it was delivered on July 11.  I never got it!

We’re assigned Into the Water by Paula Hawkins to read for book club, meeting a week from Sunday.  I’ve been diligently checking my mailbox for the book and it hasn’t arrived.  My brain has been slow the last few days, and yesterday was the first day I thought to follow-up with the Amazon seller.

Amazon gives you the opportunity to contact the seller with a 250-character note, but you must also leave feedback (one-to-five stars) and inform Amazon whether the seller has been prompt in his/her response.  How are you supposed to answer those questions when you haven’t contact the seller yet?  I didn’t want to give the seller zero stars, so I gave her three (a fair rating), but how is that fair?  She could be home Tuesday evening furiously searching for her proofs of delivery and I’ll have an answer in no time.  Or not.  We’ll see.

No response from the seller on Wednesday and I’m not sure I’ll have enough time to read the book eight days.  Do I try to get it out of the library?  Will my book club members feel sorry for me?  Will they even care if I show up for lunch next week and don’t speak?

I need to go buy some wine.

 

Re-jumping the 60 Blog

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Martin Luther King Jr.:  If you can’t fly, then run.  If you can’t run, then walk.  If you can’t walk, then crawl, but by all means, keep moving.

I wrote perhaps my best blog ever yesterday.  But you’ll never see it because it somehow was deleted from my draft posts.

I typically will publish a draft around dinner time so you, my loyal readers, have all evening and the next morning to peruse my pearls of wisdom and implement my suggestions as quickly as possible.

Yesterday’s tale was about not wanting to get out of bed in the morning.  While driving to work, my Shine text came through with the perfect message for Monday:

When stuck in “I probably can’t do this” mode (hi, Monday), “presupposing” success can jumpstart progress.  Believe in a good week, Caryn.

Well, I presupposed my successful day following a very short nap after my shower in the morning.  I’m just not feeling the get-up-and-go and I know I need more Greek yogurt in my diet.  Which, of course, would require me to get to the grocery store.  It’s a conundrum.

I’ll have my new car tomorrow evening.  It’s been 14 years since I’ve purchased a new car, and even longer since I went through the credit union’s car buying program.  I’ll drive to the credit union, sign some papers, and drive off with my new car and say so long to the Murano.  Question is:  will the new car have any gas in it?  That’s about all the energy I’ll have until the weekend.

Tonight, I will clean out the Murano one last time, shred old service records (does the buyer need to know when I had an oil change in 2005?), and be sure to put my office parking garage pass in my purse.

Any words of advice for your favorite new-car-owner?

 

 

Convicting the 60 Blog

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Al Gore called this the “unofficial anthem of the environmental movement” when Loggins performed it on Earth Day in 1995 at The National Mall in Washington, D.C. The song has become one of Kenny Loggins’ signature tunes.

We saw Kenny Loggins in concert last night, accompanied by the Pacific Symphony.  The first 30 minutes was the symphony itself, which was beautiful.  They played some jazz and some pop music (“The Lion Sings Tonight!”) and encouraged the audience to sing along.  Many of the concert-goers seemed to be there just for Kenny, so they didn’t get in the symphonic spirit; I thought it was terrific!

Kenny then came out with some band members, backed up by the symphony.  As Kenny explained, his music takes on a whole new sound and meaning when it’s backed by an orchestra and I was thrilled with the combination.

He started the night with a story about “Danny’s Song” and the new verse he wrote now that he’s a grandfather.  (You could truly hear the audience gasp!  Just yesterday, I asked Alexa how old Kenny was and I was surprised to learn he is 69.  When we followed him around 30 years ago, we were all in our late 20s/early 30s, and he was 40.)  Now Kenny’s son has a son and he wrote a new verse, which is so new that I couldn’t yet find it on Google!

He sang other classics, including his famous movie soundtracks, and “Conviction of the Heart,” a B side song from his 1991 Leap of Faith album.  The song is still extremely relevant:

One with the earth, with the sky
One with everything in life
I believe we’ll survive
If we only try…

How long must we wait to change
This world bound in chains that we live in
To know what it is to forgive,
And be forgiven?

It’s been too many years of taking now.
Isn’t it time to stop somehow?
Air that’s too angry to breathe, water our children can’t drink
You’ve heard it hundreds of times

You say you’re aware, believe, and you care, but…
Do you care enough
To talk with Conviction of the Heart?

He ended the night with “Forever” and we were afraid he wasn’t going to hit the last high note.  He modified the key a bit from the early days (30 years ago) and he still sounded terrific!  Kenny Loggins, still going strong at the young age of 69.