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!





Buying the 60 Blog

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Money can’t buy a new car.  But it can buy happiness, and that’s pretty much the same thing.

Well, I thought I’d get a little reprieve and not stress about buying a new car right away. But alas, no.  I found out earlier this week that my mechanic wouldn’t drive my car too far to avoid getting stranded.  I got nervous and drove Leslie’s car to the Kenny Loggins’ concert, but figured I could drive my car to work on Thursday morning.  NO!

The transmission on my Murano sputtered a farewell this week.  In fact, I probably shouldn’t have driven it the past week or two and, in hindsight, I was lucky.  When I went to the mechanic to pick up the car this morning, the mechanic’s dad said “I wouldn’t drive that car down the street!”  Of course, I had already put on makeup and my hair looked nice (for a change), so I didn’t want to waste those efforts to just call in and stay home.  So I called a coworker, who picked me up and off to the office we went.

When I got here, work was waiting for me.  In fact, I didn’t have my first cup of coffee until after 11:30, and I felt I had been tortured enough.  Coffee, emails with the bank about their car buying service and car loan, and some “real” work helped me through the day.

Friday, I picked up the car from the mechanic and was able to drive it two blocks to the IHOP down the street.  There, I cleaned out the car (what a lot of junk!) and met with the credit union auto specialist, who took pictures of my car for a buy bid (like EBay for used car dealers).  Then, another block to the Kia dealer, where I test drove the Sorento and fell in love.

Fred, the liaison between the credit union and the Kia dealer, took me for the test drive and, as I would expect, was very complimentary about the car.  And he was complimentary to me too.  Fred called me Madame and told me that I had a beautiful attitude, unlike a lot of people who test drive cars.  We agreed that it costs nothing to be nice, and why would anyone waste energy being negative when you’re doing something extraordinary for yourself, like buying a new car!

The credit union guy, Perry, secured the car I wanted (in the unusual sangria color) and I should have it in a few days.  Once payment is confirmed and the trade-in value is paid, I’ll pick up the car at the credit union and say good bye to the Murano.  Dealing with the credit union relieves all the salesmen pressure at the dealership, and I couldn’t be happier.  If you don’t use Autoland (or another car buying service) for your next new car, you’re missing out!


Babbling the 60 Blog

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David Ogilvy:  Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally.  They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.

TLDR is an acronym for Too Long, Didn’t Read. It’s mainly seen on the web, either at the end or beginning of a long post or in the comments section. It’s quite a common texting abbreviation.  I’ve seen it before, but never bothered to look it up.  Have we become so lazy?

If you find TLDR in a post, the point is to provide a summary of the lengthy text so that someone can skip to the TLDR section and get a quick overview of what the story talks about without having to read the whole thing.  It’s like today’s Cliff’s Notes.

Comments that include TLDR usually indicate that the text was too long and they didn’t want to read it.  Or it could be the commenter’s summary of the content.  It might be used to tell the poster and other commenters that the comment might not be reflective of the post since it wasn’t read in full, or it might be a little joke to show that this post is way too long and nobody has time to read all of it.

When TLDR is in the post, it’s a helpful subject line summary.  The poster will offer a one- or two-sentence summary of the many paragraphs to follow or precede the post.  TLDR is most commonly seen in very opinionated discussion forums, where the topics lend themselves to long rants.  Controversial topics easily lure people to write hundreds of words of heated opinion.  However, TLDR posts can really be anywhere, including computer help forums and even online stories.

When TLDR is used in the comment section of a post, comment might not be quite an insult but rather a suggestion that the user above should consider abbreviating their writing. This might be used when the previous poster submitted more than a couple of paragraphs in the conversation.

Capitalization is a non-concern when using text message abbreviations and chat jargon.  You are welcome use uppercase TLDR or all lowercase tldr, and the meaning is identical. We all know to avoid typing entire sentences in uppercase because that usually indicates shouting.

Proper punctuation is similarly a non-concern with most text message abbreviations.  For example, the abbreviation for ‘Too Long, Didn’t Read’ can be abbreviated as TL;DR or as TLDR.  Both are acceptable formats, with or without punctuation.

Never use periods (dots) between your jargon letters. It would defeat the purpose of speeding up thumb typing. For example, ROFL would never be spelled R.O.F.L. and TTYL would never be spelled T.T.Y.L.

Knowing when to use jargon in your messaging is about knowing who your audience is, knowing if the context is informal or professional, and then using good judgment. If you know the people well, and it is a personal and informal communication, then absolutely use abbreviation jargon. On the flip side, if you are just starting a friendship or professional relationship with the other person, it’s best to avoid abbreviations until you have developed a relationship rapport.  If the messaging is in a professional context with someone at work, or with a customer or vendor outside your company, then avoid abbreviations altogether.

Using full word spellings shows professionalism and courtesy. It is much easier to err on the side of being too professional and then relax your communications over time than being unprofessional from the start.

Ranting the 60 Blog

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J.S. Park:  Many times we think someone is ranting, but they’re actually speaking with conviction:  and everyone has just forgotten the sound of real passion.  We’re so afraid of absolutes and a strong gut and digging in your heels, that we dismiss the powerful voice of a lonely fighter.

I recently read a blog by Alison, A Pierman Sister, which seems to agree with a lot of what I’ve been saying and writing and thinking the last few months.  With permission, I’m posting parts of her last post:

This is not a rant. This is an anti-rant. This is a rant against rants.  I have never had a bumper sticker. I bare no tattoos. My friends and family–who are gay, straight and all races–cover the political spectrum and all mainstream religions. 

Don’t get me wrong. I have opinions and persuasions but only those in my Circle of Trust have to hear about it.  (Alison, you read my mind!)  I get my world news from sources other than social media and I DON’T CARE WHO OR WHAT YOU HATE.

Now, Alison proposes that her future posts will only fall into some of the following favorite categories.  I may not agree with all of them (see number 1), yet I see her point.

Fabulous Favs 
1.   alive and thriving cats, dogs, goats, bunnies and horses, oh, and sloths of course
2.   family (including aforementioned animals)
3.   fat babies
4.   vacations/travel
5.   tributes to aged persons
6.   beautiful or intriguing photos
7.   poetry and literature
8.   your likes/comments on my own fascinating posts 
9.   new gadgets and inventions I need (I’m talking to you, updated Fanny Pack) (Me?  I never want to be seen in a fanny pack again!)
10.  funny stuff (oh, you’ll know)

Topics to be forbidden from her future posts are:

Fanatically Forbidden 
1.   political/anti-religious rants
2.   bigotry
3.   work-out videos (that’s just hateful)

Alison summarizes her blog M.O. as this:

In summary, I’m old. Life is too short for vitriolic whiners. If you don’t like something, try changing it with construct or with your vote next cycle. If you hate [FILL IN THE BLANK] and you want to force your cyber-friends to hear you rage about it, I will simply being seeing less of you.

Alison has indeed read my mind.  If you’d like to read more of her musings, while still reading my pearls, you can follow Alison here:  A Pierman Sister blog  Tell her Caryn sent you.

Furnishing the 60 Blog

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Mario Burata:  Dust is a protective coating for fine furniture.

My dad worked in retail for as long as I could remember.  He usually worked weekends and was off two weekdays, and it was a schedule the family was always used to. Mom didn’t drive, so Mom and Dad would grocery shop on his day off and we’d usually go out to eat the other weeknight.  Holidays like Memorial Day were just workdays for Dad.

Dad was the furniture expert.  For many years, he sold furniture at a high-end store on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  The store was owned and named for Daniel Jones, and, when Leslie and I were young teenagers (and we ran the elevators on Sundays), it appeared that the sales people were all middle-aged white men.  (More about that later.)  I remember one woman who worked there, and thinking back now, it seemed she had to work twice as hard to get sales.

They worked on a commission basis and the sales people rotated to take the next new customer who walked in the front door.  As a young girl, the store fascinated me, and the furniture always seemed expensive.  I remember hearing “it’s from South Carolina” or “this is a Daniel Jones exclusive” and the sales people were always selling and cajoling.

Whenever we needed furniture as a family, Dad always found what we needed.  As adults, and living in California, Dad worked at various department stores and was always able to get us good furniture at a discounted price.  We inherited a green leather sofa from my Dad and stepmom many years ago and we still put it to good use.  (I can easily fall asleep on it watching TV!)

However, Leslie and I have been wanting new furniture.  The accent chair is just not comfortable any more and we need a new look in the living room.  So on our way to a July 4th cookout, we stopped at Ashley Furniture to look at a couch we had seen online.  The store was filled with all kinds of shoppers and sales people.  You could tell the sales staff was just waiting to be called to handle the next shopper, and we had the name of someone we had previously spoken with on the phone.

What a multi-cultural experience!  Shoppers spoke with accents, were young and old, with children and without, and there were no middle-aged white men working as sales people that day.  The sales people are the demographic of the shoppers, of course, and I’m not complaining.  To me, it seems that middle-aged white men are not walking the floors of an enormous furniture store handling non-stop sales all day long, 40 hours or more a week.

Again, it’s not a bad thing.  Not a good thing. Just a different thing.  If we could go back in time and my dad and stepmom were in their 40s or 50s working in the furniture industry, what would they think?  Of course, if time travel was the norm, we wouldn’t have even been at Ashley Furniture, and we would have gotten our new couch and chair-and-a-half at a discounted price and maybe bought other furniture with our savings.



Gassing the 60 Blog

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Complaining is like bad breath.  You notice it when it comes out of someone else’s mouth, but not when it comes out of your own.

It’s been ten days since I uploaded the Complaint Free app and I haven’t complained (out loud) in all that time.  Until last night.

On my way home last night, I stopped at the Chevron station for gas because I literally had about twenty miles to go until the dreaded gas tank symbol appeared on my dashboard, taunting me.  It was crowded because everyone thinks 6:30 at night is the perfect time to fill up.  I waited and finally found the perfect pump.  I knew I’d be there for a few minutes, filling up my 19-gallon tank, so I settled in for a nice lean on the side of the car while the gas was pumping.

And pumping.  And pumping.  The guy in front of me woke me from my light slumber and loudly told me that the gas was overflowing from the tank.  The auto shut-off didn’t work and gas was everywhere.  Thankfully, it didn’t get on my shoes or clothes…yet.  A young man on the other side of the island helped me get the pump out of the car and back into its rightful spot on the tank.

I was so mad!  This never happened before, and I was waiting for someone from the convenience store to come out and help.  Nope, I had to go in there and ask the woman behind the counter for assistance.  “I’m the only one here.  I’ll be there soon.”  Wait, what?  I smell like gas, your station is packed, and you don’t have another person working here who can sell lottery tickets and Slurpees?  It seems that the guys who work at the car wash attached to the gas station don’t actually work for Chevron, so no one could help me from that end of the station.

Well, in the end, because I knew the lady wasn’t ever going to come out and help me, I had to go around the car, step into the gas puddle anyway, and get into my car to drive away.  The bottom of my shoes slipped on the floor mat and, even the next morning, my car smells like gasoline.

I sent a detailed message about what happened through Chevron’s website.  I understand that a malfunction can happen.  But a gas station should have more than one employee working at the time most people get off work (6:30 p.m.), and that employee should be empowered to assist customers.  I would have appreciated a discounted car wash or a small refund on the gas I paid for that is now all over the cement.

I publicly complained and now I’m back to day 1 on the complaint app.  Perhaps Chevron will reimburse me, but all I can really hope for is that no one lights a match near my car.


Using the 60 Blog

Never forget that time passes so quickly you don’t even notice it until it begins to show.  So, use the good china, go on the trip, eat the cake, watch the late movie, read your favorite book, and take a chance in life.

Do you have an item or two at home that you’re saving?  You know, maybe a new lipstick that you’ll take out of its wrapping when you’re meeting someone new, or a new dress that you’ll wear on a special occasion?  How long have you been saving these items?

Back in 1980, when the family made the decision that we’d be moving to California shortly thereafter, I remember buying certain items (say, new dish towels) and telling us “we’ll save those for when we move.”  We didn’t move for two years, but dammit, we had new dish towels when we arrived in Los Angeles!

It’s all about LATER.  When I see an article online and don’t have time to read it right away, I save it for LATER.  Here’s an interesting take from a young man about growing a beard:

Let me tell you how I grew a beard over the course of two weeks. It really wasn’t hard and it just took one little word that I’ve told myself every morning in the mirror: “later.” The only thing is, “later” never came around. Instead, every morning, I kept fooling myself that I’ll just do it later. I still have time, it doesn’t look that bad so I’ll just do it later. It became sort of a mantra and this magical “later” became a wonderland where things would eventually get done. I never really had the time to visit wonderland and see how crowded it really had become.  In wonderland, I had to shave, work out, eat healthier, write to my friend half-way across the world, play with my dog and tell my wife I love her. Slowly, but surely, later-wonderland began to fill up. That client email, that invoice reminder or submitting the tax forms to my accountant. They will surely get done later.

Out-of-sight really becomes out-of-mind and wonderland becomes neverland. Because the more things you have in wonderland, the less likely you are to ever do them.  A good rule of thumb:  if it takes less than three minutes, just do it now!

This is so true.  I keep putting off certain things, and eventually that list of things-to-do someday will become that list of do-it-now-or-else.  Things you’d rather do later will rarely get done at all.

But what about “stuff” you’re saving for LATER?  What’s the criteria?  Do I wear that new lipstick only when I have a meeting with a new client?  Can I use that fancy purse if I’m only going to the grocery store?  I say no.  Carry the new purse!  Wear the new perfume!  What are you waiting for?