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.


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.



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?



Priming the 60 Blog

Business Insider:  Amazon could be about to make $1 billion in 30 hours.

Tuesday, 7/11 is Amazon’s third annual Prime Day.  Typically compared to Black Friday or Back-to-School shopping, Amazon promises lots of low prices, with specials being posted every five minutes.

How can one work a 9-5 job and live a regular life on Tuesday if you’re glued to your phone or computer to check on new specials every five minutes?  I mean, I like bargains like everyone else, but ain’t nobody got time for that!

Forbes wants to know if our wallets are ready.  The sales officially start Tuesday, but you can start shopping tonight at 6:00 PST.  The experts at BestBlackFriday.com suggest the following tips for winning Prime Day 2017:

  • New deals will be posted every five minutes for 30 hours until 3 a.m. ET on July 12.
  • Download the free Amazon App; it’s probably the best tool to guarantee that you don’t miss the deal that you want. And make sure to turn on the alerts!
  • Use your desktop or laptop computer for purchases. While Amazon’s app is great for browsing and finding upcoming deals, it’s best to make the actual purchases on a computer, especially if you’re heavy on the multi-tab usage.
  • If you aren’t a Prime member, you should be!  Now is a good time to take advantage of a 30-day trial.
  • Make sure your Prime account is in good standing and all personal information is correct and updated.  Deal urgency is a factor here, and you don’t want to lose any getting that sweet discount.
  • While Amazon is obviously commanding the spotlight on Prime Day, competitors like Macy’s, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Nordstrom all have big July sales under way. Keep your eyes open.  One site compiling all the sales is offers.com.

Here is a breakdown of some of the most anticipated digital deals so far:

Don’t forget that Prime Day only lasts 30 hours.  Do your homework.  You’ll know a good price when you see it.  For instance, if you’ve been watching the price of the Amazon Echo every few days, you’ll know a major price drop when you see it.

But if you haven’t researched a 70-inch television before today, the Prime Day price you see might not be the best one.  You can search the price by Googling the product name and also search “Prime Day 2016” for what the price might have been last year.  You can also compare prices by checking “Black Friday 2016.”


Resting the 60 Blog

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The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.

Did you know that staying up late on weekends is bad for your heart?  A study presented at a meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies found that each hour of “social jet lag” – staying up late and sleeping in on weekends – was linked with an 11% higher risk of heart disease, along with fatigue and worse moods.

I’ve discussed this before.  I don’t get enough sleep.  When I was sniffling and coughing nonstop last weekend, I didn’t give myself enough chance to rest.  I overdid it on Saturday and was gone from the house morning till night.  At some point on Saturday, I had the forethought to bump Sunday’s plans to Monday, and all was right with the world.

I slept twelve hours Saturday night through Sunday.  I never heard Leslie leave the house to take Clooney (the cat) to the vet on Sunday morning.  He’d been sneezing and excreting some snot-looking substance from his nose.  I suppose Leslie was wishing Clooney had opposable thumbs that would have allowed him to blow his own nose.

Is it possible that Clooney gave me a cold?  Believe me, there is no loving on Clooney coming from this girl (Clooney the cat; Clooney the man would be a different story!), so I doubt that, even if it was possible, the cat shared his cooties with me.

But that Saturday night/Sunday morning was bliss.   In one day, my cold had seemed to disappear and I didn’t feel like a truck was sitting on my chest.  The large amount of rest and sleep really did help.  After attending a cookout on Tuesday for the 4th, I came home and went straight to bed.  I slept ten hours that night before getting up for work on Wednesday morning.

Is it possible that my left knee hurt just a little bit less?  Was I more mindful?  Could it be that I wasn’t sneezing or coughing the whole day?  Did things bother me less than usual?

A big fat yes!  In two short test runs, I proved to myself how much sleep can help me.  Have I kept with the plan?  No.  Last night was the usual six hours, and after my shower, I was so tempted to just get back into bed.  Alas, if I want a paycheck this week, I better show up for work on a regular basis!




Sniffling the 60 Blog

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A bird in the hand makes blowing your nose difficult.

Thursday afternoon, my throat started to bother me.  Then Thursday night into Friday morning, sneezing, coughing, ugliness.  Friday, half-a-box of tissues later, I made it through work.

I don’t know if I’m happy about being sick with a summer cold through a long holiday weekend.  Our office is closed on Monday, so we have four days off.  And I have things to do, places to go, people to hug and share my germs with.

The term “common cold” involves sneezing, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, sore throat, cough, low-grade fever, headache, and malaise. Usually, these symptoms peak on day three or four and begin their resolution by day seven.   

Summer colds occur more frequently than you might realize. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases estimates that 30 to 50 percent of colds are caused by rhinoviruses, which are most active in the spring, summer, and early fall.  In most cases, a summer cold won’t feel much different from a winter one.

The time of year may make a summer cold a more challenging experience for you than a winter sickness. Common summer situations can worsen summer cold symptoms.  Air conditioners tend to extract moisture from the air and may cause some drying of the protective mucus lining in the nose and predispose us to infection.  I’ll just sit under the ceiling fan for prolonged periods of time.

A cold’s symptoms often appear one at a time, and last seven to 10 days, and I get to enjoy a “yellowish nasal discharge and lots of sneezing.”  Thought it’s not in our nature to sit still and rest during the beautiful summer months, that’s really the best cold treatment prescription for dealing with a summer cold. Get plenty of fluids to stay hydrated — stick to water and avoid beverages that can dry you out, like sodas, coffee, and alcohol, especially during the dog days of summer.

Other cold treatment tips that can make colds more manageable include trying zinc lozenges, which may reduce the duration of a cold if taken at the first sign of symptoms, and sleeping with a humidifier in your bedroom. And appropriate over-the-counter medication as needed to cope with specific cold symptoms will also be helpful.

So, the solution for me?  Rest, more tissues, water, throat lozenges, and lots of Netflix.

Phoning the 60 Blog

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A simple hello could lead to a million new things.

Do you remember your life without an iPhone?  (I know, some of you have an Android phone, but the iPhone did come first…and everything that’s good and bad about Apple was put into Android devices.)

Yesterday, June 29, was the tenth anniversary of this iconic device.  Before that, our communication was “limited.”  We could only make phone calls on our phones, and the phones were brick-shaped.  Even more prehistoric, I remember an old boss back in the mid-80s having to meet a contractor in the parking garage at work so The Boss could have a mobile phone installed in the car’s console.  It was not a phone he could put in his pocket.  It could only be used in the car (hence, why we called it a “car phone”), and it was certainly awkward talking on that phone.

I remember buying my first iPod and paying top-dollar.  I thought I was all that and a bag of chips when I figured out how to upload albums to the iPod, and I was thrilled when I could listen to music on a plane that summer.  It was so futuristic at the time.

And now, we have a movie theater, calculator, atlas, encyclopedia, caterer, personal shopper, and post office all at our fingertips.  Just think back ten years.  You had to do go to five different places in your car before you could relax in a movie theater.

I never went the Blackberry route, but I was so happy I could play games on my Palm Pilot because my flip phone was “just” a phone.  I even had a pager back in the day, even though no one ever paged me!  Now, I have an iPhone that does everything.  Thanks Steve Jobs.