Humanizing (Last Time) the 60 Blog

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Mark Twain:  The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.

And one more set of interesting tidbits for your reading pleasure:

Sleepy Time

  • The average person forgets 90% of their dreams.
  • On average, a person needs seven minutes to fall asleep.
  • A person would die quicker from a total lack of sleep than from hunger. Death would occur after ten days without sleep, whereas from hunger it would take several weeks.

Right and Left

  • Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people.
  • Only 7% of people are left-handed.
  • Every year more than 2 million left-handed people die because of mistakes they make when using machines designed for right-handed people.
  • Your right lung can take in more air than your left.

Men v. Women

  • Women blink about two times less often than men.

Work It Out

  • You can lose 150 calories per hour if you hit your head against the wall.
  • A person burns more calories when they are asleep than when they watch TV.

The Eyes Have It

  • People with blue eyes are more sensitive to pain than others.
  • People with blue eyes have a higher alcohol tolerance.
  • You spend 10% of your waking life blinking
  • Our eyes remain the same size as they were at birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
  • The human eye is so sensitive that, if the Earth were flat, you could spot a candle flickering at night from up to 30 miles away.
  • The human eye can distinguish 10 million different colors.
  • It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
  • The muscles which help your eyes to focus complete around 100,000 movements a day. In order to make your leg muscles do the same amount of movements, you would need to walk 80 kilometres.

Language Arts

  • Inner speech can clock in at 4,000 words per minute, 10X faster than verbal speech.
  • On average, a person says 4,800 words in 24 hours.

That Makes Sense

  • Along with the five traditional senses of sound, touch, sight, smell and taste, humans have 15 other “senses.”  These include balance, temperature, pain and tie, as well as internal senses of suffocation, thirst, and fullness.

You Gotta Have Heart

  • The human brain can read up to 1,000 words per minute.
  • The human heart pumps blood at such pressure that it would be able to raise blood up to the fourth floor of a building.
  • Your heartbeat changes and mimics the music you listen to.

That’s Life

  • The average life expectancy is 2,475,576,000 seconds.  During this time we pronounce, on average, around 123,205,750 words and have sex 4,239 times.

Wigging the 60 Blog

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Don’t let anyone with bad nails tell you how to live your life.

A coworker told me today that she plays an upbeat CD in her car driving to work.  It gets her pumped up and zoned in.  She’s in a good mood.  “And then I come here.”  Oh, can we relate to that? Of course, work doesn’t really put us in a bad mood.  However, I’m sure we’d rather be elsewhere.  Enjoying a vacation, riding the ferris wheel at the county fair, drinking an overpriced beer at a concert, reading a book at the library, working out at the gym.

Whoa, now, wait a minute.  Don’t get carried away.  Who would rather be at the gym than at the office?  I thought so.

I read something interesting this morning as I was getting ready for work.  Who’s not guilty of sitting on the edge of your bed reading Facebook or Twitter on your phone before you start your day?  Don’t judge me.

Anyway, I guess there’s a new thing called eyebrow wigs.  Yes, wigs for your eyebrows. Stick-on eyebrows.  Is that really a problem in the world?  Men or women don’t have enough hair on their eyebrows so they’re pasting hair on their face?  Women will do whatever they can to get rid of the excess hair, but c’mon!  Well, yes, it’s a thing.

I googled “eyebrow wigs” and was reminded that, of course, there are people who suffer from hair loss for a variety of reasons.  I have no desire to make fun of anyone with a medical condition, and I apologize if this offends anyone.  Beauty bloggers are hailing stick-on eyebrow wigs as the next biggest beauty trend.  But, this new trend may well be a step too far for the internet.  People have been taking to Twitter believe that bloggers are appropriating the wigs, which have long been used by people suffering hair loss due to alopecia and chemotherapy.

Many people have pointed out that bloggers are trying to make something used by people with hair loss into a fashion trend. Eyebrow wigs, which cost around $95 for a set, are used by people experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy and alopecia, as well as people with sparse brows.

There seems to be another trend worth mocking people.  people are taping tiny succulents to their fingernails.  Yes, really!  Not just painting cacti on your nails, like this:  Image result for succulents on fingernails

But adding sculptures, like this:

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What’s next?  Hairy wigs for your nails?



Prizing the 60 Blog

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Tony Curtis:  They gave me away as a prize once — a Win Tony Curtis For A Weekend competition.  The woman who won was disappointed.  She’d hoped for second prize:  a new stove.

Remember my contest?  From now until May 31, for every comment you leave on my blog, you’ll get an entry into a drawing for a great prize.  I have one reader currently in the lead, but she can still be taken down!  You’ll want this prize, worth well over $100!

As I’ve said before, I’m eager to increase my readership.  I know I’m writing brilliant little stories every day and I just want everyone to be inspired and become more active after reading my pearls.  C’mon.  Help a sister out.

What will increasing my readership earn me, however?  Will I become famous?  Will I be invited to appear on The Ellen Show?  Maybe she’ll invite me to the show after her summer break and she’s desperate for guests starting in September.  Perhaps I’ll write about some new products that Ellen will want to give away at her Twelve Days of Giveaways at Christmas and she’ll ask me to be in the audience.  Maybe I can get Ellen to follow me on Twitter. #ellenshow 

Do you play the lottery?  I buy scratchers once in a while, and I’m in a pool with some friends, playing Power Ball and Mega Millions.  We’ve been in this pool for at least five years and I’m holding on to our stack of winnings…to the tune of about $80. Yes, that’s right.  $80 in five years.  It cost each of us an outlay of about $130 a year, so we’re in the hole, of course.  But you have to play it to win it.  A gentleman came forward yesterday who won $61 million on a ticket he purchased at a 7-11 close to my house.  He’d been playing the same numbers for years and years, and they finally hit.  Patience, grasshopper.

Dreaming is free, isn’t it?

Scheduling the 60 Blog

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Bob Goeff:  The battle for our hearts is fought on the pages of our calendar.

I’m bored.  I have nothing to do.  Said no one ever.  Or at least no one I know.

I’m looking at my iPhone calendar and I see no events listed for six out of the next seven days.  Plus, if you count today and last weekend, that’s “nothing to do” in ten days, with the exception of Apple’s Mother’s Day reminder last Sunday.

How could that be?  Am I just not as busy?  Am I saying “no” to more things?  Do I have less friends than I used to have?  I know one of my friends is reading this now and saying, “If you’re bored, call me!  I’m retired and I need to get out of the house!”

Really, I’m not bored.  It’s that sometimes I just want to rush home to do nothing.  I make mindful plans to do laundry, stop at the grocery store, go to the dry cleaners, get my eyebrows threaded, and then my car goes on automatic pilot and heads straight for my driveway.

Do you carry a planner?  Or do you rely on your iPhone calendar?  I really want to make a thing out of using a planner.  I belong to a meet-up group of planners; they meet once a week.  The members share their planners, work on specific pages, buy new planners, make bookmarks and tassels, and practice their letter writing.  I haven’t been to a meeting in several months (after I paid a $5 annual fee!).  I look at the group’s pictures online and I’m jealous of their projects.

I want to make this my jam.  But I know me.  Maybe I’ll go to a few meetings, buy more products I don’t really need, and then forget my planner one day on the way to work. Then two days, then a week.  Then it’s collecting dust.  I’m envious of those who use their beautiful planners and keep track of every little thing.  It’s everyday scrapbooking.

Alas, no.  My iPhone calendar works just fine, and I’m easily able to see the dates where I have nothing to do.  Why would I want to bling out my expensive planner on the days I have something planned, and those empty days would just be lonesome, screaming for some glitter and stickers?




Mapping the 60 Blog

Map from Washington, District of Columbia to North Dakota

Jon Bon Jovi:  Map out your future, but do it in pencil.

Leslie and I love watching the Scripps National Spelling Bee (shown on ESPN2, of all channels to choose from!) and we’re looking forward to watching the 90th event held in Washington D.C. through Thursday, June 1. I’m especially looking forward to watching the youngest contestant participate. Edith Fuller, from Tulsa, is five years old and is home schooled.  When Edith was young (younger than 5?!), her mother asked her to spell “restaurant” and the proof of her spelling aptitude was then known to everyone.  Set your DVRs for the thrilling action!

This week, school kids are also participating in the National Geographic Bee, also being held in Washington, D.C. It’s presented by, what else, National Geographic Magazine, and registration is open to schools with students in grades four through eight (4-8).  Participating students must be younger than 15 and can participate in the Bee for a total of five years.  During their competing years, students may not be enrolled in more than three academic courses at the high school and/or college level.  Those kids are smart!

The Bee doesn’t test on just geography.  For instance, the Bee study guide suggests that students review topics like:

  • The history of music development in Afghanistan, what music means in the country, and different types of traditional and modern music forms and instruments
  • Different language and cultural groups across Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • The physical features of the British Isles; comparison of maps of language and religious groups of the United Kingdom and Ireland

Holy cow!  I’m not sure I could answer many questions on these topics, but I’m going to set my DVR to the NatGeo channel on Friday, May 19 at 8:00 PT/ET to watch the final round.  Let’s see how many questions I can answer correctly.

I was watching last week’s Designated Survivor and one line struck me as awkward and rather stupid.  Which led me to think about the NatGeo Bee.  The actress, clearly located at the White House in Washington, D.C., was telling someone that they needed to get down to North Dakota right away.  Wait.  Is North Dakota south of D.C.?  Someone needs to look at a map of the United States.




Passwording the 60 Blog

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Clifford Stoll:  Treat your password like your toothbrush.  Don’t let anybody use it and get a new one every six months.

Do you use the same password for everything?  If you use a different password for, say, your bank, your email, your computer login, or your FedEx account, how do you remember all of them?  Do you change them often?  Does your job require that your work password(s) be changed every-so-often?

I recently read:  Think of a computer password as being a front door to your wealth and secrets.  Aside from the fact that there’s not much wealth….it’s best to secure your money and your cloak-and-dagger things.

Think about how sophisticated hackers are these days.  I’m sure they’re constantly updating their programs to enable them to bust into our secret vaults at any time.  A defense to more elaborate hacking programs is to use a longer password.  A former hacker recommends maybe using a sentence or phrase that you create.  Something that’s extra-hard to hack but easy to remember.  Maybe something like My Aunt Sylvia has loved me since I was a child.  For even more security, add a number or symbol at the end, along with a capital letter or two.

Never store your passwords on your computer.  Instead, use password manager apps that store passwords in a well-protected digital space.  All you need is a master password to access the list. Some apps use cloud technology (like LastPass and Dashlane) and some put the vault on your hard drive (see RoboForm, Password Safe, or KeePass).  I’ve used Dashlane and it’s been very helpful.  Click here for a free account.  Dashlane

It’s recommended that you change your passwords on all your accounts once a year. And be sure to change your password if you’re notified by a website that its security has been breached.

And lastly, vary your passwords.  Cybersecurity experts say:  Why let one key unlock every one of your digital doors?



Nailing the 60 Blog

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I believe in manicures.  I believe in overdressing.  I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick.  I believe in pink.  I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls.  I believe that tomorrow is another day and … I believe in miracles.  

A day of pampering.  This is also the day I entertain the thought of having two Starbucks. One before my manicure/pedicure and one on the way home.  Three treats in a four-hour period.

As I remember back to the beginnings of this blog, when I was off work for a few months, I recall writing about Starbucks.  A lot.  I was obsessed.  I still am obsessed, but now I don’t find the time to stop in the morning on the way to work.  The one drive-thru location is too busy.  I usually find a few extra minutes on Friday mornings, and that’s when I drive past the drive-thru because there are more than a dozen cars in line. Everyone must run early on Fridays.

My first appointment was at 10:30, so I left the house after placing my Starbucks-to-go order for a non-drive-thru location on the way to the nail salon.  What did we do before this technology?  Get out of our car, wait in line, talk to a barista, wait for your order, and then walk out the door.  Barbaric!  Now, you place your order online, get out of your car, grab your already-made coffee, and leave.  Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.  Also lazy-mazy-let’s-go-crazy.

My nail tech is a perfectionist.  She charges a lot of money but she does an amazing job. Plus, hold on to your wigs and keys, a manicure and pedicure takes three hours!  I have hard gels on my nails and my toes are, well, just toes.  But every month I have my “three-hour tour” (think Gilligan’s Island) and it’s a time to just sit and stare out the window while having my feet massaged.

If only I could travel with my own foot masseuse/reflexologist.



Flying the 60 Blog

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From the movie “Airplane”:  Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your stewardess speaking.  We regret any inconvenience the sudden cabin movement might have caused.  This is due to periodic air pockets we encountered.  There’s no reason to be alarmed and we hope you enjoy the rest of your flight.  By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

Do you remember the days of the Official Airline Guide (“OAG”)? Paper airline tickets? Tickets that were printed with a carbon copy that allowed you to change flight information?  The picture above is from a Pan Am flight in the 1970s.  Can you believe it?

When I graduated college, I went to work for the president of an insurance company (“FTC”) in New York.  I was his assistant’s assistant and, while I didn’t love the insurance business, I loved working in the executive suite.  We had our own little kitchen, bathroom (that was the first time I had ever seen a black toilet!), and conference room.

I think back to the way things were done then.  We answered FTC’s phones and took messages and, at the end of every day, we would type up a list of calls to be returned, and would carry over some of those calls for days at a time.  We were instructed to always put calls through from his kids, and to bring him a glass of cranberry juice every morning.

FTC traveled often.  In the days before Expedia or online airline reservations (yes, kids, this is true!), we would take out the OAG and look for flights.  The OAG was an encyclopedia of every flight everywhere and we’d sometimes need a magnifying glass to read the information.  We would call the travel agent (who was always female), tell her what flights we wanted, and she would messenger over a handwritten ticket stapled into a nice little folder.  If a change had to be made, we would white out the flight info and write in the new info.

Thinking back to those days, how did airlines easily keep track of how many people were on each flight?  Nowadays, airlines know everything about you when you board, and we are all aware of the issue of overbooking flights.  But in the 70s, did the gate agent take the first 100 or 200 people in line with tickets and they would get on the flight?  At the time, it all seemed so easy.  We certainly didn’t know what was coming in the future.

Yesterday, I booked a flight for one of my bosses.  Orange County to Dallas.  I emailed the in-house travel agent, told her what I found online (Alaska Airlines is charging an extra $1500 for the same flights on American; they share the same ticket codes!), and with just a few more communications, she booked the flight, the hotel, confirmed my boss’s TSA pre-check, and sent me his e-ticket.  Two hours of work, max.

Is it easier today?  Sure.  Is it as much fun as pouring over the OAG while picturing yourself traveling to the Congo (which you accidentally opened the page to, when you really wanted Colorado)?  No, not really.



Smiling the 60 Blog

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Your total lack of acknowledging that I am a human being and not a robot has made me want to smile and give you fabulous service … said no server ever.

On Dancing With The Stars this week, gymnast Simone Biles was not smiling and it seemed as if the world would come to an end.  She seemed frustrated with the judges’ feedback and her face showed her disappointment.  Judge Carrie Ann Inaba told her to be careful not to dance “like a metronome,” and host Tom Bergeron said “I was waiting for you to smile at some of the compliments, [but] you didn’t.”  Biles’ response was “Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.”

Bergeron knew he was in trouble from the audience reaction and later tweeted comments like “Loved Simone Biles’ response to my clumsy question” and “The question I should have asked (and have of many contestants) was  ‘What’s your reaction to the judges’ comments?'”  One website reminded us that, after one dance this season, she was criticized for smiling too much to show emotion, and then she wasn’t smiling at the judges’ comments.

Well, which way do they want it?  Biles had tears in her eyes and said “I am trying and I am being honest.  But if they don’t see that, I don’t know what else more I can do.”

Marissa (the best-girl-on-earth) and I were recently discussing the art of smiling.  Many of Marissa’s jobs have been in the restaurant industry.  She has had many restaurant managers tell her (and other servers) to smile.  “It’s your best asset!”  “It will increase your tips!”  Is it?  Does it?

If you’re at a restaurant and the server provides excellent service, but doesn’t smile much, do you give them a nice tip?  If he smiles and gives you okay service, does the smile alone warrant an extra tip?  Is a simple smile essential to you giving the server a few extra bucks?  Ten-year-old research shows that a server’s smile will increase restaurant tips and that, when a server writes “thank you” on the backs of checks, tips may also increase.

Have you worked as a server?  Did smiling make you extra money? Have you ever been the recipient of an enormous tip (say, $500 on a $20 check)?  Did it change your life?