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Showing posts from April, 2012

This Band

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I'm going to see this band tomorrow (Monday) night.  Bet I'm the oldest person there.  Doesn't matter - music is universal.

Mind and Soul

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When I first saw this quote this morning I was tempted to post just the picture and not any commentary. Then I started thinking about it. What does this actually mean?



These kinds of simple quotes are open to many interpretations; perhaps that is why they are so popular. I often observe and write about soul-related thoughts. The soul, in this context, is not necessarily the religious definition we are taught, but more of the undefined “thing” that guides our feelings. We often ‘feel’ something that is sad or confusing or depressing leading us to want to ‘heal’ our soul. This quote tells us our soul can heal itself … IF we don’t let thoughts get in the way.

The soul can be instinct. We act on how we feel. However, we can easily over-think our feelings and second-guess them by considering every possible option. Our mind shouts conflicting advice, clouding our decision process. We know how we feel, but the voice inside challenges our feelings, telling us we should or should not act in ce…

What An Interesting City

My second visit to New York City this month was even more interesting than the first. This one involved meetng many media peers face to face for the first time, rather than our usual email correspondence.   I also was able to see a part of Manhattan that is less tourist and more local, specifically an area called TriBeCa. 

Some random observations:
- Waiting for a train in the Amtrak seating area at Penn Station I saw a pigeon flying through seeking food scraps. Yes, inside the station. 
- The attractive woman sitting next to me was having a cell phone chat in Russian. 
- A local colleague taught us the proper way to hail a taxi. The ones with a center roof light on are available; and don't tell the driver where you're gong till you're in the cab because if you're 'only' going a mile or two rather than all the way to an airport, they might not take you. 
- There is an eclectic (seemingly zoning-free) mix of structures in TriBeCa, including hotels, offices,…

May and December

This post is about love and age and not a calendar. Are you familiar with the term “May-December Couples”? That refers to couples with a sizable age difference, usually thirty or more years.

We all seem to snicker when we read about such things, which I did for a moment while reading the article that made me think of this today, but the older I get the less I snicker. I think it is perfectly fine. Age shouldn’t matter when it comes to love and connection, right? I love the idea – of course I do! My ego loves the idea that I could get involved with someone thirty years younger than me. My question is this: why would a twenty-four year-old woman get romantically involved with a fifty-four-year-old man? I don’t think there is anything wrong with that; I just don’t see it from the woman’s perspective. There might naturally be some perspective differences relating to music or those “where were you when such and such happened” questions, but there doesn’t have to be any other issue. Each co…

Some Stuff

I went to the gym today for the first time in two months and only the second time since my medical issues began. In terms of strength I am almost all the way back to where I was three years ago. Ugh.

Watched NASCAR this afternoon. I really hope to see a race at a track this year and not just on television. My best shot at that is next weekend but I have already passed on that great opportunity (which includes tickets and track credentials) because I just have too many things to do all week. Being sensible and pacing myself sucks sometimes.

Happy Earth Day.

Hmmm, watching auto racing on Earth Day. NASCAR racers get around 5 miles per gallon ... Maybe a little more this year because they've just gone to fuel injection instead of carburetors. Fuel management sometimes wins races, so logic tells me technological advances in auto racing can be good for the environment.

Now I'm watching the Washington Capitals hockey playoff game on tv. Wish I could be at the game. I'd have take…

Questions Teens and Seniors Ask

Many boomers are technophobic. They can barely keep up with technological advances like smart phones, computers, online banking or more routine but increasingly common options like self-checkouts and self-ticketing kiosks. I fully embrace the first three examples but I am less excited about the last two.

Self-check at grocery and big box home improvement stores still has too many glitches for my taste. I don’t use them much, so I have to slowly think through the instructions each time. And then something goes wrong nearly every time and a human has to come fix it. I’d prefer to just go to the human in the first place.

Ticket kiosks seem to be a great idea but they are still at the edge of my comfort level. Why do I have to use my credit card to print out an airline ticket when my company’s travel agency bought the ticket? Is my credit card my ID? I travelled by Amtrak last weekend and it almost seemed odd to walk up to a human ticket agent, show my driver’s license ID and have her gi…

For now … so long

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He was such a big part of our lives for so long that it’s hard to believe he is gone. We haven’t seen much of Dick Clark directly since his stroke in 2004, except for during the final seconds of each New Year’s Rockin’ Eve when we watched him struggle to speak and couldn’t decide whether to congratulate him for overcoming obstacles or change the channel because it was so uncomfortable to see.

The direct connection between Dick Clark and every generation from boomers to millennials was the on-camera part of his career. American Bandstand was a ground-breaking national television show that made every new generation of popular music palatable to the generations that tried to latch onto the past and dismiss the future. It started as a local show in Philadelphia and Elvis was the first guest on its first national broadcast in 1957. During its thirty-year run, the show helped launch careers of everybody from Buddy Holly to the Talking Heads.

We also saw him extend the variety of music conne…

They’ll Take Back My Card

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If there was a Space Flight Geek card, NASA would take mine back today. I knew the Shuttle Discovery was being flown into Dulles Airport near Washington DC today but I didn’t go anywhere to see it. It circled parts of the DC area for an hour before finally landing. It even flew over the suburban town where I work; I was in the building at the time and didn’t realize it had flown nearby till I saw a co-worker’s picture of it on Facebook. That’s his shot with this post, not mine. I could have taken one with my iPhone like he did; but even better, I could have taken photographs with my “good” camera. None of that occurred to me until it was too late.

What kind of space flight geek am I anyway? How could I not act on this stuff today? That bruise on my butt is from me kicking myself in the ass for missing yet another opportunity to see a Space Shuttle in flight. What I really wanted to do for years was visit Florida for a launch. I was on their email list and knew well in advance every ti…

NYC Stuff

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It's easy to forget what else is close to DC. It only takes 3 hours and 10 minutes to get to New York by train, with stops in Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia.

The meetings that brought me here this time involve tv & radio people. Some of the tv anchors look the part, well dressed, well groomed, authoritative.

New York is alive!  Loud, bright, fast, dirty, expensive, sparkly.  I probably  couldn't live here because I would get tired of some of that but it's fun to visit.

I walked twenty blocks from my hotel back to the train station. Crazy, I know, but my recent medical crap meant I haven't exercised much lately so this walk was good. Funny part is that I tried to walk fast like a local but slow-moving tourists kept getting in the way.

Wish I had booked an extra day around the business part of this visit. I might add a day to my next trip in a few weeks.

Drink up ...

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Too busy to write anything new today, but this is interesting ...

Hmmmm ...

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A Good Quote for Today

Saw this on Facebook.  I tried to just copy it from the source, which would have also given you nice graphics and a web site address for more, but it wouldn't work.  So I'm just, uhhh, quoting the quote.

Strength
doesn’t come
from what you can do.


It comes from
overcoming
the things you once thought
you couldn’t.

Creepy Facebook Stuff

Two Facebook friends died in the past couple of weeks. Both were former co-workers who I didn’t really know all that well and hadn’t seen in a year or more. But it’s just creepy that they both died at a young age, both in the same few weeks and both are still on my FB friends list.

Both of them were in media, one in news for most of his career and the in news for part of hers. News legend Mike Wallace died this week too. Creepy. And no, Wallace was not one of my FB friends.

Do you ever look at the ‘people you may know’ part? Do you know any of them? Do you try to ‘friend’ them? When did ‘friend’ become a verb?

I looked at a few hundred of the people I may know a little while ago and I do not know most of them. But I saw a few from the past that I actually want to connect with again. And some I never want to connect with. And some fairly famous people in my line of work who would probably find it creepy that I want to be their ‘friend.’ And a couple of top management executives in my c…

An Icon Gone

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Mike Wallace died over the weekend at age 93.

He was a fearless “60 Minutes” reporter full time until his upper 80s, and part time for a few more years, finally retiring in 2008. CBS waived it’s rule of forced retirement at age 65 (do they really still have that stupid policy?). He interviewed plenty of famous people including suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian, several prominent figures in the Watergate scandal and Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini (during the hostage crisis). His interviews often seemed more like interrogations and some of his subjects deserved that kind of questioning.

Wallace started his journalistic career in print, then radio and ultimately television during its early years. He was the first person hired for “60 Minutes” in 1968. His famous style included something that came to be called “ambush interviewing,” in which he’d corner reluctant interviewees, camera crew with him. Before the early 1960s he also did entertainment reporting and commercials, but switched to most…

That Web Thing

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When did you first use the internet, either for email or to browse web sites? Do you remember what web sites looked like then compared to now?

My first time for email was 1991 and I first surfed a year or two later. I didn’t have my own internet service till around 1994 or 95, dial up AOL; my web exposure was at one of my jobs at the time. Web sites were text heavy, with few pictures, only a few colors and little or no audio or video.

According to an article in Fortune magazine recently, there are 400 million devices connected to the internet today. It is predicted that there will be 50 billion (billion with a B) on the internet by 2020, including those in cars and appliances, and many will be talking to each other. “Terminator” isn’t looking that farfetched anymore, is it?

Bigger questions: How often are you online? How much do you depend on the internet? Do you shop or bank on it? Do you watch TV shows on sites like hulu, fancast or CBS.com? Is the internet in your pocket or purse a…

Med Update

If you visit here regularly, you might remember I had a mysterious medical issue going, starting in Mid-January. It got worse for awhile. Being the obsessive person that I am, I read up on every possible condition, those suggested by doctors, others suggested by concerned friends, others found by typing in symptoms on a web site. I had some symptoms for a lot of things but very few of the total list of symptoms for anything.

The neurologist got me treatments for the main symptoms, mostly muscular in nature, and I am now feeling much better. Most of the pain, numbness and loss of strength has gone. Some symptoms linger but I am slowly returning to normal.

What was it? They don’t know. Doctors ruled out nearly everything it seemed along the way. Apparently this was a random flare up of some kind, with no obvious trigger.

I rarely get sick, other than routine colds and occasional flu, but when I do, I do it big. This is the third of fourth time in my entire life that I’ve experienced a s…

Dogs and Cats

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You Are A Blend of Cottage & Transitional

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Have you ever seen surveys on a web site that are supposed to help you narrow your choices among a dizzying array of product choices?

I found one on a furniture store site recently and answered their questions, with a great deal of skepticism. Much to my surprise they nailed it.

You are casual and informal. You eschew anything that conveys "stuffy" and instead collect items full of charming character. While you have an interest in outdoor activities, your home is a haven.

Then it went on to some psychological analysis ....

You are self-assured, and balance passion and purpose. You are devoted to your family and friends, and enjoy entertaining at home.

They mostly got that right too. How? I am surprised by how far Marketing has advanced in the years since I studied it in college. Of course I assume some software algorithm in the survey leads to one of a set of stock analytical results and many people get the same write up I got. But it is still interesting how 'accurate'…

Remembering and Forgetting

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I’m a calendar freak and I admit it. I have two or three at home, several at work, paper and digital, and one in my iPhone. Anniversaries and birthdays are important to me. You would think I wouldn’t forget dates but I missed three big ones so far this year.

First, my Dad’s birthday. He died more than ten years ago so it’s not always on my mind. He is but not his birthday. This is the second year I blew past February without remembering. Mom’s birthday was a few days ago. Blew past it. She died a few years ago too but how can I forget April 1st?

In the middle of a conversation at dinner tonight a friend and I realized this is opening week for Major League Baseball. There was a game on the TV in the restaurant. Wow, baseball season is here already? How did we miss that? As we’re laughing about it I realized this week is the anniversary of my moving from Texas to Maryland a couple of decades ago. This week! How could I forget it? My first day at my new job that week included the home op…

T-shirt

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Wow, where can I buy THIS t-shirt?

Willpower

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I’m laughing at myself right now. I just made a decision between a bowl of ice cream and a margarita … I chose the ice cream. Sure, I could have had both but I have willpower. At least that’s what I tell myself. Did I say “bowl” of ice cream? It started as a small bowl, but I went back for more and finished the pint.

I’ve been pretty good about the diet I put myself on a few months ago. I had identified my food weaknesses and finally made a plan I could stick to. I lost fifteen of the twenty I was shooting for. Notice this is past tense. A side effect of the meds I was on last week is increased appetite. Wow, they weren’t kidding. The vending machine that’s fifty feet from my desk at work is one of the weaknesses I identified and I went for nearly three months without feeding that beast. Last week, however, I popped coins and bills into that thing several times a day.

Ice cream is another weakness. I have a tremendous amount of willpower at the grocery store, but not much at home. Whe…

Retirement? What The Hell Is That?

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I attended a wonderful party last night celebrating the life of a former co-worker who died recently at the fairly young age of 66. He is a legend in my field and this event served not only as a warm remembrance but also a reunion of colleagues. I was the only person in the room who still works at that company. It was great to see several people who used to work there who I had lost touch with.

Many people there are at the leading age edge of Baby Boomers, as was the man who died. A universal question as we each greeted each other was “so what are you doing now?” One said, “My 66th birthday is next week and I’m going on Social Security.” Another, who was my boss at another job years ago, said “I just retired three months ago.” Nearly everyone else in the room over the age of 55 had moved onto other backup careers and was planning to retire soon and those under 50 had moved onto other interests and no intention of retiring.

Retirement was on my mind years ago. In my forties it became o…