21 December 2009

The Sister Cruise: With Perspective

The Sister Cruise (nothing institutionalized, just 4 boomer women taking a cruise together) was a test in patience last week. Fog delayed our departure by 24 hours but before the Coast Guard and Carnival decided on that delay, we sat in the Mobile (Alabama) Civic Center for 7 hours. We finally bailed to Holiday Inn without waiting for the cruise line-arranged hotel discount. That was good because we paid $88/room and at least some who waited for the arranged room paid $130 (same hotel).

Our shortened cruise to Cozumel was cloudy. Not a problem for us: we preferred the beach without sun. And with a partial refund promised, The Sisters were satisfied that the salvaged cruise would suffice.

Ah, we spoke too soon. Our Fun Day at Sea back to Mobile saw 12' to 15' waves and 50 mph winds. Part of the crew became ill. Lots of passengers were ill. Two Navy sailors near us felt ill, too.

One Sister was particularly aware of the clock and reported that the waves quieted at 3am, about 4 hours before our scheduled docking.

Of course, we didn't dock on schedule. The Coast Guard had closed the channel again—due to bouys blown out of position. More patience as we waited for the all clear.

You might think that we would wish for a different week for the cruise, like this week with its beautiful weather at sea and at the ports. The question is put in perspective with one fact about the cruise following ours: 900 children on board. That makes our experience on The Sister Cruise a tad more tolerable.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

18 December 2009

YO-YO: You're on your own

YO-YO (you're on your own) joins another favorite, YMMV (your mileage may vary), as watchwords for the holidays. These advisories may be uttered best in more gentle language but I think of them as initials before crafting the more congenial translations of "You can make your own choice for lunch and then we'll plan a joint meal for dinner" and "If you'd rather not go to the movie/mall/museum with us, maybe you can think of something you'd enjoy more."

Family holidays!

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

14 December 2009

Carry a big stick

Sometimes Sherman finds whole branches on the ground. There is tremendous noise as he drags them through his flap door. And we feel compelled to let him keep them in the house for an hour or so because, after all, we have favorite leisure pursuits, also.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

11 December 2009

DIY Dog Wash: $6 Soapings

You know the DIY car washes where you are wise to bring your own quarters rather than rely on the change machines? Well, think smaller. We now have dog washes. For a mere $6 you can soap up a canine and try to rinse him off. If you think that $6 is a lot to pay for a bath, then you haven't ever paid a dog groomer for the service. Truth told, Tom Bold and I did not soap up the dog. We actually came to see the "dog park" that a trainer told Tom about. The park is not really a park. It is a commercial establishment (the dog wash) in Colleyville, Texas, with two play yards. One for big dogs and one for small dogs. The big-dog yard has a nice set of structures for an agility course. I'm impressed with the wisdom of the entrepreneur because we will eventually make it back for a $6 DIY soaping. It's that platform that is attractive. And the ramp up to it. And access being possible by two or more humans.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

07 December 2009

New SF Favorite: Hotel Milano

I landed in San Francisco last month for a conference and ended with a hotel night on my own tab. It's usually a good idea to leave the conference hotel when the expense account ends. A happy discovery was Hotel Milano, just off Market and literally at the end of the block of the Westfield Mall.

Rooms are neat, clean, and big enough when you're upgraded. (I am not sure of the size of the intended smaller unit.) Internet access was fine and the view of neighboring buildings no worse than any other San Francisco hotel. For convenience to the Westfield, movies, and the Apple store, the Milano cannot be beat—because its room rent is low. I paid under $100.

I made a similar shift in lodging for a subsequent conference in Atlanta. I stayed in the conference hotel for one night (because I was scheduled to receive one night's lodging on expense account) and then moved to a less costly motel on my own dollars. That would be a drop from $190 per night to $50 per night. You've already guessed it: Motel 6 with AAA discount.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

04 December 2009

Personal Technology: Beach Advisory

Even when the Wave (Google's new email-conversation software) isn't operating, I learn from it. Chillax. The contraction for chill out and relax. With this sort of advisory from my email provider, I am reminded that life is all about chillaxing.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

30 November 2009

Animals in Movie Titles

On my way to the movies last week, I uttered to myself, "If I could sit through Wild Hogs, I can sit through Old Dogs." And that's the moment I made the connection between the titles. You can fairly ask why I would go to a movie if that were my sentiment. Well, I had read the abysmal reviews of Old Dogs but also the cast list. I really did want to see what script would put Ann-Margret, Justin Long, Bernie Mac, Matt Dillon, Rita Wilson, and Amy Sedaris together. (As it turned out, these actors appeared very briefly in scenes that were more skit than story).

That's my cinematic defense. There's also the matter of language: I don't relate to the words wild and hogs. But I'm pretty comfortable with old and dogs.

(Next movie? I'm determined to move to the fox.)

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

27 November 2009

Personal Technology: Target Technology

Target gets the award for best web marketing this season. An email message linked me to the Target web site advertising Black Friday sales plus the sweepstakes entry. I bit.

I had to work a lot. The site advised me that I would need the printed target symbol from the newspaper ad—or I could print one out right there on the web. (That's what I did.)

I followed every instruction, even folding my print-out on the guide lines so that the image was on a smaller field. More crucial to the exercise was the instruction to "allow" the site to access by web cam. My check mark also represented permission for possible videotaping on their side.

Next instruction was to hold my print-out target 18" from the camera and tilt it. Oh, my. The spinning wheel of gifts on the screen started rotating. Next instruction: to select the gift I want, put it in the center spot and hold the paper target close to the camera. Oh, my, oh, my. I was told my gift would be unwrapped. And it was. That step took about 20 seconds. The result: a free soft drink at Target's in-store cafe on specific dates. (I won't make it to Target on those dates.)

So, all that explains how my image appeared on the Target web site (see screen capture above). At least, on my view of the Target web site. Target generated an amazing amount of interaction between me and the web site. I can hardly wait for Christmas.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

23 November 2009

Mainly for Humans: Three Dog Bakery

Happily, Sherman was welcomed in this bakery. It's Three Dog Bakery. We visited the Indianapolis store in October. What's kept behind glass (bakery shelf style) are the delicacies. See below photo for Drooly Dream Bars. No chocolate, so sugar. Just carefully crafted dog food to sell to humans. Although, admittedly, some of the displays spoke to Sherman. Buckets and buckets of bagels make an impression.


© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

20 November 2009

Birthday Cake but Mainly Post Offices

I went to a birthday lunch yesterday and had wonderful cake at the Cheesecake Factory. This one really did have cheesecake, plus red velvet cake, plus sour cream frosting, plus white chocolate shavings. We intended to photograph it at start but instead dove in. Above photo is saved only by the artistic shadow of the fork.

My companion nodded with recognition when I told her about my USPS visit just before lunch. It marked the first time a postal worker has pointed out to me the most expensive route to send a thick envelope instead of the least expensive. He started pitching the $15.44 express method, then the $4-something priority. I pointed out that my side of the monitor showed regular 1st class (at $1-something) as the same 2 business days delivery time as the priority price. He agreed that it did. And finally sold me that stamp.

My lunch companion said something similar happened to her the previous day at her Post Office. The worker asked her if she would like to rent a box. And that's the first time in her life that's been offered across a postal counter.

We wonder if everyone is raising money....

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

16 November 2009

Personal Happiness: Got a Measure?

On a scale of 1 to 4.... or do you know the phrase, I love what I do and I do what I love? Because I am often the last o hear catchy phrases, it was new to me when I heard it in an auditorium in early 2009. At the start of a conference at Claremont Graduate University (the headliner was Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi), a sound technician tested the mikes with that I love phrase. And he sounded genuine. And I was especially impressed because it was before 8:00 in the morning.

Happiness gets a lot of attention in our culture. Some of that attention is on baby boomers, who are said to expect happiness. And because we all assume that the doing generating happiness must be in paid employment, we look to research into job satisfaction. I like this report from a U of Chicago researcher in 2007 on job and general happiness. If you want the fast version (lists), go straight to pages 6 and 7.

Looking at anything from 2007 means looking at stats collected before the Great Recession. So, the next good research will be on happiness in spite of un- and low-employment. And the question of how much happiness today's young adults expect in life and career and will be far more interesting that what boomers expect.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

15 November 2009

Posted from 30,000 feet. Yep, WIFI on the plane. This bit of fancy cost $7.95.

Could not resist.

WYSIWYG not editable.

. Posting with HTML. Clunky. Slow. Still fun.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

13 November 2009

Personal Technology: I'm Waving

Do you remember the anticipation of gmail? Waiting for an invitation? It took months for me. Once initiated to the email system, I have never gone back to Outlook. Well, except for when clients require it, which, as it happens, two do.

I admire universities that have settled on commercial vendors like Google and Yahoo for their email systems. And admire even more those universities that simply say, use any email system (and address) you care to. The key to such a liberal policy is to not try to administer any of it, of course.

Contrasting gmail to everything else, the obvious winner is gmail. Ah, until wave turned up. And it is turning up. I imagine we'll know in a few months whether it's the next obvious winner.

Wave is all about conversation and my early experimentation with it suggests that it's also about speed. Streamlined access to communicating means that email and IM merge (to a ping, even) and then extras are thrown in, too. Like Google Gears. I don't have that loaded yet. But I think it's the drag and drop functionality that just worked its way into gmail this year, too.

OK. So, back to anticipation. Wave is coming by invitation just as gmail did. Good reasons for that, likely. Good way to beta or preview while error reports can be tracked and responded to. Good way to take advantage of early adopters who will tend to do anything for novelty. Good way to market a new product. You know, maximizing that anticipation factor.

So, how did I get wave? Well, it wasn't Google deciding to include boomers although surely there are a few accidentally in the first wave of wave. More likely, the first wave is composed of people just as young as those showing up on my contact list. You see, when I log into wave, it produces a list of wave-enabled users who are also on my gmail list of 2,093 contacts. (Yes, that was a wake-up call.)


I was invited to wave by one of the 5 people that appear on my wave contact list. I'm pretty sure the oldest person there is about 30. No, maybe 35. But the other 4 are 30 or younger. One is a professional staffer at Sloan-C (consortium on distance learning). Two are PhD-holders who are technical managers at Texas universities. One is a PhD student at Stanford. And one is a PhD alum from Princeton who now works in a non-profit. (And I am merely the old person that one of them fondly thought to share a wave with.)


Here's how compelling a wave can be... my laptop is on its last leg, which is to say that Tom Bold inherits it very soon. So, I'm tending it cautiously to keep functioning while I wait for holiday sales. You know what that means: lots of back-ups and no new software. Until wave popped up it's advisory that I need a newer or different browser in order to use the conversation system. (See how I'm already learning the new lingo.) I did not hesitate. I downloaded chrome on the spot.


I hope you are similarly compelled to catch the next wave. I plan to invite all my friends. Of course, it will take a while to work through my gmail contact list....



© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

09 November 2009

Boomers Among the Health Insurance Statistics

As analysts predict the percentage of Americans who will access a public option for health insurance, I continue to wonder if the analysts know the baby boomer mindset about employment in the years approaching retirement. Most women my age (that I know) readily acknowledge that they are working only "for the bennies." If they were able to access health insurance independently (and affordably), they would walk off the job and look for contract work, instead. More of my colleagues than you might guess are in their employers' health plans because of their own pre-existing conditions or their spouses'. Thus, the threat of leaving employment has to do with both cost and acceptance of those pre-existing conditions. Add one more feature: a lot of us are female primary wage earners, our boomer husbands already having been laid off or "retired" early due to the economic downturn.

The economic downturn is a psychological factor, as well, and one could argue that boomers will cling to employment as long as possible. But even on that score, I question the conventional wisdom. The boomers I know say they will cheerfully work part-time or as self-employed independent contractors under this assumption: they are going to have to work forever, anyway, so they want to do it as flexibly as possible in the early years when they still feel like traveling.

These scenarios are not mentioned in the analyses of the health care legislation emerging from Congress. Indeed, there's no good statistical reason that my thinking about "everyone I know" should be reflected in the national dialogue. After all, we are years away from the real impact of whatever legislation is decided. Whatever public option emerges won't do it until 2013 or thereabouts. And so what's the immediate impact? A whole lot of boomers (like me) factoring in the number of years we need to pay for expensive coverage before we can benefit from a more affordable version. So, as house mortgages are paid off, the dollars will shift to health insurance premiums and the new owners of those premiums will...have to work forever, anyway.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

06 November 2009

Personal Technology: Internet on the Road... and In Flight

With the help of an air card (AKA data card), I kept on computing last week while crossing the country on an Interstate highway. (I wasn't driving.) That is, I kept online, not just computing. Any place I could get cell phone service, I could get the Internet on my laptop because I had the air card in a USB slot. Think of it this way: the air card is my computer's cell phone for one function, to access the Internet.

Now, as nifty as I consider this capability, I have to admit there's something fancier: Internet in flight. A colleague emailed me as she crossed the country via plane. Her access cost $7. Necessary? Nope. Nifty? Absolutely.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

02 November 2009

Toy Story 2 Quiz Easier Than the GRE

I spent more than a week waffling on committing nearly 3 hours to the Toy Story double feature. I'm not so much a fan of animation even though the 3D Up caught my fancy earlier this year and Wild Things captured my cinema dollars most recently. I also had no fond memories of the Toy Story movies. I didn't know why. I certainly knew of the films. Why wouldn't I have seen them in first release? Ah... look at the year: 1995. I was taking the GRE. So, I went to the local Harkins for the double feature. And found a test in 2009! The intermission tested our knowledge about the characters. When the quiz at the 3-minute mark asked, "What was the name of Jessie's previous owner?" I didn't have a clue. I didn't even know who Jessie was. Happily, the sequel started just 3 minutes later and I learned all about Jessie and Emily. And I delighted that my quiz this year was so much easier than the GRE.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

30 October 2009

Who buys "live" gourmet lettuce?

I cannot imagine that there's a market for gourmet lettuce that arrives in the grocery in the same shape it left the earth. Who would spend $8 on a head of lettuce even if it came with its own dirt? Oh, my gosh. I did. But I'm also the person who buys wine bottles for the sake of their label designs (and then leaves the bottle in the sunny kitchen window in order to see the label every day, which is bad for the wine, I am told).

So, what's the real benefit of this vegetable purchase? Puts in perspective the price I pay for bagged and washed butter lettuce. I used to think a bag at $3.50 was expensive. Now, I think it's downright cheap.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

26 October 2009

Take Good Care: Part 2

A colleague shared this story after a vacation trip with her elderly mother:

"We needed the help of two security guards to locate Mother. She was missing about 15 minutes. She was an emotional wreck by then and so were we. One of the guards tapped me on the arm and said, Let me give you a tip. Put her photograph on your phone.

"So, for the rest of the trip, I took her picture every morning so it would show the clothes she had on that day."

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

23 October 2009

Take Good Care: Part 1

If you have ever tried to help a friend or family through a rough time, with meals and errands, for example, you know the logistical problems. Online calendars ease the difficulty and the ones designed for care-taking are especially easy. I received a link to CareCalendar through email—clicked on it—and immediately saw the "needs" in red for a family with a new baby. The password-protected site provides as much information as the family chooses to share (photos, directions to house, etc.) and maps out a plan that everyone can check 24/7.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

19 October 2009

More Dodge. And Biggner.

Just a few days ago, I said that the Dodge insignia was popping up all around me. And later that day, it popped up again. This time in large fashion on the back window of a Dodge Charger. It seems there are literally thousands of images you can choose from to display your ram dedication. Layouts for your Facebook page, too. I had no idea.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

16 October 2009

A Dodge Look

It's not the angle of the shot. Certain cars really do have this charging look about them. I react with a nostalgia even though I can't quite place the source. In any case, these cars with the Dodge insignia are turning up all around me. This is because we recently bought one. Not this style. But a Dodge Grand Caravan. (I blogged about that: people who buy minivans for their dogs. And then we became those people. You can fill in the blanks.) I propose that people didn't start buying Dodge cars in huge droves (in fact, we know there have been no droves). I just became aware of the insignia.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

12 October 2009

Comparing Health Care Policy Proposals

Yes, there's the NYTimes blog about health care policy and legislation. But there's another tool that I recommend: Kaiser Family Foundation's Side by Side Comparison of Major Health Care Reform Proposals. In a big blue box, you can select 2 to 12 "sources" such as Senate Finance Committee and House Tri-Committee and then advance to the next blue box to select your topics (e.g., individual mandate, expansion of public programs). When your checkboxes are marked, a button appears above the top blue box: Generate Comparisons. Click it for a clear and easy-to-read chart. When the chart is visible, notice new buttons: Print This Comparison and Create a Different Comparison.

KFF hasn't held shares in the various Kaiser health companies since the 1980s. KFF is regarded as a leading research and policy foundation involved in health issues globally.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

09 October 2009

Name Your Flu

A colleague referred to Hy-Nee Flu and it took me a while (and required confirmation) that she was referring to H1N1. So, we now have three names for the stuff if we count "swine flu," too. We have also added the term seasonal flu to refer to non-H1N1. Used to be, it was just the flu.

Among my friends and colleagues, I actually have a number of folks who need to care. Two are pregnant. Three have compromised immune systems. And a couple are over 65. I'm friends with a preschooler, too. She's not worried but her parents are aware. And many friends work on college campuses where H1N1 is routinely discussed in terms prevention as well as response.

Baby boomers are luckiest, with presumed immunity or least resistance. That's if you were born before 1957, at least. So, there's also the matter of historic flu. Boomers are also probably the most opinionated about what to do about the flu. To move away from opinion, I recommend flu.gov, which comes in 4 flavors: English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese. The web site describes the most vulnerable populations. And provides perspective with maps and facts.

Stay healthy,
Lida

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

05 October 2009

Sonic Cruiser: Me

I used to have graduate students in my life. And they frequently gave me Sonic gift cards. Holidays, I would receive at least a couple of $5 cards. Now, I occasionally receive a Sonic card from a former student and, egads, her daughter. (How did I get to be this age?) But most of the time I'm using my own cash at Sonic. And since many of the drive-ins accept only a Sonic card for auto pay, I have no opportunity to use a credit card. Ah, well, then, I need to buy my own Sonic card and "load it" online using my credit card. You know where that's going: miles.

So, onto the Sonic web site. I learn that it takes many steps to load a card and become a Cruiser. I see a mention of maintaining a balance. That's not necessarily a good place to park my money. On the other hand, it takes many steps to load a card. I go right back into the site and take those many steps again in order to set up a year's plan for auto-loading the card whenever it drops to $30. (It will zoom to $100 within 24 hours with a charge to my credit card. You know: miles.)

As tiresome as this tale is (for me, too, by the way), I am compelled to relate why $30 is my threshold for re-loading. Just last week, I picked up lunch for colleagues on my way to a client's office. The bill at Sonic was $23. So, of course, I want to always have $23 on my Sonic card. (Ironically, that lunch group included two former grad students, both of whom can recite my preferred Sonic drink because, well, they used to bring it to me in another setting.)

When I ended the loading process online and the graphic above appeared on screen, it came with the designation PREFERRED. I can only assume that the demographic for Sonic card loading is an age that recognizes that term. And is amused.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

02 October 2009

Personal Technology: Zap2it for TV listings

I mean, I used to subscribe to TV Guide. Back in the days of the digest size. When I was a child. Or at least 12 or 13. Yes, that's still a child, I'm sure. Finally, in adulthood, I despaired at the timing of the magazine's arrival in the mail. It arrived just in time, not days ahead so that I could preview. (Do all boomers like television this much?)

And then the price started going up. I persisted in buying TV Guide at the grocery store because I relied on it for keeping up with popular culture. It's where I learned about Y necklaces in time to sound alert when my teenaged daughter wanted one. I kept up with a slice of Hollywood gossip without having to ever buy People. That's right. I have never purchased People. Same with the tabloids. These are small stands against promoting paparazzi.

Eventually, the price for TV Guide ended my devotion to the publication. My purchases became fewer and fewer and I began to rely on the online version for TV listings. I smiled broadly when I saw the magazine increase its physical size to a standard format (and I started buying occasionally, no doubt influenced by the cover, proving that to capture boomers' attention you have to make the pictures big). Aha! Enlarged print to satisfy an aging population! Boomers being served! Because I cannot imagine that the demographic includes that younger set of folks who have an entirely different perspective on television, let along television listings.

Where does this get us? Heavy reliance on the online web site, tvguide.com. And so when it reconfigured this Fall to (presumably) create a flashier display, I lost patience. I will not wait for the web site to be perfected. Clicking on a listing used to create a pop-up description. Today, the click expands the grid to (presumably) display a description that can be toggled for display and hide. Well, it doesn't work.

Guess what does? Zap2it. com—with smooth functionality and better customization than tvguide.com's offering.

Now, if you try it out, you might want to go ahead and register before you start customizing. And when you fill in the questionnaire, you might want to leave blank the space for nickname. Rule-follower that I am, I filled in a nickname. "Already taken." So, I filled in another. "Already taken." It took multiple efforts to get to a viable nickname. That's when I realized that the purpose is to have a "handle" for posting comments; it actually wasn't a required field.

So, not that I ever post to any commercial web site, or even to listservs, you'll know it's me if you see sweetpotato on your Zap2it screen.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

28 September 2009

Van travel with dog, a close companion

On a cross-country travel, I learned just how close I can be to a dog. The reason was simple: Tom Bold was traveling separately. So, Sherman had to rely on me as his companion. Top shot: he insisted on sharing my computer desk in the van. For him, it served as a head rest. And that's what my lap was, also, when driving. Photo below is hard to make out...but that's the scene when an 80-pound dog wants to sleep on the front seat. He has to stretch out across the space between seats and put his head on the driver's leg. Sherman, like most dogs, would really prefer a bench seat in a pick-up truck.


© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

25 September 2009

Personal Technology: but someone else's personal event

Besides being a striking study in black and white, this photograph documents another shattered iPhone. Oh, it still works. But I've now seen similar sight for older owners of iPhones, younger owners of iPhones, and in-between-agers, too.

I am certain that I dropped previous cell phones. I had one that frequently split into parts when it hit the pavement. But I could always snap it back together. (One challenging day, that phone scattered into enough pieces that I had to scoop them into a plastic bag. I carried it into the lecture hall, held it high, and was rescued by a student who volunteered to reconstruct it for me. I wouldn't be surprised if it were her most productive and happy day of the semester.)

Of course, with the iPhone, the risk is higher. It shatters instead of scatters (good) but it also resists reconstruction....

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

21 September 2009

Remarkably Memorable Pet Store

Portland no doubt has many fine attributes but the one I saw up close is the welcome to dogs at this Nature's Pet store. Notice the cat scratching post that I was thankful Sherman did not scale. Notice the water bottle that provided him with refreshment on a hot September day. Notice the propped open door that, yes, he entered without hesitation.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

18 September 2009

Remarkably Memorable Market

There are a few remarkably memorable markets in the country and the Sanitary Public Market of Seattle is one of them. Seattle in sunshine is equally memorable. Sights/sites include the original Starbucks and more people in sandals than I've seen in a long time.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

14 September 2009

Travel in the Sherman Tank

Travel in the Sherman Tank has nothing to do with military history. We bought a minivan for the dog (the rationale for which is clear to me although admittedly for decades I didn't understand why other people did this) when he grew to such a size that he blocked our entire rear view in the Prius. The minivan solved that: Sherman can stand but we still have clearance above his head. Until today. En route to a relative's house, with boxes filling the back of the van, we once more had blocked rear view. That's because Sherman simply jumped atop the boxes and rummaged merrily through the contents. He is big. And curious about his environment. We can hardly wait to get him back to the floor of the van.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (http://www.marybold.com/, http://www.boldproductions.com/, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

11 September 2009

Corporate and Kid -- Welcome Home, Troops

Over Labor Day weekend, I saw my first Welcome Home, Troops display at an airport. Just hadn't run across that before, and this one was minus the actual soldiers. Several hallways of a DFW Airport reception area were plastered with a mix of corporate and child-decorated signage. There's a level of energy in such a display that has nothing to do with its size (although I suspect a large airport could make a small display appear even smaller). I have absolutely no idea what happens afterward but I hope a few families take home some of the signs.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

07 September 2009

Spartan Lodgings a Plus

We have adopted (a dog) and adapted (to dog life). So, that means that our new favorite motel chain is the Red Roof Inn. It is spartan. It is plain. Those are great characteristics for a room where a dog will sleep on vacation. Sherman cannot find anything to chew on. We stay only at hotels where he is legal. Our recent stay, just a couple of miles from a big dog park, was in a facility that allows dogs up to 80 pounds. We drove to Houston quickly as Sherman weighed in at 79 that week.

So far, we have not had to pay a deposit or extra fee. I imagine we'll make that a goal.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

04 September 2009

When Coach is Roomier Than First Class

My DFW-BWI-DFW round-trip flight had the expected "full-up" first class sections. Yep. Every seat taken. So, it was the ride in Coach (both directions) that was superior. I had my own row of seats (both directions) as did the majority of passengers (both directions).

You couldn't miss the message on those planes. But just in case I might be unobservant, I could rely on the article in USA Today that I read during take-off: American's lay-off of 921 flight attendants and Southwest's reduction in routes are "examples of airlines trying to cope with a steep drop in air travel." The article went on to provide startling statistics but I had my own in view.

I had one more surprise on that flight: the announcement that "We no longer accept cash on board. We do accept these cards...."

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

31 August 2009

Tour of the Nation's Dog Parks

Like many retiring boomers, we have looked forward to making a tour of the National Parks (spread over several years, not a single tour). But we actually spend more time locating and visiting dog parks. They are sometimes called bark parks, which I find far too cute to actually say, of course.

The agility course (photo above) for canines is actually not the show-off feature of the Congressman Bill Archer Dog Park in Houston. The outstanding and much more popular feature is the set of swimming pools for the dogs. The pools are well maintained and deep enough for even large dogs to get some real swimming experience. Smart dog owners come to the park armed with towels.

How did Sherman do? He visited twice across two days. The second visit was for 3.5 hours. He played non-stop among about 60 animals. And then he slept all the way home to Dallas. And then he slept all the way through the night. (That's a lot more rest than his daily 1.3-hour walk generates.) So, all we have to do to tire out this dog is drive him to Houston for a proper play day.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

28 August 2009

Boxes. Just lots of boxes.


My trip to the Container Store included many temptations. These mahogany boxes were among them. Wood. Boxes. Think of the fun.

But I have found in the past few years a new perspective. Those boxes now represent dusting. Collecting. More dusting. And eventually throwing out the contents.

The boxes themselves would make their way to the garage after a number of years of service (dusting, collecting, dusting, throwing out) in the house. They would be presumed as being "put to use" organizing things in the garage.

In actuality, that's where they would really become dusty, the sort of dust that doesn't wipe off so easily. Eventually, they would become coated with enough sticky residue that they would qualify to hold oil cans. You know the kind.

And so I didn't buy them.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

24 August 2009

Window dressing

Maybe the Container Store in Southlake (and other locales) would say this painted closet is nothing new. But it was to me. I'm still pretty much charmed at the idea of window dressing that's just an IMAGE of what's inside. It reminds of Katy Bold's explanation to me of an informal dress code communicated at a business she consulted for: if you can find the article clothing on the Banana Republic web site, you can wear it to work. That doesn't have a lot to do with the Container Store's window dressing but it's what it reminded me of.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

21 August 2009

Hanging around motels




Quite pleased with myself. It's taken only 5 decades to figure out how to close the view of the drapes in the motel room on the ground floor. Have you noticed that there's always a gap between the panels? And that the stick pulls just don't work?

There's one more circumstance I want to use hotel closet hangers with: the billowing drape. That's when the air conditioner is directly below the drapes.



© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

17 August 2009

Pre-Medicare Lessons

The nice thing about visiting hospitals is all you can learn from the social worker. Baby boomers are still pre-Medicare but close enough to have teachable moments.

That was our experience last week when we asked how Medicare would cover a hospital expense, which of course is a commentary on just how close we are to Medicare. The social worker's answer surprised us. Medicare patients have a pretty good deductible of just a little more than a thousand dollars. But that's good for only 60 days.

Get sick right away and land back in the hospital? Your deductible is already paid.

Get healthy for several months and then land back in the hospital? You have to pay another deductible.

That's why people carry secondary insurance and, according to the social worker, it's cheap. (We haven't checked. But I'm sure we will.)

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

14 August 2009

Hospital Heuristic

Tip for communicating around hospital life: When cell phones won't operate, log into whatever ultra-slow Internet connection you pick up, and email messages using only the subject line. Think about it—messages in and out of hospitals can be pretty darn short and don't deserve the long wait for the message to open.

To wit:

OK?
Waiting dr.
OK?
more blood draw
OK?
Waiting lunch
OK?
bring robe.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

10 August 2009

Social Savings

The tabs at the top of the Smarty Pig web site tell the full story of the piggy-bank savings site. This is a place to socially network your way to savings. As in, invite others to contribute to your savings goal. It's a place for alternative wedding registry and just the old-fashioned Help Maggie Get to Space Camp campaign. For those of us who remember, it's also the old Christmas Club at the bank. I never actually had a Christmas Club but I grew up hearing women say they were going to open one next year.... That was in the 1960s.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

07 August 2009

Not tweets, but the same behavior

Celebrations shared via iPhone

We're not the only boomers who photograph our food... We go out for Tom Bold's birthday and take a cell phone photo of the meal and immediately email it to far-away family members. Other instant sends: while shopping, while traveling, while admiring Sherman at the dog park. It's not at the level of sending tweets but I imagine we're tapping into the same human urge.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

03 August 2009

What's important to boomer women

How can I not spend one more blog entry on Sonic Headquarters? I mean, a reader actually located a pic and sent it to me. I must honor that. And also take note of what is important to boomer women in the South. It is ice.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

31 July 2009

You think you know someone.

I have always trusted The Sociologist's priorities. I had no reason to doubt her earlier this week, certainly, when she called to say that she had just seen a 3-story Sonic in Oklahoma City. Well, yes, that is news in the South, where we populate our towns with the low-slung drive-ins that offer the best ice in the land.

She assured that she would be getting back to the location for a photograph before leaving the city. And much later, after she left the city, she called to say, "would you believe that 3-story Sonic is world headquarters?" Well, all right! Sonic has a home office! It's not just tips and receipts and a cash register managed by a teenager.

So, I said, you got the photograph. Well, no, she admitted.

You think you know someone.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

27 July 2009

American workplaces undergoing change

2009 has already seen remarkable changes in the American workplace. The Great Recession has prompted more lay-offs than we're accustomed to, more cost-saving measures than any office likes to see, and furloughs that will soon stop feeling like vacations and start feeling like pay cuts.

What could change it more? A voluntary exodus by employees who will happily take their chances on becoming independent contractors (instead of full-time employees) if they have access to guaranteed health care insurance. I would need several hands to count the number of boomer women I know who "work for the bennies" for themselves and (for some) their spouses.

I asked Tom Bold yesterday if he thought that described boomer men, too. He agreed: former colleagues are already making the comparison between full-time work and three-quarter-time (contract) work, but with that matter of health insurance keeping them on a job. That job is becoming more and more demanding as lay-offs continue so the prospect of working from home, whether for one client or several, is becoming more and more attractive.

Such an exodus could be a brain drain from the employer's perspective but could also be a solution for balance sheets that are currently hurting. Some employers might find out for the first time what really attracts talent to their companies. And some might find out what percentage of workers were responsible for what percentage of productivity.

And a whole lot of boomers might find their adjustment to the recession a whole lot happier.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

24 July 2009

Movies: It was the same but different

Yesterday, when I took myself off to a movie, it was the same but different from 2001 when I sat in a different theatre, different town, but experienced the same period of adjustment as I realized I was seeing something I had not planned to see.

In 2001, I don't recall what movie I intended. But as I sat in the opening few seconds, with the screen turning orange, I was certain the mood being set was not the one for a typical Lida movie. Indeed. The movie was Training Day. R, brutal, and an award-winner (or maybe it was the actors who won awards). I had walked into the wrong show. I stayed, wary but fascinated.

Yesterday was the same but different. Within a single minute of the movie's start, I realized this was not my movie. Now, I cannot claim that I walked into the wrong theatre. I held the right ticket for I Love You, Beth Cooper. It's just that I thought it would be something more along the lines of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which I actually saw and considered mildly amusing. I didn't say good. I said mildly amusing. And for Beth Cooper, I have to report that lots of other people actually liked it. The theatre was more than half-full (unusual for the times that I go to the movies) and people laughed sympathetically as the grown men and women on screen worked hard to resemble high school seniors. I will say this: I didn't have to close my eyes for violent scenes. Of course, by the time I left I was feeling pretty violent....

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.