02 August 2010

The Staging Stuff: Decision-Making

This blog will be a little different in the month of August as we deal with the staging stuff. That is, the household items we removed from our home at the direction of the house stager.

I might not hit the regular posting days of Monday and Friday. I might not even be able to identify a day by its name. My greatest concern is that I won't remember what city I'm in.

That's already happened this month and it's only August 2.

This photo reflects not the biggest of our problems with belongings, rather the most challenging in terms of decision-making. When you rent a storage unit (actually, we rented two) and put stuff in it, eventually you have to decide how to take stuff out. Timing, locations, and hardest of all, the decision to sort and toss as you now admit that you lived without the item for 5 months. Do we really need two wheeled ice chests when the only one we use is a soft-sided smaller version?

© 2010 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.

30 July 2010

Personal Technology: Real Time Progress Reports

OK. So, it's not personal personal technology.

A relative ran in the San Francisco Marathon last weekend and paid a grand sum of $1 to have automatic text messages update his progress. Think about that: location, time of day, time in race, and even pace can be reported.

(He told me afterward that he wished he had included reports to his own cell phone.)

© 2010 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.

26 July 2010

Old Movies

Boomers will recognize my late-night movies of the past month: The Long, Long Trailer from 1953 (Desi was Nicky in this one and the perilous drive across mountains is much funnier when you are old and have done it), 9 to 5 from 1980 (the anecdote of choice is that during the filming the female stars were complaining of the heat one day and Dolly remarked that she could remember when no one had air conditioning and that humbled the ladies), Hello, Dolly from 1969 (in which a very different Dolly is decidedly not wooed by, I had forgotten, Walter Matthau), The Great Race from 1965 (Jack Lemmon chewing scenery, but very well), and Captain Newman, M.D. from 1963 (so, did I know how to place Peck and Darin and Curtis when I was 11 years old?).

The only one of these I shouldn't have seen in a theatre is The Long, Long Trailer. Surely I saw that on television as a child. But for the others, I enjoyed thinking of my age at the time of their release. The scenes I remembered were not necessarily the highlights of the movies....

© 2010 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.

23 July 2010

Recessing: Try India

And we learn from the young. Travels and Investigations has several topics but the central piece is the author's reason for living in India. With no job prospects in the U.S., the new college grad returned to the site of his semester abroad and found room and board provided for work as a translator and copyeditor. He lives on about $10 cash per week, less than his family would spend on him if he were still in the states, job-seeking.

Within my circle, I regularly point to The Sociologist's offspring, who made similar travels on next-to-zero dollars when jobs were not plentiful when they graduated college. A relative went to Americorps after a lay-off. And another relative is taking a leap of faith in leaving a frustrating job even if it means taking a so-called "lesser" position in the same field. These are the decisions of young people who look around, wonder if there's a better way to spend their day, and then strike out on a new adventure.

I wouldn't call the process opting-out (exactly) but it does require an understanding that the individual cannot control societal circumstances. We humans have a tendency to take responsibility for tough times. The lay-off is experienced as personal failure. The lack of job offers represents not being good enough. It doesn't take much observation to realize that the job market is more than just difficult, and that the individual job-seeker is not responsible for the mess. But when you're the unemployed one, it can be hard to get to that realization.

As the economic downturn has played out, more of the unemployed are getting the message. Trying harder won't produce a job. Every other job applicant is trying harder, too. That leads to other realizations and lots of depression, of course. But we can appreciate the young (and probably some old, too) taking advantage of their mobile opportunities. Not a bad way to spend the Great Recession.

© 2010 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.

19 July 2010

Sunday Morning at the Movies

In the nicest possible ways, in the olden days, friends sometimes teased gently about my Sunday morning habits. If you are familiar with Texas Wal-Marts, you'll be able to spot the era: a neighbor referred to my Sunday shopping as attending the Church of Hypermart. That was when there was a Hypermart (just for a few years and just in a couple of DFW locations).

In the more recent past, I took up Sunday morning movies. No crowds, even for blockbusters, and sometimes early bird ticket prices. A few friends would point out that most of the community was going to church at that time.

I keep repeating in the past because no one makes such remarks to me anymore. So, yesterday, I was a little at a loss when I had an intense desire to tell someone that church had come to the movies. Literally. My most usual cinema now houses a church meeting on Sunday mornings. Attendees sail past the ticket booth and ticket taker. The Bibles they carry may be their ticket. I have idly wondered if anyone ever stops for popcorn.

© 2010 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.

16 July 2010

Personal Technology: Detergent Dispenser

Oh, yes, this is personal technology. At least, I'm adopting it for myself. Smart young women around me know all about this new style of dispensing detergent. One week, two younger friends starting talking about laundry detergent that can be squirted into the washer--and the next week, I visited a West Coast friend who had placed one of these pump bottles in my laundry closet.

Perhaps that is not the most startling coincidence of my life but I took it to mean that young women adopt smart products at the same time and then the ideas diffuse slowly across generational lines.

Anyway, despite cost considerations (all my young friends said the same thing, that they were intentionally not calculating the cost), this style of detergent dispensing is the niftiest invention since liquid laundry detergent itself. The terms for dispensing are various: squirt, spray, pump, even projectile. And dosing is recommended for 2, 4, and 6 pump actions depending on size of load. That's not too much to learn. And the benefits are obvious. No pouring. No spilling. (This is not an ad... I have not received any compensation or even free product. Darn. That would have been nice.)

© 2010 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.

12 July 2010

New Touring: Rental RVs

This is not an ad. It's more like a puzzle. When did RV rentals become so obvious? I thought people rented RVs when they were contemplating buying. (I'm sure that contemplation matter is part of the current marketing around rentals, too.) But these colorful campers lined up in Yellowstone parking lots made a statement: RVing can be temporary and affordable.

Shortly after I saw these Cruiseamerica rentals on the road, I heard Click and Clack on the subject (NPR's Car Talk on Saturday mornings). They were advising a caller to ignore family debate about which car to drive to a national park, and simply fly everyone to Denver and rent an RV. Well, good grief. When did this become travel advice?

About 20 years ago, a boomer friend in Florida flew her family to Denver where they rented a jeep and a plug-in cooler for park touring. We thought that was exotic.

© 2010 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.

09 July 2010

Even wider swath

I didn't photograph when I drove down a different neighborhood road today. But I will. There's more swath. In the meantime, see photo in my last entry. And just quadruple it.

© 2010 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.

05 July 2010

A wide swath: Neighborhood change

Most boomers have seen neighborhoods much changed after an absence of several years. And that's what Tom Bold and I discussed for our North Texas home. Assuming we make a planned move in 2010, we will likely return for a business visit within the next two years. And we commented that we'll need to be prepared for the changes in landscape in the surrounding areas. What we didn't expect is that after this summer's 2-week trip we would come home to a new landscape less than a mile from our house. "A wide swath" is the phrase that comes to mind.

© 2010 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.

02 July 2010

Seattle's Big Library

The Seattle Public Library has a planter that is roughly 20' by 16' and it is just an accent piece. Nothing could dominate the space of this Library. Not even the books.

This city building is striking for its size and architecture. It holds people in a fashion that never seems loud, crowded, or bustling even though many people are present. The Library lets cardholders use a computer for 90 minutes a day. The Library lets people read on site with no limits. The Library even lets people get married there.

© 2010 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.

28 June 2010

Grizzly Bears & Humans

A little more than a week ago, an older man was killed by a Grizzly bear near Yellowstone. The man was a local and knew he was going into a trapping area. Small consolation but in the category of we all get to choose the way we go.

What Tom Bold and I saw the same day in the park represents much less thought and conscious choice. We saw 3 Grizzlies that Thursday. One, from a distance across a meadow, was running and romping. We were struck by how large the bear must be, for us to have such a clear view at a distance.

The next sighting was scary. A mother Grizzly and her cub, with humans standing as close as 20 feet. It was a grove-like area with shade, and very near the paved road. (That's why we had a view for about 30 seconds. We dodged cars and people to drive away from the scene.)

What would make about 50 humans (adults and children) gather around a mother and cub? Why would drivers be comfortable pulling half-way off the road and leaving their cars to approach for a better look?

All I can think is that the humans felt safe because there were other humans around. A group of humans? No animal can take on a group of humans.

And technically that's true. Even a Grizzly cannot attack the whole group. But she could surely take out one or two humans.

Tom Bold pointed out the other risk: any movement by the bear would trigger a group exit in which humans would get hurt by humans.

I am very glad I saw the bears. I am very glad we kept moving.


© 2010 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.

25 June 2010

Personal Technology: Books on iPad

I didn't imagine myself putting children's books on the iPad but I'm pretty delighted with two that have ended up there.

The Cat in the Hat proves that touchpad technology can, indeed, guide children to reading. I really don't want to hear any more about trends in the ways of teaching people how to read. Just put kids on iPads. Reading will follow. (The Dr. Seuss classic costs a few bucks.)

Toy Story is not quite the powerful teaching tool of the Cat but it has two great features. First, it offers a paint bucket for touchpad artistry (erasure is with the etch-a-sketch technique of shaking the iPad). Second, it's free. Yep, a free app.

© 2010 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.

21 June 2010

Spouse's Best Deal: Worth the Aging

Boomers may not care to disclose their own ages (wide variety of opinions on that), but they almost always enjoy an older spouse's advancement, for the sake of senior discounts. (Other eligibility, such as Social Security and Medicare, may be welcomed, too.)

For me, last week, that was the case as Tom Bold purchased his National Parks Senior Pass. $10. That's for life, now. It's also worth some discounting on other federal lands.

The free/discounted entry to parks/lands extends to anyone riding in the same car. That is, Tom Bold and his Pass must be in the car. Anyone else (me) in the same car is just as free/discounted.

Is this a deal, or what?

© 2010 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.

18 June 2010

Personal Technology: Driving while in Overdrive

I mean, literally driving while in Overdrive. Let me clarify, I don't do the driving while in Overdrive. Tom Bold does the driving and I utilize Overdrive (the unit) to access the Internet on a computer or iPad or iPhone (and presumably any other web-based unit).

Here's the plus that I knew but didn't process until recently. With the Overdrive from Sprint, and the iPhone from AT&T, I have lots of coverage, meaning I'm bound to be in a territory for one cellular service or another. Coverage is documented on the cell services' web sites. If I could magically improve one of them, it would be Sprint's map of data service coverage. In today's age of google mapping, it's hard to forgive a clunky, chunky map like Sprint's.

(The AT&T Coverage Viewer looks remarkably similar to the Spring Coverage Tool… but the AT&T version has smoother operation.)

These are the tools of a mobile society. And the specific tools of un-tethered boomers. More on un-tethering later.

Disclosure statement: I have no relationship with any product or company mentioned here and I have not received any compensation or free product for mentioning them. (This blog's only monetary reward comes through google.adsense links, which are selected by Google, not by me.)

© 2010 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.

14 June 2010

New Favorite Retirement Calculator

I have a new favorite retirement calculator. It's from an independent, Bud Hebeler. That's in contrast to an investment or brokerage house. Hebeler is a former president of Boeing and an all-around smart person on the subject of personal finance.

His web site is Analyze Now! (the exclamation mark is part of the name but the URL is just www.analyzenow.com] It has a lot of explanations, and a fair number of FAQs, but its real strength is in the calculation programs. The programming is presented in Excel spreadsheets. Don't worry that the programs require knowledge of Excel; they don't. When a spreadsheet opens, you just follow the instructions and plug in numbers in the highlighted cells. Results will appear near the top of the screen, with explanation if it's needed.

Hebeler's guided tour of retirement doesn't have the 4-color pizzazz of the commercial web sites. But in its quieter way, with no sales pitches, it inspires confidence in the major source of information, the user. After all, if I can follow the steps to analysis, surely I can follow the steps to action.

© 2010 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 June 2010

Personal Technology: SkyDrive

I have a new web app: Microsoft's Office online. A web app (application) runs entirely in a browser. So, you do need Internet access. But you do NOT need Microsoft Office on your computer.

These free Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote) are lite—they don't have every feature that the hard-drive version of Office provides. But they are free (and the hard-drive version definitey isn't).

Web apps put us up in a cloud. Cloud computing has been promised for a while but it has come with some clunky apps (at least the free ones). Microsoft's version is not clunky. It is very smooth.

The Microsoft cloud also offers a free SkyDrive. That's 25GB of space for storage. (That's a lot of documents. It's even a lot of Powerpoint slideshows.) The downside is that what you create online must be saved to the SkyDrive and not directly to your hard drive. (Uploads and downloads are handled as separate steps.) For a lot of people, that's not really a disadvantage. They want to keep everything floating high above their hardware.

Right now, you can co-author (and co-edit) works in the online Excel and OneNote. Presumably, the rest of the suite will be share-able soon. That's when the online Office will offer all that Google's web app offers.

As a Gmail user, I like Google Docs because it resides nearby. I just click a link in my Gmail account. To use Microsoft's web apps, I must go to a new web site (office.live.com) and enter a new username and password (my Windows Live ID).

I grumbled when I started. Another user name. Potentially another password to match yet another set of rules for security. When I proposed my user name (an email address), the system replied that it was already in existence. Oh, my. Could it be me? I typed in one of my standard passwords. Yes, it linked. I already had a Windows Live ID. With absolutely no memory of it.

Disclosure statement: I have not received any compensation or free product for mentioning this service. (This blog's only monetary reward comes through google.adsense links, which are selected by Google, not by me.)

© 2010 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.

07 June 2010

Foreclosure Insurance... On Holiday

This isn't about insurance for your own foreclosure. Rather, it's about the possibility that your vacation rental could be in foreclosure.

A friend told me that a recently received trip insurance policy had a new clause: protection in case you get to your vacation house and find it boarded up, locked up, or otherwise unaccessible due to a foreclosure action. Notice I said action, not auction, although the prospect of an auction during your stay is pretty darn interesting.

I'm new to travel insurance, myself. In 2010, for the first time, I was booking travel far enough ahead (more than year) to feel uneasy about the possibility of needing to cancel later. (Insurance doesn't cover all cancellations—just the ones you would approve if you were the insurer.)

I attribute this caution to being a boomer. As a boomer, I was compelled to book that trip far in advance; and, as a boomer, I was nervous that I was booking too far in advance.

© 2010 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.

04 June 2010

Moving Boomers

What do Las Vegas (Nevada), Bend (Oregon), and Fort Myers (Florida) have in common? All three made it onto two of U.S. News & World Reports' Top 10 lists.

For the full lists, click each of these lines:
10 Cities for Retirement Property Steals
10 Cities Facing a Double Whammy of Default Risks

One way to describe the common set is that 30% of the nation's worst mortgage-foreclosure cities are good places for boomers to relocate to for retirement. And will we? Boomers are more likely to move in retirement years when compared to the previous cohort of retirees. But about 80% want to stay where they are, maintaining their home town ties.

© 2010 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.

31 May 2010

Persia Movies

If you were a school-aged child in the early 1960s (that's a lot baby boomers), you will like the movie Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Most of the scenes remind of the desert films we watched in theatres and on TV.

If you were an adult in the early 1960s, you were aware that Persia (the name) had already given way to Iran (the name). But Persia persisted then, and now. As the new movie suggests, Persia existed long ago (years unknown), with heroic leaders (not necessarily matching history), and with magical objects, besides. It's easier to make that happen with a long-ago name that no one can quite put a date on.

Why do I want to go out of my way to say pleasant things about this movie? Last week, after I panned Babies, I didn't hear any disagreement. But a family friend contacted me privately to let me know that Benji was, too, a great movie.


© 2010 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.

28 May 2010

Personal Technology: My Hairbrush


Yes, I know, there's something wrong with using the word technology with every little tool. I mean, I like to have power behind my technology. Still, I have to admit that hairbrushes have changed. Maybe they deserve the descriptor technology.

This one, purchased after a camping trip (proving once more that fresh air can create loss), is infused with a mineral. Tourmaline. New to me, too.

Or maybe I shouldn't say "too" because maybe I am the only boomer woman on the planet who was not using tourmaline-infused hair care products.

Effect on hair? There is an effect. I just can't articulate it.


© 2010 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.

24 May 2010

Babies: Out on a limb (me, not the babies)

It is not often that I call a movie boring. I am known for my indiscrimate taste in cinema. I once sat through Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. Similarly, I made it through The Hangover and Hot Tub Time Machine. The recency of that last one is my proof that I don't wait for cable. No, I sit through these movies at the theatre. I can sit through anything.

Having established my credentials, I will now step out on that limb called socially unacceptable (in case I didn't accomplish that in the first paragraph) and tell you that Babies is so boring I contemplated leaving the theatre. No one would have noticed as I was the only person there.

I did have one admiring thought during the film. With virtually no dialogue (less than a Benji movie for those of you who have only imagined that you have sat through the world's most boring movies), the producers can easily and cheaply change the titles for worldwide distribution.

© 2010 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.

21 May 2010

Personal Technology: iPad

That image—an iPhone atop an iPad—displays what a boomer loves best about Apple's new offering: size. I probably won't bluetooth to the iPad for the sake of telephoning, but for most other functions of the iPhone I will elect to use the larger unit. What is not visible here, but just may emerge as my favorite app, is the iBooks reader. I'll give a report at a later date.

(For purchase, the Apple store's NotifyMe system worked for me. I ordered one day and received my notice of an available unit two days later. No deposit or commitment was required with the original request for a unit. To satisfy your other question: yes, I bought the cheapest iPad.)

Disclosure statement: I have no relationship with Apple and I have not received any compensation or free product for mentioning their products. (This blog's only monetary reward comes through google.adsense links, which are selected by Google, not by me.)

© 2010 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.

17 May 2010

Once a Month Nurturing


Sans all the pink stuff, that's a cactus. You know that your offspring knows you well when she sends you a cactus for Mother's Day.

Besides the obvious message of you can't grow anything, this cactus is a send-off gift for the intended move to Las Vegas. It requires watering once a month. At the most.

I cannot speak for all boomer women but that's a schedule of nurturing that I like.


© 2010 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.

14 May 2010

Robbers Cave State Park: Recommended

Although the approach to Robbers Cave State Park (Oklahoma) includes a long accessibility ramp, the terrain changes abruptly to steps like this to climb to the rock hide-out of robbers. We walked a slightly less steep path, mixing rocky trail with strategically placed stepping stones. The walk is supposedly equal to climbing 8 flights of stairs but I'd say it's more like 4. Still, the operative word is climb and I was glad it wasn't raining.

The state park offers camping and cabins. We stayed in a low-end cabin (the type allowing dogs) and, with dog fee, paid about $75/night. All cabins were sold out the weekend before (Mother's Day) and are similarly booked for the end of the month (Memorial Day). Our mid-week timing meant few visitors.

The lakes are pretty. There's a Sonic in the nearby town. And the cave hike makes Robbers Cave State Park a low-stress vacation. Well, except for the tornado warning that first night.... Distractions were the satellite flat-screen TV in the cabin and (surprise) great Internet access with our Sprint Overdrive hotspot. When the satellite TV went out for an hour (!), I tracked the tornado on radar maps on the Internet.


© 2010 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.

10 May 2010

Social Comparison Among Housing Markets

Measuring foot traffic in real estate is increasingly a matter of web stats usage, or page hits. That's because just about everyone previews housing on the web before house shopping commences. But sometimes the comparison between housing markets is best described the old-fashioned way: literal foot traffic.

So, our Texas foot traffic over 2 months has totaled close to two dozen groups.

And our friends in San Francisco surpassed that number on their first day of listing (a Saturday). And saw more than double that on their second day (Mother's Day Sunday).

In Texas, we didn't even consider having an open house on Mother's Day.

© 2010 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.

07 May 2010

Where do tea towels come from?


I don't think tea towels separate the generations. Rather, tea towels separate women who care and women who don't have a clue. I'm in that latter group.

The above tea towel has hung on our kitchen stove for almost 9 years. My sister provided it. Just like she provided the previous tea towel. And the one before that. I cannot say exactly how many and I don't recall how long each lasted. Surely not as long as the current one.

My sister has always provided because about 35 years ago I commented that I was surprised at how many of my friends have things like tea towels. My reaction was always a mild curiosity. How do people have tea towels and kitchen shears and other subtleties of home life?

With a generous spirit, my sister simply provided without pointing out that I could learn how to shop for tea towels.

It's fair for you to wonder how the heck a family maintains a single tea towel for 9 years. Very simple. If the family has someone like me in charge of home purchases, all members just understand to leave the tea towel alone. No family discussions. No instructions. Just one of those family truths that everyone knows.

I'm thinking the tea towel should be recycled in the next move. And my sister can shop once more.


© 2010 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.

03 May 2010

Red Hatters: A Sighting

Red Hatters have existed for only a dozen years. They already make up the largest social group of women. In the world!

I spotted these Red Hatters at a local restaurant last week. My first sighting since I learned of the Society about 5 years ago. That was when a colleague made a joke at a meeting, that I was appropriately aged for a Red Hat. I remember being surprised and mildly irritated. I had never heard of the Red Hat Society but her single sentence communicated it all. And all I could think was, how do you presume to know my age?

Oh, yeah. It would be my aging face.

More important in current day: how to explain Red Hatters to Tom Bold. If you think I don't follow much of popular culture, you cannot imagine where Tom is on that path.

© 2010 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.

30 April 2010

Personal Technology: Overdrive

Wi-Fi and MiFi and WiMAX and hotspot and air card and airport and router and modem and, well, all that stuff. They all address that burning question: how can I get on the Internet on the road?

Last year, I went the air card route. It's a little USB stick that connects a laptop to the web. Initial cost was about $100. Discounted monthly fee was $40+. I'm using past tense because I canceled the account this week. I definitely liked having an air card. On 3 or 4 occasions, it genuinely saved me: I was able to conduct crucial work on the web. And at least a couple of times a month, it provided a convenient link.

On the downside, it ever only worked on one laptop, a unit running Windows XP. It never provided a connection for my Mac, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 laptops.

OK. That's all the whining behind my personal technology. Here's the fun stuff:

My new mobile Internet solution is the Overdrive. It's a little black box that receives Internet from Sprint's 3G and 4G network... and then broadcasts it to 5 mobile devices near me. To take advantage of this Wi-Fi, those devices must have my password for connection. Cost was about $100 with discounts and the monthly charge is $60. I know, I know.

So, if you're scanning the list of available wireless networks on your computer and you see "Bold" in the list, look for me. I'll be within 150 feet of you, holding my overdrive.

Disclosure statement: I have no relationship with Sprint other than as a customer and I have not received any compensation or free product for mentioning this product or service. (This blog's only monetary reward comes through google.adsense links, which are selected by Google, not by me.)

© 2010 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.

26 April 2010

Boomer Numbers

Boomer numbers for 2010:

The first boomers were born in 1946. This year, they turn 64.

The last boomers were born in 1964. This year, they turn 46.

OK. Maybe not the most earth shattering set of numbers you'll ever know. Earth shattering was supposed to be 2011. That's the year the leading boomers will reach age 65, a classic age for various qualifying events. The Great Recession may make age 70 more pertinent for Social Security retirement, taking the edge off 2011.

Another view is this: starting in 2011, every year will bring new boomer numbers in terms of retirement, Social Security, Medicare, exemptions or reductions in property tax (in some locales). Every year, a new wave of boomers will qualify for those events. And that annual wave will occur 18 times.

© 2010 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.

23 April 2010

Beautronics: Boomers May Not Be Familiar

Granted, I am not aware of many advancements in the beauty industry but I daresay most boomer women have not tuned into beautronics. That's Barbie's maker's term for the electronic supports for beauty-making.

In short, you can stick your finger into a special printer for d├ęcorating your nails. Rather, a child can. Barbie images as well as holiday motifs are ink-jetted on the nail in seconds. This costs some hundreds of dollars.

Web reviews of beautronics cite only one problem: users have a hard time sitting still so the pumpkins are sometimes blurry.

© 2010 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.

19 April 2010

From Underwater to Foreclosure: One Anecdote

Most boomers grew up to believe bankruptcy was a sad, sad event. We feel sympathy for people who go through the process. Outside of a few cynical jokes about billionaires who file for such protection, we don't laugh when we hear that a friend has hit hard times and taken that route. Foreclosures? We grew up with no belief at all.

Regardless of what we know about sub-prime mortgages, we are now developing a new understanding of the foreclosures in our neighborhoods. How much of the turmoil is individual responsibility and how much can be attributed to the mortgage industry? That will be easier to say in retrospect. You know, 10 years from now.

In the meantime, I'd say the mood about foreclosures is not as sympathetic as about bankruptcy. Although the contract approach ("my mortgage is nothing more than a contract and my business decision is to walk away from that contract") has logic to it, most homeowners don't support their neighbor taking this route. All values drop as the number of foreclosures in a neighborhood go up.

But in some communities, the contract approach is losing its stigma. That's because so many homes are being foreclosed. I refer to Las Vegas, of course. Here's one explanation that a realtor shared with me:

You live in a $300,000 home, which you purchased at the peak of the housing bubble. You are able to make the payments on your $280,000 note. But you know you're underwater (your note is greater than the house would sell for) because the city's foreclosures are numerous and values have dropped dramatically. Those are the effects of the housing bust.

You notice that the house across the street from you is REO (real estate owned or bank-owned, meaning foreclosed) and listed at $150,000. You apply for a mortgage to buy it "as an investment."

As soon as all the paperwork is completed, you move into that house, paying monthly on a much smaller mortage. You stop making payments on your first home (the one with the $280,000 mortgage) and eventually your bank forecloses on it.

You've moved into a highly similar home, reduced your monthly housing cost, and kept your kids in their familiar school. There is a price to pay: just as it takes time to "recover" credit-wise from bankruptcy, the foreclosure will affect your credit for years.

Are all foreclosures the result of a calculated choice like that? Of course not. But anecdotes like this one help explain how foreclosures are normalized in people's thinking.

© 2010 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.

16 April 2010

Best Tax Day Story

Lots of folks filed taxes yesterday. Some of them announced it.

A family friend related that a call from one relative was to report that a third relative had gotten his taxes filed on time. Facebook said it was so.

Not such a big deal, right? People announce all sorts of daily tidbits on facebook. But how the report got to facebook is the important part of the story: the tax-filer clicked the facebook link in his tax preparation software. The announcement was immediately created and posted.

In case you care, the tax filer is in Gen Y. But I think this is not dependent on generation.

© 2010 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.

12 April 2010

U-Haul and the Shared Culture

U-Haul doesn't just move people around the country...it also tallies up the trips and destinations. Publishing the results once a year produces a list of the Top 50 U.S. Destination Cities. For 2009, the top choice of moves over 50 miles was Houston, Texas. Actually, three Texas towns made it to the Top 10 (San Antonio in 4th position and Austin in 5th).

It was the 2nd position city that caught my eye: Las Vegas, Nevada. Most of the time, our actions reflect culural (or societal) trends. The great myth of America is that we are individualistic. We are much more social than we imagine and we are far more socialized than we would care to admit. And since I ascribe to Group Socialization Theory for a number of explanations of human behavior, I turn in that direction again. Society made us think of moving to Las Vegas. We only thought we used logic to make that decision.

To make a really good analysis of the socialization aspects of relocation, I'd like to have all the U-Haul demographics. But here's one prediction: Las Vegas moves are largely the thing of retiring boomers. The city welcomes newcomers, especially those who are not seeking employment.


Disclosure statement: I have no relationship with U-Haul and I have not received any compensation or free product for mentioning this service. (This blog's only monetary reward comes through google.adsense links, which are selected by Google, not by me.)

© 2010 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.

09 April 2010

Androgynous Boomers

The photo doesn't appear to be at all related to the principle of increasing androgynous perspective by men and women as they age. But it is. When Tom Bold was on duty for keeping the house staged, that included decorating with flowers. His report: I went to the store and asked myself, "What would a woman get?"

That reflects typical development. At a younger age, he might have asked the same question but not necessarily made the right choice.
(No offense is intended toward all the men who arrange flowers expertly at any age.)

© 2010 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.

05 April 2010

Clutter Creep: Selling Your House

The stager warned us, "Yeah, I know people start dragging their stuff back in after I send it out."

I refer to it as clutter creep. The house is staged. The clutter is gone. You're on task: always ready to show the house on a half-hour's notice. But you get tired of dragging the vacuum cleaner in from the garage. And you really need the play yard for visiting children. And then there are the shoes that are just so much more handy when they're downstairs....

The goal becomes showing the closet with some bare shelving and some bare floor. Note that the holiday clutter has not returned!


© 2010 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.

02 April 2010

When vintage is on the mind...

I went to Las Vegas looking specifically for vintage (boomers know that stands for the 1950s, '60s, and '70s... not just "old"). So, when I checked into a motel on I-40 on my way to Nevada, I laughed out loud when I opened the door to my room. How fitting!

My next laugh was when I took time to actually read the sign on my door: I was in a suite. And my next laugh was when I noticed that mine was not the only suite.

It's entirely possible that another person might recognize meaning in the name of the suite. I'm guessing sports but I can honestly say that I'm happy to accept it at face value.
© 2010 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.

29 March 2010

Cheap Hotel in Las Vegas

Robotic animals like this one populate the show in the courtyard at Sam's Town casino hotel (Las Vegas). It's kind of a confusing show. Hard to follow. And hard to end. Lots of shooting fountains in front of the Mystic Falls with lights they call laser. Lots and lots of choral music. And a wolf-kind-of that howls from the top of the fake mountain. You could watch in fascination of the mix of technologies here except that you'd get very tired. As I mentioned... hard to end. The music signals an end but those fountains shoot up again. And again. I was in the hotel for 5 nights, or 20 performances. I couldn't handle more than one show.

So, why go to this casino hotel? Room rent of $26 on weeknights. There's always another charge, of course. In this case, a daily resort fee of $4.50.


© 2010 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.

26 March 2010

Aging in the Casino

The aging of our society isn't only about health and wellness but those indicators are the most obvious.

The Sociologist and I used to compare airports and shopping malls, looking for the changes that retail and service industries were making (or sometimes not making) for older patrons. Our examination included the finer points, like size of arrows on signs and clarity of information. (Clarity almost always relates to how short you can write an instruction. Short words and sentences benefit the older person trying to read without putting on glasses.)

As baby boomers, we also claimed self-interest in our examination, of course.

But we forgot to consider casinos. They're actually moving faster than other public places. Scooters are available in the lobby. (Enough are in use to produce one or two on every floor of the hotel.) And the loud noise of a slot machine finally has an appreciative audience. Yes, I need the flashing button and the enthusiastic voice telling me it's time to spin the wheel of fortune.


© 2010 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.

22 March 2010

Spring Snow in Texas

First day of spring in 2010 at the dome. That's in Texas.

© 2010 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.

19 March 2010

The real value of the road atlas

I bought a new map book today. The road atlas style—with color. I bought it even though the 2009 version is still usable. Usable, but not pretty.

My 2010 options: the big atlas or the compact spiral bound book. That compact style is tempting. Fits anywhere. Folds to any page easily. Has just as much color and clear type as the big atlas.

What doesn't it have? Detail. It's not the little roadways I want the detail for. It's the little blue icons marking rest areas.

Rest areas are not as plentiful as they once were. State governments are quietly slicing budgets and putting "CLOSED" signs on an alarming number of sites. Will my 2010 atlas have updated information?

I did attempt to go digital. Put the Rest Area app on my iPhone. Alas, it is not easily navigated and just plain hard to read in a moving car. Nothing beats scanning a paper page for those little blue houses. Whoever would have thought that boomers would have a tradition for locating rest areas?

© 2010 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.

15 March 2010

Indiscriminate at the Movies

A colleague asked me over vegan fare what movies I have seen. Of course, I knew full well her intent: expose my indiscriminate taste to humor herself. She would protest this motivation, I know, and so perhaps I will ascribe this to my own defensiveness about my movie-going habit. For most years of my life (starting at about age 10), I have made weekly movies dates—with myself. There were a few years in young adulthood when I could not afford the outing, followed by several years during which children demanded my time, daily.

But I would guess that for about 35 years I have enjoyed a movie a week. Between 1995 and 2005 (roughly), I frequently sat in the theatre alone. (All alone.) In recent years, I have rarely sat alone. Regardless of day and hour, there seem to be enough people available to come to the theatre. A man alone is the rarest patron. But next to that is a woman alone, and that's me.

So, what did I tell my colleague over vegan fare? The two weakest films of late have European capitals in their titles (Rome, Paris). Valentine's Day is amusing.
Crazy Heart is more than satisfying.

If I were talking to her today I would add that Green Zone has a plus and a minus. Cop Out is not for children but Percy Jackson is. And I'll probably avoid Shutter Island, even on cable. For 3-D, I enjoyed Avatar but mainly enjoyed Tim Allen's comment on a late-night talk show about his own movie... "Well, it's funnier than that Avatar." But I don't have Alice in Wonderland on my short list. Ah, well, as this post would indicate, I don't actually have a short list, do I?

© 2010 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.

12 March 2010

My New Color Commitment


Paint has been on my mind. As we readied the dome for sale, we naturally found a number of walls that needed touch-up paint. Not purple, as the paint buckets above might imply, but still an assortment of beautiful neutrals that I remember having great fun selecting. All in the off-white and gray palettes, but do you have any idea how many colors that can imply? The result was that matches could not be made. We had to re-paint several whole walls in order to freshen the look.

My commitment for the future: 3 colors. Period. For the entire house. One should be a white (thousands of shades to choose from). One should be an off-white. One should be a white appropriate to baseboard. My other lesson came from Frank, the painter. "Spend $12 on a lambswool roller. Don't use anything else. Well, it would be good to have 30 years' experience as a professional painter, too."

So, who actually uses purple? TCU, which stands for Texas Christian University. The campus located in Fort Worth takes its school color seriously. So do the employees.


© 2010 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.

08 March 2010

Marketing that lasts longer than a flyer

This is my favorite element of house marketing. Well, besides the fact that Realtor.com now allows 25 photos.... Still, the idea of putting some of those photos on a complimentary water bottle is pretty darn clever. As older boomers, Tom Bold and I started buying houses back when even a paper flyer was rare. Eventually, the flyers became more plentiful and desktop printing made even color a common feature. (The fact that many flyer boxes outside of listed properties become empty and are never replenished continues to amaze me.)

Disclosure statement: Blogs are required to disclose whether the author has received compensation for any product. 99% of the time, my disclosure statements say something like "I have no relationship with…." But today I am amused and eager to report that the product here (the house for sale, not the water bottle) is mine and I certainly do hope to realize compensation from it. The web site mentioned, Realtor.com, is strictly reporting: I have no relationship with that site and receive no direct compensation from it. (This blog's only monetary reward comes through google.adsense links, which are selected by Google, not by me.)


© 2010 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.

05 March 2010

Teaching boomers new things

Babies can teach baby boomers new things.

An infant visitor to the dome yesterday brought her own equipment. Aside from the stunning Graco car seat (something I'm not likely to be able to afford) I found these two products inventive:

The pull toy produces short songs. The almost-5-month-old pulled the ring expertly (from the arching piece of that Graco car seat) and I was charmed. Sure enough, the Bright Starts web site produced this image for me, along with a large number of products that I am certain were not available when I had small children. This model is a Tug Tune. But the description of the chime version is compelling.

The other inventive product is not a glue stick. But when it emerged from the diaper bag, that's what came to mind. Rather, it's a Magic Stick All Natural Diaper Ointment. Clear. And it's applied to the baby's skin without any mess because the delivery is all about that glue stick design. When did this get invented?

Disclosure statement: I have no relationship with any product or company mentioned here and I have not received any compensation or free product for mentioning them. (This blog's only monetary reward comes through google.adsense links, which are selected by Google, not by me.) FYI: disclosure statements like these are now required of bloggers.


© 2010 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.

01 March 2010

Health insurance brokers: Consumers' friend

Health insurance brokers, while essentially insurance sales reps, are nevertheless a consumer's friend in the sorting through of policies and choices. I've talked to a broker for the first time this year. In fact, I didn't even know they existed until this year.

As a boomer woman, my knowledge of individual-purchased insurance was zip. I recall my brothers purchasing "major medical" in their youth. And self-employed relatives lamenting the hard choices they had to make about coverage. So, when the topic came up for us recently, I had no experience in purchasing insurance. We have always had the guidance of employers' HR departments.

An Internet reference to insurance brokers caught my eye as I scoured news articles and blogs about potential sources. (This, realizing that heath care reform via Congress would not be timely for us.) The concept is simple: an insurance broker represents multiple companies (say, a dozen) and works with consumers to find the right match. That may include a recommendation to apply to more than one company in order to compare policies and costs and eligibility, too.

I selected an insurance broker in Houston based solely on the web site. The best surprise so far: help in finding dental insurance independent of health insurance. A little more than $40/month for the two of us. All preventive care covered; 50% of big stuff covered. A good buy or only moderate? Doesn't really matter to me. What matters is maintaining an insurance that I know influences our behavior in having twice-a-year check-ups.

© 2010 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.