Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cell Phone Challenged or Communication Overloaded?

When I'm out of town daughters call me with explicit instructions:

1) Turn your cell phone on.
2) At end of day, charge your cell phone.
3) Next day, turn your cell phone on.
4) At end of day, charge your cell phone.
5) Repeat #1 and #2 until you have a land line.

They are not being smart asses. It's known that I am cell-phone challenged. It may have something to do with the looming 6-0. It may have more to do with the fact that I've answered so many useless and annoying phone calls throughout my telephone-life, that I just don't give one happy crap about having one more bell demanding response.

I don't 'hate' cell phones. They are remarkable pieces of technology, but insidious beasts at the same time. You won't catch me without my cell--mostly. However, it may not have any juice left in it, or it's likely turned off because I thought I had it turned on. Whatever!

Santa Fe satirist, Jim Terr just posted LAY YOUR CELL PHONE DOWN on YouTube.

I think more of us than not will go, right on, bro!

Honestly, when I was the youthful one, I could not wait to get a phone call from a BFF, or a guy! There was nothing like that crackled-testosteronish voice asking, "Is this Charmaine?" Back then I had my own pink princess phone in my bedroom--but it was the family phone line. Nature controlled my volume of calls. Today, I have at least five different telephone numbers,and five email addresses. It's communication overload. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Not-So Nice World—But Maybe That’s Okay

Another SIXOHDEAR candidate and guest blogger, Ken Meddock of Irvine, CA, took some serious thought about the state of our planet and us as humans. It's a different point of view, and your Santa Fe Mother Blogger encourages you to read and respond.




Ken Meddock


I suppose an argument can be made that 5000 years ago the earth was a nicer place to live in. You could drink the water in most streams that you ran across, the air was nice and clean (maybe a little smoky if you sat too close to the fire), there were no landfills to speak of, and we didn't use any of the natural resources that surrounded us that were not self replicating, I suppose because we didn't know how to. Every person, all around the world, used only his or her proportionate share of the resources that we did know how to use. Not like those nasty Americans today that use up 25% of the world's resources while only making up 5% of the world's population.

Now we live in a world not so nice. The average lifespan has more than tripled. We spend about a quarter of our time working, a third of our time resting, and the rest of our time playing. Plus, most of the time we are warm when it's cold outside. Cool when it's hot outside. Whereas we can't drink out of streams anymore, the water we do drink is delivered to our feet and won't make us sick. Nor will the food.


Those other parts of the world that make up 5% of the world's population, and use only 5% or less of the world's natural resources are called Somalia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bolivia, Solomon Islands, Congo, Sudan, Angola, Guatemala, and 50 others I could name. And you know what? They all want to use up more of their resources. After all, it's not like America is the only place on earth that has natural resources. Every place has resources.


But we have something they don't have--a democracy and a free market system. Certainly corrupt in many instances (but at least we can weed them out when we find them) but still free enough to allow hard workers to succeed and non workers to fail. (The right to fail is a cornerstone in a free market system.)


But if you live in one of the countries above, you're screwed. You can't weed out the criminals when they're the leaders of the Country. (And if any of you dare say or think that Bush is a criminal, shame on you.)


Now having said all this, could we be nicer, of course we could. But we have demonstrated that we are the most generous nation to have ever taken up space on the planet. And it is only through our continued use of our resources, natural and otherwise, that will allow that prosperity to continue and to be shared around the world, at least by those that want it.



Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Parental Care-Giving: A Common Challenge Today

Cathy Rudy of Santa Fe is today's SIXOHDEAR guest blogger. Cathy is a local businesswoman. We used to lunch regularly, but her life has changed over the years as her mother requires more care than before.


This issue of parental care-giving is one that I will not have to face, however, so many of us must.



By Cathy Rudy


I still have several years to go before I reach SIXOHDEAR, but the stress of being a caregiver makes me feel like I am already one hundred and SIXOHDEAR. 


A few months ago I went to Kohl's and bought a new throw rug to put at our front door.  It was on sale, but rang up even less than I was expecting.  I looked at the register screen and saw they had given me the senior discount, since it was Tuesday or something.  I asked how old you had to be for the senior discount and the young girl would not give me a specific age.  She just said she noticed my gray hair and thought she should give it to me.  I would have said I didn't deserve it, but since she was not giving me a specific age, I could not prove it.


A few weeks ago I stopped at McDonald's and ordered some chicken nuggets and a drink (I need comfort food in all shapes and forms!)  The young girl rang it up, then glanced at me, and said "oh," hit a bunch more keys and the total went down.  Later I looked at my receipt and saw she had charged me for a "senior drink."


The best though was when I went to Albertson's and happened to be there on the day they give senior discounts.  This saved me almost $10.  Again I asked how old you had to be to get the discount, and the answer was nonspecific. The youngin threw out a couple numbers, all of which were higher than my current physical age.  Again, I would have said I was younger than that, but it was already a done deal, and I figured for all the times Albertson's has overcharged me for *sale* items, maybe this was a way to make us even.


I did not ask for any of these discounts, but apparently I look like I deserve them.  Maybe I do, maybe there is some benefit from growing older, but they do not outweigh the parts that are not fun.  At least not as far as I can see in my 89-year-old mother, or in myself since taking on the responsibility of caring for her.  Tomorrow I have an appointment to get her hair cut and colored, and while I am there, I will be making an appointment for myself.  Maybe we will both feel younger.