Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You're not Covered

One of my pet peeves is the dislike of paying for insurance.  Part of this is that I have no confidence that why my incident occurs that my insurance policy will be covered.  How many of us have read carefully the policy? 

I just heard on NPR that only 40% of the damage done by hurricane Irene will be covered by insurance.  Many of the policies do not have flood insurance - and the damage is water flooding. Hmmmm - normally water comes with hurricanes - but my guess is that someone with a hurricane policy is getting the comment - "Did you read your policy carefully?" by the Insurance Agency.

My best story about this is when we were about to move to Hudson, Ohio and the house inspection that we had offered on revealed varmin damage (probably racoon) in the attic.   I called my Insurance Agency (Allstate at the time) to ask if my house would have been covered.  They said - yes but it depends on whether it was rodent, vermin or wildlife and it depended on the size of the vermin (example - Bear damage is covered) and whether the house was vacant for a long period of time.  What an out -  I would need pictures, DNA samples, and presence to prove if I was covered!!!!

So I diligently pay my insurance premium each year - expecting that I won't be covered.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Four Fortunes

For Ellen's 12th Birthday she picked P.F. Changs for the celebration dinner followed by a father/daughter excursion to the Creamery for desert.  It was a wonderful evening.  At the end of dinner the fortune cookies arrive on the plastic tray.  I've always wondered whether people jump to "pick their fortune" or defer to the last cookie of choice fortune.  This time I decided to wait for the "fortune of default".

Mine was:  "Take the advice of a faithful friend".   How appropriate - similar to the advice I received October 8, 2009 Faithful Friend

Advice is a dangerous thing - both asking for it and giving it.  I told K.C. the other day that I have found that giving advice doesn't do much good AND that even when someone asks for advice, it is better to not provide it.  Interestingly my fortune doesn't say - ask for the advice -- only take the advice. 

And the other three fortunes:
Susan - "Patience is the key to joy"
Jenna - "A sound mind and healthy body bring many happy events to your family"
Ellen - "You were born with a six sense and superb insight"

Four Fortunes - For Family

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Daniel Boone's Grave

K.C. and I had a road trip yesterday to Woodford Reserve with a sidebar visit to Frankfort, Ky. (on my request) to visit Daniel Boone's Grave.  A beautiful location in Frankfort Cemetery on the edge of  the hillside overlooking the Ky. river and the Capitol building in the distance.  Actually it is Daniel and Rebecca's final resting place. 

Just mentioning Daniel Boone creates an image of Fess Parker and the TV Series. Originally wanting the series to be Davy Crockett (after the wild success of the 1955 Disney Mini Series and later edited into a movie ), 20th Century Fox Television could not secure the rights and consequently designed the series around Daniel Boone but was able to get Fess Parker to play the lead.  So forever - 1960's kids will think Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone looked alike (see March 19. 2010 blog - Coonskin Hats).

K.C. snapped a photo of me by the grave - the only thing I lacked was my 1960 rifle and Coonskin Hat.  - oops I found them but who was Davy Crockett and who was Daniel Boone?

PS - Just got the proof that I was there :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Ellen and I went to the Verizon store to procure a phone for her.  It was her reward for trying out and making the tennis team.  As the rep approached the 5 (and only 5) phones available that require no data plan, Ellen's expresssion was evident -  these were all "loser phones".  As I began inquiring about the difference in the phones she immediately began perusing  the 20-30 different model "smartphones".

All of those smart phones REQUIRE the data plan (at $30/mth).  This is the cell phone's conspiracy to get each subscriber in a family to pay an extra $30/mth (since there are no family plans for internet access).  So it was a big decision for Ellen.  I told her I would only pay for what the "loser phone" plan and phone - she would have to anne up for any additional costs. 

It was a tough decision - but Ellen made her choice - the i-phone which really means i-payalot. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Toys for Boys

My office sits above Ted's Toys and today as I was returning with my coffee, there was a small boy, cupped hands peering into the window of Ted's Toys waiting it's opening at 10am.  I remember my own version of riding the bike from the house in Berwyn Pa. to the local toy store - money in hand awaiting a selection of a board game. 

Now the toys are all high tech and expensive.  In fact the desire for Boys to want Toys never goes away.  Several weekends ago R.M. and I decided to head out on Sunday morning to Best Buy.  Just like the boy today we got there too early - the store was not opened yet.  So off to Dicks Sporting Goods next door to check out those toys first.

The old adage "He who dies with the most toys wins" drives the college buddy "one upmanship" trying to "win" the toy accumulation game.

Some things never change - just the toys.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Heaven Board Entry #2

A.M. nudged me in the ribs-  back to consciousness - on Sunday afternoon during the Womens qualifier match that we were watching at the Masters Tournament in Mason, Ohio.  I was his guest since we had not renewed our box after 20 years of tradition (plus another 12 years of volunteering).

I was originally not going to go to any of the games this year thinking that going would create a feeling of regret.  Instead, it was a perfect August day, overcast with a cool breeze and the sun poppping in and out with all the memories of 32 years.

It hit me - this was Heaven Board Entry #2! That feeling of meditation during a quiet match with the sound of the ball going back and forth in a long rally.  No picture (since my eyes were closed) - just the sound of the ball, and the feel of the sun, surrounded by quiet souls enjoying the match - each in their own way. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

B Players

I remember one quote by A.C. at Accenture when I was fighting for staff to be assigned on my job.  We were talking about "A" players and "B" players.  A.C. asked me - "Do you know why Accenture is successful?  It is the "B" players that makes us successful."  A.C was full of great quotes and he is a great observer of people. 

"I rate a player like good basketball players - watch what they do when they DON'T have the ball" - was another one of A.C.'s classic lines. 

"There are three types of staff - those that make things happen, those that don't make things happen, and those that walk around and say  - What happened? "

It was a priviledge to be mentored by A.C. at Accenture.  His wisdom and flexibility was evident in his management philosophy and style.

Afterall - he put up with me -  the "B" player.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Getting Old

Today in Friday Morning Bible Study, after describing an upcoming root canal and eye surgery, B.B. said "Getting old isn't for Sissys!".  A quote as good as B.W.'s about aging (Body Part Failure - Sept. 29, 2010). 

The mystery of aging will forever intrigue scientists.  Why does someone live 100 years?   In the Middle Ages (life expectancy of 30) the key to success was getting past the age of 21.  If you did that you would likely live another 43 years.  We do know that life expectancy is increasing - but even the cause of that is subject to argument. 

All we can be sure of is that we are older today than yesterday.  Our own personal rate of decline, accident probability, and body part failure is unknown to us. Even the amount of "control" we have in proactively impacting our aging process is questionable.  But it is prudent to manage the process. 

My best suggestion for managing the process is to listen carefully to older people.  Afterall, by definition they have been more successful than you have (so far).  And I don't want to be called a Sissy :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stealing our Caregiving Gifts

I think that the entitlement portion of our Government spending is "stealing the joy of giving".  In 1965 entitlement spending was 2.5% of GDP and today it is 10% of GDP.  Of course the bulk of this spending is Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and the aging population demographics.  And when I combine these three programs into one social cause it falls squarely into the lap of caring for the elderly.

Today, I was reflecting in my morning meditation about how quickly 20 years has gone by.  The 20 years of joy with raising Jenna and the remaining two years I have while she is in college.  The priviledge of being a care giver and provider for 20 years was a two way gift from me to her and visa versa.

Caring for the elderly falls into the same category - an available gift at the end of life vs the beginning.  I always marveled at the comments of people who talked about the priviledge of caring for their spouse or parent with extreme care situations.  But it makes sense when I think of the great memories I feel thinking of raising Jenna and Ellen  - and raising kids at times is extreme work :)

So the "consent of the governed" has concluded we should tax each other today (or tomorrow) so that when we become elderly no one will feel responsible or the duty to take care of us at the end - financially, emotionally and physically.  We are stealing our own caregiving gift to others - the chance to care for each other.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Intonation of Text

At lunch Monday, A.M. told me I should avoid texting my kids and "talk to them"!

Oh, I said, to avoid the risk of them having an accident while driving?

"No, not just that but because you need the voice interaction for the intonation" countered A.M.

What really is intonation (was my next question)?  Is it pitch, pace, decibel .....?   And does texting have it's own intonation?

Wikopedia says: "Intonation, rhythm, and stress are the three main elements of linguistic prosody

Last night Ellen and I had a texting discussion.  Since she is banned from having a cell phone (long story) we only had texting available (her itouch allows texting).  So starting at 10:06pm and ending 11:21pm Ellen and I conversed.  Twenty nine entries equally divided (sent and received).

(1) There was rhythm (some sent rapidly; others between events - since I stopped while driving home from my Duplicate Bridge Activity).
(2) There was stress - Ellen used all caps: an exclamation point and "...". 
(3) But was their intonation?  Well - sort of (the grammatical part).  Since intonation is used to indicate a question (rising pitch at end of statement).  Several times questions were txted ending in "?".
But A.M. is correct the other parts of intonation are missing - illocution, attitudinal, and informational.

Still seeing the text "i luv u 2"  I could hear the intonation I needed.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wants vs Needs

In 1900 the average person  living in the United States wanted seventy-two different things and considered eighteen of them essential.  Today the average person wants five hunded things and considers one hundred of them essential - "Money: A User's Manual by Bob Russell. 

What do you consider essential (either things or states)? Maslow's Hierachy is a good starting place for ranking the needs. Place your essential things next to one of the five states:

I'm curious what the 18 items were in 1900.  But here are some of the "wants and essentials" since 1900 by invention year:

1850 - Dishwasher
1901 - Radio, Vacum Cleaner
1902 -  Air Conditioning (we just tied the record today of 17 consecutive days over 90 degrees!!!)
1903 - Airplane
1904 - Washing Machine (Invented in 1700's)
1910 - First Motion Picture (I can't do without TV and Movies now), zipper,
1926 - Garage Door Opener
1930 - Scotch tape
1935 - Telephone Answering Machine
1937 - Photocopier
1940 - Color TV
1942 - Computer (the Modern Computer was 1958 and PC was 1981)
1946 - Microwave Oven
1947 - Mobile Phones (cell phone was in 1983)
1950 - Credit card
1951 - Video Recorder/Player (VCR was in 1971)
1967 - Handheld Calculator
1969 - ATM
1972 - Video Games (Pong)
1973 - Ethernet (precursor to the Internet in 1990)
1975 - Lazer Printer
1978 - Visucalc (now Excel)
1989 - HDTV (Susan still says she doesn't need this)
2001 - iPod (which I still don't own - but deserves a mention)

When you look at the list - not many are really "essential" and most can be listed in your grateful list :)    (See Practice and Attitude of Gratitude  - Dec. 16, 2009)

P.S.  Check out the Five and Five Exercise - Sept. 13, 2009