Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Weird News Stories of 2009


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1. Man Sends Pictures of Himself Dressed in Birthday Suit to all of his Former Girlfriends for Christmas

2. Free Funeral Arrangements for Georgia Residents
Planning to drink and drive this New Year's? A north Georgia funeral home has a deal for you. Between now and noon Thursday, drivers can visit McGuire, Jennings and Miller Funeral Home in Rome to sign a contract stating they plan to drink or take drugs and then drive on New Year's Eve. If they die in a wreck that day, the funeral home will give them a free burial. Services included in the package are a casket, grave, limousine and preparation of remains. Funeral home officials said the program is designed to save lives by making partygoers think twice about drinking and driving.

3. Now who's Krazy?
A 37-year-old Wisconsin man went to a motel room for what he thought was going to be a romantic tryst but instead was assaulted by four women who used Krazy Glue to attach his privates to his stomach. Police say it was all part of a bizarre plot to punish him for a lover's quadrangle gone bad.

4.Call on Jesus for Jury Duty
Jesus Christ was called for jury duty in Alabama but was sent home for being disruptive. The 59-year-old Birmingham woman, who previously went by Dorothy Lola Killingworth, assured the presiding judge that was her name. She had her name changed in the Probate Court, and she presented her driver's license. Christ was sent to a courtroom for a criminal case, but was excused because she was disruptive, court officials said.

5.Philly ER Patient Dies in Waiting Room, Watch Stolen
A security camera was rolling when Joaquin Rivera, 63, brought his hand to his chest and died in the busy emergency room at Aria Health's Frankford campus in Philadelphia, about 11 minutes after complaining to ER personnel of pains in his left side. Rivera's death did not go completely unnoticed, however. The security tape shows that 39 minutes after his passing, another person in the ER stole his watch. Hospital workers walked by him several times, but did not notice that he appeared to be dead until 50 minutes after he'd stopped moving.

6. KKK Member Turns Over New Leaf
A former officer of the Ku Klux Klan has changed his ways and was ordained in San Diego so he could serve as a minister in one of the country's largest black denominations. Former imperial wizard Johnny Lee Clary said in a statement he was authorized by the Church of God in Christ to participate in the ministry of racial healing and conduct evangelism campaigns, according to reports. Clark joined the KKK Youth when he was younger, then later became a national spokesman for the White Knights of the KKK. According to Clary's web site, he started reevaluating his life and eventually embraced religion. Clary changed his view on the world and racism.

7. Getting More than a Happy Meal at McDonald's
An Arkansas man left a cell phone -- which contained nude photos of his wife -- inside of a McDonald's. Then, after said nude photos ended up on the Internet, Phillip Sherman sued the Mickey D's for $3 million, claiming he and his wife had to move to a new town to escape from her smitten stalkers.

8. Maxed out Credit Card?
A man in Spokane, Wash., who had just pumped 90 dollars worth of gas at a Conoco, got quite a shock when he received an automated call from his credit card company stating a payment of $81,400,836,908 dollars to the gas station had just been pre-authorized.

9. Woman Tries to Shoot Down Plane for Being Too Noisy
A 69-year-old Missouri woman, apparently fed up that ultra-light planes had been doing test runs close to her home, went to the local air terminal armed with a hand gun and said she was going to shoot down the offending planes. Then, to the surprise of everyone, she started firing. No plane was hit, although one had to abort a landing, and the woman was arrested.

10. 34 Hospitalized after Co-Worker Sprays Perfume
When almost 150 people at a Texas bank call center became ill, reporting dizziness and shortness of breath, officials suspected carbon monoxide or some other toxic fume was the culprit. But when two people complained about dizziness after a co-worker sprayed perfume and then others began to feel sick, it was discovered that the perfume was to blame. Thirty-four people were taken to hospitals, 12 by ambulance, and 110 people were treated on the scene. No one knows what type of perfume was sprayed. (MSNBC.com)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Baby Boomer Celebrity Deaths in 2009

The media lost its most trusted journalist this year while the entertainment industry lost quite a few notable baby boomers and beyond. Did you know the majority of people on this list died from some form of cancer? The second leading cause was heart disease.

Here is the list of celebrity deaths from January 1, 2009 to today's date, December 27.

JANUARY

88-year-old Actor Ricardo Montalban Fantasy Island

69-year-old Bob May--played Mr. Smith on Lost in Space


FEBRUARY

70-year-old Soap Opera Actor Clint Ritchie--played Clint Buchanan on One Life to Live

Soap Opera Actor Phil Carey--played Asa Buchanan on One Life to Life

87-year-old Actor James Whitmore

MARCH

45-year-old Actress Natasha Richardson

61-year-old Singer Dan Seals--"I Really Want to See You Tonight"

APRIL

86-year-old Actress Bea Arthur-- Golden Girls

MAY

56-year-old Former Porn Star Marilyn Chambers

75-year-old Comedian Dom Deluise

JUNE

62-year-old Actress Farrah Fawcett

50-year-old Singer Michael Jackson

72-year-old Actor David Caradine

50-year-old Informercial Pitchman Billy May

JULY

92-YEAR-OLD Newsman Walter Cronkite

AUGUST

61-year-old Black SuperModel Naomi Sims

SEPTEMBER

57-year-old Actor Patrick Swayze

73-year-old comedian Henry Gibson--from Laugh In

OCTOBER

83-year-old Comedian Soupy Sales

NOVEMBER

69-year-old Actor Dennis Cole

79-year-old Actor Edward Woodward--played The Equalizer

DECEMBER

63-year-old Actress Alaina Reed Hall--from Sesame Street and "227"

79-year-old Actress Connie Hines--played Carol Post on "Mr. Ed"

90-year-old Actor Gene Barry--from Burke's Law

If I missed anyone, please feel free to add.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stealing in the Name of the Lord?

One of the ten commandments in the Bible tells us "Thou Shall NOT Steal", but there's at least one clergyman who says it's OK under certain circumstances and depnding on where you steal from.

In a recent sermon, Father Tim Jones told his British congregation, "My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift. I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it is neither. I would ask that they do not steal from small, family businesses, but from large national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices. I would ask them not to take any more than they need, for any longer than they need."

Meanwhile, here are the top 50 items shoplifted in the US in 2009:


Advil tablet 50 ct
Advil tablet 100 ct
Aleve caplet 100 ct
EPT Pregnancy Test single
Gillette Sensor 10 ct
Kodak 200 24 exp
Similac w/iron powder - case
Similac w/iron powder - single can
Preparation H 12 ct
Primatene tablet 24 ct
Sudafed caplet 24 ct
Tylenol caplet 100 ct
Advil caplet 100 ct
Aleve caplet 50 ct
Correctol tablet 60 ct
Excedrin tablet 100 ct
Gillette Sensor/Excel 10 ct
Gillette Sensor 15 ct
Monistat 3
Preparation H Ointment 1 oz
Similac w/iron concentrate 13 oz
Tavist-D decongestant tablet 16 ct
Trojan ENZ 12 ct
Tylenol gelcap 50 ct
Tylenol gelcap 100 ct
Tylenol tablet 100 ct
Vagistat 1
Advil caplet 50 ct
Advil gelcap 50 ct
Advil gelcap 24 ct
Advil tablet 50 ct
Aleve tablet 50 ct
Anacin tablet 100 ct
Centrum tablet 60 ct
DayQuil liquicaps 20 ct
Dimetap tablet 12 ct
Duracell AA 4 pk
Ecotrin tablet 100 ct
Ecotrin tablet 60 ct
Energizer AA 4 pk
Excedrin tablet 50 ct
Femstat 3 app
Gillette Atra 10 ct
Gyne-Lotrimin 3 app
Monistat 7
Motrin caplet 50 ct
Motrin tablet 24 ct
Oil of Olay 4 oz
Preparation H Ointment 2 oz
Schick Tracer FX 10 ct
Gillette Sensor/Women 10 ct
Sudafed tablet 24 ct
Visine drops 1 oz

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Baby Boomers and Obesity

The baby boomer generation is outlasting all previous generations when it comes to living longer---but are we living any healthier?

A new study indicates that obesity could become a major cause of disability among today’s baby boomers.

Researchers from the University of California recently used survey information to compare disability rates among people in their sixties from two different time periods. They found that the group in the more recent time period had higher obesity rates and were far more likely to have problems walking or even getting out of bed.

Obesity can have a direct negative effect on joints and the cardiovascular system, and both of these problems can lead to disability as we age.

No explanation was given in the study as to why obesity and disability were higher among boomers. Could the expanding age of technology be the cause of our expanding waistlines and beyond? Coud this lead to more and more boomers going under the knife for a tummy tuck or liposuction?

What do you think?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Spending Your Life in Tears for One Reason or Another

Did you know women spend one year and four months of their lives in tears. According to a recent survey researchers found that from birth to the age of 78, a woman will be find herself crying for at least 12,013 hours.

Here are some reasons baby boomer women might cry:

menopause
weight gain
divorce
cheating husband
adult children who return home

OK...so how many times did you cry today?

Do you cry when you look in the mirror? Another survey indicates women are constantly concerned by their appearance and worries about aging. Woman worry about their bodies 252 times a week on an average. One hundred women aged 35 to 69 were given clickers in an experiment to register each time they worried about the ageing process.

Over seven days, the average number of clicks was 252.

The survey showed that on average women had negative thoughts 36 times a day.

One woman, who had a facelift ten years ago, clicked 1,400 times over seven days but admitted she thought it would be more. In her waking hours, she said she experienced a negative thought about herself approximately every three minutes.

So how many negative thoughts went through your head while reading this?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oprah Does it Her Way

When the queen of Daytime TV announced this week that she would end her show on September 9, 2011 after 25 years on the air, it came as no surprise to me. I actually knew this information several months ago---thanks to an interview I did with a woman who spent a year on the Oprah Show back in 2006. Lisa Bradley told me back in May that Oprah was ending her show in 2011 and she said it again when she spoke as the Luncheon Keynote Speaker for the kick-off of our Boomer Diva Nation Conference just last month.

For a quarter of a century, Oprah has introduced us to some of the most interesting guests. She has also given us an up close and personal look into the lives of some of our favorite celebrities. The Talk Show Diva has also proven that she can turn an average person into a household name (Iyanla Van Zant, Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil) and turn writers into best selling authors---even when they didn't deserve it (remember James Frey?)

Meanwhile, her critics are saying she's lost much of her appeal--due largely in part to the fact that she endorsed Barack Obama for President. Some in the African-American community have accused her of selling out to please White America. Well, you can say what you want about Oprah but the truth of the matter is, her name is associated with power and influence and this baby boomer EARNED every bit of it without a government bailout.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Noisy Sex Gets a Conviction

I think you and I will agree that it's a good thing when a husband and wife can really turn each other on at midlife, right? But should your neighbors have first hand knowledge of what's going on in your home?

It seems as though a 48-year-old baby boomer woman from the UK was convicted for making too much noise during her love-making sessions with her husband. The noise was so bad that everyone from the neighbors to the postman heard their escapades.

A next door neighbor of the couple told the court she was frequently late for work because she overslept having been awake most of the night because of the noise.

She said: "The noise sounds like they are both in considerable pain. I cannot describe the noise. I have never ever heard anything like it."

An actual recording of their love-making sessions was also played for the court.

OK....so is this a cheap thrill or is someone jealous?

To read the whole article, click on the title at the top of the page.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Why We Vote

I didn't realize it was election day until I drove past a neighborhood church and saw "Vote Here Today" signs on the lawn.

To tell you the truth, I didn't see the point in voting. I mean, I spent all of my energy last year on the most important election of my lifetime and now that it's over, what's the point? Well, obviously there were many others who felt the same way as me. In a precinct that has more than 2000 registered voters, I ended up being voter #115. Pretty sad.

THE POINT IS EVERY ELECTION SHOULD BE DEEMED AS IMPORTANT.

The country was so focused on getting the Republicans out of office on a national and state level but what many of us fail to realize is, it starts on the LOCAL level. That means your county commissioners, city council, school boards, etc are just as important because their decisions will have an immediate impact on you.

Voting is a privilege and a right. If you don't exercise it, you have absolutely nothing to complain about so I don't expect to see your gripes on Twitter, Facebook or wherever!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Walmart Saving You Money in Death

Walmart wants to make sure they get your last dollar--literally. The leading discount store has announced it is now selling coffins online. This is good news for baby boomers who may be looking to save money for retirement and beyond. Prices for the caskets range from $999 to $1,699.

Surprisingly, Walmart isn't the first to sell caskets. Costco led the way and has a whole website dedicated to the handling of this delicate matter. Here are some of the Q&A's on their site:

Q: Why is Costco Wholesale selling caskets?
As a service to our members.

Q: If members have more questions, where do they get answers?
First, call Universal Casket Company toll free at 866.458.2800. This customer service number is staffed by qualified representatives who will be able to answer any product, shipping and delivery questions.

Additionally you can call Costco’s Call Center at 1-800-955-2292 or email customerservice@costo.com.

Q: Will funeral homes accept the casket that we order?
Yes, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires funeral homes to accept any casket purchased from an outside source. However it is recommended that the purchaser notify the funeral home of their Costco.com casket order within 1 business day.

Currently, caskets can only be purchased from and shipped to addresses in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Q: If my bill to address is in a state not listed above, but the ship to address is, will my order be valid?
No, at this time your bill-to and ship-to addresses must both be within the 34 states listed above, otherwise your order will be cancelled.

Q: How long before I receive the casket?
Expedited and Standard shipping is available.

Before placing an order for Expedited Delivery, you must call Universal Casket Company directly at 866-458-2800, or your order will not be processed. Expedited Delivery orders must be placed by 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). A casket ordered for expedited delivery will arrive by 5 p.m. (your local time) the following day (Monday-Friday, excluding holidays). For example: if an order is placed on Monday at 2 p.m. EST, the casket will be delivered by Tuesday by 5 p.m. (your local time); however, if the order is placed on Monday at 2:01 p.m. EST, the casket will deliver by Wednesday. Expedited delivery is not available in all areas.

Standard delivery orders may be placed directly through Costco.com without prior authorization from Universal Casket Company.

A casket ordered on Costco.com with standard shipping will be delivered within three business days (Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) from the date the order is placed (for exceptions see below). If your order is placed by 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), that is considered as one business day. For example, for an order placed on Monday at 12:00 p.m. EST, the casket will be delivered by Wednesday, however if the order is placed on Monday at 12:01 p.m. EST, the casket will deliver by Thursday. Standard orders will be delivered by 5 p.m. (your local time) on scheduled delivery date.

Q: Do I need to be at the funeral home to receive the casket?

Universal Casket Company delivers during normal business hours. You do not have to be present at the time of delivery. A funeral provider’s refusal to use third party merchandise until the consumer has inspected it may place an unreasonable burden on consumer choice, in violation of Section 453.4(b)(1) of the FTC Funeral Rule.

Q: Do I need to be at the delivery location if the casket is being delivered to a facility other than a funeral home?

Yes, if the casket is being delivered to a location other than a funeral home, the carrier will call for a delivery appointment. In this case, someone must be present to accept delivery.

Q: Can you order a casket for preplanning purposes?
Yes, as long as the casket is being shipped to a member's home or storage facility of choice. The order will ship within the stated delivery parameters on the site. However, due to regulations and restrictions, we cannot hold on to any orders for future delivery.

Walmart Execs are also hoping people will start planning ahead. Walmart.com is allowing people to pay for the caskets over a period of 12 months for no interest.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Baby Boomers, Need a Tax Write off for 2009?

I stumbled across an interesting article recently called the 10 Wackiest Tax Write Offs of 2008. The author called them wacky--but upon reading the list, I thought some of the write-offs had some merit. Take the lawyer, for example, who wrote off a $50,000 deduction for a party he gave in which many of his former and present clients were invited. Certainly they were talking business while sipping on the finest champagne and eating filet mignon.

After careful thought I decided to create my own list to give my fellow baby boomers some ideas on how to stick it to Uncle Sam this year:

Single Boomer Business Owners: Here's your chance to claim a huge deduction as well as a happily ever after. Get re-married---preferably to another business owner--invite every customer you've ever dealt with (including those who got on your last nerve), talk a little shop at the reception and then write it off as a business meeting. The key here is to make sure you come in contact with each and every client you ever dealt with and say something about your business dealings with them. This would also be a grand opportunity to make more deals.

If you get more than one speeding ticket in the year, write it off as a donation to the Highway Patrol Benevolence Fund.

You've got a dog--which is technically your dependant. Your dog just had a little of pups and they all live with you. Wah-la!

Prostitution: For all of you Cougers out there: Your body is considered business property so why not claim a deduction for depreciation of value.

Got any more suggestions to add to this list? Please share, and be sure to click on the title of this blog post to read the Ten Wackiest Write-Offs of 2008.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Why Chicago Didn't Get the Olympics Bid

Let me start off by giving you this poll:

Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in America 2008

New Orleans
Camden, NJ
Detroit
St. Louis
Oakland
Flint, Mich.
Gary, Ind.
Birmingham, Ala.
Richmond, Calif.
North Charleston, SC

Clearly, Chicago isn't on the list but, no doubt, it ought to be. Did you know the number of people murdered in Chicago during 2008 was larger than the number of U.S. soldier deaths in Iraq during the same period?

314 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq;
509 people were murdered in Chicago

Who would want to go to a city where their safety would possibly be in jeopardy?

Do you think Mayor Richard Daley has any answers or is he just another baby boomer who has closed his eyes to the real issues that plague his city and our nation?

Is President Barack Obama's eyes also closed?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jesus on Twitter?

When I saw this headline the other day: What Would Jesus Tweet?---it immediately caught my attention. I went on to read the article---which was one preacher's take on using social media to spread the Word of God.

Since Twitter has become all the rave, more and more people are coming up with interesting ways to tie the social media site to their own agenda. But I do think connecting Jesus to Twitter is over the top. Asking what would Jesus tweet means every time we write 140 characters, we should ask ourselves if this is a message Jesus would put out there. Would Jesus be an IN YOUR FACE kind of person or would those spiritual tweets be redundant messages full of love and inspiration? What would Jesus tweet to us baby boomers? WWJT

I am connected to several pastors on Twitter and Facebook because I want to be. I do appreciate the inspirational messages they put forth. I also like to see that they're real human beings and not some self-absorbed, I can do no wrong man or woman of God on their self-made pedestal.

So what do you think? Does using social networking tools put the gospel message at risk? Can anything of real and lasting value come from technology that limits information to a mere 140 characters?

To read the entire article What Would Jesus Tweet click on the blog title.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Baby Boomers and Health Care Reform

A lot has been said about health care reform but I think the biggest statement came this week when it was announced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality that more than $55 billion dollars was spent on baby boomer health care in 2007.

Another interesting finding in this report is the fact that nearly one-third (29.0 percent) of hospital stays for baby boomers were elective. Procedures that were more likely to be elective, such as knee replacement, back surgery, spinal fusion and hip replacement, had the highest rates among privately insured patients aged 55-64.

What wasn't addressed in this report, and what I believe is a key factor, are the number of needless elective surgeries baby boomers undergo like: liposuction, breast implants, facelifts, etc.

There is no doubt in my mind that we need health care reform and I am personally sick of the media giving credence to these "staged" town hall meetings where people are complaining about government interference. Sadly, some people are being "spoon fed" a bill of goods and are getting all riled up without really knowing or understanding all of the facts. If you trust the word of a Glenn Beck, then I know you're clueless because he's not even a bonafide journalist. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

If you want to get riled up about something, get mad at the government for not cracking down on the cheaters in the insurance industry. Get mad because the pharmaceutical companies are causing your medication to be triple the cost. Get angry about the number of needless and ridiculous referrals some doctors make on behalf their patients--and then turn around a bill medicare some outrageous fee. If I have a back problem, why send me to a neurologist?

Get mad at your government because you can no longer wait for them to clean up the waste and fraud.

Or is this really a black man being President???

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day Facts

When the minimum wage was implemented under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, workers received $.025 per hour. It increased to $1.00 in 1956. Twenty years later the minimum wage went to $2.30. As of July 2009, the wage now stands at $7.25.

The following states pay ABOVE minimum wage:

Washington $8.55; California, Illinois & Massachusetts $8.00; Vermont $8.06; Oregon $8.40; Rhode Island & Michigan $7.40; Maine & New Mexico $7.50; Ohio $7.30; Colorado $7.28; District of Columbia $8.25

These states pay BELOW minimum wage:

Arkansas $6.25; Wyoming $5.15; Georgia $5.15; Minnesota $6.15; Kansas $2.65

There are 7.7 million workers who hold down more than one job.

Obviously you can understand why with minimum wage not keeping up with today's cost of living.


**Statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Labor**

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Kennedy Impact Was Far Reaching

It's one thing to talk the talk--but how many people actually walk the walk of their talk? We all know Senator Ted Kennedy did a lot of talking during his 40 plus years in politics. We also know he followed up that talk with action.

During his years in the United States Senate, Kennedy fought many battles for the rights of others.

In 1964, for example, he gave the first speech to the Senate urging passage of the Civil Rights Act and outlawing segregation in public accommodations. He also supported the Economic Opportunity Act, which established programs like Head Start and the Job Corps.

Ten years later, Kennedy introduced comprehensive legislation for national health insurance. Then in 1975, he sponsored the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, which later became the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, requiring a free and appropriate public education for children with disabilities in every state.

In 1979, as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he encouraged selection of women and minorities in judicial nominations.

Nearly 20 years later, his home state of Massachusetts, appointed it's first African-American to the State Supreme Court. Judge Roderick Ireland became the first African-American to sit on this bench in its over three hundred year history. That's one appointment I am personally giving Senator Kennedy credit for.

Judge Ireland also happens to be my daughter's godfather.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Baby Boomers Need to Beware of Spam

Just like me, I'm sure you get your share of unwanted or unwelcome emails. It's called SPAM. Spam is flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message, in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it.

Did you get the email about winning the Euro Sweepstakes for millions of dollars---only to discover you had to send a couple thousand dollars of your hard earned money to get NOTHING in return?

Or what about the fake check sent--with instructions to go to the bank and cash it and then send the a portion of the proceeds back to a fictitious address? I can't believe the number of people who fell for that one.

But the email I received today caught my attention because I recognized the name of the sender. It came from a fellow baby boomer who lives in my area. We're not good friends but I know her and would try to help her if she needed it. The email read:

This had to come in haste, and it left me in a catastrophic state. I am in a terrible situation and I'm really in need of your help urgently. Yesterday, suddenly, I went to Africa for a program ...

That was my first red flag. The fact that she went to Africa SUDDENLY. Who takes a trip half-way around the world on a moment's notice?

Then the email went on to say:

Just wanted to seek your help on something very important, you are the only person I could reach at this point and I hope you come to my aid. Because something terrible is happening to me now, I need a favor from you. Right now,I am stranded in Nigeria because I forgot my little bag in a taxi where my money and passports were kept on my way to the Hotel were i stay, I have no money with me. I lost almost everything I have with me (which included my cash, diaries and credit cards). I am now owning a hotel bill of $550 and they wanted me to pay the bills soon else they will have to seize my bag and hand me over to the Hotel Management,I do not want to make a scene of this which is why I did not call the office or my house, this is embarrassing enough.please I need some help from you urgently to help me back home,and I need you to help me with the hotel bill and i will also need $950 to feed and help myself back home so please can you help me with a sum of $1500 to sort out this problems here. I need this help so much and on time because i am in a terrible and tight situation here,please understand how urgent i need your help.

At the end of the email, she promised to pay me back upon her return home.

In addition to the poor spelling and grammatical errors, I also noticed a few very important things. The email was not personally addressed to me and it wasn't signed by her. The closing said:

Thanks and get back to me soon.

Regards.


Don't allow yourself to get bamboozled and hoodwinked by a scam like this.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Baby Boomers Gettin' High on More than Life

When the Beatles sang "Gonna get high with a little help from my friends..." back in 1967, who knew that song would have significant meaning more than 40 years later?

It seems that the percentage of American baby boomers age 50-59 who reported use of illicit drugs within a year nearly doubled between 2002 and 2007, from 5.1 percent to 9.4 percent, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported Wednesday.

The agency said that percentage rose because baby boomers — born between 1946 and 1964 — continued to use drugs as they got older.

The rates of people aged 50 to 59 who admit to using illicit drugs in the past year nearly doubled while rates among all other age groups are the same or decreasing.

So whatever happened to getting high on life?

To refresh your memory, here's that Beatles tune from the 60s.



Saturday, August 15, 2009

How to Keep Your Job in Corporate America

Earlier this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported nearly 1.85 million people age 55 and older were out of work, and the jobless rate for that group rose to 6.4 percent.

Why? Because Employers would rather pay less to younger workers eager to get a foot in the door than to pay top dollar for experience.

If you're a baby boomer still employed in Corporate America, here are some simple Employer guidelines to follow to keep your job:

1. Never say you can't do a job because they'll make you do it anyway and add more to it to force you out.

2. Never say it's easy because they'll just make it harder and force you out.

3. Never complain because they never listen (but they will take good notes about the complaints you made and bring it back in your face at review time).

4. Never look like you enjoy it because they'll put a stop to it an create a more challenging task to force you out.

5. Never say "take this job and shove it" because they will!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

What Goes on in South Carolina Should STAY There

What is it about South Carolina and its people? Although I've never lived in the Palmetto State, I've been there several times and nothing about it really impresses me.

If you read my last blog post, you read about the 50-year-old S.C. man who got caught having sex with a horse---yes, a horse---not once, but twice!

The Governor of S.C. got caught too--not for having sex with a horse---but he was having an affair with a woman in Argentina. You may recall Mark Sanford disappeared for nearly a week in late June to see his Argentine lover, Maria Belen Chapur, leaving his staff, his wife and the rest of the state in the dark about his whereabouts. Initially, his office told reporters that Mr. Sanford was hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

Once he got busted, he decided to confess because according to him, God will forgive him of his sin if he confesses. But will his wife forgive?

Well, as of Friday the First Lady of S.C., Jenny Sanford, decided to move out of the Governor's mansion. What does this mean? It means she refuses to allow herself to be caught up in a messy scandal created by her husband who just won't stop talking about trying to repair his marriage even though the other woman is his "soul mate."

You can't have your cake and eat it too, Governor Sanford, and maybe it would be a good idea to stop talking and just lay low. You give all decent baby boomer men a bad name.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Baby Boomer Caught in Unusual Sex Act

For the life of me, I can't begin to understand what would possess a 50-year-old man to go have sex with a horse. Have I missed something? I know baby boomers are known for setting trends---but sex with animals isn't trendy at all. It's just downright crazy and stupid! It appears that Roddell Vereen (no relation Ben, I hope) decided to have a romp in the hay with a real stud--or maybe it was a female horse. I'm not sure. The whole thing was caught on video tape by the horse's owner.

But what makes this story worse and beyond bizarre is the fact that this South Carolina man was caught before with the SAME horse last year! He was placed on probation for that incident---along with his name being added to the sex offenders list.

His family maintains he has a mental issue. I sure hope that is the case. The horse's owner, meanwhile, says she thought about shooting Vereen both times, but didn't want to go to prison.

What would you have done?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cops Hate Journalists Too

One night back in 2000 I was driving home from my job at NBC17 in Raleigh, N.C. It was around 11:45am. As I was driving down Glenwood Avenue, I noticed some police activity. Of course, the journalist in me had to know what was going on. It may have been "breaking news" and certainly I wanted to be the first to report it.

As I drove up on the scene, I saw a police officer directing and re-routing traffic. I pulled over to him and asked what was going on. He told me to keep going and that it was none of my concern. I then identified myself as a journalist with NBC17----at which time he told me he didn't care who I was and I had better move along "right now!" He then put his hand on his weapon. I told him I was going to report him. He replied, "Just get the hell on!" I then drove up to the next officer and asked (very nicely) if he could give me the officer's name. Since they weren't near each other, he had no idea of what had just transpired. He was very polite and gave me the officer's name. I might also add this particular officer was black. The other officer was white.

True to my word, I contacted the Raleigh Police Internal Affairs Unit on Monday and reported the incident. I explained I was on my way home and thought I had come up on some breaking news. Certainly the officer could've handled the situation differently and there was absolutely no need for him to go for his gun. I was just an innocent, non-threatening black female journalist in a car trying to get home.

A police investigator came to my job and took a statement. They probably did it to verify that I was who I said I was and they certainly didn't want to give the impression that they were going to dismiss my complaint.

A few months later, I received a letter in the mail indicating the officer had been reprimanded for his behavior.

I wonder now if I had been a white woman would the officer have been as rude as he was. But I choose to believe the cops don't like journalists either and on that particular dark night the word "journalist" was written all over my black face.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Relying on the Kindness of Others - MORE Magazine

Relying on the Kindness of Others - MORE Magazine

Shared via AddThis

What Happened to the Content of His Character?

In his famous "I Have a Dream" Speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said we should be judged by the "content of our character" and not "by the color of our skin."

It's sad to think that in 2009 the patrons of the All-White Huntington Valley Swim Club don't appreciate that message.

I'm sure you've heard the story by now: two weeks ago outside Philadelphia, more than 60 children from a summer camp tried to go swimming at a club that their camp had a contract to use. They paid $1900 for the privilege, but apparently the people at the club didn't know that the group of kids was predominantly Black.

When the campers entered the pool, white parents allegedly took their kids out of the water, and the swimming club's staff asked the campers to leave. The next day, the club told the summer camp that their membership would be canceled and that their payment would be refunded.

The President of the Valley Swim Club, John G. Duesler, now says he and his family are receiving hate email and phone calls to his home. After the incident he commented that the reason the black campers were tossed was that they would “change the complexion of the club” and they couldn’t come back.

But the most telling comment Duesler made was that “this is a terrible misrepresentation of everything I stand for”. You know why he said that? Because he was one of President Barack Obama's staunchest supporters during the presidential campaign. He rallied the suburbanites to jump on the Obama bandwagon and that they did.

So how does Duesler go from supporting a black man to lead an entire nation to blocking access to little black children who just wanted to cool off and have a day of fun?

What is the true content of his character?

If you click on the title of this post, you can find Duesler's Twitter page.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Banks Have Gone Totally Mad Since Bailout

If you've followed the banking mess and their call for a financial handout---I mean bailout---you know that some of these fat cats made out like bandits. Take Citigroup, for example, which reportedly received at least $45 billion in bailout funds. Bank of America, which ranks #1 on my Customer Hall of Shame List, also got $45 billion.

But I guess that just wasn't enough because now it appears some of these same banks are dipping into our personal accounts to take even more money---although they say they'll give it back in a little while.

Today I went to the gas station and saw this interesting note on the pump:

VALUABLE INFORMATION FOR DEBIT CARD USERS

"When using a debit card, please be aware that your financial institution may place a hold on your account that may exceed the amount of your purchase. Shell is not responsible for placing and removing debt holds. Please contact your financial institution if you would like more information."

THANK YOU FOR YOUR BUSINESS....


Yes, it appears these banks keep giving us all the business.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

North Carolina Ranks Among the States with the Fattest Baby Boomers

During my adult life, I have lived in Ohio, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, West Virigina (which I rarely admit) and now, in North Carolina. Based on this study of obesity and baby boomers, I should be heading back to New England. Here are the states listed in order of where the fattest baby boomers live. Where does your state rank? (To read the entire report, click on the title for this blog post).

1. Mississippi
2. Alabama
3. West Virginia
4. Tennessee
5. South Carolina
6. Oklahoma
7. Kentucky
8. Louisiana
9. Michigan
10. (tie) Arkansas and Ohio
12. North Carolina
13. Missouri
14. (tie) Georgia and Texas
16. Indiana
17. Delaware
18. (tie) Alaska and Kansas
20. (tie) Nebraska and South Dakota
22. (tie) Iowa and North Dakota and Pennsylvania
25. (tie) Maryland and Wisconsin
27. Illinois
28. (tie) Oregon and Virginia and Washington
31. Minnesota
32. Nevada
33. (tie) Arizona and Idaho 3
35. Maine
36. New Mexico
37. New York
38. Wyoming
39. (tie) Florida and New Hampshire
41. California (23.6%)
42. New Jersey
43. Montana
44. Utah
45. District of Columbia
46. Vermont
47. Hawaii
48. Rhode Island
49. Connecticut
50. Massachusetts
51. Colorado

Friday, June 26, 2009

Top Ten Things Only Boomer Women Understand

This is a Top Ten List I saw on the website of my good friend and fellow Boomer Diva Nation member, babyboomerqueen.

10. Cats’ facial expressions

9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colors

8. Why bean sprouts aren’t just weeds

7. Fat clothes

6. Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time

5. The difference between beige, off-white, and eggshell

4. Cutting your bangs to make them grow

3. Eyelash curlers

2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made

1. Other women


***I decided to alter that list and create one of my own for my fellow baby boomer women***


10. What it means to have a bad hair day

9. The need for flat-heeled shoes

8. How to make leftovers taste better than the original meal

7. How to make fat clothes look chic

6. The difference between fat and pleasantly plump

5. What is means to have a "personal summer"

4. What it means to be uappreciated even when you give your all.

3. How to make aging look good

2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made

1. What it means to have a real girlfriend


Please feel free to add to this..........

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Will Father's Day Someday Become Obsolete?

Today is the day children across America are celebrating their dads. Even though my dad is deceased, I still honor his memory because he was a great father who had a strong presence in my life.

But, unlike me, my daughter does not share that sentiment. She does not acknowledge her dad on this day---or any other day for that matter. Why? Because he was an absent father. Yes, we were married but his actions made him appear absent more often than not. When you see your mom struggle to make ends meet because dad doesn't pay child support, he doesn't try to stay in contact, doesn't participate in your school activities, or offer to help with college tuition, its easy to just forget rather than celebrate Father's Day.

The sad thing is there are many children who feel like my daughter and what's even worse is some children never have the benefit of knowing who their Father is because mama doesn't know. (Just watch a Maury show sometime).

A National Household Education Surveys Program shows that 28% percent of White students, 39% of Hispanic students, 69% of Black students, and 36% overall live without their fathers.

Here's another startling statistic from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy:

About 1.7 million babies were born to unmarried women in 2007, a 26 percent rise from 1.4 million in 2002 and more than double the number in 1980. Unmarried women accounted for 39.7 percent of all U.S. births in 2007 -- up from 34 percent in 2002 and more than double the percentage in 1980.

So you tell me, what does the future hold for Father's Day about 10 years from now?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You Know You're a Baby Boomer If...(Part II)

You rode in the back of the station wagon and you faced the cars behind you.

Schoolhouse Rock played a HUGE part in how you actually learned the English language.

A predominant color in your childhood photos is plaid.

You remember the Flinstones in Primetime.

You grew up with neighbors you actually knew by first and last name.

You had a rotary dial telephone.

You weren't considered fashionable if you didn't own a pair of black & white saddle shoes or a pair of stride rites.

Good TV reception came with a pair of pliers and a coat hanger.

There was such a thing as penny candy--and you could always stock up.

You remember the oil crisis in 1973--which resulted in the price of oil per barrel to rise from $3.00 to $12.00 (The price of gas was $0.24 in 1957--the year I was born).

If you're still making the hand gestures every time you hear the Y.M.C.A. Song.

You know you're a baby boomer if garters were how you held up your hose. (Thanks to @LeslieLSC from Twitter)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

You Know You're a Baby Boomer If...

You've seen every Brady Bunch episode at least twice.

You remember Michael Jackson when he was black.

You remember Sally Field as The Flying Nun.

You remember when VCR's cost $2000!

You remember cigarette commericals on TV.

You owned a pair of pedal pushers--or at least know what they are.

Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

Your back goes out more than you do.

You finally got your head together, now your body is falling apart.

It takes twice as long to look half as good.

Many of your co-workers were born the same year that you got your last promotion.

The clothes you've put away until they come back in style... have come back in style.

The pharmacist has become your new best friend.

You come to the conclusion that your worst enemy is gravity.

You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Flip Flops, Baseball Caps and Cancer

Did you know flip-flips and baseball caps could pose a hidden health risk when it comes to skin cancer? That’s the word from Dr. Anthony Peterson, from the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He says most skin cancers occur on the parts of the body that are repeatedly exposed to the sun. The problem with flip-flops and baseball caps is that they leave the tips of the ears and the tops of the feet dangerously exposed to sun damage. The potential for skin cancers in those areas are real, especially on the tips of the ears.

More than 1 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are found in this country each year, according to the Cancer Society. Most of those cases are considered to be sun-related. They develop on sun-exposed areas of the body, like the face, ear, neck, lips, and the backs of the hands. Depending on the type, they can be fast- or slow-growing, but they rarely spread to other parts of the body.

Doctors say melanoma is almost always curable when it is detected in its early stages. Although melanoma accounts for only a small percentage of skin cancer, it is far more dangerous than other skin cancers, and it causes the majority of skin cancer deaths.

You can prevent all forms of skin cancer, including melanoma, by avoiding overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Here are some tips from medical experts:

• Use a sunscreen with an SPF of least 15 daily. Wearing sunscreen in the early fall is just as important, too.
• Wear protective clothing outdoors, including a wide-brimmed hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and pants.
• Stay out of the sun during the midday hours (10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.).
• Use a higher SPF when at higher elevations.
• Avoid sunbathing and tanning salons. UV rays from artificial sources such as tanning beds and sunlamps are just as dangerous as those from the sun.
• Set a good example for your children by always using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Some Interesting Baby Boomer Facts

MetLife has been keeping a pulse on us baby boomers and have come up with another set of interesting facts. The first report was back in November 2008 called: Boomers: The Next 20 Years, Ecologies of Risk. In this report, I learned that I may nor recognize myself or my surroundings by the year 2028 as a result of an evolving global environment and marketplace. This is provided I'll still be alive at age 70. You can read that report here: Boomers in 20 years

Now there's a new report out that gives insight into the oldest and youngest boomers.

The youngest boomers: those born in the 1960s don't like being called "baby boomers." They prefer to be referred to as Generation X. The youngest boomers say 71 is considered OLD while older boomers say the old age begins at 78.

The oldest boomers--those born from 1946 to early 1950s--have 2.1 children, 2.6 grandchildren and many are also empty nesters.

The average income of boomers is $71,300 with a net worth of $236,000.

Sixty-seven percent don't have a living parent while one-third still has at least one parent living.

1 in 7 baby boomers are providing care to a parent or other family member.

The make-up of those involed in the study:

84% white
9% Black
7% Asian

Interesting that no Latinos were included.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Like Daughter Like Mother

Baby Boomers have been known for setting trends but the one I'm about to share with you is utterly ridiculous!

It appears a 50-year-old woman decided it was time for a change---a change in appearance that is---and she spent $15,000 to do it. Why? Janet Cunliffe says its because she wanted to look like her daughter, Janet. In an interview on Good Morning America, she said seeing how attractive her 28-year-old daughter was made her want to get her own youthful looks back.

First this baby boomer mum had breast implants, then lost 30 pounds. The final act was the cosmetic surgery to smooth out the wrinkles on her face. She now brags about the fact that she and her daughter look more like twins than mother and daughter.

What is disturbing about this story is that Plastic Surgeons are reporting more and more procedures like this. Older women looking to recapture their youth with a knife.

My daughter is a beautiful young woman and one I am very proud of, HOWEVER, I know where she got her looks from and I'm just fine with aging gracefully.

What do you think? Is there something wrong with wanting to have a more youthful look to build your self-esteem?

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Review of The Soloist

As someone who spent more than 25 years in radio and television news, I have drawn the conclusion that there are two kinds of journalists: 1) Those who want to be seen. 2) Those who want to be heard.

Journalists who want to be seen are out to make a name for themselves. Many of them are cut throat and will do anything it takes to get to the top. One more thing about them is they love face time or to see their name in the top byline.

Then you have journalists who want to be heard. These are the ones who have a story to tell and work hard to make sure you hear it. That's the kind of journalist I believe Steve Lopez of the LA Times is.

Lopez discovered a musical genius named Nathaniel Ayers Jr., by accident back in 2005. Ayers was a homeless man who caught the ear of Lopez with his two-stringed violin. From that moment, Lopez says he felt compelled to learn more about this individual. How did he end up in LA from Cleveland, OH? He wanted to know how someone who studied at the prestigious Julliard School of Music could end up on the streets with no place to go.

Ayers is played in the movie by Jamie Foxx. I am not a Jamie Foxx fan but I have to say this role is, by far, is the best character I have ever seen him play. It is my understanding that he actually spent time with people suffering from Ayers' condition to get a real sense of what it was like.

The Lopez role was played by Robert Downey Jr. After Tropic Thunder, I thought I would never watch another movie with him in it again. (That's how horrible I thought his character was). However, he did impress me in Iron Man, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt for The Soloist. He didn't disappoint.

This movie isn't a tear jerker but it does tug at your heart strings. It is also a reminder that one person can still make a difference in someone else's life--and you don't necessarily have to be a journalist.

I highly recommend this movie and I hope that I, too, was the kind of journalist who was heard.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Baby Boomer Barbie

Yes, Barbie has finally turned 50 and officially joined the ranks of us baby boomers.

At long last, here are some NEW Barbie dolls to coincide with her and OUR aging gracefully. These are a bit more realistic...

Bifocals Barbie. Comes with her own set of blended-lens fashion frames in six wild colors (half-frames too!), neck chain, and large-print editions of Vogue and Martha Stewart Living.

Hot Flash Barbie. Press Barbie's belly button and watch her face turn beet red while tiny drops of perspiration appear on her forehead. Comes with handheld fan and tiny tissues.

Facial Hair Barbie. As Barbie's hormone levels shift, see her whiskers grow. Available with teensy tweezers and magnifying mirror.

Flabby Arms Barbie. Hide Barbie's droopy triceps with these new, roomier-sleeved gowns. Good news on the tummy front, two-Muumuus with tummy-support panels are included.

Bunion Barbie. Years of dancing in stiletto heels have definitely taken their toll on Barbie's dainty arched feet. Soothe her sores with the pumice stone and plasters, then slip on soft terry mules.

No-More-Wrinkles Barbie. Erase those pesky crow's-feet and lip lines with a tube of Skin Sparkle-Spackle, from Barbie's own line of exclusive age-blasting cosmetics.

Mid-life Crisis Barbie. It's time to ditch Ken. Barbie needs a change, and Alonzo (her personal trainer) is just what the doctor ordered, along with Prozac. They're hopping in her new red Miata and heading for the Napa Valley to open a B&B.

Divorced Barbie. Sells for $199.99. Comes with Ken's house, Ken's car, and Ken's boat.

Post-Menopausal Barbie. This Barbie wets her pants when she sneezes, forgets where she puts things, and cries a lot. She is sick and tired of Ken sitting on the couch watching the tube, clicking through the channels. Comes with Depends and Kleenex.

**The only thing that remains the same is her blond hair---thanks to a little bottle of Clairol and a fabulous hairdresser!**

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tall, Dark and Neurotic?

In a study of baby boomer adults over the age of 50, women get an added health benefit when paired with a mate who is conscientious and a little neurotic. While both men and women benefit from being paired with a conscientious mate, Roberts said, only the women saw a modest boost in their health from being with a man who was also a little neurotic.

Conscientiousness is a good thing in a mate, researchers report, not just because it’s easier to live with someone who washes the dishes without being asked, but also because having a conscientious partner may actually be good for one’s health.

"Highly conscientious people are more organized and responsible and tend to follow through with their obligations, to be more impulse controlled and to follow rules,” says University of Illinois psychology professor Brent Roberts, who led the study. Highly neurotic people tend to be more moody and anxious, and to worry, he said.

People who are more conscientious also tend to live longer than those who are less so. They are more likely to exercise, eat nutritious foods and adhere to vitamin or drug regimens, and are less likely to smoke, abuse drugs or take unwarranted risks, all of which may explain their better health. They also tend to have more stable relationships than people with low conscientiousness.

“It appears that even if you are really highly conscientious, you can still benefit from a spouse’s conscientiousness,” Roberts said. “It makes sense that regardless of what your attributes are, if you have people in your social network that have resources, such as conscientiousness, that can always help.”

Most studies have found a very different outcome for people who are highly neurotic. They tend to report poorer health and less satisfying relationships.

The study appears this month in Psychological Science.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Older Women Turning to Cosmetic Surgery for Jobs

It appears that some women are investing in cosmetic surgery in order to improve their looks and give them the upper hand in the job market.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) recently released a survey, indicating women were going for cosmetic surgery just to get a competitive edge in the workplace and secure their careers.

Seventy-three percent of working women said they have a feeling that appearance and good looks can help them get hired, get a promotion, or climb up the career ladder, especially in times of the global financial crisis. In addition, 80 per cent of working American women said that they are sure that cosmetic surgery can do wonders for an individual's level of confidence. Nearly 13 per cent of ladies who work said that they would spend as much as it takes for plastic surgery in order to become more confident in the competitive job market and 3 per cent of working women admitted to having already invested in cosmetic surgery to increase their perceived value in the workplace.

If cosmetic surgery could improve your job opportunities, would you go for it?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Why are Baby Boomers Hated?

I came across a rather interesting but disturbing blog post this evening from a person who identified him (her) self as edbreley. This is what they wrote:

I am 17 and I hate the Baby Boomer generation with a burning passion. My father is a member of the Baby Boomer generation, and when he complains about my generation, I ask him who has nearly bankrupted America, destroyed our reputation around the world, and destroyed the great morals we once had. The Baby Boomers are the idiots who started experimenting with drugs in the 60's and the ones who have nearly made our economy totally collapse.

I work at a grocery store, and Baby Boomers are some of the most rude people I come across. Its like they know their generation sucks and that they have successfully ****** up America, but they want to take their bitterness out on my generation, which is smarter than theirs and will do more things. They act like I owe them something, and I don't. They owe me an apology, if anything, for ******* up my country and then blaming my generation for everything that goes wrong and telling us how bad we are.


I wonder if this is how we are viewed by the majority of the younger generations. I am a baby boomer but I have often said baby boomers are responsible for a lot of the mess we've gotten ourselves economically and even socially. We have been a generation of contradictions. We grew up on drugs, sex and rock and roll. Some of us were staunch civil rights activists. Then some of us us became greedy, controlling, bigots and sexists who didn't give a damn about really trying to help others.

But I can honestly say, for me personally, I have connected with a group of boomers who are on the move and making a difference and we're doing it because we genuinely care about how we leave this world before we depart.


So what will be the baby boomer legacy?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In the Minority---AGAIN!

If you've been following my blog, you know I talked about bras yesterday. Apparently there are women in several states who are suing Victoria Secret claiming their bras cause rashes and permanent bruises.

Today I'm talking about bras again. No, I'm not having a bra fettish but, as a journalist, I like to stay informed and it just so happens that bras are in the news again today.

One of America's largest bra makers, Wacoal, is predicting that 36DD will be the size more women purchase than any other in 2009. WHAT?!

It appears obesity in women is a contributing factor. According to a study of adult women by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity has increased to more than 35 percent. Another contributing factor to the increase in breast size is breast implants. Everybody still wants to look like Pamela Anderson.

Age and hormones are also playing havoc with baby boomers' bust sizes. But wait a minute. I'm a baby boomer---but the only fatty tissue I've seen an increase in is in the lower--not upper half of my body.

I guess that means I'm in the minority again. But I do remember someone once telling me "more than a handful is wasted."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Burning Bras Has a New Twist

I'm one of those women who doesn't have to worry about how she might look going bra-less so that's exactly what I'm doing for the time being. I have decided to stop wearing my Victoria Secret bras because I've noticed a little bruising around the area where I snap the bra in place, as well as some darkened marks on the outer portion of my breast area.

I stopped recently after I read an article online about a federal lawsuit being filed by women in Louisiana, Florida, NJ and NY. They are accusing Victoria Secret and its parent company, Limited Brands, Inc., of "negligently designing undergarments and misrepresenting the safety of their products."

A 66-year-old woman claims her bras gave her a horrible rash and hives.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs suspect formaldehyde resin in the bras are responsible for the alleged ailments. Formaldehyde? Isn't that what they use on dead people? Attorneys believe formaldehyde resin embedded in the fabric is released when bras are put in the dryer.

Meanwhile a spokesperson for Victoria Secret says they don't add formaldehyde to their bras and independent tests show the bras are fomaldehyde free or have only small traces of the chemical that wouldn't cause any problems.

Then there's the issue with the underwire, which I believe can also cause some problems. So I guess for now, this baby boomer will be happy to wear a sports bra or go bra-less and if there is merit to what these women are alleging, maybe we'll have a real bra burning party somewhere.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Baby Boomers are Flocking to Raleigh, North Carolina

I guess I don't have to pack up my bags and find a place to retire because, according to the latest research, I'm right where I need to be. That's right. I'm a baby boomer living in the Raleigh, NC area and according to research by the Urban Institute, this is the area predicted to have the greatest boom in baby boomer seniors.

The UI report says the senior population is poised to grow by 36 percent from 2010 to 2020. Another interesting note is the fact that the black population continues its move toward large Southern metro areas like Atlanta, Houston, and Washington, D.C., and Hispanic populations are growing most rapidly in the Southeast.

So what makes the Raleigh area so attractive for boomers? I don't really know but you can see for yourself: Raleigh

I can tell you what I don't like about the area. Many of the communities have no sidewalks and the educational system for K-12 needs serious improvement. I dread the thought of sending my grandson to public school here. The neighborhoods also lacks true diversity---but I think that's an issue everywhere.

Areas That Will Experience Senior Growth Due to the Aging of Baby Boomers

1. Raleigh-Cary,
2. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
3. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.
4. Boise City-Nampa, Idaho
5. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.
6. Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.
7. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas
8. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
9. Colorado Springs, Colo.
10. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
11. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.
12. Charleston-North Charleston, S.C.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Obituary of Mr. Common Sense

Today this baby boomer is mourning the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies - don't spend more than you can earn; and reliable strategies - Adults, not Children, are in charge.

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place; reports of a 6 -year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate. Teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent a band-aid or an aspirin to a student.

Common Sense lost the will to live as churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by His parents, Truth and Trust; His wife,
Discretion; His daughter, Responsibility; and His son, Reason. He is survived by his 3 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Big Baby Boomer Swindle?

Did you know America's Top CEO's earned $5.4 billion last year? And get this: They were ALL white males and baby boomers.

It's obviously going to take more than 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, that Hillary referred to in her Presidential bid, in order for women to get their fair share. The highest paid female executive is Indra Nooyi of Pepsico. But her salary of $12.7 million (including $4.5 million in bonus pay) pales in comparison to what her male counterparts are receiving.

And it gets even worse for the top African-American CEO, Kenneth Chenault of American Express. Chenault received a 2008 salary of $1.25 million and a $6.11 million cash bonus for his performance in 2006 that vested in February 2009.

Here are the Top Ten Highest Pad CEO's according to Forbes magazine:

Richard Fairbank, age 55, Capital One Financial, earned $249 million

Terry Semel, age 63, Yahoo, earned $230.5 million

Henry Silverman, age 65, Cendant, earned $139.9 million

Bruce Karatz, age 60, KB Homes, earned $135.5 million

Richard S Fuld, Jr., age 60, Lehman Bros. Holdings, earned $122.6 million

Ryan R. Irani, age 71, Occidental Petroleum, earned $80.7 million

Lawrence J. Ellison, age 61, Oracle, earned $75.3 million

John W. Thompson, age 57, Symantec, earned $71.8 million

Edwin M. Crawford, age 57, Caremark Rx, earned $69.6 million

Angelo R. Mozilo, age 67, Countrywide Financial, earned $68.85 million

Now there is an argument you have to have to pay top $$$ to keep your best people but if you look at the above list, one has to question what "best" really means.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Customer Service Hall of Shame

Today I received a call from a young man indicating he was conducting some research on behalf of Bank of America. It was a customer satisfaction survey. After he told me the conversation was being recorded, I took the liberty of giving him a piece of my mind. I told him it disturbed me that Bank of America was spending, perhaps millions, to get opinions on their customer service---and the fact that they could be using bailout money was downright disgusting.

Bank of America's attempts to improve its customer service comes on the heels of poor ratings they've received over the past couple of years. In a 2008 MSN Money-Zogby International survey, 31% of respondents familiar with Bank of America's customer service rated it "poor." In 2007, 30% rated it "poor." Why? Because employees don't seem to have a clue on how to really help you when you call them on the phone. One time my husband discovered a charge with his online account but the employee he talked to couldn't explain the charge. He later discovered the bank had changed a policy but failed to inform him about it. Why the employee didn't know about this change in policy is beyond me.

Bank of America ranks #7 on the Customer Service Hall of Shame List, along with these other Companies:

1. AOL

2. Comcast

3. Sprint Nextel

4. Abercrombie & Fitch

5. Qwest

6. Capital One

7. Bank of America

8. Time Warner Cable

9. HSBC Finance

10. Cox Communications


Perhaps if these Companies put more money into training their employees on how to give good customer service and in depth training on what the company does, they wouldn't have to spend so much money trying to figure out their problems.

Are there any companies you think should be added to the Customer Service Hall of Shame?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Gray Today Gone Tomorrow?

According to medical statistics, 50 percent of us are at least 50 percent gray by the age of 50. Some of us go to great lengths to get rid of the gray strands but that may not be necessary in the future thanks to a new discovery.

A team of European Scientists in England say they may have figured out why hair turns gray, and their finding may open the door to new anti-graying strategies.

Going gray is caused by a massive build up of hydrogen peroxide due to wear and tear of our hair follicles. The peroxide winds up blocking the normal synthesis of melanin, our hair's natural pigment.

The process starts when there is a dip in levels of an enzyme called catalase. That catalase shortfall means that the hydrogen peroxide that naturally occurs in hair can't be broken down. So hydrogen peroxide builds up in the hair, and because other enzymes that would repair hydrogen peroxide's damage are also in short supply, the hair goes gray.

Researchers say if they can stop the chemical chain reaction, our natural hair color might not ever change.

But come on. Let's get real. How many baby boomers do you know who still have your "natural" hair color?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Baby Boomers Going Childless

Fifty years ago, having a big family might have been considered more of the norm than unusual. But for the baby boomer generation today, the trend is changing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of families with their own child living at home decreased to 46 percent in 2008, from 52 percent in 1950, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The data gathered by the Census Bureau indicates the aging of the population and changing fertility patterns are the reasons for the decreases in the percentage of families with their own child under 18 at home.

In 1950, 52 percent of family households had their own child under 18. During the years when the baby boomers were young, this percentage increased, reaching 57 percent in the early 1960s. In 2008, however, when the baby boomers were about ages 44 to 62, and likely to be householders themselves, the percentage of families with a child had declined to 46 percent.

Among the factors that contributed to the decrease in the percentage of family households with children under 18:

• As adults live longer, a larger proportion of married couple households will be those who are older and either childless, or whose adult children live elsewhere. In 1968, 29 percent of married men were age 55 and over, as were 22 percent of married women. In 2008, 38 percent of married men were 55 and over, as were 33 percent of married women.

• Increases in childlessness — The percentage of women age 40 to 44 who were childless increased from 10 percent in 1976 to 20 percent in 2006.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Knowing Your Neighbors

Shortly after I moved into the neighborhood where I currently live, I made it a point to get to know my neighbors. I didn’t wait for anyone to come over with a welcome cake or some collard greens. As I learned from my own parents, knowing your neighbors is a good thing because you never know when you’re going to need help.

Last week, I needed help so I cashed in one of those “good neighbor” chips to my next door neighbor and fellow baby boomer Kathy.

For those of you who’ve ever had food poisoning, you know how terrible it can be. Needless to say, I was miserable and on top of that, I was very weak. I called Kathy and asked her for some crackers. In less than two minutes, she was at my door with my request. She had even volunteered to make me some soup.

Now, let’s just say I didn’t know Kathy but decided to call her anyway. The conversation would’ve gone something like this:

Bev: "Hello, Kathy?"

Kathy: "Yes, who is this?"

Bev: "Kathy, this is your next door neighbor Beverly."

Kathy: "Who?"

Bev: "Beverly."

Kathy: "OK, which house do you live in?"

Bev: "I’m in the yellow house."

Kathy: "Oh, OK. I'm surprised you have my number. What can I do for you?"

Bev: "Kathy, would you by chance have any crackers. I need something to put on my stomach with my soup."

Kathy: "No, I don’t have any crackers. All I have are Wheat Thins."

Bev: "Oh, OK (inaudible) I’ll take those."

Kathy: "Sorry I couldn’t help you. Hope you feel better." (hangs up)

Believe it or not, there are still many communities where people haven’t taken the time to get to know each other. I’m just thankful I don’t live in one of them.

Thanks Kathy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dogs and Cars

When I was a little girl, more than 40 years ago, I recall seeing dogs chase vehicles down the street. When I see that same scenario today, I don’t think much of it.

But when I see dogs sitting in their owner’s lap while the owner is trying to drive down the street or highway, I have to wonder: What in the world is wrong with this person?

On my way to Virginia this past weekend, I saw a number of dogs sitting in the laps of their owners while they were driving. Some dogs had their heads hanging out the window---while others were peering over or through the steering wheel as if they were helping to navigate the vehicle on the road.

What was even more disturbing is the people behind the wheel were baby boomers and older. I was trying to figure out what would possess someone, who needs to mindful of the road and conditions, to allow a dog to literally obstruct his and her view while driving down a busy highway.

Dogs are not meant for driving cars.

Maybe I’ve missed something but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a doggie seatbelt. Have you? As a matter of fact, I don’t think there’s a place for them inside a vehicle at all---unless they’re in a cage.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not an animal hater but I’m just trying to understand why drivers allow dogs to sit in their laps.

Oh, maybe I get it. It’s their “Guide Dog”. After all, some of us don’t see as good as we used to.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hey, I Like Your Baby Boomer Smile

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and what do people find most attractive in others? The smile. A national survey from the American Dental Association and Crest® and Oral B® finds that the smile outranked eyes, hair and the body as the most attractive physical feature.

Yet men and women differ when it comes to taking care of their teeth and gums. The nationally representative survey of 1,000 Americans ages 18 and older found 86 percent of women brush their teeth twice or more a day, yet only 66 percent of men do so.

The survey also found that women say they change their toothbrush or power toothbrush head every 3-4 months on average, yet men hang on to theirs an average of 5 months. The ADA recommends replacing toothbrushes every 3-4 months or when the bristles become frayed since frayed and worn bristles decrease cleaning effectiveness.

Sadly, all Americans need to do a better job of flossing their teeth. Only half of those surveyed (49 percent) say they floss their teeth once a day or more often. And 1 out of 3 people surveyed think a little blood in the sink after brushing their teeth is normal, yet it’s not—it could signal gum disease or another health problem.

Oral health is an important part of overall health. Regular dental check-ups are important not only to diagnose and treat gum disease and tooth decay, but also because some diseases or medical conditions, such as oral cancer, have symptoms that can appear in the mouth.

Growing research indicates there may be an association between oral health and serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, underscoring the importance of good oral hygiene habits.

Dental experts say brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, eating a balanced diet, and visiting your dentist regularly can help keep your smile healthy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Raising Children: Grandparent Style

I hear it all the time: “You don't look old enough to be a grandparent." As a 51-year-old baby boomer, I am among a growing trend of women who are not only wives and mothers---we are also grandmothers.

Gone are the days when you saw gray-haired women wearing their hair in buns and dresses near their ankles. We are no longer stay-at-home grandmothers relaxing in our rocking chairs. Today’s grandmothers are, more than likely, still in the workforce or entrepreneurs. They are probably also more likely to take an active role in their grandchildren's day-to-day lives.

There are an estimated 80 million grandparents in the U.S. today. By 2012, that number is expected to reach around 115 million. These grandparents essentially are taking on a second parenthood due to the fallout of their children’s divorces, financial problems or, increasingly, drug addictions.

Marketers are taking notice of these baby boomer grandparents. Retailers have begun targeting boomer grandparents, using pop hits from the 1950s and ’60s in commercials and reviving some of the old-fashioned toys like Etch-A-Sketch.

It’s working. A U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey predicted that grandparents spend nearly $30 billion a year on their grandchildren – but not just on toys.

• Nearly 20 percent of all travel involves grandchildren with grandparents, with or without the grandchildren's parents.
• Boomer grandparents want to leave a legacy, either of wealth, education or shared interests.
• Many of boomers' purchases are influenced by their grandchildren.

It is not all rosy though. Boomer grandparents are more likely than older generations to raise their grandchildren and, for the first time in many generations, grandparents are heading multiple-family households as their Generation X offspring suffer from foreclosures and distressed sales of homes and widespread layoffs.

And in my case, I'm taking on the role of Ma for my two-year-old grandson while his mother pursues her college education in another city.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Old Wives' Tales

A recent discussion about old wives' tales on one of the Networking Sites I frequent got me to thinking about all of those little life warnings my mother passed on to me as a child. I know now, as a baby boomer, that most of what she said isn't true, because most old wives' tales were used to discourage unwanted behavior.

But when you're growing up, mom's words are like the Bible and you didn't dare question them.

Here are some of the ones I remember:

If your nose is itching, someone is talking about you.

If you hand is itching, that means you are about to get money.

A cat will steal your baby’s breath if you let them near a newborn.

If you cross your eyes, they will get stuck.

If you hold a aspirin between your legs you wont get pregnant.

If you keep making an ugly face its going to stay that way.

Touching a toad will give you warts.

Drinking coffee will stunt your growth.

For African-Americans, drinking black coffee will make you darker.

Eating bread crust would make your hair curly

If a woman’s carrying low, it’s a boy; if she’s carrying high, it’s a girl.

A bat in the house is a sign of a death.

When you see a funeral procession go by, you have to make the sign of the cross or someone in your family will be next.

A dog howling at night when someone in the house is sick is a bad sign

Step on a crack will break your mothers back.

Knock on wood so you don’t jinx youself.

If it rains on your wedding day, you'll cry plenty of tears throughout your marriage. Now that's the one I BELIEVE!

What about you? What can you add to this list?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Your Big Baby Boomer Break

A couple of days ago, I posted a casting call announcement for baby boomers. That's right! Baby Boomers are finally going to get their time to shine in front of a national audience. Follow this link to fill out your application: Baby Boomers

A casting search team is looking for boomers who have ditched their inactive, corporate nine to five job to follow their real passions in life. Does this sound like you?

1) Are you pursuing the active lifestyle that you finally realized you are so passionate about?

2) Did you decide to shake the dust off your life and are now starting your “second act” by actively embracing the sort of new experiences you would never have considered, even when you were younger?

3) Have you made your dreams of getting the most out of your life a reality? If you are a healthy and active “Baby Boomer” (45-65) individual/couple who has recently made a conscious decision to take positive steps towards reinventing your life,

All you need to do is complete an online application and send in a video highlighting what makes you "special." Click on this link: Baby Boomers

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Turn Up the Heat for Super Bowl Sunday

I don’t know about you but I am not going to sit at home alone while my husband decides he wants to be around "like-minded" individuals (who just happen to be all men) to watch the big game.

Actually, I won't be alone because my husband actually enjoys watching sports with me. Why? Because I've studied the games over the years---and being a cheerleader certainly helped. I can sit and intelligently discuss first downs and offside penalties and referee calls that should've or should not have been made. I've also learned how to make watching the game interesting in the romance department.

How can sports possibly be romantic especially if you hate it? Well, why not look at it this way. If you love your husband, why not take a sincere interest in his love for the game---whether it be football, basketball, tennis or WHATEVER! If it's something your husband really enjoys, wouldn't you rather learn about it, and share the common bond of sports than to have him watch it alone or always leave to watch it with his buddies? I prefer to be a baby boomer sports wife rather than a sports widow.

Before you start to panic, let me reassure you. You don't have to put on a parka and sit through an icy-cold and windy Chicago Bears game in December to show your husband your love. You can certainly sit warm and cozy on your living room couch together, to show him that he is special to you.

Here’s my tip for getting your husband prepared and in the mood for Super Bowl Sunday:

You can have your own pre-game show. The two of you can toss a football out in the yard. When he lets you tackle him, you can sneak in a kiss. Or why not be the quarterback and instead of hiking a 'real' ball, just pretend there's a ball there and turn it into a game of touch football. After an hour or so of fun, fantasy and sweat, you can go inside--take a shower--and relax while getting ready for the Big Game. And who cares if the neighbors are watching?

No matter what you plan, if you do it with excitement and enthusiasm, it'll be a treat for him. And, the next time you're watching an episode of Desperate Housewives, don't be surprised if you find your husband sitting next to you preparing to make some moves of his own.

What suggestions do you have for making a sporting event more fun?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Are You a Baby Boomer Pursuing Your Passion?

Somebody has FINALLY gotten the memo that the media needs to stand up and take notice of the baby boomers.

Last week, I received an email from Lexi Shoemaker inviting me to participate in a new online series that will feature inspiring stories about people who have made the leap from dreaming about a change to making their passion a reality.

Initially, I dismissed the email because, frankly, I wasn't sure it was on the up and up. But today my inner voice told me to look into it to see if it was legit and you know, the journalist in me went to work. Sure enough, it appears Lexi Shoemaker has some casting credentials. She is apparently working on behalf of MSN and Reveille – producers of “The Office,” “Ugly Betty,” and “The Biggest Loser” –to help them cast this new online series.

They're looking for boomers who have ditched their inactive, corporate nine to five job to follow their real passions in life. Does this sound like you?

1) Are you pursuing the active lifestyle that you finally realized you are so passionate about?

2) Did you decide to shake the dust off your life and are now starting your “second act” by actively embracing the sort of new experiences you would never have considered, even when you were younger?

3) Have you made your dreams of getting the most out of your life a reality? If you are a healthy and active “Baby Boomer” (45-65) individual/couple who has recently made a conscious decision to take positive steps towards reinventing your life, then Lexi is looking for you!

Please send a short summary of your experience along with a recent photo to:
lexishoemaker@aol.com

I took the plunge--let me know if you decide to.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Lesson about Burning Bridges

More than 20 years ago someone told me I should never burn the bridges I’ve crossed in life because I never know when I may have to make a U-turn and cross back over that same bridge.

I never gave that statement much thought back then but the older I got, I began to realize how true that statement really is. You never know whose path you may cross in life that can help you along the way. You never know who you may need to help you on your journey. It could very well be someone you’ve already come in contact with but if you’ve treated them badly, you shouldn’t expect them to offer you a lending hand if you need one.

That brings me to the story of a fellow baby boomer named Catherine Donnelly. Back in 1981, she began her freshman year at Princeton. This young, wide-eyed Georgia girl soon discovered her roommate was black. She told her mother, Alice Brown, who was horrified and demanded that her daughter be removed from that room. Catherine’s mother, who is now 71 years old, stormed down to the campus housing office and demanded that her daughter (Donnelly) be moved to another room. "I told them we weren't used to living with black people — Catherine is from the South," Brown said. Brown said she was raised to believe there should be no mixiing of the races in any way. She recalled hearing her grandfather, a sheriff in the North Carolina mountains, brag about running black visitors out of the county before nightfall. And Brown's parents held on to the n-word like a family heirloom.

Today Donnelly is living as a gay woman, which she says has made her far more aware of what it's like to be judged by a trait beyond your control. Meanwhile, her former roommate assumes her new role as the First Lady of the United States: Michelle LaVaughn Robinson-Obama.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Baby Boomer Happiness

Despite what some may think, money cannot buy you happiness. It may help ease some of the burdens associated with growing older and retirement, but money is not the end all---be all---of the rest of your life.

Believe it or not, age, genetics and a sense of purpose are significant factors in happiness according to some happiness research.

Here are some of the highlights of that research:

Midlife crisis: This plunge is real, no matter where you live or what your circumstances. According to a study of about 2 million people in nearly 80 countries, mental distress peaks at midlife. In the United States, this typically happens for women at around age 40 and for men at around age 50.

Golden years glow:
Contentment swings up later in life. People in their 60s and 70s tend to be as satisfied as younger people. No one knows for sure what causes the upswing. It could be acceptance of weakness, more maturity or more appreciation for life as friends and loved ones die. And, happier people may live longer, affecting the data.

Genetics: Numerous studies have shown that genetics accounts for up to half of individual differences in both well-being and positive personality traits, which are closely linked. And women tend to be slightly happier than men.

Life circumstances: Regardless of genetics, people respond to life events, and long-term levels of happiness may change after major life events such as marriage, divorce or the death of a loved one.

Higher levels of education boost happiness. Social connectedness also increases happiness. This factor may explain why women are happier (and commit suicide less) than men, who are more likely to be socially isolated, especially after they retire.

Health: People in excellent health are almost twice as likely to be happier than those in merely good health. Poor health makes 70 percent less likely to be happy, compared with those in good health. And, a sense of well-being is linked to greater longevity and less risk of disease.

A happiness boost: Some researchers suggest focusing on intentional activities, the ones you choose to engage in mindfully and actively, as a good way to boost long-term happiness.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Baby Boomer Happy Feet

Most people get concerned about the health and appearance of their feet during the summer months. But by the time winter rolls around, feet are all but forgotten, shoved back into boots and heavy sneakers.

James McGuire and Howard Palamarchuk, podiatrists at Temple University’s School of Podiatric Medicine, say it’s just as important, if not more so, to be vigilant about foot care during colder months, when falling temperatures, drier air, ice and snow and closed-toe shoes can contribute to foot problems.

Here they offer five tips to keep you on your feet this winter.

Invest in some good shoes
You may need to cough up the extra cash to buy some decent winter shoes. Trying to put thick socks into thin summer sneakers isn’t the way to go. A good winter shoe should be waterproof, have enough room to fit two pairs of socks to insulate feet and prevent moisture buildup, and have a gripping sole to prevent slips and falls.

And socks, too
You should have one pair that is a light synthetic ‘wick’ sock, to transfer moisture to a thicker wool outer sock, where it is absorbed and evaporated to the outside. Cotton socks absorb moisture and make for a soggy environment, which ultimately makes the feet cold and wet and sets them up for frostbite.

Keep feet pretty
Just because you can’t see your feet doesn’t mean their appearance should fall by the wayside. Both doctors recommend keeping toenails trimmed to avoid ingrown toenails, and to keep slathering on the lotion. Feet tend to dry out in the winter, which can cause cracks and peeling. Use hypoallergenic lotion at least once a day to prevent irritation or infection from dry skin.

Walk softly
Cold weather leads to slippery surfaces and cracks in the sidewalk, therefore it is recommended that you keep an eye on the ground while walking. Clear pavement can be covered in ice you may not be able to see. You need to pay attention, because a good shoe alone won’t be able to protect you.

Also, don’t make sudden moves on slippery surfaces. Even if you don’t fall, you could pull or tear something that will take several days to heal.

Don’t get cold feet
Staying out in the cold too long can lead to numbness and pain in the lower extremities, which could mean the beginnings of frostbite. Warm towels and water should be used to warm the affected area at the first sign of numbness and then be sure to see a doctor immediately to be sure there’s no tissue damage.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Healthy Living in a Sick Economy

With the economy in a state of decline, it is difficult for many Americans to afford health care. Visits to doctors are down 10 percent to 15 percent and many individuals are not taking their medicines as prescribed. However, there are certain measures that can be taken to lessen the burden while facing tough economic times.

Approximately one in nine individuals is cutting pills, taking them every other day or doing something the doctor did not recommend, according to Dr. Mark Fendrick of the University of Michigan Medical School. Fendrick says, “Cutting back on health care without consulting your clinician is a very risky decision. It may not only have an impact on your health, but also have a worsening economic consequence that will lead to greater costs down the road when minor health concerns become major health issues.”

There are affordable programs available to help individuals facing economic difficulties. Ask your doctor’s office or search online for information about decreasing or eliminating the costs of health insurance and prescription medications.

During an economic crisis, individuals with and without insurance tend to use the emergency room as a form of primary care. However, doing so could take a spot from someone who truly needs emergency care, while also compromising your own care.

“You should really think about going to your primary care physician who knows your medical history, coordinates your follow up care and interacts with other doctors to make sure you’re getting the highest quality care possible at the lowest cost,” says Fendrick.

While the economy is forcing individuals to make difficult choices Fendrick puts it in perspective: “Remember your health is your most important asset, not your money.”

Tips for healthy health care spending:

1. Continue to adopt healthy lifestyles: diet and exercise can help stave off many diseases.
2. Ask your doctor if prescription medications are available in generic forms.
3. Keep up-to-date with recommended screening tests, such as mammograms, colonoscopies or immunizations.

Information provided by Newswise