Skinny Jeans


20160506_093633_001I adore skinny jeans, compression leggings and jeggings – the kind of pants that give a comforting hug to my hiking-weary old legs.

But the current below-waist design of today’s skinny jeans drives me batty. I keep struggling to pull the darn things up, thinking they’ve got a hankerin’ to wander below my butt. And all that yanking threatens crotch chafe.

skinny-jeansThese duds seem designed for croptop-loving women who yearn to show off their midriffs.

Well….It’s gonna take a few thousand more crunches for me to go that route – if it EVER happens.

It seems that those skinny-jean manufacturers expect women my age to be settin’ our fat, blue-haired bodies in front of the daytime soaps. I imagine they think we all wear seersucker, snap-front house dresses.

Perish the thought —

and put some more material at the top of my skinny jeans, PLEASE!

On Writing


Writing is the ideal remote work for boomers and seniors. It takes little upfront expense or hardware to get started. It can be done from anywhere, including an RV. Of course, it takes skill, and if you have some innate talent much can be learned without a huge financial outlay. Best of all, you are totally in charge of what you write.

I have a damn good ear for when something I’m writing is “off,” and when it’s really really good. My practiced ear comes from years of writing but I think it’s been primarily developed by reading voraciously since I first learned to read.

As Stephen King has said: “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or tools) to write.”

If my writing is “off” I seldom know why right away. I have to put it aside and read something else – writing tutorial, a good novel, a great blog. Or just get to my best thinking places – hiking trail, treadmill, pool side. Inevitably something will hit me about what I must change and how. Often the insight comes from an unexpected source.

stephen-king-on-writingThis week’s insight about what the hell was wrong with parts of my first e-book came from the wonderful On Writing book by Stephen King. I’m reading his delightful story about how he got started and wham! something he says sets my creative lightbulb to high beam.

Today I’m spending reworking the e-book’s problem areas – thanks to Stephen King.

Can’t hike for a few more days on orthopedist orders, so my break will be swimming – and more On Writing pool-side reading.

If you write or want to write, you MUST read this book. It’s not only full of irreverent stories of his early years – stuff we don’t hear about him anywhere else – but it teaches in an easy-to-read, immensely retainable way, many tips and tools for writing success.

 

Have you Ever Thought about Starting your Own Business?


If you’re not sure what you might want to do, and you don’t have a lot of money to invest,  consider your loves – what you enjoy doing, what gets you so involved that you forget to eat, miss appointments, and lose all track of time. Jot these down somewhere – perhaps a tiny notebook that you carry with you at all times, a sticky note on your laptop, or memo pad on the home page of your smartphone. It might be swing dancing, hiking, writing, volunteering, or baking.

Add to that list your areas of experience and expertise. Think about your jobs and the things you accomplished that make you proud. Were you the first in your department to make a suggestion that came to fruition? Did you design the first “XYZ”? Have you been a mentor or SCORE counselor to someone whose budding business is now worth millions? Did you start as an overweight couch patio and teach yourself to hike 10 miles a day and slim down? Are you an accomplished business plan writer? Pianist? Wood carver? Programmer? Floral designer? What do you know that others might want to learn about?

Now think about what you bring to the expertise table that is unique. If you’re a wood carver, for example, are you lightning fast? Or do you / would you create customized pieces for others? Have you been doing this since age 5 at your grandfather’s knee? Do you have or could you take great pictures of your finished products?

At this point you’ll probably have a hefty list. If not, ask others that know you well to tell you what they see as your strengths, skills and accomplishments.

Now, add to that list your funny, entertaining, heart-wrenching, and / or uplifting stories – the ones that elicit the response, “you ought to write a book” from the friends, colleagues and family that you tell them to for the first time. Perhaps you, a Minnesotan, went hiking in Arizona for the first time with a friend and it got hot, you both got overheated, and had to be rescued, just in the nick of time.

As example, I remember well our family dog Poco developing tumors right after my mother died of cancer, and my sister and I trying to put bandaids on Poco so she’d heal. Dad then took her to the vet and we asked him over and over, “You’re not going to put her to sleep, are you?” and him saying “No” over and over again.

Later that day I returned to the house to find dad burying Poco in the backyard. While I had held it together throughout mom’s funeral and burial this was the last straw. I screamed at dad. I cried for days. I’ve longed to write a book about Poco and what she meant to me, and how she stayed by mom’s side as mom got sicker and sicker. And then Poco died of the same disease shortly after.

clip-art-of-a-chubby-businessman-working-at-a-desk-by-dennis-cox-858So, if friends say, “You ought to write a book” – well, you ought to.

Amazon has a great program with its Kindle division. Anyone can write about anything, and quickly be a published author. I have trained to do so, and am just starting my first e-book, hopefully out Dec. 1. But this isn’t about me, and so I’ll tell you more later. This is about YOU.

If you write well, and are disciplined, you should be able to do this in 2 weeks or less. Just set aside some time each day to write. Then go to Udemy and sign up for a free or inexpensive course on publishing in Kindle. I took two dynamite courses – one free, and one $11, that taught me how to determine if my idea was marketable, how to market it and how to publish.

You can hire someone to do the publishing end of it instead of tackling that yourself.

For inexpensive book covers, and / or publishing help go to Fiverr and hire a freelancer. My book cover is costing me $25, and that includes an extra $5 tip I gave the artist. I am handling the publishing myself.

If you DON’T write well, I would be willing to ghostwrite it, or edit it, for a percentage of its sales, provided you can convince me it has an audience. Or we can work out a fee. You can also look to Fiverr for a ghostwriter or editor.

For success, you must have or build up a strong social following on such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and / or LinkedIn. Amazon lets you keep 70 percent of all sales if your book is priced $2.99 – $9.99. Above or below that and your take is 35%.

While Kindle isn’t the only publishing option, having your book on Amazon is a great way to get your e-book author feet wet.

Sun City, AZ – a beautiful bargain


20160714_090434I’ve been a resident of Sun City for over a year, and I highly recommend it as a place to thrive as snowbird or year-round resident. Yes, it’s a hot hot summer, but within 90 minutes or 2 hours are Arizona cities such as Prescott, Sedona, Payson and Flagstaff that are 20 to 40 degrees cooler. The Grand Canyon is a mere 3 hour drive.

Sun City has 7 community centers, each with pools, hot tubs, fitness centers, meeting rooms, and restaurants.

20160714_081639Two centers have libraries and bowling lanes, racquetball and billiards. Many have outdoor game fields such as bocce ball and miniature golf, and gyms that host dancing parties, free movies and fitness classes.

There’s a park with waterfall, gazebo, lake and pedal boats, a Sun Dial outdoor concert arena, a baseball field, and two 18-hole golf courses.

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More than 200 clubs give residents a chance to get to know each other and pursue their favorite pastimes, from Zumba to politics.

You can buy a house or condo. I own a condo. My HOA is responsible for the landscaping, the roof, air conditioning maintenance, trash and sewer.

Sun City is safe. Security is a prime concern, and the Sun City Sheriff’s Posse – a group of volunteers – work with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office – to watch over the empty homes of snowbirds and make wellness checks on the elderly.

Sun City is an inexpensive retirement place. When I moved from Phoenix my car insurance immediately decreased $15 a month. Because there are no schools property taxes are incredibly low.  I pay $276 a year – yes, a YEAR!

To move in, you pay a one-time $3,000 fee. Annually there is a $476 fee for use of the facilities and free access to concerts, movies and other events. Should a friend or two or three come for a visit they can take part at no charge if with you, or you can buy a 2-week $20 pass for them to go without you.

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Sun City is a fun, economic, beautiful place in which you can feel safe to walk at any hour of any day or night. You would love it here!

Update – Mark Mitsubishi not making good on problem sale, friend says


I just got a call from my friend – the one whose 80 year old mother replaced her car because of a safety recall that never was. Well, turns out GM Dylan has told me to “Watch out. My attorneys are watching you.” Seems I wasn’t to have used the word scam in my blog post. Actually I called it “alleged scam.” Glad to know I’m rattling cages, though.

First, bring it on. My friend needs all the publicity about this horrible situation as she can get. One correction, however – which I’ve already posted in the auto dealer DealerElite discussion forum. I had it wrong – her mom didn’t go alone, she went with her granddaughter who had never bought a car before. So, at least there was a witness. Glad of that.

Oh, and my friend just told me that GM Dylan told her they would not be offering any compensation, return of money, or change in sale or contract whatsoever. It seems, that bogus recall or not, she signed the contract so oh well.

Even the other auto dealers on DealerElite are astounded by what one of them called “outrageous” behavior. And no, it isn’t just competitors taking advantage. I didn’t name the dealership, and they’re not just local.  And, attorney, I’ll tell you what my attorney can also tell you later. I am a journalist and I know the law. I said “alleged scam.” If my readers want to decide that the fact that both a Google search and Mitsubishi corporate verify no recall of the braking system, and yet your sales rep said she couldn’t keep the car because the recalled braking system couldn’t be fixed, (it couldn’t, right? You never tried to sell it later,. right?) and sold her a new more costly one, is a scam  – well, I didn’t tell them that. Your behavior did.

Oh, and you want to know what other dealers had to say? Take a gander on DealerElite. net.

From now on I’ll let my friend, her mother, their attorney, and all their social network friends and followers deal with this. But the next time I buy a car, guess where I am NOT heading? In fact, I should give my favorite, honest, reputable, reliable local dealer and service firm /body shop a plus. Larry Miller – You have done right by me time and time again. Were that they were all like you.

Wednesday’s live events


This is an issue of immense importance to U.S. seniors and boomers, of course. Comments welcome, as you hear more. I’ll share what I learn as well. Let’s keep each other well informed.

This Just In

The Supreme Court may soon rule on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law.  Once a ruling is issued, CNN.com Live will be there for all the reaction and fallout.

Today’s programming highlights…

9:30 am ET — IPO process hearing — The Facebook IPO fallout has made some wonder whether initial public offerings are worth it for ordinary investors.  A Senate banking subcommittee looks at the issue.

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RetirementJobs.com: Firms that Seek 50+ Folks


courtesy, RetirementJobs.com

While there are several recruitment websites devoted to, or including some search specifics on, jobs for seniors, not all do a great job at this. RetirementJobs.com, however, has actually reviewed and certified employers who clearly welcome boomers and senior job candidates with open arms. Additionally, through collaboration with CareerBuilder, RetirementJobs sorts CareerBuilder ads into senior friendly and unfriendly (or unverifiable as friendly) , bringing to its pages a feed of the former.

On any given day,RecruitmentJobs has at least 20,000 job openings from 5000 employers in its database. Of these 5000 only 100 are certified. That doesn’t mean they’re not senior-friendly. It may simply mean that they didn’t take the time to apply. After all, most of these advertisers came to the site specifically to lure its market of 50+ candidates, so one must assume they’re not ruling them out as prospective employees. One million site members deliver 150,000 unique visitors each month.

“Most of those firms who apply for certification are approved,”  Retirement Jobs CEO Tim Driver told me by phone. “The process is pretty self-selecting – those who wouldn’t be approved tend not to apply. Those who aren’t approved usually come up short when we do external reviews in the actual marketplace. We make it part of the agreement with the certified employers if things come up they investigate the problem and rectify it if appropriate. That has happened numerous times. People terminated have been reinstated and managers have been let go.”

While job seekers who use the site at no charge can search jobs by location, industry and keyword, and post their resumes, a paid Premium job seeker could conduct a search that indicated which employers are certified. She or he could conduct a certified-only search, have her resume critiqued and register for instructional job search Webinars.

While some functions and features such as mobile apps and telecommute alerts are still on the drawing board, RecruitmentJobs.com is a handy, easy to navigate,  mobile- optimized job site for seniors.