Monday, January 28, 2008

Baby Boomer VS. Telemarketer

The phone rings. Another telemarketer pushing some candidate or issue in this upcoming election.

What has this world come to? Not only are we bombarded with what we “must have,” how we can “switch to,” how we can “help ourselves” or even “earn more,” the telephone has become the instrument of well, shall we say, the whole world?

I personally hesitate to pick up the receiver when I don’t recognize the phone number. Not that I’m a big talker anyway but I have neither the time nor desire to listen to a promotion.

I particularly dislike the taped messages which pause after saying hello so that you think you are speaking to a real person but find out only moments later—after you’ve carried on a two-minute one-way conversation-- that you’ve been duped into one more programmed phone call.

“If you want this, ‘press one,’” they say. “If you want sjdfsjkssfjw?!, ‘press 37.”” By golly, how’s a regular person supposed to pick a chocolate from an assorted See’s candy box, concentrate either on a crossword puzzle or the daily talk show or both, AND listen attentively enough to decide on the correct extension? My days of multi-tasking are gone.

So . . . for those of you who are as impatient as I am, try using the “Get Human” database. Follow the instructions on how to get a human voice at participating companies. And if you are alerted that your phone call may be recorded (by a recorded voice, of course), don’t hesitate to mention how grateful you are to have the unique opportunity to chat with a living, breathing 2-legged member of our species.

For those of you who crave some See’s candies, get your fill at!

For those of you who pine for mental stimulation with the ultimate goal of being able to walk and chew gum at the same time, try a puzzle at where you can find crossword puzzles and other games.

For those of you who want to bypass rap, new age, pop, rock, and classic country, try the “Find a Prime Time Station" at AARP Radio Home which is devoted to age-related issues.

And for those of you who simply want a walk on the funny side, visit

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Best Websites of 2008

Okay.  You might not agree with her but you HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION to her.  Why?  Because Time's Anita Hamilton presented the 10 websites you can't live without.  You can listen to her fast-talking on the podcast or delve directly into 10 Essential Sites below:  

Take multi-lingual Wikipedia, the most popular online encyclopedia created by a ever-devoted Wiki community.  
Yahoo!Finance helps investors.  But I'd recommend it combined with an MSN Money learning tool. 
Need used furniture, a job, a date, or anything else?  Use the essential Craigslist wherever you are.
Join sports' junkies on ESPN.  
Find out what other people are saying about your favorite restaurant, shop, or business.  Then read how the proprietors are responding.  
I just joined Facebook.  You, too, can find people you haven't seen in years.  
Here's your chance to speak up about a news story with other Diggers.
Boy, I wish I had bought Google stock when I had the chance.  Find out why it's more than just a search site. 
Do you find yourself picking up People or Us at the news stands or in the supermarket.  Go to TMZ, the most popular gossip site and get you fill of celebrity photos, videos, and other stuff.
Want a photo-editor that's great, easy, and free?  Try Picknik.  

Now check out all of Ms. Hamilton's top 50 websites for 2008.  I can already see some of my personal favorites, GasBuddy, Free Rice, and Petfinder.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Appropriate Activities for Grandparent and Grandchild

I woke up in the middle of the night to a belly laugh and then the trembling of someone trying to stifle his hilarity.

I turned to Bob and asked what he was dreaming.

"We were at an amusement park. You were pushing (barely one-year-old) Nicole’s stroller and stopped to ask if I noticed anything different about her. I looked around the side of the stroller and saw our smiling granddaughter with dyed blue spiky hair!"

Okay, I admit that even in real life I’ve been known to do wacky (I prefer “creative”) things but I’ll spare you for now.

Should you want to know what you might do with your grandchildren that is more suitable, visit some of these websites for tips:

Now excuse me, please. I need to go to the bathroom to try to remove some of this blue dye from my hands.