Friday, October 30, 2009

Smoking: It's Never Too Late to Stop

Even if you've smoked two packs a day for 40 years, you are likely to add years to your life, breathe more easily and have more energy...if you quit. You'll also have more extra money and your food will taste better.

Your clothes and hair will smell better.

You'll be setting a healthy example for your kids and grandkids.

Your chance of heart attack, stroke and other circulatory diseases diminishes within the first year.

And much more.

The bad news is that the first few weeks are very hard. You may become grumpy, hungry or tired. Headaches, depression, sleeping habits and concentration may plague you.

BUT the good news is that there is a lot of help out there. You can join a support group, get counseling or use nicotine replacement therapy. Find the organizations, doctors and clinics offering stop-smoking programs by opening your phone book or check out this site to find out more than you ever wanted to know (!) about smoking.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When You Can't Sell Your Home

If you’re unable to unload your home at a fair price, renting it out may be a wise option. This way you will have help paying the monthly mortgage while waiting for the value of your home to increase, according to AARP.

Owner-turned-landlord, you are warned to:

Check comparable rentals in the area and price it right.

Screen your tenants carefully and check out their ability to handle the monthly rental payment.

Keep good records and consult your accountant about tax consequences.

Make sure you follow landlord tenant law.

Make certain that all parties are properly insured.

Use a handyman (or do it yourself) when repairs are imminent.

Factor in provision for lease/option to buy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: A Chance to Land the Job You Want

New jobs and career opportunities are being created throughout the U.S. because of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Lear how to position yourself to take advantage of the opportunities by studying job searcher Monster's Stimulus Jobs Guide.

Stay informed, advance in your career and find local jobs. Research the industries that are most impacted by the stimulus.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Computers Combat Depression for Boomers and Seniors

Miranda Hitti of WebMD Health News reported to Fox News that adults over 65 who use computers are less likely to experience depression than the non-computer savvy friends.

Probably, she asserts, this is because this group of people are more likely to connect with other people via email, chat rooms and because they are exercising their brains more (learning!).

What else did this study group reveal?

Most had higher annual household incomes and greater ease with daily tasks.

For more on improving your mental health and combating depression, visit

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Save Money on Gas

Smart Money gives advice on saving money at the pump.

If you want to feel less pain filling up your car, follow these inexpensive and easy steps:

1. Compare prices at stations near your home or work. Tap into websites such as and

2. Pay in cash if there's a discount.

3. Take advantage of discounted gas at warehouse clubs.

4. Keep your car in good shape in increase fuel efficiency. Tire should be properly inflated. Maintain air filters and stick to the car's recommended motor oil.

5. Watch acceleration, hard braking and speeding.

6. Lighten the load--remove excess articles from the trunk. Pack items inside the car rather than using roof-racks which increase drag.

7. Limit air conditioning usage.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cancer Treatment: Mini-robots to the Rescue

According to Discover Magazine, sometime in our future (6 years?) tiny robots will be able to travel through body fluids, find a tumor and zap it with drugs (chemotherapy).

Propelled by an electromagnetic field, the miniature (small enough to balance on a grain of salt) crawling robot can snake its way through the body with its tiny arms gripping vessel walls and burrow itself into disease tissue.


For more on cancer treatments, check out

Monday, October 12, 2009

Photography Tricks and Tools For Amateurs and Pros

Sorry, folks. I don't know why these photography tools never made it to my September 21 blog.
I'm trying again.

***Sue's alert: If anyone who like to submit photos for my blog, I'd welcome them and will give you credit!

Electronics guru Kim Komando shared some of her favorite "special effects" photography sites.

1. Although some features require paid membership Picnik provides photography tools that mimic certain types of film or paper. You can even insert text bubbles--like in cartoons.

2. BigHugeLabs offers dozens of photo tools to do mozaics, posters and puzzles.

3. MorphThing can combine 2 faces into one--very cool.

4. Put someone into a movie scene or onto a poster or billboard by using FunPhotoBox and get instant celebrity.

5. Class up your photo with ornate frames. Or cut your photos into various shapes. Put your face onto the body of a weightlifter or model with LoonaPix.

6. Mozaiq does just that==make a mozaic of your favorite photos.

7. Photovisi provides various layouts for a photo collage.

8. You don't need extra lenses (or an SLR camera) to be able to focus on your subject and blur the background. Try TiltShiftMaker.

Thanks, Kim. And for more on photography, including digital camera reviews, visit

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Boomer and Senior Jobseekers

Combined with age discrimination the recession has made finding a new job a daunting task for older workers many of whom have been laid off or are driven back into the job market.

The assumption by many employers is that older workers either would not accept less than their customary salary or would be unhappy for doing so. And often the human resource staff feels that boomers are less familiar with the latest technology and social networking skills than their younger counterparts.

In response boomers have taken to deleting dates on a resume in order to land a job. They ignore ads that suggest that the position would be perfect for a recent college graduate. And they are taking steps to appear younger—even using cosmetic treatments such as botox.

Boomers are bracing and preparing themselves for the frequent question, “Aren’t you overqualified?” and are encouraged by experts to emphasize skills and achievements over the number of years of experience.

According to Associated Press Christopher Rugaber, jobseekers should be enthusiastic about the job without sounding desperate. They should also brush up on their skills and not give anyone sufficient reason to discriminate against them in any way.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Boomer and Seniors Get Tattoos

I don't know why they're getting tattoos at our age (and would love to hear why you think they do!)...but they are. But the fact is that more and more baby boomers are adding to birds, flowers and family reminders to body parts mostly unseen in public.

Like our younger counterparts, boomers and seniors should go only to reputable shops displaying licenses from city, county or state agencies. Even so, make sure the artist not only uses new disposable needles which are discarded after use but also explains the entire process.

The tattoo artist should disinfect chairs, tables, counters and workspaces, wear gloves and wash hands before and after each customer.

Think before you ink, warns the FDA. Be on alert for allergic reaction. And note that you may be at risk for other ailments.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No Pretty Shoes For Me

I linger longingly at the stylish pointed heels but head toward the sensible comfort shoes, trying to come to terms with my unsightly, sometimes painful, bunions.

I shouldn’t be surprised that I have them. Mom does. And it’s likely my daughter will develop them too.


Because the malady responsible for angling my big toes toward my second ones is more likely to discomfort women (50% of women have bunions) and is hereditary.

Here’s how we can cope:

1. Purchase a shoe with a wider toe box.

2. Avoid heels and pointy toes

3. See a podiatrist to get specially-designed orthotics.

4. Use bunion-relief gel pads that fit over the toe.

5. Speak to a podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon about the best bunion-removal surgical procedure for you. But, buyer beware. Bunions can recur.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Best Recession Bargains

Consumer Reports Money Adviser provides the best recession bargains in its June, 2009, issue.

For big ticket items, you can compare prices and in some cases, get alerts when prices have dropped. Try BizRate, PriceGrabber,, Yahoo Shopping and Nextag.

Pass on extended warranties if your research shows low repair rates.

Get as many of these as you can when you purchase a car: low interest rates, cash back, and special lease deals. (Sue's suggestion: Consider insurance costs in your decision--different models might have different rates).

Select cruises that don't involve expensive airline tickets to get to the port. And Early Saver programs can cut the cost as much as 30%.

Look for hotel bargains in cities that formerly served as convention sites.

Don't buy more than you need. For instance, a 6-megapixel camera is great for most photos. You don't need to spend more on more pixels.

Maintain a stellar credit score if you plan to purchase real estate (and take advantage of house bargains galore).

When purchasing washers, dryers, ovens and ranges, and refrigerators, consider only energy-efficient ones to save on your utility bills.

Secondhand stores are my personal favorites for clothes.

Finally, for greater discounts at many stores, ask the salesperson if he/she can "work" with you. Negotiate also on shipping, delivery and installation. Paying in cash can save the merchant for a credit-card transaction--so see if the store will pass along the savings to you.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Therapy: Voo Doo or Voo Don't

This is for you, Kim P., Diane S., Barbara, and Pam.

Every since Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center (Milwaukee) neurologist Bhupendra Khatri used his plasma exchange machine 30 years ago, most of his MS patients have noticed significant improvement.

One went from a wheelchair to a cane or walker. Another claimed that she couldn't have finished college and grad school without the exchange of artificial plasma for her blood plasma.

And of the 271 patients in a 25-year study presented in May, 2009, a total of 217 showed improvement.

Journalist John Fauber (McClatchy News Service) reported that even though Dr. Khatri is earning increasing credibility in the science community, many question his test data. They assert that the FDA would have required better-designed and more random clinical trials.

Pharmaceutical companies are paying little attention to the blood-filtering system. But maybe that's because it wouldn't generate a big enough profit for them.

Still, Medicare and Medicaid have initiated payment for the costly ($4, - 5,000) treatments even though most private insurance companies deny it.

Kudos to Dr. Khatri for continuing his uphill climb to relieve the millions afflicted with MS. May all the videos he is now taking to document his patients' improvements turn the skeptics into believers. We'll see.