I've been lackadaisical about posting here and visiting other bloggers as you may note. Had a few matters to take care of, but must confess to just being lethargic toward blogging -- though I've thought of a never-ending number of topics about which I could easily have written with all that's transpiring in the world politically and otherwise.
Today seemed like an ordinary day when I awoke after another good nights sleep. Disappointingly I didn't recall having a dream, or one I remembered, but I figured there would be other nights with dreams to ponder the following morning. Preparing my oatmeal breakfast for microwaving I was quite pleased with myself that I hadn't let my mind wander as I did a couple of times weeks earlier with startling consequences.
I still laugh with chagrin when I think about those mornings when I was mentally preoccupied so I unscrewed and removed the cinnamon bottle's cap instead of lifting the lid designed to restrict any amount poured out. I had tipped that bottle over allowing a quarter or more of the contents to spill out instead of the desired light sprinkle in my fat-free milk filled cereal bowl covered with uncooked oatmeal, and now lots and lots of cinnamon. Once cooked, the cereal became unusual tasting hot oatmeal that I covered also with bran, fresh banana slices, red raspberries and blueberries. Hopefully it was nutritionally good for me.
Today's fare was more normal and I combined my eating with other activities. I addressed a couple of birthday cards with mailing to be timed for specific arrival dates -- one staying in the Southern California area and the other going further west to the Hawaiian Islands. I could send digitally generated cards but both recipients, quite computer literate, are more appreciative of these paper cards to hold in their hands that also bear the senders handwriting, plus they visit their email accounts very inconsistently. The one greeting is a surprise card shower orchestrated by the Portland, Oregon daughter on her mom's 70th birthday. The daughter tried to write or email everyone her mother ever knew and asked them to contact any others who knew her Mom to send a card, phone or an e-card.
The daughter had done the same thing last year for her Dad's birthday and he was absolutely astounded at all the friends who made contact. I promised in my card to her Mom to definitely arrange to keep our annual meet next Spring -- half-way between her home and mine at a restaurant we found several years ago. (Hope they're still in business.) I've been lax in coordinating with her so we missed the past couple of years. I know how much to treasure friends since so many of my younger and older ones have died. In my defense she has more children, grandchildren to visit, plus annually she meets girl friends in Europe with whom she hikes.
Writing of girl friends, I'm reminded another friend recently sent me an email noting the content described our mutual interest in brain and neurological functions with the conclusions confirming what we knew to be true years ago from our own mutual interactions and experience. I don't know the writer, or original source of the emailed story that I've re-printed here, but think many of us have likely encountered this information elsewhere that her friend sent her.
"In an evening class at Stanford the last lecture was on the mind-body connection - the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.
Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time" helps us to create more serotonin - a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well-being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very GOOD for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.
There's a tendency to think that when we are "exercising" we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged — not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!
So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. Sooooo, let's toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it's very good for our health.
Stay in touch with your girlfriends. Maybe even forward this to them. Thanks
to all the girls in my life who have helped me stay healthy, happy, and feeling very loved. "
My day continued with my writing a check to help with U.S. government expenditures, since seems I erroneously figured my income tax and owe them a few dollars more including, literally, a few cents in interest. I can't seem to compute my taxes correctly, (and they're not that complicated) 'cause one other year they sent me a refund I hadn't expected. Our government is going to need a lot more money than I'll ever see since I heard on today's news our national debt is over a trillion dollars.
Checks and cards written, I dutifully headed to my local post office, then stopped at a nearby department store, but disappointingly they didn't have what I wanted. The clerk said, "Maybe this fall." Before I had left home I had turned on the TV during my activities, but when I turned it off prior to going to my local postal office I noticed a strange video problem that would not correct. I turned the set off deciding to check again when I returned. Maybe a rest period would allow the TV to self-correct.
I stopped to purchase a fish sandwich on the way home but even this additional time had not provided healing time for my TV I noted when I still couldn't get a picture. But I was at least pleased the fish sandwich was actually a fish sandwich, since in recent weeks I purchased fish on two other occasions only to discover once I actually received a chicken sandwich and the last time was some sort of beef sandwich. I ate the chicken on that first occasion, but the last time I was really angry and took the burger back. Both times when I originally ordered in the middle of the day, the place wasn't even busy -- with no customers inside and none in the drive thru. I've decided the moral to that story is, service is better if a business is busy. Staff must get really lazy, careless and nonchalant when they have only one customer, one order to prepare.
But, about my TV -- no TV picture was the moment of truth. I had to accept the fact the TV was definitely malfunctioning and I just wasn't sure where the glitch was. What that meant was I would not be viewing the Olympics opening ceremonies ..... unless ..... yes! .....I'll bet I can view Olympic streaming video on the Internet! I successfully viewed streaming video before and wrote here about it when Ronni Bennett spoke at a Washington State tech convention several years ago. I again viewed streaming video and wrote about a Florida AARP convention event a few years later that a couple of Elderbloggers attended. So, I was ready.
Not so fast ..... I was disappointed to discover that those of us who choose to receive our Olympic television signals via that simple technology called an antenna are discriminated against by NBC on the Internet. The TV station with which I was associated years ago was one of NBC;s major network affiliates. How could they abandon me??? The best of those Olympic opening ceremonies I could view were delayed excerpts of a few one minute or so long videos. For example, I saw the current James Bond actor meet Queen Elizabeth and walk down the steps with the Corgis, had a glimpse of helicopter rotorblades -- but then as Porky Pig would say, "That's all folks!"
I resorted to listening to an audio news account on that old-fashioned tech medium called a radio. The news reporter who had viewed the actual event reported that Great Britain's elder Queen Elizabeth skydived with the Bond character out of the helicopter into the Olympic arena. Now that would have been a sight to behold, even if it was actually stuntmen.
Furthermore, when I discovered -- before the opening ceremonies -- this viewing complication for me -- I went to NBCOlympics.com contact page to inquire whether there was a way this antenna TV viewer might access that live coverage. I dutifully typed the requested information with my question, but was unable to send the message because.....they must have had a CAPTCHA system since they told me to enter the numbers in the picture above, but there was no picture above, much less any numbers. They said if I couldn't see the numbers to click on the picture (that wasn't there,) so I clicked on the space where it all should have been, but to no avail. Maybe my eyes are going.
Tomorrow (today when this publishes) I'll try a couple things with the TV -- maybe install a new converter box I have, if it's not too complicated, (my son easily installed the first one) and see if that brings back my TV picture. Otherwise, guess I'll have to acquiesce to purchasing a new TV and subscribing to .... yuk! ....cable (pricing pkg better for me than satellite.) Or, I could try life with my all news radio station, newspaper news and Internet news. Will have to find entertainment (though that's what a lot of so-called news is anymore) on the Internet and maybe view some DVDs.
I wanted to hold out on a new TV purchase until the inevitable future I see with Internet and TV more prevalently converged and get a set then -- figured with the rate tech progresses today, it could be less than a year, or maybe up to a couple of years. I don't want 3D 'cause I learned last year watching a friend's 3D set that after about an hour I get a headache. Without Steve Jobs maybe tech won't move so fast toward the TV/Internet convergence marketable for the masses. I'm still waiting to get a computer tablet (may want to get one and some apps I can use with select patients.) I don't have an e-book (have too many paper books yet to read to justify buying an e-book, though I appreciate the benefits and will likely eventually get one.) I'm not hung-up with having to read the latest best seller. I still like actual physical books.
Since I've evolved into talking about digital and tech, I'll mention I still don't Twitter -- my circumstances simply don't warrant doing so. I continue to enjoy my regular old cell phone, use only a few of the features, mostly text with it which has been a really valued activity for myself and others. I don't have a smart phone -- yet -- but having one is an attractive option eventually. Young and old with whom I communicate still prefer our landline and portable phones for many conversations. I also enjoy Skype -- interacting with and seeing the person to whom I'm speaking.
I have a Facebook account on which I've put very little personal information, no photos, use only with family (only one member uses FB but very little,) a couple old high school, college friends (we had very small classes) and rest don't use FB -- for me it's all about not wishing to provide so much personal tracking info on the Internet for commercialization tracking purposes. I only visit FB every few months, 'cause even those people and I communicate through other means. I don't click on "like" or sign up with anything that requires I must follow them through FB and/or Twitter. I prefer communicating with blogger buddies via our blogs and comments, personal emails, or other arrangements we might choose.
Also, I did finally succumb to repeated invites to sign on with Linked-In and will accept or provide invitations from those I know who want to connect with this business oriented community. Again, I've seen no reason to post information about myself there, since I work only part time, am not seeking additional employment so networking is of little value to me anymore. Mainly, I appreciate the regular news summaries on topics of interest to me sent to my email. Anyone hoping to make connections through my account will likely be disappointed since I'm not actively building it, or pursuing links to add to my account. If a name pops up I know, I'll likely add it.
Well, I think I'll be able to watch selected Olympic events on the Internet while I resolve issues surrounding my lack of television. Advertisers and broadcast media won't care whether or not I watch TV because I'm not part of the age demographic for which they make their programming decisions. Might be interesting to experience once again what life was like in the days I remember before TV. Of course, it won't be the same because I have the computer and the Internet.