Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Electronic Gotcha

The good thing about technology is it stops people from rewriting history, especially their own. Politically, it has been the kind of week that a couple of candidates on both sides of the aisle have had a difficult time backtracking because their original comments were caught on film for the world to see and hear.

Politicians aren’t the only ones stepping into bear traps because of modern technology. Everyday folks are finding it difficult to back peddle also. Somebody sent me an email not meant for my eyes. She must have had me on her mind when she filled in the top of the email because I received the original and the intended recipient received the “cc.” I did the polite thing, sent her back the original, and told her it made no sense to me. She has sent me three emails since insisting she doesn’t know how her name got on the “from” box. Perhaps someone else used her computer, but that doesn’t eliminate the electronic fact that the original email to me came from her email address. Luckily, the electronic facts (emails) will hold up in any court of gossip to prove I didn’t give away the surprise but the genie who used her email address did.

Technological evidence got another friend’s hubby in big trouble yesterday. She was trying to reach him all afternoon. She left message after message to no avail. She needed some information ASAP. When her husband came home, she justifiably asked why he ignored her texts.

He maintained he didn’t receive any.

“Look at your phone messages,” she instructed.

He pulled his zillion-dollar phone from his front pocket, turned bright red and left the room.

See, candidates aren’t the only ones who get into deep &*^%$ because of modern tech.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Seniorville Adolescent Behavior

After this past week, I’ve decided I’m officially reliving my second teenaged-hood. My rejuvenation became apparent during Hubby’s and my recent weekend getaway with many of our neighbors. Even though everyone on the bus is either collecting social security or soon will be, we sounded like a bunch of middle schoolers on a class trip to Disneyworld, (the age I taught). None of our extended group felt like snoozing or reading – the incorrect stereotype of my peers. Instead, we decided to play Geography. (For those of you who never played this “keep the kids quiet” car game, one player will say “TexaS,” and then the next person says, “South DekotA,” and the next players needs to say a place on the map beginning with an “a.” The player is “out” if he/she repeats a place or are caught bluffing.)

It didn’t take long for some of the correct or not so correct responses to inspire comments, which led to giggles and laughter. The game continued until the two buses from our Seniorville stopped at a rest area. After we returned to the bus, one couple was missing. Our “leader” informed us they requested to be transferred to the other bus from our community with the more “mature” grown ups. (They didn’t get their expected results because that bus was filled with people talking over videos some unknown person on he bus thought old folks would enjoy. Perhaps my unhappy docile neighbors, like the video player didn’t understand the words “ for active seniors” when they bought a home in our development.)

Today, my group of friends again displayed middle-school behavior. We were having lunch in our Seniorville cafe when someone said she read an article that one of the side effects of Viagra is loss of hearing. Just as she finished delivering this tidbit of info, a neighbor came into the cafe and walked over to his wife who was chatting with her friends at a nearby table. He handed her something and then turned and headed towards the door. On his way away from the table, she called his name. He didn’t respond until she shouted his name again several times.

“Lately you never hear me,” she said in a voice loud . “I think you need a hearing aide.”

I sucked my lips in and bit them with my teeth. Another friend stuffed her sandwich in her mouth and almost choked. The other “girls” headed quickly for the bathroom and later admitted they made it just in time.

If it is true about hearing problems for those on Viagra and the person taking it doesn’t want others to know, I have a suggestion: Get your hearing checked regularly!

Knowing my sick sense of humor, I know that every time I see an older fellow with a hearing aide, or one of the men I know complain they can’t hear, I know what I will be thinking.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mother Innovation

Our Seniorville home came with three challenges. To break up the height of the wall, the architect put plant shelves in the entrance hall and along one wall in the living room and dining room. Some homes I have been in have all sorts of fake or real antiques, vases, wooden animals, wire sculptures, and/or artificial plants decorating the shelves. One person has a collection of ticking clocks that ring, chime, ding or dong every hour on the hour. (I took off my hearing aides until I left her home.)

I’ve seen plants and bric-a-brac on high shelves in restaurants, but restaurants have professional cleaning services to climb up and dust. After a year of staring at the empty shelves in my home, I decided to compromise. We put some colorful stuff on the foyer shelves but left the living room and dining area bare. Since I do not intend to dust the sky-high bric-a-brac on a weekly basis, I figured the dust would not be noticeable in the dimly lit foyer. However, since those guests who have had cataract surgery would be able to spot it in the bright light of my dining room, those shelves are dramatically bare.

Another challenge we had to deal with was the A/C filter that some “genius” installed in an 18-foot ceiling. I don’t know of any acrobatic senior who dares or desires to climb up a 12-foot ladder once a month to replace a filter. The first time I saw a ceiling filter was when my brother moved into a Seniorville near me 9 years ago. “How will you change the filter?” Hubby asked, pointing to the sky-high filter.

Big Bro, who never had central air until moving South, replied, “It’s a permanent filter – we paid extra.”

He was not happy when Hubby explained that permanent meant you could hose it down monthly and then put it back up.

Obviously, necessity is the mother of invention because someone invented a sealed filter that can go into the A/C handler even if it is in the garage. You know who bought it as soon as we replaced our 9-year-old A/C a few months ago. Now, instead of doing it ourselves, it will replaced once a year when the A/C is serviced. Cost conscious Hubby quickly informed me it was much cheaper than hiring someone to climb on the ladder to change the filter monthly and even cheaper that the box of filters we used per year.

The third problem acted up today. Our fire alarm started chirping this morning. It is also perched in our 18-foot hard to reach ceiling. If it was up to me, I would yank it out, but Hubby told me if our house burns down, we won’t be insured. Please let me know if this is true – one friend asked how anyone would know since I’m not connected to the fire station but Hubby insists we are connected to something. In the meantime, he is off to the store to buy a 5-year nine-volt battery. It’s expensive, but since the handy man who climbs the ladder to change the battery charges more than the battery, it isn’t that expensive. Since he can’t come until tomorrow afternoon, I am trying to figure out how to shut the stupid “bird” up so I can sleep tonight. I would throw a shoe at it, but unlike a noisy pigeon on a windowsill, it won’t fly away. Instead, I will go to bed with cotton stuffed into my ears and try to become Mother Necessity in my sleep and invent something that will be successful so I can continue to pay for all these new cost saving items.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Senior Moments

Hubby walks the 2-mile track that circles the inside of our community with me three times a week. (He works out with a physical therapist the other days.) The days I go solo, I like to make phone calls where I can discuss “girl-talk” without chancing Hubby hearing and then commenting about my conversation. Today, I was almost home when I realized my phone wasn’t in my pocket. “My phone is missing,” I exclaimed into the phone to my friend. “I didn’t hear it fall.” I continued voicing my panic while I backtracked to see where the phone dropped until I realized how stupid I was. Senior moment?

One hour later Hubby and I were headed north on Florida’s Turnpike to Palm Beach to consult with Dr. Bigshot at a nearby medical school about Hubby’s worsening double vision and ripening cataract . He agreed with our usual MD who sent us there for a second opinion. After an extensive examination it was determined the cataract still had a few years to go before it would need surgery so stronger prisms were all that were needed to correct the problem. The cost – a mere $520. This isn’t bad considering his first pair of transitional lenses with prisms, progressive lenses and more were $700. (That averaged to about $19 a month for him to be able to see.) Obviously, as with my hearing aides, medical schools are sometimes much less money than a chain store.

I know the glasses are big bucks, but they are cheaper than the divorce we would have gotten if I would have to chauffeur him much longer. Last week I put a giant brown bag into the car with us and threatened to put it over his head if he criticized my driving ability once more. “Remember, you have double vision and the car isn’t as close as you think!” I screamed after he screamed a car was going to hit us causing me to stop short which caused the car behind me to also slam on its brakes thankfully before hitting us.

My day ended well. Not only did I win 75 cents in Mah Jongg that I can put towards Hubby’s new glasses but also I figured out why the volume on my computer doesn’t work – it was turned off. Another senior moment?