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Those new security chips in your credit cards aren’t helping much in cutting down on credit card fraud. According to a report on AARP.org, it’s partly because thieves found other ways to steal and partly because not enough merchants are using the chips…Read more
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Last year I found myself walking into a room to get something, then forgetting what I wanted to get as soon as I got into the room. Oh, so you say that happens to everyone? It doesn’t happen to everyone all the time and it doesn’t necessarily happen all of a sudden. The reality that forgetfulness is setting in didn’t make me panic, but it did make me take note and make plans to take action. We’re already downsizing everyday, but now I make notes or recordings of what I want to do and when I want it done. When I think of something that can be dealt with “later”, I still write it down in the “later” column. Hub has been doing that for years and for all those years, I would laugh at him when he wrote the date, time and name of the store we just left, as well as what we bought. I don’t laugh anymore.
So far, we’ve been getting rid of stuff in stages. If I’m not sure whether or not to toss it or keep it, I put it on probation and wait until the next go-round, which will probably be next month. Once we downsized, categorized and organized, that forgetful business began to dissipate, probably because I have much less clutter on my brain.
Then one day recently while writing notes to myself, the news came on and this is what I saw.
It was an extraordinary amount of stuff on the sidewalk in New York. Most people may know the story by now, but bottom line: two older men, one blind and the other with a mental deficiency, perhaps dementia, perhaps not, were roommates. They had so much stuff and some of it may have been valuable. I not only sprung into action when I saw that, I bought a file cabinet on wheels and put the essentials inside. If fire breaks out, our important stuff, all in one place, gets wheeled out with us.
I had so many thoughts while watching that tragic news story. The biggest thought was about all of the elderly people in this world with all of the stuff they accumulated over a lifetime and many of those seniors live in small quarters. Many of them live amongst their stuff. Where are the young people in their lives? What if they don’t have any young people in their lives? (that they can trust). Somebody should have helped those men. Then again, a lot of people don’t let others in to help them. Once folks retire, we start thinking…..”What if we die and our ancestors don’t know the history of our stuff, so they just toss it, donate it or let others take it?” Reality check: baby boomers need to live like college students and keep only the essentials plus a few things that bring a smile. In this photo, you can see stuff actually flying out of the windows of that New York apartment.
It shouldn’t take The Hoarders on TV, Niecy Nash or anyone else that advocates downsizing. That disaster in New York should serve as the strongest yet message for every hoarder with fake, phony reasons for keeping stuff. The late comedienne, Joan Rivers was a very wealthy woman. When she died suddenly at a New York day clinic, her only daughter was left to deal with stuff, most sentimental and valuable. Listening to her speak during a recent interview, I got a lot of inspiration from Melissa Rivers. Through all the grief of losing her mother, she sprung into action selling stuff and property. She kept some sentimental things and settled down somewhere else. She may be the Dean of how to keep what’s important, what you need and what allows you to move forward.
If it’s valuable, it should be secured somewhere. If you don’t know what to do with valuable stuff, research making money on it now. Otherwise, the money could be made by a random pedestrian, a firefighter, a neighbor or even a driver who finds a parking space and looks through your “stuff”. Those guys in New York should never have gotten to the state in life where they felt that hopeless. They probably either thought life would last forever or they thought their relatives and friends would clean up the place and secure their stuff if they died. Neither happened because no one knows what tomorrow will bring.
Younger people with older relatives should stop and realize they will be old one day. Be nice to the elderly, help them to minimize if it’s not done already and get rid of your own junk now so it never ends up under the boots of firefighters or as part of a helicopter video. Photos: Clips from FOX5 television New York and NBC TV New York news helicopter video
I am proud to say we have banked profits from selling our good stuff and we’re just about to the point where we can walk away from everything else…if we want to. HGTV’s series Tiny House has a promo during which a man says (in so many words): “It’s not about how much stuff you have, it’s about your quality of life.” ©®
by Dianne Thompson comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was shocked to find out how many people actually struggle with how and what to discard, so they live with unnecessary clutter. They are also leaving what could be a boatload of money on the table.
“We have done some terrible terrible things to innocent people…in the course of fighting crime” Attorney Ron Kuby, criminal defense and civil rights lawyer, in the 1990 case of Johnny Hincapie, who was convicted of murdering a Utah tourist in New York.
First, however, this is about a recent road trip and by the time you reach the bottom, it will all come together.
Flying used to be fun. We’d fight for the “window seat”. Now we can’t eat or drink anything for two days before a flight or we’ll have to use the dreaded airplane bathroom. Nowadays the biggest flying problems are long TSA lines and whether or not gunshots will ring out at baggage claim. So we all fly when we have to but since we are retired with time on our hands, we decided to drive from New York to Illinois.
We stick to large hotel chains for travel accommodations. Choices are limited alongside highways, so a subsidiary of a large chain is important to us. The whole trip was great until we got to the last leg of our return home. We decided to stop over in Pennsylvania, even though we were just three hours from home. That would allow us to shower, relax, get a complimentary breakfast (if we wanted it) and get on the road early. We would be home before noon, not tired and still ahead of the weather. We arrive at the hotel that is not “directly” off of I-80, as advertised. The first sign! Now here we are at the front desk to check in. Let the nightmare begin!!!!!
A. A man with a large family arrives after us. Instead of standing behind me while the hotel clerk checks us in, he stands next to me, shoulder to shoulder and puts his credit card on the counter next to mine. We can now read each other’s cards. The clerk says nothing so I ask him to move away. He does not. I ask him again and he moves a couple of inches to the right. The clerk says nothing.
B. Perhaps they looked at us and decided to give us a handicapped accessible room, even though we didn’t ask for it or need it. Nothing wrong with that, except in retrospect it was the second indication of what would be a less than satisfactory stay. We noticed the metal pull down bathtub seat that we didn’t need, was rusty, the holes in the shower head were either rusty or dirty because they were all brown and rust covered other metal fixtures in the bathroom. There will be no showers taken in here. Let’s sleep and get out of here early.
D. 6:30 am and we leave the room. Nearly every room on this floor has a newspaper outside, except ours. I ask the man at the front desk for a paper and he tells me that we don’t get one because our rewards level is low. It was at that moment that I felt we were throwaway guests that were given a throwaway room and throwaway treatment. Despite making an effort to stay at one brand of roadside motels when driving, it all went out of the window at that moment. This for a newspaper that isn’t worth more than 10 cents. He offered to sell me one, but anyone reading this already knows I didn’t buy one. NOTE: This was our experience at a roadside motel that had a 4.7% online review rating before we booked it. I won’t rate it but If I did, it would be 1%. Different experiences result in different reactions.
The next morning I called the hotel’s corporate headquarters and within two days we were satisfactorily compensated. The man on the telephone at corporate headquarters said the clerk should have told the guest to stand behind me until she was finished checking us in. He assured us that management there would meet with housekeeping and I didn’t even have to tell them that we have pictures of the rust. Corporate headquarters also told me that EVERY guest gets a free newspaper. This is the hotel that many seniors and families rated high. That was their experience, not ours.
My bottom line here is: Nothing is ever going to be perfect, whether it’s TSA, weird airplane passengers or mean and definitely biased hotel clerks. Every decision and reaction is based on individual personal experiences. We chose that hotel based on it’s 4.7 percent review. But we now realize that percentage is always based on “who” left it. Somebody loved the place, probably because it has free breakfast and a free worthless newspaper for “some” people. We give it a 1% review because we don’t care about powdered eggs or rusty/dirty showers. Of course we don’t name the hotel or the chain because for the most part the accommodations are nice everywhere.
That brings me to San Francisco 49’ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Just like the people who loved powdered eggs don’t have a right to criticize how I react to my personal experience at the rusty hotel and I have no right to make fun of them, no one has a right to criticize his reaction to what Attorney Ron Kuby said back in 1990. Everyone knows what goes on.
Some have tried to suggest that Kaepernick is dis-honoring the military. His protest has nothing to do with the military. It’s about how “some” cops treat young people of color, mostly men and boys. Colin Kaepernick may not be protesting what “you” would protest or the “way” you would protest anything. However, his reaction to his experience is his business, public figure or not. Everyone knows what’s happening.
Another thing: People who unconditionally defend policemen are not admitting that cops are also human. Cops have a job like anybody else, but that does not preclude them from making mistakes, being personally biased toward certain people or having other personal issues that affect the job. Believe it or not, many cops also believe they are above the law because they are cops. So put all that together and you could possibly have:
A policeman who doesn’t like his wife or his mother
A policeman who wishes he had more money
A policeman who has other personal regrets, like war memories
A policeman who really shouldn’t have a gun in his hand.
ALL IN ONE BODY!!!
It also seems the same people who defend cops without admitting the cops are only human, at the same time defend the preppy college rapists as “only human”. Something is culturally and socially wrong with that double standard. Some of these college rapists are going free because the judge felt the accused represents the proper image for America’s future. His future would be destroyed in a jail with cells full of ethnic inmates. Everybody knows it is happening.
So what does calling corporate about a roadside motel in Pennsylvania have to do with Colin sitting down or kneeling during the National Anthem? It’s all about one’s personal experience. The same people who either honestly gave that hotel a high rating or those who were paid to do it, would never be invited to my house. We think differently because our experiences are different. Surely those 4.7% people got a newspaper, loved their “free” powdered breakfast and were blind to any rust or their rooms didn’t have rust. They would probably also be appalled at me and would think I have audacity to have called corporate. So be it. It’s my life experience, it’s Colin’s life experience and it’s our right to tell it like we mean it because we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
by Dianne Thompson Stanciel ®© comments welcome at email@example.com