You CAN teach old ladies new tricks-the joy of giving!

This past week, I did something I’ve never attempted before…since until now I had no need to do it.  Over at Ricochet.com, one of our most beloved members did a post about her unfortunate situation.  She is elderly, and living alone.  She lives in Montana, and we met her in 2017 at the big Montana meetup.  Everyone just loved her, and she was the life of the party.  Well, last week she was essentially cast out by her family.

Since this is the 21st Century, the obvious response was : Someone should set up a GoFundMe for her.  Since no one else volunteered, the task fell to me.  I had already done a post over at Ratburger, for the many Rico Refugees over there, so I had two big groups of “friends you haven’t met yet” as possible donors.  She gave permission, and her post was copied over.

So last Saturday, I sat down at my trusty iMac, found the GoFundMe Web site, and initiated a campaign for her.  I found the site pretty easy to use, and it only took me about 30 minutes to get the campaign set up.  Then, I put up posts on both Ricochet and Ratburger, with links to the site, and an initial goal of $5,000.  I had a pretty good idea that the members of both sites would give generously to help our friend, and I was right, big-time!  Before the end of the day, we had reached the initial goal.  I was just flabbergasted that it took so little time!  That was helped by large donations from a couple of people, and many smaller donations.

The campaign is still open, with a new goal of $7,500.  We are almost there, and I am leaving it open until we reach the new goal.  When the initial posts got buried, I posted updates, and more donations came in.

I have always believed, since I was a psychology grad student, that giving to others not only benefits the recipient, but the donor.  We humans are programmed to get a thrill from helping someone else, and this campaign proves it.  My heart is just bursting with joy, at being able to succeed at a first effort to corral that many donors to reach a goal that would help someone we all know deserves it.  I have this big grin on, whenever I see a new donation drop in!  I get a text message on my new iPhone whenever a new donation is registered, and the site makes it easy to say “thank you”.  I remembered a few years ago, when a Rico member who was wheelchair-bound needed a handicapped van to get around, and the Ricochet family pulled together, and funded it.

I learned that if I want to help someone, I can do it.  I am glad that GoFundMe is there, and their people should be proud that they are able to help so many.  Try it, you’ll like it, and you’ll benefit almost as much as the beneficiary does.

RushBabe Enters the 21st Century

I celebrated my 70th birthday in April.  Just before that, I made it into the Twenty-First Century.  Yes, I bought my very first smartphone.  Thank you, thank you for all the applause, much appreciated.  After a few hiccups in the setup process (don’t EVER forget your initial passcode-it’s awful trying to reset it), I got the thing together.  I bought the phone, an iPhone XR, unlocked at the Apple Store.  I just love going into the Apple Store-nobody has figured out the Retail Ambience like Apple!

This is what I bought:

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And this is what I bought to keep it safe:

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I have the coolest phone out there, in my opinion.  Already owning an iPod Touch, it was pretty easy setting up my email account, and syncing my apps and music from iTunes.  The phone doesn’t have a headphone jack, so I had to buy the adapter so I can use my noise-canceling headphones at work.  Well, I confess that I am still keeping the little iPod, since it does have the headphone jack for listening to my Rush Limbaugh podcast at work.

I made certain to get enough memory with the new phone, so I won’t run out of space for all my pictures.  This summer, I plan to take an iPhone photography class at the Apple store, so I can get familiar with all its features.

One of the things I was really looking forward to with an iPhone was getting the ringtone I’ve always wanted.  Years ago, I discovered that the best-known of Mozart’s Piano Quartets, the G-Minor, was nicknamed “Answer the Telephone”!!  So that’s the first thing I did, try to find it on the Apple Tone Store.  I found it, and now when my phone rings I get to answer the telephone to the music of Answer the Telephone!  Even if it’s a robocall,  just hearing the ringtone makes me smile.  Eventually, once I learn how to use the new version of GarageBand on my computer, I am going to make that ringtone from the real music in my iTunes.

One thing I discovered that really made me jump out of my skin the first time it happened, was that when the phone rings, so does the iPod!  You can answer the phone, but you can’t “answer” the iPod, since it’s not a phone!  That was really weird.  So now, I can join the ranks of those who keep their phones with them at all times, just in case they get notifications or calls.  Mine will stay pretty silent, since, unlike most others, I am not on social media, which is the source of most notifications for everyone else.  I am looking forward to being able to surf the Web in the doctor or dentist’s waiting room (so I don’t have to read 3-year old magazines).  And the phone uses WiFi when available, thus saving those valuable Data Bytes you have to pay for.  Actually, I have a very reasonable phone plan from the folks that used to be AAA Cellular.  I pay $36 a month for unlimited talk and text, and 2Gb of data.

I am getting better pictures of our owner, since the phone is by my bed and by my desk when I’m there.  Kitty likes to curl up on the bed with me, so I can get her in her unguarded moments.

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She is sitting on a little tote bag I got from my oral surgeon.  Can you resist that face?

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Waiting while the sheets are in the laundry, she just takes over!

I think the phone camera takes excellent pictures, and I discovered, much to my delight, that what the camera takes is a tiny movie, and if you hold down your finger on the screen, the subject moves!  That really surprised me the first time I saw it.

So, the learning begins.  Just shows you that we old ladies can learn new technology!

Springtime in the Skagit Valley of Washington State

See the header picture on my blog?  That was taken a few years ago in the tulip fields of the Skagit Valley in Washington State.  Hubby and I took a drive up there this afternoon, and it was a perfect day for it.  Sunny, but with beautiful clouds in the sky, and temps in the low 60s.  All of these pictures were taken out the window of the car where I was a passenger.  There were fields that were plowed and ready for planting.

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We saw some beautiful barns, no two exactly alike.  We Washingtonians tend to be free thinkers and idiosyncratic.

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Given that it is the last week of the annual Tulip Festival, there were the roads, with cars parked along every side.

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And this is what everyone was looking at, and taking pictures of.

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We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the country, and to have these farms and fields so close to our suburban home.  It never gets old, ever.

Is this Cruel and Unusual Punishment?

Is this Cruel and Unusual Punishment?

I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal this week.  Here are some sentences describing someone’s imprisonment.

  • Alone in his cell, he isn’t permitted to leave (on weekends) for the 30 minutes of fresh air he gets on weekdays.
  • The lights burn 24 hours a day.
  • He can’t wear a watch, and sometimes finds himself disoriented.
  • Authorities state this is “normal treatment”.
  • He has been interrogated for up to five hours a day, with no lawyer present.
  • Prosecutors can sometimes harangue suspects who choose to remain silent for ten hours a day.
  • The person is forced to sign statements in a foreign language that he cannot read.
  • Family members are not allowed to visit.
  • The cell has a window, but it is very deep in the wall and the prisoner cannot see out.
  • Prisoner is allowed a shower twice a week (three times a week in summer).  Cold water is all he gets from the tap in his cell.

So, what do you think of this punishment being meted out, to a person imprisoned for a non-violent, financial crime?  It sounds cruel and unusual to me, especially for a person charged with a white-collar crime, who has not yet had his day in court.  He has not been convicted, or even tried, for this crime.  He is being treated like a violent criminal, subject to conditions often found in high-security prisons.

Where do you think this might be happening?  Some third-world country in Africa or Latin America? Nope, this is Japan.  And the prisoner is a gentleman named Carlos Ghosn, who until recently was the CEO of an alliance between automakers Nissan of Japan and Renault of France.  Mitsubishi of Japan was also a party to this alliance.  The companies had been thriving, and producing cars for the world in multiple countries.  He was very highly thought-of, and a well-paid globetrotter, often jetting around the world to attend meetings and watch over all the factories.  He has been accused of understating his salary, and skimming funds from his corporations to pay for things for his family and himself.  He has lost all of his jobs, and has been in prison in Japan since mid-November of 2018, with only one month out of jail before being re-arrested and sent back to confinement.

This seems to me to be cruel and unusual punishment for a non-violent crime.  How the mighty has fallen.  I don’t think he deserves this kind of punishment.  What do you think?

“Peaceful Religion” you say? More proof that…

“Peaceful Religion” you say?  More proof that…

Islam Is Evil.  Pure Evil.

Hundreds of innocent worshippers all over Sri Lanka were murdered at their Easter services, by massive bombs placed among the pews at their churches.  The death toll is hundreds, and climbing.

This is your “peaceful” religion.  This is heartbreaking.  This is what should inspire justified outrage among Christians and Jews everywhere.

And life flows on, within you and without you…On turning 70

And life flows on, within you and without you…On turning 70

And still being a productive member of society.  Today is my 70th birthday, and I don’t feel a day over 69!  Today was a day much like any other.  Wake up at 5:10AM, dress, eat breakfast (after feeding the owner), leave for work and arrive at 6:00 on the dot.  Do my normal job, fend off dozens of emails, place some orders…  We have a “birthday meeting” in our department, and the birthday person gets their choice of sweets.  We had my favorite pineapple, and 2-bite cupcakes.  And nobody sang Happy Birthday.  Well, not until after work, when we went to a great local Chinese restaurant for Happy (birthday) Hour.  That was fun, and my boss, and her boss both came.

I simply can’t imagine being retired, and not earning my keep.  I love my work, and I learn something every day.  I help solve problems, and keep the company running.  It just feels great to be valued.  I don’t want to stop working, and have to live off others, even if I’ve earned it.  I like making my own decisions, and having something to get up for in the morning.  I’m on the Clint Eastwood Retirement Plan.  He is over 90, and still working at his trade, directing and starring in movies.  When he retires, maybe I’ll think about it.

[Edit] Silly me! I forgot the one duty I have that especially keeps me going! That would be the monthly task of compiling the ISM-Western Washington Report on Business, which I have been doing for 20 years, since 1999. In all those 20 years, I have only missed one month. Yep, just one; that was June of 2006, when my husband and I spent two weeks in New York, after I played Carnegie Hall with the Everett Symphony. I have made new friends, contributed to my chapter (which won the ISM Chapter of the Year this year), and performed a vital service to ISM and the business and financial communities. If I am late sending out results, I receive emails from recipients wondering why they have not received them. It is very gratifying to be able to contribute to the Chapter and to National. Even after I retire, I plan to continue compiling the Survey.

So I think I’ll just continue on the Rabbi Daniel Lapin Retirement Program.  Don’t.

Want to join my Network on LinkedIn? No Mainland Chinese Citizens Accepted.

China.Is.A.Communist.Country.

I do not voluntarily deal with those who live in Communist, totalitarian, countries.  I refuse to buy a product of a Chinese company.  I won’t buy a Volvo car (Volvo is owned by Chinese company Geely).  I would not buy a Chinese-branded phone (Xiaomi or Oppo).  I currently have a long-term-care insurance policy from Genworth.  There is a Chinese company trying to buy them, and if they succeed, I will seriously consider dropping my policy that I have paid into for nearly 20 years.  I will never visit China, for any reason, no matter how beautiful it might be.  I am well aware of the total social control emerging in China, with facial-recognition systems deployed everywhere.  China denies its people access to the world-wide Internet; maintaining its Great Firewall of China. And no matter how strenuously the managers at Huawei deny that they would never use their Internet-backbone products to spy on another country, I know that to be a lie.  Any company in China is required to allow the Communist Party access to its products.

I don’t deal with countries who kidnap their people abroad and take them back to China to prison.  I don’t deal with countries who arrest booksellers.  I don’t deal with countries who murder their own people for speaking their minds.  No matter how economically prosperous China might seem, it is still a Communist country, with a state-planned economy.  China should never have been admitted to the World Trade Organization, and I advocate their immediate expulsion.  China has a world-domination agenda, and I believe they should be strenuously combated everywhere.

I only joined LinkedIn in the first place because I was constantly being hounded by out-of-work friends (even though my own company was not hiring).  And, funny thing, I get requests regularly from people all over the world wanting to “join my network”.  It’s nice to be thought of as having a valuable network, but I pay little attention to LinkedIn.  And I wish they had a “Refuse” button to go along with the “Accept” button.  But there is none, and I simply delete requests by those who I have no interest in knowing.  That includes every request from anyone in China.