I want to meet Warren Buffet

July 4th, 2017

Happy Independence Day everyone!  I’ve been reflecting on my next career move and quite frankly, I want to meet Warren Buffett as I think he has the recipe.  Since I saw the man with Bill Gates at a Columbia University interview several years ago I’ve been smitten.  Smitten not in the love sense but smitten that someone in their 80’s still has the passion to get up every day and go to work doing something they love.  I am jealous.

Whenever I hear of a Warren Buffet interview I seek it out.  I was grossly disappointed having missed the PBS special on he and his family but I’ll get ahold of that somehow.  What makes him tick and where can I find the same?  Is it too late at 61, well, 60 as I have one more month reprieve and as a footnote I share my birthday with Barack Obama. 😊.

But back to Warren and I know you are all thinking it’s about the money, but actually it’s not.  I am okay because I use coupons, Amazon points and shop at Aldi’s and the Dollar Tree.  Actually, Warren and I have something in common there as on my last plane ride I listened to an interview with Melinda Gates and she said Warren used coupons when they ate at McDonald’s in China.

This past week I saw him on PBS News with Judi Woodruff at a furniture store he owns.  He gave her the tour and the interview was interesting and fun.  That’s another thing about Warren he laughs and calls it like it is.  He wasn’t afraid to talk about presidential bad moves.  Too bad he couldn’t run for president but why should he – he’s happy where he is.

Bottom line that is it.  The man is happy and enjoying life.  He still has a passion for his work and a purpose for jumping or maybe easing out of bed each day.  We need to bottle that potion and spray it on all of us.   Perhaps it’s contagious…

 

Praying Over the Copy Machine

When I worked for the government I often had to do mass mailings. As a public servant secretarial support is scarce so I did this task frequently. I would bring my other work with me and sit next to the copy machine as it copied.

In doing this volume of work I often had to let secretaries pop in to do, “just one copy.” It was always during this one copy period that the machine would break down and the secretary would sometimes curse and once the machine was even kicked.

Upon their departure and especially after seeing such bad behavior I would talk to the machine. I reminded it of its important role in my task and say a little prayer. Low and behold every time the machine began to work again. Try it and let me know.

Mustard Pickles

I love mustard pickles, however, they are difficult to find.  The best ones were from a Village in Massachusetts, but they no longer stock them. It has become a quest for me as I madly search every gift shop and flea market I visit.

I was at a flea market in Florida which will remain nameless and they carried them.  The charming lady brought me over to the barrel and gave me a taste. They were awful, perhaps the worst I have ever tasted, but what do you say?  I told her they were different, which they were, and bought a bag of sweet gherkins.

When I ask people who sell pickles they always give me a look.  They have never experienced the joy of these delights and I can tell they will not contemplate creating them for me as they consider it a one sale item.  However, I think mustard pickles have a market and I am thinking maybe we could have a mustard pickle festival.  They have festivals for pies and it would certainly be less caloric.

Fighting with The Font

Once again I am at war with the font.  Each day when I turn on the computer I view on the Word screen headings Calibri Light in one box and 11 in the other.  Now I like Calibri Light 11 but my passion has always been Arial 12.  I am used to Arial 12 and have used her for years. I call her her because she must be a girl with that name.

This morning as I attempt to change fonts I receive a message Control+Shift+F.  While I have learned something new I don’t want to use this information.  I want to simply have the arrow scroll down and receive the list of fonts.

I become frustrated as I am unable to get the scroll down list as I attempt again.  I think, what is this?  Then I think there must have been an update and that is why I can no longer do this function.  In my next click on the menu box I receive another message – cut and paste.  I sit back, breathe and after breathing receive the list.

I tell the font it better watch out as Andrea (my GPS) learned her lesson.  I’ll find voice technology and that will be the end of it.

I miss David Letterman

 

I miss David Letterman.  Where is he?  While I never was able to catch him when healthy in those years of pain he was the guy I turned to.  He made me laugh through the pain.  He was always there for me.  In fact, I made sure to pay him homage and in one of his last shows I was able to get tickets.

The main event of the show was Bill Murray.  My seat was close to the stage so they removed me several times as Bill was considering a prank where he would rise from the audience.  The prank changed and Bill ended up riding around the block on a mini bike.  It was hilarious.

In the end, I was able to maintain my close seat to the stage and had a bird’s eye view. Dave came out before the show and took questions telling us how he and Paul had entertained the troops until they came under attack and revealed other personal items.  Who knew?

Dave was always such a sharp dresser and knew how to laugh at himself.  When he did good he kept it to himself, but when he did bad man he confessed from his desk to the world.  I was unable to catch his famous chat where he told all of us he was leaving the show, but when I did, I cried.

I understand he’s bought a home in Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard and has grown a beard. Since Steve Martin and Martin Short are doing a tour perhaps Dave could join them and when in Florida and ask me to stop by.  Gosh, I miss those animal tricks and what did he actually say to those scantily dressed size zero starlets when he whispered in their ears?   We’ll probably never know..

Rescuing the Middle Class

 

I tire of politicians saying the middle class is shrinking. We aren’t shrinking we just need to use what money we have more efficiently.  I am a product of the middle class and while I always thought we were lower middle class I was wrong when I saw what my folks had acquired upon my father’s demise.

While growing up in that household was never easy it taught me many lessons which got me through single parenthood unscathed. I was able to start an IRA and keep putting pennies in it regardless of how broke I was.  And good thing I did as when I got sick no one offered a cent.

The first lesson is to be cheap.  Use coupons, credit cards with points, eat and stay at places that you can afford.  Think before you purchase the designer stuff. Do you need something that is going to last a life time?  Actually, you get sick of it and want something different.

I always wanted an Aigner bag.  Everyone in high school had one but me.  Yes, I was an outsider but when I started making money that was the first thing I bought myself.  I used it for 20 years and got sick of it and gave it away.  Now I’m sure someone else is enjoying it or a hoarder has it in their storage bin.

While nursing I heard of nursing students with $160,000. worth of loans in their second year of college with two years to go.  No one is going to be able to pay that off until they are in their 50’s so why do it.  I recall Michelle and Barack Obama didn’t pay off their student loans until his second presidential term.  Who wants that?

Learn to live within your limits.  If you can’t go on the big vacation plan short trips around where you live.  I remember when I was forced to take a week’s vacation or lose it.  I had a delightful time seeing every historical house within an hour of my Albany home.  It was fascinating and something I had always wanted to do but never done and I still recall that vacation fondly.

Don’t deny yourself.  If you can’t afford it find another way to go and do something else.   Starbucks daily is a bit pricy and as Suze Orman says put that money in a retirement account and yes, she is right but still go once a week if you love it.

So, consider these tidbits. I have gobs more and if I can do it, you can too!

Insurance Changes

 

After Hurricane Matthew I had to change insurances. While no damage to my condo occurred, the insurance doubled. Also, since the car insurance was with the same insurer I lost my multi-package discount.

In my search, I discovered a new way to find insurance by using an insurance broker. Christine was a delight to work with and the process easy.  I never even had to speak with her as it was all done via email and on line.

She found me a condo policy where I was paying the same premium as before.  I never heard of the place but their logo is an elephant with a trunk raised and since elephants are a good Feng Shui omen I took it as a sign and eagerly signed up.

The car insurance rate was equally as good but it had a caveat that if I wanted the good driver’s rate I had to use their beeper for the duration of the first premium. This duration was six months.

When I received the gadget in the mail I dutifully installed in under the wheel. This was no easy feat and I began to think unkindly toward the company. I read all the information associated with the gadget and knew I would be monitored for hard stops.  In order to achieve the good driver rate it was key to have minimal or no hard stops. The little voice in my head began to alarm as I thought of driving amongst all the St. Augustine tourists who are lost and potential sudden stops would occur.

As fate would have it the little voice was correct and besides hard stops if I didn’t decelerate within 10 car lengths of a stop sign or light I received a beep.  What began as a game had become a migraine headache.  Driving became a personal hell in my attempt to not hear a beep.

On my first day driving a squirrel appeared out of nowhere and I had to decide do I kill it or get a beep?  For those squirrel lovers, I chose the latter. I never did figure out how to stop the beeps.  Even when I decelerated appropriately a beep occurred.

At the end of my time with the beeper I lost all faith in the insurance company and of course my good driving discount did not continue.  When I received a quote $20 less than the beeper insurance company I took it. I gratefully repackaged the sucker placed it in the mail and thanked God that Liberty Mutual gave me a better quote.

 

Saving Energy

Ever since I was in second grade at West Albany Elementary School in Colonie, N.Y.  I have been conscious of the need to save energy.  It was during this time that we all banded together to flip the light switch constantly while our teacher was speaking with the principal in the hallway.

Principal Tebane was a gentle man of Italian decent and rarely raised his voice or eyebrow.  Upon seeing these flashes, he returned our teacher to the room and gave us all a stern talk on the use of energy.  Most of us thought our parents would be billed for our prank by the time the talk ended.

Fast forward to the 21st century as I continue to be an energy saver.  I have researched everything on energy saving and read all I can about it.  I delight in the Florida Power and Light emails (yes, someone reads these), and try to incorporate their ideas into my home.

I am unsure if everyone knows this but if you leave an appliance plugged in constant energy runs through the cord thus costing money.  Therefore, since energy is money I unplug the microwave and printer after each use, and leave only certain lamps plugged in the wall.  I consider this a reward as the more I do this the more money I save thereby giving be more money for travel.  I’m planning a Northern Europe cruise as my next venture, guess I’ll have to start using flashlights.

Designer Sunglasses

I found a pair of designer sunglasses in an airport about a year ago. When I went to return them the gal at the desk sighed telling me if you like them, keep them. Apparently no one ever comes back or calls for these items. So, I kept them.

While these sunglasses were large, black, sexy and had movie star quality I was enamored with my Dollar Tree pinkies so I stashed the sexy ones in a drawer. When Flamingo (the pink sunglasses) got too scratched I decided to bid her adieu and began to use the sexy ones.

As I wore them I noticed they did not act as Flamingo had. While they were sexy and heads turned when I wore them, they fogged every time I donned them. I now know why my sexy designer sunglasses were left in the airport. They came without windshield wipers.

See You at Two

 

Texting is new to me.  My doctor’s office texted me today.  I was so proud of myself when they confirmed back as I am not tech savvy.

For those of us caught in the technology flurry and don’t have a seven-year-old child or grandchild we are in trouble.  At times, I find myself asking people on the street for assistance with the phone.  I wonder if what they actually tell me is true but am at their mercy and do it anyway.  Will there come a time when I will no longer be able to make a call or much worse pay a bill?  I struggle with this.

Later in the day I see I have received another text.  This is the first time I have received texts from two separate entities.  I am excited texting back after I receive the “How are you?” inquiry.  I proceed to say doing better I’m starting to blog.  I hear a ping but see nothing but the entities phone number above my first text so I continue to text how I am and what I am now doing.

I have done 5 entries with no response; however, I continue to hear the ping.  I know someone is on the other end but unsure why I cannot see what they have written.  As I look at the top of the screen I realize I have been texting my doctor’s office.  I can’t imagine the chatter that is occurring as they read my texts.  See you at two.