Category Archives: Raves

From Foxtrot to Technobot

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1396493416Calling me names: Someone recently called me a technobot. In my crusty rusty years, I’ve been called worse. I certainly do love to embrace (or downright cuddle and spoon) new technology innovations with the anticipation and thrill of a teenage kiss. You may have read about these developing passions of mine in my 50 Shades of Mac  post. But back to the business at hand.

What’s up? A couple of years ago I learned how to email money to and from my bank account. The thought of my hard-earned dollars whizzing through cyberspace at warp speed, sent me reeling with the sheer magic of it all. Oh the wonders and conveniences of this brave new world. To think that in my early childhood years I actually lived without electricity or telephones. Hell, my first school bus consisted of two horses pulling a boxy cabin on wheels, while we sat on the benches that lined the interior of the windowless walls. But I digress.

old-telephone-clipartvintagefeedsacks-free-vintage-clip-art-vintage-telephone-old-zjobn5vtA school holiday was declared when electricity finally found its way into our town. Life was simple…and then it all changed. The gaslights were turned off one by one, as the telephones started to ring and television sets introduced us to I Love Lucy.

The year was 1952 in small town Ontario.

So what’s the big deal? Well…now I can actually deposit a cheque to my bank account from my home, using my iPhone! I simply take a picture of the front and back of the cheque, and voila! It’s deposited to my account, while I sit at my kitchen table sipping a cup of coffee! I always feel quite light-headed from the dizzying experience. 1368299830917888001apple-iphone-icon-hi

Don’t judge me yet: Okay, I can hear you thinking…this poor woman has no life, to get so excited about such a silly unimportant thing. Whoa…hold on there Nellie! Yes I admit, new technology turns my crank, juices my engines and puts newfound energy into my yoga pants. And at my age, that’s got to be worth something! But it’s much more than that to me.

The meaning of life: This experience means that as I progress into the scary world of aging, I am learning how to embrace change and enjoy it. It means I can stay current and talk about these innovations with my family, and be connected to their world. In a more tangible sense, it means I can stay home to do my banking, instead of venturing out in the cold and snow. And in some small way, it helps me feel relevant in this rapidly changing world.

Stay tuned: So many seniors I meet are computer savvy. But just as many are not, and resist any suggestion of getting on board. As we age, our worlds often become smaller and smaller, due to illness, physical limitations, financial situations or family circumstance. Just think of the endless possibilities of entertainment, education and communication, if we stay tuned-in instead of tuned-out. The wonders of the Internet connects us with the universe, right from the comfort of our recliners.

Luv U2: I’m sure there are thousands of children and grandchildren out there, dying to give their grandparents a tablet (computer not medical) so they can stay in touch through Facebook, email and texting. And it’s never too late to learn. On the contrary, it’s exactly the right time. How can I put a value on the simple texts I get from my granddaughter to say goodnight, or to tell me she loves me? Phone calls are out with these kids…texting is in.

True colours: I’ve come a long way from living with gas-powered washing machines, wood stoves and hand-cranked record players for learning the foxtrot. In my sepia drenched memories, those days seem like they were a part of a kinder, gentler life. But as a child with those memories, I didn’t have to haul the water, chop the wood, or wrestle the frozen sheets off the clothesline. And I also didn’t have to trudge through the snow, all the way to the only telephone in town, when the doctor called my mother from the city about my Dad’s serious condition in hospital. Just imagine the number of changes in my very short lifetime. From sepia to living colour.

She who laughs: So scoff at me if you will, as I languish in my senior moments of pure cyber-bliss. But you might think of me the next time you stand in line at the bank, or walk across an icy parking lot to deposit your cheques at an ATM. I’ll be at home sipping coffee in my jammies doing the same thing…using my I-Phone. Try it…it’s nothing short of amazing! And we cottonheads need to be amazed now and then. Smoothes out the wrinkly bits.

See you between the lines,

Pat Skene

 

Fit…bit by bit

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k15661613Serious condition; Have you ever noticed that many seniors suffer from flat buttocks? It has less to do with sagging gluteus maximus muscles, and more to do with lazy-asset syndrome. I’m not talking about our lagging mutual fund portfolios, although in today’s market they’re probably flatter than our backsides. No, I’m referring to the act of vegetating in our recliners for prolonged periods of time.

Last year I turned 70. I’m in good enough shape for a gal of my vintage years, but some days I feel every one of the 26, 876 days I’ve been on this earth. And as much as it hurts some days when I shake my booty, it hurts even more when I don’t. So I might as well get on with it and keep moving.

Fit…bit: If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that I’m a technobot. New electronic gadgets really turn my granny-crank. (And this from a little girl who grew up without electricity.) So at Christmas, my lovely daughter gave me a Fitbit – a wearable fitness tracker device. It’s like a 24/7 Uber pedometer, and you wear it like a wristwatch.

So what? Now you might be thinking…why does an aging boomer like me need one of those gadgets? It’s not like I’m at the gym every day sweating into my stretchy spandex, or even give a damn about measuring my BMI. Nor am I looking to develop a six-pack, other than the one I get from the beer store.

And yes, I’m sure the companies peddling these activity trackers have a younger audience in mind. But there’s a whole market of seniors out there who could benefit from wearing one of these devices. Seriously! Stay with me on this…

Senior alert: Retirement is lovely. Not having to go to work is even better. Watching commuters slip-sliding through snowstorms from our warm cozy chairs, coffee in hand, better yet! Been out there, done all that for nearly 40 years! But this aforementioned lazy-asset syndrome can creep up on us and before you know it, there’s a deep indentation in the seats of our recliners as our aging derrières flatten out like pancakes. What’s the cure? We need to get up and MOVE!

Ginny-walking-clipartWalking gunslinger: Strapping on my Fitbit changed everything for me. Suddenly I’m aware of how many steps I actually take in a day. And it tracks my heart beats, the stairs I’ve climbed, the calories I’ve burned and how I sleep at night, just to name a few features of this wickedly excellent contraption.

Simply put, the Fitbit has changed my behaviour:

  • I’m aware of how sedentary I am when I don’t make a conscious effort to MOVE.
  • I’m motivated to park the car further away from my destination to get my steps in.
  • I’m encouraged to get out of the car a few blocks from home and walk, when Hubsey is driving.
  • I’m reminded to keep my heart rate within my max range when exercising.
  • I’m incented to take the stairs instead of the elevator to achieve my daily goals.

Game on: It’s also fun to challenge friends who wear one of these gadgets to help you stay focused. You can cheer or taunt those in your group, which sounds rather hokey but is so much fun. I’m in a group with my daughter, my niece and a friend in B.C. We may not all achieve our goals every day, but we do what we can and support each other in the process.

Each person sets their own step goals. I started at 4000 steps one month ago, and now have reached the 7000 steps a day level. That’s about 5 km a day, or just over 3 miles. Not a lot but enough for me. FYI…the default is set at 10,000 daily steps. But everyone is different with individual limitations and health conditions.

Good vibrations: The big reward when you meet your daily challenge is what I call a Fit-gasm. When I reach my daily step threshold, the Fitbit vibrates on my arm to let me know I have achieved my goal. It’s oddly rewarding to get that sexy jiggle on my wrist and I must say, getting a few Fitgasms every week is a very satisfying feature indeed.

Last word: As a result of all this, I have walked 112 kilometres to date with my Fitbit – which is apparently the same distance as the March of the Penguins – the annual trip emperor penguins make to their breeding grounds. But I digress…I’m hoping my ongoing condition of lazy-asset syndrome will dissipate, allowing the seat cushion on my recliner to retain its shape for many years to come. And who knows, it just might breathe new life into my buttocks as well.

See you between the lines and on Twitter @PatSkene

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I’m Thinking About Kissing…

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face-kiss-hiYikes! Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about kissing. Oh get a grip! It’s because of the recent kissing research released to the news media – not because I’m looking to recapture my youth with a few wild adventures of unabashed spit swapping. But then again, would that be so bad? Well, yes it just might be. According to what I read last week, every time you pucker up with a good old-fashioned smooch, you introduce 80 million new bacteria into your mouth. Now that’s a cringe-worthy thought.

Make it burn: I’m not saying that kissing is all bad. Good grief no! You get to burn 6.4 calories per minute by locking lips and you use 146 muscles when you do it. So that’s got to be a good daily exercise, filled with all sorts of perks. And what a great way to kiss, kiss, kiss your way into (and out of) your skinny jeans.  Some anonymous person once said that kissing is like peeing your pants. Everyone can see it but only you can feel the heat.

Learned or instinctual: So why do we do it? And does the whole world of humans feel this heat in their drawers when they inject saliva into each other’s mouths? Earlier research indicated that 90% of the world’s population engaged in the activity of kissing. But new research now finds that less than half of the world’s cultures kiss in a romantic way. And the rest of us that do, spend an average of 20,000 minutes or 2 weeks of our lives in mouth to mouth action.

Kissing cultures: Of 168 cultures studied, only 77 cultures did it and 91 did not. And of the 77 cultures who did, only 46 kiss in a romantic sense: North America 55%, Asia 73%, Europe 70% – and it was the norm in the Middle East although in private only, but no smoochers were found in Central America. We kiss for all kinds of reasons; comfort, passion, affection, bonding, making up, or just for no reason at all because it feels good. Lips and tongues are packed with nerve endings, so when those nerve endings intensify, we don’t want to think too hard about questioning our motives. Our brain functions drop into the lower extremities of our bodies…thus creating the aforementioned “peeing of the pants” scenario.

Why we do it: The most widely accepted rationale about why we kiss is that it helps us sniff out a quality mate. So let that be a lesson for the poor slobs who dare eat garlic on date night – for they shall be cast out and disqualified. There are people who actually study kissing – they are called philematologists. I wonder if they are really good kissers? Do they experiment with a wide range of kissing partners? Or are they simply professional peepers; watching others doing the job while they study technique, nose placement, measure spit output etc., while they take copious notes. Either way, it’s rather creepy.

Burning questions: And technique is everything ladies, we know that. We have all experienced the voracious kissers who make us question basic kissing etiquette. Like, what do we do when too much saliva enters your mouth when he locks onto your face like a large mouth bass? Is it polite to spit it out? Wipe your mouth on your sleeve, or his? Tell him you’re entering the convent and can’t ever see him again? According to the Rights of Kissing in the Modern Age Handbook, all of the above are totally acceptable responses.

Final word: So while it sounds kinda gross to pucker up and share your dinner juice with a potential mate, there is some reassuring research that says – all that new bacteria entering your system can help to boost your immune system. So let’s go with that. And so I leave you with a quote by the illusive Mr. or Ms. Anonymous:

I ran up the door, opened the stairs,
said my pyjamas and put on my prayers –          
turned off my bed, and tumbled my light,
and all because he kissed me good-night.

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See you between the lines,

Follow me on Twitter @PatSkene

Happiness Engineers

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Did you know there are real human beings in cyberspace, who actually want to help solve your problems? Can you imagine my delight at finding people out there with the sole responsibility of making the universe a happier place? These real-life employees have an innate desire to troubleshoot issues big and small – and they do it with grace, a sense of humour and excellent communication skills. 

Meet Irwin, Happiness Engineer: This week I was having some WordPress difficulties when I created a mess trying to set up another blog. With no human to call, I sent a note to the support line and voila! Irwin solved my problem within 24 hours and everything was fixed. He was efficient, clear and succinct in his communications and he even threw in a few happy faces! He signed his name – Irwin, Happiness Engineer. Now how cool is that?

And these positions are not just at WordPress to keep clients happy. Some forward-thinking-out-of-the-box companies are hiring Happiness Engineers to keep employees happy as well. They just may have found the key to getting the best return on human investment. It’s a beautiful thing!

What a concept: I think we need more Happiness Engineers in this world. I am totally in love with this job title and the responsibilities that go with it. Just think what a better place the world would be, if we had more of these individuals in every segment of our lives. Imagine what a team of these specialized folks could do in hospitals, doctor’s offices, schools and nursing homes, just to name a few. And why not include a troupe of “Travelling Happiness Engineers” to visit people who need them at any location, with Have Smile, Will Travel boldly announcing their skills on the side of the van?

Final word: We not only need to have more of these remarkable engineers in our lives…we need to become one as well. And no, I’m not getting all Pollyanna on you! But I am a glass-full kind of gal and I can usually see the silver lining in things, even if it turns out to be tinfoil.

It takes little effort for any of us to pay more attention to the people around us; to make them feel good with a compliment, a helpful hand, a solution to something bothering them, a phone call, a few daisies, an old fashioned note…and yes, sometimes it’s just knowing when to keep our mouths shut. Learning how to go the extra mile should be part of every school curriculum.

Making people happy, one engineer at a time. Thanks for the inspiration Irwin!

So c’mon people, talk to me! Where do you want to see more Happiness Engineers in your world? two-people-talking-to-each-other-cartoon-117

See you between the lines,
Follow me on Twitter @PatSkene

There’s Nothing Like a Dame

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“Never be afraid to laugh at yourself.  After all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.” Dame Edna Everage. (81 years old)

Hello Possums! Sometimes there are moments in life you need to capture and swallow whole to keep them inside you. (Sometimes, there are moments you need to masticate into mush and spit out into the nearest spittoon.) Well, thankfully, I have one of the former moments – one of pure zen, that I want to tell you about.

Eureka! I was watching television with my 12 year-old granddaughter the other day, when an advertisement for gigastar, Dame Edna and her Farewell Tour flashed on the screen. There she was, her Edna-ship, complete with perfectly coiffed mauve hair, rhinestone-studded wingtip glasses and outlandish wardrobe. My granddaughter jumped out of her chair and said, “Nan! That’s totally you – on the inside!”

How awesome is that? For someone like me who values imagination, creativity and freedom of expression as my raison d’être, it was the highest compliment possible. My eyeballs were sweating tears of purple glee. What more could a grandmother want in life, than to know her granddaughter thinks she has a colourful, funny, nut-ball of a Dame Edna lurking on the inside?

Shake it up! As we get older, it’s easy to become crotchety and bad-tempered, as we deal with deteriorating bodies, death of spouses and old friends, and of course, lack of identity and loneliness. It becomes too easy to feel forgotten and left behind, as we see younger people around us enjoying a more robust lifestyle. And it’s natural to be afraid to step out of ourselves; outside of our comfort zones to try something new. Sometimes the only difference between a recliner and a grave is the view!

Inner Dame: In my opinion, we all need to channel our inner Dame Edna to shake us awake and make us feel alive. There’s nothing like boredom and complacency to cause wrinkles ladies…and for the men out there…Dame Edna is really Barry Humphries, so there’s a message in here for you too. And no, I don’t mean cross-dressing! Although, if it’s something you’ve always wanted to do…?

Outer Dame: So to celebrate this momentous gift given to me by my granddaughter, I bought some new face furniture – a pair of purple cat’s eye glasses, trimmed with pearl. So cool! But for now, I’ll keep my hair white and leave the “wisteria hue” to the Grand Dame!

See you between the lines,

Follow me on Twitter @PatSkene

Hear Ye, Hear Ye…

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thCalling all geezers and geezerettes!  

Come in from the dark side and learn what social media can do for you.

Well, if you’re reading this post, it means you have already seen the light and are proficient enough with technology to stay connected with the universe. So you might think this article is not for you…oh contraire!

I’m sure we all have a few senior friends with their heads buried in the days of old. They don’t know how to use email, don’t own a computer, smart phone or tablet. They don’t know what a blog is and frankly don’t give a blog about all this new fan-dangled stuff.  Well, it just might be time for a cyber-intervention.

I was recently contacted by a company in the US to answer some questions about how I felt re the importance of social media for seniors. And while I don’t endorse any commercial links on my site, I felt this topic was very near to the cockles of my blogger’s heart, so I chose to be a participant in the article.

As you know from my posts 50 Shades of MAC, i-Crazy, and i-Lied…I am fully committed to the wonders of technology; a converted cyber-geezerette if you will.

I know it’s very hard for some seniors to stay open to learning new things. Life always looks so much better in the rearview mirror. And although we will never be as proficient with technology as our children and grandchildren, as long as we have breath there’s always time left to believe we can continue to learn and improve our lives in some small way.

Even the grand Red Queen herself from Alice in Wonderland said, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast”…and she was no spring chicken!

Fear is our worst enemy and change is hard work. As we age, our world continues to shrink one year at a time…like a balloon losing air in slow motion. It’s no wonder that we white-knuckle our grip on the days of yore when we were bigger and stronger players on the planet.

So why not pay it forward and do what we can to open up the universe for other seniors in our lives? Talk, encourage, demonstrate, and teach what technology can do to add value to everyday living.

I’m just saying…

Please click below to read the full article on Social Media Tips for Seniors:

http://premierreverse.com/works-social-media-tips-seniors/

See you between the lines,

Pat Skene

She Put a Spell on Me

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music_noteAnnie Lennox sang at the Grammies last night. WOW! Can that broad belt it out! And she sang with a real voice, without all the pyrotechnics we see and hear today with so many of the talent-impaired.

I think any beautiful female with a provocative costume, powerful thigh muscles and satanic dance moves might be fanciful entertainment for those of us practicing our couch-potato routines at home. But when it comes to wearing the big girl pants, you need real talent like Annie to show us how it’s done. Sadly, performers today keep upping the stage-ante, by adding special effects in the form of dancing human bulls ( Grammies) or ridiculous wiggling sharks (Superbowl) to name a few. All this in an effort to wow an audience into a trance-like state of shock and awe.

Okay I get it – I might be of the aging cogerette era and still love the old songsters like Tina Turner, and the soothing voices of yesteryear with classic crooners like Roy Orbison and yes, God help me…The Everly Brothers. But I also love listening to tunes of any era and any genre, including the talents of so many new voices in today’s music, thanks to my granddaughter. It’s really too bad most of these superstars need to uber-up their routines until we can’t hear the pure goodness of a beautiful voice at it’s best.

When I listened to Annie belting it out and simply being Annie, I thought…now there’s a timeless talent to be reckoned with. I had forgotten what a force she was years ago with the Eurythmics. And she has truly improved with age. When she sang I Put a Spell on You last night, she put a spell on me and I downloaded her music. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

Click here to listen to Annie: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZEChv1AaOk

See you between the lines,

Pat Skene

 

Hanging Out With Mary

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Happy International Women’s Day: To celebrate this event, I attended a dinner this week where Canadian comedian Mary Walsh spoke to over 700 people…in a black bra! There was nothing sexy about it.

What’s this about? Mary is an entertainer of a certain age, who changed her costume in front of the audience, as part of her routine. She simply stood there in her underwear with all her jiggly bits jiggling, as she kept right on talking. It was a hysterically funny and incredibly beautiful thing.

Just hanging out! Now I don’t normally get excited about seeing an middle-aged woman in her underwear. But the sheer comfort and confidence Mary displayed, with her muffin tops muffin-topping, and her cellulite and wrinkles winking at the crowd…well, it was a vision of divine intervention. Especially for anyone in the room wearing Spanks, body shapers, control top pantyhose and all things that pinch and squeeze us into unholy togetherness.

Starving for attention: What a refreshing change she was from just a few nights before, when I watched the beautiful people of Hollywood parade their botoxed, surgically altered Oscar worthy bodies up and down the red carpet. The fact that many of them can no longer smile…or eat for that matter…doesn’t mean a thing. All that does matter is for someone to ask, “Who are you wearing?”

Mirror, mirror: Our obsession with perfect bodies is like a social piranha, eating away every day at our confidence and self-respect. Yes, the magazine and movie industries have nurtured this obsession, but so do we, as we continue to buy and watch and compare…in the mirror. And as we age, as Mary is doing, graceful acceptance of our sagging bits and bobs is a rare gift. We need to learn to embrace our softer squishier parts without wrestling them into a spandex torture chamber or underwire harness.

Key note: Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive to have as healthy a body as we can. That goes without saying. But if only we could be more like Mary…and let it all hang out with pride and humor. And while I enjoyed the entertainment value of Mary’s keynote address at the dinner, her confidence and charisma while standing there in her black bra and middle-aged body, said more to me about International Women’s Day than anything in her evening performance. It was downright liberating, even for a tough old broad like me.

Seriously: Mary made us laugh at her, with her and at ourselves. We need more women like that. And more real women who can stand in front of 700 people in a black bra ala muffin tops, and not give a damn. And as I am reminded by the sign on my desk, “She Who Laughs, Lasts.”

Pat Skene

See you between the lines.

Bridging the Gap

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time_capsule_2035 blog                                                           

 Calling all kids, teachers, parents and grandparents!                                                                                  

 What’s up? As you may know by now, I am a writer of children’s books by day and during the deep dark hours of my soul, I am a cranky boomer blogger by night. Okay, so that was a bit of unnecessary drama, but I want you to appreciate the alter egos I struggle with on a daily basis. My poor Hubsey never knows who he’s sleeping with from one computer paragraph to the next. And despite the schizophrenic nature of my two jobs, I manage to stay grounded by keeping all my bases covered in the age department….sort of like a ping-pong ball on steroids.

The gap: In an effort to avoid disaster by confusing my work, I generally keep things separated by a spongy wall, so I can bounce back and forth without hurting myself. But this is a unique project and an exceptional circumstance – so I want to bridge the gap between my two worlds to get you and your families involved. I’m very excited about this project!

Here’s the dealio: I grew up in a small town on Georgian Bay (circa 1950) without phones or electricity. My first school bus was a horse and buggy! For real!! And now I’m hooked on anything with an Apple on it. Could I have imagined the changes that would happen in my lifetime? Today in 2013, Canadians are signing up to go to the moon, cars are being developed that drive themselves, while fingerprint technology will soon replace our need for passwords. What could possibly be next?

Think about it: Do the kids in your life imagine our world of tomorrow? What will the year 2035 look like, in the fields of transportation, technology, fashion, space travel, entertainment, the environment, careers, schools and families…just to name a few? How will our children, the movers and shakers of tomorrow, shape the world they live in? I want to ask them and find out.

Call for Submissions by Press Here to Start Publishing

I would like to challenge the children of today, to imagine the year 2035 and tell us what they see. A collection of the best entries from kids of all ages will be published in an exciting new book entitled, Time Capsule – 2035.  

  • Open to all students in Canada, grades 1-8 on any topic
  • Includes essays, poems and stories to a max of 200 words
  • Original artwork optional
  • Teachers are encouraged to submit classroom entries
  • Can be submitted online or by snail mail
  • Final entry deadline, March 31, 2014
  • Click here for Time Capsule – 2035 Flyer

Final Word:

This project is exciting on so many levels. It encourages dialogue in schools and at home about the difficult subject of change. It tells us what our kids are thinking about. And it helps the children of today connect to their world of tomorrow. Plus the book itself will be an interesting Time Capsule to look back on in years to come.

Please help me to spread the word and get your kids and schools involved. You’ll be hearing more about this in the news.

Go to http://www.pressheretostartpublishing.com for details and check out the Hot Tips on how to get started. 

Pat Skene…see you between the lines.

time_capsule_2035 blog     

50 Shades of MAC

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I’m in love with my MAC!

As you learned in my Apple A Day post, I succumbed to the geeky side and became an apple junky.

Now I don’t mean to get all Mac & cheesy on you – but after 3 weeks of pure bliss, I’m happy to report that right here in my rusty years, I have finally found the perfect relationship. apple_heart

Who is he? As you can guess, my new guy’s name is Mac. He’s handsome and sleek in his shiny silver suit – and I love his blue tooth. He lights up when I turn him on, and he loves it when I play with him in the dark. We make such beautiful music together. Hubsey doesn’t care much for him, but he likes to watch.

What else does he do? Mac loves to tickle my fancy and teach me new things…like 50 ways to use my magic mouse. He responds to even the slightest touch of my fingers on his sleek young body. At times he can be frustrating as hell for an old broad like me to deal with, but then he rewards me with a eureka moment of pure technological ecstasy.

He’s considerate and always asks for my preferences, although he’s  usually one step ahead of me and seems to know exactly what I want. He never complains unless he’s feeling low and needs some time to recharge his batteries. And he doesn’t much care that the kitchen has never been my best room.

There’s still a lot I don’t know about him, but that adds just enough mystery to keep our relationship apple-fresh. I’ve come to depend on him, and when he’s down, I feel lost. But when he’s charged up, he fills me with energy and spunk!

Trouble spots: He responds to most of my commands but like most men, he has a jerk gene that surfaces now and then, so I give him a good reboot to refresh his attitude. And at times, his head is somewhere in the i-clouds when I need him most – but he likes to dream and that’s okay with me.

He never asks for much and is comfortable in any setting. What a perfectly symbiotic relationship. He doesn’t bring me traditional flowers or buy me jewellery, but he sends me anything my heart desires  – in beautiful retina display! What a guy!

My MAC – he’s a Pro in my Book.                                  heart8

(P.S…My MAC is not to be confused with my friend Beth’s husband Mac. Although I’m sure he’s lovely too.)

Pat Skene

See you between the lines.

An Apple a Day…

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New Arrival: I’ve changed my clothes 3 times before sitting down to write this post. Everything had to be perfect – hell, I even cleaned up my workspace for the occasion. It’s not everyday you get the Lamborghini of computers to keep you company through the long lonely hours of a bloggers life. I had to make a good first impression for my shiny new MACBook Pro 15″ with retina display and mission control dashboard. Oh baby – come to mama!  Image

You didn’t! Oh yes I did! I made the gargantuan leap from PC land to Mac island and I’m overwhelmed by alien widgets, icons and dazzling special effects. But despite the blank page in my brain and the piercing pain in my cyber-gut, I already know this will be a forever relationship. Like any good marriage, it’s just going to need a ton of work.

Salute! So with a saddened heart, I put my old Dell PC to rest yesterday after 10 years of loyal service. She was a good old gal, hardworking and carefree; except in her final days when the constant chugging uphill to make the grade, broke the tired old broad down. I’m sure she felt like poor Sisyphus, pushing all that computer guck uphill everyday, only to watch it crash back down again.  Then recently, through her coughing and wheezing, she asked me if she could retire and stop the madness. I reluctantly agreed. She will be missed.

New tricks: I know this PC/Mac change is a huge step for me at this age. But the way I look at it – why should all the new toys and gadgets be only for the young? What about the young at heart? Yes, my learning curve will be curvier than most, but I’m up for the challenge. As you know from reading i-Crazy and i-Lied, I’m nuts about i-stuff. And now with the syncing opportunities and creative possibilities,  how can I not fall even deeper in i-love? It’s a marriage made in the Mac store!

If truth be told: Of course it helped to have my brilliant niece come with me to translate what the fast-talking pimply-faced salesman was blah-blah-blah-ing about.  When the youth of today talk to me, I try my best to turn up the speed on my ear-intake control valve, but it’s all gobbledygook most of the time. And as everyone  knows, except those under the age of 25, higher vocal speeds cause glazing of the eyeballs, especially in the elderly.

Life Support: After arriving home with an empty wallet, my niece then helped me with the hook-ups and initial transition to Mac-dom. I couldn’t get her to move in with me, but she did promise  24/7 support for the next 10 years if Hubsey feeds her one of his delicious concoctions on every visit. What a deal!

Signing off: Well, that’s it from me today. In just 24 hours, I’ve gotten this far, so that’s a good sign. As we age, we tend to think we gather knowledge and maybe even know-it-all from time to time. But change is a good exercise in humility and patience. May the force be with me!

See you between the lines!

Pat Skene

A Tip of the Brim

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What’s up? A very exciting thing happened to me this morning when I went on my walk.  Well, this is as exciting as things get in my world. To you, this may be a dull and boring start to your day, but try to be kind and share my joy.

Tip of the day: As I walked along the waterfront in my early morning brain fog, noodling about the things that go on in my head at that time of day, a gentleman of a certain age did something, no man has done to me for a very long time. (Get a grip!) He tipped his hat to me as he walked by. In return, I gave him the biggest smile I could muster.  What a beautiful vintage greeting for a Victoria Day weekend.     

Let’s be clear: This lost art of  “hat tipping” is not to be confused with hair tipping, waiter tipping, tipping the scales, the tip of an object, giving someone a hot tip, the tipping point, tipping one’s hand, the tip of a pitched baseball, things on the tip of your tongue, bringing rubbish to the tip, or the tipping of an unsuspecting cow. I’m talking about the tipping of a hat.

It’s in the bones: This cultural expression of respect and greeting, says so much in a simple tip of the brim. It doesn’t have to be a fancy hat with pomp and plumage. It can be a simple Blue Jays baseball cap. It’s the manner in which it’s being tipped that counts. And I promise you, there will always be a real old-fashioned gentleman underneath it. 

Without words: The message that this small gesture conveyed to me, was – nice to see you, it’s a beautiful morning, enjoy your walk, I respect you, I hope you have a good day, you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met…okay, maybe I made up that last part, but you get my drift.

Back then: In the late 19th/early 20th century, this gesture was used as a non-verbal greeting, mostly done by males. It was rare for females to partake in the custom. It was also a ritual used to emphasize status and social distance. For example, a subordinate would remove his hat, while a superior merely touched it.

Right now: Today, we’ve taken things to a whole new level. We may not find many hat tippers out there, like I did this morning. But the blogosphere has developed a modern day hat tip by using the letters HT or h/t, to thank someone, or acknowledge a contribution to something new or interesting. It’s a nice thing to do and considered good netiquette.

Well, that’s it from me to you for today. H/T to you all and happy Victoria Day.

Pat Skene