Monthly Archives: April 2014

Guest Post: Politically Correct Eating

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I’m welcoming back my friend, the anonymous blogger, for this great tongue-in-cheek piece.

As a Baby Boomer, I have been eating for a long time. While I understand the “to each their own” philosophy, I have my own idea when it comes to food. And that is to enjoy it. Expensive or cheap; fancy or plain; common or hard-to find; I just want it to taste good and to be enjoyable. But over the years, society seems to have embraced certain food “themes” that have become more acceptable, while others have become less so.

I am referring to the trend toward foods described as one or more of the following: healthy, vegan, natural, organic, low fat, high fiber, low sodium, no preservatives, low calorie, no calorie, low cholesterol…you get the idea. Now don’t get me wrong—I have a pretty good understanding of why certain foods are considered more or less healthy than others. But the “rules” change as time passes and additional studies are done, so nothing is really set in stone, and there is no such thing as a completely healthy diet.

I have no beef with those that want to eat purely for their health—and many of those folks truly enjoy the taste of their food. But many healthier foods (like tofu or shredded wheat) taste horrible to me. I don’t dislike any given food just because it’s healthy—for example, I like almost all fruits and vegetables. But I eat them because they taste good to me, not because they’re healthy. Most unhealthy food, though, tastes great (thank you, animal fat!) So my diet also includes well-marbled steak, fried chicken, grilled spareribs and numerous other cardiac killers.

But sometimes, there is pressure to eat healthy. Once, I offered to host a cookout for my dozen or so coworkers, which was to feature ribs and chicken. One of them was a vegetarian who expressed disapproval of serving meat. She could have simply declined the invitation, eaten side dishes, or brought her own food. But a movement grew within the ranks to convert the cookout to a meat-free event so that this individual would attend and not be offended. I ended up cooking ribs and chicken, and everyone (including the vegetarian) came, but there was a lot of initial pressure to change my ways, be they good or bad, and to impose those changes on all of my guests simply to avoid offending a single individual. Isn’t that what political correctness is really all about?

Being politically correct seems to mean altering one’s actions or thoughts so as to approach a lowest common denominator so that no one is ever upset or offended, and this concept is pervasive in all aspects of life today. It’s a complex concept, and while I think more about it, I’m going to have a bacon cheeseburger and a chocolate malt with a raw egg.

Saling, Saling!

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Yes, you read that right…saling…cruising garage sales. Yesterday, I wrote about having garage sales. Now it’s time to devote some verbiage to attending those sales. There is an art to saling, or g’raging, which I’d like to share with you. Whatever your shopping preferences are, you need a method to your madness.

If you are set for a serious day of g’raging, you need to be prepared. First, do some research. Scan the local classifieds for the listed sales, and mark your paper, so it’s easy to see as you’re driving. Visit Craig’s List, or any other online posting of sales, and either print or jot down the sales you are interested in. Talk to your friends…many sales are advertised by word of mouth. And, of course, be ready for the unplanned visits to those sales that are only advertised by signage. Keep your eyes peeled! Plan your general course in a loop that ends back at your house, deciding your direction according to sale starting times and travel time.

Bring along your coffee, water, and maybe some munchies, because you never know when you’ll get to stop for food or drink. And clean out the car before you go so you have room for all the great stuff you are going to bring home. Get plenty of cash before leaving. I keep mine in my pocket, so I don’t have to carry a purse while I’m trying to look through stuff…you’ll need both hands if you are a serious shopper.

If you are in serious garage sale territory, on a busy weekend, traffic and parking can be an issue. Be mindful of those leaving the sale as you are arriving, and keep your eyes open for available parking spots. Also, watch as you walk to and from the sale, as others are arriving and may be so anxious to get to the goods that they are not watching for pedestrians, or would be willing to mow one down if it meant getting to that pewter beer mug before anyone else has a chance to snatch it up.

As you are heading into the sale area, greet the hosts in a friendly manner. Remember…you may soon be bargaining with them over an old milk pail, so make friends from the start. Take a quick scan of the area, and make mental note of what you see. Pick a side to start on, and work your way through the entire area. Don’t hesitate to circle several times, because if it’s a full sale, you will miss things on your first time through. If you’re like me, you have to touch things to really decide if you want them. There are things you’ll know right away that you want…grab them! There’s nothing more disappointing than going back around for an item, and finding it is gone. If you are debating over an item, don’t take too long to do so, especially if it’s a crowded sale. And coming back the next day is often a disappointment. Most sale hosts thank you for coming (even if you didn’t buy anything), and I always thank them as I leave, for the privilege of looking. Looking is half the fun!

As you shop, load items in the car to allow for squeezing in as much as you can along the way. And make sure that you load fragile items carefully so they don’t bounce against other items in your travels. Sometimes, with larger items, the sale host will let you come back later to pick up what you purchased. If you are g’raging with a friend, you can each sort of stake out a side of the vehicle to stash your stuff, so when you get home it’s not too difficult to unload each person’s goods. Be sure to point things out to your g’raging partner, as they might have missed something you think they might want. A smart phone is a handy thing to have if you are wanting to take a photo of something, send it to a friend who is knowledgeable about value, or might want the item, and then make a decision on whether to purchase said item. And there are some apps that will let you scan a photo, look up the item and learn about its value or history.

So, now you’ve spent the day cruising sales and filling your vehicle with treasures. When you get home, it’s like Christmas, taking all of the items you purchased, looking them over, and admiring your finds. There’s nothing finer than sharing your bargaining stories with your g’raging friends, bragging a little about how little you paid for this or that. Then you wash up the things you will use, place the items where they will live in your home, and decide if maybe some of the items will end up in YOUR next garage sale because they just weren’t right for you after all. And that brings me to the concept of the balance of junque in the Universe. There is a certain amount of stuff floating around out there in the world, traveling from place to place, by way of garage sales. Even if you decide not to keep a found treasure, it’s not such a bad thing to sell it to someone who will treasure it as their own. And, likewise, it’s ok to part with some of your own treasures, knowing that someone will enjoy having them as their own.   

Let The Sales Begin!

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I went to the first garage sales of the season this weekend. Ahhh. That long winter without my saling fix has been hard. Oh, sure, there was the occasional indoor flea market, but it’s just not the same. Nope. There’s something about looking in the classified section, marking the sales, getting cash in your pocket, and heading out with your morning coffee, in search of treasures. When I moved to Minnesota, I learned that some folks call it g’raging, pronounced as two syllables, and now that’s how I say it. There are lots of names for it: rummage sale, garage sale, yard sale, and just plain sale. No matter what you call it, it all boils down to the same process…g’raging. And in my years of g’raging, I have grown to be sort of picky about it.

You see, there is much more to having a garage sale than just tossing some extra stuff on a card table, and waiting for folks to come along and pay you money for it. But I have been to many sales where it appears that that is exactly what the people having the sale thought it was all about. Oh, no…there is much more to consider.

First, there is the selection of the date and time of your sale. You want to have it when you will get the most traffic, so you can get rid of all of the stuff you’ve decided to part with. And you want to have hours long enough to make it easy for the working folks to be able to stop by. I also have great respect for those who are willing to be ready to open early…none of this leisurely start at nine stuff. And if your sign or ad says your sale runs 3 days, for certain hours, PLEASE be sure to stick to that. There’s nothing worse than driving a distance to a sale that is closed up early because someone got tired of sitting there peddling their unwanted goods.

Speaking of driving a distance to a sale, I must also talk a bit about signage. Signage is perhaps one of your biggest responsibilities. Don’t treat it lightly. Signs need to be clear, large, and easy to read. If you take a sheet of notebook paper, and write on it with a Bic pen, no one will see it from the road. It’s also nice if they are consistent in their color or what they say, so those of us that are following the trail know we’re on the right track. With so many sales, and so many signs, sometimes you can lose the scent of the sale you’re tracking, if the signs are all different. Also, putting your signs where we can see them, IN ADVANCE of a turn, is really helpful. Remember, we are speeding down the road, anxious to get to your sale…we might miss a turn with no warning.

And here’s a personal pet peeve. If you are just selling baby clothes, PLEASE say that in your ad, and on your signs. For those of us not interested in the toddler wear, it is extremely frustrating to drive a distance on a winding, muddy road, only to find tables filled with onesies and miniature dresses, shoes and pants. The sale I went to yesterday actually put in their ad, “No baby clothes.” YAY for them!!

It would also be great if you make sure what you are selling is clean, and able to be used. We’ve all been to the sale where a relative, who has obviously been a hoarder, dies and the family drags all of their stuff out on the lawn the night before the sale. And then it rains on everything, and they go on with the sale anyway. And everything has that musty smell to it, and is sort of sticky from years of storage around the house. Not cool. And I always feel bad for the one who has died, and now all of their stuff is exposed to the world in that sort of condition…how sad.

And, last, but not least, if you do only have a little card table full of stuff, you probably should wait until you have gathered more stuff to sell, or combine forces with a neighbor, so your sale is full, and junque is plentiful. I’ve been to sales where it looks like the sweet, elderly lady of the house has picked up the 7 items that were in her kitchen junk drawer, and laid them on her 1946 card table, and called it a garage sale, because, after all, the card table WAS in the garage.  

Watch for a future post on the art of going to sales and finding hidden treasure.

Guest Post: If I Could Save Time in a Magazine by Jenny Hill

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Another fine guest post by my good friend, Jenny Hill. Please visit her blog at:  http://jenneferghill.wordpress.com

I had a dentist’s appointment on Tax Day this year. By an odd series of events, I arrived a half hour early. I did not mind a bit, however, because my dentist’s office has the best magazines. I was glad to have time alone with the pages I love, since I am a magazine junkie.

I greedily piled the shiny colorful Country Living and This Old House onto my lap. I looked around to see if anyone had noticed what a hog I was. No one had, so I casually slipped Consumer Reports on the bottom of the pile.

I had not done any Easter decorating yet, so I eagerly scanned the teasers on the cover of Country Living, hoping they would have something to address my inner bunny and duckies. Huh. Nothing. Not even something about Easter dinner.

Well, OK.  Maybe Country Living was going in a more secular direction, which is fine. I don’t go to church, on Easter or even Christmas, so I do have twinges of hypocritical feelings when I get these seasonal decorating urges. But we’ve got to do something to mark the seasons, right?

Now wait a minute. Country Living’s cover mentioned Mother’s Day. I do not have kids and my mom is not-that-long-dead, so I prepare for Mother’s Day by trying to grow extra thick skin. I had not done that yet this year. I squinted at the issue date on the cover: May 2014. This was April 15. What was the May issue doing here?

I felt my normally low blood pressure begin to creep up. I switched to This Old House, which was also the May issue. I shuffled down to Consumer Reports to see “June 2014.”

Really? Is this what magazines have done to compete with the immediacy of electronic media, started publishing in a future that has yet to arrive? I’ve worked on magazines. I know they have schedules built months in advance to accommodate the time it takes to actually print the pages, assemble and mail them once everything has been written, designed, laid out and approved. But in my day (goodness, I sound old!), we timed it to hit mailboxes on the first day of the month of the issue’s date.

There are other industries like this. The new-year model cars start showing up in November, if not earlier. I bought my 2009 Toyota Matrix in July 2008. But doesn’t it devalue both the present as well as the “new” car or issue or whatever when their dates are so skewed? Whatever happened to living in the now?

Maybe I’m hypersensitive because I’m behind on my magazine reading. Face it, I’m behind on many, many things in my life. But now I wonder if I really am, or if it’s just that I’ve been judging myself using a skewed calendar/clock/other measuring device. And why are we constantly measuring and comparing? What are we racing towards and are we sure it’s better than where we are?

Did I mention my oven dial reads 350 degrees when I know there’s no way it’s over 325?

Seasonal Sweets

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Today was a sad day. When I arrived at work, I was greeted by an empty candy dish. And it may be a long time before it is refilled. I’ve sort of become the candy stop for my co-workers. It all started back in December, when I first started working there. I bought some treats, and put them in a dish on my desk to share. It started with some sort of Christmas candies, which were soon replaced by Valentines Day conversation hearts. I somehow missed out on the St. Patty’s Day gold coins, but I didn’t miss the Easter Parade of jelly beans, bunnies, and eggs. And then, it was over. The last two jelly beans sat in the dish for several days, until someone finally put them out of their misery and ended it.

That empty dish led to some discussion at work about the candy cycle. We realized that there won’t be much in the way of candy for several months to come. The year unfolds with a fairly steady stream of holiday candies. January is set aside to get over the sugar shock of Christmas, but February brings conversation hearts and boxes of chocolates. March supplies us with Leprechaun loot. April sends the Easter Bunny, complete with baskets of goodies.

Then, in May, the candy market dries up. Mother’s Day suggests flowers, or a nice vacuum cleaner, rather than candy. June brings us Father’s Day, which usually revolves around after-shave, ties, fishing gear, and lawn mowers, but no candy. The 4th of July is all about fire crackers and hot dogs, and the occasional parade, but no candy that represents the holiday. August offers us nothing in the way of a holiday at all. Labor Day in September is parade time again, and candy is thrown, but the store shelves are not filled with Labor Day-specific treats. It’s more about the picnic foods, like hot dogs, potato salad and watermelon, but not candy.

And then, watch out! Halloween candy hits the shelves as early as August in some areas! This is a big one, and stores are stocked with all manner of miniature candies, individually wrapped, for those trick-or-treaters. And although November doesn’t really offer us a candy-centered holiday (just turkey and all the fixins, and pie), we are usually still eating the leftover Halloween candy right up until the Christmas candy hits the shelves. Enter chocolate Santas, candy canes, and all the rest.

I had to wonder how each holiday got its traditional treats associated with it, or not. I realize that most of the seasonal candies have very little to do with the holiday itself. Those marketing gurus just waved their magic wands and made candies to fit the holidays. But why did they miss the mark on some of the holidays? Why not some Father’s Day confection? Perhaps a nice tie made of licorice? Or maybe some candy fire crackers for the 4th of July? Wouldn’t Pop Rocks be sort of fitting for that? And what about poor August…no holiday, and certainly no candy. Someone needs to look into that.

Bargaining With My To-Do List

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I had another weekend filled with bargaining. No, I didn’t attend an estate sale, nor was I on a negotiating team. I bargain with my to-do list. Each weekend, I fill the list with all of the household chores that need to be done, and immediately my mind starts the bargaining process.

If I clean the cat boxes before breakfast, then I can enjoy a leisurely breakfast without guilt. If I finish the vacuuming, I can go outside and relax on the porch for a while before tackling the mopping. I can do the laundry while I’m working on other chores, and fit in the folding between chores and breaks. If I get the cat boxes and vacuuming done today, I can do the laundry and clean the bathrooms tomorrow. If I’m going to a friend’s house at 3:00, then I need to get at least these three things done before I go.

I can be a bit obsessive about my time. At this point in my life, I find I feel that I “deserve” the time to relax and do nothing, if I feel like it. But my strong sense of responsibility causes me to make these deals with myself. If I just relax all day, I feel guilty for not taking care of the things on my list. As I sit there, trying to read, write, or cruise Pinterest, that guilt starts picking away at my relaxation. It creeps in, and before you know it, I am up vacuuming, or swishing out a toilet. And if I don’t get much done on my list for the entire weekend, I wake up on Monday feeling behind from the get-go.

In my younger days, I had energy to do household chores during the work-week, after I got home from teaching all day. I could clean the house, mow the lawn, work in the garden…all in addition to working all day, making dinner, and even taking a walk after dinner. Now, in my “golden” years, I find it difficult to get dinner made some days! I might tackle a small chore or two when I get home from work, but just the thought of cleaning the house or mowing the lawn during the week wears me out! Back then I didn’t feel so torn on the weekends…do I clean, or do I enjoy my time off from work?

I try to be less consumed with chores these days, and use my time for what really matters, or what I really want to be doing. And I always try to fit in some down time on the weekends…time when I’m not consumed with what’s on the list, when I can just relax and recharge for the week ahead. I’ve been told that sometimes I set my standards too high, expecting to get way too much done. I’ve tried to begin to look at it more realistically, and allow myself to feel good about what I get done, and not beat myself up so much over what I didn’t get done. 

High-Strung House Hunters

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One of my favorite shows is House Hunters on HGTV. I have always loved looking at houses, and am always curious as to what houses that I pass look like on the inside. I love looking at the real estate listings, and have even considered becoming a real estate agent, just so I could quench my thirst for looking at houses. In many ways, this show is perfect for me. I don’t have to go anywhere, yet I can see houses all over the country. And if I also watch House Hunters International, or Island Hunters, I can see some great vacation possibilities. And I enjoy the naïve couples on Property Virgins, and the handsome twins pulling off impossible renovations on Property Brothers. Then there’s Love It Or List It, with the fake fighting hosts and pissed off families. They each have their quirks, which is what makes them extra entertaining.

First, you have to remember that these are TV shows, and TV shows are made to make money. As is true of most “reality” TV, there is very little about it that is real. I can usually put this aside, since I really just like looking at the real estate. But I thought I’d share with you just some of the things that drive me a bit batty while trying to get my real estate fix.

First of all, there are the upper-crusty couples who start by saying they want to downsize, and then proceed to look at three mansions, and at each one whine about how there’s just not enough room for them. Then there are the couples who disagree about what type of house they want, and probably never should have gotten married in the first place, since they have so little in common. And we have the couples where the woman is obviously in charge, and the wimpy man will totally fold on his own must-haves to avoid the wrath of the wifey. And Property Virgins is famous for featuring couples that are not only house hunting, but also proposing marriage as part of the deal. What better way to take that big step than to do it on “reality” TV, with everyone watching. Genuine, eh?

It’s not just the people that are annoying…it’s the terminology. I think the people chosen to be on the show must get paid extra for every buzzword they can work into the show. We need an open floor plan. I have to have granite countertops. Oh, I can’t do without stainless appliances. The walk-in closet is a deal-breaker. This kitchen HAS to be updated. He has to have his man cave. This is a great bonus room. I hate this wallpaper. The paint color is awful. Tray ceilings, crown molding, dual sinks, hardwood floors, an island in the kitchen, outdoor space, no garage, yard’s too small, yard’s too big, too close to the highway, not close enough to the highway, too far from downtown, too far out in the country, not a split level…the list is endless!

And the funny part is that usually the buyers settle for the house that least fits their original criteria! But I still get to see all kinds of houses, and muse at all kinds of people’s quirks, so keep ’em coming, HGTV!

 

Sneaky Slitherers

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At the risk of doing a second story on basements within a week, here goes. When I lived in southern Maryland, we had a ranch style house with a walkout basement, on 3 acres of woods. It was a beautiful lot, with lots of flora and fauna to enjoy. Unfortunately, many not-so-desirable things came along with the beauty of the woods. Squirrels once decimated our basement’s insulation and window screens while we were on vacation. We lived there through the 7 year locusts, which were small dinosaurs with wings, that chirped constantly. I saw spiders the size of your hand, and bats hung out in our attic and chimney. But my least favorite visitors were the snakes. I am really petrified by snakes.

So…one fine spring day I came home from work, and headed down to the basement to do something. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something black flash near the wood rack near the door. With a little poking around, I saw it again, and clearly identified it as a rather large black snake. Needless to say, I was up the stairs within seconds, screaming all the way. I slammed the door shut at the top of the stairs, and got a towel to shove under the bottom edge of the door so that snake could NOT get into the upstairs, as I was sure he was hell-bent to do.

I paced and fretted until my husband got home, and could rid the house of this frightening guest. When he got home, I explained rather frantically what I had seen, and pleaded with him to get the snake out of the basement. He went downstairs, and I could hear him moving things around, and talking, trying to coax the snake out. He thought it was so cute and was talking to it like it was a little toddler! He came upstairs, and said the snake was all gone. He couldn’t understand why I was afraid of a little old snake. He described it as a fairly small red or light brown snake. WHAT??!!?? I begged to differ with him…I SAW it very clearly…how huge it was, and how black it was.

After some more banter about the size and color of this snake, it was clear that the snake he coaxed out of hiding and took back outside was NOT the snake that I had seen near the wood rack. I made him go back down there until he found and extricated the BIG, BLACK snake. After much searching, he finally found it and got rid of it. You would think I would have felt relief that our house was now snake-free, but I was even more freaked out, knowing I had been in that basement with not one, but TWO snakes! And who knows how many others were actually there, if I didn’t even see one of the ones he found! That towel stayed under the door for a long while.  

Princess Poppycock

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I went to our town’s teen beauty pageant last night. I went because I’ve known several of the girls since they were young, and it’s fun to see them growing up. I should say right up front…I’m not a fan of beauty pageants. Oh, sure, as a kid, I remember watching Miss America on TV, and thinking they were all so beautiful and charming. And as I grew up, the goal of every teenage girl was to be skinny, pretty, popular, and it wouldn’t hurt to be smart. But I didn’t think I was one of those girls, and it was nothing but devastating to put yourself into a position where you tried to compete with the “big guns” of popularity, and, of course, failed. I had very low self-esteem as it was, and I sure didn’t need any sort of public confirmation of my shortcomings.

But this isn’t about me…it’s about those young girls last night, and girls like them all over the country. At that age, it’s all about being popular. A pageant like this provides an opportunity to wear a fancy dress, get your hair done, put on lots of makeup, and try to balance on shoes that were not meant to be worn for walking around on a slippery wood floor. It also might get you a tiara and a sash! And, yes, the one redeeming factor here is that it also gets you a fairly small scholarship. But, girls, there are so many other ways to earn a scholarship!

I watched as each girl paraded past the judges, smiles and gowns all a-glitter. I listened as our local emcee read off each girl’s height, eye and hair color, and a bit about them. I watched them share their talents with the audience (and the judges.) But I didn’t hear from them why they wanted to be Miss Smalltown, USA. I didn’t hear from them what their passions are, or who they are, or hope to become.

The outgoing princess is a very nice girl, but she seemed rather obsessed with the whole princess thing. You know, the thing where every little girl wants to be a princess? Well, that’s fine for a 5 year old, but once you get to be a teenager, shouldn’t you be thinking of becoming something a little more realistic than a princess? And if you really NEED a tiara, you can go out and buy one, without putting yourself through the whole pageant scene.

As I understand it, the main duties of the winning court is to make appearances throughout the year, representing our town. Parades, festivals, other pageants, etc. Among the visiting royalty last night was one girl from another town who was Miss Something Or Other, and her dress was actually shorter than her sash. I’m not kidding! How is that representing her town? And last night they even invited back all of the past royalty, and many of them were there, all wearing their tiaras. The fact that they were there was actually kind of sweet, but I had to wonder if they’d all kept their tiaras all these years, or if some had to be borrowed or replaced. I guess a tiara might be pretty important to you, so maybe you tuck it in your hope chest.

I really don’t want to bash the past or present princesses, or the pageant itself. I’m sure that being in a pageant builds confidence, social skills, and community involvement. It’s just my opinion that there are many ways to represent your community, and many ways to share your talents with your community. And even if you decide you need to compete for a princess title, don’t lose who you are in the act of walking the catwalk. Because if you look around as an adult, your successes and happiness are not at all tied to whether you were once a princess or not. You don’t see the CEO of a company wearing her tiara to work every day. Your third grade teacher doesn’t have her sash on for recess duty. And if you didn’t get chosen, remember that it’s just a show, and the judges picked who they picked. It doesn’t make you less of a person.  

Guest Post: Am I Speaking to the Head of the Household?

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I’d like to share this guest post, written by a friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous. Enjoy!

Not only will I admit to being a curmudgeon, I’m pretty proud of it. Having dealt with the general public for decades, I honestly don’t like people very much. I have relatives and close friends that I genuinely like and care about quite a lot. But everyone else, to me, is simply one of the roughly 7 billion other people on earth, and I don’t really want to interact with most of them.

As a small part of that mindset, I have an unpublished phone number—if I want to get calls from you, you’ve already got it. If not…well, you get the idea. So you can imagine how I feel about telemarketers. Even though the state and national do-not-call lists have greatly reduced these obnoxious interruptions, there are still exceptions. Entities that represent themselves as charities or survey-takers, for example, can still call legally—and they do. Unashamedly, they purchase lists or use sequential number generators to call and ask for money or time.

Let’s think about that for a minute. Someone calls and says they represent a charity. It may actually be a legitimate, good cause. Or, more likely, it’s a scam, or a prelude to some sales pitch. Did I mention that in addition to being a curmudgeon, I’m also very cynical and skeptical? But they brazenly want you to give them, a total stranger, your name, address, credit card number and any other personal information they can extract. Would you print cards with the same information and hand them to anyone who asked?

The solution is simple if you have caller ID—don’t answer if you don’t recognize the number. And I usually don’t, although there are times that my presbyopia causes me to answer when I don’t have my “cheaters” handy. But should I really have to be on the defense over these unwanted, uninvited, unwelcome, unsolicited solicitations?

I wish I had an answer. There are certainly bigger and worse problems in the world, but this is one of my pet peeves. The real issue is how inconsiderate these folks are—I may be a curmudgeon and avoid people, but I don’t invade their privacy. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to yell at some kids to get off my lawn!