Monday, July 30, 2012




Techno-relationship [tek-noh]-[ri-ley-shuhn-ship] the interaction of social groups providing themselves with electronic connection between each other.

Techno-friend [tek-noh]-[frend] the term which social groups use to identify members of the same social network.


My two grown sons are blessed with many, many friends they’ve kept throughout their lifetimes. A good deal of them, now in their mid 20's and 30's, still keep in touch with each other through various means.

I can’t help but wonder if myspace, facebook, twitter, and/or cell phones were around as I grew up, would I still be in touch with my old friends? My friend Sue and I have been friends for so long, we can’t remember when we first met. But, this life long, interpersonal relationship is unique in my current circle of friends.

An old friend of my son’s and I had a long, face-to-face talk on the subject. We came up with a few new terms. The two terms I coined are techno-relationship and techno-friend (see definitions above).

For instance, if you knew Joe Blow and now are strictly social network friends, you would be in a techno-relationship, and he would be your techno-friend. One might check the others social network status, without putting in the extra effort to make a phone call. The drawback would be you were left unaware Mr. Blow was thinking of you. A benefit would be, should you ever need to contact your techno-friend again, you’ll probably read about his status change to ‘divorced’, and not suffer the awkward, painful method of discovery by asking “So Joe, how’s Mrs. Blow?”

These terms would also apply to techno-friends on public forums and blogs.

I am not forgetting the term cyber-friend. Unfortunately, ‘cyber’, in reference to a relationship, suffers negative connotations. An example to my point would be the terms cyber-stalker, cyber-bully, and cyber-sex. Those negative labels brought my son’s friend to suggest ‘eolivebranch’. For instance, if you hurt a techno-friend in some way, rather than ‘de-friend’ due to the embarrassment of the situation, you might reach out with a cyber-apology and offer an eolivebranch.

As for me, I miss Sue. I think I’ll give her a call and catch up with my techno-friends later.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012



My life rocks. No, that’s not the surprise.

Once upon a time, my life sucked. I can attest to this for any number of reasons, most of which were my own doing. Anyway, as with most folks at some point, my life sucked.


The good Lord saw fit to allow me enough time on this earth to grow up. Seriously, I should have kicked it long ago. Many others whose lives suffered similarly are gone. But, here I am, and I gotta say again, my life rocks!

Part of the reason for how great my life is would be the blessing of my two sons. This cannot be overstated. They share a close relationship, are supportive of one another, have wonderful marriages, love their mama, and put family first.

My oldest son accompanied his beautiful, army-solider wife when deployed to Hawaii. Good for them, but their leaving broke my heart. The rest of the family lives here in Florida, so the move put us apart by almost half the world. I am so heartbrokenly happy for them.

My youngest son and his gorgeous wife, who is a nurse, live about twenty minutes away. They were married last year, and they are already buying their own home this year! Icing on the proverbial cake? They plan on starting a family soon.

I could not be more proud of my boys.  Again, my life rocks!

On a recent Saturday, I had to go to the store. My husband offers if I wait and go tonight, he would go with me in order to avoid the crowd. Shrugging, and somewhat surprised he would volunteer such a thing, I settle back in front of my laptop and keep writing.

Soon a knock comes to the door, and as I approach I call “Who is it?’

My youngest calls back, “It’s me.”

I open the door and I ask, “Why didn’t you use your key?”

“Cuz I brought a friend.”

He was standing on the porch alone. I glanced past him to his car in the driveway. No one sat in it, so I looked at him questioningly. Then, from around the corner, out pops his brother from Hawaii! I couldn’t breathe. I stood frozen, with my hand still on the door and my eyes bulging. I’m still processing the fact that my two sons are standing on my front porch together as I’m told my entire family worked to get him home for a week as a surprise for me!

Surprise! My life rocks.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunset on the East Coast

How do you describe nightfall on the beach? The fading lights, the surf, the shifting tides all lend themselves to beauty. But then again, I’m a beach bum. Here’s a quick take on one recent night’s view.

At sunset, my husband and I stood on a beach of the Atlantic, a wall of towering sea grapes and sea oats behind us. As the sun slid lower, the shadows grew higher on each wave as it neared the shore. Soon, only the crest of the wave saw the sun, and when the crest fell, it fell into shadow. When night claimed the waves, the moon and stars were reflected in the surface of the now soft swells.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Does anyone else miss their home phones?

Does anyone else miss their home phones?

I gave in and gave up my home phone a while ago. It was costing me sixty dollars a month, give or take, to do nothing but sit there on its little oasis of an end table. Nothing but the wireless phone, fully charged, with its built-in answering machine occupied the space. I have a cell phone, which everyone else uses to call me. That is everyone but my mom.

My mother’s phone was programmed with my landline number, and she refused to change it. If I didn’t answer my home phone, she would leave her usual message, and the silly little green light would flash interminably announcing her call. When I asked why she didn’t call my cell, she explained, with exaggerated patience, that she didn’t want me “charged extra by the cell phone company”. I tried to explain it, but she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) understand.

Recently, I stopped using my landline altogether, opting instead for my cell with all of the built-in conveniences. I’ll admit, I don’t know how I lived without it. But, there sat my home phone, mocking me with it’s unlit indicator. Taking up valuable real estate on my end table. So, after considerable deliberations, I gave up my home phone.

Today I had left home before sunup, and was gone for the entire day. In the rush of getting everything done that had to be done, I found I had lost total track of time. Apparently, even more than I realized, because when I finally got home I dropped my bags and walked straight to the spot where the phone/answering machine once rested. Instead of the little burst of joy I might have received at a blinking light telling me mom called, there sat an empty end table, in need of dusting.

I’d give up every piece of technology to go back to the day when that stupid little green light blinked. To press a button and hear my mom say, “Hey baby girl, it’s just me. Nothing important. Call me when you can.”

But, since my mom passed, no one called that number.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Death, Taxes, and Health Insurance

Die, Pay Taxes, and Get Health Insurance

My mother taught me there are only two things you have to do. Die and pay taxes. I guess now there are three. Die, pay taxes, and get health insurance.

I am Without Party Affiliation. I don’t go to either party. But I do pay attention to what our government is doing. And what they’re doing these days is downright disturbing. I refer, of course, to the newest mandate, uh, sorry, tax, that is being assessed.

According to a USA Today article ( this morning...

“...White House chief of staff Jack Lew said the mandate would affect only 1% of Americans, the people who can afford to buy health insurance but don't...”

Here’s the thing...I have a friend who is a hairdresser. Lovely woman, would give the shirt off of her back for anyone in need, although, she is usually the one most in need. She has three jobs (cleaning houses for the elderly are her other two jobs) and barely makes it above the poverty level. But, she is above the poverty level, according to the US government standards.

She does not have health insurance. She can not afford both health insurance and her nominal daily living. But, according to the US government, she is a one-percenter.

Recently, she was hospitalized with pneumonia. Admitted for six days, she is only just now receiving her medical bills. So far, she’s into it for $12,000.00. She hasn’t gotten the doctors bills yet. While there, they reviewed her financial status to discern if she qualified for any of the myriad of support services out there.

She didn’t. She’s a one-percenter. She’ll be paying that $695.00 ‘tax’ and still be into it for 12K plus.

Ron Pollack, director of Families USA said...The $695 fee is less than what most people pay now because of the uninsured. Health providers don't turn away people who need but can't pay for it. Providers must then swallow the cost of paying for that care, and those costs are passed to other consumers.

Ack! Wait! What? Can you repeat that for me? I must have blinked. Does that mean my friend doesn’t owe the 12K?

“...The $695 fee is less than what most people pay now because of the uninsured...Providers must then swallow the cost of paying for that care, and those costs are passed to other consumers...”

Bwahahahaha! Oh, stop! You’re killing me! (gasp) Bwahahahaha!

OK. No, I’m alright. Woo! That was funny. Wait’ll I tell my friend.
Ooo! Mr. Pollack! Over here! I have a question! Does this mean, that with the passage of the mandate, we WON’T be paying additional fees anymore? Will our premiums (those costs that are passed on to ‘other consumers’) be going down?

Oh. Not according to this lady...

“...Alissa Fox, senior vice president for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association of health insurers, said a Joint Committee on Taxation study said premiums for families would increase $350 to $400 a year because of a health insurers' tax...”

So much for that. Insurance will now be even further from my friend's reach. She receives the bills from the hospital in the mail. She pays however much she can ($5 to $25 a month). But the bill/debt is still hers. As long as she has an address to send them to, she still has to pay. So, if she lives in a tent, (read: homeless) with no mailing address, will she qualify for this 'assistance' then?

And on a final note for this eye-opening article...

“...average premiums for a 27-year-old are much lower now than they are for a 64-year-old. The law removes age discriminatory language, so everyone will pay more comparable rates...”

Now class, here’s the question; Do you think the 64-year-old will pay less, or, (keeping in mind the track record that the government and insurance industry has set) do you think the 27-year-old will pay more? What? You believe the 27-year-old will be charged the same as the 64-year-old is now?

You are a smart class.

And now, on a more somber note; another article in USA Today ( reads...

“...Jan Crawford of CBS News, citing "two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations," reports that Roberts indeed switched his vote after siding with four other conservative justices who supported striking down the law.

Roberts then withstood a month-long, desperate campaign to bring him back to his original position, the sources said," reports Crawford....”

Which leaves me with only one question. That would be for Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.

Whose check was it that cleared a month ago? I mean, if someone can afford a Supreme Court Judge, they should be allowed to advertise the fact.