50-Somethings talk about everything

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50-Somethings talk about everything

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Maio 5, 2009, 9:11 pm

We have been loading up the Intro thread so that it is getting a bit unwieldy. I thought this would be a good place to just chat about anything.

Maio 7, 2009, 3:07 pm

Folks were discussing amazon.com and places to buy books over in the Intro thread. Another place I found (through someone else's page, of course - seems like that's how I find the best things) is BookCloseouts.com.

Wondering if there is anyone else in the group that is a member of findagrave.com?

Maio 7, 2009, 3:21 pm

Who knew? Kinda goes along with one of my favorite sites: who's alive and who's dead?

I like abebooks alot, but I'll certain check out BookCloseouts.

Maio 7, 2009, 4:00 pm

>2 OsideNative:: Never heard of findagrave.com, but interesting if it is useful for genealogical research. That is another hobby in which I have a great interest but for which I don't have time. Have you used it for genealogy?

Maio 7, 2009, 4:32 pm

Yes, although I'm the one that listed my family members there. I do get emails from others thanking me for finding their relatives' burial locations. They've added more genealogical features in the last year to make it easier to link parents, children and spouses. I've been a contributor for over five years now.

Maio 7, 2009, 6:57 pm

It's similar to another site I used to belong to, but can't remember the name of it. I love graveyards. Weird, huh? But I can spend hours just looking at the graves, the names and the dates, and thinking about their lives and such. I've thought several times about getting into serious genealogy, but every time I start, I find out that one of my nieces or nephews or cousins has already done it. There's nothing left for me to investigate!

Maio 8, 2009, 6:21 am


I especially enjoy those little old forgotten grave yards that we find here and there around where I live. My kids have never forgotten when I took them and a huge bag of popcorn to a tiny grave yard on the river, so we could see fireworks being set off by a town downriver a bit. That one is on their list of weird things mom did, along with lunar eclipse nights... and lets picnic in the yard to see what the spirit in the house gets up to while we are out there nights...

Just a note, all of these activities involved popcorn.

Editado: Maio 8, 2009, 12:38 pm

I love old cemeteries. When I lived in the big city (Chicago), I used to go walking in the historic cemeteries like Graceland and Roseland; they were much safer than the parks for a young woman. I brought my camera when I was in art school and took lots of pictures of strange statuary, faux Greek temple mausoleums around reflecting pools, mausoleums shaped like pyramids and what have you. I never brought my camera to city parks--I was afraid of being mugged and losing my camera, which would have been devastating--but the worst thing that ever happened to me in a cemetery was been chased by a very large, very irate swan. Who knew swans were so mean!

BTW, popcorn is food of the Gods.

edited to remove html that didn't work

Maio 8, 2009, 12:56 pm

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Maio 8, 2009, 1:01 pm


Who could think that any activity involving popcorn was weird? If one has popcorn, all is right with the world!

I have wanted to go to Pere Lachaise every time I have gone to Paris (not that many times, but I still have wanted to go there!) and never have been able to get traveling companions to go with me. Next time I am going by myself.

I remember the first time I ever saw graves with photos of the deceased on them when I was in Moscow. It looked like it had been a beautiful cemetery that had been let go, but many of the photos were on a sort of ceramic surface and were intact.

Chicago does have some beautiful cemeteries, too, but never thought of walking through them--good idea!

Maio 8, 2009, 1:19 pm

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Maio 9, 2009, 12:02 am

#10--Lisa, I have a great book called Waiting for Gertrude by Bill Richardson about cats in Pere Lachaise cemetery who are reincarnations of the people who are buried there. I loved it!

One day when my boys were younger, they had a day off school, so I took off work and let each of them choose a place to visit. One chose the Science Center, one chose a MetroLink ride, and one chose to wander through Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, where a lot of famous St. Louisans are buried. We had a great time there, and the crowning glory for 3 young boys was a large family monument we saw on the way out: "BOOGHER."

sorry, you don't survive raising boys without this kind of humor...

Maio 9, 2009, 8:13 am

Sadly I have to agree with the humor bit... although, if I were burdened with that name, I fear change would have been imminent~



Might have to go with Wellington.

Maio 9, 2009, 8:34 am

>12 tloeffler:: Sounds like a fun book--I will have to look for it.

As to raising boys, I wish I was more computer literate so I could post something my brother sent to me in an e-mail entitled: Why boys need parents.

If you "google" that title, you will find variations of it. I was in tears laughing.

Editado: Maio 9, 2009, 1:03 pm

To OsideNative re: Find a Grave

I'm not a member but I have visited the site from time to time.

Maio 9, 2009, 1:03 pm


I have gotten myself buried under have to reads at the moment.. I do want to read all of them, but just not now.. not that it matters. They come first.

Maio 9, 2009, 8:55 pm

Today when one of my seven year old grandsons walked in the house I was on the couch reading. He went upstairs with his dad, and I heard him say "Dad, where's my book". There is hope!!

>17 mckait:: Kath, there is always a pile of "must reads". Today I found myself reading four different books and wanting to finish all of them. Needless to say, it might take a day or two.

Maio 9, 2009, 10:37 pm

Just imagine how awful the world would be if we ever actually did run out of things to read? Count your blessings, Kath!

Ditto the rofl on why boys need parents. Not that we ever have that much control over them once they've made their mind up to do mischief.

Maio 10, 2009, 7:51 am

True...running out would be the worst!

Maio 10, 2009, 10:23 am

>18 LisaCurcio:, 19

Complete control over children (especially teenagers) is an illusion. We can make some important influences though.

I write this as my 15 year "video-gamer" works very diligently (voluntarily) trying to perfect a piece by Chopin. The other a 13 year old plays a new video game but has the reading of Flowers for Algernon on his fun-things to do list for the day.

The example of parents can make a difference.

A Happy Mom's Day to all you Mom's out there!

Ago 24, 2009, 5:49 pm

"Why boys need parents"...my laughs for the day:)) Thanks #15 (mckait) for the link.

#21, #19...Somehow boys do grow up to become productive adults, although some do revert to childhood behaviors now & then:))

Ago 24, 2009, 6:00 pm

quite welcome.. :)

Editado: Ago 24, 2009, 6:19 pm

>22 Catgwinn: Grownup boys reverting to childhood behaviors? No of course not. ;-)

Ago 25, 2009, 5:36 pm

Watching some teenagers on the news trying to explain why they cannot part with their cell phones during the school day. We have raised a terrible mess of a generation, I fear..

Each classroom has a phone ( never used to ) and parents are free to call the school.. but they think they can't survive without those things for the few hours they are in school. They should never have been allowed to have them in school to begin with.

Ago 25, 2009, 6:17 pm

The teenagers nothing, the PARENTs had a cow when the school district said that students had to turn off their phones during class. There was a petition passed around a PTO meeting asking for the resignation of the superintendent if he continued to support the regulation. You should have heard the excuses the parents gave for having to be able to contact their kids at anytime. It was madding. I'm glad my kids are finally out

Ago 25, 2009, 6:42 pm

I'm a HS teacher - don't get me started! They are supposed to be off here but I got in trouble for taking a ringing phone from a student - yes I got in trouble from the office.... because it was her mother calling and she was sure it was bad news and she was upset...blah blah blah...never mind that the rule is "phones off in class". I was supposed to be "understanding" and not "make the situation worse".
The kids are running things these days...and their parents.
Four years in high school and my parents never called me once. Of course, that was before cells - how could they call? And they never had a good reason to, either. But now? Suddenly parents need to be in touch with their kids 5 or 6 times a day.
I am SICK of cellphones. And, no, I don't have one.

Ago 25, 2009, 6:49 pm

Glad I am in such good company :)

Having the parents acting like children is even worse. It's bad enough that people expect their kids to be magically educated at school without putting forth any effort at home. ( Don't get ME started on that one.. lol ... I taught my own kids to read, and they did their own homework.. etc)

Ago 25, 2009, 8:06 pm

We had the cell phone wars last year. I'm also a high school teacher. What the school (it's a small private school) finally came up with was when students come into the classroom they put their cell phone (turned off) on a tray and pick it up after class. If the students don't do this and one is taken during class it is gone for a period of time. This seems to isolate the cell phone from the classroom rather well.

Ago 25, 2009, 8:07 pm

I will let you know if it passes in our district... :)

Ago 26, 2009, 6:12 am

My daughter's high school allows cell phone use during breaks and lunch but permits teachers to take them away if they're on during class. Works for me.

Last year I remember a parent indignantly telling me that the Principal took away her son's cell phone because he had it on when he wasn't supposed to. I kept my mouth shut.

Ago 26, 2009, 6:23 am

The problem being, your daughter may follow the rules, but I am dead certain that there are others texting in each and every class...distracting and detrimental to their own education.

Like any rule, easily ignored, difficult to enforce. The school board is going to address the issue. I think its ridiculous. Too many kids driving to school while we still pay for the bus, cell phones in school are not necessary. One local district provides every single child with a laptop. !!!

Seriously.. why can't kids use a pencil these days. I know for a fact they still sell them. Progress is one thing. Too much dependence on these things are just not good.

Ago 26, 2009, 6:56 am

There's a cell phone/texting stance that I watch out for - kid has head down, hands in lap, and actually look like they're concentrating (dead giveaway for some of them) - they've got the cell phone out and are fiddling with it!
The kids aren't supposed to have their cell phones on, but on the other hand, we are not supposed to take them from them.
There's also another issue - kids taking pictures with them or video - and these appearing on Utube. The kids will deliberately provoke a teacher and then film them pitching a fit. This happened to a friend/colleague of mine, and it was a local scandal. Nothing happened, though, of course. They didn't change any rules.

Ago 26, 2009, 3:36 pm

I really think the cell-phones-in-school problem comes from parents. Schools just can't hold on to their rules without parental buy-in, and like so many of you have said above, the parents raised a fuss when the phone was removed. I can't think of a single reason why a student would need a cell-phone in class. If there's an emergency, call the school and ask them to get a message to the student. Less disruptive. Yes, I have a cell phone, but just because I have it doesn't mean I have to answer it. I have seen my nieces at a family picnic texting to each other when they're 3 feet apart. Insanity.

Ago 26, 2009, 4:43 pm

Our school district has implemented a policy that students can't have the phones on their person during school -- if they need one on premesis for after-school contact with parent, job, etc., they must leave it at the office or in their locker all day. Zero tolerance if you're caught with one during school hours.

I have mixed feelings on this. I know of at least one school violence incident where the initial call for help came from a student cell phone . . . just something to ponder in this era of terrorism, Columbine, etc. (It's almost enough to make you scared to send your kid to school.)

Ago 26, 2009, 5:59 pm

I've had kids fake texting so they can smile when you try to call them. I guess they feel good on trying to embarrass you and perhaps they hope you won't be as diligent in the future in enforcing the rules. Another ploy is to have a dummy (inoperative) phone on hand so they try to give you that phone when requested to give up their cell phone. They are very clever and very adaptation (its in their genes.)

The School cell phone business I think is a microcosm of a much larger (more dangerous) reality. For example people texting while driving trains and cars.

It's a Brave New World...

Ago 26, 2009, 5:59 pm

I've groused about cell phones here before... :-)

My student workers (college level) know perfectly well that they are not allowed to use their cell phones while at work (except for genuine emergencies) but I still catch them at it now and then. At least they've gotten better about turning down the ring, and answering with "I can't talk, I'm at work," which I feel is better than having the dang things keep ringing.

Columbine, etc... yes, it's a fine line. I'm in Denver, and remember well having the news about Columbine coming in while at work (college Financial Aid/Scholarship office); some of our student workers at the time had graduated from Columbine just the spring before. Our campus emergency system is set up to notify people of actual emergencies via cell phone, email, or office phone. None of the above are perfect.

But very little cell phone use is "emergency" based. I can't understand why I see so many people walking in the park in the evening with cell phones glued to their ears. Not looking around, not seeing the sunset, just nattering along. (Reminds me of Yoda chastizing Luke in 'The Empire Strikes Back' - "Never his mind on *where* he is! *What* he is doing!" )

I digress....

I actually do own a cell phone; I was given one for my birthday a couple of months back, but other than testing it haven't used it yet. It's for things like letting my ride know that the commuter train is experiencing difficulties, and I'll be a while.

Ago 26, 2009, 6:04 pm

Our school district requires students to leave cell phones in the office until the end of the day. It's not an issue on my campus (elementary), but a big headache at the jr & sr high. I've no idea if it's really being enforced.

My son graduated last year, and that district allowed cell phones, but they had to be turned off during class. I'm pretty sure it wasn't enforced. And because of widespread cheating, they must be turned off and turned into the teacher during the state exams. Teachers also are not allowed to have their cell phones in the room during the state tests.

Half the time I don't even know where my cell phone is...

Ago 26, 2009, 6:54 pm

The School cell phone business I think is a microcosm of a much larger (more dangerous) reality. For example people texting while driving trains and cars.
I agree

and tymfos.. I just don't buy it ... sometimes we just have to take a leap of faith... those occurrences are rare...

Ago 26, 2009, 7:25 pm

>2 OsideNative: I have purchased many books from bookcloseouts.com . For coupons for them (and many other places) go to http://www.retailmenot.com/
. There is almost always at least a $5 off $35 coupon available. Almost all of the books I have listed in my Oak Hill School library were purchased there. I can't afford retail. Ha.

Ago 26, 2009, 7:51 pm

hmm that sounded bi- - -y, tymfos.. didn't mean to.
so tired .. :(

Ago 26, 2009, 9:01 pm

>39 mckait: I think I agree with you mckait - must be structure society so that every possible awful thing that *might* happen is covered? Are we all to live in bubbles? This kind of thing ties with blaming somebody out there for whatever goes wrong... people grousing even when it's Mother Nature ... if we aren't warned about a weather "event" we can blame someone if our car slides off the icy road? When did we stop taking responsibility for ourselves?
I think there have been two fatalities from school shootings here in Canada (someone correct me if I'm wrong - I know there have been other homicides by other means) which may just reflect our stronger gun laws, but in any case, I don't see why the whole system needs to be geared to the miniscule chance that someone might get murdered in school. We need to have a sense of proportion about this.

Ago 27, 2009, 3:50 pm

#41 Kath, no offense taken. Most of the time, I view cell phones as aggravation . . . mostly . . .

Ago 27, 2009, 4:42 pm

me too ... mostly :)

Ago 27, 2009, 11:49 pm

I wouldn't dream of calling my son during his class time. At his HS, cell phones usage is allowed during passing time and off hours only. The first offense in the classroom, the teacher takes it away till the end of the day. The second time, the phone goes to the office and a parent picks it up. Works for me. My son knows it stays off during the day.

My bigger beef with cell phones is talking while driving. Really, what could be so important to yak on the phone while only half paying attention to the road?

Ago 28, 2009, 5:51 am

I just think that educators should have stopped this problem before it began.
No cell phones in school period. Anyone found with one should have been made to call a parent to let them know it was being confiscated due to use during school, and that they had to come and get it.

we are a nation gone mad with no boundaries set for our young people..
many of whom have been raised with a huge feeling of entitlement. BAH!

Ago 28, 2009, 5:53 am

coppers, I agree. My friend was nearly killed by a woman with 4 kids in a vehicle who was too busy texting to watch where she drove. Everyone in her car was injured. My friend is fine, but her car of course was totaled.

Ago 28, 2009, 6:39 am

This is now illegal - using a phone while driving - in the UK but you still see it happening quite a lot so I don't think it is seen as a serious offence by a number of people.

I'm also astonished by the rudeness of mobile phone users. In the supermarket you will often see a customer talking on her mobile (it is usually women) while her shopping is being processed, totally blanking the assistant. Although the assistant probably doesn't want to chat to the customer I'm sure he/she would like her existence to be acknowledged.

I work in a school, as a technician, and I refuse to talk to students (or teachers) who have their mp3 player headphones in.

Ago 28, 2009, 12:12 pm

I work in sales, and people constantly answer their phones and begin conversations right in the middle of my sales presentations or right in the middle of conversations with me. One in dozens will apologize before answering.

When I was called for jury duty a couple of years ago, the door of the courtroom had a big "no cellphones" sign. You would not believe how people complained. "What if there's an emergency?" What constitutes an emergency? If the kid misses his/her bus, s/he can wait till you're out of court to get picked up. Must all life accommodate the fear that once-in-a-lifetime emergencies will occur during that hour or two of no cell phone contact?

Ago 28, 2009, 12:33 pm

Cell phone and driving will be an offense here in Ontario in a couple of months. Wonder if they will enforce it here...
I do believe cell phones are adding to the growing rudeness - when they first came on the scene people would excuse themselves and go to a quiet spot. Now it's blah, blah, blah, right out in the open. I have been tempted to say something about the conversation when they hang up, but I was brought up to be polite.
I agree - what is so all important that you need to have them on you at all times? I think people consider consulting their spouse from the grocery store about whether to buy a frozen pizza an emergency.

Ago 28, 2009, 2:08 pm

Using cell phones that are not hands-free while driving is already illegal here (California) since January, and texting while driving illegal since July (and why it wasn't included in the law in January I DON'T understand ...)

Ago 28, 2009, 2:33 pm

The comments are fascinating.

The Cell-Phone is certainly furthering our "very risk adverse society." Some people fear anything going wrong with someone they are not connected to via cell phone. This is particularity true with parents and children I think. I'm not sure why this is, perhaps having news broadcasts 24/7 has made us a bit narcotic.

I also think people don't plan anymore (aka. consulting at the grocery store with your cell phone). Working issues on the fly (via cell) is becoming the norm. Maybe people feel they don't have enough time. Time manageress is much more complex then when we grew up.

I'm optimist, but I don't think this is going to change. It's a very interesting (with much concern) future we live in.

Ago 28, 2009, 2:59 pm

I'll admit to using the cell in a store occasionally -- my son has dietary restrictions (gluten & dairy), and I sometimes call a product's toll-free number before buying if an ingredient is ambiguous. ("Natural flavor" may or may not be gluten free.) I honestly don't see the harm in calling home to check if a product is needed/wanted, either. To whom, exactly, are you being rude? The stranger nearby mulling the peas and carrots? Why should they give a fig, so long as I'm not loud? But I'd NEVER do it while being waited on in line.

My son has special needs, and I do try to remain reachable when he's not with me as emergencies are fairly common with him; and if he were to be stuck on his own somewhere --anywhere -- it would be downright dangerous for him.

As for school, I think the policy of having to leave the phone at the office during school hours should be sufficient control. Some families do need to "check in" after school as to plans. Life is, indeed, much more complex than it used to be, IMHO. :)

Ago 28, 2009, 3:58 pm

The cell phone that my grandaughter takes to school is a basic telephone only. Her IPod with texting, etc. is left at home for use during non-school hours (her parent's rules). Not sure what her school's rules are.

Ago 28, 2009, 5:05 pm

There is nothing wrong with using a phine in the store, as long as it isn't at the check out... We are all there alone, and not interacting.... not the same

Ago 28, 2009, 6:07 pm

It's not just young people...my husband is the absolute worst about talking while driving, and having gotten a phone when they first came out (when they weighed about 3 lbs! lol) is totally addicted to the &*)(## thing. We've had many "discussions" about it. I almost never drive and talk...He of course thinks he is perfectly capable multi-tasking in this way (he's not; I say Hail Marys a lot under my breath when we are on the road, and I'm not even Catholic!) I also do not feel the need to answer the phone every time it rings...if I don't feel like talking to someone, I don't. Especially if I am socializing w/ actual real people; :)

I was at a funeral a few years ago, and not one but two phones went off. The pastor had to stop the eulogy to tell people to turn them off out of respect to the departed.

We eat dinner every week w/ another couple and the one of the women (over 60 yrs old) constantly has her cell w/all the fancy apps...checking basketball scores, pulling up the latest pics of her grandson, checking Facebook,etc. We counted one night...she had it out 8 times, either taking a call or making one. I think it's rude when there are people right there w/ you.

The post office here has a sign that they will not serve you if you are on your phone. I think every retail place ought to do so.

And there really is no reason for kids to be able to take calls during class time. I promise, if your kid is where he/she is supposed to be in the building, someone can find them if there is a true emergency.

I won't say I never use mine in public, but I rarely do.

Ago 28, 2009, 6:58 pm

>47 mckait: mckait, A sad story but one that is, unfortunately, probably all too common. Glad to hear that your friend is OK.

A year or two ago, not far from where I live, a bicyclist was killed by a teen who was texting while driving. And still there is much argument over laws to restrict texting while driving! Fortunately, at least teens are now resticted from this very risky behavior.

Cell phones in stores, while being assisted or checking out, is just the high of rudeness. Unfortunately good manners can't be legislated. Don't get me started on how LOUD some people feel they need to talk on a cell!

Ago 28, 2009, 7:55 pm

amen on all points coppers.