Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Things You Should Know

Friday, April 8th, 2016

Anyone that knows me, knows that I reluctant to discuss politics or publically take stands on issues. That being said, I do try to get the word out for things that may be helpful to other people.  By passing on an event or announcement does not mean that I am supporting or not supporting something necessarily.

Recently I Joined AARP

I have many friends and family members that are not AARP Members and they all have their reasons.  My reason to join is because for this blog and for other information that affect the Senior population, I use their information on their website and blog.  Even tho it is available for free, I felt that I should join the organization if I was using them as a “Go To” for information- yes it was the GUILT factor.

I am a Daughter, Companion, Friend

Photo Credit "Image courtesy of  "Time" by Salvatore Vuono  / FreeDigitalPhotos.netI have lots of friends and a Mom that is in “that demographic.”  I get asked lots of questions.  And I try and be patient.  As I revitalized this blog I felt compelled to share the information that I was passing out to these folks in my life.  I hope you find it useful.  I also have been blessed with a personality that loves people and I network every chance I get.  Helping people meet one another is great.  “Connection” is everything.

Technology

This blog is about technology and all the frustrations that come with it comes some great benefits.  Maybe I can sift through some of these things to help you navigate it.  I also will post on the Facebook Page events that I know about that may be helpful.  Some of them may involve technology, but not all. Some things just events that I may hear about – (AARP Membership not required.)

It’s About You

As I celebrated my 54th birthday last month and my Mom celebrates her _____(she will kill me if I tell you) in July, we are navigating these days together.  I am sure we aren’t the only ones!  This blog is free to use and I don’t make money writing it.  It is just a way that I can give back to the people in my life that have helped me and believed in me along the way.  Please join us – share it with your friends – if you have any questions go on over to the Facebook page, leave a comment here or send me an email.  Would love to help.

Another App! Brought to You by a Social Media Class & Moms Everywhere

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Lists

We all make ’em.  AND if you are like me, you forget them too!!  The last list I “forgot” actually dropped out of my pocket and it blew away, too fast for me to catch it.  I may as well have left it home, except I didn’t have the pleasure of going back to the list on the counter and realize that I forgot the most important thing that was on it.

Social Media Class

We have a Social Media Marketing Class and sometimes we talk about Apps.  What are your favorites?  Like my last post, many are free and all are worth sharing.  There seems to be an App for everyone!  One student, we will call her  “Jane” (very creative, right?), said ” My favorite App is “OUT OF MILK”    I never forget my  Shopping List because I have it with me!”  as she waved her phone in the air.

Free vs. Paid

I must say I go for the FREE versions first and then if I use it and love it, I am very willing to pay for it.  Most often, these Apps that you pay for are a “Souped-Up” version of the free one.  I don’t mind paying for something that I use and it is just what I want.  In fact, I want to pay, if this is the case. Somebody spent a lot of time building this thing! I don’t want to pay for an App that doesn’t work right or isn’t what I thought it would be.

Never be caught short

The BEST thing is,  most of us carry our phone or know where it is 99% of the time.  (And that 1% of the time can be ugly!) If this ‘List App’ (Out Of Milk – Shopping List, Pantry App),  is with you all the time; when you think of something to add you can- right then. When you are waiting at the T-Ball game, pull out your phone, add what you need to the list. Then when you got to the store, you can access it and buy what you need.You can even check it off the list! You also can add  stuff you need “To Do” or better yet, your kids “To Do” List and all of these can be shared.

Too Good To Be True?

Nope it isn’t too good to be true. It is a great App and “Jane,” thanks for the idea.

I think I am in love…with the App that is.  Now, if I can only get the man in my life to dump that flip phone and get a smart phone!  Oh well nothing is perfect.

 

 

What I did on my Winter Vacation

Monday, March 18th, 2013

I took a vacation.  Sort of.  Years ago I never understood the need for a 2 week vacation.  Since we started Sephone more than 11 years ago, vacations are difficult to achieve as the  “completely unplugged” kind. I think you need the first week to decompress then the second week to really enjoy yourself.  My vacation was one week as I said, “Sort of.”

Being a small business owner is a rush.  NO DOUBT about it.  Being part of a small business is too.  You feel like what you do is important and a vital part of  its’ success, because what you do IS vital.  Maine is loaded with small businesses as “Yankees,” (not to be confused with the baseball team), we like to do things our own way and we would rather buckle down and get the job done, treat people like we know they deserve to be treated and be part of their success.

What is my point?

My winter vacation is  normally in the Western Mountains of Maine – aka Sugarloaf Mountain, where I have been rooted since 1967. As I was out and about skiing, shopping and cooking, I connected with a lot of folks that know me.  So, of course I had questions from them and there was a small voice saying, “Hey it’s my vacation…”  But that is squashed down by the realization and privilege it is for people to feel comfortable in asking me questions. They trust me.  It is a great feeling when you think of it.  An honor, truly.

The next couple posts on this blog will be those that folks asked me about while on the chairlift, eating cheeseburger soup or drinking tea at my girlfriend’s kitchen table. Yeah I know, I took notes – on my cell phone actually so I wouldn’t forget. See what I mean about trying to be “unplugged?”  If there is something you would like to know, don’t hesitate to email me.

It also gives me great content for this blog, because if you want to know, chances are many others out there maybe looking for the same answer.  There are countless blogs addressing the various social media and online marketing riddles but finding them is tough and cutting through the “geek speak”  is even more challenging.

How can I help?

If You Are a Meathead in Person…You Can Still Be a Meathead on Facebook

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

“ARCHIE !”

Sorry for the Archie Bunker reference but it is better than some of the other alternatives.  Gets the point across without being obscene or throwing around a bunch of poor language choices (obscenities).

My points are these:

  • Not everybody wants all their “FRIENDS” on Facebook to know their life is sucking wind at any particular moment.
  • Many people are constantly driving their own agenda home, their political views, their own “deal” – please donate to my _____.
  • And more people don’t take the time to check in on their “Friends”on Facebook.  They use Facebook as a sounding board or a “stalking platform.”  I don’t mean this in the criminal sense but they are so full of finding out what YOU are doing, they don’t ever stop by and say “Hi.”   Or when you are in a group of people they tell you, “I don’t need to call you, I just look at your Facebook page and I know what’s up.

Well REALLY DO YOU?

Everyone has their own rules on Facebook and most of us are just writing them as we go along. Learning from others and learning what others do that works for us (and doesn’t.)
Many people have “Friends” on Facebook that they have never met in person and certainly may never want to.  But hey they are a friend of a friend and you accepted them – how did you know that friend (maybe a real one) doesn’t know them either?
Also have you ever been “guilted” into adding a “friend” or two – even though you thought they were flaming ******** (you can fill it in yourself) you felt obligated at the time to add them and you did.
As you gather friends on Facebook and if you get into the 350+ range, it becomes very hard to keep track of who you ACTUALLY know and who you don’t. If your Nana or Mom are your “Friends” you may not want to tell them on Facebook that you feel like your life is ending, work is eating you alive, etc. even though you may feel it at that particular moment.
With the Facebook algorithm if you have a lot of “Friends” you may not see everyone’s posts in your News Feed. So folks that post personal stuff as a look for support you may miss it.  Thus another potential Meathead moment.  And you may not be one at all.
In the end, I love the opportunity to read people’s posts and learn about them and their lives.  I almost always try to connect with them in some way so they know I am looking.  Facebook is definitely the “Look at me! Look at me!” Social Network.  But try swimming upstream once in a while and showing your real self.  Toot someone else’s horn instead of yours all the time.
Encourage those that need it, coach those that want it. Praise in their accomplishment.
But it takes time to manage those relationships just like in real life.  Oh…Facebook ISN’T real life?

 

Communication: Mutiny

Monday, January 21st, 2013

It is understandable that animals “pack up” and under the right (or wrong circumstances) turn into cannibals.  It is a bit amusing to me that I went to my favorite bird seed metal trash can only to find this:

A couple of  mice camped out in the bottom of what I thought was a sealed can, munching on sunflower seeds and oh yeah, what was left of their buddy.  Perhaps there were more of them, I do not know.  Just found 2 and bits and pieces of another guy.

Sure it is gross to think about.  But hey, it happens.  “Survival of the fittest,”  right?  There are two ways out just like there is in life.  A person either becomes the bait or is eating the bait.

How many of you have read “Who Moved My Cheese?”  Again, it is involving mice.  But it takes the behavior of 4 mice and it is up to you to equate it to how people you know behave.  How we act under certain circumstances.  But in the Who Moved My Cheese?  situation; it takes 4 types of personalities and breaks them down into very simple terms.  It is a quick read and I often read it annually just well, “BECAUSE.”

1) Because there are new people in my life either professionally or personally and Who Moved My Cheese helps me understand them and how they think.

2) Because it REMINDs me how I think and how I approach things. (Often very different approaches)

Communication and lack of it starts wars, ends wars, destroys friendships and businesses.  With everyone using Facebook to throw out what they are doing or thinking and equally a number of people NOT engaging in conversations on or off line, because they think automatically everyone knows what they are doing.

They don’t know.  Many people lurk on Facebook just to see what you are doing whether they care or not.  They never bother to engage in conversation.  They may be “takers” in general. Here is a post I did earlier that may further explain this line of thinking.

It is also possible that sometimes the person that makes the post has their own agenda for posting.  We all know these people and often times any one of us may be that person.

Don’t forget the power of physical contact or a phone call.  Body language and voice inflection go a long way in keeping your relationships solid with people’s communication styles and habits often being different than yours, this is more important than ever.

I got a Kindle for Christmas, who didn’t?

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

As of last summer many estimates said that there were about 8 million Kindles sold.  Since Christmas 2010, it seems like everybody I talk to got one.  On twitter people were buzzing – so even people I don’t know seems to have gotten one.

Unfortunately, because I read so much for work purposes and because I did so much proof reading from past bosses with horrible spelling and language skills, reading anything more than a magazine wasn’t something I found particularly enjoyable.

But I opened it up on Christmas morning and there is was a Kindle.  I was raised that you are grateful for all gifts and show appreciation, even when in this case I thought, “What was he thinking?  This isn’t an iPAD?”  But my outside voice said, “Oh how nice, thank you!  I bet I can get some books from my social media class on this.”

Later on in the day I tried it out and wow what a great viewing experience it was for my 40-something eyes.  I even downloaded a couple of books that I paid for and by day’s end I was reading Elizabeth Edward’s “Resilience.”  I sailed through it.  And next I cannot wait to try the notes and highlighting feature.

Then of course, I needed a cover for my “new pet.”  Well in an email from a Executive Director of a board I serve on,  told me about a cover with a light in it.  Well, I must say if there has been a disappointment to this Kindle, it was the fact that it has no back light on the screen, so if you want to read in bed or would like to read in the car, a light is necessary.  I wasn’t too excited about something elseI had to charge, something else to remember (or forget in my case!)

Though I am usually very happy with things I buy from Amazon, I wanted to see this case that I was told about with the light – I wanted to feel it before I coughed up $59 for something only to decide later I wouldn’t like it.  I ventured off to Staples which their Kindle display looked like a bomb had gone of in it – it was practically empty of accessories and the Kindles were all gone too. The clerk pointed to the empty rack and said, “Well that is where it lives, but I don’t even have a sample to show you, but they are pretty slick. But there is a truck coming up tonight and we will have some tomorrow.”    cover_lighted_fam_1

Sadly, I left and had second thoughts, “Maybe I should just go on line and order it and take the chance?”  But I realized I wouldn’t get it any faster and I wouldn’t be able to touch it like I had wanted to prior to purchase.

I went back the next day and lo and behold they had what they had promised they had.  I snatched one up and began telling all my friends that had one to get one of these little gems.  I couldn’t get one that was any other color than black (sounds like Henry Ford), but it is just fine no matter what color it is.

The light also doesn’t seem to drain the Kindle as much as I thought it would and having right there, I use the light often, because with these 40-something eyes sometimes it just makes things easier.

Even if you do have a Kindle with a cover all ready,  I would recommend making the investment.  You won’t be sorry!

Photo credit:  Amazon (originally), but I picked it off Cnet.

Too Dangerous…

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

My niece just got a cell phone.  She is 10 years old.  I have no children, so I am not qualified to comment on whether this is a good idea or not.  When she was a “wee one” of about 3, I would call my brother and he would ask her if she wanted to talk to “Aunt Kelly” she would say, “Too Dangerous.” We thought that was funny.  We thought that she had a sense of humor. Even my brother and sister-in-law thought it was funny.

Well little did I know that because she lived so far away, she didn’t remember me, so I was a STRANGER in her world.  So the whole “STRANGER DANGER” thing took on a whole new meaning. We see them and talk to them often, so I am no longer a stranger to her and we spend summer vacation time together.

For the past few years, she would confiscate her mom or dad’s cell phone and shoot me off a photo or a text message and I would be thinking, “What are they talking about?”  Then I would find out it was my niece and not them.  She is quite versed in using a cell phone – she can text better than they can!

Last Saturday, I got a text message from an unknown number, but from the area code that my brother lives in.  My first text, “Hi Auntie Kelly.”  It is my niece (obviously) she has gotten her first cell phone. Within the next 2 days I must have gotten 10 text messages from her.  Then I thought “Whoops I hope my brother’s package includes unlimited texting.”  (Here’s something that will freak you out – an $18,000/month cell phone bill!)

When you get a cell phone for your kids, it is meant to be a “tool” so you can stay connected, for them it is often considered a “toy.”  Last week,  I posted on our Sephone Blog this article about Facebook Places in relation to “Privacy Settings” .  Then when I started this post, I found this one from safekids.org (which is really a great site for all kinds of things.) In particular, this is about your kids telling too much information or their friends telling too much information on where they are, whom they are with, and at what time.  That may be helpful to you as a parent, but it is also helpful to bullies or predators.  Unfortunately, that is the world we are living in.

Our cell phone people (Central Maine Wireless) are the best.  They actually take the time and really help us make the phones work for what we need them for and everybody is different.  So take the time and make sure you don’t get some whopping bill because your kids usage of the phone may not be the same as yours or maybe things you cannot even imagine are happening BECAUSE of that cell phone. Here is a link that Paul shared with me about features you can apply to the phones you can buy for your kids.

Here is an old post (but a great one) to review when you buy that cell phone or even to use as a learning tool for those that have one all ready.  And have a safe and happy Fall 2010!

The Internet CAN be your best friend

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

For those of you that read this blog regularly, you may know that I have had various friends sick or pass away within the past year. THAT isn’t what this is all about, it is just an introduction to get us all on the same page.

For anybody that has a serious illness or has a friend or far away person that needs support for their loved one, there is this gem of a website and it is FREE to use.

(In their own words), Caring Bridge“personalized websites that support and connect loved ones during critical illness, treatment and recovery.”

The advocate or patient can make entries about the daily trials and successes of long term illness or conditions.

For the person that is in treatment or in the hospital, everybody that is invited can sign on to Caring Bridge with their email address, and gets notified when updates are made to the blog.

For the caregiver (or advocate), the condition and circumstances are described one time as well as a Journal that helps them vent and tell friends and family just where they are at.The caregiver can privately pause to cry, or save to look at later, but Caring Bridge allows the creator of the blog to control the flow of information.  That is one great thing about the computer.  It is just between you and it.

There is a really nice area “My Story” that tells the “How we got here” for those late comers that need to be brought up to speed.  And the blog entries are kept chronologically and time stamped so the family member of friend can keep track of the events.

Let’s face it, even though we all want to help, sometimes those 20 phone calls after a long day just drains everybody that is truly living the drama. Caring Bridge can be accessed from anywhere there is an internet connection.  Hospital, while waiting for a test or home with your feet up on the couch.

As I said in the beginning Caring Bridge is free to use, which is so great for the people with these insane hospital bills.  But as anyone that owns a business knows it isn’t free to run and to keep running.  There is a place to donate and even though the minimum donation choice on the secure form is $70, they certainly will take less, every bit helps and it is a very special service for all of us to know about.  Here’s how to donate if you are so inclined.

I have used the link for my college roommates husband that has had brain surgery nearly 2 months ago and is still in the throws of it all.  But if you are ever invited to join the Caring Bridge “family.” Please think a moment and give what you can.

The impersonal, personal side of our digital times

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

As I typed into my calendar on my laptop this morning the schedule of events I needed to attend in relationship to a recent death of a friend, it seemed weird to type the words “Funeral -(my friends name)” and actually put a “from this time – to that time” and schedule it.

In fact in the past few months, I have had several friends and relatives of friends die and I am feeling as if I may be bad luck or something. I guess it comes with the territory when you have lots of people in your life and you are a “people” person as I admittedly am.

But it brings me back to the biggest fear I have with all this technology around us.

Are we swapping out the greeting card or phone call of support to friends for the Facebook wall view of people you would normally TALK to and CONNECT with?

There is no doubt that Facebook, text messages, etc. have their places in our lives.  They are convenient ways to check in with each other in our all too busy, hustle, bustle world we are in. When I posted my blue mood on my Wall this past Sunday, there was a flurry of people encouraging me and even one surprise guest in my chat box sharing with me a Tao website that I never knew about.  I had no idea how many people checked out my Facebook page and certainly no idea how much those words would mean to me – instantly.

Then it reminded me also, how much I treasure that special note that comes to me in my mailbox (you know the one on your street?), the flowers picked for me out of my friend Marion’s garden that she brought to my office.  The last note I got was from my friend Katy.  I was so touched but her taking the time to buy a card and write me a personal note.

Isn’t that what it is all about anyway?  TIMEConnecting?

We all know time is so precious and the 24 hour day is non-negotiable, but it is “time” that you can share with someone that is truly precious. You are saying, “You matter to me. I care about you.”

So the next time you poke around on Facebook, leave a note behind, just because you see my Wall Post, doesn’t mean I know that you cared enough to think of me and type in my name to see what I have been up to.

Be spontaneous. When you see a friend’s car in the parking lot somewhere – take out a piece of paper (or grab that empty McDonald’s bag in your own car) and write a note and put it under the windshield wiper. Or pick up the phone – WHEN you think of it and even if they arent there, leave a message telling them you were thinking of them. Leave some “footprints” of yourself behind and I promise it will make you feel as warm and as special as it does them!

I promise my next post will be less philosophical and more “brilliant” (ha ha!) and more to the objective of this blog, to be helpful in choosing technology that works for you in your life.  But sometimes technology is just that.  We are humans and we all need hugs, all the gadgets in the world will ever change that!

Take that Technorati!

Monday, June 29th, 2009

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