Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's Almost November

I have posted some of the funnier scams that arrive in my email boxes but now it's time to pay attention to the onslaught of information and potential for scams that will come to your phone or house.

If you are a Medicare recipient - you can switch plans starting in November. My local paper is already carrying large ads for insurers who want you to chose them...

There is nothing wrong with switching plans - IF - and it's a big IF -

IF - it's really your well considered option!

I'll post more on this over the next few days - but for now - just be careful.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Art and artists

This is the weekend of my art group's show....I'll be back to more regular blogging next week.

Getting ready is a bit stressful - but it's a good kind of stress - the kind that can motivate and get you revved up!
This is one of those kinds of stress I do not wish to eliminate - or I won't get everything done : -)

If you are in the Portland Oregon area this Sunday - here is our Press Release

ORA: Northwest Jewish Artists

Portland, Oregon- October 28th, 9am-3pm
Neveh Shalom
2900 SW Peaceful Lane
Portland Oregon

The magic begins as you enter our Main Exhibit Hall. Live music by well known recording artists and performers will greet your ears, and a coffee house featuring fresh treats will tantalize your palate as you listen to the musical stylings of Stephanie Schneiderman (of Dirty Martini fame), George Fendel, jazz pianist, and Justin Jude, recently named "Oregon's Best Singer/Songwriter 2007!"

Stroll from exhibit to exhibit to experience a unique show that blends the best elements of a gallery opening with an artist colony tour -- with a coffee house of a forgotten age tossed in. Celebrating their second year as a collective, ORA artists invite the public to
discover their new work. Although the artists are Jewish, Judaic and secular works are available for purchase.

Members of ORA are: Rosana Berdichevsky , collage and multi-media; Lynn Dorman, photography; Leslie Elder water colors, Robin Esterkin, water color, acrylic and mixed media; Laurie Fendel, fabric construction; Diane Fredgant, silk painting; Sara Harwin, fabric construction, acrylic painting and serigraph prints; Julie Hockley, hand-cast precious metal jewelry & ritual objects; Esther Liberman, handmade bead work; Sharon Segal, acrylic and mixed media paintings and cards; Eddy Shuldman, fused glass; and Sabina Wohlfeiler, water color paintings.

You don't need to be Jewish to come look, schmooze with the artists, nosh a little, and buy art that speaks to you., Best of all, admission is free!

For more information please visit our website: www.northwestjewishartists.org

Monday, October 22, 2007


I have been a sports-nut since I was a kid.

Grew up with a father who was Yankee fan as he had grown up near the Stadium in the Bronx. My friends rooted for the Brooklyn Dodgers as their parents were from Brooklyn. In retrospect I don’t recall anyone rooting for the NY Giants –also a Bronx team.

So I was Yankee fan – especially in the Dodgers-Yankees World Series days. The radio was on for all games that were available. [It was the old AM only days you know.]

By the time I got to college, I was tired of the Yankees winning all the time and so I stopped paying attention to baseball.

I was a Boston Celtics fan as long as I can remember. Bob Cousey had lived in my neighborhood and gone to my high school - so that’s the team we heard about.

After I moved to Boston, I still did not pay attention to baseball but instead got hooked on football. [Hard to imagine but I have seen every Super Bowl!]

In the late 60’s I got back to baseball and became the Red Sox fan I am today and - ditto the Patriots.

Some say I have addled my brain on all this sports stuff f- first on the radio then on TV...but every year that a team I like is in the World Series – I watch every playoff and series game. Other years I sort of watch to see if the game is a good one....but will turn off the TV if it gets lop sided. [I know it’s hypocritical to love lop sided when you are the winning lop.....but I never said I was not a hypocrite ☺ ]

In the “real” world I have seen the Orioles “live” the most of any team - since a friend and I took our kids to the old Memorial Stadium a lot – couldn’t beat 2 buck Mondays. And at one of those I caught a home run ball hit by the visiting team!

After the O’s moved to Camden Yards it got too “tony.” Kids seemed to annoy those D.C. lobbyists in their fancy seats and we were no longer welcomed. It really was no longer fun to be at a game so we stopped our regular outings to see the O’s. At least when I watch on TV - I can scream and cheer without “the look” coming my way!

This has been a nerve wracking week with the Sox having to win 3 games in a row. But my friends, son and I managed to keep watching by calling each other to say how worried we were that the Sox would blow it. And then came last night’s outcome!!! The Sox will play in the World Series!

Friday, October 19, 2007

A confession [of sorts]

You know I love the effects of my exercising - and I suggest that we all need more exercise...

Well - like most people, when I get busy, "official" exercising is the first thing I start skipping.

So - when September rolled around and I got busy - I stopped going to my cycling classes. I did do that long kayak trip I wrote about and still did yoga at home - and of course went up and down the ramp several times a day and my dog got extra long walks....but my aerobic conditioning took a back seat.

In October I had a long talk with me and forced myself to start back to the cycling classes. Much to my own amazement and joy - I kept up as much as I usually did - which is not ever 100% as I have 30-40 years on most in the class including the instructor : - ).

I'm not sure it was a good thing for me to learn that I could take off a month with few repercussions - so I have promised myself I won't do that again. It's too chancy. Besides ski season is approaching and the legs and heart need to be in great shape for Mt. Hood.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Good news; Bad news day

Good news
Simple blood test could predict Alzheimer's risk
Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:39am EDT

By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Researchers have developed a simple blood test that may be able to predict whether mild lapses of memory could be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease.

In a study published on Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine, an international team of researchers describe 18 cell-signaling, or communication, proteins found in blood that predicted with 90 percent accuracy whether a person would develop Alzheimer's disease.

Bad news
Depressed at work? Get a new career
Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:26pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Child care workers, home health care aides and other people who provide personal services have the highest rates of depression among U.S. workers, according to a new survey to be published on Monday.

It found that 10.8 percent of personal care and service workers and 10.3 percent of food preparation and serving workers -- both usually low-paying jobs -- experienced one or more major depressive episodes in the past year.

It's good that we may be able to predict Alzheimer's early - but unless we also figure out better how to treat it or avoid it - I am not sure I'd like to know if my memory lapses are an early signal - what if they aren't?

I found out last year that I have some odd white spots in my brain - they are usually related to MS and other conditions but I was told by the neurologist not to worry as it turns out that more people have these than they used to think...and since I bike and ski I certainly have no balance problems...

But now that I know they are there? I have a nagging something in my head about them.

And the depression? It seems to be more prevalent in those professions where we find more women - care giver careers.
Are women more depressed or do these profession tend to appeal to those who get depressed?

Lots of questions that need answering.

In the meanwhile if you are depressed - see someone to find out why - it may be situational..

or as the news said - get a new career...

If you have read other of my posts - that's a great idea for many reasons -

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Friday scam laugh - an "honest" scammer

Edited from an email I just got - wow if I believed all these scammers - I'd have enough money to pay off the USA Federal Debt, support whole communities and still have billions left for me : - ) - and that's just in the past few months!
[ yes Ike is a moron]
I am compelled to seek your indulgence and active participation in a well thought out scheme for you to act as the NEXT OF KIN
[but the scheme is not so well thought out – doesn’t moron Ike know he is not alone anymore in using this scam?]
Should my proposal apeal to you,and upon the receipt of your reply, I can obtain and manipulate all vital document neccessary for a sucessful transfer of the fund into your bank account.I will also send you a detailed information about the transaction.
[Misspellings are a dead give away that no real banker is involved and yes moron Ike is admitting to manipulating all documents so if there is a criminal/legal problem – you have no defense as you have agreed to cooperate]
I will not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is 100% risk free and that you should not entertain any fear as all modalities for fund transfer can be finalized within 14 banking days, after you apply .....
[risk free to moron Ike – not you – a careful shading of the truth....]

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pets and stress - another thought

I know that pets can be calming...

That was the situation for me until my cat, Sheba, went missing for 4 days. You bet I got stressed by that!

She reappeared at 1 AM this morning - mewing loudly to come in. She was clean, dry and well fed. [This was as opposed to summer of 2006 when she went missing for 21 days and came home hydrated but skinny...]

When she is not home at night the dog lies by the door waiting for her.....and he is stressed...

I know there are those that say keep her in - but have you ever tried to keep an outdoor cat in? If I do try that, she runs under the dog's body when I open a door for him.... and in the Summer out here - all my doors are always open during the day so I'd have to lock her up somewhere - and if you knew my cat - you'd know that would be stress for both us us : - ).

Besides - all the cats in our moorage are out - playing and hunting together...we live in a one main street neighborhood and everyone knows everyone and whose cat is who's - and we don't worry much about cars...

After I sent out an email to friends and neighbors this morning about Sheba's return - I got a return email about a cat I have known for going on 18 years and who has cancer...so I called my friend back East and we cried together about her cat who was diagnosed about 6 months ago and seemed to have been doing well.

She and I have cried about our dead and dying pets for the last 25 years and this was no different. The conversation was more on the lines of when do you decide to "play g-d" and how long and under what conditions do you wait and see. She waited and saw 6 months ago and he perked up.....does she wait again? Is he in pain? Is it fair for her to want a little more time with him?

Tough questions and a lot to cry about and of course a lot of stress

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Does anyone celebrate holidays anymore or have they just become part of a 3-day-weekend - for? SALES!

Not that I am a big fan of Columbus Day - but it used to be on October 12th and it used to be a day where most things were closed. Now it's only the day after the fat Sunday paper announces all the SALES you can go to on Monday...

Maybe because it's what I grew up with - but I liked it when holidays were celebrated on their "real" dates. Have an occasional week day off from school or work was sort of fun. It varied from year to year and broke up the week in a nice way - or at least it did for me.

When I lived in Boston, there were Boston-only holidays so one got a day off in every month except August if I recall correctly. But now even those are Mondays - like April 19th...it's permanently a Monday no matter when the 19th actually is.

Makes it easier to plan for the marathon and make it a 3-day-vacation for the crowds that come to watch and/or run.

And yes, I went to Costco yesterday as I needed a few staples and there were the Christmas trees - all lit up! Wonder where [they will find room for all the Halloween and Thanksgiving "stuff?"

Think I have mentioned this before but - I'll repeat. Again when I was a kid I worked at SS Kresge's at the seasonal counter. Yes back when sales people were behind counters running their own registers....] We did school related items from mid-August to mid September. I sort of forget what came next but then we did Halloween til November - then Thanksgiving and only after Thanksgiving did we put out Christmas/winter related items and then end of year sales and so on. And when there were no special days, we did cookies, snacks, linens or whatever needed the extra space. Seems so quaint now. And back then I could add rapidly in my head as the registers only rang up the total sale - it did not do the adding - and then we also had a tax box for the NYC sales tax! Now I am so computer/calculator addicted I'm not so sure I could do that arithmetic in my head anymore : - (

But progress in the form of computers? and word processing programs? Love it - I am a 2-3 finger typist and have to look at the keyboard as I type. So I live with spell checkers...they catch most of my typos....and I cut and past or click rather than type....

Ah - progress is a mixed thing and guess it will always be so.

We will continue to get advancing holiday seasons, 3-day-weekends, ad laden Sunday papers and the message to buy! But we will also keep getting advances in technology. It's life - enjoy it...

[but what will be the reaction when the 4th of July or December 25th become the "nearest Monday?"]

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Only a pawn in their game [B. Dylan]

Why is that "health" care companies feel they have the right to scam Medicare clients and all others?

Why don't they do health care insuring [and assuring] and not "pick-your-pocket" and "damn-the-consequences" type of behavior?

From the Sunday New York Times
October 7, 2007
Medicare Audits Show Problems in Private Plans

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 — Tens of thousands of Medicare recipients have been victims of deceptive sales tactics and had claims improperly denied by private insurers that run the system’s huge new drug benefit program and offer other private insurance options encouraged by the Bush administration, a review of scores of federal audits has found.

The problems, described in 91 audit reports reviewed by The New York Times, include the improper termination of coverage for people with H.I.V. and AIDS, huge backlogs of claims and complaints, and a failure to answer telephone calls from consumers, doctors and drugstores....The audits document widespread violations of patients’ rights and consumer protection standards. Some violations could directly affect the health of patients — for example, by delaying access to urgently needed medications. [emphasis mine - LD]
Full article here HERE

Call me whatever - but I'd rather have the government doing health care than these greedy, out-to-scam-everyone corporate types whose only interest is the bottom line and their shareholders.

The people buying the insurance? We are just pawns in their game. And I have seen the "game" both as a provider and as an insured! Believe me - insurance companies are out for your money - not your health!

Friday, October 05, 2007

It's Fall and the scams increase!

As we approach the end-of-the-year holidays [and we now start approaching them in August] the scammers are as busy trying to get your money as are the stores. "Gift" items are moved into prime retail space...online businesses are telling you to buy for the holidays.....

And the scammers are sending out numerous emails saying that your credit or debit card account has been compromised: reported as stolen, has strange charges on it, etc. You are asked to log in from the email page and give them all sorts of private information relating to your account - so they can "verify."

I guess enough people fall for this that it makes them all money - but it is a scam - and if you believe them - you will lose ALL of the money in your account as they will withdraw it - BECAUSE - you have given them the info they need...

I am getting more and more of these by the day - allegedly from "banks." But they are "banks" I have either never heard of and certainly do not use for my banking!

If you pay close attention, the return email address is odd...that's a give away clue. Also in small often faint print at the bottom it asks you to not reply to the email...why? In reality it is a "throw-away" email address and they will never see

But more importantly:


If your bank needs to contact you, they have your phone number and your bank already has the information being requested in the phoney emails.

If your bank has your email address - they might say "you have a message - log in to read it." That is what all my banks do.

So please - do not fall for these scare tactics. If in doubt - call your bank on the phone and ask if they really sent out that email.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Back to work

Today I am back working on the book about child development - actually I did a lot of editing on it while in the courtroom yesterday as we had breaks...When it is done I will most likely offer some of it for free here and elsewhere and also sell the entire book online as well..It will be self-published and self-sold [is that's a real phrase.]

After the child development book is done I have a few other books I want to write.

For whatever reason[s], and I mentioned it in another post, October 2007 is a GREAT October for me as I am on a role with ideas and plans of action. I wonder where the myths came from that we "older" persons just sit at home and vegetate and think back on our lives. I do think back but it's not a bad thing - I use it to find ways to keep moving forward.

Several of my neighbors and I, all over 60, are forming a neighborhood ski club for the coming winter [it's already snowing on Mt. Hood.] Happily as I am over 65, I get the cheapest ski deals! Hey - I "earned" it!

Think activity
Think happy
Think long health productive lives

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Still a legal junkie

I have been a legal junkie forever and that has not changed as I have aged...and if you have read some of my other blogs you know I also have a law degree - which I got when I was 51!

Anyway - on October 3, our little neighborhood [Portland is made up of small neighborhoods and ours it s the smallest] is going to court to try and keep a TRO [temporary restraining order] in place to forestall cutting of over 100 trees.

I live on the river side of a levee and we park and drive on the levee - it's our road...also there are houses on the city side of this levee.

Long story sort of but when I learned we were being outright lied to about the need to cut down all the trees - I jumped into this fight and have offered my research and writing skills along the way....

If you are into trees, levees and or court hearings - you can read all about this at: http://ibridgeton.com

As I am the neighborhood blogger, I have been posting about this and will be at the hearing.

ain't getting older fun?

Happy October

For whatever the reason, October has been a month of real ups and real downs for me....Back East I used to love October with the trees turning all sorts of colors...As a kid we picked up the brilliant maple leaves from the street and sidewalk and coated them in paraffin...remember that?

As an adult, I got married in October...and as an adult we split in October....

I have also moved during several Octobers...maybe the shrink inside my head should figure out what October is for me? It's not my birthday nor my son's - and it's not filled with nostalgia producing holidays - it's just October! It's the "real" beginning of Fall and the last quarter of the year...hmm gotta mull over the meaning of October : -)

There have been other good events outside my control which were October-related but for whatever the reason - I just know that this October is one of the best yet!

Do you have a weird month in your life? Any clues as to why?