Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What a Relief!

     Well, I have not been up to my usual blogging this week. A trip to the hospital interfered with my writing process. Abdominal pains once again convinced me that I must have appendicitis so off we went to the E.R. It turned out, several tests, many blood-lettings and one colonoscopy later that they determined that my colon, like the rest of me, is 61 years old. Yes, it is aging. I have a pre-condition to diverticulitis, which means I have to observe my diet. No more nightly popcorn, or seeds, or nuts. I know that some of you have not had the experience of a colonoscopy so I decided I would enlighten you, my reading audience, on my experiences, complete with authentic pictures.
First of all, the nurse, smiling, brought me
this lovely jar of "Golytely" and informed
me that I would be drinking all of it. It
tastes like nuclear seawater with nothing
at all pleasant about it. I managed to sip
it through the night. Some of it accidentally
fell in the toilet.
This is called Golytely. It's an oxymoron.

The very same toilet.
 I know you are wondering...why on earth did she take a picture of the toilet? Well, I can honestly say that I developed a very close personal connection with this very toilet. As a matter of fact, I wondered if my rear end had round marks imprinted into it when I went into the procedure room for my colonoscopy, causing fits of laughter among the doctors and nurses.

So that was the procedure. Adding to the mix was the monitor I had to wear at all times. It hung from cords which were attached to my chest. The monitor was annoying. If you wanted to sleep on your side, you had to flip the monitor to the opposite side. If you let it drop, you worried about what your heart rate was saying about you at the command center. It itched. Here is the monitor, unattached.
My monitor
Additional equipment in case of emergency.
I was glad to say goodby to that sucker. My other equipment consisted of a porta potty. I vowed that only a true emergency would facilitate the use of the porta potty. When I left, it was as pristine as the day I arrived. Even I have my limits.

Barf Condom, Tricky Hospital Gown, Monitor Patches, and Menu
I did come home from the hospital with some souvenirs. Of course, the obligatory welcome kit that I don't use, came home with me. After all, my insurance probably paid big bucks for that plastic bin, comb, bar of soap, lotion and baby powder. I also took the box of tissues.  Other souvenirs included one hospital gown (just so I can finally figure out how to effectively close it),  some patches that were hooked up to me and a new improved barfing convenience from the ER. Remember the kidney shaped pans they used to give you? No longer. Now they give you something that looks like a giant condom. It was so cool I just had to have it. Oh, and the menu of my last meal there.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Marketing to Senior Citizens

   According to my AARP magazine, employees simulate being older. They place hard little pebbles or kernels in their shoes to see what it’s like to walk with aches and pains. They plug up their ears to simulate hearing loss. Nice touch. But they’ve got a long way to go.

     Guess what? Baby boomers and senior citizens are an important target group in the marketing world. As a Baby Boomer, I am considered as a widespread (no pun intended) part of most marketing strategies.
    Well-known companies are now requiring employees to doctor themselves up to feel like old people.  If they can experience life from the point of view of the elderly or almost-elderly consumer, this insight will  create much more old person friendly products and services.

   Car manufacturers produce aging suits for workers to wear to stuff themselves into compact cars as paunchy senior citizens. These stuffed employees are also asked to read road maps with vision impairing glasses. Again, a nice start.
   To me, these attempts just graze the surface of sensitivity. Yes, employees can use canes and wheelchairs at work, and so on but there are other issues I would like to see addressed…

    How about some Urination-Triggers so that men/women are urinating at a frequency of about 10 times their normal rate? And switches that causes them to pee when they laugh, cough and sneeze?
     How about practicing passing excessive gas? Experiment with trying to hold the gas in, and then blasting it out as loudly as you can. Practice looking unconcerned and uninvolved as gas emissions erupt.

     Simulate bald spots, sagging breasts, and expanded midsections. All of these factors influence what you buy and why you buy it. For example, sagging breasts cause women, or men, to tire easily when shopping. Products need to be placed in conspicuous, easy to reach areas.
     It’s easy enough to simulate the feeling of sagging breasts. Attach a couple of rice-filled feedbags at the neck. Allowing them to droop to the waist could garner the everyday sensation of sagging breasts. Think of how this could affect choices in clothing or underwear.
     Wear a doughnut shaped life preserver around the waist to experience the difficulties caused by an expanded midsection. Problems with zippers, and getting into restaurant booths will be made much more obvious to the employees.
   It’s great that they are attempting to think like seniors, but I feel that these companies have a lot more work to do. These were nice tries but why didn’t they just hire a senior citizen to tell them what they want to know?
     I am almost a senior citizen. I would have been glad to grunt my way into the back of a car seat and be extricated with the Jaws of Life. I am perfect for that part.
     And who needs vision impairing glasses? I already have impaired vision.
     It’s a crazy world we live in, manufacturing fake senior citizens. Think about it. Just go outside and wave down one of those oversize non-economy cars driven by a senior citizen who is shorter than the height of the dashboard.

     It seems that now we have people trying to look younger all the time and people who are trying to see what it is like to be older. If everyone goes back to being their own age, we will be much better off.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Try to Remember

     I used to love that song, Try to remember the kind of September 
when...well, of course, I can't remember the rest of the lyrics. But it seems to be MY song, or rather, George's and my song. 

     I used to think that between us we had one workable brain. Now I think we're coming up a bit short, maybe a mini-brain. Yesterday, we couldn't remember if the cleaning lady was coming over or the man who mows our lawn. We decided the cleaning lady would be coming and elected to move our writers' group out to the back porch. The rains came and the wind whipped us up into a frenzy. We retreated indoors where we got a call from the lawn man saying that because of the rain, he would come the next day.

     But my favorite thing I did this week has to do with my new iPhone. Technology is not my thing but I have been pretty successful with it. And I love it! I bought a rubbery-feeling cover for it which fits over it like a tight skin (unlike mine which is wrinkly) but I came to a problem when I had to recharge the phone. I couldn't find the place to stick the cord in.
     It turns out the case covers it up which annoyed the heck out of me. So for the first couple of times I was taking the whole cover off to recharge and putting it back on when done. Then lo and behold I detected that you could recharge it without taking the cover off, just by lifting a little flap. A big flap about a little flap. That's my life.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tamarac Tsunami

     If it is not one thing to worry about it's another. As of late, natural disasters have been plentiful, causing me to take pause and wonder if we need to rethink our excessive lifestyles, or rather, if you guys need to rethink YOUR extravagant lifestyles. Mine hardly qualifies. But any way, here in south Florida we had a tornado touch down last week not far from here and Tropical Storm Emily is causing us some wind and needed rainshowers. 
     But today I learned that Florida is in line for yet another tide of misfortune, one they have titled the "Silver Tsunami." The numbers of aging senior citizens developing Alzheimer's is rising. It is a little scary to think that today's retirees will be walking around and mumbling in a wave of other older Floridians in just a few years. And it made me worry about myself.

My future?

     Fortunately, I have prepared my boys for such an eventuality. I have started forgetting things on a regular basis. I say the same things over and over again. It's all in the training. But it is a scary outlook for us almost-to-be-retired. Seems that the numbers have risen because we are living longer and healthier. Again more of my case against exercise and eating healthy.
     But I am still full of surprises. Today I did something that totally surprised me. I went to turn in my cell phone for an upgrade and ended up with an I-Phone.
Never thought it would happen. The low-tech person with an I-Phone. That will show my son Jeff, who told me my phone was "poo."
Poo Phone

New Phone

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What's Up?

     Now in the past, Casey Anthony, Congressman Wiener, Tiger Woods days... seems like life is humming along smoothly. All quiet? Not really. Here, at the Kraus household, it has been a busy time. My youngest, Cory and his wife, Ashlee have now moved to Louisville, Kentucky.

     They completed the journey in a day and a few more hours, with two cars and three freaked-out kitties. Haven't heard from them since, except for "We're home." That was enough for me. It was a busy week, helping them, taking them out to eat, hosting a big dinner for family, and writing a special song for the happy couple to the tune of The Beverly Hillbillies, about Cory and Ashlee.

     But that isn't nearly as interesting as a little article I found in "This Is True" by Randy Cassingham. I am going to paraphrase what the article said....

    A 30 year old man from Boulder, Co was found hiding in the waste pit of a porta-potty at a yoga festival at a local high school. He claimed to be starting a new "goddess religion." Evidently this religion involved him peeping at women from under the porta potty seat. He did explain that the origin of his interest was to be able to look at women in intimate detail, that he realistically would never have a chance with. He had opportunities to develop his religious beliefs, as he hid and waited in waste. The details about his new religion were rather sketchy but all in all it reminded me of the saying that "In every cloud there is a silver lining." Although in his case, it seemed to be "Gold can be found in shit." Hmm. Wonder why he felt he never had a chance with most women. Of course if you look at his mug shot below, it seems as though he has not gotten a chance to wash his hair. Euuew!

Possible Re-Enactment

And here he is with his famous potty.