DS is back in school now, after being home for nearly a month during semester break. While he was home, he said a few things that warmed my heart:
-A couple of times when I asked him if he wanted to go with me to work out, he said, “OK;” this after always declining when he was in HS. He also mentioned that trips to the gym are part of his normal routine in school, even as the weather turned cold.
-He took me up on my offer to take some of my cold-weather clothes, from my days dealing with frigid SV winters, back with him.
-He spoke of how difficult it was to get adequate amounts of fiber through cafeteria food, and how nearly all of their starches were refined. He’s addressed that by eating a lot of vegetables, and is even contemplating eating oatmeal.
-He mentioned that one of the reasons he joined the school orchestra was that he thought it would be a good way to meet people.
What parenting success stories do you have?
“About 8 years ago we returned home from dinner to find our basement flooded from a burst HWH.”
This line above from an earlier discussion provides a segue into today’s topic:
What steps do you take when preparing to leave for a trip?
One step I typically take is to unplug our garage door openers. There have been numerous reports here of garage doors mysteriously opening when military exercises (e.g., RIMPAC) are being conducted nearby. We also have friends whose garages somehow opened while they were gone. In one case, their garage was entirely cleaned out by the time they returned. In another, he lived near us, and I saw his garage open when I knew he was skiing with other friends, so I closed it for him.
Personal superpowers have entered our discussions from time to time. Mine is the ability to read and understand what people have written. It has served me well in providing me with amusement. Unfortunately, it did not come with the complementary superpower of being able to always understand what people meant when it was not what they wrote.
What is your superpower?
You’re approaching retirement. You are vested in a retirement plan from an employer, either your current or previous employer. You have the option to take the retirement payout as a single or joint and survivor annuity, or as a lump sum.
Which would you choose? What factors would affect your decision?
Louise recently asked for some advice on science magazines, but let’s expand that to publications in general.
What publications do you read, and would you suggest to your fellow totebaggers? Do you read hardcopy versions? Online? Kindle or other electronic copy?
What publications do you subscribe to, including online subscriptions? Are there any particular publications you subscribe to because you think they deserve your financial support?
I was catching up on bills, including our utility bills, and took note of our usage over the past year. We’ve been averaging about 400 kwh/month of electricity, and just under 100 gallons/day of water. Our water usage has definitely been impacted by having lived through both a drought and electricity shortage, and we’ve also recently upgraded most of our toilets to 1 gpf models.
How much do you use? Have you taken any steps to conserve?
What do you do with your pharmaceuticals, prescription as well as OTC, once their expiration dates pass?
This article suggests one course of action, which I what I try to take:
The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates
In a recent discussion, Ada posted this link:
A stem cell transplant helped beat back a young doctor’s cancer. Now, it’s assaulting his body
It describes someone who had leukemia, and used a stem cell transplant as
part of a treatment regimen, but it is now causing him problems.
This led me to wonder whether he’d not be having these problems if he had
his own stem cells as a source for the transplant.
It also led me to today’s questions:
Have you banked your kids’ cord blood? If not, why not?
We’ve had a number of discussions here of what we’ll do, or are doing, in retirement, but among those of us not yet retired, we haven’t discussed much when we’ll retire (Milo and Fred are among the few who have).
This article raises another possible factor to consider, both in the timing of retirement and what to do in retirement:
Why Early Retirement Isn’t as Awesome as It Sounds
Do you have a target retirement date yet? Will the possibility of being affected by mental retirement and cognitive decline affect that date? Do you have plans for any activities in retirement to maintain cognitive abilities?
A recent discussion on the politics open thread got onto the subject of immigration, then onto a discussion of how a change in immigration policy has affected businesses that rely on seasonal summer workers, which led away from politics to a discussion of summer employment of Totebaggers. Apparently many employers who rely heavily on seasonal summer workers have difficulty hiring domestic workers, and rely on foreign workers on visas (Denver Dad also mentioned it could be a problem for ski areas relying on seasonal winter workers).
For those of us with HS and college kids, what are your families doing WRT summer employment? Will, or have, your kids take or taken any of the summer jobs historically associated with kids that age, e.g., lifeguard, cannery work, agricultural work, fast food, wait or kitchen staff, etc? Or would jobs more associated with career plans, such as internships, be in their past or future?
What kind of summer work did you do, and will your kids do similar work?
There is evidence that the 2016 presidential election has affected college selection decisions:
Political divide impacts Class of 2021 admissions
Is red/blue state/area something you and your kids will consider in the college selection process? Has the 2016 election changed the schools you and your kids will consider?
Do you avail yourselves of any generous refund policies? Do stores’ return policies affect your decisions about where to shop?
It looks like Nordstrom is going to tighten up one of the most generous return policies:
$2 Billion of Retail Fraud Could Be Ruining Nordstrom’s Legendary Return Policy
What stores that you shop at have the best return policies? Which have the worst?