Season’s Greetings

Happy Holidays from Mom, Pop, and the Pows!

 

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Decorations at the Brogans

This has been a fun week decorating for Christmas. The cats are sure all the new stuff is just for them. They are so excited. It has been fun, fun fun. Last night the grandchildren came over to decorate the tree. They had a helper, one Chris Brogan who started decorating people instead of the tree. The tree got some decorations and everyone had a good time. The laughs, the fun, the good feelings, is what the season is all about. Happy Holidays.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

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Living With Smart Phones

Smart phones are more than phones, they are hand held computers. The difference between smart phones are the applications they offer. All of this conversation has been very relevant in our house as Steve has been deciding which smart phone he was going to let me get him for Christmas. For awhile I thought it might be a New Year’s Gift, but yesterday was the big day that we brought home a new Droid Razr.

He was using a Droid X and he compared his applications to my iPhone apps, thinking he may switch to the iPhone. After due consideration, he decided he did not want to give up the apps he uses daily and relies on.

While shopping, we downloaded an app we had seen on TV that morning called ShopSavvy that lets one compare prices by scanning the bar code. Pretty cool. We also use the app called GasBuddy that shows us where to buy the lowest priced gas in relationship to where we are. As the saying goes, there’s an app for that and just about everything you can think of.

Twitter, Google, Dropbox, email, and all the extensions of my life are right at my fingertips. My flashlight always has a battery and my camera is ever ready. Life would be pretty rough without my smart phone.

There is so much available today that it would be impossible to explain it in one post. Whole books are written about applications. Have you heard about that new book called Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything by Chris Brogan?
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Through this process I learned that replacing a smart phone for an experienced user is not as easy as one may think. Just wondering, did you choose your smart phone for it’s features or for the applications it supports?

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

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Traditions

DIY soap stand

Image by zephyrbunny via Flickr

Steve and I had a wonderful conversation with our son Chris yesterday. His question: “What makes a perfect Christmas gift, like the kind you (Steve and I) gave to your parents. You know, the kind that would make Grammie laugh with delight?” We didn’t exactly answer that question, but we talked about the traditional gift that was given every year.

Grammie was a dedicated Avon shopper. About 1966 she discovered “soap on a rope” to be a perfect gift. She gave one to all the men in the family. As the years passed and the men continued to get “soap on a rope” there were laughs and groans. The laughs were probably generated because they kept coming year after year. The groans were probably a result of not knowing what to do with the “soap on a rope.” Steve built up a collection of twenty or so in the bathroom closet before we realized the “soap on a rope” was beginning to take up quite a bit of room that was needed for everyday things.

Other family traditions included food. Today I washed Grammie’s Santa candy dish that she always used for serving her special peanut-butter cherry fudge. Diet restrictions have eliminated the fudge, the fruit cake, the ribbon candy, and the chocolate covered cherries. We now serve mixed nuts in the Santa candy dish.

If there is a magic formula to gift giving, Steve and I have not discovered it yet. The joy of our holidays is the time we spend with our friends and family. The warmth of a smile and a hug are priceless. A remembered story is a treasure to be shared.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

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Kill Alex Cross – A Book Review

The President’s children are kidnapped. The first lady crosses all political barriers and has Alex Cross look for the children, but there are no leads. While the kidnapping crisis is in full swing, terrorists are killing government officials. The terrorists may even be responsible for the missing children. The book is suspenseful from beginning to end.

Kill Alex Cross is written by James Patterson and read by Andre Braugher and Zach Grenier.

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Christmas Cards

Happy Hoidays

Christmas cards are a big part of our holiday celebration. We like to give and receive them. We have a computerized card list that we maintain diligently all year. We have been sending out home made cards since 1992. Some years we send a letter highlighting the events of the year.

We usually have our hundred plus cards in the mail by December 1st. This year we didn’t get them mailed until December 12. After we mailed our cards, we noticed that we had not received many cards. Then we became curious. Do people send cards because they receive cards?

Curious is one thing. Over analyzation is another thing. We came to the conclusion that we will send cards and be happy. If we receive cards we will be happy, but there is no quid pro quo in the equation.

Christmas Cards are sent to one group of friends we know, but the group of friends we talk with every day aren’t even on our list. In some cases, we don’t ever know their real name, just their Twitter handle. Instead of one card, they will be getting Holiday Greetings from now until the New Year and they will know they are loved as are all our friends.

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Does Honesty and Hard Work Count in Today’s World

English: This is am image of Kyle David Kipp

Image via Wikipedia

Back in November I received a lot of Klout from many Twitter friends. Because these people are so special to me, I wanted to respond in kind and give them Klout. I gave out lots of Klout and continued to receive Klout, but my score never changed. Then I realized I was spending way too much time in this make believe world. If I need Klout to survive, I need to know more about the game.

While I was pondering all these thoughts, Twitter was exploding with Tweets from unhappy people telling of their Klout scores going down for no apparent reason. It didn’t happen to everyone, just some people. Klout is unstable. When Liz Struass opted out of Klout, I asked her to write a post about why she did. Liz wrote a powerful post that gets right to the heart of the matter: Klout, My Story & Why Opting Out Was My Only Choice. She published the post on December 5 and it is still receiving comments because her words are so honest and powerful.

The great thing about the internet is that everyone can give their opinion and many do. Some people advise sticking with Klout until they get the bugs worked out of the system because your Klout score can make a difference in how fast you get your service repaired. In some cases, Klout scores also play a part in job hiring. This imaginary game with flawed algorithms can affect your life.

I’m sorry that Liz Strauss took some heat for writing that post about Klout for me, but I sure am glad she wrote it. She verbalized many of my thoughts. Even though I have a million things to do during this very busy season, my mind keeps going back to Klout. The single word that keeps floating to the top of the eight ball is HONESTY.

Klout is not an honest representation of who I am. Being comfortable in my own skin is more important to me than any type of score on my computer.

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Zero Day – A book review

The scene is set at the beginning of the book when the bodies of a family of four are discovered by the local postman who is delivering a certified letter that requires a signature. This is just the beginning of the mystery that unfolds in the mining town of rural Drake, W. Virginia. This book provides thought provoking suspense, intrigue, and things to think about after you have finished reading the book. We highly recommend this book.

Zero Day by David Baldacci, presented by Hachette Audio. Read by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy.

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Time Stops For No One

English: Hourglass Italiano: Clessidra a polvere
Image via Wikipedia

When I was growing up I told my mother I was bored. She told me to enjoy it as there would come a day that I wished I had time enough to be bored. Of course she was right.   I have lived that day many times. You could even say today is one such day.

Let me see. The holiday cards are done. The gifts are all purchased – well except for the Lindt chocolates. I can get the gifts wrapped by tomorrow. The cats will go to the kennel.

We will go to Maine. Then there is the birthday party. Christmas Eve will happen if we are ready or not. Oooops, I forgot to schedule the Christmas tree in there. We don’t put it up too early. The cats like to use it for a climbing post. Oh my, I am so busy and have so much to do between now and Christmas.

While I am refining my calendar, other people are figuring out how they are going to make it through the holidays. I learned that this weekend. I learned that it cost $333.00 to fill the fuel tank. Not much by some standards, but monumental if you don’t have the money.

I wrote a post the other day, Gratitude – Turmoil – Sadness – Fear. Molly Cantrell-Craig left a comment that read in part: “If you’ve got two coats and your neighbor needs one, share.” When I learned a couple was in need of a kitchen table and chairs we gave them a fold up table and two chairs. The tablecloths, two with Christmas designs, were also a big hit. If it hadn’t been for Molly’s comment, I probably would not have thought to give them the table and chairs because they were not a perfect choice. Practical trumps perfect any day of the week.

Sometimes the real meaning of the season is not in the gifts that are wrapped in pretty paper.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

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