Posted in new, news, Uncategorized, women

Can we really trust Amazon Dash?

I’ve seen the future.

Wait.

I wrote that very phrase in the middle of March. About Lavanda. The cool English wash & fold-your-laundry-20 minutes-after-you-call service.  And I’m all about that.

But…

 

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Yesterday Jeff Bezos, bless his heart, shoved a different future down my virtual throat.

It’s called Amazon Dash.

dash

 

If selected to participate, you get some push buttons from Amazon, stick ’em where you want ’em, push ’em when you need it and BOOM. The product shows up at your house the next day, maybe even sooner according to the WSJ.

Like this:

Oh sure, looks like a cool shopping hack.

Think a little harder though and you get creeped out.

Apparently Amazon and popular products are edging closer to anticipating your every need.

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Follow this through with me:

Today you push a button.

Tomorrow you don’t need to push a button cuz Tide knows when you need it.

Next month Tide will likely tell you that you are doing it wrong.

Oh goody. Laundry detergent, toilet paper and dog food are the bosses of me.

Creepy, right?

The future?

Maybe.

Trust ’em?

Oh hell no.

 

 

 

Posted in animals, DC, news

1 thing the fed gov’t needs now: a few good border collies

I had a birthday last week and the world did not stop spinning. Life returned to normal. Perfectly oddly un-ironically normal.

The headline-making crisis in DC on Tuesday was a good example. The big news was, well, poop.

No. Seriously.

Actual poop.

Left by actual canadian geese on the National Mall.

Yahoo News courtesy of Reuters reported that:

Washington goose poop prompts officials maybe to let the dogs out  

Yeah okay so Reuters doesn’t get any points for good grammar in headline writing but the Washington Post does:

Geese-be-gone plan calls for dogs to rid National Mall of fowl that foul                                                                            

goose poop

Clever headline writing aside, who knew that those good looking ganders leave behind 2 – 3 pounds of poop every day?

geese 1

The National Park Service knows and they don’t like it. At. All.

Can’t blame ’em.

With income tax season looming most of us want our federal tax dollars doing a tiny bit more than pooper scooping.

OTOH, ain’t nobody a fan of that sh#@ all over the Reflecting Pool, Lincoln Memorial or Washington Monument. Literally.

The solution?  Use dogs to move the geese over to grassy areas that might benefit from more “fertilizer.” In other words, unleash the hounds. Or the herders.

 

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Yup, the federal gov’t wants to let the dogs out. On the National Mall. To get rid of the pesky pooping problem.

border collie with geese

See what I mean, just another day in DC.

The National Park Service has launched a new program that it calls “goose harassment services.”

Cue the Collies — the Park Service wants to use Border Collies to fix the goose problem.

As the owner of a certain Border Collie named Teddy, I wondered if he could be drafted into service. I’ve never seen him with a goose but promise him a treat and that guy will do damn near anything.

ted best

No worries Ted. Uncle Sam is looking for PROFESSIONAL Geese Herding Border Collies. All Border Collies are born and bred to be herders but this is not a job for rookies.

The Park Service says that dogs and handlers must have five years of experience with Canada Goose harassment in order to take part.

The Park Service’s goal is to have the dogs “herd and harass but not harm” the geese.  The border collies will just be forcing the geese into different grassier areas to do their business.

If only all govt problems could be solved so simply.

My dream for the reflecting pool this summer? The Florida girl in me just can’t help it:

 

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Posted in news

The 1 thing you should know about turning 59

This year my birthday is depressing.

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Another one just bit me in my Spanx clad behind.

Its stupid. (The depression not the Spanx – those things are a godsend!)

My birthday sucks.

I once worked for a man who would intone on my birthday “sure beats the alternative.” Seriously?

I know a lovely woman named Linda Sasha who wrote the book about celebrating like Queen for a Day on your birthday. I envy her joi’d vie.

BTW I don’t mean that she just celebrated birthdays in style, although she does. Linda LITERALLY wrote the Queen for a Day book that Hallmark stores sell next to the birthday cards.

So what is wrong with me? Why am I such a hater?

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My Facebook friends, many exactly the same age post quotes of gratitude on their own b-day.

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What the hell is the matter with me?

I remain happily married to the love of my life. I’m lucky to have children who love me and tease me and respect me.  I have gorgeous grandchildren that I adore.  So, that’s not the problem.

Today I’m lucky enough to spend my days toiling away at a glam, good paying job in one of Americas most vibrant cities.

Did I say toil?

Oh. #theanswer

Any birthday which has found me toiling is depressing.

What about the non-toil, non-depressing, non-sucky years?

I used to pen a snarky e-newsletter called Smart Girls Over 40.

I spent a year writing my third book: Five-Freakin-Oh…but I’m not dead yet!

The e-letter went the way of my full-time TV marketing gig and the manuscript gathers dust on my agent’s desk still.

I loved writing them both because I loved living them.

I’m not always a birthday hater.

When I worked with smart people at a TV research firm the birthdays didn’t phase me.

When I ran a hip young national morning show I didn’t mind birthdays.

When I was writing full time I loved my birthdays.

Loved. My. Birthdays.

My perfect, wonderful, handsome, loving, supportive, smart, hard-working husband was determined that I have my shot at writing.  No one had ever done that for me.

I’m such a type-A nut job that giving up a steady paycheck, health insurance, blah blah blah was inconceivable.

Corporate America had a different idea and the steady paycheck went away.

My husband made my dream happen.

I. Wrote. Full-time.

It taught me 3 things.

1. I love writing more than anything in the world.

2. I have the best, most perfect husband.

3. Writing is the least lucrative thing I’ve ever done.

If you are doing the work you adore, living your creative art do the dollars matter?

Let’s rewind.

I was the young woman working in radio for a boss who said the only way to make more than minimum wage was to sleep with him. I didn’t and I didn’t.

I was employed as a full time TV commercial writer-producer for 4 years before I worked my way up to a salary that payed 5 digits. Five digits. As in $10,000.

When I clawed my way up to that 5 digit benchmark with creativity, sweat and zillions of long nights I was in hog heaven. Literally. I lived in Sioux City, Iowa and making more thank 10K was actually hog heaven.

So it isn’t the money now so much as it is an underfunded retirement. Ugh.

Late bloomer professionally. Check

Bad choices. Check.

Wanting to be happy. Check.

Two divorces and paying alimony. Check. Yes, I paid alimony. Don’t ask.

So how does a Smart Girl fix this? I’m not dead yet but every day feels like I’m dying inside.

Damn it. I’m not dead. I’m 59. I’ve still got it and I’m gonna grab it.

I’m going back to grad school. Not the law degree that I’ve regretted not pursuing but a degree in new media journalism

The thing that made me a decent journalist and a better writer was a curious mind. Communication/media is changing faster than anything I know.

I’m still curious.

I’m pretty sure I’m still smart.

I’m positive that I’m not dead yet.

I’m going back to school. I think maybe I’ll keep writing too.  More regularly. Not commercially. Screw you birthdays.

I’m gonna take my husband, my family, my steady paycheck, a new degree and I’m gonna get it all done.

I’m going to make life at 59 the best I can and if I can’t make it better, I’m going to laugh at it.

 

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Posted in aging, new, news

The 1 thing that could change weekends forever

Lavanda. Cool name. Game changer.

I’ve just seen the promised land…and it’s all Downey fresh, Uberishly easy, quick, convenient, nice smelling and CLEAN!

Oh Lavanda, I can hear you calling.

 The startup operates on a simple premise: You hate doing laundry, and if it’s convenient enough, you’ll probably pay someone else to take it off their hands.

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Lavanda isn’t the first internet-based laundry service. The difference is that Lavanda is all about on-demand service. When you place a request, your laundry is picked up roughly 24 minutes later and returned within 24 hours, at the time of your choice.

Me: ummm, can you possibly come pick up my dirty towels, gym clothes, jeans and t-shirts?

Lavanda: gimme 24 minutes to get to your house and I’ll have them all back to you tomorrow. That work?

Me: ummm, OH. HELL. YEAH.

Lavanda is speedy AND customer-friendly. No special sorting of your laundry is required, extras like starch on shirt collars come free of charge, and they even hand-wash delicates that might not fare so well in the machine.

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What’s up with the name Lavanda? The founder aka smartest-man-in-the-universe explains that it’s a Latin word meaning “for the purpose of washing.”  Doesn’t hurt that lavender has always been used to refresh clothes.

In fact, Lavanda includes handmade bags of lavender with every order as a finishing touch.

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Is it possible to fall completely and totally in love with a start-up?

Tech Crunch points out that Lavanda is EVERYWHERE, like Twitter, LinkedIn, apps in the Apple and GooglePlay stores.

Lavanda is everywhere. Almost.

Everywhere but here.

Lavanda is London based and London only.

The Royals get all the luck.

Stateside the Lavanda compeition is called Washio.

Big diff tho.

Washio offers the “convenience “of scheduling pickup and delivery in advance.  Washio is over-estimating the so-called convenience factor.

Who needs one more thing to organize, remember and do in advance? The to-do list is already one giant pain in the tookus.

How much better would it be to look at the tall tower of laundry waiting for you on a Saturday morning and say “not today laundry, not today.”

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I have seen the future of my laundry.  And it looks a helluva lot like Lavanda.

 

Posted in news

March Madness costs America billions of dollars – whoa

Billions of bucks and brain cells tomorrow – happy now “bracketology?”

Fortune

March Madness is upon us, and employers are bracing for the lost productivity that befalls them at this time each year.

Their anxieties appear to be justified. The Chicago outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas recently issued a press release based in part on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, which puts the effect of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament into stark relief. It found that employers could lose up to $1.9 billion in wages to the more than 60 million Americans who are in the office solely to watch games and devour bandwidth.

In the face of this, an employer’s first instinct may be to eradicate this unsanctioned merriment with the ruthless efficiency of an SS officer. But according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John Challenger, that is exactly the wrong thing to do.

“When even the president finds time to fill out a bracket, an employer would be…

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Posted in disney movies, news

Talking Barbie Is a Buzz Kill… but the Talking isn’t the Problem.

Barbie is the single most successful doll every produced.  Now she’s a hot mess.

The story? Barbie debuted in 1959 rockin’ a one piece black and white swimsuit and spiky plastic heels.

Barbie was kind of a doll hack, beauty and boobs and long hair all rolled in to one cellophane wrapped box.

Even the venerable New York Times said:

Barbie quickly morphed into a legend and an icon. For Barbie was both mirror and model, reflection and avatar.”

Okay, kinda blah blah blah…you don’t have to go all New York Timesey esoteric to get that with her glam red lipstick and gorgeous thick eyeliner, Barbie was the dream toy for little girls back in the day.

Image result for original Barbie doll

Oh sure, over the decades there was a hue and cry about Barbie’s unrealistic measurements – because pics in mags are NEVER photoshopped. But Barbie has just powered right along.

Until perhaps, now.

Why?

The imagination of every child with a Barbie in her life or in her future has just died a high tech death.

Mattel has plans to release a tech-savvy, wifi-connected doll called “Hello Barbie” that can have whole conversations with a child. Courtesy of a little wifi, a microchip and voice recognition software whenever a kid presses a button on the doll “Hello Barbie” asks them questions. An embedded microphone records the children’s responses and sends them to ToyTalk, a San Francisco-based startup.

ToyTalk records the information and responds. And. Responds.

No need for imagination at all. Sigh.

Happy Birthday, Barbie: 5 Weird Barbie News Stories Right Now| Birthday, Around the Web, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Tho they completely missed the point, the normal haters jumped right in.

Advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood launched a petition to stop “Hello Barbie” from hitting shelves because:

Kids using ‘Hello Barbie’ won’t only be talking to a doll, they’ll be talking directly to a toy conglomerate whose only interest in them is financial. It’s creepy

The big thinkers at Georgetown’s Center for Privacy and Technology said:

In Mattel’s demo, Barbie asks many questions that would elicit a great deal of information about a child, her interests, and her family. This information could be of great value to advertisers and be used to market unfairly to children.”

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Creepy.

Unfair.

Just sad.

Mattel sez they want kids to form an actual relationship with their doll.

CNN says:

Little girls have been talking to their Barbies for decades but one coming out this fall will actually listen

Don’t you get it?

She always did.