Saturday, May 27, 2006

Sustainable Consumption

Sounds good to me. But what is it? Sierra Club says: Sustainable consumption is the use of goods and services that satisfy basic needs and improve quality of life while minimizing the use of irreplaceable natural resources and the byproducts of toxic materials, waste, and pollution.

One way they suggest is to buy from your local farm market. They are in full swing now. Here is where you can find your local market. Many of them are in the open air but under cover. Last wednesday I visited the Ann Arbor market. Being mid week, many of the the young mother's were pushing their stroller with some of the world's cutiest babies. And not one of them was crying!!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Seven Blunders of the World

When looking at the world it may be well to evaluate what is seen by appling Mahatma Gandi's "Seven Blunders of the World".

Friday, May 19, 2006

A Poet Sings an Old Poem with a Meaning for Today

It's getting late. Writing a response to a pleasant surprise email and listening to the CD "Leonard Cohen:More Best of". The haunting voice sings "Everybody Knows". Oh how the first stanza penatrates the air across our country.

"Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died"

Oh how it hurts to hear "Everbody knows the boat is leaking. Everybody knows that the captain lied."

Thank you Leonard Cohen. Keep singing. We need you more than ever.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Who Will Retire in the Future?

Frontline had another revealing program tonight. They concluded that many of the baby bomers may not be able to retire or if they do then Social Security may be their only source of income.

Much of the program examined the strengths and weaknesses of the 401 (k) plans. Anyone who has a 401 (k) or equivalent plan would be well to read the frequently asked questions that PBS have on their web site. Some of the important questions are what are the advantages of 401 (k) for employees, for Companies and what are the pitfalls for employees.

The program also pointed out that those with these plans need to self manage them rather than let them take care of themselves. That is good advice. Why do I say that? Well for the most part I didn't manage mine well enough.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

100 Years and Beyond??

Recently a friend called to tell me that a mutual friend passed away. As we were consoling each other she said to me, “Bob, if you live as long [about 86] as I you will slowly see your friends pass away”. She went on to say that it wasn't fun. She related that each week she would visit her friends in their assisted living homes and the pain of seeing them loose more and more of their health and memory. I told her, “You are my role model for loyalty to friends!!” She is an upbeat person with a great sense of humor and likes to laugh.

Our friend spent the last 1 ½ years in an assisted living home due to dementia. But that didn’t get in the way of the many visits that were always filled with laughter over current times and the past.

After the phone call I got to thinking of my aging. I remember signing the retirement documents in 1994. One of them stated that my longevity was estimated to be 74. Just recently my financial advisor sent me my investment plan for updating. It estimated my longevity to be 94!! Well isn’t that something.

How does one live a long life? Of course there is no guarantee in any of those estimates.

This morning I was reading a Harvard Health Publication about how there are projections for an increase in people living 100 and beyond. In the report there were some practical suggestions for living. To be sure, these suggestions are beneficial for people of all ages.