Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Sunday my long-suffering and barely working washing machine died.  It would not spin - tried everything - even re-booting (unplug and plug back in).  Nothing worked.  Luckily I was washing my cleaning rags on a half load cycle.  I rung them out and threw them in the still working dryer.  Then we bailed the water.

Craig's List is always my friend.  So off I went to peruse the offerings after first leaving a message for my wonderful repair person Woody at G&H Appliance Repair.  I found an LG front loader in my price range and called - several times - I talked to a nice woman who said they were exceptionally busy and would get back to me with a delivery time - Monday at 10 am.

Monday came and with it a call from Debbie - Woody's wife.  "DO NOT BUY THE LG", were her first words.  I then learned that there are no parts for LG and even though they are rated high in Consumer's Reports - they were not repairable.  No parts - no repairs!  Buy a Whirlpool - or maybe the newer Maytag manufactured by Whirlpool.

Back to Craig's List - and there I found a posting for Appliance World in Garden Grove.  They were very smart too.  Didn't actually post their phone number, but directed me to Yelp where they had numerous 5-Star Reviews!!  The phone number and the name of the contact person Shane was there.

I called - Sean answered. He was very polite and helpful to this persnickety older woman!   I told him my requirements per Woody - a direct drive machine by Whirlpool.  Preferentially one with a 4.0 capacity.  He
texted me pictures of the Model and Serial Number from several machines he had.  After several calls back and forth with Woody and Debbie - who were very helpful and patient - I decided to get a Maytag manufactured by Whirlpool for Sears.  Delivered and set up the cost would be a little over $300.00

IMPORTANT TIP:   Sean also explained to me why I always had a residue buildup just under the rim of the washer - from using the Softener Dispenser built into the machine.  He said put the softener directly into the water - no build up and softer clothes!  He gave me several other tips which will be in the Coastal Breeze next month.

My machine was delivered and my laundry done by 4 pm!  What a great experience!  And now my clothes feel cleaner and they are much drier when they emerge from the washing machine!

Thanks to Sean 714.530.9551 and to Debbie and Woody 714.839.1944 !   I recommend all of them for any appliance needs.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Although they are improving at a rapid pace, financially things have been better than they have in the last few years.  The economy has affected all of us in the middle class - the 'peasants' to those on Wall Street as I used to tell my children.  We are the peasants - they are the royalty.

I have been reestablishing my credit recently and have gotten my first new credit card.  But there are others lurking on the sidelines waiting to take my money.

Yesterday I opened a solicitation  from a company called Rise.  There catchphrase is 'We are here to help you Rise."  "we have already approved you for $2600.00 which can be deposited to your account as soon as tomorrow.  The process of applying is easy, just complete an online application - We believe that good customers with a good payment history should get special treatment.: . . ." it continues on and on!  Don't wait.
And apparently don't read the fine print.  "The Annual Percentage Rage (APR) for an example installment loan of $2600 is $224.36%" !!!.  When you pay 36 payments bi-weekly of $236.67 you actually end up paying $8496.00  A profit for them of $5896.00!  This is not only outrageous, but a CRIME!  What happened to the usury laws in this country.  Why is it so easy to prey on people who already are down and out.  And imagine what happens to these poor peoples' bank accounts when these outrageous bi-weekly payments start coming out.  And to their credit history - which they are trying to rebuild!

Buried on the back is a warning that this is an expensive form of credit and should be used with care.  That people with credit problems should seek credit counseling, etc.  This warning should be on the FRONT of the Application at the TOP!!!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Sitting here enjoying my view from Kamps Island Flooring I am reminded of a few little notes I have taken to make my life easier and more fun!

Do you crave sweets after you eat meat?  Not being a big meat eater, when ever I ate a hamburger or other red meat I noticed I craved sugar.  This wasn't normal for me.  Unlike me other half, sugar isn't one of the things I love.  I really thought I was imagining things.  Nope.
My friend Kim Kane, nutrition coach, told me that that was not unusual.  It meant I wasn't getting enough protein in my diet.  Guess I need to up the beans and other legumes.
I did find, however, that once I was aware of the cause - I could out wait the craving.  Since sugar at night means a headache for me in the morning - that was a fabulous piece of advice.

Thin cups keep your drinks hotter.  Several years ago we had a woman from England staying in our apartment on Balboa Island.  We had an electric tea kettle, but the one thing she wanted was a thinner china mug.  We had lots of the big heavy duty ones that everyone uses.  "Why thinner?" I asked.  "Because the heat from the liquid is not absorbed by the thick mug - my tea stays hotter much longer."  Lesson learned.  I love my thin tea mug that she left behind.  My coffee stays warm a lot longer.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Nearly 70% of Americans ages 65 or older are expected to need long-term care—either at home or in a facility—at some point in their lives. But whether seniors need help recovering from surgery or a stroke—or simply require assistance with daily tasks like bathing and dressing as they age—the cost of such long-term care can be staggeringly expensive.

In 2013 the median cost of a private room in a nursing home for just one year came in at $83,950—that’s up from $67,575 just five years ago.
Medicare only covers a very small portion of long-term care costs. And since paying out of pocket could easily decimate many people’s retirement savings, an increasing number of Americans may need to protect their nest eggs by buying long-term care insurance, which can cover some or all of the costs of extended elder care.
However, the policies aren't cheap. The average, healthy, 55-year-old man can expect to pay a premium of around $2,000 a year. But that’s nothing compared to what women are being charged for identical coverage.
Last spring, two major providers of long-term care insurance—John Hancock and Genworth—hiked premiums on new policies for women by 20% to 40%, with other carriers following suit. The reason: Women are growing old for far longer.
An American woman who turned 65 last year is now expected to live to the average age of 87, compared to 85 for men. Women are also less likely to have a caregiver at home when they need it because they often outlive their spouses, making them more likely to end up in a nursing home or assisted-living facility—and more likely to rely on long-term care insurance to pay for that care.
From Carolyn O'Hara www.learnvest.com

Friday, April 4, 2014



Facebook has been in the news a lot recently. Mark Zuckerberg bought the What's App company in February for a staggering, mind-blowing, huge – I'm running out of adjectives here – $19 billion. Then the company bought a little-known virtual-reality headset maker, Oculus VR, for $2 billion.
Those high-profile deals shouldn't distract us from the fact that Facebook's main business is selling advertising based on the mountains of information it's got on its user base. And when I say "user base," I mean me and you.
The targeting practices going on behind the scenes are both deep and complex. We the consumers have to stay on our toes to protect ourselves. It's sad to say, but a lot of privacy violations occur just because people don't know how to protect themselves.
These are great tips for you - and for your family. If there are kids in the house, make sure they understand the importance of these privacy protections early. And if there are less tech-savvy folks around, go over these tips with them, too.
So let's get started.
First, you need to clear out your Facebook search history. Yes, it keeps track of all your searches. That's the reality of the world we're living in.
On your Facebook home page, click the down arrow in the upper right-hand corner, and select Activity Log. In the left-hand column where it lists Photos, Likes and Comments, click the More button below those. Then at the bottom of the list click Search.
Once you've clicked on that, you'll be able to see everything – and everyone – you've search for on the site. (It's kind of disturbing!) Up at the top of the page, click on Clear Searches, and then again in the dialog box to confirm.
The search area should now be empty. You can't turn this feature off, however, so you will have to come back and do this regularly.
Did you know Facebook's Graph Search system can expose your past posts to everyone? Learn how to keep strangers out of your posts.
Second, you want to make sure Facebook won't use your picture to endorse or sell products. Believe it or not, Facebook's terms of service allow your image to be automatically used if you've said you "liked" a particular product, or "checked in" at a particular store or restaurant.
To stop this, let's go back to the Activity Log page and, again on the left-hand side, click on the Likes link. You'll see all your likes listed.
It's smart to go down the list looking for companies that might advertise on Facebook. If you see one, go to the little pencil icon on the right, click on it, and select Unlike. Learn more settings to stop Facebook from using your name and face in ads.
Third, we need to dive into privacy settings. We all have to take responsibility for our online privacy.
I liken Facebook posts to a sign in front of your house. You think you live on a cul de sac, and the fact that the sign says, "Hey, we're on vacation," or "Hey, my daughter June just got an after-school job at the local Applebee's" really isn't that big of a deal.
We have to realize that with the wrong settings you're living on Main Street, and just about anyone can see your Facebook posts. Learn four ways burglars use what you post on social media to target you.
So go to the padlock icon in the upper right corner of your profile and under "Who can see my stuff?" set "Who can see my future posts?" to Friends. And if you're been loose about friending everyone who asks, you might think about weeding out your friends list.
You can also create a custom list of "Close Friends" - click here to learn how - and set your posts to be visible only to that list. The option to select a list is in the same place you select Friends.
Fourth, I have a tip for parents. Facebook originally didn't let the Facebook pages for kids be viewable by the general public – just their friends. That's changed. If your kids are minors, it's a good idea to go in and adjust their privacy settings to make sure they are set to "Friends."
You should also go to the down arrow in the upper corner, select Settings and in the left-hand column choose Privacy. Then click the Limit Past Posts link and set that to Friends as well.
And finally, this is a tiny bit sobering, but if Facebook and your Facebook profile is a big part of your life, you should start thinking about what you want to happen if you were to pass away.
Facebook rules decree that the status of your page will remain the way you had it in life; it will be "memorialized," as the company puts it, when they are presented with evidence of your passing.
On the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, newsletters and more, visitwww.komando.com. E-mail her at techcomments@usatoday.com