The Curious Autodidact

July 30, 2009

Junk the Junk Mail

I went to visit a recently widowed friend tonight and saw a pile of junk mail that was addressed to his wife, of almost sixty years, who died a few months back. Every time a piece of mail comes to her name it is a reminder she is no longer there so I asked if he’d like me to remove her from the junk mail lists. When he said “yes, and me too” I went to this site to reduce the bulk of mail these kind elderly friends receive. You put in your information and follow the links and print out the letters to the various organization, to reduce the waste that just gets put in the recycler each week. He signed the letters, I posted them and my fingers are crossed we’ll see less unwanted mail in his box from here on out.


July 29, 2009

One Person Can Make a Difference at any Age

Filed under: cool internet stuff,media related,nonprofit,social justice — Honilima @ 2:01 am

In the category of “get up and do something” come these two stories of philanthropy sure to inspire. One a young five year old girl, Phoebe in San Francisco and the other Carol Schillios a middle-aged lady in Edmonds. Both are giving of their life energy to make a difference, both of whom have gotten great publicity through the use of new media and video.

Take a look at these two and reach into your creativity pocket and come up with a small thing you can do to make a difference in someone else’s life.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.”Margaret Meade

July 27, 2009

Visualize a Trillion if you Dare

Filed under: cool internet stuff — Honilima @ 2:07 am

U.S. Bearer Bond

U.S. Bearer Bond

If you are feeling strong enough to tackle the concepts of our national debt and what it means, take a look at what a trillion really is. Now I am waiting to hear “That’s trillion with a T”

Here’s the US Treasury’s take on it that they call The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It.

July 26, 2009

Goodbye Blue Mail Boxes?

Filed under: media related — Honilima @ 3:11 am

I thought I was the only one who was searching around for the now elusive blue mail boxes. When driving in the car my sister and I call out now when we see one they are so rare almost like four-leafed clovers.

They removed the drive up boxes from our neighborhood (Magnolia in Seattle) due to a construction project and we had to fight for months to get another put in another place with only one daily pick up instead of three. There are to my knowledge only four left in our entire neighborhood including the one outside the post office itself. This is not helpful for the elderly and disabled who rely on drive up boxes for ease of use.

I guess this is a trend that will only get worse, not unlike the complex package and mailing rules making it impossible to know how much postage to put on something without a trip into the post office or what most people do putting on way too much postage to avoid such a journey. Here’s an article in the Washington Post today “So Long, Snail Shells” about the diminished number of boxes and the almost certain demise of snail mail in the future.

July 24, 2009

Caring for the Caregiver

Filed under: end of life,helpful hints — Honilima @ 4:45 am

In doing some research for a close friend who is coping as an only adult offspring, trying to do the right thing. for her aging father I came across this marvelous list put out by the American Medical Association (AMA) If you care facing a challenge caring for someone in your life I urge you to take this test that will weigh your stress-level.

The National Caregivers Library has lots of helpful resources.

Further I’d recommend reading: COUNTING ON KINDNESS by Wendy Lustbader (out of print, get at the library or used) or MY MOTHER ,YOUR MOTHER by Dr. Dennis McCullough.

July 22, 2009

Ms. Elizabeth Warren, my Heroine Continued

Filed under: women heroes — Honilima @ 12:53 am

Elizabeth Warren--Official 113th Congressional Portrait--.jpg


This woman rocks my world, thank goodness she is looking out for us her the position with the government as she has also become the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the U.S. banking bailout.

In May 2009, Warren was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Here’s a You Tube presentation she has done to help us understand what she is fighting for. You go girl!

July 19, 2009

Keeping Track of Terms of Service

Filed under: cool internet stuff,helpful hints,media related — Honilima @ 8:07 pm

Tosback TOSBack, a project of the brilliant (and worthy of your financial support) nonprofit Electronic Freedom Frontier, keeps an eye on 58 website policies. Every time one of them changes, you’ll see an update here. An illustrative example is the changes detailed about Verizon’s changes.

This is an easy way to keep track of these changes to long legal notices you might not otherwise take the time to read through without falling asleep from the legalese. Very cool website.

July 6, 2009

Free Credit Score?

Filed under: cool internet stuff,helpful hints,money saving ideas — Honilima @ 9:20 pm

In our modern world you can’t even get insurance without providing your social security number so they can check your credit score. This score influences the insurance rates you pay. It is important to make sure these reports are up to date and accurate.

To avoid errors in your report and to nip identity theft in the bud it’s important to request for your credit report at least yearly if not twice annually.

There are three credit reporting agencies, Transunion, Equafax, and Experian and you can get one report from each annually, so stagger them if you have time review your reports twice annually.

Although you can get a free credit report in order to get the number that is your credit score generally you have to pay for it. Credit Karma is a new service that will bring that number to you and additionally will help you understand what goes into that score and how you may improve it.

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