Monday, August 27, 2012

What a Boomer Wants, what a boomer needs

At Blogher there was a special sponsor party for bloggers of a certain age.   The company and conversation was simply awesome, and the space (called OffSite) much more comfortable than the crowded hotel suites of some of the other parties.

The snacks were tasty.   I tried lavender popcorn for the first time.   I would not have thought a scent combined with popcorn, but it was delicious.    We also had fun trying out different scents from Demeter.   It's funny that "white linen" smelled to me like my grandma's closet (kind of musty), but "clean skin" was awesome.   I could have spent the whole evening at that table trying out fragrances and connecting them to memories.   Sharing those memories and stories with my fellow bloggers made it even more fun.

What surprised me was which sponsors were not there.   For example, no toys.  As I mentioned in No respect from the Toy sponsors, bloggers of a certain age are often grandparents and purchase some big ticket items for major occasions.   How about fashionable accessories?    We may not wear 5 inch heels because we already ruined our feet at a younger age, or we may have foot problems like heel spurs and bunions.    But we still like a fashionable, comfortable shoe like Birkestock Papgallos.   And Alegria.   I pay bigger bucks for these shoes than I ever did for fashionable shoes.    Pretty shoes that don't hurt my feet are so rare I buy them in multiple colors when I find them.  (If there is more than one color)

 We like a nice bag and we're always looking for our next favorite.  Nowadays I carry a computer and probably tablet and like lots of compartments.  When I was young I couldn't afford to buy nice bags, but now designer bags are one of life's little pleasures I no longer do without. 

How about clothing for the lady that is stylish and age appropriate that doesn't look like my grandmother's curtains?    For example, Coldwater Creek is one of my favorite brands, and has sizes that fit my less than perfect body.  

So thank you Boombox Network for a lovely evening.   And let those other sponsors know we have income to dispose of, and haven't given up on fashion.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Looking for some respect from Toy sponsors

Though I didn't get an actual invite to the Big Toy Book Sweet Suite during #blogher12, I did get some of the give-aways  from the swag exchange.  It fascinates me that some bloggers have so much stuff that their castoffs look awesome to me.     Makes me wonder what's back in their rooms that made the cut.  

It also amazes me that the toy sponsors do not seem to be interested in the older blogger.  Those big ticket items for birthday and Christmas often arrive courtesy of - grandparents.  So if you want to educate someone about the fancy little kitchen that plays a song about pizza, consider reaching out to the that demographic.  I purchase as many toys as a grandparent as I did as a parent.    And, yes, we baby boomers do use social media to share, as well as old-fashioned word of mouth.

The Kinect 360, for example, is a great example of grandparent-friendly toys.   We can use it when the kids aren't around to view Amazon Prime videos.    And we can't lose that controller in the couch.

One of a series of posts about Blogher 12.   

Cell phones and middle school

The begging has begun for a cell phone.   Apparently everyone else in the class has a phone and my child is completely out of the loop.   Of course they aren't supposed to be texting (but they do) and definitely not sending pictures (even though they are taking them), but they have phones.

At this point I am still looking for the cell phone that has enough protection on it that I feel comfortable putting it into my child's hands.   The service providers have some programs, but it seems to err on the side of tracking rather than preventing.

At Blogher 12 I saw an app from NQ Mobile that looks like it takes parental controls seriously.    Most apps are more concerned with security than usability, but this one starts to address them in a parent-oriented manner.    Instead of a phone being a way to get unsupervised access to the Internet, the app has the ability to block apps.

Like texting, and blogging.

The kids in my child's class won't be happy when I get the word out on this protection.  But their parents -- will be.   Now if only I could get it on the Kindle Fire, too.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Distracted walking can be hazardous to your health

I read a story in my local newspaper (yes, we still have newspapers here in the small towns of the Midwest) about a guy who fell onto a subway train track because he was too busy texting.   Fortunately there was no train for long enough for him to get back onto the platform.

The phenomena of distracted walking has been entertaining me for years.   I have seen people (usually college students) literally walk into street signs and telephone poles, and then apologize to inanimate objects.

As an April Fools day stunt one city set up e-walking lanes, so that people could text and other people would get out of the their way.   When they took the lanes down the next day, people complained.

My mother had a very simple way to address this.   She always said "look both ways before you cross the street."  (She also told me I had another think coming, but I never got my think)  No e-lanes, no laws about distracted walking, just follow good old-fashioned advice from kindergarten.

Or maybe cell phones are damaging our brains so we don't know when to put them down.