It almost makes a fellow feel cheap, but I’m sure it certainly is something to look at.
A longtime colleague called the other day to chit-chat for a bit. As we have done for years, we wanted to get caught up on what’s been happening in each other’s life, and with our families.
We also wanted to send each other best wishes for the holiday season.
He was telling me about his family and mentioned that his daughter, another veteran journalist, had been working on a feature story about people who make a living putting up Christmas lights for others.
In particular, she told him, she had interviewed a guy who handled the decorative lights for a man who owned a major entertainment company in California. She told her dad the job paid well. Very well. Putting the lights on that one house brought a $50,000 contract.
I haven’t seen pictures, but I know without looking that’s a little more than I spent on my lights this year. OK, more than a little.
I’ve seen some pretty nice displays in my day. Big ones. Expensive ones. Just about anything Christmas-related you can think of, I’ve seen it.
My family likes to view the displays, those at individual homes, as well as the big municipal presentations, such as those in cities and towns throughout Oklahoma. Some of them are nothing short of incredible, from those you tune in to a spot on your radio dial to hear accompanying music, to those with live characters.
You can check on NewsOK and on wimgo.com for community displays to visit. They’re well worth visiting, in my opinion.
And there are even those who piggyback on a nearby display. I saw one recently where a house was awash in lights, from the rooftop all the way to the curb. Lots of blinking, twinkling lights, moving characters and music.
Next door, the house had a smaller display, but a sign in the front yard that caught my eye and added a little humor.
The sign, of good size and circled in bright lights, pointed to the big display and said: “Ditto.”
I visited a couple of call centers in the metro and began to see an awkward pattern of hairy men. EWWW. I finally drew up the confidence to ask one of them if I was going crazy or not and he informed me that I wasn’t. THANK GOD
So, he told me that he was participating in No Shave November. He could not give me a clear explanation on the purpose of the tradition but all he could say was that it supported a good cause and he wanted to take part.
I decided to do my own research and come to find out this is HUGE. There are many suspected origins as to the original purpose but millions of people; even celebrities participate in No Shave November annually.
I am highly intrigued in the subject so I thought it would be cool to share what I have learned. First off there are ladies that also participate by not shaving their legs or armpits for the WHOLE month of November; personally I couldn’t imagine.
Some sites state that November happens to be the busiest month of the year, so the no shaving tradition came about pretty much giving them the okay to be lazy. Some sites state that it is a tradition in which men don’t shave in order to raise awareness for men’s prostate health.
This specific purpose is said to have started out as Movember which joins the two words mustache and November. One of the other purposes was said to have started from philosopher Plato, who believed that in order for a man to be educated properly, he must imitate those who are highly educated, which were bearded men at that time.
Either way, I find this to be amazing and even went and liked the page on fb. For more information, simply Google No Shave November. FYI there are actual charities attached to this tradition so participation is definitely encouraged because just like the man I spoke with, we all love to support good causes.
It’s all about money … how you get it, what you do with it. It’s your choice … mostly.
Who hasn’t watched a game show on TV, where contestants try to win money and prizes? Spin a wheel, answer a question, choose a door, select the right item, match objects and you might win the big one.
Maybe you play the lottery, where you spend money trying to make money. It’s a game of chance, similar to what some businesses “play” every day.
But listening to the radio while driving recently, I heard some hosts talking about how things are viewed today versus how they were thought of years ago. Such as, “If you had the choice of taking $100,000 when you were 20 or $10 million when you were 60, which would it be?”
For the younger set, those who haven’t reached the milestones in their lives yet, it’s all a dream or a wish. For those of us who have achieved at least one of those times, there’s some reality mixed in, especially when we’ve seen prices soar through the years on everything from necessities to accessories.
Later, when I wasn’t behind the wheel, I thought about what I would have done with a spare $100,000 when I hit 20. Like those on the radio show I had been listening to, a new car and a nice home were two items I most likely would have purchased. But I’m not sure how much investing I would have done, or how many trips I would have taken.
Now, getting $10 million at age 60 would bring a lot of interesting possibilities, such as retiring all debt for my family and me, helping others who are struggling …
Then, another question came to mind. “Would someone who suddenly found themselves with $10 million at age 60 continue to work for someone else, or would they either retire or work solely for them?”
I’d have to think about it some more, but I probably wouldn’t think long. I’m sure I could decide that one … shortly after I got my $10 million.
Learn more about handling personal finances at KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MONEY-OKLAHOMA and its list of resources.
There was a day when you couldn’t get me to say the word “retire.” I had too much going to even give it a thought. From the time I shut off the alarm and got out of bed until the time I turned out the lights at night, my life was set on “go.”
Through the years, there have been a few changes. Actually, there have been many. Some days, it feels like my get-up-and-go just got-up-and-went, as they say. Other days, I”m still going strong. Or at least, I really want it to be that way.
I recently took a class on retirement, just to see how I stood and what I might out to do to prepare for that day when I would be able to leave the fulltime job and shift at least some of my efforts from things I HAVE TO do to things I WANT TO do. Well, at least that’s’ the intention.
It was during that class that I realized I’m certainly not at that point yet. In fact, I’m not certain when I will be there. But at least now I have an idea as to what it will take to get me there. I also know there are many things to consider before I can make it happen.
I have to look at such things as …
* Finance — Where will it come from and how much will we have? Will my retirement account and our investments sustain us?
* Health — Will we able to get around well enough to remain independent?
* Insurance — What can we afford and what will it cover? Health, home and vehicle insurance are only part of that picture.
* Home — Can we maintain our home? There are always areas that need attention, from cleaning to repairs.
* Transportation — What are our options? Will we still be able to drive ourselves, or will we need assistance?
* Activity — A key point for most any retiree. It’s not just keeping the body active. You need to keep the mind sharp as long as possible.
These were just some of the key concerns. There are many more. Each individual’s situation is different.
Take a look at KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/RETIREMENT-OKLAHOMA to see areas a person looking ahead should be aware of before taking that plunge. Don’t forget also to look at KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MONEY-OKLAHOMA for more ideas on what you can do to prepare.
These and other topics in our “know it” library might be just what you need.
Money isn’t always the most important need, though it certainly can help in many instances. Those wanting to help people who aren’t as well off, or who are facing challenges in their lives have numerous possibilities available.
A recent caller said she had survived a major situation and wanted to do something for someone less fortunate as a way of repaying her good fortune. We talked briefly, discussing options she might be interested in that could afford her an opportunity. We looked through the various topics in the “know it” library on NewsOK (HTTP:..KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/) and she was surprised by the number of areas she found quickly.
It wasn’t matter of trying to find something, it was more narrowing down the possibilities she could participate in immediately, from working with homeless people (HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/HOMELESS-OKLAHOMA) to doing charitable work (HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/CHARITY-OKLAHOMA).
But the search didn’t end there. She found several others as she scanned the various topics in the “know it” list.
By the time she had gone through such areas as HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/RELIGION-FAITH-OKLAHOMA and HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MILITARY-OKLAHOMA, she said she had found at least 10 areas she thought she would be able to work in.
Of course, there are areas where money IS needed. She said she would donate money as she could, but certainly time and work regularly.
It will all be worthwhile, to her and to those she works with, as well as those she helps in other ways … a real “feel good” and positive situation.
You’ve most likely read or seen the plea, but unless you or anyone you know ever has needed blood, you may not understand the significance.
As someone who has been in that situation, I can tell you it’s extremely significant. It easily can be a matter of life or death.
“Someone needs blood every two seconds,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of the Oklahoma Blood Institute. “This constant need is why we are asking … residents to donate blood.”
Because there is no substitute for blood, the supply must constantly be renewed. There always is a need.
Maybe it’s because I have experience firsthand the need. Maybe it’s because I’ve known many others who have been through it. Or maybe it’s because I have worked closely with the institute and its staff for many years to see and hear about those times when a quantity of donated blood allowed someone to continue to live.
Whatever the reason, I do know, and I encourage everyone who can to consider donating. You can find information in news releases in any of the five “know it” communities about how and where you can do so. There are many opportunities through the year. Just check KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/EDMOND, KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MIDWEST-CITY, KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/NORMAN, KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/OKLAHOMA-CITY, or KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/YUKON for local drives.
You also can find information by contacting the institute or any of its donor centers.
Although all blood types are needed, those with O-negative type blood are especially encouraged to donate. According to the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), those with O-negative blood type make up only 9 percent of the national population. However, O-negative blood can be used in any emergency situation when a patient’s blood type has not yet been identified.
Oklahoma Blood Institute exclusively provides every drop of blood needed by patients at all hospitals in the metro-OKC area. Some 140 other medical facilities across the state also rely solely on OBI to provide life-saving blood for their patients.
Anyone, 16 years or older, can typically donate blood. Blood can be given every 56 days. To find out more or make an appointment to donate, call 877-340-8777, or visit WWW.OBI.ORG.
All 16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 and provide signed parental permission. All 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds, All 18-year-olds must weigh at least 110 pounds.
My mild-mannered friend and former classmate is gone, thanks apparently to gang violence in which he had no involvement.
An innocent man lost his life because he and his young daughter were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were looking for a birthday present for his wife in a Tulsa business when a stray bullet crashed through a store window and struck him in the chest.
His daughter lost her loving father, a loving husband to her mother. Outside the store, another man, this one with a past of criminal activity, also died. Police say that man was the target of the gunman. My friend’s death was totally unintended.
As of now, the shooter remains at large. His image appears on surveillance video at the time of the slayings. Authorities believe there are those who know him. Authorities, along with my friend’s family, have asked for assistance from the public in locating the killer.
Unfortunately, this incident, which resulted in the death of former Ponca City resident Wesley Brown, is one of many similar events that have made news recently, too many of them. Often, it is an innocent person, such as Wesley, who dies.
For those who knew Wesley, this incident is unfathomable. We remember him as a cheerful, intelligent individual, always smiling, always kind. His personality was warm and generous.
Unlike the individual responsible for his death, Wesley didn’t harm people. He helped them. I remember him as a good student, a friendly sort. He wasn’t big into athletics, but rather more into intellectual challenges.
After we graduated from high school, I didn’t hear much from him until we hooked up again on Facebook. But I hear and read that his interests were about the same as they were when we were in class together and young friends: family- and community-oriented.
I can only hope his family, in particular his young daughter who was with him at the time of the shooting, will recover from this tragedy. I hope the individual responsible for his death will be caught before someone else is harmed.
See the resources area of KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MENTAL-HEALTH-OKLAHOMA for information on the grieving process and how to cope with the loss of someone close to you.
I call it “being curious.” Some call it “being snoopy.” But I’ve always been interested in what’s on everyone’s mind. After all, that’s what people in my business are supposed to do: find out what people want to know about and give them as much information as you possibly can.
Sometimes, it’s easy. You can start with weather. Especially in Oklahoma, the weather plays a big part in most everything, from business to pleasure, from life to death. Weather is a factor.
You always can talk politics. This is an election year and, no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape hearing or seeing someone voice an opinion on who is and who is not doing the right thing, who will or who will not win in the November general election, who ought to stay, who ought to go.
One of the most significant freedoms we have it the right to state our opinion, and the right to agree or disagree, whether you do or don’t want to hear it.
Now that the Thunder’s season has ended, there’s a break. Right? To a degree. There are still the Thunder players participating in the Olympics, which, by the way, is another topic that will be even bigger soon.
We’re just a few weeks away from the start of the new football season. The predictions and expectations already are there.
Money always is an important topic, from how to make it to how to spend it, or how to save it. Add to that the cost of anything, which always seems to being heading upward. Who has money, who needs money and how to help those who don’t have enough to adequately survive also get attention.
Vehicles have been popular topics since the first ones were invented. You can expect that to continue until we don’t use them anymore.
Health matters — yours or those of someone else, how to avoid them and how to treat them — are important and often discussed.
Items relating to the military, particularly in a state like Oklahoma where it has such a presence, affect many people.
You also will read, see, or hear about such topics as children, pets, religion, travel, recreation and cultural events.
Plenty, huh? And there are many more.
Each of the topics mentioned above is in at least one of our “know it” topics. It may be a story, it could be a photo, or it might be in a topic’s resource material. Then again, it might be in more than one, sometimes several.
That’s why they are there: To give you information. And you can contribute as well by sending news releases, notes of praise, or other tidbits to the online communities.
Visit HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/ and look them over.
The Department of Defense has announced an agreement between the United States and Indian to resume their attempts to recover the remains of military service members lost during World War II in parts of northeastern Indian.
This is good news for Americans who had family members serving in that region, where an estimated 400 service personnel remain unaccounted for from some 90 aircraft crashes during the war.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said: “This is a critical step toward bringing home our service members lost during World War II. The United States and India, working together, can help provide comfort to the families of Americans who were lost during the war.”
A news release from the Defense Department said: “The Department deeply appreciates the close cooperation of the Government of India in helping our teams resume their critical work. Returning our fallen heroes is a top priority of the Department of Defense.
The release said virtually all of the sites where the crashes occurred are in northeast India. Information the U.S. has confirms 16 known crash sites and officials continue to develop information on others.
Some of the information was reported to the Department of Defense by private parties or through Indian press, the release said.
“In April 2012, Department of Defense representatives participated in State Department-led bilateral discussions with the Government of India where restarting remains recovery operations was addressed,” the release said.
For more information on the U.S. armed forces, go to KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MILITARY-OKLAHOMA.
My daughter graduated high school last week. She has began her search for a summer job.
She has had one job in her life at a sandwich shop in Midwest City last summer. She enjoyed the work, and it was a great experience for her. I loved the look on her face when she received her first check. She was floating on cloud nine. When she asked me why she had to pay taxes, I almost fell out of my chair laughing!
This summer, it seems a little harder for her to find work. Everyone keeps telling her that she doesn’t have enough work experience.
I’m no genius, but how does she get work experience when no one will hire her due to her not having work experience? I’m chuckling as I type this, but underneath the chuckle is frustration and a papa bear that wants to protect his cub.
I know eventually someone will “take a chance” on her. She is a great kid, wonderful work ethic, always does what she is asked to do, very loyal. Intelligent and funny.
I just wish folks would remember when they were first looking for a job, how nervous they were, how hard it was to get out of the car and walk into a place and talk to total strangers.
I told her to keep her chin up and keep on trucking. I told her to be herself, be honest, and look people in the eye. I told her to be persistent and to check back with anyone who showed interest in her.
I told her these things, but I didn’t tell her the most important thing about all this. I didn’t tell her that what she’s going through is a part of life. I wish I could be with her and help her with this, but some things she will just have to overcome on her own, it’s what will make her who she is.
I wonder if my parents felt the same way when I was looking for my first job.