Impulse Buying

The video in yesterday’s post, where dogs were tested for their ability to ignore distractions, reminded me of humans and impulse buying.

A USA Today article entitled Put Down That Shiny Object! Most have made impulse buys warns:

Holiday shoppers beware: Most Americans (75%) have made impulse purchases, and half regretted doing it, according to a new survey from

About a third of people have blown $100 or more on an impulse buy. Men are the biggest spenders when it comes to this: They are three times more likely than women to spend more than $1,000, according to the survey of 1,000 U.S. adults.

That doesn’t apply to me because I’m not a holiday shopper. We don’t exchange that many presents now, and even when we had a number of nieces and nephews to buy for, I always bought well before Thanksgiving. I purposely avoided the Christmas mania that seems to strike most Americans.

What about impulse purchases? Mostly I buy things online from companies that guarantee customer satisfaction, and I do research first and read the reviews. Andy and I do spend more money now in our new upscale grocery/department store, but it’s because they have more of the food that we like and because we sometimes see something new and are willing to try it. If it’s no good we don’t have remorse. It’s come from our “experimental money” and was a learning experience. The main thing is we never spend more than we can afford, and on the whole we enjoy what we buy.

What kind of a shopper are you?


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Winning Isn’t Everything

I’m somewhere between the two extremes. What about you?


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Yay, Aethlon!

Time Magazine has named the Aethlon Hemopurifier™ one of the top 25 inventions of 2014. The device is a cartridge to be used in dialysis machines to remove viruses from the patient’s blood. It is still being tested, but it has already helped save the life of one Ebola victim in Germany. Aethlon is also hoping to use it in the treatment of HIV and Hepatitis, among other diseases. Aethlon points out things may not go as smoothly as they hope, but it’s a potentially revolutionary device.

Yay, Aethlon!


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Another Way of Tracking


I was surprised when I read 10 Ways You’re Being Tracked and How to Stop It. I already knew our phone calls and email weren’t secure, and that surveillance cameras might show where we were at a given time, but I never dreamed that color laser printers stamp almost invisible codes on every piece of paper they print. The code contains the date, time, and serial number of the printer. Apparently scientists at Purdue are working on expanding the technology to ink jet printers. Who would have guessed?

I wonder what else is going on that we are unaware of?


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No Complaining? Fat Chance

Will Bowen used this cartoon in his book, A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted. The idea, of course, is don’t waste your time complaining but instead change your life for the better.

Cheoah over at The Thundering Herd says,

I should be so lucky. I’ve been trapped in this crate ever since I had knee surgery over six weeks ago. For the first six weeks the only time I got out was for potty breaks, and even then I wasn’t allowed to walk by myself. Hu-dad had to support me in a sling so I wouldn’t put weight on the leg. Now I’m allowed to walk by myself, but except for potty breaks and a 10-minute walk each day I’m still trapped here. Not complain? Fat Chance. I proclaim my unhappiness to the whole world!

Good luck, Cheoah — and Hu-dad!


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Following His Heart

The great thing about being retired is we can spend our time on the activities we love. We don’t have to be stuck in a job where our heart isn’t in our work.

When Sherwood Anderson felt stuck as a copy writer he decided to follow his heart and become a full-time writer. This was the letter of resignation he wrote to his boss:

June 25, 1918

Dear Barton:

You have a man in your employ that I have thought for a long time should be fired. I refer to Sherwood Anderson. He is a fellow of a good deal of ability, but for a long time I have been convinced that his heart is not in his work.

There is no question but that this man Anderson has in some ways been an ornament to our organization. His hair, for one thing being long and mussy gives an artistic carelessness to his personal appearance that somewhat impresses such men as Frank Lloyd Wright and Mr. Curtenius of Kalamazoo when they come into the office.

But Anderson is not really productive. As I have said his heart is not in his work. I think he should be fired and if you will not do the job I should like permission to fire him myself. I therefore suggest that Anderson be asked to sever his connections with the Company on August 1st. He is a nice fellow. We will let him down easy but let’s can him.

Respectfully submitted,

Sherwood Anderson

Yay, Sherwood Anderson!

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Not Either Or — Both

Faith is the ability to honor stillness at some moments, and at others to ride the passion and exuberance.
—Alan Lightman

For me it has nothing to do with faith. The ability to have a balance between stillness and riding the passion and exuberance is heaven itself. Is it any wonder that some people love retirement?


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Embracing Discomfort

In a comment on Failure or Feedback, Rummuser wrote:

I doubt very much that anyone can be comfortable with failure. I would imagine that eventually successful people would be able to cope with failure and other setbacks better than others.

For me the trick is not to make a big deal about feeling uncomfortable — it’s just part of the process. Some of the happiest moments of my life were when I either stepped out or was forced out of my comfort zone. If there’s a good match between the challenge and one’s abilities, it can be invigorating. As I explained in What I Learned From Being Downsized, one of the happiest periods of my life was when Andy and I were both threatened with being downsized. It was scary, but also exciting. And it’s the reason I chose to become an expert on stress management — learning to use the energy of stress productively. It’s an experience I still cherish.

What about you? Are you/have you been happiest when you’ve been completely comfortable or when you’ve been challenged?


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Guaranteed to Fail

27. Write right from the left to the right as you see it spelled here.

28. Divide a vertical line in two equal parts by bisecting it with a curved horizontal line that is straight at the point of bisection of the vertical.

29. Write every other word in the first line and print every third word in the same line, but capitalize the fifth word that you write.

30. Draw five circles that have one common interlocking part.

Those were the last four questions on the 1964 “literacy” test in Louisiana. (To see the complete test, click here.)

Anyone who couldn’t prove he/she had a 5th grade education needed to pass the test in order to vote. The instructions were

Do what you are told to do in each statement, nothing more, nothing less. Be careful as one wrong answer denotes failure of the test. You have 10 minutes to complete the test.

Needless to say, the test was excellent at keeping people from voting.


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No Thanks

This is another hobby I won’t be taking up.


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 11 Comments