Category: Uncategorized

Deciding what to do with the RMD (the what?)

Along with when to start social security and which Medicare plan to choose, retirees who have tax-deferred savings plans have another major decision to make: what to do with the Required Minimum Distribution.  In case you’re not old enough to be aware of the RMD, neither was I until a few years ago. When my financial... Read more »

Say it ain’t so, Atticus

So, all lovers of To Kill a Mockingbird — I know there are a lot of us; it placed first on PBS’s Great American Read last fall — did you realize that not everyone admires Atticus? Learning that Atticus Finch, the book’s hero, has critics came as a surprise after I finished my umpteenth reread... Read more »

On architecture and two lighter topics

What do architecture, spelling, and window cleaners have in common? Not much, except this post. Snippets solve the dilemma of not having enough to say on a single topic. ***** ARCHITECTURE FOR ALL OF US Without featuring all kinds of skyscrapers in a city known for its architecture, my Chicago Greeter tours of the Loop... Read more »
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Pinochle really is what I want to play

I suppose I’m naive, but I was shocked when the ad I published on Craigslist looking for pinochle partners was misinterpreted. Quite a few people thought I was looking for partners for something else. The ad said: PINOCHLE ANYONE? We are two South Loopers interested in playing pinochle and looking for two more to make... Read more »

Could worry, could deny memory loss. Or could just pay attention.

You’ve probably heard this example of how to tell dementia from a brain blip: If you can’t find the keys, it’s a brain blip. If you can’t remember what the keys are for, it’s dementia. Would that all examples were that clear. I’ve done a couple of things playing Scrabble that seemed really weird. The... Read more »

Pragmatism over idealism — defeating Trump is the priority

I didn’t expect to see the day when the Democratic Party moved to the left of me. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that I don’t think the 2020 Democratic platform should include such proposals from the left as single-payer healthcare, free public college, and zero-carbon emissions, although I hope they’ll come... Read more »
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No apologies for learning about Navajos through Hillerman mysteries

Last week the Art Institute announced it was postponing an exhibit on Mimbres pottery of the ancient Southwest because it wanted more input from Native people. As I read about that appropriate action, my thoughts soon turned from art to literature and the late author Tony Hillerman. Far from being accused of cultural appropriation as... Read more »

On “helping” students with college application essays

Many Americans had never heard of college admission consultants before William Rick Singer was accused of cheating to get the kids of wealthy clients into elite universities. It’s in recent years that the business of advising college-bound students has mushroomed, with the number of independent consultants quadrupling since 2015, the Chicago Tribune reported. They help... Read more »

Dressing warmly next winter

This winter of record-breaking lows put our cold-weather dressing skills to the test. We all know the drill: layers, hat, scarf, gloves or mittens, insulated boots with good tread. I usually follow it pretty well but still felt cold here and there on exceptionally frigid days.   • If I didn’t wear a scarf over... Read more »
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How not to be overwhelmed in a museum

Illinois residents’ annual winter bonanza of free admission to Chicago’s major museums ended in late February. I took advantage of it quite a bit, both for the obvious reason of not paying and because winter is my preferred time to be in museums. But no need for regrets, those of you who didn’t: there are... Read more »