Category: Consumer matters

More affordable hearing aids coming

The Hearing Loss Association of America expects that by the end of the year, the Food and Drug Administration will allow sales of over-the-counter hearing aids. Adults with mild to moderate hearing loss will be able to buy hearing aids without going to a hearing professional. OTC hearing aids should be mostly a good thing... Read more »

Shhhh: I have an Android phone

The former IT person in the publications office where I worked was so rah-rah Apple that I would be embarrassed to bring out my Android phone in front of him. All of the former coworkers with whom I communicate have iPhones.  A longtime Mac computer user, as I am, apparently betrays the family by buying... Read more »

With gift-giving reduced, what to do with gift box contents?

Some friends and I have stopped giving gifts for Christmas and birthdays. It make sense: we say we want to purge possessions. It leaves me with a dilemma, however: what to do with the potential presents collected over the years.  A large box holds things from my own shopping, regiftables, and never-used purchases of my... Read more »

Use shoes or lose ’em

Remember the images of Imelda Marcos’s rows of shoes? I wonder how many of Marcos’s reported 3,000 pairs were ever worn. It’s not good for shoes to be always in closets instead of on feet, not that Marcos likely cared. But who am I to talk? I have a bad habit of saving footwear until... Read more »

Ambivalence might be the desired stance

As I was lamenting the departure of the Chicago Tribune columnists who took Tribune owner Alden Global Capital’s buyout offer, my favorite New York Times columnist published his last column. Frank Bruni’s June 20 piece was a gem. Reflecting on 10 years as a columnist, Bruni wondered whether the dogmatism of political commentators had contributed... Read more »

What vegetarians eat needn’t be mystifying

I heard a woman say that she was a vegetarian until her husband got tired of eating salads every day. “I could, but he couldn’t,” she commented.  Assuming she meant salads as a main dish, I was surprised. Did she not know about options, from meatless variations of popular dishes to fake meats? Did she... Read more »

I’m glad I still can read the news on paper

Especially since the pandemic began, sitting down to read the daily newspaper in print form has been the highlight of my days. The reliable Chicago Tribune carrier leaves the paper outside the door early every morning. After breakfast, I make a pot of tea and settle into my reading chair for what’s become a long,... Read more »

What I learned setting up a computer may help other novices

Three weeks ago I wrote about my inattention to technology and today I’m doling out computer advice. Before you think “What chutzpah,” know that I’m not posing as an expert. I merely think that what I learned when I came home with a new MacBook Air might be helpful to others who also never set up a... Read more »

Is your computer old? Replace it before it dies.

“Things work until they don’t.” A doorman at my building offered that consolation when I was chiding myself for not replacing my ancient desktop computer before it died last week. I appreciated his sympathy, but it would have been better to replace the computer before it didn’t function. You can wait to buy a dishwasher,... Read more »

Review Medicare choice even if you’re happy with it

Medicare open enrollment — the time of year we over-65ers can choose to switch our Medicare plans for the coming year — continues until December 7. Two people I’ve spoken with say they’re not planning to review the choices because they like their Medicare Advantage plans. It’s great that they’re happy, but according to health... Read more »