Category: Consumer matters

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 »
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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 »
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Five-C's criteria for my condo

Spending more time than usual at home, we might be feeling as bored with our dwellings as with ourselves. The blahs can bring on an itch to redecorate. I had hardly changed anything in my South Loop condo after making it livable when I moved in seven years ago. Before scratching the redecorating itch, though,... Read more »

Grrr . . . Facebook is needed to rent a Getaround car

What do Facebook and car sharing have in common? I wouldn’t have thought anything until I learned that a Facebook account is needed to use the peer-to-peer car-sharing service Getaround. For the first time in the 15 some years since I gave up a car, I need regular access to a vehicle. And so for... Read more »

Making masks more comfortable

Let’s stipulate that it’s important and respectful to continue wearing masks as long as the coronavirus is out there. I wear a mask because I should, not to align with a political position. Okay, that’s established. Now I can complain about masks. It’s harder to breathe wearing a mask. It’s harder to hear, and harder... Read more »
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The peril of saving apparel to wear later

No matter how diligently we exercise and watch our diets, our shapes change as we age. We get shorter and wider as muscle tissue shrinks. Even our feet flatten and widen from wear and tear. Losing an inch and a half of height bothered me. Needing shoes a half-size larger wasn’t troublesome — except for... Read more »