Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Announcement about this blog

I started Do the Hopey Copey when the present administration came in--I foresaw economic difficulties, especially for those entering the workforce.

And I was right, if I may say so.

Over the last eight years, I have tried to bring my own wacky home-grown experience as a former trade association executive (corporate) and writer (gig economy) to you. I also scoured the internet for useful advice on mastering the job market.

But my numbers are down. Most of the Hopey Copey readers are overseas (planning to "take our jobs?" LOL). No one ever commented. Does anyone care?

I also was finding my material mostly on or

In other words, this blog was languishing. So I am ending it.

You can check the websites I mentioned on your own.

I think the whole world is undergoing wrenching structural changes--in globalism, technology, and on the social side (religion, race, nationalism, etc).

Change is coming fast. You have to learn everyday to keep from being crushed under the wheels.

I have done what I could over eight years--now you must put my advice to use and I wish you luck and prosperity.

If you like my little stories and so on, I will continue my daily site HEALTH'Sass. Why should disease and disorder be boring and serious? Bookmark

See you there.

Oh--and PS. There are almost 2,000 posts on here--timeless advice, I like to think. I am not taking those down...

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Do you groan when someone says "meeting"?

Amy McDonnell, CareerBuilder, says many people dread meetings. The sitting, the rambling, idea-stealing, the showboating, the time away from "work," gag.

Want to pep these up and be a hero to your coworkers?

Ask for an agenda ahead of time. Just ask the meeting caller for a brief rundown on what will be discussed, Distribute this.

Ask on-point questions. How does this differ from what we decided last week? How long will this take? Do we have a budget?

Bring snacks. Even if it's some Kit-Kats, people will appreciate it.

Try the "yes and" trick. Everyone who talks builds on the previous person, saying, "Yes, and..."

If things stall or people argue, tryy to bring up a different perspective. Even tell a joke.

But then keep people on topic. Keep out pop culture gossip or limit it to the first few minutes.

And ALWAYS--establish what the next steps are. Alice, you are going to..." "Bob, remember to talk to ..." Let's meet again on Friday. OK--we're done."

When I had a "real" job, I realized pretty early on that some people LIKED meetings--they were like a little vacay from the tasks at hand and a chance to talk and one-up others.

No Kit-Kats for them!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Navajo math

Auckley planning a fun activity.
David Auckley, professor of mathematics at Kansas State, and Tatiana Shubin, professor of mathematics at San Jose State, co-founded the Navajo Nation Math Circles.

This project provides math activities and opportunities for K-12 Navajo students in the Southwest.

A documentary on this will be aired on PBS in September--check your listings.

Included in the outreach are visits by prominent mathematicians to schools, teacher workshops, a spring festival and summer camp.

Instead of paperwork, the project uses such tools as dice, Rubik's cubes, and puzzles involving traditional Navajo culture. It is a low stress, grade-free environment.

One lesson is you can keep playing even without finding the answer right away. A good life lesson.

The Navajos being served by this project live in the Four Corners area. Thirty percent have no telephone, 30% have no electricity, and 30% have no running water.

Yet, participants are succeeding in HS and going on to higher ed.

Now we need to do percentages--and lower those percentages of those without amenities. Maybe the kids who go on to college will have something to do with that.

Friday, September 16, 2016

We need to think about "elder orphans"

Carol Marak, writing for Twin Cities Public TV, defines "elder orphans" as older people with no spouse, kids, or companion to aid them.

She quotes one woman as saying she was alone with her dog and doesn't know where to turn--she feared becoming homeless and was scared to death.

Older people (take it from me) don't move as quickly, don't multitask as well, and don't adapt as well.

Marak started an Elder Orphan Facebook group. Check it out. It has 1,100 members so far.

Topics the Facebookers cover:

Legal and care issues. One couple said they had no "trusted friend" to oversee their financial affairs.

Affordable housing. A 69-yr-old, living on Social Security, was losing her mobile home because she could not longer afford it.

Transportation. One person got a ride to the hospital--but could not get one home. She had to be admitted because she could not get home.

Some locales are developing solutions to some of this.  The Milken Institute is working with mayors' offices to build awareness.

The best cities in which to be an elder orphan (Milken):

Provo, Utah
Madison, Wisc.
Omaha, Neb or Council Bluffs, Iowa (tied)

These rank high in terms of health care, active lifestyles, vibrant economies, and enriched environments. Still, even those have some drawbacks.

Sounds like good work--and a good use of Facebook.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Other trends that affect new professions

Could you fix this?
Yesterday, I posted on lifestyle behaviors that are spawning or increasing certain professions.

Today, it's technical advancements (again courtesy of CareerBuilder).


Apps and smart tech  -- Software developers are up 17% since 2012

Tracking online behavior -- Marketing managers up 10%

Technology now in every aspect of life -- Computer user support up 11%

Catching health problems sooner and extending lives -- Med records and health info is up 8%

Big data -- Database administrators up 9%

Incorporation of tech into everything -- Technical writers up 11%

Globalization has also supported some professions:

Diff time zones -- Customer service reps up 9%

Need for greater understanding of markets -- Market research analysts up 15%

Expanding business across borders --Interpreters, translators up 14%

Helping the world's environment -- Wind turbine techs up 37% (that's a turbine in the pix)

Maps for mobile phones -- Cartographers and photogrammetrists up 16%

Haven o idea what that last is--you better check. It may be your dream job,

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lifestyle behaviors leading to new professions

CareerBuilder and Emsi recently studied occupations that are growing and the behaviors feeding them.

People are eating out more (foodies) -- Cooks, Restaurants up 16% since 2012

More embracing of the sharing economy -- Taxi drivers, chauffeurs, Uber up 15%

More health consciousness -- Fitness trainers, aerobics up 12%

More care with finances -- Personal financial advisers up 13%

More shopping or banking line -- Info security analysts up 12%

Postponing children -- OBs and GYNs up 4%

More trends and the occupations they feed--tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Star Trek--you were ahead of your time

Mun Keat Lool, writing in Nextgov, says Star Trek is 50 and in that time, many of its "far out" ideas have come to reality.

Some examples:

Tablet computers
Tractor beams
Flip communicators--badge communicators
Cloaking devices
Voice interface computers (Siri)
Transparent aluminum
Bluetooth headset (Uhura)
Google glass
Portable memory (floppies to sticks)
Focused ultrasound
Biometric data tracking (health, ID)
Automatic doors
Big screen displays
Real-time universal translators
VISOR (bionic eyes for the blind)
Diagnostic beds

Yeah, yeah, but where are the:

Beam me uppers
Moneyless society
Vulcan nerve pinch

Actually, my father mastered the Vulcan nerve pinch--for youngsters who acted up in restaurants.
And what about Spanx? Don'tell me Captain Kirk didn't have some "help" under those tight tunics.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Happiest states or states of happiness?

These WalletHub surveys about where people are happiest seem kind of silly to me, but for a Monday, something sort of positive.

They say they study markers such as emotional health, income level, sports participation, ad infinitum.

The 10 happiest states?

North Dakota
South Dakota

I see a lot of wide open spaces there. But Hawaii I get. Except it's expensive. But Hawaii also has the lowest rate of depression.

DC has the lower number of suicides.

North Dakota has the lowest long-term unemployment rate. Fracking?

Utah has the lowest rate of heart attacks (West Virginia has the highest).

In Utah more people volunteer than in any other state--due to the Mormon influence? It also has the lowest divorce rate--same question.

To see where your state stands...go to: https//


Friday, September 9, 2016

Is your math anxiety being visited on your kids?

According to a study in Psychological Science, children of highly math-anxious parents learn less math and are more like to develop math anxiety themselves if the parents help with the math homework.

The researchers tested 438 kids from 29 public and private schools in three midwestern states for math ability as well as anxiety. The parents also completed questionnaires.

The more the math-anxious parents tried to help, the worse thekids did, slipping a third of a grade level.

For instance--it is not good to say, "I am not a math person either--and that's OK."

One parent said she tried to disguise her anxiety by holding apiece of paper in front of her face, but ultimately blurted out, "What are these teachers thinking? Are they nuts?"

Um...not good.

Math anxiety may affect as many as 20% of adults.

Some parents do lash into it--even the Common Core math, which many find exasperating and certainly different than they were taught. One parent watched videos, asked for manuals.

She said she found math was getting easier. That's what studying will do for you.

I had to teach my daughter the multiplication tables. The school decided that was beneath them. I made flash cards--she learned somewhat. But I still think drilling in the classroom was best.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Four-day workweek--could be bad for you

Allard Dembe, in a piece reprinted from The Conversation, says a four-day work schedule supposedly gives employees more time for family, including caring for elders.

Of course, each day is longer. This saves companies money on turning on the lights when no one is there.

Amazon is thinking of an even shorter week--30 hours--but only for select employees, who would then be paid 75% of their salary.

BUT--before you get too excited--remember, there are still only 24 hours in a day.

Health issues can develop from working over a certain daily threshold of hours. A study showed that the risk of an  industrial accident is up 37% for those working over 12 hours a day.

Women working more than 60 hours a week (12 hrs a day), are three times more likely to suffer heart disease, cancer, arthritis, or diabetes.

And the stress--you are expected to do the same amount as a full week.

The longer day actually takes the parent(s) away from the after school interaction period with kids.

The author liked the idea of knocking off at noon on Fridays--this adds one hour per day to the schedule.

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Remedial college classes have mixed reviews

It's no secret at this point that many secondary schools do not send students on to college fully prepared for the work.

One survey shows that of students who started college in 2003-4, 68% of those beginning at 2-year institutions and 40% at public 4-year schools took at least one remedial course.

But do these help? This has been questioned for years.

Of course, students must complete these courses to get any benefit. Again, the numbers aren't great. Of students enrolled in remedial courses, only half of those at 2-yr schools and 60% at 4-yr schools finished the classes in which they enrolled.

But--the study showed that completing remedial courses did help weakly prepared students--they had a greater chance of completing their courses and transferring to a 4-yr school than their peers who took no remedial courses.

The benefits for more strongly prepared students were not as evident, though.

And, the researchers said, colleges need to look into why students don't finish remedial classes.

I wonder if by weakly prepared they mean students from disadvantaged school systems?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

How I "age-remodeled" my bathroom

Pretty 90s? Plus-ouch!
As much as I write about aging in place, it never occurred to me that I would have to remodel my house to accommodate my arthritis and chronic pain--that was for other people. But I had a shower (above) that had a high curb--7 inches--it was agonizing to step out and try to get one foot down on the bathroom floor while bending the other knee to weird angles. I began to dread showers. Dread life. Dread everything.

And I needed grab bars--yes, grab bars--the trademark of oldies.

While I was chucking over the money, I decided on a complete makeover. Beautiful vanity, marble-topped, sleek floor level walk-in shower, a sophisticated color scheme of black, gray and brushed nickel.
I don't miss the beach theme.

Note grab bar across the back.

There is another grab bar opposite the toilet. Bliss!

Friday, September 2, 2016

What's a communications degree?

A young man doing some work at my house told me he is going to a job interview today at a big bank--sales associate.

He is at community college in pre-business/communications and asked me what a communications degree really was. Hmmm...After all my blithering on this blog, I kind of spitballed it. Part journalism--learn to write--part broadcasting maybe--social media--being culturally aware--psychology.

Would a bank want that or business? I am not sure...what do you think?

They didn't have this as a degree, at least I don't remember it, 50 yrs ago when I was in college.

I don't know if I helped this young man--or not. I also offered the usual interview advice, spruce outfit, firm handshake, listen more than talk but have some questions, know the culture. etc. Above all, appear to want the job--some enthusiasm, without overdoing it.

Still, I felt a little weak on this...

I don't want to take this too far--but I think the American culture--even the world culture--has changed away from print and toward electronic--people get their information, motivation, everything from listening and watching--or at least a lot of it. So those who can "communicate" are influencers.

Weird moment.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

More on extreme perks

I have heard that some startups and Silicon Valley types are cutting back on the weird perks, but Career Builder saw fit to list some the other day in a story by Mary Lorenz.

Apparently, some companies are OK with day drinking--with "Whiskey Fridays" or beer vending machines. They claim employees bond over a cold one--and are more creative.

Nap time is also OK with many companies, including Google, Zappos, Uber, and PwC. Sixty-one percent of employees, according to Career Builder, don't get enough sleep. The loss of productivity is in the billions--$86.9 billion, to be exact. (How can they be that exact--never mind.)

At least one company--Flowhub, which provides software for the cannabis industry-- allows edibles, sodas, and juices on the job. I recently saw a freelance ad that said "must be 4/20 friendly."

How about gender reassignment? Seven yrs ago, 49 major US employers offered transgender-inclusive health care--today that is more than 500 companies.

Paid sabbaticals are not just for college profs  anymore either,  Sometimes you have to pursue something useful or you may be able to get a shorter unpaid leave to do anything you please.

Concierge services! Dry cleaning, mailing, travel arrangements--handled my someone else...Sounds heavenly.

But not as heavenly as on-site massages. The companies that offer this see it as helping employees stay healthy

And, of course, dogs. No more petsitters or dog walkers--bring Bingo to work. And this is not limited to pet food companies.

Why do they do this? Well, cynical people say it's so employees won't want to telecommute or will stay at work for ungodly hours. But those are very, very cynical people.