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prime. A lifestyle ResouRce • July 2013

Dunes Lakeshore Guardian in Chief

Costa Dillon on managing Mother Nature BIG BROTHER

Give UP when your bracelet knows your every move

SERIES BINGE

A new way to watch TV by Kathryn MacNeil

Denise DeClue 60-something

FlIRTING wITH DISaSTER Mr. Fix-It the Refrigerator Man

Amatulli & Associates “The Safe Money People”


publisher’s letter.

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e are constantly examining and evaluating our market from the viewpoints of various customers. Our advertising sales clients and partners are always looking for new and interesting ways to find customers and identify what it is about their products and services that keep customers coming back and engaging and relying on them more often. On the reader side of our many Times Media products we are looking to build our market share too. That’s why we offer our audience not just news, but a compelling 24/7 report covering a range of topics from dramatic photos of a storm system (from our staff, but also the work of talented readers) that rocked the region to the first woman to recover from breast cancer surgery and take the title of Mrs. Indiana. That reliable, local report is devoured by our more than 270,000 monthly print readers combined with 8 million page-views on a hundred sites, replica pages, blogs and feeds published in different formats and media, on multiple digital platforms you read on your computers, tablets and phones. In the specific case of the weather gallery we were happily surprised that 230,000 of you looked at the photos on your computers, tablets and cell phones. And to the 100 photographers out there that took the time to post those aweinspiring images, thanks. I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt blessed to be outside the path of the storm and anxious to help my neighbors who were less fortunate in the its aftermath. Those stories are just a couple of recent examples of why what we do is important and we take the responsibility to inform (and entertain) seriously. Because the connection to our readers is a very personal one. So when we look at the possibility of creating a new section, yes of course Delicious Flickrmight be and we look at who we think our readers Like Prime on Facebook

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what clients are looking for that subset of our audience that may be interested in their product Slash Dotinnovations, but I also Mixx Yahoo Yahoo and service lookBuzz inside my own head. I totally relate to the what’s commonly referred to—though I’m not too nuts about the terminology, it’s too casual for a significant life stage—as the “sandwich generation.” Many of my co-workers, friends and family are caught between the responsibility of grown children in college or trying to enter the job market at the same time Reddit FriendFeed Microsoft MSN their parents and grandparents may be in declining health, moving cross-country or in financial difficulties. This is the stuff of life in 2013 and while we can’t even pretend to offer solutions, we can empathize. And we Newsvine SlideShare App Store Amazon can tell you about folks we know who have come up with very interesting ideas about coping with the unique set of challenges and opportunities that open up when you get to the 55+ time of life. Yahoo Yahoo Buzz Qik Vimeo We’ve heard stories like the one about a parent forced into early retirement who teamed up with his under-employed college graduate daughter to start a successful small business; grandmothers who have become Skypers and social networking queens who share their iPad Minis with increasingly smart toddler Microsoft MSN Tumblr WordPerss grandchildren; backyard farmers who spend hours strategizing over keeping their vegetables safe from wildlife foragers and researchers who look at the range of innovative lifestyles—like communities of interest—opening up for Baby Boomers determined to one way or another stay in the game. App Store AmazonFloat Behance Design Look for Prime each week on Tuesday. For starters, we are going with a page for three weeks and a larger section once a month. Prime is goodlooking, funny and smart and we hope you enjoy it. It has never been easier to let us know. Lisa Daugherty QikTwitter Friendster INTERIM PUBLISHER Keep up with Lisa Daugherty timesprime on Tumblr.

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My heart-touching cancer story. When I first heard the word cancer, I was stunned. But that was only the beginning. My cancer was right next to my lung and touching my heart in two places. My doctor said we needed to start treatment immediately. I said, “But it’s touching my heart— can that even be done?” He said, “I know exactly what to do.”

World-class cancer treatment— right here at home.

When facing cancer, you want the best possible care. The hospitals of Franciscan Alliance are committed to providing state-of-the-art treatment using the most advanced cancer-fighting technology available—all right here in your community. In fact, Franciscan Alliance hospitals are nationally recognized for providing outstanding cancer care. You would go anywhere for world-class cancer treatment. It’s nice to know you don’t have to go far.

inspiring health FranciscanAlliance.org A sPeciAl PublicAtion of the tiMes MediA co.

June 25, 2013 |||||| PRiMe |||||| 3


editor’s letter.

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ost people marvel at how much our lives have changed. We have our own personal phone numbers (assigned to us by employers or phone services), that we respond to 24/7 by voice or in writing on tiny keyboards embedded in hand-held computers that are so miniscule and so frequently lost that most of us have insurance policies in case that happens. Everything we do is documented in photos and/or videos, sometimes with unfortunate and life-changing results. Robots do lots of factory work now. (A recent auto industry report says that American car makers are 39 percent more productive than just five years ago.) Researching anything from the price of a food processor to the banality of evil takes a couple days instead of two weeks to life. Many experiences that used to be horribly inefficient are amazingly easy—you can make an appointment at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles—you can take a class at Stanford University Engineering Everywhere in the Artificial Intelligence Department for free. If you suddenly decide you want to see a certain television show, or read particular a book or build a scale model of your house in 3-D and assign color and furniture to it—even if it’s three o’clock in the morning, it doesn’t matter—you can just do it. I don’t miss writing checks or balancing a bank account or keeping track of little scraps of paper organized in a shoebox, who would? (Although my handwriting is unbelievably awful.) You can wear a bracelet designed by one of Apple’s main design vendors that tells you how well you slept, how much exercise you got, where you need work and encouragement and who your friends are waiting to help you. Or staying up all night to binge-watch an entire season or two of your

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By Denise DeClue A former screenwriter tells how she got into the blogging business.

favorite television shows like Kathy MacNeil did. Slash Dot Yahoo Yahoo Buzz Or going on Skype to spend anMixx evening with your spouse who’s in another city on a consulting job for a few days. Innovation and change have done nothing but improve my life. One of the biggest changes I’ve lived to see is our culture becoming more transparent and arguably more honest. As much as I look forward to taking myMSN grandchildren Reddit FriendFeed Microsoft to see their first Shakespeare play, I also look forward to the possibility that their schools may not have desks, but table top computers that teach through some combination of critical thinking, manipulation Newsvine SlideShare and App Store Amazon visual presentation magic. I just got on Tumblr. I love it now, but social networks are sort of like hot new restaurants. After a few years, they are unbearably crowded, overly-intrusive and just not Yahoo Yahoo Buzz and Qik Vimeo worth it. You get restless find the next best thing. But I’m also impressed by those remarkable things that endure: Traveling and discovering another world like Jane Ammeson does so frequently. The ability to find the most fantastic-tasting olive oil at any grocery store. After yearsMSN of trial and error, Microsoft Tumblr WordPerss outsmarting wildlife, changing careers, husbands and domiciles, Denise DeClue reflects on wins, losses and the authentic stuff of life. Ultimately there is such joy in reading, writing, communicating and knowing you are not in it alone. (Baby boomers are never alone.) As Store teens we talked on the phone incessantly, App Amazon Behance Design Float as young adults we used to hang out in bars and coffee shops, now we text and send links to the stories we blog about. There’s always more to learn. That’s why there’s Prime.

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6generations.

by cARRie steinweg

Skype Technorati Netvibes AOL and how social media, technology,

families keep in touch in the digital age.

8distant horizons.

By JAne Ammeson A forgotten slice of old Florida in Apalachicola. YouTube LinkedIn Apple MobileMe

10experience this. By CArolyn Purnell Glamping—living in luxury in the great outdoors.

12work/after work.

Google Last.fm

GoogleWong Talk Mister

By Julie DeAn Kessler After almost 20 years Dunes manager Costa Dillon gets back to nature.

14media watcher. By KAthryn mACneil

Netvibes AOL Viddler From a time withoutVirb recording

devices to today’s binge-friendly online original series.

16zest-food-drink. By JAne Dunne

the humble olive can elevate foods Apple MobileMe Blogger Posterous to new culinary accolades.

18living by design.

By PAt ColAnDer how stairs create a new challenge for parents and long term plans.

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22

Mister Wong Design Bump

60-something.

By Denise DeClue Denise tells us how not to ask for extra service from a refrigerator repairman.

20testing.

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Virb This Share By PAt ColAnDer Jawbone’s new uP personal activity tracker leaves no room for the user to fudge the details.

23photo finish.

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introduction.

Why i rejected

“Recalled to life” At first I thought we should call this blog, “Recalled to Life.” It was kind of a high-blown notion, but I remembered those words from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. • “Recalled to life” was a banker’s secret code to contact a woman whose father was imprisoned and hid out for before the French revolution. After 18 years, he was recalled to life, and dignity, free to go about his days and nights.

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hen Pat Colander asked me to write this blog I felt “recalled to life”. Okay. I’d make another stab at relevance, betting once again on the happy demographics of my life. 60-something wasn’t nothing, and I said I’d give it a whirl. I worked for 20 years as a screenwriter, writing Hollywood movies with happy endings, trying to connect with others whose lives I knew were similar to mine. Some of those movies were made, some weren’t. But I always got paid. And then, much to my amazement, I got older, and Hollywood changed. They wanted a lot of explosions in their movies, and they weren’t much interested in what an old broad thought about. People my age weren’t going to the movies much. A couple of years ago I joined a bunch of writers who sued major companies who explicitly declined to hire writers “over 40”. And last year I protested the credits on a remake—I can’t believe I’m so old they’re actually “re-making” my movies. But mostly the movie biz is over for me. I’ve always been a writer, got my degree in journalism at the University of Missouri. I’ve also always been a baby boomer, born in 1948, after WWII. Because there have always been more people around my age than any other age, if I was interested in something, chances were good that millions of other people would be interested, too. This demographic factor has served me very well. I came to Chicago after college, worked for a neighborhood paper, wrote stories for the Panorama Arts section of the Daily News, helped start some “alternative” papers. I wrote about everything I discovered in the great city that many knew much better than I did. When I saw my first show at Second City, with John Belushi, Eugenie Ross-Lemming and Miriam Flynn, my paradigm

A sPeciAl PublicAtion of the tiMes MediA co.

shifted. These were the smartest, funniest people I’d ever seen. I didn’t want to be “like” them. I wanted to “be” them. So I took workshops, got cast in the touring company, became great friends with Tim Kazurinsky, another immigrant (all the way from Australia) who landed on the shores of the “second-hand” Denise Declue sea. We were chosen to work on a movie about a little kid who needed a bodyguard that was shooting one summer at Lake View High School. Talk about learning on the job: with the help of Bernie Sahlins, Second City’s owner and producer, we figured out how to write screenplays as we went along. I remember seeing the movie at a screening where the audience cheered the good guys, booed the bad guys and applauded when it was over. I called Tim who was working on a TV show in Canada and remember telling him, “I think we have a career.” Not too long after I started working at Second City, we were assigned to write the movie version of David Mamet’s play, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, which became the film, About Last Night. We had to write an awful lot of drafts of the movie as different stars and directors attached themselves loosely to the project. I told somebody that my six-year-old son thought I rewrote Sexual Perversity in Chicago for a living. Which was partly true, although I wrote an awful lot of stories for the Chicago Reader, and a bunch of stage plays during those years, too, including City on the Make, a musical, which was revived last year by Columbia College.

I always thought that the relationships in 30-Something, and maybe the 40-somethings in Ed Zwick’s next TV series, were a lot like those of the 20-somethings in About Last Night. I don’t know where the 50s went, but I’m 60-something now, and like everybody else, trying to make sense of it all. And then, 30 years later, after kids and husbands and I don’t know, there I was—too proud to beg Hollywood, realizing that my craft-my art-my business had disappeared. Things fell apart; then they came back together. I married a wonderful man, moved from Chicago to the Indiana Dunes, wrote for Lake, then Shore magazine from time to time. I worked for an old friend, Brian Boyer, writing two shows about retirement for PBS. People said, “Oh, write a book.” I couldn’t figure what to write about. Instead, I read incessantly, figured out how to find great TV series on the Internet, traveled sometimes to far-away places with strange-sounding names. When I was trying to figure out a name for this blog, I double-checked the “recalled to life” quote in Tale of Two Cities. I was struck with how much Mr. Dickens’ description of “Seventeen hundred and seventy-five” was also about the times we live in now. But even more, I thought it was so descriptive of later life: say, after 60-something. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. . .” Whatever, whichever, however—we’re still here. And whenever we get a brand spanking new idea, there are probably a whole bunch of people thinking about the same thing. June 25, 2013 |||||| PRiMe |||||| 5


generations.

TeChNoLogy keeps us connected

If you’ve lived much of your life without a computer, it can be a little intimidating to think about diving in and making it a part of your daily life. And if you’re one of those who has been resistant to embracing technology, you may want to think again. Such devices and applications as smart phones, tablets, email, texting, Facebook and Skype are bringing families together, offering an easy avenue to communicate when you’re loved ones are far away and or when they are as close as the next room.

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shomer said that Facebook is her go-to source when she just wants to catch up on what is going on in everyone’s lives, but doesn’t have the time to spend hours on the phone. she uses it to keep in touch with not just her kids and grandkids, but a sister-in-law in iowa, a sister in Wisconsin and a brother in Peoria. even her sister-in-law that lives in town keeps in touch though Facebook. “it’s not like it used to be where you got married and stayed in town and everyone knew everyone. People are more spread out now,” she said. “And now you can keep in touch with old classmates and people you lost touch with.” in her job as a tourism clerk, she said when she comes across elderly individuals who are traveling without a cell phone, she urges them to get one

for use in an emergency. “one man told me he didn’t need one,” she said, “But when i told him that if something happened to him on the road, his wife would have to walk to find help, he said he never thought about that and reconsidered getting one.” Wilson said electronic connections have been helpful to her mom since she was widowed. “Facebook has also been great therapy for my mom since losing my dad. she has connected with long time friends family and isn’t as lonely,” she said. “i have nothing but great things to say about the way we communicate through this wonderful technology. it’s the next best thing to being there.” —Carrie STeinWeg

iStockphoto

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one are the days of sending pictures in the mail to Great Aunt martha. With the click of a button, vibrant photographs can be sent along in an email without the hassle and expense of developing film. Albums full of snapshots can be uploaded in minutes to be viewed by all of your family and friends via Facebook, which allows pictures and videos to be uploaded and shared with family and friends. rhonda Wilson of Portage started skyping with her sister, who lives 1,100 miles away in louisiana several years ago. she now uses skype to stay connected to her daughter, stephanie, who recently moved 2,200 miles away with her husband and four children to oregon. “it’s been a blessing to see their daily lives on skype,” she said. “the grandkids tell me about their school day and i have even watched stephanie bake in the kitchen. it’s just like being in the same room with her.” skype is a software application that allows voice and video communication over the internet. it was created in estonia and released in 2003 and has grown to now have over 31 billions users, according to statisticbrain.com. Wilson also noted that her mother, age 79, also uses skype and Facebook to stay connected to family. “you are never too old to learn,” she said. Although they live just a mile apart, Wilson said she uses skype and Facebook to communicate with her mother on a daily basis. Because her mother is 75 percent deaf, she isn’t able to hear over the phone. “We chat daily on Facebook and skype. she can read lips and hear mostly what we say on skype when the volume is as high as it goes.” Karen shomer of lansing said that Facebook and texting are part of everyday life and help keep her connected with family and friends. “i have a grandson who is going into the service and a son in college and we check back and forth with Facebook,” she said. “i think Facebook is the best thing in the world. if i want to say informed, i just look at their page and i know what’s going on.”

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Joint care. It’s better in the burbs. If you live in the South Suburbs, you’ll find award-winning orthopedic care is just around the corner. Ingalls is distinguished as one of the best orthopedic hospitals in the nation, #2 in Illinois…and we’re proud to provide exceptional care that is exceptionally close. If you’re ready to move beyond your pain and get back to living, schedule an appointment today. To see a specialist within 24-48 hours, call IngallsExpress at 708.915.PAIN (7246) or visit www.Ingalls.org/Express.

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Advanced Orthopedic Institute Move Again. Live Again. SM

June 25, 2013 |||||| PRiMe |||||| 7


distant horizons.

old

photoS by Jane ammeSon

Florida

chARM

After following the two lane road that runs parallel to the Gulf of Mexico and winds through the small beach towns and large swaths of woods that make up the Forgotten Coast—a stretch of old Florida with quaint seafood shacks, rickety stands selling fresh fruit and trucks with their back doors open hawking freshly caught shrimp, I arrived in Apalachicola, once the largest cotton shipping port on the Gulf but now a sleepy but charming small town brushed with the magic of time forgotten. After handing me my keys and relaying the fact that Mr. Coombs, who died almost 100 years ago, sometimes visited female guests and taking the liberty to gently stroke their faces—he must have loved it when the models and crew stayed while shooting the 2013 swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated—owner Lynn Wilson tells me how she discovered the inn. “I had to climb into the dining room window to see what this place looked

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like after being empty for 70 years,” says Wilson about this Grand Victorian built in 1905 and abandoned in 1911 after a kitchen fire and the owners’ deaths. “The doors were blocked by debris.” Determined to own the home despite a face to face encounter with a screech owl in an upstairs bathroom, it took Wilson a decade to purchase the house and another two years to fix it up. At the time, Apalach (as locals call it), having gone through several booms and busts in its almost 200 years, was definitely down on its luck. The once magnificent downtown and the neighborhoods filled with homes, some dating back to the 1830s, were falling apart. Like Wilson, others too saw the ghostly beauty in abandoned and ramshackle buildings and now 900 renovated homes and buildings are listed on the National Register District. In the early evening after dinner, I often wandered among the historic

neighborhoods using the walking tour maps available at the visitor’s center and even, as dusk settled, took a ramble in the cemetery across the street from the Coombs House until my friend Mary Lu was spooked by a shadow or two and demanded we leave. For those seeking jolts of action, don’t bother to make the drive to what is truly an old Florida sort of place—no big box stores or nightlife unless you count taking a sunset cruise on the water or gigging for flounder with a local fisherman as lively. But for those who like historic architecture, freshly caught seafood, whimsy and great views, there’s definitely much to do. One day I boarded the Starfish Enterprise, a 40-foot catamaran docked behind the Apalachicola Maritime Museum. Dedicated to the area’s boom as fishing village, the museum also offers a variety of eco-tours including the three

A sPeciAl PublicAtion of the tiMes MediA co.


Itzkovitz instructed us hour one I took that For your information to note the still flapping travels through the Apalachicola Bay snapper’s beautiful Apalachicola River Tourism coloring before whisking Basin. 850-653-9419 it away. Twenty Accompanying us apalachicolabay.org minutes, we’re served was the museum’s the fresh-as-possible founder and local boy snapper, studded with made good, George garlic and grilled. Floyd, a dedicated environmentalist, Like many quaint coastal towns, whose family first settled here in the Apalach has a lively art scene. The 1840s. Floyd, after working in the family old Dixie Theatre has been renovated cannery and building boats with his and now shows old movies and offers dad, moved away, developed a medical live entertainment. At the Bowery Art records software program, became rich, Gallery, named after its location—the rich, rich and returned home. once rollicking riverfront area where As Floyd talked, we passed old shrimp sailors debarked for scandalous fun— trawlers abandoned alongside the edges Leslie Wallace-Coon puts the finishing of the cypress tree lined estuary, which is touches on a commissioned canine the nursery grounds for 75 percent of the sculpture as she tells us about her work. marine life in this area, navigate through “I love animals,” she says, gesturing one of the few remaining swing bridges towards the much-in-demand in the United States and watch happy whimsical dog sculptures that fill her dolphins crest the surface of the calm studio space. “I love the humor that waters. we see in their physical being and their Currently Apalachicola harvests human personalities.” over 90 percent of the oysters sold in When Florida State Parks took over Florida and 10 percent of the nationwide the 1839 home of Thomas Orman in supply and the historic downtown has 1994, the last of the family fortune several oyster restaurants including the was long gone. Gaslights still lit the waterfront restaurants like Boss Oyster once glamorous home (no one had and Up the Raw Creek. upgraded to electricity yet) and the There are oysters on the menu at one elderly remaining Orman lived Tamara’s Café as well, but Chef Danny in the dilapidated back of the house, Itzkovitz who with his wife Marisa succeeding the front rooms with their Getter, renovated the 1920s building, high ceilings and marble fireplaces to a exposing the red brick walls, also offers horse named Candybar who grazed on pecan encrusted grouper fingers with the front lawn during the day and came spicy jalapeño sauce, paella and the into the parlor at night. freshest of fish. This iconoclastic past may be one Indeed, Itzkovitz approaches our reason why Apalachicola still carries its table carrying a giant red snapper who many charms. —Jane ammeSon didn’t know yet he’s on the dinner menu. A sPeciAl PublicAtion of the tiMes MediA co.

June 25, 2013 |||||| PRiMe |||||| 9


experience this.

the great and glamorous outdoors ”Glamp-sites” offer a chance to Get close to nature, While still keepinG the comforts of civilization

d

azzling sunsets, the peaceful rustle of leaves and the gentle sounds of crickets in the dark–these are just some of the joys offered by camping. But for many people, these pleasures are easily surmounted by the nightmarish prospect of mosquitoes, sleeping on the hard ground and pitching a tent. Ten years ago, this may have seemed like an intractable problem, but thanks to the new trend of “glamping,” one no longer has to make the choice between nature’s joys and nuisances. “Glamping” is a portmanteau for “glamorous camping,” and as its name suggests, it’s a great option for people who love nature but detest being deprived of their creature comforts. At a “glamp-site,” visitors are set up in private accommodations, replete with the amenities of a luxury hotel. Each site is different, but some offer every frill imaginable: Bose sound systems, Wi-Fi and spa treatments, to name a few. Others are more pared down, eschewing technology so visitors can more fully separate themselves from day-to-day life. Yet in all situations, guests are treated to warm showers, soft beds and natural vistas. As with camping, glamping appeals to those who want to slow down and to escape the noisy, harried bustle of the city or the sprawling concrete expanses of the suburbs. Fresh air, leisure and tranquility are all key reasons for wanting a vacation that’s a bit closer to nature. Many feel that glamping, shorn of the stressors that can accompany traditional camping, allows them to truly relax and to enjoy their surroundings more fully. High-end tents were a staple on nineteenthcentury colonial expeditions in Asia, Africa and Oceania, but the concept has caught on in Europe and America only recently. If a tent doesn’t sound appealing, the options for

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A Glamping workshop at the indiana Dunes state Park showcases interesting ways to glamorize a camping experience.

tony V. martin photoS, Shore magazine

shelters are myriad: yurts, tipis, treehouses, Airstream trailers, huts, villas and eco-pods are only a handful of the choices. Glamping businesses vary widely in size, ranging from small proprietors to large resorts, and accordingly, the prices also range widely, running anywhere from eighty dollars to thousands of dollars per night. Many glampers seek out these less expensive options, relishing the fact that they offer a middle ground between traditional camping and the cost of a hotel. But for the occasional camper, even the more expensive options can be cost-effective, given that it is not necessary to spend a great deal on camping supplies that might be used only rarely. While a few

glamp-sites require visitors to supply their own bedding, most provide everything necessary, and visitors aren’t required to pack any items that they wouldn’t need for a normal hotel-stay. Many sites offer kitchen facilities so campers can cook their own food, but one need not resort to standard campfire fare. Glamping-friendly cookbooks like Robin Donovan’s Campfire Cuisine (Quirk Books) feature gourmet recipes suitable for outdoor cooking. Grilled salmon with balsamic fig sauce, mustard and rosemary lamb chops, and orzo with wild mushrooms are just a few of the healthy and delicious options one can enjoy under the stars. While glamping would make a great couples’ getaway, many sites offer accommodations A sPeciAl PublicAtion of the tiMes MediA co.


calendar. sufficient for larger Jessica Rosier, an groups, making it an interpretive naturalist equally appealing option at the park, sets up the for a vacation with glamping displays. friends, a girls’ weekend or a bachelor party. Many glamp-sites are located near national parks or forests, and in addition to peace and privacy, they can offer a great base of operations for more active pursuits. Skiing, hiking, kayaking and biking are just some of the options available for glampers, and some locations offer more exotic activities like zip-lining, river tubing or whitewater rafting. The glamping experience can vary greatly from region to region, and even from site to site. In Caledonia, Ill., one can rent a fully-furnished tent on Kinnikinnick Farm, an organic farm that provides produce to many highend restaurants in Chicago (www.featherdown.com). There is no electricity in the tents, but they are far from spare. Spacious enough for six people, the tents come outfitted with beds, hardwood floors, a dining area, a cooking stove, a toilet and all necessary supplies. This is an ideal destination for food enthusiasts, since guests are given access to the farm’s organic produce, fresh eggs and dairy, and free-range meat. Evenings are spent over lingering dinners, the This tent was decorated with an warm glow of candlelight outdoor theme. Owls and other and star-gazing. Lodi, a small, scenic town in south animal inspired objects were used central Wisconsin, offers multiple to create a cozy feeling. glamping opportunities. One can take in the lush hills, trout streams and Park occasionally hosts “Glamping glassy lakes of Lodi from the comfort Weekends” for women interested of wooden cabins, gazebos, yurts or in getting a healthy dose of nature. even a Conestoga wagon. Information Participants can partake in classes on all these options, plus hundreds on jewelry-making, sunset hikes and more around the country, can be campfire gatherings. —CaroLyn found at glampinghub.com. Even PurneLL more locally, the Indiana Dunes State A sPeciAl PublicAtion of the tiMes MediA co.

Jun 25 Bone Density Screening, 10am-noon, 1-3pm, Hebron Public

Library Meeting Room, 201 W Sigler St, Hebron. 219.263.7203. pcpls.lib. in.us. these free heel bone density screenings are offered by Porter health Care system. Participants must be able to remove their socks. no appointment necessary.

Jun 25 Legal and Financial Planning for alzheimer’s Disease, 6-8:30pm, Portage Public Library Rooms A & B, 2665 Irving St, Portage. 800.324.1851. pcpls.lib.in.us. this program covers important legal and financial information to consider for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other long-term debilitating illnesses. Attendees should call to register. Jun 29 Clean Water Celebration Festival at marquette Park,

11am – 4pm a day of FREE recreational, healthy and fun activities for kids and adults to enjoy. there will be water quality education programs, free paddle boat rides, rain barrel art demonstration, kayaking, information booths, beach safety, fishing education, refreshments and much more at this event. everyone can play a role to keep our water clean by taking the Clean Water Pledge.

Jun 29-30 garden Walk, 9am-5pm walk, Lowell. 11am-1pm lunch,

Gardens on the Prairie, 3242 W 169th Ave, Lowell. 219.690.0911, 219.696.8282. lowellgardenclub.com. the lowell Garden Club presents their 17th annual garden walk, featuring a stroll through some of the town’s most beautiful gardens with a garden luncheon held at Gardens on the Prairie.

Jul 3-7 Cedar Lake Summerfest, 5-11:30pm Wed, Fri, 10am-11pm

Thu, noon-11:30pm Sat, 7am-9pm Sun, Cedar Lake Town Complex, 7408 Constitution Ave, Cedar Lake. 219.374.4444. cedarlakesummerfest.com. there is fun for all ages at this annual festival with live entertainment, food, fireworks, amusement rides, car shows, a beer garden and more.

Jul 6-8 miller garden Club’s Secret garden Walk, 10am to 3pm Meet at the Aquatorium. tickets $10. Gardens can be viewed from 10am-3pm on both days. Complimentary bus transportation will be offered along with free parking. Jul 11-AuG 8 adult group golf Lessons, 6:45-8:15pm Thu, Scherwood Golf, 600 E Joliet St, Schererville. activenwi.com. students will learn all the elements of the game of golf from PGA member instructors. instructions include the basics—grip, stance, swing, procedures, terminology and more. students receive one free round of golf on the executive course at the conclusion of the four-week class. Jul 16, AuG 20 Laugh for the Health of it! 7-8pm, Lake County Public Library Merrillville Branch, 1919 W 81st Ave, Merrillville. 888.303.0180. lcplin. org. led by a certified laughter yoga iStockphoto instructor, this unique exercise routine encourages unconditional laughter, without jokes or comedy, to oxygenate the body, reduce stress and improve mood. no mats needed.

June 25, 2013 |||||| PRiMe |||||| 11


work/after work.

Costa Dillon TaKeS on a

neW adventure woRds by Julie deAn KessleR

It

takes only a few minutes’ conversation with the retiring superintendent of the indiana Dunes national lakeshore to realize that this is a man who has taken others’ play seriously. Costa Dillon speaks quietly but urgently about the treasures of the park and his efforts to keep them from being squandered. For six years it’s been his job to oversee this national park, a staggering task considering its 50,000 acres, 32 miles over three counties—15 of them on the lake michigan shoreline— and 300 feet into the lake. Dillon has been responsible for management of the entire park and its 3 million yearly visitors, 200 employees, a budget of $11 million, two fire stations with 17 paid firefighters, and law enforcement including federal officers and park rangers. “it’s like running a small town,” says Dillon. After 35 years in park management, Dillon, 59, will retire at the end of August. “i’ll find something to do,” he says with a smile, though it’s hard to imagine his being very far from park work. on his office walls are photographs taken at other national parks, including yellowstone Park, where he recalls the management of a large wildfire, and independence hall, where he conducted tours. A banner is filled with pins from

12 |||||| PRiMe ||||| June 25, 2013

proVided

indiana Dunes national lakeshore superintendent costa Dillon on a recent trip to the Grand canyon. various assignments, including surveying the damage to the national park in manhattan after 9/11. “every day is a challenge,” he says good-naturedly, and adds, “But every day there are things you feel good about accomplishing. “the best is knowing that we’re preserving something for the nation. the White house, mount rushmore, the

Golden Gate Bridge, the everglades— all are in national parks. When you think of the images of the country, chances are they’re in one of our 401 national parks.” Dillon came to the indiana Dunes national lakeshore from managing a basic training center at the Grand Canyon. “it was great. i never got tired of the park.” it’s easy to see that he hasn’t tired of work at the Dunes. his big brown eyes are earnest as he explains one of the biggest threats to indiana’s famous dunes. “right now we need for people not to climb up and down the dunes using what we call ‘social paths’—random paths people create that are not the park’s designated paths.” he gets up and shows a map of West Beach with its spider-web pattern of paths. “using those random paths kills the indigenous grasses like marron grass. those roots help anchor the sand dunes, and when those roots are gone, erosion occurs, and we lose more of the dunes.” Dillon’s own moves over 35 years and acquiring a master’s in public administration have meant promotions. After his August retirement, his next move, with his wife of 22 years, will mean teaching park management and policy at the university of new hampshire. “that will be a transitional time for me,” he says with a smile. ”i’ll always be doing something.”

A sPeciAl PublicAtion of the tiMes MediA co.


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indiana Dunes national lakeshore superintendent costantine Dillon stands on a trail behind the Park Headquarters. Dillon has been superintendent since september of 2007. Jon L. hendrickS, FiLe, the timeS

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media watcher.

Certain

Age

i don’t care what anyone says—turning 50 is a massive gut-check, and those who say that it’s not a big deal are either a) in denial, b) lying, or c) in their 90s. (also, to all of my fellow body-conscious baby boomers out there, i apologize for using the words “massive” and “gut” in sequence.) There are a few outward changes that occur right away: a routine doctor’s appointment suddenly involves new, eyebrow-raising procedures; my mailbox overflows with aggressive recruitment propaganda from AARP; and the “breakfast of champions” has changed from a mocha frappuccino with an Egg McMuffin to a cup of black decaf and a calcium supplement. But some changes that accompany aging are less tangible—more of a mindset, really. In fact, even though “baby boomers” are a much more diverse group than their common nickname indicates, almost universally, we crave the one precious resource that, maddeningly, is dwindling at a seemingly exponential rate: time. Luckily, today’s entertainment options have evolved to support our quest to save time, offering unparalleled flexibility, particularly when it comes to television programming. As the first generation that grew up with the TV as the center of the home, we baby boomers were slaves to the clock. “Prime time” in the Midwest required us to be seated, quiet and ready to pay attention by 7 p.m., when the catchy theme song of our favorite show began. If we missed all or part of the broadcast, we would have to wait until the summer rerun season to catch up, or, in the case of 14 |||||| PRiMe ||||| June 25, 2013

the highly anticipated once-a-year “specials” such as A Charlie Brown Christmas or The Wizard of Oz, we would have to endure an agonizing year-long delay. We embraced the “pause for a word from our sponsor” as a golden opportunity to grab a snack or use the bathroom. The advent of the VCR in the ’80s gave us five luxurious options that today’s youth take for granted: we could record something we would otherwise miss, view it multiple times, rewind a particular section, fast-forward through commercials, and—something almost breathtaking in its simplicity—we could “pause” the program if nature (or a crying baby) called. Granted, a lot of planning and programming (and a constantly blinking electronic “12:00”) were involved, and an embarrassingly large percentage of early VCR tapes were filled with a week’s worth of soap operas— but it was state-of-the-art for its day. The subsequent birth of digital media and the accompanying ground-breaking DVR technology blew our minds with time-saving flexibility. Even though we still to this day refer to digital recording as “taping,” we revel in its counterintuitive capacity to pause and even rewind “live” television. The DVR can be programmed with a click of a remote control, and it obediently

ap photo, netFLix, F. Scott SchaFer

of A

remembers to record shows (even while something else is watched!) for handy viewing when a block of time becomes available. Just when it seemed that TV-watching couldn’t get any more convenient, along came Netflix, which, for a monthly fee, offers unlimited, commercial-free viewing of not only movies, but past seasons of a multitude of television shows, which can even be streamed on a laptop, iPad or cell phone, giving a new definition to flexibility. (Viewing hint: Now is a perfect opportunity to check out entire seasons of a show you neglected to watch during its heyday—like my current obsession, Friday Night Lights—while favorite programs are on hiatus over the summer.) Netflix is so explosively popular, it even produces original programming, the most buzzworthy example of which is the recent resurrection of hilarious cult favorite Arrested Development, which was cancelled in 2006 due to low ratings. Fifteen of the new episodes were all released simultaneously at 2 a.m. CDT on May 26, 2013, and in an unexpectedly retro twist, my teenage children stayed up until the wee hours of the night to be a part of this online “premiere” phenomenon. Normally, I wouldn’t allow middleof-the-night TV watching, but it was fascinating to see these young people—who were raised in the watch-it-whenever-and-however-we-want age—watching the clock and waiting patiently for a TV show. And so we’ve come full circle: it turns out that it may not start at 7 p.m. CDT every weeknight anymore—but that delightful anticipation of entertainment and escape will always be “prime time” to someone. —KaTHryn maCneiL A sPeciAl PublicAtion of the tiMes MediA co.


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ach and every day, hartsfield Village nursing Care Administrator susan tipton-huttel sees her residents go through very personal transformations in their lives, while pursuing their goal to regain the skills they need to live independently. But the transformation she has also witnessed via the $2 million dollar expansion to the munster senior living Community? Well, she sees that transformation as downright inspirational. “it’s amazing how fast something can change right before your very eyes,” expresses tipton-huttel of the expansion that will include a new, 1,755-square-foot, state-of-theart physical therapy gym. “We and our residents are so fortunate to see this take form. having a larger space where our residents can truly maximize their potential via state of the art equipment is going to be a wonderful thing to witness.” Working with project architect VoA and construction company Gariup, the renovation will also feature, for the first time, a washer, dryer and a functioning kitchen where short term rehabilitation residents can work with therapists to regain the skills they

need to live independently. “We have had to simulate everyday activities such as setting the table or washing the dishes in the past,” says tipton-huttel, who expects work to be completed at the facility located at 503 otis r. Bowen Drive in munster on July 15. “this new space will not only be exciting to work within, but will also motivate our residents like never before. i’m looking forward to watching the progress they make within this exciting facility.” sitting upon a 38 acre campus, hartsfield Village has long made it a priority to make the necessary renovations needed to remain one of the area’s most thriving continuing care retirement and rehabilitation communities. “throughout the years, we have renovated many of our lounges and lobbies and social gathering areas,” says tipton-huttel. “We are even adding two new bistros that will offer alternative dining options for our residents, along with six new private rooms. it’s these kinds of changes that can transform the day to day environment here, and improve the lives of our residents. With each new paint color on the wall, we get more and more excited. there is nothing like seeing a pile of dirt become a new place where lives will be ultimately changed.” —TriCia DeSPreS

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zest-food-drink.

nfRuit ble

o

lives are as old as the history of man. As Mort Rosenblum mentions in his book, “Olives” (North Park Press, 1998), Greek athletes lubricated their bodies with olive oil and the first Olympic flame was a burning oil bough. The Romans even had a separate stock market and merchant marine for olive oil. Stories like this abound through the millennia. By the 10th century, olive groves covered the Mediterranean basin across southern Europe and northern Africa. Spanish missionaries brought olives to the New World in 1500, and later Italian immigrants carried the olive to South America, Australia and southern Africa. Today, there are about 800 million olive trees in the world with annual product sales of more than 10 billion dollars. Interesting, yes? Here are two of my favorite recipes using good olive oil. The saffron penne is sublime. I serve it as a starter before a light, non-saucy main course. —Jane Dunne

SPANISH ROASTED VEGETABLE SALAD

(6 servings) A rustic and deeply satisfying peasant dish . . . 2 large red bell peppers 2 large yellow bell peppers 1 pound butternut squash or pumpkin, unpeeled 2 red onions, unpeeled 2 Spanish onions, unpeeled 4 medium-sized vine-ripened tomatoes 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (pref. Spanish), divided Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

16 |||||| PRiMe ||||| June 25, 2013

heat oven to 475 degrees. Cut peppers lengthwise in half, slicing through the stems. leave these intact but discard the pith and seeds. slice the squash or pumpkin into 1-inchthick discs or chunks. Cut onions crosswise into halves, leaving the roots and tops intact. leave the skins on, too, as they give extra color and flavor and protect the shape. Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out seeds. Place all the vegetables, cut sides up, in a large lightly-oiled roasting pan. Drizzle half the

oil over the vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. roast on the top rung of the oven for 30 minutes or until they are frizzled, fragrant, wrinkled and soft. Drizzle remaining oil over the tops and serve warm (not hot) or at room temperature. eat this dish with your fingers, discarding the skins, roots and stems along the way. serve with country bread to scoop up the sweet, oily, sticky juices from the bottom of the pan. A fruity red wine such as a syrrah is a great partner.

(4 servings)

1 pound imported dried penne rigate pasta 1 large pinch saffron threads or 1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron 1 teaspoon sea salt 2 tablespoons hot water 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (pref. Tuscan), divided 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced 1 leek, white only, finely sliced 1 cup mascarpone cheese 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese curls Cracked black pepper, to taste 6 baby radicchio leaves, torn, for garnish

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. meanwhile, put the saffron and sea salt in a mortar and pound to a powder with a pestle— or use a spice grinder or small processor. Add hot water and stir to dissolve. over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed skillet, garlic and leek and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the saffron/water mixture, mascarpone and wine. mash and stir to form a creamy sauce. simmer, stirring, until the wine loses its raw taste and the flavors have mellowed, about 3 to 4 minutes. Combine drained pasta with the sauce and stir until coated. serve hot, topped with Parmesan curls, cracked black pepper and torn radicchio leaves. Drizzle with remaining oil before serving. A non-oaked Chardonnay is lovely with this.

Stockbyte

the

PENNE RIGATE WITH SAFFRON

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living by design.

What Goes UP MusT cOMe

Do wn

My mother, who is now almost 80 years old, bought a two-bedroom condominium in south suburban chicago about eight years ago. When condo shopping she had several deal-breaking criteria which stemmed from the fact that this would be the last time she moved. she would go out feet first she pronounced defiantly though in different terms—my mother being prone to proclamations about what is going to happen to her in the coming years— whether there is anyone willing to argue with her or not. no one was. Her new condo is on the ground floor, just where she wanted to be. she had enough of climbing stairs in her last two homes, the most recent a townhouse with a carpeted staircase.

18 |||||| PRiMe ||||| June 25, 2013

m

y mother wasn’t the only widow I knew who had insisted on the no stairs option, just the most recent. My grandmother, who died at the age of 87, had a place on the ground floor where she lived alone for many years until she died in a nearby hospital after less than a week after being hospitalized with pneumonia. Widows in their 80s usually have experience with the results of falling that make them cautious and fearful of breaking their hips. AARP quoting The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), studied the hip fracture phenomenon in 2009 and concluded of the 300,000 Americans over 65 who will fracture their hip in a given year, many will have a “significant loss of function.” Ninety percent will need help on the stairs, over half will not be able to go to the bathroom or get up from a chair by themselves. Oh, I almost forgot 20-30 percent of the over-65 hipbreakers die within 12 months of the fracture. And so the 80+year-olds I know avoid stairs, ice and snow and anything that might present a danger of tripping and falling. And who could blame them? Hip rehab is a drag, especially if you are not used to anybody telling you what to do. I have yet to find any fiercely independent relative willingly cede control to a professional caregiver who just might have insight into the most expedient way of mending a broken bone. Many parents of baby boomers have not yet fully realized that their children are completely disobedient. I live in a tri-level with two steep staircases of 15 steps each. I am as stubborn as my mother in my own way. When my husband and I first A sPeciAl PublicAtion of the tiMes MediA co.


Delicious

moved into our house, we had to get used to climbing a lot of stairs. Before we moved, we lived in a building with an elevator that we used frequently even though we were only four or five levels up. The last time I climbed a lot of stairs on a regular basis was when I was a single mother working the night shift and working out on a Stairmaster, a form of exercise recommended to me by a 25-year-old colleague was a great way to lose a lot of weight fast. She was right about that, but I couldn’t take the Stairmaster on a regular basis after a couple of years. Awhile back I fantasized about an elevator, mostly for myself as a planned guarantee that I will always be able to live in my house. (There was a period in recent memory when I moved four times in a year—something that happens when you get remarried, consolidate and empty out your nest. If I never have to move again, I’m fine with that.) But I’m noticing how much you can improve your balance with time on the treadmill. After recently tracking how much exercise I get doing the laundry, retrieving my phone, lugging groceries up to the third floor kitchen or just generally running up and down the stairs I’m thinking this is not a bad way to stay flexible. With a right-sized attitude, forgetting something downstairs is not a tragedy, it’s an opportunity to run down the stairs again. A couple of years ago I came across an architecture book by Wid Chapman and Jeffrey R. Rosenfeld called Unassisted Living: Ageless Homes for Later in Life (Monacelli Press, Random House) that tended to support my view that with a few minor adjustments I could continue living in my house indefinitely. The marketing theory behind the book was simple in 2011, the first wave of baby boomers turned 65. Basically this flow of people into the 65-plus market will continue growing at the rate of about 10,000 per day for the next 16 years. By the time those of us born in 1964—demographer’s official Flickr endDelicious for the boom comes in 2029—51 Join Prime on Facebook

Facebook Flickr

million boomers will have passed through into late middle age. As the authors say inFacebook their introduction, “the most interesting news is that many hippies-turned-boomers continue to flaunt authority, even in their early 60s. Our sample of homeowners and homebuyers confirms that they are planning to install grab bars in bathrooms and to retrofit kitchens to Slash Dot compact— make the safer and more sensible decisions for those growing older. But many in the same group also expect to be aging in houses with steep, switchback stairways.” Most of the beautifully photographed houses and floor plans have at least one more level above ground. RedditThe New Orleans section is particularly fascinating because the houses have extra long staircases inside and out. The better for family stoop-sitting to watch the world go by, a pastime that was a regular for feature of our grandparents’ lives even in Chicago. I can clearly Newsvine remember sitting on the front steps of my grandparent’s home on Creiger, talking with my great grandmother’s husband or boyfriend Deuce, who was an outfielder for the Chicago White Sox for a few summers—although it wasn’t much of a job at that time. He must haveYahoo run out of people to talk to if he was bothering with me. I remember being slightly peeved when I was torn away from whatever important playing I was doing messing around in the dirt under the porch. My mother of course, does not support my staircases. This was Microsoft reinforced when she had started up the stairs by herself and fell—the noise was worse than the fall thank goodness—at the landing where there is no bannister bridging to the bannister of the second staircase. It is an engineering challenge that I may have to look at sooner App Store rather than later. Meanwhile, helping my mother up and down the stairs is a great subtle reminder that I need to keep on climbing as much as possible, watch my footwear and avoiding accidental spills, practicing balance. I am too busy to go around breaking Twitter Qik my hips. —PaT CoLanDer

Follow Pat Colander @shorefan on Twitter

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testing.

every Move you Make, Every Vow You Break The Verizon people put me on this road with the wrist band-bracelet uP by Jawbone by providing the tried and true, surefire, car-dealer endorsed test drive. i had a free, 30 days to figure out if i liked this device or not. i wasn’t exactly jumping at the chance either. like most baby boomers, i had toyed with this food and exercise diary concept before.

t

here were two apps that I had used fairly extensively to record my daily calorie-carb intake. The first was MyNetDiary Pro and the second was MyFitnessPal. Both are free and each has its own little unique skill set to recommend it. MyNetDiary Pro was very easy to use entering foods and searching foods and maybe that’s just because its library had built up over time and has more stuff listed, although the name brand dump the both apps use is kind of a distraction if you don’t eat much processed, frozen or name brand carry-out or restaurant food. (I am hereby exempting Amy’s Frozen Pizza from the category of junk food. Not only has it been blessed by my husband Jeff who could eat pizza every single day of his life even if he lived to be a hundred, Amy’s has been endorsed by my vegan and very health-conscious daughterin-law Annalise. I’m sure there are other exceptions.) The analysis, a running commentary on how you were doing eating too much or too little, explaining why this could be a problem or not were very good on MyNetDiary Pro. What I really loved on this app were the charts for weight loss, for BMI and probably for anything else I wanted to chart. You

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can set up your MyNetDiary Pro to track and chart whatever you want it to track and chart. I had a basic plan to keep a food diary and try to lose weight and for a couple months I was pretty religious about it, and I did lose 15 pounds. But the novelty wore off and I started neglecting my diary. At first, if I went out and ate too much, I skipped the day. When I neglected the diary for three days in a row I was in trouble with the plan analysis, as I should have been. Then I got into the quitting and restarting thing, but through the process I learned some things about myself like there are just certain foods that I shouldn’t ever have in the house and shouldn’t buy in the first place. (Peerless Potato Chips would be a good example.) I do way too much night eating, which didn’t improve with later sunsets. In general, I try to cram too much in at the end of the day when I don’t feel as good as I do in the morning when it is much easier to focus. UP by Jawbone keeps track of everything except food and vital statistics you have to provide yourself. (Like true weight, and both MyNetDiary and MyFitnessPal cautioned about lying to yourself about this particular number. They probably have a data analysis that projects the average number of app liars. You can password protect this information.) The bracelet looks

good and comes in a bunch of colors, so the device has that subtle statusconscious, hey-that’s-a-cool-toy aura going for it. UP needs to be downloaded twice a day and charged every 4-5 days via USB plug. The rest of the time the UP bracelet needs to stay on your arm so it can monitor your activity and your how much you are sleeping. UP links with other apps RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, IFTT, Withings, Wello, Notch, Sleepio, Lose It! And MyFitnessPal. Both MFP (and MyNetDiary) link to Facebook so if you would like to find out who your Facebook friends are who also have UP you can ask them to be on your team. Research shows that people who work collaboratively with their friends tend to do better with their health improvement goals. Two of my Facebook friends Elle Hook, of Elle Salon in Michigan City and Cindy Kurman who has her own public relations company in Chicago are on UP, so we watched each other’s sleep habits and activity logs. (Elle also logged her meal times but kept the details to herself on MyFitnessPal. I tried to get MyFitnessPal to link with UP a couple of times, but I wasn’t able to, plus I had fallen out of the habit of logging meal entries.) It took some time to figure out how to get the bracelet to go into sleep and wake up mode. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. One side of the bracelet plugs into your headphone dock, the opposite side has a small square metal button on the end. If you press and hold the button it will either show a purple quarter moon— meaning you are ready to go to sleep—or a green

flower, which means you are UP and running. If you sync right away in the morning and remember to always sync at night, you get a complete record of how active you are during the day—how many steps taken and at what times; and how much you slept. UP charts your light sleep and deep sleep. Heartening to know, even though I wasn’t given the details, my team followed a similar sleep and activity pattern. The three of us would sleep for 5-6 hours a night Monday through Thursday, but on Friday and Saturday we tended to make up for weekday deprivation and sleep 8-9 hours. (UP assigns 8 hours of sleep and 10,000 steps per day as goals, though you can adjust the goals to anything you prefer.) Ten thousand steps per day proved unrealistic for me Monday through Friday. Normally I could get to around 5,000 without thinking about it much. If I tacked on cardio at the health club I could score another 2-3,000 steps, but the only time I hit 10,000 was if I combined working

Jawbone monitor bracelet tony V. martin, the timeS

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out, deliberately taking a long walk—or shopping strenuously—and running up and down the three flights of stairs in my house. Only achievable on weekends and holidays. So, 10,000 was a pretty lofty goals for me unless I made a significant adjustment to my routine. My friends seemed to be in similar circumstances on the activity scale. Since my free trial was over last week, I have had some time to think about whether or not I was doing better health-wise with the bracelet or without. I definitely think that keeping a food, exercise and sleep deprivation record is helpful. (I’m not sure if knowing others are high-functioning and not getting enough sleep is helpful, it may not be, in spite of the emotional dividend.) I can go back to the free MyFitnessPal app and log my calorie burning and carb intake anytime. So the question comes down to is the sleep and activity information monitoring, along Delicious Flickrcan with other amenities—the bracelet Like Prime on Facebook

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60-something.

Fixing stuff chapter 1

A good Man is hard to find

T

his time it’s about the raccoons. Last time it was about the raccoons, too. Also the time before that. It started with the birds. I got some shepherd’s crooks and some bird feeders, hung them outside and filled them with bird food, so I could watch the original “hunger games” in real time. Of course, the lower-cost huge bag of bird food didn’t all fit into the bird feeders, so I clipped the bag with one of those potato-chip clippies and put what was left neatly away on the screened-in back porch. Might have been a day, or maybe two, and my back porch looked like the aftermath of a teenage raccoon hoot-nanny—or rave—or whatever they call it now—when creatures go berserk and wreck the place as they dance madly around. Crumpled bag, seed everywhere, and a punched-in lower left-side of the screen door. Furry bums. So I called somebody to fix it. They did. I never put seed on the porch again, but the next year, one of them must have remembered how much fun they had, and they bashed in the screen again. If one of them didn’t remember and this knowledge was passed along genetically, we’re all in a lot more trouble than I thought.

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Anyway, I had it fixed again. Then, last winter, the little creeps smashed in the screen once again and tore open five cans of root beer that were quietly hibernating in the corner. So this time I called Harry, and he fixed the door with two layers of screen, one clearly an industrial-strength version, which could protect against small bears. We shall see. All this reminded me of the time, year ago, when Angie’s List was but a glimmer in a householder’s eye, when my garbage disposal finked out. It wasn’t just the garbage disposal. Nothing in my life was working at the time: not my refrigerator, my air conditioner, my car, my two ex-husbands or my 20-year old son. The only major appliance/person who seemed to be fulfilling its/his/her work destiny was me and my 17-year-old niece who was taking dance lessons and waitressing at a Cajun restaurant. But she’d work in a coal mine if it meant she wouldn’t have to go back home to live with her mother/my sister. One of the boys in my son’s funk band who had moved in with us could have put something down that disposal. Or the guys who were painting the living room. Or Anetta the cleaning lady. Or maybe it was me when I was cleaning out the refrigerator (which had become a giant petrie dish instantly fomenting anything we placed inside). I turned the garbage disposal on. MMMMMMR. Then nothing. I reached in there and pulled out take-out Thai food, squeezed lime peels. I moved the little blades around. I pushed the small red button on the part of the disposal underneath the sink. MMMMMR. Kind of like a snoring man when you rolled him over, I thought. Were those the good old days? At the time I had a few friends who knew how to fix a few things,

but I never met a man who would put his hand down a garbage disposal. It’s the one broken appliance that immediately necessitates calling a repairman. The guys I knew would try to fix washers, dryers, anything with belts. But when they looked into that disposal’s dark hole, all they saw was a million tiny kukra-weilding Lorraine Bobbit. No way would they put their hands down there. GRRRRRR. Too horrible to think. Anyway I called a repair company and Ivan said he was coming between 9 and 10:30 the next morning. And he did. A small, professional, bespectaled semiattractive guy, he came to the kitchen and set up his tool kit. We should all have one of these. I noticed a little wire brush, a panoply of screw drivers, drills, bits, strange clamps and wires. He puttered around a bit, poking in the disposal with some kind of tool—not his hand. “Did you put meat down there?” he asked. “Maybe,” I said. I was getting kind of bored with the whole thing. “’Course it could have been the cat. He’s been bringing me a lot of mice lately. Maybe he hid a mouse down there.” Ivan flinched and turned around and looked at me like I could be serious. “’Course it’d probably be dead.” I laughed to let him know I was joking. “It better be dead,” he said. I told him I was only joking but I could tell he pegged me for a nut cake. He knelt down under the sink and puttered some more. GRRRRRR. It was working! “While you’re down there I was wondering if you could take a look at the dishwasher. I think the garbage disposal backs up in there some times. The dishes don’t get very clean.” “I’d have to charge extra for that,” said Ivan. “Plus you’d have to call it in and I’d have to come back again.” “How much extra?” “Ninety-eight dollars.” “Whooo-boy,” I said. “I was thinking it’s more like a $49.95 kind of problem.” “Too bad, because it’s really simple to fix,” he said. I’ve never tried to bribe a civil servant

and I’m too embarrassed to barter, but I figured that when you get somebody in your house who knows how to fix things, you should go for broke. “How ‘bout I just give you fifty bucks on the side and you fix it now?” He puttered. I stuttered. I asked him where he went to school to learn how to fix things, talked about how hot it was outside, blah blah. Then he said he would take me up on my offer and asked me if I had a coat hanger. No kidding. I gave him one and he ducked back down and wriggled some things around. The dish washer was fixed. Ivan came up for air. “I bet you like it very, very hot,” he said. I quickly counted out the fifty bucks and when I looked up, Ivan had taken off his glasses. No kidding. “I’m glad to be of service to you and I can fix anything,” he said. “That’s really great,” I said, “but I guess we’re all fixed up now! Thanks so much.” I gave him the money and started toward the front door. He packed up quickly and followed me. “I live real near here,” he said. “I could stop by and fix anything. Anytime. Just call me.” He left. I closed the door. I went back to my kitchen turned on the appliances and sat sweating in the comforting din, trying to figure where I went wrong. The bribe? My inordinate interest in the DeVry Technical Institute? Maybe when I said how hot it was, I said it in some kind of funny way. No. It was the joke about the cat. And the mangled little mouse. He must have thought that I thought . . . oh, never mind. That was years ago. I’m looking out the window. There’s a raccoon the size of a small bear lumbering toward the bird feeder. I mean this sucker is bigger than a two-year-old child. I fly out the wellscreened back door and yell at him: “Get out of here, you free-loader! Get a job!” As he waddled off into the ravine I screamed after him: “Nobody wants you? Need some training? Get some skills! Ever think about the DeVry Technical Institute, you big thug?” —DeniSe DeCLue

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photo finish.

are you a PHoTograPHy aDDiCT? Do you carry your camera with you wherever you go, looking for the perfect shot? If so, send your photos in to prime@nwi.com and you will be entered for a chance to win a $50 giftcard to The Times advertiser of your choice. The photos will also run in an upcoming edition of Prime. The photos should be no larger than 4 MB in jpeg format. Please provide your full name, address, telephone number and caption information for the photo. Good luck, and happy shooting!

Valparaiso resident ed Byrne takes photographs of daffodils at Ogden Gardens in Valparaiso. Jon L. hendrickS, FiLe, the timeS

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