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Rebecca Nappi: Landline phones deserve warm reception

In a lengthy phone conversation recently, the caller and I lost contact twice. Once because her phone was acting weird and once because my cellphone decided to hang itself up.

Sometimes when I talk cell to cell with my sisters in Coeur d’Alene, it sounds as if they’re talking to me from the bottom of an oil barrel. Recently, our cable-powered phone went dead for two days when the cable system went on the blink.

The other night on the cable-powered phone, I heard another couple’s entire conversation. Sometimes, I hear a sound that reminds me of the sound you hear when you put a large seashell to your ear.

I hear best these days on the true landline at my desk. So my question: Why aren’t we complaining more to each other – and to cable companies and cell companies – about the poor quality of cell and cable-powered phones?

And by the way, do younger people still say something went “on the blink?”

YOU GO, GATES: A 32-page comic book about Melinda Gates – “Female Force: Melinda Gates” – was released Sept. 4 featuring “the life of businesswoman and philanthropist” Gates, according to Bluewater Productions which produced the comic book.

In a press release, the company explained: “Writing comic books on influential, strong, intelligent women – does it get better than that? They say that ‘Behind every great man there’s a great woman.’ In this case they should say, ‘With a great woman is a great man.’ ”

The company has released comics on other strong women as part of its “Female Force” series, including Angelina Jolie, Hillary Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres, Sonia Sotomayor, Michelle Obama, Gabrielle Giffords and Condoleezza Rice.

The release sent me down memory lane to the women in the comics I read as a kid in the 1960s. Anyone else remember “Millie the Model,” aka the “blond bombshell?”

GLASS HALF EMPTY OR FULL?: According to a recent Associated Press story, “There are now three unemployed people, on average, competing for each job opening, compared with 1.8 when the recession began in December 2007.”

Yet in February 2009, there were almost 6 people competing for every job.

TECH OPEN HOUSE: The organizers of the Community Colleges of Spokane’s ACT 2 programs, designed for lifelong learners 50 and older, realize that a lot of folks in that age group are already fairly savvy when it comes to computers, social media and cellphone technology.

So they’re holding three open houses to introduce potential students to classes available that delve deeper into technologies including Android phones and tablets, Craigslist, Facebook, iPads, Adobe Photoshop, Skype, cloud computing and Wi-Fi.

The free open houses are scheduled for:

Tuesday, 2:30-6 p.m., CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Room 209.

Thursday, 2:30-6 p.m., Magnuson Building, 2917 W. Fort George Wright Drive, Lab 102.

Oct. 3, 2:30-5 p.m., SCC Hillyard Center, 4410 N. Market St, Room 108.

For more information, call ACT 2 at (509) 279-6030.

AGING BOOMER HUMOR: Recent posters with clever sayings on them posted on the Senior Planet Facebook page include “You know you are getting old when happy hour is a nap.” And this one: “Don’t take life so seriously. It’s not like you’re going to get out alive.”

And finally the Senility Prayer: “Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.”

SOME BOOMER PONDERINGS: Recently, while waiting for a table at a Spokane restaurant, I noticed that everyone looked boomer-age and older. We’re everywhere. I thought it was just my heightened awareness of the issue. I asked my 17-year-old great-nephew if he noticed it, too. He said: “Everywhere I go.”

Will elevator doors have to remain open longer in all buildings to accommodate slower speeds by an aging population?

Will aging boomers decide, in huge numbers, to wean off all drugs prescribed for things that won’t necessarily kill them, such as borderline cholesterol, borderline blood pressure and borderline thinning of the bones. If yes, what would this do to the pharmaceutical industry?


• Internet 101, Tuesday, 11 a.m., Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave., (208) 769-2315.

• “How Could We? Regret and the Pursuit of Humanity” – lecture by Steven W. Bender from Seattle University’s law school, sponsored by Gonzaga University’s Hate Studies Institute, Thursday, 7 p.m., Barbieri Courtroom at GU’s law school, 721 N. Cincinnati St., (509) 313-3665.

• Fashion show and lasagna dinner sponsored by Northwest Dinner Among Friends, Thursday, 5-7 p.m., 10512 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley, registration required by calling (509) 238-9187.

For more activities, go to