Finally There’s an App for the Worst Part of Shopping

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Even before Covid, returning things was never my favorite part of shopping. I’d drive to the UPS Store, drop off a package of ill-fitting garments, and leave the receipt on the front seat of the car.

I never checked to see if the items I was returning ever arrived. I just forgot about the refund I was owed. I wonder how much money I leaked over the years. It’s such a small thing. Until it is not.

And then came the lockdown when I couldn’t leave the house. I’m no fool, I quickly switched to online shopping, and with it…


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BomaniX, one of the app icons

This will be my fourth article about Clubhouse, although no one is paying a dime to hear what I have to say. But when I look back at my old posts, they seem so inadequate that I have to begin again. Every couple of weeks Clubhouse shape shifts.

Clubhouse for me has been like an aural encyclopedia; over the past year I have learned Spanish, mastered the newest Covid research, helped get young people out to vote, listened to professional musical theatre, brushed up on my urban language skills, and made friends for life.

Clubhouse is one of those experiences…


My best girlfriend, Lucie Palmer, died ten years ago. It didn’t have to happen.

When Lucie and I met at the dawn of the seventies, I was a pregnant, unmarried hippie playing league tennis at the Phoenix Tennis Center in Phoenix, AZ, a town with perhaps three other people who looked and acted like me. I had moved to Phoenix from New York over a year before, and had been roundly rejected by the community as an anti-war activist. Only my department chairman loved me, and that was a problem in and of itself.

Lucie and I played a league match against each other, and at the end of the match she said she…


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Image: Unique Mindcare

During Christmas I decompensated. That’s a medical term. Decompensation may occur due to fatigue, stress, illness, or old age. When a system is “compensated”, it is able to function despite stressors or defects. I have to find my way back to functioning the way I did before Covid. This will involve some self-care.

I got through all of 2020 with my connection to reality intact, even though I was stuck in the house avoiding Covid, I hadn’t seen my family, and I watched the news religiously.

I became an early beta tester of Clubhouse, and spent a lot of time…


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Twenty years ago, The World Trade Center used to have a restaurant at the top called Windows on the World. It was such a famous restaurant that I even came from Phoenix to eat there. But the world those windows were able to see was way smaller than the world I can see now. I’ve spent this entire year in continuous learning mode, from conversational Spanish to Nigerian government, to the future of health care.

I’ve written about Clubhouse before but it has grown enormously since my last attempt to capture its spirit and a lot of things have changed…


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Photo credit: Pamela Hazelton on Medium

Last week, after the election, Twitter’s efforts to deal with misinformation and disinformation led hordes of conservatives to depart for Parler, where they found waiting for them more people who shared their beliefs.

They also found me. I joined the site months ago, for the same reasons I read RedState and The Daily Caller and follow Trump voters on Twitter. I want to know what people think, and that includes people with whom I don’t agree.

We should all do more of that. Settling into our own corners doesn’t solve anything (although it did clean up my Twitter feed).

And…


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“I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”

I can’t blame you for not knowing that the above is the motto of Cornell University, where I went to college. I’m not particularly attached to my (first) alma mater, but this morning I realized it taught me far more than I had ever given it credit for.

It taught me to listen to diverse ideas without fear. Some of my professors were better than others, and since the Sixties were just dawning when I got there, some were more radical than others. But I knew that my “job” was to listen to them all, talk behind their backs in…


It’s so much more. Not that it’s without problems. Of course it has problems; it is a social network that contains people. Now about 12,000 people. Soon even more. What did you think was going to happen?

But first let’s talk about the good parts of Clubhouse. On Wednesday night, two gentlemen host a room called “the Cotton Club.” All you need to get in is to change your avatar to that of your favorite jazz musician.

One of the hosts acts as “bartender,” and you can order virtual drinks. The other is the DJ, and you can request tunes…


A Short Lesson on Deconstructing the News

Oracle Cloud logo
Oracle Cloud logo

Text from the original news release will appear in bold. My impressions are in italics. You must remember that I grew up in New York, a city known for snark. Even if I’m totally wrong, I will at least make a credible case and you might get a laugh.

The President has announced that ByteDance has received tentative approval for an agreement with the U.S. Government to resolve the outstanding issues, which will now include Oracle and Walmart together investing to acquire 20% of the newly formed TikTok Global business. The President is…


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Credit: Sasint on Pixabay

For the past month or so I have been listening to parents wringing their hands over whether to send their children to school, choose virtual, physical or hybrid learning, or perhaps whether to join with other parents nearby and engage a tutor for small “pods.” The underlying assumption is that school is a good thing, and that if kids miss a year of school it’s some sort of emergency.

Really? Maybe, maybe not. …

francine hardaway

Co-founder, Stealthmode Partners, helping entrepreneurs succeed

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