Politics – Does anyone really know what’s happening?

I live in New York, a liberal state, and in my younger years I was about as far left as anyone could be.  However, it’s interesting how differently we view the world at different times of our lives.

The ninth district in New York, a Democratic stronghold,  last week voted into office a Republican Congressman for the first very time since 1920.  Not only is Bob Turner a Republican, but he is Christian; his opponent, David Weprin, is a Democrat and a Jew, and the Ninth District has a high concentration of Jewish people.  Of course, this is former Representative Anthony Weiner’s district.  Anthony Weiner was yet another Congressman whose questionable personal behavior forced him to resign.

So now the pundits are busy trying to decide just why this has happened.  Could it be that voters in the district were disgusted with Congressman Weiner, a Democrat, and chose to send a message to him and others who would violate the trust that is placed in them when they are elected?  Is it simply that people are just very unhappy with President Obama and were sending him a message?  David Weprin claimed the poll was a referendum on the president, rather than a reflection on his own ability as a candidate and as a potential congressman.  However, if these voters are unhappy with President Obama, exactly why are they unhappy?  Are they unhappy over the fact that their children are graduating college and can’t find jobs?   Perhaps these voters are out of work themselves.  Are they unhappy because they believe President Obama has held policies that are hurting Israel?  Could it be the fact that their retirement funds are going in the wrong direction?  Perhaps it’s all of the above, but it’s not easy to figure out.

I suppose the big question is, what will our friends in the White House do at this point?  Have they heard the message?  We can wait and see what they choose to do, or we can be pro-active and let those in power know what we think they ought to do.  We’ve been down difficult roads before, but this is America and I have complete faith that we will be turning the corner in the near future.  As long as we have the ability to vote people in and out of office, and as long as we have telephones, e-mail and stationery and postage to allow us to let those who represent us know what we think, it is within our power to make the changes we believe are necessary.

I would like to remind everyone that TOS50.com will have a table at the Over 50 Fair at the Melville Marriott on Sunday, September 25th.   If you purchase tickets to the fair in advance, discount tickets are available for friends of TOS50.com.  Just go to the Over 50 Fair website:  http://www.over50fair.com/Tickets_c_14.html  Use the coupon code TOS50 and you will receive two tickets for the price of one.   To learn more about the Fair check out our video at: http://tos50.com/video/over-50-fair.   The Melville Marriott is located at 1350 Walt Whitman Road, in Melville, Long Island.

Please remember to check out all of the great merchandise in our E-store at:  http://tos50.myshopify.com/.  Have a great week.

Sandy Tankoos, Founder & President



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Nature’s Fury!

What a week this has been for those of us living in the northeast! I’ve been told that I did get my electricity back earlier today.  However, I am not home on Long Island at the moment, but upstate New York at my vacation house in Green County.  Green County has also been hard hit by Irene; however, I was more fortunate with this house as my particular community only lost electric for a few hours and while I’m not sure how or why, we’re in pretty good condition  — somehow, we escaped Irene’s wrath.  Driving around the community though has been sad.  There is just so much devastation.

I did manage to get a make-shift video online about the storm.  I say “make shift” because I didn’t have my usual computer equipment or programs with me to work with, and the stores that I could have purchased duplicates from were closed.  I did the best I could with what was available and I don’t love the results, but the video sort of tells the story of the storm in my neighborhood of Long Island:  http://tos50.com/video/goodnight-irene.

This has been a very difficult year weather wise for all of us in the northeast — and other parts of the country as well.  In New York, we have had an extraordinarily cold winter, a terrible allergy season, an earthquake and a hurricane.  It is as if the weather is adjusting to the recession/depression that we seem to be living in and adjusting to the mood of the country.  Let’s hope for some good news on all fronts in the immediate future.

Available right now on the http://www.tos50.com website is  a great article by travel agent “Commodore” Camille Pepe Sperrazza about her recent cruise to Greenland.  She’s a great travel agent and she can arrange this trip or one just as interesting for you as well.  Check her out at: http://tos50.com/story/fire-ice-cruise-greenland-iceland-shetland-islands-scotland-newfoundland.

I recently interviewed teacher/author Lynda Aron about her new book Your Write to Heal.  You can see the interview at:  http://tos50.com/video/your-write-heal-lynda-aron.  Our book section continues to review interesting, provocative books that members of our generation might find interesting.  I do hope you are checking out our book reviews on a regular basis.

Green Jenine has two exciting exclusive interviews that will be coming up shortly regarding the World Trade Center, 9/11, and the plantings at the Memorial site.  I do hope you make sure to see those.  The first interview will be online within the next week, before 9/11.

Our E-store is featuring insulated lunch bags, a great gift for children and grand children.  50 percent of the cost of the lunch bags will be donated to GASAK, an organization of grandparents working to help families living with autism. http://tos50.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/lunch-bags-insulated-1.

Enjoy the holiday weekend coming up, and have a great week.

Sandy Tankoos,

President and Founder, TOS50.com

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Looking Up in a Downward Spiral

It’s really hard to find good news these days, most particularly for those of us living on fixed incomes — we look at the stock market and try hard not to panic, but it’s not easy.  Greece, Italy, England, Spain, et al — when we were children we had no idea that our financial survival could depend on the countries our ancestors left behind.  Nevertheless, we must remain optimistic about the future and keep smiling because our emotional survival depends on our having a positive outlook on life.

So what is there to be positive about?  Well, I think it’s important to focus on the particular rather than the big picture.  This may sound corny but it is nevertheless true:  children are being born, and in many cases they’re our children or grandchildren; they are our hope for the future, and perhaps they will achieve all those wonderful ideals that we have been striving for throughout our lives that remain undone.  Our generation was responsible for moving civil rights forward and for ending what we believed was an unjust war in Vietnam.  We fought the battle for equality for women and minorities.  In this regard, while we may not yet have achieved total fairness for everyone, we certainly can be proud of what we have accomplished. However, rather than rest on our laurels, it was and is our job to create a world where our aspirations and our passions are passed on to the next generation — and to hope that while our children gain inspiration from our successes, they also learn from our mistakes and thus allow their own ambitions to make this world a better place to live in for the generations that will follow.  We can help the economy by purchasing a gift for our children, but most important, we can help make the world a better place to live in by passing on to our children the gift of knowledge along with our dreams for a better tomorrow.

I am very excited to report that www.tos50.com, our exciting website geared toward those on “The Other Side of 50,” sent out its first real newsletter which was very well received.  This newsletter and those that follow will point our viewers to what is  happening on the website.

The www.tos50.com E-store has some great new products.  In keeping with the ideals of the baby-boomer generation, many of the items on sale in our E-store, http://tos50.myshopify.com/, support the charities that we are involved in.  Our pet supplies support the North Hempstead Animal Shelter, http://tos50.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/squueze-me-furry-chipmonk-for-your-dog, while our picture frames, scarves and lunch bags support GASAK (Grandparent Advocates Supporting Autistic Kids).  If you or your children/grandchildren need an insulated lunch bag, please be sure to see our colorful, popularly priced supply:  http://tos50.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/lunch-bags-insulated-1.

Have a great week, and remember to visit us at www.tos50.com, the website for the baby-boomer generation and for all of  us on “The Other Side of 50.”

Sandy Tankoos, President and Founder



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News of the Week in Politics!

So, what a week this has been!  Here we are, the United States of America, perched on the edge of a precipice, waiting to fall off the edge … and how did we get here?  The politicians we elected put us here. 

If there is a lesson for all of us that will come out of this mess, it is that we need politicians who can compromise.  We can’t elect extremists who won’t budge from their positions, whether it be on the far right or on the far left.  Tea Party candidates have to learn how to read the tea leaves and those who would turn us into a socialist state have to stand back, read the Constiuttion and remember that the United States is not England and that we rejected their form of government all those years ago.  If we do nothing else, that’s the message we should send to Washington this November and in the years to come.

WWW.TOS50.com is doing quite well with helping to find homes for dogs living at the North Hempstead Animal Shelter.  Thus far, every dog we have introduced to our viewers has been adopted.  It’s now time for you to meet Abbey and Huey, currently looking for a home:  http://tos50.com/video/abbey-and-huey-looking-home.

We are also featuring the artwork of Yale Epstein, a Woodstock artist whose work will be exhibited at Lotus Fine Arts and Design in Woodstock from August 13, 2011 – September 11, 2011.  Yale Epstein is an artist on “The Other Side of 50,” who has recently changed his medium and the results are definitely worth a trip to Woodstock to see what he has accomplished — only if you are in driving distance, please:  http://tos50.com/video/artist-yale-epstein.

In the coming weeks we will be featuring an interview with Lynda Aron, who is a writer/teacher who recently published her new book, as well as a motorcycle club that runs a fund raiser for amyloidosis every year and an interview with Jamie Barthel of the Lotus Gallery in Woodstock.  We also have introduced some new products into the www.tos50 E-store.  Take a look at our picture frames and dog toys.  A percentage of the sales of these items is donated to the charities they are connected with:  Picture frames benefit GASAK, an organization that helps families living with autism, and a purchase of one of our dog toys allows us to make a donation to the North Hempstead Animal Shelter in New York.  Come visit us and view all of our products on sale at:  http://tos50.myshopify.com/.

Have a great week — and remember, we’re the ones who elect our representatives.

Sandy Tankoos,

President and Founder, www.tos50.com 


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When I was part of the 900 – 5:00 working world, vacations were important.  Planning two or three weeks away from the pressures of daily living took a lot of thought, and planning a vacation, any vacation, in and of itself was a pleasant diversion from my pressure-filled days.  Escape was important!  However, now that I’ve sold my business and can more or less go where I want, when I want, vacations seem to have less meaning — in fact, I never think about it at all.  Most of my time away from home is spent visiting my children and grandchildren, none of whom exactly live around the corner.

I do have friends who seem to still enjoy traveling, but for me the airport adventure is so exhausting that I almost feel that for the most part, if I have to fly to get there, it’s not worth the hassle of going.  Just a few weeks ago I went to the airport to pick up my granddaughter Samantha, who was a child traveling alone.  I arrived at the airport an hour and 10 minutes before the plane was due to land.  I stood on line to get a pass that allowed me to go through security and wait for her in the boarding area as she got off the plane.

I got the pass, went on to the security area where I waited in line for 15 minutes.  I was about to go through the scanner, when I was informed by the security personnel that my pass was no good.  The agent who gave it to me had written it out by hand and new regulations required that it be done online so that my name could be passed through the “No-Fly List.”  Okay, I thought, I’m glad to know they’re being so much more careful these days, and I walked back to the ticketing area, explained the situation and asked for a new pass.  The agent apologized for the error, filled out a new form for me, and told me that he would walk me back to the security area and put me at the front of the line. 

The two of us hurried back to security, as time was growing short and I was beginning to be concerned that Samantha would get off the plane and not find me waiting for her.  The agent brought me to the front of the line, as promised, but then discovered that although he had filled out the pass online as he was supposed to, some of the information he put in was not correct and they would not allow me to go through security until the pass was filled out correctly.  So the agent asked me to wait right where I was while he rushed back to redo the ticket for a third time.  This took another 10 to 15 minutes.

The end of this story is that although I arrived at the airport an hour and 10 minutes before my granddaughter’s plane was due to land, I actually walked to the gate a few minutes after her plane had arrived, just as she was passing through the doorway with the steward who was assigned to help her, and she was looking for me with a panicked expression on her face because she wasn’t finding me.  Putting Sam back on the plane to go home was not much better.  We arrived at the airport at 8:30 a.m. for a 10:00 a.m. flight.  The plane didn’t leave until 4:00 p.m.  The weather outside was beautiful.  It was not raining, no wind, no logical reason for the delay. 

Vacation?  At this point, I’m going anyplace I can drive to.

We have an exciting week ahead on the www.tos50.com website.  At the moment we are featuring a fabulous recipe for baked stuffed french toast — more than wonderful for a holiday brunch:  http://tos50.com/story/baked-stuffed-french-toast.  Later on in the week we are planning to feature the Lotus Fine Arts Gallery in Woodstock, NY, which we have featured in the past (http://tos50.com/video/lotus-fine-arts-interview). 

We are also quite excited about the fact that all of the shelter dogs we have introduced our viewers to have been adopted.  Consequently, we will be showing off two new dogs to our audience over the coming week.  If you have a dog, be sure to look at the great dog toys that we now have available at very attractive prices in the TOS 50 E-store:  http://tos50.myshopify.com/collections/types?q=Dog+Toys.

Have a great week.

Sandy Tankoos, Founder and President






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Busy News Week

This has certainly been a very busy news week.  We saw the jury reach a verdict in the Casey Anthony Trial,  the air-tight case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund Chief, turn out not to be so air tight after all, and the last shuttle take off into space. 

Certainly the Casey Anthony trial as well as the Dominique Strauss-Kahn drama left me unsatisfied and unhappy with the results.  I don’t believe, if I were a juror, that I could have voted for the death sentence given the scant evidence in the Casey Anthony case.  It would have been nice had there been a lesser charge to vote for.  With Strauss-Kahn, who knows what to believe?  However, now that the presumed victim has been discredited, I imagine he’ll soon be back in France running for the position of “Top Banana” once again.

Of course, the end of the space shuttle program is a kind of sad moment in time.  Like many other people, I’m still very nostalgic about the early astronauts and what seemed at that time like the miracle of it all.

 Www.tos50.com has had an interesting and eventful week as well.  We introduced two new products into our e-store.  Since we are now featuring shelter dogs on a regular basis in an attempt to find them homes, we are now selling a variety of dog toys.  You can see these toys at:  http://tos50.myshopify.com/collections/types?q=Dog+Toys.  We are also featuring Green Jenine’s visit to the space coast:  http://tos50.com/video/nasa-exciting-and-beautiful-place-visit.  Next week will be time for some financial news, once again.  I do hope you all are paying attention to the daily posts of Phil Pennell in the Financial Forum.  Phil does a daily review of the markets:  http://tos50.com/node/7781

Wishing you good weather during this vacation season and a good week ahead.

Sandy Tankoos, President and Founder


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Through The Eyes of Children

Every summer my granddaughter Samantha comes to visit for a few weeks.  The weeks that she spends with us pass by much too fast and before I know it, it’s time to bring her to the airport for her trip home.  Sam is sad to leave us, but happy to be going home into the arms of her parents, her sister and, most important, her dog.  The most enjoyable part of having Sam with us is watching her reactions to my every day surroundings.  Seeing the world through her eyes is very enlightening.

I think of myself as an optimist with a positive point of view most of the time; however, being with Sam makes me realize what optimism is really all about.  Her enthusiasm and spirited nature are contageous.  Somehow during the time she’s been here, my arthritis has been less noticeable and my daily chores are more enjoyable.  It doesn’t seem possible that so many years have gone by since my own children were her age.  How did it happen that I’m now a grandmother of five?  It’s important to take the time to enjoy every day that we’re here on earth.

The www.tos50.com website has some interesting items coming up this week.  We posted today an article by Gary Topple, a very experienced CPA, on the wisdom of asking for an extension instead of filing your taxes on time.  Gary’s article is available at:  http://tos50.com/story/what-happens-if-you-cannot-pay-your-taxes-time

I hope to have an addition to our e-store posted before the end of the week — some great dog toys for those of you who have dogs to buy presents for.  The dog toys go along with our new series on Shelter Dogs — and they do make great pets.  Last week we introduced you to Sophie and Gus, two very gentle dogs looking for a home.  Check out that video at:  http://tos50.com/video/shelter-dogs-make-great-pets.  In fact, you can meet my granddaughter Sam who helped me shoot the video.  She’s visible playing with Gus right before the end.

Remember to visit our E-Store and all the wonderful products we are selling.  Our lite-up reading glasses are very popular.  These glasses allow you to read while your partner sleeps, and they are great for reading on airplanes:  http://tos50.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/lite-up-readers-1.

Have a great week.

Sandy Tankoos, President and Founder


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