Welcome to the Gen Plus Blog

It's a backstage pass to info on jobs and life at 50+. Gen Plus, headed by Janet Wendy Spiegel, is dedicated to baby boomers and the plus generation of age 50 and older. Read up and speak out on issues affecting your future: jobs, income, life and respect.

About Me

My photo
Northridge, California, United States
Successful businesswoman, consultant, entrepreneur. I operate two businesses -- social media consulting, AND premium pet care services in the West San Fernando Valley. Love what I do, love life.

Gen Plus has relocated to www.GenPlusUSA.com

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm All Shook Up...

Well, we had a 5.4 quake today in Southern California. I've only experienced a couple of smaller earthquakes before, so this one was pretty impressive. This was a more pleasant type of quake (if you can describe any quake as pleasant!) -- rolling, vs. shaking, so after the initial excitement, and the several hours of interrupted cell phone service, life quickly returned to normal...at least for me, in Encino.

A blogger friend sent me a concerned email asking how I was. I had ALREADY forgotten about the quake and sent her a cheery update on my personal and business life. My sister (a talented interior designer) got a call within minutes of the quake from a client asking about a current design they were working on together. My daughter (who is now sleeping curled next to me) was terrified and prepared her own emergency bag. Of course, that had me revisiting my own emergency bags...with 10 year old granola bars, a checkbook from a bank account I no longer have, and ID and credit cards that expired 7 years ago.

In California, those who have grown up here get used to earthquakes. I'm thinking that since I was barely bothered, I must be a true Californian. Wow. That's Narly. I hear there should be good surfin' tomorrow.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blogging Boomers Carnival #79

Take a trip down memory lane and head over to I Remember JFK for this week's installment of the Blogging Boomers Carnival! Whether you're looking for kilts, sex, or a trip down route 66, you'll find all your inquiring mind needs to know to keep you going for the week ahead.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

No Stranger to Foreigner or... I Don't Want to Live Without You!!

If, like me, you spent many of your youthful twilight hours falling in love and angsting over lost love while immersing yourself in Foreigner, here's a great treat. In case you didn't know, on July 15th, Foreigner and Rhino Records released NO END IN SIGHT: THE VERY BEST OF FOREIGNER, a comprehensive hits collection (32-song, two-disc set) that includes both live songs and a previously unreleased track called ‘Too Late’. And to make things even better, the band will be on a co-headlining summer tour with Bryan Adams that began in July and continues throughout the summer. (Just remember, no more Bic Flics...iconic stadium salutes are now made by holding up the illumited faces of cell phones! At least you won't burn your fingers in your 50's!)

A constant fixture on the radio and the charts throughout the '70s and '80s, Foreigner has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide. Described as a "fist-pumping romp through the band's music (1977-present), from hard rocking early hits ("Cold As Ice," "Double Vision," "Hot Blooded" "Feels Like The First Time") and classic cuts ("I Want To Know What Love Is", "Dirty White Boy," "Head Games," "Urgent") to later gems. In addition to the parade of hits, the collection is bolstered with a new recording, "Too Late," and a new acoustic version of "Say You Will," as well as recent in-concert recordings of "Starrider" and the medley "Juke Box Hero/Whole Lotta Love."

To bring the 80's to the new millenium, you can also join "listening parties" by following the links and getting to hear this great band online. Here are the listening party links:
QT http://rhino.edgeboss.net/qtime/rhino/listeningparties/512130/512130_apex.mov
WMA http://rhino.edgeboss.net/wmedia/rhino/listeningparties/512130/512130_apex.wax

And for you die-hard fans who want to introduce your echo-boomers to Foreigner, here are the tour dates and links to the official site http://www.foreigneronline.com/ AND official mySpace http://www.myspace.com/foreignermusic

Disc 1
1. Feels Like The First Time
2. Long, Long Way From Home
3. Cold As Ice
4. Headknocker
5. Starrider
6. Double Vision
7. Blue Morning, Blue Day
8. Hot Blooded
9. Dirty White Boy
10. Head Games
11. Women
12. Night Life
13. Break It Up
14. Juke Box Hero
15. Urgent
16. Waiting For A Girl Like You

Disc 2
1. Too Late (New Recording) *
2. Say You Will (Acoustic) *
3. Starrider (Live) *
4. Juke Box Hero/Whole Lotta Love (Live) *
5. I Want To Know What Love Is
6. Down On Love
7. Reaction To Action
8. That Was Yesterday
9. Say You Will
10. I Don't Want To Live Without You
11. Can't Wait
12. Tooth And Nail
13. Heart Turns To Stone
14. Lowdown and Dirty
15. I'll Fight For You
16. Until The End Of Time
* New Recording

On-going tour dates...
26 Dallas, TX**
29 Clearfield, PA
30 Glen Allen, VA
31 Myrtle Beach, SC
**With Bryan Adams

2 Los Angeles, CA
12 Missouri State Fair
16 Erie, PA
22 Detroit, MI
23 Baraboo, WI
24 Chicago, IL
28 Baltimore, MD
29 Woodstock, VA
30 Atlantic City, NJ
31 Jackson, NJ

Gotta find my Bic Flic....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Good Question Regarding Page Rank...

A very good question from my post on Page Rank, so here is the question and my answer. I'm sure there are more of you who would like to understand this subject a bit more!

MoneyEnergy said...

OK, I'm still new to blogging so I don't really understand where to check my page rank.Do I need a Google Toolbar to do this? How important is page rank if not everyone has a Google Toolbar and/or bothers to check the page rank of each website? I thought PR referred to where your site showed up in Google search listings when you typed in its main keywords.

Janet Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

Hi Moneyenergy. You do need a Google Toolbar to check your page rank, which is simple to download from Google. Because Google is such a powerful entity, their ranking of pages is kind of the "holy grail" of the tecchie world.

Page Rank is important to advertisers and for monetizing your site (Google Ads, for e.g.) because the higher your rank, the more interesting you are to companies who want to spend money tapping into your unique readership. It literally is how important Google thinks your page is. The other thing is that no one knows the top secret formula that Google uses to determine page rank.

There are many factors that are taken into consideration...traffic, content, search engine optimization (SEO), and relevence (and I'm sure many other factors.) On the other hand, where you show up through searches is based solely on the relevence of your content. If you search on Google or Yahoo "jobs for 50 Plus", Gen Plus will always show up in the top ten and often in the #1 or #2 spot solely due to the amount of content I've created over years of blogging on this particular subject.

When you show up in the top "sponsored" searches, that will be because you are paying for keywords...those are paid ads. Excellent question. There is a fantastic site filled with incredible information on blogging and monetization, written by a young writer and given freely. High marks for www.doshdosh.com.

Hope that helps...it's very challenging to understand this "other" blogging world at the outset!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blogging Boomers Carnival #78

This week's Carnival is hosted by the fantabulous Rhea Becker of The Boomer Chronicles. In addition to our usual assortment of fascinating posts from the prior week on all things boomer, this week we welcome two new members to our Blogging Boomers Carnival: The Baby Boomer Entrepreneur and Vaboomer.com. I hope you enjoy them!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What is Page Rank Anyway?

You may hear about Page Rank from time to time and wonder what it is and if it is important. I decided to write about it today because many Boomers and 50 Plussers don't understand many of the technical benchmarks on the web, so it is always nice to learn something new!

As a blogger, Page Rank holds a level of importance. Page Rank is a system developed by Google to determine the importance or relevance of a page or website in terms of reader interest. What keywords the page attracts, subject matter, content interest, reader interaction...you name it. Basically it lets you know if what you are writing about is of interest to others. If your page rank is low, does that mean a site is bad? No. Not at all. It just means that that particular page, website or blog hasn't received as much traffic, interest or is deemed as content relevant as another page among the billions of pages on the web.

I got interested in Page Rank when I started getting more involved in the technical aspects of blogging. As most bloggers do, I began as a blogger...well...by writing. As my interests evolved and my blogging became more natural, my own curiousity drove me to find out more about this brave new world. And the two giants in the world of search are google and yahoo.

For bloggers, Page Rank became the holy grail. And once the really tech savvy webmasters figured out how page ranking worked, way back when (2 or 3 years ago), they would design their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to maximize their page rankings. I, of course, as a non-tech blogger, knew none of this. However, I managed to gain a Page Rank of 7/10, which was phenomenal. And it was due solely to my content (I think!...because I didn't do anything to manipulate my placement.)

Then Google, irritated at being played by the SEO experts, changed their ranking algorithms. And their top secret formula threw many rankings topsy turvy. My Page Rank of 7 fell to a 5 overnight. The coveted rank that I'd never paid attention to before, now stunned me. So I gave up on trying to understand the ranking system and continued to do what mattered to me...writing about relevant issues affecting Boomers and 50 Plussers. My Page Rank is back up to a 6, although I don't know why (but that's pretty good and I'm happy about it.) If you go to my main webpage and have a google toolbar, you'll see page rank: http://genplus.blogspot.com/ (6 on this page), however individual pages, might have NO page rank at all (don't want to delve into too much technical mumbo-jumbo, but you can get page rank by setting up different landing pages for your keyword searches...stopping now, I know...TMI): http://genplus.blogspot.com/2006/11/so-much-to-do-and-so-little-time.html. In any case, if you want to assess the rank of a website, make sure to click on their main page to see their ranking, rather than an individual post page.

The value of the internet is in the communication reach, the free exchange of ideas and the freedom and accessibility of information right around the world. If Page Rank plays into it, fine. It is an important number for advertisers and the commercial strength of a website. But it doesn't change the heart of a blogger.

Monday, July 14, 2008

BBC 77

This week's lucky (double 7's) blog host for our Blogging Boomers Carnival is Don't Gel Too Soon. It's a good one. Plus stop by and read a few more of Cindy's posts. You'll find her perspectives refreshing and eye-opening.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gen Plus one of top 14 Boomer Blogs to Watch!

It's always exciting to discover that someone new has picked up a tidbit of interest from what you have to say as a blogger. It's also a wonderful feeling when you hit a note of resonance with an individual, a group, or in the case of Boomers and 50 Plussers...a collective. So it was with great delight that I discovered Gen Plus has been listed by PSFK (a global trends and innovation company) as 1 of their top 14 boomer blogs to follow.

Very exciting to see how many of these great blogs I know and follow and I'll bet you'll know most of them:

Here they are (in no particular order, thank you very much!):

* 20plus30* Boomer* Aging Fabulous* Time Goes By* Libido & Health* Changing Aging* The Boomer Blog* The Boomer Chronicles* Older But No Wiser* Aging Maven* Always Question* Auxiliary Memory* GenPlus (that's ME!)* Aging Hipster

I'm a big fan of all these bloggers. If you haven't checked them out before, give them a try. If you particularly like a writer, subscribe to their blog for a daily (more or less) dose of inspired thought.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

So Much to Share...So Little Time!

I've got some book reviews coming your way, but in case you want to get a head start on your mid-summer line up, here's one for the boys...

Bob Morris' ASSISTED LOVING True Tales of Double Dating With My Dad (HarperCollins June 2008)

What would you do if your eighty-year-old father dragged you into his hell-bent hunt for new love? Bob Morris, a seriously single son, tells you all about it in this warm, witty, and wacky chronicle of a year of dating dangerously.

This father-son memoir has received some wonderful reviews:

"But it's the journey, not the destination, so the saying goes, and in pursuit of romance, this father and son get a second chance at finding each other; theirs is the resounding love affair at the center of the book... And by way of good manners, let me thank you, Bob Morris, for your heartfelt contribution to the canon of father-son memoir; an expression of civility, a grace note unto itself."- Dinah Lenney, for the LA Times

"Never losing sight of the complex relationship between aging parents and adult children… the inspirational memoir captures all the needed laughs and emotions that go with love and life in the waning years of parent-child bonding.."- Publishers Weekly

You can check out Bob's website at www.assistedloving.com for videos of him and his dad!

AND one for the gals...

How do women retire nowadays? Well according to this book, they don't!

What will you do when you retire? Wave that “red flag” question in front of a woman who fought for any scrap of work success she now claims, and then watch anticipation angst kick in as she thinks about the “what next” stage of her life – the one that comes after her kids are grown, her career has plateau-ed, her spouse is getting antsy, and her friends are primarily work-related.

The Transition Network (TTN), a nation-wide community of women who are re-imagining retirement, have written
Smart Women Don't Retire—They Break Free: From Working Full-Time to Living Full-Time to help women deal with the "what next" question.

Smart Women Don't Retire—They Break Free is a blueprint for women redefining retirement. It's a practical guide showing how to choose what to do next, whether it's pursuing a new career, volunteering, or becoming an entrepreneur. This book shows you how to create your own whole new set of life choices.

Praise for Smart Women Don't Retire - They Break Free

"This book compiles concrete evidence that the angst of friends and colleagues is, in fact, part of a flood of concern across the nation. The good news is, we are not alone. The better news is, there are some answers here, or at least signposts that point the way to new possibilities." —Lynn Sherr, Correspondent, ABC TV

“In the next decade a huge number of women will be making a work-related transition from a lifetime career to whatever comes next . . . This book provides a valuable orientation to this process; it is rich in practical advice and inspiration.” —Jennie Chin Hansen, President, AARP
“Every woman 50+ should read this book . . . regardless of where they are on their retirement journey!” —Jeri Sedlar, coauthor of Don’t Retire, REWIRE! senior advisor to the Conference Board on the Mature Workforce

More Information: http://www.thetransitionnetwork.org/

The Bane of Adult Acne, or a Nit about my Zit

After spending a blemish-free adolescence and young adulthood, I have been struck, in my 40's and now almost my 50's, with adult-onset acne. For the past 5 years I have struggled to reconcile my mental image of my zit-free face with the reality of an almost persistent blemish on the lower right or lower left of my jaw (depending upon where in my hormonal cycle I am at the moment).

For so many men and women, who were afflicted by acne in their teens, they experience renewed acne in their middle years. They relive the memories of their youth, of Clearasil, and face wipes and alcohol and hydrogen peroxide and plunge into the myriad of new products now available for adult acne.

For me...I'm just so disappointed. I guess I was really lucky to have had good skin as a young person and now I experience constant frustration. Stressful day? Zit at night. Painful ovulation? Immediate eruption. Paying a big bill? I feel that pustule forming under the skin as I'm worrying.

Gross talk? Probably. But, I'm sure at least SOME of you have experienced your body's betrayal, just when you thought you had just a wee bit of control. Never thought I'd look forward to menopause and the end of hormonal surges. Never.

The only GOOD thing is that my near vision has gotten very blurry and I now wear reading glasses...so when I look in the mirror first thing in the morning "sans lunettes", I actually look fantastic (to ME anyway!)...kind of soft-focus, hair-tousled, vaseline on the camera lens gorgeous.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Birthday...to me!

It is my birthday today and I couldn't be happier. I'm turning 49 today...so 1 year away from MY big FIVE OH. One friend reminded me that I have ONE year left as a youngster. He's a journalist, so I believe he might be right.

Growing up in Canada, my birthday always fell right after Canada Day (July 1st) and because everyone went away for holidays, it was a challenge to have anyone show up to my birthday parties. My Mom was creative and joined my birthday with my sisters, so we'd have a late summer blowout with tons of kids. But I resented Canada Day all the same.

Now that I'm an American, I typically share the limelight, now, with Independence Day. I choose to believe that the fireworks are there for me. And the quiet day after, July 5th, my day, is a perfect way to enjoy the summer blockbuster you can't easily get into or the restaurant that is always too full.

I live in a very suburban, cozy neighborhood, with flat streets, close community and basically very un-LA-like. A wonderful summer troupe holds dress rehearsals of their Shakespearen productions on the producers lawn around the corner from us, and last night, on our way to watch the fireworks, my daughter felt very strongly she's prefer to watch MacBeth (that Scottish play) rather than the fireworks. So we watched an almost private performance of that great play.

This morning, my daughter and mother made me a fantastic breakfast in bed (after which I had a flurry of new client meetings!) and then we took in a showing of Wall-E (liked it...lots of fun, good, simple message) and had a lunch out with my kid (at her favorite restaurant, of course).

If you'd asked me 10 years ago if this was what I'd call a GREAT birthday, I would not have agreed. But now, at 49, with one more year of my youth left before I land firmly in middle age, this is a wonderful birthday. In fact, I wouldn't change a second of it or the year ahead. The country just celebrated Independence, and so, too, do I.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Independence Day

July 4th, 2008. OK. It's about independence, our freedom, what being an American is all about. But the art of pyrotechnics? Well, in 2008...it's all about the fireworks. Here's a fun site to find out who is showing what and where: http://www.fireworksguide.com/

Even if wildfires are dampening Northern California shows (there has been a ban due to the breadth of the current fires and the very dry, dangerous conditions), you can get the lowdown (and a slide show!) of the best fireworks around from MSNBC.

Happy ID!