Clear Thinking by jizhen1947


Solutions, ideas and notes for life away from the office   Fall 2005

 Clear Thinking         Tips and Techniques

                                                                   Savings or
                                                                   Scam? Water
                                                                   Safety Great
                                                                   Gifts for Men

A supplement to OfficePro magazine
              Do You Know What’s In Your

Drinking                                            Protection Agency (EPA). This report is one

              ater quality is a concern to all of
              us today, no matter where we          tool that consumers can use to help them
              live. Fortunately, consumers          make decisions about the type of drinking
who obtain water from a public or private           water their family consumes.
utility are able to access free, updated infor-        “Since 1999, these federally mandated
mation about their local water quality              reports have been distributed to help raise
through an annual water quality report              consumer awareness about drinking water
called a Consumer Confidence                               quality and to educate the public
Report (CCR), required by the                                about local drinking water issues,”
Environmental                                                says Tom Bruursema, general man-
                                                             ager of NSF International’s
                                                             Drinking Water Treatment Unit
                                                             Certification Program. NSF
                                                             International is an independent,
                                                             not-for-profit organization that
                                                             tests and certifies products and
                                                             writes national standards for
                                                             water, food and consumer goods.
“Although the format can vary slightly by         your local community. Some communities
community, each report provides informa-          will use milligrams per liter (mg/L) or
tion about the community’s drinking water         “parts per million” (ppm), while others
source, the treatment processes used, and         may use micrograms per liter (ug/L) or
any contaminants detected in the communi-         “parts per billion” (ppb). When comparing
ty’s tap water.”                                  contaminant levels, make sure that the units
   These reports have been issued annually        of measurement in your utility’s report are
over the past five years; however, a 2003         consistent with those used in the EPA stan-
Gallup survey found that only 37 percent of       dards. (Note: 1 ppm equals 1,000 ppb).
consumers ever remember seeing the report,           Next are the contaminant tables. These
and only 29 percent acknowledged actually         provide consumers with specific informa-
reading it. When questioned, consumers did-       tion about each contaminant that was
n’t cite a lack of interest as a reason for not   detected in the community’s tap water sup-
reading these reports, but they did indicate      ply. The contaminants are generally divided
that these reports initially seem quite techni-   by category and include inorganic contami-
cal and difficult to understand. NSF              nants, organic chemicals, microbiological
International offers consumers the following      contaminants, lead and copper, as well as
advice when reading their CCR report in           any unregulated contaminants that the
order to get the most from it.                    community may be monitoring.
                                                     To read these tables, begin at the left
The Typical Report Layout                         with the contaminant name. To the right of
   Most reports begin with an overview of         the name would be the unit of measure-
the community’s drinking water system.            ment. The next column would indicate
This is where one can find information about      either the MCL or the amount of the cont-
the source of the community’s drinking            aminant that was detected in the communi-
water supply. Following this section is an        ty’s water supply. Most communities dis-
explanation of the abbreviations used in the      close both an average as well as a range
report. The most important ones to under-         detected for the contaminant. On the far
stand are MCL, or Maximum Contaminant             right will be the potential source of that
Level, which is the maximum level at which a      contaminant, followed by whether there
contaminant can be present in the water           were any violations during the year, mean-
according to EPA or state standards. Also         ing that a contaminant was detected over
important is the unit of measurement used in      the permitted maximum level.

                                                                      RTF reVisions         2
    Consumers to Receive
    Water Quality Reports in July

Using this Information                              tems that can treat either the water coming
   To interpret this information, simply take       from a single faucet or all water used
the amount of the contaminant that was              throughout the home. NSF’s Web site at
detected in the water supply and compare it explains the nation-
to the MCL (although you may see some con-          al standards that cover these devices, and
taminants for which no MCL has been estab-          includes tips for helping consumers select
lished). Most community water supplies have         the right device to meet their specific needs.
very good water quality and few contain con-        Consumers can also search the Web site for
taminants at a level that exceed the MCL.           products that have been tested and certified
Some people, such as individuals with com-          to a national standard.
promised immune systems, may be more vul-              If a consumer cannot locate a water
nerable than the general population to the          treatment product that is certified to treat a
presence of some contaminants. Several              particular contaminant, a second option
informational statements to this effect are         would be purchasing certified bottled water
included at the end of the CCR report.              to meet cooking and drinking water needs.
Understanding these concerns is one of the             Consumer Confidence Reports must be
important reasons why consumers should              sent out each year by July 1, and most con-
read these reports thoroughly every year.           sumers can expect to receive their CCR via
   If a contaminant is present at a level that is   postal mail from their local water utility. If
of concern to a consumer, there are a number        you live in an apartment or condominium,
of options they can pursue. A home water            the report may be sent to the management
treatment device is one. There are many             company that pays the water bill. If you do
choices available, but it is important to be        not receive your CCR report by early July,
sure that the system is tested and certified to     check with your water utility directly. Most
address the contaminant(s) of greatest con-         larger utilities will also post their report on
cern. Independent testing organizations such        their website. Additional information about
as NSF International offer consumers assis-         drinking water standards, as well as links to
tance in locating certified products, including     local drinking water reports, can also be
water treatment devices.                            found at the U.S. Environmental Protection
   There are a variety of products and tech-        Agency (EPA) website at
nologies that treat drinking water. Products        water.a
can range from a pour-through water pitcher
to a faucet-mount filter to plumbed-in sys-         Courtesy of ARA Content

3        FALL 2005             RTF reVisions
                         It’s Fall again     pleased to have C. Joyce Hawkins
                       and the leaves are    CPS/CAP as our RTFC Liaison this
                       changing… and if      year. Linda M. Cook CPS/CAP returns
                       you were at the       as our Secretary, and Janine J.
                       2005 IAAP con-        Riemersma will serve as the Trust’s Vice
                       vention, you saw      Chairman. Kay Enlow CPS/CAP, IAAP
                       that the Trust is     International President and Susan K.
                       changing, too!        Shamali CPS/CAP, IAAP International
                         To help reflect     Treasurer will both serve on the board
our new projects (such as this newslet-      by virtue of their offices. I’m honored
ter), we’re taking on a new identity with    to have been named Chairman of the
our vision statement: The Trust…             Trust for another year.
Working for You!                                All of us on The Trust’s Board of
   We’ve also reinstated November as         Trustees will do our best to ensure that we
“The Trust Month” for IAAP. Watch our        carry out our goals as efficiently as possi-
website at for presenta-    ble. From Vista Grande, the world’s only
tions, scripts and other materials you can   retirement center for administrative pro-
use in your IAAP chapter meetings to let     fessionals to our website, packed with
everyone know about our projects and all     information that everyone can use to RTF
the ways we’re working for you!              reVisions, we strive to benefit all IAAP
   We hope that our new attitude             members.
reflects the fact that we work for all          Remember, you can support The Trust
IAAP members and have something to           in many ways… through donations,
offer everyone. In this issue, for exam-     memorial gifts, and also by ordering sub-
ple, we’ve got using rebates (the smart      scriptions to RTF reVisions for your fam-
way)to help save money, some ideas for       ily and friends! For $15 a year, you can
those of us stressed by that grey box        send a gift subscription to anyone who
with a keyboard that sits by our desks       you think would enjoy our publication
and a special pullout section you can        and help use continue to produce this
post at home or at work to help keep         newsletter.
your head clear even when life seems to         Thank you, IAAP members, for your
be taxing everything you’ve got.             generous support over the past year. We’re
   It’s also time to welcome our new         looking forward to working for you in the
trustees for the 2005-2006 year. We’re       2005-2006 year!a

                                             Myrna Jessell CAP
We’ve all had our issues with rebates.             but first let’s explain some of the deception
Remember the time you purchased that “free”        involved.
product from CompUSA or Circuit City who              At the outset, merchants hope you won’t
then promised you would get your money             bother. It takes a lot of work to redeem a
back? What an easy purchase! But, did you          rebate, so be prepared. In addition, the
know that the majority of folks never redeem       redemption process is made to be complicat-
their rebates? If you really ever did get that     ed: who owes you your rebate, the retailer or
check in the mail, you’re one of the few savvy     the manufacturer? And the tediousness in the
consumers out there. If not, I want to let         process will make you so fed up you’ll forget
everyone in on how to ensure they’re going to      about your savings or give up in the process,
get the savings they signed up for. Get out a      taking the loss as a learning experience.
pen and pencil— this may require a little work.       OK, so we know rebates are difficult at
   I’ll be honest. I’ve always had a problem       best. But what if everyone turned them in
with rebates. I’m a consumer aware of the          and was willing to follow up on all the prob-
price I’m paying, constantly wondering if my       lems that can be involved? I’ll give you a hint,
purchase is legitimate or there’s some hidden      these retailers would lose money, and rebates
agenda motivating the seller. Rebates seem         would end. But that’s not the case: rebates
to fit the bill of a scam. After all, who wants    grew from 1 billion to 4 billion dollars from
to give something away for free, and how can       1999 to 2003, and they continue on today
you make money on that? While rebates can          with a presence in the online discount shop-
seem promising on the surface, they rarely         ping arena. Learn how to take advantage of
pan out. According to Peter Kastner, execu-        these savings and you’ll be adding to your
tive vice president of Aberdeen Group, only        online shopping smarts.
40% of consumers submit rebates they are            1 Look at who’s issuing the rebate, the man-

entitled to, 40% submit the rebate and suc-        ufacturer or the retailer. Manufacturers
cessfully get a check, and 20% have problems.      often use rebates to remove excess inventory
You think they want you to redeem that             or to clear out products for the latest models.
rebate? Think again.                               If it’s a retailer who’s offering the rebate,
   But despite the difficulties of rebates and     what’s their true motivation? Why aren’t
the burden to redeem, they do offer an oppor-      they just offering a sale? These retailers are
tunity at great savings impossible to find else-   really just playing the odds hoping you won’t
where. A couple items of due diligence are         redeem your savings, so be aware.
required when using these cheap discounts,          2 The paperwork: be sure to keep receipts,

5        FALL 2005              RTF reVisions
or Scam?

UPC codes, and sometimes even a cutout of           found the only way to get my rebate is to call,
the product picture or text on the box. Read        with records in hand, to explain my situation.
the fine print on the rebate form (don’t leave      I never leave my rebate to chance, because I
the store without this) to know exactly what        know I’ll eventually forget! After all, that’s
to send in. Be sure to fill in every field. Don’t   what they expect!
leave your email address blank, or your form           Nowadays I’ve resorted to using savings I
could be rejected on a technicality! Set up a       can realize at the point of purchase, and no
separate free email address at Hotmail or           longer rely on rebates for my bargain hunt-
Yahoo! for a lot of your ‘potential’ spam           ing. Since most of my shopping is done
mail. This address can not only be used for         online these days, I’m resorting to online
rebate forms but also for online newsletters.       coupons and coupon codes where I can verify
 3  Keep good records. I’d suggest marking          the savings before checkout. Am I getting the
the deadline for the rebate on a calendar, and      best deal? I think so. I never was one for
then the date they state the rebates will be        paperwork.
sent out— if it’s 8 weeks after the deadline,
mark that. Make copies of all receipts and
                                                     Gary Gray of
UPC’s before sending in your information.
                                                     is a bargain finder and deal hunter. Coupon
Be sure to take care of all of this within a few
                                                     Chief provides free discount shopping deals
days of purchase, many times the rebate does
                                                     and coupon codes to help consumers save
not depend on expiration but on a date that
                                                     money online at nearly every store— before
can be only 7 days after your purchase!
                                                     checkout! No hassles, no worries!
 4  Don’t be afraid to call. Oftentimes I’ve

                                                                        RTF reVisions           6
         oes your mind sometimes feel like a television station

D        you can’t quite tune in? You know there’s an interest-
         ing program on— or several, but everything is mixed
with static. What if you could “tune in” at will, have clear
thinking whenever you want it? Try some of the following.
        1 Take a walk. Science will                      4 Get better sleep. Sleep
        eventually prove this to be a great              requirements vary, but the
        way to improve the quality of                    minimum for most is some-
        your thinking, but don’t wait for                where around five hours.
        the proof. Aren’t there enough                   Some suffer if they sleep less
other reasons to take a walk anyhow?          than eight hours. The research, however,
                                              indicates that after a certain minimum
           2 Stay away from sugar. If         quantity, the quality of sleep is more
           you want to understand what        important to normal brain function.
           brain fog is, eat a sugary
           donut on an empty stomach,                     5 Try meditating. No time?
           then do math problems twen-                    Just close your eyes, relax, and
ty minutes later. What                                    watch your breath for a while.
you will experience, along                                Accept that your mind will
with the “sugar blues,” is                                wander, but continually return
brain fog. At least lay off                               your attention to your breath.
sugar and simple carbo-                       Five minutes of this, and afterwards
hydrates when you need to think clearly.      you’ll feel a boost in your brainpower.

         3 Organized space means                       6 Resolve your “mind irrita-
         clear thinking. It’s rare that a              tions.” Watch your busy brain.
         person can actually work bet-                 Maybe a call you need to make
         ter in clutter. Organised work-               has been bothering you, just
         ing space means you won’t have                below consciousness. Find these
the thought “where is that...” distracting    stressors, and do something to let them
your mind.                                    go. For example, make that call, or put it
You Can Think More Clearly With These Tips!

on a list, and your mind will let go of it             10 Satisfy your
for now. Just seeing a problem and say-                physical needs.
ing, “There’s nothing I can do about this              Clear think-
until Friday,” will often stop unconscious             ing is easier
worrying.                                              if you aren’t
                                             too hungry, thirsty, or hot.
           7 Don’t drink alcohol.
           At least don’t
                                                    ou can think more clearly
           drink too much.
           While moderate
           amounts can be
conducive to creative think-
                                             Y      starting today. There are cer-
                                                    tainly more than ten ways,
                                             but you really only need to make a
ing, all the evidence says                   few of them a habit to have a more
that it is bad for the long-                 powerful brain. Why not try one or
term health of your brain.                   two right now?

          8 Make decisions quickly.
                                             Steve Gillman writes on many self help
          Nothing gets in the way of
                                             topics including boosting brainpower,
          clear thinking like a dozen
                                             losing weight, meditation, habits of mind,
          decisions hanging around
                                             creative problem solving, learning grati-
          unmade. If nothing else,
                                             tude, generating luck and anything relat-
decide when you’ll make the decision.
                                             ed to self improvement. Find more at
          9 Get some fresh air. Go
          outside and breath deeply
          through your nose. You’ll get      Pull out this insert and hang it up
          a good dose of oxtgen to your      where it will remind you of these
          brain, and the change of sur-      easy-to-use clear thinking tips and
roundings can help clear your mind.          techniques.
Great Gifts for
the Men in Your Life

       inding the perfect gift for the men in your life can be a chal-
       lenge. After all, how many neckties or personalized golf
       balls does one guy need? Luckily, the Internet brings all
types of exotic gifts right to your computer. Here’s a look at some
of the standout gifts we think any man would love to receive.
A remote for your remote                      means he will instantly be able to track down
Does your gift recipient have a reputation    these and other lost items. This universal pag-
for misplacing things? Whether it’s his eye   ing system makes it easy to instantly locate
glasses, the remote or the car keys, the      those items that always seem to walk away.
Now You Can Find It! Ultra 8 Wireless RF      Find it at

9        FALL 2005            RTF reVisions
Never be intimidated by the                       detailed, eight-color wall mural of the world,
sommelier                                         covering nearly 9 by 13 feet of wall space.
Whether your guy is a knowledgeable pro or        Capitals, countries, major cities, up-to-date
just learning about wine, the Wine Master         political boundaries, time zones, shipping
will be a hit. This electronic pocket guide,      lanes, nautical miles, ocean depths, elevations
available on, was created in      and more are all clearly indicated at a scale of
partnership with Wine Enthusiast Magazine         160 miles to the inch. The laminated surface
to provide instant access to more than            makes it possible to write on the map time
10,000 wine ratings and reviews. It includes      and again with a dry-erase marker (one
a wine glossary and tasting terms, comple-        included). This map is equally at home in a
mentary food and wine pairings, wine basics       den, a home office or in the executive suite,
for the novice, best buys, editor's picks and     says Silverberg. Printed on heavy 80-pound
cellar buys. Its compact size makes it easy to    paper stock, the mural is 8 separate panels
take to the store or restaurant.                  that can be hung as one piece or individually.
                                                  Mounting is easy; simple step-by-step
Be a man of the world                             instructions and adhesive for hanging are
“Our Write-On Map Mural is great for              included.
political junkies, world travelers and for pre-
sentations,” says Ross Silverberg of              Put your poker face on
Hammacher Schlemmer (              Poker is all the rage these days. Celebrities
Originally published under the direction of       play on television; the Authentic Poker Dealer
the U.S. Department of Defense and the            Pack (also at, let's you play
CIA, this is the world’s largest, accurately      like the pros. The sturdy aluminum felt-lined

                                                                       RTF reVisions           10
                              case contains 500 metal-weighted chips (150

    Vista                     white, 150 blue, 100 red, 50 green, and 50
                              black), two decks of professional coated
                              playing cards, and marker buttons for blinds

   Grande                     and dealer.

                              How about a Lamborghini?
the world’s only retirement   Oops, just kidding. After all, how many peo-
 center for administrative    ple have that in the budget? But if the man in
       professionals!         your life has always wanted an exotic car,
                              give him the next best thing— let him drive
                              the car of his dreams for a day. Most major
                              cities have a car rental agency that special-
                              izes in expensive cars. For example, Beverly
                              Hills Rent-a-Car offers a Porsche Boxster for
                              $189 a day. For muscle car fans, Dream Car
                              Rentals in Las Vegas has a 1968 Camaro SS
                              Convertible for $325 a day. With a little cre-
                              ativity and some time in front of your com-
                              puter, the perfect gift is just a click away.

                              Courtesy of ARA Content

                               RTF reVisions, Fall 2005, Vol. 3,
                               Number 2 is published by the
                               Retirement Trust Foundation, PO Box
                               20404, Kansas City, MO 64195.
                               RTF Board members, 2005-6 are:
                               Chairman, Myrna Jessell CAP;
                               Vice Chairman, Janine Riemersma
                               CPS/CAP; Secretary, Linda Cook
                               CPS/CAP; RTFC Liaison, C. Joyce
                               Hawkins CPS/CAP; IAAP President, Kay
                               E. Enlow CPS/CAP; IAAP Treasurer,
                               Susan K. Shamali CPS/CAP
                               Editor: Aaron Ensminger, 816-801-1331
                               Design: Carol Smasal, 816-801-1330
                               Please send all comments or questions to:
For additional       
information, call or
write today!                   RTF reVisions is published quarterly
Manager,                       in Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring. If
Vista Grande
Retirement Center;             you are not currently receiving RTF
4101 Meadowlark                reVisions and would like to subscribe,
Lane SE; Rio
Rancho, NM 87124;              rates are US $15 per year. Please call for
505-892-9300                   international rates.
   News from the Trust
Retirement Trust Foundation Trustees Assume Posts
The 2005-2006 Trustees are (front row from left):
Vice Chairman Janine Riemersma CPS/CAP, Grand Rapids, MI;
IAAP International President Kay E. Enlow CPS/CAP, Raytown, MO;
IAAP International Treasurer Susan K. Shamali CPS/CAP, Grand Rapids, MI
(back row from left):
Chairman Myrna Jessell CAP, Aliquippa, PA;
Secretary Linda M. Cook CPS/CAP, Seatac, WA;
RTF Liaison C. Joyce Hawkins CPS/CAP, St. Louis, MO

New RTFC Members Appointed
The 2005-2006 Retirement Trust Foundation Committee members are:
Great Lakes District - Deanna Brown CPS
Northeast District - Katherine C. Hook CPS/CAP
Northwest District - Kay Gale CPS
Southeast District - Patricia D. Row CPS/CAP
Canada District - Katherine Fogal CPS/CAP


   The Trust... Working for You!                         RETIREMENT TRUST
How To Stop
Computers From
Stressing You Out
                      Of all the forms of stress   just about the worst computer stress of all.
                      in today’s world, com-           As well, you need to protect your computer
                      puter stress is the one      from outside interference. If your computer is
                      that is on the rise the      hooked up to the Internet, protect it with a
                      fastest. Computers are       network firewall and anti-virus software.
                      wonderful machines, but      There are plenty of malicious hackers out
they can also stress out workers by their          there and they tend to enjoy watching people
sometimes confusing demands, their con-            panic about their computers suddenly dying.
stant presence and their simple inability to       These hackers write viruses and worms that
work properly. Thus, computer stress must          can infect your machine and delete important
be understood and it must find an outlet or        files or send out malicious emails all on their
computer users will find themselves even           own. You do not want to have your computer
more stressed out than they already are.           taken over like this. Save yourself from this
   The first thing to remember about com-          sort of computer stress by keeping your sys-
puters is that they are machines. They do not      tem and files secure from outside attackers.
have feelings, they do not respond to emo-             Computer stress can also simply arise
tional appeals, they only do what they are         from sitting in front of the silly thing so long
told to do; nothing more and nothing less.         that you realize you do not know what you
Thus, you need to remember that just about         are looking at any more. You know you need
anything that your computer does is proba-         to get work done on the silly machine, but
bly something you told it to do. Sure, you         you haven’t gotten anything done and the
may not have wanted to tell it to do some-         deadline is looming and you need more time,
thing, but you told the computer to do it and      but there isn’t any and… just slow down. If
that’s all it knows. You can save yourself a lot   you are not getting anything done, then save
of computer stress by keeping this in mind.        yourself some computer stress by walking
   The next thing you need to know in order        away. If you are at work, lock your screen and
to avoid computer stress is that computers         wander the hallways for a bit. Just walk away
are machines and, therefore, they will break       and you will save yourself a lot of stress over
down. That means that you need to keep             something that is really not a big deal.
backup copies of everything important. If              One of the problems with living in the
you absolutely need a file, keep a copy on a       computer age is, simply, the computer.
floppy disk or on a CD. Hard drives are well       However, it is only a machine and you can
known to just give out after a while (the aver-    learn to control it without it controlling you.
age lifetime is about 4-5 years) and therefore     Your computer is a tool no different than a
you need to keep backups of everything you         hammer or a crowbar. So save yourself from
want to keep. If it’s important enough that        computer stress and you won’t feel compelled
you want a copy, it’s important enough to          to use a hammer or a crowbar on the comput-
keep a backup copy. The sooner you remem-          er that is supposed to make your life easier.
ber to keep your computer’s failing in mind,
the more stress free you will be.
                                           is a categorized
   Third, you need to protect your computer.
                                                    resource directory for everything to do with
On the most basic level, that means a surge
                                                    stress. Get a free ebook to help with your
protector. A power surge can quickly fry the
                                                    stress levels: http://www.loweryourstress
delicate insides of a computer and suddenly
realizing that you need a new computer is

                                                                       RTF reVisions           16

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