Senior Musings July 2010

Posted 07.20.10


BobbiHave you ever had your wallet stolen? Or lost your cellphone? How about leaving your camera behind at a restaurant?

I've heard some great stories from friends whose phones were returned because the person who found it saw "Mom" in the contact list, and called the woman's mother.

But most of the time, lost possessions are never returned.

There are ways to prevent theft, and it seems timely to write about this in the summer, when we tend to wear clothing with more shallow pockets, or carry beach bags or totes without secure closures.

Let's deal with each important item first.

Check your wallet, and remove everything except your driver's license, health card, the credit card you use most often, and a back-up credit card. Photocopy these, and put the copy in a safe place at home.

Limit the amount of cash you carry, and consider putting additional cash and extra credit cards in a second wallet, which you only take with you when you plan to go to those specific stores, or to places where you know you'll need cash.

I carry a very thin card case with my license, health card, two credit cards and two folded $20 bills. This fits in a small zippered pouch which also contains an extra set of keys, my cellphone, and a flash drive containing a full back-up of important files on my computer.

The good thing about this pouch is that it looks like a cosmetic case so is unlikely to attract a thief's attention. And when I take out the thin wallet, a potential thief isn't tempted by an array of credit cards and lots of cash.

A man could keep this kind of thin wallet in a front pants' pocket, which is much deeper and harder to "pick" than a back pocket.

You should program your cell phone with ICE, which stands for In Case of Emergency. Punching in those letters should bring up the number of a trusted friend or relative. This could be invaluable if you forget your phone somewhere, or if you're sick or in an accident.

Programming a cell phone with HOME could be dangerous, in case your phone falls into the wrong hands. Emergency workers are trained to look for ICE, and you can always program ICE-1 and ICE-2 if you wish.

It seems to me that the easiest way to recover a lost camera (aside from having good ID on the case) would be to photograph a card containing your name, e-mail, and telephone number, close up so that it can be easily read. The trick then would be not to delete this photo, so that means deleting photos you've taken manually after you download them, instead of letting your computer handle that task.

I've heard one can buy small tags or capsules which can be put on the strap, but be careful not to just put your ID on the case, because the camera may be out of the case when you lose it.

In a future column, I'll share some tips about safety while traveling.


Barbara Florio Graham is the author of three books, which are available at many independent bookstores as well as at the W.Q. Post offices in Galleries d'Alymer. Contact Bobbi at: BFG@SimonTeakettle.com.

E-mail Bobbi at BFG@SimonTeakettle.com, and visit her website: www.SimonTeakettle.com

Copyright © 2010 Barbara Florio Graham/Log Cabin Chronicles/07.10