Thursday, October 31, 2013

Most inappropriate holiday gift of the season--so far







I probably would have considered this funnier a few years ago.  But two years' visiting a nursing home regularly have kind of taken the fun out of it.

It's probably funnier to see someone in a power chair or a walker if that someone isn't you.
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Friday, October 25, 2013

Newly engaged--Medicare and Aetna Insurance

The happy couple are living together for the present.

Aetna is my secondary insurance company, after Medicare. They keep sending me these warm, caring computer-generated letters advising me that a nurse practitioner is available to handle my queries or that maybe I need my blood sugar checked. I wish they would forgo these communiques and apply the postage saved to lowering my premiums, which are $475 a month.
They have a new dodge now. They are certifying which Medicare customers are allowed to get the free flu shots mandated by the government, by mailing the worthy ones a blue plastic card.
No cardee, no shirtee.
A person who has Medicare without a supplement can get a flu shot by reporting to a site which offers the shots. Usually a drugstore. A person who has Medicare and Aetna needs a blue card. This is because Medicare and Aetna have an agreement; Aetna pays for the shot and Medicare reimburses them. So Aetna is in a position to allow or prevent me from getting a flu shot.
Why?
Since when do I need the permission of an insurance company to receive a government-funded service to which all are entitled?
Just wait until Obamacare kicks in.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Halloween

 
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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Special pleading

The truly egregious Philadelphia Inquirer suggests people smoke because they are hungry:
Many people smoke after they've eaten. Lindell Harvey smokes because he hasn't.
"You smoke out of anxiety because you don't have the food you need," said Harvey, 54, who lives alone in Crum Lynne, Delaware County. He receives disability checks from the Navy that keep him $2,000 below the poverty line.
Harvey relies on his Newports to see him through his hard days. "In my mind, the smoking becomes a comfort as I try to create ways to get food."
In lives where people endure a dearth of nearly everything important - food, jobs, medical care, a safe place to live - the poor suffer an abundance of one thing:
Nicotine.
This is deplorable in so many ways: 1) He get $2,000 less than the poverty rate. This is poorly worded, but I think it means his income is below the federally defined poverty rate for one individual, so that he is eligible for SNAP, the federal food stamp program. 2) a pack of cigarettes costs $5-6, an amount which will buy you a meal at McDonalds or Burger King, a meal laden with calories but cheap, tasty, and filling. 3)No-one is forcing this man to smoke, he has free will just like the rest of us. Let's just skirt the issue of why a 54-year-old man is on disability, I will concede that his disability is valid, although everyone I know who is in their fifties has at least one job. .

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Unsubscribe me!

D

on't Get me started about unwanted e-mail offers. I keep trying to unsubscribe from their solicitation. Though sorry to see me go, they will respect my wishes and unsubscribe me. But it will take 10 days.
Why? Isn't this done by a computer? Why 10 days,when amazon.com will deliver a new house, fully assembled and furnished, in 5?
Well maybe they won't, but still...it's the principle of the thing.
I keep picturing the headquarters of these sleazy outfits as being old and rackety like the newsroom pictured in the Front Page, circa 1955. People are sitting at typewriters, smoking cigars.
There's only one computer, a Wang original. Only one person understands the arcane computer system-a middle aged woman named Flo,*and she only comes in on Tuesday, every other week. When she shows up she opens her Starbucks cup and wearily unsubscribes the 11,974 accounts that have come in since her last visit, but never is able to get the list up to date, because she is only there for 5 hours. Picture the back-up on the VA claim system and you get the idea.
* On the other hand, she might be called Mildred or Bessie.
So good luck, flo, or Mildred or Bessie, and remind your bosses that i have no need for more insurance, or for my credit score and I sure don't need those penis extenders

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Reading dr Johnson

I was looking for a quote I've heard repeated numberless times. It goes something like this: "No one but a blockhead ever writes for anything but money"--no, no, that's not it "Only a fool would write except for money"--also wrong, wrong, wrong. But anyway you want to put it, it does not sound right. Dr Johnson put it much better--, If he did, I can't find it. And I'm not going to go through his books, or read Boswell from cover to cover. The Internet exists to answer questions like that. Or else why did Al Gore bother to invent it? I found a few other quotes which are just as good if not better.The quotation, recorded by Boswell in his book, A Tour to the Hebrides, and again in the great biography, goes on: “. . . for being in a ship is being in jail, with the chance of being drowned . . . a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company.” This is what I tell my cousin who wants me to go on a cruise, anyway. All this is leading up to an apology, or justification, for the many faults of my blogging. I don't revise much, because I'm not getting paid. When I write for publication, I spend more time revising or searching for the mot juste, because someone is paying me. When I am blogging, I try to avoid egregious mistakes and to use correct spelling and punctuation, but that's all. This stuff is ephemeral, after all. My greatest hits are about English towns with silly names or Mercedes Benz being the car favored by dictators. How important could that be?