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How DOES One Pay It Forward?

When one is broke?

I have been so fortunate in this life.  Not in the money/riches sense, but in the helpful friends and family sense.

These most recent trials involving my roommate’s surgery (and subsequent loss of income), coupled with my own health issues (heart, rash, suspected clot) AND repair of the shower leaking through the ceiling (with an insurance deductible, and the insurance company promising they would pay for a hotel room – they didn’t(!)  They said the hotel wouldn’t take it (!?)

I’ve a Sister stepped up without my even asking, with the deductible.  That was eaten by the plumber and the hotel.  And other friends have come forward to make certain I would have a positive bank balance(!)

The insurance company said, as the hotel refused their method of payment, that we could subtract the hotel charges from the deductible.  Making today’s visit from the adjuster forty-one dollars and change!

We actually have that.

Will wonders never cease?

But, back to the question.  I’ve been told by my generous friends that there is no balance sheet, and, when I am able, to pay it forward.

I’m on permanent disability, and have no savings left, nor credit!  Exactly HOW am I supposed to pay it forward?

And, I have some other payments due shortly with which my friends traditionally assist.

(As an aside, I certainly do not feel worthy of such help, or friends.  How they made such determinations is beyond me.)

To all of you (and you know who you are) I have undying gratitude and thanks for all the help you have given me over the years.

I just don’t know why I deserve such help, or how to pay it forward?

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How To Ruin A Perfectly Good Saturday 

First, get together with a group of friends for coffee and such, and listen to the the latest versions of their respective weeks.

On the way home, experience an odd internal pain while driving – particularly while turning the steering wheel.  Not vigorously, mind you, and with power steering.

Experience this three different times in the space of fifteen-or-so minutes.

Drive home and internally debate calling the RN nurse help line, offered by your insurance carrier.

Make the call, and experience a chain of health-related advertising while on hold. Disconnect the call and redial the main number, eventually being menu-prompted to a live nurse.

Discuss the specifics of the multiple events, including the depth, type of pain, duration and other symptoms experienced.

Receive the strong suggestion I visit either an E. R. close by, or an urgent care.

Soon. 

Ask roommate J. to drive you. She has recently been released to drive, but with her shoulder on the mend, I’ve insisted she not yet so do, until now.

J. begins experiencing her own symptoms she has had repeatedly for a couple of years, involving her heart and asthma. Decide to drive yourself the 1/8 mile to the Urgent Care, based on the fact an E. R.  is more distant, and costs more money.

The Urgent Care performs an EKG, says it ‘might’ be unusual, and recommends an immediate hospital intake for further evaluation. Drive home and ask J. to do the honors, just in case.

Arrive at the E. R..  J. ‘s breathing has again become labored, probably because of stress and the smoke in the air from the nearby desert and city fires.

They admit her first, for observation.

At length, get admitted, have blood taken, and another ekg done. And answer the same questions the same way to three different doctors, the same way you did at the urgent care.   And have another ultrasound of the still puffy leg.

Eventually get moved to a room. You are hungry and tired, and J. gets released on her good behavior.

Attempt to call family and friends via cell.  Apparently, this is verboten.  Text everyone and go on FB.  (Thank you for your support!)

Finally, get a doctor’s permission to eat.  Initially, as the lunchroom is now closed, they bring you a well-traveled turkey sandwich (I LOATHE turkey!)

Negotiate and end up with BBQ chicken and a baked potato!

Awaiting later blood work, to compare with the earlier, to see if any actual heart damage occurred. Get told you might have to stay overnight.

Get released twelve hours after the initial pain happened, not having any additional pain or symptoms, with the diagnosis ‘chest pain of a non-cardiac nature’! (IOW, they don’t know!) 

Received referrals for your regular doctor and a cardiologist, just because.

Ask J. to return to collect you.

Realize you are subject to the power of suggestion, as one of your friends had been discussing her heart attack last week in this morning’s coffee, with the subsequent placement of a stent.

Consider suicide (just kidding)…

LAZINESS

Borepatch recently posted regarding his dearth of posts.

Hardly.  I told him I wait for friends and quality!

I, too, have been remiss in my blogging duties.  Either in performing more than the minimum, or in leaving comments for my blogging brethren and sistren.

Turns out, there are reasons.

First, both my roomie and I have had recent health ‘issues’ and concerns.  She, a number of surgeries; me, a rash-of-indeterminate origin, a bad fall and a blood clot scare.

Second, my focus has been on trying to help keep us afloat while she misses work (and income).

Third, the ongoing household chores and maintenance – they never stop!  Dogs and cats to tend, trash to be taken out, groceries…

Two days ago, a leak from the upstairs shower became apparent, as water began coming through the ceiling!!  Do we have homeowner’s insurance?  Of course.  Can we afford the deductible?  NO.

And we have neither diagnostic nor physical plumbing ability…

The good news, is J. was released from her restrictive sling yesterday (following rotator cuff surgery).  Only eleven more weeks of physical therapy for her to follow!  And four more doctor’s appointments later this month.

My rash is largely gone (although I still itch, somewhat) and my bloated calf seems to be getting smaller.  I return Thursday for another follow-up with my doc.

So, Life keeps us busy.  And my focus has been less-than-perfect on the blog.

But, we will continue and prevail.

Peace.  Out.

 

And The Hits Just Keep On Coming! 

We’re told Life is a series of events. Which we are told to frame as ‘challenges’.

And sometimes I frame these events negatively.  Because I’m neurotic.

About six weeks ago, our laundry dryer went tango uniform. And we have been air drying, and to get our laundry dried.  Difficult in a 1200 sq. ft. townhouse full of stuff and animals!  Alternately going to a fluff-and-fold place.   When we could afford it.

Frankly, it’s been a P. I. T. A.!   And, as most of you know, we live ‘paycheck to paycheck’.

And don’t have funds for replacement or even repair. So we have to live with what we get.

And sometimes, that sucks! (NO, this is NOT a bleg!)

But, sometimes fate, and friends, intervene.

I was sharing our predicament with a dear friend, and she suddenly remembered they had an ‘extra’ dryer on their back patio! And asked me if I wanted theirs.

We were (of course) floored and extremely grateful.

Saturday, Kevin (my friend’s husband who happens to be an engineer) not only delivered but installed the dryer!

And it didn’t work.  😦

Fortunately, being an engineer, he diagnosed the problem (the door switch failed), ran to the appliance parts store, obtained the replacement, installed it, and got the dryer running!

I am humbled and thankful to believe I have such wonderful people as Tomi and Kevin in my life.

And now our clothes are not crunchy when dried!   🙂

Kenmore!

Many Thanks, Tomi and Kevin!

It’s The Beginning Of That Time Again…

…Actually, the beginning was last Halloween.

Yeah, I know, I can be a bit maudlin.

Time marches on, things change, people pass away.

It’s one thing when it’s an aged relative – that’s unpleasant, but expected.

But when it’s a child or a dear friend in their prime.

THAT’S when it gets me.

Recent Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas aside, now it gets more personal.

For the next six weeks, or so.

Today is Ground Hog Day.  I hear tell he saw his shadow – six more weeks of winter.  Perfect!

Yesterday was, by my recollection, Ground Hog Eve.  Marked on my calendar to remember a dear friend.

MARK BELL

As previously recounted in these pages, Mark passed in 2012 a from a sudden, unanticipated heart attack.  We had gone shooting together the previous Sunday.  His passing happened on Ground Hog Eve.

I have had many friends over the years.  Mark was one of the best, the most kind, giving, and funny.  A USN veteran.

His definition of guffaw remains at the top of this page in his honor.

I love you and miss you, my dear friend.

Mark Bell, R.I.P.

 

Sometimes You Find The Ark Of The Covenant…

Sometimes, you are digging in the wrong place!

It was FIFTY YEARS AGO (1967!) that my interest obsessive-compulsion in the Assassination of John F. Kennedy began.  That, coupled with my family history in police work lead me to security and investigation work, an associates degree in Police Science, and my private investigation business.  Followed by a career as a credit card fraud investigator.

But I always came back to the JFK thing.  As a ‘hobby’.

It began when I was in high school, newly disabled, complete with a pair of crutches and my right leg in a steel brace.  For a year.  I’d read the condensed ‘report’ in the high school library, and soon walked the two miles to the university library.

And I found the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission exhibits and testimony.  And proceeded to read them all.

See, not compulsive at all!

Years passed.  Books and films critical of the Warren Report came out,  And I devoured them – to the best of my ability.  And kept notes.

But, there was one problem.  I had no copies of the 26 volumes in my home.  I couldn’t afford them, and my parents would not spring for them.  (I think they were $185 at the time).

This meant many a trek to the university library, and having to deal with my regular high school work, my family, friends and life.  What a P.I.T.A. !  🙂

Time passed.  I still occasionally dabbled in the JFK stuff, when my marriage, fatherhood, auto accident, etc. didn’t get in the way.  I DID recognize I could be obsessive about it and would voluntarily pull back when I felt it suck me in for more than a few days  weeks  months.

But, I never had my own 26 volumes.  And the price went up when they went out-of-print.  Even with the advent of the Internet, it just seemed they weren’t available.

Sigh.

I recently had a birthday.  Good friend Biff, lauded often in these pages, and I met for coffee, and he gave me a birthday present!

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Apparently, I was digging in the wrong place on the Internet!  Now I can return to my obsession in peace!  With my forty or fifty Warren Commission critic’s books, the few by apologist’s, the Internet, my notes, and MY 26 volumes!

(Maybe life would have been simpler had I eaten the bad date?)

 

Facebook Has Become The Weekly World News!

(Originally, I was going to say The National Enquirer, but that periodical appears to have achieved more gravitas of late than The New York Times and Time magazine, combined!)  🙂

Let’s see.  In the past week…

  • Hillary WILL DEFINITELY be indicted
  • Hillary WILL DEFINITELY NOT be indicted
  • Global Warming is real (as determined by bribed/blackmailed scientists)
  • Oklahoma Fracking is causing the increased earthquake activity there (as determined by the same ‘team’ of scientists)
  • Assange states Wikileaks will release astounding information damning to Hillary in the next couple of days. – from Saturday last  (We’re still waiting, Julian!)
  • GMO foods are killing us.
  • Vaccinating is bad
  • Vaccinating is good.
  • More BEE species are facing extinction (due to Monsanto pesticide and GMO development)
  • Big corporations (like Monsanto) are bad.  Just because they are big, and make money.
  • Hillary will win (because the fix is in, ballot box stuffing, voter fraud, Soros, Illuminati, etc.)
  • Hillary will win (based on some Quija board predictions in the past – see Groundhog Day)
  • Trump will win (see above Hillary win stuff for reasons)

One thing I have noticed.  Many of the same scientists are aligned with the same forces who believe in global warming, are anti-GMO and ANTI-vaxxer types, and have the ‘humans are bad for the Earth’ (and obtaining oil is bad, and think we need a global government to solve everything) way of thinking.

IF YOU HAVE NOT VOTED, PLEASE DO SO.  IF NOT, YOU WILL HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN.

Thank GOD today is Election Day, and it will all be over soon!

One way or another…

God save The United States of America, from herself!

 

 

Hoplophobia

Courtesy of Jeffery @ The Feral Irishman

I saw this over at The Lonely Libertarian and thought it an excellent observation!
hoplophobia (n.) an irrational fear of weapons (or this from Col. Jeff Cooper) instrumentalities.

Which Is The Correct Direction?

For some reason, my elders saw fit to pass trinkets from their lives onto me.  Some, I understand, like my Dad passing his Dad’s NY, NH & H railroad police badge to me.  🙂

And my Dad, his railroad pocket watch (complete with fob and Grand Central Station locker key)!

But others aren’t so straight forward.

My maternal grandfather (Gramp), took me aside one day and gave me a compass.  He didn’t explain where he acquired it, or who it was from.  Gramp passed in 1977 with this information.

I still have the police badge.  I gifted the pocket watch to my long-time friend Jim, as he has always been obsessed with trains, on his 50th birthday.  (He and my Father talked about trains for hours, when I wasn’t all that interested.)

I still have the compass.  Compasses of the same manufacture can be found on Ebay for $55.00.  Of course, they don’t have the personalization on the inside of the cover!

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The inscriptions read as though they might be of military origin, including a 1917 date.  The Great War?  I’ve no way of knowing.  Internet searches of the initials and dates haven’t provided any further information.

As it is with so many things originating with my family, like what happened to my twin brother, I guess the answers are lost forever.

 

Cash Issues

Not the usual not enough (although I suspect that applies to most of us…)

Wisdom from Peter

So much for the “cashless society”

There’s been lots of talk lately about doing away with bigger banknotes and moving towards a so-called “cashless society”.  To name just a few recent articles:

However, when banks start charging you for the privilege of keeping your money in their vaults, that changes the picture.  The Wall Street Journal reports:

For years, Germans kept socking money away in savings accounts despite plunging interest rates. Savers deemed the accounts secure, and they still offered easy cash access. But recently, many have lost faith.

“It doesn’t pay to keep money in the bank, and on top of that you’re being taxed on it,” said Uwe Wiese, an 82-year-old pensioner who recently bought a home safe to stash roughly €53,000 ($59,344), including part of his company pension that he took as a payout.

Interest rates’ plunge into negative territory is now accelerating demand for impregnable metal boxes.

Burg-Waechter KG, Germany’s biggest safe manufacturer, posted a 25% jump in sales of home safes in the first half of this year compared with the year earlier, said sales chief Dietmar Schake, citing “significantly higher demand for safes by private individuals, mainly in Germany.”

. . .

Germany’s love of cash is driven largely by its anonymity. One legacy of the Nazis and East Germany’s Stasi secret police is a fear of government snooping, and many Germans are spooked by proposals of banning cash transactions that exceed €5,000. Many Germans think the ECB’s plan to phase out the €500 bill is only the beginning of getting rid of cash altogether.

There’s more at the link.

We’ve already seen calls to eliminate the $100 bill in the USA, and high-denomination bills elsewhere.  They’re never made out of concern for our interests – always to benefit Big Brother or the banks.  Every time I hear such calls, I check, double-check and re-check my cash reserves (and expand them, if possible).

The anonymity factor is certainly important to many people, including yours truly.  In an era when certain purchases (e.g. firearms, ammunition, etc.) are ‘politically incorrect’, I much prefer making private purchases whenever possible, paying cash instead of using credit cards or checks.  (For that matter, some vendors such as PayPal and Square specifically forbid using their systems to buy such items, limiting one’s options.)  Also, if electronic payment and/or processing systems should go down for any reason (such as the infamous EBT ‘outage’ a couple of years ago), cash will instantly be king once more – so it pays (literally) to have some on hand.

I repeat my earlier recommendation.  Try to keep at least one months’ expenditure on hand, in cash – preferably in smaller bills such as twenties.  If you can stretch that to two or three months’ worth, it’s not a bad idea to do so.  You never know when that cash might come in very handy indeed.

Peter

While I respect Peter for his wisdom and sage advice, not unlike the ‘preppers’ , there’s only so much a ‘person of limited means’ can do.
There are months I run out of funds before they are magically replenished (being on a meager disability income), many times a week or 10 days before they appear.  Things haven’t gotten better, since my roomie has had additional health problems and must work less, putting more of the burden on my shoulders.
We cannot save a month’s worth of expenditures; forget two or three!  And, months of prepper goods?  Fuggedaboutit!
I suspect we shall be relying on our wits and few firearms for survival, when TEOTWAWKI limps ashore our community.
SIGH…

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…