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whining

This tag is associated with 47 posts

ANOTHER ‘Hate Crime’ Law…

I’ve written before in these pages with regard to so-called ‘hate crimes’.  I feel essentially, that the motivation behind a grisly torture and murder are really unimportant.

Torture is torture, and murder is murder.

The reasons in the criminal’s mind are largely unimportant.  The person still suffered and is still dead.

Getting inside a criminal’s head may be a good exercise for criminologists, but is a waste of time and money for legislatures.

And is the beginning of the thought police – political correctness run rampant.

“You are not allowed to hate somebody – that’s against the law!”

Wyoming just passed a hate crime law, pointing the finger 15 years later at the killer of Matthew Shepard.  It has been widely reported that he was killed because he was gay.

Turned out, he was selling sex for drugs.

This doesn’t mean he deserved to be tortured and killed.  Prosecuted maybe.

What was in the mind of his killer?  Was he thinking about Jesus, or his last Big Mac?

I   DON’T   CARE

‘Uncomfortable truth’ in Matthew Shepard’s death

Certainly LGBT persons need to be treated with repect.

And most folks don’t deserve to be tortured and killed.  Even if they are small-time criminals.

Rose In The Garden

Life doesn’t always go as we plan or desire.  We certainly cannot control others in their personal plans or desires.

Especially, in matters of the heart.

Sometimes, we must let them go…

When love is good, it’s very, very good.

And when it goes away, it sucks.

Bureaucratizilla And Ineptitude

I am continuing to fight a battle with my private health insurer (who provides me with 20% of my disability income) to keep them informed regarding my health status, medical records, whether or not I am employed or employable (I’m not).

Most recently, having turned 62, they have been after me to spell out my daily activities, pain levels, mobility and have my primary physician fill out forms in this regard.

Being a Last Minute Louie™, some of this has taken time, and I’ve been reticent to comply – disliking both the bureaucracy and intrusion.

It came down to the wire, and I sent in the proper letter, and my doc faxed in the required forms.

On February 21!

While they acknowledged receiving my letter, they said they never received anything from the doc – and made less-than-veiled threats.

SO, I took it upon myself to fax in the document.

I should have gone to Kinkos!

It took me two and a half hours to figure out Windows Fax and Scan was useless, and download another ‘free’ program, learn how to operate that, and get the material faxed.

I also sent a paper copy via snail mail – I’m no fool!

AND, of course, they may still decide to stop this part of my disability!

(Query – why, in this age of email attachments do so many places require things FAXED?)

antique fax machine

antique fax machine

PITA, I’m tellin’ ya!

Pain, Pain Go Away!

and don’t bother to come back another day!  :-(

To be honest, pain is only part of the equation.  Most of the problem is annoyance!

Yes, I have chronic diabetic neuropathy in my feet, legs and hands.  Sometimes it’s barely noticeable; other times more so.  And arthritis.  I can usually tell how a given day will go, when I awaken pain free, and reflexively open and close my fists.

If doing so is relatively pain-free, then moving to exit the bed is predicted to be so, also!

This morning, I had pain upon awakening.  While still horizontal.  Before opening and closing my hands.

And my knees were throbbing.

My doc recently took me off an oral diabetes med, which is a good thing! (YEA!)  But, she also restricted my intake of ibuprofen, not as good!  I still take the bp and cholesterol meds.

Can’t have everything!

I just took three OTC IB pills – I used to take SIX, two or three times a day.  This makes 9 pills in 6 weeks!  Along with my prescription pain meds.

And, I get to go in to an outpatient clinic next month, get put unconscious and have them run a camera down my throat!  To see if my esophagus has healed from earlier reflux damage.

Or if any cancer is present.  (I’ve had both skin cancer and lymphoma – this could be the hat trick!)

And I’m on Medicare, so a 20% copay is required.

Which, on my disability, I do not have.

The future appears to hold pain, more doctor visits, and more bills.

Annoyances.

Sigh

I try to focus on others in my circle coping with much worse situations.  Bob H., for example, who just lost the lower part of his left leg/foot, and will soon be fitted for a prosthesis.

Bob is doing well, particularly in his ATTITUDE!

THIS is why my crap is just an annoyance, and not a problem!  :-)

Life Is Loss, Part Two – A Lesson Learned

I posted a few days ago regarding losses – specifically the loss of my daughter, and a good friend’s loss of most of his lower left leg and foot.

Hardly an upbeat read.

However, Life is not just loss.  Life also gives us lessons!

Since I heard from my good friend Bob regarding his diabetic amputation surgery, I’ve tried to contact him.  We exchanged texts initially a couple of times, and he advise me he would call.

Nothing.

I feared the worst.

So, I took it upon myself to call him.  Not to incessantly badger him (thinking he was busy enough) but once a week, just to check-in on him and his condition.  And attitude.

And I ended up leaving messages.  And this concerned me.

Bob returned yesterday’s message last night.  I needn’t have been concerned.

Bob – (my former PI and gun store boss) was in great spirits!  YES, he did lose his left foot and about 12″ of lower leg.  And yes, he has a long, painful recovery and rehab ahead.

But he was not only doing physically well – he was doing well emotionally and spiritually, too!

Now, Bob would be the first to tell you he is not a religious guy.  And not the most spiritual.  But he almost lost his life to sepsis, and took his survival to mean he is supposed to remain here a while longer.

And not wallow in his losses.

He is fortunate to have the great support of his wife and two daughters.  And his brother.  And he reminded of previous losses and near-death experiences he has suffered.

AND HE SEES THIS AS YET ANOTHER CHANCE TO REDEEM HIMSELF!

Or, in the words of his parents (both deceased), “Put on your big boy panties and get on with it!”

And his is and has.

And, he reminded me (indirectly) that I have similar lessons.  I, too, have had losses, and near-death experiences.  And I have wallowed.  Or more specifically whined.

I might lose some benefits.  So what?  Big boy panties are available for the wearing.

Bob has set an example for me to try and emulate.

Starting now.

Just When I Thought It Was Safe, Part Cinco

(If you abhor whining, read no further)

vulturesIt’s my fault, actually.  I had the audacity to turn 62.  And, with that milestone came the vultures.

First, my former employer TMCCC contacted me regarding applying for early retirement.  I’m currently medically retired due to my contracting lymphoma in 2008.  I left active employment in 2009, after six months of chemo.

Obviously, the sooner they can nudge me out, the less pension they will have to pay.  And current calculations are not very promising, regardless of my retiring now or @ 65.

So, it wasn’t a complete surprise when my private medical insurance carrier (thank GOD I paid the premiums when I was working!) contacted me to update their information.

This means contacting my physician with regard to my current condition and ability to work. 

In spite of the fact I was awarded SSDI and private disability due to having cancer, I have many other conditions which make returning to the workforce problematic.  Even though I AM currently in remission! (knock-on-wood!)

Working while diabetic is no biggee,  working with the neuropathy (chronic nerve pain) that comes with it – not so much.  And the arthritis.  There was a time I could stand and sit for long hours.  No longer.  Now, sitting more than an hour or two is painful.  Forget standing and walking much.

Oh, I can (and do) take various prescription pain medications.  Which make me dopey and put me to sleep.  And still only lessen the pain.  They do not take it away.

And my fear is the private insurance company will say, well, you have been in remission over 5 years…SAYONARA!

And the private addition to my SSDI payment isn’t much, but it is 21% of my disability pay.   And the total is still poverty level.

I rent a room in a friend’s home, and drive a clunky 2000 Oldsmobile.  I lost my home of 18 years, 2 1/2 years ago.  I’m not milking the system here.

And now I get to jump through more hoops in hope of keeping that 21%.

Sigh.

Wishin’ And Hopin’

Being on minimal disability, I cannot afford to ‘do much’.

This is not a bleg for money (although your kind generosity IS appreciated), but rather an observation.  An expression of lust.

Regular readers know I’ve a beater car, that sometime runs w/o dashboard warning lights on.  Or not.  With no A/C.  In AZ.  I rent a room from a good friend, because I lost my home of 18 years due to my reduction in income on disability.

Yes, I’m fortunate and grateful!  Seriously.

And, the Internet and television are my portals to the outside world.  Women (did I say I’m single divorced?), guns, cars.  All for my viewing pleasure.

Only.

And I’m generally okay with this arrangement.

But today, something caught my attention.  No, not a vehicle.  Not a woman (surprised?)

But THIS:

texas-borde-special-colt-lightweight-commander-45ACP-Baranti-Tol-Dawson-holster-sheriff-jim-wilson-LO-600x450I’ve always wanted a Texas Border rig, such as this.  With an appropriate BBQ gun – I’m certain Sheriff Jim Wilson doesn’t want to part with his (above), though.

Of course, this is wrong-sided.

I’ve no place to wear it, anyway (would probably sell it to get the A/C in my car repaired!)

Sigh.

Bureaucratizilla and Insurance

Go together like a horse and carriage…

Once upon a time, I owned a home.

Nice corner lot.

In a sketchy neighborhood – it was all I could afford.

After a car ran into the house (driven by a drunk driver), a subsequent burglary (renovation workers?), and a plumbing failure with mold threatening, the insurance company cancelled my insurance.

Not surprising.

A subsequent water damage problem came concurrent with the onset of my cancer, and loss of the house and insurance, home and medical.

Yeah, I know.  Just lucky, I guess.  :-)

I did land ‘on my feet’, thanks to a good friend who allowed me to move in with her, and being awarded medical disability.  Fortunately, not only do I get SSDI, but I had the foresight to obtain additional private carrier disability insurance when I was employed.  Together, they make just enough for me to survive.

Barely.  Sometimes.

But the private insurer likes to give me hoops to jump through – like me sending them medical and financial records – lest I appear to be actually working and getting ‘extra’ unauthorized funds from them monthly!

The joys of bureaucracy.

Now, my former employer, TMCCC*, has contacted me suggesting I take retirement!  I just turned 62.  And as I haven’t accessed their human resources website in many years, I had to jump through even more hoops.

All to advise them I’ve no plans to retire until 2017 – when I turn 65.

At least I’m not a close friend who gleefully signed up for Obamacare!  When it came time to renew their government-mandated medical insurance, they were told they could keep it.  For an additional $300 a month!

Unable to afford it, they opted for AHCCCS – Arizona’s Medicaid option.

And trying to advise the federal government they were discontinuing one insurance, and starting another was (in a word) difficult.  Apparently, one calls in and leaves a message, so ‘they’ can call you back.  ‘They’ do so (days later), and then threaten you with prosecution for not having insurance – even though you explained to them you were simply changing to another carrier!

(I should have included this in my previous posts regarding customer service, I know!)

I know all of us must deal with some variety of bureaucracy and it’s web of crap, but, with this modern age of computers, the Internet and menu prompts, you’d think it would be easier?

Especially on the older with infirmities.

NOPE.

*TMCCC – That Major Credit Card Company, where I was employed 22 years.

Having Gratitude Isn’t Always Easy

I’m in whine mode.

(I know I said at the outset that I wouldn’t use this weblog for therapy, but, hell, it’s my blog, so here goes…)

Holidays suck.

Why?  Not only do I not have any funds to get neat presents for friends and family, but, I’ve no one with whom to share the non-materialistic parts of the holidays.  One terrific couple I know gifted me with a cool assortment of cheeses and beers (including Lindeman’s raspberry ale!), and all I could give them in response was a small bag of garlic goldfish.

Hardly an even trade.

I love my sister and her kids, and her kid’s kids dearly, but going to a family celebration alone with certain people in absentia is always painful.

Now it’s the downhill slide from the New Year, to Molly’s birthday, to the anniversary of the accident, in March.

We’re told the best way to get out of this kind of funk is to create a gratitude list.  So here goes…

I’ve a roof over my head, and a working car.  Thanks to my friends!  I’m on Medicare.  I’ve disability benefits, which, while in no way am I rich, I can buy food, gas, and pay rent.  I’ve a select group of friends, both locally and on the Internet, who help out whenever they can.  Many of these friends have gone above and beyond – for years – when I am unable to give back in kind.

This must mean something.

I’m disabling comments for this post.  Because, in lieu of giving me an Internet “there-there”, or a virtual hug (or a kick in the pants), please stop for a moment and create your own gratitude list.

It helps.

Customer Service

Is it out there, anymore?

I remember my Father ranting about the dearth of customer service when I was a teenager – and that was in the 60’s.

Back then a guy in a uniform (or at least a uniform shirt) filled your tank, checked your oil, and cleaned your windshield.  And no tip was asked or expected.  Now, IF there’s a monitor/cashier at the self-service gas station behind the bulletproof glass, it’s an effort to get them to look up from their graphic novel to take your card for purchase.

And waiters/waitresses?  One would think when they are first being trained, they would be instructed that the more courteous and efficient they are, the better tip they will receive.  But most these days are barely capable in getting your food to you at all.  Need extra napkins or a refill on that beverage?  Good luck with that.

And getting the order correct in the first place?  Fuggedaboutit!

Retail stores?  Just try to find someone who has any idea where stock might be, or even be able to direct you to it.

Call centers?  Pshaw.

And we who chat regarding firearms on the Internet are familiar with H & K’s (in)famous lack of customer service.

One word.  OBAMACARE.  And government services in general.

And, while I’m on the subject – do any of these aforementioned folks speak American English?  This assumes I don’t have to migrate through a computer-generated menu prompt resembling a RPG in Urdu to get to a human.

Sigh.

We now return you to your post-holiday festivities.

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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Financial Disclosure

I'm currently on disability, unable to work, and receive marginal benefits. I've been advised by SSDI I may receive some additional income. Based on their statements, I'm adding a bleg to this blog. Effective 03/06/2012. Thank you for your kindness.

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