| How can insurance companies determine what is the proper care or medication for you, a person whom they have never met? Your doctor says you need 1000 mg in the morning, and 100mg at night, but they won't let you have more than 500 twice a day! I checked out Good Rx coupons, and you can get the quantity you want, but can't refill for a month. How can they predetermine what works for you and your own unique case. At one time, my symptoms required 1500 mg twice a day. Fortunately, for a few years there, they didn't have these restrictions and filled the prescription as written.
After surgery I had complications, but those complications did not require more surgery, so the extra office visit was not covered by insurance. But they also told the doctor's office, they couldn't charge me since the extra visit wasn't warranted by their standards. I'm glad I don't have to pay, but why should the doctor foot the bill? Maybe the next patient (maybe me) won't get the proper care because they won't get paid.
I've seen this happen over the years. Shouldn't the local doctor know what's best for us? Why can an executive or some clerk at the insurance company have the final say? We are unique human beings and don't all function exactly alike. Government health care will be worse. The red tape will slow things down and make it tougher for all of us. If you don't fit the pattern, you won't be cared for, no matter what your income or status.
| I attended a Lewis Black concert Friday night! I laughed out loud a lot, I dropped my jaw a few times, and I shook my head in disbelief a few times. In the encore, for his live streaming, he read some rants received by text. The longest one that he spent a lot of time embellishing was about dog scoopers.
I did not realize that so many people were scooping it up, instead of pretending they didn't see it. He claims they are scooping it up in little bags, and leaving the bags where they fill them. They are lying all over town, all over the sidewalks! They stay there for days at a time, heating up in the sun, getting smellier with age. Who is supposed to pick them up, the City Fathers? Homeowners, business owners? Are we going to create new city jobs for poop bag collectors? Will everyone's taxes support the dog owners in this way?
If someone had put up some signs, it wouldn't have changed a thing. A letter to the editor would be quickly forgotten by a small readership. People would ignore pleas on the evening TV news. But Black, while shaking and waving his hands and swearing prolifically, over a lengthy period of time had us laughing hysterically. He shouted for emphasis at odd places. I am confident that no one in that audience will ever leave a dog bag wherever they please. He used comedy to drive home some strong points about consideration and etiquette.
It's amazing what a little comedy can do.
|DAY 2658 February 26, 2020
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ― Sylvia Plath
Do you agree or disagree that everything is writable? Where should the line be drawn?
That's easy to me. You draw the line before you become libelous or hurtful. Saying your sister is a lying, cheating, thieving adulteress may be true, but writing about it may end or at least damage your relationship with her, and possibly hurt other members of the family. Other people don't deserve to be hurt because we want to be expressive.
Otherwise, we can write about anything our character thinks or feels or discovers. And sometimes it does take guts to write about it. Sylvia Plath had guts herself. These days it even takes courage to write about conservative moral convictions and family values.
| I don't believe everyone needs college. Lots of people are quite successful without it. And if everyone had college if they wanted it, wouldn't that be like extending high school? I'm already in favor of shortening high school and teaching independence at 16 or 17 instead. Why prolong adolescence for everyone?
College graduates tend to believe they should have nicer jobs at higher pay and benefits. Would they agree to collect garbage, or work on automobiles or shampoo dogs? I'm already thinking that I, a mature woman, should take some classes in basic auto mechanics. Some graduates now end up working in retail, having planned to do better things. Are we going to warn a whole class of 18 -year -olds that a college degree does not guarantee your dream lifestyle or a great paying job? They must be prepared to work as grocery clerks or plumber helpers with their free degrees.
Our society is already dumbing down. With free college to prolong dependence on parents and delay growing up, the quality of education will suffer. Professors will be forced to lower their standards and make passing easier to get more students through.
Where will future plumbers and electricians come from? Where will we get truck drivers or diesel mechanics or people who repair lawn mowers? In fact a lot of necessary positions can be filled by people with shortened higher education. Barbers and beauticians have to have some basic health classes as well as technique. Preschool teachers can get by with a two year associate's degree. So can CPN's, of which there is a shortage. Medical offices need good people to process insurance, and it only takes a few classes. Such a person will be in demand. Dental hygienists are in demand and require a shortened term.
A college degree doesn't give you everything you need in life. I got my bachelor's, but I never learned how to tell if the auto mechanic was lying to me (only the hard way) or how to invest my money or balance the budget. It didn't teach me to cook or do job interviews or handle problems on the job. It never got me a good-paying job.
I'm not attempting to deal with the college debt problem here. I want to clearly state that college education for everyone is overrated. One can always change careers later on and pick up college classes at some later stage of life. It's hard for most 18 year olds to decide what they will do for the rest of their lives. Maybe coding a computer works for now, and at age 30, or later, they want to prepare for law school. Everyone is unique and needs to follow a unique path, which doesn't have to be supported by all the taxpayers.
| What is it about kids and "hate"? They love to use the word, and, frequently use it loudly. I remember my baby brother shouted outside to my mother "I hate you!" It crushed her. It was so embarrassing, because she was convinced that all of the neighbors inside their homes had heard him say it. I was just a teenager and tried to convince her that he didn't mean it, and, in fact, didn't know what he was saying. But nothing could calm her. She was hurt to the core, and felt this little kid had accused her of being a very bad mother publicly.
As a child myself, I had once found myself thinking that (I knew not to say it out loud; I liked to avoid confrontations even at an early age.) I remember being alone in our unfinished basement. I cannot remember what caused the moment or where anyone else was. As soon as I thought the words, I thought, "No, I love her. I love my family. I'm just mad. It feels like hate, but it isn't." I guess most kids figure that out somewhere along the way, and stop or never say it out loud. You can be angry or disappointed with someone you love, without losing the love.
My great nephews are now going through a hate phase. One is four, and one just turned two, so the older one has influenced the younger one. We actually have a "Hank hates me club" to which his mother, his aunt and I all belong. And he screams it. Give him some time, and he'll be leaning over my chair to look at the book I'm reading to his little brother, or he'll giggle when I play with him or tickle him. He even asked me to zip up his jacket after yelling he hated me. The two year old doesn't yell it yet. He had just told his mother he wanted to stay with me one night because I'm nice to him. Then before he went home, he told her he hated me in a calm, matter-of-fact voice. He obviously doesn't know what it means. So I know not to take either of them seriously, but I confess it stings a little.
I suppose that growing up involves figuring out the basics of love and hate, and how anger fits in all those complicated relationships with friends and families. Learning that words can hurt is a harder lesson, and apparently, some grown-ups haven't passed that particular class.
| It's impossible to make a short list. Near the top is Gregory Peck. He could make any role classy, a criminal, a cowboy, a parent, even the devil himself. Chrleton Heston; I never saw a movie with him that I didn't like. And he was a big man! Cary Grant was always good, and excelled in city boy roles; he would never have been able to play a mountain man or a cowboy. Barbara Stanwyck and Marilyn Monroe, two very different ladies, but both skilled at what they did.
Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones (used to be crazy about him), Katherine Hepburn, and Cissy Spacek are all people that I will stay up late to watch in reruns. Glen Ford was a good actor; you don't think of him as a western actor, but 50 of his 99 movies were westerns. I also like to watch Richard Widmark.
There's a lot of supporting actors that I like and will watch repeatedly. Jack Elam, for instance, the one eyed man who played funny roles as well as evil ones. Ben Johnson, Warren Oates, L Q Jones, Edgar Buchanan (think Uncle Joe on Petticoat Junction) Many were on TV shows as well as movies. All of the original Star Trek actors were in westerns. James Drury and Clu Gulager played major roles on TV and supporting ones in movies. They're both still around with plenty of female followers and admirers.
Of the younger set, I admit I like Hugh Jackman, Keanu Reaves, and Ryan Gosling. I have to remind myself I'm too old to have crushes on them. I love watching movies, so I like most anyone who can act convincingly. Just because I don't name them on my short list doesn't mean that I don't idolize them.
| I will not be watching any awards show. I didn't see but two new movies last year, and neither of them is nominated I'm sure. But I love watching older movies on the small screen or the big screen at historic theaters.
I probably couldn't get any critics to agree with me. But these are a few I feel had value, and I'd watch them again. Number one on my list is The African Queen. It's a wonderful story of two losers, two people who feel sorry for themselves and never excelled in anything. Together, they proved that nobility, dignity, bravery, and self-sacrifice for others is possible from the unlikeliest people. I only want it in black and white. There is a lot of symbolism in it.
The others come in no particular order. I have to have It's A Wonderful Life on the list, a film noir. I have to list The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady. I love westerns, so I have to list The Ox Bow Incident, starring Henry Fonda, and Shane, starring Alan Ladd. Each is a classic. I have a fondness for old black and white movies, and was hard pressed to name only one, but I came up with Arsenic and Old Lace, starring Carry Grant. It's hilarious, and the surprise ending brings a sigh of relief.
Some have argued with me that Castaway is too depressing. But I think it has this overriding hope in it. And it points to our fundamental need for companionship or friendship. The will to survive and his ultimately successful escape from his island prison carries a very strong optimistic message.
And I really liked the newest version of The Lion King. It was exciting for all ages. Some might think I'm a little off to mention this one, but I liked The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. Alan Arkin and Sandra Locke were nominated for Academy Awards. but didn't get them. Arkin is still around, doing quality performances. Locke had potential, but her career went down the tubes when she got mixed up with that Eastwood fellow. If I have to stop with ten, that would be it.
There are others that I'm sure I've forgotten for the moment, or they might shift around if I've seen them more recently. Honorable mentions go to Oklahoma, The Sting, Cujo, Jaws. The Titantic, Dr. Zhivago, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
| I got an air fryer/pressure cooker for Christmas. We've been experimenting. So far, I like the pressure cooker part the best. The meat comes out so tender and moist. And it's not nearly as dangerous as the old-fashioned manual ones. It does have a lot of parts to keep clean and stored.
I've made chili, beef stew, macaroni and cheese. all by the book that comes with it. I warn anyone who gets one of these, the book has a lot of errors. So far all of the recipes have been over-salty. Try two teaspoons when it calls for two tablespoons. Even that may be too much. I knew two was too much on the first one I tried, but even one tablespoon was too much. On the second recipe, I went with teaspoons, and that was borderline over the top. All the spices seem excessive, you just have to adjust to taste. My family liked the extra black pepper in the macaroni, and the cumin in the chili.
We "air-crisped" a bag of French fries for the kids. It takes just as long as the oven method, but the result was a crispy outside with a tender inside. I air-crisped some cauliflower, but my dad thought it was too crunchy for hot cauliflower. I'm doing acorn squash right now. That may have dubious results, because I have a very difficult time peeling raw squash or pumpkin. By the time we slice off the green part, we might not like what's left. Steaming is another option. I have also used it to saute the meat that later went into the pressure cooker. I have not baked, broiled or made yogurt yet. I have used the "keep warm" feature.
There is a cookbook on Amazon, but I want to be sure this isn't just a temporary plaything before investing more money. There are plenty of how to videos online.
| I didn't make any new resolutions. There are always some things I want to achieve, the same old. I always want to lose 15 pounds (when I do, I know they're coming back). I always want to write more, exercise regularly, not sporadically, and read more books. I don't have to cut out smoking, or drinking or drugs. Not a problem. I don't overspend except on presents for the kids. I can't seem to be creative about resolutions or do something dramatic to change my life.
Dr. Phil says that for a resolution to work, you must make it about something you're sick to death of. Like always being late to work and getting frowned at, or always being overweight. Or having a messy bedroom while the rest of the house looks fine. Or being in debt. You have to reach the sick to death of it stage before you are truly motivated to stick with your new resolve. You might be sick to death of never finishing the novels you start. That is your starting point.
He also cautions not to take on too much at once. Concentrate on the two or three things, at most, that you feel will change your life. That means you must prioritize. Second, you have to make your environment work for your goals. If snacking too much is a problem, get rid of the snacks; if other members of the household need snacks, make them harder to get to, or go out of you way to avoid going near them. He also says you can't multitask and be efficient. Your boss may think it's a good idea (he's just trying to get what he thinks is the most for his payroll dollar). but don't do it in your own environment. You might be able to listen to a podcast while walking in the park, but you really can't do that while trying to write. You can't concentrate on a book, while plopped in front of the TV showing a movie you love. You can't take interruptions while trying to work on a project, but you should take 5 to 15 minute breaks at least every two hours; for some of us, those breaks need to be more often. Labor efficiency experts nailed the two hour break intervals at work. That was for the majority of people in order to get the most output. It was not an arbitrary decision.
So I have no new resolutions. I do need to work on some underlying or supporting goals. Mostly, I have to deal with my own sabotage, those negative messages I've had since my teens and childhood. I can't succeed. It just wasn't meant for me. Intellectually, I know that's wrong. But my heart just clings to that negative programming.
| My Dad us 91 plus. I know he's slowing down. He has more complaints about body aches and malfunctions. He's feeble on his feet. I have to yell to make him hear me. I won't let him drive any more. (There are dents in my car to show why.) He talks in his sleep and has trouble waking up and transitioning into reality from dreamland.
On the other hand, he's never spent a night in the hospital, never has surgery, never any major illness. His eyesight and hearing are his biggest handicaps. The doctor told me today there are things they could try for some of his joint problems, back problems if he were younger and had a stronger heart. He can't address the sleep issues because of his age. Fifteen years ago, these things were still a possibility, but the risk is too great now.
The most depressing part for me is that the doctor says he should not be left alone. The memory and difficulty waking up will probably get worse and could be dangerous. So now I feel like a prisoner. I sort of knew that already, but this drove it home. Now I feel guilty volunteering four or five hours at the local historic theater. I'll never be able to go on a vacation again. He can't travel, and I don't have anyone to trust caring for him in my absence. I'm not getting any younger myself. There is every reason to believe he may outlive me.
He worries about getting in and out of the bathtub. I've told him we need to have a walk-in shower or bath installed. He doesn't seem keen on that. He worries about going up and down the steps in our split level entrance. He does not want a senior home, and really can't afford one on his income.
There are so many things to study: the available senior homes/communities, home care, how to keep from losing all his assets in case he needs full-time nursing care or mental health care. (I could end up homeless while he's in the nursing home.) My brother and I want him to be safe and happy. He loves seeing his grandchildren and great grands. There are so many legal angles. A Power of Attorney doesn't always work. Transferring property and assets to your children doesn't always work either. When it does work, it has to be done five years before any long term nursing needs come up. You really have to plan ahead. You can't wait until the need is there. He had a lawyer and a financial adviser, and neither foresaw the problems or advised him of options.
The bottom line is that the individual or couple need to plan as soon as they retire or at least by age 65. They cannot wait until their 70's or beyond and make plans. The children should never count on any inheritance, but should protect themselves and plan for their own retirement and final years.