Thursday, December 20, 2012

Watch D.O.G.S.

Jason, our younger son, was asked to participate in a program at Owen’s school  called Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students). The program seeks “ to provide male role models for students, demonstrating by their presence that education is important,” and to reduce bullying.

Jason is very involved in baseball for the children and is very supportive of both boys in all their endeavors and talents.

I am so proud of him. In fact, I am very proud of both of our sons for being great dads.

Jason & Owen at Watch D.O.G.S. meeting

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Crazy, Crazier, Craziest

According to The Associated Press, the Tea Party in Asheville, NC is having a fund-raising raffle. The prizes are two guns—one is similar to the one used in the Connecticut school massacre.

The shooter is not the only one who was crazier than a bedbug.

Lawmakers in several states are advocating the arming of teachers while in the classroom. This doesn’t seem to me to be the best way to keep children safe. But then, maybe I’m the crazy one.

Monday, December 10, 2012

They Should Ask Me

Do you ever get the feeling you are getting shafted? I have that feeling now. With the cliff looming, it appears that our President is about to throw us seniors off that cliff. It seems that instead of standing firm on Social Security and Medicare, he selling us out for higher taxes on the richest of the rich. When you stop to think about it, how much do the super rich pay in income taxes? Not much, according to news reports. So if you raise their taxes, you know they will find away around it. The net gain in taxes will probably be about $1.38 per billionaire, per year.

We were notified that we are going to get a cost of living adjustment this year, but with the rise in the cost of Medicare supplement insurance the raise will be about that same $1.38 a month for the average senior. (These are my figures, not based on any governmental calculations.)

I keep hearing the term entitlements in regard to Medicare and Social Security. They’re darned right, we are entitled! We have paid into the Social Security program for years and years. And we are now paying for part of our Medicare. Mr. Fixit and I pay more than $200.00 a month plus all the co-pays which, incidentally are being raised, and all the other expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover, and we all know that there are many expenses not covered.

Not only are we being shafted by those in power, the drug companies have brought shafting to an art. They are making money hand over fist. For example, the last time I went to the doctor for a check-up, he asked me if I had any problems. I told him I thought I have a sinus infection because of the terrible headaches (actually my face hurts around one of my eyes) I’ve been having. He said that it was probably allergies, and he prescribed a nose spray to alleviate the pressure. I paid $9.00. When I received an accounting from the insurance company, I saw that a normal size bottle of spray costs $90.00. That’s not a typo—that’s Ninety Dollars. What is wrong with the medical community? How could the doctor prescribe something like nose spray that costs $90.oo? How could the drug company get by with charging $90.00 for nose spray? And why would my pharmacy refill the prescription without asking me? I had no idea how expensive that stuff was until several days after I picked up the refill. Why doesn’t the insurance company raise hell about paying $81.00 for nose spray? And to add insult to injury, the crap doesn’t work. I’m still living on Tylenol.

The drug companies have a lawsuit pending. They want to be able to pay the makers of generic drugs NOT to sell to the public; thereby, continuing to charge $90.00 for nose spray. That must be illegal; it sounds not only illegal, but immoral. But, of course, it is the drug industry.

The solutions to some are these problems seem simple to me. First, you leave SS and Medicare alone. We are not living like millionaires. In fact, we are right at the poverty level I think. We paid and now we expect to be treated as we were promised. A contract is a contract.

Secondly, raise taxes for those who can most afford it and pass laws and rules and regulations that will close the loopholes. Take note of tax shelters and the money that is being secreted in foreign banks.

There should be tighter oversight of drug companies and their pricing policies with steep penalties for  dishonesty and manipulation of the system.

There should be harsh penalties, both fines, prison terms, and loss of licenses, for the billlions of dollars stolen from Medicare by the medical establishment. That alone could save Social Security.
What is wrong with these people in Government? Are they so far out of touch with the real world that they cannot see the damage being done to this country? I think it’s time for them to pull their heads out of the butts and do something sensible and fair for the majority of us.

Please, Mr. President and members of Congress, all we are asking is that we be treated as we were promised instead of using us as pawns in a game of “Power, Power Who’s Got the Power.” It seems that both parties are in that male bodily function contest. Frankly, I don’t give a hoot about your prejudices, your egos or your bodily function range. For once, just do the right thing.

Oops! I fell off my soapbox. If nose spray costs $90.00, can you imagine how much it will cost if I've injured my ankle in the fall?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Not So Gentle Reminder

Earlier this week I received word from a high school friend that one of our classmates has died. I think he may be the first of us to go, but I’m not sure. I know that the girl I sat next to in home room died, but I don’t think she actually graduated with us.

I didn’t know Johnny that well. He went to another school in the county and came to our school his senior year. He was more than handsome. He was beautiful! He had black hair and long,thick black eyelashes that were the envy of all us girls. It was a pleasure just to look at him.

When I read the news, my first thought was, “What a shame he died so young!” Then I realized that he was my age. My own mortality had just tapped me on the shoulder and spit in my eye when I read of Johnny’s death. Sixty-seven is not too young to die.

I haven’t seen him since high school, so, to me, Johnny is still that beautiful young man I knew in 1963.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Successful Partnership

Keeping with the latest trend at our house of everything wearing out and breaking down, the PC that I use most of the time has been getting progressively worse. It reached the point this week, that I couldn’t print or scan, Explorer would “stop working” several times a day, and the same window would open until there were so many, I would get a caution about high CPU (?) usage . Programs had completely disappeared. The only thing I could do was navigate the web, but with problems, and use the email program.

I had been thinking about taking it to a professional, but that entailed a lot of problems. I would have had to back up a ton of files, uninstall some programs, and I thought that clearing my favorites list would have been a good idea. Clearing and saving the email would have been a huge job. And I was worried about the cost so near to Christmas.  The thought was daunting to say the least.

I began to toy with the idea of using the recovery disks to return the computer to it’s original state. That was scary to me, too. We don’t know that much about that sort of thing. We found the manual. When I looked the process of recovery, I was ready to give up and take the darned computer to the recycling center. We put our heads together and decided that Mr. Fixit would read the the manual, and I would would do the “clicking.” I was tense and nervous. When we decide on a project there are usually a few harsh words, frustrated silences, and a little swearing in Spanish and English. I was not looking forward to it at all.

After backing up a lot of files that I didn’t want to lose, we decided we would try the recovery this morning. Surprisingly, it went quite well. It didn’t take as long I thought it would. The upshot was that I lost all the programs that I had installed during the almost four years we’ve had this computer, plus the email program, programs like Adobe Reader, and our virus protection. I had to reinstall the printer which took forever, but I can now scan and print without too much of a problem.  I also reinstalled Windows Live Writer to make blogging is a little easier. I still have to reinstall several programs, including those necessary for my e-readers and a DVD editing program.

I just discovered that the CD burner is now working properly. That’s really strange. I could burn DVD’s, and play both CD’s and DVD’s but I couldn’t burn CD’s. My son, my computer guy, said when I told him of that problem it could be that the CB burner was broken, and recovery probably wouldn’t work. It’s a nice surprise to have it working again.

After a successful fix with a minimum of yelling and swearing, it was my pleasure as the Computer Wizard to confer the title of Junior Wizard on Mr. Fixit. We are so proud of ourselves, and I am so happy to have my favorite computer working again.