Monday notes.

Why do the weekends go so fast? It seems like 10 minutes ago I’d dragged Alan to a Delray dive for some tacos and Modelos, and 30 seconds ago I was ordering a pizza instead of cooking on a Sunday night. In between, lots of heat and humidity, a storm, errands, blah to the blah. But weekends are never blah, at least not when you’re out under the sun and in a pool and otherwise enjoying summer.

So into August we gallop. Five weeks until France. I’m staring to feel like Rhoda Morganstern when she’s offered a snack: “No thanks. I have to lose 10 pounds by 8:30.”

Saturdays are generally my favorite part of the weekend: Farm market, solitary breakfast at the coney island, food prep, vague hopeful anticipation at what’s ahead over the next 48 hours. And even though it turns out to be some book time and some looking-at-the-thunderstorm time and a little bathroom-cleaning, it’s still a weekend, and it’s great.

But now it’s Monday. Going ottering with Bill later this afternoon, as it’s going to be a scorcher. It’ll be nice to catch up and maybe watch a freighter go by. The Canadian border opened today, so if for some reason we end up there, it’ll be somewhat less illegal than it was last week. The Canadian-side customs workers staged a slowdown Friday, and the lines to cross the Ambassador Bridge were insane. We drove around picturesque Delray for a while before we left, but nearly got ensnared in it. Definitely pee-in-a-bottle time for a lot of truckers.

The pleasant days leave me less time to think about hell-yes autocrats hanging out in Hungary, listening to Tucker Carlson say, and I wish I were kidding:

Rod Dreher is, of course, one of the leading “intellectuals” pushing this idea, that Hungary does autocracy right because it keeps out Muslims and represses gays. I’ve been reading this guy for years, and early on it became clear what his animating force is: Fear. He’s afraid of everything, so it figures he’d be right at home in a place where Big Daddy is always looking out for you.

Later that day, Brother Rod tweeted an article by John Derbyshire (who he calls “Derb”) in VDARE, the explicitly racist and white-supremacist publication. When he was immediately called on it, he spent hours calling all his critics crazy because he didn’t know anything about VDARE, he just thought the piece was good. Hours and hours later, he finally deleted it. How is it possible that I, a shlub in Detroit, know what VDARE is, and not a leading intellectual of conservative America? It is to puzzle.

The incident did give me a reason to poke around the explicitly racist conservative mediasphere for a while. Steve Sailer wrote a piece on racial differences vis-a-vis athletic achievement, linking it to the Olympics and with the headline, “Arguing With the Inarguable.” This is well-trod ground – I guess that’s why it’s “inarguable” – and it’s the sort of thing that might be interesting in the hands of a non-racist, but there you are.

Some people on Twitter are asking why this story isn’t making a bigger splash, and I don’t have an answer other than TSF, i.e. Trump Scandal Fatigue:

WASHINGTON — Jeffrey A. Rosen, who was acting attorney general during the Trump administration, has told the Justice Department watchdog and congressional investigators that one of his deputies tried to help former President Donald J. Trump subvert the results of the 2020 election, according to a person familiar with the interviews.

Mr. Rosen had a two-hour meeting on Friday with the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general and provided closed-door testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Saturday.

The investigations were opened after a New York Times article that detailed efforts by Jeffrey Clark, the acting head of the Justice Department’s civil division, to push top leaders to falsely and publicly assert that continuing election fraud investigations cast doubt on the Electoral College results. That prompted Mr. Trump to consider ousting Mr. Rosen and installing Mr. Clark at the top of the department to carry out that plan.

Whatever happens, I hope the full weight of the Justice Department’s internal affairs division (whatever it’s called) falls on Jeffrey Clark’s head like a ton of shit.

And with that, I suggest we get Monday under way. But first, breakfast.

Posted at 7:39 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

88 responses to “Monday notes.”

  1. Deborah said on August 9, 2021 at 8:07 am

    When you’re retired weekends are like every other day of the week. Except around here there’s more clogged traffic on LSD and more boats on the lake.

    Directly across from our building there’s a spot where lots of boats hang out, they call it the Play Pen. My husband once forgot that name and referred to it as the Dog Pound, so of course that’s what we call it now. It’s not as unruly as it used to be, I think because of the pandemic and the police boats keep tabs on it more now.

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  2. Maria said on August 9, 2021 at 9:03 am

    IIRC, Rod Dreher’s has written favorably about Putin because he’s nice to the Orthodox in Russia, at least some of them.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on August 9, 2021 at 9:38 am

    Deborah’s right about weekends. Without our daughter prepping for church we wouldn’t have even realized it was Saturday. But we’ve been working our butts off ever since we moved and we finally took a day off on Sunday. Church, newspaper, watched some fluff shows, lounged in the pool, finally made some soup in the evening. And NBC started working on our TV, just in time for a snoozefest of a closing ceremony, so we bailed.

    Our architect just tested positive for Covid, despite vaccination and a 100% mask wearing policy; they are waiting on results for the rest of the family. Another friend who is vaccinated took off his mask only to eat a business lunch, he and his wife both got it. It’s everywhere.

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  4. Mark P said on August 9, 2021 at 9:41 am

    I just had a routine physical at my doctor’s office. The nurse (?) who took my blood pressure asked about this COVID nonsense. Then she talked about the mask nonsense. She was worried they would make everyone wear a mask, and then only women. Like the Muslims, you know. Not that she has had anything against Muslims.

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  5. Suzanne said on August 9, 2021 at 9:49 am

    Mark P @4, good grief. Notice how these COVIdiots never say things like “Well, if the government can get us all to drive on the right side of the road, what’s next? Sharia Law?” No, because they know if everyone can drive on whichever side of the road they want, people will die. But understanding that not wearing masks and getting vaccines will likewise cause death seems to be just too darn hard to grasp.

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  6. LAMary said on August 9, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Doctors wouldn’t pay nurse wages for someone to take blood pressure. She was likely a medical assistant which takes a lot less education and makes a lot less money.

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  7. Icarus said on August 9, 2021 at 10:22 am

    LAMary, i wanted to ask you and anyone else who might know. Occasionally, and more recently lately, I get emails from recruiters saying “I’m perfect for a position “ that I barely qualify for. I’m talking the only thing I have is the degree or one of the 10-15 requirements.

    Why would they do this?

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  8. Jeff Borden said on August 9, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Ah, John Derbyshire. He’s not just a white supremacist, he’s also a skeevy perv. “Derb” proclaimed during his time at National Review that women’s bodies peak at age 15. Yes. Fifteen.

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  9. Julie Robinson said on August 9, 2021 at 11:29 am

    Mark, did you say anything to the doctor? It’s a difficult time to be searching for new docs, etc, because of Covid. I’m at the optometrist with Mom where they volunteered that they were all vaccinated and masked.

    A dentist office we called got very very snippy when asked about safety procedures and pulled the HIPPA line on me. I took that as a sign they weren’t requiring vaccination so I didn’t question further. I find it incomprehensible that people in the medical field are anti-vax. They are people of science and education. And yet, they are, and the pandemic rages on.

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  10. Mark P said on August 9, 2021 at 11:52 am

    LA Mary, I assumed she wasn’t a nurse but wasn’t sure what she was.

    In other stupidity, I was waiting in line at the pharmacy and overheard a guy talking to someone a few yards away. He said his wife just spent a week and a half in the hospital with COVID and is now at home with “oxygen and stuff.” He was not wearing a mask. Based on observation, I would not be surprised if he was not vaccinated. It was Walmart after all.

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  11. Bitter Scribe said on August 9, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    I suppose Dreher was also unaware that “Derb” is no longer published in the National Review because its editors deemed him too racist. (!!!)

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  12. LAMary said on August 9, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    Icarus, staffing agencies send out those emails based on key words in your resume. This is especially true of “recruiting agencies” that are pretty much non existent. They are based in India primarily and they scrape LinkedIn and Indeed for job seekers with at least one desirable skill or talent. They call you using VOIP, showing a US or sometimes Canadian area code and try to sell you on applying through them to a specific positioon or to sign a “right to represent” document to submit your resume for other positions. Then they contact companies or recruiting companies, present your resume, then ask for commission from the company or cut of commission from a recruiting firm.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on August 9, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    Bitter Scribe,

    “Too racist” for the National Review is telling. This is the magazine that fully supported racial segregation under William F. Buckley. And how that smug parody of upper class “wit” was ever regarded as a deep thinking philosopher is a study unto itself.

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  14. Dorothy said on August 9, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    I’ve been cast in a play and we’ve been rehearsing four nights a week for two weeks now. Tonight will be the third 3rd week of that. We had to replace the guy playing my husband twice. First time it was health issues. Second time the director found out accidentally that the new guy hadn’t been vaccinated and does not want to get vaccinated. His take on it? Vitamin B is just as good as any vaccine against Covid. Hooo Boy I’m glad he’s gone!

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  15. Bitter Scribe said on August 9, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    Jeff @13: I know, right? The NR’s whole shtick was opposition to civil rights. When Buckley “joked” that his mission was to “stand athwart history yelling Stop,” what he was trying to stop was Black people from voting.

    As for Derbyshire, the piece that got him banned from NR was his version of “The Talk” that Black parents have to have with their kids, to warn them to beware of virulent racists. This concept apparently annoyed Derbyshire so much that he countered with his own version of The Talk, which was to tell his kids to assume that every Black person they encounter is a violent criminal.

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  16. Deborah Beckett said on August 9, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    I wouldn’t see a Dr or a dentist who couldn’t tell me that they and their staff are vaccinated or not. If they pulled the HIPAA line, I’d tell them to stuff it (in so many words). They as medical folks know very well that is not a correct interpretation of the law.

    I had no idea that schools can keep kids from bringing peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. It is a risk that another student could be allergic and even the smell of peanuts or peanut products could make them go into shock and even cause death. That is a reasonable restriction to put into effect, IMO. Apparently though, as is being discussed on twitter, it’s OK to restrict peanut butter but not OK to require masks that may save lives or keep a kid from having long term health problems. I don’t know what the statistics are for how many kids have peanut allergies per typical school size, but my guess is the number of kids who could get covid or distancing from not requiring masks is much higher. I agree that kids need to go back to school because they’re falling behind, but health protocols need to be in place, kids older than 12 should be required to be vaccinated (so far) and when it’s deemed to be safe all school kids need to be vaccinated. Teachers certainly should be, and it should for heaven sakes, not be optional.

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  17. Heather said on August 9, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    There has also been a lot of commentary about how plenty of schools are happy to monitor and enforce what girls wear (such as banning spaghetti-strap tops and short skirts) but oh no, monitoring masks is too difficult.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on August 9, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    Dorothy, what a relief that he’s gone, but do you have to worry about others in the cast too? The community theatre in my hometown just canceled a play because they lost one of the leads two weeks prior to opening. It would be very hard to recast that close, but of course I’m wondering if it was Covid and they were worried about a spread. It’ll be a big financial hit; they lost the entire season last year.

    The New Orleans Jazz Festival scheduled for October was just cancelled. We are to go there the week before for a wedding that has been postponed twice already. I’m glad there won’t be extra people in town but worried about going at all, given the abysmal vaccination rate. And because there are four of us, we got an Airbnb instead of a hotel, and have already had to put half down. I didn’t know this until recently, but Airbnb makes you go to the host to get your money back. I will be royally pissed if we can’t go and can’t get a refund. Argh! Why can’t people just get the vaccine and wear their masks!

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  19. brian stouder said on August 9, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    We just got back from vacationing in Waveland, LA, at a very pleasant Air B & B; did the beach thing and a visit to New Orleans (and an interesting ghost-walk around town); and a visit to Vicksburg before the end. Sometime in the trip, we stopped at a fairly busy casino, wherein our oldest daughter wandered around like space aliens, until she spotted a slot machine that appealed to her. She too a spin, and the another, and then she won $1000! …..and THEN – she impressed her dad immensely when she said what I was thinking; ie ‘let’s get outta here!’ That young woman got her mom’s brains, I’d say!

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  20. Dorothy said on August 10, 2021 at 7:09 am

    Julie the rest of us are all vaccinated. We all said that freely, and shared it among ourselves. The director just didn’t think to ask the 2nd husband if he was vaccinated because …well, we’re theater people. We care about each other! And we have to stand close to each other on stage and back stage! So it was just assumed he was vaccinated. Anyway, the replacement is doing an amazing job. When he came on board last Thursday we all knew he had only two weeks to learn the part. He was tremendous last night in rehearsal. We added last Friday as an extra rehearsal because of him, and we’re adding this coming Friday as an extra rehearsal. We ALL need it. But especially Dave, the new guy.

    I don’t think I posted here about our Air BnB place in San Diego July 20-25. If anyone needs to go there sometime, let me know and I’ll encourage you to rent this place. It was top notch. And not very expensive. $169/night, plus fees of course but we know we found a heck of a gem when we booked that place. The bed and pillows were very, very comfortable. The kitchen was tiny but it sufficed for our needs. The bathroom was also very nice. The draw was the amazing garden sitting area that sat over a hillside. It had lush plants, comfortable outdoor seats, flowers, succulents, and a team of hummingbirds that seemed to be on the staff. The owners provided quart glass bottles of water regularly as drinking water. When we used one up, we put the empty on a table between our cottage and their home, and they’d replace it the next day. We always had a spare 3-4 bottles on the counter. The night we got there they had a lovely cheese, fruit and cracker tray that we inhaled because of the long, stressful day we spent at the Detroit airport through no fault of our own. There was wine, soda, jam, a stick of butter, snacks in an overflowing basket on the dining table inside. We hosted my sister and her family one night for take out salad and pizza and they were blown away by how nice our place was.

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  21. basset said on August 10, 2021 at 9:02 am

    Haven’t been to San Diego in awhile, a few summers ago we did a “panda tour” of all the US zoos with pandas (San Diego, DC, Atlanta, and Memphis iirc) and our visit was part of that. Mrs. B insisted on going to Dog Beach, where pups run free along the shore, before we even went to our room.

    Nancy, say more about ottering. How do you keep from getting run over by boats?

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    • nancy said on August 10, 2021 at 11:32 am

      The river is very wide and we stay close to the seawall. Also, Bill wears a red baseball cap. But we ended up not going — a small but fierce storm came through and we scratched. Also, a limb came down and we lost power. It’s still out, and the prognosis for getting it back on is…not good. So I’m working in the library now and once I’m done with the day’s tasks, I’m going home, so I dunno if I’ll be back online for a while. The temperature today is supposed to be close to 90. No A/C. The new normal.

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  22. Deborah said on August 10, 2021 at 10:05 am

    When I comment here on my laptop it automatically fills my full name in the name slot. I have to remember to delete my last name but sometimes I forget. Oh well.

    Dorothy, that sounds like a fantastic place, was it just the two of you or were other family members staying there too? Was it near the beach? We will be traveling to CA sometime in the near future to see my husband’s granddaughter but not in the San Diego area, we’ll be looking for an air-bnb for that trip.

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  23. Joe Kobiela said on August 10, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Just wondering if anyone has heard from Dexter friend, hasn’t posted for a while and he was a every morning regular, I checked his Facebook page and no activity for a week, let us know your ok Dex.
    Pilot Joe

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  24. Dorothy said on August 10, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Deborah we had our own place in a neighborhood called Bankers Hill. It’s just north of downtown San Diego. The surrounding homes were really large and splendid looking. My sister stayed in the Pacific Beach neighborhood, about 10 miles away. THEY were very near the beach. Parking on their street was really hard to find as it had a lot of houses in that neighborhood, and it was an easy walk to the beach. My sister’s rental had one space behind the house in a narrow space in an alleyway between streets.

    Originally this was trip was supposed to be for my newphew’s wedding. The wedding is currently postponed and has NOT been rebooked. They are still a couple, but she took a job in Nashville; he’s working in Santa Barbara now (he had been in San Diego for 3.5 years). He’s hoping to get a transfer to Nashville soon. It’s a little complicated. Covid did not help with the wedding plans.

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  25. LAMary said on August 10, 2021 at 10:59 am

    There are lots of dog beaches in CA. I assume other states have them too. Pro tip: if you visit one with a Lab: put a bandana or some other identifier on your dog. The are always many, many Labs at dog beaches. Trying to keep track of yours can be tricky.

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  26. Deborah said on August 10, 2021 at 11:48 am

    I’m going to be complaining about the heat this whole damn day. It’s 88 now in Chicago at 10:42am, the forecast is supposed to be 90 but seeing as it’s already near that, seems to me it will go beyond that. Did I mention we don’t have AC? Don’t ask. There’s a heat advisory for Cook county, indexes up to 110 in some areas. OK maybe it will be slightly cooler than that by the lake. Humidity is currently 72%. This whole day is going to be wasted, the only thing I’ll be doing is reading by the fan. Not walking anywhere.

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  27. alex said on August 10, 2021 at 11:59 am

    Dex gave a like to a Facebook comment I made this morning so I’m sure he’s just fine.

    Deborah, in case you missed my last comment in the last thread, I can inquire about attorneys in Santa Fe if you’re still looking for one. I happen to know a retired couple in Santa Fe who were attorneys, and a buddy in Chicago grew up there and owns property there and probably can make a few recommendations as well.

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  28. Julie Robinson said on August 10, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    We were supposed to go to a wedding two years ago in San Francisco that still hasn’t been rescheduled. We ended up going to NYC instead.

    I was assigned a doctor by my insurance company and by the time I got off the phone from scheduling an appointment I was in tears. The receptionist has a heavy accent and spoke so fast I had to ask her to repeat herself three or four times with everything she said. The office they assigned me isn’t open anymore so she was rattling off other addresses, none of which I recognized. Slowly we worked through them all and found one 15 minutes away, but, no appointments available until the end of September and not actually with the doc I’m supposed to see.

    So if I understand it correctly, now I have to call the insurance company and get permission to see the other doc, then call them back. And I’ll run out of meds before the end of September, and my Indiana doctor retired. I’m so frustrated. I’m going for a swim.

    This feels so…Republican, to complain about language issues. I have no problem seeing a doctor who speaks English as a second language, just as long as they can be understood. I told my hubby I understand a bit of what immigrants go through when they are trying to get medical care and don’t speak English.

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  29. alex said on August 10, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    Julie, I feel ya. My employer changed health insurance to United Healthcare and now I’m being forced to order my meds through OptumRx which is owned by UHC by the way — and staffed by Filipino phone reps who’ve managed to fuck my shit up every time I’ve dealt with them so far.

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  30. Suzanne said on August 10, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    Cuomo resigned.

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  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 10, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    I can only imagine in an old-school newsroom today the bells off the AP teletype machine . . . a definite “ringing in the ears” sort of news day!

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  32. David C said on August 10, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    We’re on United Healthcare too but we’re not required to use Optum. The company is self insured so United just does the paperwork. We get a letter in the mail monthly telling us we could save money using Optum. I look at their prices and it’s always more than Walgreen’s and I’ve heard enough nightmare stories about online pharmacies, so no thanks.

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  33. basset said on August 10, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    Cigna’s online pharmacy does pretty well for us, still like to deal with a live human in person when I can though.

    Nancy, I remember you mentioning that “blown into the shipping lanes” or something like that was an often used phrase in your circle some years ago, first thing I thought of when you mentioned ottering.

    Heat index 95, heat warning and generally miserable in Nashville today. Supposed to go play music outdoors with a bunch of other amateurs tonight. Last time there we sat next to a little pond full of frogs and no telling what else screeching and croaking and carrying on, sounded like a Tarzan movie with guitars.

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  34. Deborah said on August 10, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    Alex, I did miss your previous comment in the last thread about lawyers. I think we’re ok, we contacted 6 different firms and 1 woman lawyer who works alone. One place was a referral from a lawyer friend in Abiquiu, of them all that one seems the most promising to me. One firm has said they’re too busy, it was a large firm and they probably feel that it’s too dinky to bother with. They were my last choice so that’s good.

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  35. Sherri said on August 10, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    Independent of the sexual harassment crap, Andrew Cuomo was terrible and needed to go long ago. He briefly became a hero in the pandemic because CNN let his brother shill for him, not because he actually did a good job.

    Obvious difference between Dems and the GQP: Dems called on Cuomo to resign when the allegations came out, while Republicans rally ‘round their sexual assaulters.

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  36. Julie Robinson said on August 10, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    Cuomo’s resignation is one good thing that happened today. But I am unable to access medical care and I will be going without my meds. Blue Cross has completely screwed me over.

    I called BC to get permission to see the other doctor, and also got someone who didn’t speak English well AND was in a crowded noisy room. I kept asking her to improve the line to no avail. But I got the reference number I needed, call the doctor’s office back, and was told they can’t prescribe anything, contrary to what I was told this morning. This person also didn’t speak English well, for the trifecta.

    I asked if I was expected to go without my meds and was told she was sorry. I asked what would happen if I became ill overnight and called tomorrow for an appointment, and she said I would still have to wait until Sept 27 because their whole system was full. So, I have no medical care available to me.

    On October 1 I start Medicare, and you can be damn sure I’m not going with a Blue Cross supplement. Which reminds me, that’s something else I have to do.

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  37. Deborah said on August 10, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    I promised I’d complain all day about the hot, humid weather so here goes, it’s 93° now, with a heat index of 108°. I have done nothing today except take 2 cold-ish showers. I’ve sat in front of the fan reading, wearing cotton pjs. I can’t even think about making something for dinner later. We’re just going to scrounge around for whatever is in the fridge that doesn’t require cooking. It’s going to be like this for 2 more days, unfortunately. I’m never, ever coming back to Chicago again in July or August.

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  38. LAMary said on August 10, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    Not to bum you out or anything but having compared notes with friends and family about medicare supplemental policies they all suck. No one had any good to say.

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  39. Julie Robinson said on August 10, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Hard to think I could be more bummed out than now. I still have to find doctors and a dentist for myself and my mom. We found an optometrist right in the neighborhood, yay. Plus get myself signed up for Social Security and Medicare, and I was planning on looking for a supplement. D chose to go without one this year but I thought we should have them.

    Plus of course our credit card is expiring so I have to contact all our auto-pays to give them the new number. And Mom can’t find her checkbook, and I can’t find things I need, etc, etc, etc.

    BTW my SIL works for Anthem in Indiana and says they are farming out most of the customer service jobs too. She thinks she’ll be okay because she’s a psych nurse and works with facilities to okay treatment. She has a master’s and 25 years in the psych wards and thinks her experience will stand for a few more years before she retires.

    I will have to say that under our last insurance we had Express Scripts for mail order and had great and fast service. When we had United Health Care they wouldn’t pay for my pap and pelvic because they said the doctor had coded it wrong. There’s only one code for a regular annual pap and pelvic, but we argued about it for a year.

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  40. ROGirl said on August 10, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    I’m turning 65 in October and plan to continue working for the foreseeable future, keeping my employer’s medical coverage. I have been getting a lot of stuff in the mail about medicare policies and have no idea what options I would go with. Eventually, I will have to make those decisions and am not looking forward to it.

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  41. David C said on August 10, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Even if you have to pay out of pocket you should probably go to a doc in the box, Julie. It’s not worth going without your meds. Was your pharmacy in Indiana a chain. Sometimes if you’ve been on a med for a good amount of time they’ll extend your expired prescription enough to tide you over until your appointment.

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  42. Julie Robinson said on August 10, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    It’s just my cholesterol medicine. I had already gotten my old doctor to send in a new Rx once (to Express Scripts) when our move was delayed. Now he has retired and I haven’t had bloodwork done since last year, and no reputable doc will prescribe without it. I shudder to think what that would cost at the doc in a box.

    It’s my own stupid fault for waiting but I’m used to getting an appointment in a week so I thought calling a month ahead was plenty of time. I will learn from this.

    We have a nurse friend coming over later this week to advise us on doctors. We’ll sit outside and wear masks. Her job right now is contact tracing and arranging care for the medical personnel in her network who have gotten Covid. She’s talked herself hoarse more than once. What’s she’s been telling us is that people who are vaccinated let down their guard to go eat together. They take their masks off for just that short of a time, and the damn Covid gets them.

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  43. LAMary said on August 10, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    Just don’t delay signing up for medicare. You get late penalties. Not huge amounts but enough to be annoying.

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  44. susan said on August 10, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    And you have to pay those Medicare late penalties for the rest of your life. Same with the drug coverage (if you don’t have Medicare Advantage).

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  45. David C said on August 10, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    That’s good Julie. I don’t know how long I could go without my BP meds but before I was on it, I was something like 180/120. Going off would likely be asking for a stroke.

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  46. alex said on August 10, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    I had PHP and Express Scripts and was getting quite used to them when my employer decided not to renew and took our business back to UHC, which we’d had in the past. We change every couple of years because they jack the premiums.

    Feathers gonna fly in that place. Today a newish staff member scanned her child support worksheet on the copier and forgot to delete it when she was done, and the gross pay she reported on it has other staff livid that she’s better paid than they are.

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  47. Julie Robinson said on August 10, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    I regularly read a couple of columns about retiring and aging so I was up to speed on signing up on time, plus we just went through this with D. But all our papers are in boxes, and we need to go buy a file cabinet and a desk, and the list goes on and on. Lest you think D is slacking, he’s been working 15 hour days mostly outside, getting ready for the landscaping inspection. The contractor and Covid made what should have been a smooth move into a hellish one.

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  48. Icarus said on August 10, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    And you have to pay those Medicare late penalties for the rest of your life.
    I don’t understand the penalty or having to pay for the rest of your life. I can understand the first year, perhaps, but punishing someone until they croak. How do they justify that?

    How do I avoid it in 13 years?

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  49. susan said on August 10, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    How do I avoid it in 13 years?

    Make sure you sign up in time! This is when procrastinating will cost you.

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  50. Suzanne said on August 10, 2021 at 7:25 pm

    All this talk of health insurance is making me very anxious. My husband is retiring when he turns 65 next year, but I am younger and he carries the health insurance. So we do COBRA? Find something through the ACA exchanges? Do I look for a new job that offers health benefits? At 63, I don’t see that being likely.
    I knew this would happen but I had hoped the US government would lower the Medicare age to 62 or something but they haven’t. I am quite healthy, but we all know that can change in a heartbeat.
    Oh, for a national healthcare program!

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  51. Deborah said on August 10, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    It finally got up to 95 with a heat index of 109.

    I made the mistake of waiting a few years before I got the prescription supplements for Medicare because I didn’t have any need. My husband did the same thing and then he started to have to take statins. I needed a prescription for a few months that was really expensive, so I finally signed up, we both have to pay the penalties forever. Every once in a while I need a prescription and invariably my supplement co doesn’t cover it. Almost without fail nothing has been covered. Only a couple have, it’s not like I need many meds, nothing on going for now. Knock wood. It is aggravating though when I have to pay through the nose for something while also paying a monthly amount for nothing.

    Of course the reason for the penalty is the pharma companies have us over a barrel, in the US we pay an astronomical amount for meds compared to other countries. Ridiculous.

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  52. Julie Robinson said on August 10, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Suzanne, likely an ACA plan will be your best bet. We couldn’t Cobra because D’s company was too small and that had been our plan. Even the company head and HR person thought we could Cobra, so it was a wakeup call to them too.

    Our retirement income is low enough that I’m paying very little for what it turns out is worthless insurance. $34/month after subsidies and the new Pandemic relief plan lowered costs. Cold comfort I guess.

    Tomorrow I’m going to start searching boxes for the docs I need to file for social security and Medicare.

    There are information programs called SHIP in most states that will help you look at Medicare supplements. They are neutral volunteers and won’t steer you toward specific plans. We saw one a couple years ago for D, and I need to get an appointment for me now.

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  53. Mark P said on August 10, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    For a while we had a Medicare Advantage plan, which is cheaper than Medicare+supplement, but my wife kept losing doctors because they dropped out of the network. So we went with Medicare plus a supplement. It has been very good, no problems at all with seeing doctors and getting services. But the supplement is expensive, partly because this area is under-served with Medicare supplements. My wife had a laminectomy and spinal fusion, and I recently had two surgeries, rotator cuff repair and quad-tendon repair. The hospital charges alone were $100,000 for my surgeries.

    The prescription coverage is a joke and a disgrace. If you have only a few cheap prescriptions as I do, it pays essentially nothing. My wife takes a lot of meds, and the policy is only just now starting to pay. One reason I will never join the AARP is that they supported the Medicare prescription drug “benefit.”

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  54. LAMary said on August 10, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    Yeah, I didn’t get drug coverage for the first two years so I pay an extra 8.26 per month ’till I die.

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  55. Deborah said on August 10, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    Looks like we’re going to have to quit flying Southwest, they aren’t requiring vaccines for their workers, American and Delta aren’t either. United it is from now on until policies change. We already have our reservations for our trip back to NM and then back to Chicago on SW, so we’re keeping those but after that, nope. How irresponsible of those 3 airlines. I don’t really like flying United because they don’t fly out of MDW, only ORD, but rather go to O’Hare than get Covid.

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  56. Dexter Friend said on August 11, 2021 at 1:48 am

    Doing fine, Pilot Joe; I thought of you yesterday when I drove by the local Williams County Airport to check on the progress of new taxiways. I thought they were building another runway but my son-in-law who now basically runs operations at the executive airport near Fort Pierce, FL looked it up and said no, the project is taxiway construction.
    69 Senators came through, and bipartisanship is not dead. Amazing. Old Turtleface even voted ay.

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  57. Deborah said on August 11, 2021 at 7:23 am

    I had no idea that Cuomo’s first wife, Kerry Kennedy was a daughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy. Cuomo and KK had 3 daughters. I never really paid much attention to Cuomo or his family before. He was a real climber. I mean I knew his father had been the guv of NY too, but that’s about all I knew.

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  58. Joe Kobiela said on August 11, 2021 at 8:18 am

    Good to hear Dex, last night before going to bed I was thinking how glad I wasn’t walking into Dana at 11pm with a air temperature of 80+ with no air conditioning. Yes we were payed well but on nights like last night we definitely earned it with temperatures close to 100 inside the plant.
    Pilot Joe

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  59. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 11, 2021 at 8:50 am

    I keep up with an old Scouting buddy in northwest Indiana who reminds me not to complain about the heat just by his posts about working in the steel mill these days. Their fire suits for certain processes: they joke about how they’ve been told cooling units for those outfits are coming next year for the last thirty . . . but they’re still pretty much what I remember putting on in 1981.

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  60. Julie Robinson said on August 11, 2021 at 9:16 am

    Mario Cuomo was one of the lions of the Democratic party but circumstances were never right for him to be President. His son was supposed to fulfill that destiny for the family. Unfortunately, like the Kennedys, the next generation didn’t have the same greatness as the first.

    I mean, what a lame apology. He takes full responsibility but wasn’t aware the lines had moved. What a weasel.

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 11, 2021 at 9:50 am

    Narrator: The lines had not, in fact, moved.

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  62. alex said on August 11, 2021 at 10:23 am

    It’s those darn necklines and hemlines, always moving themselves over his hands.

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  63. LAMary said on August 11, 2021 at 11:16 am

    After Cuomo divorced Kerry Kennedy Sandra Lee, the Semi Homemade cooking show person, moved into the governor’s mansion. The Wikipedia page about her shares some very nasty things food writers said about her show especially the infamous Kwanzaa Cake.

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  64. Deborah said on August 11, 2021 at 11:27 am

    There’s an old saying that it takes three generations to go from “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves” or in the Asian world it’s “rice bowl to rice bowl”. Usually used referring to family fortunes but it’s also a common theme in Greek tragedy etc. The third generation is often the monster in the lair with regard to dynasties of power. In some cases, as in Cuomo’s family it only took two generations, from father to son.

    My husband’s uncle wanted to make sure his wealth was used in ways to help society than simply passing it all on to his family, who he felt by the third generation could possibly squander it, nothing against the third generation personally. Sure his family got some but the bulk of it is now in a charitable trust. I think Bill Gates is of the same mind. Give your children and grandchildren enough to help them form their own successes.

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  65. Jeff Borden said on August 11, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    I worked with a couple of native New Yorkers here in Chicago and they were rapturous about Mario Cuomo, believing it was only a matter of time until he ascended to the White House. I didn’t pay much attention to Andrew until the coronavirus, when he was praised for his daily briefings and castigated for ignoring the crisis in the state’s nursing homes. And CNN’s Chris Cuomo is now seriously compromised because of his role in helping guide his brother through the thicket of the sex harassment complaints. So, double wipeout for the Cuomos.

    A buddy chided me for celebrating Cuomo’s downfall by noting that tRump, Gaetz and a number of other QOPers have faced similar complaints and refused to quit. But I maintain progressives have to keep their own tent clean if they want to lecture the other side about these issues.

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  66. LAMary said on August 11, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    Mario Cuomo would have been a great president. He was a brilliant speaker at least gave me the impression that he was very decent man. I wish he could have had a shot at being president. Andrew and Chris used their father’s reputation to get ahead, and that’s fine, but they don’t come close to his intelligence and decency.

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  67. susan said on August 11, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    Yeah, and Obama is a very gifted speaker, too. Great speechifying doesn’t necessarily translate into being an effective president/politico.

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  68. bethbfromindiana said on August 11, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    I have had a Medicare Advantage Plan since I became eligible at age 65. I am now 71. The reason for this rather than regular Medicare and a Supplement and a Drug Plan? An Advantage Plan is the only way that I can get 90% of my medications included.

    I take more than 15 prescriptions on a regular basis–for pain, MS issues, allergies, etc. I put all my meds in the website during open enrollment, and usually there are only Medicare Advantage Plans that include most or all. I’ve changed from one plan to another over the years to get the best deal, but right now I have no monthly plan fee, and I can choose any doctor I want. I also go through the same process with all of my doctors, and I choose the policy that works for my doctors and my meds. If I didn’t have so many health issues, it might be a different story.

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  69. LAMary said on August 11, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    A savvy political journalist I knew who had covered Albany for the NYT thought very highly of Mario Cuomo. Not just his speechifying.

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  70. Deborah said on August 11, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    I wrote to Southwest Airlines today letting them know how disappointed we are that they aren’t mandating vaccines for their employees and after this upcoming round trip flight we’re taking to NM that will be the end until we hear that they are changing their policy and requiring vaccines for their employees. They are of course headquartered in Texas so hell will have to freeze over before they change their current policy. We don’t fly American often enough to warrant contacting them, except for our international flights to Europe, we fly American but those aren’t that frequent. And we never fly Delta.

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  71. Darling Vicki said on August 11, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    Medicare For Dummies, a reliable source for information about everything from the insurance to the supplements to the Rx drug rules.

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  72. Julie Robinson said on August 11, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Beth, do you have coverage outside your area? We plan on traveling so we’d want to be covered anywhere, including overseas. We only have four meds between the two of us, but we’re anticipating some hip and knee replacements, and who knows what else. I haven’t found all my notes from when D was applying yet, but we ordered a file cabinet which should come on Friday, and then we can start making sense of all our files.*

    I applied for Social Security and Medicare online today. But no other decisions have been made, until I can find all my excellent notes. Otherwise I have to reinvent the wheel.

    We got my mom a dentist appointment, here’s hoping she likes her. That took a couple of hours of searching through who was available on her plan, how far away they were, trying to read reviews, delicately asking about safety procedures.

    And it looks like I could do a teledoc appointment for my meds although it will be a massive hassle to set it up.

    *We had one set aside for store pickup and then got an email that they didn’t have it. We had gone through the whole lengthy order process, “verifying” that they had two in stock, including paying for it. If this is the service you get, retail deserves to die.

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  73. alex said on August 11, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    Writing from my cell phone as the power’s out and may be so until 10 pm tomorrow night. What a day.

    Spent the morning getting scheduled for a septal deviation surgery and the lackadaisical staff had me waiting for an hour needlessly because they hadn’t notified the scheduler that I was waiting in a chair around the corner from her office. The woman who had seated me there kept coming by to reassure me I’d be seen soon. Fucking ditz.

    Then I finally get in to work in the early afternoon and a big storm hits and my tenant texts me that the power’s out, a tree smashed out her windshield, water was gushing into.the house through the front door and my pontoon boat had sailed away.

    So I’m home after a circuitous drive because the main road is closed. Traffic lights were out for miles before I got even near my house. Everything around here’s a fucking mess. But at least the house remains relatively cool inside.

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  74. Dexter Friend said on August 12, 2021 at 1:07 am

    The Auburn Dana plant was just miserable to work in. Once a concerned lady was hired into personnel (HR). She organized huge cooler tubs of Gatorade and provided cooling headbands, the kind you can pack ice into. In 1988 , at 3:00 AM it was 88F and 98% humidity outside. Inside, way higher temperature.
    I am staying with Manhattan Life Insurance from Houston, Texas for my supplemental Medicare. They paid tens of thousands of dollars for my late wife’s bills. Yeah, I pay $275 a month but I know they will pick up everything Medicare doesn’t. Now I hear I am grandfathered in, and they no longer offer my type of coverage. If I lived in Ann Arbor I wouldn’t keep it, as I would get free care from the VA hospital there. If I ever needed emergency care, I would be taken to a civilian hospital and absolutely need my supplemental insurance. Sometimes the VA steps up and pays for the people in the VA system who are taken to civilian hospitals, and sometimes they just do not.
    Stay out of Mississippi. 8 beds remain open as of last evening. Kids are getting sick, put on ventilators, some dying. The governor left the state for a political function. I no longer have respect for those who claim they will not get vaxxed or wear a mask when inside a public place. This variant, this delta variant, is killing people. It’s horrible.
    One last word tonight: If you think you could manage to pay the 20% Medicare does not cover, just remember that unless you have a few million dollars in liquid assets, you do not. The 20% you will be billed will likely wipe you out or bankrupt you. For me, I am so grateful that Carla Lee had all this set up before her health declined.

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  75. ROGirl said on August 12, 2021 at 5:33 am

    After all the torrential rainstorms this summer, my power has finally gone out. I drove into the storm on my way home from work yesterday, it was moving quickly. Some traffic lights were out and branches down, it didn’t look too bad, but no power in my area. I tried calling dte and their phone service was bouncing calls out of the system. I saw a dte truck on my street a few hours later, which usually means that the power will be restored, but that didn’t happen. Another thunderstorm woke me up a few hours ago, a second one is going on right now.

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  76. Deborah said on August 12, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Dexter, what was/were the products being manufactured at that Dana plant? Is Dana the name of the place or the company?

    My niece’s husband will have to get vaccinated, he’s a teacher in CA. For his sake, I’m glad to hear that but my niece is probably livid, she’s been vocally anti vax since they started giving shots. He teaches in a public high school that he’s always bragging about how great it is on FB, but of course his two oldest go to a charter high school where they have to wear silly uniforms.

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  77. basset said on August 12, 2021 at 10:30 am

    Interesting afternoon yesterday. Neighbor showed up in our yard shirtless and confused, hallucinating dark forces out to get him. I got him calmed down a little and waited for police to show up, non emergency call so it took several hours, during which I heard about the snipers behind the mailbox, the three old ladies on the porch, so on, so forth. His truck was parked and running so I took the keys, didn’t want him driving in that state. Police arrived, called an ambulance, which he refused, and got some kind of crisis counselor out there, they sat on his steps for maybe two hours and all is calm now.

    Meanwhile, I assume that most of us have seen this shining example of Tennesseee patriots defending liberty:
    The traditional warrior cop approach, I suppose, would have been to run up on him, order him to give his name or get on the ground or something, club the hell out of him when he didn’t understand and throw him in the drunk tank. Was a great relief to see our local police acting more appropriately.

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  78. basset said on August 12, 2021 at 10:39 am

    I can’t even copy and paste today… CNN paragraph goes at the bottom. Obviously.

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  79. Heather said on August 12, 2021 at 10:56 am

    That was good of you, basset. Although I wish there was another way to help people having a mental health crisis than calling the police. I’ve read too many stories of such people getting shot, especially if they are BIPOC. I would be nervous to call them tbh. This is why we need alternatives and better social services programs.

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  80. Joe Kobiela said on August 12, 2021 at 11:03 am

    Dana where Dexter worked in Auburn manufactured clutches, Dana in Fort Wayne where I worked manufactured truck axles for the big 3.
    Dana is a company.
    I worked on a assembly line most of the 31 years I was there but finished up my last few years as a cnc operator. Building built in the mid 40s for the war effort no air conditioning very hot in the summer, Brian lives across the street from it now.
    Pilot Joe

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  81. bethbfromindiana said on August 12, 2021 at 11:41 am


    I think I am covered if I travel in the US, but not overseas. Of course, at our ages and with our health issues, we won’t be going overseas again. I really miss England; our last visit was in 2001. I haven’t traveled anywhere since 2014, so it is a long drought for us. We used to spend two weeks in Maine every summer–either flying to Manchester, NH, and renting a car or driving the approx.1000 miles from Noblesville, IN.

    I don’t think I’ve answered your question very well. Use the SHIP help that is usually available in each state. They can answer the travel question in relation to Medicare Advantage. Good luck.

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  82. Deborah said on August 12, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Our building has officially re-instituted wearing masks in the common areas with an email they sent out today. I maybe stopped wearing a mask for a day or two in the building when I first got back from NM but the more I read about the Delta variant the more nervous it made me so I’ve been wearing mine in the common areas all this month so far. I don’t wear masks outside at all anymore.

    We have about 8 more days being in Chicago, and thank goodness the heat is supposed to break after today and should be much less uncomfortable for the duration. The humid heat really wears me out, I’ve gotten nothing done for the last few days and I can’t stop talking about it.

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  83. JodiP said on August 12, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    Deborah, if today’s weather in Minneapolis is yours tomorrow or Saturday, you’re in for a treat! Sunny, breezy, 80 with low humidity.

    Also: thank goodness for great neighbors. We are going to be out of town next week beginning the 20th. I had arranged a professional dog sitter who had good reviews. Her response to emails usually needed a prompt from me, and today she totally no showed for the meet and greet. So, nope, not getting the gig even with offered discount and profuse apologies.

    We panic called our neighbor and she immediately said they’d cover us. They have 2 dogs and a 14 month old son, so it’s kinda a big deal. Our dog is pretty shy, so it’s actually great they can do it as he knows them very well. We also reached out to other neighbors who know him so the burden doesn’t fall completely on one family.

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  84. Julie Robinson said on August 12, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    And I bet you’ve been a good neighbor for them, Jodi, which is how it all starts. We’re just getting to know our next-door neighbors here but count several just a few houses away as good friends.

    Beth, we have visited a SHIP counselor once although they have a different acronym here, and if I can find my notes they’ll be very helpful. Otherwise I’ll make another appointment. Everything is in such chaos right now but we have a file cabinet arriving tomorrow and once we can get things in that I’m sure the relevant file will show itself.

    And the doctor’s office just called me and said I couldn’t have the appointment on September 27 after all; as a new patient I would have to wait until October 19. (By that time I would be out of all my meds.) I took great pleasure in telling her that I would be on Medicare by October 19 and I would be finding a better doctor and office, and they could take my name off their rolls. Our nurse friend is coming over tonight and I’m praying she has some good names for us. But I will need to do the teledoc appointment I think.

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  85. Jim said on August 12, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    Joe and Dexter: where did Dana make piston rings? They purchased a factory (Perfect Circle) where many of my friends worked in Hagerstown IN. I had assumed they moved production somewhere else when the plant closed.

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  86. Icarus said on August 12, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    Heading back to Chicago tonight for my last week there and I’m having all the emotions. We had to rush this to get our kids in school on time and the distance doesn’t make travel easy or cheap. Our kids will be without both of us for the first time in their 6 year old lives.

    Last fall and early spring I was house sitting for a friend. Only had to check once a week, easy-Peasy and I had three backups. Twice I needed someone to help out (non holiday weeks) and both times no one was available to find one hour over seven days to go over to our mutual friends house.

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  87. Julie Robinson said on August 12, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    Okay, friends who are signing up for Medicare soon, I have a couple of resources to share with you. The first will take you to a page for the SHIP programs after you enter your state:

    The second is a Florida-specific page for the SHINE program as it’s known here. They have put a lot of their info into youtube presentations and they are also doing zoom meetings. I can’t vouch for any of this because I just discovered it. I’ll be watching as much as I can to try to learn everything before I go look for a program:

    I also realized that since I’ll only be using whatever supplement I choose for three months this year, if I immediately hate it I can change it for 2022.

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