This is the reason for my silence:

Because what in the world do you even say about a comment like this one that the President made last night:

“You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting ships. ”

I mean, I’ve got nothing to say about that. All I’ve got is flabbergasted silence.

I hope he’s not surprised when he loses this damnable election.

Cooking, Blogging and Tech, Oh My

Or: Pay attention to your sites, dude.

Once upon a time, Jeff Soyer started a food blog called Single Guy Cook, which I hough was a brilliant idea. Unfortunately, it ran out of steam quickly, given limited funds and repertoire.

That inspired me to start one called Married Guy Cook, since I used to post frequently about what I’d cook, and I’d gotten deeply into cooking since getting married. Unfortunately, it hobbled along, given limited funds and repertoire, and I trailed off due to that and other issues. However, it was a popular and lucrative site, for a time, for earning money.

That and being even more broke than ever (I’d never realized while I was self-employed just how low my income was, though I did know that it was incredibly rocky – impossible, technically – to live on it) were part of the inspiration for starting Frugal Guy Cook, to which I ported the posts from Married Guy Cook.

Then I all but abandoned it, despite all my plans to make money from it, and to expand the focus to being frugal in this ridiculous economy and to handling our son’s multiple allergies and sensitivities. That meant it didn’t build much content or garner page rank, and never became a potential source of income. Granted, that was partly the reperoire thing, and the money thing goes without saying, but that was part of the schtick. Only so many things you can tout doing with dried pinto beans, cheap burger on sale (OK, that’s an oxymoron these days; burger that is sometimes on sale for less epensive enough to justify its purchase, if only because we have to eat), cheap beef on sale, cheap chicken on sale, rice, and what vegetables we can afford, or buy regardless. I never buy fish, for instance, because $5/lb and up is “rich people food.” Indeed, my current conundrum is that since my stents, I am supposed to eat healthier, and while there have been steps in that direction, going whole hog means money. And if I do spend more on food, it ceases to be “frugal,” at least by my standards. The next couple weeks will test my frugality. We have a freezer relatively full of meat, which helps, and are well stocked in other things, but I expect to have maybe $60 or so to spend through November 9th (maybe more, but there’s also gas, and I have to plan low rather than optimistic). Bread alone is $6-7 a week. Anyway, I digress.

I slacked off on that site so badly that I have yet to fix the weirdness that porting from the old one caused, or adjust the theme to look less funny as a result (or replace the theme).

On my last big shopping trip, I got a sugar pumpkin on sale for 29¢ a pound. Cheap and I love making pumpkin bread or other things from the source, though canned is easier. Yesterday I went looking for a pumpkin bread recipe. I may have had one saved on my computer, but my computer, and the spare one into which I put the till working drive from the dead one, is dead. I thought I might have written about making pumpkin bread, and if so, it might have made it onto the food blog. Otherwise it’s a matter of finding a likely looking recipe and trying it, rather than using one I knew was good from past use. Not that there’s much you can do to mess up pumkin bread. Besides, I can always make pumpkin cake, which is a matter of using pumpkin as the liquid in the egg and dairy-free cake recipe and adding appropriate seasoning.

In the course of checking whether I’d ever posted it, I found that every picture in every post I looked at had been replaced by a square graphic saying “SHOPWIKI.” Clicking the picture, rather than bringing up a larger version, took me to a site not my own.

“How was I hacked,” I wondered.

Well, I wasn’t. I allowed the old domain to expire, an unusual thing for me, but sometimes there’s reason to let go. The posts I had ported still pointed to graphics (and sometimes internal links) on the old domain. Which now belongs to someone else. My experience with lapsed domains, even if they have no page rank, is that someone snaps them up and makes them page full of ad links, such that they will generate at least something over the cost of registering and hosting the domain. It’s what my old business partner would have called “yawn money.” Make money while you sleep. Even if it’s a little, even if it’s some tiny form of arbitrage, it will add up and be something you wouldn’t make otherwise. I could go for some of that.

I still had all the graphics, mind you. The folder the old domain had been in was totally intact. So I copied it to the new location and modified each wrong URL directly in the database. Easy, but a bit embarrassing, given that it should have been done at the time of the port.

The moral of the story, I’d say, is pay attention. If you’re going to have a blog empire, mind your blog empire. If you’re going to write, write. If you’re going to maintain places to write, maintain them. Don’t be surprised if neglect leads to decay.

At the moment, I am only posting here, trying to do it regularly, building back up a blog we should never have left fallow in the first place. If it weren’t for the difficulty in porting Expression Engine to WordPress, the entire original content would be here, rather than archived. The conundrum is that topical blogs are lucrative. That was part of the reason for Frugal Guy Cook in the first place. I’ll probably post food-related stuff here now, but it’s an opportunity missed. Same for tech blogging and business blogging. I fell out of both, tech in paricular, since I all but stopped doing it for a living, and I lacked the money to keep myself up to date, which feeds the no doing it for a living and vice-versa. We’ll see what happens. For the time being, writing and maintaining this stuff is de facto a job for me, so all the more reason it should get caught up and get done routinely. Income, however speculative and lacking in direct connection to the effort, won’t be possible at all otherwise.

Electoral College

Someone mentioned the electoral college on Facebook, and while the question actually involved why bother if the electors can vote how they want, not honoring the popular vote in the state, I’d been thinking so much about the topic again that I spewed forth this comment:

Things changed a lot since they set it up that way. The idea was that it was the collection of states forming the federal government, so there was a balance between state and individual representation. Each state had the same number of senators, regardless of size, representing the interests of the states and appointed by same, not directly beholden to the populace. Representatives were directly elected by the people, representing the people, with as close to an even population per as reasonably possible. Presidency was a mix of the two. People voting, but to come up with the preference of the people in the state, and weighed by population plus a base for each state. The idea of senators representing the states went out the window with the 17th amendment, so they are glorified representatives. Strengthening the federal government in the 1860s probably made that inevitable. The more direct representation got skewed by limiting the size of the house of representatives, entirely aside from what the early invention of gerrymandering and rise of political parties did. Not that there was no merit in the fear of its size becoming unwieldy, but that certainly would be an antidote to the problem of excess legislation. Once the rest was decoupled from the concept of a federal system with representation of states plus individuals, the electoral college method started to seem increasingly odd. It still makes a lot of sense to me, as a traditionalist with a clear understanding of how it was meant to work, but I understand the confusion and the arguments for direct election. That would have its own problem, but on a national rather than state scale. Take away Boston and the vote in MA would no longer be lopsided and predictable. Take away the coastal cities in California, ditto. A case can be made that it’d be scary and rural votes would never count at all the other way, too.

Followed by this related comment:

There are those of us who see things as having gone downhill since the 17th passed, and would gladly repeal it. The argument against repealing it is that state legislatures can be corrupt and appoint a senator you’d never consider. On the other hand, that moves the action closer to home, giving everyone reason to try to turn over the state legislators if they can’t get senatorial selections right.

All of which is part lesson that anyone ought to be able to follow, and part opinion with a dash of opposing view to consider. I’ve debated the topic before with Steven Taylor, who is vehemently opposed to the electoral college. I used to find that odder than I do now, especially coming from a political science professor, than I do now. I am still not convinced, and might rather undo the changes that have rendered it less logical, but I come closer to seeing it than I once did. Still, I predict that if it comes to pass, with all else being equal, the result in practice will be worse than you’d expect. As is often the case for seemingly laudable ideas.

Mental Health “Reforms”

This is exactly the problem, and it’s a rare thing that could be better with government intervention at various levels… and/or by eliminating negative government intervention. You can’t shut down a set of existing services and institutions without adequately replacing them. Lack of insurance coverage for mental health is also problematic, especially given how much we expect “insurance” to do and cover.

RIP George McGovern

We remember him best for the 1972 blowout to a crookedly leftist republican, but George McGovern increasingly became a Libertarian Hero. Read it if you haven’t; it’s a great appreciation, and includes details you may not have known.

I remember the 1972 election well, because I already followed politics to some degree, and favored Nixon. When we held a class election between the two candidates, I was almost the only one who voted Nixon, foreshadowing how our parents would vote in Massachusetts, but not in other states.

Odd, too, that I favored Nixon after his imposition of wage and price controls, which infuriated my father. I couldn’t believe the government had the right to do such a thing. We make fun of the hapless Carter, and it is well-deserved, for all he was far better than Obama, but Nixon piled on Johnson to create the basis for economic conditions Carter (and Ford, and Reagan initially) faced. But I digress.

It is a good man who can observe, inerpret and accept reality, admitting he was once wrong in some regards. Without ceasing to be right in others. Well done.

Either-Or

Yesterday I saw Atlas Shrugged Part 2. This time around, it was playing at a nearby Regal theater, which also showed Obama’s America, so I didn’t have to drive to a far-flung, unfamiliar theater, as I did for Part 1.

Of the two, Part 2 is unquestionably better, and not merely due to the meatier, more exciting material. It also did not suffer from the cast changes as I thought it might.

If there was ever any question that Atlas Shrugged falls in the science ficion genre, this movie, even more than the book, argues that it does. Simply being future/alt-history suggests it, without some of the futuristic technologies or elements.

If there was ever any question that John Galt was inspired by Nikola Tesla, this movie, even more than the book, makes clear that he was. Among the special effects are those associated with efforts to get Galt’s “motor” for drawing unlimited power from the air to work without Galt around to help.

As an aside, such a device represents the ultimate intellectual property challenge. Obviously, if anyone can build such a device, can know how, have access to it for reverse-engineering, then selling electricity generated from it would not be lucrative for long. The very reason Tesla lost backing for the very device he allegedly had working or near to it. As such, it would have to remain a black box, unable to be accessed to reverse-engineer. At that, simply knowing such a thing was possible would set others on the path of figuring out how to create their own. On the other hand, one might accept it quickly falling into public domain or generating competition, given what it would do to the world, and given the other ways its inventor could then make money.

Anyway, I liked the movie a lot. The script was pared down from the source material skillfully, with inclusion of key points, some of which I might have expected to suffer. What it could not convey was Reardon’s internal guilt and thought processes that made blackmailing him successful. I am not sure this would have been clear to a viewer who’d never read the book, despite being subtly implicit.

The flash forward opening was a nice touch, drawing us in with excitement and adrenaline. The fact that it is set in near future modern times actually helps Reader’s Digest things. All the action regarding the tunnel disaster and the buck-passing is distilled into the central control room and the scene itself.

The root of money speech was there, briefer but more than adequate. The breakout was there. The cabin was there, but barely, and wasn’t it in New Hampshire originally? And not sitting on a flood plain, immediately beside water? The wet nurse was well done, and well acted, in that you could see the character developing and thinking without a word.

Most of the casting was good, even great. Esai Morales, whom I knew from the ill-fated Caprica, was a better Francisco. Lillian was equally good, perhaps better, even if the original was the one to fit my mental image. This one was at least as good at portraying that form of evil. I could see Cheryl’s gears starting to turn before the movie was out. I couldn’t remember if she had her final scenes in 2 or 3, but must be 3. Dagny was better. Reardon was as good or better, though he could have supplied the voice of Batman in the most recent films. Robert Picardo rocks anyway, and did in this. Even having read about Teller’s small speaking role, I almost missed who it was, and there were faces like that of Michael Gross that looked familiar but I didn’t place at the time. Wyatt wasn’t in it, but they showed his picture on the news as the guy from Part 1. I’d love to see him back, even if he is not as described in the book.

On an unexpected note, I loved the soundtrack, or score, if that’s the better term. I don’t usually even notice a soundrack. I stayed through the credits mainly for the music.

I’m still amused by DB Sweeney as Galt! And we still haven’t seen his face, even at the end, when he finally becomes a person, not a question. I will forever think of him as Doug Dorsey from The Cutting Edge, one of my favorite “good bad movies” of all time. I’ve watched it at least six times. In Part 3, seeing him in the actual role may allow me finally to picture him otherwise.

There was one point when I thought we might actually see Danneskold, who has been almost entirely left out of the movie adaptation, but it proved instead to be the scene when Reardon calls his lawyer and finally orders up a divorce. About time.

The times depicted are worse and yet shockingly similar to our current ones. The actions of government are familiar, as are the consequences. The use of consequences of government to justify even worse actions of government are familiar. Even timeless.

Could someone see it without Part 1? Absolutely, if they’ve read the book. Probably, even if they haven’t. It doesn’t start with one of those total recaps, but you get enough of an idea the circumstances and background. Perhaps I am biased.

Overall, it’s a better adaptaion than we might have had cause to expect, considering the density of the source.

Hanson Signs

I had seen this local controversy erupt recently, but heard nothing more about it until yesterday, when I saw a link to a local news web site with a truncated, cryptic video and no text. I guessed that they were using the old move signs onto a truck trick, and it looks like I was right.

In fairness to one of the motivations for the original complaints, it is a somewhat bad spot to be distracted from driving. On he other hand, if you’re so easy to distract and can’t also pay attention to where you’re going, you shouldn’t be driving.

Generally I believe local sign regulations, bylaws, or whatever form the restrictions or requirements to grease palms take are somewhere between completely unacceptable and way overblown. Thus I automatically rooted for this guy, but I’d also have wanted someone with Squaw for Senate and Obama for Dunce in Chief signs to be allowed to keep them up. I know, weird not to apply my version of the rules (or lack thereof) one-sidedly, but that’s just how I roll.

Insurance Games

I work at a large company that provides a health insurance benefit for part time employees who have worked there over 1000 hours, or about a year. We’re drawing toward the end of the second year of that.

There are two plans. Let’s say that one costs $10 a month and has pathetic coverage, a catastrophic plan that is marginal until you have been personally responsible for $5250, after which it pays everything that it covers. That’s over 1/3 of my gross income there, and could easily be half of someone’s income, depending on location and seniority. That’s equivalent to an out of pocket maximum closer to $25,000 on the income I’d need in order to be out the other side of the donut hole. I am up over $3000 of that so far this year. That’s a lot of years of making sure the providers get at least $10 a month to avoid having it sent to collections.

The other plan, which I was on last year, costs five times as much, and covers much more. That year, I only saw a doctor a few times, and for whatever reason I never saw a bill. I’m pretty sure I should have seen bills for a portion of each office visit. I was supposed to have been on the same plan, but the company defaults your choice to the bottom plan, and in a tricksy accident I was not allowed to select the one I wanted. You know that’s a guarantee I’d actually need the coverage for that year. In six more days, I will get to select again, which is a relief.

I am also covered, into the beginning of next year, by the part of RomneyCare called Health Safety Net, which is backstop coverage for people who are poor, but not so poor, and have crappy insurance that they can’t actually afford to use but that satisfies the mandate. I had thought that covered all the things, and that was why I never saw one bill from the doctor last year. However, it covers stuff at hospitals and “community health centers” (what are those? where? who designates them? couldn’t tell you!), but not at regular practices. That would encourage one to hit the ER for something relatively mundane, which makes no sense, given the alleged overuse of ERs by poor people was the driving force behind RomneyCare. I have never done that in my life, and it would never occur to me, unless I had an emergency. The practice I use has after-hours urgent care that’s pretty easy to get into, and they have people on-call for emergency visits. Usually seeing a nurse practitioner, but no need for more for most things. Heck, when middle child broke her arm, we went there, not ER. NP saw her and then our family doctor, who is her boss, stepped in to help put on a cast. We didn’t even have to see the orthopedic people.

As an aside, the wife is on separate insurance, through her employer, and the kids are fully covered by RomneyCare, but we pay a monthly premium for that. Not sure how we’d do it if kids were on an employer plan for probably more additional premium than the state charges, but were not as well covered. I know! We’d magically up our income tens of thousands of dollars to get to the other side of the donut hole. Can I digress like a fiend, or what?

Where was I? The point of this was to discuss my EOB (explanation of benefits) for the 34 hours I spent at the hospital, getting a cardiac catheterization that resulted in two stents, followed by time in a room for observation – otherwise I’d have been home same day.

The cath and stent procedure was free as part of a large study I agreed to participate in for the privilege of it being free, and not having to be transferred to another hospital if they found blockage that could be treated with stents. (Bypass would have required transfer, since there is not a full cardiac unit there – thus the study showing the efficacy of hospitals being able to do stents without full cardiac units.) I thought that was cool, and a worthy goal. Cost didn’t matter so much, since RomneyCare would backstop the hospital charges.

On the EOB, there is no indication that anything about the event was “free.” It may be that there is some tiny portion of the charges that is what they actually meant that is not noticeable in its absence. The hospital billed over $60,000 for the 34 hour stay, plus another $2500 for the hospitalist in charge of me for most of that time. Great guy. Chatted with him twice, briefly. He even gave me his cell number in case I needed anything after I got home and couldn’t reach anyone. Even in the middle of the night… call. Except… his number was nowhere on any of the paperwork. Oops.

About $40,000 of the total on the main bill was “physician” charges. Since the hospitalist was covered elsewhere (and the insurance actually covered all but around $400, after discounting it to about $1600 they’d actually cover), that was all for the excellent cardiologist who did the “free” procedure and presumably the anesthesiologist. I expected the retail on the procedure not to be cheap. Specialized room, team of people, special prep and recovery area, special skills and equipment… but, yeah, don’t think so, especially “free.” The room overnight, amazing nurses, meals, whatever… those were apparently around $4000-5000 of the total charges.

Anyway, insurance denied most of it, either not covered or separately billed items already included elsewhere not being allowed. I maybe should have called this “hospital games,” since the culprit here appears to be the hospital, but I suspect this is what they have been trained to do by the government and insurers, as self-defense. If my old business could only have collected 30% of what we billed our clients, our prices would have gone up accordingly, and every scrap of any billable time or expense would have been included. Like when I’d go to four people to solve minor problems in 15 minutes, that was our minimum increment of .25 hours (which was too low), it could instead have been four minimum charges for four incidents, making it 1 hour.

The part they didn’t deny, but discounted deeply, was the physician charges, implying that those are so large because they already incorporate all the supplies, labs, etc. Net result is almost as low an insurance payment for the 60k as for the 2.5k. The other thing they paid is a tiny indigent care surcharge the state collects.

I was pretty amused by the whole thing. I’d never be able to pay my share of it regardless, so as well for them it’s backstopped. But it makes me wonder what they bill RomneyCare now, and what that coverage allows them to get paid for. Is the 60k thing a ploy to get a ton of state money? Or will the state pay only what the insurer left me for a balance? No idea. What should happen is I will either never see a bill from the hospital, or I will remind them of HSN if I do, and will never see anything else about it.

I was opposed to RomneyCare, and can’t believe I am supporting Mitt for President, not that there’s a choice, but with actual enthusiasm. It has been good to us, though. Not that times should have been this rough. I call myself “pragmatic libertarian, because I’d love to see that pure society, but we have to get there from here. You can’t just snap fingers and make it so. You have to backtrack through the bramble maze. People can’t be left in the lurch as if there is and has always been a free market economy. It’s an interesting question, then, how you backtrack to FDR, undo the effects of wage controls that made health insurance a free perk of employment that could differentiate employers, undo the effects of insurance being for maintenance, not “insurance,” and undo the effects of later adding Medicare/caid in part because of the effects of FDR on the market, making matters vastly worse. You can’t just press Ctrl-Z on entrenched policies and their aftermaths. I hope we can make a start, though, before it gets out of hand.

$63>$5

When I got my stents, they put me on Effient, which is now $63 a month for my copay. At the time, we asked why that versus Plavix, which is $5, and the hospital cardiologist thought it possible, even likely, that my regular cardiologist (a funny description for someone I have seen once) would switch after a month of “and we mean it” treatment at the hands of the newer drug. I understand they have slightly different mechanisms, but the main thing is the result.

It’s been a month. Took my last Effient today, and have to get one or the other today, for morning. I am still waiting for a call back from cardiology. She is not in today, so they were leaving my cardio a message. We are so strapped this week, it borders on being not possible to fill the prescription, but not doing so could be deadly. Lovely situation. And one I’ll have to start planning around, so as not to be in it again.

Even if we get that drug this month, it’s a huge hit to the budget if we can’t switch, which is already hundreds a month in the hole. That’s a big kick in the balls, being worse off in real terms than before we increased our income hundreds per month this year, to the point where we are poised at the edge of the donut hole. Get into the donut hole, and suddenly costs are more than what you make extra, between tax effects and loss of income-based benefits of the sort we’d prefer not to need.

More school lunch madness.

Eldest child decides she doesn’t want milk at lunch and gets water instead. Thing is, milk is included in the price of the meal, but she had to pay an extra 50 cents for the water.

So they want to cut the calories in the lunches but make them pay for the calorie-free beverage. Nice. #obamalogic

I See People Ignoring This

Via Jeff Soyer, there is a potentially devastating SCOTUS case coming up, over which there ought to be much outcry. Odd to just hear about it now. But then, it’s odd it was upheld by the appellate court.

The case would block first sale doctrine on anything made, or with components made, in a foreign country. Imagine not being able to sell your used car! Or books, electronics, antiques… all without permission of the original manufacturer/IP owner.

I can see a textbook publisher being miffed by someone arbitraging the disparity between US and foreign prices, but arbitrage exists, it is economic lubricant, and it just points up what a racket textbooks are in the first place. Why was I spending $600 for a semester of college and having to pay $50 for textbooks in the early to mid eighties? A racket. It apparently hasn’t changed, except for tuitions going up even faster, and my college becoming a university and presumably costing more as a result of that as well.

Since we have learned over several years and changing composition that the Supreme Court cannot be trusted to make valid decisions, it may well be that they blow this one, perhaps not even nuancing it to allow personal/small scale transactions while making large scale arbitrage a no-no.

Donuts Can Be Deadly

I was thinking again about the whole part time schedule that precludes babysitting versus full time that requires it, and the costs associated with a modest amount of extra money. If I were to make 25k more, but need after school and full time summer care, that’s half-ish of the difference off the top. It would increase our tax burden, and that could be a quarter or more of the difference. The difference in school lunches comes to something like 2% of the difference. Health costs might be neutral, if benefits are supplied. There would be immediate need for a car purchase, and costs like as would increase. Depending on exact details, there would likely be more convenience purchases of food, if not necessitated by then at least lubricating the new arrangement. That’s just off the top of my head.

The more I think about it, the more appealing it sounds to give in and be a writer, and perhaps do other things that intrigue me, not staving off all added costs forever, but smoothing it out. The heart thing has me thinking more about living the time that remains, rather than sleepwalking it. Not in an abandon all obligations and pursue a mad dash through a bucket list sort of way, but in a care a lot less what people think and what I believe is expected or allowed.

Don’t Call Us…

Introvert’s view of phones, which sounds exactly right to me.

Speaking of which, after being a Verizon customer for 13 years, straight pone, then DSL, then FiOS for the last 6 or so, I am cancelling today. We have Comcast for internet and we have cell service through Verizon Wireless. The land line exists as a number that bill collectors know, and is archaic and unused. Well, except when I can’t find my cell that I set down somewhere unexpected in the house in which case making it ring is a good locator. Since Verizon effectively refused to eliminate the phone service from our plan, and has gone up and up, the best way to eliminate the unwanted phone service and save money to boot was to invoke the competition.

What Verizon doesn’t seem to grasp yet is that they are now an internet connectivity company, which just happens to generate marginal added revenue/added value for customers in the form of phone and TV service. I suppose it would be easier to grasp that if FiOS or the equivalent were rolled out everywhere they service.

Comcast seems to have arrived at that realization to a greater degree. They are internet, and also they offer TV and phone. Perhaps easier to make the leap, having not started as The Phone Company.

Wireless companies face a similar struggle with recognizing what they are. They are wireless data (internet) services, which happen to be more closely associated with phones than anything, since that is the primary small device through which data services are accessed. Personally, I don’t have a smartphone, but even for me my cell phone is for texting first, calls a distant second. I’d love more capability, but I’d also love to be able to see the screen… oh, and afford it. Which is ultimately what the Comcast switch is about. For a year, we save upwards of $70 a month. We always have to option of switching based on new customer deals – for internet service alone – from Verizon once the initial rate expires, but we’ll see.

Indoctrination*

Eight year old daughter and libertarian-in-training: “Why do we have to say the pledge of allegiance at school every day?”

Me: “Because they’re communists.”

Daughter: “Commu-WHAT!?”

Me: *Laughs* “Communists.”

Daughter: “What’s a communist?”

Me: “It’d take too long to explain. Let’s just say the pledge is a form of indoctrination.”

* Or: Fun with hyperbole, just wish it were more hyperbole and less close to reality.

Perhaps Just Re-election is a Coup

This is and interesting take on the idea of a coup, with MSM as the long-term perpetrators, not specific to a particular candidate. It’s certainly less messy than Obama either losing or not daring to let the voting occur, and Romney would be simply a minor setback along the way, one that can be managed, and has already been rendered squishier than might have been. The real antidote here might be Gary Johnson, and who is it that controls, even more than collusion between the major parties, who has visibility and a presence in debates? The media.

Monday

For some reason, typing “Monday” lodged ELO’s The Diary of Horace Wimp in my head. It always felt applicable to me, and oddly still does. Seems to oversimplify things a bit. Even after I managed the key part in an odd sort of way, I failed totally on the ironic “life” part at the end. Anyway, not what the post was about, though it’d do, since the main point was to post something rather than nothing, given stuff I have to do the rest of today.

Monday is the day I put my pills for a week into my AM/PM pill holder. One in the PM, five in the AM to take with food, and there is one that doesn’t go with the rest, which I have to take half an hour before eating. Just to keep things even more exciting. If I were taking the vitamin D supplements I was supposed to and never got around to buying, that’d be one more.

At least Colcrys, for gout attacks like they one I am having and trying to get by without nuking, is three pills and done, within a 24 hour period. Funny for something that’s been known effective since about 550 AD to be $17 for three pills and not covered by the insurance that covers most of the cost of the other drugs.

If I get a chance later today, I’ll go back to reposting old stuff. I’m on a major set of them that all relate, several posts, and with dead links it has been interesting. When done, I’ll post a link collection and updated thoughts, which tie into Obamacare. Since we kind of cut off the old content by moving it, that gets some of the best of it where it’s easier to find anew and adds activity here, which is one of my jobs of the moment.

We have Comcast coming this afternoon – very promptly – because the do it yourself kit to fire up their service so we can cancel Verizon FiOS was not effective given the lack of signal coming through the wire into the building that was last used somewhere over seven years ago. I will be trying to make the place less messy before then. They probably see it all, but it embarrasses me, hard as it is to keep up with three kids, given our reluctance as housekeepers and distraction by other things. I like cleaning best when nobody is home at all, which brings it down to 2-3 days a week and a few hours of a couple others, during some of which I generally need to make up for sleep I don’t get at night. This week should be interesting, because we have a twice per year increase in volume of as much as 100% that is from one company. That’ll mean some days probably starting at 2 AM instead of 3 AM (we’re winging it tomorrow morning because no idea what volume will be the first day), and working as late as 11 AM. Which is possible, now that the kids are all in school! They didn’t like it much when I had to leave by a certain time some days the last couple times this happened. Though it’s still predicated on the spare car continuing to work.

On that note, coffee gone, breakfast finished, pills taken, delays exhausted, time to get on with the day. Shower, laundry while I clean, and of course cleaning. Hoping the cable modem can be setup in the living room and doesn’t have to go in my room, which is hoarder-like and has the cable buried behind furniture in a corner. That also is logistically better, even though the cable modem would be safer in my room. I’ll miss FiOS, but not the $70 a month we will save, and Verizon’s refusal to let us save money by eliminating our phone service and going internet-only, and Verizon’s prices going inexplicably up and up. It’s a great way to thank your long-time customers for their loyalty. Thirteen years, most of it with DSL or FiOS.