Friday, August 31, 2007

catch up time

Didj'a ever wonder:

Watching a show yesterday, which was rated as MA (yes on Cable, but not on one of the premiums) and it seemed as if the commercials were more risque than the show itself. The lingerie commercials with the models in the skimpiest of underwear and the camera focusing in on the girl's crotches (the girls helping along by doing splits and squats, etc) Who says sex doesn't sell?

At the local supermarket, watching the young moms with their offspring walking around in jeans and shorts cut so low and so skimpy and so tight that you could clearly see everything they owned.

Then there are the ones with the short tight skirts who are constantly pulling the waist up, and the hem down.

What fascinates me is that these girls are dressed in clothing that would make a street walker blush, and yet they seem to get get annoyed when people stare at them, or at least drool in their direction.

Go figure,

So yesterday I turned on my machine and - nothing! Could not connect to any site. So I called my ISP, they checked had me run some tests and said it wasn't them. They gave me the tech support numbers for Symantec (my firewall) and Microsoft (everything else). Worked on it all day, finally deinstalled the Norton Software, still nothing.

This morning I tried again, an everything is fine. Go fugure!

It turns out that my seven years at Unisys vested me in the pension plan, and as of 1/1/2008 I will start to collect a substantial monthly benefit. Nice.

Mid-September I have an appointment with Social Security to sign up for Medicare. Meanwhile the daily mail brings new offers from insurance companies to provide me with Medicare supplemental coverage. I need to learn more about the whole process before I make a committment.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lazy Sunday

Required weather comment: can you say magnificent - try humidity at 20% temperature at 78 degrees, and sunny almost cloudless skies with just a hint of a breeze. That was yesterday, it was so nice, Mother Nature decided to repeat it today, and maybe even tomorrow.

On Friday my niece Corrie and her husband Brian had their third boy, The young man's name will be Lucas Donovan Aljian. He will join his brothers Sebastian Conner and Oliver Duncan. I get the feeling that Corrie and Brian have a love of things English.

Last week My daughter Hillary's very good friend (maybe best friend) Felicia gave birth to a little girl who she named Brooklyn Emma Levy. Yesterday, following Jewish tradition they all went to the synagogue and during the Saturday morning service amidst other Bat Mitzvahs, and ceremonies, she was given her Hebrew name.

After the service everyone attacked the luncheon, bagels, cake, salads, drinks, etc. Then friends and family were invited to Felicia's home for more lunch, bagels, cakes, salads and drinks. By the time we got back to my daughter's house I was stuffed fuller than a Thanksgiving Turkey. Thankfully I got to go home, while Hillary and her family go to go to a reception for one of the little girls who was Bat Mitzvahed that morning.

This was the first time I had been to a synagogue for a service since my granddaughter Daria's baby naming - seven years ago.

My son, who has issues with calendars, etc. apparently though that my grandson Jake's birthday party was Labor Day weekend and agreed to have me pick him up in Manhattan and bring him back.

As it got closer, it turns out he finally check what I was telling him about my plans with his calendar. He called me, concerned that it would be very crowded in my car , what with me, he and Misun and Lindsey and Daria. I told him that I wouldn't be uncomfortable, and that generally it was a five passenger car that it seated five comfortably, and that it had plenty of luggage space.

Then he asked if I could pick him up (in Manhattan) some time after 4:30 on Friday, I had already told him there was no way I wanted to take the time to stop up for a visit to his new Condo. When I reconfirmed that I would pick him up at around noon, things started to unravel. Turns out that not only did he need to be picked up after 4:30, but he also needed to be back by 9:00 AM Monday because Misun had a doctor's appointment. No way I could do either.

Leaving mid-Manhattan at the height of rush hour to drive across Connecticut would get us to Jessie's close to midnight. No way. So Micah will try to make other plans. I told him my offer of a lift still stood if he could conform to my driving schedule, especially since I would have Lindsey and maybe Daria in the car.

On a lighter note: I am sure everyone has seen the GEICO commercials, there are two sets, the Gecko, which are extremely well done, and always fresh and amusing, and the newer Caveman series, which are equally well done. Interesting thing about these commercials is that the sponsor's name gets fixed in your mind. Some previous successful commercials from other advertiser were very memorable, but people had a tough time remembering the sponsor's name. Everyone knows the GEICE Gecko and the GEICO Caveman. Which brings me to the point of my story - yesterday I saw a TV ad for what looks to be a new series in the fall, about modern Cavemen to air on ABC, inspired by... the GEICO Commercial.

Also, check out the following:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hazy, hot and very, very humid

Normally I would fill this space with some comments about my recent activities, but alas, I haven't had any recent activities. Isn't that a sad commentary in and of itself? I have been preparing for my drive to Connecticut next week for my grandson Jake's birthday party. I have had the present sitting on my table, all wrapped for quite some time. Thankfully my daughter, his mother, has been diligent in helping me with the latest things he is into. A few years ago it was truck, then Spiderman, and now transformers. Funny how his likes seem to track with the latest movies.

The weather outside has been brutal, at least for me. There are those who just live this weather so they can sit outside by the pool and bake, or toast themselves. Feels great I guess while you are doing it, but after my last trip to the dermatologist to have small skin cancers removed, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and that I would stay out of the sun, at least I would unless I was mostly clothed.

It will be nice to see Jessie and the kids again. It has been a while. However I have this feeling of dread arising from my previous experience with this weekend trip. 9/11, Katrina, and my home flood, all happened on this weekend What can happen this weekend.

On a lighter note I will have company for a good part of the trip, I will be picking up my son Micah and his wife Misun in Manhattan and taking them to the party, and then bringing them back on Monday. That should give all of us plenty of time to catch up and get re-acquainted

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


On Monday, my brother Howard sent me a cartoon which I though was so cute I just had to post it - the source URL is but I am including it here to save you the trouble. I guess you have to have been there to really appreciate the humor in it.

An observation: The media has been filled of late with stories about all of the young actors, actors and celebrities (just what that is I don't know) but they all seem hell-bent to either kill themselves or wind up in jail. Young women like Lindsey Lohan (an excellent actress by all accounts) who has too much money, too much libido and not enough supervision seems bend on self destruction, and seems to enjoy letting the Paparazzi photograph her lack of underwear - what a waste. Then there are the Paris Hilton types - who seem to relish the idea that their boyfriends (or one night stands) are publishing they sexcapades on the Internet. Maybe the public eats this stuff up because these people have more money than they know what to do with. and can spend money on things the rest of us can only dream of, and do things which would get any of the rest of us tossed in the slammer quicker than you can say - busted. Maybe we live vicariously through them.

I went for my third visit to the clinical study center and all looks good. They will give me a new supply of pills tomorrow but today they did another EKG and took lots of blood. Apparently the blood is shipped to the sponsor and that is how they know who is getting what dosage, if any, and what effect, if any, the medicine is having.

Something new, they hooked me up to a portable automatic blood pressure monitor that I have to wear for 24 hours. The cuff stays on my arm and the machine, about the size of a largish digital camera is in a little bag, which is on a strap that hangs from my neck sort of like a purse. I have to wear it even when I am sleeping and bring it back tomorrow morning when they download all the tests to a PC. The machine takes one BP reading every ten minutes. It is not uncomfortable, or heavy, but it does restrict the movement on my left arm.

Interesting, I was talking with the doctor running the study and he said that maybe when I am finished with this study he will enroll me in one of his Diabetes studies. Apparently I am a good test subject

Saturday, August 04, 2007


So last night I received a phone call from my primary's nurse. I told her about the hospital run-around and asked her to check wkth the doctor to see if this test was all that urgent, could I possibly postpone it until it was covered by Medicare.

, and the doctor said - sure, no problem, it can wait.

I have posted my resume on several job sites and have been getting a bit of response. It is hard for me since for the last seven or so years I haven't been doing much of anything in the field I am seeking to reenter - writing and proposal work.

Apparently however my age is outweighed by my experience - we shall see.

Friday, August 03, 2007

did'ja ever wonder?

In the middle of July I had an echo cardiogram for the study I am participating in. Nothing special about it, just a bit messy. Earlier this week the study folks sent the results to my primary physician. Now the doctor conducting the study reviewed the results and wasn't concerned, but my primary, who loves tests, decided he wanted more information. So he asked that I take a Pulmonary Function test at the local hospital.

I called to make the appointment and they couldn't make it because they had no doctor's orders. So I asked them to call my doctor for the information they needed. So far - normal operating procedure.

They called and the idiot who answered at the doctors office said no such test was asked for by the doctor.

So I called the doctor's nurse and asked what gives. She was very apologetic and said there was a mix-up but she would call the hospital with the orders.

I waited a suitable length of time and called back for the appointment. No problem - they had the orders right there. Oh by the ways, says I, how much will the test cost. Here's where it gets interesting - the lady said she had costs on all the other procedures but not that one. But, she said, I should bring some method of payment plus a photo ID, etc.

About 6 PM that night I got a call from some one else at the hospital telling me that I needed to call their financial Counselor to talk about payment schedules and other financial stuff, but she couldn't tell me the price either. Now I was getting frustrated. It seemed like this test would cause me to take a second mortgage to pay it off. So this morning I called the financial counselor, she referred me to someone named Barbara, who referred me back to financial counseling. BTW she couldn't or wouldn't tell me the price either.

So I called scheduling and told them that until someone could tell me how much this would costs I wasn't going to take the test.

Now this is probably the standard run-around, but what is most interesting is that if I hadn't seen that 30 second spot on TV looking for study participants, I wouldn't have had the echo cardiogram, and my primary wouldn't have had the report to look at and would never have considered the test at the hospital, nor the echo itself. Can't be too important. I think I will wait until I am covered by Medicare (four months away) and then take the test.