Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Moral of the Story:

Is Nessie In Georgia?

From what the Daily Mail says, a father-and-son duo found a very odd creature washed up on a Georgia beach. 
   Although it's thousands of miles away from Loch Ness, this part of Georgia has its own 'Nessie' phenomenon, named "Altamaha-ha" for its playful appearances in the Altamaha River.

Could this be one of the family?

The Loch Ness monster, though quieter in recent years, is also thought to still be around:

People are currently arguing about the Georgia creature, saying it's actually remains of a basking shark. But hey, that body doesn't look much like the deteriorated remains of something else...

Monday, March 19, 2018

Monday Stuff on the Way to Other Stuff: Bits & Pieces Updates

     We have so many balls up in the air now, it's difficult to see in between them. So far, everything's staying aloft. Cleaning out the house continues...though not as quickly as I always hope. The book continues... ditto. And  we've covered every one of the commitments we've needed to. It's meant less sleep and more absentmindedness, and probably some squirrelly behavior. But our friends are used to this.

     More appraisals this week. Nothing I can't handle. 

     More trying to figure which item goes where in which chapter. Writing a book is more like fitting together a large puzzle. Sooner or later, though, it all falls into place. 

     It was just supposed to rain today (Sunday). As of 2 a.m., we've got nearly a foot of snow on the ground. It's okay, though; we need the moisture. Badly. And it just means I stay home and write! 

    I just heard these great quotes on the movie Red Tails:

"Experience is a cruel teacher: it gives you the exam first, then the lesson."

"Politics is defined as delaying a decision until it is no longer relevant."

Did you see Michigan's amazing last-minute 3-pointer to win over Houston? Yow!

    And here are general scores, if you're following men's college basketball. Poor North Carolina got creamed. So did Michigan State. It's surprising, how many of the classic dominant teams are not in the running this year. 

On with life... and Stuff.

"I meant no disrespect." Hillary Clinton explains that she understands why some people would be insulted about her recent comments at the Mumbai Conclave. " I did not realize how hard it would hit many who heard it." After reading her explanation (the Facebook message is in this link), it seems like she's saying, 'I didn't mean what I said. After all, THEY [the interviewer] asked me about it -- so it's their fault. I just answered. Let's stop talking about this, quick [before you notice anything else], and look to the future!'' Strong comfort, Mrs. Clinton. I feel so much better now.

A really up-to-the-minute update on Libby Lehman -- from her sister.

Jenny Clark -- a quilter's blog.  And a good one, at that.

When your parents die broke.  This is when the Brick and I thank God that our parents on both sides were frugal types who taught us well.  (From Liz Weston) And if you enjoyed that:

What would it be like if you asked your parents to move in?

Hard cider, pruning...and a new baby. Sadly, the loss of Frugal Hound, too.  (From The Frugalwoods) Another good post from them:

How to handle family expectations -- particularly the expensive ones. 

O.J. Simpson's confession?  Sick...just sick.

Five 'practical' moneysaving tips -- that aren't.  A classic from yours truly.

Aquim Talib just got traded to the L.A. RamsDenver Broncos, are you nuts?!?

Three reasons NOT to follow Warren Buffett's stock ideas. At least one of them is solid, to my mind.  (From the Wealth Advisor)

Should I invest in Bitcoin?  (From The Simple Dollar)

Six years of Get Rich Slowly... and 15 tenets about finance and living well that J.D. Roth has learned over the years.

The Prague National Museum wasn't the only one to lose some valuable gemstones -- the American Museum of Natural History 'lost' a bunch!  And they're still gone... (From Smithsonian)

19 viral photos of amazing coincidences.  (From Insider)

10 ancient animals (and birds) that are still alive.  Including a parrot whose swear word and anti-Nazi vocabulary was said to have come from its owner...Winston Churchill!  (From Listverse)

Have a great week.

Photos thanks to Pinterest

Saturday, March 17, 2018

An illuminating Experience at Safeway

Normally, I kind of enjoy my stops at Safeway. It's not far from my usual haunts (the library, credit union, post office), the sales are good, and they're generally pretty kind at customer service.

Until today.

I needed some meds for high blood pressure, plus ointment for a leg infection. I went to Safeway's pharmacy right after the doctor's appointment to get them filled.

'You don't have any health insurance,' the pharmacy tech announced. That was strange; the doctor's office knew we did. Maybe our insurance company screwed up and told them wrong.  (But why did they confirm to the doctor's office that we did, then?)

'It's going to be $236 to fill both those prescriptions.'

Well, that wasn't happening. 

We got the ointment filled at CVS' Target for ten bucks. (You read that right -- ten dollars.) I went without the other med, until the Brick could call the insurance company and get them to fix my record. (They eventually did. We think.)

In addition to our regular health insurance, the Brick got us on this wonderful program called GOOD RX. It costs nothing to enroll, and can save you an incredible amount of money. Type in your medication and what's needed, and it compares pharmacy prices in your area. (Kind of a Gas Buddy approach, but for medications, instead.) If you haven't looked into this, you should. The only problem: you can't use it in combination with your insurance -- sometimes it's cheaper to go that route. Anyways, it showed that filling the prescription at Safeway would save over other places in town.

Back to the Safeway pharmacy. (We needed milk, anyways.)

'Your blood pressure medicine is $414,' the bland pharmacy voice announced. What?! Wasn't it going to be less than that for both prescriptions, a week ago? When I mentioned it, the pharmacist brushed me off: 'Prices for things change.'

I was polite through all this. Really.

'But I have this Good RX coupon that says the pills should cost $14.14,' I persisted.  (Yes, folks, that's how much money you can save, using this program.) 

'Oh,' said the pharmacist. She sounded almost disappointed.

I finally got the prescription, paid for groceries, packed up the car -- and realized I'd left my library book in the cart. Back to the store to get it -- but it was nowhere to be found. While I was at customer service, I realized I'd never gotten the $25 gift card Safeway was promising with 'new or transferred prescriptions.' Sure, I'd only paid $14.14...but it was a new prescription. Didn't it qualify?

Back to the pharmacy. The pharmacist gave me a slightly dirty look: it's YOU again.  I asked her why they hadn't offered a giftcard. She responded, 'We've been giving these out all day.' (So why didn't you mention it while I was standing here?)

     She said, 'You weren't eligible because you're on a public program: Medicare, Medicaid...See?  Here's a mark on your account that says so.' (Not that she'd checked, before. Or mentioned this.)

Gee, a week ago, you were saying I didn't have insurance at all. Now you've got me on public assistance??

Of course, she didn't believe me. Nope, I had to stand there another 15 min. or so while she called and verified that I wasn't, then slooowwwwly got out the giftcards. No apology that I might have been right. And certainly no suggestion that they did anything wrong. Or might have charged me a good deal more for the same medicine.

Eventually, I got the $25 giftcard. By that point, it was personal -- God didn't make us Hollanders stubborn for nothing.

(Oh, and I found my library book still tucked in the cart, which was racked up with the others at the entrance door. Whew. Library books are expensive.)


Don't always believe what you're told the first time around. If it doesn't seem quite right -- it probably isn't. Persist -- politely -- until you know for sure.

And don't think that pharmacy prices are the same, whever you go. They aren't.

     I will always wonder how many uninsured, poor, elderly or just plain desperate people heard that first amount -- and paid it. People who believed the pharmacists because, after all, they were professionals. People who thought they had no other choice.

     If I hadn't been treated with such indifference and/or arrogance in the first place, 
                or just so frustrated by that point...
                               I might have, too.

Postscript:  'Why are you so late?' said the Brick, after I got home. When I related my sad tale, he said, 'Gee, they always treat me well.' Maybe because he's male-- and cute?? Who knows...


One of our neighbors mentioned this, after a guy in an outlying neighborhood posted a photo of a 'lost dog' he trapped on one of the trails. P.S. It didn't look like a dog. He said it was "kind of vicious," with a "yip more than a bark." Maybe he was joking? After Charley's experience, I'm not as casual about the subject.

Anyways, this is courtesy of Bored Panda. Warning: swear words ahead.

If you ever find an abandoned puppy which you want to take home, make sure it’s not something else. For example, a coyote.
This is exactly how Justin Bogh felt when his wife Kayla Eby sent him a pic of a “cute little dog” she “found” outside which was obviously a coyote. His reaction was priceless. Justin even jokingly asked for a divorce.
Turns out it was just a prank by his wife. Kayla, a preschool teacher from Seaside, Oregon, created the pic in Photoshop, and now their conversation is taking the internet by storm. You can read it below.
More info: Facebook
Image credits: Kayla Eby
Image credits: Kayla Eby
Image credits: Kayla Eby
Image credits: Kayla Eby
Image credits: Kayla Eby
Image credits: Kayla Eby
Image credits: Kayla Eby
Image credits: Kayla Eby
Image credits: Kayla Eby
Image credits: Kayla Eby
Image credits: Kayla Eby
Image credits: Kayla Eby

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Erin go bragh.

I Triple-Dog-Dare You

Just for fun...

then say, "Shhhhh. Don't tell anyone..."

The Moral of the Story: