I've also been told I have little tact, so if this offends you simply ride on.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Michael row your boat ashore... somewhere else

My neighbor Mike has issues dealing with life mainly because anything out side of his own self-cognizance has relatively little importance.  Here's an example.  Seven years ago his daughter Amy got married.  At that time Amy worked at a resort in Ocean City, Maryland, and owned a home about 5 miles inland.  One sunny afternoon, as I returned home from work, I saw Mike standing on his front sidewalk talking to a man I didn't know.  Anyway, Mike sees me get out of my truck and waves me over.  "Come look at what I got Amy for a wedding present."  When I walked over, I saw this very nice sailboat, teak interior, with it's mast up, sitting in the yard beside his house.  "Oh," I said, knowing I sounded surprised, "you bought her a boat."  And, of course, that is what he had done.

Amy's boat
And he'd done so without asking Amy if she'd like a boat as a wedding present, which turned out to be something she did not want at all.  Amy doesn't sail, and neither does her husband, in fact neither do Mike nor his wife Karen.  He bought his daughter a boat for her wedding because in his head he could easily picture her taking them out sailing every time they visited.  But since Amy didn't want the boat, the thing has been sitting in Mike's side yard, wrapped up in tarps, for 7 years.  Sometime down the road Mike and Karen will be selling their house, they've told me that is the plan.  I have no doubt that the boat will be part of the package.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

New Kid in Town

My street is lined with old houses, mine being one of the oldest at 110 years old.  Their age means lots of hardwood:  flooring, trim, you name it.  In the walls of most of them, you can still find the piping used for gas lighting, both upstairs and down.  These houses have value.  When people move in they tend to stay for quite some time.  As a result, I was quite surprised when my neighbor John and his wife and two daughters put their house up for sale.  Evidently a couple of months back a headhunter called and offered him a job down in Houston and he accepted.  The house was on the market for about a week before being sold and closing was last Tuesday.
My neighbors Karen and Mike are going to miss John and his family, they thought they were simply ducky dandy.  Me?  I thought the little girls were spoiled rotten.
Anyway, I asked Mike if he knew who had bought the house and he replied sounding more then a bit disgruntled "some new kid."

The new kid's house
He went on to say "he's a computer geek and makes $200,000 a year."  And then he added "and he's young, 24 years old... and single."  This is not the kind of 'new kid in town' Mike would like as a neighbor.  It's the single bit, you know?  The possibility of having another gay guy in the neighborhood?  So I said to him "good, it's about time we got some young blood in the neighborhood."  All he did was grimace and look away.
I wouldn't be surprised if one of these days I didn't see a 'For Sale' sign in front of Mike and Karen's house.  That would be fine with me.  She's nice but he's weird and it wouldn't surprise me if one of the reasons John took the job down in Houston was to get the girls away from Mike.  Anyway, it will be interesting to see how he handles the new kid in town.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Big Seig goes to the Vet

I took Little Seig to the Vet yesterday. At 5 months and 4 days of age, he weighed in at 52 lbs.  He is now called Big Seig.  One of the things they did was his prep blood work for his surgery.  That's right, he's going to have his little jewels removed, which, even now that he's known as Big Seig, are still fairly little.  Which is why they're being removed.  We don't want them to grow much bigger.  The total bill for his visit was over $322, of that, the blood work cost $66.  The most expensive charge was for 6 months of Frontline.  With so many people giving me advice on which is better (Advantage, Advantix, and Frontline) why did I go with the Frontline?  I had a coupon, so I thought I'd be getting a deal, eight months for the price of 6.  Hell No!

Big Seig at 5 months and 5 days

  You see, I had the Amazon cost of Frontline running though my head, not the Vet cost.  You see on Amazon I can get 6 months for $67.  The Vet charged me $96.99.  No deal there.  Which is why I almost always buy either the Frontline or the Advantix through Amazon.  Now I don't mind spending money on my dogs, I do, however there should be a little bit more of a 'fair market value' in the health products they sell.
Anyway, after his jewel removal, his visits should be much less expensive.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Damn good Fury Road

Well, I finally went to see "Mad Max - Fury Road" last evening.  If you're expecting a drama, with dialogue moving the story forward and peppered with moments of Saturday afternoon matinee CGI carnage, this is not the film for you.  Or if you're expecting massive amounts of CGI action akin to the Avenger's films, again, this is not the film for you.  Fury Road is an action film, however there is very little CGI, in fact there were about 110 stunt men and women used during the production.
There is also quite a lot of substance dealing with women and their reproductive rights, they are more than just breeders.  When an older woman shows a younger woman a purse full of seeds, the thought that went through my mind was, well, all women carry a purse full of seeds.
I thought Nicholas Hoult, as a young man dying of cancer (he's tattooed and named his tumors), was very effective as he learns there are many ways to get to Valhalla, some far more noble then others.  And Charlize Theron as a one armed woman trying to find redemption for her past sins is very, very good.

No CGI here, that's all real
As for George Miller, most people don't realize he's spent most of his life putting out message films.  They don't know he's already won 2 Oscars.  He won his first for writing the screenplay for "Babe," you know, the talking pig movie?  And his 2nd for "Happy Feet," the animated feature about the dancing penguin who just doesn't fit in to a conservative society.
During award season, I suspect we will be hearing "Mad Max - Fury Road" quite often and that will be just fine with me for it is definitely on my list of damn good movies.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

BJ puts on his shirt

That's right, after nearly 12 hours of game play, and after killing over 200 Nazis, BJ Balzkowicz has put on his shirt.  Interestingly enough, he didn't put it on because he was cold, or because he got tired of running around half-naked, he put it on because he was told to put on a shirt.  Of course, maybe he donned additional clothing because he sensed that very shortly he be battling burning, Nazi zombies... and, well maybe, wearing a shirt might help,

That's right, burning Nazi zombies, some of them dropping from the zeppelins moored over Wulfburg.  

Just a bit earlier in the game, when he arrived at a tavern, a girl asked his name he replied, 'they call me BJ' and she responded with smug humor.  I just find the whole thing a hoot.  Eventually he's going to have to take down Helga, yes, that Helga, the one wearing a leg brace because she was afflicted with polio as a child, the main Nazi villain of the game.  Hopefully, at some point in time, BJ will find it necessary to take of his shirt.  I mean, what's not to love about a blonde, muscular Nazi killing machine?

You do know what I'm talking about, don't you?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tick Me Off

Yes, it's that time of year again when those pesky, six-legged parasites want to play friendly with dogs.  Sometimes they really want to be friendly with you, too.  My neighbor says they are bad this year.  He tells me both he and his wife and their dogs have had problems with them.  As for myself, so far I've pulled 3 off of Seig and 1 off of Lilly.  Not one of them was feeding, they were all just sitting there looking a bit paralyzed.  I suspect this is because my dogs get their monthly treatments of Frontline.  As you might suspect, I show the ticks absolutely NO MERCY!

They have all been smashed and then flushed.  Since I use Frontline, they are both Flea free as well.  I use the topical formula.  The idea of feeding my dogs meat flavored chews which kills fleas and ticks tends to bother me a little bit.  It is, after all, giving them a monthly dose of poison.  Way back when my Vet told me about it I asked myself, would I rather eat the poison or put it on my skin.  Actually, it wasn't even much of a question.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Olsen Scmolsen - who cares?

I was scanning through news headlines and in the entertainment section of one periodical I saw that John Stamos is heartbroken the Olsen twins will not be on Fuller House.  Who cares?  Not me.  I never had even the remotest of desires to watch the original show.  You see, I didn't care back then, so why should I care now?
Anyway, all I really knew about the twins is that they made shit load of money.  Wanting to educate myself, if only slightly, I went online and did some research.  Both Mary-Kate and Ashley grew up to be... short women, the tallest is 5'2".

Neither one of them seems to smile very much, though the one seems to smile a bit more than the other.  Perhaps that's because during their childhood they were constantly being cued on when to smile and when to laugh.  I don't know.  Do you think I really care?  Nah.  Do you think they care?  Nah.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

When Health Insurance gets it right

The first time The Arlington Group put through the claim for my back surgery it was denied, yesterday I received the results of their appeal.  Surprise, surprise, this time the claim was approved.  However, I'm getting a second opinion because of A) the initial denial, and B) things have so drastically improved since my initial visit to Dr. Kutz.  How drastically have things improved?  On my first visit I had no strength in my right leg and it was nearly impossible to lift my foot more than an inch off of the floor.  This morning I carried the walker I'd been using during the first month out to the car.  That's right, I carried it down three steps and across the lawn.  What makes this so totally ironic is that in the appeal, Dr. Kutz emphasized that I could not walk without the aid of a walker.

That's not true anymore.  What's even more important is that even though I'm not 100% back to where I was before I started falling down, I'd say that I'm at least 80% there.  Do I have arthritis in my lumbar region?  Most definitely.  Is it so bad I need to have 4 of my lumbar vertebrae fused together?  I suspect probably not.  Will I be back to work in a month?  I'd say most assuredly so.  
Now I know everybody complains about health insurance, how expensive it is and how it covers so little, but this time?  I think they got it right.  The fact that my Orthopedic Specialist  needed to enhance information on the appeal to my initial claim is not so good.  Is his diagnosis wrong?  I don't think so.  I do believe that when it came to treating my arthritis The Arlington Group tried to sell me a Gold Plated Cadillac when a simple Ford Focus would have done the trick.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Duggars - hypocrites from hell

Not being a Biblical Scholar I have no idea what the Bible says about brothers who grope and fondle their sleeping sisters, but I'd be willing to bet they're pretty much damned to hell.  What kind of punishments to such molesters face?  I don't know that either, perhaps stoning.  Of course, being a civilized society we don't stone people anymore, at least not in this country.  I suspect Josh Duggar is really glad about that since it turns out he molested four his younger sisters 12 years ago.    To put that into some perspective, if he was 15, they would have had to have been at least 14 years old and younger, perhaps as young as 10 years old.  Now how sick is that, fondling your 10 year old sister in her sleep.

The caption for this pic was "never been kissed"
The family is being eviscerated for being hypocrites, and rightly so since they, themselves, have had no problems spewing hate and passing judgement.  I find the whole thing rather amusing, this family which has been pawning itself off for so many years as being wholesome, pure, and very Christian, has a very, very dirty secret.  Because the Statute of Limitations has passed, there is no legal recourse against the pedophile in the Duggar family.  Rather ironic, isn't it?  This family whom had no problem speaking out against the things they hate, is being spoken against.  They are being judged in the courtroom of public opinion.  It's not a good day to be a Duggar.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Gyllenhaal and the wrong parts

We have a local theater which plays films that are on their 2nd release,  so if you didn't get a chance to see something the first time it played in the area, you get a 2nd chance, and, since I have connections, I get in for free.  Anyway, my connection called yesterday and told me "Night Crawler" with Jake Gyllenhaal was playing for the next week and asked me if I'd like to go.  My response was "thanks, but no thanks."  I know there are a lot of people out there who would never turn down a free movie, no matter what was playing.  Not me.  I saw the trailer for this movie a while back and decided then and there it was not for me.  To be honest, old Jake creeped me out.

In spite of the blurbs on the poster the film is not considered "a classic," nor "a masterpiece."  You also have that catchy line beneath the title "if it bleeds, it leads,' which tells you exactly where this movie is going.  I suspect he did this film to show how "Oscar Worthy" an actor he is, because you know he really does want to win an Oscar.  In fact every role Jake Gyllenhaal has taken on in recent years seems to have only one goal, nabbing him one of those golden statues.  If he were to look at all of the Oscar winners, he'd see that strategy rarely works.  Later this year, if we want, we'll get to see him in "Southpaw," where he plays a boxer.  If Robert DiNero won for "Raging Bull," why shouldn't Jake win for "Southpaw?"
He needs to learn that it's not the part you play that wins you the award, but rather how well you play the part.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

My Mom's fat cat

I'm going to visit my Mom today.  Before my back issues, as a loyal son, I visited her every week, of course with my lumbar problems I have had a bit of a respite.  However, now that my health is improving my visitation will start again.  My brother says he, my sister, and I love our Mom dearly... honestly, what we really do is deal with her.  Take her cat, for example.  She named her cat Kitty (short for Kitty Cat) and she picked her up from the Humane Society shortly after my father died.  In the 10 years since, then Kitty has grown to be humongous.  Kitty literally weighs between 20 and 25 pounds.  She is very fat, visualize a bowling ball with stubby legs.  Lately my Mom has started telling people Kitty is big because she's a Maine Coon Cat.  Kitty is a very fat Domestic Short Hair, who is barely a foot and a half long.

Mom and her fat cat
And my Mom has been telling everybody: at the Supermarket, at the library, even her Optometrist.  That's right, my sister took with Mom to the eye doctor where she started a conversation with the receptionist by saying "You know, I have a Maine Coon Cat at home and I never knew they could get to be so big."  And you can't correct her, even in private, because she gets very angry.  As a result, we all end up sitting there listening to her prattle on about how she's told this person and that person how Kitty is a Maine Coon Cat.  What she has is a really fat cat.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My MRI & Me

Yesterday I drove over to the Arlington Group to pick up a copies of both my MRI and the X-rays of my lower back.  First of all, I have to say I was surprised by how busy they were - patients everywhere which truly didn't surprise me.  As I'd said early, they have a very good reputation.  Anyway, I had to sit and wait because they couldn't find the CD with my MRI and the X-rays.  After about 10 minutes the girl waved from the counter.  "Here, I've found them."  I toddled over and she handed them to me with a cheery "you have a good day."  I smiled and wished her the same.
It wasn't until I got home that I discovered she'd given me something extra:  the authorization for the release of my medical information.  This form is to be kept on file by them... and, of course, they don't have it.  You can see it there, lurking beneath the disk.

Anyway, this shouldn't have surprised me.  I suspect something went awry after my initial diagnosis and for reasons known to only them, they prescribed one of the most invasive, expensive treatments possible.  They had 33 days to pre-authorize the claim and didn't...  maybe they're just not used to having claims denied.  I don't know about you, but I'm fairly certain this is their send off present, that my doctor / patient relationship with the Arlington Group has now been severed.  This is life.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Putin on ice

Some times I look at the things making the news and I think, whoa, that's not newsworthy at all, like things about the Kardashians, and things about Putin.  Both he and they seem to be totally focused on self promotion.  Like this clip of Putin scoring eight goals.  I laughed at it.  The only thing that would have made it funnier would have been if he'd stripped off his jersey and flashed us one of his famous nipple shots while simultaneously hitting the puck into the goal.  I'm sure if he knew Kim Kardashian could score eight goals with a champagne flute balanced on her ass he'd try that, too.

Of course, maybe his pucking around is considered more newsworthy than the fact that another one of their rockets has crashed.  I'm not counting, but isn't that like 2 in 3 weeks?

On the serious side, I really did enjoy the trailer for Dwayne Johnson's new movie which played before Putin on Ice.  You see, I really do like a good disaster film.  If it makes a lot of money perhaps, and this is a really, really big 'perhaps,' but maybe if "San Andreas" is a hit, Dwayne could help out with Russian economy  since I've heard it's not doing too well.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

PT over surgery?

I finally heard from the Arlington Group on Friday regarding the copies of my MRI and my back X-rays.  Elaine told me she had just gotten my voice mails (left Tuesday and Wednesday) because their phone system was working improperly.  Right.  Even thought she was very pleasant, I could tell they were writing me off as a patient,  She said things like "if your insurance company approves the claim you have 6 months in which to have the surgery," and that my insurance company "is so difficult to work with."
My neighbor Karen, who is a claims processor for another insurance company, asked me what surgery the Arlington Group had planned.  After I told her she looked at me for quite a bit and then said "they're doing a 4 level fusion without getting a pre-auth?  Some thing's not right there."  I suspect she's correct, that someone dropped the ball at Arlington, or just did very shoddy work.
On 6/5 I go for my second opinion.  What I suspect this Orthopedic Specialist is going to say is that 5 weeks ago I traumatized the hell out of my lower back, the result of falling down so many times.  five weeks ago I couldn't lift my right foot more then 1 inch off the ground, that problem has completely gone away.  I couldn't go up or down stairs, now there's no problem as long as there is a banister.  I could only get around using a walker - today I only use a cane when I'm out in public.  I think my traumatized back is healing.

What do I think this new specialist will prescribe?  I suspect Physical Therapy and perhaps a steroid injection.  I am sure he's going to take a much more conservative approach to my lower back issues.  Hopefully I will be back at work in a month or so because sitting around is boring as hell.  And I don't mind exercising at all.  Jees, I have almost a full gym at my house, I would really like to start using the equipment again.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sandy Rios - worst Christian in America?

I'll tell you, you really have to laugh at the crazies out there, you know who I'm talking about, those idiots who let the most ludicrous shit fall out of their mouths and think it's rational.  Take Sandy Rios, for example.  This past week she inferred that the Amtrak crash may have been caused because the engineer was struggling with his sexual orientation.  Now let me be honest here, I had no idea who this woman was so I did what I usually do, a search on the Internet.  As always, I looked for an entry on Wikipedia first since they tend to fairly close to the truth.  I found zilch on her Bio page.  In fact, I found one of the warnings really funny: "this reads like a resume."  Now we all know that Wikipedia can be edited, which made me wonder why her bio wasn't chock full of phony fluff.

While she didn't come right out and blame the accident on a gay engineer, she did say that his orientation should be part of the discussion.  Me, I think we should also be discussing why a 65 year old woman (born in 1949), who's had plastic surgery to improve on God's work, and who evidently dyes her hair, is filled with so much hate for a minority group.
Recently the Pew Research Group came out with some rather surprising statistics:  the number of Americans identifying themselves as Christians is on the decline.  I think talking heads, like Sandy Rios, are one of the main reasons.  Why would you want to identify with a religion that seems to espouse so much hate?  Christians are supposed to be loving, yet Sandy Rios and her kind are more focused on being judgmental.  She doesn't seem to understand that she isn't special.  She is a bad mouthpiece and has absolutely no problem in letting turds fall out of her mouth.  

Friday, May 15, 2015

Avengers is good & the back fusion is bad

I received a call from Elaine at the Arlington Group this AM.  She told me it took her 4 days to get my voice mails because their phone system doesn't work...???  According to her my appeal is before the review board at Anthem Blue Cross and that, if it's approved, will be good for 6 months (which left me with ???).  Anyway, Anthem emailed me the criteria and (surprise, surprise) I don't meet it - no conservative treatment for 3 months prior to surgery.  When I told Elaine I no longer use the walker and only use a cane when I'm outside the house, she said "oh, really."  And when I told her I went to the movies last evening she said "oh, that's nice."

And I did go to the movies.  This is movie season, you know, and actually my biggest lament so far has been that I'm not going to get to see all of these really neat action movies on the big screen.  So, taking a cane with me just in case, I went with friends to see the new Avengers movie last night.

And I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I go to these movies to have fun, to be 12 years old again for a short time.  There are people out there who feel they need to analyze movies of this genre - I don't.  And I know there are people out there who are so caught up in the lore they find flaws - I'm not one of those, either.  I'm a buttered popcorn and soda man and the action on the screen doesn't jolt to a screeching halt I'm happy.  And I thought "The Age of Ultron" was a really, really good movie. 

The new Mad Max movie has just started.  I'm planning on going to see it next week. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Somewhere between a Cadillac and a Chevy Malibu

There I was berating both my insurance company and The Arlington Group, and then last evening I received the actual denial in the mail.  This morning I called OIP (Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvania) and made an appointment to get a second opinion.  Why? Because the denial was very specific about one thing - the spinal fusion.  They pretty much rebutted every  point my orthopedist had used to justify the surgery in the first place.  So I did what I should have done 33 days ago, decided to get a 2nd opinion.  I also called the Arlington Group and told them I was going to need copies of my MRI as well as my X-rays.  I have not heard back from them.

Things have changed in the past 33 days.  Back then I was falling down a lot - I don't fall any more.  Back the only way I could go up or down a staircase was on my butt - today I, as long as there are banisters, I can walk up and down.  Back then, the only way I could drive a car was by pulling up on my pants leg to move my foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal.  Today I have absolutely no problem driving.  I drove over to see my 81 year old mother on Mother's Day.  Thursday evening I'm going to see the Avengers.  So do I really need to have extensive back surgery, where they fuse the L2, L3, L4 and L5 vertebrae together?  I suspect this 2nd opinion is going to say 'not necessary.'

So, did the insurance company do right?  Probably.  Did the Arlington Group do me wrong?  Nah, I don't think so, not really.  They were most likely trying to sell me a fully loaded Cadillac when what I really needed Chevy Malibu.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Claim Denied

For those wondering how my surgery went?  Well, it didn't.  I received a call on evening of May 5, 10 hours and 40 minutes before my scheduled surgery telling me my insurance denied my claim.  The excuse given was that my insurance company had recently changed their criteria.  Now I do know, for a fact, that insurance companies do change criteria, sometimes quite often.  What has me more then a little concerned was that I agreed to the surgery back on April 2.  What I'm hearing from a lot of people is it should not have taken 33 days and some 13 odd hours for my surgical team to find out about this denial.  There is a last ditch effort in which there was a Peer to Peer doctor review to get a quick approval on an appeal.

So here I sit waiting while my FMLA slowly runs out.

Oh, and they know I'm not very happy.

And I keep think back to Tiara, and how she had such a difficult time getting my FMLA (leave of absence) form processed correctly.  Why?  Because on one of the times that I called I was told that she was in charge of forms.  Would someone whose responsibility it was to fill out all forms be the one person to file an insurance claim?  I'm thinking it probably is.  Which leads me to believe that she did just a shitty job filling out my insurance claim.

Friday, May 8, 2015

No problem with BJ

Do you ever wonder about certain nicknames?  I do.  Not those shared among friends, but those some people actually use as a moniker, in particular those comprised only of letters.  JT for example.  We have one of those where I work, a gentleman who first name does not begin with the letter 'J.'  His first name is actually Harold, yet everybody calls him JT.  And then there is that ubiquitous BJ.  Back when I was working Human Resources I once hired a girl named Alice.  I was taken aback when she told me every body calls her BJ.  When you mention BJ to a guy there are certain things that automatically pop into his head.  So, having a female tell you everybody calls her BJ is more then a little odd.  You have to question whether she knows what those letters imply to most men.

I play a lot of video games and right now I'm playing Wolfenstein, The Old Blood.  As a First Person Shooter, you are playing the lead character.  In this game his name just happens to be BJ Blakowicz, he's an American, and he's killing Nazis.  So what does he look like?  Take a gander below.

This is taken from the menu screen,  And he's shirtless.  And he's muscular.  And he's holding a phallic symbol gun.  Oh, and let me repeat myself, his name is BJ Blakowicz.  So, what's going through your head right now?  Me?  I don't have a problem with this BJ.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Keeping religion out of politics

A funny thing happened yesterday, Mike Huckabee announced his candidacy for President.  Why, you might ask is this funny?  Because he had stated way back when he said he was waiting for God's approval.  Now I know you're thinking to yourself, gee, that's not funny.  But it is, you see, because John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, is also waiting for God's approval.  Huckabee's announcement should be considered he's gotten the 'thumbs up' from Him.

So what does that do to John Kasich's impending announcement?  Put it on hold?  Or maybe he's going to say that Huckabee has already given him, His answer.  Why would the Supreme Deity tell both of them they should run?  He should only need one in the White House.

Of course the possibility exists they'll be running mates.  We could have President Huckabee and Vice President Kasich, would that be nice?  And if both do run, and both get their behinds wiped by someone like Jeb Bush, what does that say about their Deity?  Telling two men to run and both turning out to be losers?
Which is why our Founding Fathers tried to keep religion out of politics.  Someone's version of Christianity is going to end up taking it on the chin.  But then that may be the only way some people can get votes, which, if you ask me, is a very sorry way to get them.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Another FiOS failure

Well, I've just had anther grating experience with FiOS failed customer service.  Two weeks ago, when I got rid of their TV service, I was told that boxes would be sent to me so I could mail back their equipment.  I thought this was great as there is a Post Office on the way to the Giant where I do my grocery shopping.  However the boxes never arrived.  This morning I received an email from FiOS reminding me the equipment needed to be returned by 5/20.  Since I'm not going to be able to drive until 5/21, I contacted them to see about getting a 1 day extension.  Absolutely not. there is no way they can change that date.
They gave me 2 choices, I could pay UPS to come pick up the equipment and ship it back to them, or I could have somebody drive completely out of their way to either a Verizon Store, or a UPS store where they could be dropped off.  When I say out of their way, that's 5 miles from my house, not my brother's house, which would be another 12 miles out of the way, or my friend Patty's house, another 8 miles out of the way, or my friend Jack's house which is another 9 miles out of the way.  So, we're talking about more then a little inconvenience here.

In fact, their customer service agent Carol, did as little as possible.  When I told her how inconvenient this was her comment was "well, you asked me for a suggestion."  Now, is that anyway to treat your customers?  I had 2 of their services and now I only have 1.  There is a $650 charge if the equipment is not returned in time.  It will get returned in time, believe me, but there's no way I could recommend FiOS to anyone, except possibly to someone I really didn't like.  Do you think they care if they fail one customer?  Of course not.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Li'l Sig

My brother stopped by this morning so he and I could go to the store and stock up on dry dog food.   I got two 30 lb bags figuring that should take care of the dogs until I'm able to be more self-reliant.  Anyway, while he was here, I had him sign my Advance Health Care Directive.  He asked me if there were any specifics and I told him to "remember, if something does go wrong with my surgery, I don't want to spend the rest of my life as a hot house tomato."  It's a bit of a hassle having to fill out these forms but they are necessary, not that I think anything is going to go wrong, I just want to have all of my bases covered.

Anyway, every time he comes over he has to pick up Li'l Sig, who ain't too little anymore.  I suspect he does this more so to prove he can still pick up this 4 month old puppy.  And, as usual, he always has me take a picture with his phone.  Today I had him send me a copy.  Below is my brother holding Li'l Sig, my 4 month old Boxer puppy.

As you can see, he is not a wee little doggie.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

And the 2nd Fight of the Century will be....

Last night was the Fight of the Century, at least that's what they're calling it even though 20 years or so from now there will be another Fight of the Century.  Let's face it, there was a lot of hype leading up to the bout.  A friend of mine, who is not a boxing aficionado, sent me an email asking "who are you for?  Mayweather or Pacman?"  My response to him was "....?"  While a lot of people plunked down $100 to watch the Pay-per-View, I didn't.  I watched Parks and Recreation.  I suspect that five years from now most of those who paid to watch the fight will have forgotten most, if not all, of this not so prestigious event.

And it really is all about getting lost in the hype.  People want to be part of that singular moment even if, in reality, it is not that singular.  If you Google "fight of the century" the Mayweather / Pacman fight comes up at the top... however, you don't need special glasses to see that there have been quite a number of "fights of the century."  In fact, here's a listing of some of the greatest boxing matches of all time.

People need to realize that, only 15 years into this century, promoting something as the Fight of the Century has more to do with making money then anything else.  It's also why the 2nd Fight of the Century never be called that, no one wants to pay money for something that's 2nd best, they want the original.  How many people do you think would have signed up for last night's event if it had not been sold as the Fight of the Century?  I suspect the revenue would have been off a bit.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Little Wrenches

As I'd said about a week ago, I'd bought myself a futon.  Originally a friend of mine was going to help me with the assembly, however, since its early arrival gave me plenty of time, I chose to put it together myself.  Now some might have thought this to be a rather large undertaking since I am rather anchored to a walker until after my surgery.  Right.  I am not one of those who sits around when there is something needing to be done, no matter how much I might be hobbled.

I assembled the seat back day one.  On day two I put together the seat.  And on the third day put the frame together and mounted the seat and the seat back.  The walker wasn't as much of a challenge as I had been expecting.  What I really came to dislike was the 'alan wrench,' which was provided.  It was tiny, and there were a lot of bolts.  I took a picture of it along side a standard pen to show just how little the damn thing was.

That little wrench is all they gave me to assemble this:

As you can see, the dogs love it!  As someone who works for a home improvement retail giant I can safely say I tools galore; various screwdrivers of all shapes and sizes, wrenches, pliers... you name it, I go it.  Now I know not everybody has tools lying around, but everybody I know has a least one screwdriver.  And I understand the idea behind the little wrench is to provide the tool so people don't have to go hunting for one.  But it's so small it was the one complication which truly became frustrating.  Still I did put it together.  I just wish some of these manufacturers would allow for an alternative to the little wrench.