“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Friday, September 27, 2013

Five minutes til Midnight

I am drinking hot tea, because it doesn't have any caffeine in it.  I can't stand decaffeinated coffee but for some reason, the tea is ok.

It's raining again, but hot hard.  Just a steady drizzle coming down out there.  Sat out on the porch and smoked my pipe for awhile with the dogs, they were all keyed up about something and I needed them to settle down. No telling what set them off.

I am pretty sure that Monday was the last day I left the mountain.  Maybe it was Tuesday.  The wife will be home tomorrow evening, and we may go to town Saturday.  Last weekend she was too tired, and if she's worn out from work we will just stay home this weekend too. She can watch the shows she liked that the satellite receiver taped over the week, and I have some projects I can work on in the shop.  We're content with just staying up here unless we feel like going to town for supplies, or a movie and dinner.

Heard from my two brothers. They've been fishing off the Oregon coast on my youngest brothers boat. They go way out there, out of sight of land.  Not me.  I went on the great houseboat expedition with them on Lake Shasta some years back, but I'm not going out on the briny blue.  I have literally sailed the seven seas, but that was on big navy ships with a crew of sailors who knew what they were doing.  I'm not all that certain my youngest brother reaches the same high standards in terms of seamanship. He once went flying with me, so he says I should go boating with him.  Maybe when I am older and on my last leg, and looking for a way to avoid the nursing home. Not before.

Yesterday I was looking over my medical supplies inventory because a friend asked me to do a post on what we keep here.  Today I was looking over the medical supplies themselves because I accidentally cut a good gash in my leg. I've got it patched up enough to last until my wife gets home. She can fix it then, or decide we need to run into town. I won't do that unless I am about to lose the leg though, because the emergency room costs a fortune and our insurance doesn't pay all  of it. Besides, it's a chance for her to practice those skills she learned running her dad's mission clinic in Nigeria and Niger.

It just turned into Friday about five minutes ago, so I guess I should try to get some sleep. It's been a long day.


  1. Any new pictures of your Brother's companions? I remember he had some scenic friends :)

    And if he took them on the boat with him I would go in a heart beat and never notice we lost sight of land.

    1. You're thinking of middle brother. Yeah, the guy has the life that most older men would kill for. Lots of pretty chickaletas, a condo in Mazatlan, cabin in the Sierras, bungalo in Idaho. I wouldn't trade with him though. I doubt I could keep up that lifestyle for very long. : - )

  2. How did you get a gash on your leg? I would not go to my ER, so whatever bandaging I did would have to be okay. It not, I would drive 50+ miles past our ER to another county in Huntsville, AL.

    I find it easy to stay home.

    1. Practical,
      I have an orphan kitten in the barn that I am trying to raise. Was cutting open a sack of feed with a hunting knife when "Itty Bitty Kitty" tried to jump off a shelf. You can cut open a feed sack, or you can catch a kitten in mid air. You can't do both simultaneously.

      My wife can fix it. She'll be home this afternoon. I have more scars than a Greek Hoplite anyway. Some from being in the wrong place at the wrong time, others from acts of stupidity like yesterday.

      You can't really live in the woods and do all your own work without intermittent accidents.

  3. I will be interested to see your medical supplies post. We have some too and want to compare.

    1. I should have that ready soon, Kathy. Mostly I am working off my spread sheets so I don't have to do a lot of digging around.

  4. G'day Harry,

    Hope the leg is not too bad, better take some whiskey internally and externally just to be safe.
    I have been reading a lot of comments lately about the astronomical cost of health care in the US and I just can't understand it. Someone was talking about paying $8000 plus a year from memory, surely that can't be correct?
    After paying health insurance here in Australia for over 20 years I opted out and just use the Government insurance called Medicare which costs me 1.5% of my gross taxable income per year. If I go to a medical centre that bulk bills back to the govt. I pay nothing for a visit and all hospital care is free (although for many procedures there can be a waiting list but never for anything serious) I have to pay for medicines but many of these are also subsidised by the govt. which reduces the cost to me and I also try and use generic medicines which most chemists carry to also cut down on costs.

    1. Sgt.
      Our medical industry is utterly controlled by Big Pharma, the Insurance Companies, and Medical concerns. My daughter has Ehlers Danlos syndrome, and I am sure my wife and I have paid over $100,000 in medical bills in the last 20 years, not including what we pay for insurance.

      Here's how it works. I pay $700 a month for a policy, or rather, my wife does because we have a policy through the state as she is a teacher. Then we have to pay $3000 per person, or $7,500 for the family, each year before the insurance pays anything. That's called "deductible" When we go to the doctor, we pay a $55.00 copayment just to walk in the office. For the first $15,000 of family expense per year, we pay 20% of everything the insurance company allows, and all of what they don't. That's called "co insurance". So if I get a 1000 dollar medical bill , I pay $55.00, plus $200 co insurance, plus I pay all of what the insurance company doesn't allow. Let's say a doctor sends a bill for $1000 for a procedure. The insurance company then says "oh, that doctor has overcharged for that procedure, we only pay $200." That means I'm stuck with the difference of $800.00. They have a thing called "in network" which means the doctor says he won't charge more than the insurance company allows. But there are no in network doctors out here, I would have to drive to the state capitol to go to one in my case.

      So a lot of people won't go to the doctor or the emergency room unless they are in dire straits. And they shouldn't. I took my wife last year, and she was there in the hospital for four days. We got bills from the hospital, the radiologist, the emergency room, the emergency room doctor, the lab, housekeeping, and on, and on. Total cost was $7000 of which my insurance company paid about $1200.00. I got to pay the rest.

      When my daughter was in Vancouver, B.C. she was sick a lot, but she had B.C. care, their insurance, because she was on a student visa. Twice the ambulance had to come get her when friends found her unconscious on the floor of her apartment. She stayed in the hospital there multiple times, had many tests and good treatment. The whole thing, for the whole two years she was in B.C. cost me $100.00. People don't like socialized medicine because we hear all these stories about rich Canadians going to Florida for treatment, and how people have to wait for medical help in countries like Britain, and how you have to lay on a bed out in the hallway because there are no rooms. Maybe all that is true, but on the other hand, it's at least marginally better than a system where people can't go to the hospital at all because they can't afford to pay. There is an exception to all this though. If you are an illegal immigrant, you can prance into a hospital, run up huge bills, have babies, whatever and the state pays for it. If you are a citizen, then it's just "screw you, buddy."

      It's confusing but it's about to get a lot worse. Our premiums are going up considerably now that "Obama Care" is going into practice. We have already been told our old insurance is not going to be offered after January, and we have to choose a Blue Cross plan. Blue Cross is without a doubt the biggest bunch of crooks and sons of bitches on the face of the earth. We had Blue Cross when my kids were young and I wound up having to go to court to get the sob's to pay charges on the kids that were both allowable and in price within their own computer system.

    2. I'm so thankful we have the National Health Service in the UK, people moan about it as there are often waiting lists for non emergency operations or bed shortages etc.In an emergency knowing you can just call an ambulance and not have to worry about finances is amazing and something we in the UK often take for granted. Ian recently had an emergency - emergency ambulance to hospital 60 miles away, CAT scans, MRI scans, blood work, 4 week stay in an intensive care unit, on going treatment, a portable ventilator and oxygen supply provided at home - financial cost to us = NIL.
      I shudder to think how we would have afforded that treatment under your system. People here don't value our health system, as with most other things that don't have a monetary cost.

    3. Well, you know, people here are always damning the health care in Britain and Canada. I guess if you had lots of money and could afford to pay for your medical care here, there is none better. Unfortunately, the hoi pol-oi, such as myself and many of my friends, are already drained dry by the health care system and have to decide how long we can hold out before we have to go to a doctor. I don't think things will be any better off under Obama Care, which has been amended many times to please the insurance companies and the special interest groups.

      If that had happened to your husband here, even if you had good insurance you'd be looking at many thousands of dollars debt. You don't just pay the hospital, you pay all the dogs and ponies that gather around like vultures so they can bill you for "consultation." A hospital is the only place I know where you go in with no idea what you are going to have to pay for the services rendered.

    4. hi, ozzie!
      mine is 1000$ per month until i go on medicare next year.
      last year, out of over 12,00$ the insurance company paid out about 74$ on me.
      our doctor said--i need to see you.-- i said-- i can't afford it.--
      if i had the 1000$ per month i could probably pay it all and have leftovers!!
      deb harvey

    5. Your right about that. There's no way to win with medical insurance here that I've found.

  5. Another thing I need to work on..medical supplies.
    my dad and you have the same feelings of being on boats with family members. My brother took my dad out on his catamaran once, a wave hit, they flipped over... My dad said "Never Again" Then Senior and I scared the crap out of my dad once when we had a center console boat, we were going shrimping, and Senior had it on full speed, then we hit the wake of a passing tug boat..my dad was sitting at the foremost front, took a huge wave right in the face... we never got any shrimp either.. : (

    1. I don't entirely trust my youngest brothers judgment. He is given to fits of violent rage if he thinks somebody crossed him and if you are on the boat with him you get to be a participant in whatever happens. Besides, I hate being out above my knees in salt water. When I was in flight school at Pensacola, the Navy took you out in the bay and dumped you off being a Mike boat with a platform built on it. They dragged you in the water until you could get out of your parachute harness. Then the sailors would all yell and point in the water and shout "shark, shark" when they saw a dolphin. They thought it was really funny but I was not amused. Later, at NAS Whiting, the traffic pattern for one of the runways took you out along the beach. The water was light blue out a ways, then dark blue when it dropped off. Right there were it got deep there were gargantuan sharks just loitering, and you'd see people swimming out past the sharks. Ugh!

    2. that's supposed to be "behind a mike boat." I think this program changes words because I sure never typed "being."

  6. ozzie. sorry. it should be 12,000$