Tues, Jan 9th, Nick posting- placeholder- with update from Barbara

Update 13:42. Bob is still waiting to go to a rehab facility. Yesterday morning the place we had lined up decided not to take him because of the trach which they knew about Friday when they offered the bed. Oh well. I ended up staying in Winston yesterday hoping we could get something else worked out. Also, there was inclement weather up here and supposedly heading to Winston so Al and I decided we would stay in our respective locations until today. I spent the morning at the hospital working with the case worker and visiting with Bob. He is doing well BTW. He had a good
PT session and when he speaks slowly and loudly I can understand him even with the trach tube. There are not a lot of choices in our vicinity that will take trach patients but fortunately the hospital is being patient until we can find a place.
===================================================================
Hopefully this is just a placeholder for Barbara’s update, but if she’s busy (and that’s pretty likely!) I’ll open the day.

I’m out and about most of today, nothing like the waste of time involved in a 12 hour appointment window for the gas company. It’s cold today too, 46F, and the house has no heat (‘cuz no gas) so I’m gonna LOVE sitting around there waiting.

nick

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46 Responses to Tues, Jan 9th, Nick posting- placeholder- with update from Barbara

  1. dkreck says:

    Oprah mania is at hand.
    70F this morning at 5:30am. Santa Ana winds blew all night after a light but steady rain all day yesterday. Rain predicted for today.
    Everything is weird.

    Best wishes to Bob and hope we get something new on OFD.

    (6:12am and a down pour has commenced)

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    Here is a link to the daily FEMA activity brief, which has a summary of the assets deployed to the USVI, and some charts and graphs about spending on this years hurricane disasters.

    https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/USDHSFEMA/2018/01/09/file_attachments/940103/FEMA%2BDaily%2BOps%2BBriefing%2B01-09-2018.pdf

    Some interesting facts, TX still has over 1200 families in FEMA direct housing units. I think that’s either hotels or rentals paid by FEMA, also it’s a 10% increase for this week.

    Someone else has over 2000 households (looks like Louisiana but not sure why.)

    There are 8 disasters with currently open disaster registration.

    In the last two weeks $120M has been approved for assistance, mostly housing repair and replace.

    Take a look, it’s your money at work.

    nick

  3. Denis says:

    Continuing best wishes to Bob, Barbara and OFD.

    Gas companies – one has to love them. We had a propane delivery between Christmas and New Year, and didn’t receive an invoice. Usually, the delivery truck driver prints it off with the flimsy showing the amount pumped and drops it in our letterbox.

    I emailed the company to find out why no bill; not only had they unilaterally and without notice decided to send their invoices exclusively by email, but they had also recorded my email address incorrectly. To add insult to injury, had I not intervened to ask about the invoice I never received, they would have regarded it as unpaid and added a late fee, again sent to a non-existent e-mail address.

    Old Dublin joke: What’s the difference between the gas company and the IRA?
    The IRA gives a warning before they blow up your house.

  4. Ray Thompson says:

    To add insult to injury, had I not intervened to ask about the invoice I never received, they would have regarded it as unpaid and added a late fee, again sent to a non-existent e-mail address

    You got lucky. My water bill is paid by a bill payer service. It costs me nothing and they pay the postage. But one time they apparently mixed things up and sent my water payment to the wrong address. The payment, with a payee of the water board, was sent to my doctor’s office. The office was able to deposit the check without issue indicating that no one looks at much besides the amount.

    Come the past due date and someone comes to the door, I hear them, and then leaves. I open the door and it is the water department leaving a notice on my door that my water is being turned off for non-payment. For which they will charge me $35.00 and then another $35.00 to turn back on. I quickly put a stop to the shut off and scrambled to find what went wrong.

    I was charged late fees which the bill pay service paid as it is part of their contract. If they fail to deliver a payment on time they pay all penalties and fees.

    And in other news I managed to slip on the ice yesterday. I have damaged something in my knee and it is now difficult to move the knee and walk. I will give it a couple of days to see if I should head to the doctor. For now I am thinking it is only a sprain.

  5. Denis says:

    “And in other news I managed to slip on the ice yesterday.”

    Sorry to hear that. I hope rest will do the trick. Diclofenac helps too, if your stomach will tolerate it.

    “I was charged late fees which the bill pay service paid as it is part of their contract. If they fail to deliver a payment on time they pay all penalties and fees.”

    Somebody who owed me money made an electronic payment to my credit card account on 28 November, but they unfortunately forgot to include the numeric code by which the CC company recognises my card among all the others. I explained the situation to the CC Co., but they are crediting the payment to my account only as of 5 January – no doubt they will hit me with a late-settlement fee and interest too, even though they actually received the funds before the date my bill was due. Grrr.

  6. Nick Flandrey says:

    Still nothing from the gas co. I don’t get these companies who expect their customers to wait on their convenience. Good argument against monopoly, that’s for sure, and against nanny statism and regulation too. There is no practical reason I need to be there while they remove the lock from the meter. I am perfectly capable of turning the valve and safely lighting the appliances. But no, that can’t happen because there might be a leak. F’ing tech isn’t gonna check for leaks.

    Oh, and they WON”T light NEW furnaces, only ones that have been running before, so what the heck does that say?

    n

  7. MrAtoz says:

    Oprah mania is at hand.

    Oh yes! A Dumbocrat primary with Orca, Cankles and The Commie would be glorius!

  8. dkreck says:

    Don’t leave out Fauxahontas.

  9. CowboySlim says:

    I explained the situation to the CC Co., but they are crediting the payment to my account only as of 5 January – no doubt they will hit me with a late-settlement fee and interest too, even though they actually received the funds before the date my bill was due. Grrr.”

    I’ve had a few mistakes and was late with payment (I always pay in full, never finance). I just ask to have late payment charges and interest removed and have always been accommodated. Although once I had to go into local branch for desired resolution.

    Then there was a mistake at a local auto dealer repair job. I was told that I could get a 2X reward ($800 instead of $400 off) for repair and billable total was $1300. Well, dealer screwed up and full amount of $1300 went to CC Co.. I called them and was informed that they could do only apply the $400 and I was out the other $400, too late for the other $400 to be resolved if dealer missed it on time. I told them that I would dispute the bill and the whole $1300 as I was once told in another case that partial disputes could not be addressed. Then until resolution in my favor, I would not pay any of the rest of the statement (several hundred more). If not resolved in my favor, close the account and take me to court. Also told them that being a nice, decent guy, do not go to collection bureau. I have no contract with them and will pay them nothing. Then you will just lose any upfront fee (see how nice I am to save you money?). It was resolved in my favor several days later.

    I never pay more than the actual valid charges with which I agree.

  10. SteveF says:

    Oprah’s TV show: known for giving away free stuff
    Trump’s TV show: known for letting people compete for a job
    The difference between the parties, distilled.

  11. jim~ says:

    @Denis & Ray
    You can’t get Diclofenac over the counter in ‘Merica, but you can in Canada and elsewhere. I love the stuff. Naproxen sodium (Alleve) is almost as good, and I find both superior to codeine or Vicodin, esp. for musculo-skeletal complaints.

  12. Greg Norton says:

    Oprah’s TV show: known for giving away free stuff
    Trump’s TV show: known for letting people compete for a job
    The difference between the parties, distilled.

    Oprah as President with a fillibuster-proof majority in the Senate would attempt to finish the job Obama started but couldn’t finish after Scott Brown won Kennedy’s Senate seat. They’re not even going to try cover lies like “If you like your doctor …”

    Your private medical care, IRA, and 401(k) will be history. Oprah and, thanks to the nuclear option, new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Dr. Phil know what’s best for you.

  13. JimL says:

    In case you didn’t see it, Barbara posted an update above.

    Glad to hear he’s doing better, and glad you stayed put. Prayers for Bob, Barbara, and OFD.

  14. Dave says:

    He had a good PT session and when he speaks slowly and loudly I can understand him even with the trach tube.

    Two pieces of good news. Things are definitely headed in the right direction. Hope you can find a rehab facility that can handle his current condition, or that he improves so much the facility that decided they couldn’t handle him realizes they can.

  15. lynn says:

    I spent the morning at the hospital working with the case worker and visiting with Bob. He is doing well BTW. He had a good PT session and when he speaks slowly and loudly I can understand him even with the trach tube.

    Yah, Yah, Yah ! This just brightened up my day. I just took my truck to Legacy Ford in Rosenberg to get it fixed. It is $1,000 using new parts or $600 using used parts. Amica is paying for the used parts so I got the used parts deal. I am just getting radiator / headlight mount and the driver side headlight replaced. He is going to beat out the fender and put the broken grille back in since this will become our backup vehicle soon. He told me it would be ready Friday (using new parts would be Wednesday). Getting the fender, grille, and bumper cover replaced would up the price by $2,000. Putting lipstick on a pig though. Plus my deductible is $1,000 so the appraisal is $3,100 with Amica giving me $2,100. I will spend the difference on a new truck.

    I look forward to Bob’s analysis of the healthcare system from his experience if he feels up to it. Although, I am worried about the screams when the bills come rolling in.

  16. lynn says:

    I was informed by my lovely wife this morning that my math skills are deteriorating. We have been married only 36 years. It will be 37 years next year if the creek don’t rise and if she does not put a pillow over my face in the middle of the night.

  17. Terry Losansky says:

    Lynn, you were celebrating the beginning of the 37th year. The anniversary is just the end of the cycle.

    See, all better now.

  18. Greg Norton says:

    Putting lipstick on a pig though. Plus my deductible is $1,000 so the appraisal is $3,100 with Amica giving me $2,100. I will spend the difference on a new truck.

    Wait until you see the repair costs for body work with the new paint systems Ford uses these days.

  19. Ray Thompson says:

    I look forward to Bob’s analysis of the healthcare from his experience if he feels up to it. Although, I am worried about the screams when the bills come rolling in.

    I am also interested in his perspective. Almost two months in a hospital, lot of the time in intensive care, plus multiple medical procedures. The costs have got to be sky high. I think he was using obuttwadcare. If that is the case his maximum would be two maximum out of pocket (2017 and 2018) which should total about $16K.

    But the rub comes in if providers that were used were not in his network. Insurance will pay little and the patient gets stuck with the rest. Even if you have reached your maximum out of pocket for out of network insurance still does not pay 100%. Insurance will only pay what they think is reasonable. The provider says you owe the rest. Provider charges $2500, insurance says in network would have been $800, that is all the insurance will pay. The insured is on the hook for the remaining $1700.

    Maximum out of pocket is sadly mislabeled and only represents the figure at which insurance will pay 100% of what they think is reasonable. For out of network there is no contract thus insurance has no legal requirement to pay the full amount nor does the provider have to accept the amount the insurance deemed reasonable.

    I suspect RBT, sadly, will be in for a major shock when the bills are all settled and done. Especially if many out of network providers were involved. Maybe enough to put him close to bankruptcy. Not a pretty thought. One which I hope that I am very much incorrect.

    body work with the new paint systems Ford uses

    I face that in my 2014 F-150. Apparently three layers of paint that is almost impossible to blend properly. A minor repair may require the entire repainting of the vehicle. And the paints are not cheap.

    I was informed by my lovely wife this morning that my math skills are deteriorating

    Blame it on that annoying Y2K bug in your brain.

  20. JimL says:

    The thing about the paint is that it’s not as important now. A scratch on aluminum isn’t going to result in a door panel rusting out as it did in the past.

    I’m looking forward to getting a super duty in a couple of years. (Used, of course.)

  21. Chad says:

    We had problems finding a facility for my MIL as she needed bariatric care (a PC medical term for “she was huge”) and that really shortened the list of who would take her and none of those facilities would have made our list otherwise. It seems the better facilities only want to take the patients requiring the least amount of effort.

  22. lynn says:

    I was informed by my lovely wife this morning that my math skills are deteriorating

    Blame it on that annoying Y2K bug in your brain.

    I blame the Rythmol drug. Now that I take the max dosage, I feel like I am in a fog all the time. Concentrating to write software is ultra difficult now. I have been wondering if I need to get a Monk’s High Hide with no internet connection like Jerry Pournelle had.

    Hey, Ecoboost V6 biturbo 3.5L or V8 5.0L for my new F-150 4×4 truck ? I am going to order it as no one has the 6.5 ft bed with the crew cab and the max tow package.

  23. Harold says:

    Oprah’s TV show: known for giving away free stuff

    The little known catch was that the “Free Stuff” carried a hefty TAX assessment from the IRS.

  24. Greg Norton says:

    Hey, Ecoboost V6 biturbo 3.5L or V8 5.0L for my new F-150 4×4 truck ? I am going to order it as no one has the 6.5 ft bed with the crew cab and the max tow package.

    We didn’t get Ecoboost with my wife’s Explorer, but you may prefer the better MPG.

    The standard engine is thirsty. Labor Day weekend we found ourselves in a gas line in San Antonio because we didn’t want to risk not finding gas on the way back to Austin.

    According to the Railroad Commissioner (Texas is complicated), gas sales in San Antonio that weekend were 10 times normal for the same holiday weekend in previous years.

  25. JimL says:

    I still don’t trust turbos. I’d go for the V8 myself.

    Of course, my 5.4L is giving me grief about things that every Triton 3V engine does. Coils and vacuum leaks. Still better than a turbo failure AND vacuum leaks.

  26. RickH says:

    @Lynn

    I have taken Rythmol (for my occasional atrial fibrillation) when first diagnosed (15 years ago). Changed over to Flecanide after the Rythmol wasn’t as effective after a few years.

    The Flecanide is managing the afib quite well; I only have the occasional ‘skipity-do-dah’ rhythm, for which I take one Metoprolol to get that back to normal.

    No mental issues (other than my normal ones) from the Flecanide. YMMV.

  27. lynn says:

    I still don’t trust turbos. I’d go for the V8 myself.

    Of course, my 5.4L is giving me grief about things that every Triton 3V engine does. Coils and vacuum leaks. Still better than a turbo failure AND vacuum leaks.

    Old turbos only had oil lubrication and cooling. The new turbos have oil lubrication and water cooling. They MAY last longer but who knows ? The new turbos also have variable length vanes so they are more complicated but they sure spin up fast.

    My 5.4L has 189K miles on it. It burns a quart of 5W-20 every 2,000 miles or less. I have had the spark plugs and coils replaced three times now. Still starts like brand new. I got it with the Max Towing Package on my Expedition so I have the 5 row radiator instead of the 3 row radiator and a transmission oil cooler (these should be standard in Texas). Plus limited slip on the rear axle. I also drive it like I stole it according to the wife.

  28. lynn says:

    I have taken Rythmol (for my occasional atrial fibrillation) when first diagnosed (15 years ago). Changed over to Flecanide after the Rythmol wasn’t as effective after a few years.

    The Flecanide is managing the afib quite well; I only have the occasional ‘skipity-do-dah’ rhythm, for which I take one Metoprolol to get that back to normal.

    No mental issues (other than my normal ones) from the Flecanide. YMMV.

    I take 225 mg of Rythmol twice per day for tachycardia. The beta-blocker in it also lowers my blood pressure by 30 points (both sides). When I was just taking Metoprolol ER (extended release), I just took 25 mg/day. Ever since I changed to the max dosage of Rythmol, my mental state is foggy. But, I don’t want to have the heart ablation surgery. Especially since my right coronary artery is totally plugged which puts me at higher risk for the surgery. Shoot, I am high risk just walking across the room as not many people make it to this age with a plugged coronary artery.

    I still have a little bit of afib with the Rythmol. I just breathe normally and it goes away after a couple of minutes. Nothing compared to my heart beating at 150-200 bpm for hours on end.

  29. lynn says:

    According to the Railroad Commissioner (Texas is complicated), gas sales in San Antonio that weekend were 10 times normal for the same holiday weekend in previous years.

    Harvey was moving over to Beaumont by then and the rest of Texas was waking up. Plus all of the Rockport and Port Lavaca refugees staying in San Antonio.

    BTW, I had a 1996 Ford Explorer with the 5.0L V8. Now that was thirsty. And fun.

  30. SteveF says:

    Blame it on that annoying Y2K bug in your brain.

    I blame the Rythmol drug.

    Rohypnol?

  31. lynn says:

    Oprah mania is at hand.

    Oh yes! A Dumbocrat primary with Orca, Cankles and The Commie would be glorius!

    Orca = Oprah
    Cankles = Hillary
    The Commie = Bernie ???
    Fauxcahontas = Warren

  32. dkreck says:

    What? No moooslim?

  33. Nick Flandrey says:

    “I was informed by my lovely wife this morning that my math skills are deteriorating

    Blame it on that annoying Y2K bug in your brain.”

    You’re a PROGRAMMER, you start counting from ZERO, hence the off by one error!

    Finally got the gas company there. Took all of 20 minutes to light and check all three appliances, and I think he touched up the paint on the meter too.

    What is the world coming to when grown adults can’t be trusted to light a pilot light?

    I did some other small work around the house and headed home.

    n

  34. SteveF says:

    What is the world coming to when grown adults can’t be trusted to light a pilot light?

    Decades of baseless plaintiffs’ lawsuits being allowed without sanctions for the plaintiffs’ attorneys or financial risk for the plaintiffs themselves.

  35. lynn says:

    You’re a PROGRAMMER, you start counting from ZERO, hence the off by one error!

    Fortran programmers do it from the number one …

  36. CowboySlim says:

    “Fortran programmers do it from the number one …”

    When I was programming in Fortran, I had to learn Octal.

  37. CowboySlim says:

    Oh yeah, about engines: My 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a 5.7L Hemi and I have no regrets whatsoever!

  38. Ray Thompson says:

    The new turbos have oil lubrication and water cooling. They MAY last longer but who knows

    My F-150 has the 3.5 liter EcoBoost engine with twin turbos. They are scroll turbos which don’t have the same problems as vane turbos. All the information that I found when I considered the V-6 was that the turbos were actually quite reliable.

    365 HP & 420 TQ (Raptpr’s 3.5L – 450 HP & 510 TQ)
    17 mpg city/ 23 mpg highway / 20 mpg combined
    3,180 lbs Payload Rating / 12,200 lbs towing capacity
    Direct Fuel Injection
    Dual Over Head Camshafts
    Maintains 90% peak torque from 1,700 RPM to 5,000 RPM

    My experience when pulling my 6,000 pound boat is that it tows noticeably better than my old 5.4 liter V-8 My vehicle has the towing extras, transmission cooler and transmission temperature gauge, engine oil cooler, bigger radiator and more powerful fans, trailer brake controller, frame mounted hitch and full trailer wiring including charging for the camper batteries.

    Twin-scroll turbochargers have two input lines from the exhaust manifold that lead to the turbine that suck in the exhaust gases. Having two input lines avoids the issue single-scroll turbos have where the firing sequence of the cylinders causes the pulsing of the exhaust gases to delay the build-up of boost, or in other terms turbo-lag. Twin-scroll turbochargers can spool up much quicker than conventional turbochargers and will give crisp and quick throttle response backed up by significant low-end torque.

    Hey, Ecoboost V6 biturbo 3.5L or V8 5.0L for my new F-150 4×4 truck ?

    Go with the Ecoboos V6 3.5L.

    Or wait another year as I hear Ford is going to be putting diesel engines in their F-150 product line.

    Fortran programmers do it from the number one

    Fortran programmers learn COBOL.

  39. Greg Norton says:

    Oh yes! A Dumbocrat primary with Orca, Cankles and The Commie would be glorius!

    If Cankles runs again, the Clintons will make sure that Oprah never makes it past Super Tuesday. Never again like Obama in 2008. Oprah has been associated romantically with too many creepy people (cough … Roger Ebert … cough) in her past for a “Dr. Laura” style video or photo set to not exist in a vault somewhere.

    I think the “Oprah for President” hooplah is based in Disney’s concern about “A Wrinkle in Time” laying an egg. They’re awfully quiet about that flick in Burbank as of late.

  40. jim~ says:

    @Nick

    Appreciate the links to shortwave stations. I’ll print them out sometime and stick them in my circa 1993 Sony and its handy case.

    I don’t know which is dumber: Sony, or the US government.

    My ancient Sony, collectible, works perfectly (caps replaced) ICF-SW1 won’t pick up 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 MHz and neither will their last and latest

    https://www.sony.com/electronics/radios/icf-sw7600gr

    I have one of those Atomic clocks which keeps track of time automagically (although reception is so poor I have to stick it out the window facing East toward Colorado every DST). Works fine.

    So why did, or does, NIST not have a more common frequency?

    As an amusing side note, I’m sure you’re aware India has a booming space program.

    https://spaceflight101.com/mom/mission-updates/

    What boggles me is why they’ve never sent up a simple time-keeping satellite!
    These are the guys who learned from the British how to make trains run on time. And indeed they do, albeit with a wreck here and there…

  41. Miles_Teg says:

    “These are the guys who learned from the British how to make trains run on time.”

    I hear they sometimes leave early, depending on the whim of the driver.

  42. Bill F. says:

    I just replaced my 1999 F250 Powerstroke 7.3 diesel with a 2018 F150 3.5 ecoboost, max towing, crew cab, 6.5′ bed, navigation ($250 after discount – seemed reasonable), heated seats, remote start (nice up here in winter land). I am very pleased so far. Awesome power when needed and economy when needed. Going 3.5 hours north towing a 4 sled snowmobile trailer in a couple of days. I don’t need the towing capacity of an F250 or greater any more.

    I hope the ecoboost engine is somewhat near as good as the 7.3 Powerstroke has been. No problems in the 19 years I owned it other than normal maintenance. I have to admit, I was not happy to have to replace the front ball joints around 70K on the Superduty, but that was the only issue (and I did it myself for minimal $).

    I also turned in my 2012 VW Passat TDI yesterday. Could not resist the $ VW had to give me for cheating. I will miss the car – it was the 3rd vehicle I have bought new (other than than 2018 F150) in my 58 years and right behind the 99 Superduty in satisfaction…

    So, I have gone from 2 diesel daily drivers to zero in the last 2 weeks. Strange to not have a diesel other than my Kobota. The plan is to kill diesels asap. Maybe the new administration can reverse that….

  43. DadCooks says:

    “What? No moooslim?”

    Obama, AKA Obuttwad, Obooger, and many more NSFW

  44. lynn says:

    My F-150 has the 3.5 liter EcoBoost engine with twin turbos. They are scroll turbos which don’t have the same problems as vane turbos. All the information that I found when I considered the V-6 was that the turbos were actually quite reliable.

    Hey, I did not know that they were scroll turbos. Me and another guy installed a dual scroll 200 hp fuel oil pump in 1983 at our plant. The scroll pump was a beast, we had red rags and welding rod in our 650,000 barrels of fuel oil. It processed that crap and never complained.

    Or wait another year as I hear Ford is going to be putting diesel engines in their F-150 product line.

    No thank you. Diesel used to be cheaper than regular gasoline when I owned a diesel VW in 1982 – 1986. It is now 30 cents/gal more since the world wants our diesel produced in the USA. Somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 of the diesel produced in the USA is sold outside the USA now. We even sell diesel, gasoline, and natural gas to Mexico now since they are so incompetent. Half of the Eagle Ford Shale reservoir is in Mexico, they have barely touched it since they do not have the directional drilling and fracking technologies and cannot pay for them.

    Plus diesel engines have soot traps now that have to be regenerated every 750 miles. Plus the DEF fluid at a gallon or so per 1,000 miles for the diesel NOx catalyst. No thank you, too much technology to go wrong.

  45. nick flandrey says:

    “No thank you, too much technology to go wrong.”

    And punitive taxes.

    n

    https://www.google.com/search?q=taxes+on+diesel+fuel&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

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