Friday, 7 February 2014

09:29 – Barbara is expecting her mom to be released from the hospital today. With flu rampant, a hospital is about the worst place for an elderly woman to be. Barbara and Frances will pick Sankie up and take her back to her apartment at Creekside. She’ll have a companion there around the clock until Barbara and Frances can determine if Sankie will be able to stay at Creekside on her own.


28 thoughts on “Friday, 7 February 2014”

  1. 37 F outside and raining here in the Land of Sugar. I sure do wish one of you northern guys would close the dadgum door to the North Pole. Although, we are suppose to be 62 F tomorrow and 73 F on Sunday. Back to 47 F by next Tuesday.

    A friend of mine just had her 92 year old dad move out of her house and into independent living here in the Land of Sugar. $3,400/month for a one bedroom / one bathroom suite with three meals a day, daily cleaning, clothes washing all included. Actually not a bad deal when the meals are included. The place also does assisted living but not nursing.

  2. And the boyz in blue or tan or whatever cover themselves in glory yet again. Stupid bugger. On-camera, too. What a cretin. During my time on The Job we did everything we possibly could for firefighters and EMTs at accident scenes and fires; whatever they needed we got for them. No exceptions that I can ever recall. I’ve pulled firefighters out of buildings when I saw they were overcome and they’ve pulled me out when I was the first responder to the scene and then they arrived. All back in the Dark Ages, of course; must be a new regimen now. Sucks.

    “$3,400/month for a one bedroom / one bathroom suite with three meals a day, daily cleaning, clothes washing all included. Actually not a bad deal when the meals are included.”

    I had that same scenario in southeast Asia for a while at $25 a month. And I know that some of my former compadres either never left when their hitches were up or they eventually retired and moved back over there. Complete with Legion and VFW posts, too, including this one:

    http://www.chinapost1.org/

  3. Uh, oh. Got charged sales tax by Amazon for the first time today. My understanding was that the old governor negotiated a 3 year extension to the no-tax deal for Amazon. Three years definitely is not up yet.

  4. Well now, Chuck, either your understanding is faulty in some way, or somebody got sticky fingers somewhere and received some sorta kickback, would be my reckoning. And hoping no one noticed and/or cared.

  5. Interesting. That they’d bother to block that Legion post. Still have bad blood after all these years; the Post during the Good War years was associated with Chennault and the Nationalists, of course, and they had to get out of Shanghai in ’48. Thus the “Exile” of their name. China Post Number One in Exile. Originally formed over there in 1919:

    ” The Post was formed in 1919, one year after the “great war” and was chartered by the American Legion on 20 April, 1920. It was the first and only American Legion Post in China at that time and our original name was General Fredrick Townsend Ward Post No. 1, China.”

    As for Verizon here; we have them for our cell phones but the landline and internet is Fairpoint, so our Netflix doesn’t get hammered. But as Bob has mentioned recently, Netflix seems to be going downhill now anyway. We’ve got a decent library of DVDs and stuff saved to disk, plus we hardly ever watch anything anyway; Mrs. OFD is gone now two weeks out of every month and I have tons of books to get through plus the ongoing employment situation, or lack thereof, again.

  6. Just wait until Verizon or another ISP starts blocking competitors sites. Cell phone service in China is a fraction of the cost of that in the US and the coverage appears to be better. Public transit and the passenger rail system are far better. We’re taking our first flight on a Chinese airline today.

    Rick en route from Guangzhou to Beijing

  7. Oh nooooooooo…..I can see it now……shades of Chuck’s time in Germany….morphing into rick’s time in China….

    Just kidding. It is instructive to discover how much better certain things are in other countries when this one is the wealthiest and most powerful political entity in human history, yet we are behind on so much and so much sucks that doesn’t have to suck. I’d say that a large part of it is due to our squandering blood and treasure on a series of wars since 1775 that did not have to be fought. Not one goddamned war. And our current propensity, originating with McKinley and Wilson, to be the world’s policeman and spread our wonderful Christian capitalist enterprise to the four corners. Instead of minding our own business.

    By rights we should have the best education, health care, transportation, etc., etc. all without giving up the liberties of our original Articles of Confederation. But that was betrayed from the beginning, at the secret proceedings in the Convention at Philadelphia in 1787.

    19 degrees and dropping, with a nice stiff breeze off the lake.

  8. I am not a Glenn Beck fan. And am well aware of much dark Murkan history already.

    The NYT has long drunk the warmist Kool-Aid and taking anything they talk about seriously is probably a mistake. Besides the mainland CONUS, the Great Lakes are also setting records or about to, with their ice coverage.

    OFD is researching real estate in Greenland and Labrador just in case….

  9. As I truthfully said while living in Germany, Americans are completely unaware that there are places on the globe where life is better than in the US. Significantly better—not just a little better. With no noticeable loss of individual liberties to get that, like we have here. As the 12 year-old German boy I was behind after hitting the US shores during my ex-pat residency asked his mom as the TSA shouted a non-stop litany of commands at the top of their lungs, “Mom, why are those people so angry and shouting at us?” Nowhere in the world that I have been does anything even remotely like the TSA’s indignities and gestapo-like techniques go on (of which I have been one of the innocent victims).

    My son worked his butt off to start a business right after college. Like a great many businesses, he had financial problems as it grew, and finally had to close it down for not being able to finance more workers to bridge the growth gap. He is much better off financially now, having been somebody else’s employee for a while, and was thinking about trying the business again, with more financial resources at hand. But in the process, the state came after him for several reports on his old business that they deemed insufficient before he could start all over again. He just decided no self-esteem boost of having your own business is worth putting up with that bureaucracy, and shelved the whole idea. Government has become very good at killing any desire to be an entrepreneur in these United States of America. Not only do you have to be competent to run a business, but you also have to possess the will to fight the government as well.

    I agree with the Glenn Beck comment. That prompted me to think who I do generally agree with. Nobody, really. Mark Levin, except he and Michael Savage are duped religionists, and allow that to influence their ideas of what just has to be right for everybody. Too bad Emma Goldman is not still around to be a talk show host.

  10. Not a Beck, Levin, Savage or O’Reilly fan; Coulter is capable of hitting a few line drives once in a while but I am given to understand from people who knew/know her personally that she is one nasty bitch, perhaps one reason why no lasting relationship or marriage thus far. My guys are at Chronicles Magazine and the Rockford Institute and the Renaissance Party of North America; a few stalwarts remain at the American Conservative Magazine. So I guess I’m basically still a paleoconservative at heart and have been for over thirty years.

    “…places on the globe where life is better than in the US. Significantly better—not just a little better.”

    Where *some* things are better, not all of life in general. I’ll even concede “significantly.” But like I say, if we got out of the business of World Cop and killing everyone in sight for dwindling fossil fuels, that would go a long way right there to having money for more important stuff and also dial down the hatred and contempt most of the world has for us, or our government.

    But it’s probably too late now; between the financial house of cards, the peak oil narrative, and rising ethnic and racial tensions, not only here but in Europe, we’re looking at some kind of collapse in the next couple of decades. And that doesn’t even take into account some kind of huge deadly weather or geologic event.

    I won’t be leading the revolution, though; can barely make it up and down the stairs and haul in the firewood without snapping a tendon or joint; we’ll be standing tall right here when the chit hits the fan.

  11. I never could stand Coulter. Her columns are pure bile with lots of ad hominem – Even if I agree with her position, I can’t stand her writing. Whoever wrote above that she is an unpleasant person, I can well believe it.

  12. Far be it for me to criticize ad hominems but I can’t stand Coulter, either. Maybe it’s that my ad homs are kind of funny even if mean-spirited, where hers are simply mean-spirited with no redeeming value.

    Coulter is one of the many reasons I dislike Sean Hannity’s radio program, by the way. We disagree on political views — I’m well in anarcho-capitalist territory and he’s a socon who until recently cheered for anyone with an (R) after his name, regardless of that person’s acts — but I often listen because he has a lot of interesting guests. Not Coulter, though. I’d rather listen to NPR news than her.

    BTW, someone clock is off. Might be mine. Even ignoring the one hour difference, I see that brad’s comment is timestamped later than the time shown on my laptop. Perhaps this is the Twilight Zone and tonight’s episode explores the ramifications of creatures with bile where their cerebrospinal fluid should be.

  13. the peak oil narrative

    What peak oil narrative? If the entire world would embrace fracking, we would be awash in so much crude oil that it would make your head swim (in oil). And crude oil from fracking operations is light (easy to distill, no hydrocracking required) and sweet (no sulfur (h2s)). Very much like Saudi Arabian or Libyan light.

    In fact, now that the Gulf Coast refineries are using over 50% shale crude oil, they are having problems due to the lightness of the oil. They are having to run portions of the plant that they do not need but cannot bypass. It is a unbelievable quandary after they have spent tens of billions of dollars to refine heavy sour crude oil from Venezuela and Canada.

  14. Where *some* things are better, not all of life in general.

    No, I would maintain all of life in general. Admittedly not everywhere, but in many places, definitely yes. Once I understood that everything in Germany that deals with bureaucracy takes 3 trips—it WILL be resolved, but not without 3 trips—then I have to say I had more trouble with the US consulate than the German government, repeatedly having to go to the Embassy for one thing or another.

    What does it take for all of life in general to be better? Food is significantly better, is satisfying and does not make one fat; transport is FAR better, over twice as fast as a car to anywhere, with super-clean and more comfortable upholstered seats everywhere, instead of the peed-in by-the-homeless plastic seats we had in Boston; cell phones are as clear and solid as landlines here used to be (I never had one single dropped cell call in Germany—ever); weather is much milder on all fronts; no dilapidated anything anywhere—except the Turkish sections are not as well-kept as others;—building or rebuilding activity going on everywhere; jobs abound compared to here; me as a foreigner made over twice as much there as I am able to here and now; safe for everyone, very little crime, especially against women; super-clean, you can eat off the floors anywhere including the subway and busses, and that is noticeable from the instant one steps off the plane; a bicycling heaven with their own marked paths everywhere; a walkers paradise with neat, well-kept parks all around for destinations; neighborhood orientation so groceries and what we call drugstores are within easy walks for everyone; travel and hotels MUCH cheaper than in the US, and Germans have travel for their 6 weeks off planned and paid for, at least 2 years in advance; did I mention better food? and more ethnic choices than even big cities around me now? Mexican and Cuban restaurants there. Got a Cuban restaurant near you? It IS better in general on every score I can think of, including the content on TV and radio.

    I suppose in comparison to the US, I could fault prices. Prices of everything but food are about 50% more than what they are here, with fewer choices. When I needed a replacement DVD/CD burner for the laptop, I had the choice of Samsung, Samsung, or Samsung at 50% more than I saw it selling at Newegg. Taxes are 30 to 40% of income and healthcare is an additional €400/mo for an individual on top of that—but it covers everything, including teeth and eyes. No part medicare — part insurance, no co-pays, no hassles; walk into the doctor’s office, hand them your card with a chip in it, walk out after treatment and never see or hear about the money end again. It’s a sliding scale for families with €600/mo for a family of 2 parents and 2 kids no matter the kids’ age up to 25, when they have to get their own coverage. (Although I suspect in the 4 years since I left, that might have gone up.) And, of course, the actual medical care itself, costs about a tenth of what it does here, as doctors are paid teachers’ wages (which ain’t bad—even in this country), not the astronomical sums the US puts up with, due to purposely contrived shortages by the AMA.

    But it does not stop there. I have several buddies who fled to Canada during Vietnam. They married, ultimately had the option to return after the amnesty and live in either country, but chose to remain in Canada. One fellow who quickly found after graduation, that teaching high school was not worth the deferment, went to Ottawa for a few years, but came back after the lottery, as he had a guaranteed ‘no call’ number. Nevertheless, he has spent at least 3 weeks in Canada every other year since then, and talks about retiring there (somehow he is automatically eligible to reside there again, because he worked there all those years ago—he already gets a pension from his old job there).

    No, Americans are almost universally unaware of what life is like in places abroad, and that, in a good many locations, it actually IS a better life—in general—than in the U S of A. Where life is an ENDLESS series of hassles. The insurance company has just notified me that they will no longer insure the roof against storm or hail damage at Tiny House, with no further explanation of why. I have been fighting for years to get the ‘homestead tax exemption’ for living in the house I own; I am entitled, and if I get it (it may take a lawyer, but why?), it will not be retroactive, so there is an incentive for the city to prolong the travail. I go round and round with AT&T almost continuously (several times each year) since I returned, with never a resolution and no alternative for service, and each and every call to them starting over from total scratch. Tax forms and filling them out are a hassle for anybody who has income from anywhere more than a single employer. What were my hassles in Germany? 1) the residency permit; 2) a driver’s license. The latter was resolved with the 3 trips; the former required 3 trips every 6 months for 2 years and 3 trips every year after we moved jurisdictions to the former East. No others. None. In almost 10 years.

  15. I agree with the criticisms of Coulter. She comes across as a stubborn, unyielding, know-it-all bitch in every venue she has. How she gets people to give her a platform when she is beyond abrasive to insulting of everyone but herself, I will never understand.

  16. Timestamps: yeah, they are on DST. In about a month, they will be correct again.

    But worse is the naming and links to tomorrow are branded 2013.

  17. Quality of life – I suppose it is a question of what you are used to. My mother hated visiting us here, due to massive culture shock. Personally, I would never move back.

    The main advantages of the US that I see are (1) shopping: huge stores with amazing selections for good prices, the same for resaurants, and (2) in the South, people are more openly friendly. Um… that’s it.

    Here, the average level of education is a lot better, construction standards are higher, the government is not at war with the population, transport is better, people don’t sue at every opportunity… I could go on…

    It’s a shame. The US was once better in almozt all of these areas – back in the 1950’s and 60’s. Since then, the rest of the Western world has continued making progress, while the US seems to have caught itself in a trap, driven by well-meaning progressives: affirmative action, ADA, gender equality, NCLB, etc, etc.

    (sorry for the weird formatting – posting long texts from a mobile is a pain)

  18. Does Switzerland have a homogeneous society? If so, easy to manage and everyone conforms, mostly due to societal pressure.

    The USA has the most heterogeneous society in the world. And getting more so now with major middle eastern immigration. It is a freaking disaster sometimes. And very few conform voluntarily.

  19. Homogeneous? We are likely more heterogeneous than the US. Four national languages, 25% foreigners. We absorbed massive numbers of people from the Balkans – so many that it noticeably affected the language. Only now, in the second generation, are they beginning to integrate.

    The one advantage that we have is being small. A motivated group can influence government policy. In the US, with 300 million, that just isn’t possible. You are the victims of the political elite…

  20. We are likely more heterogeneous than the US

    You ain’t got Jessee Jackson or Al Sharpton.

  21. I wonder how many national languages there are in the USA? Here in Fort Bend County, all elections are conducted in 8 languages if I remember correctly.

    You need a Hillary Clinton also. She reminds me of Sir Robin in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”.

  22. I’ll have to visit Europe someday, and I’ll be taking a good long hahd look at Germany; daughter is scheduled to spend her junior year abroad(from McGill) in Leipzig, home of the annual Bach festival; her majors are languages (she has English, Latin, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Spanish, Greek, Mandarin Chinese, and is taking intensive German and Russian simultaneously right now and is later planning to take Farsi) and music (she has keyboards, guitar, accordion, and now the harp). Just spent yesterday in Montreal with her and hit a bunch of food stores; she yaks with the Italians and French as though her first languages.

  23. You will probably like Leipzig. It has a rural feeling, and is not too big of a place. But I like my cities big. Not a whole lot going on there, though. But maybe that is okay for you. Lots going on in Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne. Berlin feels a lot like Boston, and there is no end of arts and music of all sorts happening. Education is spread out all through the country, so that part does not really compare to Boston.

    I loved Boston; tolerated Chicago; cannot stand Tiny Town but accept Indy and will hopefully end up there or in Bloomington. Need that ethnic diversity—which was a problem in Germany: lily white Anglo’s with blue eyes and blonde hair—only. Even the people with dark hair dyed it that way from blonde. Pretty hard to take the um, uh, religious ethnics in Berlin. When you (or maybe I should say I) see women covered from head to foot, walking 5 paces behind the men, I get somewhat uncontrollably aggravated. I saw more than one (more than several, actually) incident that demonstrated women have no value whatsoever in that culture. Absolutely disgusting.

    MIL did not at all care for Germany, even though she was related to the beer giant that begins with S and ends with heiß. But I am with Brad. Life is much calmer in that part of the world. More reliably predictable with very, very few surprises. Consensus is much more important there, too. You do have people demonstrating, but not this pulling off in every which direction, of people with a zillion different ideas about how things should be. A few people (in both business and politics) are appointed to examine the situation and propose a couple or three solutions; it is discussed and consensus marks the way. Works pretty well, except for the austerity implemented to deal with their housing bubbles and banking problems. Even the few economists that thought austerity was a good idea, have now backtracked on that.

Comments are closed.