Tuesday, 2 June 2015

08:51 – The morning paper says that Blue Cross/Blue Shield has requested a rate increase of up to 26.7% for North Carolina. The fundamental problem, which no one ever talks about, is that insurers are being forced to cover people who shouldn’t qualify for any coverage at all, let alone subsidized coverage. Let’s hope that by some miracle SCOTUS actually rules according to the law rather than from political expediency and puts a stake through the heart of Obamacare. People are entitled to the best medical care they can afford without subsidies, and no more. If they can afford nothing, nothing is what they should get. And they most certainly should not have access to emergency room care.

Barbara is displeased with Colin because he’s being pretty blatant about being my dog. Last night, he refused to go out with her on his final walk of the day while I was in the kitchen cleaning up the evening’s dishes. So I took him and he went for his normal walk. I think the issue is that there’s been thunder around pretty constantly, and he can hear it even when we can’t. He’s terrified of thunder, and when he’s frightened he comes to me for protection. I told Barbara not to let it hurt her feelings. He goes to me for protection for the same reason he runs when I sneeze but ignores Barbara sneezing. He considers me the big, ferocious alpha male. It’s just a dog thing, but Barbara thinks he doesn’t trust her. Actually, he doesn’t fully trust anyone. He’s been timid ever since we first met him at 6 weeks old.

My parents brought home our first Border Collie in 1958, when I was 5 years old. We’ve had them ever since, often two or three at a time, and Colin is the first one who’s been “my” dog. The earlier ones were all my mom’s dogs, and Duncan and Malcolm were Barbara’s dogs. Oh, Colin likes Barbara well enough. He cuddles up next to her on the sofa and curls up next to her when she goes back to bed in the evening. The only thing that makes him “my” dog is that he comes to me for protection when he’s frightened. And Border Collies all have very strange personalities anyway.

More kit stuff today. My shipment of 96-well plates arrived yesterday, so I can finally finish building a bunch of kits.

12:16 – I’ve not been having much luck with UPS and FedEx lately. First, UPS bashed up a box of 1,500 bottles so badly that 413 of them were lost. They just ran a strip of packing tape over a small part of the main seam and delivered the box anyway. My bottle supplier has shipped replacements. Then I put in an order with walmart.com for 17 assorted 28-ounce cans of Bush’s Best Baked Beans, a bag of Krustez pancake mix, and a test bottle of Bertolli’s Mushroom Alfredo Sauce. The first time Walmart shipped that, FedEx damaged the box so badly that they didn’t bother to deliver it here, which is saying something. They just sent the remnants back to Walmart, which reshipped the order. That arrived today, with the 17 cans of Bush’s Best Baked Beans (12 of them with minor dents) and the bag of Krusteaz pancake mix. No bottle of Mushroom Alfredo sauce. So I just emailed Walmart to let them know. Presumably they’ll fix the problem, but the real problem is their shipping department. This shipment came in a large box with all of the items floating around loose. They’d put in some crumpled craft paper, but only about 2 sheets of newspaper worth. It needed 10 or 20 times that much to keep the canned goods secure. What they really should do is use packing popcorn or foam fill, but I guess they think all the hassles with returns cost them less than the few cents it’d cost to use the popcorn.

12:51 – Oops. The bottle of Bertolli’s Mushroom Alfredo Sauce was indeed in the box. It was wrapped very thoroughly with craft paper. Even at that, I’m surprised the glass jar survived the trip surrounded with heavy cans that were bouncing around. I found the jar as I was tearing down the box to put in recycling cart. I sent walmart an email to apologize for the false alarm and tell them they didn’t need to ship a replacement jar.