Thur. Jan. 10, 2019 – It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it

64F and 40%RH. Stunningly dry.

Getting the Christmas decor in just jumped up my list. I turned most of it off last night. I was the last in the neighborhood. I’ve been waiting for it to dry off before putting it back in the garage attic.

I try to put my political thoughts in the comments area and leave the post for more concrete stuff. But. I was struck by these two headlines.

” Deutsche Bank To Spend About $2 Billion On Bonuses, Despite “Cuts”

“Deutsche Bank has a severe talent loss problem and this bonus cut will exacerbate the problem. Focusing on top performers is not new…”

–these would be the ‘top performers’ whose efforts resulted in the bank losing a large chunck of it’s own stock market valuation, while “The bank’s revenue for 2018 is slated to be the lowest since the 2008 financial crisis and the article notes that the bank’s fourth quarter was “negatively affected by police raids on the lender’s headquarters in November””.

And this one:

“Nancy Pelosi Says 66,000 Opioid Deaths and 25,000 Illegal Alien Murders Is a “Manufactured Crisis””

–this would be the same Nancy Pelosi that dances in the blood of every shooting victim when she wants to justify eliminating one of our Constitutional rights- manufacturing a crisis where none exists.

Bonuses for failure- paid with other people’s money.
Your death, or the death of a loved on- just not more important than scoring political points.

We are on our own.

n

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45 Responses to Thur. Jan. 10, 2019 – It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it

  1. brad says:

    Bonuses and top talent at banks…right. As Nick says, that’s the “top talent” that gives us things like the 2008 financial crisis. Banks that can’t stand the idea of only being banks, so they create “investment divisions” that speculate with their account holders’ money. A little less “top talent” can only be a good thing. And the $billions in bonuses could be paid to the shareholders and account holders.

    I’ve also often wondered at the basis for the bonus payments. The long-term effects of decisions made at upper management levels are impossible to foresee, and in any case hopelessly intertwined with so many other factors. The real benefit of top managers – at least, at the very top – is nothing more than their political connections.

    I would love to see a shareholders take a more active role, demanding an end to bonuses, at least bonuses more than a fraction of the base pay, and limiting management salaries to something reasonable. If the “top talent” leaves, good riddance.

  2. Harold Combs says:

    31f in the Bluff City at dawn. It was in the 50s yesterday at this time.
    Professional politicians are befuddled by the President who is NOT a politician and actually believes in keeping his promises. The president doesn’t need to worry about his future income and does not appear as power mad as the political class on Capitol Hill. Pelosi and her ilk only make promises in order to get power to do what they like and count on the people having a short memory and their friendly media not to remind us that they all voted for a wall just a few years ago.
    Now we have NYC and California offering FREE FOR ALL to anyone in the world that can get to the sanctuary. I wonder how the taxpayers there feel about being the worlds biggest suckers. But they voted for these fools. I was contemplating going to the RSA Cyber Security conference in San Francisco this year. I LOVED San Francisco, was raised just across the bridge and visited it almost every week. But my liberal friends who remain there are complaining of the crime and filth and taxes. I would rather spend my $$ in Dallas or Atlanta.
    On a completely different topic. I am planning to file for Social Security starting in April. I turn 67 in March, one year past my full retirement date, and should get around $2,900 a month. This is phase one of my, still vague, retirement plan. I am hoping that I get laid-off with a big severance package this year. If not I will see what next year brings. I am getting too old for this shit and honestly just don’t care any longer.

  3. brad says:

    Something like once a year, I try to buy a movie or TV show online. So far, I don’t think it has ever worked.

    Most recently just now. I have the few first episodes of The Orville, and would like to get the rest of them. I figured it’s time to try again to be a good boy. Requirement: I want to be able to watch the episodes off of our local server, so that I can see them on my Linux box, or downstairs on the Vero 4K with the big screen. So I search for options to legally purchase the episodes:

    – Microsoft (of all places), for $24.99. But they are upfront and state that their stuff will only work on Windows or an XBox. In other words, it’s going to be DRM all the way, and useless to me.

    – Amazon Prime. Buy season one for $9.99 – which is a lot better price. But here it is again: “HD movies currently aren’t available on your computer” – and anyway it appears to be streaming only, so I can’t actually have a copy on our media server.

    – A DVD set. That will definitely have DRM, which will have to be broken in order to copy the things onto our server.

    So it’s back to piracy. Thankfully, downloading is not illegal here. But seriously: how long is this industry going to stay stupid?

  4. DadCooks says:

    Total cable outage, 14 hours now and Charter/Spectrum does not have a clue. Maybe it’s because their St. Louis HQ area is also out. Real PITA. Just goes to show how dependent we are on technology. Glad each person on my cellphone plane has “unlimited” data (50GB that is). But my fat fingers and poor eyesight make using the smartphone difficult. I may tether something bigger, I get 7GB of “free” tethering.

    Still not fully recovered from yesterday’s Windows Udate and with cable down I might just have to do some work around the house.

  5. dkreck says:

    Well not all of Spectrum is down. Mine’s working and their automated system just called to remind me to pay my bill.

  6. DadCooks says:

    Well AmEx just texted me that Chartet/Spectrum just collect last month’ s bill.

    I find it indicative of corporate incompetence that years after the supposed name change to “Spectrum” they still can’t decide what name they want to use. In original Charter areas Charter prevails. Everywhere else it’s whatever the name of the day is.

    Still trying to get tethering working. T-Mobile script reader is no help and keeps saying “if you had this plan and a dedicated tethering device…,” what a crock.

    My fat fingers are getting more accurate though. Some good comes of this.

  7. Greg Norton says:

    A DVD set. That will definitely have DRM, which will have to be broken in order to copy the things onto our server.

    Handbrake with the “de-CSS” library DLL installed in the program directory makes DVD ripping a snap. Google around for instructions.

    Blu-Rays are tougher, but you make get lucky with MakeMKV.

    Your local library might have something like The Orville. Even the library in Vantucky had a decent selection of DVDs of popular network and PBS shows.

  8. brad says:

    @Greg: Yes, but why bother when someone else has already done the work? My favorite torrent site at the moment is ettv.tv.

  9. nightraker says:

    Does any normal user search their drive often enough to make indexing worth it, given that indexing takes machine cycles and occasionally delays you doing something else?

    Haven’t noticed windows indexing slowing things down for a very long time but rarely use the built in search facility. Instead, I use “Search Everything” a lot, a free utility from voidtools.com, which indexes MFT filenames for each hard drive, NTFS or FAT. There are 850+k files here on multiple HDDs, only vaguely organized. The utility is far more capable than I and VERY fast, both at building its DB and in practice.

    “System Explorer”, donateware, lives in the tray and shows current load, like “Process Explorer”. System gets pegged only when I’m d/l’ing multiple video streams to disc. Computer is a relative idjit with “only” 4 GB of RAM… The ancient “Speedfan” utility monitors temps of CPU cores and HDDs.

  10. Ray Thompson says:

    Social Security starting in April. I turn 67 in March, one year past my full retirement date, and should get around $2,900 a month

    Your medicare premiums will be deducted from that amount. May reduce by up to a couple hundred dollars.

    If your wife is 62 or older you may want to consider having her file for benefits. She will get her amount adjusted to about half of yours, minus the penalty for filing early. Is filing early worth the risk of loss of income? Only you can answer that and it is different for everyone.

    Meanwhile the hospital saga continues. Surgery on the wife is in two weeks but hospital wants their money now. Paid in full. Over $4K. Jerks. And the hospital only uses anesthesiologists that are not in network. No option option. Thus I will be stuck with whatever they charge. May get them to reduce by 20% but that is about it.

    It is all intentional and carefully planned. If I was destitute or a leach on society I would pay almost nothing if not nothing. But it is better to rip money from those that have tried to support themselves and donate to the leaches who have done nothing. After all, they need what little money they have for beer and cigarettes.

    Yeh, I am in a miserable mood.

  11. nick flandrey says:

    Nine cams, all streaming various rates of 3.1Mpx or higher, will do a number on a drive… add windows trying to index all those files (each 15 minutes, 8 new files created, plus files with metadata and thumbnails) and you’ll notice indexing…

    I have a really old utility called drivemon that will show you what rando process is hammering your drive (like when the pc is just sitting there and suddenly the drive starts slamming). Most of the time it’s the OS logging something that no one on earth ever looks at, or indexing. If there was a script to shut off all that useless logging I’d run it in a heartbeat.

    (speaking of useless logging, wtf are the VLC developers smoking? Don’t cough up an error message that only tells me to check the log for error messages, SHOW ME. At a minimum, include a link to the log, FFS, or if you insist, a menu item.)

    n

  12. nick flandrey says:

    @ray, have you asked about negotiating a reduced charge? My buddy negotiated his wife’s whole delivery before hand and got a significant reduction off what they would have charged if he didn’t ask.

    n

  13. nightraker says:

    Yeh, I am in a miserable mood.

    Not useful for you today, but surgerycenterok.com is an insurance free, pay up front, Oklahoma outpatient facility claiming “up to” 90% cost savings for a long list of routine procedures. Canadian YouTuber Stefan Molyneux jumped the line at home for removal of cancerous neck tumor there with apparent good results.

  14. Greg Norton says:

    @Greg: Yes, but why bother when someone else has already done the work? My favorite torrent site at the moment is ettv.tv.

    I use katcr.co to get “Doctor Who” and “Death in Paradise”. Network TV goes on the TiVo, and I can dump any of the broadcast shows to MP4 or DVD.

    That reminds me — “Death in Paradise” returns tonight. My wife and I believe that Ardal O’Hanlon will make a fine lead on “Doctor Who” next year.

  15. lynn says:

    We have a new County Commissioners Court here in Fort Bend County, Texas. Four out of the Five are dumbocrats. What are their priorities ? Medicaid expansion up to $80,000 income for any person and equal pay for women.
    http://www.fbherald.com/news/fort-bend-county-judge-commissioners-hold-court/article_a6864654-bf34-5c4b-a32b-9f72121ed3e0.html

    Freaking amazing.

  16. Ray Thompson says:

    @ray, have you asked about negotiating a reduced charge?

    The $4K is the deductible so really not negotiable. Anything beyond that I only pay 20% with insurance picking up the rest. My only contact with the anesthesiologist company was for them to inform me they only bill after the procedure. Thus there is nothing to negotiate as they don’t know what charges will be applied. (Yeh, they know, just want to see how much they can rip me off).

    And on the way home I stopped at the local grocery store. Cretin, real plumper, reeking of smoke, in front of me with a card full of expensive food. Second cart had beer and wine. Paid for the first cart with food stamps. Pulled out a wad of cash to pay for the beer, wine and two cartons of cigarettes. Then she waddled to the lobby and bought $100 worth of lottery tickets. Driving a brand new F-250 4WD Limited Edition. Asshole. Handicap plates. Probably would pay nothing for the same procedure my wife is having.

  17. MrAtoz says:

    @Greg: Yes, but why bother when someone else has already done the work? My favorite torrent site at the moment is ettv.tv.

    I use ShowRSS with a prog named Catch on the Mac to download TV torrents (all free). All my current TV shows are listed on ShowRSS. Transmission (free) watches my download folder for torrents and adds them. Once done, iFlicks (paid) metadata’s them and stuffs them into iTunes. All on an old Mac Mini. Yify provides great movie torrents. I have a LaCie 6T external drive that hosts the iTunes library. I can set the TV stuff to automagic and shows just show up in iTunes.

    I run a VPN all the time on the Mini.

  18. lynn says:

    On a completely different topic. I am planning to file for Social Security starting in April. I turn 67 in March, one year past my full retirement date, and should get around $2,900 a month. This is phase one of my, still vague, retirement plan. I am hoping that I get laid-off with a big severance package this year. If not I will see what next year brings. I am getting too old for this s*** and honestly just don’t care any longer.

    Have you filed for Medicare yet ? If not, I just read an article that you must provide bulletproof documentation that you have Medicare equivalent health insurance or they will charge you a late fee for not getting Medicare when you were 65.

    I plan to work until I am dead. In fact, I hope to die typing on my 1991 Northgate Gold keyboard. But, I just upped my annual vacation to six weeks last year. And actually took five weeks.

  19. lynn says:

    The Brazos River has finally crested and is now starting to recede. It crested 1.4 ft above NOAH’s initial prediction of 45.1 ft at 46.5 ft. That is unnerving and noteworthy for future predictions.
    https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=HGX&gage=RMOT2

  20. Ray Thompson says:

    I hope to die typing on my 1991 Northgate Gold keyboard

    Leave it to me when you die. Put it in your will, now! Thank you very much.

  21. Greg Norton says:

    Driving a brand new F-250 4WD Limited Edition.

    In Florida, it was always an Escalade.

    With 84 month car loans and 3% down mortgages, many things are possible.

  22. Greg Norton says:

    Paid for the first cart with food stamps.

    I thought food stamps went 100% electronic.

  23. nick flandrey says:

    Wow, just checked in my haul from yesterday. Mostly small items, beyond the cast iron, but two standouts.

    A vintage Redfield Olympic peep sight for a rifle, ~$150- 200.
    Vintage mens dress shoes, high end, all leather, $700+ if NIB, but used still ~$150-180. All those youtube videos I watched about quality mens shoes just paid off 🙂

    A couple of toys and some small electronics of no particular value, some camping bits and pieces, and some Directv parts, and an oregon scientific weather station – well used.

    The sight or the shoes will 3x my money, both will 5-6x, and will pay for all my stuff and the trip. That doesn’t even consider the industrial stuff I was really there to pick up. Sweet score!

    n

    (both the shoes and sight seem to be selling well on ebay, so if I can’t sell them it must be me….)

  24. lynn says:

    “The ‘doomsday’ scenario: Here’s what happens if the shutdown drags on”
    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/doomsday-scenario-here-s-what-happens-if-shutdown-drags-n955946

    “The doomsday scenario might be unlikely — the longest the federal government has ever shut down is 21 days, a record that will fall if the current closure lasts until Saturday — but it is chilling.”

    1. 38 million low-income Americans lose food stamps
    2. 6 million face an uncertain timetable for collecting tax refunds
    3. 2 million without rental assistance and facing possible eviction
    4. 800,000 paycheck-less federal employees plunged into dire financial straits
    5. Shuttered parks and museums while overstressed airports cause tourism to tank
    6. Federal court system slows to a crawl
    7. Disaster relief money doesn’t get to storm-ravaged areas
    8. Lapsed FDA and EPA inspections lead to dangerous outbreaks
    9. Private companies looking to go public are stuck in limbo
    10. Stock market plummets

    I know that I am a heartless asshole with zero sympathetic bones in my body but, I am ok with this awesome list. And I do know a person, an IRS field agent, who is furloughed and not working at the moment.

    Hat tip to:
    https://drudgereport.com/

  25. Greg Norton says:

    The first dime of 2020 has dropped, but it came from Trump, not Cankles.

    I remember the old Eddie Murphy routine asking if Johnny Carson’s girlfriend was worth the alimony. “I’ve never met p—y worth 7 million dollars.”

    What the heck does $120 billion buy?

    https://nypost.com/2019/01/10/trump-wishes-bezos-luck-on-divorce-its-going-to-be-a-beauty/amp/

  26. mediumwave says:

    I hope to die typing on my 1991 Northgate Gold keyboard

    Leave it to me when you die. Put it in your will, now! Thank you very much.

    Dang, Ray! Ya beat me to it. 😉

  27. Greg Norton says:

    I know that I am a heartless asshole with zero sympathetic bones in my body but, I am ok with this awesome list. And I do know a person, an IRS field agent, who is furloughed and not working at the moment.

    Ever been near a bodega in a bad neighborhood on EBT transfer day? That’s not a crowd you want feeling ‘sporty’, especially given the tensions with Police as of late.

    The State of Florida and Union Pacific got into a tiff about a decade ago, and one Friday, EBT day, the railroad decided that they had to rehab a crossing on the edge of the worst neighborhood in East Tampa, routing all homebound commuters on the road on a detour right past the bodega and bars in the heart of the ghetto. I saw a whole other side of the city that afternoon.

  28. Harold Combs says:

    Have you filed for Medicare yet ?

    Yes, did that when I turned 65. I am covered with part A. Consulting with my tribal Social Security guy, he said I didn’t have to file for part B, and pay for it, till I actually retired from my job and lost my current insurance coverage. He said I’d then have 3 months to sign up for part B without a penalty. I may go ahead and sign up on my birthday just to get it out of the way.

    As for getting Social Security for my wife … I don’t know that she’s eligible. She has only worked sporadically over our 46 years of marriage and I’m sure doesn’t meet the minimum contribution. I have a meeting next week with the wonderful folks at our local Social Security office in a few weeks and will bring this up.

    UPDATE: As a Muskogee Creek Indian I am covered by their excellent medical care at no cost. I believe this covers prescription coverage as well but will have to verify. Unfortunately, my wife’s Cherokee ancestors neglected to put themselves on the Dawes Rolls so she isn’t eligible. Thus I will need to maintain some form of coverage for her and her health is pretty bad just now.

    POSTSCRIPT: Lynn – thanks for the advice – I really trust my tribal Social Security councilor so I will run all by him when I visit Muskogee in March.

  29. nick flandrey says:

    How many of those civil servant jobs are Trump haters?

    How many of the welfare, section 8, and foodstamp gimme’s are trump supporters?

    Trump already said he’s cutting off aid to Cali…

    Tax refund? Not me. Not usually anyway. Used to pay someone to make sure of that.

    Our parks and museums are halfway to a national disgrace anyway, I was horrified by the Niagra Falls park, esp in comparison to Canadia.

    Hmmm, BLM won’t be F’ing with anyone next week….


    8. Lapsed FDA and EPA inspections lead to dangerous outbreaks” You mean, like Thalidimyde, Fen/Phen, romaine lettuce e coli? Maybe the EPA won’t be seizing anyone’s property as “wetlands” next week, or spilling millions of gallons of waste into our rivers….

    TSA has their success rate at finding prohibited items when tested up to only 85% failure. That’s an IMPROVEMENT from 95% failure previously. What are we paying them for anyway?

    n

  30. Ray Thompson says:

    I thought food stamps went 100% electronic.

    They did. I still call using the EBT card from state food stamps. Old habits die hard. You can tell it is a welfare card by the number of keypresses required and the data on the front of the receipt when the receipt prints.

    Probably about $250.00 in groceries and another $150.00 in beer, cigarettes and wine. Add in the $100.00 lottery tickets and that leach paid as much in worthless crap as the state (as in taxpayers) did for her groceries.

    I have know her for 30 years. Her entire family has made welfare a career choice. Her daughter recently had a child, not married of course, so the state would pay for the entire childbirth. She does live with the child’s father but not married. Has a new iPhone and runs to the emergency room an average of two times a week because of sniffles or her child has a cough.

    One of her children broke a bone at a softball game. She was demanding LifeStar (an emergency helicopter service) to transport her child to the UT trauma center. Was really getting the EMS worker’s case because he stated LifeStar was not necessary. She was livid and threatening to sue. I was leaving so I don’t know how far that went. The break was a simple fracture requiring no surgery I found out later.

    This lady has raped and abused the system her entire life. Her kids are doing the same thing. They see it as a life style. One of her kids question my wife at school asking her why she works. My wife told her so we could have things. The child’s response was they have lots of stuff, 4-wheelers, a boat, a camper, more stuff than we had. Yet her parents don’t need to work because the government gives them money for not working. The child said when they graduate they are applying for government aid and have no plans to work.

  31. Ray Thompson says:

    As for getting Social Security for my wife … I don’t know that she’s eligible

    She probably is eligible. If she worked at all then SS was collected. Her SS would not be much but would be augmented to 50% of yours. That is what happened with my wife. Only jobs the last 30 years was subbing at about $4K a year. Her SS was low but brought up to half of mine. Then reduced by 25% because she took it at 62 rather than waiting until 66.

    I didn’t have to file for part B, and pay for it, till I actually retired from my job and lost my current insurance coverage

    That is true. I was forced on to Medicare when I turned 65. Insurance company at work required it as Medicare now became primary insurance. I did not retire until I was 66.5 and did not have part B until I retired. There was no penalty. All Medicare wants is that you have insurance in lieu of Medicare. Medicare likes it because they don’t have to pay anything.

    Unless you have a source for prescription coverage get part D coverage. Also get a supplemental policy, the best you can get. Package “F” I think it is called. Covers just about everything. I had no medical payments this year. Cost is about $150.00 a month. Will jump a little when wife is added.

    I don’t have prescription coverage because I use the VA. Copay is $15 to $25 for a three month prescription and refill.

    Talk to a SS expert, not the worker bee in the SS office. Lots of options and you have to decide what is best for your situation.

  32. Harold Combs says:

    Lynn I plan to work until I am dead.

    I sang exactly the same tune till my wife almost died from a major heart attack 4 years ago and spent the following year in and out of hospital from a VRE infection picked up during the triple bypass. They finally had to remove part of 4 ribs and her entire sternum to eliminate the infection. That whole episode changed my perspective. Before, I LOVED my IT security work and couldn’t imagine not doing it. Afterwards, all that mattered was spending quality time with my wife and family.
    After I retire from my current position I will be taking over daily operation of my other businesses that my son is running now. Primarily the ATMs, the Self Storage facility, and a handful of rental property. None of that is really demanding of time or effort. Then my son will take his sailboat to the gulf to pay pirate till he finds out it’s not as much fun as it looks.

  33. lynn says:

    Then my son will take his sailboat to the gulf to pay pirate till he finds out it’s not as much fun as it looks.

    My parents had a Morgan Out Island 41 ft sloop (single mast) sailboat in the late 1970s that we shared with three other families. Every hour of sailing required 10 to 20 hours of maintenance. It was impossible to keep clean. The salt water corroded everything metal which had to be cleaned once per month. The sails had to be washed (but we did not do it) every outing or else they got moldy. The diesel engine and diesel generator were in a 4 ft tall crawl space and very problematic. A lot of work and nobody wanted to do it.
    https://www.spinsheet.com/boat-reviews/morgan-out-island-41-used-boat-review

  34. lynn says:

    I have know her for 30 years. Her entire family has made welfare a career choice. Her daughter recently had a child, not married of course, so the state would pay for the entire childbirth. She does live with the child’s father but not married. Has a new iPhone and runs to the emergency room an average of two times a week because of sniffles or her child has a cough.

    The federal fiscal apocalypse of 2026 will clear a lot of these items up. It may hose all of us also, it is hard to tell. I suspect that it will be like an Argentina fiscal apocalypse rather than the Venezuela fiscal apocalypse, tough but not rat eating level for the general populace. I do expect massive unemployment though.

  35. Greg Norton says:

    I plan to work until I am dead. In fact, I hope to die typing on my 1991 Northgate Gold keyboard.

    We will probably pull the plug on Texas when my daughter graduates from high school in six years. I’m not sure what I want to be doing at that time.

    The Northwest did a lot of damage to my career and put a six figure hole in our finances. If a “do over” was possible in life, I would choose to avoid the Vantucky misadventure.

  36. lynn says:

    We will probably pull the plug on Texas when my daughter graduates from high school in six years. I’m not sure what I want to be doing at that time.

    Gonna move back to Vantucky ?

  37. paul says:

    Gonna move back to Vantucky ?

    Lynn, that’s evil. Funny, too. 🙂

    Actually, getting away from Austin would be good. Go northwest, don’t stop here, the Austin nonsense is edging this way, go past Comanche. Up 281 or out on 183.

    I’m good with the Austin Bloboplex moving this way. I have 25 acres at the end of a dirt road. Secluded much? 🙂

  38. Greg Norton says:

    Gonna move back to Vantucky ?

    Austin wants to be Portland. Just wait 10 years. That would make Round Rock Vantucky.

  39. lynn says:

    Gonna move back to Vantucky ?

    Lynn, that’s evil. Funny, too.

    I know it. I’ve been in a bad mood all year so far.

  40. Greg Norton says:

    Actually, getting away from Austin would be good. Go northwest, don’t stop here, the Austin nonsense is edging this way, go past Comanche. Up 281 or out on 183.

    Getting away gets tougher every year. 183 will eventually be limited access with express toll lanes all the way up 29 eventually, possibly beyond. Another toll road will cut east-west to Burnet/281 from 35.

    The company I work for has so much toll road work around Texas and elsewhere that my time is committed until 2020 as I type.

    Looks like Portland is another step closer to tolling the Interstate system around the city. If they get away with it, every major city will apply to build plazas.

    https://www.columbian.com/news/2019/jan/10/fha-says-oregons-tolling-plans-likely-eligible-for-approval/

  41. nick flandrey says:

    I think a former county seat, within an hour drive of Houston would be ideal. It assumes we get a handle on illegals, and shut down the gangs. Of course without that, there isn’t anywhere to go anyway.

    n

  42. pcb_duffer says:

    Ray Thompson: When you get the gas passer’s bill, call Medicare and ask to speak to Claims Part B. They aren’t 24/7; I think it’s 8AM – 8PM Eastern, M-F). Then give the procedure code to the CSR, and they’ll tell you exactly what Medicare would pay for that service in your zip code. Offer the docs 110% of that, take it or leave it.

  43. nick flandrey says:

    Not something you see every day–

    “Huge swarm plague of locusts descends on Mecca leaving worshippers covered in insects as cleaners battle to control the bugs at Islam’s holiest site

    Footage shared on social media showed insects swarming at the Great Mosque
    Sanitation workers have been deployed to spray insecticide around the site”

    FIFY

    n

  44. brad says:

    @Ray: Have to agree with pcb_duffer.

    Actually, given the amount of money involved, paying for an hour of a lawyer’s time might be worth the investment. If they aren’t willing to give a binding cost estimate for a known procedure ahead of time, then you may well have legal options regarding the final bill.

  45. ayj says:

    Lynn

    Argentine fiscal apocalypse is describe as:

    a) Upper class, they always have foreing assest, so, bullet proof
    b) midle income, they always save in hard income, 1, 10 100 USD (hard for us, true) so, when rains, spend it, and property is always sold in USD since 50? years
    c) Lower income, in good and bad times they survive, also there are a vast gvnemet subsidies, covers all this? no, but they could eat, hospitals are free, all, they have everything?, no, but they care you, and a vast private network for a) and b), it includes dental coverage too (and in upper echelons, estethical surgery)

    I had 4 fiscal apocalip in 40 years, so, 1972, 1981, 1989, 2001 and so on, so, another one is well…, every ten years we have one, we were due for one since 2001

    Sometimes is hard to explain to foreign people how we survive, but, as an old motto stated, there are four classes of countries, Capitalist, Comunist, Japan and we.

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