Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On The Toilet

Getting old and infirm definitely has it's disadvantages.  One of the major problems is just getting up and down.  Forget about trying to get up off the floor after you're down, let alone getting down there in the first place without falling.

My inability to get up and down forced me to call on someone else for help the other day.  Our toilet tank had been leaking on and off for at least a month.  I understand the mechanics of how the toilet flush thing works, I just can't get down on the floor and root around under the toilet to fix it. After multiple urgings from my wife, I finally contacted a fellow from church who knows a bunch of folks who can do odd jobs on the spur of the moment. One of the church elders dropped by the same day and installed a new flapper valve which seemed to fix the problem...until about 4 a.m. the next morning, when it started leaking continuously.  I was able to get the water shut off after about fifteen minutes of crawling around on the floor. Wow, that hurts the knees getting back up! So now I'm getting ready to go down to the hardware store and buy a complete new flush assembly mechanism. Hopefully our elder can stop by again and install it for us.

My youngest son and his wife have been visiting with us for a few days, he got a phone call yesterday evening to let him know that the store he manages had been broken into by thieves. So they left early this morning to return home and assess the damages.

My daughter is due in later today for a visit between school terms. I enjoy when the kids come home to visit.

Still haven't gotten anything from the AARP insurance people. The website says 7 to 10 days, yesterday was 10 days. I think I'm going to give them a call if I don't see something in today's mail.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm Doing Fine

Got my first check from ODJFS last Saturday.  It's a comfort to know that I'll have a steady income while I seek new employment.  The only thing still bothering me is the lack of health insurance.  Still haven't heard from the AARP insurance folks.  The website says to allow 7 to 10 days for the information packet to arrive.  Don't recall how long ago it was I requested it, but I think it's getting close to 10 days.  I need to look back at my earlier posts to see.

One little thing bothers me about the insurance...I know it's silly, but when I requested the info packet, the website said they would send me their "Insurance For Dummies" kit.  I'm a bit insulted by their insinuation that I'm a dummy. I consider myself fairly intelligent and am rather offended by their insensitive comment.

I felt a sore spot on my forehead this afternoon and when I looked in the mirror I discovered a tiny liquid-filled blister. WTF? I finally realized it had been caused by the CPAP mask I wear when I sleep. Guess I need to loosen the strap a little.

One of my sons and his wife are visiting with me for the next couple of days and my daughter is coming in later in the week. I always enjoy it when the kids drop in for a few days. We don't do a whole lot, mostly just sit around and watch TV or play games, but just having them around is a nice feeling.

I ordered a new wedding band online for my wife today, she had to have her old one cut off when she hurt her hand a while back and had to have it cut off when her fingers started swelling.  I also got hold of her original diamond wedding band that she hasn't worn in several years. The diamond fell out of it, so she stopped wearing it. I'm planning to take it to the jeweler's and see if I can get a new stone put in it for her.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Assorted Stuff

Several things have happened yesterday and today so I thought I'd pop in to update the blog.

Just after I finished my last post, an e-mail from ODJFS arrived to let me know that I'm eligible for unemployment benefits!  Not a big check, but after you consider the gas I was burning going back and forth to work at 14 mpg, it's pretty close to what I was making before I got fired, not counting the health benefits.  I think the thing that made me feel the best about it was that they determined I had been discharged "without just cause."  In my mind that sort of justifies my opinion that my former boss was pretty much a douchebag who just wanted to get rid of me.

I still haven't heard from the AARP health insurance folks, gonna give them a call Monday and see if I can get some info on how to get a policy in effect.

My wife is looking at two life changing surgeries in the near future.  First of which is cataract repair.  She has diabetes and has been slowly going blind over the last couple of years.  The surgery will brighten up her world and improve her eyesight, but there's already been damage to her retinas, so she is still probably going to need glasses. I took her to the doctor today and they scheduled the surgeries.
Second, she's entered a surgical weight loss program and is looking at stomach bypass surgery in about six months if all goes well. Hopefully that will stop or at least dramatically improve her diabetic problems.  She's very upbeat about all of this, I'm proud of her.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Forever Waiting

No word from ODJFS on the status of my claim yet, but hopefully it won't be long. I gave them a call and they said my employer had until last Tuesday to reply to their request for information. After that they would review my case and I should hear something by the first part of next week.

I'm not sure my employer's failure to respond promptly is a good thing or not. I'm a little nervous about the whole thing.

I just found out last night that Google AdSense has banned my son from their service for some reason. I'm guessing that he was getting too many clicks per ad versus the number of visitors to his blog. They're pretty anal about that. In his defense, it was a good blog and he had a lot of followers.

My wife and I have stumbled into the middle of a feud between two local factions. One of those "damned if you do and damned if you don't" situations. Perhaps I'll elaborate in a future post, it looks like we're not going to get our foot out of the bear trap any time soon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hurry up and wait

Still no word from ODJFS on my unemployment status.  Even so, I need to go online and file a claim for last week. I just hope it's not a waste of time.

A little hope on the horizon, my Google AdSense account is starting to bring in a trickle of loose change. I just received an email from them today to let me know my earnings have topped $10 and I can start receiving checks from them.  That's with just 17 followers and less than one ad click per day. I plan to work on cultivating some additional followers today.

I've also started scheduling the posts on my humor blog, my posts are currently going live every morning at 7:00 a.m. but I'm considering moving it up a couple of hours for people who possibly check my blog before going to work in the morning.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Doing okay for now

I just verified that our income tax refund was direct deposited to our bank account this morning. We have a few outstanding bills that need to be paid and a couple of purchases we would like to make, but hopefully a good portion of it can go towards getting cataract surgery for my wife.

I looked around online for better deals on health insurance and found a couple of policies available through AARP that look promising. Monthly premiums are significantly less than what the School Employees Retirement System is asking. Benefits aren't quite as good, but I don't think I can afford the gold standard at this time. I requested an information packet and will be looking into this deeper.

I weeded out a gob of old paper on my desk yesterday...and a gob more came in the mail.  Mostly bills that need to be paid. Nothing from ODJFS as of right now, hoping to get some sort of determination on my status some time today.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Everyday I'm Shufflin'

I'll admit it. I'm a paper hoarder. I don't throw away stuff like most folks. In particular, I don't throw away junk mail...or any mail for that matter. I intend to throw it away, I just don't seem to be able to get around to doing it. Consequently the paper stacks up on my desk to the point that I can't find anything very quickly and end up shuffling through it all the time looking for things. Eventually I get to the point that everything I'm going through is several months old and I end up sticking it in a box to go through and weed out...but it never gets done. So not only do I have stacks and stacks of stuff on my desk, I have boxes and boxes of stuff that needs to probably be thrown out. I'm hoping to do some paper disposal today. A lot depends on whether I get any more missives from ODJFS or not.

I mentioned in my last post that Google AdSense had finally approved my other website for ads. In the last 5 days I've generated more income than I had in three months using PocketSense. Amazing.  It's not a flood of money, actually less than a dollar so far, but I'm encouraged nonetheless.

We had some snow yesterday, enough to close the schools, but not enough to last until the end of the day. Everything had melted off by late afternoon.  My wife has a policy that states "If schools are closed, I don't work either."  So I took her lead and didn't do anything in regards to my unemployment situation yesterday.  Instead I watched TV most of the day.  I did get around to setting up her computer station so she doesn't have to wait on me to finish working here.

One last thing, I did verify that the wife of my former boss is now doing my old job. Supposedly it's only "temporary" until they can find someone else. Yeah, right...I can certainly believe that story.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Thank You, AdSense!

It doesn't take a whole lot to make me happy. For example...

About eight years ago I started a blog and put some advertisements on it courtesy of Google AdSense.  The blog never made much of a splash and I eventually let it go dormant for a long time. I don't think I ever made any money on it.

Recently my son started a blog with some Google AdSense banners on it and I was amazed at the size of some of the checks he was receiving after only a few months.  So I decided to give it another try.

I changed my e-mail address since I started the old blog and there were some problems with restarting AdSense I totally deleted the old blog and started a new one.  Google still wanted to look at the old blog URL and nothing I did seemed to work.  I've been struggling for 4 months to get AdSense banners to show up on the new blog and had pretty much given up on it.  Suddenly this afternoon AdSense banners started popping up on my site.

I am happy.  Like I said, it doesn't take much.

More of the same

More questions to answer for ODJFS this morning. It was hard to answer some of them since my employer wouldn't discuss my discharge other than to say it was for "job performance."  I'm beginning to suspect they might determine I'm ineligible for unemployment benefits. That would be the pits.

Getting ready to go out and buy stuff to build a desk for my wife to work at. Since my unemployment, I've been monopolizing the computer. We're going to resurrect a netbook that's been gathering dust, put a monitor and keyboard on it and create a workstation for her.  We've been kicking around the idea of some sort of online marketing that might bring in some extra money but haven't really hit on any super fantastic concepts yet.

Well, she's ready to leave, so I guess I need to cut this short.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

How Much Is My Health Worth?

Suddenly becoming unemployed means several things. One of the more important things that is happening is an end to health care benefits through my employer.  Since I'm dealing with multiple health problems and taking about 12 different medications to keep stuff under control, I am of the opinion that health care coverage is rather important. 

I'm currently receiving retirement benefits from two different past employers, neither one is very large. Definitely not enough to live on even when combined...which is one of two reasons I was still working up until last Thursday.  The other reason was that health care coverage was available through my employer. They offered a piss-poor major medical plan ($25,000 deductible!?!), but it did include prescriptions at a reasonable discount.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had contacted one of my retirement benefit providers about health care coverage and expected the cost to be more than what I was receiving from them.  Imagine my dismay when I discovered that my coverage will cost everything I receive under BOTH retirement an additional $700 per month!

Granted, it's a good plan ($1500 deductible versus $25,000) and comparable prescription discounts...but the cost is totally outrageous.  I'm pretty sure my prescription costs and regular doctor visits would be much less than the cost of the coverage. My main worry would be if I were to get really sick or injured and require hospitalization or some sort of surgery.  In addition, if I wait too long to seek new coverage, I loose "pre-existing condition" coverage.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do at this point, I think a lot will depend on what the folks at ODJFS determine in the way of unemployment benefits.