Prepare to Launch

Surprisingly, all of that mail that I was dreading… it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. πŸ€¨πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I can’t say yet if any of it is actually good, but the information that came in over the past week or so was of a type that at least keeps me optimistic and motivated, and that’s something that I really need in order to keep fighting the never-ending WC game. 😟 Like I told Dad, even if a lot of it ends up falling through, at least it’s helping to keep me going right now.

My attorneys are still working from home for the most part, so I don’t think all of this information has trickled out to the ones that need it yet. πŸ€”πŸ˜’ So tomorrow I’ll be calling in again to see if I can find someone to talk to before my doctor appointment and possible stop by the Social Security office. 😞 With all of this stuff going on, of course SS is gonna perk its ears up and wanna know what’s going on (Like a cat that hears the cat food bag crinkle, or a dog that hears when his squeak toy get stepped on… 😏) so I just wanna make sure they’ve got all of the information they need as well.

And ironically, my neck has been extra janky today, so I’m hoping that my condition doesn’t improve before my appointment tomorrow. 🀨 It doesn’t usually work out where my “worst moments” coincide with the time and date of my appointments, but it’s nice when the doctor can actually see the true extent of the suck. I think it’s because I was folding so much laundry over the past couple days, along with several other small chores that I forced myself to do while the energy was there. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Meh.

Oh, and regarding my attorneys… there’s a good chance that I am gonna have to go to the main office to either give them copies of what I’ve gotten, or perhaps start signing some different things if they did get these same papers and have already begun working on them. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ€“ But their office is located downtown, and that hasn’t been the most car-friendly area over the past couple of weeks. 😯 I’ll have to check the different news sites tonight and see what they say about protests / areas, and maybe start looking for a “back way” into the nearby parking garage so I can sneak in and out if needed.

I’m not looking forward to tomorrow though. πŸ˜• Basically all of the things that are great at stealing my energy… that’s the stuff I’ll be doing all day. Visit with my doctor, impromptu SocSec office stop, phone calls with my attorneys (w/possible trip up to Columbus), stopping by my insurance agent’s office for some things, etc. 😐 But it’s my choice to glom all of this shit together this time, because I’d rather do it, have it hurt and/or drain me, but then have it all (hopefully) out of the way for a little while.

Calling it a day early though. 😴 Gonna go dark, find a movie to watch, and hopefully sack out soon. πŸ‘πŸ»

Blue Angels / Thunderbirds

Looks like they’ve sprung for cameras like the 360 cam I’ve got for each of their cockpits… πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒπŸ€“

It’s a shame that people on Twitter and on the news had to take something nice / distracting like this and poop all over it though. You’ve got one group of folks that are talking about how much it cost to do the performance, saying how the money should have been spent on PPE for the hospitals and doctors… and then the second group is mad because the mayor of NYC scolded the Jewish folks who held / attended a funeral in which hundreds of people attended, flouting social distancing rules… and the bitchy people complained that the folks who went outside to watch the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds fly over weren’t scolded in the same way for their supposed “gathering” to do so. 😐 Because those two things are apples to apples and definitely make for a perfect comparison. (Note the heavy sarcasm in that last sentence please.)

Quite a video though… those guys / gals are brave / nuts. 😊

Oh, and as for the cost of the show, and the hospitals needing supplies… I can almost guarantee you that not a single hospital or doctor is going to ask for PPE or supplies and be told, “Well, we would have been able to get you that extra ventilator, but we had that airplane show the other day, so…” πŸ™„πŸ˜…πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I mean, let’s be real. The hospitals and doctors are going to get the help that they get. The Blue Angels / Thunderbirds show isn’t going to reduce whatever help those folks would / are able to get from the government any more than Pence’s trip to the NIH did, or Trump’s flights back and forth to his properties. πŸ˜’ Let the people have some fun. You know how many kids were probably thrilled when they stepped outside and saw that stuff? 😁

See? The grumps even tainted my viewing experience, and I wasn’t even there. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Tesla Cybertruck

Entry level model (specs below) starts at $39,900.

  • Exoskeleton of Ultra Hard Cold Rolled 30x Stainless Steel
  • Single Motor RWD (base) = 0-60 < 6.5 sec / Top Speed = 110 MPH
  • Estimated EPA Range of 250+ Miles / Charge
  • 100 Cubic Feet of Storage
  • Automatic Retractable Steel Cover – Bed / Storage Area
  • Glass / Polymer Composite Tesla Armor Glass
  • Towing Capacity = 7,500+ Pounds / Cargo = 3,500+ Pounds
  • Adjustable Air Suspension and Standard Autopilot Included
  • “Laser Blade” Light Bar (above windscreen) Standard

Tesla Motors is actually planning to make delivery on the more expensive and more “equipped” dual-motor and tri-motor variants first, helping to further increase revenue as the company continues to grow. Those models offer higher range, higher speeds, more towing capacity, etc… but having a base model that rings up at around $40k gives it the possibility of truly breaking into the “pickup man” market. Because even the base model offers performance and features that are on par with similarly priced ICE trucks.

Now, will that segment of buyers be able to get past the appearance? Hell, could the appearance become part of the appeal? The design is polarizing – so only time will tell, but so far Tesla has done a good job of predicting what the market will want, and I certainly don’t see this truck as something that buyers would avoid if they’re shopping based on price-to-value across the market.

You can bet your ass, I’d drive one… 😏

Partial Reprieve

I’m half disappointed and half relieved. πŸ€” Lead attorney said I’d probably get a call to set up a meeting with everyone towards the end of the week… and now the week is over. So, I’m gonna guess that the letter I sent with my concerns, pre-meeting, may have caused a little more research and discussion among the team. Or I’m a piddly case and they’re working on something bigger and didn’t even think of me this week. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜

Obviously I’m torn… part of me is ready to get this shit taken care of as quickly (but firmly) as possible, but part of me is glad that it’s the weekend so I’ll have two whole days of not having to think about it. πŸ™‚ (For the most part.) I did get a printout from the pharmacy though, with the records for all of my meds from 2019… and at some point this weekend I have to go through that and figure out when the WC insurer did pay for things and when they didn’t. 🀨 (As well as calculating the true total cost of all my meds.) That’ll be fun, considering the printouts have no payment info other than the type, date, and cost. πŸ˜’ Meh… I’ll figure it out.

I’m gonna go to the rarely-used “sitting room” in the basement this evening, to watch my shows in complete isolation from the world… 😊 then the weekend is supposed to be nice, or at least sunny, so I’m gonna try to go see Dad on one of those days. The one year anniversary of Mom being called Home is coming up, so of course that’s been bouncing around in my thoughts along with all of the other stuff. 😒😌

It sure doesn’t seem like it has been a year already…

I Ain’t As Good As I Once Was…

This has been on my mind, so I’mma ramble. πŸ™‚ If we’re able to come to a settlement agreement regarding the medical portion of my claim, I wonder if I’ll be able to eventually undo all of the damage that’s been done. πŸ€”πŸ˜Ÿ Not the physical stuff, of course, since that’ll slowly continue to get worse over the years… but the way the whole process has mentally changed me, especially over the past several years. 😞

It’s just that I’m guaranteed that one week out of every month will be filled with anxiety and stress, simply because I have to get my medications filled. 😐 The meds are required to be covered by my claim, and many years ago I could pick them up without issue – even being able to get them a few days early at times. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Then the problems started. πŸ˜’ Short delays turned into long delays, and long delays became even longer. Eventually the delays were so long that I’d have to pay out-of-pocket just so I didn’t go without, and then wait and hope that I’d get paid back. πŸ˜• If my doctor prescribes a new medication, it can be denied pending an IC hearing. Even when a prescription doesn’t change they can still sometimes deny coverage pending an IC hearing to prove that it’s still necessary. (Which, after a decade, it obviously will be.)

Three weeks of “tolerable” pain at best, followed by a week of worrying, fussing, and fighting just to get the meds that they’re legally required to provide. 😠 Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat… πŸ™„πŸ˜ž Combine that stress with fluctuating pain and lack of ability, and eventually it consumed so much of my thoughts and time that I started backing away from everything else.

(Don’t mind my rambling… like I said, this blog sometimes acts as my therapy…)

When I can’t guess how I’ll physically feel, and I can’t even count on having (or being able to get) my meds to help… things became too unpredictable to continue like I had been. πŸ™ A couple of years ago I had a long phase where I couldn’t do anything if it meant someone “counting on me” for something. Family started getting shut out, friends definitely got shut out, all because I never knew how I’d feel when I woke up that day nor if I’d be facing (or getting pulled into) another hearing or lengthy process with the pharmacy.

That hasn’t changed. 😐 The concern and worry, that is. πŸ˜’ Along with my family and friends’ understanding, I’ve been able to make some adjustments that has kept me from totally isolating myself these days… but lemme tell ya, sometimes it feels easier to just remove myself from people’s lives than to disappoint them over and over again when things are bad. πŸ₯ΊπŸ˜ž And that leads me back to my original question… how long does it take for a person to escape that mindset, if that 1/4 of each month no longer has that anxiety and stress from the fight? 😐

The stress now, for better or worse, is making sure the settlement (whether an annuity or lump sum) is truly enough to cover the things that it will need to cover. If not, I’ll just be trading the stress of fighting for meds each month for the stress of not being able to take the same meds, because I won’t have the funds to pay for them. πŸ˜’ Medicare is technically supposed to step in at that point, but they’ll require all kinds of proof that I spent the settlement money only on applicable things, and the more expensive meds still might not be covered. πŸ˜– So as you can see, there truly is “always something.”

Kinda makes all the “You’re so lucky that you don’t have to work anymore!” folks reconsider, eh? 😏

Don’t Sweat The Uncontrollable

I’m glad the weather was nice this afternoon, because I had to go into Menard’s and order my garage door. Rick did all the measurements and research to figure out exactly what was needed, and at the lowest price possible… so that’s all good – but it’s still stressful to go out and deal with the weekend crowd, going to the counter and ordering something that I know nothing about, and swiping the credit card to begin the wait until it is finally delivered. πŸ˜• I can’t help it… it’s just one of those things that I can’t do myself, where I just have to hope it doesn’t end up being a hassle for Rick, when now that we’ve gotten started on it – I’m really wanting it to just be done.

The door itself wasn’t that expensive, but then of course the labor for taking the old one out and putting the new one in is where it’s gonna get me. Obviously Rick’s not gonna screw me over… I mean, the “patchwork” stuff we tried first, he hasn’t even charged me for any of his time or effort on all that… so it’s just the sitting here and wondering if it’ll go exactly as it should, easy peasy, or if random shit will pop up to make it a pain in the ass. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ So going in town and ordering the door was about the extent of my plans for the day, and I’m gonna spend the rest of the afternoon and evening mostly away from the electronicals, watching football and trying not to stress about something that I’ve got no control over.

Gotta get caught up on the mail tonight, plus I’m actually looking forward to grabbing my notebook so I can start making a more official list of stuff that I either want or need to do sometime in the near future. πŸ€“πŸ““ Not just the mandatory responsibilities like the upcoming doctor appointment, hearing prep, and work on the couple of things around the house – but also stuff that I just sorta want to do in order to keep things feeling like they’re moving forward. πŸ§”πŸ»πŸ‘‰πŸ» Like, I had a pretty good phase where I was packing and sorting stuff for a theoretical / eventual move from this place, and I’d sorta like to get back into the habit of doing a little bit more towards that each day.

I also haven’t done much of anything “just for fun” lately, so I wanna inventory whatever goodies I’ve got that I haven’t taken advantage of just yet and hopefully get them on the schedule. πŸ™‚ (You know, hobbies… like normal people have.) For example, Genesee got me two different gifts last Christmas that I haven’t put to use like I’ve wanted to… one being a music box where you can punch holes in a strip of paper to create your own songs, and the second being a ViewMaster type photo slide-reel viewer from a place that will turn your own photos into reels to view. I actually have a 3D digital camera, so I could make true 3D reels for that thing – but I’ve felt so buried by other stuff that I’ve just never allowed myself the time to just go shoot some pictures and make some reels. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Ÿ

But the “cancer concern” stuff is basically on an extended pause at the moment, so once the furnace is confirmed 100%, once the garage door is replaced and working with the new opener, and once I get through the upcoming workers comp hearing (yet to be scheduled / whether I win or lose) … once I get through some of those “heavier” things I wanna have an idea of what lighter, fun stuff I might wanna spend some time on. πŸ™‚ I know there’s always gonna be something heavy, whether it’s my stuff, a friend’s stuff, family’s stuff… so getting organized in a way where I can still allow time for some of that frivolous stuff anyway – it’s something that I have to keep working on when it comes to myself.

But there’s a good game coming on at 4p, then the OSU game later in the evening, and between watching those two, doing up the bills, and working on a couple different to-do lists of varying importance – honestly I’m hoping to be comfy in bed (and possibly even falling asleep) before the Buckeyes game is over… at long as they’ve got a comfortable enough lead. 😏 I’ve noticed that the days following the nights where I’ve gotten a ton of sleep actually do seem to be a little easier, so I’ve tried to make that the norm rather than the exception over the past several weekends.

Move/Buy/Sell/Apartment/Hotel

In the relatively small circle of folks that I talk to (along with those who I might not talk to, but still kinda know their business) there’s been a lot of thinking about, talking about, or actual “moving” going on. One cousin already moved from where he was, aunt and uncle are selling their original house now that they’ve moved into their “retirement” house, and then me and a couple other cousins are feeling just restless enough with our own situations that the thought of moving does pop up now and then. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ Oh, and I almost forgot yet another cousin and her hubby who recently purchased their first place together on the edge of town.

Then there are other folks who are considering or planning to move, even though it might not have been in their original plans. Whether job situations change, family situations change, relationship situations change, or the neighborhood itself changes enough where folks just want out… yeah, it’s become a common topic among a whole bunch of us. 😟 Even a couple friends in NJ have been taking a “serious, but not that serious yet” look at other potential homes around their area. It’s like a seed has been planted in all of our brains. πŸ˜‹

I’m not gonna get into “all that” much more right now, other than expanding on the reason why I started this entry in the first place. πŸ™„πŸ˜ Now, this is something that I’ve heard of happening in bigger cities, but I wouldn’t have thought that my relatively small town would have been affected by it already. 🀨 But investors will swoop in and buy up all the “cool” apartment properties, do a little bit of renovating, and then rather than living in them or renting them out in a traditional manner – they use those properties as short term, almost “vacation-like” quasi-hotel type rentals. 😠

In particular I can see that this has happened to many of the downtown apartments that used to be available above businesses, retail, restaurants, etc. A few years ago you would see a couple of them become available every few months, but now the majority of what I see are listings by folks who rent them by the week, weekend, or even sometimes by the night. πŸ˜•Β And in a way, you can’t blame them. Why rent a place out for $900 a month when you could average $100 a night by renting it out as an AirBNB or similar-type destination for well-off folks who only come to town for a few nights? πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ“ˆπŸ€‘

It’s exactly what already-expensive rental markets in bigger cities are experiencing. Locals, who actually want a home, who want to rent via traditional terms, are priced out of the market by the influx of investors who buy up apartments for higher priced, short term rentals. 😯 I guess in some cities on the west coast, more than 50% of the apartment market has been gobbled up in that way – and the only thing that might be able to stop the practice is if local ordinances are put in place to prevent it. πŸ€” But, to me, short-term renters would probably sound appealing to a city council, since that type of traffic would also be the type that would be spending money while they’re staying in their nifty vintage loft, or at least more so than a regular monthly tenant probably would be.

But yeah, all of this rambling just comes from one evening of quickly browsing through a few different apartment search type sites – so I may be assuming too much without having done enough research. 😏 But after that hour or so of browsing, when the net result is “Well… that seems like some bullshit.” πŸ˜… it only makes sense that it would also end up here in the blog, eh?

Let’s Get It Started (& Finished)

Furnace guy came and ran some checks on all the internals, and it turned out that the big fat capacitor that goes to the blower was dying… only storing about half the charge that it was supposed to at the time that he tested it, so luckily even though it was one of those intermittent things – he was able to tell with his meter which part was dying. He replaced that part, oiled the blower, and she’s working great. πŸ™‚πŸ‘πŸ»

Once he opened it up, he dated it as a 1987 model… or “a dinosaur” as he put it. πŸ˜πŸ¦• (I cannot disagree… heh) I was surprised that he had a replacement capacitor in his van, but apparently it has remained a common part over the years. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ The only other thing that’s going bad is the induction fan. It’s rated to draw 1.4 amps, but testing showed it was pulling nearly 2.5 amps when running – so that’s not awesome. 🀨😯 Like he said, it’ll keep working… until it doesn’t. So I told him to price a replacement, and I’ll likely end up having that swapped out too – ‘cuz I’d rather do it now than lose it in the middle of real winter weather. πŸ₯Ά

(Unrelated video, other than the title of this blog entry reminding me of this song… or vice versa… πŸ˜ŽπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ )

I also recovered from that brain fart and remembered that I loaned my drill to someone early last year, so I went and picked it up. (That shows how often I need / try to be “handy” around here. πŸ™„ ) That was “just in case” I’m able to get to the mailbox before Rick comes over to install the garage door opener. πŸ“ͺπŸ”¨πŸ˜‹ Oh, that came today as well. (The new πŸ§žβ€β™‚οΈ 3/4hp opener)Β  I shlepped the box into the house but haven’t opened it yet, but before I go to bed tonight I’m gonna at least open it up and make sure there’s no apparent damage before I give Rick the go ahead to schedule me in.

And the final thing, for the moment at least, is that my tires arrived at the store – so I’ll give them a call when I wake up to see if I have to make an appointment or if I just show up and get in line for them to mount, balance, and align them. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ”§πŸš˜ They’ve got several bays, so I don’t imagine I’ll have to wait long either way. (But still… anxiety has been extra-strength lately, so the sooner I’m done and back home, the better.)

But boy, between all that and then the other random things I’ve been dealing with… heh… just a little bit “too much stuff” going down all at once for my taste. 😳😬😏 But at least it’s all good stuff. The AC last year was basically “buy once, cry once” when I got it, but the furnace repair will be relatively cheap, the tires were reasonable(ish) since they were no-name, and only having to get new springs and a new opener when I was pretty sure that the whole garage door might have needed replacing… πŸ˜§πŸ§πŸ€” Well, maybe I should wait to be happy about that one until Rick puts it up and we see how she does.

I’m (currently) optimistic though. πŸ™‚πŸ€žπŸ»