Mar 13, 2014

Health insurance, you can't live with it.......you get it.


For the most part I enjoy good health, especially for an older guy.  I take a cholesterol-lowering drug and that's about the extent of my regular medical needs.  For the most part, I don't use my insurance that much.  That doesn't mean that they haven't got a way too screw me, though.

My insurance insists that I order my cholesterol med via the mail, since it is considered maintenance, not urgent.  This, they say is the most cost-efficient way to get my pills and keep cost lower for everyone.  A 90-day-supply costs me $25 using my insurance.  Not too bad.

What I discovered recently is that the insurance pays zero dollars toward these refills and I pay the $25 copay.  I'm paying full retail through the insurance.  That got me to thinking.

I checked with some of these $4 plans at the big box stores and found my drug wasn't on their lists for $4.  But Costco will fill my prescription for $9 for 90 days, saving my $16 off the insurance company prices.  So, not only was there no benefit to my by my insurance, the company was profiting an extra $15 or so from my using them.  Bastards!

Not to lay lie to my good health claim, but I developed a touch of cellulitis in my thigh this week.  This morning I went to the doc and he prescribed an antibiotic. 

In this case, mail order is not practical anyway, so I went to my insurance website to find my options and cost.  They recommended that I go to a Walmart near me to fill the prescription.  I would have a $10 copay and they would contribute nothing.

I happened to ask the Walmart person what the self-pay price was and it turns out that it is $4.  Pay $4 without insurance, pay $10 with it.  Did I mention bastards?





Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

Feb 20, 2014

This box of produce was sitting in the middle of the street in Little Italy in Boston.  We never figured out why.




Mom makes emotional 911 call after baby is kidnapped!

That is the actual headline for an actual news story.  Accompanying the headline and story, was the audio of the call.

When did making 911 calls available to the public get started?  I know it has been around a while, but why is it news?  I don't want to hear people at the most awful moments of their lives. 

That sentiment extends to past human tragedies like the Holocaust and the NYC terrorist attacks, too.  I avoid movies or books that trade on the great atrocities. 

Walks down the aisle of the museum of man's inhumanity to man is not for me.

 

 

Feb 7, 2014




I need 2 tires for my bike and I found just what I wanted on Amazon.  I selected quantity "2" and checked out.  Smooth as silk, be here on Friday (today) and free shipping.

This afternoon a FEDEX guy came to the door with a big box.  My tires I presumed.  It was my tires, minus an 's'.  The box contained not tires, but a single tire.  There was room for two, but only a single tire within.   Was it a mistake in packing?  Would I have to call to find the missing tire.

An hour later another FEDEX guy came to the door with another box...the other tire.  I asked him if he was the same guy from an hour earlier and he was not. 

Those Amazon guys are usually very efficient, but it seems to me that this wasn't one of those times.


Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

Feb 1, 2014

The internet of my days.


Some people believe that the great social divides in this country center on rich/poor or the rising immigrant population.  Maybe they do, but for me the greatest divide is between those who have only known the information age and minimal customer service skills and those of us from the olden days.

We might have been badly informed back in the day, but we weren't clueless.  As nearly as I recall, anyway.

This is an actual conversation I had with a kid in an auto parts store the other day.  I was in need of a key, among other things and the store didn't have a blank for the key I needed..

Me:  Do you know of a locksmith shop in the area?

Kid:  Do you have a cellphone?

Me: Yes.

Kid:  You can use your phone to locate one and it will give you directions.

Me:  I don't have a smartphone.

Kid:  If you can find a phone book, you can find a listing in the yellow pages. Look under locksmiths.

Me:  I just thought you might know of one here in your neighborhood.

Kid:  I'm not from this neighborhood, I just work here.

Me:  Thanks.

Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

Jan 21, 2014



Mrs. Sneed and I just trekked up to southern Nevada to do a couple of days of bicycling.  It was great, but the drive to and from is a slough.   Two hours to Phoenix and then 4+ hours through the desert with only Kingman, AZ to break it up. 

On our first day we rode the River Mountains Loop, which is 34 miles, beginning in Boulder City, NV, through Henderson, down to Lake Mead and back Up to Boulder City.

Just to the right, out of the frame, is the middle of nowhere


A fellow in the parking lot at our start suggested that it may be a bit hard on two oldsters like us when we had to climb the 1200' from Lake Mead back to Boulder City.  He turned out to be right.



Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

Jan 3, 2014



Back when I was a working stiff, I used to hear people say that they are more busy in retirement than they were when they worked.  That mystified me when I was on the outside of geezerdom.  Now, I sort of get what they mean.

I'm not really busier these days, but I definitely find ways to spend my time.  I think it has to do with my life being less structured since I don't work.  I have more time to think about what I can being doing.

What the lovely Mrs. Sneed and I have been doing this past year is bicycle.  In fact, we biked over 4000 miles in 2012.  Not that we are keeping track or anything.

This past fall we spent a couple of weeks visiting New York City and taking a cruise up the east coast to Canada and back.  It was a lot of fun.

We had hopes of seeing the Book of Mormon while in NY but it cost more than sensible people should pay.  We took a guided bike tour of Brooklyn one day, wandered around Central Park another, rode the Staten Island ferry in a gale and rode the subway all over.





 This may be the greatest police vehicle ever.  We saw this in St. John, New Brunswick.  American police agencies may have Hummers and tanks, but St. John has the perfect vehicle for low-speed chases. And who doesn't prefer low-speed chases given a choice?

Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

Dec 24, 2013

It's Christmas Eve.  Even for a non-religious guy, Christmas is fun to celebrate...mostly.  The pressure to buy, buy, buy, gives me the creeps.
 
Mrs. Sneed is in the midst of cleaning and preparing for our family party which begins at 6 tonight.  I'm trying to help a bit, but I'm not that much help really. 

For instance, I tried to fix a small plumbing issue in the main bath this morning and now I have a leak on the cold water side of the sink.  The valve needs to be changed, but I dare not start that today.  So, the guests will have to be content with hot water only and they will never even see the bucket under the sink. 

The boys formerly known as the Sneedlets are 10, going on 11 and Grandpa has definitely lost his cool with them.

 Miss Riley is just now five and too cool.


 And...the reigning sovereign of these here parts, the oh, so cute Piper.

So, however you celebrate the holidays, or even if you don't, the best from the Sneeds!














Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

Dec 29, 2012



Sneedlets of every size and shape


Even if you haven't heard of the Pareto principle by its formal name, you probably have heard of the 80/20 rule.  You know, 80% of the effects are the result of 20% of causes.  It is not exact, but is generally correct in a lot of cases.

For instance, worldwide, 80% of income is earned by 20% of earners.  In the US the top 25% of income tax payers, pay 87% of personal income tax collections. 

But my post is not about income taxes.   The 80/20 rule is a floor, not a ceiling.  If you think about it most of the problems in the work place are caused by a few individuals, most problems in schools are the result of a small number of students.  And you can go on and on, I'm sure.

I recently downloaded a police and fire scanner app.  It has been quite an education.  

What I have learned from the police scanner is that the overwhelming majority of police calls involve a very small segment of the population. 

We have a current crime spree involving an armed robber who has robbed the same fast food place 4 times in the past month.  You think that someone could figure out how to catch this guy, but that is just my thinking.

I was listening to the scanner the other evening and Mrs. Sneed had the local news on the TV.  While the local news reader breathlessly told us about how this guy had robbed the restaurant for the 3rd time, I heard on the scanner that he had just struck for the 4th time.

You have to grudgingly admire a guy who has found a plan and is making the most of it.  Or not.


Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

Dec 26, 2012




One of the worst aspects of government is their ability to pass laws that they cannot or will not enforce. 

In that regard, has their ever been a more widely mocked edict than the National Do Not Call Registry?  The Sneeds get unwanted calls all day, every day.


Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

Dec 16, 2012

Not the mountain in question.  I took this on our cruise to Alaska.


No matter what someone tries to do or build these days, there is a group to oppose it for one reason or another. The arguments of the opposition range from the valid to the specious, depending upon your point of view.  Some seem reasonable until you let the emotion clear and think about it a bit.

Here in the Southwest US we have a lot of Native American folks and they have a lot of objections when it comes to building stuff.  After all, they do have history on their side when it comes to getting the short end of the development game.

Near Flagstaff, AZ. there is a skiing operation that wanted to build a pipeline to bring in water to feed snow-making equipment. And because water is scarce in the area, the plan was to bring in treated waste water from Flagstaff.

Well, the Navajo Nation went ballistic, legally speaking.  They didn't want the pipeline built at all and for sure they didn't want treated waste water dumped on what they consider sacred land.  They don't own the land, (see paragraph 2), so they claimed a sacred interest in the deal.

It seems that Katchina was born at the base of the very mountain where the waste water, turned snow, turned waste water was likely to ultimately flow. Try making the sacred birthplace argument if you are a Lutheran or a follower of another sketchy religious figure.  But I digress.

Legally, the Navajo lost in court and the pipeline will be turned on shortly, according to the news.

So, here is where the thinking about it a bit comes in.

Isn't all the water around up essentially treated waste water?  We all know that a bear does in fact sh*t in the woods.   Ask anyone.

Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky