Critical Timing

The phrase “Timing is everything” sums up the essence of good comedy. It’s that way, too, in life in general. Take today, for instance (April 7, 2022).

The weather sooth sayers sooth there’s an 80% chance of rain for the day. It was dark and gloomy when I got out of bed at quarter past seven this morning and it hadn’t brightened up a whole lot over the next couple of hours. I keep the 11-pound propane tank out in the cockpit with the hose leading inside to the stove. For safety reasons I always shut the feed off at the tank after finishing with the stove until the next time I need to use it. I noticed that the gauge on the tank had dipped down into the yellow, “Low” zone.

That means there’s roughly 1/4 of the tank capacity left. Since I cook on the stove every day I thought it would be a good idea to get the tank topped off. There were also a couple of other things I could get done while I was out of The Swamp here off the Saint Johns River in Central Florida…Refill the empty 5 gallon water bottle and do some grocery shopping to hold me over into early next week.

Did all those thing I needed to do and JUST AFTER getting everything from the SUV to the boat cockpit raindrops started dimpling the surface of the canal. Right now as I’m writing thunder is rolling all around.

“Timing is everything.”

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NEVER Vote for a Conservative

Why? Because they’re just too effin’ STUPID, that’s why!

Example:
Comparing former Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson to Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) says: “The last Judge Jackson left the Supreme Court to go to Nuremberg and prosecute the case against the Nazis. This Judge Jackson might have gone there to defend them.”

This idiot obviously doesn’t know how things work. She was a “Public Defender” and they don’t get to choose who they defend. And he obviously knows nothing about American history. You know who defended the British Soldier who participated in the Boston Massacre? It was John Adams who would end up being the country’s second president. Why did he defend them? Because he believed EVERYONE deserves to be represented in a court of law…

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TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome)

Someone recently accused me of having TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome). As if reminding people of what a totally despicable, worthless, dangerous, traitorous, piece of human garbage the giant orange pus ball is, is a bad thing.

The person who said that thinks “Derangement” only means you hate something. In some cases that may be true, but derangement is: – “a state of mental disturbance and disorientation. mental unsoundness, unbalance. insanity – relatively permanent disorder of the mind.”

My reply is that the REAL person suffering from TDS is the one who still has his “Trump 2020” sign on his front lawn. Alternatively it’s the person who has a “Trump 2024” sign on their lawn. It’s also someone who believes that a person who NEVER won the popular vote in any election they ran in or who, in their 4 years in office because of a quirk in our electoral process, NEVER hit a 50% approval rating in any poll conducted, INCLUDING Fox Noise, suddenly won the 2020 election in a “landslide.” THAT’S who has TDS!

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Auto Insurance Bullshit!

My last moving traffic violation was in 1971! It’s not that I haven’t deserved citations since then, I just haven’t gotten caught. On the whole, though, I’m a cautious and safe driver even as I approach the 80th anniversary of transiting the center of our solar system. I’ve always kinda looked at auto insurance as betting against myself. And since I live deep in the swamp off the Saint Johns River in Central Florida and only venture outside its precincts a couple of times a week I HATE paying what I view as extortionate rates for coverage.

But, carrying auto insurance is mandated by the state so I have it. Recently I got a billing notice from my carrier. It costs me roughly $12 for insurance every time I go shopping. Thinking that’s ridiculous I decided to see if I could get a better deal somewhere else. I went on line and went through some absolutely ridiculous bullshit trying to gather quotes. Page after online page of info and end up with NO ONE just giving you a fucking number without talking to a human being.

I finally did talk to two agents and got one quote that was slightly lower than what I have now. And my coverage is the BARE MINIMUM!!! I have a 22-year old beater of an SUV. Last summer’s voyage to New Jersey and back saw me having to get my alternator replaces THREE TIMES! So I don’t carry comprehensive or collision coverage. Minimum liability and it costs me over $100 each month. Well, the best alternative I got would save me just over $4 a week. I’m poor, but saving $4 a week just isn’t enough incentive to go through with changing carriers. I’ll stick with what I have.

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Sunday Irreverence

I have another 27 hours to spend in Facebook Prison. If I was able to post today this is what it would be…

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Throttled Phone Hotspot Woes

I keep getting these little messages on my computer screen that I need to update my MacBook Air operating system. Supposedly it will update automatically but the ‘puter is off when that’s scheduled late at night. So yesterday when the little notice popped up I hit the “Load Now” button. The little line that shows how the download was advancing seemed frozen and then a notice popped up that the app would be finished loading in “8 days.” Not minutes. Not hours. But it was going to take another EIGHT DAYS!!!

You see, living here in the swamp off the Saint Johns River there’s no DSL hookups. The only way to get on line is through a mobile phone “hot spot.” In many ways that’s fine. In other ways it REALLY SUCKS!!! First of all, there’s no such thing as “Unlimited” with any of the mobil phone programs. They throttle the speed of your connection after you’ve accessed it for so many gigs. Much of that throttling also depends on how much traffic the tower you’re accessing is receiving. Down at Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island the only time I really felt the pinch was on the weekends when people from “The Dark Side” (the mainland) flooded the nearby beaches and jammed up the single tower on the island. Then it would be nearly impossible to use the hot spot until after dark when the beach goers went home.

It’s different here in DeBary. People are making calls all the time and my access is crimped. Who else is old enough to remember getting on line with the old phone modems. You got blinding speeds of 56 kbs. Well, with the throttled-down hot spot I was downloading the app I needed at SEVEN KILOBYTES A SECOND!!! Talk about sucking!!!

Tomorrow, March 4, I’m going to go to the DeBary Public Library and log on to their wifi and do the download there. I need to get a library card, anyway. I’ve always had a library card wherever I’ve lived. I even had one down in Bradenton Beach when I was living on the hook. Had it there so I could download books to my Kindle App to read late at night. The only place I DIDN’T have a library card was when I was living in Boqueron, Panama.

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New Stove Arrived

As promised the new Hike Crew stove/oven as promised. Looks pretty nifty. The only problem is that the hose is too short so I had to order one. I ordered a 12-footer that comes with a pressure regulator and a gauge to guess how much is in the tank. I own a 20 lb. tank but the weight, combined with my COPD made it a pain in the pooper to manhandle around on the boat. So I traded it in for a more manageable 11 pounder. Works for me. Has been lasting me about 5 months BUT I never tried to bake anything. I will be with the new oven, though.

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Another Sunday

If I wasn’t a hardcore bad guy I’d be posting stuff like this over in Facebook….

BUT…

So it’s….

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Good Medical Advice

Since I was diagnosed with COPD about 10 years ago, down in Panama, I’ve taken various medications in the battle to stay functional. One of the first I got gave me horrible leg cramps. I’d be awakened in the middle of the night with cramps. There was one time I was boarding a bus in David (dah VEED) when my calf spasmed sending me stumbling in the aisle. A young teenager instantly gave me his seat. Panamanian kids are actually like that…I stopped taking that.

Besides using the Ventolin rescue inhaler I didn’t take any specific COPD meds until several years later when I dropped anchor at Bradenton Beach, FL, just south of Tampa Bay. When I told the doctor there that I was depending on the Ventolin too much he prescribed Breo Ellipta. It helped a lot. Now the thing is these meds DON’T cure anything. They simply make it a bit easier for a person to carry on a more or less normal existence. I still have to suck on the Ventolin several times a day when I exert myself physically, but that’s a lot less than if I wasn’t taking the Breo every morning.

As my lung capacity diminished from the 43% I was tested at in Panama to the 21% I registered a few months ago here in Central Florida, I’ve tried several different meds. One was Symbicort. I tried that one out when I found it was now available in generic form. NOW, here’s one of the reasons America’s medical system is so expensive and messed up…my insurance WON’T COVER the less expensive generic form of Symbicort. Only the high-priced spread. It wasn’t a big deal because after using it for a month it wasn’t nearly as effective as the Breo which I went back to using.

My new doctor here in DeBary, FL had me try out a new med called Trelogy. It has three medications in each puff you take daily instead of just two meds that come in the Breo. After a couple of months I didn’t notice that the Trelogy was any more effective than the Breo even though it was about 25% more expensive. So I went back to the Breo.

The pulmonologist I was sent to see on the recommendation of my primary care physician had me try a med I can’t even remember the name of anymore. It didn’t do a damned thing. It was as if I’d been given a placebo. So it was back to the Breo. At least that worked, sorta, to make life a bit more comfortable.

Now, here’s the important thing for me. I live entirely on Social Security. Thanks to George (putting the “W” into AWOL) Bush’s clever “donut hole” in the Medicare prescription drug coverage I usually get nailed around October with a HUGE increase in what i have to pay for my meds. Most of my meds really aren’t breath-takingly expensive. A 90-day supply of my BP meds run under $11. A 90-day supply of the med I take to keep my prostrate shrunken is around $5. The generic Albuterol for the rescue inhaler runs $12 and a few pennies. One of those generally lasts me a couple of months. The full price of Breo Ellipta is $410. In Canada it’s $212.

The price of the Trelogy depends, like ALL the meds, on where you buy it. The price without insurance is $696.58 at Wally World and $729.63 at Walgreens.

Last month my primary care physician had me try out an new three-med product named Breztri. It works the best of any I’ve tried. BUT the retail price at Wally World is $715.57. If i I was in Canada the cost would be $299!!!

When the doc told me to try the Breztri he gave me a discount card but here’s ANOTHER way things are totally EFFED up in the US of A…AstraZenaca WON’T give anyone who has Medicare insurance the discount. ONLY people with private insurance qualify for that. Realistically that’s because Medicare won’t let them be ripped off by Big Pharma, but Astra can rip the eyeballs out of the major insurance companies with impunity.

I WILL continue to use the Breztri as long as I my insurance helps before being sucked into the donut hole. Then I’ll have to see how many months I’m going to have to struggle through paying the higher price and how much that increase is going to be.

The thing is you take two puffs of the stuff in the morning and two puffs at night. It DOES open my lungs up after taking it. I can take much deeper breaths than before the dose. But, of course, it doesn’t last all day. I kind of feel that the second dose is wasted since I’m sleeping though it and am not active. (Not that I’m THAT active during the day if I can avoid it…)

So, I asked my doctor at my most recent visit if I could get away with just taking the morning dose and forget the evening dose which would effectively cut my cost in half. I really appreciated his response…

“As your physician I have to say you need to take both doses as prescribed. As a person who knows and appreciates your financial situation I’d say cut back to once a day and see how you function doing that.” That’s good medical advice in my book!

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Cooking on a SmallĀ Boat (Chapter 2)

Five days ago I wrote a post about my problems with the pressure regulators on the small, single-burner stoves I’ve been cooking on blowing up. Fortunately they did their job cutting off the propane from the 11-pound tank I keep in the cockpit so there was no fire hazard. (As per Coast Guard regulations I have a fire extinguisher that is within arm’s grasp) But last night the THIRD one self-destructed. The part I’m talking about is in the red circle. . . I’m pissed!

That was my first dual/fuel stove and I liked it a lot. The plus factor was that when I couldn’t use the propane I COULD use one of those small butane cylinders so I was still able to brew my morning mug of espresso. But not much more than that because those cylinders only provide about 3 hours of cooking time.

I was able to buy a replacement hose from Amazon but when that one blew and I went online they are no longer available. So I bought a different brand. I liked this one even better.

But it only lasted a month before the regulator shit the bed! Gee ZUSS!!!

I went online to see about getting a stove sorta like I’d had on my Kaiser. (Not the actual one)

What I discovered on my search was a tiny two-burner camping stove/oven. I’ve missed being able to bake anything the past few years so this seemed like it might work. Size is the important thing. Basically my actual living area is about 7-1/2 feet X 7 feet. The available space for a stove, after deductions for the solar generator, the fridge and a three-drawer thingy that holds a bunch of junk, it minimal. The Gas One stove worked well…

The stove/oven combo is a bit bigger, but with a little bit of rearranging should be doable…

It’s scheduled to arrive at my mail drop on Monday…We’ll see. In the meantime I have the butane and my Instant Pot. I won’t be wanting for hot food.

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