What the?

July 17, 2018

I’ll forewarn the few Liberals who read this post that this
contains my opinion on sensitive matters which may offend
you. It is not meant to be racist, sexist, or part of a right
wing extremist campaign. If this opinion offends you, please
take a deep breath and find safe space elsewhere.

As some of us know new Medicare cards are being sent out and I
just got mine. Silly me, I assumed it would just be a copy of
the old card sent out because the paper card gets worn out in
billfolds. So I set the old card next to the new and they were
not the same.

The old card had name, Social Security number, what plans one
is eligible for, and when you signed up. The entire card was in
English. The new card no longer has my Social Security number,
that has been replaced with a slightly longer code with letters
and numbers.

And the new card is sub-titled in Spanish! With the new card
Name has been replaced with Name/Nombre and so on. Even the
cover letter from the Department of Health of Human Services is
bi-lingual in English and Spanish.

But the other piece of paper in the envelope really frosted my
tomato. Thinking this second sheet explained a little more about
the changes I was not a happy camper when I read the header
which stated ‘Help in other languages’. Huh?

Yes it appears you can call 1-800-MEDICARE and get help in
Armenian, Chinese, French, German, Haitian Creole, Italian,
Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, and
Vietnamese.

I may be old school, but this bugs me. If you have lived here
long enough to pay in for enough quarters to be eligible shouldn’t
you be speaking English anyway? No wonder there aren’t many cost
of living increases.

On top of being government run, which we know is not cost
effective, our government sees fit to hire interpreters in case
someone calls who doesn’t speak English? I’d keep my old all
English card but the number wouldn’t work anymore.

Enjoy our Tuesday. Now for some coffee and a Snicker’s.

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Just some thoughts

July 13, 2018

At the grocery store the guy bagging our purchases asked me if
we found everything and I replied that if we didn’t we should
have. For some reason he must have thought that was the funniest
thing he’d heard all morning as he was still chuckling when he
finished bagging and wished us a good day.

We are thinking of cruising to the “World’s Biggest Truckstop”
tomorrow to experience the Trucker’s Jamboree. Nothing like
walking through acres of shined up, chromed out, show trucks
during a hot spell. There’s only a 50% chance of rain so that
means the odds are just as good it won’t.

If it isn’t pouring down rain we’ll be there. Plenty of sharp
dressed trucks, good food, live music, and events you can’t see
anywhere else. Things like guys pulling an antique semi tracker
with a rope up a slight incline while being timed. Last year just
watching made me sweat more.

And I’ve been missing calls on my cell phone for a while now
and decided today was a good time to figure out why. Sitting at
the kitchen table I flipped open the phone only to discover a
missed call 4 minutes earlier. My thought was that since said
cell phone was older than dirt the ringer just quit.

The phone company has been after me for 3 years to get a smart
phone. They claim I’m past due. I don’t like upgrading or want
a smart phone. I just get tired of trying to talk to anyone at
at our local cell phone provider. They try to sell me a phone
that does everything but wash the car while I tell them I want
a flip phone without a camera.

All that said, I did manage to get the ringer going once again,
and yes, it rings when someone calls. No music or sound effects
for me. What’s wrong with a phone that rings?

Enjoy our Friday as we won’t see another one for a week. Now
I need more coffee and some leftover pizza.
Comments are always welcome.


Something’s up

July 12, 2018

We’ve been feeding the outside critters who happen into our
yard for a while now and there seems to be an ever-changing cast
of critters over time.

Lately it’s been down to 3 or 4 cats in the lineup and one in
particular caught our attention. A tan-colored female just
showed up one day and had been showing up every morning by the
back porch for a scratch behind her ears and to watch me fill
the food and water bowls.

At some point her belly got bigger and we realized she was
pregnant yet she was still waiting every morning for me to go
out with the food and water. Until about a week ago. Then she
just disappeared like she was never here.

Yesterday as I was filling the food dish I felt a familiar head
butt on my hand and sure enough, she had returned. She is now a
much slimmer looking critter and we think that means we’ll be
getting a visit from smaller versions of the mama before long.

The cat showed up again this morning wanting attention and
some food. We haven’t found where she has her kittens yet but
we’re sure they’re good hands. If you must have feral cats
around it makes things easier when they’re well-behaved.

We do wish people would stop disposing of unwanted animals by
throwing them out like trash so they can become other people’s
problem.

Enjoy our Thursday as that means Friday is only a dream away.
Now I need more coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


Choices

July 10, 2018

Had a good visit with Dad this morning and talked of many
things. The farm, the fair, the weather, getting older, and the
fact his sister, my Aunt, is going to visit the town nearest the
farm and probably the old farm also. He thought it odd that
after all the years since she left she now wants to return after
70+ years.

Things have changed in the little nearby town, but the land
seldom changes. Near big cities farmland can become housing
developments and in the more rural areas large corporations can
buy up farmland so enormous buildings can be erected to make
their product, but for the most part the land remains able to
produce food to feed the world.

If she really wants to see the old farm, minus the farmhouse
and outbuildings, I hope she gets to. For her to venture from
northwest Montana to southern Iowa and visit the old homestead
at 90 would have to be a trying experience. Yet I have a
feeling she’ll make it and have a huge smile on her face the
entire return trip.

We all have choices to make and there are times when people
take the easy way out. But there are times when the choices are
the hardest and the hardships many that have the biggest effect
on who we are.

Now I need some coffee and a Snicker’s to make it until pizza
time. Enjoy our Tuesday as we will.
Comments are always welcome.


The aftermath

July 5, 2018

Things are quiet right now on the east coast of Iowa and we
haven’t heard any fireworks since earlier this morning but last
night it sounded like a war zone. So many of the bangs rattled
the windows and shook the ground while our house was lit up on
all 4 sides.

Yes, it’s legal to set them off. As with anything involving our
fellow humans we saw some things that made us wonder how some
people can function while being so stupid. There were people
shooting off roman candles into trees, neighbors property, and
one even hit the side of a garage.

When we were young the 4th of July was a much quieter event.
The city did have fireworks by the river but all the residents
could do legally was light sparklers. A few gunshots could be
heard, once, and then the night was still again. The celebration
was more about getting together instead of who can make the
most noise until midnight.

The wife slept through the later, and very much local, display
of phosphorous projectiles being used to light up the night
sky. At least now things will be tapering off until around New
Year’s Eve and the critters can relax again.

We also noticed that some of the people who like to shoot of
all the fireworks aren’t at all concerned about cleaning up
the mess left behind. The debris on some streets is as high as
the curb.

Enjoy our Thursday as it’s the only we’ll get this week. Now I
need more coffee and to see what kind of food we have besides
pizza as there were no leftovers from last night to have for
breakfast.
Comments are always welcome.


A few photos

June 25, 2018

When I step outside in the morning to feed the critters the
first thing I see, and hear, is the cat pictured above. He’s a
feral cat but lately I’ve been able to pet him before he gets
fed.

Then I glanced around and saw this strange cloud grouping to
the south. It lit up near the church steeple but the higher I
looked the darker the sky got. And the clouds seem to linger
and hung around most of the day.

The little guy pictured above has been raiding the cat food
bowl at night which made him bolder and I noticed him trying to
sneak up on the food. Don’t know why I run him off as the food
bowl is almost empty by the time he starts looking.

And the sunsets have shifted to the north which means the only
shots of the event I can get have houses, trees, power lines,
phone lines, and other assorted obstacles in the way. Later this
year I may get some good shots of the sunset when we cruise west
to Idaho.

To the southwest the sky took on a spotted look. While it may
appear strange it had a calming effect on me while I watched it.
It was different.

Finally, on June 28th we’ll have a full moon at 12:53 am
eastern time. Which means it will be close enough to full
Wednesday night and/or early Thursday morning. The Farmer’s
Almanac calls this full moon the Strawberry Moon.

So enjoy our Monday as they’re all the same when you’re
retired. Now I need some more coffee and Snicker’s to get
ready to finish mowing the lawn.
Comments are always welcome.


Grinning fool

June 24, 2018

I was cruising the information highway yesterday when I came
across this picture and it started a trip down memory lane that
has me grinning yet today. Couldn’t find who took the picture
but we’re thankful they did.

This was a normal occurrence most days during our early years,
and several years after. When friends would get together and
help other friends get their ride back on the road. With little
knowledge, even fewer tools, and about enough money to buy some
cheeseburgers and Cokes we’d tackle these jobs.

Before OSHA, neighbors getting offended by kids having fun, and
high gas prices, this was our entertainment. No steel toed boots
or safety glasses, no gloves to keep our hands clean, and very
little thought of how safe our makeshift cranes were, we’d
manage to get the job done.

When we progressed to having garages to work out of it was
still, at times, a challenge. We’d spend more time moving stuff
out of the way than working on the cars. But we got the job done
most times with varying degrees of success. Through it all we
gained good friends while we learned from our mistakes.

And though the owners of the vehicles changed, the friends and
lessons learned stuck with us and the memories remain. It was
just too bad we were so busy working on the cars we didn’t have
time to run the country or things would be a lot different
today.

Some of these kids I bonded with in my gasoline fueled youth
are retired, others are in nursing homes, a few have died. But
the fire we lit way back then still burns in the hearts of those
of us around to remember. I might just keep grinning all week
and let people wonder what I’m up to.

Enjoy our Sunday as the work week is just a dream away. Now for
some more coffee and a race or two on TV.
Comments are always welcome.