31 October 2008
29 October 2008
27 October 2008
Our congressional district: Pucket vs. Donnelly. Pucket being the new kid on the block, vying for a congressional seat against the incumbent, Donnelly. One of the saddest things I think I've seen to date, on Pucket's yard signs is this statement "DRILL HERE. DRILL NOW. PAY LESS". How incredibly unfortunate that someone would base their campaign strategy on our gluttonous, short-sighted demands on our natural resources. I also think he underestimated the economy's impact on gas prices. It hardly is a factor now, is it? Simple factors of supply and demand......the GOP should be the last to insist we tamper with the free market by supplying more oil to our lifestyle addiction.
Our state senate district: Charbonneau, the incumbent, vs. Balmer. While I wasn't certain who I would vote for in this race, Charbonneau had acted with class, kept his campaign clean....until the last week. We've received to mailers, the first was humorous in that Charbonneau wanted to make me believe that somehow, in his state senate roll, he could/would have prevented the federal $700 billion bail-out......unlike the "other guys"........saying that "Hoosiers were right to have been against this". Well, it didn't stop there. Over the weekend Charbonneau continued his now misleading campaign style by actually making the statement that his opponent, "Balmer was quiet when it came time to have a property tax relief plan". My gosh, are people this stupid? Hello, Charbonneau...Balmer isn't my state senate representative-YOU ARE. And his misleading ad continued on the back with random questions that would make idiots think that Balmer was somehow asleep at the wheel as Indiana's economy was in shambles. Balmer isn't elected to anything. Well, Charbonneau certainly lost my vote now. My only guess is that he went negative because (1) he's well financed (2) with a week to go, it's hard to respond and (3) his tele-data may be telling him he's in trouble and (4) WE ARE IDIOTS!
The presidential race: While in southern Indiana we heard an awful lot of misleading, incendiary NRA supported anti-Obama ads being run......the most disturbing one was when a good ol' boy made this strong, guttural statement........"WE LOVE OUR GOD AND WE LOVE OUR GUNS". Oh geesh, what Bible has this guy been reading out of? The Koran? (that's right, I said it). My wife was at a party during which a friend of ours commented how pleased she was with her six year old son saying "Obama is a baby killer". And I'm afraid to say, they go to our church. Why would you teach your six year old to hate? Where is that in the Bible?
Something is desperately wrong in our society.........in our churches, in our government, in our business world.......in our homes. We have so degenerated our integrity to the point where we believe it is ok to make money at anyone's expense, it is ok for politicians to make completely false and misleading ads "because all is fair...." (ie. Mitch & river city mayor), and it is ok to instill hate in our children so long as we marry this hate to our faith. I didn't mean for this to become a sermon, just a political update.....but SOMEONE needs to start preaching this.
21 October 2008
19 October 2008
16 October 2008
14 October 2008
I know, I know.....I'm fixated on this upcoming birthday.
But, I did a search for who else would be joining me in turning 40 this year and found out I was in pretty good company of baby boys welcomed into 1968. Now if I could just pull down the salaries these guys do!
13 October 2008
So, if I could take just a few lines to gripe a little.......as if this is new.........I will show why health insurance companies are the devil and why using a tele-computer operator should be against the law.
Health insurance....remember, I was turned down. I finally was able to get some inkling why after much phone time with a machine....it was because I had sought chiropractic attention for the muscle I pulled in my neck while working out. Absolutely remarkable. So, in order to appeal this decision by my health insurance company of 10 years I had to round up letters from my doctor and that brief stint with the chiropractor. I sent everything in again.......with a stellar health record.....only to be informed that, sure, they'd accept me, but I was considered high risk and my premiums are nearly double what they should be. I'm not sure why I exercise and don't drink, binge eat and smoke given this.
So, now that I'm accepted along with the rest of the family, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield wanted me to also pay for September, the month that I was not covered by them...because the policy was retro-active. I called Friday and tried to get a good answer as to why I should pay for a service that their company had refused to give me, and if they would reimburse me for having to find interim insurance. She said she'd get back to me that day. She didn't. So I called today and first talked to the computer, then sat on hold for an hour before I got someone else who couldn't give me an answer and was forwarded to another person who evidently knows what to do with irate callers..........give in to their demands. Although her solution makes me a little leery - like it might end up costing more than if I had just paid September. I know based on my hourly billing, had I been working, it would have been cheaper to pay the amount they were swindling me for.
on a side note.....I will have to admit I think McCain's health insurance plan would be more beneficial to our family specifically. Didn't see that one coming, did you?
And then there's this whole Social Security mess. I received a statement from SS on my earnings and potential benefits. For some reason, the last three year's earnings were not listed. So, I call and the computer can't understand my mother's maiden name nor can it understand my issue and kept repeating questions......finally I started to get mouthy with the computer and it conceded and said it would direct me to an operator. Twenty minutes later I had a very friendly operator who said she'd send a form for me to file through the mail immediately. I completed the form and mailed it to the local SS office as it directed me to. Then I called the local office a week later to verify they had it.......and after at least a dozen attempts (no lie) I finally go through and they said they would have the person in charge call me back. I never heard from them. So, I called the DC office again....going through the same game and she said she'd have the local office call me within 3 days. They never did, but I did receive a statement from the local office within about 8 days.
They corrected 2 of the 3 years. Dangit! Now, another call to SS and they said I should contact the local and I said politely......."mam, I can never, ever get through". So she emailed me another form which I completed and sent out last week, she also suggested I call the IRS. I don't have it in me to call this week.
And then we noticed something fishy on our HSA......like someone else's name on our account. Hmmm. So I contacted my good friend at the local bank branch and they took care of it right away......evidently we shared an account number with some strangers in Lake County, who I'm sure were wondering why they were paying bills in river city.
I'm just wondering if I could check outa the whole system......live off the land and all, kinda like the Amish. I promise-my only rant for the week!
12 October 2008
10 October 2008
I got this from the local Republican Party.....who evidently has kept me on their mailing list. I'm also wondering if they aren't out of touch with reality slightly. What does it mean the tide has shifted back to us - let's finish this off? I see the potential for Democrats to do well in this staunchly Republican county; Obama continues to increase his lead in the polls and Jill Long Thompson is holding her own against an incredibly well financed Mitch machine.
Is the barracuda flattering to Sarah?
09 October 2008
As the countdown continues to the big 4-0, my wife pulled off the only surprise-well, good surprise-anyone has ever pulled on me by arranging some good friends of ours to meet us at the house and head north to South Bend to Fiddler's Hearth last Friday. A band that I incredibly enjoy-Fonn Mor-was playing at the Irish pub, sending ND fans into a frenzy just before the Stanford game. Fiddler's Hearth is probably downtown South Bend's second most important asset only to the South Bend Chocolate Company.
I LOVE Irish/Celtic music and this band is awesome. They have a beautiful way of blending a more up-tempo beat to traditional Irish sounds......so cool. I have their cd. The place was packed when we got there and they don't take reservations....so what was the table that became available for the 6 of us? Center and front with the band. Then of course, it didn't stop there as my buddies encouraged the band members to take a picture with their "#1 groupie" they called me. And then the kicker was when my wife had prearranged Fonn Mor to wish/sing me a happy birthday in Celtic style. Too much fun. Except when the ca. 60 year old woman started dancing around me, I couldn't tell if she was coming on to me or what.
So, I blame my insatiable need for Irish music on my Irish roots. Our family always celebrates St. Patrick's Day, even though I have no Catholic ancestors. I am fascinated with old Celtic mythology and lore, and am even considering risking my life to fly overseas just to see the Emerald Isle. The truth is I had planned to go to Ireland if I had turned 30 and not yet been married so I could bring back an Irish lass.
I have gallons of Irish and Scottish blood pumping through my veins, though many of my ancestors came to this country long before the potato famine of the 1800's. Family surnames include Bryant, Crothers, Carey, Mahurin, Laramore, Bailey, Joyce, Moore, Ervin and Tracy. I haven't figured out if I'm a lover or fighter yet.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8SktnSlpqI to enjoy a little Fonn Mor.
08 October 2008
Kudos to the sentries of Pinhook Church.
07 October 2008
06 October 2008
I've always been a family history buff. I have generations upon generations compiled in every family lineage direction, at least back 7 generations or more. One line I take particularly great pride in is my Quaker roots. Incredible records were kept by the Society of Friends of deaths, births, marriages, and migration through their "Monthly Meeting Minutes". The heavy migration of Quakers to Indiana, particularly Wayne and Henry Counties between about 1810-1840 was due in large part to Indiana forming as a state and the religious beliefs of the Society of Friends against slavery....wanting the fledgling State of Indiana to remain a "free state".
Stephan G. Hall
04 October 2008
03 October 2008
If there's one thing our county is famous for in our little corner of Indiana-it's mastodon digs. Seems like we can hardly turn around to dig a pond or septic field without turning up one of these giants. We've had two found in the last three years alone.