Exposed a lie . . .

Yesterday was a very long, but ultimately worthwhile, day for us.  It was my first visit to the new VA Health clinic in Joplin.

Of course, being a new facility, it looked nice.  In fact, it’s so new that the installed TV’s weren’t hooked up to any programming, yet.  LOL! To me, that was actually a good thing – we didn’t have to sit through hours of TV commercials while waiting for my appointments.

Anyway, the new care team I’m working with is AMAZING!  Every member of the team is either a veteran, or directly connected to a veteran.  They all expressed that they want to treat every veteran the way they’d want their family to be treated.

A direct result of that was exposing a lie told by my previous care doctor.  The previous one had told me, many times, that the Imitrex he was giving me was the ONLY prescription for Imitrex he could write.  10mg tablets, 9 tablets per 90 days, no automatic refills.  Yesterday’s visit with the new doc was RUSHED – his nurse said the doc usually wants to spend 2-3 hours working with a new patient on the first visit (I got 15 minutes because of a scheduling glitch) – yet he heard my complaint about the Imitrex and had no qualms about writing a new prescription for Imitrex at 50mg, 18 tablets per MONTH, with auto refill.

I think, in the long term, this is going to be a better experience, with another positive change scheduled to happen in June.  That change will come from Congress, so we’ll see how it works.

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Major Progress . . .

We have been in this house for nearly 9 years.  In that time, we have mostly been doing routine maintenance on this house, but we have always had ideas for what we wanted to do to improve it.  In the last week, we have finally been able to get some of that work done.

Flash-back to about 6 months ago.  Around the time we were getting the HVAC system replaced, we talked to our plumber about the sump pump in the basement, and learned that the pump was out-dated and it was in a hole that was half the size it needed to be.  He told us that it would cost about $400 to bring the pump and bucket up to code.

Also, over the last 9 years, we’ve had to replace the locks on the garage door twice, at a cost of around $150 USD each time.  Our garage has 2 doors, one of which is controlled by a button inside the garage. the other by a keyed handle.  We decided that we needed to replace the keyed handle door with a standard exterior door in a wall, and after talking to a contractor we learned that it could be done for $$850 USD.

We got both projects done in the last week, without going into debt, because we’d been saving up to do them over several years.  We’re both very happy with the results.

US Jury condemns Monsanto product. . . .

A US jury has rendered the verdict that Monsanto’s weed killer is “substantially responsible” for a man’s development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  This is the 2nd  such jury award in the last week, with both jury’s awarding in excess of $280 Million USD.

It seems that Monsanto has been aware of this for a very long time.  They even accepted a $66 Billion buyout from Bayer just to loose the Monsanto name while continuing to sell a product that has faced adverse scrutiny around the world.

Here is the BBC article:

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47633086

I’m a bad person . . .

I know there are a lot of people who will think that of me, after they read what I’m about to write.

I don’t care.

Almost exactly 21 years ago, my mother tried to kill me.  My step-father, who was an ordained minister of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), stood by her side and used religion to justify her actions.  That was the day my faith in organized religion of any form died.

Today I got a phone call.  The caller was informing me that my step-father had passed on.

I feel no sense of loss.  I’m not sorry he’s gone.  I intend to hold a mostly private party, with my wife, tonight – to celebrate the first step to the end of a 21 year long trial.

Do Not Call – broken . . .

Way back when Missouri was one of the first states to implement a Do Not Call law, my wife and I put our phones (at the time we both had a cell phone, and we had a home phone) on the list.  When the law went national, we were on the list even before the law was enforced.

We have never let our phones not be protected by the Do Not Call list, since.  However, I’ve noticed that the last few years have seen a dramatic spike in calls coming in anyway.   When I request to be removed from the contact list the caller is using, they sometimes laugh.  Sometimes they are belligerent, sometimes argumentative, and sometimes they hang up on me before I finish stating the request.  One thing they all have in common – the person I actually talk to has a very pronounced accent – like they are calling from India or somewhere in that area.

The Federal Do Not Call law is wonderful – but it is broken because it does not stop a call center from calling if the physical location of the call center is outside of the United States.  I’m a daytime sleeper – every telemarketing call I get interrupts my sleep.  Some days I get so many calls that I get no sleep at all (like today).  I got at least 4 calls that all had the exact same female voice trying to entice me to explore getting credit cards with a lower rate – today alone!

The Do Not Call law needs to be strengthened to force telephone service providers to block ALL international robot-calls – AT NO EXPENSE TO US.  No extra fees, no inflated values of existing fees – just block the calls.  It can be done with their computers.