hankrules2011

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Posts Tagged ‘Obamacare’

Resolution

Posted by Scott Holstad on May 14, 2015

I don’t know how my wife would/will feel about me writing about this, but I hope she’ll be understanding because I feel like I’ll explode if I don’t write something about this. Okay. Late last week, my wife got a letter in the mail from a government investigator telling her she was being investigated for “intentionally” ripping off the government. But she’s never done anything like that in her life! She’s never even gotten a speeding ticket! A few years ago, when neither of us were working and we were both looking for work, we got some government assistance, but that changed with time and employment and was eventually terminated. Fine. Who’d think anything would come of that? Well, the government did. They told her she had to come in for a meeting to be held before a hearing before a judge to be held at a later date. She freaked out! She spent the weekend getting no sleep, sweating about getting prosecuted and going to jail. I told her there was no chance of that, that they wouldn’t have offered her the chance for this meeting, for this hearing, for the offer of restitution, which is what they wanted, if they were going to prosecute. She spent a lot of time researching and came to the same conclusion. Nonetheless, she wanted this meeting moved up, so she called this investigator first thing Monday morning and got the meeting moved up two weeks to this past Tuesday morning. She was nervous, but prepared. And apparently he was a nice guy. And apparently I was right, as was the research she had found. He just wanted her to sign some papers and start paying the government back the money they had given us for their assistance we had received. I thought it was cheap and tacky, but better than the alternative. He eased her mind by explaining that they had no intention of prosecuting. So, that’s that. We have a long, very long, time to pay this off. And it’s a lot to pay off, certainly a lot more than I ever realized we had gotten. I guess it adds up. Between this and my bitter feelings about my experience with Obamacare, I feel pretty disgusted with the government. Really disgusted. But I’m glad it’s behind us and grateful we can now move on.

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Snippets of 2013

Posted by Scott Holstad on January 5, 2014

Last December 31st, I wrote an End of the Year Post where I wrote about highlights (and lowlights) of each month. In fact, I did so for the previous year as well. Well, obviously I didn’t this year. However, I thought I’d take some time to write a few snippets about some things that happened in 2013.

In April, Gretchen and I got married. We had a lovely wedding and an awesome reception attended by a number of close friends and family members. Then we headed for the beach at Gulf Shores, AL, where we had a blast. The weather was perfect, we did a lot of fun things, went over to Pensacola FL for a day trip, and returned home feeling good.

However, on July 28, my father died while mowing my grass, completely unexpectedly. I was at a meeting and had returned home just in time to hear him stop mowing. Minutes later he was on the ground moaning, and as Mom and I tried to give him CPR, he died. Ten minutes after we were at the hospital, the doctor came in with the bad news. It was devastating.

Three days later, our house was broken into while Gretchen was at work and I was on my way home from Knoxville with Mom. These thugs had kicked in our wooden front door and took our big screen tv and my iMac. We felt very victimized and we couldn’t get anyone to come replace the door, so I sat up all night watching the door with my Glock to make sure we weren’t invaded. The next day, we had a metal door installed. Days later, we had an alarm system installed. We felt a lot safer, but not completely safe.

On August 8th, Dad’s funeral was held in Knoxville TN. About 1,000 people attended. I spoke, as did two others. Afterwards, Gretchen, Mom, and I had to stand in a receiving line for about four hours as everyone tried to speak with us. Many of my friends came, even from as far away as Nashville and Virginia, and I didn’t really get a chance to talk to them because we were crushed with people. Family came from all over and that was nice. Sad circumstances, but good to see them.

I spent much of August and September traveling back and forth between Chattanooga and Knoxville with Mom to deal with funeral directors, pastors, financial advisers, lawyers, insurance professionals, and more. Mom has gotten increasingly flustered over the course of the year and relies on me a lot for things that Dad used to do for her, which truthfully doesn’t make me entirely comfortable. But she’s old and lonely and needs help, and I’m the only one there for her, along with Gretchen.

On a different note, I  had only two very minor surgical procedures last year — one in October and one in December, both on my back. I don’t think they’ve helped and am looking at major surgery or living in constant pain. Neither option seems good.

In sports, my Penguins nearly made the Stanley Cup last year and are doing well this year, while my Steelers recovered from a horrible start to nearly make the playoffs. The Pirates did make the playoffs for the first time in 20 years, and the Vols football team had a rough year, but with a new coach and decent recruits, so I have high hopes for the future.

A few months ago, Gretchen joined the bell choir at church, and last month, I was voted onto the Vestry. I am to be installed today. It’s a weighty responsibility and I hope I do well.

A few weeks ago, there was a shooting with a fatality at our only local grocery store about a half mile from us. And there is so much crime in this neighborhood that even though we love this house, we’re looking for a new one in a crime free neighborhood, probably closer to Mom — although she’s thinking about moving back to Knoxville. We have found three good houses so far, with one being on top, so now we have to seriously clean our house and pick it up before we can put it on the market. The main problem is even though we live in a nice middle class neighborhood, the general area isn’t too good and there’s so much crime, that property prices are severely deflated and we’re not bound to get very much for this awesome house and will have to pay a lot more for the next one. That blows.

On an unrelated note, after two months of trying, we were finally able to sign up for Obamacare last month! We’re getting a great deal with Blue Cross with a $1,000 deductible for the both of us and a subsidy, making our payment only $35 a month! That’s sweet. Last week, I paid our first premium. Gretchen’s been without health insurance for over a year and desperately needs to see a doctor, and I’ve been on COBRA, which is about to run out, so we have high hopes for this. The only hitch is that it doesn’t cover all of my meds, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do about that, but hopefully something will work out.

Finally, on New Year’s Eve, we spent the evening and the night on the Delta Queen riverboat hotel, celebrating with a bunch of people we didn’t know, listening to a covers band that ranged from horrible to decent, depending on the song. We had champagne and kissed at midnight, and we had a good time, although our cabin room was tiny. Heh.

I guess that about covers it. Hopefully 2014 will be a good year. 2010, 2011, and 2012 were horrible years for me, while 2013 was mixed, so I’m hoping 2014 will be the best of the bunch. Cheers!

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Random

Posted by Scott Holstad on November 1, 2013

Hi. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a non-book review here, so I thought I’d write down a few thoughts. My father has been dead three months now. That’s still very hard to believe. His gravestone was just put in, so Gretchen and I will be going to Knoxville to view it soon. Last weekend, we went down to Atlanta to visit my old friend Dee, another friend Paul (and his wife), and a new friend, all at a sit down dinner that Dee worked her butt off to prepare and she did a great job. We had a good time, but we chose to drive back to Chattanooga that night instead of spending the night, and it was a grueling drive back. There were no lights on the freeway and no reflectors in the pavement, so it was really hard to see.

Meanwhile, my Steelers suck, my Vols aren’t doing that great, and my Farragut Admirals are having a rough year. At least the Penguins are off to a decent start. Sidney Crosby is leading the NHL in scoring. That’s good.

Gretchen and I signed up for Obamacare. Even though it’s getting a bad rap, we’re tentatively excited about it. Gretchen doesn’t have insurance, and my family’s been paying $715 a month for my COBRA, which is about to run out. With this new policy, we’ll have a $1,000 deductible (shared), no co-pays, both of us covered for a total of $485 a month. All but one of my meds are covered, I think. It’s been a hassle getting signed up, yes, but hopefully this will work out well.

I started a new blog. It’s called Scott’s Book Reviews and it’s just going to be my book reviews, not all of which I post here. It can be found on Blogger. I hope to add all of my old book reviews and then add to it over time as I continue to read and review books. It’ll also include books I review that don’t appear on Goodreads. Frankly, I don’t know why I started it, as it does seem a little redundant I’ll admit, but I wanted to get them all under one roof, so to speak.

I keep seeing politicians saying things that sound stupid, particularly Ted Cruz. I’m sick of both parties, frankly, and wish we could just start over again. Actually, many years ago when I was a young kid, I lived in Canada with my parents. If we had the money — and could endure the cold — we’d probably move to Canada to get the hell out of this crazy ass country. The right wing nut jobs are dragging this country down, IMO, and the religious right is right there with them. Which makes me so glad for my church. I joined the Episcopal church last month, after attending one here with Gretchen for the past year and a half. It’s pretty much exactly what we’re looking for in a church, especially with no evangelicals, so that’s nice. No praise music, good sermons, saying the peace. It’s all good.

On a different note, Apple is driving me nuts! I downloaded iOS 7.0.3 for my iPhone and it hosed it completely! When I went to install the backup, since I had to restore to factory settings, virtually nothing came through. It took me the better part of a day to get my phone working again. Very frustrating. Gretchen had the same thing happen to her  with iOS 7. Meanwhile, my iMac’s cordless keyboard keeps cutting out and it’s driving me insane! I can’t type two sentences without having to stop and get it working again. I’m hoping new batteries will take care of it. If not, I may have to get a corded keyboard, assuming I can find one that works with Apple products.

Well, I have a brutal headache, so I’m going to cut this short now. Sorry about that. But I’ve just been rambling anyway, so who cares, right? Cheers!

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