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Archive for November, 2016

Goodbye my friend

November 30th, 2016 at 09:48 am

We put our dog down last night. It was time. The cancer had mestatisized to fluid in his lungs. Though his blood work came back fine last week he wasn't eating and having trouble walking. He seemed to rally a little over the weekend but seemed ready yesterday night when DH got home.

First time in almost 15 years we've been without a dog in our lives. It's hard and lonely. The house seems empty and quieter. I don't know if we'll get another friend. I think it'll be awhile. I'm so glad he got to spend his last year in a house that was easier for him to be comfortable in. If I can stop crying. Well the saying is death comes in threes and it has this year for us.

Maybe tomorrow I'll try to donate some stuff to a rescue group. Or sometime soon.

The dog

November 22nd, 2016 at 09:31 am

I'm a little worried. Our dog has been on his "last" legs for over a year. But he seems more tired and lethargic and just sick. I feel like it's getting to the end. I'm very sad and not sure if I'm ready to let go.

People have told me to get another dog but I feel like I'm not interested or ready. I'm not sure when I'll be ready. I just want to not feel ridiculous for crying right now. The kids saw other people's new puppies and said they wanted one. But right now the idea of another dog is just not vibing. I'm just hoping he makes it through Thanksgiving. And yes I'm aware he's a pet but he's been a really good friend for many years and to me he's family. He's someone I walk and talk with quite a bit.

Happy Thanksgiving in case i don't get back before Thursday.

Tax Employer Provided Healthcare?

November 20th, 2016 at 09:54 pm

This article in the Washington Post about how Republicans and Democrats can work together to fix healthcare was interesting.

The first and foremost suggestion is to eliminate the tax free treatment of employer provided health insurance. The majority of Americans are covered by this. The biggest benefit go to the biggest wage earners like how SS tax is capped. I think it would be a good proposal and if we wanted to move to a free market health insurance economy the way to go.

The idea is that people have to buy catastrophic insurance and then if you have money you can buy more layers of insurance and care. Or you can deposit it into a Health Savings accounts for maintenance/prevention. This will help probably the very rich and the poor. But middle class people if I had to guess will end up with the short end of the stick.

I will guess that employers will not pay people more to supplement the tax on the health insurance they provide. Or if they don't need to provide health insurance anymore and EVERYONE has to choose to buy it, that people won't get an equivalent raise. I think it would be interesting to see what would happen if we were all in the same boat of having to buy insurance. The only thing that would have to be left in effect is forcing insurers to cover pre-existing conditions.

But if we all didn't have employer provided healthcare? Do you think it would be better? Are you willing to give it up or pay taxes on it?

i just signed up to kill myself

November 15th, 2016 at 09:51 pm

I just signed myself and the two kids for snowboarding lessons in January. $1000 for 4 weekends with rentals for the kids and 2.5 hours of lessons for four Sundays. Ugh. I know the kids will enjoy it and DH is coming to supervise. But this is my first time back since 2009 probably when I injured my ACL. My DH loves it and guilted me into trying it again. I could do this and try to do a family activity or I could sit in the lodge. I figure I'll give it one more try and then i'll sit in the lodge forever. I am terrible at it. I am inherently clumsy and honestly I'm terrified of the chair lifts. Either way I figure I'm investing $220 for 4 lessons to figure out that I can sell my snowboard and never go again.

This might be why I had kids. So I can send them with my DH to enjoy his sporty past-times. I'm more a summer warm weather person. Wish me luck. When I nearly kill myself I'll refer back to this post.

90k service and then some

November 14th, 2016 at 08:45 am

So my 2010 Subaru Outback has just about 90k miles on it. Wow that went fast. Anyway it cost me $524 for the service and fixing a headlight. Yes my DH could do it but it takes a lot of time to replace the headlight while being really careful with the plastic shield so for $30 he said have them do it. Actually the part was $25 and that's what they charged me free labor.

But they told me the serpentine belt needed to be redone for $115 and front brakes $350. I need to call other dealerships and see if any are having a deal and coupon in the area. Also on the radar is the timing belt to be done at 105k miles which is around $700. Ugh.

But at least by maintaining the car I'll get a lot more years of use out of it. We did buy it new and except for all this routine maintenance the serpentine belt being the only thing that hasn't been "routine", this car has been incredibly reliable and great. I had a corolla for 14 years preivously also bought new and my DH forced me to sell it when we had kiddo #2. Lack of Latch, airbags, ABS made him uncomfortable with me driving it anymore. He'd have gotten rid of it in 2010 but we couldn't afford it.

Recently we got to talking about our plans to keep this car. I laughed and said until DK#1 is driving so 16 years. He said no way. We'll wait newer safety features. I will admit the rear camera and sensors I drove in the rental for the day is nice. I'd also like a 3rd row option. But those are wants and not needs.

How long do you keep your cars? Do you keep them till they break or do you trade them in if your needs change? Do you only buy used and then exchange them when you feel like it?

I found the secret trump voter

November 11th, 2016 at 08:11 am

Laugh I did. My redfin touring realtor yesterday "leaned in" and told me I voted for trump. She is a college educated, white, 45-55 woman living in the suburbs divorced with kids. She leans liberal but couldn't vote for Hillary because she's corrupt and establishment. She said doesn't like anything Trump said or stood for but she pulled the lever because she wanted a change. She said she hasn't told coworkers or other friends, because she was embarrassed. Why'd she tell me? I said I didn't vote for Hillary and Trump. I refused. But then I'm registering as an independent because my values mostly align with a certain independent socialist.

The second was a stay at home mom who also is white, college educated, 30-40 married suburbs. She is pretty conservative and was horrified by Trumps racist bigotry but his stances more aligned with hers. She also was embarrassed to tell people she voted for him.

Both women said he offended them and they don't support his views on race or women or religion. But they just couldn't support Hillary for one reason or another. Neither would have told a pollster they'd be voting for Trump.

So these two women whom pollsters "should" be Hillary supporters were closeted Trump supporters. It cements in my mind that Trump supporters that aren't all racist or bigots. Rather probably a small segment is. Many don't agree but still voted for him for other reasons. People who really disagree actually with his words.

Either way I found it interesting that people are hiding they voted for him. It appears that's why polling was off. Because even exit polls people didn't admit to voting for him.

In an aside a couple of our friends are considering moving and leaving the country. We're saddened by their fear. Praying they make the best decision. Both couples are muslim and I asked recently the moms why did they set aside the niqab? The answer was after they had children they were afraid of being physically assaulted and both had been verbally assaulted while walking with their babies. It had been easier when they were single and younger. But pushing a stroller made them reconsider how they appear and they wanted to fit in more. I wonder if we aren't regressing in our ability to accept people of another race, religion, or sexual orientation.

repealing Obamacare

November 10th, 2016 at 09:54 am

Donald Trump will repeal parts of Obamacare on the first day in office. I believe this will happen with the republican congress. This is absolutely going to fufill their desire and promise.

I'm excited. I'm a socialized medicine supporter and that's not what Obamacare is. I felt and still do Obamacare was better than what we had. But it wasn't what I would have chosen.

I am curious what Donald Trump will replace it with. He has 10 weeks to propose and tell us what is the Republican answer to Obamacare and how it is different. I believe this is exciting.

Why?

Because I think we're about to blow up the American Healthcare system. I think that we are about to cause a catastrophe and health insurance and health care costs will skyrocket in a way the republicans can't even begin to predict. I think it'll spiral out of control faster and unexpectedly and this will cause the US to face the music sooner. Obamacare is actually a system proposed by the Republicans in 90s when hillary proposed socialized medicine during the clinton years. Yet 20 years later they hate it.

CCF you always talk about how bad socialized medicine is with military. But senior citizens have the largest socialized medicine system in the US it's called medicare. Second what do you propose to replace it? I am still waiting on what people propose to replace Obamacare?

Repealing Obamacare will include cutting the subsidies for working and middle class americans. It will allow insurers to lump together high risk people making insurance if I had to guess incredibly expensive for them. But apparently you will be able to buy insurance across state lines.

I am going to guess without being forced to charge the same for high risk preexisting condition people and those who are low risk insurance companies will start to run wild on premiums for everyone.

But this will be a very interesting 10 weeks as we wait to see how this experiment turns out. Do I think Obamacare a success? Yes/No. I think it's great to give coverage to those who couldn't buy it before. But it's not the plan I would have liked.

But now I think Trump will blow it all up by moving toward a free market healthcare. I don't think people really want a free market healthcare when they realize they have to pay for their actual care.

Donald won???

November 9th, 2016 at 08:35 am

Just kidding. I am not surprised. I think of myself as probably an independent in the mold of bernie sanders. I'm more liberal than the democratic party. This entire year I've said I get why Donald Trump wont he republican nomination and I can honestly say I get why he won the presidency.

I didn't think it would happen. But I think that more moderate democrats voted for him than moderate republicans voted for Hillary. I do believe there is racism and hate and sexism in this country. But that's not what propelled him to victory. She didn't lose because she's a woman. She lost because she's a terrible person. I believe if Bernie had won he'd have won the presidency because a lot of people turned off by Trump's message of hate and divisiveness would have voted for Bernie as a outsider (ie independent caucausing with Democrats).

He won Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, the same states Bernie beat Hillary Clinton. How? Because I think people hate establishment and they feel the elites of both parties have left them behind, and they have. I will admit I LOVE his "drain the swamp" bit. I hate the establishment and feel they've lost touch with the regular people and Hillary represented the swamp. Him promising to drain the swamp was great. I think it won him the election.

The democratic party deserved this loss. They cleared the field for her, they didn't give Bernie a fair shot, they deliberately gave her the opportunity she missed in 2008. So she's done stick a fork in her. I think she deserves to go to jail. I also hope she does to prove that NO ONE is above the law because that's what pisses me off. It's why I wouldn't vote for her. I didn't vote for Trump either and yes I voted. The truth is she acted this entire race that she was above the law. She made the rules and didn't abide by them. So she deserved this loss and everything that went with it.

I disagree with Donald Trump policies and what he stands for. They aren't what I believe. But I'll respect the opinion of others who want to disagree. Some of the people I know best are republicans and I can still respect the opinion. FWIW they were horrified by Donald's views.

What I still stew over is the fact my vote doesn't matter. That only a small percentage of people in the US get to pick the president. That only people living in swing states matter. That if you live on the coasts and south you might as well not even show up to vote. I am appalled that the popular Hillary Clinton won. I don't like her but I question whether it would have been more legitimate if she had won by popular vote? Then wouldn't every vote everywhere be equal?

I understand the tyranny of the majority is the reason for the electoral college. But now it seems like we are under the regime of the minority (which we are since Donald lost the popular vote) rather than the will of the majority.

Where is the parity of one vote one person? I think the electoral college is antiquated and we need to switch. It's completely unfair that large swathes of the electorate is COMPLETELY ignored and only people living in areas considered swing are worthy of picking.

But maybe I'm biased since I've never lived in a swing state. Do swing state people feel it's fair? Do they see a problem with being a swing state and that their votes are more important than other citizens?