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It’s a vicious circle, it is. Mmmm hmmmm.

Last week, I managed to get tv. We have long been Dish Network customers {like, over 10 years}, but, of course, didn’t bring any of the stuff with us. Several years ago, we went looking at satellite options for the RV, and basically struck out unless we wanted to go with Direct TV, which we absolutely did not.

As it turns out, about a year and a half ago, Dish Network came out with the Tailgater; a portable satellite dish designed for easy transport. Originally, I thought we’d have to pay the retail price, which I wasn’t necessarily happy with, but it’s something we would continue to use when we went camping down the road; plus, at this point, with no tv options at all and living in the rv, any bit of creature comfort has got to help.

Incredibly, the big cities here didn’t have one. Nope, they didn’t. And I was shocked. I was not of a mind to drive an hour one way to get to Raleigh to get one. Fortunately, the people Dish Network sent me to in Roanoke Rapids actually had one- as in, a single unit. AND- they got me the receiver for free. I, apparently, was eligible for an upgrade.

Little did I know, however, that getting one meant signing another 2 year contract. *sigh* Oh well. We’ve been happy with DN all these years, and we didn’t see anything changing once we got here. I figure it was worth the trade-off.

We have some more fiddling to do with it, but after climbing and putting it on the roof to grab a signal, we were still not able to, so the cable is strung across the road. I just hope no one steals it. Yikes.

5 am Saturday morning, amidst the continued downpour, Murphy came to pay us a visit.

If you’re an RVer, you know how to angle your awning so the water drains off and doesn’t collect. Well, apparently that wasn’t enough of an angle for the kind of rain we had gotten overnight. Yep. You can see where I’m going with this.

Our awning came crashing down. *sigh* It’s like, close to $1,000 to replace. *sigh*

I know this, of course, because when the spring went out on our trip to Oklahoma {the one where we lost the tires and had the blowout on the way home}, we got home and priced it out to replace the hardware. And, because the underside of the awning was stained from campfire smoke, we thought, why not check and see what it would cost to replace the whole thing.

Needless to say, the sticker shocked us right out of that thinking. Now, however, we’ve got no choice. *sigh*

So my tasks this morning are to call insurance and see if that’s covered.

I’d like to run if the rain will hold off.

And I need to get back to Wally world this afternoon. On the list also, in addition to finding shoes that we didn’t get to last week, are ear plugs. Seems oldest dd has an ear infection, which she has gotten from swimming. It’s been really only the last year or so that she’s had continued issues with her ears after swimming, so it’s time.

I also need to write down ingredients to see what I can find for treating it homeopathically {don’t laugh, but now is the time I’m wishing I had some breast milk…… you probably think it’s really gross, but I’ll tell you from experience that it DOES work, because it’s teeming with live antibodies that help all kinds of stuff- works on pink eye, too, and is used for cancer treatment…………

Breast milk used in cancer fight

http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/story/2009/01/13/breast-milk-cancer-fight/

Cancer, arthritis, diabetes, even acne – is breast milk the new wonder cure?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1268987/Cancer-arthritis-diabetes-acne–breast-milk-new-wonder-cure.html

Breast-feeding, HAMLET, and cancer

http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~andersh/research/milkcancer.asp

Substance in Breast Milk Kills Cancer Cells, Study Suggests

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419132403.htm

but  I digress. :lol:} to help knock it. I have never gone looking for tea tree oil, but I know I can find some olive oil; maybe some garlic oil. If nothing else, I am sure we’ll be vampire-free for a while. 😀

Now’s the time I am wishing I would have had the space to pack my family herbal book. *sigh*

I will say it feels like a time warp ala Murphy. I am working on options, but honestly, I’m feeling a lot discouraged. I knew going in this was going to be difficult. I just didn’t figure on getting no respite from it. I was hoping new patterns would be established; new habits would take root. And I can say that we’re not there yet.

I can look at the situation logically and know it could be worse; we are blessed to be able to have the option of me and the kids even being here; most of the stress is material, etc etc; we are blessed to have opportunity. I can also look at this and realize the things I did to fill my tank are sorely leaving a gaping hole, and I may really need to seriously think about taking that on sooner than later.

So. We’ll see what this week has in store for us.

And, because life is a soundtrack and it’s Halloween month and I really need a good giggle this morning, I leave you with Time Warp {dance} from the Rocky Horror Picture Show

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rtkdo7bOmJc%5D

 

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Yep.

Well ok. Not really. But it sure feels like I am.

Go get some cheese, ‘cause I’m bringing the whine. 😆

I’m paying $30 a month PER DEVICE for internet. Right now, we’ve got 3 devices. As soon as my son gets the parts to fix his laptop, it’ll be 4. And that’s not counting my Kindle, which I’m too cheap to pay for, and still too lazy to download to my computer because it’s just going to be a royal pain given the download rate. For crying out loud, I can’t get anything to stream for any length of time.

This is not endearing satellite internet to me even remotely. I have no idea why it’s so crappy, except to say it’s a shared signal at a campground. Seeing as it’s still relatively early, and there are not a lot of people here, one would think it wouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Well, it is. And I am trying not to get really annoyed. If it was free, I wouldn’t be complaining. Even if it was $10 a month, I wouldn’t be so ticked off. But this is enough of a pain in the rear that I’m not keen on even using it, and I’m paying through the nose! *Sigh*

I know I’m picky. I admit it. But there is something to be said for paying for a service and actually getting something for it.

In addition to the nearly non-existent download rate, I am having a royally rotten time of even getting to WordPress. I can’t log in 99% of the time. You may have noticed that I’m not liking and commenting as I usually do. Well, you can totally blame the satellite internet/WP combo for that.

I have literally been running in circles, fighting myself. Seems WP somehow doesn’t recognize me, and it’s always timing out my log-in attempts (because somehow it won’t cache me, either), except it may not be WP; more like it’s the satellite connection timing out. I can do some on my phone, but I’m not loving that, either, because it seems to have a mind of its own much of the time when it comes to words, even when I type the whole thing out. Yes, I could turn off the auto complete, but then I lose the spell check.

There is no clear answer here.

What has been made clear is that this is as good as it’s going to get until the house sells and we’re in the next one.

We went and scoped out the other campgrounds yesterday. The one with free wi-fi and cable is nice, if you like a parking lot. It’s got good buildings, but it’s not geared towards kids. Anyone under 14 is required to be accompanied at all times (including riding bikes, it seems). Not to mention- there is zero shade, no grass, no real playground, and did I mention it’s a parking lot? I have no idea where I would park.

The killer though, was the laundry price. It’s twice what I’m paying, per load. Now, while that may not seem like much, when you have 4 kids and are doing laundry a lot, it starts to add up. Combined with the additional gas because it’s at least 15 minutes further, it really will add up quickly and more or less negate the arm and leg it costs for dismal internet here.

The second place we checked out was in the city we anticipated settling in. Well. Not only are we not going to get set up there because of distance, I am very sure we’re not even going to consider living there, unless we can’t find something here. It’s just too darn far away!

Hunny would be looking at least a 30 minute commute one way, in traffic, which could vary his travel time considerably from day-to-day. It would also completely eliminate the option for him to come home for lunch if he could.

What’s interesting to me is that many people out there live in that town and don’t think a thing of commuting that distance. In fact, one of his managers drives 45 minutes one way and doesn’t think a thing of it. It’s just a mindset I don’t really understand. Maybe it’s a school thing-maybe his kids are in a good school or started out somewhere and he changed jobs. I don’t really know.

What I do know is that I’m only concerned with schools as a point of resale. And I have no intention of being that far away unless I can’t help it.

Hunny is getting rid of his motorcycle, and I completely see why. The roads and highways are busy- so much so that riding won’t be enjoyable in the least, and dangerous, so there’s really no point in hanging onto it.

What’s also interesting to me is that people are not interested in living in the country; particularly in the smaller towns. While on the one hand that’s good for me- less competition for houses out in the country, that also means inventory is really low and really not much to choose from. Did I mention that we’re kind of picky and have specific needs with a house? *sigh*

And yet, despite all these little things, I know this is where we’re supposed to be, and I’m standing on the promise of what’s waiting at the end of this part of the change.

So. If you don’t see me commenting or liking, don’t think I’m gone. Just try to keep in mind I’m fighting with myself and doing what I can with what I’ve got. And that it’s temporary {God willing}.

In the meantime, if you’re inclined to pray for a solid, quick sale, or if you know of anyone in that area that’s looking, please keep us in mind. We’d appreciate it! 😀

Because life is a soundtrack, this is what came to mind this morning: Fighting With Myself; The Invisible

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bruF7tedwnU%5D

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I’m Missing ‘Em


{I’ll tell ya- I’m getting sick of writing entire posts and them not saving but a letter each time…….. maybe tomorrow I’ll remember to use something else first so I’m not as frustrated……….}

We’ve done longer stints in the RV than this. Don’t get me wrong- I am not complaining, per say. I know we are blessed beyond measure to have the option of being together during this transition.  In the past, we have even seriously considered full-timing.

I will say, though, that everything is different when you are living compared to being on vacation. It’s hard to look at something as a total adventure when there is no actual end in sight.

There are things I’m starting to miss, though, since we are getting back into the grind of daily living……………

I’m missing my full sized bathroom. Yes, there is the campground bathroom, but it’s not quite the same as having your own full sized bathroom and child-free space since they had their own in the big house.

I’m missing my alone time. Since Hunny is now only home early morning and evening, I’m not even getting much time with him alone, especially since the oldest has decided to start getting up with us at 5:30 am. *sigh*

We used up the last of the real eggs yesterday- I’m really missing my girlies. Actually, all of us girls are missing them and dreaming about them. 😦

The one thing I am really, really missing? If you’ve been reading along, you’ll no doubt remember how much I despise shopping of any kind. {clothes shopping is an absolute hate; followed closely by food shopping.} When I fell in love, I fell hard.

There is something cathartic about buying 16+ gallons of milk and knowing you won’t have to do it again for 2 weeks.

Now, though, I’ve gone in reverse. We can keep a maximum of 3 gallons total in this fridge, which means I have to go to the store every other day just to get milk. I hate that. I’m missing my big fridge, and the extra one in the garage.

While the queen size bed here is good, I am missing my comfy, big, King sized bed. I know. I’m such a spoiled whiner. 🙂

At this point, I am even missing my washing machine and dryer. It’s about $12 to do laundry here, for a few loads (and a buck a load is pretty cheap, but that’s about one load per person), and we’ll have to wash about 2xs a week.

I miss TV, too. When I was researching campgrounds, I was disappointed to find slim pickins’. There are 3 available. One is not the best place for extended stays, but has wi-fi and cable, I think. The second one is new; no trees; all concrete (which we don’t particularly like); is more geared for adults than for kids; has a bit of a cheaper rate and has cable and wi-fi- but it’s something like 45 minutes from the plant. That means no chance of Hunny coming home for lunch if he’s able.

The one we’re at is closer- 9 miles away and is nice. It’s clean, the laundry is cheap; the people are very nice {I’ve got my mail forwarded here, even}. But. It’s higher priced; wi-fi is paid at $30 a month PER DEVICE and there’s no TV. Because our rig has just an antennae and we got it before TV went digital, we don’t have a converter. We’re looking into that.

The decision to land here was based mostly on location. But shoot. The kids are bored out of their minds, especially without wi-fi. We’re going to check out the other options, because this is not going to work long term unless we want to shell out major $$$$ for wi-fi, which, of course, we don’t.  There is no clear answer here.

Initially, we figured we’d use our phones to make hot spots, but apparently, they didn’t actually activate that on our plan like we asked them to. Hunny researched it and it looks like it can really mess up the billing with the plan. So, that is a source of frustration.

But really. I am not complaining. I’m just missing the things that made our daily lives comfy, is all. Even our regular activities, like our weekly bible study are off limits- the closest one here is about an hour away from where we are. If we buy a house in the area we were thinking of, it will be a bit closer, but not much.

Hunny doesn’t want the worry of me on the road right now, until we get more settled and more familiar with the area. I can’t say I blame him, but the one class has a homeschooling class, too, which would be nice for the kids.

That, quite honestly, is a BIG miss for me. I spent 8 years with that group of ladies; including 5 years with same basic group core group of leaders and teachers, and it really feels like I’m missing my ‘tribe.’ The things that normally grounded us all- are gone. Yes, we’ll make new “norms,” but until we sell the house and get moved into the next one, it’s going to be hard not to be reminded of what’s missing, mostly because it’s really difficult to make “normal” out of “limbo.”

I’m making a point of reminding myself daily- ok, it’s really moment to moment :lol:- to keep my eye on the prize. I’m trying really to visualize the end result we know is coming- and remind myself of how good it’s going to be.

In the meantime, I need to throw my concept of ‘normal’ and ‘preferred’ out the window, because nothing is normal right now; preferences don’t really matter because accommodation has to be made. There is no point in whining or being unhappy.

Now, if I could just get the kids to go along with that plan, things would be looking up considerably. 😆 In the meantime, I’ll try not to dwell on what I’m missing……………….. 😀

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I Dodged the Bullet


Whew. Yep, I sure did.

So how did the rebuild go? Well…………. I’m plugged in externally to a passport drive and a sata drive. I’m not completely dual-boot. Actually, I’m triple boot at the moment. And still not running completely healthy, although things are better.

Had issues getting all my email accounts to migrate over to Thunderbird, and will have to dig and see if there is a way to batch migrate all my contact info over past doing them one at a time. Somehow, I lost a day of running data between all three drives; not quite sure how that happened…

I decided to do some cleaning in my program files. There was a lot of junk in there that not only do I not use, but had no idea what it even was!

Y’all remember what I said about my magnetic personality? Ya…………. well, apparently, you can get rid of non DLL or exe files that apparently have nothing to do with what you need, only to find out that you can’t run a major program that took you weeks to organize. 😯

Can you imagine my distress when it told me this morning I had to uninstall ITunes because it was missing an application file?  😯  😥

Fortunately for me, Hunny made a backup somewhere, that would have been my last resort. I was resolved, though- I was not going to go that route unless I had to.

I reinstalled. I had my fingers and eyes crossed. I waited. And hoped.

*sigh*

To my great surprise, it installed and opened and all my stuff was still there! Yay! I’m a ninny, I know, but I am sure relieved.

It doesn’t happen to me much, but I’m always kinda floating when I actually do manage to dodge a bullet………  :mrgreen:

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Danger! Danger!


Yep. That’s what I’ve been hearing in my head since yesterday. To be fair, hunny heard it too, as my laptop kept crashing as he was trying to extract stuff. Meh.

The blue screen of death. Sudden and unexpected “sleep mode.” Hard crashes. Meh.

Methinks this does not bode well……………

The solution we’ve come up with is a new box.  Since I’m no longer doing website design and needing to be mobile, the best solution looks to be moving back into a desktop. My purple dragon awaits me……….somewhere buried in the garage.

I did find another neato purple case that is really cool. It’s on backorder, though, so I don’t think it’s going to be part of this emergency package.

Hunny has already speced out parts; now he’s down to comparison shopping locally and online, which will take him maybe another few hours. My son is sitting on a brand new unusued graphic card that we’re going to buy off of him. (Ya, he’s 15, and not only does he build his own computers, he buys his own parts, too!)

I’m not entirely sure what’s up with that card since he got it last week. I think he may have found a better one for some specific game he’s playing. Honestly, that is not my area of interest expertise. Talk to me about books, or running, or {gasp!} even chickens, and you may regret not setting aside enough time.  😆 But computer stuff I leave to the experts in the family.

That said……….. I have my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed, hoping that I don’t have a permanent fatal error that kills my entire system before hunny can get the pieces parts in and put together. Today I spent time purging, in hopes of helping my laptop limp along until we can make the move. I may even think about doing another defrag, just to see if that helps.

I have to say- there’s a lot of stuff I was unintentionally hanging on to that I had no problem dumping. Truly, some of that junk I didn’t even remember I had in there from the last move about 3 or 4 years ago! I actually still have all those things backed up on dvd.  It is staggering to see how much web design stuff I had packed in my machine!

Dumped. Trashed. Purged.

Wow. What a good feeling!

This next machine- I resolve to only fill with stuff that makes me happy. I’m not gonna hang on to stuff that is going to drag me down thinking about it. Less stuff should hopefully = less opportunity for something to get wonky.

The risk we took changing to a laptop was that when you have hardware failure, you can’t change parts out like you can on a desktop. I am really looking forward to having twin drives again, I have to say. In some cases, absence really DOES make the heart grow fonder!

I WILL let my favorites be overrun with running gear and chicken stuff. :mrgreen: Because, certainly, there is no danger with chickens and running……………. 😉

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No, not like that. Nope, not like that either. (Sheesh, people!!) 😆

I have been putting this off for like, a year. Maybe even more. Not just because of the time and effort involved, but mostly because I’m scared. In many ways, I am a creature of habit.

I have my own method of organization, and I see it in my head, where everything is stashed. I like to avail myself of all the options, and the last time I went down, things didn’t work right on the other side. It worries me to think I’ll lose something I need or things won’t work the way I want them to, because that makes me frustrated.

And I’ve put up with it for what- 3 or 4 years now? My level of frustration has been increasing to the point where I’m spending more time being frustrated than being productive. When things start coming to a standstill more often than not, I have to admit it’s time, and just bite the bullet and go down………….

Yep. It’s time to rebuild the laptop.

The last time we did this, the computer was new. I decided against a Mac (silly me) because my web design software was PC based, and I didn’t want to have to the big $$$ on new software, particularly after getting a new sooper dooper PC. Well, that blew up in my face.

After numerous installs, including re-doing my ITunes a gazillion times (literally, hours and hours and hours several consecutive weekends because I was moving IN to ITunes and hadn’t migrated all the music over from Windows), it became pretty clear that my old Dreamweaver (Macromedia MS) was not going to play nicely with my new laptop at 64 bit.

Here’s something I learned about design software- much of the time, if you are homeschooling, you can get a deeply discounted rate. Pretty neat, eh? Because I had a new PC, that’s the version of Adobe CS4 I ended up with. NOT the way I had hoped things would work out, but too late to do anything about it. I had been wanting to switch to a Mac for a long time, but the stars aligned against me, and it was not to be. Boo.  😦

In the years and years of having Windows machines, we’ve learned a few things.  One big thing we learned was that every year or two, you’d get to the point where things were running soooooo terribly that it was hard not to pitch the whole thing out the window. The solution we came up with early on was to totally rebuild the OS.

Now, I don’t do any of that, because y’all know I have this fantastically magnetic personality, right? I know I’ve talked a little bit about this, but this is a serious problem around our house. Fortunately for me and all involved, Hunny is the antidote.

Whereas I’ve been screaming at my printer because it won’t print for some magical, unknown reason, Hunny can talk to it and stand up to take the few steps to get to it- and it will magically start working again. Seriously. He can stand right over me and see that I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do, and it doesn’t work. The second he tries, though- everything works just fine.

This applies to everything mechanical in general, including autos and power tools. I am a force to be reckoned with.  😀

So, it goes without saying that I won’t mess with the rebuild. I let Hunny deal with it, and in reality, this will only take him a few hours. Having an engineer in the family definitely has its perks!

For example, my laptop was the first one we actually bought. Prior to that, he’d rebuild obsolete machines or start from scratch. You ought to see all the pieces parts in the garage….

My son built his first machine all by himself when he was 12. Hunny always sweats putting in the motherboard, because they are $$$ (that first one for the boy was over $200), but he dropped it without thinking twice. 😯 Because they are gamers, they go with build-your-own boxes because it’s easier to change out parts.

For a long time, I had a very nice purple box. I was annoyed that I couldn’t find a purple monitor to go with it, but I’ve since moved past tube monitors, so it’s all good. 😀 I even managed to find a wireless keyboard and mouse that were nearly the same purple. I seem to think the actual case was called something like “Purple Dragon.” Pretty cool, eh? (yes, I AM a girl!)  😆

Those turned out to be a total bust. The mouse battery only lasted a few hours (there was no dock for recharging- this was back when wireless mice were new) and while the batteries for the keyboard lasted a bit longer, I wore off the letters on 2 keyboards both within a week.

The box over here was basically the one I had, except mine had solid sides. It rocked.  😀

To make the switch to a laptop was a leap for me, but at the time, I was doing some travelling and needed the option to take it with me for presentations on the website(s) I was building. That was the trade-off, because I knew the days of slapping in more RAM and new graphics cards, etc, were over. Boo.

So, it’s time. I’m going down for a rebuild. I am past being frustrated with lag time. And I’m pretty much done with Windows, too.

At this point, I’m going to be dual-partitioned, with primary boot in Ubuntu. I have not been a fan of some OS applications, but this one doesn’t bother me a whole lot. I’ll still be able to use anything MS based that I need, like my design software and my MS Office suite if there’s something in Linux I can’t find.

I assume I’ll be back online by tonight, barring catastrophe and mayhem. If you don’t hear from me for a few days, you can assume I probably got more involved with the rebuild than I should have, and have caused myself problems.  😆

Let the games begin……I’m going down!  :mrgreen:

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Have you looked?  Do you usually look? 

~~WARNING!!!! LONG POST AHEAD!!!~~~~  😆

Every year around this time, I end up laughing sardonically to myself.

“I just love a clean slate!”

“New year= new beginnings!”

<gag> I mean, really? Do people really believe this? Like, nothing from the past year is going to follow them into this year because it’s a “new calendar?” Or that because it’s the new year, things are just magically going to be “better” because the time meter has been reset?? The short answer is yes, apparently they must because every year, they say the same thing.

Ooooooookkkk- back to reality! I love history. I just don’t live there. 😀

Sir Winston Churchill said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Yep. It’s true. The key here is learning.

So many times, people do the same things over and over, each time expecting a different result. Doesn’t work that way. Never has; never will.

Learn something from the past, get over it, and move on already. Play the hand life has dealt you instead of moaning and groaning about better days (like when you were in high school). Don’t let the past keep you trapped, because you can’t escape from self-imposed imprisonment. It’s just not happening.

Get rid of your grudges– they keep you enmeshed, even if you don’t think they do. Why are you continuing to let that/them/him/her/it continue to have that kind of power over you? They don’t care about your grudge, and it’s going to damage you far more than it will them. Let it go……. but learn from the experience- don’t forget it; protect yourself from something similar happening again.

This is why we need to periodically look back. For me, it’s a measure of taking stock- where have I been? What went right? What needs work? Were any of those things things I actually had control over?  😆

Let’s take a walk down memory lane for a minute so we can see what my frame of reference is:  2010.

~~~~~~~~~~Intermission music~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh hey. I see you’re back.  🙂

The big rant there, about the medical billing? Yep. It’s still broken. The one bit of information I redently learned from my insurance company was “All emergency room doctors are contractors. None of them work for the hospital.” <gasp!>  😯

That was news to me! I thought only smaller community hospitals were cursed with that! I have no real way of confirming this information, so if you have some kind of concrete evidence, would you point me at it, please? Thanks.

Why, you might ask, is that even on my radar? Well, in August, dd #2 (my now 10-year-old) ended up in the ER with a concussion. I kid you not when I say that the hand of God was on that situation from the get-go, because financially, it could have been a WHOLE lot worse than it turned out to be. (I mean, of course the hand of God is in everything all the time- this was one situation, though, where a person could see it really clearly and know it for what it was.)

Explanation: We here, in our rural community where a larger city is 200 plus miles away in ANY direction, have 2 hospitals. One is relatively new; a private, physician owned venture that is really, really nice. Thanks to the cuts in Medicare and Obamacare, it can’t expand nor can it sustain itself, so it’s being bought out by the other hospital. I’m not sure that’s happened yet, and it’s besides the point.

So, when J started vomiting after goofing around with siblings (something I did not witness), I knew it was time to take her to the emergency room. I’m pretty well convinced that the other hospital will kill you unless you are mostly dead anyhow (ya, this is the one where the head of ER services told me “Everyone has pitting edema in the morning- you are just fine besides the connective tissue disease issue. Get off the internet and stop trying to find something wrong.” Yes, really. Nevermind those pesky chronic illness that other COMPETENT medical professionals have diagnosed.  🙄  😡 ), so my thinking was to take her to the other ER because surely, it had to be better.

Indeed, it was. We were in and out in 2 hours; the CT confirmed a concussion but no bleed (which was a huge relief, because that’s an airlift out). In reality, we were the only ones there.

That was early August. It is now January. A few weeks ago, I got another bill from the emergency doctor’s contracting service, which turned into nearly 2 hours (yes, really) of time waiting on the phone. First, I had to call the service to find out why they hadn’t billed insurance again. (We had already had this conversation in October.) They said they had, and insurance said it needed more information from me.

??? I hadn’t gotten anything from insurance, so I called. Insurance said they couldn’t find a record of a claim. Interestingly, the hospital bill and the labs had been completely paid for by the end of September- apparently, the hospital, which took my information- was able to properly bill insurance with no problem. Somehow, the ER doctor service wasn’t able to take that same information and do anything with it. That bill was for nearly $750.

When I called insurance, it showed that it hadn’t been billed at all. The next logical step was for the insurance company to call the ER doctor service to try to straighten it out- all with ME still on the line……..Granted, most of the time spent was just being on hold, but still…. 2 hours later, it was finally determined that the ER doctors hadn’t actually billed the right place, but now it should be on the right track.

How does this stuff happen?!!! You give your information a single time; to a single person. This person enters that data into the computer, for goodness sakes. And every one but the one gets the billing right? Maddening!

But wait- there’s more!  😆 As it turns out, the new hospital doesn’t actually HAVE pediatric services.  Yep. You read that right. They can deliver the bulk of the babies for the community, and they treat adults, BUT, they cannot admit pediatrics because they are not equipped to do so.

AND NOWHERE WAS THIS INFORMATION POSTED OR OTHERWISE SHARED WITH ME

You’d have thought that when we showed up, there would have been a note or something posted- or the person taking our information would have said, “Please be aware that if she needs to be admitted, we are going to call an ambulance to transport her to the other hospital.” Had I known that, I would have taken her there to begin with (where a dear friend actually works in the ER).  It was a given that if she had had a bleed, it would have been a chopper ride out- but first, they would have transported her to the other hospital by ambulance, too, because they are not equipped to do that there for peds.

WTH?!!! Pardon my french, but really? You don’t think you should tell someone that kind of information when they come in with a child that clearly needs medical attention? But see, fortunately, this is where God was clearly *overtly* in charge, because there was no bleed and things went well, all things being considered (we didn’t come home with something like MRSA….).  But when my friend called and let me know what was more likely to have  happened- wow. Just wow. Do people not have consciences?

I think we can conclusively say that medical billing is broken. And while our medical system is broken, I’m still inclined to think it’s considerably better than other countries with socialized healthcare, where people have to wait for eons to get surgeries and other services. At least here, I, the consumer, have the option to shop for doctors, even if I have to fight the payment ring-around-the-rosey later.

I think we can check that off the rants for 2011.  😆

Let’s see- the Stuff issue remains, more or less. Getting a Kindle has been hugely helpful in not adding to the pile of books, so that is good. The other stuff- *sigh*.  Work in progress.

I will say, though, that unlike 2010 which I was glad was dead and buried, 2011 actually DID have some really good points.

I missed not doing our usual travels. I think we all missed not taking out usual vacations. This was due completely to the addition of CHICKENS! If you’ve been reading along, you have no doubt figured out by now that I am totally crazy chicken lady.  :mrgreen:

Not a *single* regret here for getting chickens! Santa even brought Mama some chicken lanterns for Christmas, which add to the chicken calendar, magnets, and ornaments for her birthday.  😀

We’re hoping to get the chicken arrangement more automated so when we do hit the road again, we’ll have it set to where our chicken sitter only really has to come once or twice a day to collect eggs and make sure they all put themselves to bed.

Of course, all of our girls are grown up now and they are all laying eggs. One of these days, I’ll actually get around to taking pictures of the chicken condo, the girls, and their gift of eggs!!  😆

The other “big” thing for me this year came in the form of running shoes. The change to Vibram Five Fingers has been absolutely monumental for me. Because I’m not running with as much pain, I’ve been able to increase my mileage and enter races. 2011 brought me 2 10k races. 

Year end totals for running: 935.76 miles. At the beginning of the year, my goal was 500 miles. At some point, that changed, and I was looking at 800 miles. When that goal got close, it changed to 900. The last few weeks, I had changed the goal again, to 950 miles. 😆

The last week bit me in the rear, though, as I hit a pretty major flare on Christmas Day followed by a tummy bug. I only logged 43.5 miles for last week; my monthly total for December was 205.

How does that break down with the shoes? 308.56 miles were run in my Asics, which leaves 627.2 in my VFFs. I’ll continue to update periodically on my VFFs, as a measure of keeping track of the longevity of these treds. The Holiday Challenge finishes today, so stay tuned for the update coming soon!

Overall, 2011 wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. In fact, it was considerably better than I had hoped! That being said, I can’t confess to having unbridled enthusiasm for 2012.  While I’m cautiously optimistic, I’m probably just too cynical.  😆

2012- looking forward to good things and firsts- like going and collecting eggs, because we haven’t collected eggs at all this year.  😆  And then a run, since I haven’t run at all this year………………. 😆

What are your goals for the coming year?  Do you set any?  Have you looked in your rearview mirror yet?  😀

 

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