What's On Your Mind 2023

We were not happy with Delta when we had it and when we had the chance to change we did. Aetna was offered to us and we’ve been happy with it fir many years. We have United Healthcare and it is okay. Express Scripts has a lot of problems.

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Thanks for this data point. I’ve been skeptical for some time, but my wife works in insurance and her dad was a SF agent most of his life, so trying to talk about dropping insurance can be… kind of difficult. (I may be a Philistine but I also question the necessity of getting prophy and checkup every 6 mos instead of just annually…)

I did get her to agree we should cancel and cash in my “universal variable life policy” next January when the tax hit won’t be so bad (I sold a bunch of stock this year, so I don’t want more tax liability this year). Those uni-var policies were pure crap. Well, not crap if you died soon after taking it out because it did pay the full death benefit immediately upon issuance just like any life policy, should you die early. But because they were supposedly a hybrid between whole life (value generating) and term life (death benefit) they did not perform very well vs. simply investing the majority of the money elsewhere and buying a simple term life policy if you needed it. But her dad was a big believer at the time he sold us on it.


With blue cross, the insurance paid 50 percent (major) or 70 percent (intermediate) of the cost of procedures, outside of fully covering the cost of cleanings and X-rays as you mentioned.

Having at least one procedure benefitted from having insurance, and even if no procedures, I think it would have been even. This past calendar year I had two procedures. Fun. :sweat_smile:

I use flex savings account to get reimbursement for the out of pocket or coinsurance expenses.

I don’t know the difference btw federal employee plans (where I am now) or plans offered to private employers. In the private sector, when I worked for law firms I think they gave us delta dental, but I never thought too much about it since we had no choice of what insurance company was used, and the law firm paid for it entirely. :roll_eyes::upside_down_face:


I got talked into one years ago and when I couldn’t afford the premiums anymore, I had to drop it. :expressionless:

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I stumbled across this news story last night on youtube. WOW!! I’m going to be more careful about throwing away those fake looking loan offers and read them all the way through. Ultimately, the guy got the lien released, but it did cost him some attorney fees.
UCC-1 Filings

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A very-widely republished and reported on April 2021 NYT Op-Ed

Parents, Stop Talking About the ‘Lost Year’

(Subtitled, “Teenagers and tweens will be fine, experts say — if adults model resilience.”)

I don’t know why, but at some point after original publication, the NYT changed both the title and subtitle to, respectively, “How to Help Your Adolescent Think About the Last Year”, and “Hint: It’s not a “lost year.” Also, the screen time with friends? It’s good for their mental health”.

Also unusual for the NYT, the NYT usually puts an editorial note up front explaining why a new version differs from the original, but this time they didn’t. [Edit - and I just found that the “original original” title, print edition, was “Casting Doubt on ‘Lost Year’ Doom and Gloom”.]

Some excerpts.

  • The past year has been terrible. And most middle schoolers will be fine. Diedre Neal, principal of Alice Deal Middle School in Northwest Washington. “You had a sort of a sense of resilience and ‘grit,’ even pre-pandemic, that I think served them well,” she said. “I do see an ability to pivot.”

  • They reason they’ll be fine is built right into the biology of early adolescence, explained Laurence Steinberg, a professor of psychology at Temple University and the author of “Age of Opportunity,” the influential 2014 book on adolescent brain science. The fact that middle schoolers are going through a “critical period” of heightened brain flexibility, instability and plasticity, he said, means that they are hypersensitive and ultra-vulnerable — and also extra-primed for adaptability and resilience.

Compare to:

November, 18, 2023 NTY Op-Ed

The Startling Evidence on Learning Loss Is In

Some excerpts from the first few paragraphs

  • In the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic, Congress sent… [$38 billion to schools]… to be used for reversing learning setbacks. At the time, educators knew that the impact on how children learn would be significant, but the extent was not yet known.

[Strange, and seemingly a bit revisionist. According to the NYT Op-Ed above, published “in the thick” of the pandemic, the kids would be just fine and dandy. Resilient, ya’ know.]

  • The evidence is now in, and it is startling. The school closures …may prove to be the most damaging disruption in the history of American education. It also set student progress in math and reading back by two decades and widened the achievement gap that separates poor and wealthy children.

  • Economists are predicting that this generation, with such a significant educational gap, will experience diminished lifetime earnings and become a significant drag on the economy. But education administrators and elected officials who should be mobilizing the country against this threat are not. [Ed. apparently “are not” means “are not doing so”]

I should add that the current Op-Ed is not all doom/gloom and they highlight efforts in some states and localities to try to improve the situation.

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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. :flushed::grimacing::exploding_head:

There. I vented. People can be so frustrating. To put it nicely.

That’s what’s on my mind. Deep breath. All good. :relieved: going to continue to digest the stuffing I just made, randomly. Might make tea :coffee:. It’s rainy here.


I would expect it to have charcoal icing.

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I want to go.

Me too but you’re a lot closer.
That’s the size of a freaking wal*mart.

It is hard to believe that 60 years ago today this second grader’s teacher fainted when she picked up the classroom phone and heard the sad news of our president’s death. We had just come in from lunch recess and were settling down for our afternoon story time.

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Damn! Been there! Well, not really, but been by it many times. Never thought to stop but have tried many of its “cousins”. Quintessential dishes.

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Forget Mexico. The real threat is those crazy Canuck superpigs!


It could be worse. It could be:


I am eternally grateful to be spending today with good friends, my family of choice. I can’t remember there ever being a Thanksgiving with them where there was any drama, arguments, or even disagreements of any kind - which is worlds apart from the stressful holidays I remember with my family.

Just a relaxing time with our favorite people, good food, classy libations :joy:, a true respite from a world where seemingly everyone wants to argue about everything all the time. Here’s wishing you all the same :slight_smile:

Cheers :clinking_glasses: :clinking_glasses: :clinking_glasses:


I swear, everyone has been in an uproar over these guys. I doubt very much the RCMP will let the swine come over the BC border. I know it is a serious threat for some. Can they be used for food?
I see a Red Green or Bullwinkle J. Moose skit.


On my mind at the moment is marveling at what a splendid thing privilege must be. Not needing to be “bothered” by many of the real world “issues” that still prevail outside their own existence. How powerful it must feel to wander about interrupting, talking over, trolling, and gaslighting people who are actually impacted. Shouting louder, having the last word in a conversation that doesn’t even include them, being a sarcastic, smug, bully in all the best passive aggressive, narcissistic ways. Feeling empowered and untouchable enough to blame people who might feel the effects of said imaginary “issues” for “complaining”. Privilege doesn’t experience it, so of course it must not exist. Can’t explain the color blue to a blind person, but at least the blind person is aware there are things that may exist outside their realm of experience or understanding.