House Remains Undecided

Control of Congress is still up for grabs with Republicans only needing 6 more seats, while the Democrats will need 14 to reach the magic number of 218.  What the hell is taking so long as Election Day was a week ago and they are still counting votes?  The Democrats will get very close to keeping control of the House once all races are called, but it looks like they won’t make it.  Counting continues in Arizona’s 1st District and in their 6th District.  California has ten House seats that are still being counted, Colorado has two, New Mexico has three, New York has one, and Oregon has two, bringing the total to 20 seats that have not been determined yet.  California has made access to voting very easy and that requires more time to verify.  Every registered voter gets a mail in ballot sent to them, and if it’s postmarked by Election Day it doesn’t even have to arrive by then.  Where I live in Florida, you need to request an absentee ballot and if it doesn’t arrive to the facility by the close of polls, it doesn’t count.  The newly elected Representatives are not going to take over immediately, so they might as well take their time to make sure they get the correct count, because these days there are plenty of election result deniers around, thanks to our former President.

Written for Paula’s Monday Peeve.

Free Barabbas

The crowd in Jerusalem chose the criminal Barabbas to be freed over Jesus and I see the same thing happening today with Trump.  People know that he is a criminal, even though no criminal charges have been filed against him yet.  It is pretty obvious that he cheated on his taxes, but more importantly he divided our country so far apart that it may never be saved.  People have said that there was no violence in the January sixth attack on the capital, but that is only because they have closed their eyes to the truth and when the violence is being broadcast on TV, they turn it off, or switch the channel, because they only want to believe in what they already believe.  They go to the Trump rallies, where the former president calls them patriots and this makes them feel good, because they know deep in their hearts that they are doing the right thing for America.  I don’t want to go into a whole Trump thing here, I just want to say that people are a lot like sheep, looking for something to follow.

The people in Jerusalem did not like Barabbas, but they were told to hate Jesus by the chief priests and the elders, so they shouted to have him crucified.  Everyone wants to feel like they are a part of the flock, so they will feel accepted.  People cave into peer pressure and Maslow said that this is one of the five human needs.  People want to hang out with likeminded individuals, and they might feel nice and cozy being together, that is until the farmer decides that he wants to have mutton for dinner.

Written for Paula’s Monday Peeve.

People Make Mistakes

I need to amend the tax return that I already filed, because I made a stupid mistake, and the government wants me to pay them money.  I have been using the 1040-SR form since I retired, which is for taxpayers who are age 65 or older.  I put my Social Security benefits on Line 1 and that was a mistake, as I don’t have any income that belongs on line 1, because Social Security benefits are listed on Line 6a.  Line 6a gets multiplied by 50% and this give me Line 6b, which the government considers to be my taxable amount of income.  When they sent me the letter demanding that I pay an amount which they feel I owe them by November 23rd, I knew there was something wrong, as I have not been required to pay any taxes since I retired.  I actually hate doing taxes and I guess I rushed through this to get it done, but it seems like I created more work for myself.  They will allow me to amend my return and use Form 1040-X, but that seems like a hassle, so I am just going to find an accountant who will straighten out my mistake for me and I will let them refile my tax for me.  Next year, I will pay more attention!

Written for Paula’s Monday Peeve.

Sue Vincent Posts

For the last month I have been getting Sue Vincent posts showing up in my Reader and I am curious how that is happening.  The posts are coming from Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo, Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter and it says that she has 10,855 followers.  I never really knew Sue personally, but I did participate in her Thursday Photo Prompt till she passed away on March 29th, 2021.  I think her blog was taken over by Stuart France who supposedly has his own 19,739 followers.  I don’t really need to know what is going on, especially since KL Caley took over this prompt and called it the Thursday Write Photo, but I figured that somebody must know, as it seemed like Sue had a lot of friends here on WordPress.

Written for Paula’s Monday Peeve.

The New Way

I love my primary care doctor and I attribute her to saving my life, because she really cares about my health, and she is very helpful for her diabetic patients.  She makes me get my blood sugar tested regularly and she has prescribed medications to lower my blood sugar.  She has an online patient portal, which is a secure website that I can use to access my personal health information.  It contains information about my medical visits, test results, billing, prescriptions and insurance, among other things.  I think this portal is more helpful to her than it is to me, as I am not all that interested in using it, because I prefer the human face to face connection.  I think it is nice being able to have access to my medical records, as years ago, all this information was never released to the patients and this gives me more control, even though it is read-only access.

This web-based technology that is being offered by all of the healthcare organizations now is becoming more widely available and my eye doctor, my foot doctor, my urologist and my blood lab all have their own portals for me.  This means more usernames and passwords that I have to maintain, and I am sure that my dentist will probably be doing this soon.  There is a lot of redundancy in all of these portals, and as Paula indicated this is “not a doorway to a cool parallel universe” that would defy our current understanding of physics.  Every one of these portals wants to know all the medications that I take, and it does get on your nerves having to enter the same information all the time.  Just because an organization has a portal, this does not guarantee that it is helpful to me.  I think it would be nice if I had my own portal where all of my doctors could be given permission so they could log in and that way I wouldn’t be doing all of their work for them.  This would be like a portal on the Yellow Submarine, which would make it a lot more fun.  “Black, white, green, red, can I take my friend to bed?  Pink, brown, yellow, orange, and blue, I love you.”

Written for Paula’s Monday Peeve.

Artemis Launch

My cousin and her boyfriend asked me if I wanted to go with them to see the Artemis 1 launch that was supposed to take place today at Kennedy Space center.  I told her that I was going to pass, because it is an hour and a half ride to get there and then I would probably get a sore neck from constantly having to look up.  She got mad at me saying that this historic moon launch is a once in a lifetime event and I should not miss it.  I told her to take some pictures of it on her phone for me, as I would be happy to see it that way and not have to go on an all-day trip.  NASSA called off the Monday launch of the powerful rocket and the next launch opportunity available for the Artemis 1 mission is Friday at 12:48 p.m. EDT.  I am not going to that one either, as I actually enjoy being home alone by myself.

Written for Paula’s Monday Peeve.

What’s the Point?

They tracked me down and I have been invited to my 50th High School Reunion, but all I feel is hesitation and the event is just 10 weeks away.  I would have to fly up there and I saw some very reasonable flights that I could get for $100 round trip, which is much cheaper than filling my tank with gas both ways.  The killer is having to rent a car, as I don’t have collision insurance, so I would need to purchase the extra rental car insurance, which could be as high as an extra $100 a day more than the price of renting the car.  A decent rental car would probably cost me $50 per day and I could get a room at the Hilton for $115 a night.  The Reunion will cost me $85, so without eating and going any other place, I would be spending $400 for the event and an extra $265 for every extra day that I stay up there.

I don’t keep in touch with any of the people that I went to High School with, and I am not on social media, so I think I should opt out.  I don’t really care to catch up with any of them and it feels odd going to any social event without a date.  I loved being in High School, because every day was a party for me, and I had some really good experiences.  The main reason that I don’t want to go is that I don’t have a date to bring with me and I don’t want to hire a professional escort.  Being single and not dating is frowned upon and this will make me look like a loser.  Society puts a lot of pressure on singles to fit into what is supposedly the norm.  Maybe they would sit me at a table with some single women, or better yet a bunch of horney widows, but with my luck, I would probably end up sitting with a table full of weirdos.  It is not like I care what anyone thinks about me, but if I end up sitting with the wrong people, I will have a rotten time.

I am not a shy person, but it would be awkward going around telling the others that I’m at this event all alone and I’m looking to meet others that are single.  Since they spent time tracking me down, I should probably let them know that I will not be attending and thank them for thinking of me.

Written for Paula’s Monday Peeve.

The Same Spam

I have no idea why everyone thinks that my name is Neil, but on practically all the spam that I am getting now, that is what they are calling me.  The typical one goes like this, “At first I was skeptical that I am able to go through a post as long. Your writing style captivated me. The content you wrote was excellent. Great Article Neil. It was great! I’ve just read it, but I didn’t leave any comments. However, I think the article was informative enough to warrant a thanks. I’ll apply some of these tips soon on my sites.”

Sometimes the wording changes slightly, but it is basically the same message.  I don’t see the purpose in this, and I am just wondering if anyone else is getting these messages.  I thought about responding to the first one and telling them that my name is not Neil, but there were 10 other identical messages below it in my spam folder, so I just deleted all of them.  Why do people insist on annoying others?

Written for Paula’s Monday Peeve.

One Way or Another

The Supreme Court extremist justices are hypocrites, as they decided that since the Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, that they had the right to overturn a woman’s right to get an abortion.  The thing is that there are several provisions that do guarantee certain rights and they are already in the Constitution, and these are deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.  The fundamental rights of Americans have been protected over the last two centuries through the security of the Bill of Rights and the democratic system of government that allows constituents to stand up and fight for their rights when necessary.  Although most of the amendments in the Bill of Rights are specific on the federal government’s responsibilities, there are a few that leave power in the hands of the people and the Supreme Court.  The Ninth Amendment covers privacy, liberty, and a woman’s reproductive choices, and the Supreme Court should start doing their job and protecting our rights.  The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides a fundamental right to privacy that protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose whether to have an abortion.

They are a bunch of hypocrites, as this decision was completely inconsistent with what the Trump appointed justices (Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh) had to say during their confirmation hearings.  With this new ruling, every State can force every pregnant woman to bring her pregnancy to term, no matter what the cost is to her, as these anti-abortion laws will put female sexuality under strict and brutal state control.  Women will no longer be able to make decisions on what they think is right, as the State will have total control over every woman’s body and how she can live her life.  Something must be done about this injustice.

Cat Gagging

It is like there is something stuck in Bogey’s throat, but she is not throwing up.  She is going to the Vet on Friday, but in the meantime, I am rubbing Vaseline on her lips, which seems to be doing the trick.  Since she is not spitting out any hairballs, I am worried about her, because she goes into these coughing fits at least several times every day.  Something is irritating her, and I hope that the Vet is able to figure out the underlying problem.  I read that a persistent cough may be an indication of a respiratory infection or asthma.  It is kind of scarry watching her belly move uncontrollably up and down while she is chocking, as none of the other cats are doing any this, but Bogey has always been sort of an oddball.  She spends a lot of time all by herself and she loves looking out of the window when she is not sleeping.

Written for Paula’s Monday Peeve.