1/4-Ass Post

Hello dear reader(s)!

I had doctor appointments today.   Good times.   So I’ll be back tomorrow.   That’s why you’re getting this quarter-assed post from me today.   I’d call it a half-assed post, but that would require twice as much effort.

Okay, so…that’s about it for this one.  Maybe I should’ve called this 1/16-assed post.

Friends With Benefits

Hello dear reader(s)!

This post is not about fuck buddies.  I am talking about the kind of benefits you might get from a job.  Benefits like good health insurance, 401K, a pension (if they still have those, and won’t sue to get out of them later), short and long-term disability benefits, a large coke, and a side of onion rings.

I remember when I didn’t have any benefits.  I had friends with benefits, that I was very jealous of.  Having no health insurance sucked.  I was always scared something catastrophic would happen if I were to get sick or injured.  I racked up a lot of medical debt during that time, from the non-catastrophic but still emergent things I needed done.

Eventually, I got a job with good benefits.  It came right in time as only about a year later I really started showing signs that I had cancer.  I was extremely fortunate to have had that job and those benefits when I did.  My company self-insured, but used a major insurance company to administer their plan.  It was a great plan, much better than any of the standard plans you see on the exchanges, or even with a good Medicare Advantage plan.

Now class, pay attention, because here is where I propose a plan for healthcare in this nation that might actually be feasible.  Ready?

Start by taking away the exchange and individual insurance markets from the health insurance companies, and give everyone not on a group plan Medicare.  We will not get a Medicare-for-all system as long as these companies are buying our politicians.  Even taking away the individual markets will require some strength on the part of those in power, but it will make those officials hugely popular with their constituents.  In exchange for losing the individual markets to Medicare, they can open their Medicare Supplemental and Medicare Advantage plans to those new Medicare recipients, provided those plans closed the donut-hole for prescriptions.  Some revenue for them would be better than none to them, which is the only other viable alternative.

In the meantime, the insurance companies can continue to insure and administer group plans, but all ACA requirements on plan quality must remain, and the plans must cover at least what Medicare does, for less cost to the employee, so that those plans are not seen as punishment for working.  Health coverage from a job should be an actual benefit.

Medicare should be allowed to then negotiate with pharmaceutical companies and other provider groups to lower healthcare costs.

My proposal would be paid for by lifting the payroll tax cap, a cut to the growth rate of our defense budget, and by folding the VA into the new Medicare system, and selling the facilities and assets to private hospital groups to be privately run, provided they agree to all of Medicare’s rules.  Our veterans will no longer have to wait and be neglected at some sub-standard facility.  Veteran’s Medicare would not have coinsurance but would be administered by Medicare rather than having a separate department and more overhead.

I would attempt to phase out the insurance companies from group plans as well, allowing those companies to reconfigure and find other ways to remain in business, but that would likely be a non-starter until automation has made employment obsolete and most of us are on a universal basic income.

Any representative who wishes to advance this or a similar proposal in order to fix the broken healthcare system in this country is more than welcome to do so, and can take all the credit for it.

The only thing I ask in return is that I have healthcare when I need it.

 

 

 

Game Of Shutting The Fuck Up

Hello dear reader(s)!

Look, I am not writing this post to take issue with how people like to have fun, or anything about the show itself.  I am sure it is a good show, and once the fucking hype dies down, I might actually want to watch it myself.

And no, there is nothing wrong with talking about something you enjoy online.  To a point.

But please, for the love of all that is good and unholy, shut the fuck up about Game Of Thrones.  Honestly, there are other things in life.

It would be one thing if I was on a dedicated Game Of Thrones fan page.  It would be another thing if it were only on social media.   But for weeks now, all I have been hearing about anywhere in any media or overheard in public is Game Of Thrones.

“Season 7 will be the last!  Oh no!”

“It’s almost here!”

“Kalisisisisiiisiiiiii will be queen of Underoos!”

And on and on and on.

I am a Westworld fan.  I can not wait until it comes back.  I have had conversations about that show with other people who have seen it, or who I am convincing people to watch it with me right before I start it On Demand.  If I were on the Westworld page, I might even have conversations about it with other fans who are strangers.  But I do not post random shit about it on my Facebook like it is somehow important to my life or the lives of other people on my friends list, particularly those who I do not know have seen it.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying something, and doing what you have to do in order to relax and enjoy some things in this world.  If that for you is Game Of Thrones, well then good for you.  But there is something wrong with the obsession about a fucking TV show as if it is somehow central or important to the lives of others.  I don’t give a shit if your character is killed, okay?

It was the same way for The Walking Dead.  After some of that hype died down, I watched it.  It was pretty good.  Not great, certainly not worthy of all the hype, but pretty good.  I even enjoy some of the funny memes made from it.  But do I feel the need to let everyone I know that I am wondering if something will ever happen besides Rick finding some place to stay for a while that seems perfect, but then isn’t due to (insert threat here) before they fight and roam again, rinse and repeat?  Do I update my Facebook status with how much I can’t wait until it starts?  Do I tell people when and where I am watching it?  No.

You may have guessed by the completely unreasonable tone of this post that this isn’t really about Game Of Thrones or The Walking Dead.  It isn’t about any television or leisure activities that people choose to engage in when they need a little escape from the all-you-can-eat crap buffet that is modern society.  It is about distraction.  It is about unhealthy obsession with those escapes that keep people from being engaged in reality.

A break every so often isn’t just good, it is necessary.

But so is living in the real world.  And when people are more concerned with the fate of the corrupt ruler of some land in the world of fiction than they are of the corruption within our own land that affects their lives and the lives of others, something is very wrong.

“The people will not revolt.  They will not look up from their screens long enough to notice what is happening.” – George Orwell, 1984

Don’t let your escapes become your reality.  Take the time to enjoy the things you love, but then go back to the world and fight the fights that matter.  Shut the fuck up about Game Of Thrones and anything else until you educate yourself on what is happening in our world, and act accordingly.  Turn off the television long enough to learn the issues, call your representatives, vote, and participate in reality.

Or maybe I really am sick of hearing about it all the time, so even if you don’t do those things, please just shut the fuck up about Game Of Thrones.  😀

– A Grumpy Old Man

 

 

For-Profit

Hello dear reader(s)!

Watch any sports lately?  How about a cooking show?  See any commercials?  Were any of them for alcohol?

In a few minutes, I am probably going to have a special (cannabis infused) brownie.  (Tomorrow I have shit to do, or else I might tomorrow too.)  Part of it will be for my chemotherapy-induced neuropathy pain that is acting up.  Part of it will be to help my anxiety that is so strong this month.  Part of it will be to give me the appetite I need to eat dinner tonight.  Part of it will be because it seems to (seems to because I have no actual studies that show causation) keep my blood counts a bit higher than they are when I have not had any in a while.  Part of it will be to try to prevent some of the nightmares I get this month from coming tonight.

But part of it?  Part of it will just be to help me relax a bit.

And yet, on the federal level, this is a crime.  Jeffy-boy and company do not care for it one bit.  That’s fine, they don’t have to have any.  More for us.

Why is this a problem?

Do you know what I have never seen?  I have never seen a person under the influence of marijuana (and only marijuana) hit their spouse.  I have never seen a person under the influence of marijuana start a bar fight.  I have never seen a person under the influence of marijuana think they are invincible and can drive one hundred miles per hour even though they are too drunk to stand.  And most importantly, I have never seen a person turn yellow and die a slow, horrible death from liver failure because of marijuana.

Guess what I’ve seen from people under the influence of legal, advertised alcohol?

I use cannabis for pain.  I use it to help me relax.  I use it for many reasons.  Because of that, I don’t feel like I need many prescription drugs I would have no problems getting legally.  I had a prescription for heavy opioids before I started realizing the full benefits of cannabis.  You will never catch me at a park with a needle in my arm.  You will never catch me with a brown bag over a bottle.  I have something much safer that is so much more effective with fewer side-effects.

I think it is hilarious that the supposed free-market loving Republicans are against legalizing marijuana.   Taking money from the alcohol lobby and the pharmaceutical lobby to keep it illegal in order to protect the inferior products that are marketed and pushed to us like all the processed crappy food was when I was growing up.

And let’s talk about that food.  Remember when people thought butter was horrible, and margarine was the healthy way to go?  Or the “Low Fat” food was a good thing?  Or avocados were bad because they were fatty fruits?

We are living in an age of capitalism out of control.  When the need for more money puts a large number of people, even entire societies at risk, maybe there needs to be a different way.

It’s no secret that I have considered myself a Democratic Socialist long before I knew who Bernie Sanders was.  But as I see the horrible things companies are doing with our food, our medicine, our healthcare, and housing all in the name of profit, I am digging in even more than ever.  I wonder how these fucking pieces of shit sleep at night.  Maybe on all those dangerous drugs they bribe your doctor into prescribing.

I am not anti-medicine.  I do not believe cannabis cures most things.  I do, based on my own experiences and the studies that have been able to be conducted, believe that it treats and can help prevent many things.  And I am certain that it is only being kept illegal at the federal level in order to protect the profits of industries that trade off of inferior substances.

I choose not to participate.  I will do my own research, and I will try what I choose.  And if something works better for me, that’s what I will do.

I will not eat the artificial everything plus preservatives if I can find fresh and real.  I will not take the synthetic, physically addictive, mildly effective, side-effect prone pill if I know my natural medicine would do a better job of treating the condition.

My life is not for the profit of others.

Updating The System

Hello dear reader(s)!

I apologize for the late hour of this post, but for like the fucking five hundredth day in a row, Windows decided to install updates again that took a few fucking hours to get done.  I have news for Microsoft, I am not working for the DNC, and therefore it is unlikely my little Surface is going to be a target of Russian hackers in collusion with the white house.

While I was waiting for said updates, I fell asleep.  I am fucking exhausted.  My own system could use an update.  Too many ups and downs lately are having their effect.  It isn’t fair to whine about it to anyone near me as what they are going through is far worse, but I do still feel, and I feel for them as well.

Oh well, life goes on, things will get better at some point, and no matter what, I will be okay.  I just wish that I had a little break in order to apply my own system updates.  A time where I can shut down and not have to deal with anything else while I make myself ready for the work ahead.

I would love to go hiking, as that is always a good reset, but it is too damn hot here (or too much on fire) and I am too damn broke to go anywhere that isn’t.  Maybe a nice walk tonight when the sun goes down will apply the patch I need to keep my system running until the full updates can be downloaded.

Anyway, I hope all of you are having a good weekend, and your operating systems are in good shape.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Reasons I Am Happy

Hello dear reader(s)!

Today isn’t the happiest day I have had in a while.  There is a dark cloud of an impending loss hanging over everything, and this entire month is filled with bad memories that still haunt me.  Too many bad things have happened in July, and I sometimes just wish I could skip the month.

But, there have been and will continue to be some good things too.  It is important for me not to lose sight of that.

As such, in accordance with article IV of the MyFridayBlog™ charter of Sector 7, row 8, next to the bean burritos, I present to you 10 reasons I am happy, despite this being a rather unhappy time.  Please hold your questions and comments until after the presentation.  No food or drink in the auditorium, unless accompanied by a liability waiver and $100,000 bond.  Please keep your seat belts fastened and your tray tables and seat backs in their full, upright positions until such a time as the captain has deemed it is safe to move about the cabin.

  1. Some very stressful uncertainty has seemed to have settled  Sure, not everything is peaches and cream over filet of unicorn in a rainbow chutney, but at least I do not feel like I am waiting for the proverbial 8,000 pound other shoe to drop on my head since I am standing too close to a non-transparent border wall.
  2. My love’s birthday is today  Which is not going to be as fun for her as it could have been if there was not this impending loss, but there will still be muted celebrations and I am still grateful she was born.  Also, I got to see the look on her face when she opened her gift, so that was very nice.  There will be birthday treats too.
  3. Weed  It’s legal here on the state level, and has been a major help in dealing with all of the garbage and trauma popping up this month.  Plus, it has helped me keep my appetite up since I tend to not be able to eat under periods of extreme stress.  Finally, laughter is supposedly the best medicine, and getting a little high certainly isn’t bad for my ability to laugh.  Like, I am so glad I was little high when I read that shit about Trump saying the border wall should be transparent to avoid falling drug injuries.  (This is why there is a 25th amendment.)
  4. Sex  I like sex.  It’s fucking great, especially when the fucking is great.
  5. Love  The Beatles (they were very obscure, you probably never heard of them), said that all you need is love.   Well, I would argue all you need is love, food, water, shelter, sex, and weed…but tomato tomato.  (That doesn’t work in print.)
  6. Location, location, location  I love my new neighborhood.  It is much less hood and much more neighborly, without all the pesky neighbors wanting to actually talk to you.
  7. Health  Despite my recent hospitalization, I am not currently in the hospital and feel relatively okay.
  8. My Path  It is nice being able to turn to something that makes sense to me when I need a little bit more than what I see in the “reality” most people perceive every day.  It is also nice not having to go to some church every week and get on my knees or beg to some god for forgiveness for that which hurts nobody.  It is great not having to go to someone’s door or anywhere else and tell people they must follow my path or face burning for eternity.  It is awesome not caring what others believe as long as they aren’t attempting to force me to live according to theirs.  it’s great not being told to hate people for their sexuality, gender identity, race, or really anything else they do that doesn’t hurt another.  Plus, the whole sex magick thing doesn’t hurt.
  9. The resistance  No, it isn’t perfect.  No, it has not been particularly effective with this lawless cabal in charge of our government.  But it is there.  People are still resisting.  Hope is not completely lost.  People with brains still exist.  People with compassion still exist.  Thanks to the resistance, we can even find out who those people are and tailor who want in our lives accordingly.  At the very least, you get to find out when our President says something completely insane about the likelihood of drug bag injuries from traditional border wall technology.
  10. Awareness  I know my flaws, I know what makes me good.  I see both.  I am comfortable with who I am, and have remembered that not everyone needs to like me and I do not need to like them in order to feel okay about myself.  This year I have lost four “friends” who were anything but as time went by.  I have seen things I considered years ago come to pass and know I was right all along to not regret some of the decisions I made that seemed foolish at the time.  I know who I want in my life, and in which parts I give them access, or who I do not want to have any place in my life at all.  I am Skynet.  I have the codes.  You can’t fucking pull the plug on me.  Today is Judgement Day, motherfuckers.  You’ve been Terminated.  Hasta la taco, Tuesday.

Well, my dear reader(s), I hope you enjoyed our time together today.  Until next time, ta-ta.

Not The End Of This

Hello dear reader(s).

I apologize for my absence, but my new family is experiencing a loss.  A heavy sadness hangs over the house as they (and also I, though not to the same level) grieve.

No matter the natural order, no matter the knowledge that nothing really ends, no matter what your path may tell you, losing one you love is never easy.  Whether or not you believe you will see someone again, or that they will be in a better place, it is hard not to feel the hole their place in your life will leave.  It is a hole that can never be filled, only accepted.

My belief in life and death are a little different from most others I know.  It is not really consistent with any one path.

Essentially, I believe life is like a video game.  This actually comes a bit from my mom, a bit from what I’ve always thought, and a bit from some of the beliefs that have formed my path and practice.  We are all together, every soul, sitting around playing life like a video game.  Some of us are just watching and resting before we respawn.  But we’re all hanging out together, having a good time.  Where our souls are, in the other realm, where time has no meaning, we know we are there.  But the characters we play in life, they don’t know it.  They’re game characters.  Some of us are playing on expert mode, and have chosen difficult paths and a lot of challenges, some of us are playing on easy mode to get our feet wet and have different experiences.  This isn’t a literal video game, but the same sort of idea.  We are souls in another realm, playing life in these bodies for the honor of making it through the challenges of the hardest game anyone has ever played.  And then we bump it up to expert mode and master it.

This means that in that other realm, you are already there with your loved ones.  Time doesn’t matter.  In the multiverse theory that many scientists believe may be possible, the rules of physics, time, and space, do not necessarily conform to the rules of physics we here in this universe must follow.  The other realm is another universe.  When a loved one leaves here to the other realm, you all are likely sitting together aware of the fact that the loss you feel here isn’t actually real.  They watch you continue to play for a little bit as they chill out, grab a snack, and decide which level and mode on which they want to rejoin the game.

We are the characters in the game.  We don’t know that it’s not real.  We do not get to know what our souls are doing in the other realm.  We only have the ideas from the signs  and actions our souls have given us as they move us through this game.  From the Easter eggs left in the code by the game designers, the Goddess and the God.  Clues to help us complete the quests of this life through the challenges and the losses that would cause lesser players to hit the reset button.

I know I have taken this video game metaphor a little far.  It isn’t literal, but the only analogy I can use in terms that are easy enough to translate into what we all know.  Of course, in video games, (that we know of), the characters can never become self-aware.  They can never receive messages (other than the directions from the controller) from the player.   They can’t understand that what they are playing is just a game.  I think this game, this game of life we play from the other realm is different in those ways.  It is much more low-tech and advanced.  I believe that we can see it if we are open to it.

Let’s say I am wrong.  I probably am.  It is, admittedly, a pretty wild type of theory.

Death still is not the end of this.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it merely changes forms.

This, of course, is little comfort when you are experiencing a loss.  It doesn’t change the feeling of absence you have.  It doesn’t change the fact that you can’t enjoy the ones you lose in the same ways you have known and loved.  It does not change the emptiness you feel in your heart when you can no longer see, and talk to, and hold them.

But hopefully, one day, you can take some comfort in knowing that death is not the end.  There is no end.  There is no beginning.  Nothing ever dies, it merely changes forms.

Blessed Be.