mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

It's been another rough week. This week it's been mostly health care -- I found out Tuesday that Amazon hadn't continued my health care as they said they were going to, so I was unable to order Colleen's humira. (Which, at $1800 for two doses, isn't something one wants to pay for out of pocket.) My HR contact is looking into it, but it took several days to get through; meanwhile I went online and signed up for Medicare Part D and identified a Medigap provider (ExpressScripts and Premera Blue Cross; both for continuity and because they seem to get top reviews. Who knows how long that will last under Trump(Doesn't)Care.)

I know there's something called compassion fatigue. Is despair fatigue a thing? Or is that just another phase of despair? I find myself incapable of being surprised at whatever outrageous thing Trump and the "Republicans" have done each day. (I put "Republicans" in quotes because they are rapidly turning this country into a right-wing dictatorship. I feel powerless to stop them.)

Onward. Had a really good trip with Colleen up to Whidbey Island; we went up the whole length of it and came back by way of Deception Pass. It's been a very long time since Colleen and I went out for a drive that long that was just a drive -- our occasional loop drives along the California coast were probably the last ones. It was a little too long, but it went ok.

I've been spending much of my spare time catching up on my reading. For some reason I'd stopped reading LWN (Linux Weekly News) sometime around the first of the year; in the last two weeks I've completely caught up. You can see the results in the links, most of which came from LWN, or indirectly by way of Sacha Chua's awesome Emacs News. I've also been finding Whidbey-related links. At some point I need to go back through my archives, extract all the links, and aggregate them. They're kind of useless scattered across blog entries the way they are.

I've even done a little walking (not quite every day, and not much because I seem to be walking at about half my old 3mph pace), a little music, and a little hacking (almost entirely cleanup tasks). On the whole, I appear to have been keeping myself busy in a relaxed kind of way, though I haven't yet fallen into any kind of routine. Later, hopefully.


My last few trips down to the house we used to call Rainbow's End (should we call it "Rainbow's Ended" now?) have been increasingly sad and discouraging. We put a lot of ourselves into that house; it was a large part of what we were as a family. Now we're scattered. We'll come back together, mostly, on Whidbey Island in a little over two months; it may very well be wonderful -- I hope it will -- but it won't be the same. I can't keep from thinking of what I might have done differently, over the last few decades(!), that might have made it possible to stay there. Hell, we all made decisions that seemed like the right thing at the time. Can't be fixed.

"I can't fix it!" is probably what I say most often when things are going badly. It always feels like my fault. I don't think I can fix that, either. I should shut up and go for a walk with Colleen.

Notes & links:

  * up 4:30; W=202.0;
  % forgot my morning meds again.  Happens rather often when I get up before 6am.
  * more looking at OwnCloud.
  % realized that for some reason I haven't been reading WhatIf and LWN since sometime in
    January.  I think I really was burning out back there.  (The most recent reference to
    LWN in my archives is 20161229)
  @ Dreamwidth Status (@dreamwidth) | Twitter
  @ Mass Cooking -biryani For 100 People Recipe (ysabetwordsmith)
  @ Combating “Fake News” With a Smartphone “Proof Mode” – Guardian Project
  # debating getting a new phone.  Waffling between a newer Samsung -- S6, maybe -- and a
    Nexus.  I like the upgradability of the Nexus line.
  @ DebianDog Is a Useful Pocket Pup | Reviews | LinuxInsider [LWN]
  @ Master your inbox with mu4e and org-mode | Pragmatic Emacs
  * A bit of a walk - down 12th Ave to 45th, and back up Roosevelt.  About 15min.
  * Long explore with Colleen.  Up to Whidbey Island to see the house -- which she liked
    -- then exploring Freeland and points North.  Somewhere around Coupville I figured it
    would probably be almost as fast to head up to Deception Pass and take the bridge, so
    we did that.  Hadn't quite reckoned on how far East we'd have to go on 20, but it was
    a gorgeous drive and good company, so I didn't mind.  Good thing it wasn't much
    longer, though; I was starting to get tired.
  @ SeaTac Airport Shuttle - Whidbey Island Shuttle 2 hours, $45 (!)
  * Cleaned piggie cage; took out bathroom garbage.
  % Compared and found that the keys on the netbook are a little smaller than the ones on
    Raven, which explains why it's always so clumsy switching.
  @ SamyGO, Samsung Firmware on the GO Root your Samsung TV

  * up 6am; W=202.6;
  @ Writing a book with emacs org-mode and Leanpub (2017-04-10 Emacs news via LWN)
    Leanpub: Publish Early, Publish Often
    Uses markdown for markup.  May have to start using that.
  & started working on rolling over my 401K.  Some complications around whether it's
    better to cash out the Amazon stock or roll it over "in kind".  Also the fact that I
    haven't received my final payment from $A
  ~ organizers at RE.  Pick up a bag of concrete patch on the way, for the hole that was
    used for locating the oil tank. -> running late, so didn't get the patch.  Minor.
  * Down to RE to work with organizers on the garage.
    Boxes and other packing supplies afterward
    Eggs, butter, laundry soap, coffee at QFC on the way back.
    There were also a bag of mostly guinea pig stuff, and a bin of guinea pig stuff, to be
    brought up to the apartment.
  % 4ish very tired.  Not sleepy, but tired.  May have damaged my back slightly (left QL)
  % 6pm ok, _now_ I'm getting sleepy.
  @ Sober Security: Looks like you have a bad case of embedded libraries [LWN]
  @ iproute2 cheat sheet (ip command)
  @ SecureDrop | The open-source whistleblower submission system managed by Freedom of
    the Press Foundation. [LWN]
  @ Intel® Edison - DEV-13024 - SparkFun Electronics

  * up 6:15; W=202.6; 
  @ Hobo Code Emacs: Tramp+eshell
  @ mu4e 0.9.18: E-Mailing with Emacs now even better. – vxlabs 
  * get down to RE about 11am
    Finished organizing garage; (mover) Tayvon is getting it all packed into the pod.
    That might even finish today; packing took less time than Naomi expected.
  * verified that Rainbow-GW is working.
  ~ order Humira
    : Apparently Amazon has screwed up my health care AGAIN.  I can't find the copy of my
      retirement agreement -- it must have only been on my work machine, which is long
      gone.  Hopefully they have it in my HR file, otherwise I'm _completely_ screwed.
      -> emailed $FORMER_BOSS, but he's on vacation until the 15th.  I'll have to use the
	 phone, I guess.
  * Accepted inspection on the Whidbey house.
  * 8 pages of forms to fill in by hand, scan, and email to escrow agent for Seattle house
  * print schwab signature card and  o mail in
  @ A Complete Guide to Email in Emacs using Mu and Mu4e 

  * up 5:30; W=202;
  @ Can Such Things Be?
  @ - The Open Source Discovery Service
  @ github/Integrations Directory
  @ Open Hub, the open source network
  @ index — Debian Manpages
  @ High Priority Free Software Projects — Free Software Foundation
  @ Let Over Lambda Lisp macros!
    Let Over Lambda: Anaphoric Macros
  @ Ambrose Bierce: Can Such Things Be?
  @ Blooms Winery Open mic second and fourth Friday
    map/directions nearest bus stop is the 58, 1.3 miles away @ Goss Lake & E Harbor
  * Callback from ERC: 888-892-7180 opt 6 / callback:  case# 00190686
    -> they don't have a copy of mt retirement package document in the files they have
       access to, but they did have my HR rep's name (not login, but I may be able to
       figure that out).  Somebody from HR will supposedly call me, but so far nothing.
  * Hauled out the COBRA forms.  Should have done that last week, but of course I didn't
    know then that I would need to.  Coverage starts when they process the first payment.
    God knows how long that takes, but claims will be processed backdated to May 1.
  : Call from UNW about Colleen's insurance.  Fancy that!  She is not showing as covered
    by Medicare, either.  Oh, joy.
  ~ Went with Colleen to the SSA office, which turns out to close at noon on Wednesday.
    And I _knew_ that; I think days are starting to run together.
  * picked up boxes on the way home.  Dropped them off at RE; on the porch because I was
    ! totally out of social spoons at that point. (! == % + aware of it at the time)
  % I occasionally catch myself using circumlocutions and generics (e.g. "container" where
    it would make more sense to use "bottle").  I suspect I do this to avoid leaving a
    long pause into which somebody will inevitably insert what they incorrectly think is
    what I was going to say.  This derails my train of thought completely.

  * up 6am; W=202;
  @ South Whidbey Commons | A place for people of all ages to gather, learn, and grow
    (via DrewsList) "intentional third place" -- cf. Third Place Books
  @ Sno-Isle Libraries for Snohomish and Island Counties.
    Locations in Langley, Clinton, Freeland (7 days/week; the others are closed Sunday)
    @ Freeland Library
  * 9:30 wake Colleen; leave 10.
  ~ 11 Tayvon at N's. (already dropped off boxes)
  ~ 11am Anita Brown -> reschedule to next week
    -> doesn't look like today's ever got onto the system, so, ...
  * SSA office (second try) -> everything ok; forgot to change address.
  * Drop off Colleen; get down to RE as early as possible. -> 1:30 will be fine
  * pick up C's ointment at (U-dist) Wallgreens's.  Get envelopes
  * down to RE.
  % left knee giving me a little trouble on stairs.  Grump.
  @ NorthSound Technical Services
  @ Whidbey Island - Search Everything Whidbey Island - Yabsta
  @ Network Solutions Plus - Whidbey Island,Oak Harbor, Freeland
  @ Google Nexus - Wikipedia
    Looks like the 6 is the one to get; it'll be upgradable to Nugat.  Maybe 5X.
  * took home the remaining netgear router; left the CenturyLink gateway.
  % tried to say goodbye to the house.  g has it even worse than me, I think.  She's spent
    nearly a third of her life there.  j more than a third.  Me, ... long enough to get
    attached.  And even longer in Seattle.
    ! melancholy is the word that's been in my mind since about an hour before we left.
  * take kids and some of their stuff to Manny's
  * work out with Manny which days we have the kids.  N gets them for two weekdays.
    -> We have them for Monday, Tuesday (drive them up to Hebrew school), Wednesday
  % 9pm miserable headache.
  * one more form to sign and scan for the opening package

  o (re?)schedule appointment with Anita Brown to next week

  : kid shopping list:

  * up 6:30; W=202;
  @ Whidbey Life Magazine | Your Guide To Whidbey Island Arts And Culture
  @ ysabetwordsmith | Three Weeks for Dreamwidth: "Jumble Munch" recipes
  @ Senior Services of Island County
  @ Fine Balance Imaging & Printing – Whidbey Island
    Market, high-speed internet attracts printing biz to Langley
  @ Home - Oak Harbor Music Festival
  @ Island Shakespeare Festival
  * IPv6 - turned out all I had to do was switch gw's mode from native to DHCPv6
    I was very surprised at how fast it came up.
    -> IPv6 download speed is double IPv4! (XFINITY Speed Test) doesn't support v6
    -> appears to have fixed the Dwelo app (because idIOT)
  x escalate health care query to ravishan@
    -> got reply from Cindy, so no need to escalate.  We'll see.
  * walk down to Campus Parkway on University, back via Roosevelt. ~1hour. 1.6mi
    ... which means I'm walking about half my original speed.  :P
    Tired and a bit sweaty (since it was 51 when I started and I wore the leather jacket)
    Bought envelopes, pill boxes.
  * Transferred my backup set of pills to the new pill boxes, which are nearly identical
    to the main ones.  That means that every once in a while I can swap sets, and keep the
    backup set moderately current.
  ! happy bear?  walk, gin, dark chocolate (in that order).  Calm and ?relaxed, at least.
    Probably more like contented, but I'll take it.
  : There is eggplant parmesian, made by G' under C's direction, in the oven.
  : Colleen has been sleepy all afternoon. 
  @ Reliably generating good passwords []
    EFF's New Wordlists for Random Passphrases | Electronic Frontier Foundation
  @ Type-driven configuration management with Propellor []
    propellor: deploying properties to hosts with haskell
  @ A Better Less? ❚ A Scripter's Notes bash wrapper for emacs view mode
    kaushalmodi/eless: A better 'less' - Combination of bash script and a minimal emacs
    view-mode config 

  % awake 1:30-3:30
  * I appear to be caught up on LWN
  @ Upspin · Upspin
    Google Online Security Blog: Another option for file sharing [LWN]
  @ Optimal Emacs Settings for Org-mode for Literate Programming | Frederick Giasson
    (via 2017-02-20 Emacs news, which I don't reference often enough)
  @ github/markup: The code we use to render README.your_favorite_markup
  * up 7:45; W=202;
  * Glenn should take cat carrier along with Van. Also, the pair of Eddie Bauer pants.
    * Tell him about DSL router and UPS (by text since I forgot when he was here)
  @ Regular Expression Matching Can Be Simple And Fast (via Let Over Lambda)
    Start of a fascinating series on RE matching in linear time using NFAs.  Basically
    one takes all paths in parallel; the number of threads needed is bounded by the number
    of states.   By contrast, backtracking takes exponential time in the worst case.
  ~ 12:30-1 N will pick up airbed on her way up
  : N. on her way up to Rick's Cafe
  * installed Signal app on Cygnus.  Requires Chrome or Chromium, but it's going to make
    conversations a lot easier if I'm on a keyboard.
  * paid plumber for water heater earthquake straps
  * moved poddable boxes to "living room" closet to make room for Musk Ox
  * Enrolled in Medicare Part D with ExpressScripts

Health care: all in one place
  . 0509Tu Called Accredo and attempted to order C's humira.  Was told that my coverage
    had ended 4/30.
    Shuttled to ERC (888-892-7180 opt 6), then to a "specialist".  Nobody has a record of
    my retirement package.  Phone died while waiting for callback.
    -> looked on Cygnus and around the apartment for a copy of the retirement agreement,
       nothing.  Apparently I didn't copy it off my work machine.  STUPID.
  . callback notes:  case# 00190686 HR rep: Cindy Khatkar.
    -> 0510 7:29 received callback.  someone from Amazon HR will call me back.  Not
       hopefull.  However, I did get a case # and the name of my HR rep, Cindy Khatkar.
    -> 0510 17:12 email to khatkarc@ hasn't bounced -- that's a good sign.  Forwarded the
       mail I sent to saindane@, adding a question about how the two extra months of
       coverage interact with COBRA.
  : 0510 Colleen claims that she signed up for Part D, but didn't select a provider.  Will
    have to see how that works.
  : 0512 email back from Cindy; she's looking into it.
  * 0513 Enrolled in Medicare Part D with ExpressScripts

Date: 2017-05-15 01:11 am (UTC)
amaebi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaebi
I hope you can take comfort that though it can't be the same, it will be different.

I admire how well you move forward with best-possible creativity-and-love embedded in your intention-- so far as I can see from here, over several years of kibbitzing now.

Date: 2017-05-15 03:18 am (UTC)
archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Default)
From: [personal profile] archangelbeth
Politics doesn't surprise me much. Just... angry and tired and sad. But, well. *solidarity fistbump?*

Good luck with the insurance part! Fingers crossed...

Date: 2017-05-16 08:03 pm (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
UGH yeah I hate it when I pause to think of a work & whoever I'm talking to jumps in to fill in the pause! I'm slooooowly breaking my roommate of the habit -- she's trying, but she's so verbally-oriented that it's hard for her to remember that I'm the exact opposite.

Date: 2017-05-18 04:49 am (UTC)
danceswithlife: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danceswithlife
A heads-up from a claims examiner who also has personally been navigating choosing insurance plans under two new employers.

ExpressScripts has a formulary that covers only certain meds without an appeals process. You seem to imply above that you've had it before, so maybe you're already sure it covers the RXs you want?

I mostly haven't been commenting lately, Steve, but as an outsider looking it I think you are navigating some very difficult changes pretty well.

Edge of the world.

Date: 2017-05-18 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] markc1957
It seems to me that if the world were flat, cats would have pushed everything off by now.

Date: 2017-05-23 12:57 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
One of the things I've started to try to press as a bit of a meme is that "this isn't normal" but I want to emphasize that what I mean isn't that *Trump* isn't normal - the whole 25-30 year right wing media push has put us way into abnormal territory.

The right wing pushed the hounding of a sitting President until they found charges that a prosecutor would reject - no evidence of suborning perjury, and the perjury they claimed was of the form that it's widely accepted you don't *put* in front of a jury. They then gathered behind a clueless dolt, defended him for being asleep at the wheel during a massive terrorist attack, supported a pointless war based on lies, defended some of the lies as "see, we can blame someone else for that, even though we repeated it, knowing it was false," defended torture, false imprisonment, defended the ridiculous incompetence in the war, etc. hounded the next President tirelessly, and now are supporting a person who's so clearly and obviously incompetent that it's only the trust people have in the right wing media, and the Republican leadership, that has any hope of propping him up.

They've engaged in relentlessly partisan investigations, to the point that Benghazipalooza - a Congressional investigation clearly intended to keep attacking Hillary Clinton through the upcoming Presidential election - didn't even seem newsworthy, and that when they made baseless criminal accusations against a political opponent, everyone decided to discuss how it affected the horse race, rather than point out that there was no evidence of wrongdoing, that the laws were such that we have no basis to suspect wrongdoing, and thus, clearly a fishing expedition.

They've gotten rewarded for all of this, too. Sure, not always, not every single time, but, often enough, and with big enough rewards, that there's no reason they wouldn't keep doing it.

This isn't normal - this isn't how a representative democracy should be. And there's a mix of people who have seen the changes happen slowly (the proverbial frog in the pot, a metaphor so good we needed to invent it, in spite of its inaccuracy) and those who've never seen anything else. It's going to take other people to try to remind folks that there's a better way.

And yes, despair fatigue is probably much like compassion fatigue, and probably dangerous for the same reasons :-).

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