Friday Aug. 8
mid August, where is the time going.
I got out of the ER OK (see the July post) (hit the back button)
and now am set up with the cardiac rehab unit at the local hospital to
do the exercise thing a couple of tims a week. My heart was strong and
stayed in sync when I did post ER treadmill testing. And only need to take
the new meds if I go into afib again.
rehab unit seems to be a good deal. $50 for orientation and about $5.50
per session after that. And they are in the hospital and watch you for
any signs of trouble. Can't get that in any health club I know of. I was
a little apprehensive so the first session didn't go well, but after we
sat down and talked more about the goals and what I and they expected we
are back on track to hit again next Tuesday. I am scheduled twice a week.
They are not expecting me to be a speedster but do this at my own pace.
The goal is not to let my pulse rate get real high like I first thought
as you normally do when treadmill testing. Relearning how to exercise as
if I ever know how.
on Thursday went to my CWA union meeting for mobilization for contract
deadline coming up Aug. 16. I am updating the union
web site I do with the latest info so the members are kept abreast
of the news. This one is all about health coverage for both active and
retired members like myself. You know how important that is. So with all
that comming to a head and waiting for our 5th wheel to be built and keeping
my self healthly it's enough for the time being.
has been keeping busy doing home repair jobs this summer. Been steady with
that and the projects for his sister on their duplex. New bathroom and
landscaping work for her.
might even get to the Iowa State fair as the weather has cooled down and
the dew point is livable. I suppose tonight will be a must to watch the
Olympic Games Opening events.
the weeds are growing and the tomatoes are not. Just getting samll ones
so far, as I hope for them to kick in and do better. It has not been a
good year for them. But the zucchini his gone wild and of course I don't
much care for it but Terry has tried every dawn dish known to man out on
me with the stuff. The zucchini bread with walnuts wasn't too bad and then
the zucchini brownies, stir fried, casseroles, you get the picture. He
does use sugar substitute and apple sauce instead of some oil to make the
breads healthy. I'm about to put a filter on www.recipesource.com
so he can't look up anymore ways to fix them.
Now what does he plan to
do with this. Guess the tomatoes are getting bigger. I sent him off to
get the tomatoes in the big fridg in the morton building. They won't fit
in the 5er fridg. Can't wait for the new 5er with a bigger fridge.
Now for grilled chicken later while watching the Olympic Opening events.
kow how it happened but I got talked into going to the Iowa
State Fair on Saturday.
gave up on one route as it was backed up for miles and retreaded and went
in from the east and at last got on the grounds to park. $6 parking and
$10 entrance fee. And I''ll tell you right now it was packed. The attendance,
as I later found out was 103,500 people. And I think we bumped into everyone
of them. Every day attendance is breaking records and as I seem to feel
lots of folks are staying closer to home this summer and going to the fair.
Not a bad choice as they all looked like they were having a great time.
As the temps have been 10-15 deg. below normal and lower humidity to boot.
And it is supposed to last for the run of the 10 day fair. They had a rought
time with the spring weather and now are out to have have a little fun.
August 7, (the first day of the fair) all Fairgoers got free admission
at the gate from 5-8:30 a.m. (parking not included). to help set
a world record for the most people simultaneously eating a free corndog.
Well they gave out 8,400 corndogs trying to set a world record of people
eating one at the same time. 20,000+ people showed up. A traffic mess and
it set the stage for a record setting state fair. Have you noticed people
will go all out for FREE. It was free $10 admission and a $3.50 corn dog...
but some had to get up about 4 am to get there... not priceless or free
in my book. There was some grumbling that some didn't get a free corn dog,
(they only made 8,4000) but they did get in free. Notice the long shadows
in the top center photo... this is early in the AM. The day doesn't start
that early in my book.
to this state
fair link to see more photos posted each day of the fair.
On the main concourse. They
have a wind generating tower on the grounds that works. (center)
Of cource it was put up
by Mid American Engery. The local power company.
Inside the door of the Varied
Industries Bldg. Want to buy a hot tub, this is the place to go to. Now
if this was just an RV show I would be a happy camper. But I guess I will
get my fill of that ths winter in Quartzsite. Notice the guy eating. Looks
like a Gyro ($7.00 for 6 inch) (large $9) which there was a stand just
outside the door, along with a whole string of other food stands. . That's
what we had but didn't bring it inside. (It was good and stuffed full)
Everyone stuffs themselves all day long at this fair. You don't see anyone
without food or drink in their hands. And at those prices WOW. And the
beer and Margarita joints were packed. Many bars and restaurants have built
sticks and bricks places and why many spend $6 parking and $10 admission
to sit in a bar and pay $5 for a plastic cup of beer, Beats me.
Sure one or two when it's hot but to do that as a destination? Now
if you go everyday it might happen. The fair is open till 1 AM. But it
only happens once a year so they go for it. I just don't think I want to
sit around all day and drink $5 beers. $1.50 beers YESSS... Now if the
Margaritas ($5-7) are tasty and actually have a good shot or two of tequila,
they look like the same size as a beer.
Maybe next year I'll try
one to see if they are any good. How many years have I been saying
for a little Quartzsite thought. Some of these food venders show up, off
season in Q and think they can charge fair prices. They soon find out people
are not lining up to pay their prices. They sit for days without
sales, that's got to be a shock to their system after the no holds barred
sales gamit at state fairs. Wonder if they don't understand their new market
or they don't expect large sales, just a place to sit for the season.Now
for 10 days during the Big tent show they do sell some, but is that a reason
to stay in Q for the winter seasson.
Now back to the Great
IOWA State Fair.....
Just one of several free
entertainment stages. One of the local TV stations does their 5 PM news
from here and packs em in.
The Agriculture Bldg. These
clasic old buildings all over the fair grounds have been restored to like
Yep. Here are the Budweiser
Clydesdales in front of the main grandstand.
We rode the trams (pulled
by of course John Deere monster tractors) which circled through the grounds.
We had been in every building and event over the years so just riding and
people watching was the way to go.
Looking to the west on the
main concorse. It's people as far as the eye can see.
Terry in front of the agriculture
bldg. and the marble globe that turns and floats on water.
A map to give you a sense
of how huge this fair is. Could we say the largest in the country. See
State Fair web site for much more info. Tours and more
photos.The amazing thing about this fair is the amount of money people
spend. It takes about five years for a vender to get in and there is a
reason. Every food vender has people lined up to buy every minute of the
day and night. And there are hundreds of them everywhere. No space is wasted
if someone can talk the fair into letting them put in a booth.
We were parked far from
the main grounds so I hailed a golf cart for the ride back to the car.
It was all up hill and my legs were ready to give out. The tips for the
ride go to charity. Got the AC going in the car and off back to our 5er
home we went.
Tonight at 9 pm and everynight
this week the public TV network runs a great state fair coverage highlights
show. It's a must for Iowans who have been to the fair and want to see
more and those who just couldn't get there.
So did I do good with
my State Fair post?
I found content and ran
with it... Whew..
Tuesday Aug. 12
it to my first rehab exercise event today at 11:15 AM I got my pulse
checked and set up on a treadmill which I worked out for 35 min and then
off to another machine that is sort of like a total body machine where
you pump with your feet and move your arms alone with it. Did that for
35 min. They check pulse from time to time so I got my pulse up to 120-125.
Cool down and was released. All is charted. I am going to do this on Tues.
and Thurs. each week. After walking all over the state fair and the workout
today I'm felling a little sore. But knowing I'm doing just a bit to make
my health better helps the mind have a better self worth.
of this I'm going back to the RV forums and see what the rest of the world
is up to.
Wednesday Aug. 13
of days ago for no reason (didn't bite down on anything hard) my tounge
felt the inside part of an upper moalar was missing. So today was my rush
appointment with my IA dentist to see what is needed to repair my tooth.
Getting old and my teeth are breaking it seems. Well after an xray
and looking, he sez he suggests just grinding down the edges and be done
with it as it was a clean break, no cavity envolved, and if later if I
want I could do a crown. It is on the upper indside so that is what I did.
So after about 10 min I
was out of there. WOW. So when a dentist suggests not doing anything he
must have just paid his last boat payment.
We are so looking forward
to the new 5er on order and getting back to Quartzsite for the winter.
After some time in NM at Navajo Dam Sate Park on the San Juan river.
We can stay ther for 21 days for $4 a day with our current camping permit.
So we don't want to get late delivery of our 5er and have to rush right
to AZ and not have quailty time fly fishing on one of the great trout rivers.
Now to get through the union
contract which is up this weekend (Sat night) and see what will happen
with our health insurance coverage. I believe it will cost more which I'm
willing to do, just not it being outrageous. So will know this weekend
and if needed during a strike to get a just contract for active workers
and us retired members who need a new contract from Qwest Communications.
When we are able to get a
good health coverage for the next three years then we need to get involved
with a national insurance plan and the election for who would do that.
McCain sez tax all employer health benifits as regular income and
give a $5,000 tax break so you can go buy your own Ins. SURE that
will work. It costs about $14,000 for Ins for a family and with large deductibles.
And as anyone who has contemplated on retiring and obtaining health Ins
with ANY preexisting conditions you know you just can't find any
company for coverage. Many people would retire early and open up jobs for
the the younger set if they could do it with health Ins.
This is the USA
and we are way down on the lsit of countries to live in on a scale
of quality of life on many levels. How Sad.
YOU are not paying attention...
if you think health coverage is not broke in this country... or just rich
and don't care.
I am just not proud
to be an American at this present time in our country. To be blunt...
I'm ashamed as an American with our current government... I was born
on a farm in Iowa and lived my who life in this country. Great people
are sacrificing for us, doing their best to defend what they are told to
do and at times dying for us. They are heroes. But the people who
are sending them to do that are not honorable. I could go on but I stop...
You get the picture. If not you need to replace the batteries in
Get out and have a campfire...
stare at the flames and the latest meteor showers and contemplate life
as we know it while you can.
Sunday Aug. 17
the above post was just a work up to this weekend where the three year
union contract from my former employer expired. I do the union web site
That means health care is on the table for both active and retired employees.
I have been updating the web site constantly all weekend. I'm sorry to
say talks have broken down and I don't think they are even talking today.
much news being relaased unlike in years past. That tells me things are
NOT going well at all. So bad the union doesn't want to tell its members
how bad. No strike has been called yet, working without a contract.
All are up tight as to the future. Picket duty schedules are set up and
people are upset they are not out walking them to show the company their
frustration. To give you the mindset of management these days... they closed
a department laid off the people and one person had 6 days till they had
30 years service for retirement and they refused to give it to her. That
is the state this country is in these days. Curl and ugly. That would never
have happened a few years ago. What can I say, and we are talking to them
about health care. The company is Qwest Communications if you were wondering.
The CEO makes more in one hour than the top paid craft employees
do in an entire year. So if you have nothing better to do come on over
to the above web site link and follow along with the fight. Pilots,
baseball players, teachers, actors and writers also have unions for a reason!
was sweet talked into management at the above Qwest and it didn't take
long to see how managment was treated. Guess how much they now pay for
health care and after they retire. I was lucky and got my old technical
top craft job back before I retired. It's the subject matter technicans
who make a company function. And if you are an anti union person
just craw back under and have a nice life.
an email from our good friends Bob and Sandy saying they won't be going
to Quartzsite this winter. Going to hold up in Oshkosh, NE. Hope they find
a way to change their plans. I see from Thom and Judy's blog they are coming
back to Q. I'm ready to hit the road and spend time in NM on the way with
Terry fly fishing but we have to wait for the new 5er to arrive.
Wednesday Aug. 27
all the things we have to do to get ready to move, as from one house to
another. As in RV. Yes the 5th wheel is our house, only on wheels. Slowly
removing items we don't use everyday and storing them in the a morton buliding
next to us. Ordered the mounting plate from who else but Bill Adams at
that has to go on the new 5er so the DataStorm unit can be mounted on it.
When the mounting plate arrives plan on mounting it temporarily on a pallet
and then moving the dish to it. That way it will be off the old 5er and
we will not loose service when we are moving. Going to do sort of
the same thing with DirecTV. They will upgrade us to a new HD DVR and Slimline
5 LNO dish for free. (HD service is about $10 more a month) But
the installer will not mount the dish on a tripod so we will have him mount
it on the small unused chicken house next to us and later we will move
it to the new tripod we bought.
We fiound it at Northern
Tool for $69 and Terry has followed the outline on the web to make the
plate adapter so the Slimline dish can be mounted on it. He is going to
do full pictures and instructions when he is done with the modifications.
Last weekend was busy following
the CWA/QWEST contract bargaining and updating the unions web site. A tentative
agreement was reached early Monday morning avoiding a strike. Now
it is being explained to the rank and file for a vote. Us retirees don't
get a vote so will go with the results.
You may be wondering what
Health Ins. has and will be costing us.
So here goes. I love the
way many fulltimers put their budgets on line. I'm not rady to tell all
our income but will explain cost for Health Ins. This is a national nightmare
for America and many hopeful fulltimers have had to go without or stay
We had been under a PPO
Choice plan where we can go to any In-network provider even though
as domicile fulltime based in SD where there are no In-network providers
in the plan. We do our health care in Iowa when we are here in the spring
with our old providers or on the road and in Quartzsite with in-network
providers we have found. (last year Terry had a $20,000 in hospital and
surgeon bills in Parker, AZ. Our total cost $150).
We were paying a copay of
$20 for office visit. No charge for blood tests if done in the the office.
OP, ER, Hosp. $150 one time yearly deductible, then 100% paid coinsurance.
Precription drugs on a copay basis. (I had precription drug copay costs
of about $800) $20 for Tier 1 generic, Tier 2 $50 for 90 days. Not
bad if you can get it. So we were paying about $1000 a year.
But things they are a changing..
New PPO plan offer
(active emp. $33 $75 family) For retirees $75 single,
$150 a month for 2009 for retiree + one dependent both not not on
medicare. $200 yearly deductible and 10% co-insurance up to max of $1000
per person for OP, ER, Hosp. Copays only for drugs up to max of $1650,
$25 copay for office visit. (monthly retiree costs for 2010, 2011 to be
detrmined with employer caps and estimated costs etc. that could get ugly)
So retirees only know what the cost is for 2009. So we would
pay about $3000 a year under this plan. So if we both get sick and large
OP, ER, or Hosp. it could be about $4000 for both max.
On new High Deductible
plan No monthy cost. Each pays $1400 deductible for all
costs as incured including drugs and office visits and blood tests, then
20% up to a max of another $1600. A Health Savings account is acceptable
with this so you can pay these HD costs with tax-free money. So we
would pay about $2000 under this plan if Terry doesn't have higher costs.
But if we both got sick and had OP, ER, or Hosp. large bills our costs
could be max of $3000 each or $6000 for both.
We knew our health care costs
would go up and are not thrilled, but understand this is still cost effective
for us. The bottom line is we will still have health Insurance we can afford.
And both options have out of pocket maximums. PPO PLAN about $4000 + copay
percription drugs. for the both of us. HD plan for both of us about $6000
max. With both plans just as in the past I will still have to pay taxes
on the imputed income (yes I get a W2) for the value of what the company
claims they paid for my (Terry) dependent as far as health is concerned.
Last several years that has stayed the same at about $7000. We are not
complaining about that as we are glad Qwest puts him on my Insurance paln.
I hope us sharing our costs
will help you to understand better the national of health care picture.
We need to get Heath Care
costs under control in this country. Whoever the next president is, must
make this a prime issued to get fixed. I don't care how it is done
(public= same as what congress gets or like medicare OR private just so
it is fair for ALL). We need to get the costs off the backs of employers
so the can use that money to expand their businesses and be able to maybe
pay higher wages. Right now it is right back to the Haves and the
Have Nots! This is not the American way we were brought up to believe
Geese I am on my soap box
but after all I have the TV on with a national political convention on
in the background. What would you expect. Me being quiet...
And next week the other group
meets in St. Paul, Minn. Just when a major hurricane is hitting (now forcast
for Monday) the gulf coast and possibly New Orleanes again!!! . What would
that be like?.?. The party that failed to take care of things the last
time and this time they are in a convention at the same time. WOW
what timing. What do you think the talking heads on TV are going
to rant about? Being an Iowan (and what this state has been through this
year) we pray for the people down south who will have to go through it
See I can still do a post
and a long one.
Stop back as we wait for
our NEW 5er to be built and if it gets here before it gets cold up here
in the midwest. We still hope we will have time go fly-fishing in NM. as
we get $4 E/W hookups in NM state parks with our annual pass.