Monday, May 05, 2008

Taking The LONG SHORT-CUT...
Sometimes trying to get stuff done is just PURE TORTURE...

Last Saturday, I went to the beach. There's one main road that goes there, and anyone who goes to that beach has to drive up and over a drawbridge, which lets commercial fishing vessels pass through. About 7pm I headed home, and as I approached the drawbridge, a ship was passing thru, so the bridge was basically sticking straight up in the air. Then, the bridge was lowered, and I was ready to go home. Except, bells kept going off, sounding an "alarm" for one reason or another, and even though pedestrians and bicyclists were going over the now-closed bridge, cars were not being allowed to pass. I learned later that the bridge had malfunctioned and hadn't 'locked' in place.

I looked at my watch, and it was 7:11pm. And I thot, "well, if I'm patient, this thing will resolve itself." Except, it never did. After waiting 45 minutes, I had to turn around, on the bridge, and head back into the little seaport town that's right next to the drawbridge. It was about 8pm at that point. I found a location in town where I could watch the bridge, and sat there until 8:30pm. And no one was going up and over the bridge. And I was marooned; I couldn't cross the bridge to drive the 3-mile distance, north, to my home. I should've been home at least an hour earlier. But the bridge got in my way.

I thot, "well, I gotta do something", so I went to the little gas station in the seaport, bought gas (at over $3.80 a gallon there), and then I headed the OTHER way. I found a connecting road that took me east, over to hiway 101, (an 11-mile distance), then drove north on 101, back into town (another 10 miles), then west, THROUGH town, back over to the bay (another 5 miles...this little town's really spread-out)...and then SOUTH, another 4 miles to my home. Yep, I took the Long Short Cut. By the time I got home, I had driven close to 30 miles...26 miles further than I normally drive to get home from the beach. On $3.80-a-gallon gasoline. It's costing the average motorist 50 cents a mile, and since I was forced to drive 30 extra miles, who do I send the bill to? Someone, somewhere, owes me $15 bucks for Unnecessary Driving Expenses. At least in my mind, I'm owed...


I am getting a PARROT this week. A bronze-winged Pionus Parrot. I'll have him in a couple of days. Now, in most cases, getting a bird is pretty easy. (All I have to do is cut someone off in traffic and one gets flipped my way.) Now, most people go to pet stores, right? But, hardly anyone has Pionus Parrots In Stock. Which means you have to Order them from Parrot Breeders. One such Parrot-lady in Indiana is shipping (not flipping) me 'the bird'. First of all, the bird will get loaded onto Delta Air in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The bird then gets to Atlanta, where it's put onto another flight that takes it up to PORTLAND, Oregon. But that's where the trail ends. You'd think, since the Bird has already had to fly hundreds of miles in the wrong direction to begin with, that it could be shipped a little closer to where I live, right? The answer? NOOOO. Which means, I have to drive over 200 miles north to Portland, and then 200 miles back with him. On $3.70-per-gallon gas.

There is a fairly large airport in Eugene, Oregon, which is a LOT closer to me. Unfortunately, the connecting flights between Portland and Eugene do not take CARGO, which is what my little bird evidently is to the Big Impersonal Airline. Most likely, though, they're probably afraid someone will come down with Bird Flu. But just much fun would it be to have a parrot in the airplane with all the passengers 'oohing' and 'ahhing' over it...unfortunately, I'm not in the position to be able to bribe anyone into carrying my bird on an airplane to Eugene. So off I go to Portland very, very soon. According to my warped sense of logic, since Delta Air is making me drive all the way up to Portland, can I bill them for at least a portion of the gas I'm gonna have to buy to get up there? Gosh, money sure seems to disappear a lot faster than it used to...heck, I'd be happy if they sprung for half my gas.

Since I've been down here on the Southern Oregon Coast, I've visited a whole lot of doctors. I am also in the process of trying to find a good chiropractor down here. So I went to my Doctor's Office, just to ask, "do you guys know of any chiropractors down here?" (I probably risked my life, asking THAT in a Doctors' office!) I was sent down to the Physical Therapy center, and the receptionist there said they'd call me with a recommendation. So, upon arriving home, I found a message on my answering machine, suggesting a Chiropractor who is supposed to be pretty good. I called the office, and speaking to the receptionist THERE, she said that their office cannot take Medicare-patients. So I asked her, "well, what if you didn't notify Medicare that you were treating me?" She said, "well, we have to tell them if we know someone's on Medicare." Let me get this straight. If I hadn't told her I was on Medicare, I could have obtained treatment? "No", she said, "because they would use your Social Security number and find you have Medicare."

SAY WHAT? Now that I'm on Medicare, and I can actually pay my medical bills for a change, I CAN'T get service? Something to do with, I guess, that the Chiropractor's Office can't make enough money if it takes in Medicare Patients. In short, dear reader, this GOVERNMENT POLICY basically forces doctors' offices to DISCRIMINATE against patients if they have Medicare, which IS A GOVERNMENT PROGRAM TO BEGIN WITH!!!!!!! Dear reader, this is just another case of Your Tax Dollars At Work. It's as if we are paying a whole bunch of people in Washington, D.C. to tell us "NO" when we try to obtain medical services once we become eligible for Medicare, a Government program. If this weren't a 'family blog', I'd spout forth here with a whole lotta "expletives" which I'd then have to delete, so I guess I'll just say, "Gosh. Golly. Ackthptf." (That last expletive would be the sound of me coughing up a hairball. Ugh.)


I do have a dire prediction...this gas situation isn't gonna get better anytime soon. $4.00 per gallon is quite possible by summer. We won't have to wait long for corresponding price increases happen to Everything Else We Need. You think prices are on the rise? You ain't seen NOTHIN' yet.


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