๐Ÿ‘ด jdcard

On Again ... Off Again

Open Harassment Period

"Every year, Medicareโ€™s open enrollment period is October 15 - December 7."

"Where can CMS partners find information to help people with Medicare with open enrollment?" Right here:


For the past month we've been inundated with a dozen or so phone calls per day (except Sundays) from ever-so-helpful folks who are offering to guide us through the confusion of selecting an insurance provider to supplement or replace our Medicare health care benefits. These calls begin as early as 6:30 in the morning -- interrupting our sleep when we've had a difficult night -- and continue throughout the day and into the evening.

Perhaps some folks truly are confused and overwhelmed by the process of selecting a provider. But having seven weeks of non-stop calls from telemarketers who want to "help" is likely to make it worse, rather than better. The Medicare website is easy enough to navigate and provides all the information required; I've usually made my decision within a few days and don't need any "assistance".

We could send all incoming calls to voice-mail, but that complicates the process of handling the calls we do want to receive. We could could use caller-id to screen the calls and just not answer calls from suspect numbers, but then the ringing phone is still disrupting whatever we may be engaged in at the time. We could block or black-list the callers' phone numbers, but they are spoofing the numbers they call from, using a different "call-from" number each time.

It's bad enough that the insurance lobbyists pressured Congress to inject private insurance companies into the Medicare process to begin with, but Medicare actually encourages these folks "to help others with Medicare open enrollment".

Please, make it stop!

๐Ÿ“งComment on this post (via e-mail)

๐Ÿ“… c: 2022-11-16 17:20 โœ๏ธ e:

๐Ÿท tags: #Medicare #telemarketers #phone #harassment

2022-11-16 18:10 ๐Ÿ“– Open Harassment Period

How Can We Decide?

I received my ballot for the November 8 election in the mail yesterday, and it will soon be time to complete it and return it. Among the items included on the ballot is the selection of a new county sheriff.

On what basis should I decide between the candidates? There are two local law enforcement-related issues that come to mind.

The first issue is how does law enforcement interact with the population of homeless persons? This is primarily an issue for local city police departments since homeless persons tend to congregate in cities rather than the rural areas that the sheriff's office is responsible for. However, the voters are also in the cities so candidates must base their appeals to voters on issues that city-dwelling voters care about. In the local discussions regarding homelessness drug use and addiction is a prominent topic. Both candidates claim they will be tough on crime, especially mentioning drug dealers.

The second issue is related to enforcement of gun laws. Three years ago the state legislature passed new laws restricting sales and use of certain firearms. Several sheriffs declared they would not enforce the new laws. As a voter trying to decide which candidate to select I'm wondering what their thinking is about this issue.

Wed 5 Jun 2019 "Washington state: at least 20 county sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws"

Sadly, neither candidate mentions the issue directly, but both proclaim their support of the personal right to keep and bear arms:

I strongly support the 2nd Amendment and your lawful right to keep and bear arms. -- https://catlettforsheriff.com

I am a firm supporter of the Second Amendment and believe itโ€™s the right of the people to keep and bear Arms and those rights shall not be infringed on. -- https://wallaceforsheriff.com

The office of Sheriff is a non-partisan elected position and none of their campaign materials specifically mention any link to either of the major political parties, so I can't even use that as a tool to help me decide which candidate's values and priorities are most likely to align with my own. The merest hint is provided by the observation that one of the candidate's yard signs appear most frequently in the same location as local Republican candidates for other offices, and the other sheriff candidate's signs appear more frequently among signs for Democratic candidates.

Is our new sheriff likely to be tough on crime by diligently enforcing the gun laws? Who can tell?

๐Ÿ“งComment on this post (via e-mail)

๐Ÿ“… c: 2022-10-20 10:21 โœ๏ธ e:

๐Ÿท tags: #election #voting #information #deficit

2022-10-20 11:26 ๐Ÿ“– How Can We Decide?

A Very Cranberry Day

Today was the 29th Annual Golden Spurtleยฎ World Porridge Making Championshipยฎ at the Village Hall, Carrbridge, Scotland (and the day after tomorrow is World Porridge Day) so of course I had to begin the day with a bowl of my favorite porridge -- with cranberries of course.

Golden Spurtle My favorite porridge

Today was also the 29th Annual Cranberry Harvest Festival in Grayland Washington -- about a half-hour drive from home. I doubt that the organizers of either event had any awareness of the other event. But I do.

October 8 - 9 in Grayland: 29TH ANNUAL CRANBERRY HARVEST FESTIVAL - Bog tours, cranberry cook off, a pancake breakfast and firefly parade. -- https://westportgrayland-chamber.org/calendar.php

Cranberry Festival Schedule of Events (webp)

Each year about this time I look forward to acquiring a good supply of fresh cranberries. I certainly don't limit myself to a tiny bit of cranberry sauce or relish as a garnish for the plate at an annual holiday feast, which seems to be the extent of their tolerance for cranberries for many of the people I know. I regularly eat cranberries in my porridge, in my oatcakes (which have become my staple bread in recent years), in cookies, cakes, and pies, and occasionally include them as an accent in vegetable or meat dishes. Sadly fresh cranberries are usually only available here from mid-October to about mid-December. Each year I buy a good supply and freeze some for later, but it is a disappointment when I run out of them in the summer -- then I have to resort to dried cranberries.

Oatcakes recipe - my favorite variety includes about 75 grams of cranberries and 75 grams of chopped dates, delightful!

I have always been able to get fresh cranberries (in season) at our local green-grocer for $0.99 per pound, but they closed permanently earlier this year, largely as a result of the recent pandemic. What to do? The local supermarket has frozen cranberries available year-round for $4.49 per pound, but at that price they become an occasional treat rather than a regular pantry item.

During the Cranberry Harvest Festival several of the growers -- who normally sell their whole crop to the cranberry co-operative -- set up road-side stands and sell directly to the public. We drove up to their processing shed and while the farmer was inside the shed dumping huge bags of cranberries into a machine that separates the berries from the stems and leaves that the harvester includes incidentally, his three children were just outside selling one-pound and five-pound bags of freshly harvested cranberries for $1.00 per pound. We gladly paid them and drove away with two five-pound bags, which we are now preparing to stash away in our small freezer.

Oh, the arts and crafts booths, food stalls, and music at the community center were fun too, but the highlight of the festival for me was the cranberries from the farmer down the road.

๐Ÿ“งComment on this post (via e-mail)

๐Ÿ“… c: 2022-10-08 20:53 โœ๏ธ e:

๐Ÿท tags: #cranberries #oats #porridge

2022-10-08 20:53 ๐Ÿ“– A Very Cranberry Day

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