ravan: by icons r us (flamethrower - from icons r us)
2014-01-08 09:54 pm

The State of The Bird

Unemployed, but at least I qualify for unemployment, which will cover the mortgage for six months. I just need to come up with the other $3000/month operating expenses, including COBRA at over $1200/mo. I will have to liquidate my stock in my old company, but I won't lose money on the deal. If I didn't have that reserve, I'd be terrified right now. As it is, I'm quietly panicking - I'm 52, and Silicon Valley is ageist as hell. Datapard hasn't even been able to get temp work for over 4 years.

I have had phone screens and interviews since the day after I was let go. Unfortunately, it's still an employers market (thank you, GOP) and they want the usual laundry list of every specific little program in their environment. Some of them even call me about contract opportunities at my previous employer!

Fighting the winter unemployed blues, but doing OK if I remember to take my supplements, especially vitamin D3.

I still need to put the new power supply in my Linux desktop (the original blew last July) and unload the half dozen or so blog posts and stories that are trying to burst out of my brain. I can't do them on my laptop because it would aggravate my RSIs too much. I may need to take the Windoze netbook and see if it will run Dragon Dictate or something.

My health is okay, but I really need to get a new neuro to get an updated sleep study and script for Imitrex.

Because I have had high (as in above $600) utility bills, I did qualify for zero down solar. Considering how much the PG&E rates have been ratcheting up in the last few years, locking in my rate increases on half my utility costs to 2.9%/year is a good deal - it flattens my cost curve a lot. Plus, if I overproduce, I can sell to the grid, which actually helps stabilize the grid on hot days. I had said when I owned this place I wanted solar, now it's going to happen. Still need $$$ to do painting and other repairs. If I get work in the new two months, I can use the liquidated stock for house repairs.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2013-12-23 01:29 am
Entry tags:

Out of work again

Got back from a business trip to India. Was let go two weeks later. They were "cutting underperformers" - so bad reviews from the shitty, bully boss I had last year were used to fire me, even though my current team was quite happy with my work and are now unhappy that I am gone.

I got my latest PG&E bill on Saturday. $993!!! When I changed the account into my name we lost the medical baseline, and neither I or the other person has been able to see the doctor to get certified.

Happy Solstice. I've been out of work for two weeks. Have a nice fucking Giftmas to the assholes behind the cuts. I hope I hear about it when you get yours.

ravan: by icons r us (flamethrower - from icons r us)
2013-07-28 09:50 pm

Respecting People's Schedules

You know, I really try to respect other folks plans and schedules. I will cut stuff short so I can be where I need to be to allow for other people's arrangements, and try to be as flexible as I can. But some others can't be bothered to extend the same courtesy to me. Read more... )
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2013-05-31 11:34 pm


After much 'round and 'round, we are all signed, sealed and delivered and paper shuffle completed. I start paying mortgage on *my* house July 1. *phew*
ravan: by icons r us (flamethrower - from icons r us)
2013-04-14 04:10 pm

Taxes & DOMA

It cost me $564 to get my taxes done this year, because of DOMA and Prop 8. If those two things weren't there, I'd make an honest woman of DataWolf, and do the (joint) taxes myself for a cost of ~$150.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2013-02-11 05:41 pm

I told you so

Food, drink industries undermine health policy, study finds

The only thing is they forgot the other half - the diet/exercise/pharma industries who make $$$$$$$$$$ off of selling us the "cure" to the problems caused by the food and drink industries. Hell, look at who puts out the "Weight Watchers" and "Jenny Craig" "food", and how much crap it's loaded with.

It's interesting that no actual cures for diseases seem to have come out of the medical/pharmaceutical industry lately - just very expensive pills to "manage" the symptoms for the rest of your life. Diabetes has been around for how long, but all they do is make slightly better medications to "manage" it, not find a cure.

But what do I know, I'm just the product of the TV generation.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2013-01-29 03:11 pm

Link Sausage

Alternet, Mother Jones, and other reality based or liberal sources:

* Latest Pathetic Conservative Attack on Social Security: Disability Fraud Hysteria
Move over Welfare Queen. The Disability King is the new pet scapegoat for all that’s wrong with America.

* A Fetus Is Not a Person if it Costs us Money, Says Catholic Church
Forced to put its money where its mouth is, the Catholic Church backs off on the idea that the fetus is a person.

* Hillary Faces Down The Angry Men
From simpleton Ron Johnson to delusional Rand Paul, GOP senators swung at the Secretary of State and hit themselves.

* Obama's Failure to Punish Banks Should Be Causing Serious Social Unrest
A new PBS Frontline report examines outrageous steps Obama's administration took to protect Wall St. Wall Street from prosecutions.

* An Academic Smackdown: Refuting the Absurd Social Science Claim that "Poverty is in Our Genes"
* Personhood USA's Unhinged Response to National Advocates for Pregnant Women Study
* 4 Freedoms in America That Don't Exist Anymore
Freedom seems to exist more in our minds than in reality.

* A Girl Reads the New York Times: Why Are All the Front-Page Articles By Men?
The paper of record can't find any women reporters?

* When the Law Won't Call it "Rape"
If there's confusion among the public (and politicians) about rape, baffling, conflicting state laws make it worse.

* Fracking Boom Overwhelming Hospitals With Uninsured Laborers
* Read My Lips: Yes New Taxes
* The Way It Was
The Beatles ruled. The mini was in. I was seventeen, and pregnant. What happened next is what could happen again.

* Texas Public Schools: Still Teaching Creationism
* Bobby Jindal Thinks the GOP Isn't Right-Wing Enough
* A Rape a Minute, a Thousand Corpses a Year
Violence against women is incessantly overlooked, both in America and elsewhere.

* Boy Scouts Losing Big Funders Over Anti-Gay Policy
* No More "Pro-Life" and "Pro-Choice"
Op-Ed: It's time to abandon confusing and limiting labels and live dangerously in abortion's grey area.

* Coke: Wait, People Thought Vitaminwater Was Good for You?
* Top Earners Set to Pay Most, Especially Married People
* How to Avoid the Prying Eyes
* U.S. Still Suffering Depression Conditions: Paul Krugman
* The Science of Why Comment Trolls Suck
The online peanut gallery can get you so riled up that your ability to reason goes out the window, a new study finds.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2013-01-29 02:55 pm


Dear $vendor,

When I go to your web site, and order a product $X, I expect that you have $X in stock to ship to me. If I wanted a backorder, there are dozens of other, cheaper vendors who can backorder $X, but who are honest enough to not when they don't have an item in stock.

Even if you have to suddenly backorder an item, tell me that you have done so, instead of waiting for me to wonder if the post office has lost it or something. If I have to ask you where it is, and you only then tell me it's backordered, I will cancel the order.

No love,

ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2012-05-08 01:07 pm

More Cashectomy - Root Canal, part 2

So, the abscess didn't drain. For 3 days after the first dentist visit, I was hopped up on vicodin, which barely took the edge off. Back to the dentist, he checked, did some other work, referred me to a root canal specialist. Saw him yesterday. He re-did the root canal, got the thing to drain. More $$$, of course.

Nearly every cent of my FSA set aside this year has been spent on dental work, and that's with insurance! (Insurance only covers $1500 of costs, at 50% to 80% - that barely covers one crown here in Silicon Valley!) That's like over $3000 for a couple hours work.

I'm not sure which hurts more - the abscess or the cashectomy. Pulling the tooth would have been cheaper, but then I would have needed a bridge, which costs even more!
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2012-05-01 12:44 am


Root canal gone bad, abscessed, plus a filling broken on another tooth. My portion? $2175. Thank the gods for flex spending accounts. Vicodin and antibiotics, and I still hurt.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2012-02-29 07:27 pm

PayPal Being Asshats, Again

First, read [personal profile] naamah_darling on LJ or DW.

This is not the first time PayPal has dicked people over. They tried to tell DW what they could "allow" people to post, and when DW refused, they said "Well, we won't process your payments unless you conform." DW stuck to their guns and found another payment processor. It hurt them, and still does, because PayPal has a virtual monopoly on online payment processing.

Now they are telling Smashwords and other small web-based publishers what they can publish, or they won't process their payments. Smashwords caved.

What fucking business is it of PayPal's what you buy with your money as long as it's legal? If they act as a gatekeeper on content, and whether you can purchase it or not, then they become liable for the content, even if they never touch it. That's the difference between a common carrier/service provider and an editorial relationship.

But they are doing it.

I know from a number of ex-employees that they are a bunch of nasty, chiseling, repuke banksters without a technical clue one in their higher ranks, who will backstab and gaslight anyone who does not conform to their lockstep tightass mentality. They regularly drive "different" employees to mental breakdown and/or suicide. I already hate them for that.

This is right in line with the social conservatives attempt to impose their views on everyone through propaganda and market limits. (How can you explore and question an idea that you are never exposed to?)

Recommendations for alternate payment processors are cheerfully welcome.

I wish I was rich enough to start my own.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2011-11-19 02:11 pm
Entry tags:

Ugh, Dentists

So, Datapard's rear tooth wouldn't wait until the new year, when I have my next round of Flex spending available. $2700 later, on CareCredit, and I'm stuck for $225/mo for a year.

ravan: by  sarah9380 (smiley - sarah9380)
2011-10-31 10:14 pm
Entry tags:

Do You Know The Way?

To San Jose! If you live or work in San Jose, California, you are eligible to Move Your Money out of a big greedy bank into the San Jose Credit Union (I bank there, I like them).

"SPECIAL SATURDAY HOURS: The Credit Union (both branches) will be open Saturday, November 5th from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m."

No, they usually aren't open on Saturday, but they will be on November 5.

If you are local, it would be a great opportunity to get shed of your greedy bloodsucking corporate bank, and get into a customer owned Credit Union.

Heck, a lot of the city cops bank there.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2011-09-20 10:17 pm
Entry tags:

Food, Hunger, and Food Stamps

PSA: An LJ blogger I follow recently posted an excellent guide on this subject that needs to be spread more widely:
Foodstamps 101

Even if you don't need it now, put it in your memories, you or someone you know may need it in the future.

There are more Americans living with food insecurity and hunger than in the past 50+ years. The local talk radio station just had a fundraiser day for food banks, the need is so great. This is a consequence of the Great Recession, and not likely to go away soon.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2011-07-19 10:22 pm

The Real Cost of the Health Insurance Racket

Go read When "minor" and "devestating" are used in the same sentence. I'll wait.

The most brutal part:
They called it a minor stroke...but the results were devastating.

However they found that both arteries feeding the brain stem were either partially or almost fully blocked and the decision was made to place stents into those arteries and restore flow to that part of the brain. Some of the tissue was already dead from lack of blood flow and oxygen.

The stents were the main plan of attack...

Until they found she was uninsured." (italics mine)
Yes, they could treat it in a jiffy, fix it all up, IF ONLY SHE HAD INSURANCE. But she worked for a NON-PROFIT, and was in the retirement gap, so was UNINSURED. So now, this person who has worked to help people without computers get them, may just DIE OF A TREATABLE STROKE BECAUSE SHE LACKS INSURANCE OR THE MONEY TO PAY FOR IT!!


Is this America? If you aren't a rich stockbroker, or in the service of one*, you don't deserve to live? Is this how far we've fallen?

This woman isn't eligible for Medicare, and now the GOP wants to make Medicare harder to get, so more people just end up waiting to die of treatable conditions.

I guess that's better than starving due to the cuts in Social Security that they want to make, so that people my age don't get back what we've paid in to all of our working lives. Oh, yeah, we were supposed to save "enough" out of our ever-shrinking wages to invest in the great Ponzi SchemeStock Market in 401(k)s. (Mine have all shrunk over the last ten years, unless I literally added boatloads of cash I couldn't afford.) I bet our corporatist overlords will be happy to import melamine contaminated dog food for us to eat so we die and are out of their hair even quicker. After all, a slave who can't work should be put out of their misery, right?


* Corporate wage slaves are by definition in the service of the rich stockbrokers who own, buy and sell their employer's stock.
ravan: by ravan (stormclouds)
2011-06-10 09:06 pm
Entry tags:

No WorldCon Unless I Get Work Real Soon

Being now unemployed, my plans for WorldCon in Reno are in ruins. This sucks because it was going to be a belated birthday shindig for both DataPard and I.

However, being a financially responsible person, I haven't got the $1300+ to go: $390 for memberships, $134 for trainfare, and well over $745 for hotel (5 days at $149, plus tax), and that doesn't even count food and spending cash. That's easily a month's cushion for paying my actual bills and rent (unemployment doesn't pay it all.)

Now, if I get a job by my birthday (July 14) that pays my usual rate, I might be able to swing it. But I am not reserving any rooms, booking any train rides, or buying membership until I have the job.

Also, I will only be attending WesterCon for a day or two, unless my dealer friends are willing to sponsor DataPard and I as helpers, which I doubt - they have family for that.

So if you don't see us, that's why: I can't spend money on cons when I'm broke. I'm too midwestern pragmatic for that.

For those of you who are going, have fun, and say hello to my friends for me.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2010-10-11 10:23 pm
Entry tags:

Made In China

The recession was made in China - are you surprised? I was looking askance at the trade imbalance and Chinese monetary policy years ago. BTW, the guy who wrote the article is a conservative, not a liberal or progressive. He's just not an idiot, either.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2010-08-30 02:52 pm
Entry tags:

Cash and Carry Hot Sheet

Through September 4:

50# Long Grain White Rice, $14.68.

This is under 30 cents per pound. If you eat a lot of rice, this is a good deal.

We are alrady stocked up, so we may not get any, but I figured I'd let others know.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2010-08-29 12:22 am
Entry tags:

No Health Insurance?

http://www.pparx.org/ - resources for prescription assistance
http://www.needymeds.org/ - more prescription drug assistance

Both of these sites have free/low cost clinic searches, too.

I've downloaded one of the medication discount cards, since I no longer have insurance and prescription coverage.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
2010-07-20 03:46 pm
Entry tags:

Oh, Shit

Q4 2009 and Q1 2010 most of my 401k funds made a little money. True to form, Q2 the economy improved.

My 401k's are leading indicators, by about 4 - 6 months. No, I don't know why. You'd think it would be the opposite, but they predicted the dot com crash, and this crash, and dip before that clued me what to watch for.

Just went over my Q2 statements. All of my funds lost money again to the tune of 5% to 8%. This winter will suck - we are headed for a double dip, thanks to Congress and the corporate "deficit sissy" lobby.

My crystal ball says, you need to save your pennies and see if you can land work before October. Do not take on any new debt that you can avoid.

The second bloodletting as the corporates try to assure their hegemony will be nasty.