The Stupidities Of Kaiser – Covid & “Weapons”

Spouse had some surgery done. It requires some Physical Therapy afterwards. This is a minor rant about some of the many stupidities I ran into at Kaiser over the last few days.

For anyone not aware of Kaiser, it is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) where you get mediocre first line care as there are a lot of Flappers who’s purpose is to stop you from reaching expensive Specialists and other M.D.s of merit. But, once past the Flappers, the care is quite good and the costs to you quite low. Basically a variable “Co-Pay” from about $5 to $50 depending on what your employer / group negotiated. This can cover up to full on major surgery.

The front end of the shop can be quite bureaucratic and not the sharpest tool in the shed. This time was worse than most. IMHO a combination of the Covid Crap and a more “novice full” staffing level.

This is NOT a slam on the staff. It is a poke at Management. MOST (almost all) of the staff were POCs. (People Of Color… a term that, were I one, I would resent. Why? Classifying people by skin color is just dumb. Then it sounds a lot like POX, an association I’d not like, but I get it anyway via synesthesia of sounds. Then the echo of “pock marks” trudges by in an Aspe “shower of associations” way… as the language centers pre-compute all paths and then picks the most correct one…). I remember one, yes, ONE “white guy”. Almost everyone was in what looked like the “20 to 30” age range, and only a few looked “40 something”. NOBODY looked 50s to 50s+.

My overall impression is that the Old Hands went elsewhere to get better wages, those close to retirement took it, instead of The Jab, and the Pure Bloods with enough experience to KNOW what crap the jab was just walked off when The Mandate came down. Making room for a lot of new graduates, folks imported from other countries (lots of various accents…) and “Wannabees” that didn’t make the cut before. Well, OK, good on them for getting a leg on the ladder. But it sure looks like they are very short handed (zero staff at Surgical waiting room / check-in desks…) and largely “noobies”.

But the actual surgical staff were good. We’ve used this particular surgeon for a couple of decades.

Covid Vaccination

At just about every turn, they asked “are you vaccinated”. We got to answer this question at least a dozen times. You would think they could just put it in a record and keep track of it, but nooo….

In essence, this is a “Your Papers! pleaze…” moment.

First at the entrance to the hospital. Again, just inside the door at the information desk. The entrance query is to route you to a ‘rapid testing’ station for the ‘unclean’… The Vexxinated are allowed to just stroll on in, no test required.

So now the first Stupidity is ignoring the FACT that the Vexxinated do get covid, and do spread it quite effectively. In essence, they are quite willing to let the Vexxinated haul in the latest Vaccine Escape Variant and spread it around, but a completely free of illness or symptoms Pure Blood gets to sit at a small desk for 12 minutes, on display to the lobby, while waiting for a rapid test.

The Rapid Test is better than before. No probe up to the nasal ganglia and / or nose bleeds. Just a long Q-tip like swab around the ends of the nostrils. However… You get to put name and phone number on a paper that tracks your results. So, am I, against my will and without my permission, in a DataBase to be shared with Government Agents and GEBs as desired by them? Who knows.

Then you get a Scarlet Letter, er, “wrist band” to wear that declares to all involved that you were tested, and though clearly a mental defective are not presently a risk to others from Chinese Wuhan Covid. (The FACT that all the Vexxinated running around shedding virus could be a risk to ME is ignored…)

The Plan Gang Agley

I’d planned to just sit in the car and not enter. Depositing the spouse into their hands for surgery. They had no “orderlies” to bring her in, so I got to fight with their weird “wheel chairs” that have some kind of “do not roll” locking bar you must pull to make it go. At the door, handed it (and her) over to a desk clerk who went the rest of the way to “check in” on the ward”. This was FINE at drop off, letting me avoid the Scarlet Letter station and process. I expected the same at pick-up as they had not said otherwise. But Nooo….

Bone surgery is now “outpatient” surgery. They required me to be present during the “Physical Therapy Training” as they are showing the patient what to do while they are still drugged up from Surgery and foggy from the opiates. This is the next Stupidity. The patient is still somewhat “out of it” and you are giving them “at home” instructions? OK… More on this below…

So I’d arrived to pick her up at about the expected time, some 7 hours later.

They had gone to a “we will call you when ready” system so I had to be “with cell phone” the whole day. First off, not everyone has a cell phone all day. I’m partially deaf and don’t hear the high pitched chimes all that well (unless I’m within a couple of feet, that is NOT often the case when at home – in the car I can’t hear it over the noise and answering is illegal anyway). Further, the number they had for me is an old dying phone that lives on the charger… So I had to forward it to one that works better. So I’m supposed to depend on this rickety string of events to not have the spouse feel abandoned?

This is the next Stupidity of Kaiser: WT? It may be great for 20 something millennials with an implanted cell phone in their palm, not so great for the Medicare Generation getting most of the medical treatment.

So I asked at the Front Desk about “any estimate of when? Just a guess about how many hours maybe?” (and I’m not late am I?). What I got was a 2nd hand non-answer of “we will call when ready”. I pressed. “No, they can not even guess when.” In response to my “So you have no clue at all?” the response was literally “They have no clue”.

I’ve worked the Orthopedics ward. I’ve been with Spouse and her Mom and others through surgeries. There’s a fairly standard amount of time, post op, to “about when”. Yes, it is plus or minus an hour or two, but you pretty much know “about 2 to 4 hours” or “waking up now” or “just got here, go have lunch…”.

The Surprise

I’d brought our little dog in the car, expecting he would like to take a walk in new places (as we often do) and that we’d be company for each other as we waited for the Orderly to bring the Spouse down. That was not to be.

Having been told ~”Go away kid, you bother me, just sit on your damn phone like we told you to do” (in essence). We, dog and me, got to sit in the car in the hanicapped space (where they are ALWAYS out of parking spaces)for about the next 3 hours. Time that could have been spent getting lunch, letting others use that space, and letting the dog have a bit of a “pee run” on bushes somewhere. Then the phone rang:

“This is nurse ~Ratchet, I’m sorry, we didn’t tell you. Someone NEEDS to be here during the Physical Therapy instruction. Let us know when you can get to the Hospital.”

I informed them I was parked directly in front of the hospital entrance in THE closest space and could be right up. That’s when I got to experience the “Your Papers Please!!” process and the 12 minuted “sit on display in the dunce desk” process. I used the opportunity to educate each Minion about the FLCCC, the iMASK protocol for prophylaxis, and to say the words “Ivermectin Prophylaxis” often and not too quietly… I’m sure it fell on ears more deaf than mine…

Scarlet Letter Wrist Band on display, I was then told to take the elevators upstairs, go to the Surgical department, use the phone to call “pre-op” and someone would take me in. OK… “Got a number for Pre-Op?” Nope. Any idea how it works? Nope. So you are sent on a Treasure Hunt.

I got to the floor and saw numbers counting down toward my goal (x-hundred a round number) so x35 then x30 etc.) so headed down the hall. Nope. at x05 you reach the end. Turns out x00 is the other direction… Reaching x00 I was greeted by an empty reception desk and 2 (what looked like) empty desks with glass partitions for “discussion”. And a sign saying “call xxxxx for pre-opp xxxxy for post-op, xxxxx etc.) in small type. I called.

OK, did the name and such exchanges, was told “Go through the double doors and I’ll escort you”. NO “double doors” in sight, but there were a set just outside the office entry. OK, I went through them. Long story short, there were two OTHER double doors NOT visible from the desk with phone that were the “right ones”, instead I got a nurse to let me in through the “back double doors” to the area I was supposed to be at (where Nurse ~Ratchet was already waiting having no doubt had this experience before and when I didn’t show making a run for the back door. She informed me about the “right” double doors…. Here’s another Human Factors Stupidity. You could not put some arrows on the floor? Or say “Double Doors past the reception desk behind the glass wall”? Or ANYTHING useful?

Whatever. I’m in. There’s the Spouse in the bed. We’re ready for the discharge instructions and be on our way. Which happened about 3 hours later…

The Short Form

The Very Nice Nurse was flitting about explaining all sorts of “Stuff” that I’m supposed to remember. Spouse is still very drug woozy and not remembering. Exercise Schedule. Use and timing of ice-water bath cooling machine (that came home with us). Each drug, what it does, what the “schedule” of it will be (for 7 drugs. Yes, 7 different schedules and such. Verbally). Showers, wraps, etc. etc. I remembered most of it, I think.

Eventually the Physical Therapist shows up and we do some exercises, some various things required for discharge (like peeing and standing up without passing out…) and we get the OK to leave. Then a new Nurse shows up as it is nearly shift change. WHILE THE FIRST NURSE IS STILL THERE, we once again go over the ice cooling bath machine, the exercises (that were ALSO explained by the P.T. in detail…), the drugs (again), etc.

You would think they could coordinate with each other when standing all of 6 feet apart, but whatever. First nurse was on the computer doing some sort of ‘ready to leave / end of shift stuff’ so not listening, I think…

Eventually, we are allowed to do the discharge. I’m sent (carrying a couple of bags of “Stuff” (cloths, Ice water bath machine, directions – everything verbal also on paper, etc.)) to the pharmacy to pick up the basket of drugs prescribed. In the pharmacy the pharmacist is ALSO wanting to go over all the drugs AGAIN…

I said “I’m a geek, I have my own PDR, the nurses up stairs went over the drugs twice already, and we’ve had all of them before.”… She thankfully just did a look at each one and very short “For Foo” with me chiming in some of the potential “issues” and I was out fast.

Really? 4 times you think I need to know about the drugs? Don’t think I can read? What? About an hour wasted, all told.

Now the new “protocol” for picking up a patient is that they want ME to call the SPOUSE from my cell to hers to say when I’m ready for pick-up. Spouse left her phone at home so as not to lose it. OK… The Nurse said instead they would “wait 10 minutes” then come down. I pointed out I was in THE closest space to the front and would be down and ready faster than they could be… It fell on deaf ears again…

At The Car

So I’d picked up a basket of drugs and unloaded my bags into the car, moved it in front of the hospital at the pickup zone (all of one lane away…) and me and the dog did “walkies” around the various bushes in the front. He was very much relieved ;-)

About 10 minutes after re-parking to the front, a different person (Orderly?) brought out the spouse, we loaded up, and headed home. By then it was sprinkling, so we got to walk into the house in the rain, a bit drug woozy…

All told, Spouse was settled and done about 12 to 13 hours after we set out in the morning. Maybe 14…

A Martial Arts Stupidity

While I was just starting the paperwork at the “Unclean Issue Scarlet Letter” station, my phone rang. Physical Therapy Department Clerk wishing to set up a home P.T. visit and “ask a few questions”. Um “I’m filling out the Scarlet Letter paper now, can I call back in a minute?” Basically “no” as it was 4-something and they check out at 5 and I’d have no hope of arranging the home visit P.T. until the next day when it was overdue. OK…

So another Stupidity. Call with minutes to go for a service required next business day and where the next day the call likely can’t happen in time. Furthermore, since the P.T. checkout happens on the ward, why can’t THEY just say “tomorrow OK and this is your correct address?”. Oh Well…

So the Scarlet Letter test was delayed a few minutes while I “took a call”…

The caller ended with “Any weapons in the house”? Now this is about as supreme a Stupidity as you can get. It shows a complete and STUNNING lack of understanding of Martial Arts. Or watching any Jackie Chan moves. EVERYTHING can be a weapon.

In one movie, Jackie uses his shirt as a flexible weapon to catch the arm of a knife attacker, then as garrote. Got clothes or a towel? You have weapons.

I, brilliantly, answered: “What?…” /sarc;

“Knives, clubs, guns…”

OK, composure returning, first off, NOBODY needs to know if I’m exercising my Constitutional Right to owning guns. Especially in an era where “confiscation” is the Dimocrat Buzz Word. Secondly, a house without “weapons” is one that is empty of EVERYTHING.

Entering my front door, the kitchen is to the side. It is a small “Galley Kitchen”. On the counter nearest the door are 2 x BBQ spatulas with relatively heavy ends and sharp edges, a small battle axe in a way. 2 “Kabob Skewers” (a very fine pair of Dirks if I do say so myself), and a couple of minor tools that could also be used if desperate. Such as the knife “sharpening steel”. An OK Dirk, but a bit more blunt than ideal at the tip. Good enough, though. Good noggin rapper though ;-)

In the drawer below that is the silverware tray. LOTS of “butter knives” and large forks useful for poking. But the real winner is the next drawer down. A 1/2 pound “spouse sized” hammer for hanging pictures and such (nice small Battle Hammer) and 3 or so “dirks” aka Philips Screwdriver & Slotted Head Screwdriver.

Across from that is the stove. 6 “throwing knives” or small daggers in the “steak knife wooden block”. A small cast iron skillet (aka “Kabong-er” and / or small shield from knife attacks) and a medium sized one sits on the stove top too. Next to those, 2 “knife blocks” for kitchen knives. I count 4 or 5 “short swords” there (depending if you think a serrated bread knife counts with the rounded end). 2 x Chef’s Knives, 2 x Carving Knives, and that bread knife. Also 4 more “daggers” (aka paring knife and small chopper).

Oh, and hanging on the wall behind the stove is my Chinese Hatchet – AKA Meat Cleaver. Paired with the French Rolling Pin (standing next to the knife blocks) it’s a nice set of “defensive club” that is also good for banging noggins and the cleaver as your choice of spine side skull cracker or sharp side appendage remover via the cleaver sharp edge…

OK, that’s the first 5 feet into the kitchen. After that you start getting into more interesting “weapons”…

Any small appliance on an electrical cord is either a garrote, or a slungshot, or both. “Flexible Weapons” are a rich and diverse group. The Slungshot is ancient and underappreciated. Basically “something heavy on a rope”.

Slungshot – A general term used to describe a weight on the end of a flexible handle. Very broad term. No one really knows the origins of these weapons, possibly from sailors.

Sailors Slungshot

Sailors slungshot – a basic model. Made from 9mm jute rope, approx 28″ long, the length of the adult arm, weighted with a steel ball bearing. Lots of reach, when swung will get up to a high speed, delivering a devastating punch.

More at the link…

Even a shirt can be rolled up and used as a “Flexible Weapon” (see Chan, Jackie…) or here for more formal examples:

This is all before we reach the living room (fireplace poker as spear, shovel as kabong-er, broom as thrust parry and eye poker) or dining area (chair leg as club – again see Jackie Chan movies…) and more.

So all this did the Aspe Flash through the visual / associative memory link in about 2 seconds and the higher centers pondered “How to explain this in 2 seconds or less” for about 1/2 a second. I answered:

“I AM a weapon. Years of Karate.”

That seemed sufficient that no more questions came.

But really, Karate means “Empty Hand”. I come to you with empty hands… as in my hands are my weapons. One hand shape is “knife hand”, for example. The “weapons” of Karate were originally ordinary objects as “weapons” were forbidden to the Okinawans. The Nunchuk were simple “rice flails” found on every farm. The Police Side Handle Baton derived from the well crank handle. Etc.

Everywhere you go, you are surrounded by weapons. A pen is a nice short dirk or dagger. A belt is a nice garrote. (shoe laces can be better though…). The classic of western bar fights is the Beer Bottle busted to make a slashing cutting edge knife. Truckers all know the fine ancient art of Tire-Iron. Scissors well known to house wives everywhere… (3 pair in the cupboard other end of the kitchen, one each in bedrooms, bath, and living room). And so very much more. (Soup can in hand as striking club enhancement – dozens in the kitchen… Pepper shaker as blinding chemical agent, etc. etc.)

The only honest answer I could give is that the weapon is the mind of the user. “I AM a weapon”…

And don’t get me started on Ethernet Cables as garrote or fishing pole as whip or bicycle air pump as club or … The simple fact is long skinny and hard is either a “poking thing” or a “whipping thing” while short and stout is either a club (“blunt object” favorite of Murder Mysteries everywhere) or a filler for a slugshot (even if the slungshot is just your arm holding a soup can…).

Once you start looking for “blunt objects” and “thin stiff objects” and “flexible objects” you start to realize that just about everything but water is one of them (and for water you just have to get it into the breathing apparatus…)

So for me, this was THE most Incredible Level Of Stupid Kaiser could manage. “Are there any weapons?” Is it a house with people or ANY stuff in it? Then the answer MUST BE yes, absolutely.

The Stupid, it burns…

But one does wonder why they would ask that particularly stupid question.


I’ve just received a minor “nag text” of about 10 SMS messages long… on my cell phone (which number I’d given on the Scarlet Letter form) nagging me about vexxines and how to get more “information” from them… MIS-information is more like it. It really REALLY bothers me that I know a LOT more about Covid than this supposed Professional Medical Organization… Sigh.

Now they are hitting my text message rates too…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Covid, Emergency Preparation and Risks, Human Interest. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to The Stupidities Of Kaiser – Covid & “Weapons”

  1. cdquarles says:

    Dang. Prayers for you and your spouse. I heard from my youngest daughter recently. She’s having gynecological issues (these run in the family on both sides) and after escaping the medical field, decided to (likely for the pay) get back into it. She’s in Fort Worth, TX. I am in AL and can’t physically make that trip. Her siblings are also in AL; and have issues of their own. Prayers are welcome.

  2. Power Grab says:

    @ EM re: “But one does wonder why they would ask that particularly stupid question.”

    IMHO, it’s to fulfill their ultimate purpose, which is to serve as surveillance for the gummint. I figure that “nationalizing” medicine is pursued largely for that reason…surveillance.

    I have heard of school children being pumped with questions about weapons in their home.

  3. philjourdan says:

    Vexxinated or not, I say I am. Let them prove differently.

  4. p.g.sharrow says:

    Isn’t amazing how Ignorant educated people can be. and they all expect you to know how their own little world functions.
    I must be one of those Deplorable, domestic Terrorists.
    I believe in GOD and Country, a war veteran, don’t have a cell phone or any degree or recognized working license , refuse their “JAB”, live way out in the woods in a small cabin.
    Yep, fits the profile for sure! Weapons? what is a weapon? I’ve barehanded taken down men with guns or knives as their “weapons”. If pressed you don’t have time to get a “weapon” and must improvise with what is at hand.

    That assumption that you have a cell phone to exist and function really galls me. It is like you don’t even exist, a non-person, “everyone has a cell phone”. They can not even imagine a person not instantly connected to them by way of cell phone.

  5. cdquarles says:

    @Power Grab,
    The US CDC, with the help of the American Association of Pediatrics started that back in the 1990s.

  6. Power Grab says:

    @ cdq:
    Yes, I reckon it was that long ago. It didn’t really happen to me, but I read a lot. ;-)

  7. H.R. says:

    “This is the next Stupidity. The patient is still somewhat “out of it” and you are giving them “at home” instructions? OK… More on this below…”

    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Was the instruction receiver when the Mrs. was all doped up and she was the receiver when I was doped up from shoulder surgery last year.

    Mrs. H.R. is beginning to have some short-term memory issues, a lot of which is caused by the stress of caring for and trying to find a ‘home’ for her mom, who is well on down dementia road. Major stressor!

    Anyhow, the suregeon, that I like because if you ask him any question or to explain anything… he will if he thinks you’re sharp enough. and he thinks I am.

    I just asked very groggily, “Are the post op instructions written out?” Yes, they were. So I told him to give them to me and I promised to follow them after I sobered up and could read them. “Okey-dokey” Did I mention I like that guy?

    @philjourdan – That’s what I do, lie, lie, lie. It’s nunyer’dam’bidness!

    The Medi-Stasi still don’t have their uber database sh!t together just yet, so I lie and say “Yes! (!!!!! with a few more happy !!!!s for effect 🤣) I’ve said I had Pfizer and J & J jabds, depending on what popped into mind when I was asked.

    I am wondering if their databases are polluted by my self-reports (lies) when asked by various medicos about my vaccine status. You just know those answers go into a database. Let the ‘Studies’ majors who learned to code sort it out, eh?

  8. H.R. says:

    Hey E.M. – Let the Mrs. know she has me (and a bunch more here, commenters and lurkers, I’m sure) wishing her the best for a s-m-o-o-o-t-h recovery.

    Kinda sucks having the surgery this close to the holidays, though. But… git ‘er done when you can. If she waited until everything was “just so” it would never get done, eh? That’s a truism for most everything.

    G-o-o-o-o-o Mrs. Smith!
    Rah! Rah! Rah!
    Take another Percocet and ooo-lah-lah!

    All kidding aside, my best to you and the Mrs.

  9. John Hultquist says:

    ” At just about every turn, they asked “are you vaccinated”. ”

    I hear an echo: What difference, at this point, does it make?

  10. Gerard Steven Bono says:

    Well E.M. that was a painful read. As a famous person once said “I feel your pain”. Now all that reminded me of a scene from Five Easy Pieces, where Jack goes off the deep end eventually. This is the only thing I remember about that movie. It’s classic Jack, like “here’s Johnny”.

  11. Gerard Steven Bono says:

    Accidentally posted the wrong scene. Its the diner one.

  12. Simon Derricutt says:

    EM – best wishes for your wife’s recovery. I expect you’ll be happy to leave California behind just as soon as it’s possible.

    H.R. – it’s a high-stress situation dealing with your mum. I know since I did that. Luckily my brother reached retirement and came across (with his wife) to help for the last year (not that I knew it was the last year at the time), since otherwise I may not have managed it. It’s also hard to watch someone’s competence diminish step by step. Occasionally she trashed her room and threw things around, and couldn’t remember doing it – first time that happened I thought a burglar had been and gone, but nothing was actually missing. You may need to look at the safety aspect of everything, even to whether she can unscrew lightbulbs from lamps and whether there’s any matches or lighters around she could use. Worthwhile getting some sort of tracker on her if you can, though of course there’s a possibility she’ll take it off before going to visit someone long-dead in the middle of the night. Still, it’s worth thinking about what could happen and trying to cover it. I understand why commercial old folks’ homes keep their people drugged-up and thus less likely to become fractious or going off on a walk, but that’s really no life. Still, our doctor did prescribe a pre-bed antihistamine that helped in making sure that at bedtime she was drowsy and stayed in bed overnight, which was really helpful. Worth thinking about if you encounter that problem, which is pretty common. Much better for her to stay with you rather than in an institution, though. It may end up too difficult, though.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    More Kaiser Prying:

    During the first at home P.T. visit, the Physical Therapist said she wanted to ask a few ‘getting to know you’ questions. These included things like:
    Do you have smoke detectors? Fresh batteries in them?
    Do you have 2 weeks of food?
    Do you have (some amount… 1 gallon / person-day?) of water (I informed her of the poly barrels in the back yard…)
    Do you have a fire extinguisher?
    Emergency exits?
    Let’s see the bathroom…

    and more…

    Someone is deeply interested in prying into safety equipment and some degree of emergency prep.

    OK, I can see some of it, like assuring we have a “commode” to fit over the toilet and the kind of shower for post-surgery. Even looking at the bathroom for suitability for post surgery navigation. But asking about water, food, and smoke detectors? That’s just a tiny bit worrying. OK, the amounts asked about were more “Quake Ready” 2 weeks for FEMA to get off their butt. But still, this is supposed to be a Physical Therapy Visit, not a Home Safety & Preparedness Audit…

    I was tempted to just lie about it, or say “not a P.T. question so move on”, but instead just let it slide. IF we were still going to be here 2 months or 3 months from now, I’d have been more prone to evasion…

    I AM much more interested in dumping Kaiser now, though. I don’t need Nanny State nor Nanny HMO asking about weapons and prep.


    Seems even more that way today… So one wonders just who is getting the info on “food and water on hand”…

    @H.R. & Phil:

    The P.T. looked at the written “guide” and made changes to it. So now we have had 3 DIFFERENT sets of instruction on what P.T. to do (repetitions and duration changes). To me that just says we have a wide range of “acceptable” for a good outcome and just do it until just before it hurts too much then stop.

    Per Databases: One of my jobs way back in the early ’80s was on IBM Mainframes doing database merge and match of data from divergent data stores. It is easier now in some ways (harder in others). But basically once the data are in a storage system, you can pull the disparate bits together later. All you need is one common key field.

    The only ways to defeat this, really, are to dirty up the data and use multiple “keys”. So if they sort on phone number (increasingly common) or email address (ditto) have a few and use different ones with different data collectors. (The phone number from California goes dead in a couple of months, making much of that data confounded. No, no forwarding number…) Harder to do is confuse the key if they use SSN. For that, dirty the data. Some get “yes”, some get “no”. etc.

    The date had been pushed out 2 or so times by about a month each (it was supposed to be done last September IIRC). Part of why I’m still stuck in California. Other People slipping critical path schedule items… So we took this date since it WAS open and available and unlikely someone would take it… We don’t have much happening for Christmas anyway, just dinner and Facetime, so easy enough.

    @John H.:

    Nice one. I’ve been trying to figure out how to say “By now we’ve all been exposed”…

    @Gerard Steven Bono:

    I was close to that “sandwich” point. Started giving them the directions to the FLCCC, the iMASK protocol, extolling 2 YEARS of perfect protection. Basically taking some coup points. Oh Well. Fighting the Fear Porn with Counter Prop.


    I was mentally “out of here” about a year ago… The rest is just logistics and “other people’s schedule changes”…

    At this point, soon as spouse is up for it, WE go to Florida and “pick a spot” (ANY spot for me). That may include a travel trailer. IF it goes beyond 2 months, I get a travel trailer there and administratively I’m moved. We can buy a home there and / or sell this one here and / or “move stuff” anytime. I no longer care. Me, there, done. The rest can catch up.

  14. philjourdan says:

    @EM – Re: DB Key.

    Yea, that will do them a lot of good in my case if they use phone numbers. The number on file at the pharmacy has no relation to my current phone number. That is because while you were supposed to be able to port your number when you changed carriers (I am talking land lime), that turned out to not be the case. So there are 3 phone numbers floating around for me and only one is mine. I leave them wrong as I do remember them, but do not care to get calls from them.

  15. Graeme No.3 says:

    In their “efforts to control Covid19” the authorities introduced demanded contact tracing when you were supposed to Log in using an app on your mobie phone. If you didn’t have your phone you were told to fill in a paper log which each store etc. was to supply. The public were assured that the records would be deleted after a few months. Being a trusting soul I’ve never used the phone app and it turns out SURPRISE! that the records are being kept for some unstated reason.
    As for the paper trail I’ve noticed that the date, time, phone number (including mobile) are often legible but the Full Name is rarely entered, just a name. The e-mail address is very rarely given (Yes, often the shop just supplies a multiline form).
    I’ve asked a few people if the records are any good and they laugh. Apparently all sorts of fabricated names, etc are common. Possibly the Premier did sign in at a local place as
    S.Marshall as I saw on one sheet.
    I’ve always filled in my home phone number which will be cut off in a few days, so even if the bureaucrats do actually get around to collating those records they might have some problems.

    My best wishes for your wife’s recovery and a Merry (as possible) Christmas and a Happy New Year in your new abode.

  16. Annie says:

    Best wishes for a Merry Christmas, despite all.

  17. Terry Jackson says:

    Aetna, the agent of my former self insured employer, started calling both of us a few months back wanting to do “in home” health interviews. Told them to bugger off. Then the calls were for telephone or video interviews, same response.

    Is this a new trend?

  18. John Hultquist says:

    Up here in Washington State, where it is about to get very cold**, the home health visits are initiated by a nurse – head of that department. There are questions and forms, and multiple suggestions.
    There are, for instance, gizmos for tubs and showers to help with bathing, and there are suggestions about rugs and hallways. Can a “walker” pass through.
    I do know some people that do not know of such things, so maybe it is good that they ask everyone.
    I don’t recall questions about food and water. Well, food yes – because sick people are to not have some foods. Even the questions and handouts failed on the Sodium content of prepared pancake mix.

    My biggest complaint was the expectations of the PTs, who assumed a sick elderly person was capable of significant recovery. The bedside manners varied from compassionate to brassy and pushy.

    Anyway for all:
    Merry Christmas – if that’s your style;
    Happy holidays, otherwise.

    **Near Zero F nights next week.
    Montana will be 10 degrees colder

  19. beththeserf says:

    Jest wanna wish E.M., yer spouse (get well wishes) and all yer worthy communicaters, a Merrie, Merrie Christmas despite all, climate change and Covid nonsense. bts.

  20. H.R. says:

    @E.M. – HMOs suck, mainly because you are tied to them. They are low cost until you need something or some care that is “Out of Network.”

    I chose a medicare supplement plan that pays out to any Dr. or hospital that accepts medicare. I asked for a gold-plated plan with low or no deductibles and copays as well as the ability to see most any Dr. in the U.S. Cost? About $130 per month. That’s in comparison to the $1,200/month for my health insurance premium before I was eligible for medicare.

    The thing is, some people in retirement have really limited funds and opt for HMO-based supplement plans that are at little or no cost. Some retirees just don’t have a choice and a $130/month payment would be really burdensome.

    But I don’t see the premiums as being particularly burdensome for you, so you may want to take a hard look at the non-HMO plans available.

  21. Eric Wilner says:

    The past few months, my father has needed a few trips to the Big Hospital. Nobody’s bothered us about vaccination; they ask if anyone in the household has been exposed to the Pestilence.
    No questions about weapons (it’s East Tennessee, so that’d be a foolish question).
    But the home-health people did give us a nudge about a bug-out plan, pointing out that some sorts of industrial accidents can have a 10-mile evacuation radius, and there are indeed some potential industrial hazards within 10 miles of us, so that’s a good thing to think about. (Well, that and the possibility of a local tornado mangling the house. I guess we should have some sort of bug-out plan in addition to the hunker-down plan, with the bug-out location being somewhat remote.)

  22. Power Grab says:

    @ Terry Jackson re: “Is this a new trend?”

    The only time I was interviewed at home relative to health insurance was in my salad days, when I responded to a newspaper insert for health insurance through Physicians Mutual. It surprised me. But I reckon they didn’t find anything scary about me or my home. They were cordial enough.

    Since then, I’ve only been called by someone I assumed was a telemarketer. I had recently been been called by someone who purportedly was doing fundraising for the cops. At the time, in a hurry to get out the door, I agreed to a small donation. But when I got to work, there was an email about how our local cops announced they don’t fundraise that way. So when the fundraisers called again to follow up, I told them to take me off their list because I had doubts about their authenticity. (It also bothered me that the real human who made the initial call told me to not hang up and they would connect me with their back office. That next voice sounded like AI to me.)

    So when the supposed BCBS representative called this fall and gave a really fast spiel that contained the word “screening” in it, I put on the brakes instantly. I said, “Some people aren’t who they say they are,” in a slow and menacing tone of voice. One thing that raised a solid red flag was their demand that I give them my number (some kind of ID number or whatever). My gut reaction was that, if they were really who they said they were, they should give me their version of my ID number. I don’t give out PII to people who call me. So we went into a Mexican standoff really quickly. Also, I was needing to urgently talk to one of IT guys about a problem they caused when they did an mission-critical upgrade that broke one of my functions. I finally had to say, “I’m hanging up now. Goodbye.” I didn’t say (although I thought it), “I don’t want any of your skanky screenings anyway. I know you’re just fishing for business.”

    Finally, I am inclined to believe that whatever testing tools they use for screenings can be said to have reported something that needs more tests/drugs/surgery. How am I to know? Of course, if they said they thought I had some sort of female problems, I would have to laugh in their face because I no longer have those organs. ;-)

  23. E.M.Smith says:


    The present spousal iPhone has a built in telephone White List. Under “settings” there’s an Unidentified Caller on/off toggle. If ON, anyone in your Contacts List gets through to a ring of the phone, anyone NOT in your contacts goes directly to Voice Mail.

    Hospital was calling from a phone switch with a bank of outgoing numbers and many were NOT in the spousal contacts list. Took us a while to figure out it was a “feature” and how to turn it off for a while.

    Now I find myself thinking (for the first time ever…) that I might like to get an iPhone ;-)

    FWIW, I give zero information to anyone I do not already KNOW and have a working relationship with. I assume any “random” calling me is either a flat out SCAM or a Hustle (i.e. sales and such). I also do a “personally driven White List” in that folks in my Contacts display a name. IF all I get is a number, they roll to voice mail…

    Cuts down on the crap calls rather effectively, but I do occasionally miss a call that I might have wanted to take. OTOH, if they are unwilling to leave a VM on their first call, maybe they don’t think there call was very important after all…

    @Eric Wilner:

    I have to admit to a certain degree of mixed feelings over the questions.

    On the one hand, it is intrusive, and nobodies business but mine. “Prep” is NOT a health condition.

    On the other hand, I think it is good that they are encouraging folks to have a minimal prep bag of food, water, meds.


    Spouse gets coverage through the local district retirement plan. I’m under Medicare + their plan at something like $120/month. She’s had Kaiser her whole life and uses it A Lot. I’m essentially never sick. Only gone in a couple of times in a few decades. Each time when I thought maybe I was dying (small “growth” that was benign and Doc just froze it) or for a colonoscopy every 5 years.

    So basically I don’t care what kind of medical plan I have, until I start to actually need one (probably soon I’d guess, maybe? given age) and the Spouse loves them. Knows how to work the system.

    As Kaiser is not in Florida, we’ll be changing in a few months anyway… I think.

    BTW, Kaiser does EVERYTHING. They have several large hospitals in the area and cover all specialties. No “out of plan” M.D.s or services needed. Not just a gaggle of M.D.s calling themselves an HMO. They have “a couple of city block” sized hospital grounds, multi-story.

    FWIW, Spousal Mom had many many kilobucks of Kaiser care in her final decade at near zero cost to her. We’re talking weekly to monthly hospital admissions and CAT scans and such. In that kind of case an HMO can be a big win.

    Me? I’ve generally preferred a private M.D. and Blue Something type insurance. But given my near zero usage, it doesn’t really matter.

    @Merry Christmas & Best Wishes Folks:

    Same back at ya!

    Spouse had first shower today and is up and about on her own, so doing well.

    Oh, and I’ve put up a newer WOOD here:

    Christmas Eve: W.O.O.D. – 24 December 2021

    As this one is getting slow to load…

  24. YMMV says:

    This video is about Kaiser and Covid, so I am filing it here. It’s not so much about stupidity as it is about how someone got around the stupidity.

    “Kaiser Northwest Estimate of Myocarditis/Pericarditis compared to CDC’s estimate | A New Study”

    Bottom line, after the researcher goes the extra mile, she finds that the heart problems caused by the vaccines are worse than we are being told, and that her updated findings are in line with those of other countries which have better reporting systems.
    “Risk of Myopericarditis following COVID-19 mRNA vaccination in a Large Integrated Health System: A Comparison of Completeness and Timeliness of Two Methods”
    Katie A Sharff, David M Dancoes, Jodi L Longueil, Eric S Johnson, Paul F Lewis

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