Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Mental Blocks

My tire-pressure light.
Yesterday, I had a flat tire. Had to get the car towed (no spare) to a tire store, where I was told it’s really time to replace all four tires. What fun.

Here’s the thing:

I didn’t know I had a tire going flat. A guy noticed from across the parking lot. And he had even told my son, a couple days before. My son thought he said front, driver’s side. So, I looked at the front tire on the driver’s side, which wasn’t flat. Done.

I didn’t even think to look at any of the other tires.

It was the rear tire on the driver’s side.

How weird it is that that guy notices things on other people’s cars, while I don’t even notice things on my own?

Honestly, I can’t even keep in mind what model year my car is. I always have to look that up.

I have a mental block against all things car-related.

“Pop the trunk,” says the mechanic and I’m like, “How do I do that again?”

(Yes, they totally see me coming … Gotta say, though, I don’t think I’ve ever been ripped off.)

My husband patiently shows me how to check the pressure in my tires every time that little light (which looks like a butt to me) goes off. The next time it does, I have no idea how to do it.

I think everyone has mental blocks. Maybe your mind shuts off when someone starts talking budgeting. Or you really don’t want to hear it when the repairman starts telling you exactly how they’re going to fix something. (OK, that’s me again.) Or the person from your health insurance starts talking out-of-pocket and deductibles, blah, blah, blah. (Health-insurance companies are obtuse on purpose, though.)

So, what are your mental blocks?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Getting Political Again

So, I continue to contact my representatives. Most recently, about healthcare. One of my senators is Ted Cruz, who would like to slash Medicaid and allow insurance companies to sell products that don't actually cover anything.

What I found to say:

Dear Senator,

According to the most recent survey, 61% of Americans oppose the most recent Republican proposed healthcare plan, 65% oppose your proposed cuts to Medicaid, even after they’ve heard your arguments for them, 71% do not want a total repeal of the ACA, or Obamacare, but would rather you work with Democrats to make improvements to the nation’s healthcare. I am joining all these other citizens, as well as consumer groups, patient advocates, doctors, hospitals, addiction-treatment centers, insurance companies, religious leaders, governors, both Republican and Democratic, and your fellow colleagues in the Senate, to urge you not to vote for your healthcare plan to become law.

It is a hot mess.

It is not OK to throw more than 20 million Americans off their insurance plans, some of whom are in the midst of battling deadly medical problems.

It is not OK to slash Medicaid so deeply. Medicaid goes to poor children, poor pregnant women, the disabled, including about 160,000 profoundly disabled children here in Texas, and most of the elderly residing in nursing homes across the country. (42% of Medicaid’s costs come from the elderly living in nursing homes.) Those are the people you are going to take from? No.

It is not OK to allow insurance companies to offer products that don’t actually offer coverage, that don’t cover things like emergency room visits and prescriptions. Such a product isn’t insurance; it’s a scam. Shame on you for attempting to allow it.

This is not a game, Senator. This is millions of people’s health. Quit rushing. Quit trying to simply win political points by insisting on repealing everything we have now just because it has President Obama’s name on it. Look at what we have and fix it. Do it for the good of your fellow Americans, your constituents, and not just yourself.

By the way, I will know that you have come up with such a plan when I see that you don’t exempt yourself and your family from it.

Thank you.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Business of Names

On a route I often drive, there is a smoke shop called “Smoke ‘N’ More.”

How many seconds of thought did the owner put into that name?

But honest to God, the first time I saw the sign, out of the corner of my eye, as I drove by, I thought it said “The Smoking Whore,” which would be a totally cool name for a smoke shop. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb here and say, if I ever have a smoke shop, I’m going to call it “The Smoking Whore.”

As I’ve mentioned before, business names fascinate me, also, band names. And dog names.

My family has a favorite Chinese restaurant. It has the word “panda” in the name: Panda Garden. A quick Google search of Chinese restaurants with panda in the name brings back 696,000 hits. There are, according to Google, 18 Chinese restaurants with “panda” in the name in Houston alone. In addition to Panda Garden, there’s Panda Express (admittedly a chain), Panda City, Panda Kitchen, Panda Buffet, Panda Chinese Buffet and CafĂ© Panda Garden.

Probably to everyone else’s confusion, when my family refers to our favorite, Panda Garden (remember?), we call it “Fat Panda,” because we like that name better. If I ever have a Chinese restaurant, that’s what I’m going to call it.

I also have a name picked out if I ever have a rock band. It’s going to be “The Big Guns.” My husband’s will be “His Boy Elroy.” If you are actually a rock musician and are looking for a band name, you can take these. After all, neither my husband nor I even play an instrument, so it’s not looking like we’ll be starting a band anytime soon … or opening a smoke shop or a Chinese restaurant.

What business and band names do you have squirreled away?