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Friday, March 23, 2007

Light as a feather

I got another call from the hospital's collection agency yesterday. I wasn't home to take it, but there was a message on the machine. I figured the last 60 day period must have come up (i.e. since I wrote my last appeal letter to the insurance company). You know how collectors are, I wasn't particularly looking forward to talking to them. But you can usually keep them at bay as long as you are working on the bill and expecting to make progress.

So I emailed my benefits coordinator this morning and asked him to check with our regional representative. I told him the collectors were calling and I was going to need something tangible to tell them.

He got back to me pretty fast, within a couple of hours (although I didn't check the exact time of the email). My claim was finally approved and sent for payment on Tuesday, and all I owe is my 20%. Finally. I'm a good sport about these things, so I went over to the hospital and paid my 20% this afternoon, now that I know the numbers are correct.

It is so nice knowing that I have no medical bills in limbo. I'm not even sure when the last time I could say that was. I'd be almost perfectly light except that in my mailbox was a letter from the collection agency dated Monday and saying, "We have been notified by your insurance company that your clam has been rejected. We ask that you send payment in full."

Dishonesty just takes some of the fun out of life. If the insurance company sent my account for payment on Tuesday, I don't see how it could have been rejected on Monday. That's why you never give an inch to collection agencies. They'll say anything to get money out of you.

Dishonest people don't deserve to thrive.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


People who wax poetic about spring do not have allergies.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cool things to do with Dad

I was going to mention this before. Last Tuesday, I took Ellie outside to see an Iridium flare. This is when one of the Iridium satellites catches the sun and reflects it brightly. You can actually see these during the day, although we went out a bit after dark. I told Ellie we were going to see a "space ship" and told her it would look like a star.

We went out a few minutes before and started looking north. It was a really bright one, and lasted about 10 seconds. I have no idea if she was impressed or not. I've been meaning to take her out to see the International Space Station, but every time I check it is going over at 6am or something.

You too can watch space ships fly over. Check the schedule at www.heavens-above.com.

Don's mini-revolution in dental hygiene

Ellie and I were brushing our teeth tonight, and she mentioned that it isn't fair that I'm tall enough to see in the mirror when she can't. I didn't want to get her footstool because she has a habit of leaving it in Linda's way. So I offered to brush my teeth with my eyes closed.

Your dentist can tell you that everyone has certain places that they tend to go light with the toothbrush. In fact, your dentist can probably tell if you're right- or left-handed from where you get plaque. I think I may keep brushing my teeth with my eyes closed, because I immediately noticed where I wasn't giving proper attention.

You'll have to try it and see if you think you brush your teeth better with your eyes closed. I checked Google to see if this is just one of those things that everyone knows, but nothing obvious popped up.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Quiet night

Ellie is having a sleepover tonight. She never ever stops talking, unless she is watching a movie, and either way she is essentially a noise source. So Linda and I are quietly reading tonight sans noise. I'm sure Ellie is enjoying the evening too, although by now she should probably be in bed (except with her you never really know for sure).

On Thursday Linda had another first at the gym. She walked the track twice, about 200 yards total. She did the first lap in a bit under 15 minutes. Then we rested and she walked the second lap a bit more slowly. It's the first time that she's done two full laps. Although the track would seem like the easiest of surfaces, being designed for walking, it is actually quite challenging. When you get to the curves at the ends, it is sloped into the curve and that is hard.

It is possibly not the farthest she's walked in a go, because we don't have a good measure of some of the surfaces we do on campus in the summer. But it is definitely the farthest at the gym.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Scary stories

It's been a long time since I read regularly to Ellie. We used to do it pretty much every night, but then she got kind of bored with it. We've tried a few different things, but nothing really held her attention as well as I would like.

This week I was lent a copy of Coraline and I suggested it. I told her it was kind of scary and implied she might not be up to it, because I thought it would capture her imagination. It has. The book has almost no pictures in it (I believe people like Linda refer to those as "chapter" books), but we've kept with it anyway, to the tune of more than 100 pages so far.

Maybe we'll have to look at Goosebumps books next...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Week of recovery

It's spring break, and it's time to recover. Linda's mom died last week. She found out about a month ago that she had cancer, and that was a shock. It was advanced and essentially non-treatable and did its work quickly. Linda was a stunned as everyone, but happier that it was pretty quick rather than drawn out (more than it was).

It did mean a lot of traveling and a lot of visiting and family. We drove to Linda's parent's house twice last week, early in the week and again later in the week. At the visitation there were scores of people; family, friends from church, old family friends, friends from school. Many hadn't seen Linda in 10 years, and definitely not since her stroke. So lots of people wanted to visit with her.

A year ago I don't think she could have done that much talking. She says it will take a month to recover her energy. We'll see.

When everyone eats lunch together

Ellie was particularly excited to go to school today. When I asked her about it, she said it is because there is all-day day care during midterm break. That means that the preschool kids and the kindergarten kids all eat lunch together. Ellie has a lot of friends in kindergarten, so this is a big plus in her book.