Separated at Birth? You be the Judge.

Kerry

 

 

 

Lurch

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Spam Comments

It’s sometimes fun to read the Spam comments that show up in your Spam folder.  Lately, most of the junk in that folder seems to have mostly Chinese lettering.  If you really read the messages, some of the spammers use totally unrelated words to make gibberish sentences.  This is to attract search engines, but don’t you think Google knows to reject that stuff? And don’t the spammers know that most of us recipients are too smart to respond to any of their garbage?  And I’ve noticed that the Gmail addresses in the messages are mostly gibberish too, like Qjqpymwpti@gmail.com.   Wouldn’t it be easy for Google to simply not accept an email address of nonsense?  How much spam would that prevent?  Probably lots!

Friday Chuckle of the Day

This made me laugh today:  Microsoft buys Nokia handset business

 

I live in the Land of Microsoft, which I roundly despise.  The above article at 24/7 Wall Street asks an interesting question.  Now that Microsoft has bought Nokia’s handset business, what are they going to do with a money-losing hardware concern?

My thoughts:  Now they will have a guaranteed platform for their money-losing Windows Phone software.  The Blue Screen of Death comes to your Phone!

Somehow, I think most people will pass on that proposition.  Apple and Google have pretty much dominated the smartphone-software space, and Microsoft is just too slow-moving a behemoth to capture much of that market.  So shelves at wireless carriers will carry lots of unsold handsets (if they carry the Nokia product at all).  Good luck, behemoth!

Thoughts on my 65th Birthday, and Risk-Taking

 

birthdaycakeI celebrated my 65th birthday last week.  A bunch of assumptions sometimes are made about that particular milestone.  In the fairly recent past, many people were forced to retire once they reached 65.  Many big companies had mandatory retirement ages for their workers.  Even now, successful CEOs leave their jobs when they turn 65.

In January, I received a packet of forms from the corporate office of my employer, pertaining to my approaching retirement.  Even though for me, a Baby Boomer, full Social Security retirement age is 66, the Company operates on the assumption that you will be retiring at 65.  Fortunately, there was a section of the form for me to indicate that I would be working “until further notice”.  I did that, since I’m not planning on retiring.  For years, I have subscribed to the Rabbi Daniel Lapin Theory of Retirement: Don’t.

Since late last year, I have been receiving packets of advertising material from a host of insurance companies, urging me to choose their Medicare Advantage, or Medi-Gap plan.  The assumption is, of course, that the minute I turn 65, I will register for Medicare.  Their literature informs me that I have a special “open enrollment” period extending from three months before my 65th birthday, to three months after my birthday, where I may sign up for Medicare and choose a plan.  The big clinic where I receive specialty care for my chronic disease has a policy of only accepting Medicare Advantage plans, and not traditional, fee-for-service Medicare for their eligible patients.  I received a brochure from them, listing all the plans they accept, and inviting me to check their Web site for dates of Medicare Seminars describing all their plans.  Funny, though, I have received nothing from the Government which sponsors Medicare and Social Security.  They don’t seem to care whether I register for either program.

I’ve heard that “65 is the new 40”.  That may, in fact, be true.  Most of the people I work with can’t believe I’m 65.  It’s nice to appear younger than your real age.  But still, the background assumption is that soon you will quit work entirely and retire.  Saving for Retirement is a big deal almost everywhere.  My favorite local conservative radio station runs at least three different programs on the weekends dealing with retirement.  One huge theme emphasized all over the radio and the Web is “maximizing your Social Security Benefits”.  Many financial and retirement advisors run seminars, to teach you how to extract the maximum dollar value of your entitlements from Big Daddy Government.  I just did a Google search, and it returned Nine Million, Eight Hundred Ninety Thousand results!  For some reason, the idea of maximizing the dollars of the dole makes me cringe.  Perhaps it’s because I know that every dollar a retiree receives in benefits is confiscated from a worker TODAY.  No “lock box” exists; you just rack up “credits” while you are working, and these determine how much you may be eligible to receive in retirement.  I’ve had an often-interrupted working life, with more than my share of unemployment, so I haven’t accumulated as much retirement savings as those who work continuously.  But I think it’s enough, given that I don’t intend to retire.

Now to the “risk-taking” part.  The older many people get, the more they anticipate not being tied to a 9-to-5 job, and being able to relax or travel in retirement.  They look forward to the day they can kiss the working life goodbye, and live off their investments and Social Security.  When they turn 65, they register for Medicare and Social Security.  They usually don’t think about what that means.  When your primary health insurance provider is Uncle Sam, what “Medicare will pay for” determines what treatments your doctor may employ.  Before ordering a test or prescribing a medicine, your doctor must consult a manual to see what the Government will “allow”.  I love my doctor, and I just can’t accept that she will always have the Government in Washington, DC looking over her shoulder.  So I am taking a big risk.  I will not register for Medicare or Social Security.  Right now, I’m on my husband’s insurance (which is much better than my own employer’s plan), and unless something horrible happens, that will be true for the foreseeable future.  I’ll remain a productive member of Society, earning my own way, and telling Big Government to take a hike.

My first response to Weekly Photo Challenge-How about THIS Monument?

Back in 2010, Hubby and I drove to Hillsdale College in Michigan for Hillsdale Hostel.  We spent a week on the road getting there, the week there, and a week getting back.  On the way from Everett, Washington to Hillsdale Michigan, we passed through Wyoming, and stopped at Devil’s Tower National Monument.  Here are a couple of the photos I took of this volcano remainder.  All that’s left of the ancient volcano is the Columnar Basalt that results when volcanic magma cools into roughly hexagonal columns.  Isn’t it beautiful?

Devil's Tower National Monument, Wyoming
Devil’s Tower National Monument, Wyoming

 

View of Devil's Tower National Monument, Wyoming.
View of Devil’s Tower National Monument, Wyoming.

 

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