Thursday, November 21, 2013

Back in the Saddle Again

Post Number: 47
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily Points Left: 22 of 71 (Goal: 21)
     Weekly Points Left: 49 of 49 (Goal: 49)
     Pedometer Reading: 4295
     Meetings Attended: Weight Watchers
     Exercise Completed: Aquatics Class plus 2 laps

Note on Today's Title: The title for today's blog entry has nothing to do with the topic for today's blog entry. The song Back in the Saddle Again is stuck in my head for some oddball reason. It is even more odd considering that the kids are watching the old Transformers cartoons on DVD as I sit down to work on various things at the computer, including this blog entry. The Transformers theme song has played several times, so it's not, "Transformers. More than meets the eye," but still, "I'm back in the saddle again. Out where a friend is a friend. . ."

I managed to stay on track fairly well today. The things I ate were a little heavier in fats (like cheese) than I usually consume, but I wanted to motivate myself away from the carb heavy choices of yesterday. I know, I counter the good of the egg substitute by covering the scrambled eggs with a 1/3 cup of cheese. But there you have it. The only carbs I ate were a little in the lettuce, tomato, and onion I ate over the course of the day. And I kept those servings small. And given how the PPV system works, I actually had more points remaining two days ago (37) than yesterday (22). So this will bear some watching and additional planning. After all, if I lose a lot of weight (more than 4 pounds), then the points matter while the carb and fats don't. If I don't lose a lot of weight, then I don't whether or not to blame the carbs, the fats, or both. But for the day, my hunger was satisfied by this relaxation of the fat quota a little. Plus, my digestive system seems to be back on the weight loss track, not that this is a good feeling. This Saturday at the Weight Watchers weigh-in, I'll know better how well the carb binge / fat increase / satisfied hunger / digestive system functioning worked to aid my weight loss.

I was working yesterday on the garage in spite of the pain from soar muscles and complaining joints. I managed to get into the garage for some unpacking, rearranging, and de-junking. I picked yesterday for these tasks because today is trash day. While it felt good to be beating back the junk pile, I am quite bummed that I brought more into the house than I put out to the curb. Much more. *sigh* And there was much shuffling of boxes, bags, containers, and lose items around in the garage.

The contents of the garage aren't the only things shuffling. I am shuffling around right now as well just to be able to get around. I went to my morning aquatics class. At the end of it, since I had this wonderfully warm pool practically to myself, I tried swimming a couple laps. Yup, I finished two laps and I was finished. While I managed to get quite a bit of exercise in, I also managed to succumb to the worst of both forms exercises, soar muscles and complaining joints. But I am pressing forward with my efforts to improve my health.

As another form of dealing with my health, I have been looking into applying the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to my health. How about that federal health care web site ( I have been trying to gather information from the Idaho web site ( and other sources. Information such as the fact that I can leave my kids on their Medicaid. I only need to get coverage for my wife and I. I had learned quite a bit but had a few more questions. I made a phone appointment with an in-person assister. I learned quite a bit more. It's not preventative care any more. It's essential health benefits, which covers more categories than just preventative care. Those essential health benefits are common to all of the plans available through the health exchange. I learned that the calculators for subsidies are sometimes wrong. Before my call, the calculator at the Idaho website said that for 2 people (MBWM and I) at my income, I would receive subsidies. For my entire family, I would not receive subsidies. Then I found out from the assister that while my kids don't need new coverage because of Medicaid, they are included in the subsidy calculation. He said I should go through and apply for subsidies because the calculators have been known to be wrong. The next piece of information was the most enlightening. He said that if you do not qualify for subsidies, you will not be clobbered with the penalty associated with not signing up for coverage. I wasn't surprised by the confirmation that each health care plan will offer its own variations of what it will cover and what it won't. For example, I am interested in getting chiropractic coverage for MBWM and bariatric coverage for me. For the information of which plans covers those services, I would have to talk with brokers from the available plans. But before I do that, I want to see whether or not I will receive subsidies. And for that, I have to return to the website. I am not looking forward to that. It took an interminable amount of time to get as far as I got the first time. And it was only the first step of getting in most of my family's information. I returned again two days ago, only to have much information go missing. I re-entered the information but left the input process hanging to head to Weight Watchers (details on WW in Sunday's post of Saturday's events). So, I will be returning again later to the web site to see what ends up happening. I hope this time the information entered previously is still stored.

By the way, I typed this blog entry up while waiting for the web site to become available. See the screen shot below in the PPS (I had already planned the PS) to see what kept me writing this entry while waiting for the government. As I was wrapping up this portion of this entry, the web page showed, "Authenticating... Please wait." with a web page title of "successURL". About three minutes after that, the system went down. I guess it's time to move on to other things.

Yours in the energy expended tilting at windmills of federal design,


P.S.: "Of course, [Don Quixote] carried it a bit too far. He thought that every windmill was a giant. That's insane. But, thinking that they might be... Well, all the best minds used to think the world was flat. But, what if it isn't? It might be round. And bread mould might be medicine. If we never looked at things and thought of what they might be, why, we'd all still be out there in the tall grass with the apes." - Justin Playfair (played by George C. Scott in the movie They Might Be Giants) The movie title is the source of the name of one of my favorite bands, They Might Be Giants.

Screenshot of on-hold message (see the phone queue is now available online) -

About 3 minutes after logging in, I received the following stop notice -

A couple of cartoons on Obamacare -

I located these comics at my favorite website for comics. Gary Varvel happened to be on the home page yesterday, so I clicked in and clicked back in date until I found two to share. It wasn't hard to find ones on Obamacare. Among the ten available for November so far, six of them were on Obamacare.

For the ones I didn't include directly, see:
In the middle of November's available comics is one of many wonderful tributes among editorials cartoonists to Veterans Day. I wish I had thought to share some of my favorites back at Veterans Day. Maybe in tomorrow's post.

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