Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Descent of the Locusts

I am 64 and a half, almost exactly.  And I have a target on my back.  If you’ve already 65 and been through this, feel free to chuckle, reminisce, grab a beverage and go to the next item on your list.  But you youngsters (64 and under)…pay attention.

The target I speak of is actually a bit lower than that – say, about wallet-height.  Because in just three short months, I will be able to sign up for Medicare, which means that I will be “eligible” to spend a shitload of money on “supplemental insurance” to cover the gaps in the “insurance” that I supposedly have already paid for with payroll deductions over the course of the last 53 years (I started work at age 11).

I am a hot commodity, for sure.  So far, since the golden date (exactly 6 months before my birthday), I have averaged 5.2 calls per day, and 3 mailers.  It’s only gonna get worse from here.

Now, no one is trying to sell me anything.  They all say that.  Seriously.  I know the tell-tale sign of a predictive dialer – that empty sound when you answer the phone and say, “Hello?” and hear nothing for about seven seconds and then the unmistakable sound of a phone-bank in the background while “Sharon from XXX” comes on and mangles your name.  You tell them “Sorry, no solicitors,” and they ALWAYS say, “Mr. Eckenjer we’re not selling anything we just want to be sure you have all the information you need to make an informed choice regarding your Medicare options including Part D and Medigap coverage and did you know Mr. Essenkar that millions of Americans will not have enough to pay for even the simplest medical care that Medicare doesn’t provide for and with…”

Except what it sounds like is

Not selling anything.  Riiiiiiiiight.

They are persistent.  On the first day, we let messages go to the answering machine (as we were involved in the kitchen.  Making lunch…I’m 64, remember?).  One company called NINE times.  They are unflappable.  I told one guy he was the 19th caller in the last four days, and he said, “Well, let me hang up and call you right back so I can be caller number twenty.”  They are…a pain in the ass.

And when you tell them, “I’ve already taken care of this, thanks for calling,” they act like the Energizer bunny and keep…on…going.  Until you hang up, and even then, I’m not certain.

I am also pissed at the whole scheme of things, having to sign up for Part D insurance now even though I only have one very low-priced prescription. I am pissed because
(a)  Drug prices may rise (May?  Who the hell are we kidding?).
(b)  I might not only have one prescription in the future.  Mona has three, and she’s YOUNGER than I am and in better health overall.  Well, except for the drugs.
(c)  If I don’t sign up now, and decide to pick a plan later, I’ll be changed a penalty for EVERY MONTH I failed to sign up prior…for EVERY MONTH I decide to be on the plan.  If I live a long time (and I plan on it), I could pay another shitload of month just for the insurance to pay for the drugs I might take.
(d)  Marijuana isn’t covered.  Shit.

I might return to this topic at a later date.  Depends on whether the drugs kick in.

Saturday, April 1, 2017


Hey man, want some hippie lettuce?
In a shocking reveal today, casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson announced the disbandment of his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.  Adelson noted the continued closing of many poker rooms in Las Vegas as a sign that poker needed new blood, and stated, “There’s no better way to attract new players than to introduce them to the electronic felt.”  Adelson said he’ll make haste to get an online presence soon.

When asked if his Sands Corporation would look to buy or merge with one of the existing players like PokerStars, or built its own online site, Adelson startled reporters by revealing that they has already designed a new Internet gaming site.  It’s ready to launch “…just as soon as my buddy Trump signs a new Executive Order legalizing online poker in 49 of the 50 states.’  It appears that Utah will be the lone state where poker is NOT allowed, though the E.O. has a unique sub-clause that allows for the development of new, much-stronger networking of Internet wi-fi systems in Idaho.

When asked if his original “concern for the children,” one of his original driving factors for creating CSIG, Adelson scoffed.  “You know, eventually some 7-year-old is gonna find Dad’s iPhone and log in and start to play, but when the little punk gets his pocket jacks snapped and loses a wad, he’ll learn a valuable lesson.  That’s life.”

In a related statement, Miriam Adelson, Sheldon’s spouse, announced the closing of the Miriam & Sheldon G. Adelson Clinic for Drug Abuse in Tel Aviv, and the opening of a chain of “Uncle Shelly’s Weed ‘n’ Feed” stores in states where recreational marijuana is legal.  Adelson said he especially wants to set up shops in Nevada, where he sees a good fit with legal online poker and legal dope.  “Hey, it’s just the thing when you get your pocket jacks snapped.  Light up a doobie and rebuy.”

Adelson also noted that former right-hand man Andy Abboud is already scouting for “Weed ‘n’ Feed” locations in Las Vegas.  Adelson sent Abboud out about three weeks ago with a large bundle of cash and about 15 ½ pounds of sample product. “Strangely, Andy hasn’t checked in lately,” Adelson pondered. “Maybe he lost his cell phone again.”