Texas Storms

Texas_Flooding

Those Texas Republicans refused federal dollars for health care for the poor, but when over a thousand of the not-poor have their homes damaged or washed away (photo from the Web1), then they want the feds to intervene.  Here are a few snippets from Newsweek, but read the whole article2:

As extreme weather marked by tornadoes and flooding continues to sweep across Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has requested—and President Obama has granted—federal help…

…just over a month ago, hundreds of Texans decided that a pending Navy Seal and Green Beret joint training exercise was really an excuse to take over the state and impose martial law. And they claimed the Federal Emergency Management Agency was erecting prison camps, readying Wal-Mart stores as processing centers for political prisoners…

Texas dislikes the federal government so much that eight of its congressional representatives, along with Senator Ted Cruz, opposed disaster relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy—adding to the awkwardness of their lobbying for the federal relief now heading Texas’s way…

Texas officials continue to turn down federal funds to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, thereby denying insurance to more than 1 million people and preventing the state from receiving an estimated $100 billion in federal cash over the next decade.

Storms-Blast-NW-Texas

These storms3 look scary.  I have cousins in Texas, outside of Fort Worth, so I emailed them, Have you been going through the storms and tornadoes? 

We are fine. We are high and no flooding at our house, just in areas around lakes and rivers. I always cringe when there are tornadoes nearby or hail, but so far we are lucky.  The lakes here are all over 100 percent. Our sailboat lake is 13 feet over capacity. All boat launches are closed. I would think our drought is over.

Texas continues to rain us out of a drought. It feels like a jungle here. I picked up a bag in the kitchen and there was a baby snake. So not only are the ants moving indoors, but so are the reptiles! I need to tighten up the seal on that back door. The ants moved into our house while in Colorado, but the resident spider population did a pretty good job as evidenced by the piles of ant bodies under each little spider web. No poison for our home! We might get desperate and use Amdro outside if it ever stops raining.

A Move

My daughter and her family are moving again (as with the last move, for a better position for her husband).  Surprise, surprise, this time it’s to Tucson!  (Admittedly, the first choice had been Tacoma, but that didn’t pan out.)  They should only be here for two years, as he’ll be a hospital CFO in training; then the hospital chain shall move them somewhere else where he’ll be a CFO.  But for this short time they’ll be close to family again.  (Not only me here, but his parents, grandparents (!!), and sister’s family all live north of Phoenix.)

topangaSo last week they flew in for two intense days with a real estate agent, trying to decide between buying  (in which case they’d have to worry about resale in two years) or renting.  I joined them for the afternoons, as my summer schedule has me working mornings. They made an offer on the perfect house, only to be overbid.  Really, two offers in the same day!  (To the right is the lovely backyard of that house.)

So I was asked to spend Wednesday afternoon with the agent, theoretically to find the perfect rental.  zorella3As if.  (The agent said a few times that she had a nice house near xyz, if we weren’t so picky about the schools…) There was one in our old neighborhood, but my daughter didn’t like the kitchen’s tile and dark cabinets and old appliances (see right).

I had taken copious notes, and the agent had taken photos to supplement the listings’,  but I wasn’t about to make a choice, have it be wrong, and hear about it for the next two years.  So… they’re flying in again on Sunday for three days to find another perfect one.  Luckily the hospital pays for two trips, and they have friends to take in the kids, as they’re still in school.

More to come.

blue 003CSA

Sometimes they give us flowers as well as veggies, but of course the flowers come from vegetables, as these artichokes.  (They were prettier yesterday but I forgot to take the photo then.)  I am happy to have the flowers (you can only eat so much kale), but many people are disappointed to get non-edibles.

Minutiae

Filled in the Census online.  Had to look up a bunch of answers like what was your water bill for the year.  Bet lots of people just make up a number, but as a math instructor, I’m precise.

Wanted to know if my Japanese car had to get its airbags replaced.  Called my car repair shop.  They had me call the dealer, who, after getting my VIN number, said no.  But also found this online: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues

My old dentist has retired and I’ve been putting off my six-month checkup when I got a coupon in the mail, complete X-rays and cleaning for only  $59. Deal.  The dentist (mea culpa, I hadn’t had X-rays in a while) said that I had two cavities, but one was in a wisdom tooth, so I ought just to have those two out before they caused more problems.  Plus I need four sessions of periodontal scaling, where they clean beneath the gum line. (I do not have gingivitis, so this is just prevention.)  Then she gave me a tri-fold brochure for a discount dental program. They claim it’s not insurance, and you pay just $99 a year (plus $19 processing fee), but insurance companies just give you a discount, so the distinction is minute.

Having turned into a suspicious person, as everyone seems to have their hand out, I figured that she needed work in a new practice. Really, I had the other two wisdom teeth out 35 years ago, and when that dentist (or maybe it was the oral surgeon) suggested that I get all four out, since I would already be under anesthesia, I suspected him of needing to pay off a new Mercedes. If that tooth has only had one cavity in 50 years, if filled, why shouldn’t it go another 50?

Still looking over different insurance policies.

Vacations

You may have seen this before:

These are actual complaints received from dissatisfied customers by Thomas Cook Vacations (based on a Thomas Cook/ABTA survey)4:
1. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”
2. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time — this should be banned.”
3. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”
4. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price.”
5. “The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room.”
6. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow.”
7. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.”
8. “No one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared.”
9. “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”
10. “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”
11. “The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun.”
12. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”
13. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends’ three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller.”
14. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the resort’. We’re trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service.”
15. “There were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners.”
16. “We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning.”
17. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”
18. “I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes.”
19. “My fiance and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”

lin-1

1http://hardnoxandfriends.com/2015/05/26/texas-floods-claimed-over-350-homes-damaged-thousands-more/
2http://www.newsweek.com/does-texas-deserve-federal-aid-texas-storms-338297
3http://www.imagekb.com/storms
4http://www.huffingtonpost.com/blogdramedy/idiotic-travel-complaints_b_4073107.html

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7 Responses to “Texas Storms”

  1. Price Says:

    I enjoyed the tourist’s remarks, particularly from the little “tart” who ended up with child – these have to have been made up by a set of comedians.

    • notesfromthewest Says:

      I checked with snopes.com and googled the company. They seem legit. (But the complainant might have been laughing when he/she said that the beach was too sandy…)

  2. Price Says:

    Actually I do remember a bike trip through Spain (southern) in 2006 and everyone in the little towns spoke Spanish – what’s up with that? AND, in Tibet last month the yak herders were certainly not speaking English.

  3. Moira Geoffrion Says:

    The Thomas Cook one was hysterical, …my brother sent it to me also. Opening at Davis Dominguez tomorrow for SMALL THINGS CONSIDERED which I am in and then our daughter Sabrina dances a solo with Zuzi Co. in Raices Gallery at 7:00 for the closing of Mujeres Mujeres (women artists show). Best Moira

    Moira Marti Geoffrion

    Tucson, AZ 520.906.0528

    Date: Fri, 5 Jun 2015 23:19:38 +0000 To: moiramg@msn.com

  4. Jim Says:

    We recently went a dentist in Palo Alto; she found thousands of dollars of work that urgently needed to be done. We went to the Faculty Practice at the University School of Dentistry, to get a second opinion. Dr. Sheila Brear informed us that no dental work is need.

    Americans, unlike Europeans, whine about everything.
    Is it surprising that they are called “Ugly Americans” everywhere.

    The sweethearts who conceived a child, might not want that complaint read by their child.

    American government has become a plutocracy, whether governed by Republicans or Democrats. If democracy cannot be restored by populist vote, it will be restored by a short bloody revolution – thanks to Jefferson’s constitutional Amendment II:

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of of a free State, the Right of the people to Keep and Bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    • notesfromthewest Says:

      That’s a good idea – going to a school of dentistry. I actually was going to go to Pima’s school of dentistry before I got the coupon, but was deterred by their “ad” on the Pima website saying you needed to leave 2 hours free. Was difficult last semester w/ my schedule.

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