Daily Reads

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Family, gotta love them

I've been trying to explain to my parents why I'm not currently job hunting, and why I'm not going to be taking any classes this summer.  My mother understands, perhaps because she's gone through something moderately similar with her hip replacement.

My father has been wondering aloud on a daily basis why I'm not job hunting right now, and explaining that no one is going to want to hire someone who will have to go out on medical leave for at least two months hasn't cut it. I'm obviously just being a wuss.  And then earlier this week he ran into a young man on campus with his arm in a sling and got talking to him.  The kid had a similar surgery to what I'm going to have, but his was about two months ago. He's still using a sling a lot of the time, and his rehab team have just started letting him use his hand to pick up relatively light-weight objects, like a cup of coffee.

Suddenly with outside, independant verification (NIH, Mayo clinic, Yale, etc online apparently don't count/sigh) Dad can suddenly understand what I've been talking about for over a month and why I'm doing what I'm doing (or not doing).

So now I just have to fill out paperwork to see if I can be counted as "disabled" either temporarily because of the shoulder (sadly, I think I won't be for long enough unless, God forbid, something goes wrong in surgery) or perrmanently because of the knee. Any degree of disability might make certain types of assistance available, and right now any extra funds coming in will be a Good Thing. Also, sad to say, being officially "Disabled" might make me more employable, because folks still have to tick of those EEOC boxes.  It's stupid, but as long as it's there, I might as well see if I can use it to my advantage. I've got a family to help support.

Now, if anyone can find a job which doesn't mind a new employee leaving for two to three months of medical leave right after starting , I'll be happy to apply. At least I can truthfully say I've never had to leave a job because of something that was my fault.

What accounting and finance classes do to your brain.

I was talking to a family member today about our car insurance rates and found myself using "Time Value of Money" and "Present Value" and "Future Value" in sentences without using air quotes. I can see that these classes will have as much of an effect as working as a tax preparer did.

The more you learn about finance and money, the more it changes how you view everyday stuff.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Cat Valente moans/whines about Puppygate.

Tom Knighten does an superb job fisking the woman here.

There isn't much I can add.  Certainly not on the Hugo front, he says everything much better than I ever could.

But Cat's take on diversity (or what she thinks is the Puppys' definition), which matches the other in-clique writers?

Her attitude towards diversity makes me think of the problems we're having where I live. Our school districts aren't uniform enough, because the state has decided in their infinite wisdom that children can't learn if there isn't the right balance of melanin in a classroom.  It can only be a certain percentage off from the overall town "balance".  (That a proportion of "minority" that is too much in one town isn't enough in another is completely lost on them.)  So we're having to spend thousands coming up with a remediation plan, and then thousands more a year bussing kids who've been going to the same schools for years to opposite sides of the town.  A former board of ed member told me that she's read plans (Agenda 21 maybe) which would involve not allowing people to purchase or rent housing in certain areas based on skin color, to achieve that magical racial diversity.

There is no proof that this will improve anyone's education, and for that matter, stuffing kids on busses for 45 minutes each way can only hurt, taking away homework and play time, and irritating the heck out of them when they wonder why they have to be bussed past the school they've attended for years to one where the only kids they know are the other poor bussees.

I've been arguing for years that all this sort of crap does is tell kids what hypocrites adults are.  We spend years preaching at them about how they need to ignore skin color and concentrate on content of character. Then we turn around and tell them that they have to change schools because they don't have the right color skin to keep going to the one down the street.

How does this functionally differ from having two water fountains labeled "Black" and "White", or having a diner with a sign "No blacks"?  Yes, blacks (and hispanics, and asians, and [insert minority group here] are allowed entry to all establishments, but only if they pass a "racial balance" test now. If their presence would make too many of [minority group], they can't enter, they have to go a mile down the street to the next restaurant, and hope that not too many of [minority group] are already seated at that one too.

One of those weeks

I spent Thursday trying to get my schedule for the fall semester sorted out. I had called Iowa day before to tell them that the college had never recieved my transcript only to find out that they had never sent one.

Iowa: But you only ordered one, to be sent to your home address.
Me: No, I ordered two, one for me, one for TRCC. I can't use the one for me for them since it's been opened and is no longer "official".
Iowa: We only billed you for one.
Me: (thinking of bill for $32, $16 each), but I know I ordered two!
Iowa: Well, let me check the files..... Oops.  We'll get it out tomorrow.

Thursday involved going to the cashier's to see why I still hadn't recieved my studnet loan check (there's only 4 weeks left in the semester, for heaven's sake!).  So the poor guy looks it up, sees where we asked them to cancel the first one I never received and sent out a new one. He calls someone (I think) in Hartford, and they check, and.... the request was never processed. I just put my head down on the counter and started laughing. Hopefully it will get sent out this week.  We could really, really use the funds which I was supposed to get over a month ago.

So later Thursday, as I'm taking a break and getting ready to microwave my dinner I try to sign up for my fall classes, to have every single one of the not go through because they all require me to have been placed in English 101.  So I got to spend an hour in admin, part of it waiting, and then part with a counsellor who agreed that if I already had BA from UConn, I should definitely meet the requirement of being placed in English 101, so she manually overrode it, and I'm finally registered.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Surgery it is.

I got the MRI report today, and was ludicrously happy for reading such a crappy report. It's just that finally I've got some solid evidence explaining why everything hurts the way it does. It's not just "all in my head", or "You're over-reacting", or (my father's favorite) "hypersensitive". I'd love to see how cranky he would be if his ribs had hurt like mine have 24/7 for the past 25 years. I'd love to see it, but not have to deal with it, mind you.

I haven't torn my rotator cuff tendons, which is, I suppose, a good thing. I have pretty much destroyed everything they attach too though. It sounds like there essentially nothing left of the posterior glenoid labrum, and tears in the superior and anterior. The only thing still intact (maybe) is the inferior quarter.

Aren't I special?

So they're calling the insurance, and once they get approval, I'll get a call for scheduling.  We're going to have to push this off into very late May or early June, and it's a good thing I hadn't signed up for any summer semester classes yet. This will probably put getting my accounting BS/BA off by a semester, though I may be able to catch up later, but we need to fix this, and it's only going to get worse, so...

I need to fill out the paperwork to see if the state will label me "disabled", at least for the short term, because there is no way I'm going to be able to start a job if I'm going to be out for six to eight weeks right after starting.

But hopefully, I'll stop needing to muffle my screams in public when I move the wrong way and less pain is always good.  It was a little disconcerting to have the surgeon start out by saying that they'd be planning on arthroscopic, but might have to switch to open.  That's always a given, but usually not so large a chance that they say it up front like that.

So off to do some accounting homework.  I've got three of my tests back, with a 94, an 88, and a 93, though I'm contesting one of the missed questions on that last one.  It was on quickbooks, and supposedly the correct answer for how to export a report to excel was to open the report window and then hit the "Export" Button.  The problem is, that there is no "Export" button; there is an "Excel" button with a drop down menu, and neither of those if "Export" either. I'd answered to go into the report and hit the "Excel" button.  So I've asked him to look at it. I wonder if the test question which is from a test bank, is based on an earlier version of QuickBooks, and hasn't been updated?

Monday, April 20, 2015

A sigh of relief

I finished the exam week from heck tonight. Five exams, each worth at least 20% of the grade for their respective courses in six days.  I did the last two online this afternoon (or technically I guess yesterday afternoon?). I've got feed back on one already, and only an 88, but that leaves me running a 97, so I shouldn't freak too badly.  And it's in Principles of Finance, which isn't my best course anyway.

I spent the rest of the evening doing logic puzzles and watching episodes of Grimm, Agents of SHEILD, and Fringe.

And I got one of the Sasquan "scholarships" that Mary Robinette Kowal organized.  I'm really looking forward to receiving the voter packet.  I suspect there will be some difficult choices.  I haven't read any of the nominated works this year, so if nothing else I'll be busy.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring! (maybe)

Just so this blog doesn't look like I died...

We seem to have finally had spring arrive in our neck of the woods. The rest of the country may have had the warmer winter than usual to make the AGW folks happy, but we missed it and saw more snow this year and last than most of the previous decade put together.  We had frost the day after Spring was official.  But our daffadils are finally starting to poke their heads up though no blooms yet.  It's time to shift the bunny hutch so we can dig out the rest of the winter's fertilizer production, and add some more blocks underneath to raise it a bit further.  They will probably complain bitterly because it will make it harder for them to interact with the local wildlife. But for today at least they are happy lying flat like little fur rugs soaking up the sun.

I'm procrastinating, having five exams in five classes this week.  I swear that university and college types get together and decide to put all their exams the same week every time. I'm hoping to get my summer and fall registration done tomorrow or the next day, though this summer will be online and the two courses will be at two different institutions from my home college, though at least part of the same system.  I think the state would save a lot of money if they'd make the community colleges one big instutition with 12 campuses rather than 12 separate colleges.  The registration system is already integrated; you can check for courses on all 12 sites at once.  The state university system isn't as integrated, but at least there are only 4 of them. I'll have to take one course there, at more per credit than the community college charges for the whole course.  But at least I don't have to take any from the flagship university, which costs nearly twice the state university charges.  I'm so glad my youngest was accepted into the local middle college program and will graduate from high school with a college transcript and 20 or more credits.

I won't go on about the shoulder issue right now except to say that my current ortho is talking surgery.  I demanded another MRI to assess the changes from last fall before the current problems; I don't want anyone going in essentially on spec, especially when it will probably leave me functionally one armed for two months or more.  I'm also looking for a second opinion, preferable from someone who specializes in shoulders.

So now I'll try to get back onto the review work, and some more pain meds.  I suppose I should be happy so much I have to do right now is not on the computer, making this sort of procrastination harder. 8)