Friday, January 20, 2017

Cuffing BP

I'm delighted to discover that I've lowered my reported blood pressure from "mildly hypertensive" to "higher than ideal" by the simple expedient of using a correctly-size cuff.
 I do not feel that I am a large person nor especially fit. But objectively speaking, I am larger than most people and my biceps are larger than most (I tend to compare myself to others at the gym, who are a very fit lot indeed!) My doctor suspected that the reason my home BP readings were higher than her office BP measures (while most patients have higher office visit BPs due to tension) was that I was using a standard sized cuff. I ordered the new gadget with the larger cuff and ha-ha! BP went down.
Now I'm sticking with most of the BP-lowering life changes we had settled on since I *am* still a little elevated, plus they're probably good for me anyway. But this justifies the decision to avoid a prescription at the outset; a more conventional medical treatment might have had me on diuretics for the rest of my life, which would have been expensive, unnecessary and a little bit risky.
It is a good day!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Open Sections Night

This evening I staffed the World Peace Through Law Section's table at Open Sections night, an annual or semiannual WSBA ritual inviting new lawyers to meet and mingle with representatives of our Sections. The intent is to improve the new lawyer process by connecting young (mostly) attorneys with sections relevant to their practice. It's a good recruiting tool for the sections as well.
For the World Peace Through Law section, this is a challenge, as we are not practice-oriented. New lawyers are, for the most part, focussed on getting their careers rolling, not improving the world. Still, it's helpful to introduce ourselves and I always have good conversations.
It's also one of the few times that Section leadership can get together informally and network. I regret having to skip Zumba for the program this time, but I enjoyed the conversation so it's all good.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

DAV 23 Bylaws Committee

Today's commitment was meeting the the DAV 23 Bylaws Committee to go over a draft to present. We made great progress - fully completing the work we needed to get done of preparing a quick draft - but we also practiced working together as a team. Each of the have their quirks (as I suppose I do too haha) and we are getting a good sense of how to work together, which is almost as valuable in itself as editing some bylaws.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Toastmasters Tax Time Tip of the Day!

I enjoy the unrelenting positivity and mutual support of my Toastmasters group, and I feel I could give a little of it back tonight with my "Tip Of The Day" - a short, prepared speech on something educational. Tax time is approaching so I thought the heads-up about tax transcripts would be useful - and I think it was well appreciated.
I also spoke briefly introducing a new guest. She's an ER Nurse and pretty interesting so I enjoyed the introduction for its own sake but also because it was another contribution to the fellowship. I'm glad I stumbled upon this!

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Day of Service

Today I slept in as late as my cats would allow - maybe 6:30. I dropped off donations at the little red thrift store, and took a load of books from Pegasus to the VA Hospital. There I met Bob, the DAV Chapter Commander, to review a demand letter I'd written for the Chapter (... law degree comes through again!) We rendezvous'd back at the Chapter house with the Senior Vice Commander to discuss more organizational stuff; I got away with only two more small assignments (plus mailing the demand letters). I just finished the new stuff and am ready for a little TV, a little reading, and then to bed.
It's a good day! While driving I heard much of MLK's Temple Garden speech, which was new to me, and yet sounded familiar. Perhaps I should practice his speeches as a way of absorbing his values; our times seem difficult and yet surely are easier than his.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Toastmasters Times Two

Today I stopped by the Toastmasters in the building where I work. I can almost certainly get a half-hour off for the meetings (since the other half would be my lunch "hour") and it's a wonder means of professional development, plus meeting people.
I had noticed its lobby sign for about a year, and done nothing. Then I recommended it to James as a sincere attempt to help him with his professional development, after seeing him at a meeting with a perfectly decent short little idea to present, which crashed and burned because he was too shy to present it boldly. He did the work of figuring out that this organization fit our organization's professional development standards and when he told me he had gotten permission to attend, I realize that I wanted to also.
I won Table Topics. I'm good at that lol.
It was a good day!

Health Insurance Follies

During the furlough, my health insurance was continued with the premiums suspended, on condition that I repay them when back into pay status or if I accepted another job. More than a month into the furlough, a letter came with a form to fill out confirming this arrangement, to be mailed back or faxed. I mailed.
Last week I got an email at work saying they would cancel my health insurance, retroactive to the furlough, unless I called within 24 hours. Naturally when I called at 4pm (end of tour) their office was closed and no voicemail. I called the next morning and was told that very likely  they just hadn't processed the mail yet, this happened all the time, and I should fax. So I faxed, although it was not encouraging that they didn't process their mail in a timely way leaving me and all those who trusted their representations about mail to suffer.
Next I got a form in the mail saying my coverage was cancelled because I had not returned the form. This made me angry. Apart from the impact on me personally, the form was designed to anger the recipients because it told a lie: the problem was not that I had not returned the form, but that they had not recorded receiving it. It is never a good idea to say something that you don't know - all the organization knew was that they had no record of receiving the form - they didn't know whether I had received it.
The form said I could apply for reinstatement by sending in a form. I found it on the internet (in another display of lousy customer service, the cancellation notice did not include the form) and faxed it in - taking a photo this time. I will also mail it.
I am disappointed but not surprised at the incompetence of poor customer service. It makes the reactions of those I serve every day more understandable. Let's see how this goes - I really do need the health insurance.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Finance Committee Wednesdays

I am pleased that we have decided to hold regular finance meetings as a household. The housemates are of course their own economic unit, what with being married and all, and they have their own plans. However, the house itself needs plans as well, as the money situation gets more complex.
I am amused at our choice of Wednesday as the evening for the meeting. It is literally the one evening that none of us had devoted to another project, mostly of self-improvement although to be fair weekends are fun. That's a type of self-improvement perhaps.
I have nearly a week to think of how to organize the meeting ... in cooperation with the others, of course ... so that it is effective. No-one likes a meeting that goes on too long, and a meeting that doesn't meet its purposes automatically goes on too long.
I blog about this in part to make a public commitment: we shall meet and we shall accomplish. I rarely make public commitments because I don't like not meeting them, but that is all the more reason for making a public commitment on something important.
Making this complex household work is important!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The Rhythm of Work

Getting back into the swing of regular work is quite a change from my former entrepreneurial life. It is natural to kick against the goad, but at the moment this actually seems like a valuable structure. I have x minutes in the morning and about twice that in the evening with which to get done optional activities. This morning I got a call into my health insurer, which ran a little over so I didn't pack lunch. This lead me to buying lunch at work, confirming the wisdom of packing my lunch every day, no matter how inconvenient.  There was nothing really wrong with the lunch I bought, except that I could have prepared it for about a dollar. I suppose some lessons have to be learned the slow way, including how to get things done between the beats.

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