Unsettled. Deeply unsettled.

too much insurance

unsettled.face-on-the-sun.enIn early 2022, I have felt deeply unsettled. The snow/ice event was an amazing time suck. I spent a minimum of 12 hours chopping ice over five days, and it was exhausting.

Returning the unwanted devices made me anxious because I needed to get them within 14 days. Not two weeks from when I got them but a fortnight after their package was sent. I went to one of those FedEx drop boxes, which was very convenient, even though I felt the persons checking me out gave me the vibe that I was some sort of terrorist dropping off an explosive device. And I’m still unclear about whether I’ve been compromised, though Experian seems to think not.

One of those annoying things I, and most retirees, have to deal with is a ton of solicitations from Medicare Supplement providers. And for a time I had two of these insurance policies. This was NOT a good thing. This involved getting reimbursed for the insurance I no longer had, paying for the new insurance, and waiting for reimbursement for that. Plus the hassle of contacting all of my medical providers.

Other passings

I’ve discussed Paul Weinstein, who I had last seen when his daughter and my daughter were inducted into the honor society in November; I attended his funeral. The choir sang at the funeral of Michael Attwell, with whom I had sung on Christmas Eve.

I had briefly mentioned Kay Olin Johnson, a fellow member of the Olin Family Society, who I last spoke with on 15 January. Subsequently, she commented on my Facebook page how much she enjoyed talking with me. Then she died on 22 January. On 3 February I contacted someone in my old office for Reasons and discovered that Kay had sent mail to my wife and me there.

It was forwarded a week later. Kay had sent her holiday greetings. She wrote of home improvements she did finish in 2021 but promised pictures of the changes in December 2022. She likewise suggested some genealogical news in the coming year. But mostly, her letter was about her far-flung family, who she greatly appreciated, especially since her husband Don had died 31 years earlier.

Betty Curtis, who died 11 Feb was an extremely talented member of my church choir and very generous of spirit. She was the one person who dealt well with a certain cranky soul. She was active in that choir from at least the 1960s to just a few years ago. Her birthday was a couple of days after mine. And she LOVED her Butler Bulldogs men’s basketball team. Her funeral is upcoming.

Health Care in America

It’s always disturbing to me when people are forced to start, or their friends initiate a Go Fund Campaign for someone’s health care. It’s more irritating when it’s someone I know.  Ken Screven, a well-known TV reporter in this area “faces mounting medical bills.”  His friends started a GoFundMe campaign and raised over $33,000, crushing the goal of $25,000.

But should this be the way we do health in this country?


At my daughter’s high school this past Thursday, two freshmen got into an altercation. Then one cut both the other kid and a hall monitor. The school went into lockdown; my daughter texted me that neither the students nor the adults in her room were quiet, as is recommended. Incidentally, the alleged assailant, 14, was hiding in the cafeteria with the other students until he was found out.

I was most annoyed with the tease for WRGB’s news broadcast. “Violence boils over at Albany High School.” The following day was remote, the third school district that went to distance learning that week for non-COVID reasons.

My daughter had already had experienced a rough week, so this did not help.

I read the news today

A crazy lady was complaining about the gazpacho police. Another GOP MOC says Americans must own enough weapons to overthrow the government if 30-40% agree on “tyranny”.

But I was most distressed by a former president hiding or destroying government docs. This goes beyond mere politics. This is proof – once again – that he doesn’t understand that the Presidency is a trust.

Also, not just the country but much of the world is at war over COVID mandates. I’m not quite to the surrender mode yet, but I’m teetering. Hey, I could say, I’ve got my three shots, and I’d get a fourth if suggested. I’m going to keep wearing my mass indoors, so don’t bother me if you don’t like it. But it seems the fight is tearing the fabric of society apart. It is wearying, as is the possibility of another Greek letter.

There are other things, but these are the big ones. The cumulative effect has left me unsettled.

Paul Weinstein (1963-2022)

a good dad

I had to do the math. It was only two and a half years at the most between the time I met Paul Weinstein, and when his then-wife Nikki invited us to Paul’s surprise 50th birthday party in the early spring of 2012. That has to be right because his daughter and mine were classmates in first grade.

I remember that party exceedingly well, given how long ago it was. It was at a very nice wine bar in downtown Albany, closed to the general public. Paul introduced my wife and especially me to a lot of his friends.

Paul was one of those people who was fully engaged in caring about who he was talking with. That said, he was always highly complimentary of how smart I was, sometimes to my slight embarrassment. Part of that might have been the JEOPARDY effect. But some of it was our separate times in Binghamton, me growing up there, him going to college at the university.

He also wished the best for our daughter, often recommending extracurricular activities for her to try, such as archery, which his daughter participated in. I’m not sure we ever took any of his suggestions.

There were quite a few dads who participated in activities at the elementary school, such as Walk Your Child To School or preparing simple breakfast snacks at the school. Paul was always the most enthusiastic.

At West Lawrence and Madison

Generally, I’d see Paul Weinstein in the neighborhood, a lot. It was often at a corner two blocks away, whether he was on foot or in his car. The last time I saw him was there and he suggested we get together. Right after I retired in 2019, he recommended we go biking together. As is often the case, these things never happened.

My wife and I had the same reaction to the announcement of his sudden death. We can’t believe it. He appeared healthy and happy and engaged in life. My condolences to his two kids, who seemed to adore him. And also to his ex-wife. Even though they couldn’t live together – and I believe they tried – it seems that they still had a love for each other.

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