Retiring is an exhausting process

chores involving Social Security, Medicare…

Retirement planI was surprised to discover that retiring, which I have been looking forward to, is an exhausting process. Maybe I thought it’d be better because my employer has engaged a company to make it “easier.”

The company, which I will call Noah, had a representative contact me a week before our scheduled phone meeting. He said, “Hey, do you want to put your medical providers in the database? It’ll help you decide what coverage to get after you retire.”

“Sure.” I’m always willing to let other people do tedious work for me. Later, I put in my medications in the system. Then a couple weeks after that, I got an email from Noah, requesting that I put the list of medical providers in the database.

I go to into the system, and sure enough, the provider list is no longer there. Stuff happens, no big deal. I try to re-enter the list of doctors. No luck.

I call Noah, and that rep can’t enter the information either. This guy tells me he’ll have someone call me when it’s fixed, probably later that day. A week and a half later, I finally get the message. I STILL need to enter that info.

Oh, and I have chores involving Social Security, Medicare, my current insurance company, my credit union (for automatic deposit), and a bunch of other things. If I were RETIRED, I’d have time for all this.

Another rant, related only in that I wanted a working DVD player for retirement. I ordered one online in March. We put in a disc, which plays great. But it doesn’t eject, yet the screen says the slot is empty. After too much of a back-and-forth, I’m STILL waiting for a box to ship it back to get repaired.

All of this is an exhausting process. What will I do when I finally DO retire? All the things I’ve postponed the past month to do “later.”

Flat-earthers, Social Security, facts

“The sun is not as far away as we’ve been told, nor is the moon.”

flat earthThis guy from my hometown wrote 300 words on the travesty of the Republicans, who, after cutting taxes for the wealthy, plan to cut Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. “We are talking old folk and the disabled who are living on so few bucks they are cutting their prescription pills in half to get through the month.”

He pointed out that we’ve seen this movie before. It’s a rerun from 1981 under Reagan in 1981, and income inequality has ballooned since then. Other advanced countries provide better pensions, nearly complete healthcare “and at a cost half of the inflated American prices.”

I wrote, cheekily, “Sorry, it sounds as though you are using facts. This is painfully obvious to you and me, but I’m having my doubts to convince those who bought the Kool-Aid.” He thought I ought to expand on this somehow, but it’s difficult. The hardly liberal Forbes magazine notes Social Security Does Not Add To The Federal Deficit.

When I watched CBS News Sunday Morning recently and there are flat-earthers trying to launch themselves into space in order to see if there’s REALLY curvature beyond the horizon because it looks flat to them, it pains me. Somewhere along the way, “Question authority”, a mantra of my growing up period, became “Doubt everything.”

As the story notes, they believe the “Moon is only a few miles up. We’ve been lied to on such a massive scale!” Photos of the Earth from space are “Completely and utterly false.” And “The sun is not as far away as we’ve been told, nor is the moon. They’re probably about the same size…”

“In short, Flat Earthers don’t believe much of anything unless they see it for themselves. They believe NASA is just part of a broad conspiracy.”

There was a period when you could have a fruitful debate about the philosophy of government, economic policy, scientific theory, differences in religion, and the like. But I wouldn’t argue with some people, who are non-historic, anti-science. There is just no point.

Worse, because of the “false equivalence” belief that even the most inane theories are somehow equally valid, it adds to the noise on social media.

Names not the same, state to state

Ariza; Zyquavious; Kinnick; Khodee; Hudaifa; Petie; Autzen; Neyland; Korver (52 of 90).

There’s this website to which I subscribe, before it became a paid site. A recent email reads:

“Since 2010, 71% of babies named ‘Morrissey’ have been born in California (Californians really love the Smiths). Over the same period, 62 of the 99 babies born ‘Krymson’ entered the world in Alabama (where delivery rooms echo with shouts of ‘Roll Tide!’).

“These findings come to us through a rabbit hole of a query, which scours the latest Social Security Administration data for names where more than 50% of births are from a given state. Want to know which baby names are most characteristic of your state?”

There are an amazing 263 names for which at least half the people so named in the country were from the Empire State. Forty-eight names ONLY show up in New York, such as Trany (89 times) and Ruchel (82). Then there are those names that predominate here, such as Frimet (116 out of 118), Brucha (114 of 116), and Chany (337 of 344).

Other large absolute numbers: Malky (603 of 635), Gitty (714 of 805), Faigy (668 of 754), Raizy (556 of 628), and Yakov (548 of 707).

I figured California might have a lot of qualifying names; there were 63. It had eight names only found in the Golden State, including all seven of the people named Hovik. Also Hayk(85 of 100), Narek (111 of 153), Armen (108 of 174), and Curren (107 of 208).

Hawaii has 33 names where it predominates, including all 8 folks named Kiai and Kuhao, 31 of the 34 people named Hilinai. Mahina (85 of 143) and Nainoa (87 of 126) are well represented.

All 6 persons named Sanjuanita are in Texas, with a total of 28 names on the list. Other names specific to the Lone Star State: Brazos (89 of 98), Kinsler (181 of 247), Roel (252 of 369), and Debanhi (124 of 202).

Pennsylvania has 8 names listed, including Khayr (all 5), Coopar (13 of 14), and the distinctly Amish name Benuel (95 of 136).

All the 6 New Jersey names listed have between 50.5% and 57.6% of the country, including Brocha (74 of 134), Avrohom (344 of 663), and Binyomin (133 of 263).

The 5 Illinois names noted are Szymon (79 of 113), Augustas (5 of 8), Oliwia (44 of 82), Zuzanna (112 of 219), and
Kacper (165 of 325).

Two of the four Florida names are very similar: Dawens (6 of 7), Juvens (11 of 14), Marvens (84 of 118) and Marvins (10 of 19).

The three names from Louisiana: Jamyri (all 6), Jarden (5 of 8), and Amyri (44 of 82).

Massachusetts prefers Joaolucas (6 of 8) and Mariaeduarda (37 of 69).

These states had only one special name each. Arizona – Ariza (191 of 231); Georgia – Zyquavious (6 of 10); Iowa -Kinnick (202 of 257); Maryland – Khodee (5 of 8); Minnesota – Hudaifa (5 of 5); Missouri – Petie (5 of 5); Oregon -Autzen (6 of 8); Tennessee – Neyland (151 of 192); Utah – Korver (52 of 90).

Why I find this fascinating, besides the fact that the information exists at all, is that it is a reflection of the familial, ethic and social fabric of a given location.

The database also can track the most gender-neutral name of the decade. With Rooney, a baby with this name is only 0.29% more likely to be a baby girl than a baby boy. Other gender-neutral names include Clarke, Amory, and Cypress.

The Lydster: Part 74: No Isabella Green

Lydia is trending upward too, but not TOO common…

VERY early on in this blog, I delineated the rules for naming the daughter. Primary among them: “No name in the top 10 in the Social Security list of most popular baby names for the most recent year available, which was then 2002.

Note: Rank 1 is the most popular, rank 2 is the next most popular, and so forth. Name data are from Social Security card applications for births that occurred in the United States.

Among the names that were under consideration were these:
Continue reading “The Lydster: Part 74: No Isabella Green”