Tuesday, July 22, 2014

As Seen From A Bike

A doe and her two fawns this morning.

Looking Out For Her Constituents

Cathy McMorris Rodgers posted this on her Facebook timeline yesterday. Surprisingly, the majority of the comments are calling her out on her hypocrisy.


So what's the deal here? Medicare Advantage Plans are still Medicare but they're offered by private companies. These companies must follow the Medicare reimbursement rules, but they can charge different out-of-pocket expenses and they can set different rules for obtaining services like specifying which doctor or facility you can go to. (Remember how our congresswoman was so concerned with the government telling you where to go for health care? Not so much when it's a private company doing the same thing.) Medicare beneficiaries are not required to use Medicare Advantage, but they can if they choose to. And they can choose which plan they want. The term of each plan is one year. There's a ton of information about Medicare Advantage that eligible persons need to research before they make a choice.

One part of the Affordable Care Act contained a reduction in subsidies to Medicare Advantage. Remember the $700 billion Medicare talking point? The reduction is in payments to private companies. Medicare Advantage subsidies are a huge part of their profit line. From a Kaiser News article:

At UnitedHealth Group, one insurance giant, Medicare Advantage plans account for a fourth of all profits, said Ana Gupte, an industry analyst for Leerink Partners. Another, Humana, owes two-thirds of its profit to Medicare Advantage, she said.

So you can see why the insurance companies are against lowering the subsidies. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Children Of The Sun Trail Maintenance

Last week I called the state DOT maintenance office and asked if they were going to sweep the trail. I was told that because of the budget they were focusing on road repair. Sweeping the trail has not worked its way up the priority list yet.

I also told them about the mini-sinkholes in the asphalt on both ends of the bridge crossing Farwell. That got their attention and they patched those up quickly.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Just Hangin' Out

...on my pergola.

Bike Project

Some time ago I obtained a free Fuji Sundance Juice Sparkler 10-speed and I've been wondering what to do with it. Since I'm getting more into the nuts and bolts of bikes I've decided to strip this one down, repaint it, and make a fixed gear. I got everything apart except the crank. I'll be paying Pedals2People a visit since they have the tools I need. More later as this progresses.

Not in as good as shape as this one.

 Sold by Two Wheel Transit back in the day.

 Cheap sticker instead of a badge.

 More stickers.

Just need a crank puller to finish.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Jedermann Grand Fondo

This was my first time riding the Jedermann Grand Fondo. I signed up for the 100 miles. The first 40 minutes went great. There was a long double pace line and we were moving right along. Fortunately I brought two water bottles because I lost one. 

After getting a drink, I told myself, "Don't drop the bottle because there's a buttload of riders behind you, Hank." I looked down to make sure I was putting the bottle in its cage, thought I had it, and then let it go. Off it went to my right side onto the shoulder.

Cries of, "BOTTLE!" cascaded behind me. 

Things changed after we turned onto Williams Lake Road and we hit a couple of climbs. The strong riders pulled ahead and I straggled behind. Just to make it interesting, a strong wind was in our faces for the first 50 miles until we got to Harrington. What a relief it was to turn and go with the wind. 

I slogged along solo until the Edwall food stop at the 75-mile mark. I connected with Larry who I had been chatting with earlier on the ride. We finished the ride together, making the last of the miles much more enjoyable than suffering in solitary. Almost all of those last miles were with the wind, which helped our damaged psyches a lot. We finished just under seven hours.

Thanks to Emde Sports and all the volunteers for putting on a great ride.

The t-shirt.

 The food.

 The pancakes!

The first 40 minutes.

 The last six hours.

 Somebody flatted. 

 Same somebody flatted again.

 The EPO gods denied me.

 Third flat's a charm. Fixed with a for reals $5.00 tire patch.

Found me some beach front property.