my jaundiced eye

the absurdities of life

Month: November, 2016

a devastating loss


It is with an extremely heavy heart that MJE has to inform my readers of a devastating loss suffered by the OB&C. On Saturday last his beloved 2001 S150 chevy truck was stolen from the driveway in nola in an act that can only be described as wantonly malicious, cruel and idiotic. His agony was compounded by the fact that he had within the truck triple backups to everything he might need should he suffer a zombie attack or the apocalypse. Plus his spare keys to not only the truck but to every other lock he has ever come into contact with during the course of his lifetime, including but not limited to his lab at the university of washington from 1988, his lab at tulane dating from 1992, his prior truck, a ford ranger which was melted down in 1996, three boat sheds, a storage unit, the current lab, the apartment, two houses (well four if you include the two houses we used to own), two gates, his bike and a friend’s roof rack.

If memory serves, he also had three tire jacks, a large collection of music cassette tapes, about twelve bungee cords, copies of the home loan statements of two houses, a six pack of paper shop towels, two or three cans of wd-40, graphite, motor oil, gasoline additive, jumper cables, tow cables, a battery tester, three large boxes of tools, a 12’X16’ tarp, an air compressor, a rain poncho, a pair of hunting chest waders and assorted cammo attire, orange plastic hunting tape, two air horns, a bag of satsumas, a three pack of beanie weenies, a couple of quarts of gator aid, several rolls of duct and masking tape, a case of bottled water, bug spray, a big tube of gold bond exzema cream, at least five chap sticks, sharpies, lots of flashlights and extra batteries, ball point pens, small notebooks for jotting down brilliant thoughts, tire gauges, a box of extra large contractor bags, and last but not least checks for a total of $53K which were endorsed and ready for deposit in the company account, on the dashboard. If we’re lucky he didn’t have a copy of his social security card and the folder with all of our passwords in there, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

If there are seven stages of grief, the OB&C has strung that out to at least eighty-two and he’s still on number one. When he noticed that the truck was missing, after having ridden his bike by the empty driveway twice, he borrowed a neighbor’s car and drove all over town looking for it. He even followed some poor man whose truck sort of looked like his but not really, honking and flashing his lights but lost him on the expressway. He is now convinced it was stolen by an hispanic who has now driven it to guatamala where he believes that that particular make, model and year are in very high demand. How he got that notion into his head is anyone’s guess, but I can guarantee that no one will ever be able to disabuse him of it.

The good news is we don’t think the truck was damaged in the heist as there was no broken glass on the empty parking spot. The thief was obviously not only a professional but also extremely clever as he managed to find the hide a key ingeniously hidden under the driver’s side wheel hub. Just goes to show, no mater how shrewd you are, there is always someone who is one step ahead.

MJE is worn out just describing this ordeal and I haven’t even gotten to the part about getting the OB&C out of his state of suspended animation and onto the next stage of grief. Stay tuned, it’s riveting. And exhausting. I need a drink.


president-elect trump


So working my way through the stages of grief after the election of the conald as president. I don’t even know what the stages are but I am pretty sure that I am not very far along. Trying to read the tea leaves in the conald’s selection of members of his transition team which is a crazy quilt of insiders, outsiders and know-nothings. MJE was heartened that the omnipresent campaign sycophant and speech background obscurer c biggie c was summarily dumped from the team’s top teir. May have something to do with the fact that he indicted, convicted and sentenced the conald’s son-in-law’s father to a rather long stretch in the pen for some sort of criminal malfeasance. I suppose it made him feel like a big-shot at the time but turns out it was a big shot in the foot. Ouch.

So the good mr pence has stepped in to oversee the ragtag lot. Better watch his step, don’t want to step on any of those trumpets toes…I’m no historian but I would venture to guess that this is the first presidential transition team that has the children of the candidate as primary advisors, because there are no competent professional governmental experts to rely on? MJE can only speculate that perhaps their primary job is to keep daddy from appointing anyone to key white house positions that might be beyond the pale.

Mission impossible. Blood may be thicker than water but not thick enough in politics. Crazier heads have prevailed and steve bannon, ceo of breitbart news a leading purveyor of alt-right news who helped the conald “hone his message” of anti-immigrant, anti-muslim, misogyny etc. has been picked to become “chief strategist.” For a man so obsessed with image, it seems odd that the conald would choose someone who looks like he was just dragged out of a skid row gutter.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but the conald’s vagaries in staff appointments, in addition to his total ignorance of the basics of governance is truly frightening. His support for far right wing ideology has latinos, gays, muslims and those who condemn hate speech protesting and fearing for their future and the future of their country.

On the other hand, the government has managed to do almost nothing for the last four years so let’s just hope that trend continues.   #stasisrocks!



and the winner is…



and the winner is....-1.jpg

oh no! bama care


MJE is going to take a quick commercial break from politics and tackle another topic just this once. Obama care.

This program is in the headlines right now because it has been announced that premiums may go up as much as twenty five percent in the coming year…. AAAAGGGGHHH….zombies are on the front porch, help me! They’re eating my dog and tromping on my landscaping!

I’m not sure where people get their health insurance but from a lifetime of paying premiums to BC/BS I can state without fear of contradiction that my premiums rose about 20% on average every year. And hello, did I hear anyone screaming about it, no I didn’t because the fact of the matter is that insurance companies of every stripe have you by the short hairs. What are you going to do, say screw you and get insurance somewhere else…oops, then you get into the whole pre-existing condition fun house, or the you’re pretty old to be shopping around septic tank, or whatever other excuse they can haul out to either deny you coverage or to charge you ten times what your current provider does. Better the devil you know than the one you don’t. And when they get tired of you because you actually filed a claim, you’re dropped like one of the conald’s wives…I was lucky enough to get sick when I was 64, maxed out my annual and lifetime deductions and finally got a portion of my pound of flesh out of my long and costly association with BC/BS…and the best part of it was that as of 1/1/16 I was on medicare and they couldn’t drop me…and people don’t believe in karma?

But BTW, medicare ain’t no picnic either, lower premiums, really? Single payer!!!! Woo hoo!!!! By the time I pay the regular (income adjusted) premium, add the extra part Z to cover the dreaded “donut hole” and the prescription add-on I am at about 140% of what I was paying BC/BS. Which unbeknownst to me is not even available to those of us who have survived long enough to enjoy our golden years unless we are covered by a major corporate insurance plan. You’re in, like it or not. Wanna contest a claim denial, opt for an IRS audit instead, it’s far less labor intensive and stressful.

So the conald (commercial break is over kids) is touting (or trouting in the vernacular) the tired repeal and replace trope. Part of his plan is to offer health savings accounts. Yo, dono! head’s up, HSA’s have been around for decades…and they are great. You sign up for a high deductible health insurance plan and you sock away $5K or so a year into an account that is untaxed as long as you pay medical bills with the funds. But, just so you know, that $5K doesn’t arrive on your doorstep like a publisher’s clearinghouse sweepstakes check, you actually have to have the money to put in there. So say you’re living on $50K a year before taxes, does it seem likely that you might have a spare 10% of your gross income to put in an HSA? Thanks for the thoughtful and incisive input conald.

Then there is the “erasing of state lines” thing…not sure about other providers but BC/BS seems to cover medical expenses incurred over state lines without a problem as long as your doctor is within the BC/BS network. Admittedly, coverage expenses can vary greatly from state to state so MJE is going to give the conald a passing grade for that, although he get’s an f for originality.

I can’t actually remember what the other parts of his plan were because when he reads from the teleprompter it’s like watching a hostage video, and I have to turn it off and lie down.

But the upshot of the conald’s plan is that everyone is going to have great, really great medical care for a low, really low price and we’re all going to beat the house at black jack. Speaking of which, how does a casino lose money…seriously, how does that happen? Maybe we’ll find out if the conald gets his hands on the us treasury’s checkbook…