YAY!

We were fair­ly sure of this right after I final­ly had my Social Secu­ri­ty hear­ing last month based on the very pos­i­tive state­ments from the judge, but I didn’t want to jinx any­thing. We got the offi­cial let­ter in the mail today, say­ing that the deci­sion was “ful­ly favor­able!” SQUEE!

It will still take some time for that deci­sion to bounce around the bureau­cra­cy and get month­ly pay­ments start­ed, much less get the back pay from the SSA. Because the onset date was years ago, I should be eli­gi­ble for Medicare right away, but I’ll need to talk to the attor­ney about that on Mon­day.

I real­ly need­ed some good news, so the tim­ing is mar­velous.

This process has been an insane endurance con­test. The fact that the SSA has been absolute­ly obstruc­tion­ist through­out (and I know my expe­ri­ence is far from unique!) is ridicu­lous. The sys­tem demands that peo­ple who are most in need of help are least like­ly to get it in any time­ly fash­ion, because it takes so much per­sis­tence, jar­gon, and inside knowl­edge to get any­where. If you can do all those forms and gath­er all the records and so on by your­self, I don’t know that you should count as dis­abled! Even peo­ple with good sup­port in oth­er ways don’t always have some­one will­ing, able, and per­sis­tent who can and will spend the hours and hours of time to push a claim through.

I start­ed the fil­ing process for one rea­son: I need­ed sta­ble access to health­care so that I could get well enough to go back to work. Five years down the line, I’m not at all sure that I will be able to return to work, because my health has dete­ri­o­rat­ed so much that it may not be pos­si­ble to get back to an “abled” state. How many years of pro­duc­tive lives are being in the U.S. wast­ed for lack access to health­care?

I get annoyed every time I hear a talk­ing head refer to plans to “insure” every­one. That isn’t what we need! Plen­ty of peo­ple have health insur­ance and still don’t get the actu­al health care they need because they can’t afford the co-pays, or the insur­er won’t cov­er a par­tic­u­lar drug or ther­a­py, or there are pre-exist­ing con­di­tion prob­lems, or…

We need health care. Not divid­ed up by age (this for kids, that for seniors, some­thing else for work­ing age peo­ple, oh, right, the dis­abled here) by uni­ver­sal car, the same care for every­one, for the whole body, cra­dle to grave. (Who ever decid­ed that eyes and teeth should be sep­a­rat­ed out, any­way? That’s stu­pid.)

I read an art­cle about San Francisco’s health pro­gram last week–if I can find a link I’ll add it lat­er. It does just what I described, from what that arti­cle says. I don’t know how much it costs to join, but appar­ent­ly there’s a lot of out­reach to peo­ple who are oth­er­wise unin­sured. There are no pre-exist­ing con­di­tions.

Does any­one know of pro­grams like San Francisco’s else­where in the U.S.?

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Nifty! Know a girl aged 8–11?

Via the ines­timable : Teach­ing girls to pro­gram
“Kids learn­ing to sto­ry­board, brain­storm, cri­tique, design, pitch ideas, psue­docode, actu­al­ly code, and make toys do things.”

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Dollhouse Fans? TV stuff

Do any of you maybe record Doll­house? We don’t do cable, so Katie and I have been watch­ing it stream­ing on Hulu. This com­ing Friday’s episode isn’t going to be streamed, though, and we don’t want to miss it. Any chance of some help? Pret­ty please?

It’s fair­ly amaz­ing how much you can find to watch online now. Legal­ly! I used to get the CSI DVDs from Net­flix when they were released each year, and watch the whole sea­son in a marathon. Now we watch all three CSI shows on the CBS web site. The same goes for NCIS and Numb3rs. While the site says you can see full episodes of The Men­tal­ist, I haven’t found a way to do it. ABC has The Unusu­als and Cas­tle stream­ing. Burn Notice, Chuck, Bones, and Lie to Me are all on Hulu.

There’s anoth­er show we watch once every few weeks, um, Leg­end? Leg­ends? Some­thing about a Seek­er. I can’t han­dle more of it than that, because the plots rely heav­i­ly on stu­pid­i­ty. That’s too annoy­ing, and while there are pret­ty peo­ple run­ning around in nice scenery, it isn’t enough to make up for the stup.

Com­cast keeps send­ing more and more plain­tive offers, try­ing to get us to sub­scribe to their cable TV and tele­phone ser­vice. When we did sub­scribe to cable, we didn’t get around to watch­ing much. We don’t chan­nel surf or just leavve the set on for noise, so it was wast­ed mon­ey. I sup­pose if we’d also got­ten a Tivo or some­thing sim­i­lar, we would have record­ed the shows we watch. But we didn’t, so we still watched them online when we did watch them.

We can still use the tele­vi­sion to view shows, thnks to a nifty cable Sam pro­cured. That’s bet­ter than watch­ing on a com­put­er mon­i­tor, and we can watch togeth­er. (It isn’t much fun watch­ing alone.)

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Time Flies

I used to get so annoyed when my moth­er would say, “Twen­ty years from now, nobody will know the dif­fer­ence.” She was wrong in a sense—I cer­tain­ly still know the dif­fer­ence, about so very many things.

On the oth­er hand, I do under­stand the longer view much bet­ter now. Twen­ty years seemed like such a long time then, and now? It’s so very short.

In any case, Katie did get home from her trip to the great north­west. She had a mar­velous time and thinks she has found her school.

I’m real­ly proud of her. She planned this trip, to a place nei­ther she nor any of us had ever been before, all by her­self. She went with­out a qualm, had a mar­velous time, man­aged her mon­ey mar­velous­ly, and made some great new friends.

Since then she also went to her first LARP. Again, she had a mar­velous adven­ture, lots of fun, and found a new thing she enjoys. I think we need to acquire camp­ing equip­ment.

Sam has start­ed play­ing Burn­ing Wheel with a group of local peo­ple. He real­ly enjoys the game. I’m glad to see him get­ting out and hav­ing some social time with oth­ers.

I had a big thing hap­pen, but I’m going to stay qui­et about it a lit­tle longer, ’til it’s also a sure thing.

In the mean­time, I’ve found a nice out­let for my OCD urges as a “librar­i­an” at Good Reads.

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