In other media news, we watched Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Saturday night. If you can imagine Mel Brooks combining Ray, Walk the Line and Forrest Gump, with fewer sight gags, you'd be there. It was funny, stupid, and full of just about every music biopic cliche you can think off. I liked it, but Atapow usually does smarter stuff. It was hilarious to see the Beatles mocked, there where a few other sacred cows gored, too.
I made the gaming meet, and played two new to me games, Power Grid and Small World, I lost in both. I think I prefer Small World to Power Grid, because there's fighting and orcs and elves in it. Power Grid is about generating electricity across Poland, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. I didn't understand the victory conditions until near the end, so I concentrated on connecting cities, when I should have been concentrating on powering cities, I came in last, but one guy is a shark, the other two had played once before.
Small World was a little easier to pick up. We played a five player game, each person chooses a race (elves, dwarves, orcs, giants, tritons, Amazons, etc) with a special power, and tries to conquer a good bit of the board. After a while, one puts their race in decline and chooses another race. You get victory points each turn for territories you've conquered, who ever has the most at the end wins. Apparently it's a redo of Vinci, but I've never played Vinci, so I don't know. It seemed lighter and more fun than Power Grid, I'm considering picking it up.
I was able to replace my turn signal bulb in the Tercel Sunday. I hoped it would be five minutes, but expected it to be 15 minutes. It was five. There was just one screw holding in the turn signal assembly, open the hood, unscrew the screw, pull out the assembly, replace the bulb, push it in, screw it in. Done.
I like to compare that with Mrs. Ha's 88 Ford Escort Wagon (pretty sure I've mentioned this before, I'm getting to the age where I repeat my anecdotes), which had six long screws to remove and replace a bulb, not an onion bulb, though that was the style at the time, to wear a yellow onion bulb tied to your belt, not white which would have better, but with the war, all you could get was yellow. The price difference between six screws and one is probably about a buck, the labor cost maybe five, the lifetime cost of ownership maybe $20? Properly engineering that may have saved $26, multiply by four and you're talking $100 per car, do that enough and the savings really add up. Of course, that is dwarfed next to the cost of health care built into GM/Ford/Chrysler cars, but it's an example.
It's not isolated to Toyota, my Plymouth (Mitsubishi) Colt hatchback had a little plastic panel that pulled out to access the bulbs.
In other car news, my driver's side door lock is not working with the key at all. I need to pry off the inside cover and see if I can fix it, or replace it with the passenger's side lock, I'd have to pry off that inside cover, too. It will be nearly 40 this weekend, sine I can work on my car without my flesh freezing to the metal, I'll see what I can do.
I kicked my keg of Spiced Holiday Ale this week. The Honey Lager is bubbling away, maybe later this week I'll rack it off. In other beer news, Saranac's Maple Porter is very tasty, with a sweet maple aftertaste. I have a Pilsner batch to make, and am thinking about getting an October Fest kit and letting 3.6 gallons age all summer long. In two months I'll crack open my six month old stout.
Talking about my health, and ranting about the best health care system in the world
I had a short visit with my internist Tuesday (grey crinkly skirt, black cardigan and mid calf high heeled black leather boots) to go over my blood work, all around excellent. Fasting sugar is 90, A1C is 5.3, bp is 100/60, LDL is 95, HDL is 49, for a ratio of 3.5. I suspect most of this is genetic, otherwise I'd be writing the "How to eat and drink anything you want, still fit into your high school pants and have incredible blood pressure and cholesterol levels" diet book. Since there's a chance my crippling arthritis might come back, I get blood tests done every other month, and she focuses on the inflammation markers and the potential for Type II diabetes, everything is looking good. I got a flu shot, too, we'll see how it affects me.
Every year I have to choose a different health care plan, some bigwig keeps picking different ones to work with. This year I choose a high deductible plan from CIGNA (money to Joe Lieberman, joy), administered locally by MVP. As part of the plan, I chose to redirect money in to an HSA, for tax free medical spending, and being able to put whatever doesn't get spent into a retirement fund.
While looking at my checking account, my last paycheck was surprisingly high, the surprising part was about the same amount as should have been deducted for my HSA. I tracked down my electronic pay stub (hosted on a very slow internal server, joy) and found nothing is being taken out for my HSA. I had hoped to work on customer problems today, but a good part of today will be dealing with this fuckup. Damn fucking HMO leaches, if I were despot I'd outlaw for profit health care.
This weekend we're going to the local museum to see their Titanic exhibit. I let our subscription lapse, I shouldn't, the museum is very good to the charter school, which is located on their campus. Mrs. Ha also has a girls' night in party, I may use the time at home to finish her bodice, I have less than two months to finish our Ren Faire gear.
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