I feel like the kid from Les Miserables!

Maybe I Should Become a Reporter…

Two days ago, (on Aug 9th) I emailed a Washington Post reporter with a story idea. Then I went to bed. And I couldn’t stop thinking about the story idea and couldn’t get to sleep. So I got up after about an hour and sent him a second email with an “expansion / clarification” of the idea. Then I went to bed and slept on it. And yesterday morning I forwarded both emails to two other Washington Post reporters along with a much larger bullet point presentation of why I thought it was a story that should be covered. My idea? It was:

Look at the huge rallies that Bernie Sanders is having and examine the aspect that they are achieving these numbers with no advanced publicity by the Sanders campaign other than a simple press release. All of the buzz is being generated locally through word of mouth and social media. — Then maybe expand it a bit to talk about how a political rally like the one Sanders is doing comes about. Who are the people who bring it together and who attend.

And this morning… [drum roll please] TAH-DAH! What should to my wondering eyes appear in the Washington Post? But this…. Woot! WooHoo! Uh-huh! WhoseyerDaddy? Uh-huh! My article idea Here is the link to the article: (or click the image above) 100,000 people have come to recent Bernie Sanders rallies. How does he do it? OMG! OMG! OMG! [doing a happy dance while typing] OMG! OMG! OMG! Sqeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

[singing] “Just goes to show what little people can do!”

little people can doFull disclosure. The reporter never emailed me back. I have no idea whether or not this is just a freak coincidence or IF my emails actually prompted the guy to investigate and write the story, BUT in going through the story, just about every single point I made in my emails is included in the story! Woot! So, either the reporter did as I suggested at the end of my email…

I know that I’m not a “pro” like you guys but I smell a story… :-) I hope that you take the idea and run with it.

… OR this is one of the most amazing coincidences of all time! Maybe I should take a journalism class? Or buy a lottery ticket? No matter what, this is WAY FRIGGIN COOL! Because at the very least, it means that I spotted a “story” that was worthy of inclusion in the Washington friggin Post! before the story appeared! AND my main points were all covered in the story! Woot! Now for a bit of related seriousness… …brace yerself I’m gonna talk politics. You may if you wish stop reading, but I hope you don’t…

Why the sudden Political Post?

First an explanation to my regular readers — this post is the rare exception, not a sign of things to come. So take a deep breath and keep reading. ;-) Your vote is your voice--be heardI realize that under normal circumstances, that this is not a political blog. I have certain themes I post here and that is why you, my loyal readers keep reading what I write. And, for the most part, I steer clear of politics. You may be assured that the usual shenanigans about my dancing and my diet (or lack thereof) will resume without delay and in abundance. :-) But I am going to make an exception today and talk about politics, actually about two things: (1) the importance of being involved and (2) an old dude from Vermont. Why? Because politics is not just something off in the distance that doesn’t matter. Much to the contrary, what politicians do in Washington and in the 50 state capitals around the country and in City Halls across the land have real world impact on people like you and me. And most of us ignore it or gripe and moan a bit and that is the end of that. We never do anything about it. And that needs to change. Why? Because politics really does affect our day-to-day life in the “real world.” It matters because it is not just something in the news. It affects my life. It affects your life. It affects all of our lives. So yes, I’m breaking the “theme” of this blog briefly, I’m writing something political. When I do this there has to be pretty darned important reason for me to do so. One example was the day the Supreme Court announced the ACA decision and another was the day the Supreme Court announced the Same Sex Marriage decision. This particular post is another. This coming national election in 2016 is probably going to be the most important election in my lifetime. No matter where you are on the political spectrum, I encourage you to…

  • Register to vote (each state has its own requirements… Google it and find out what your state requires)
  • If your state requires you to register with a political party in order to vote in the primaries then do so, now. Don’t wait.
  • Vote in the primaries
  • Vote in the general election
  • Start being politically active now and stay active from now on. Democracy only works if its citizens take part in the process.

How I met Bernie Sanders…

If you are one of my friends on Facebook or if you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I have become a Bernie Sanders supporter.

I actually attended a rally here in Dallas. I was in the front row and got to shake his hand after he finished speaking. :-) There were approximately 8,000 people at the event. Yes, eight thousand people — in Texas — a red state — with no advanced publicity other than “word of mouth.” THINK about that for a moment and you might begin to get a feel for what appears to be happening. A real honest to goodness grass roots campaign for a man who most people agree is the genuine article: an honorable politician. What Mr. Sanders has to say is very impressive and he says it with a conviction that frankly I have rarely heard from politicians. I first heard about Bernie Sanders from my roommate who is much more politically savvy than I. When he mentioned Bernie I said “Bernie who?” but since I like my roommate and trust his opinions…. He’s my best friend in the whole world. — For the record, he’s actually my best friend. Not partner though people often assume we are married because we finish each others sentences and all that kind of stuff. Single! I’m single! Available! Spread the word! I can even get married now! Woot! But Uhmmm…. I digress… I do that you know. ;-) So, because I respect my roommate’s opinions, I did my research. I read about this guy from up in Vermont and I was impressed by what I read. Very VERY impressed. So I signed up to follow him on Facebook and that was pretty much that. Then I happened to be coming back from the grocery store and was listening to NPR, which is KERA here in Dallas/Fort Worth. KERA, was airing a segment, produced locally, where they do an in-depth feature on each of the Presidential candidates. And they were doing a live interview with Bernie Sanders. And that interview changed everything for me and made me take notice of this man:

  • When asked a question about a straightforward issue, he gave a direct straight forward answer, often, just “yes” or “no”
  • When asked a a question about a complex issue, he gave a nuanced thoughtful answer.
  • When asked a question about an issue on which he had not yet done his research, he honestly said “I don’t know enough about that yet to venture and opinion, but I will look into it and if you have some way of sharing the answer with your listeners, you can give them my answer later.”

I literally sat in my truck in the Texas heat, to finish listening to this interview. I was impressed by the sincerity that I heard in his voice. Obviously these are my impressions; I invite you to do your own research and draw your own conclusions BUT…

  • There is no doubt in my mind that this man genuinely believes the things he says in his speeches.
  • The level of conviction in his voice (and in his body language) when he speaks is an amazing thing to see.
  • There is no doubt in my mind that this guy really does want to improve things for everyone in the whole country.
  • It is clear from his speeches and from his writings that he is intelligent and informed on the issues. He is open to debate and willing to discuss, really discuss difficult topics.
  • His record on Civil Rights is amazing. He actually marched on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr, was arrested during his college years for fighting against segregation, and has been a constant supporter of LGBT rights since before most Americans even knew what LGBT meant.
  • He is a “normal guy.” He is still flying commercial airlines to get to and from his campaign appearances, depending on local volunteers to pick him and his wife up from the airport.
  • He is not taking any donations from the big corporate donors. All of his campaign donations come from folks like me and groups of real people like teachers and nurses professional organizations. Not superPACs. I gave him a $3 donation and a $10 donation which on my $812 a month pension is a considerable amount!
  • During his announcement that he was running for President, he said, rather gruffly, to the dozen or so reporters, that he didn’t have a lot of time for questions because he needed to get back to work. In the Senate, which was behind him, just up the hill. Imagine that! A Senator, concerned about getting back to his office and actually DOING HIS JOB!. Wow! Just friggin Wow!
  • I found a blog from a lady in Vermont that talked about how “real” Bernie Sanders is. How she bumped into him at the airport luggage turnstile and joked with him about his luggage being the first one out of the chute. She kinda slapped him on the arm and teased him about “being special” because he was a Senator. Bernie laughed along with her saying he wished it would happen all the time and then trundled off. The blogger confessed that she then turned bright red because she realized that she had just struck a sitting US Senator! But that is how comfortable the folks in Vermont are with Bernie who has overwhelmingly high approval ratings in his home state.

I hope that this man will be the next President of the United States. I encourage you to read my article ahem ok, ok, the reporters article. grin the article in the Washington Post. I encourage you to do your research on him. I encourage you to visit his website: http://www.berniesanders.com. I encourage you to go on YouTube and do a search for “Bernie Sanders” — You’ll find lots of videos. Then… Make your own judgement, but I believe that you may like what you see and hear and read. And I believe that rumbling sound which you are barely hearing in the distance is a political tsunami about to change things for the better. His name is Bernie Sanders. See you on the dance floor!

Janumet, Invokana and Diabetic Discount Drama!

How I got Invokana
and Janumet for “Almost Free”

For those who are regular readers of my blog, I ask for your understanding.  Alas, this post will be DRAMA free!  Eeeeeekkkk!  Aaaaaiiiieeeeee!  Yes, I know, it is hard to believe that I can do a post with no drama… … well with a minimal amount of drama, but tis true.  :-)

So… about getting drugs for “almost free” …

It helps if you have insurance

Actually, it REALLY helps if you have insurance.ACA image 

If you are a low income individual without insurance; or if you are a small business owner who wants to see if you can get a better deal; or if you are just curious, then head on over to Healthcare.gov and get all the information on how to use the insurance exchanges and perhaps qualify for subsidies.

It may, depending on your circumstances be possible for you to sign up even though open enrollment has closed.

Also, it MIGHT also be possible for you to get your health insurance for FREE or for you to receive substantial subsidies from the Federal Government (US Residents only) to help you pay for your health insurance.
Speaking from a personal point of view, without the insurance that I get thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, my life would be in mortal danger.

No drama.

No kidding.

100% truth.

If you have insurance, the insurance should pay MOST of the cost of these drugs

Drug Formulary Yes and No

But every insurance policy is different; you need to check to be sure.

Using myself as an example: when I first tried to fill the prescription for these two drugs, I discovered that my copay for each drug, after the insurance was applied, was $100 (100 x 2 =$200 per month).

Eeeeeeeekkkk!! oh, oopps I said no drama.  My bad.  Moving on. ;-)

To find out how much your copay is going to be before you go by the pharmacy, ou have to check something called a “drug formulary.

You can usually find the Drug Formulary in a PDF file or as a searchable database on your insurance company’s website.  Or you can call the customer service 800 # for your insurance company and ask for a paper copy be mailed to you.

Check the back of your

Read the rest of this entry

Yes, I know the place is a mess — The tech guys are working on it!

Update on July 27th — the problem is fixed!  Yay!

Woke up this morning and the problem had been fixed.  yay!  Everything has been set back to “normal” so my site is pretty again.

But because there are links out on the Interwebz to this page, I’m leaving it here.  :-)  For Histerical perposes…

All WordPress sites are having a display issue

The dog broke it ©2011

Sorry guys, I know that my blog looks like crap right now.

But it isn’t my fault.  It is happening to any blog hosted by WordPress.com.

I hopped over to the support forums and the place is going NUTS!

The WordPress tekkie guys are working on the problem.  (as of 3:00 am Central Standard Time — in the US)

BUT… I know what has happened….  Shhhhhhh..

The dog broke it!”

So, my apologies to anyone coming to the site.  It is actually much prettier than you see right now and better organized.  :-)

The content is all here, but the menu is messed up.  And my cool header graphic is not there and the background image isn’t showing.

And of course the menu is a MESS!   Stay tuned!  I apologize for the mess.

I’m headed to bed now.  Hopefully things will be fixed by tomorrow.  G’nite!

I’m featured in Diabetes Health Magazine!

They Like Me!  They really really Like Me!

Applause KittyI’d like to thank the Academy….  ;-)

Ok, ok, so it ain’t an Oscar, but it does feel pretty good!  You, my loyal readers, should know by now that I’m a shy retiring wall flower…

What?  Do I hear howls of disbelieving laughter from the galleries?

Ok, ok,  tis true…  I love to talk about uhmmm, well “Moi” so when this very nice reporter Tanya Caylor from Diabetes Health Magazine emailed me and said she wanted to do a “profile” of me, I thought “This has got to be a joke”

So, before replying I checked and discovered that “Yes” there really is a magazine called “Diabetes Health” and yes there really is a reporter named Tanya Caylor who has written for them and who also blogs online and who writes a column called “Adventures in Food and Fitness,” which is  published every other Monday in the Health Section of The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.

So, having determined that this was not a phishing attempt and not spam, I replied back and set up a phone interview. She called me; I had a lovely conversation with Ms Caylor.  And that was that.  Then about a week ago, I got an email saying….


…the article had been posted on the Diabetes Health website.  It will be appearing in the next paper issue of the magazine as well, but it is now live on their website:

Screen shot of my profile on Diabetes Health website - cropped

Woo Hoo!  Uh-huh!  Doin’ a happy dance while typing!  Woot!  YeeeeeeeeeeeeeHaaaaaaaawwwwwww

I invite you go go check it out.  And click the “share” buttons!  Woot!  You can click on the image up above or if you like here is the text link: Diabetes Diagnosis Gets Derailed Dance Champion Focused on Health

And, for the record, the lovely and very talented lady in the photo featured in the article is one of my dance coaches, Natalja Sawal. We danced together for two years.

See ya on the dance floor!

Tony’s Take on: The Perfect Survey Site

What should you look for in an
Online Survey or a MicroTasking Site?

survey dudeWhen I first started doing “online surveys” to make a little bit of money, I didn’t know much of anything — about anything, so I had pretty low expectations. Actually, I had no expectations — I didn’t know enough to have expectations.

After doing this for over two years, thus having learned “in the school of hard knocks” as it were, there are certain things which I look for in a “good” survey site.  And things which you should look for too.

Ahhhhh, Grasshoppah, you seek and you shall receive the wisdom of Master Yoda, ahem “Mastah Tony.” Yessssss, Grasshoppah, Master Tony will reveal all…

— and you folks in the back can stop sniggering like, uhmmm now! ;-)  And yes, I know I was mixing up my movies.  I can do that… it is called creative license..  grin

Show me the CASH!

fat-cat-in-da-moneyLet’s face it. I’m doing online surveys for the money. Not for fun. Not to “improve products.” Not to further academic research. Not to better mankind.

I live on a very small monthly pension plus whatever I can scrape together through half-a-dozen different means, including taking online surveys.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not cheating. I am not trying to scam the system. I am not just randomly clicking answers.

I actually do read the questions.  I try to do a “good job” by answering honestly. But when all is said and done, I would not be answering all those surveys IF I wasn’t PAID for my time!

So, like any other “job” that is “just a job” — I’m in it for the money.

I am not asking for much — Read the rest of this entry


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