February 2017 Daily Stepping

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Re: February 2017 Daily Stepping

Postby Elaine Glimme » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:22 pm

I wrote up a presentation to the Board. Two of the other haz mats have lawyers, and I will ask one of them to represent me. I can't wait til this mess is over. The next challenge is to show up at the right place at the right time. The hearing is tomorrow. I don't do well with early morning.

I'm still wishing all of you good thoughts, but for right now I'm more focused on myself. I'm sure you understand.

Lynx, I hope you have fun while your partner is away, and have a great reunion later on.
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Re: February 2017 Daily Stepping

Postby Elaine Glimme » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:22 pm

The saga concludes.

The Retirement Board voted to make no adjustments to our pensions. :D :D :D :D :D

Details follow: Skip them if you want.

Rolly Something-or-other had the assignment to come up with money with which to pay off a $1.8 million deficit. So he accused us of improperly working extra hours in our final year to jack up our retirement. He showed slides of our last five years and said that all of us had higher on-call hours during the last year of employment. He took two hours to talk about all eleven of us. I figured we were done for. He called this improper. He wanted to correct the problem by comparing our final year with the one before it, and to subtract any extra on-call time from our pensions. Then he wanted to make the calculations retroactive and collect all back "overpayments" with 10% interest. In my case, I didn't work on call during my next to final year. Hence the bill to me was $107,000. It all looked very impressive, and I was scared we were done for.

Then we got to present. Jerry's wife is a lawyer, and she said that she'd never seen anything like this, and she said it with a great deal of passion. And she brought up my case as the most unbelievable, since, in their May meeting, that had said that they weren't going to adjust my pension at all, and now they wanted to collect $107,000 and cut my pension by and additional $800 per month.

Gabe's lawyer also brought up my case as a worst case scenario.

Other haz mats spoke, and three of them pointed out that the Retirement Board's councilors had encouraged them to work extra hours to maximize their retirement. Rolly's answer was that he had no evidence of that. Then Jerry brought out a memo from the retirement board urging us to not take a vacation in our final year in order to maximize retirement.

Eric pointed out that Rolly hadn't heard of retirement councilors recommending doing extra work during their final year because he hadn't talked to any of them.

We were all nervous and upset.

I showed a graph of my on-call which was considerably below average. It had been presented at their May 6th meeting. I pointed out that Rolly had left out the fact that I had worked plenty of on-call in the past, and that on-call contributed to the pension fund, and that I was entitled to have on-call represented in my retirement check.

Then they discussed it. Four of the Board members said that if someone had told them to work extra hours during their final year to maximize retirement, they would have done it. There was nothing anywhere that said it was improper.

The improper action that they were comparing us to was in San Bernadino County where some responders (I think it was sheriffs) had bribed elected officials to get higher pension benefits. Deborah Allen (She wants to be elected to the Bart Board, and she's running on a platform of pension reform. Don't vote for her.) said that improper didn't mean that anyone had done anything bad. Just that the pension hadn't been calculated correctly and that we should make up the difference. (changing the story.)

Anyway, they voted not to collect anything, and not to change our pension amounts.

By the way, Rolly looks exactly the way I imagine Weasel to look, except that he's a little fatter than Weasel. He has this perfect Weasel-ly nose.

Happy steppin' everyone.
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Re: February 2017 Daily Stepping

Postby Elaine Glimme » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:28 pm

The saga concludes.

The Retirement Board voted to make no adjustments to our pensions. :D :D :D :D :D

Details follow: Skip them if you want.

Rolly Something-or-other had the assignment to come up with money with which to pay off a $1.8 million deficit. So he accused us of improperly working extra hours in our final year to jack up our retirement. He showed slides of our last five years and said that all of us had higher on-call hours during the last year of employment. He took two hours to talk about all eleven of us. I figured we were done for. He called this improper. He wanted to correct the problem by comparing our final year with the one before it, and to subtract any extra on-call time from our pensions. Then he wanted to make the calculations retroactive and collect all back "overpayments" with 10% interest. In my case, I didn't work on call during my next to final year. Hence the bill to me was $107,000. It all looked very impressive, and I was scared we were done for.

Then we got to present. Jerry's wife is a lawyer, and she said that she'd never seen anything like this, and she said it with a great deal of passion. And she brought up my case as the most unbelievable, since, in their May meeting, that had said that they weren't going to adjust my pension at all, and now they wanted to collect $107,000 and cut my pension by and additional $800 per month.

Gabe's lawyer also brought up my case as a worst case scenario.

Other haz mats spoke, and three of them pointed out that the Retirement Board's councilors had encouraged them to work extra hours to maximize their retirement. Rolly's answer was that he had no evidence of that. Then Jerry brought out a memo from the retirement board urging us to not take a vacation in our final year in order to maximize retirement.

Eric pointed out that Rolly hadn't heard of retirement councilors recommending that emplees do extra work during their final year because he hadn't talked to any of them.

We were all nervous and upset.

I showed a graph of my on-call which was considerably below average. It had been presented at their May 6th meeting. I pointed out that Rolly had left out the fact that I had worked plenty of on-call in the past, and that on-call contributed to the pension fund, and that I was entitled to have on-call represented in my retirement check.

Then they discussed it. Four of the Board members said that if someone had told them to work extra hours during their final year to maximize retirement, they would have done it. There was nothing anywhere that said it was improper.

The improper action that they were comparing us to was in San Bernadino County where some responders (I think it was sheriffs) had bribed elected officials to get higher pension benefits. Deborah Allen (She wants to be elected to the Bart Board, and she's running on a platform of pension reform. Don't vote for her.) said that improper didn't mean that anyone had done anything bad. Just that the pension hadn't been calculated correctly and that we should make up the difference. (changing the story.)

Anyway, they voted not to collect anything, and not to change our pension amounts.

By the way, Rolly looks exactly the way I imagine Weasel to look, except that he's a little fatter than Weasel. He has this perfect Weasel-ly nose.

Happy steppin' everyone.
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Re: February 2017 Daily Stepping

Postby inspiresuccess » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:20 pm

Elaine Glimme wrote:The saga concludes. The Retirement Board voted to make no adjustments to our pensions. :D :D :D :D :D ...


I'm incredibly relieved, not only with the results, but also for the fact that this didn't drag on and on.

It's over. It's done. The results are great.

Big hugs, Elaine!

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Re: February 2017 Daily Stepping

Postby Elaine Glimme » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:12 am

Thanks, Inspire.
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Re: February 2017 Daily Stepping

Postby Lyndon » Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:10 pm

Elaine: Whew! on getting through the unwanted close encounter to a real life Weasel emulator.
Saving $107,000 probably works out to a fairly high return on hours invested.

Sadness on not getting more Molly in your life.

Local friends had a wake for their cocker spaniel who would herd cats (with ease) and ice cubes (with mixed results) and very good at teaching people to throw tennis balls for him. He patiently managed to teach a toddler who was still working on this "walking" thing to through tennis ball most of the way across the living room in about 15 minutes.

Do you have friends that would make a Molly work a celebration of good memories?
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Re: February 2017 Daily Stepping

Postby Lyndon » Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:13 pm

The sweetheart and I are planning to update durable powers of attorney stuff soon. No immediate needs, but she likes to be prepared -- and goes frugal umbrella-shopping in Summer to Be Prepared.

The science fiction writer Jay Lake knew he had terminal cancer, and so had a wake for himself the year before -- when he could invite his friends over, have a good time going over memories, and had a better time than most people do at wakes.
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Re: February 2017 Daily Stepping

Postby Lyndon » Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:29 pm

Most recent archeological dig/housecleaning turned up by Scanner Notebook from the online class a couple years ago. Talking via email with a scanner about it I said, and I recycled "Also during housecleaning, the very comfortable Scanner's notebook surfaced, with blank spaces still in it. Reviewing and re-enjoying stuff, especially on schedules. I responded "I resemble that!" to cyclical scanner stuff. But daily habits stuff just doesn't work well, as none of my various cycles seem to be on a 24-hour cycled."

She said (anonymously since I didn't get around to asking permission yet) "I'm also not good with 24-hour or even 7-day schedules. When my high school's bell broke and couldn't get fixed for 4 months, I was ecstatic. Still remember it almost 50 years later. Couldn't talk them into letting us stay in a good class late or leave a boring one sooner, though."

Even my wake/sleep doesn't seem to be all that 24-hour and wants to drift an hour or two a day. Randomly forward or backward, but then I can have a string of starting sleeping shift at 8PM or midnight. I look forward next decade to better data collection without the distorting factor of scheduled work in someone else's office getting in the way.

I realize with a start that I was getting at least a thousand words a day out of writing that had gone through at least drafts, plus another thousand or so off the top of my head.

A lot of It was perhaps “preaching to the choir”, but I’ve also written and shared stuff that encouraged the choir! “

This is mostly reactive writing, but getting back to game writing after distractions.

To be continued.
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Postby Lynx » Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:27 am

Well, Elaine, what a terrific ending. Verdict: Innocent, and sensible. $ restored, plus the $30K and time you won't have to expend for a lawyer.

Me, well, my S.O. has been away for a week and I've had a blast. The office is remade with a rocker and if I don't watch it a pile of jackets peeled off as the room temp rises.

Had several meetings with people, one might lead to something. Always that might, gets me through the day/week.

Plus, a buddy emailed about playing bridge and I can wedge it in today. Found a terrific new bridge education site that explains things in a way that I can understand. It will have a graph and say: these are ALL the ways to make this type of bid. Very cool.

Also delighted in finding a tweak on the computer. Learned that Firefox can have different "profiles" and you can also set it up that when it launches it asks which you want to use. Terrific for situations where you are sharing a computer with someone.

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Re: February 2017 Daily Stepping

Postby Elaine Glimme » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:59 am

Thanks for all the support and good wishes. I've been so busy with other problems, that Molly has kind of slipped away. Except Tthe house is still and I'm alone. I've re-read "The Molly Chronicles" about a dozen times. She was the best dog I've ever had, and, since I had her after I retired, I spent more time with her than I ever did with my other dogs.

Other problems seem to have been resolved. The retirement board stuff is done. Apparently I made the 6 o'clock news and looked like a shyster. And my mother in law will move into an assisted living community very soon. It looks like a great place; it's affordable; and other family members will take up the brunt of the care for her (above and beyond what the facility will provide.) So my husband and I can get back to normal, and just visit her when we like.

I'm getting back to my fictitious weasel.

And my friends.

Lyndon, sounds like you're going strong. Lynx, I'm glad your enjoying your alone time, and having some project potential ahead. And Inspire I hope your doing well with your hearing challenges. I'm glad the sound reading is going well.

So it looks like I can get back . . .

to the page.
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Postby Lynx » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:14 pm

Hi folks,

Elaine, even I breathe a lot easier, though I know there's the shadow of grief cast by Molly's death.

I'm reading The Art of Slow Writing, slowly. When something makes sense and I'm not already doing it, I experiment with it a few days to test it out. Right now I am pushing my intention to put 25 minutes out of the first 180 minutes after I awake (from sleep or a nap) to creative use, at least 4 times a week. I know for me, and researchers somewhere have found, that the first 3 hours are peak times for forging forward on projects. Much of this is frittered away when I have to get out of the house (cooking, eating, dressing, commuting, etc).

I keep track on 42 Goals by entering the number of minutes. No entry means I didn't get any creative time (CT) in.

Today I'm doing great. Approaching 100 minute. I needed a change in attention before a final proof of a cover letter and resume. This excursion has provided that, now back

to the page,
Lx
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Postby Lynx » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:37 am

Happy Valentine's Day to all,

Generally these days I'm up around 7:17 no matter when I slip into the sheets. Hm. Guess I need to get to bed earlier to get enough zzzz.

Partner back, run down with the sniffles and cough. A week spent at a conference and she said a lot of people were sick. Overcrowded conferences are tiring alone, and she packs in lots of social connecting during the off hours. I think I'll be okay after today as my body adjusts to what it has to deal with.

Today awoke considering the practice in some legislatures of doing first, second, even third "readings" of a bill. My morning insight came about because there are several articles I have shelved "for later" and I wondered why I hadn't read them yet. Till today, I typically wanted, without much thought, to extract all I might find useful from a book, article, or blog in one pass. Consequently, the more important something appears to me, the less I want to get to it because I need to understand it, argue with it, consider how to use it, decided where to archive it so I can find it later, and pick out quotes if so moved all in one pass. Ha!

I guess this came from untutored studying patterns from grade school days. I somehow felt I'd fallen short if I had to go back and re-read something. I also think it's from those high-pressure tests and the emphasis on time: grasping the passage quickly, figure out the answer, and push on to the next. Re-reading even a short paragraph used precious seconds the system didn't offer.

So, here's the new idea:
1st reading: to get the general points the writer is making and see if I understand their thinking.
2nd reading: look again for strengths and where I'd argue a point, or fill in with what else I know.
3rd reading: pick out quotes, archive piece.

Aw. I feel much more relaxed.

This is the warm-up, to the page,
Lx
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Re: February 2017 Daily Stepping

Postby Elaine Glimme » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:09 pm

Good point Lynx. I don't usually get technical literature on the first or second try. I never thought about it before.

Healing wishes to your partner on getting rid of her cold. I love workshops - at least the good ones. They get you all motivated and excited. But I hate getting sick.

Me. I'd like to get a normal rhythm established. The bad side of retirement is that you can spend the whole day doing absolutely nothing. And I fall into that trap easily. It feels so good. . . until I get depressed, and my hip starts hurting, and I start porking up. Molly was my big push to get out of the house, and now it's a lot harder to start the day and get out and walk.

Truthfully, I haven't had the opportunity to grieve Molly's death because other problems have come up. I did cry a little, but . . .
A friend came up to me and asked how I was. I said everything was great, I don't have to give the retirement board $107,000. And she said she was talking about Molly. At that moment i wasn't even thinking about my dog. I'm glad that I'm not a basket case, but it just feels wrong.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.

So . . . life goes on.
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Re: February 2017 Daily Stepping

Postby inspiresuccess » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:36 am

SES check-in, February 15th. I've been struggling to keep up with my SES and health journals. Big mess with meds. My doctor rescheduled my appointment but didn't put any refills on meds. When pharmacist puts in request for a refill, it goes to the on-call doctor who frequently ignores it. The longer I go without meds, the more messed up I get and the less able I am to straighten things out. I went without a med for 8 days before I could pull it together to go in person to the doctor's office and get the nurse to push the prescription through the on-call doctor. Now I have a 2nd med in the same situation. One pill left, no response from on-call doc. I take 5 meds from my out of town doctor. I'm slogging through it one med at a time. This time I will call the nurse and see if she can push it through without me coming in person. I still will have to pick up med instead of having it delivered which usually happens. I had to pick up the last one and with one pill left on this one I will have to do that again. The pharmacist I have now reminded me of something I used to do with my previous pharmacist -- bring the bottle in and they can give me a few pills in advance while waiting for the refill request.

Bottom line -- big mess with meds which caused huge instability in me. Without any family, friends, or neighbors who can help me when things like this get messed up, I have to rely on myself, in a messed up state, to address the issue. Sigh. It sucks.

I'm still unstable but at least I'm leveling out after taking the missed med for 3 days in a row now.

I HATE HAVING THIS ILLNESS. All I can do is live with it and manage it as well as I can. Writing in the SES and also writing symptoms and meds taken daily in the Health Journal help me document what's going on. SES is Significant Events and Stressors. Health Journal is daily meds taken and other things that an affect my mood like weather, pain, etc. Both are really important to keep up on and hard to do when I'm not doing well.

This is why I haven't posted any goals here this month and it's already halfway through the month.

Thanks for the SES reminder, Lynx.
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Postby Lynx » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:15 am

Inspire, I call bureaucracies bureau-crazies because they literally have no mind which drive the rest of us out of ours. Happy you have a found a few friends to get things you need for a short bit. More friends to you and somehow finding a fix for the inefficiencies.

Probably not exactly the same, but 12 years ago I took one of those stress inventory tests. There isn't a point list for the shock of seeing your high score and what they predict from it. The score matched my really down feeling about my life at that time. It brought to mind Camus's comment that the only question in life is whether you will kill yourself. If not, pick up and carry on.

Carry on my friend one day at a time, one friendly assist at a time, one bureau-crazy improvement at a time.

Lynx
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