"A long memory can drive a man crazy."
-- Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Summer Heat

     Summer is finally here, after a rainy spring and only the occasional warm day to tease us with false hope.

     But now the heat is here in full force -- in both the weather and in politics. It's been hitting 90 degrees almost every day for the past week. I know that doesn't seem like much to friends and family in Phoenix (where it's getting up to 110 degrees today). But remember, that's a dry heat, and we have humidity here in Pennsylvania.

     And we saw the other day, it was hotter in Philadelphia (at 89) than it was in Charleston, SC (at 86). That's weird, isn't it?

     So we've slowed down and we are doing summer things. Fortunately, since our credit card bills are starting to come from our trip out west, a lot of summer activities for us retirees are free or inexpensive.

     We went for a swim. For free. We dined on the "outside patio" at our local pizza place (actually three tables sitting in front of the storefront, next to the handicapped parking places.) Total bill: $28 plus tip ... but only because B had a beer in addition to her usual glass of water.

     The next day we drove over to Dilly's, a hot-dog and ice-cream stand on the Delaware River. I don't eat hot dogs. So I had a fried cod sandwich, which B assured me was absolutely no better for me than a hot dog with all the fixin's. Cost us $17.50.

     After dinner we took a walk across the foot bridge to New Jersey. Another free activity. This particular bridge was originally built by John Roebling, the man who later designed the Brooklyn Bridge. However, there's nothing left of the original Roebling structure -- the bridge has been rebuilt twice since the 1860s.

Summer scene, or political metaphor?
     But it was a nice walk, 30-some feet above the rushing water. The river was high, swollen with the spring rains. And it was cool on the bridge, with a breeze coming down the valley from the wooded north.

     For two nights we also watched the Democratic presidential debates. That was free, too. B likes Elizabeth Warren. And she allowed as how she liked "that other lady" too (referring, I believe, to Amy Klobuchar.) She was also impressed with the performance by Kamala Harris.

     I like  . . . well, I'll keep you guessing since this is a nonpolitical blog. It was kind of a shout-fest, though, wasn't it? And there was no discussion of issues directly affecting seniors, like how to secure the future of Social Security (remember the Lock Box?) or how to protect our IRAs or other retirement funds. And, considering the current hot weather, there was little discussion of global warming.

     They did talk about Medicare -- not how to save it, but how to expand it. I'm generally in favor of some kind of Medicare for all. Not because I believe that the government should run things. But because the medical system has become too big, too expensive, too complex and too arcane for the individual person to negotiate. There's no free market in medical care or in health insurance.

     However . . . it does drive me crazy (and it makes me feel like they're trying to sell us snake oil) when they bandy about terms like Medicare for all, universal health coverage, free medical care, as though they are all the same thing. They are not the same thing. I know, because I have Medicare -- and Medicare plus my supplemental insurance cost me $$400-something a month, and it costs B another $400-something a month as well. It's still a good deal . . . but it's not free. And it doesn't cover everything. So, ladies and gents, please be honest with us.

     Anyway, enough about that. We're going to the matinee movie this weekend. Senior rate: $7.50. B wants to see "The Late Show." And so it will be done. Afterward, we're coming home for salmon and zucchini. Total cost for two: $12.


DJan said...

I watched the aftermath of the debates, I couldn't stand to listen to them bickering. I also like Warren and Harris and hope we get one of them as the nominee. Going to see a documentary tomorrow about Pavarotti, cost $8. Since I pay more than that for a book, even on my Kindle, it's a bargain. :-)

Juhli said...

Sounds like you have had some fun summer outings already! We have the opposite weather problem here in coastal S. Cal - gloomy and chilly but yesterday was sunny so I am hopeful summer weather is actually here.

I too watched the debates and came up with 4 candidates I hope end up on the ticket in some combination: Warren, Harris, Castro and Mayor Pete (I refuse to learn how to spell his last name LOL). Lot of good future cabinet secretaries. I say this lovingly as a senior but it is time for the 2 old guys to let a new generation take us to the future.

Cathy said...

I am supporting Joe Biden. I like his experience with foreign policies and feel that he is a person who can unite the country. His experience and Pete B.'s intellect would be a great combination.

Barb said...

I just feel that there are si very many candidates things get lost.i appreciate differing views bot an convinced that if the group doesnt narrow down...and soon...any chance the dems have at all will be lost. And left wi g hippie radical that I am I am also convinced that if dems dont move to the center a bit all is truly lost. It got to be 94 here yesterday. Summer has arrived.

Priscilla C said...

I'm liking Harris and Warren...time for some strong women to calm the world down! I do like Joe Biden but am feeling like he's just not up to the times any longer. I'm just about 70 & want to see the next generation take care of business. I believe they can do it.
We too, are always looking for ways to enjoy every day at a less expensive method. Not easy, but can be done.

Rian said...

Sorry, we didn't watch the political debate... and usually do... but thought we'd wait until the field narrows down a bit. We did record it and may still take a look later.
As for saving money, we have a trip planned to Hawaii this summer, but will consider it our 50th Anniversary present (which was almost 2 years ago), and both our birthday presents for this year (next month). Outside of that, when we go out to eat... we usually share a meal... and I have 2 dear friends who are avid readers and share all their books with me (some real, some on kindle).

Olga said...

I just could not bring myself to watch the debates. I know who I am hoping for and who among the rest I can fully support in the general election. I read about it afterwards but I don't need the noise right now.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad your post wasn't a political one.
I watched the two debates too.
So far, Trump is winning.
Easy as pie.

Tom at Sightings said...

Well, to be honest, we only watched the first hour of each of the debates. We had to turn off the TV because ... we were so tired from all our other summer activities!

Jono said...

It finally feels like summer here, too. I didn't watch the debates, but caught the highlights and summaries. They are all better than the current occupant, but as was mentioned above, I really don't need the noise at this point.

Wisewebwoman said...

I smile at your budgeting efforts, inspiring tho I can't equate your cod with the malignancy of a hot dog.

Universal health care for all. No ifs, ands or buts. Like water, like education and cops and fire service et al.

Or is that pinko-commie thing infecting the brain cells of the masses as the insurers laugh all the way to the bank?



gigihawaii said...

Hot dogs cause colon cancer. Cod does not.

As for the debates, I like Biden and Beto O'Rourke.

Diane Dahli said...

I watched both debates, and think Harris an Warren are very promising, although Mayor Pete is so bright, he sparkles! Good debate skills are a must in order to beat the major Bully in office!

Karen D. Austin said...

I watched both debates. I am reading campaign books by these candidates: Buttigieg, Warren, Harris, Castro and Booker. (I'm not saying these are my top 5; they are just the ones that I want to read about because they intrigue me or I know next to nothing. I don't need to read books about Biden or Sanders at this point.)

I have a review of Buttigieg's book _Shortest Way Home_ on Goodreads that I just wrote today, just having finished the book. He comes off as a fiscal conservative who values diversity, grassroots campaign strategies, and civil rights, but he's not going to promise programs without looking at the financial side. He's very pragmatic. Now that I've finished his book, I see him as well suited for Transportation Secretary.

I'm eager to watch the second set of debates July 30/31 to see how they all come into sharper focus. I have Warren's book from the library, ready to start. (I'm on a budget, so I'm requesting these books from my local PL.)

David @iretiredyoung said...

I'm so disillusioned with politics - I love your sentiment asking that the politicians be honest with us, but I trust you're not holding your breath on that one.

We're also enjoying some good weather where we are, and one of the good value activities that we like are picnics. We still have to buy the food of course, but it's not too much, plus we get fresh air and generally some exercise en-route to our chosen picnic spot. Fingers crossed that the good weather lasts.

DavidH said...

I was surprised that you pay so much for Medicare. We have an advantage plan from Humana and just pay for Medicare - $135.50. We have a schedule of fees that is amazing. If I see my primary care doctor there is no charge. My prescriptions are free with mail order. Out patient surgery is $180.00. The emergency room is $90.00. Hospital stays are $300.00 per day for the first five days only. Then there is no charge up to 90 days. Humana even pays my gym membership!

Another wonderful feature of Hawaii is the property tax. It is the lowest in the country! Our house has an assessed value of $865,000 and our property tax is $1,547.00! On top of that pensions and social security are not taxed.

Our weather is the best in the world! we made the best choice to retire in Hawaii!

Rebecca Olkowski said...

Sounds like you're enjoying the lazy days of summer. We've been keeping it cheap as well. But not too much is cheap here in LA.

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