International Swap – Meg

Another swap time! These are becoming a monthly thing…

This swap was with Meg in Michigan. I’d asked for OCC Lip Tars, which I have been lusting after for ages, and pop tarts, as the UK selection is poor. Awful. Abysmal. She asked for crispy M&Ms, if I could find them, and Paperchase ephemera.

I sent away a box of Paperchase goodies, much more than I usually would have been able to send due to the UK now participating in Black Friday sales  and added in a few Kinder chocolates (not the eggs), and some Milky Way Crispy Rolls. And then I waited.

My parcel arrived on Friday –

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Hooray!

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And she had wrapped each item like a present!

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These were all my goodies!

. A card

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. Red Velvet Pop Tarts – requested any flavour

. EOS lip balms – requested

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. EOS cucumber hand cream

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. Lip Tar – requested

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. Dr. Pepper sweets

. Air Heads candy

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. Smith’s lip balm

. Peeps marshmallow snowman

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. Almond M&Ms – requested

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. Birthday cake M&Ms – requested

This was a brilliant swap, and it has given me so many more things to review and enjoy! America has so many different varieties of familiar things, it makes swaps exciting!

George

International Swap – Krissy

Something I love doing is receiving gifts and packages from far – flung places. I like to find new things, or specifically request hard to find things or discontinued products.

This week, I received this parcel from America –

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I had arranged a swap with someone called Krissy in the USA. The budget was $40, or £25.

Krissy wanted some football shirts, so I sent her a Celtic shirt, some England shirts, a Liverpool tee, a hat that I think was Manchester Utd. and some pens with Chelsea branding on them. I also included some prok scratchings and kinder egg chocolate – not the egg, the small bars.

As this was a swap with specific requests, in return I had asked for some NASCar tshirts. We don’t get NASCar tshirts in the UK. We don’t even get NASCar on television any more!

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This was inside my package –

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FOUR! I got FOUR tshirts! I couldn’t have done that myself for the budget, even with the amount I paid on top for shipping, I would have had to have paid around $100 the last time I checked out the NASCar store.

I also received some sweets –

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Yum! Never had candy corn before. They taste like fudge.

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We have Werther’s. Not this flavour though. They weren’t amazing, but theu were nice, a few at a time.

I aldo received some Hallowe’en themed chocolate that I neglected to photograph.

In all, though only my second swap with this Facebook group, it has been my best swap so far. I love my tees. Thanks Krissy!

George

The Man Who Flew

TheRealYamYamBloke (@RealYamYamBloke) tweeted at 7:26 PM on Sun, Oct 14, 2012: E day evan land on the red cross. it wor that gud.

Joking aside though, the Austrian freefaller, parachute man and BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner has just broke a few world records. As the solo jumper for the Red Bull Stratos project, he has jumped from some 128,000 feet to become the man who jumped from the highest point that any man has ever done.

After two aborted attempts on the 9th and 11th October, because of radio equipment and wind speed issues, today went ahead, with a few minor issues. Mission Control thought his visor wasn’t heating. It ended up working fine. He went into a bit of a spin at the start but regained control. He also pulled his parachute too early to claim the freefall record, and there is a query over whether he actually broke the sound barrier.

But he has these – the highest manned balloon flight, and the highest altitude jump.

This was our generation’s moon landings.

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Well done, Felix!

How I See ObamaCare

I’m sitting here, right now, watching the Democratic National Convention on BBC Parliament channel.  I’ve sat through Michelle Obama, some General Motors workers, some people I know and some people I have never heard of.  But one thing has stuck with me in the nearly two hours I have been watching.

One of the Democrats said that under ObamaCare, if an insurer does not spend at least 50% of the customer’s premium on the customer (I use the word customer, not them), then they receive a cheque back.  I do not know how much the cheque would be, maybe the remainder of the 50% that should have been spent on them, or the rest of their premium, but on the face of it, I see this as a damn good idea.

However, after a quick think,and a talk with W, we came to the conclusion that this  may not actually be as good as it seems.

See, getting some of your money back is good for YOU, but NOT for business.  Therefore, the companies will want to make sure they do not directly give you any money back.  They would make sure they hit the 50% target, by sending you for regular checkups.  All well and good, we all know that the earlier illnesses are found, the easier they are to treat.  So, say your health insurer sends you for regular checkups, once every two months, to somewhere approved by them.  Maybe, even, OWNED by them.  So they pay themselves.  With your money.

And if something is found, and you do turn out to be ill?  They will raise your premium for the next year, just so they can pay themselves even more of your money, by sending you to an ‘approved’ hospital.  Or, here is a possibility, what if they refuse to renew it next year, citing ‘pre-existing conditions’?

I’ve tried doing some research on this, but to no avail.  I did find this quote though, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/26/health-insurance-companie_n_1455727.html

Insurance companies can issue rebate checks or deduct the money from future bills, but employers who provide health benefits to workers will often pocket the money, rather than the employees.

Which is a nice way of keeping money in the system.  Somewhere.  As everyone knows, a credit note is WAY better than a refund.

 

Can someone help me with some of these questions?

1. If you are found to be ill, can they increase your premium, and by how much?

2. How does the 50% rebate work, do you get all of the money back, or is it 50% minus the amount spent?

3. Can they refuse to renew it if you were receiving treatment for something and they actually HAD to provide you a service?

 

I’m SO glad we have the NHS.

 

George