Archive for April, 2013


This week’s writing challenge implores writers to analyze, discuss and otherwise blog about a word or phrase “unique to your cultural background.”

Yinz has come to the right place, doncha know.

And while my grandmother would talk about Warshington D.C. while eating feesh for dinner on Friday, my all time favorite is when my mom asked us to “red up our rooms.”

And while my sisters and I always knew what she meant, even if we didn’t want to do it, it was very strange the first time I encountered someone (probably not from Pennsylvania) who had no idea what I was talking about.

“I’ll be with you in a minute . . . I have to red up my desk.”

“Are you going to paint it red?”

“No, you silly hobknocker.  I’m going to clean up my desk!”

“So why didn’t you just say that?

“I did!”  Not in so many words.  Actually red up and clean up are the same number of words, so I’m not sure it’s a time saving convention as much as it is an etymological one.

Insects?  Really?

Etymological–not entomological.

Where was I?  I have to red up this blog or I’ll never be able to find the end.

I guess, when you think about it, it is kind of a strange phrase.  I always assumed (and you know what happens when you do that!) that it was short for ready up something or get it ready, as in clean it or neaten it.  Of course, in that vein, the proper phrase should be typed “read up” where ‘read’ is the past tense of the verb to read, as in ‘I read that book last year.’  And if next year is this year then that would make this year last year?  Capiche?

But if that is not confusing enough, the Word Detective claims that it comes from a Scottish word ‘redd’ which actually means to clean or clear, and probably is related to the origin of the word rid.  I made that last part up, but it could be true.  Another source claims it is Danish, from the words rydde op which means to clean up.  Tomato; tom-ah-to.  A Danish is something you eat at breakfast, and scotch is something you drink.  Or tape packages with.  But I digress.

In fact, I have seen the term in print as “redd up.”

Pittsburgh’s Mayor even has a “REDD UP ZONE” to clean the streets and reduce blight.


Lamont Redd up his room–this is the Big One

But there was another phrase my mom used a lot growing up that I have not seen or heard anywhere else–and Google failed to find any hits in the first few pages I took the time to scan.

Whenever someone farted or there was a bad odor, she would say “Someone needs to go outside and scrape a leg.”

Scrape a . . . what?  Mom?  Did your auto-correct go on the fritz?  Unfortunately, I heard this before cell phones (before cordless phones!) or texting.

I have no idea what this means.  Did someone get dog poop on their leg and they need to scrape it off?  A shoe perhaps.  But a leg?

What else could they be scraping off their leg that smells so bad?  I’m afraid to find out!

I probably should have asked her what it meant.  But we all knew what she was talking about.  And since I was probably the source of the odor in most cases, I didn’t want to press the issue.

And I still hadn’t redd up my room yet.

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I went shopping at Target (pronounced Tar-jay) today.

Me, only male and without the heels. From: http://www.dumpaday.com/random-pictures/funny-pictures/wednesdays-funny-pictures-51-pics/attachment/target-funny-pictures/

Me, only male and without the heels.
From: DumpaDay.com

My electric razor broke so it was either this or risk decapitating my head trying to manually shave myself with a blade.  I haven’t used a blade since college and I wasn’t very good at it then.  I’m now on low-dose aspirin, so I think I would probably bleed to death if I tried.  I tried to fix the old razor.  The one head has been coming loose for months, but I kept snapping it back in.  And it falls out when I try to clean it.  This morning, it kept falling out while I was trying to shave.  It annoys me.  It would have to for me to go shopping.

I pull into the parking lot , which isn’t terribly crowded for a Sunday morning, and as I am pulling into a space, a woman gets in her car right in front of me.  I think to myself that this is great, because I can pull on through to her space when she leaves, and then I won’t have to back out when I return.

Have you ever tried backing out in a Wal-Mart or Target parking lot?  Any parking lot?  Pedestrians are stupid.  Or blind.  Because surely they can see a car backing out, but that doesn’t stop them.  And they all walk down the middle of the lane instead of near the cars.  Do you walk down the middle of a road or highway?  Hellooo?  McFly?  That’s where the cars go, folks.  And if you see back-up lights and a car pulling out, you’d better stop.  Or at least PICK UP YOUR PACE.   With blind spots and trying to see around today’s big SUVs, the driver probably can’t see you.  But I digress.

So I wait for the woman in the white car to pull away.  And I wait.  I pretend to look over at the store, as if I’m waiting to pick someone up, instead of waiting for her parking spot.  I don’t actually want to make eye contact with her.  I don’t know why.  I just don’t.  I open my phone and pretend to text.  I delete a few old messages from my inbox.  May as well get some useful work done here while I’m waiting for Mrs. All The Time In The World to get moving.  Her car engine is on and her brake lights are on, but nobody’s at home on the gas pedal.

It felt like I waited five minutes–perhaps I did, but it might have only been two or three.  WTH.

I finally turn my car off and get out, figuring she must be smoking a pack or eating lunch or something.  She pulls away.  If it wasn’t intentional it was the most perfectly unplanned coincidence in the history of parking.  But I showed her.  I jumped back in my car, restarted the engine, and took her spot.  Take that Bitch.

Inside, I head to the Health and Beauty section.  It’s not as though shaving makes me beautiful, or improves my health, but I figure that is the section that is most likely to have a razor in it.  And it does.  Blades.  Shaving gels.  After-shave.  Pre-shave.  Epilators for women.  Everything but an electric razor.

So I try electronics.  Ipods.  Ipads.  But no Irazors.  Well, the guy behind the camera counter raised his Ibrows at me, but that doesn’t count.  And now I can’t possibly ask him where they might be.  I don’t know why.  I just can’t.  It’s a male thing.  Like asking for directions–well, in this case, it is asking for directions.  I can’t do that.

I wander aimlessly among the aisles like Moses in the desert.  I try “Small electrics” but find only coffee pots and other well, small electric devices.  Which should include a razor, but it did not.

I call my wife, who is at Sam’s Club and the reason why I am on this shopping quest and not her, and she says the razors should be in Health and Beauty past where the curling irons are.  I didn’t see any curling irons.  I go back to Health and Beauty but I cannot find any curling irons or razors.

I continue to browse the aisles aimlessly, my eyes glassing over.  I think I’m hyperventilating.  Or hypoglycemic.  I’m beginning to get a bit woozy.  I should have grabbed a bag of M&Ms from the candy aisle.  At least I could have a sugar high, and I could leave a trail of candy to mark which aisles I have already wasted part of my life in.

I finally break down and ask the camera counter guy.  Without even thinking about it, he tells me aisle E-14 and points past Home and Garden.  I think Mr. Ibrows knew all along what I was looking for.  Either that, or he is going on break and he just sent me on a wild goose chase.  But what do I have to lose but another few hours of my life?  I’ve already lost my dignity.

I didn’t even know the aisles were marked.

But his directions were on Target, so to speak.

And now I can shave again.

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Has your eye doctor asked you to disrobe and bend over for a prostate exam?  You might want to think about getting a new eye doctor if your answer was yes, but that scenario might not be as absurd as you think.

The United States government, in all its infinite wisdom and good intentions, is changing the way your doctor takes care of you.  Now this is a government that can’t adequately fund or run the Social Security System, Medicare or Medicaid, but they know what is best for your health.  They can’t run the Post Office without a loss, but they know the best way to deliver your health care, and starting in the near future, in addition to no mail you likely won’t be able to get health care on a Saturday.

After all, what would a doctor know about delivering health care?  They went to medical school instead of business school!  They weren’t elected to protect your rights!

Enter Electronic Health/Medical Records (EHR or EMR).  Physicians are “mandated” to computerize medical records.

According to Michelle Malkin:

Buried in the trillion-dollar stimulus law of 2009 was an electronic medical records “incentive” program. Like most of President Obama’s health care rules, this top-down electronic record-sharing scheme is a big fat bust.   Oversight is lax. Cronyism is rife. The job-killing and privacy-undermining consequences have only just begun.   The program was originally sold as a cost-saving measure. In theory, modernizing record-collection is a good idea, and many private health care providers have already made the change. But as with many government “incentive” programs, the EMR bribe is a tax-subsidized, one-size-fits-all mandate. This one pressures health care professionals and hospitals across the country into radically federalizing their patient data and opening up medical information to untold abuse. Penalties kick in for any provider that hasn’t switched over by 2014.

Like so many federal programs, the EHR incentive is advertised as an optional program.  I don’t have to convert to medical records if I don’t want to.  But, oh, by the way, if I don’t convert by 2014, Medicare is going to penalize me.  The federal government has a long history of such extortion–think of the 55 mph highway speed limits that were enforced in the 70’s and 80’s.  States could legalize higher limits, but then they would lose federal funding.  You don’t have to participate . . . but we know you will!

I don’t have to participate in Medicare, but here is the reality:  80-90% of my ophthalmology practice is Medicare.  If I don’t participate, my waiting room will be empty.  The vast majority of Medicare covered patients can’t afford to pay for services out of their own pockets, so they will go to physicians that do accept the coverage. I can’t blame them–I would too.  So I participate because I have to–not because I want to.

And such is the case with EHR.  I can’t afford to collect less from Medicare.  Seriously.  The reimbursement for a cataract surgery today is 1/3 what it was when I started in practice in 1994 and about 1/4 of what it was in 1986 (I now perform THREE surgeries to get paid the same as I used to get paid for ONE!)

Think about that for a moment.  If you are a farmer, you must now plant and harvest three fields to make the same profit you used to get for farming one field.  If you are a salesperson, you must now sell three times as much to keep your salary the same.   Or keep it even more simple–if you are paid an hourly wage, you must now work three hours to take home the same pay you used to work one hour for.  That sounds fair, doesn’t it?  And that is without taking into account inflation and the fact that a 1986 dollar is worth more than a 2013 dollar, not to mention the fact that cataract surgery today is safer and more predictable than it was in 1986.  When you factor in inflation, it is criminal what the federal government has forced upon physicians.  And now there is the 2% sequestration loss on top of all that.

The worst part of the whole thing is that I spent 12 years of my life (four years of college, four years of medical school and four years of residency) and well over a $100,000 for my education, and I am only trained to be an ophthalmologist.  It’s not like I can take my training and skills set and join another company.  I’m not qualified to do anything else, except consulting in some capacity or teaching ophthalmology.  Judging by the page views on this blog, I couldn’t make a living doing this!

So the government dragged me into EHR kicking and screaming, but I have not yet seen one cent of any “incentive” that was promised.  Why?  It’s not because we aren’t using EHR–all of my new patients and 90% of my old patients are now computerized.  It was a long, arduous and frustrating process.  It was expensive.  Anyone in our office that needs access to a chart–from technicians, schedulers, phone operators and insurance filers–must now have a computer and each computer has to have a rather expensive software license.  And every time we submit to get our incentive, there is a new reason why we failed to meet the criteria. No soup for me!

And if the computers go down–I can not access a new patient’s information.  It’s backed-up somewhere, but I can’t get to it until IT figures out what the Hades is wrong with the software or server.

The whole process of computerization and data collection sounds nice on the surface.  This site outlines the process like this:


Improved communication, quality measures, patient access and efficiency are all wonderful buzz words that make it sound like a fairy tale come true.  But it’s the details of the process that are horrendous. It’s the “meaningful use” of that technology that is problematic.  The fine print for meeting these criteria include 15 CORE objectives for physicians, apparently regardless of specialty (“one size fits all”):

1.  Computerized provider order entry (CPOE)
2.  E-Prescribing (eRx)
3.  Report ambulatory clinical quality measures to CMS/States
4.  Implement one clinical decision support rule
5.  Provide patients with an electronic copy of their health information, upon request
6.  Provide clinical summaries for patients for each office visit
7.  Drug-drug and drug-allergy interaction checks
8.  Record demographics
9.  Maintain an up-to-date problem list of current and active diagnoses
10.  Maintain active medication list
11.  Maintain active medication allergy list
12.  Record and chart changes in vital signs
13.  Record smoking status for patients 13 years or older
14.  Capability to exchange key clinical information among providers of care and patient-authorized entities electronically
15.  Protect electronic health information

If you are a non-physician and you look at this list, you are probably thinking to yourself that physicians should probably be doing these things anyway–and in fact, good physicians have been doing most of these things on paper for years.

Who wouldn’t want an electronic prescription as opposed to a scribbled, illegible one from the doctor?  Or an office note that is typed and legible rather than scrawled by a dyslexic platypus?   Have you ever used a computer?  Have you ever mis-typed a text message or email?  Clicked the wrong icon?  Have you ever tried to submit an on-line form that was refused because you missed one of the starred items or entered something incorrectly?  Have you ever sent a text or email that someone didn’t get?

In the short period of time we have been adhering to the eRx mandate, we have had multiple calls from pharmacies where patient’s are waiting to pick up their eye drops but no prescription was received.  Our computer says it was sent.  I know you probably find that impossible to believe because computers are perfect and people are not, but how many essential prescriptions do you think might be lost and the patient not realize they didn’t pick up all the meds they were supposed to?  Or what if the doctor clicked the wrong medication in the drop down menu by accident and didn’t pick up the mistake because he was trying to save encounter time so he could ask you about smoking (see below)?

It’s not as though folks couldn’t forge or change their prescriptions before to get controlled drugs.  They did.  But how long do you think it will take hackers to figure out ways to illegally transmit prescriptions for controlled substances, if they haven’t already?  (Actually, I think controlled substances still need a paper Rx, but as an eye doctor, I haven’t written for a controlled substance in 21 years, so don’t quote me on that.)

We are on the Titanic chugging along here folks, and this is only the TIP of the iceberg.  Medicare is telling us to move ahead full speed!

Number 12 mandates that we “record and chart changes in vital signs.”  Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?  Why didn’t a doctor think of that?!

Here is what your hard-working government–and I swear they employ people to stay awake all night thinking up ways to screw all of us–is doing for you:

Record and chart vital signs: height, weight, blood pressure, calculate and display

BMI, plot and display growth charts for children 2-20 years, including BMI

So you show up for your eye appointment.  Your doctor’s assistant asks you to step on the scale.  They calculate your BMI (body mass index) and determine that you are overweight.  Wait a minute, you came here for glasses, didn’t you?   Or a cataract?

Your podiatrist now is asking you about smoking.  And they are handing you materials about smoking cessation.  All you had was an in-grown toenail.  WTF?

How long will it be before I have to put my patient, who is getting glasses, into a paper gown and ask them to turn their head and cough?

Or better yet, “I’m sorry Mrs. Jones, but before I can take out your cataract, Medicare requires I document a rectal exam!”

Don’t laugh!  They are changing these rules as we speak.  And I’ll give you a hint–they only make it worse.  The Academy of Ophthalmology fought the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) for relief from having to buy scales and waste clinical time discussing your weight instead of your eyes, but I am still being forced to ask my patients about smoking.  And while that does have a modicum of relevance for macular degeneration patients who are at higher risk for the wet type as smokers, for the vast majority of patient encounters, it is just one more thing we must document for no other reason than to make Mr. Obama and his merry band of legislators happy.

We are treating the computers (and legislators)–not our patients.

Seriously, if you are a smoker, you probably know already from the media and lawsuits that smoking is bad for you.  Your general medical doctor, lung specialist or cardiologist should discuss that with you.  But if you are being checked for cataract or getting contact lenses, is that really necessary?  How many people are really going to stop smoking because their eye doctor or foot doctor or proctologist told them to do so?

But wait!  There’s a pamphlet for that!

Vital signs should be appropriate to the specialty–blood pressure and pulse for the cardiologist, respiratory rate for the pulmonologist, vision and eye pressure for the ophthalmologist, etc.  But the government system won’t allow for individuality or common sense.  There are universal protocols for everything, from infection control to marking a surgical patient, regardless of what the infection or surgery may be.

And it only continues to get worse.

So maybe you don’t care if your eye doctor is making less money as you sit in the over crowded waiting room (because I now have to see three times as many patients to maintain my income AND pay for this new computer system I don’t want.)

But if you have to disrobe and bend over, you might just start to care.

I just hope it isn’t Obamacare.

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Third Time’s the Charm

And it came to pass, although it was clearly a no passing zone, in the by gone days of King NeverDidCeasar, that a man arrived in his court, gasping for air, and clearly on death’s doorstep.  He apparently had run uphill to school both ways in many feet of snow and across blistering deserts, to bring words of wisdom from a wizard far away.

King NeverDidCeasar never did, because he was rather old and slow.  He had reigned for many years.  Unfortunately, it had not rained for many months in his kingdom and they were on the brink of a terrible drought.  But that didn’t change the fact that he would still like to seize her.  He just couldn’t catch her.  And with this drought, he couldn’t even catch a break.King

So he beckoned for the man to crawl forward, asking him not to get blood all over the royal court.

The man did as he was told, well, except for the bleeding on the floor part, since he simply couldn’t control that.

The King was incensed.  The Royal Censer was immediately dispatched, as the incense irritated the King’s allergies.

“Did I not instruct you to not bleed on my floor? asked the King.   You bled on my floor!”

The man held his head up, no easy task for a nearly dead man to do, and denied the accusation.  “I did not.”

“You did.  There’s a red streak behind you.”

The man looked back, and then up at the King.  “I didn’t do that.”

The King was clearly enraged and annoyed.  “I am clearly enraged and annoyed!  You’ve bloodied up my floor.  You’re bleeding.  It’s red.  That streak is red.  And it’s because of you!”

“I beg to differ your majesty . . . ”  He paused to cough up blood on the floor in front of the King.  “That streak has been following me since I left the Wizard’s castle.  Good Heavens!  I think it has caught me!”  He hacked up another mouthful of blood.

“Bloody hell!  You’re making a mess.  Why are you here?”

“I bring you words of wisdom from the Wizard.”  It seemed to take all his effort to get the words out.

“The Wizard?  The Wizard?  Have you seen the Wizard?”

The man coughed, no blood, but he spat on the floor just the same.  “Nobody’s seen the Wizard.  Not nobody.  Not no how.  Even I have not seen the Wizard.  But I heard him plain as day!”

The King consulted with his wise guys.  They murmured among themselves, told a few jokes, and then they told the king that “he surely must be a wonderful wizard to send a messenger such a long way to give the King words of wisdom.  Perhaps this man will cure the drought!”

So the King reluctantly agreed to hear what the dying man had to say.  “Tell me these words, bloody man.”

The man cleared his throat, and it sounded like he might just die doing that.  But he recovered to say, “First . . . . Love is such sweet despair.”

The King repeated the words for his royal audience.  “First love is such sweet despair.”

No one really knew what the dying man was talking about, but they had to agree on premise that it made sense.   Dame Sybil Thorndike of the thornier Thorndikes made a mental of note of that.   But they all looked skyward and saw the ceiling.  But there was no rain regardless.

The man coughed and wheezed and gasped.  He held up two bloody fingers.  “Second . . . .Marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.”

The king repeated aloud, “Second Marriage is the triumph of hope over experience!”  He was already on his third and he certainly could not agree more, but he was beginning to worry about where these words of wisdom were going.  And despite the fact that they all stared at the ceiling, no rain came.

The man slumped over, apparently in the throes of death.  He saw the light.  But he came back.  It might have been a reflection off the King’s crown.

With all his final effort, he managed to lift his head up one last time.  The crowd applauded.  The ref stopped counting.  The match would go on.

“Third,” rasped the dying man with his final breaths, holding up three bloody and badly shaking fingers, ” . . . . Time’s the charm . . .”  And then he died before he could complete the sentence he meant to have said.  Instead, he took the final words, “that heals all wounds,” with him.  The fourth and final dictum, “The drought will be relieved by sacrificing a virgin,” never was heard either.

But the King repeated the phrase, “Third time’s the charm!”

And since the dying man was a virgin, having not been around these parts and not around any royal goats that we know of, and he had been left to die in the royal court as an unwilling sacrifice, the sky opened with rainfall and all rejoiced.

And that’s how the phrase Third time’s the charm was coined.

And if you are wondering what this post is all about, check out the Daily Prompt at The Daily Post!

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Refi Gone Awry

So I was just sitting there at my computer, reading my email, minding my own business, in my usual state of insanity–but no worse than usual, when I get a forwarded email from my partner.  Our bank–whom shall remain nameless for reasons that will become painfully apparent–sent him an email offering to refi our home mortgages.  When we built our office a few years ago, we financed through this bank.  They consider us good customers.  Or they want to kill us.  I’m really not so sure at this point.  I suppose this was supposed to be a reward.

Who wouldn’t want to lower their mortgage rates?  (Well, except for that obnoxious kid on the Capital One commercial who doesn’t want 50% more cash–not Jimmy Fallon–the other one.)


Do you want to refinance for a lower rate? NO!

So here is the email that was forwarded to me:

I wanted to follow up with both of you and let you know we checked on home mortgage refinancing and here is where [Gringott’s] refinance rates are:

On either a 10 year or 15 year refi with no cash out our current rate is 2.75% with no points. No cash out just means that you’re refinancing the current mortgage and or home equity you have on your home.   Please pass this rate along to [The Eye Life] as well in case he’s interested. If you decided to move forward we would place your request with our mortgage Rep in our VIP program which locks your rate the day you tell us and then VIP handling takes over.

Did you know that mortgage is derived from death pledge?  That explains a lot.  But I digress.

I have always been leery of those Internet ads–Refi at 2.3 % NO POINTS.  NO HASSLE.  NO HIDDEN FEES.  Click on Fred’s Bank to refi today!  I don’t know Fred.  I don’t trust Fred.  I’m not going to click on Fred’s link.  It just sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?  There has to be a catch.  And if I’m making a death pledge, I want to know who is killing me.

But this was MY BANK.  This was not Fred.  I already have my current mortgage with THIS BANK.  This should be a piece of cake.  A slam dunk during March Madness.  And, I get VIP handling!  I might as well just start sending less money in now!

So I, in my usual state of insanity, answer the email, express my interest and tell them to lock in the rate.

Then, I get this email response:

 I think you’ve decided on the 15 year refi and actually the rates have inched up just a little from the 2.75 to 2.875. They have been going up and down almost every day for the past week or so.

The loan to value should be fine on your current mortgage and that is important to this rate. In regard to your [OTHER] home equity that has a limit of $51,000 if that stays in place it will change the overall loan to value.

So what exactly does it mean to lock-in a rate?  I asked.  They replied:

I’m sure you gave me the ok via e-mail so let me check and get back to you. I had four different requests at the same time. I’ll make sure it is set.

Does VIP mean Very Incompetent People?

Just a quick note to “Thank You” once again for working with me to refinance your home mortgage to a rate of 2.75% for 15 years. I appreciate your patience and I hoped we could get down to where we first started talking about.

I actually had a phone conversation-they called me because when I call them I never get to talk to a person.  It always goes to voice mail because they are busy with other extortions bank business.  My but they are busy!  Anyway, on the phone I was told she had good news–rates had dropped again and they would lock-in the 2.75% rate.  I seriously wonder what they would have told me had rates not conveniently dropped back down.  Either way, I think I am locked in right now.  Oh, yes.  I’m in jail.  A prisoner to this process.

I need an appraisal.

I just refinanced to 4.875% about five years ago.  This is Gringott’s–my bank.  Seriously dudes?  You need another appraisal.

It actually came in higher in value than the last one.  I’m not surprised, but I’m pretty sure I’m paying for that appraisal somewhere in that Good Faith Estimate they sent me.

And they need Title services and insurance.  All right people.  Who came up with this system of extortion?  Greedy goblins?  I have a 30 year mortgage with you now.  I paid for a title search and insurance for that.  All we’re doing here is paying one note off with the other at a different rate and term.  Is this really necessary?  It’s over two thousand dollars for this.  I still have 25 years of insurance left on the previous mortgage.

You will need Title Insurance to get into your vault!

You will need Title Insurance to get into your vault!

Apparently I don’t.

But I received an approval and commitment letter for the 2.75%.  I thought I could see a light at the end of the tunnel.

But do you remember that little home equity line of credit I had at another non-Gringott’s bank?

Well, I had to get a Letter of Subordination from the other bank. As things currently stood, if I defaulted on the loan, Gringott’s was first in line to pick the flesh from my bones.  The other bank would have to settle with what was left.  But If I refi, Gringott’s wants to make sure they are still number one ahead of the equity line.  Okay.  No problem.  The other bank was already second.  I’m sure they will be happy with that.  I have personal accounts with them as well.  They are my bank too.  I know them.  I trust them.  Maybe they’ll give me VIP handling as well!

Not so much.  I had to pay $200.00 to get a Subordination letter.  Which then led to this . . .

We received the subordination for the [non-Gringott’s] line of credit. With the line amount of 51k this is creating a pricing add on of .5pt as the combined loan to value exceeds 80%. In order to keep the rate of 2.75 with no points we would need to have the [non-Gringott’s] line paid down to 30k and the line amount decreased to the same amount. Is this possible for you to do at this time?? Once we close on the mortgage our retail branch could do another home equity up to 85% and close out the heloc with [non-Gringott’s]. The only other option for keeping the 2.75% would be for you to pay the .5 pt pricing add on. I do apologize as I was not aware of the home equity until the title work came in. Please let me know which way you would like to proceed.

I would like to strangle someone.  Apparently that is not a legal option. Gringott’s KNEW about the HELOC in the very beginning (see above email.)  Come on people, these two banks lent me these loans when my property was actually appraised for LESS than it is now.  If I can’t afford to pay my mortgage at the new lower rate, how in the hell am I going to pay it at the old HIGHER rate?  Helloooo, McFly!

And I was already approved.  I received a GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE which did not include a 0.5 point fee.  Are these pieces of paper worthless?  Is there no Good Faith?

I have no intention of letting Gringott’s handle both loans, so I opted for the latter option.

I believe looking at the add on and the fact that you have made more payments to your current mortgage. I will not need to change the loan amount to cover this cost. The payment would remain the same as you were quoted to begin with. Again, I really want to apologize for this error on my part and want to work through this so we can continue with closing.

Isn’t that special?

I should have clicked on Fred’s bank.

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War is certainly hell, but it makes for great Farks.  Already, the threat of war by Kim Jong Un of North Korea has gotten the ball rolling with gems like these:




Assuming you saw the original Snickers commercial, that is funny stuff right there!  And then I saw this one . . .


. . . which got me to thinking and that is always a dangerous situation.

Those silly, stupid North Koreans.  They’ve never launched missiles at anyone.  They have never dropped a nuclear bomb on Japan, or anyone else for that matter.  They are such novices.  They don’t have the experience that we do in this arena.

I saw a CNN report that North Korea moved missiles into position and hid them.  Seriously?  In this technological age of satellite imagery, there are probably janitors in the Pentagon that know more precisely the location of those missiles than most of the leaders of North Korea’s army.

And if they do have nuclear capabilities, I would imagine the instructions are written in Russian or Chinese.  I’m picturing a group of them huddled around the missile, trying to arm it . . .

One translates, “Connect the blue wire . . . “

“Blue wire connected.”

“. . . but only after you connect the red one.”



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Calories are Yellow

After passing by a piece of trash on the ground several times, I actually took a closer look:


Diet Green?  But the cap is BLUE!

This got me to thinking.  Green is a combination of blue and yellow.  So if Diet Green is blue, then the only logical conclusion is that yellow must have all the calories!

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