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  1. anethum

    What have you read recently?

    The NY Times recently published a list of "The Top 100 Books of the 21st Century", "as voted on by 503 novelists, nonfiction writers, poets, critics and other book lovers — with a little help from the staff of The New York Times Book Review."...
  2. anethum

    Ultra Processed Foods

    We certainly do see greatly increased levels of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in the US. Neither condition is benign.
  3. anethum

    Ultra Processed Foods

    Masa harina is ground whole grain corn. I have a bag of masa harina in my home right now and it specifically states it is made from whole grain corn treated with lime (the mineral, not the fruit). Nixtamalization actually improves the nutritional benefits of corn, including making the natural...
  4. anethum

    Ultra Processed Foods

    In Mexico, and I believe in Central America as well, whole corn undergoes "nixtamalization" before it is ground. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixtamalization "Nixtamalization (/ˌnɪkstəməlɪˈzeɪʃən/) is a process for the preparation of maize, or other grain, in which the grain is soaked and...
  5. anethum

    Driving a Rental Car in Normandy.

    If you are going to St. Malo on this trip, I urge you to also visit gorgeous Dinan (not to be confused with Dinard). By car, Dinan is just 21 miles/33 km south of St. Malo. It has a beautifully preserved medieval center. https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/articles/brittanys-dinan
  6. anethum

    Medicare Supplement G versus N

    I've yet to see any explanation or evidence to back up the assertion I highlighted. Guarantee Issue only comes into play in limited circumstances, all unrelated to an individual's health. So I see no reason why these individuals should be less healthy than others already in the pool. The main...
  7. anethum

    What have you read recently?

    Table for Two is the superb latest book by Amor Towles. The book is an unusual combination of 6 short stories and 1 novella. However, the "novella" is 215 pages long, so IMO it's a novel. The 6 short stories, set mostly in NYC, are extremely varied and are great tales. The novella, set in...
  8. anethum

    Spain largely cashless

    I was recently in France & England. I stayed at a couple of B&Bs ("chambres d’hôtes") in France which didn't take credit cards. They were both very nice places and a much better deal than nearby hotels. I also used cash for leaving tips for hotel housekeeping. Otherwise, I almost always paid...
  9. anethum

    What have you read recently?

    Mona of the Manor is an enjoyable new book by Armistead Maupin in the Tales of the City series. Although this one takes place in a manor house in England, it has several of the original San Francisco characters including Anna Madrigal & Michael. My library has a "Librarian's Favorites"...
  10. anethum

    Medigap Shopping: Closing the Book & Rate Increases

    Did you factor in the age discount to calculate the final AARP/UHC price? I started out with MoO and they raised my Plan G rate by double digits when I turned 66. I passed underwriting and switched to AARP/UHC. MoO continued to jack up their rate significantly each year after I got out. My...
  11. anethum

    Total Solar Eclipse April 8, 2024

    "Foreigner", yes, but we didn't clog up I-97. We were staying with friends in Bend and took back roads into totality and watched the glorious spectacle from near the base of the Cascades a bit west of I-97. We had no problem at all with traffic after the eclipse, but we weren't leaving Bend...
  12. anethum

    Total Solar Eclipse April 8, 2024

    You couldn't be more wrong. As one eclipse watcher told me the day before the 2017 total eclipse (we saw totality in central Oregon), "The difference between a total eclipse and a near-total eclipse, is like the difference between death and a near-death experience."
  13. anethum

    Medigap Shopping: Closing the Book & Rate Increases

    Maryland also has a birthday rule now. A birthday rule for Medicare Supplement policies went into effect in Maryland on July 1, 2023. The following has a good explanation for how it works...
  14. anethum

    Medigap plan G vs plan N

    The difference between AARP/UHC Plan G and Plan N in my area is $26/month. After handling my elderly parents bills, doctor's appointments, ER trips, and hospitalizations for years, I don't want to add any additional work for myself or anyone who might be stuck handling my own affairs in the...
  15. anethum

    Total Solar Eclipse April 8, 2024

    If you click on that link, it's set to display the "Canadian Ensemble" weather prediction. If you then click on "American Ensemble" near the top of the page, the prediction looks far worse. At this moment, 5:45pm CDT, the Canadian prediction is based on data as recent as 7am CDT today, whereas...
  16. anethum

    Medigap plan G vs plan N

    I don't think that's correct. In most states, each supplemental plan is priced in age bands. Even AARP/UHC effectively has age bands due to their discounts that decrease with age. Therefore anyone switching plans due to Guaranteed Issue will be paying the same rate as others of their age...
  17. anethum

    Medigap plan G vs plan N

    Nobody has explained why those people who qualify to enroll under Guarantee Issue would be more expensive to insure than those who are already in a Plan G pool. The circumstances which result in someone having Guarantee Issue eligibility have nothing to do with their individual health. In the...
  18. anethum

    What have you read recently?

    I Am Pilgrim is an absorbing thriller by Terry Hayes. It came out about 10 years ago, but I hadn't heard of it until recently. Given that the main character & narrator is American and much of the story concerns US intelligence, it's a bit surprising that the author is British. Be warned that...
  19. anethum

    Medigap plan G vs plan N

    I chose Plan G for the same reason as Ian S. I don't want to mess with co-payments. I do have a bit of a concern about "excess payment" because I was handling my mom's healthcare bills for many years and she did have a significant excess payment charge from an orthopedic surgeon. I question...
  20. anethum

    Southern Spain in February

    I found that restaurants in Spain (and Argentina) typically don't open until 8pm or 8:30pm. They're open for lunch in Spain at least from 1pm-4pm. I altered my eating schedule, too. I sometimes bought something in a bakery in late morning, and then ate a late lunch, typically starting at...
  21. anethum

    Southern Spain in February

    I was in southern Spain in February, plus a couple of days in northern Morocco and a day in Gibraltar. Southern Spain has comfortable temperatures in the winter. My daily high temperature ranged from 66 (19 C) to 74 (23 C). A couple of days had some rain, but it was mostly sunny. I visited...
  22. anethum

    My Recent Calcium CT Scan

    My cardiologist ordered my Calcium CT Scan last year, and Medicare + Medigap paid for it.
  23. anethum

    Learning another language?

    That was my post in this thread 2 years ago. I'm still speaking weekly with the same FIRE'd man in Paris, and with the same young man in Costa Rica. I have now met both of them in person. 18 months ago I met my French/English language partner while I was in Paris and spent a lovely day with...
  24. anethum

    $500,000 per couple primary residence exclusion and inflation

    I spoke with a long-time employee in the appraisals office several years ago. He told me that the appraisals are done entirely via software. They receive records of any construction permits so they know if rooms or amenties have been added. He also said that the software wasn't designed to...
  25. anethum

    $500,000 per couple primary residence exclusion and inflation

    Thanks for the ideas, but as I previously wrote, "I am fortunate that I can afford my property tax." That doesn't mean I'm happy about its enormous increase nearly 4 times the rate of inflation. In most jurisdictions, when property values go up, the tax rate tends to go down. Not where I...
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