Of any interest?

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Of any interest?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 02 Feb 2013, 18:57

http://www.troubador.co.uk/matador.asp - this's a British company, part of Troubador Publishing Ltd. I don't see why manuscripts from the US or anywhere else can't be submitted, but thought I'd post it if any of you guys are interested. It seems they're pretty helpful towards authors.
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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Kellemora » 03 Feb 2013, 11:44

Thanks Icey, I bookmarked them!

It is very hard for authors in one country to work with publishers in another country.
Even in English speaking countries, due to the different conventions in the languages.
A special edition re-edited for another English speaking country is both costly and sometimes confusing.
Not as costly as changing it to another language, like German or French. But sometimes meanings get twisted around.
We have that problem here in the US without changing the language. A northerner has one heck of a time understanding a novel written in a southern dialect. And I'm not referring to slang words which usage varies from city to city.
A simple phrase used in the south "I don't care to." has an entirely opposite meaning in the north.
A good Editor would never allow such regional phrases to appear in a properly edited novel.

The Hardy Boys Mysteries take on a whole new meaning to the Brits, hi hi.....
Why? Because they were written in plain English.
Of course, we have similarly confusing names also.
We wear boots on our feet, or a tire can get a boot in its sidewall.
We pack stuff to store or ship in a trunk, and store stuff in the trunk of our car.
When exploring a cave, a stick with rag on the top, dipped in kerosine is a torch.
Or we may have a heating device to melt solder or lay floor tiles called a torch.
A bonnet is worn by a woman in olde daze, not so much today anymore.

Now, for someone here to read in a novel: Grab a torch from my boot, will ya please, so I can look under my bonnet.
Can you imagine the IMAGE a USA reader would have in their head?
They would picture some burly cowboy looking dude wearing a woman's bonnet and having an oil soaked rag on a stick, sticking up from his high-top shoe alongside his pants leg.

In other words, the book becomes total confusion and the reader goes off in a daze trying to understand what the author meant.

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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 03 Feb 2013, 15:54

Lol - well I could understand it, but I see what you mean.

Re. using a publisher in another country though - surely there are ways someone could get round that? We read lots of books over here that're by respected American authors, with "Americanisms" in the dialalogue of course - and we just read through them and understand. I can't see much of a problem myself. It's the same with films. We all flock to see them, American accents and expressions included. They're just as popular over here as over there.
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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Kellemora » 04 Feb 2013, 10:27

Same way with your stuff being seen over here!
Back when I did watch TV, I usually hit the BBC published or offered shows first.

I had not watched TV for years, until recently. The frau has this DVR thing, however, Comcast Cables video is horrendous, so I still avoided it like the plague. She now records a few shows she knew I liked; like Dr. Who for example.
One of the things that turned me totally OFF of TV was when they started advertising during the shows. It began as that little ID in the corner, but I knew it would GROW and it has, to almost 1/3 of the screen DURING a SHOW. The only time it's not on the screen is during a commercial.

I have this sheet of black pasteboard, I set it in front of the TV screen. When I made it, it covered the lower 1/6th of the TV Screen. Since then, I've placed items under it to hold it higher up on the screen. Then added taller things to hold it even higher, it is now covering over 1/4th of the bottom of the screen.

Sure, I may be missing what might be going on behind the black screen. And ALL TO OFTEN advertising during the show still appears over the top of my black pasteboard, sometimes half way up the screen. Which only means I have to raise it up even higher AGAIN to keep from getting so annoyed by their inconsiderate destruction of what could be great TV shows.

In any case, with the DVR, we can skip through the commercials fairly fast. They don't allow a JUMP feature, so you still see the commercial in fast-forward mode. Most of them are some yo-yo trying to hawk a grossly overpriced car, without giving any necessary consumer details about the product. The worst form of advertising imaginable! Or Big Pharma advertising Prescription Drugs using the BAD side effects as their selling points, hi hi.....

Remember when Cable TV first came out, it was ADVERTISED AS, Commercial Free! Ummm, so what happened? They've gone from commercials between the shows, to continuously running commercials DURING THE SHOW.......

Now you know why I don't watch TV, and if I do watch a taped show, 1/3 of the screen is covered with a black pasteboard.

With today's high speed computers, and excellent video editing programs. I'm actually looking forward to the day when I can record a show, edit out the advertising that goes on during the show, and then sit down to enjoy it without all the aggravations.

You can't even buy a video (movie) from a store anymore that does not regurgitate advertising.
And they wonder WHY they are losing business. Blockbuster here is closed, might be closed everywhere, don't know.
One thing I won't do is PAY to watch advertising!!!!!

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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 04 Feb 2013, 16:00

Well of course, the BBC doesn't produce advertisements (over here anyway), and so we have to pay for TV licences instead. That's one of the ways they raise revenue, but for someone who prefers other channels, it's a swizz because they still need to buy an annual licence, simply because they're using a TV! Think they cost £146 at the moment, but they increase the charge each year. I was amazed to read recently how many old black and white TVs are still in use - over 13,000 of them!!! Mind you, the licence for using one of those's a third of the cost of a colour one, so you can't blame anyone who's not very well off for continuing to use those type of TVs.

Most of the ads get on my nerves, but since I hardly watch any television programmes anyway, it's neither here nor there. The most annoying time seems to be in the middle of a decent film. One weekend, there was an ad break of 11 minutes! We don't want to fork out on licences to watch that - we want the programmes we've switched on to see!

So many things are a rip off. We can't get cable here, and we said why bother paying for Sky when we can buy Freeview TVs with a multitude of channels anyway? So that's what we did, and there are way more channels than you need anyway. A person can only flip over so many times without getting bored or wasting time. I think our family uses half a dozen at the most, so the rest are a waste.

Then what about Kindles? You pay more for the ones without ads, but who really wants to see them? The folk who advertise think you do, but I don't know anyone who can't wait to see what ads pop up!! The only time ads on TV are good though, are like the ones they have on in Finland. They do some lovely ones - which are more interesting than many of our ordinary programmes!! LOL.

I don't know whether Blockbusters've closed over here or not. We've never rented any DVD or whatever. If a good film comes out, we watch it at the cinema, and then might buy it, but seriously Gary, we must have about 20 vids/DVDs that I've never seen at all - probably more. I'm more interested in documentaries on wildlife and archeology/history, and I can watch those on my computer if I want to. If all TVs worked on a pay-to-view service, I doubt if I'd spend 50p a week! : )
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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Kellemora » 05 Feb 2013, 13:04

Don't blame you!
Don't know if this is true or not, but I heard they have VANS that travel the streets, sniffing out how many TV's are in your residence. And that you have to pay a fee for each one. That would be mighty inconvenient here, since most of us have a TV in every room. Even some refrigerators have a TV built into them.

Do you have to pay for each computer monitor in your house too?

And, if you have no cable, how do you get high-speed internet?
I don't consider DSL or Satellite high-speed, although they advertise it as being high-speed.
I'm talking about 12 gigs or higher, I'm at 16 gigs and for 3 bucks more could get 30 gigs plus TV.

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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 05 Feb 2013, 17:02

Hi Gary.

It's true about TV detector vans. What they do, is have access to a looong list of folk who haven't renewed their licences, and so they set off to the streets where, if they detect a TV on at those addresses, they'll tell the residents what they've detected and they're given a few days to go out and buy another licence. If NOT, and they continue to watch their TVs anyway, they're due a hefty fine.

It's not true that you have to buy a licence for each TV that you have. One licence covers an entire household, whether you have 2 or 20, kind of thing, but I believe that where you have large houses which've been turned into flats, then each tenant's responsible for getting their own licence. It doesn't apply if someone rents a room in someone's house though, providing the landlord has a licence for any TVs in the place!

To complicate matters further, by rights, any gadget which's capable of receiving TV programmes warrants buying a licence. This includes little TV screens on combined radios, etc. The size doesn't matter, it's just the fact that it's there.

If you decide that you no longer want to watch TV, any that remain in the house have to not just be unplugged, but have the plugs taken OFF them, otherwise, they say that you might be watching them again after the monitoring van's moved away!! Their inspectors can enter your home and check that this's been done.

I can watch TV programmes on my computer, but not everyone has them that you can.

When I mentioned cable (as in cable TV), I assume it's the same as over there - literally, the cables are sited underground? We don't have that personally, and no, we haven't got high-speed internet either. 12 gigs??? You jest - LOL!!!! To be honest, unless there's a problem which makes our computers run slowly, everything's pretty instantaneous - apart from when I first switch on. Everything goes off at night, so when I come in here in the morning, I maybe have to wait about 8-10 seconds for the thing to boot up. It's no problem though, because I'm busy sorting paperwork out. The next time I look at the screen, we're ready to go.
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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Kellemora » 06 Feb 2013, 12:04

Thanks for the info and clarifications Icey.

Our cable company offers many speed options, some at very high prices too!

The Provisional Speed has gone from 6 Mbps to 12 Mbps.
If you add PowerBoost (one of their trademarked sales gimmicks) you can boost 12 up to 15 Mbps.
Of those, if you add the Performance Plus package 8 jumps up to 16 Mbps.
If you add both PowerBoost and Performance Plus 16 jumps up to 20 Mbps. (This is what I'm supposed to have, but most of the time I'm lucky to get even 12 Mbps.)

For those who need faster, they offer other combinations of 22, 30 and the top speed of 50 Mbps.

I think I mistakenly used the word Gig's in my previous post!

I had to upgrade from CAT5E to CAT6 to get my 1 gig LAN to reach 200 feet to my router, in order to maintain 12 Mbps continually. Sometimes I do see downloads as high as 20 Mbps, but that too depends on the source and their speeds.

It's like in the old daze, if you had a 56k modem, but the site sending to you only used a 22k modem, the speed at your end didn't matter to much.
Even today, I hit many Shared Host web sites and wait what seems like an eternity for the Host to get around to sending the data I requested.
When the world now runs at Nano Speed, a 15 to 30 second wait is like a dozen lifetimes, hi hi........

We don't shut off any of our computers here. Only reboot each time there is a kernel update, which is not all that often.
Unlike Windows computers, where you have to continually reboot for any change made. You don't have to reboot Linux each time something is altered, changed or added, unless it directly affects the kernel. So, it is not uncommon to see an UPTIME in excess of 200 days or longer. Once your computer is set up and running properly, unless you really need a kernel upgrade, due to a new piece of hardware not supported by the old kernel, there is no reason to install it.

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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 06 Feb 2013, 21:40

Yes, most companies over here offer a variety of speeds at a variety of inflated prices, but we chose a package that suits our needs and includes anytime talk because of the volume of phone calls which have to be made during the day. Getting this for nothing, so to speak, was why we chose it. Internet speed was secondary - so long as we got it!

Don't worry about the gigs thing - I knew what you meant, but I was laughing that you should even mean megabytes!!! I forget what we have, but it's not fast in comparison to what you CAN get. However, the news gets worse. I have a link to a thing which checks what speeds we get up to, and say for instance we're supposed to have 10, the actual figure's closer to 6 - or sometimes lower. It's pathetic really, but we have what we need, so why fork out a lot more money for a little bit extra?

I can remember the 56k modems. Ha ha ha - but because I had my own computer for the first time when this was in use, I didn't know any different. The machine worked, and I can't say as it caused me to tap my fingers whilst waiting for much. It was only when my poor computer finally staggered to the end of its life that things went slowly, but of course, I now know that these things can be repaired and added to, but I wanted a good new computer anyway. The old one wasn't slimline, so I had this bulky object on my desk, which, whilst serving its purpose, didn't look right!

I hear you about Linux. I have friends who swear by it, and they've not had any trouble with viruses of course. They also leave their machines on, but I switch everything off before going to bed, simply because we once had a fire, and should one ever occur again, our insurance'd be void if we hadn't taken all precautions, despite the fire department coming to put out a blaze in an outbuilding. The whole place was checked out. In fact, we have annual checks done now, and this'd be in our favour if we ever needed to make another claim.

Going back to TV licences, ours's due again soon. I really object to paying for one, because although we have ... can't remember, but 7 TVs I think .. they're not watched much at all, but we have them because the children use them when they're playing games, and they're always there for if someone becomes ill and has to stay in bed. The downstairs ones are mainly there for guests to look at, and for the occasional programmes which the family might want to gawp at. For myself, I could happily be without one at all, but I DO watch certain things when I have a bit of time. Just not frequently.

Do you need a TV licence over there? I don't think you do, do you? Sensible! Why have to pay for a pile of cack anyway? : )
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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Kellemora » 07 Feb 2013, 13:47

I have tried DSL a few times. I call and order it mainly so they hear from their own installers that the sales staff lied through their teeth again. I don't have to pay if they can't get it working. And after I found out the Installer gets paid regardless, I always said yes when they called me with some new HYPE.
The funniest one was the sales person told me they just installed ALL NEW Fiber Optics and I could get the speeds I want if I signed up today. I knew they had not installed anything here, but agreed and signed up. The SAME Installer pulled up in my driveway that was here two times before. We just sat down and had a cigarette and soda while I let him listen to the last spiel they gave me.
He just laughed and said, there is nothing new between here and the switching office, nor between the switching office and central office.
So I asked him. Did they give you the new Fiber Optic converter box to connect me up that new fiber optic cable they just ran on my street. He laughed again. We don't even have any in the warehouse, as there is no fiber optics in our entire service area.
He checked in with the office to tell them it is impossible for him to connect me to Fiber Optics as the ORDER dictates. I turned on the speaker for me to hear them. Where and how did you get that ORDER? Came through one of the sales organizations who provide our routing info. Then he read the serial number off the order to the home office.

Even if we did have DSL, I couldn't use it. I have 8 computers on-line here. DSL can only handle about 2 computers at half-speed each.

No we do not have TV Licensing here! And I doubt if they could even make it work if they wanted to.
I assume, the whole purpose of the License is for TAX REVENUE. Your's goes in part to the BBS I assume.

They have a cheaper way of collecting HIGHER TAXES here....
Rather than doing it themselves on a home by home basis, they MAKE the various private companies collect the TAX for them.

There are heavy taxes on telephone wires, cable TV, cable Telephone, etc. The list of things we are taxed on through private industry is impossible to itemize, there are so many.

Here is a good example: VOIP (voice over internet protocol) is FREE..... HOWEVER, to have a phone number converted to an IP address costs $1.00 per Year PLUS 3 to 5 bucks a month in TAXES on the phone number. About half of what you pay through the telephone company in taxes.
I have Ooma VOIP, it is a stand alone box, does NOT need a computer to work. It's GREAT, sound quality is much better than the standard telephone service. However, in order to use it, you NEED a Cable Internet connection, which is also taxed heavily, and the box connects to your electric, also taxed heavily. So I guess when all the taxes are added together, you are still paying the same amount in taxes, if not more.

What kills me more than anything is that Comcast wants to charge $19.95 per month for their Phone Service, which covers the $1.00 per year phone to IP cost and the 3 to 5 bucks a month tax. And it is not as good as Ooma, which is FREE, except for the taxes.
Comcasts cable TV was so bad, we finally discontinued the TV part and went with a Satellite System, Great Video and many more amenities. We can record like 5 shows at once, and watch different recorded shows in different rooms. The frau loves it.

Now, if you use a TV ANTENNA and get the signals off the airwaves, the radio stations themselves are paying taxes in order to broadcast over the airwaves. So once again, they are not trying to collect individual taxes from each person who watches TV.

You should see our telephone bills here. There is an entire ROW of TAXES for this that and the other thing added to our bills.
Each with their own unique little name before the word TAX...... Ridiculous!

They Tax your money when you earn it.
They Tax your money when you spend it.
They Tax the items yearly or more often if you buy something tangible.
They Tax almost everything you use in one way or another.

It is very EASY for someone in this country to end up paying 100% to 1000% or more of their income in TAXES!
I was over 100% of my income in TAXATION several times a little over a decade ago.

Every great country FELL when their taxes crossed the 25% mark. The US has been well over 50% for a few decades now.
And the way it is set up, causing some folks more taxes than they can possibly afford. The late great US of A is soon to come to an end.

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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 07 Feb 2013, 20:37

Ohh ... I so have empathy with that. Our taxes are beyond ridiculous. They keep finding new ways of extracting every last penny from folk. We don't mind paying a fair tax - say on income - but it doesn't stop there does it? We have to pay VAT (value added tax) on almost everything. It's a very confusing tax, as there are 3 tiers. The standard rate's set at 20% I believe. We pay this on: Basic or staple food items, books, papers & magazines, children's clothes and shoes, personal hygiene items, fares on public transport and on installation of energy-saving materials. We pay it for using our phones, gas and electricity, and the list goes on.

Credit card rates've soared by up to 2% in the past four months, taking the average interest rate to its highest level in 13 years.

Interest on mortgage rates've been held in some cases, but whereas people usually had to find a 10% or even a 5% deposit, they're now expected to find a 20% one! Young people can't afford to get on the property ladder, especially with landlords knowing this and upping rents to a maximum, so parents are often having to help their children out. In some cases, this means re-mortgaging their own properties ... and paying further interest of course.

It's not JUST all this taxing though. We pay for garden waste bins, which're supplied by the Council (if you require one). We can be fined for putting refuse into the wrong bins (we have separate ones for recycling or otherwise, and other places for disgarded batteries and so on) or if our bin lids are open by more than an inch or so when the collections are made! Some Councils are now providing refuse bins with spyware inside them, to make sure that everything's disposed of properly, and no, I''m not joking.

ALL our households require a TV licence, even if you get a second-hand one from a friend.
If your dog fouls on the pavement and you don't remove it, you can be fined up to £1000.
Very soon (although I'm pleased about this one personally), every dog owner'll be required to have their animals chipped by law. I feel sorry for pensioners who might have a pet for company, but who can't afford to get them done (about £35).
In 2011, children's schools meals increased by 17%.
BT (British Telecom) charges a line rental of around £50 a quarter. You then pay extra for your ISP, but if you have both from BT, they'll bring out offers to try and tempt you. At the moment, they're offering free internet connection for 6 months. A few weeks ago, it was a cheap combined rate for 12 or 18 months - but once that period's up, the prices soar! people tend to forget, and then get an unpleasant bill drop in. These packages also only cover free weekend and/or evening calls. Since we use the phone many times a day, we found a free one which can be used 24/7 as I mentioned before. It's not strictly free - what is? - but it's saved us a lot of money.

So you see, it's not just the US who're having to tighten your belts. It's BAD over here. Don't you believe it when you read in the papers about our economy getting slightly better. The banks might be making a bit more money again, and some big businesses might be seeing slight rises, but for the ordinary man in the street, this means nothing. Prices won't drop, wages aren't going up, benefits are being slashed to a minimum even for the disabled, Councils are still culling their staff by the hundreds, shop chains are closing (Jessops and HMV being the latest), and morale must be at its lowest ebb ever. I understand that in the 30's when things were bad, everyone just got on as best they could - and survived - but it's a whole new ball game now. Dozens more taxes've been added since then, and very soon, if this carries on, people literally won't be able to pay. So then what? They can't all be sent to jail - they're full to bursting point as it is! Folk'll steal and riot, and there'll be no one to stop them because all the police forces've been cut down to a minimum!!

Whoever wants to live here must be mad.
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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Kellemora » 08 Feb 2013, 13:47

I hear ya loud n clear Icey!

Back during the great depression, folks didn't have taxes to worry about, there weren't any.

Today, you can't afford to be flat broke, because of ongoing taxes you must pay, whether you have the money to or not.

It's after 1:30 and I haven't fed the pooches or had lunch yet. They kept me busy at work later than usual.
I think we've covered this topic pretty well.

Someone asked me not to long ago how someone could owe more in taxes than they make!

Very simple: Take an elderly couple who purchased a new car to replace their 12 year old car, while they had the funds to buy it, and perhaps a riding lawn mower since the old fellow don't walk so good no more.
Once they go on Social Security, about 150 of that is taken out for medicare and a drug plan, that covers very little.
If their total income for the month is only around 700 bucks like mine. And you begin to add up just the fixed taxes they have to pay, it can boggle the mind how they will be able to do it.
Two months of my income goes to Real Estate Taxes, one month to Automobile Taxes (not counting gas taxes), and one month to personal property taxes. Meds not covered by insurance take another 2 months. And co-pays add up to another month.
That leaves only 3 months income to pay for groceries, necessities and utilities for an entire year. At the cost of the utilities, that means UNDER 100 dollars for groceries and necessities for an entire year.

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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 08 Feb 2013, 21:41

Oh my goodness! :o

It'd surely be impossible to make $300 last for a year's food supply!?? We spend that a WEEK! However, when you put things as you have, I can see that it must be a huge struggle to save anything - or to go mad and splash out on fripparies ( nice word).

It's appalling isn't it?

I feel so sorry for people who have just their (state) pensions to survive on. It's a struggle for them to keep warm in the winter because heating charges are so expensive, and if they go into care homes, unless home owners've put their houses into their children's names so many years before, they're expected to sell them to pay for their residential care.

The one thing that we still have, however much anyone moans about it, is our NHS. We often pay for private medical treatment, simply because it can get you seen to a lot quicker than if you're on a waiting list, but the treatment's exactly the same. A lot of our surgeons and doctors work in the NHS but then do private work as well to add to their incomes, so in the main, you're being treated by the same medics as you'd have if you didn't have to pay. This private health care's a rip-off. Some folk pay into it all their lives and never have to use it. Then again, believing that it was just throwing money down the drain, we didn't bother, and there HAVE been recent times where this would've saved us thousands. Mind you, even the care plans come in tiers. The more you pay, the more things they'll treat, but a basic monthly plan often excludes all sorts of things which could crop up.

It doesn't bear thinking about really, does it? It just seems depressing. :(
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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Kellemora » 09 Feb 2013, 12:06

I may have said this before, don't remember.
I owned a very nice business back home. A lot of money flowed across my desk, although not much fell into my pockets, it all went to pay bills. However, there was enough to live in a nice area, and buy things like the best health insurance.
As my late wife became ill, most of the bills were covered, but we still had to pay that 20%, which wasn't that much until continual hospitalizations begin to take place.
It was not uncommon during her last few years on planet earth, that I HAD to pay over 25 thousand dollars a month to the hospitals. This was slightly more than I was making. So I borrowed money.
I missed a payment, and they shipped her down to the state run hospital, not good at all.
I began selling off my business assets in order to ensure she could continue to go to our local hospitals.
Needless to say, the more I sold off, the less income I had coming in.

Then it happened. Our insurance Capped Out and they would pay NO MORE of ANYTHING. We hit our LIMIT!

I was now facing medical bills exceeding 150 thousand dollars a month!
And because we did own assets, we could not get any help whatsoever.
I did not have TIME to sell any of my assets the normal way and make a profit from the sale.
But I did need to unload them quickly.

When I bought each of these houses, I put anywhere from 35 to 50% down and mortgaged the rest for 15 years.
I owned most of them for over 7 years, which made a nice dent in the balance owing on these mortgages.
In order to get rid of the houses as quickly as possible, they were all sold for ONLY the remaining mortgage on them.
Whatever equity I had in each was lost. I dumped all of them for ZERO profit.
Then I refinanced my own home to the hilt to get her back into the hospital.

Now realize, I have sold off all of my income producing properties, which means I now had NO INCOME EITHER.
No way to make the payments on my house. Not a thought I needed to be worrying about at the time.

The doc was planning on releasing her to come back home again, however, she took a downturn and passed away.
I borrowed the money to bury her, thinking I would get it back from an insurance policy.
Turned out, she borrowed from it to put her kids through college, and less than 2 grand remained.
Roughly enough for one house payment.

With her now gone, I could go back to work. However, to meet my current debt load, I had to make at least 5 grand a month, like right now. I did the only thing I know and bought a couple of houses at auction to renovate. The first I just did the electric and plumbing, then passed it on to another renovator to do the drywall and trimwork, going back to finish the final work on the electric and plumbing. This gave me like 4,800 bucks for that month. But I was also working on another house, which netted me around 15 grand after two months of working from daylight to dark and sometimes beyond.
This was enough to make my house payment and catch up on my debt payments.
I kept repeating this cycle until I managed to clear up most of the debts.

OK, so now I'm holding my own, Finally. And went back to working only 8AM until around 7PM.
I also have 4 kids living at home, thankfully now old enough to not have to worry too much about them.
Two were of driving age which helped out a lot. One moved to Detroit after landing a job once out of college.
Eventually, all but one was out of the house and I was finally seeing daylight.
After a couple of good sales I paid my house mortgage down by about 15% and refinanced to get the payments lower.

I met and married Debi and brought her to St. Louis. She used to work 3 jobs, so I thought it would be nice if she didn't have to work. However, after about 6 months of staring at walls, she took a job. The extra income helped a lot, to get some things done with the house to make it the way she would like it too.

We were not on easy street, but our combined income was more than enough to handle the bills, and a few extra things we wanted to do. This did not last long though. 9/11 hit, and the bankers refused to finance homes. So here I was, sitting on two houses ready to sell, and the banks wouldn't finance any buyers.
I finally did sell one by taking back a second mortgage for the buyers. They defaulted on the banks mortgage and they foreclosed on the house. That means I lost whatever profit I could have made, as it was in the second mortgage that I was never paid for.

Now we are back in big trouble again!

I packed her up and moved her back to her home town, and returned to St. Louis to dump my remaining assets.
Same scenario as before. I called a Realtor and said, everything goes, ZERO bottom line. No profits.
Called an auctioneer and told him, everything, except my clothes and a box of pictures, goes into the auction.
I did have a LOT of stuff from my businesses in this auction. Close to 300 grand worth of stuff. Ended up with less than 3 grand for all of it, after all of my debts were paid in full. SAD, very sad. However, it was enough for me to move south and start over again.

Before I moved south, I was told they would reciprocate on all of my trades licenses.
After I moved, they refused to reciprocate on any of them. I would be 77 years old by the time I earned them back again.
So I got mad and just refused to work. I retired at age 55....... I DID NOT accept any government dole either!
What I did do was maintain one of my small tabletop companies and worked diligently at it.
Made enough to get back on my feet and by a small house to renovate for myself.
About midway through this process, her father passes away. He was the healthy one. Her mom had bone cancer.
So I spent my days taking care of her. So once again, I had no time to work, so sold the little house for a profit and used that money to buy Debi's parents home and start working on it.

And that's where I am now. No debts, keep all of my bills paid in full.
However, since officially retiring and going on SSI, I HAD to go back to working a real job, just to pay for all of my meds and health insurance.
I don't know yet what we are going to do about Debi. She retires in March and just one of her meds is over a grand a bottle.

Well, have to run.

TTUL
Gary
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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 09 Feb 2013, 18:17

Bloody hell! (Excuse me). That was amazing to read. I don't know how you managed to stay afloat, so to speak, after everything that could go wrong DID go wrong! Hats off to you Gary that you've somehow managed to end up reasonably OK again!

I can't get over the cost of your wife's medication! A grand a bottle?? That HAS to be the biggest rip-off ever!! A friend of ours was desperate to get her daughter some meds for the cancer she was suffering from. We call it a postcode lottery over here, because in some places you have access to whatever's available, whilst in others you can't get it at all.

The cancer drugs she required cost money, which her mother paid for, but these still only cost her £30 a week - "only", being the operative word. Her mother wasn't rich, and she did all sorts of things to rake up the money needed, bless her. This included having tabletop and garage sales, but she did it because she wanted to help her daughter.

I know from paying private hospital fees how expensive everything is, but I was lucky when I was undergoing some treatment. The visits to hospital, tests, x-rays and so on, had to be paid for, but I was only actually in for a few days. When I came out, the meds were on the NHS. These aren't free, but all you pay for is the prescription price - £7 whatever per every one written out.

It's horrendous that you have the worry of how you're going to rake up the cash for your wife's medication, and there must be thousands in the same boat. It makes me laugh how scientists are trying to keep us all alive for longer, and yet at what cost - literally? Well I don't think that IS the case really. I think everyone's being used as an experiment, and that eventually, ONLY the wealthy'll be able to afford the drugs and technology to keep them going - which the rest've acted as guinea pigs for. I despair of what's happening to this planet, and for all the leaps "forward", more and more folk are finding it a struggle just to live decently and are, in fact, going backwards in terms of not having the jobs and money to keep up with everything.
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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Yogi » 10 Feb 2013, 12:24

We are suffering from the same dilemma as Gary, but not as severely. The high cost of medications is shocking and even sounds immoral, but they are justified in the vast majority of cases. To bring a cancer treatment to market, for example, is not a trivial project. It costs the drug company millions of dollars to find a treatment, test it, and then market it. When the first treatment is sold the issuing company is many millions of dollars in debt to produce that drug. All that is understandable. What gets a little tricky is that they want to recover their losses withing a year, or less. Thus the expected quantity of sales the first year is divided into the development cost to come up with a unit cost. To that all the marketing, delivery, and middle-man profits are added. Given all the expenses it's not so unreasonable to charge $1000 a dose. Well, it's not unreasonable if you are the drug company trying to recover development costs. But, the the cancer victim might see things differently.
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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Kellemora » 10 Feb 2013, 12:32

With insurance, many drugs only have a small co pay. But some drugs, the co pay is very high. A few of mine, the co pay for a 3 month supply was over 150 bucks.

But what is happening now, even though I have what is considered an excellent drug program. As of January 1, they no longer pay for my most expensive med and I was already using the Generic version.
There is an alternative similar drug, but it did not work for me, so the doc switched me back to the one that does.

Although it won't help with that drug. After the frau retires in March, we may get a reduction on the cost of our combined drug plans, based on our income.

Which will probably backfire if I start making money from the sale of books.

It hurt to sell everything I owned, but there is no feeling in the world like being totally debt free!
I made just enough from my tabletop business to keep up with recurring bills.
Even made enough extra over time, that my house is paid for in full, and I've done some nice renovations to it.
Some of which was destroyed by the hailstorm and no roof for three months.
However, we are slowly getting it back into shape again.
The problem now is, after having to switch my insurances from tried and true to Medicare and Supplemental plans, the cost is higher and it covers much less. Which is why our drugs have jumped in price so much.
Debi will hit the so called Donut Hole only 3 months after retirement. This means after spending 2,500 bucks, she will be on her own until she spends over 4,500 bucks on drugs, then she can get them at a reduced rate again, until the anniversary cycle starts over each year. We figure she will have to come up with over 10 grand per year just for drugs.
Unless something else happens, which I'm sure it will, my annual cost for drugs will hold at around 2 grand, so I won't hit the Donut Hole where nothing is covered.

TTUL
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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 11 Feb 2013, 06:21

Oh gosh, I feel for you all.

I was offered some generic drugs, which I refused. I tried them, but the arthritic side effects were made worse, so I went back to the originals when I said I wouldn't accept the alternative.

I fully understand Yogi's point about the cost of bringing new cancer drugs out, but it should be illegal to charge so much for them when so many people are in dire need. What they tend to do here, is use different combinations of drugs already available, until they find something which suits each patient. I was lucky with mine. I DID have the most up-to-date ones, but for the first half of my treatment they just happened to find a combination of 3 tried and tested ones which, although made me feel terrible, worked. Apparently, when I became anxious about HOW well they'd work, I was told not to worry, as they had a bank of over 50 drugs which could've been tried, but that would've taken too much time to try them all out, so I was fortunate to've been given infusions of something which was, by all accounts, very costly, but which I got for absolutely nothing. I'm grateful to our NHS for that, but not everyone's in the same boat. I lost a friend to melanoma a few months ago. The infusions made her so ill that when they tried drugs which might kick-start her own immune system into fighting the disease, her body was too weak by then. She remained hopeful, but she was overcome. This was a fairly young person who might've won the battle, but they tried regular drugs on her at first, and her body rejected each one. It's a pity they didn't try the immume-boosting ones earlier, but they were quite new - and expensive - so they weren't given until it was too late.

The drug companies make billions, and some of their latest ones aren't even tested for long enough or on enough people. It all boils down to profit and more profit, which to my mind is criminal.
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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Kellemora » 11 Feb 2013, 12:40

You know, people complain about the price of gasoline at only 3 or 4 bucks a gallon.
But you rarely if ever hear of people complaining about the cost of medicines.

When put in the same perspective, showing the price per gallon, most prescription meds exceed 150 thousand dollars a gallon, with several well over 1/4 million dollars per gallon.

Now, if you were in the drug business, HOW could you entice your customers to spend THAT MUCH MONEY on your products?

The answer is so simple, it will probably blow you over.

You create another product and sell it to the MASSES, even those who don't need it, but you CONVINCE THEM they MUST HAVE IT for their own good.

And do you know WHAT that product EVERYONE must have, in order to support the Drug Industry, is?

Here it is called INSURANCE....... It's sole purpose is to generate massive amounts of money to pass on to the Drug Companies and Healthcare Industry.

The Drug Companies give Insurance companies MASSIVE Discounts on Drugs that the people who need those drugs cannot get. WHY, because they are working TOGETHER!

And probably with the FOOD Industry as well, to put ingredients in our foods that will ENSURE that a person ends up needing the drugs to counteract what they put in the food.

WHY is half the nation now on INSULIN?

WHY has there not been a CURE for anything since POLIO?

The DRUG COMPANIES won't allow any new cures!!!!!
And made sure we don't get any, by enacting laws preventing cures they don't control!

TTUL
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Re: Of any interest?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 12 Feb 2013, 04:35

My goodness - gas costs you $3 - 4 a gallon??? It costs in the region of £1. 30p. a LITRE over here!!

I totally agree with you about everything you've said up there. I believe that one of the reasons that so many people are developing diabetes IS because of what goes into the food (and maybe water) supplies. Over here, they're doing their best to advertise products as containing a low percentage of fat, but they NEVER mention the sugar added to them all. If you read the labels on low-fat yogurts, ready meals, tins of custard and whatever, even the so-called diet ones are pretty high in sugar (and sometimes salt), plus have glorious added chemicals to try and make it taste OK. Yuck. People are being anaesthetised by ads for nice-looking food without bothering to see what they're shovelling into themselves - and many don't care, because they're too ignorant to understand. That sounds harsh, but it's true. They often want to come in from work and get something which's quick and easy, not realising that fresh food can be cooked in a short time as well. So they fill their bodies with expensive diet rubbish, and couldn't care less what it's doing to their bodies - until it's too late.
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