Friday, February 24, 2012

Good News That Made Me Faint!

And then jump up for joy and squeee like a fan girl.
Ok, so I am a fan girl.
:-)

Quite a few years ago, I blogged about a favorite author of mine, Mickee Madden.
She wrote an amazing and thoroughly engrossing romance series that captured my imagination, my heart and my loyalty. If I could give a Best Book to a whole series, it would have been this one.

Don't remember? I can't blame you. It has been years. Here's the link to my blog post that believe it or not, still gets visitors who wonder, like me, how Mickee was doing. EVERLASTIN' LINK

Imagine my surprise, my giddy explosion of joy and excitement induced heart palpitations when I saw that she not only commented but what she said basically means that all our questions will be answered because the final romance tale is going to be told.

Not only that, but for those of us who are going on sheer memory because we can't get actual print copies of the books we've read in the past - all the books are going to be re-issued!

Folks, this is momentous news.  Truly wonderful and I'm tickled she found this blog.  Sort of makes me want to get it more active again, you know? :-)

There are books.  And then there are BOOKS, the kind that talk to you long after you've turned the final page, or in my case, returned them to Kentucky.  And 2005 is a LONG time to hear a book whispering of dreams yet untold.

I believe I know what I want for "Christmas in July" 2012.  Or whenever in summer it comes out.  I can't wait to write all about it here! 
**VBG**

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ready for an Update?

Let's see - I've been at one job 4 1/2 months and the second 4 months.
The insurance job is interesting.

At first, because of the crisis caused by that freak snow storm, the claims had to be processed fast and furious. That was the first bottleneck. I learned a great deal at that time and just when I was about to be taught another aspect, I was grabbed for doing reports. It's what I was originally hired to do but it took this long for the next bottleneck to hit. Again, fast and furious processing. The drawback is time. It takes the adjuster up to 10 minutes to dictate his/her report but it can take up to one HOUR to process one. There are so many forms to create, details to change, clean up of grammar and "form" statements to include. Every insurance company has its own special handling and I have to be aware of each and every one. The final product that gets sent to the company has to be PERFECT.

I've learned how to manipulate PDFs.
I've learned how to create a contents sheet using Excel with formulas for addition, depreciation and tax for taxable items and how to handle non-taxable items. Holdbacks and drafts, Time and Expense billing and Flat Rate.

Thank goodness for blogging all these years. And for writing reviews. Why? Because my typing skills have become integral to the jobs I do.

At the other job in the conservation office, I've discovered fun. Yes, it's hard and detailed work, from checking maps, making sure files are coded right, fixing old files, updating their database and organizing the currently used maps. And when I'm lucky, I get to attend meetings and learn more of the impact conservation has on my town AND people watch. Very cool.

I've learned about RDAs and Notices of Intent to buffer zones and wetlands protection. I have learned to value the beaver and what vernal pools are. I've seen town politics in action; some good, some quite exciting and controversial.

The amazing thing? The difference between working in the private sector versus working in the municipal sector. The difference between a workplace that requires confidentiality versus a workplace that is public, everything is a public record and open for review, has been a major education for me. For most of my professional clerical career, I've been in confidential workplaces. The switch to being able to SPEAK is a weird experience.

The work ethic between the two varies greatly. The level of technology available to both is nowhere near equal. The budget of one is based and set by people who are on the other side of the state with no leeway. The private sector is based on the level of competency and service satisfaction the insurance company and its insureds get from our company. We work hard, we work well, and we see almost immediate results with feedback that helps us do better to meet their needs.

The municipal job does not get that benefit. There are no job kudos or compliments for a job well done nor an acknowledgement by anyone who can make a difference in the budget. It has no bearing on financial allotments. It seems irrelevant. It is what it is, so deal. Not a very encouraging atmosphere to my way of thinking, but that's the reality.

The dichotomy between the public and private sector is huge. It certainly has been an education for me. In more ways than one.

I enjoy both workplaces. My boss at the conservation office makes me laugh and I think she's terrific. She speaks her mind, doesn't tap dance around subjects and you know where you stand with her.

The insurance job is different. I don't work directly with the boss, nor do I report to him. If I do my job, and others tell him so, there's no reason to speak to me. He expects to have adults working for him, not children. There is hardly any idle chit chat, goofing off or lag time. I get in, sit down and work. I eat at my desk, and work. The only time I stop is when one of three things happen: I visit the ladies room, I make my lunch or I leave for the day. Oh, make that four. COFFEE!! They provide coffee from a Keurig. Those things are AWESOME!

On the more personal front. I shattered a molar. I had a root canal done on it about 24 years or so ago. The doctor said I didn't have it taken out a moment too soon. Seems it fractured into ten pieces and every time I was biting down on it, the shards would shift enough to have sharp pieces digging bone out of my head. It's been a week post-op now. It feels weird and still very sore. Physically the worst is over. Financially?
Ha!

I'm one of the uninsured Americans. No dental insurance. The whole process of getting the tooth out was roughly around $300.00. Cheap.

To prevent my teeth shifting, my jaw reshaping and my bite going wonky, I have two serious options.
A bridge made up of porcelain crowns - $3,300.00 +/-
An implant, which is like surgery - $8,000+

Then there is the stop-gap.

The Flipper. A little device that will "hold" the space and hopefully slow down any shifting until I can decide what to do - $450.00
I can't eat or sleep with the Flipper in place due to it's being a choking hazard. Still unclear if I'd have to use Polident to hold it in place. EW!

I'll find out how I'm healing later this week.

As for winter 2011-2012, it's anti-climactic. After October's horrible snow storm, the ramifications of which are still being felt, we've hardly had any snow. We've nothing on the ground and in fact, have enjoyed balmy temperatures that make a person want to wear shorts. I'm not complaining. I'm still traumatized by that storm.

I guess that's it for now. I'm still reviewing and I still love books. I am enjoying flooding my NOOK with freebies from B & N and I read a really really good one the other day. Of course it was paranormal and a vampire, but the author captured the essence of her characters so they were three dimensional and interesting. It's a self published book and it read so fast and easy, I never noticed it was over 800+ pages. Imagine that!

Hope 2012 is shaping up to be a good year for you!