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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Less Coverage, Bigger Bills

After I posted last week’s health insurance essay I told Firefox to stop blocking ads on this page, just so that I could see what Google’s serving up. As I suspected, all the ads are for health insurance now. Well, what the heck? I get a few cents whenever somebody clicks one (hint, hint). Clicking ads on your own site is considered click fraud (as is imploring readers to click them, hint hint), but I’m legitimately interested in the products. I even filled out some forms and got a couple of phone calls. I’m still avoiding doing real legwork, though. Neither Anne nor I wants to go through the hassle of changing insurers, and we’re still hoping that she might get a job offer any day now. And so I procrastinated for another week.

We downgraded our COBRA policy to offset the recent rate increase (the monthly payment rose by $96, the deductible doubled, and the copays increased by 50%). Instead of a 90/70 plan with a $500 deductible, we now have an 80/60 plan with a $750 deductible for $150 per month less. I don’t understand what those numbers mean, but since we can’t afford to use our insurance anyway it hardly matters.


My HP Deskjet 6980 crapped out on me after four years of daily service. Printing suddenly slowed to a crawl and the clarity degraded. Hours of troubleshooting failed to shoot the trouble. In our throwaway society it’s cheaper and easier to replace it than to repair it…and it always had some annoying quirks (WiFi was very difficult to set up, and it balked at using third-party cartridges). So I bought a wireless HP Officejet 6000 for $90, delivered. It’s supposed to be a simple, reliable, and above all economical printer. It will be at least the fourth HP inkjet that I’ve owned. That’s $90 that I’d like to have spent on something more productive, of course, but…what can you do?


Hey, I’ve got two Facebook fans that I don’t know. Actual fans! I wish I could afford to spend more time figuring out how to pimp my Facebook page. I’ve given up on Twitter. I simply don’t see any point to it.


Sales have been very good for the past couple of weeks. Three institutional sales (all via telephone and one of them quite huge) have already put September ahead of plan and way over LY – with over a week left to go! Today I finally earned a big enough paycheck to dig out of the personal financial hole that summer vacation dug for me.

Oh, and one other thing: Citizens Bank approved my Mastercard application, so I should soon have my customary credit line restored. After all the years that banks showered applications upon nonexistent household members, who would have guessed that getting a credit card would ever become difficult?

OK: Next week I shall grapple with the health insurance bugbear. I’ve been ordering new merchandise like crazy, but I'm finally scraping the bottom of the budget and I sure don't want to start that new Mastercard off with a balance.

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