Shrovetide, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras

Is that why nothing is making sense today?

Let’s see….

1. The City of Alameda now fines you $25 if you don’t have a current sticker on your license plate and are parked on a city street; the ticket calls it “Illegal Parking”. No more courtesy Fix It tickets.  HUH?

2. I’ve been trying for 2 weeks now to look into my vehicle registration online. But the DMV’s website says my license number and my VIN number don’t match (yes, they do), and won’t let me use their system. …  They also are no longer open on Saturdays, so I have to take a morning or afternoon off from work to deal with this, and I haven’t yet been able to do that.  Each year it’s the same; I pay my registration online and the sticker never comes.  Given the high rate of theft in the Oakland USPS, that’s where I think my stickers get sidelined each year.  The regional investigative arm of the USPS told me never to send anything of value in the mail, particularly packages and gift cards between November 1 and New Years, as the rate of theft from INSIDE the USPS is extremely high. (Sadly, I have multiple experiences that have proven this; more on that another time.) Just watch: the City will give me another $25 ticket before I can get this figured out.  Yay Alameda.

3. The USCG (US Coast Guard) has finally responded to my FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests several months ago for all documents related to the November 2, 2010, crude oil spill in our estuary, and the November 4, 2010, illicit crude oil transfer. They claim they know nothing about these two events and have no documents.  But I know that 1. the Jovalan (barge) reported the crude oil spill to the USCG like they should have, it was in the Jovalan’s log books, and both the BAAQMD (Bay Area Air Quality & Management District) and the HSC (Harbor Safety Commission) worked with the USCG to figure out a solution to keep Harley Marine’s local companies from conducting illicit crude oils transfers on our shores.  So, HUH?

4. My new Blue Cross HMO cards came in the mail. They have this neat new feature: they list your primary care physician on them with his/her telephone number. Cool, right?  Yeah, except the doctor listed on my card is someone I’ve never even heard of in a city I never go to for medical care.  So I phone them up and say they’ve got it wrong.  They say no, they changed it.  Huh? Because the mileage to my doctor and clinic is too far from my home.  Ummm, wait a minute: they list the right doctor for my husband who sees the same doctor as I and who also lives at the same residence. The woman on the phone then says that I can’t have the clinic and doctor I want because it’s too many miles away from my residence, so they’ve chosen one for me (which is also hilarious, because I’m white and they’ve assigned me to Dr. Wu, because of my last name). HUH?  I say “I don’t understand; you’re my insurance company; you don’t get to choose my doctor, and I’ve been at this clinic for 2 decades; I’m not changing”.  She puts me on hold for 5 minutes, returns and says the new cards are in the mail with the correct doctor and clinic listed.  I’m like: I don’t need new cards, I’ll just cross off the wrong doctor. She says: oh, you won’t be allowed to see your doctor if he’s not listed on your card.  HUH?  Healthcare administration gone amuk.

So I’m thankful it’s Shrovetide. I’m going to compensate for the insanity of today (Measure A and the 4 items listed above) by indulging in some kind of outrageous dinner menu to stand in place of Fat Tuesday pancakes…


About Denise Lai

Alive. Swim (fly is the best). Walking with my dog (weims are the best). Life is good. Would prefer people understood negative externalities and prevented themselves from creating them. Feeling the love anyway. View all posts by Denise Lai

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