dalesql: (Dale badge)
So, it's been a busy time since I last posted.
Dealing with dad's passing, the funeral, memorial service, and the endless paperwork mom and I are filling out to officially notify all the financial entities he was involved in. I haven't even begun to think about doing his taxes.

We had the funeral just for family. It was a cold and windy day, I was worried mom would get hypothermia when we were at the graveside portion. The memorial service was at church, unfortunately we got that day the first significant snowstorm of the season that day, and it was kinda blizzardy. So attendance was low. Mom is, unsurprisingly, depressed.

Then came Arisia. I attended, and it probably will be my last arisia. The main reason I was there at all was to see Ursula Vernon as GoH, who is one of my favorite people. Arisia is becoming increasingly intolerant in it's desire to be open and accepting and a Safe Place for everyone, no matter how many hot buttons they have. As an older white male, I am feeling less and less welcome in their ever-increasing drive for political correctness.

In sadder news, I bought my usual stack of books from Larry Smith in the dealers room. We chatted about this and that and I said I would see him at Boskone. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen. Larry died three days later. Goodbye Larry. I'll see you next time.

The weekend after arisia was Anthro New England. It was it's usual nice fuzzy three ring circus, hampered by outgrowing it's hotel, and the hotel's severe shortage of parking. I hope that they move to a better hotel. Ideally, the westin waterfront where Arisia and Boskone already are. If that happens, and the hotel is amenable, logistics for all three would be eased by allowing materials to be stored at the hotel for all three cons. Lots of maybes there, but it's a hope.

Monday after arisia, we had a grand open house at ALPS. Turned the warehouse into a vendor showcase and demo zone, with food and adult beverages. It was a lot of work, and my area got crammed full of everyone elses stuff, since my area was the only place that was not open for visitors. I'm still finding things that belong to other parts of the company. I finally unpacked the last gaylord of my stuff from the move. (A gaylord is one of those pallet sized cardboard boxes. eight layer corrugated board. Strong stuff) So big step completed with that.

Now that I can actually see everything I have, I can now sort out things and put them on their proper shelves and boxes. Since I lost some of the storage space promised to me, I have to figure out what I don't need very often and pack them into a storage bin to go up on a high warehouse shelf. I'm thinking of constructing a storage unit that folds up into a pallet shaped box for storage, but unfolds into a set of shelves and bins for access when needed.

We signed the repair contract on the house finally. It's only been ten months since the fire. Unfortunately mother nature beat us to the punch and they can't fill in the driveway washout while the gravel is frozen and the gullies are filled with snow and ice. Delays, delays, delays. Repair estimate is six to nine months. ugh. But it's progress.

Boskone is this weekend. I'm running the con suite again. I've been shopping and preparing for a couple weeks already. Last night I hard boiled 75 dozen eggs for the con suite. They are now in the back of my van enjoying mother nature's refrigerated storage locker.

today I was able to finish the cleaning and repair of my seltzer tap setup. It's full of chlorinated water now to sanitize it before I put it into service. So it will be at Boskone, providing infinite seltzer to the masses. After it is done at Boskone, bringing it into work so I can have infinite seltzer to drink, which is way lower in calories and price than what I get from the coke machine.

Edit, post-boskone: The seltzer setup still had an off taste of the smoke from the fire, so I dumped it back out and took it out of service. So now I think I need to replace all the plastic parts, and give the stainless steel parts another, more thorough, scrubbing. Replacing all the gaskets also.

Boskone was, as usual exhausting, but overall successful, and the con suite came off well. Attendance was up by a couple hundred, leading to more rapid depletion of supplies, but I haven't heard an official number.
dalesql: (Dale badge)
Insurance company has found another way to delay giving us the claim money. *sighs* They made the check out to four parties. Mom and Dad, our independent adjuster, and the bank that has the home equity loan on the house.

We think this is annoying, but should not be a big deal. Go to the bank where the home equity loan is at with a check endorsed by the other three names. Bank deposits it, takes out the full payoff amount on the home equity loan, then writes new checks to the adjuster and my parents with the balance.

Nope. Santander Bank apparently has never seen a multi-party check before. It takes them two weeks to find an actual bank officer who can make decisions on this to figure it out. Unlike the so called bank officers which the law requires to be at the branches who are supposed to have the authority to make all banking decisions at that branch. And they insist that the check be deposited in their bank for ten business days so they can get the float///// I mean ensure that the check will not bounce, before writing the new checks.

Meanwhile, our adjuster has been talking to insurance company about the check. Once he finally found the correct person to talk to there, they had no problems taking back the check and reissuing it as three checks in the correct amounts. So that's what we are doing. If you are looking for a bank for your business, Santander Bank fails in my book.

But, this is the large sum of money on the structure claim. So we can now finally go forward on the rebuild. Time to find a general contractor who can do the job. Hopefully an honest one. Of course, this is happening as my job is moving to a new location and a week before a convention.
dalesql: (Dale badge)
Punched another new hole in my belt today! My waistline continues to shrink! Yay! I've decided that I'm going to keep wearing this belt until I reach my target weight or it breaks. Which means that eventually the belt is going to reach all the way around to the small of my back. Right now the belt goes a little past my hip. Goals!

Still waiting for the health insurance to approve the CPAP machine for my sleep apnea. They dragged their feet for several weeks on approving the sleep study, so I fully expect they will drag their feet on this for as long as they can. It's what insurance companies do, after all.

I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that the insurance industry is really a creation of satan. Very likely everyone in the industry is very likely damned. They are just trying to bring some hell to everyone that they touch.
dalesql: (Dale badge)
So, sixty years ago today, my mom and dad got married. Still are today. Not a common acomplishment nowadays.

Dad is in a nursing home now, with his alzheimers at the severe level. He still recognizes me and mom when we visit, but not much else recent. After work today, I took mom to the nursing home for our usual daily visit. Dad was better today. Yesterday he was convinced that the nursing home was a jail and we needed to get him out. I'm told that the jail thing is common with alzhiemers patients who are in a locked in living situation. *sighs*

My sister is flying in from seattle saturday to care for my parents while I'm up in Maine working on the folk festival. Taking dad to a restaurant for family lunch sunday.

the insurance company is living right down to the stereotype of being cheapskate bastards for covering our fire loss. Still negotiating values with them on the house and the contents. *ugh* I'm really beginning to hold a powerful hatred towards insurance companies.
dalesql: (Dale badge)
So, we got an offer from the insurance company on the contents of the house. As expected, they found the cheapest possible version of everything on the inventory to set base values, then they put about 50% depreciation on everything. Including things like paintings, books, antique furniture, prescription medications, and everything.

I'm sorry insurance company, but not everything is subject to depreciation. Sheesh!

Time for our public adjuster to start earning his percentage.

I'm also wondering is a four month delay on the initial offer from a house fire claim is egregious enough that we should be engaging a lawyer to sue them for interest and maybe even triple damages under the massachusetts triple damages law.
dalesql: (Dale badge)
It was confusing action. A check from the insurance company, the only explanation on it the one line Partial payment on settlement. Ummm.... We haven't agreed to a settlement yet. We only have gotten e-mail scans of the offer of settlement on the structural damage portion of the claim.

But, it's money, and the hotel is burning $1431 per week on additional living expenses.

Color me mystified at the byzantine opaqueness of the whole mess.
dalesql: (Dale badge)
So, today brings us to the three month anniversary of our house fire. We are still in the hotel, although we will have to switch to a single room next week. Someone has reserved every double room in the hotel from July until next january. Since residence inns include a sitting room with a convertible couch, and dad is not going to be leaving the nursing home probably ever again, gonna move to a single room. Unfortunately they don't have a single room with a roll on shower, just bathtubs with grab bars. Will have to see if we can handle that kind of room or not.

Preparing the MassHealth / medicaid application now, as dad's medicare coverage from the hospitalization ends on monday. That requires us to gather up every financial transaction from mom and dad for the past five years to bring to the consultant who we will be paying to actually prepare the application.

The insurance company has come back with an initial offer on the structural damage. It seems pretty low to me, but we are trying to find a general contractor who can sanity check the offer. Still no offer on the contents of the house, which continues to sit, waiting for action.

Frustration describes my feeling, but doesn't convey the intensity of my feeling.
dalesql: (Dale badge)
So, the fire was eight weeks and two days ago. Still waiting for the insurance to do their thing. I did mow the lawn last week, so the house won't look totally abandoned. Grabbed a few keepsakes to try and save.

Found my Noreascon 3 tech vest. Washed it a couple times and the smoke smell is mostly gone. Gonna see about buying a new vest of many pockets and transplant the embroidered panel to the new vest. Also one of the N3 glass mugs, and the dishwasher cleaned it up nicely from the evil black mess covering it.

The only thing I've heard from the insurance people was an offer to put a cap on our housing coverage on $18k. Out of a policy that is supposed to cover up to around $150k of temporary housing costs. They of course called early in the morning when I was half awake. Once I was awake and thought about it, my reply was to ask what they were offering in exchange for this substantial concession they wanted from us. No reply yet.

The company that is supposed to be looking for some housing for us still hasn't found a property even for our consideration. So we are still in the hotel in Dedham.

I'm getting increasingly frustrated with the incredible slowness of the insurance process. Cause of fire was settled in the first week. Yah, the house is big and full of a lot of stuff, but sheeesh. I can only describe their behavior as stalling for time. Of course, this is just going to increase the time that we are in temporary housing, increasing the total claim value.

Even worse, the construction season is now well underway. So all the good contractors are already busy with committed projects for this season. Even if we signed a contract monday for the rebuilding, all that is likely to happen this season is the cleanout and demolition. Since all that needs is a bunch of unskilled laborers with one supervisor.

The problem is that the foundation repouring has to happen before rebuilding. That involves jacking up the house while empty. Digging out the old block foundation and pouring a new concrete foundation. And concrete can't be poured when it is too cold. If the insurance company keeps stalling, they are pushing the major rebuilding into next summer, and it won't be complete until fall of next year.


MayDay 2016

May. 1st, 2016 05:21 pm
dalesql: (Dale badge)
so, five weeks now since the fire. Still stuck in insurance limbo, dad still in the nursing home recovering from his infection, Mom and I still in the hotel.

Got the list of the contents of the house, met with the inventory guy back at the house and added substantially to the list. Many things in the living room, everything in the basement, and bunch of stuff in the attic. So that is making progress, but slow as molasses in january.

The memory care place in Marlboro that we wanted to place dad in was way expensive, and they didn't take medicaid, so they are pretty much a non-starter. Dad is doing poorly enough that he is eligible for nursing home care, so looking at switching him over to the long term side of wingate, which will take medicaid once he has spent his assets down. Once he has recovered from his infection.

With mom not being able to be under the same roof as dad, moving mom to the assisted living has also pretty much fallen through. Short term, the plan is for mom and I to stay in the hotel or wherever the insurance agency places us for living while the house is being rebuilt. I will admit that when we do move out of the hotel, I am going to miss the breakfast buffet they have every morning.

I'm picking up overtime at work, it's our busy season now. But much of that overtime gets eaten up by the various appointments for mom and insurance, which is a bit frustrating. My back is acting up again, and I have a toothache. Dentist appointment monday afternoon. I'm going to call my doctor and ask about a chiropractor or something.


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