Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote on my Companion for the upcoming book tour. The results are in, the poll is closed, and the winner, by a mere 12 votes, is!
Some folks had expressed concern regarding Hassan’s size with regard to packing him up and down the East Coast. Rest easy; Hassan is exactly four inches tall from his tail to his crown, with a three-inch reach between those red-dyed paws, and weighs a whopping three ounces! That’s a lot of protection in a compact package.
Of the three Seasoned Companions, Hassan is the eldest*, having done guard duty on a number of dangerous clerical situations. He uncomplainingly endured torture of the cruelest sort, and was once stuffed into a candy jar by the Chancellor’s daughter, and left there for an entire weekend.
So, you can see I’ll be in very capable paws.
Thanks again to every one who voted!
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We have some news regarding the publication of Carousel Sun.
1. This page on the Baen site allows us to know that the complete ebook will be available on January 16, 2014; then the paper release, of course, in early February.
2. Remember that Uncle Hugo will be the sole source for signed (and personalized!) copies of Carousel Sun. Pre-orders will open in mid-November. I’ll tell you when.
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So, today, my Job is to call the Eastern Maine Medical Center — which is a hospital, and in most cases referred to by its initials: EMMC. The cardiac department of EMMC is responsible for reading a log sent to it quarterly by Steve’s Cybernetic Implant. After the log is read, the hospital sends a letter that, so far at least, has uniformly read, “No problems detected. Pls play again in 90 days.” They then generate a bill for having read the log and sent the letter, submit it to the insurance company, by which I mean Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which is called many, many things in Maine, but for the sake of community standards we will here refer to it as BCBS.
Upon receiving EMMC’s invoice, BCBS apparently pulls a dollar amount out of its left ear, subtracts it from the total, and sends the amended dollar amount to EMMC, which then bills us for the balance remaining.
Which practice has resulted in bills for FOUR DIFFERENT AMOUNTS for the same procedure. I called the insurance company about this in July. The woman I spoke to there, who claimed to be a supervisor, told a nice story about how each doctor in the State of Maine has a different contract with BCBS and it depends on the Doctor Code the hospital uses in its billing how much BCBS pays for the service.
I then called the hospital, to ask them about these codes. The woman I spoke to there, in the accounting department, said that EMMC uses one code, for the cardiac department. She resubmitted the most recent bill.
Which has just come back to me, even more different than it was before.
So, today, my mission is to get somebody to tell the truth about why these bills are different, and to (pipe-dream, here) guarantee that, in future, all invoices for the same procedure will cost (us) the same amount of money.
. . .I’m gonna need more coffee.
*Hassan is actually dated. There’s a tag concealing Ghod Knows What, and it reads, “Dakin & Co. –1980/San Francisco CA/Product of Korea/Reg. No. 118/All new materials/Contents shredded clippings ground nut shells/For ages 3 and up”