Tammy and tommy and kucing gendut's mini escapades


#1

forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtop … adventures
(part two)

Well as promised. Part two comes to an end with tammy’s Green Card. Part three we will focus on mini escapades with little kuching gendut (whopper’s new indonesian name). And a few day treks and what nots.

little Kuching Gendut gets NO REST when mommy is around. She relentlessly chases him around our little joint.

Had not been to Outback Steakhouse ( i often call it the Outhouse for short) for awhile, but tammy mentioned an online ad for a three course at OUtback for 11.99 !! That sounds like a deal !

OUtback doesnt open until 4pm on weekdays (noon on weekends).

So we went over there right at 4pm for a late lunch. Once you get there, the special is 14.99 and NOT 11.99 as advertised. When questioned the M’aitre D said it only applied to “selected” restaurants. And obviously they were not “selected” then.

He said he would honor this for us “just this time”.

I said , its ok, didn’t matter really but its nice when ads are true.

Anyways. my starter was tortilla soup, she had the caesar’s salad. My entree was a six ounce sirloin and hers was a chicken and shrimp with rice kind of thing. I finished up with a carrot cake while she went for the included cheese cake. I had a mai tai at the 4 to 6pm special price of 4 bucks. She went for an ice tea.

When the bill came it was still 14.99 instead of 11.99 . I didnt mention it. Paid the 39 something including tax and added 6 for tips.

I wouldve gone at 14.99 but its nice if chains would honor their own ads though. Just would’ve been more proper. Outback is pretty good food. One wishes the steak could be a bit better cut but then the price would be higher.

Walked around the mall a bit and took in an hours gym…First time for me in years ! So i took it super easy. Just did a super light routine.

Afterwards, i was suprised that she was HUNGRY AGAIN. Whats up with these young ladies? She eats three times what I do and yet weighs nothing.

She opted for chipotle. I just nibbled along.


#2

More drivel about health care. So Kaiser is one of the big hospital groups around here and a lot of companies use them for employee health care. A lot of companies pay 100pct for their employees and a percentage (often 50pct) for spouse and/or children.

Health care is very expensive in America. A proper full care package costs about 750 dollars a month for me.

Kaiser offers a full coverage and also one with a high deductible at a much cheaper rate (something like 450 a year). This means that you will pay up to a max of about 8000 a year and then the rest is covered by the hospital insurance company.

USed to be, we get an annual physical , along with all the required blood tests . And that along with any doc visits are only 10 per visit. We have to pay a bit for meds, say 10 to 20 bucks usually if any needed. At least for me. Others may vary.

Now my company has found a way (insurance companies are always finding ways to muscle in on new biz) to “insure” the 8000 max “loss” per year with another insurance company. So basically the total package costs less to the company. The second insurance company will take the risk that most people wont use up even the max loss of 8000 a year and they will come up winners.

So now, instead of Kaiser charging me 50 for the emergency room visit my wife did a few months ago. They now presented a bill for around 1500 dollars ("actual costs was around 6500, but their own insurance covered most of it down to about 1500). Which i then presented (by way of taking a pic of the bill and emailing ) to the second insurance company. Who was then supposed to pay the remaining bill. All good and dandy. Except they have NOT yet paid the remainder of the bill and its been 2 months and I keep getting the bill reminder from Kaiser !!

So more paperwork does NOT make the road smoother. In the past I would’ve just had to fork over 50 for the visit and DONE. Nothing more to do.

Today Tammy and myself are off to get our annual physical. Its just a quick once over by the doc and some blood tests.

Normally i would be paying 10/each for this and DONE. But now i wonder how long this whole thing will take to get resolved.

Bet i get some HUGE bill for this, which is then paid mostly by Kaisers own insurance and then i have to go through the whole shebang of presenting for second payment, etc and et al.

And through all this i wonder exactly how much my company saves per employee??? Maybe its only something like 50/month? But i guess it all adds up.

I wonder if the USA can just adopt Taiwans medical system? Or some version of it, not likely to bankrupt the country?

Here’s gendut looking like he spotted a mouse.


#3

Sure it’s not “kucing kentut” (fart cat)?


#4

Ha, well that would ME , because i tend to let out some that can lift the space shuttle !


#5

Took a look at Tammy’s Green Card. IT really is a light green color again. Apparently it stopped being green for awhile but is now green again :slight_smile: Same size as a drivers license, so it fits in wallets easily.

It comes in a little paper sleeve that says that you should keep it in the sleeve to “stop electronic devices from communicating with your green card” . Say what? And this paper sleeve (doesn’t look like its made out of anything special) is able to do that?

And one is supposed to carry it at all times, as well. Apparently that is the law. Does everyone really carry their green card around at all times. Or in reality not?

Also as mentioned she only has one name in her passport. So she is only Tammy. And this created a whole host of problems with names.

The US govt calls someone who only has one name FNU (stands for First Name Unknown) and then the one name as the last name.

This meant that we got married as Tommy BlahBlah and FNU Tammy. She couldve taken my last name at that time or kept her original name. But then she would’ve become FNU BlahBlah instead of FNU Tammy.

She could only do FNU as the first name, no matter what. And later apparently all we can do is call her
FNU TAmmy BlahBlah. with TAmmy as her MIddle name. But legally she will remain FNU Tammy or FNU Tammy BlahBlah.

What a convoluted mess. All because her parents did not put a LAST NAME for her.

IF she had a last name, she couldve become Mrs. Tammy BlahBlah no problem.

So we got her a Social Security card in the name FNU Tammy.
And got her a bank account in the name FNU Tammy.

But her green card comes back as Tammy BlahBlah.

So now what? I supposed we can change her bank account (which doesnt really matter i dont think) to Tammy BlahBlah. And i think the social security admin will be able to issue a new card (with the same number) as Tammy BlahBlah. Well Im hoping.

But is this her legal name now because the green card says so, or what? I am confused.

OR is the court name when we got married her offcial name?

And whats worse when she flies she has to comply with airline policy.

Airline policy goes by her passport name when flying internationally. And we had to ask the each airline how to put her name. As airlines are very particular about names.

So on EVA Air we had to put MS> as her first name and Tammy as her last. So she is MS. TAMMY.

On Singapore Airlines they want her First Name as Tammy and her Last Name as Tammy as well.

So she is Tammy Tammy.

In the USA they just want you to go with the ID you are travelling with. So she flew as FNU Tammy.

And now i suppose she can fly as Tammy BlahBlah, to go with her Green Card. But only in the USA as a passport is not needed to fly. She will have to comply with her passport name when flying internationally though and each airline has a different policy. What if she is flying on two different airlines but booking at same time. What name should be used if the airline has a different policy?

THis is such a complete f*ck up !

She said she can have her name and new passport issued in INdonesia with the name Tammy BlahBlah. HOpefully this will then make things easier.

But is this her legal name? What is her legal name? The name given at the court when we married ? Which is FNU Tammy or is it now Tammy BlahBlah in keeping with the green card? .

Will the green card have to be reissued under FNU Tammy ? Hope not as this will be a super convoluted mess. Or what is what?

Why does anyone in the world only give their child ONE NAME ?? They dont realize that in the western world this is simply not done.

I dont know what kind of hurdles (if any) I will get getting her social security card sorted out and all that.


#6

[quote=“tommy525”]More drivel about health care. So Kaiser is one of the big hospital groups around here and a lot of companies use them for employee health care. A lot of companies pay 100pct for their employees and a percentage (often 50pct) for spouse and/or children.

Health care is very expensive in America. A proper full care package costs about 750 dollars a month for me.

Kaiser offers a full coverage and also one with a high deductible at a much cheaper rate (something like 450 a year). This means that you will pay up to a max of about 8000 a year and then the rest is covered by the hospital insurance company.

USed to be, we get an annual physical , along with all the required blood tests . And that along with any doc visits are only 10 per visit. We have to pay a bit for meds, say 10 to 20 bucks usually if any needed. At least for me. Others may vary.

Now my company has found a way (insurance companies are always finding ways to muscle in on new biz) to “insure” the 8000 max “loss” per year with another insurance company. So basically the total package costs less to the company. The second insurance company will take the risk that most people wont use up even the max loss of 8000 a year and they will come up winners.

So now, instead of Kaiser charging me 50 for the emergency room visit my wife did a few months ago. They now presented a bill for around 1500 dollars ("actual costs was around 6500, but their own insurance covered most of it down to about 1500). Which i then presented (by way of taking a pic of the bill and emailing ) to the second insurance company. Who was then supposed to pay the remaining bill. All good and dandy. Except they have NOT yet paid the remainder of the bill and its been 2 months and I keep getting the bill reminder from Kaiser !!

So more paperwork does NOT make the road smoother. In the past I would’ve just had to fork over 50 for the visit and DONE. Nothing more to do.

Today Tammy and myself are off to get our annual physical. Its just a quick once over by the doc and some blood tests.

Normally I would be paying 10/each for this and DONE. But now I wonder how long this whole thing will take to get resolved.

Bet I get some HUGE bill for this, which is then paid mostly by Kaisers own insurance and then I have to go through the whole shebang of presenting for second payment, etc and et al.

And through all this I wonder exactly how much my company saves per employee??? Maybe its only something like 50/month? But i guess it all adds up.

I wonder if the USA can just adopt Taiwans medical system? Or some version of it, not likely to bankrupt the country?

Here’s gendut looking like he spotted a mouse.
[/quote]

They artificially raise the prices at the start as insurance companies then get the contracts discount price. This is what happens when you get layers of middle men involved all taking their cut.
Now that insurance coverage is baked into the system it’s going to be even harder to go to a direct cash per service system. The fee will be outrageous due to the artificial pricing scheme at the start.


#7

Went to see RIO 2 yesterday with tammy. Really fun and uplifting movie. She really enjoyed it and I had a smile throughout. Go see it, its better then you think !

Also on the subject of Starbucks. Yes, it seems, I don’t know if you see/feel the same. But it seems that people are often on edge there, waiting in line. STarbucks is expensive, you know you are being fleeced and somehow you expect everything to be fast and just PERFECT.

I was there yesterday in downtown Walnut Creek and it was a madhouse. The crew did a great job getting orders filled and all that.

Even so, while waiting for MY drink, i could just feel the stress level there.

Some white chick in super tight jeans. She was probably early forties and probably shouldn’t be dressed quite like that. She was dressed like some of the other gals there who are in their 20s. I mean , shes still got a hot bod and likes to show it, but maybe … its time to tone it down just a whizz?

Anyways, she got her drink of hot choco or something. Left the store with it, and then came back and said something about it not being just right. So the crew had to stop the line and remake her drink. Maybe its an attention deficit thing? Where now the whole line has to give her attention?

I’d like Tammy to work in a small Starbucks, rather then this high stress , fast paced downtown store with stressed out, uppity people.

I feel kinda stressed at sTarbucks because I KNOW im being ripped off and yes I also feel my stuff had bettter come out RIGHT.

2 buck 30 for a croissant? 2 bucks for 3 madelline cookies? ITs fricking highway robbery.

Gendut posing for mom’s selfie


#8

Careful monitoring of genduts daily treat intake has resulted in him losing 1 kg ! Now he’s only 9.5kg !

Tammy and I have endeavored to go to the gym across the street 3 times a week. So far she’s been keeping it up but i’m just starting to get into the swing of things.

Been out of the gym for years and my goodness, it shows.

I am glad they have a gym across the street again. And cheap too. Basic membership is only 10/month with , I think a once a year payment of 40 bucks or something like that. 17/month adds the ability to use the water jet massage. Which i tried tonight and its not bad.

The key I guess is go keep going to the gym. Over doing it and then not going anymore is what NOT to do.

IF I can stick to a light routine 3 times a week, I should start to see results in a few months I guess.


#9

I think the Starbucks thing is because it sell the idea of relaxation and comfort and luxury and a place apart from work and hassle when it reality it’s shit and depressing and industrial. When you are paying such a hugely marked up, you do feel some entitlement to a good experience, product and service. However, a lot of people just never developed the manners and good grace to deal with reigning that in when things go ‘wrong’ and aren’t assertive enough to get what they want without acting like a dick. Women in particular are bad at this. They either suck up whatever it thrown at them and get passive aggressive or they act like massive twats when they don’t get what they want.

Oh, and I dress pretty much the same as I did 20 years ago. Like a teenage emo boy.


#10

LOL. Well i certainly can’t dress like I did 20 years ago because i cant fit in those clothes.

Yes, people seem very uptight at STarbucks. I feel for those people serving there. They are not making bank but yet have to deal with the bad side of a lot of people. Everyone is so exacting in how they want their 4 dollar mochafrapwhatchamacallit to turn out and the hot pastrami sammiches had better turn out just right or else !

I like 85c in Taiwan better. Fair prices, good drinks and cakes , etc. They have one or two in LA now I hear doing huge business. Maybe they will bring Starbucks prices down a bit.

The really freaky people are the men who are wearing backwards facing baseball caps, those pants that are longer then shorts but shorter then long pants and they are pushing 60. That fashion is ok for their grand kids but who are THEY foolin ? The teenage chicks won’t be.


#11

Saw NOAH tonight. I dare say that the screenplay differed " a bit" from the biblical version :slight_smile:

It was like Bible meets Science Fiction meet Feel Good movie.

America is one of the few places where one can watch a First Run movie at a downtown cinema and have only a handful of people watching. At times, its been only my wife and I. And last time we split up , she saw one movie and I saw another, and she was the ONLY person in her cinema.

The Lafayette Reservoir is a very very nice place to hang out for an afternoon. There is the 3 mile walk around the small lake that 99pct of the people walk with their dogs. And there is the upper trail which is about 5 miles long that is much harder and much more scenic. Tons of turkeys and deer to see . I am sure there are a mountain lion or two up there as well.

p.s. for those furriners wanting to visit. Just take BART to LAFAYETTE and walk on the main road (Lafayette is basically a one road town) back towards Berkeley for about a mile or so and you can climb up 200 feet or so to the parking lot. Or you can drive and park at the lot for about six bucks.

Here’s me and Mountain Man Joe . I look rather stiff as I am not breathing just holding my gut in.

Wifey does the Asian V sign here:


#12

Well, Genesis 6-9 is pretty damn short. You gotta add a lot of stuff to make it a 2-hour movie!

Rare for a movie not to differ somewhat from the book. Look at Lord of the Rings, for instance.


#13

Well, that LotR was close enough: look at what he’s done to the goddam Hobbit! Legolas? WTF?


#14

This posting is all about "how to wash your PussyCat "

I am virtually an expert at washing PUssyCats !

First, its best to wash one that is FRIENDLY.

One that you KNOW.

A bathtub is actually not the best place as PUssyCats prefer a SHOWER, rather then a DUNKING in water.

They usually dont freak out as much when you hose them down, as opposed to throwing them in a tub.

Make sure you can lock them in the toilet so they don’t run around all wet. Have ready access to a SHAMWOW, drying cloth. And one or more towels.

They need to be toweled as dry as possible. Then the use of a hairdryer is a good thing, until they get too agitated. Then let them go and then dry them some more later. Best put the room temp at around 80F or so, so they dont get the chills.

Whopper gets a bath bout once every 2 months. Whereas in Taiwan my cats got a bath once a month. IF using shampoo, should use only baby shampoo or shampoo for cats . They dont always need shampoo as warm water will wash out enough of their oils. Drying their fur out too much will make it harder for them to stay warm when its cold.

Here is Gendut (whopper) in the bath. Pretty well behaved I would say !

youtube.com/watch?v=hNr8AHPpCvM

This is what it normally is likely to be like, unless you get them used to being in the tub.

youtube.com/watch?v=jQZtk-fCWQ4


#15

A nice May 1st. Hope you guys had a nice May Day on the 1st. We did. I went for a teeth cleaning session at the dentist (this was not the fun part mind you, although the young hygienist had gentle hands and a pleasant demeanor ) and then called in on one of my buds who has done pretty well for himself. Basically if you can afford to live in Danville, you have done pretty well for yourself. Danville is a beautiful little town of beautiful homes. Not just Danville but the surrounding little towns as well. Sunshine 300 plus days a year, temperate weather. HOmes one to five mil or so? THere are literally countless gorgeous homes all around the Devil Mountain there (Mt Diablo). And in fact in this whole area. Actually there are tons of beautiful homes all over the Bay Area.

if one does not have a 3 million dollar home with a swimming pool and a jacuzzi and a sauna, then at least its nice when one has friends that do. For an occasional BBQ and a dip in the pool. I didnt get into the pool as the water was still a bit chilly for me on this 80F day. I stayed in the poolside jacuzzi with a glass of Moet, or two. NOt exactly the drink to wash down my ribeye with but good nuff.

Later stopped by a small and tony wine club called THE VINE at Bridges, in downtown DAnville. ON Thursdays they have wine tasting. EAch week a little bit of a mix from various places. Its 15 bucks each for non members and 5 each for members. You get bout a quarter glass each of five different wines the dungeon master (i mean the sommelier) has selected for the nites experience.

Of course, all the wines are conveniently available FOR SALE, who would have guessed right?

They run between 25 to 50 bucks/bottle generally.

Tastings this evening were:

a 2012 Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, CA. From Donnelly Creek Vinyard.
Retail 45 / Wine Club 31.

a 2011 Chardonnay from Los Olives Vineyard in Napa Valley R 45/ WC 28

a Feudo Principi 2011 blend of 65pct cab , 30pct merlot and 5pct petite verdot from Sicily R 30 / WC 24

another Italian, this time from Tuscany , a 2011 Gaja Ca"marcanda “promis” , a blend of 55pct merlot, 35pct syrah and 10pct sangiovese. R 62 / WC 50

an Eric Kent Cellars “Sascha Marie” 2012 Pinot Noir.

OF the above I liked the Eric Kent one as well as the one from Tuscany.

Finished off the wine tasting with a small supper at Applebees. The 2 for 20 meal selection. Not bad, not fantastic but workable .

Heading down to the pool

Nothing like a jacuzzi pool side

The peeps gathered around the wine merchant who is dispensing wine and knowledge

a small supper at Applebees

Back home again to a happy Whopper, home alone


#16

What a lovely day! Your friend’s place looks amazing.


#17

Red Lobster’s ad on TV is working. Tammy has been insisting we go to one (she’s never been to one) since all those ads have been playing. I have been reluctant because the last time I went to a Red Lobster (last year) with a visiting friend (a shout out to HIlmar) it seemed to be rather pricey for what LITTLE and I do mean LITTLE was on the plate. My fish must have been two inch by two inches only. We left HUNGRY.

So I was a bit hesitant, but then I thought I wasn’t really hungry today anyway so why not.

Its a 20 mile drive away from us to the nearest Red Lobster in Antioch. So it better be worth it, i was thinking.

She had the 16.99 menu which allowed you a choice among 3 soups, a choice of two salads; caesar or garden, a choice among 5 entre and a choice of a cheese cake or some other cake or something else i forgot.

I had the 15.99 , 3 item special. But the 3 items in this case came all on one large plate. It was a salmon on a bed of wild rice with almond topping, a small dish of scampi and a helping of chicken fettucine. At least this was my selection.

We shared and tasted each and all items jointly.

It was all quite good. Cept for the chicken fettucine, which we haven’t tried yet as we had to bring it home, along with the cheese cake , because the portions were…surprise…surprise…quite LARGE. Looking forward to it though.

So all in all for bout 40 bucks for two we had a good lunch.

She declared it better then the special at Outback, which says a lot as she quite likes that place.

redlobster.com/menus/Default.asp

Afterwards we came home and then took Gendut for a drive over to Blackhawk to check out the ducks there. When we got there , Gendut was somewhat fearful of the ducks (he likes chasing birds but these were “birds” that were nearly his size). The ducks seemed ok with him and came near him. They see dogs often and probably thought he was just another dog.

I am glad I have a tiny tiger instead of these guys with real ones !!

Cray zzzeee.


#18

Off for a week starting today. Not sure what we can do. Was thinking of renting a car and driving to Vegas (my own car is 11 years old and a breakdown far away from home would be very costly). Hertz has some great deals on a Focus for less then 200 for a whole week.

However, having trouble getting someone to stay at our apt and keep Whopper company :frowning:

May have to just do a few overniters. Maybe do an overniter in Santa Cruz? Summer is pretty much here and the boardwalk could be interesting for her.

Maybe an overniter in Monterey would be nice. I always like that seaside town bout 3 hours drive away. We have been there briefly but maybe this time take in the Aquarium.

Scenic drive along the coast on Highway 1. Bear in mind though that the scenery is really only from Pacifica until Santa Cruz. The stretch from Santa Cruz to MOnterey is not all that scenic.

And then from Monterey onwards down to Big Sur and on south is quite nice, although I haven’t done that since probably 2001.

Maybe a drive up north on Highway 1 to Mendocino? Did that once years ago. Stayed at the small inn called the White House if i remember correctly. Apparently Julia Roberts did a movie filmed there.
Mendocino, I just love the name ! But somehow that little place by the ocean had a slightly strange feel to it. At least my trip out there that time. Just felt kind of haunted if that is the word. Staying in that hotel with the Period rooms. I don’t know how to describe the feeling. Felt “empty”, slightly “sinister” . In a Hitchcock, the Birds, kind of way. It wasn’t a Napa kind of feel.

Apparently James Dean made a few movies there or died there in a Porsche crash or something. Someone fill us in here, I can’t be bothered to google .

The drive up and down on Highway 1 back then, was kind of desolate. Hardly any vehicles went that way, on the narrow , barely 2 lane , winding coastal road. Apparently a few peeps had fallen over the edge, so one must pay attention.

We did one of those package deals to Reno last week. Got a coupon for 50 bucks which gets you two nites at the Peppermill (only pay 79 extra for two nites at the tower with a jacuzzi inroom, whata deal) and get 100 bucks back in the form of restaurant credit. A steal really.

Peppermill is the best hotel in Reno. It has three nice outdoor pools that are heated year round so its great for a swim. Rooms are well appointed. Inroom jacuzzi and one can watch tv .

Wanted to use their sauna but it was a ridiculous 60/person to enter their solarium/sauna facility.

Spent the 100 bucks credit at their best restaurant , the Bimini Steakhouse. Being very careful with the menu got us out with 98 bucks , including a 16 dollar tip.

I had a fantastic six oz filet, she had the atlantic salmon. Both were very very good indeed.

She had a salad and i refrained from any soup or salad, knowing my entree will be very filling.

peppermillreno.com/dining/fi … steakhouse

4 dollars for my coffee with a tray of rock candy and cookies was actually CHEAP ! She had a very nice tea for similar price, sans biscuits.

Did their buffet. The Island Buffet was better then most. Usually buffet food is prepared by assistant chefs and this one seemed to actually have dishes that were as good as individual orders.

20/a head buffet for dinner was par for the course .

IF not for these coupons I don’t think I’d ever really go to REno. It is billed as “the world’s biggest little city”. Don’t know what that really means. It is sleepy as hell. And kinda boring really.

NO big acts do Reno. So its a very very small little bro to Vegas. Sort of like Sanchong compared to the Taipei 101 area.

Vegas is much more fun. But if you live in the Bay Area and you have one of these coupons? Its a steal.

Also met up with a dude for a beer and pizza at my fav brewery in Berkeley. A fellow that she met in Jakarta once who works for the Aussie Govt. They must pay very well because he is using up his 2 months annual leave (2 months, incredible, i get only two weeks) visiting the USa and Canada with his wife.

They are renting a car for a month and driving all over the place from VAncouver down to Vegas , up to Yellowstone and up further in the Rockies to Banff. And all that. With flights and all I reckon the trip is easily going to cost him 10 grand, if frugal . Taking in a cruise up to Alaska as well. The lucky stiff ! Sounds like a great adventure !


#19

JD’s movie East of Eden was filmed there, along with a bunch of other well-known movies.


#20

Shouldn’t be criticizing the Tomster by right about now? :slight_smile:
Good post Tommy you know your restaurants and value.
As for government workers it tends to be public teachers who get 3 months off through the year. Even teachers in Taiwan get up to 2 months off I believe.