Thursday, January 30, 2014


Today is one of those driving days where you end up using a lot of windshield washer fluid compared to the distance travelled.

Got an email from D a couple of days ago stating that our garage door opener has been officially declared dead.  (I know what you are thinking -- Could she have possibly found a more boring topic??!!  Uh, wait until you read what I have planned next!)

He called the company I had found earlier and booked an installation appointment.  Oh well, it was going to happen sooner or later.  The new one is supposed to be more powerful and they will do a check on all the other elements of the door track for a cost of about $350.

It has since been installed and it is awesome!  So quiet and smooth as the main track was also replaced and springs cleaned and lubricated.  The fellow apparently laughed out loud when he saw how old and rickety our old one was and even wondered if it was even attached to a stud... (it was)

My 2013 end of year numbers are in and I managed to net within $1200 of D last year.  Can't imagine getting much closer than that.  Our goal has been to be each other's "back up" income wise.  D is within 2 years of finishing off the official bank mortgage -- Sum of his portion of main house, condo and car -- Total outstanding is around 38K.  Unofficially he will require a few more years yet before he is a true 50:50 owner of everything.  It is out of this that my travels for the last few years have been funded with.

Something funny occurred recently.  Back story is that I never did get the email attachment for my tourist visa from Cambodia.  Because I had been checking status of my application online and can print it from there, didn't really think much of it outside of wondering who might have gotten it. 

So the last thing I expected was a pretty over the top birthday email and thank you for using their services exactly on the day of my birthday!  That was hilarious.

When I put in for a cancellation of my intercity flight, I pretty much wrote off the idea of actually receiving a refund, having read the horror stories of people still trying to get money back from all sorts of places ranging from hotels to bus companies.  I am pleased to say my flight refund has shown up on my online credit card statement.

Decided to move ahead with the rabies vaccination after some more reading/digging.  Originally the discussion about pros and cons revolved around rural Vietnam but didn't realize it was potentially a much more significant issue in Cambodia. 

I'm finding that under reporting is frequent as there are just so many more significant challenges and issues there and people from outside the cities never make it in to get treated.  I decided to base my decision on a recent WHO report and what local treatment centers reportedly see.

Getting it doesn't prevent you from having to go to the hospital (treatment is still going to be 2 - 5 shots depending) but will buy you time should you be in the middle of nowhere or should the clinic not be open or the one you find yourself in doesn't have adequate supplies or sanitation....

I won't have time to receive all 3 before I go, so I am playing the odds that nothing untoward shall happen and I'll get my third shot upon my return and be set for Vietnam as well as what the next 2 years or so may hold. 

Just got back from my first rabies shot.  Starting to feel a bit strange.  Didn't have any issues with my 2nd Japanese Encephalitis a couple of weeks ago.  The group before (JE # 1, DKPT, MMR) came with alternating fever, chills and feeling like crap for about 4 days just before Christmas.  Flu and typhoid shots were fine.  Just mild arm soreness and maybe slight fever for a few hours.  With cholera vaccine, maybe a bit of gut wrenching but I slept it off.

After each shot, I've gotten into the habit of keeping really warm as I've noticed my core temperature drops.  Makes sense as you are freaking your body out by exposing it to things that cause it to start fighting.  Building antibodies takes energy and protein so I've been making sure I don't miss any meals those days. 

Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis are the priciest of the bunch so far, at $250 and $200 each and 3 and 2 shots respectively to complete the program.   Ask the pharmacist to check your level of coverage if you are not sure.  They swipe your extended benefits card and can enter it in as if you are buying and let you know before to avoid any surprises. 

Most people this time of year are getting Hep A and B in preparation to go south (Caribbean, Mexico etc.) so you will turn a lot of heads when others hear what you have to pay.  As someone who is not on any prescription drugs, this is as much as I have ever used of my extended drug benefits as an adult.  Oh yeah, I'm also bringing along an Epipen in case of adverse bite reactions.

There was this young couple (so cute!) who are about to get married and was in today for a consult about their honeymoon location -- Overland trip through 2 countries in Africa.  They were oh so excited but came out afterwards looking pretty defeated as they had found out what the recommendations were and the corresponding costs.  I can tell they were overwhelmed and were frantically asking the Pharmacist to check out their coverage as I was leaving. 

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