SSA/Conn Fiasco Update: 7-25-16

Copied and pasted from Ned’s page…

Ned Pillersdorf

10 hrs ·

Eric Conn fiasco update- while we certainly have not given up on getting Federal class action relief, the sudden volume of unfavorable decisions, and rejections from the Appeals Council has caused us to prepare to get legal representation for those who have to file in their local United States District Court. Once again the Prestonsburg Appal-Red legal aid office has agreed to coordinate the placement of former Conn clients with legal representation. We are also reaching out once again, to the heroic network of lawyers who helped during the hearings.
My estimate is that about 1300 hearings have been held, with decisions being reached in about 400 of those cases. We are getting unfavorable decisions in about 54%of the cases. About 100 cases have migrated to Federal Court. The sobering reality is that we may need to find legal representation for a total of 800 plus people in Federal Court to preserve their benefits. While the SSA has been relentless in punishing the innocent victims in this debacle, the lawyers fighting this injustice will not back down.
Will be updating. Share this. Thanks, Ned”

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SSA/Conn Fiasco Update; 7-14-16

Copied and pasted from Ned’s page (listed as yesterday’s date,because that’s when he posted it)…

Ned Pillersdorf

Eric Conn fiasco update-myself and other volunteer lawyers are currently representing many former Eric Conn clients whose cases have now made their way into the various U.S. District Courts. My guess is that about 100 of the eventual 800 who have either lost or will lose their benefits presently have pending cases in Federal Court.
Once your cases reaches this stage your benefits will be cut off, and you will receive a demand to repay the over-payment , and return of the Medicare premiums. The average demand for over-payments exceed $100,000. There is a waiver procedure.
By way of counter-attack we have started filing injunction motions in Federal Court seeking court orders to prevent the cut off of benefits, and the sending out of these damn repayment notices. These pleadings ask that the benefits continue to be paid until the appeals have been heard.The SSA is fighting us on all of this.
Share with those affected.”

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Knobby Tires and License Plates; Part II

Well,I did not hear from the gentleman who owns the XR250L I’m hopeful to trade my VLX for this weekend,his brother had told me to expect a call or text from him today. That doesn’t mean,most likely,that the deal is off/fell through…he works out of town where cell service is supposedly spotty (those places still exist…our burned house is in one of those no-cell-service zones for eg),so I’m still hopeful. That’s not why I’m posting again so soon,however…

The Boy and I drove out to a neighboring county after having found a vintage DS (dual sport😉 ) bike on Craigslist that I wanted to see in person earlier today,and I liked it enough to have paid a deposit* on it. It’s a 1984 Yamaha XT250,and he was it’s second owner,having owned it since 1991. The Boy and I will borrow my Pop’s trailer and go haul it home tomorrow evening. The bike is in pretty great shape considering it’s age (and that it’s a dirt bike with tags,LOL,as dirt bikes normally live a pretty hard life),and the price was definitely right (anyone want to buy a >100 mile old 2014 Surly Troll bicycle? Over $1,400 invested when I built it up,but haven’t been physically able to bicycle since,selling for $500😉😛 ),so having always loved the memories of riding a buddy’s ’84-ish XT250 when I was a teen in the 80’s,I’m pretty happy about it😀

I’ll leave this post short worded,as it’s getting late and it’s been a long day,and a long one coming tomorrow as well. Here are the pics pulled from his CL ad…

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I’ll post more about it after getting it home,as well as any news on the possible trade once I hear from the XR’s owner:)

 

 

*Refundable,with a receipt containing the owner’s information–though as he’s a 66 year old gentleman that is deacon of his church,IMO it will still be there when I get there tomorrow,LOL

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Knobby Tires and License Plates

I spent my years growing up riding and racing dirt bikes (raced both enduro,as well as motocross). Some of my earliest memories that are vivid are of my and school friends and I riding all over the area. I rode dirt bikes (and dual sports later,after I was old enough to have a license) from the age of 5 (and raced from age 8) until I was 28,which is when that co-driver wrecked me in an 18 wheeler driving across the desert in Utah (2001),when I stopped riding for a few years (and stopped riding bikes with knobby tires all together:/ ) because I just wasn’t able to.

Now,don’t take this that I don’t enjoy (and love) the road riding that I’ve been doing or my current pair of Honda Shadows (I really do feel very blessed and am thankful,BTW),far from it (I DO enjoy it and love them),but I’m more dirt than pavement,always was. That said,I also comprehend that the days of fast trail riding,racing,taking gnarly hill climbs and jumps just because they’re there are long past–maybe not so just because I’m now 43 years old,but because I know the nature of these injuries and I don’t fancy sitting in a wheelchair for life,because it wouldn’t take much of  a crash to cause just that…but I refuse to sit in fear when I can at least enjoy the outdoors,even if only sitting in the shade.

Anyways,back on subject,bikes with knobby tires. A week or so ago,I listed the VLX600 on Craigslist “For sale or trade for dual sport bike” and listed bikes I am potentially interested in (dual sport is a “street and trail”,or a street legal dirt bike in some cases like Suzuki’s DRZ400,in others it’s more of a streetish bike that’s also offroad capable like BMW’s GS series of “Adventure Bike”). I want another one,it’s been a long time.

Not that I have any false hopes of riding technical singletrack at break-neck speed (I actually hate that expression,given that I did in that on the job accident😛 ),but it would be nice to explore some dirt/gravel roads (think Rail Trail,but for motorcycles),or even explore the TAT Trail (Google that if you’re not aware of it) for a few days.

I’ve found one that I like after looking at and riding it around a parking lot (actually,his friend found me,or rather my ad,on CL,but he had a pure,non-street legal dirt bike,but his buddy has the dual sport I speak of). He’s on the road for work until Friday and hasn’t seen mine in person yet,but will be home Friday. I’ll be calling him later today to confirm a Friday meet-up,and already secured Dad’s utility trailer (it’s supposed to rain for the next 6 days after today,don’t really want to ride the VLX 2 hours in the rain,trade,and ride an unfamiliar bike with the plates pulled from the VLX–not legal on that bike😉 –2 hours back).

It’s a 1996 Honda XR250L,basically a legendary XR250R that’s been made street legal,and it’s in pretty good condition for a 20 year old bike that’s been riding offroad predominantly. He’s the 3rd owner,and it’s properly maintained and garage kept. The only pics I have of it…

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What I haven’t said so far is that I’d owned several Honda XR’s (and XL’s,what they used to call their streetable XR line pre-1990),from my first,an XL100,to my last XR owned,a 1994 XR600R,to no less than 3 XR250R’s (dirt only version of this bike) back in the day. The XR250 (whether an “R”,or an “L”) has always held a warm spot in my heart,and is one of my favorite trail bikes of all time…not overly powerful or fast by any stretch of the words,but is at home in the woods (especially tight trails deep in the forest where moss covers everything and one can’t even hear civilization). I’m pretty excited about it,and am hopeful that it doesn’t fall through. I’ll post about it if we make the trade.

If it doesn’t work out,I’ll keep looking. In an ideal world (where I could afford another bike payment–not even considering the potential of losing half of our total household income looming overhead from the unlawful acts of….well,no need to get into all that again here,sigh),I would ride the VLX out to Jim’s Motorcycles (he has 2 dealerships,I refer to the Suzuki/Kawasaki 1) in a neighboring town,sign the papers on a shiny new 2016 Suzuki DR650S–which is my dream-dualsport-bike lately,slap some hard-cases (think saddle bags,but much more durable,like those big BMW GS guys outfit their bikes with),and live happily ever after,LOL! A $6999 new motorcycle isn’t in the plans (budget😉 ) right now though,but some day in the next few years…Pics of the mighty DR650S:

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PIcs of a couple other’s DR650’s that I pulled from a Google search and liked:

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Anyways,that’s all for now,I need to get off here and call the guy and confirm Friday:)

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Of Rides and Rain

I was beginning to believe that our newest motorcycle,the ACE 750 (it is both the newest in model year,LOL,and the last one we came to ownership of😛 ) has been cursed,as I/we seem to get caught out in rain (thunderstorms,mostly) on it rather frequently,and I had yet to be caught out on the VLX.😄

The last time I was caught out (a couple days before we went out of town over the weekend),it had literally been hot with blue skies when I had stopped to buy a soda,and in the few minutes it took me to enjoy it’s carbonated sweetness,the skies had turned dark,with winds picking up and dry lightning filling the sky. I rode as fast as the speed limit allowed (74MPH in a 70 speed zone down the interstate) to try and get home before the sky broke loose–I was only 16-18 miles from home,afterall–but didn’t quite make it before a cloud-burst hit and I decided to stop at an underpass off the interstate (sitting underneath the interstate) for 45 minutes to let the worst of it pass (before riding the remaining 3.5 miles home in a steady rain,if not a cloud burst).

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This was the 3rd or 4th time I’d been caught out in rain on the ACE (including the night of my birthday,when The Wife and I got caught in a fairly bad thunderstorm,complete with hail pelting us),but wet riding had been limited to the ACE (and is never intentional). Until yesterday,anyways…

I haven’t been updating here much lately,with so much going on in our lives*,so here’s a few updates on bike things. Have put some miles on the ACE,and as I’ve ridden it,it has ran a bit better with each week going by where it had been running a bit rough from having sat for so long. I think I’m going to eventually end up having to take it into the shop afterall,though,and have it’s carbs cleaned out and maybe rejetted (once I install the Cobra exhaust/pipes,it may need the rejetting while they have them apart),as it still has an at-idle miss and (very) slight hesitation when pulling out from a stop. What it needs more than anything,though,LOL,it a good scrubbing where it’s been caught out and ridden in the rain😛

It has proven to be a comfy ride,though,and I’ve had The Wife out on it a few more times,for longer and longer rides as we get her back in the groove of being a middle aged,Sunday School teaching (former–her work schedule doesn’t permit it anymore,sadly) biker chick,LOL (😛😄 ). Two of my favorite things to do is spend an evening riding around a country road with beautiful scenery with The Wife on the back,where we stop somewhere and just be together,with the other thing being to ride out somewhere (doesn’t have to be very far…a local city park is only 2-3 miles from home😉 ) to sit outside and do my daily Bible reading/study while enjoying His creation. The ACE,despite being a bigger,heavier bike,has become the go-to bike to take the cover off of and take out to ride,both for it’s comfort,and the ability to carry more in it’s saddle bags**,and because it’s riding position is so comfy with my c-spine issues,and that Mustang seat,oh it’s comfy,LOL! It’s nice and quiet as well,perhaps too quiet…

I’ve still been putting a few miles on the VLX 600,though. After riding the ACE for a few days,I forget how light,quick and nimble (FUN) the VLX is to ride. It would outrun the ACE–despite being 150cc smaller,they both have in the neighborhood of just under 40HP,though the ACE clearly makes more torque (and at lower rpms),but there’s no doubt that on a road like The Snake (RTE421 between Bristol,TN and Mtn City,TN–Google it:) )–or really any road where one doesn’t ride above 60MPH or so that the VLX would easily outrun the ACE. And don’t forget that sweet sound coming through those Vance & Hines pipes!😀 You forget too (riding the ACE for several days,then jumping on the VLX) just how much it could use a 5th gear and windshield if you’re on the highway,though.

Anyways,here’s a few pics from the last couple week’s rides…

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…I’m so glad that I took The Girl down The Snake a few weeks ago,since she moved so far away 2 weekends ago (we miss her so much😥 ). The Snake,BTW,is 489 curves,over a few mtn ranges,in >32 miles😮

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The Boy loves the ACE as well…

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As does The Wife…

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Alas,I proved yesterday,that it’s not a Rain Curse levied on the ACE,LOL! As I’m actually looking to sell or trade the VLX (post coming on that)–possibly as early as this weekend–I wanted to ride The Snake one last time on it,with it feeling so much sporty on twisty roads than the ACE can. So with The Weather Channel (on my phone😉 ) saying no rain,with the sky being mostly blue with only a few puffy white clouds,and the temp/humidity being high,I decided on impulse after doing the have-to’s yesterday to don helmet and head down/up it. I made it to the half way point (ish),Shadey Valley (TN) where the famous 421 Cafe and their awesome burgers call home,and the sky was dark,winds were kicking up pretty harshly,and that last mile I was feeling the sting of drizzle hitting my face and arms at 50MPH down the few straight sections,LOL😛 So I pulled into their lot,shot a few pics,and sat on their porch for 30 minutes or so while the worst of it passed before donning a large garbage bag like a dress and limping home in the after-rain drizzles***😄

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*Including recuperating from the road trip where The Boy and I drove The Girl out to western Arkansas a few weeks ago…I’m still down from that and not quite back to 100% (as in,MY 100%,where I am on good days with my old spinal injuries,sigh)

** still only have the “biker backpack” that I bought at WalMart secured to the sissy bar on the VLX–it’s spacious and a nice way to carry things,but it’s capacity is limited

***I also learned that the VLX is not as content to ride in the rain as the ACE (I had no issue with slipping/sliding or anything,with it’s brand new Dunlop tires,mind you). My opinion is,the way the engine position is designed,it was suffering wet spark-plug maladies,as it was difficult to start after sitting in the downpour for 30 minutes or so,and had some low speed misses (easily heard since the bike is so loud),but as it dried up the last 5 miles or so,it ran like it was supposed to. I’m guessing where the ACE has so much…more bike…and it’s plugs are better protected is why it doesn’t seem to suffer that issue like the VLX.

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SSA/Conn Fiasco Update; 7-13-16: Here We Go…

While The Wife and I were out of town over the weekend,I finally received my notice from the SSA of my own upcoming hearing. I was beginning to wonder if they’d forgotten me,or I’d somehow slipped through their vindictive plans,as over 1,300 (of those 1487 left living that are being unlawfully drug through all of this) had already been through theirs (with about 54% receiving unfavorable news in their cases). August 15 is my court date. Thoughts and prayer appreciated…

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Road Trip

The Girl (daughter😉 ) had been planning to move out…way out…for a while,and this weekend was the time we (the Wife and I) had been dreading…the dreaded day of the move out. Rather than put her on a plane,or (god forbid) a Greyhound,I wanted to drive her myself,to spend the time with her,and meet the people she would be with (she’s known them for years,we haven’t). Western Arkansas,about an hour south of Ft. Smith. Of course,everywhere we went during this trip were places I’d driven through hundreds (probably closer to thousands) of times back when I was a long haul truck driver–and since we were so close and he had never been there,on the return trip I drove The Boy on across the Oklahoma state line on I40 just so he could say “I’ve been to OK”,LOL!

So we (The Girl,The Boy and I,the Wife had to work) left out early Saturday morning in Pop’s 2012 Toyota Prius C,what would be later in the trip renamed (by truckers,and a few tuner-car drivers we’d meet on the road) the “Hotrod Prius”*,LOL,with it’s tribal flames,mag wheels,and train horn.

I don’t really feel much like talking lots about the trip (BTW,there’s a reason I’m “legally disabled”,especially where it’s related to driving long distances…I’ll be down for a while with my ailments after this trip unable to do much😦 ). We did enjoy bits/parts of it**,but it was a trip where I dropped my oldest child nearly 900 miles from home,and I have my doubts if we will ever see her in person again,so I’ll mostly just post the few pics we shot,still not happy with that😦

I will say that,as far as the Prius is concerned,the little car did earn some respect from me (a car guy…as in,I likes em low/loud/fast/etc). Driving on the interstate at the higher speeds that we did,it kinda takes the whole Hybrid thing out of the equation and makes a Prius just another 4 cylinder powered econo-box,but we were still able to manage a trip-average 44+ mpg’s,with me pushing the car out of it’s element for most of it (75+MPH sustained travel),which impressed me. Something like a 2016 Mazda 3 hatchback with the base 2.0L engine,for example–being in the same size/weight/style of car as the Prius C–would have turned in close to those mpg numbers,but also would have been capable of running circles around the little Toyota,but something like that would never had become the constant conversation piece that the Prius became,LOL! It proved pretty comfy,had plenty of room to take lots of The Girl’s stuff (had to leave lots here too,but I digress…),and was even….gasp…fun to drive.

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*Besides that it,well,it doesn’t look horrible IMO,cramming around 1,700 miles into 25 or so hours (speaking of time actually driving,actual time gone was over 40,but under 48),averaging 66MPH for the entire trip (the car gives you this info,it accounts for every second that it’s turned on,not necessarily just while you’re moving,so that # is fairly impressive),the Little Prius that could would have it’s cruise control set on 78-80MPH for hours on end with nary a strain,even when packed like a sardine can for the outbound portion–as long as you accepted that acceleration from stop would be slow. I can’t tell you how many vehicles we passed at those modest speeds that either didn’t like being passed by a Prius (they were heck-bent on getting back in front of it,LOL),or actually had a look of surprise when they’d see it whizzing by them on a hill,LOL!😄

**Besides the sights that The Kids had never seen in person,we found not 1 but several working pay phones😮😄 ,I got to eat at a place I’d stop in several times per month back in my trucking days for some of the world’s best catfish (Nick’s,in Carlisle,AR),and we got some cool souvenirs for each of them to keep as well.

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