Tuesday, September 12, 2017

My Current State of Aggravation

First off, let me just say that I realize that my problems are first world problems and that things are worse in Texas and Florida.  However, I am still aggravated beyond belief.

Yesterday we got a mail drop.  In it was a notification from National Interstate notifying us that with great regret they are no longer in the RV insurance market.  We’ve been pretty happy with them and are not looking forward to a new carrier.  Unless we take steps, we’ll be automatically reassigned to Safeco.  Does anyone have any experience with them?  Does anybody like their insurance company? 

Then there is the Equifax breach.  I don’t remember ever thinking to myself that I would like for three nameless, faceless entities to collect data on my spending habits and who knows what all else, and use that data to influence whether I could buy a house, rent an apartment or get a job.  However, if they were bound and determined to do this, wouldn’t you think they could at least secure the data? Apparently not.  From my perspective there are two great whanging points of danger from the breach.  With your SSN, hackers can file tax returns and get refunds under your name, and they can apply for social security benefits.  I called social security to ask how to prevent this, and they said to open a myssa account.  Because I have credit monitoring, according to the social security people I have to go to an office and do that in person. 

Do you think that you can just go to the social security office and get help?  No.  Wait times are measured in hours.  I called to make an appointment at the Bellevue office.  Do you think I can get an appointment?  No.  They can only schedule out to November 7, and there are no appointments available between now and then.  I managed to get one in Tucson, but I’m not sure we’ll be back by then.  Do you think I can get my credit monitoring people on the phone to get them to cancel the service so I can establish a myssa account?  No.

Anyway, go establish a myssa account at socialsecurity.gov and protect your social security benefits.

Back to the security breach rant.  NYT published a good article today on how freezing your credit reports is not the total answer to dealing with the breach. When you freeze a credit report, you’re issued a PIN for when you need to unfreeze it.  The Equifax PINs are based on the time and date you got the freeze.  Any hacker worth his salt can figure out your PIN.  Go here, read the article.  It’s very informative.

Yesterday was the ill fated trip to the Bellevue social security office.  After giving up on that, we went over to Bellevue Square for lunch.  Then we walked around for a bit.  The skyline is just amazing.  This is all new.


The park near the shopping mall is very pleasant.  They have dedicated much of its space to water.  It’s a pleasant aspect, but it’s not useable by humans.


The ducks love it, however.


This is the construction site at the end of our street.  In the back right, you can see the quarry.  It’s visible now because all the trees are gone.


This is the new stream bed.  They rerouted the creek.  It has taken months to get this far along.


Jim surveys the new stream bed.  I would really like to know how much this cost.  There are two new huge culverts and the road has been torn up more than once.  Traffic has just been a nightmare.


I liberated this from Twitter.  It was taken in Germany, but I can’t remember which airport.  Anyway, you can really see the wing tip vortices.  I thought it was a pretty cool image.

wing tip vortex 2

So that’s what’s shaking in the GPNW.


  1. I'm at a loss as to what to do about Equifax. Just mind boggling the position they have put us in. We have Progressive Insurance cause our carrier also quit insuring RVs.

  2. Thanks for the update on National Interstate, which is what we have for RV insurance. We are paid up until March and will have to do some comparison shopping in Feb of 2018.

  3. Jim doesn't know much about Safeco other than they've been around for a long time. We have National General and have been happy with them, other than the premium goes up every year, but then it seems they all do.
    I had a similar issue with Social Security trying to set up myssa account last year. For some reason, which was never made clear to me, I also had to go into an office with photo ID. I was told it was not something they would make an appointment for, so I walked into the SS office in St. George, UT and only had to wait a few minutes. After showing my license I got the account set up. Still never understood why I had to go in person and the woman didn't give a good explanation. Good luck!

  4. The Equifax breach has us spooked as well. I do have a question regarding what you said about the mySSA account. We have a credit freeze with all three bureaus. Does that mean we can't open a mySSA account except in person? I wasn't sure if a credit freeze was the same as credit monitoring (which you mentioned). Thanks!

    1. I don't know about the credit freeze - we don't have those. The quickest way to find out is to try to open a myssa. If it comes back with the "unable to create this account" then you'll know you're going to the ssa office. I would go ahead an create the myssa, then no one else can do it in your name.