Friday, January 29, 2010

Health Care Reform

Have I posted about this before? I am not sure. Even if I have, it is certainly worth posting about and its certainly worth being my 300th post.

I am currently reading Hillary Rodham Clinton's autobiography. It is not that well written (I am sure a ghost writer wrote it, and they should have chosen someone else), but it is interesting. One of the things that is most interesting to me at the moment is her reflections on her attempts to reform health care in 1993/1994. It is de ja vu all over again, so to speak. The Clinton plan was similar to the Obama plan in that they wanted to create a minium ammt of coverage, standards for policies, and then within the confines of that standard, allow market competition. Like Obama's plan, it was designed to improve insurance and reduce costs for those currently insured, guarentee coverage of preexisting conditions and prevent people from losing insurance because they changed jobs. It was also designed to get more low income American's onto insurance plans.

Needless to say, they were unable to get it past. The resemblance in their efforts is striking - large interest groups working against them, putting misinformation into the media both via direct commercial and just quotable quotes. The Clinton's stopped trying to reform health care after 2 yrs of fighting for it because it had become an impossible mission given the environment created by the Republicans and special interest groups. She ends her discussion of it with this quote, which I find eerily relevant to the current situation - "Ultimately, we could never convince the vast majority of Americans who have health insurance that they wouldn't have to give up benefits and medical choices to help the minority of Americans without coverage. Nor could we persuade them that reform would protect them from losing insurance and would make their medical care more affordable in the future." I sincerely hope that this does not happen with the current attempts at reform. As President Obama said in his state of the Union last week, the budget office estimates the current health reform package will reduce the deficit. The current proposal get health care to a lot of Americans that do not have it. It will reduce the ability of insurance companies to make decisions about our lives, and reduce medical costs that have gotten ridiculously high. Unfortunately, these are not the messages that are getting across.

I don't even know how to end this blog post. Every day I encounter reasons that we need to reform health care. Every day I speak with claimants who are not receiving treatment or not taking needed medication because they cannot afford it. Some of these people are people who had a one-time lack of money alter their ability to work for the rest of their lives (for example, a man who broke his arm and received sub-standard care due to his lack of ability to pay and now has limited use of that arm). Some of these people are people who could be functioning members of society if they could afford the drug that keeps their brain chemistry balanced. Others are putting their lives at risk every day by not taking insulin because they do not have coverage.

Here is what I want. I want health care reform. I want people who are against health care reform to accept the moral implications that position holds, and stop pretending that there are no moral implications. I hope I get at least one of these wishes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Labyrinth of Possessions

I was going to wait until the end of the month to do an update on how my resolutions are going, but since its on my mind I will do it now. Lets face it, although I have made some minimal efforts, my goal of becoming organized this year is progressing slowly. I was reminded of this when I recently rented and watched the movie The Labyrinth, just for old time kicks. This is a 1980s movie featuring David Bowie as the goblin king who steals the main character's (a whiny, stereotypically misunderstood teenager) baby brother. She has to attempt to get to the Goblin Kings castle and rescue him before time runs out. It also features Jim Henson puppets - note, NOT the traditional puppets, just that style. Anyways, I enjoy it even though its pretty much on drugs. I wonder, it must be based on a book. But I digress.

At one point in the story, the main character finds herself in a garbage dump populated by old women with large mounds of scrap on their back. They take the main character's hand and lead her through a door to her bedroom. In her bedroom, the junk lady picks up some of her prized possessions and hands them to here. "Oh, don't you love this teddy bear? your dad gave her to you", they keep handing her things, she is trying to hold more and more, and soon they are stacking it on her back, she is becoming one of them, a junk lady, distracted from her mission and unable to move around or move ahead in life because of these sentimental items that she places priority on. If this does not say something about materialism, I don't know what does. What a perfect metaphor, we surround our selves with objects, give them so much importance, and sometimes they take over our lives.

That recognized, I am still not ready (or simply not the type) to go on an extreme purge and drastically reduce my material possessions, as is relatively popular right now. It sort of reinspired my organizational goals. It did make me think about the fact that I should only be holding onto items that I either use, or that have great meaning for me, and that these items are only useful to me if they are not holding me back - if they are organized, accessible, and serving their purpose, whatever that might be. So, it re inspired my organizational goals. I think I have to start by organizing my time, and then move on from there, because at the moment, I am being kept so busy by my self-imposed schedule that I am not finding time to tackle the house. Onward to reconsidering my schedule!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Purple Pining

I spent the last 4 hours biting my nails (don't worry, only a little), rocking back and forth a lot, screaming, groaning, and ... most significantly, watching the Minnesota Vikings lose in the playoffs to the Saints. The Saints did not win, we handed the game to them on a silver platter called "complacency" (i.e. two runs for no yards when we were at the outer edge of field goal range), "stupidity" (i.e. having 12 men in a huddle, after a time out in which you should have had the opportunity to get organized) and "desperation" (i.e. Brett Favre throwing a pick on third down because he needed so much yardage to get back in field goal range due to the runs for no yards and the penalty). ****SIGH**** It has been a LONG time since I have been as emotionally invested in a sporting event as I was tonight (and last weekend). We were SO close. And yet, here we are, season over, probably looking for a new QB unless Brett Favre decides that he wants one more shot, despite how much pain the game is clearly causing him.

Did I mention **SIGH** ?

Go Colts, I guess.

(in all honesty, colts are probably about my third favorite team in the league, but it still will be a letdown when it could have been the Vikings).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Miss Diplomacy

Its strange.
Amongst my closest group of friends, I am known for being outspoken, not being worried about speaking my mind even if it might upset people. They do not realize how often I hold my tongue.
But, amongst a lot of other people, I am known as a diplomat, someone who finds a way to word things so that people cannot be offended. Someone who does not cause drama.

Somestimes I get sick of playing this role. I see things, read things, hear things, and my gut reaction is to, well, basically state how stupid the person is for saying it and give x,y, and z reasons. You know, say things like "I thought you were more intelligent than that." But I don't do it. I constrain myself. I either hold my tongue, or more often, say what I think about the issue, but not what I think about the other person's idea or the choice of topics. But it gets old. It gets so old, especially if I am in a snarky mood. But is that one time satisfaction that snarking offers worth my reputation as being level-headed and no-drama? Probably not.

So despite my burning desire to list the 4-5 things that prompted this post, I will just leave it at that.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cinci, ho!

Even though it was a three-day weekend, it went by in a flash, felt almost shorter than a regular weekend in some ways, because I spend Saturday on a day trip to Cincinnati. Two friends and I drove down to Ikea and Jungle Jim's. We left around 9am, stopped and ate at Red Robin's (yum! I just love their burgers!), and then headed into Ikea. I know a lot of people who read this blog have never been to Ikea, or don't really know what it is even. It is a furniture/home store, but it is also an experience. It is huge. The whole top floor is a series of rooms set up for you to go through, completed in great detail (books on the shelvers, pots in the cabinets, etc). Most of everything in every room, besides the books and plastic televisions, are for sale (from the curtains to the rug to the lights to the organization divider in a drawer), but you don't take them from the room, you just make a note of it. There are giant arrows on the floor to keep you moving in the right direction. Eventually you make it to the escalator which takes you downstairs, where all of the stuff you saw upstairs and more is actually for sale. It is a lot of fun, it makes you want to clean and organize and redecorate. It is also relatively cheap. We spent about three hours there, and then headed to Jungle Jim's. This was a first for all three of us, but came highly recommended. This is a HUGE grocery store with tons of international and odd foods. We bought crazy cheeses, like Gjoren from Norway that tastes like Carmel, and crazy fruits, like Sharon Fruit and Cactus Pear. We spent forever combing through aisle after aisle of international foods (2 aisles of germany, 5 aisles of mexico, 2 of italy, 4 of Englant, etc etc etc). All three of us spent more at the grocery store than at the furniture store... how is that for unexpected :-)

We then made the 2 hr drive back, in the dark, through the pea-soup fog. Visability ranged from 500 ft to 50. It was pretty bad. We made it back to Columbus at 8pm and went to one of our houses to eat all of our goodies, try all the new strange fruits. Don't eat unripe chocolate pudding fruit, by the way, its caustic and poisonous. We learned this the hard way. (don't worry, we are all fine).

In overview:
(1) I had a great day in Cinci!
(2) Ikea and Jungle Jim's are both experiences, not stores
(3) Drive carefully in fog and you will be fine
(4) Don't eat raw chocolate pudding fruit.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Music and Me

So, if you have met me, or know me at all, you probably have encountered the fact that my music trivia skills are beyond horrible. They are so bad, indeed, that it comes up frequently. You know, someone mentions a band or a song or a singer that they think is common knowledge and I am left either asking "who is that?" or pretending to know for convenience's sake.

It recently came up when someone, in an online game I do with movie lines and song lyrics (I have gotten a few of the movie lines! no song lyrics yet...surprise surprise), used The Racounters. granted, after some popular polls amongst my friends (who actually have some music trivia abilities), I don't think this is THAT well known of a group, but their lead singer is Jack White (who I also had never heard of), formerly of the White Stripes. I have heard of the White Stripes, but only in the last six months because of Rock Band and because DH likes them and was talking about them recently. Anyways. This of course lead to a discussion at book club about it. The other women started playing "do you know who sings this?" with the music that was in the background at the resteraunt (The Mellow Mushroom - AMAZING Buffalo Chicken pizza, but that is another story). I got the Johnny Cash song, but that is about where my knowledge ended. Some of the other bands I had never even heard of, or heard of only in passing reference (such as the Crosby Stills Nash and Young joke song on the BNL Christmas Album).

So, why is my music knowledge like this? I attribute most of it to my parents. I say attribute, not blame, because I don't think its an inherently bad thing. When I was little, my parents mainly listened to old country (Willie Nelson, etc), public radio, and classical. There was also a tiny bit of modern country, especially as my older sister got older. We listened to The Morning Show, the daily morning show at Minnesota Public Radio, that played songs like Waltzing With Bears and other folk music. You could say I was raised on the show. It unfortunately went off the air last year (because they wanted to retire). Strangely, my upbringing also involved a lot of Tommy and the Who, but that was about it for rock.

Sometime around 5th grade I feigned an interest in popular music, like Ace of Base, because my friends liked it. By middle school I was still mostly listening to NPR, classical, and country, though other music started to become more known to me, especially soft rock like Third Eye Blind. I listened to more soft rock as I got a little older. In ninth grade (1998) my best friend introduced me to the Barenaked Ladies. I became obsessed. I knew all their songs, we went to a few of their concerts in high school. I also listed to Matchbox 20, some Foo Fighters and what not, but I still did not listen to popular music on the radio, or seek out new artists. In fact, I hardly listened to ANY radio besides MPR in the morning. In High School I was involved in The Minnesota High School Music Listening Contest, in which you study mostly classical music and learn to tell by ear what era it is from, who composed it, etc. We did very well in these competitions, senior year we came in 2nd in the state of Minnesota, and if it had been based on points alone, we would have come in 1st.

Then I headed off to college. I aggregated what I thought was a nice (mostly illegal) music collection while I was in college. It featured all of the bands I had already mentioned, plenty of classical and film scores, and the random songs that I liked the lyrics of - ranging from Ludicrus to Eminem to the Rainbow Bright Theme song and every variation on the Mario brothers theme known to man. It also had a lot of modern country as my now husband got me listening to that genre again. I eventually lost this collection and still miss it :-(

So, looking at this history, perhaps you can understand why I don't know much popular music. I STILL don't listen to the radio much. In the car I typically listen to Audiobooks. If I do listen to music its a 108 the Mix (80s, 90s, now). If it happened before 1998, there is almost NO chance I know anything about it. I may know the song by listening. I may know the name of a big band, but probably won't be able to link them to a song. If it is 1996 to now there is slightly more chance I will have a clue, but its still unlikely, especially if it would fall into the category of "rock" or "hip hop". Recently, Rock Band has given me a big boost in song recognition. I did not know the vast majority of songs that it came with, or the bands that played them (you can see Wikipedia for a list of what songs comes with it, some examples of what I did not know: Mississippi Queen by Mountain, Suffragette City by David Bowie, Pump it Up by Elvis Costello... I had heard of David Bowie because the movie Labrynth, but thats it for this list).

This is why I basically suck at music trivia. I suck at band name recognition. I suck at all that sort of stuff. I am more likely to be able to tell the difference between a Mozard and Vivaldi piece than I am to be able to tell you whether Lady Gaga or JZ sang a song. I am more likely to be able to list someone who is famous for fiddling than to tell you a single popular female singer of the 1970s. But, I don't think this is a bad thing. Sometimes, I think I appear to even be proud of it. Typically I don't think its good to be proud of NOT knowing something, and not even wanting to learn it. Maybe I am proud of this, I don't really know.

Just don't take it personally, please, if I have never heard of someone you think is awesome. Its not personal offense.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Death Bed

There are tons of little things I have been meaning to post about work - like what I do, what I think about it, how its annoying me that the lunch room seems to get more and more busy at my lunch when it used to be peaceful, how my back has been bugging me. I never get around to it. Some of it is not worth getting around to, other bits are. But today I have a different work related topic for you all, and not a cheerful one.

Today, for the first time, I spoke with a terminal claimant. Most of my claimants have back pain or leg pain or psychiatric problems or chronic pulmonary insufficiency (bad lungs), or a bad heart. Most of them have some level of chronic problem that they have to live with, and if it is severe enough I help them get some money to live on. Today I spoke with a man who does not have a chronic problem he has to live with, he has a terminal problem he will shortly die of. He was literally in his death bed when I talked to him with cancer in his brain, spinal chord, lungs, liver, and many other places, unable to get up without assistance, no longer receiving treatment, and getting help from hospice.

What do you say to that? How petty does it seem to call up and ask him what he does on an average day and how long he thinks he can stand before needing a break? Needless to say I skipped most of the questions we are supposed to ask, they seemed entirely irrelevant. Normally terminal cases are fast tracked so that they can get benefits more quickly and be dealt with before the person dies, they go to a special unit that is expected to get cases out in 30 days or less (I operate on the 90-120 day schedule). I already suspected I did not want to work in that unit, and now I am sure.

Talking to someone who is dying kind of makes you wonder what you are doing with your life exactly, and if there is anything you can do that would make life feel less transient. I am not sure. Now reference the title of one my favorite books - The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and maybe you see what I mean.

Don't worry, I am not depressed or anything, just contemplative and wanted to get it out of my system. I wonder if you get used to it, and if that would be a good or a bad thing.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Goddess of the Pig Skin

We had a relatively quite weekend. Friday night we had a "date night" - we cooked fajitas together and watched No Country for Old Men. It was repulsive. It was meant to be repulsive. I think it should be labelled a horror movie, I found it much scarier than most movies I watch. I disliked the ending though, too abstract for me. I then finished The Unlikely Disciple: One Sinners Semester at America's Holiest University, which is a book about a liberal Brown student who goes undercover at Liberty University (created by Jerry Falwell) to see what it is really like on the other side of the political and religious aisle. It was very well written, the author offers a lot of insight into stereotypes, the purpose of religion, and many other things. I highly suggest it as a read. Then I started a second book, I stayed up late into the night then reading Sky Blue July, my book club read for nestie bookclub. I did not like it. It if wasn't a book club book I would have stopped 20 pages in (if not 2).

Saturday I read a lot more. I finished Sky Blue July and started a new book - The Remains of the Day. We spent the day laying around and relaxing, fixed the toilet, did some cleaning. Then, in the evening, friends came over to watch The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, extended edition. While I had seen the movie several times I had not seen the extended edition. I was not as impressed with it as I had been with the first movie's extended edition. Unfortunately there were some added seens that did not follow, or skewed, the original book. But, overall I was happy because there was more ents and walking trees involved than in the regular version.

On Sunday, I was labelled the Goddess of the Pig Skin. We laid around watching football. I finished The Remains of the Day and then jumped back into the middle of Water for Elephants. The Remains of the Day is very good. Written by Kazuo Ishiguro. It is about a Butler in post-WWII England reflecting on his life and trying to figure out if it was wasted. It is very well written. I highly recommend it. We also watched football. During the Green Bay - Arizona game one of the announcers made the comment "Green Bay has not been down by 14 points this entire season." My immediate response was "That cannot be right, I want to fact check that. I would swear that the Vikings beat them by more than 14 points in the first match-up of the year," but because I had Hot Sauce all over my fingers (mmm. donatos wings), I did not fact check it. But, sure enough, 10 minutes later the announcer made the correction, that on Nov. 1st the Vikings had beaten Green Bay Packers 24-3. DH labelled me master of football knowledge and Goddess of the pig skin on the spot.

Now.... back to work.

Actually, I just want to tack on that I finished Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde today at lunch. I was surprised how short and insubstantial it was for a work that is so commonly referenced. I think its the case of an idea that is infinitely interesting to humans - the idea of alternate selves and such, but not good execution.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Handyman Klutz, Handyman Success!!

Last night I was brushing my teeth when I realized the toilet looked odd, the water level seemed really low, so I flushed. The bowl rapidly filled to near the rim. I grabbed the plunger and tried to plunge it with no success, the plunger did not seem to be getting a seal and just was not working. I called in DH. He tried the plunger with no success. DH decided to empty the tank of the toilet to try something out (I am pretty sure, this 24hrs later, that his motivation for emptying the tank was completely misguided, but I cannot be one to talk). Anyways, he wanted to empty the tank, so I was supposed to stand their holding up the floater so it was easier. Well, after about a minute of this task I stopped paying attention, pulled the floater too high up, snapping the plastic at the joint. Water started squirting everywhere. We frantically tried to push, cover, pull, then all of the sudden we realize there was massive amounts of water gushing from somewhere onto the floor. I threw a towel over the heat vent that the water had started to trickle down and DH turned off the water. While I towled up, DH tried to figure out where the water had come from, and whether there was anything else to do. We figured out eventually it came from the bowl. We emptied the bowl and tank as much as possible.

We talked about whether we needed a plumber or whether we thought we could do it on our own. I googled "toilet repair for dummies" and came up with this website:
It offers a a video tutorial on toilet tank repairs, which we watched together and decided we could manage.

This morning we headed over to Home Depot to grab some supplies (think they would pay me for this advertisement). We came home, and together gave it a shot. DH did most of the actual assembling while I interpreted the directions and made sure we were getting every step. 30 minutes later, success!! We have an unclogged, fully flushable toilet that doesn't leak. I never knew I could be so happy and proud that a toilet flushed. Do I get a merit badge for this or something? Next weekend: The downstairs toilet that has not flushed properly since we moved in. :-)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Another Work Post

I left fifteen minutes early for work this morning because of all the hoopla about the weather. I got to work more than 15 minutes earlier than normal because there was no traffic at 7am and the roads were fine. I started work a half hour early. I get to leave 45 minutes early due to staying late on a different day. On top of that, we had a 2.5 hour meeting this morning which made time fly. The good thing about this is the day is passing really quickly. That bad thing about this is that I still have the same ammount of work I should have gotten done. But, I am becoming fairly laid back about this whole "having work left" thing, its just life here at the BDD.

I know there will be more and more work posts as I become more and more busy at work. I mean, in March and April I will not have a single day off, just 5-day week after 5-day week from President's day in February to Memorial Day. Hopefully I can keep my sanity.

I was going to post what I consider to be a funny work story, but I have found that what we consider to be funny in this job often is just sad to other people, so I will hold off. Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow Isn't Bad

Snow isn't bad, its the Columbus lack of ability to manage it that gives it a bad name. Its not snowing that hard or that fast, the city should be able to handle it. I don't know what genius decided that plowing + salting should not happen until the storm is over, but its just plain ridiculous.

I love snow. Its so pretty and peaceful. Have you ever laid on your back in a snow covered field and stared up into the sky?

Forget the field, I have done this in my back yard and its almost as good. Close your eyes and feel the snow flakes falling on your face. Its so silent outside when there is snow, even in the city. I love it.

I know you are all sick of me waxing poetically about my love of snow but I can't help it, especially when I see so much negativity towards it. I know it can be inconvienent, even when it is properly taken care of, but the inconvienence is totally worth it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I really want to give this blog a makeover, especially its layout. I would like to have a three column layout so that I can put a book list on one side that grows as the year goes on. I am not sure if this will happen, that is quite a bit of work and I have plenty on my plate.

Work is chugging along. I will go up to 40 cases today, and I am beginning to feel every addition. It is set up so they are slowly tightening the screws day by day. Eventually, unless I am extraordinarily quick at processing and talented, I will have 150 cases in my pending and be getting a new one for everyone I get rid of (up to three new cases per day).

That is all. :-)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Busy Bee Makes Time Fly

This was a three day weekend that went by in a flash! Besides the New Years Eve Party on Thursday, on Friday we did end up going over to a friends apt to watch the Rose Bowl (Go Bucks! Still can't believe they won!!). Then, Friday night my cousins C&K ended up staying with us. I spent Saturday morning with them - we went walking in very cold weather for recreational walking down at Whetstone and then headed to Banana Leaf (previously given excellent reviews on this very blog) with almost all of my cousins on that side of the family.

In the afternoon DH and I joined 6 other friends to go see Avatar 3D. DH and I were not that interested in the movie (ok, thats an understatement), actually we were planning to boycott the movie because the ridiculous hype and the high probability it would have no plot, until we found out my cousin C worked on it (yes, the same one who stayed that night at my house). He put helicopters into a lot of scenes, so if you saw any helicopters flying around upsidedown or sideways or something, it was his fault. Anyways, we saw Avatar. It was better than expected but still not great. It was indeed visually stunning though. I think the worst (and most hilarious moment) was when a giant robot pulls out of knife to be in a knife fight. Seriously?? 20 ft tall military robot with all sorts of armour and machine guns etc etc etc has a hunting knife in its belt?? Wow. Anyways, after that we went to dinner at a Thai place in Grandview, it was yummy.

On Sunday I finally De-Christmassed the house, worked on Christmas cards (yes folks, they are still coming), and then headed up to Mount Vernon to visit Grandma. I can't believe its already Monday again! And this is going to be a long week, since I have not had a fully week of work since Dec 18th.

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010, Here We Are!!

Its officially 2010. I am sitting in my family room watching Hell Boy with three cats and a big, sleepy black dog. It is snowing outside. Life is good.

We went to a friends house last night to hang out with some friends, play some board games, watch the ball drop. We mixed black russians and crazy russians and irish coffee and some tasty peach champagne drink. We called my family from the future. We came home and fell asleep watching Little Mermaid.

Farewell to 2009, year of three weddings, two graduations, one friends death. The year when I finally left school with no intentions of returning, when I got my first real job. What excitement will 2010 hold? We will just have to wait and see. :-)

Now, onto New Years Resolutions. Some people make them, some people don't. I understand the perspective of people who say that there is no reason to make a resolution for change on January 1st if you were not willing to make those changes days earlier. But, I think there is something to be said for it - not for January 1st specifically, but for setting clear deadlines, with clear start and end dates, for your goals. It also is helpful if these are widely accepted deadlines that many people agree on, giving a peer group of support for changes. Both DH and I are setting New Years resolutions. DH wants to run 1000 miles and read 10,000 pages. Both good goals. Here are mine.

(1) Get Organized!!! This is my biggest goal, and DH is on board. Lack of organization is a big problem for both of us, in many aspects of life. Neither of us are natural organizers. This goal includes organizing the house (the basement, offices, books, kitchen, garage, DVDs, etc), organizing the business (bills, mail, etc), and organizing time (appointments, phone calls, etc). I hope 2010 can be as much the year of organization as 2009 was the year of personal rediscovery.

(2) Cook More, Eat Healthier Here is another one DH is on board for. This was a goal last year as well that I had some success on, but was never consistent. Lets see if I can do a better job!!

(3) Reading Goal And of course, after how much joy reading brought me in 2009, I want to continue it in 2010. I have debated quite a bit what my specific goal should in. In 2009 I read 107 books, around 35,000 pages. Crazy to think I could keep that pace up for the rest of my life and still not come close to touching the entirety of human creation, not that all of it is worth touching on. Anyways, my goal for 2010 is to read 40,000 pages. I decided on a page goal instead of a book goal so I can get in some of those tomes I have been meaning to read forever - Les Miserables, Ulysses, and others.

(4) Grimmy Grim Give Grim more of what she deserves and get some exercise doing it - take her on more long walks. She gets walked twice a day but it has become very routine and relatively (for her at least) short. With weather permitting, I want to increase the length of her walks. Even in bad weather (below 20, above 75), I still want to make sure she gets one nice long walk per week. When the weather is perfect, 40-75 degrees, my goal is for 4 of her 7 evening walks per week to be nice and long.

Thats it!! Just a few... right? Should be doable. LOL. We will see.