Monday, April 14, 2014

Long Way Down

Maybe I will, and maybe I won't.

I like the ambivalence of that - and that vagary is only possible when I go to Big Sur.

The last time my wife and I went to Big Sur a couple of years ago was following a big slide at the north portion of coast, about 10 miles below Carmel. That slide cut off all of the normal traffic that would flow from the Monterey Peninsula, so the coast was eerily quiet.

Big Sur makes you forget...

The night prior to our departure from Lucia Lodge we learned there had been a slide south of our position, leaving the only way in and out of Big Sur via a hair raising single lane road with multiple pin point tight turns, and no guard rails, up over the Santa Lucia range and into Fort Hunter Liggett/Camp Roberts to Highway 101 (post script - Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd).

We would have enjoyed staying a few more nights and the complete solitude afforded by the slides and difficulty people would face getting into the area, but work schedules for both of us compelled our departure.

Going up and over the ridge required careful navigation because most of the road was single lane with many blind corners.

And I mentioned the lack of guard rails... a couple thousand feet at the bottom of a canyon was not where I wanted to be!

No guardrails and a LONG way down...
There wasn't a lot of opposing traffic, but enough to keep you alert.

Kind of like the news this morning - enough workers' compensation fraud to keep you alert.

There's the story of a Florida fire inspector who failed to advise state officials that he was working while simultaneously collecting about $143,000 in benefits.

And the Bell Gardens, CA police officer who tried to pin his injury to his job when in fact he got injured during a try out for another police department.

Or the California trucking company owner who misrepresented his in state payroll to avoid some $108,000 in premiums.

Speaking of trucking, an Ohio man was sentenced for working as a truck driver while drawing permanent total disability benefits. 

An insurance agent in Georgia failed to forward some $30,000 in premium payments to carriers, and a U.S. Postal Service employee was prosecuted for doing massages for profit while claiming total disability because of a shoulder injury. 

And in San Bernardino, CA couple pleaded guilty to workers' compensation fraud charges after an investigation revealed that the teacher's aide was exaggerating her injuries with the assistance of her boyfriend, who pushed a wheelchair that she didn't need to use. 

So maybe I will, and maybe I won't - post to this blog during the few days of hiding in the Santa Lucia mountains that is.

In the meantime, I know that there is no shortage of new and interesting ways that people find to get around limitations in the system that are perceived to inhibit personal gain at the expense of everyone else.

The problem, as we see, is that the road is twisty, single lane with no guard rails. It's a long way to the bottom.

1 comment:

  1. Too late for inclusion in my book, but the almost daily adventures of the cheats and rascals on all sides in our system never cease to amuse and bemuse me. Master criminals they are not; they end up more like hapless villains, yet they persist.

    Zack Sacks