February 28, 2008

Health Care

I do not think universal health care is a good idea. I am not big on socialism. Whenever this discussion arises it always goes back to cost. 'Some people cannot afford health care'

So what exactly is being done to lower the costs?

An entire industry has come into being around 'coding' medical proceedures for insurance purposes. My doctors office has a Doctor two nurses and five people in billing.

If I go see my doctor I throw down a co-pay $20 to $45. I sit for about 15min, get my weight checked, my temp and blood pressure, then I sit for about 10 to 15min. The doctor comes in and spends 5min to 15min with me. Then its either out for testing or to the pharmacy etc.

Next that blank form you signed is filled out with whatever 'prodeedure' was done and is sent off to the insurance for billing. Hopefully the insurance pays the contracturally agreed upon amount and the doctor gets the rest of thier money for your visit in one to three months. I have seen estimates that 68% of the costs go into this paperwork.

Having been in manufacturing I know that everytime a worker touches something there is a cost involved. If you have a sucessful business you pass this cost on to your customer.

Waiting one to three months to get paid, having to re-submit something to the insurance company a few times all costs a company.

As a consumer I tend to check prices and buy things on sale. Getting our weekly grocery bill down 10 or 20 bucks is what I call a win. With insurance in the picture a consumer doesnt have any incentive to look for the best doctor at the best price. They mostly go to whomever they 'like' or whomever is on the plan.

Way back when my pop would pay the doctor out of pocket and then submit to insurance for re-imbursement. This cost out of pocket would prompt the question 'what is that test for and why do we need it?'

I am thinking the best way to rein in healthcare costs is to allow the consumer to make the choices with thier own money. lets get that 68% down.

February 25, 2008

Byron joins the blogging community

No doubht FlyingVan had something to do with this.

Welcome Byron, glad to see you here and well everywhere you seem to be going nowadays.

Byron was someone I met in High School who had neat stuff at his house, I was probably someone rather different. At anyrate stage crew, band roadies, dune buggy rides, mountain cabin hang outs, road trips, jet skiiing and more usually involved his generosity.

Probably the first mechanical genius I ever met.

Nice seeing ya bud.

February 24, 2008

Voodooray Mech.

Two of the things I really enjoy is Machinima and pop songs other then the big US media machine. So when voodooray combined the two I enjoyed it enough to share.

House of my familys past

Once upon a time in the land of Disney there was a house of the future. . Shortly after my family moved out west in the late 50's my pop started working installing plumbing at the park.

Dad has many a story about working there, getting a canoe ride to Tom Sawyers Island in the morning and at lunch. Meeting Mister Disney, running gas pipes for the burning cabin etc.

However Pop, was most facinated with the Monsanto house of tomarrow. It was poised between the entrance to Tomarrow land and the Matterhorn. And like the Detroit concept cars never becames a staple.

They eventually took it out because it no longer represented the future. As far as a structure goes it withstood thousands and thousands of people. In fact the wrecking ball bounces off it several times. (so the story goes).

So, today I see they are reviving the concept. I kinda wish they would look up the folks who had a hand in the original and brought them in for the grand re-opening.


I have quite a few in-laws. Jim, Nancy, Doug, Wolfgang, Renate, Connie, Carl and Carolyn.

Otha, who was married to my sister and Gus who passed away.

I have a slew of nieces and nephews as well but they are never referred to in-laws.

My mind has different classifications and feelings about these various peoples. As luck would have it I like and enjoy all of them. I have had issues with some in the past and probably will do so in the future, but that is the same with my siblings as well. Its just family.

While we are all friendly I think the best friendship I have is with Carl. We met going out with sisters around the same time, found out similer interests and came from similer backgrounds as well.

All in all I feel one of Gods blessings in my life is my extended family and how much we enjoy each other when we were together. It's nice to have a family you would have chosen...

February 22, 2008

Haunting my brain.

So your sitting minding your own business and somehow something sets into motion a song being played internally in your grey matter.

I call this being Haunted.

For about two months I have had the same song in heavy rotation in the auditory cortex. It is far from my normal fare. In so far as I have a 'normal' fare... its by a band named Flyleaf. and its called: I'm So Sick.

When I finally looked up the lyrics I was pleased to see it was cohesive and well matched to the music. It is a darker song.

I will break into your thoughts
With what's written on my heart
I will break, break
I'm so sick,
Infected with where I live
Let me live without this
Empty bliss,
I'm so sick
I'm so sick
If you want more of this
We can push out, sell out, die out
So you'll shut up
And stay sleeping
With my screaming in your itching ears
I'm so sick,
Infected with where I live
Let me live without this
Empty bliss,Selfishness
I'm so sick
I'm so sick
Hear it, I'm screaming it
You're heeding to it now
Hear it! I'm screaming it!
You tremble at this sound
You sink into my clothes
And this invasion
Makes me feel
Worthless, hopeless, sick
I'm so sick,
Infected with where I live
Let me live without this
Empty bliss,
I'm so sick
I'm so sick
I'm so sick
Infected with where I live
Let me live without this
Empty bliss, selfishness
I'm so
I'm so sick
I'm so
I'm so sick

February 21, 2008

Working for yourself.

For sometime the idea of working for myself, my own business, if you will. Has a certain appeal.

My biggest stumbling block is comming up with a business that I feel is viable. Anyone can open a business. For one to work you have to fill a need or create a need to fill, or assist with filling a need.

Having some kind of storefront has appeal for me. As does starting something like a home base business and working up from there.

My neighbor is a Gardener, it suits him and he enjoys the work and answers to himself.

Ill keep thinkin.

February 18, 2008

Blogs .vs. Blockbuster

My experience at Dell doing customer care aided me in getting my money back from Blockbuster today.

We rented "So I Married an Axe Murderer" last week, primarily for my daughter who is a Mike Meyer fan and enjoys our 70's and 80's culture. The DVD had a flaw and around the final chapter it stalled. I tried it on my PC and it did the same thing.

I would have run it through a disc doctor but it is not my property. It was rather disapointing evening. So today I hoof it the two miles and tell them it was defective.

Jason, the slightly bewildered clerk informed me that they did not have another copy. So I asked for a refund. He started working on the register and informed me my refund would be in the form of a store credit. I had my sales slip with me and the CC I placed the original charge on.

We have found ourselves renting less and less and with my current situation I would prefer to have the money then a credit. So I asked for a refund of the $4.29. Jason had to go back to the back of the store to talk to a manager, when he returned I was informed that there will be NO refund only a store credit. I asked if it was policy to not give refunds when they rented a defective product. I was told he manager had informed him that there was no refund. He did not seem to understand the term policy.

So I asked if there was a corporate phone number, he cherrfully pointed it out on the recept and let me use the phone.

Soon I was talking to Vicki in customer care (more likely a third party contracted call center). Vicki asked if there was a different movie I would be interested in seeing. In all honesty there wasnt. She seemed to verify that there was not another copy of the movie I wanted, not sure on that.

Next she informed me she would open a case number and someone would call me back in the next 3 days to discuss the matter.

You get this? I pay to rent a movie, it doesnt work, they will not give me my $4.29 back, but they will set up paperwork to have someone call me in a few days. In my businessmans mind I can see the 15min of this phone call has already cost them more then $4.29 and I'm really starting to get annoyed. Vicki said she could call the store but, she doubted she would have any more luck then I did.

This is the point in the narrative where I explain how Dell customer care experienced helped. At one point we in customer care received some additional training on call excalations. That is, certain key words and phrases that signaled us to either push the customer higher up the food chain or stop the bullshit and grab your ankles.

So, I am on the phone with Vicki, who is about to write up this case report so I let fly with one of the phrases. "Man, I cannot WAIT to blog about this hassle"

There was about a two second pause and I thought I might have been hung up on. I threw out a 'Hello?' and Vicki responded as if startled. She informed me she was getting ready to call the blockbuster store in question, before, making the case notes out. Hmmm, that seemed like a change in plan.

Next the phone line rang and Jason the guy I talked to originally picked up and a short conversation took place. Vicki came back on the line and said Jason would be glad to put the credit back on my card.

Behold the power of the Blog.

February 17, 2008

Tim W. you will be missed

Tim W. worked with me at Dell. He was the I\T guy there. One person handling 300+ stations. He was a good guy. He is going to die, probably this week. Well, thats not quite true. I understand he had an anuryisem and is brain dead. His family is taking him off the machine soon. Maybe today or it already happened.

Tim was a kindered soul, he liked the things I did (as did the fellow members of the tech support department). After we were put into place it wasnt uncommon for Tim to saunter over and spend a moment or two waxing nerdy with us.

There are certain things that tech heads just can't talk to with a large bulk of the population.

I liked Tim and while I always figured we would get together for something, now that oppertunity is lost and I am sad.

My heart goes out to his daughter and family.