Monday, July 20, 2009

Good bye Frank

I never met him. I wish I had.

Frank McCourt was a true inspiration.

His book, "Angela's Ashes", inspired me to read again. It now inspires me to write.

Francis McCourt

Nothing more to say. Frank was a story teller. He was a good story teller. His life is a testament to perseverance.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Trying to mow the lawn during and earthquake

Pebbles FlintstoneImage via Wikipedia

My wife and I gave our 2 year-old Noah a hair cut yesterday. As my post title implies, it was like trying to mow the lawn during an earthquake.

If you've ever tried to bathe a cat, or even worse, brush a cat's teeth, you know what I'm talking about.

We've affectionately dubbed Noah, "Hurricane Noah" and "Bamm Bamm". He is off the charts in size. He stands head to head with many three year-olds we know. He is strong and active. But he is two and he is head strong and willful.

So to cut his hair, mom had to sit him in her lap and hold him. Then I had to try and trim his hair without poking out an eye or cutting off an ear. The result...well...The result is a hair cut that looks like his dad gave him a hair cut.

I'll post pictures later when I get home and find a camera.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Single Payer Now

Single Payer Insurance is the way.Image by freestylee via Flickr

I pay $380.00 per month premium on my employer's plan. That's for what amounts to be catastrophic coverage. $1000 deductable for me. $1000 deductable for my wife. $1000 deductable collectively for the kiddies.

Momma becomes preggers in Oct. of 2006... All pre-natal care is deductable.

Easter Sunday 2007 Son Matthew is in Children's hospital emergency with a racing heart (something like 180-200 beats/min.) He is visited by the on-duty doctor who calls in 2 cardiologists. Matthew is attended by a host of nurses and technicians plus an echo cardiogram...cha-ching. (Fortunately, it turned out to be a non life-threatening condition). But, he does need medication.

Both oldest boys are in counseling for behavior/emotional issues. One is on meds for that as well. (They've inherited way too much daddy genes). Mom and dad are also in counseling both marriage and individual. Insurance pays for 15 visits per person per year. Plus meds for mom and dad as well.

2007 sees lots of pre-natal visits for impending birth. There are lab tests, ultrasounds, etc., etc. cha-ching, cha-ching.

Son Matthew gets whacked in the head with a golf club by the neighbor kid by accident. There's another visit to Children's emergency.

Baby Noah is born July 6, 2007. He continues to be jaundiced for several days. That means regular blood tests.

My point in all this is to illustrate why the health care thing is so important to me. Besides the $4563.00 premium paid annually, we paid $3000.00 in deductible plus co-pays on doctor visits, meds, counseling sessions, etc. $7563.00. I don't even know how much we paid on the co-pays. All told, it probably comes out to around $8500-$9000.

Now imagine a family of six with NO health insurance. Perhaps not even experiencing ½ what we went through in 2007. They would have to pay out-of-pocket for everything. But would not have the money to do so. So, the health care system absorbs that and passes it on to...wait for it...wait for it....You! and Me! And every sad chump that does have insurance and pays taxes.

We are all paying for the uninsured and under insured already anyway through cost-shifting. In the current system we're paying far more than we would in a well structured universal health care system. And we would not have to sacrifice quality of care for it.

Now imagine this: I don't pay a dime out-of-pocket for premiums, care, meds, co-pays, deductables, etc. There's $8500-$9000 in my pocket. That's approximately $7565 after taxes.

Thre's $7565 that I can use to buy materials to finish remodeling my house and put it up for sale. Or I can replace our 20 year old t.v. upstairs. Or I can put tires on my Geo Metro. Dingdingding! Economic stimulus! Imagine a whole nation with the same kind of “extra” money in their pocket. Instead of drowning-nay-going bankrupt from overwhelming medical expenses, people having disposable income to pump into the economy.

Even with higher taxes to pay for universal, single-payer health coverage, Americans would be better off in the long run.

Health providers could, over time, concentrate more on keeping people healthy rather than trying to fix what could have been prevented.

I am cautiously optimistic that congress and president Barack Obama will reform health care in some way. Unfortuately, they are not doing it right. But I'll take what I can get for starters.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Just say, "No" Repost from my Myspace blog a while back

Official White House photograph of Nancy Reaga...Image via Wikipedia

I go into the bathroom at Perkins to pee. Above the urinal on the wall is an advertisement that says something like, "Zip carefully, over 100,000 clothing-related accidents happen annually." This is actually an ad selling ad space above the urinal at Perkins.

Then I look down and in the urinal is the rubber triangle thingy that says,"Say no to drugs."

I'm thinking, "Whoever thought of the "Zip carefully"ad HAD to be on drugs! So how can the urinal be telling me to say no. Come to think of it...Whoever thought of putting,"Say no to drugs", on the urinal pad was probably all drunk peeing in a Perkins urinal after bar time in the first place.

Why is the urinal telling me to say no to drugs? Does Nancy Reagan know about this?

In a way, am I not actually pissing on Nancy Reagan every time I piss on the "Just say no" urinal pad? Is Nancy even into water sports? Golden showers for Nancy Reagan?

Well...just remember...ZIP CAREFULLY!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009


This is not a new problem for me. Nor is it new to the world of parenting:

I simply have no time. I get up in the morning with usually only 20 to 30 minutes to get ready for work. I drive 30 minutes to work. I work 8 hours, then drive 30 minutes home.

Once home I find myself...well...working. I've got yard work to do. There are always repairs to be done on something in the house. The kids need to be taken somewhere or need help with something.

Again, this is nothing new. Unfortunately, this means I have a very difficult time pursuing my personal interests. Like writing. I started this blog as a place to write. This is a place for me to explore writing. A place to explore different styles and try on different voices.

I bought a guitar that's been knocked over and stepped on more than it's been played. I have a violin that lies silent.

It just isn't happening they way I'd like it to. I wanted to write at least one or two blogs a week. But I am finding out that unless I am writing a personal journal entry like this, I just don't get pieces done. Some of the ideas for blogs that I've had require some research. I don't want to be publishing anything that has questionable or inaccurate facts.

They say that we "make time" for the things we really want to do. But there are only 24 hours in a day. I have a family of six, including myself. If you break that down, it comes to 4 hours per person. Obviously, someone is missing out on time with me. This isn't a question of time management. There just isn't any time.

I want to write. So if that means just complaining about my everyday be it. The rest of my writing will just have to come in bits and pieces as I develop them.

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