Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New year

One of my least favorite holidays, but I treasure the last night of the Christmas tree being up. Alaska (oh sure, you betcha, also, too)King Crab which will be my first attempt; several Internet sites have been reviewed. Apparently the crab is cooked before frozen, so all I have to do is steam. Or broil, which some recommend. I'm using a lemon-garlic-beer combo to steam as the recipe, courtesy of Emeril, was the first hit on Yikes. Could be an expensive mess.

Just give it to 'em

Pueblo City Council ("We Don't Need No Stinking Mayor!")has decided to keep the moratorium on medical marijuana clinics, until the State can decide if their legality is really legal, or something. Even though the White House has stated they will not interfere with States' rights in this matter, Somebody Thinks It's a Bad Idea. Misuse of prescribed medication is at an all-time high, but if you smoke a weed for pain relief you make the Baby Jesus cry. Just let the patients have it. And may you need be in the throes of terminal cancer without adequate pain medication.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best Health Care in the World

My massage therapist left his job of 25 years at a hospital for a new career as a massage therapist. Here's his take on health care, as presently experienced by my father in rehab: the system is broken. Not just health insurance, but the entire model of health care delivery. To wit, my father has missed physical therapy because the staff couldn't get him ready in time as an aide decided not to show up that day; it took a week for the kitchen to meet with him to ascertain he could not eat the crap they were serving (he's hypoglycemic, as am I) he has had to catch several medication errors ("Oh, I guess we ARE supposed to get Advil at bedtime, silly me ")he is given stool softeners everyday even though he has had to runs since his surgery 10 days ago. I had the same experience at my last hospitalization, medication errors, medical equipment left in the middle of the floor for the entire time I was there, nurses who didn't speak English ramming my bedside desks up against the wall with the drawers against the wall so I could not access my purse or phone. The nurses fighting over which of them was going to take my flowers home (alerted to me by the janitor). But hey, it's the best health care system in the world, and anything said otherwise is socialism!!! USA!! USA!!! USA!!!
Oh, did I mention United Health Care just raised my 2010 premium $60 dollars every month? Cuz somebody has to pay for the two lobbyists for every Congressperson and the CEO's $24 million bonus in 2009 and they sure aren't going to pay for that themselves.

Of course it's Socialism

The quotable David Simon: “Of course it’s socialism”
From an interview Simon did with Vice Magazine. Not all of it’s about economics, but given what The Wire was about and that his new show, Treme, is set in post-Katrina New Orleans, the way money works or rather doesn’t work for many people was naturally on his mind:

…of course it’s socialism. These ignorant motherfuckers. What do they think group insurance is, other than socialism? Just the idea of buying group insurance! If socialism is a taint that you cannot abide by, then, goddamn it, you shouldn’t be in any group insurance policy. You should just go out and pay the fucking doctors because when you get 100,000 people together as part of anything, from a union to the AARP, and you say, “Because we have this group actuarially, more of us are going to be healthier than not and therefore we’ll be able to carry forward the idea of group insurance and everybody will have an affordable plan...” That’s fuckin’ socialism. That’s nothing but socialism.

…So the whole idea of group insurance, which of course everyone believes in, like that fellow on YouTube, “Don’t let the government take away my Medicare…” You look at that and you think there’s only one thing that can make people this stupid, and that’s money.

Read the whole interview.

Hat tip Maud Newton.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas

Just returned to the Prairie from aging parent duty in Denver. Of course the weather tried to stand in my way but the CDOT app on my new smart phone (My Touch, thank you Whoopie)served me well in my travels (Why is Castle Rock so miserly with the plows?). Husband loves the new Kindle, even thought it arrived a week late and after my departure for Big D emblazoned with "AMAZON.COM' even though I asked for two-day shipping and a 'gift box'. Of course he spent three days alone with it knowing who it was from and that it was lighter than a book would be. So much for a surprise.

But he says he loves it and is not happily digesting a the most recent Steven King novel retailed at $30 at B&N but his for $9.99.

I am happy with my new My Touch, wonderful Ugh slippers and beautiful diamond hoop earrings. I will wrestle the Kindle from him soon enough to catch up on the literary classics I've missed for .99 later.

Elder care is daunting and exhausting. Between trying to get answers about treatment plans, dietary needs and medication errors (my parents are not the most assertive people on earth, cuz taking care of yourself might bother someone) getting the non-hospitalized one groceries, lunch, dinner, shoveling walks, fixing the garage door and computer, deciphering log in passwords left in undecipherable script and watching 'It's a Wonderful Life' in between bites of Village Inn pie and 45-minute monologues waiting for the hairdresser to call back and the walk to be shoveled - well, it's tiring.

But I'm the only surviving offspring and I've got to step up. Family dynamics and dysfunction abound. Happy birthday, Jesus.

Thank you, Al!

The Year of Al Franken | TPM Photo Features

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And too prevalent in political discourse these days

Tacitus Voltaire said,

the next version of the DSM will include a description of stupid personality disorder:

Stupid Personality Disorder (SPD) is a personality disorder defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the diagnostic classification system used in the United States, as “a pervasive pattern of idiocy, a marked susceptibility to ridiculous theories and meaningless slogans, need to issue fascist diktat, and a lack of information gathering ability [1], beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. Lack of ability to gather, digest, and understand easily available information.
2. Intense attachment to pet theories, and a obsessive preoccupation with them.
3. Rejection of any facts that contradict these pet theories, accompanied by intense anger, and denigration of the person bringing these facts to their attention.
4. Marked susceptibility to conspiracy theories, random bullshit dressed up with ten dollar words, and melodramatic but impotent threats.
5. Addiction to issuing orders in Command Voice.
6. Poore speling and CAPITAL LETTERS
7. Inability to admit that perhaps one might be mistaken in some small detail.
8. Black and white thinking, perfectionism, inability to put themselves in other people’s shoes.
9. Narcissistic personality disorder

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Daily Kos said it best...

Before we begin what I suspect will be a furious attempt to rebrand the reported "compromise" (read: capitulation) on health care as the most meaningful piece of progressive legislation since ever, I think Senate Democrats deserve recognition for doing something that most thought would have been impossible--crafting health care legislation that will, ultimately, please no one.

The Democratic base is going to voice strong objections, because instead of taking bold steps in the face of a health care crisis, you allowed a guy that spent 2008 campaigning for a Republican presidential nominee to have unilateral veto power over the legislation (the optics of that aspect of this story could not possibly be worse).

Good luck getting that base to the polls in 2010. Their motivation to keep or expand a Democratic majority looks like it was rendered meaningless.

So, congratulations, guys. It takes a tremendous amount of skill to singlehandedly imperil a Congressional majority and return bargaining power to a political party that has been spending the last five years circling the drain. Perhaps John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will send you a "thank you" card

From Sadly, No

Posted at 1:23 by Brad
This sort of comment is something I hear a lot from friends in Europe and elsewhere:

Where i come from, The Netherlands, which is far from perfect, i pay 125 Euro’s for full coverage. Dentists and pre-existing conditions included. I can have a television at my bed and a minibar if i want to, but that’ll cost me extra. We have 6 or 7 big insurance companies here who facilitate this and who are bound by government rules on maximum charges and minimum coverage. It works fine, there’s no deficit created and everybody is fully covered. Besides that there’s a government subsidy for everyone who doesn’t earn enough to pay for the premiums.

We’re a democracy, with politicians, which are to some degree polarized into left and right, but everybody agrees we need good healthcare. If our people are denied that, we go out onto the streets and make known that we disagree.

It’s that simple.

It is that simple and that’s what drives me insane.

The United States has, bar none, the stupidest and cruelest health care system in the entire developed world. We pay out the ass for health care expenses and leave tens of millions of people uninsured. Paying more for worse outcomes is the very definition of inefficiency, but that’s the system we have. In fact, our system is so bad that even its glibertarian defenders sneak off when no one’s looking to get affordable health care in France.

I don’t get it. Why do we put up with paying tons of money for crappier health care? Why are other countries’ health care systems relentlessly demonized when they’re demonstrably and empirically better than ours? And most importantly, how can we have a set of political leaders who insist on removing any and all bits of reform that might actually prove popular with the average voter?

Bernie Gets It

Petition: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont)

This is why, Rahm...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Napa Hop

Back from a business trip to Napa, CA. So great to be in the familiar landscape. The Bay, the bridges, the aroma, the humidity (low, but more than Colorado) the people - the well-heeled, in-style folks where every hostess is stunning and even the 80-year-olds have the correct hair and clothing to be seen at the right place for lunch. Vineyards, olive groves and retail, retail, retail. A Whole Foods/Trader Joe's/Cost Plus every 2500 feet or so. Additional small local eateries and lovely food and wine. *sigh*. Also a rental house with non-working wireless and ants in my laptop. Water ants from Argentina now making themselves to home in everything in Napa and this house but the food.

But first, the getting there: a long cab ride to the Pwello "airport" in the falling snow. The door was unlocked but no one around when I arrived. Soon two people appeared to check my bag and take 10 minutes on the phone - the phone? - to get an approval code for the debit card I offered for my bag charge. The other three passengers arrived and shortly we were offered the security check. Four Official People with Uniforms (OPwU)submitted us four Suspicious Looking Folks to the most scrutiny I've encountered in any U.S. airport. All four OPwU checked out my 3 oz bottles as there was some question as to whether they were 3 oz. or an illegal 3.5; my shoes examined, my purse searched, my laptop bag gone through, my person patted down and subjected to a pap smear (complimentary). After we passed inspection the two counter people that check my bag and issued my boarding pass ran around the outside of the building, loaded our bags, switched their hats and entered the security area to ask for our boarding passes. That they had just issued to us. I feel insulted that she didn't remember me from ten minutes before at the check in, but rules are rules. When we were finished boarding, they changed into new hats and seated themselves to fly us personally to DOA.
OK, maybe they didn't fly the plane themselves, but almost. It was a quick, easy flight, made more amusing by the FAA-required prerecorded rules to observe in the unlikely event of a water landing before take off. The reading light in the cabin where so dim as to make incapable any reading of printed materials until landing and good overhead light in the terminal.
Here's the view from above during the trip: frozen tundra, some frozen tundra, more frozen tundra, the Rocky Mountains in the distance, frozen tundra and a herd of cattle.
Mid-air I look out the window to the wing (the Great Lakes Airlines plane is small enough that almost every seat has a good view of the wing) I see a small door labeled "Battery Compartment". I prayed they were fully charged.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Blocked in YOUR time zone, I'd take it personally

"In the opinion of Arlington Mayor Russell Wiseman, President Barack Obama's speech on Tuesday night on the war in Afghanistan was deliberately timed to block the Christian message of the 'Peanuts' television Christmas special.

'Ok, so, this is total crap, we sit the kids down to watch 'The Charlie Brown Christmas Special' and our muslim president is there, what a load.....try to convince me that wasn't done on purpose.. Ask the man if he believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he will give you a 10 minute disertation (sic) about it....when the answer should simply be 'yes'....'
Bonus stupid: laments that voting isn't restricted to 'property owners.'"
h/t WTF is it Now?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

|Pueblo Deputies shock 'out of control' child with Taser Colorado Springs news, Colorado Springs weather, Pueblo news, Pueblo weather Pueblo Deputies shock 'out of control' child with Taser

Fly Me

Lord - it took me three tries and 45 minutes to find the Pueblo Memorial Airport, and I had Google Earth directions. You may think I'm simply blonde, but the street signage is Pwello is somewhat lacking. The one-story airport is hidden behind the four-story Airport Museum, the entrance to which reads 'Airport Terminal' and on a smaller sign appended to previous sign "next intersection" meaning 20 feet. I scooted into the turn line to eventually face a stucco building with the very large proclaimation of "AIRPORT RESTAURANT"  and the very small declaration of "Pueblo Memorial Airport" visible with squinting. I wonder if I should present myself two hours before my flight for security screening?


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