Friday, March 06, 2009

Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells ya she's hurtin' 'fore she keens

Ladybug pointed me towards this Nasa run contest to name the next ISS component. Many of us would like to see the component named "Serenity" after the ship from the wonderful Firefly tv series.

If you have another name in mind, no worries. You can suggest your alternate, lesser name here.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

We're missing something.

Health care is the issue of the day and nobody sums up where the lines are drawn better than dday over at Digby's place. Here's the quote from the GOP congressman dday is referring to-

REP. ZACH WAMP: Listen, health care is a privilege. […]

Health care is a privilege?

I subscribe to the best plan the Fortune 500 company I work for provides. My premiums are astronomical but I've always felt this isn't an area where I want to skimp.

Despite my premium plan the deductibles are killing me. I've got an 80/20 setup towards the deductible and then nothing after I hit $1000 for myself or $2500 for my family. I guess this is pretty standard.

When my 12-year old son took that hit to the knee playing football at the end of last year I had to pay about $100 bucks out of pocket for the intial co-pays for the doctor visit then X-ray directly next door. I then had pay $200 for follow-up within the next few weeks including minor physical therapy. Then his doctor insisted on an MRI. My portion of responsibility for that was $500 dollars.

I can't even imagine what this would have cost had he actually torn his ACL and needed surgery.

Since injuries are a constant risk of sports we're seriously reviewing the financial risk having all three of our kids play sports expose us to. Youth sports must also be a privilege.

Eight years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and now sleep with a cpap machine glued to my face. Yesterday, I went in for a follow-up and my machine is so old they have to do another sleep study to see what settings it needs. As I made the appointment I asked office scheduler what the study would cost under my insurance. The study itself is an outrageous $2000 so my out-of-pocket will be $400 dollars. By way of comparison I spent $15 dollars on my first sleep study.

I'm not sure I can afford this new study. $400 bucks is a lot of cash and I have other bills. Apparently sleep, a healthier heart and better productivity during the day is also a privlege for those with excess cash.

I'm well aware that my financial and health care challenges are miniscule next to what other Americans face. To many of Americans- being cancer free or getting the meds to slow the progress of MS or Aids and the rising costs of same are their own lucky privlege. These Americans would probably gladly change place with me and my medical bills given the choice.

The for-profit private health care system in this broken. As the president said today it's choking the economy to death. It's beyond obtuse to argue otherwise. It's ridiculous to accuse those of us who already pay too much of our ever shrinking income of being spoiled children. It's willful ignorance.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Live, from New York... it's Saturday Night!

I bought Mrs. Wormer the first season of Saturday Night Live (75-76') for her birthday and we've been slowly working through watching the discs. A few impressions--

  • The show was nowhere near as funny as I remember it.

  • The show was very music-centric, with multiple musical guests and musical sets taking up about half the show.

  • The show was very focused on the guests. When George Carlin hosted the first show he did five or six stand up routines during the course of the show. When Paul Simon hosted the show almost the entire show was taken up with his music and his reunion with former partner Art Garfunkel.

  • In the first few episodes you barely see the famous cast of Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, etc.

  • The bee thing still escapes me. The original sketch with the male bees pacing around a waiting room to see if the're going to have a drone, worker or queen is pretty lame. Did they keep bringing the bees back just because they had the costumes.

  • OTOH Andy Kaufman singing "Mighty Mouse" is still pretty hilarious. He looks like he's going to crawl out of his own skin.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

This bounty hunter is my kind of scum: fearless and inventive.

Just saying.
(I haven't done a Rush post in a while. As a warning- Jabba quotes always equal Rush.)

Monday, March 02, 2009

A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me."

Ah, the joys of family.

During a birthday dinner for Mrs. Wormer last night my new brother-in-law interrupted a fun discussion about donkey basketball of all things to share the following joke:

"You know what they say. You can lead a liberal to water but you can't make them think."

Under the table Mrs. Wormer immediately grabbed my knee in a death grip. No arguments with the family. Across the table out oldest daughter was fuming.

So, instead of a substantive response and a certain argument with this asshole I pulled an Ace Ventura fake "heh, heh, heh" laugh. The kind that communicates pretty derisively that the joke wasn't funny.

If I had spoken my mind it would have come out in some version of following:

That's right, you vacuous, slope-browed neanderthal. It's liberals who don't think. That's why we're the ones that elected not once, but twice, an incurious, lightweight cartoon of a president who proceeded to triple the deficit, brought our great country quaking to it's knees in fear of a bunch of knuckleheads who live in tents in the middle of bumfuck and revel in his ignorance of the very constitution that holds this country together.

Liberals are the ones that refuse to accept the science of climate change or evolution. Liberals were the people who didn't understand the difference between Sunni and Shiite but were certain brown folks had to pay for the 9/11 attacks so invading Iraq was justified.

Liberals engage in the magical, fairytale thinking that posits that if you lower taxes, revenue will increase or if you cut funding for education our people will get smarter. And liberals are known to celebrate intellectual giants like Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin.

But instead I did the Ace Ventura thing.