Thursday, April 26, 2007

When are we done. . . ?

Ok - Today's rant is regarding this story on CNN, detailing how the University of Virginia has passed a referendum apologizing for the fact that the school used slave labor between 1819 and 1865.

I have REAL problems with what they University did along with the whole VA legislature that set the precedent. (and I know this isn't the only example)

Why are they still apologizing? I mean - let's do the math. It's 2007. That means it's 143 years since the last year they used slave labor. So for someone to have been one of the slaves working there, figure they started working at age 10 (probably too young but it's a number.) They would have to be 153 years old today to receive this apology. Added to that, people in charge of the school would have to be 173 years old to be here apologizing.

Why people now feel the need to apologize for something that happened a) 200 years ago and b) was the norm for the time does not make sense to me. In my mind, one should only apologize for something they had a direct hand in. (this does not count for things like when someone says they are sick and you say "i'm sorry..." that's empathizing, feeling bad that they feel bad.) These people did not themselves employ slaves and the slaves that were employed are long since dead. There are no more slaves in this country. The more people continue to apologize for something they didn't do, the more they indicate that they are at fault and give power to something that doesn't deserve power. It gives credence to the concept of "we were slaves 200 years ago, so we deserve special treatment and kid gloves now." I *HATE* that concept. You weren't a slave, you didn't suffer the pains and hardships, so why do you get the apology?

Does that make sense?

it's something that just frustrates me to no end. Where are the apologies to oh.. say the jews? We were slaves 3000 years ago. Did the apology time frame expire? Or how about the women who all throughout history had to server husbands and families with no pay or recognition or any say in their own fate, simply because they lacked a certain extremity? Have the romans apologized to the greeks and all other nations they conquered for taking them slaves?

Ya know - in Judaism on Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) people apologize and ask forgiveness. (only for things THEY have done mind you.) If person B does not forgive person a, then A can ask again. If person B denies forgiveness 3 time, then that is now THEIR sin and no longer person A's. To me - apologizing this many years after the fact, for something you were never directly involved in is a sin in and of itself, especially as the victims are not there to forgive you. . .

Just my thoughts for the day. . . .

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sensationalism I can do with out. . . .

I really hope that no one takes this post the wrong way.

The shootings/massacre/tragedy(whatever you want to call it) at VA Tech is an incident that is heart wrenching and terrible. I truly believe that and feel for everyone who is affected directly or indirectly by this horrible event.


I have to say, that the media's handling of this situation is absolutely atrocious. I mean, last night I was sitting in the bar and a news update came on. "new information about the shootings revealed!" was one headline on the top of the screen. On the bottom "new information about the shooter!". In the middle of the screen - trisecting it was a picture of the man in his bullet proof vest etc holding guns out to either side like some sad parody of a Lara Croft: Tomb Raider cover or something. Did we really need to see that?

It's been 3 days since the incident and the newspapers are still headlining with the story - posting that picture and pictures of everyone grieving and so forth. Can't they let these people grieve in peace? We've gotten all of the information we needed within the first 2 days. It is all so sensationalized and it find that truly disgusting.

What also really bothers me is the concentration on the shooter - all of this information, his picture the constant stream of information about this person. They are making him into a hero for all those other disturbed folks out there. Why aren't they doing a story on mental illness in this country? Why aren't they doing a story on Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust Survivor who died saving the lives of his students. This is the man who should be high-lighted and praised for his selfless actions to save the lives of his students.

Or, how about as Cartoonist Mike Lukovich depicts here are we concentrating on 30+ deaths here in the US that are yes, absolutely TRAGIC and unexpected, and forgetting all about the issues over seas. All of the people dying and fighting a war that most people didn't want in the first place, based on lies, and that perpetuates long beyond when it should have ended. Why are we not paying any attention to those civilian casualties who die daily because they happen to live in a country of unrest?

This is what bothers me the most - the distortion of events by the media, the constant inundation of tragedy and death whenever we turn on the TV. For DAYS on end specials and stories about the incident bombarding us with tragedy and grief and sensationalizing a horrible event.

It happened. And while I feel for and grieve with the families of those students, can't we move on? Aren't there other things in this world that deserve this kind of coverage?

And now that the Rant is over. Let's move on to something a little more light hearted.

I bought an ID bracelet last night. It's stainless steel so no allergies. :) But it has this nice EMPTY bar on it - just waiting to be "written" on and i'm looking for suggestions.

I thought about my hebrew name - but they don't have hebrew letters. I could do it in english letters but just not the same. :)

Minijaxter came up with: "In case of emergency, Insert Chocolate."
I was also thinking - since 18 represents life (the word Chai in hebrew means life or 18) doing something like: 18, 36, 72, 144. . . Just keep on living.

What do you all think? (i'm willing to entertain serious and funny suggestions. . . )

I probably won't post tomorrow as I'm leaving in the afternoon for a weekend with my friend - so hope everyone has a good weekend and that you don't let current events keep you from living your own life.

Live it in celebration of those who can't. . .

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Long arm of the . . . Mouse??

Ok - I know it's hard to see - but ...

I found this sticker on - My Tomato. That's right, my husband bought me a tomato so I could put it on my taco, and this is the produce sticker that was on it. My word... DISNEY produce?!

I found this utterly amusing and entertaining and thought I would share it with everyone. :)

In other news I am going to Austin, TX this weekend to visit one of my best friends whom I haven't seen in a long time. (not since she was in my wedding a year and a half ago. :) ) We have decided we needed girl time, so I have a feeling we're gonna leave her hubby behind for a lot of this weekend LOL.

Not too many new things happening. I have 4 more weeks of physical therapy, but doctor is happy with the progress of my knee. I went to the gym with Minijaxter this weekend, and my thighs are still a little sore from the Hip Aduction/abduction machine. :) But it was a good workout, and once PT is done, I think I may try to go to the gym more often. Maybe join up mini's gym and trade out my "pt" sessions for work out sessions. Will be interesting to see if I actually follow up on it.

For ALIT - remember how my mom didn't want folks willy nilly in my grandmother's house? Well they took that to heart, and didn't tell us that they were going in there also to provide maintenance for the boiler. So they stopped that, and now to the tune of $9000, the boiler seized and cracked and died. Then there was some leaks from the nor'easter this weekend into the basement which was discovered while the real estate agent was showing the house. (sigh) If it's not one thing it's another right?

Ahh well - when it rains it pours eh? (ducking the bad joke police....)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Health Care and drama... :)

So - I found out this past week how frustrating health care in this country can really be. I want to preface this whole thing by saying my insurance company has been absolutely FABULOUS in working with me. The rules though can make things difficult.

I have... an HMO - that's right - the whole primary care thing with referrals and everything else required. Well I didn't like my old doctors (we'll call them OD) b/c it was insane to get an appointment. If I had a cold or sinus infection I would get "sorry, but Dr. J doens't have any appointments until 2 weeks from now. I can fit you in with the Nurse Practitioner." Now - I have no objection to NP's. They do a wonderful job usually. Problem was this place a) overbooked her terribly and b) it sucked to wait 2 hours for a 3 minute cold impersonal visit with this particular NP. So i switched. The issue though: I have 2 specialists right now (Physical therapy and the orthopedist.) So to switch, i needed to see the new PCP on the first of the month and get all new referrals before I could see my specialists that month because the new referrals would cancel out the old, and you can't have 2 PCP's in one month. (or at least you can't visit 2 in one month.)

So I went to the dr my friend recommended. This is A. Small practice, willing to fit you in when you are sick etc. I figured great. Well small means that office manager is her husband and he does EVERYTHING - including taking you back to the rooms, answering the phones, filing etc. SO i go in to see her on 4/2. She agrees to the referrals, it's all good. Thursday 4/5 I call the PT office to see if the referral arrived. (he said it would probably be there the next day.) They said, nope no referral. So i call A. They aren't there until 1030am. So I leave an urgent message with the answering service. 11am and still no referral. The appt is at 1130. So I call back, and get a woman who says she just got there and doesn't know what's going on etc. She says the dr has been seeing patients since 8am, they just don't turn their phones on for a few hours. I argue with her a bit and tell her this is poor patient care etc, and she says "i'll try to write this up now and fax it over, what's their number?" and i'm like - umm.. I don't have it... don't you?? you were supposed to send it over 2 days ago. So she says she'll try to find it and send it over. I leave for PT. I get there, No referral. I call again and the office manager answers. he says "well you'll just have to reschedule the appointment because there isn't enough time to get a referral." At this point i'm VERY upset. the people at PT can't believe what's happening. I argue with him some more and finally say "well i guess i'm going to have to find a new doctor too because you are too much of an idiot to handle simple paperwork." - now... at this point in the regular customer service world the person should say "ma'am i really do not have to take that kind of abuse. If you calm down we can figure out this situation." it's basically a first warning to defuse the situation. is that what he did? no... he said: "well, no you've hurt my feelings. I guess you will have to find a new doctor," and then he hung up on me. One of the girls at PT said she knows this dr (goes there) and while the dr is nice, getting refills and referrals can be difficult. well - in my mind if you can't handle simple paperwork such as a referral, i don't care how good the dr is i'm not going to go there. At this point i'm crying and I leave PT b/c I can't have my appointment without the referral.

I call the insurance company and they are more than happy to get me an exception for my appt on friday so i wouldn't need the referral, and said they would back date a new primary care to beginning of the month. This means i'd have to pay A's office visit fee but i could still switch docs. So i call another dr a friend recommended. (B) They say, shouldn't be a problem call tomorrow for a fit in appointment and we'll get me squared away. So i officially switch and wait til the next day. (friday) I call friday morning and after much arguing, person checking with the doctor and the doctor refusing to help and finally the office manager coming on and saying "we can't fit you in as a new patient. You'll have to wait until mid may for a new patient visit, and oh yeah - it takes at least 7 days for a referral. 7 DAYS!!!!! they claim that they get *SO* many referrals they have to do (only 2 docs in the practice) that it takes at least a week for them to go through unless it's an emergency, and my situation didn't qualify.

There is a happy ending though after all of this stress. I call the insurance company again and explain the situation. I randomly pick a doc off their website. (C) They are in the same building as my PT. I've had good luck with the hospital centers so far (PT has been great) and so what the hell right? I call, explain the situation to the operator. She checks with each unit to see who is taking new patients. They tell me Dr. J is and switch me to that "unit." See - they have a LOT of doctors in the practice, but they are divided into units of only 2 or 3 so there's full staff for every 2 or 3 dr's. So they answer... and this is Good Friday mind you. And not only could they take me as a new patient, but they could fit me in THAT day! at 3pm. wow! So i took the appointment, made the switch and went later that day.

Night and day let me tell you. I got there early to do paperwork. I hadn't even sat back down after finishing the papers before they called me back at 3pm on the dot. The MA (medical assistant) did her own work up and went over my papers an history and then the doc came in about 10 minutes later. She did a very thorough history and exam and then they wrote up the referrals, and handed them to me to take with me as I left. See - not that hard!! :) when i talked to her office staff they were boggled. "7 days for a referral?? that's ridiculous, we ask for 3 days as a courtesy, but 7? And they *CAN'T* have more referrals to do than we do!"

I guess there's a big difference between competent office staff and an office that actually cares about their patients and their health as well as customer service and isn't just in it for the business.

In other news - ALIT progresses with the usual idiocy. Turns out that auntie em is actually cosigning on sukastar's house. Big surprise. They are going to end up SUCKING her dry and in the process cousin P gets attacked and left by the wayside. It gets more and more complicated the longer it goes on - too many details to go into. But one amusing bit...

My KAR(krazy aunt R if you don't remember) has a number of paintings by a very famous dead contemporary artist whom she represented when she was a lawyer. We'll call these Art. :) Suka has the GALL/Chutzpa/cajones to ask KAR, "would you mind terribly if I took one of your Art's to hang in the new house?? it would look so lovely and add so much color and cheer to the new house." Kar may be nuts but she ain't stupid. If Suka 'borrows' art, art will never be returned and she's just scammed a VERY valuable piece. Kar thankfully said no and then complained about it to Cousin P, but i mean - really! The GALL! :)

oh well - I think this post has been long enough. For your pitying cutesy feelings of the day. :) My poor puppy Z hurt her paw. She ripped the nail shell off her nail leaving the quick entirely exposed. So i took her to the emergency vet yesterday. (thankfully only $40 worth since the vet tech did the work and she didn't need to actually see the vet.) and they got her all wrapped up. I was worried about her chewing off the bandage so - the cone was brought out. Poor puppy - walked into walls and couldn't figure out how to fix it! :)

Friday, April 06, 2007

And the Answer is. . . . (drumroll please...)

A Wood burning Hot tub. Would you believe it??? :)

to me - it looked small - like kitchen bowl size. . . but no - it's a 5 foot wide bowl with a wood burner that heats the water as it goes through the coils and fills the tub. Weird huh?

oh... and it's only $6000. :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

wow - been a while eh?

I know it's been a while - i'm sorry. :) Haven't had much to say that i could say publicly and didn't feel like trying to organize all the garbage into intelligible form for anyone not living it. LOL

short and sweet today - a little contest of sorts - I'm looking for the best/most creative answer (but currect answer I suppose are ok too) - *NO CHEATING*!!!! :)

Identify this object: Have fun!