In my day, you had to actually SEE the doctor to get billed

I guess that’s simply not true anymore.

A Dallas woman waited 19 hours in the emergency room, never saw a doctor – and still was billed for $162.

She broke a bone in her leg while playing volleyball, but became fed up with waiting for so long, so she went home. However, while she was waiting in line, a nurse checked her vital signs in order to assess her place in line. This only lasted a few minutes, but evidently 5 minutes equals $162. That hospital must be good, because that’s $32.40 per minute.
Okay, okay, I don’t know if the assessment literally lasted 5 minutes, but how long does it take to check someone’s vital signs? Particularly when they’ve only broken a bone?

Anyway, the hospital’s vice president, whose in charge of billing, insists she’s paying for the assessment, not for waiting in line. The woman, who has no insurance, says she doesn’t plan to pay. I wouldn’t either.

A few days before her visit, a 58-year-old man went to the ER with stomach pains, waited for 19 hours, and then died of cardiac arrest. Possibly at the same hospital, although the article doesn’t specifically say.

But that means you must be doing something wrong, right? I understand that hospitals aren’t big enough or well-staffed enough to get everyone in and out in a reasonable matter, but c’mon. It’s one thing to charge someone after you check their vitals, but then somebody dies AFTER you do this really expensive check? That’s just ridiculous.

 Other Texas hospitals also charge for assessments, but not all do, like Baylor University Medical Center. So what have we learned? If you’re in Texas and you get hurt, go there instead.

Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 9:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Toys for Tots. Blind Tots.

Watching TV the other day and this is what I saw:

It’s Elmo’s Restaurant! Serve your friends & family some deliciously tasty treats, like hamburgers…and milk…probably no cookies, but okay. It’s like a poor man’s Diner Dash. Or I guess a young kid’s Diner Dash, but as far as I’m aware, that’s not a widely accepted phrase.

On Dr. Toy’s top 100 list, there’s this adorable game, which is a toy after my own heart.

Because I love crime books, crime games, etc.

There’s the very cool Create Your Own Books idea, which would have occupied me for hours at a time when I was a child.
Okay, it still would.

Can’t help but notice, though, when I’m watching TV, that there’s a distinct lack of toys targeted specifically for blind children.

Like this:

Clearly not made for a blind child.

No, in order to find some suitable toys for these kids, you have to search on-line, and then what you come up with is a bunch of “sensory” nonsense, which is pretty much stuff like a $20 “game” where you give a kid 20 different types of textiles and have them discern what kind they are.
Although I think that may be important, you could probably skip spending the $20 and give your child a tour around your house.

Dig slightly deeper, however, and you’ll find the Braille Bookstore, which has everything from playing cards to Connect Four to footballs (with bells inside). They also recommend Silly Putty (who doesn’t?), wooden puzzles, and textured bath toys that also make NOISE.

What I really don’t understand, however, is the complete lack of marketing towards parents of blind children. Do we expect them to
A) Not have the time to watch TV,
B) Not want to give their children fun toys,
C) Not have any money, or
D) Get up & do the research themselves

Hey, maybe it’s none of the above. Who knows?

So what have we learned today?

  • Silly Putty rocks
  • Jen doesn’t want to grow up & spends too much time thinking about the kinds of toys she would get now if she could
  • Parents of blind kids – and the blind kids themselves – are getting gypped


On another note, here’s an “Advertising FAIL” for your viewing pleasure:

Published in: on October 27, 2008 at 10:55 am  Comments (1)  

Don’t name your pets with people names, don’t name your kids with pet names, and we’ll all be okay.

Some people are so desperate about getting voter registration up that they even sent registration material to an Illinois goldfish.

A dead Illinois goldfish.

Okay, so it may not have been on purpose. The goldfish’s name was Princess. The paperwork probably came form the “Women’s Voices, Women Vote” project, because they evidence sent nearly 1 million mailings to Illinois households in August with a list that included some pets.
The reason for this confusion is understandable: some of the pets had names such as Polly or…Princess.
I actually know a girl named Princess. Not well, but she does exist. So it’s easy to see how the volunteers of the projects might become confused.

Actually, what I want to know is where they got this list from in the first place. In this case, the family of the goldfish had once provided the goldfish’s name on a form when they got a second phone line (as a joke?). But is there someone out there with a list of my past & present pets – Zipper, Boots, Molly, William, Furball? Will Molly and William ever be mailed voter registration materials? I hope so.

So, what have we learned? If you have a pet, give it a pet’s name. Zipper is a great name for a pet. Boots, too. Furball was an evil vicious cat, but clearly he was a cat.
Molly the cat and William the dog? Not so much.
Princess is a pet’s name, in my opinion, so that should be on the restricted list.

And all the world’s problems will be solved.

Published in: on October 23, 2008 at 9:23 am  Comments (1)  

People do stupid things…

…People have always done stupid things, and people will continue to do stupid things, because people…ARE STUPID.
A viewer of some news show I used to watch (I really wish I could remember the show, because I know I had a huge crush on the guy who hosted it) sent in those words of wisdom.

Today I was reminded of that ever-so-inspirational quote when I came across this gem of a news story.

A man SECRETLY named his child “Sarah McCain Palin.” Instead of Ava Grace, the name his wife had previously chosen.
He’ll be sleeping on the couch for some time, I’m sure. The shock hasn’t even fully set in with his wife, yet.
Can you change a baby’s name really easily? Particularly if it’s ridiculous? I hope so. I mean, maybe not Ava Grace, maybe something simple…even Sarah would work! A compromise of sorts.

When asked why he did something sooooo ridiculously stupid, the man replied that he wanted “to get the word out” about the McCain/Palin campaign. Because, you know, the presidential election that’s coming up? Yeah, apparently nobody knows about it. All that news coverage and all these blog posts? Getting nowhere, evidently.

Here’s the best part: “‘I took one for the cause,’ he said. ‘I can’t give a lot of financial support for the (McCain/Palin) campaign. I do have a sign up in my yard, but I can do very little.'”
Do you think he’s going to put his daughter in the yard with a nametag for all the world to see?

Published in: on October 20, 2008 at 10:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Meet Jen the College Student

I tell you, I’m going to be really glad when the elections are over, even if Obama wins. I’m just sick of having nothing to write about other than politics.

Anyway, have you heard of Joe the Plumber? Joe the Plumber is ridiculously famous (real name: Joe Wurzelbacher).
Look, I’ll prove it!

Last weekend, while Barack Obama was canvassing for support in the small town of Holland, Ohio, the Democratic nominee ran into a tall, bald man, since dubbed Joe the plumber. He asked Obama if he believed in the American Dream — he said he was about to buy a company that makes more than $250,000 a year and was concerned that the Democratic nominee would tax him more because of it.

Obama explained his tax plan in depth, saying it’s better to lower taxes for Americans who make less money, so that they could afford to buy from his business. John McCain attacked Obama for this exchange, saying the Illinois senator is trying to “spread the wealth around.”

“We’re going to take Joe’s money, give it to Senator Obama, and let him spread the wealth around. I want Joe the plumber to spread the wealth around,” McCain said. He added, “Why would you want to increase anybody’s taxes right now? Why would you want to do that to anyone, anyone in America, when we have such a tough time?”

Joe the plumber was mentioned 11 times at the beginning of the debate, nine times by McCain and twice by Obama.

Hi! I’m Jen the College Student! Nobody really talks about me, but I exist. And I think that raising taxes is a way of life. Even if you find someone who’s willing to lower taxes, the lowered taxes will not last. Period.
So fine, tax me less right now, because I have No Income. Tax me more later, if I become a Rich White Girl. Tax me more right now if you must, because I’m a Poor White College Student, and we’re used to not having any money!
Let me just say, though, that if McCain is serious about not raising taxes, I’ll take it, even if it’s only temporary. And if he says it but doesn’t mean it, I don’t care, because it wouldn’t be a huge surprise.

Side note: Although Joe the Plumber evidently hasn’t disclosed who’s getting his vote, I got a kick out of Fox’s headline: Voter Confronts Sen Obama Over his Tax Plan. Makes it sound angrier than it actually was, see? Anyway, that’s irrelevant.
You watch that debate? McCain’s doing better. According to the poll, Obama’s got the lead, but I happen to not trust the polls. I’ve never been polled, I believe in the Bradley Effect, and I think that while people are ready to vote in a black president, a lot of people are uncomfortable with Obama being the one.

Found an interesting article on Reuters comparing the body language of the two candidates. Here it is, complete with my opinions (it’s funner that way).


– Wore an American flag pin and a shiny red tie with white stripes. Lame! That is so lame. What’s even worse is that people might actually fall for it. If you want to be patriotic, BE patriotic. It’s like wearing a “WWJD?” bracelet all over again.

– Sighed occasionally and chuckled frequently when McCain said something with which he disagreed. Annoying.

– Laughed out loud when McCain said his campaign was about the economy directly after pressing Obama about his relationship with Bill Ayers, a 1960s radical. Rude and annoying.

– Smiled broadly and wished congratulations to McCain when the Arizona senator spoke about a home state sports team’s recent victory. Very nice.

– Referred to McCain by his first name, John. Okay, I guess. McCain did the opposite. I don’t have a strong opinion either way.

– Looked directly at the camera when making his opening and closing statement and when discussing many of his campaign proposals. Very good.


– Wore a dark navy tie with white stripes. Not quite as bad as the American flag get-up, but pretty close.

– Referred to his opponent as “you” when looking at Obama but never called him by his first name, preferring “Senator Obama” instead. Again, no strong opinion.

– Seemed antsy in his chair, gestured frequently with his hands, and played with his “sharpie” pen. That’s adorable! I love Sharpie pens! But maybe he shouldn’t have fidgeted, as that’s distracting and makes him look unprepared.

– Addressed the camera directly and spoke to “Joe” the plumber, who took on a life of his own as an invisible third participant at the debate. Cool.

– Raised his eyebrows and occasionally interrupted when Obama said things he disagreed with. RUDE.

– Sometimes tripped over his words, saying referring once to “Fannie and Freddie Mae” when he meant mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Understandable; I do that all the time.

– Said “good job, good job” to Obama at the end of the debate when the two candidates shook hands again.  Very nice.

So, both candidates are capable of being jerks and being nice. Go figure. What did we learn? Nothing. Except that subliminal patriotic messaging should be banned.

Oh, and the best line ever? “Senator Obama, I am not president Bush. If you want to run against president Bush, you should have done so four years ago.”
Damn straight!


Published in: on October 17, 2008 at 9:37 am  Comments (1)  
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Water surfing? Fun. Waterboarding? Not so fun, actually.

For over a week now, I’ve been working on a post about an ad making fun of McCain for being, well, old. And computer illiterate.
I was going to talk about how I found something saying Bill Clinton sent TWO emails during his entire presidency, but I hadn’t yet validated that information, and frankly, work and work and work and work (because I have 4 jobs) was getting in the way of finishing the post.
So, Bill wrote 2 emails: take it or leave it. It may be true, it may not be. The point was that I’m really not worried about whether or not McCain can type. My dad is a horrible typist (sorry, Dad, but it’s true), but that’s okay, because he’s brilliant. I may be biased, but I think you get my point.

Anyway, I found something more exciting and controversial to write about.

I wrote a paper in my first freshman semester of college about torture – specifically the recently implemented Military Commissions Act, which I loathe. A lot. Incidentally, it was during the drafting and re-drafting and re-re-drafting of this essay that I first found out who John McCain was, and I liked him a lot. Anyway, it was an awful paper, although at the time both my professor and I thought it was great (considering I was a little baby freshman).
Since writing that paper, my stance on torture has not changed one iota, and although I accept that one day my beliefs may yet evolve one more, for now, I am against torture. All torture. Even torture that some people may not consider torture.
Like waterboarding.

Why bring this up now?

The Washington Post featured an article recently, as in today, which exposed some secret memos from the White House in which torture (waterboarding) was explicitly endorsed. Not just implicitly – explicitly!
Now, we all know that the press isn’t always accurate, but right now the White House has a “no comment” stance, which to me seems like the Post is on the right track. And according to the Post, intelligence officials worried about a backlash if details of the “interrogation program” became explicit.
The White House was sneaky! CIA officials wanted a paper trail of these endorsed tactics, fearing that if a backlash did eventually occur, the President and his cronies could distance themselves from the mess. Yet CIA Director George Tenet repeatedly requested documents of written approval, starting in June 2003 during a meeting with some members of the National Security Council. Tenet did receive a brief memo, but requested another written approval a year later, after the Abu Ghraib scandal (what have we learned? Tenet is one smart guy).

So now, some administration officials have confirmed the existence of the memos, but are keeping mum about the details.
Brilliant. Just brilliant.

I’m not going to rant about this subject. I have already made my feelings clear, and people are free to do their own research on the matter. However, I think that the CIA Director worrying about getting blamed & the White House distancing itself from blame says a lot.

Published in: on October 15, 2008 at 1:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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If McCain’s got the cancer, Obama’s got the bitterness

Title referencing this quote.

As promised, here’s a blog entry about McCain’s health; most of the information came from here. The way I see it, we have nothing major to worry about – being a Bush puppet should kill him long before cancer does.

First off, have you heard about the ad focusing on McCain’s health issues? You can watch the trash here. Unfortunately, it’s not an Obama-endorsed ad, so I won’t be able to rant on the evils of him quite yet (I’m biding my time). Nevertheless, the ad has been taken too seriously by crowds of people who are unable to research issues on their own time. Due to laziness.
After viewing the ad and posting this blog, I sent an email to the website that produced the commercial, inviting them read & respond. We’ll see if they do so.

Bill O’Reilly had to say this about the ad: of all the ads this season, this was “perhaps the most vicious political ad of the campaign.” For once, and this is pretty frightening, Bill & I are in almost total agreement (I still think the sex education ad was complete filth, but this might top it).
The commercial ends with the question, “Why won’t John McCain release his health records?” Here’s your answer: BECAUSE HE HAS.

McCain released back in May over 1,000 pages of medical documents to some reporters, who were given the privilege to look over these records for several hours. True, the reporters were not allowed to make copies, but they were allowed to take notes, and don’t you think they still would have released a news story if they had found anything worth releasing? There isn’t anything new to report; McCain’s last melanoma scare was six years ago.
In fact, the records evidently commend his strong heart and good health. And if that’s not enough, he gets a skin cancer check several times a year. I swear he’s in better health than me.

You know who hasn’t released their medical records? Obama. The best he’s done is release a one-page summary of the past 21 years, which is hardly enough for any in-depth details. I mean, 21 years? In one page? It’s a joke. In fact, it wasn’t even really a page. Would you like to know how many words were in the document, counting the introductory first paragraph? 276.
So let’s see…1,000 pages, which allowed outside sources a look, and a mere 276 words…which one do you think is more credible?

If you’re curious about McCain’s health, I suggest you visit this site, which provided an excellent and detailed synopsis of McCain’s current health issues.
For Obama’s more pitiful synopsis, check it out here.


In other news, I received a phone call from Senator Joe Biden yesterday, complaining that I have yet to mention him. I explained to him that I am uncomfortable doing so, as his name offends me. He responded with a 23 minute rant that was mostly compiled of this: “Now, you listen to me, because this is the truth, I know for a fact that what I’m telling you right now is correct…” and so on and so forth. I told him that if he couldn’t control his loquaciousness, I’d rather him go back to plagiarism. I’m waiting to see if he’s going to take my advice or not.

Published in: on October 1, 2008 at 12:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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