Wednesday, August 29, 2007

U.S. Poverty Rate Drops; Ranks of Uninsured Grow

There could be some 'cause and effect' here.

There's lots of reasons for poverty and lots of reasons for being uninsured.

Our health insurance lapses on September 1st, and we join the Glorious Ranks of the Uninsured.

Without that big, honkin', extortionate monthly premium - yeah, we'll be better off financially.

Until we get sick or hurt.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Rant of the day week whatever

Just returned from a lovely day at the local hospital with my 92-yr-old mother.

She was scheduled for a simple procedure at 10 a.m. that required the usual no food-no drink after midnight.

So I'm sitting in an examination room with a 92-yr-old woman who is thirsty, hungry, cranky, and hours late for her usual pain and blood pressure medication.

And I'm wondering why a simple 10 a.m. procedure hasn't been done by 1:30 p.m.

Yes, I know there are such things as emergencies. But would it really kill them to send someone around to say "Sorry you've had to wait - we've had an emergency".

Or maybe "Sorry you've had to wait, but we screwed up and forgot you were here".

Okay, maybe the last one is expecting a bit too much.



Wednesday, August 15, 2007


It's been so long since my last post I almost forgot my Blogger username & password (what's that about writing down such things?)

Aside from my 92-yr-old mother's adventures with Alzheimer's (she has now lost her dish drainer - go figure), the main drain on my time lately has been first-and-only-born child.

After college graduation, she nabbed a good job with good benefits. But now she's nabbed and even better job, with even better benefits at nearly three times the salary.

The child leads a charmed life. I hope it doesn't turn her into a Republican.

Unfortunately, the even better job means moving. Therefore, the formation of the Collective Sigh Moving Company, otherwise known as The ClampettMobile.

Yes, Mr. Andante stuck some posts on all four corners of the pickup bed, nailed 2x4's around as side rails. Furniture and sundry necessities are rope-tied or bungy-tied down with an attractive tarp over it all. I'd post a picture, but I'm too embarassed.

Don't get me wrong - he did a great job. But all it needs now is a rocking chair or old couch mounted on the top, and we're ready to hit the big city of Charlotte, N.C.

The next move - if she makes one - will be by a professional moving company with an actual moving VAN....and on her own dime.


There's a lot happening out beyond the Collective Sigh Beltway (known locally as HIllsville Road - I'm not kidding), but it's almost too hot to even think about it.


Harold Meyerson (WaPo), detailing the reason Karl Rove is seeing and will see his dream of a permanent Republican majority crumble to ashes, hits the nail squarely on the head -
At bottom, he and Bush overlooked the epochal growth of economic insecurity in America. They refused to see that the very economic changes they celebrated had made Americans understandably nervous and pessimistic to an unprecedented extent about the nation's long-term economic prospects.

Meyerson's column is headlined "Rove's Blind Spot". That's no blind spot - it's a cancer in the Republican party.

Unless you're a trust fund baby, wingnut welfare recipient, or an average Joe Sixpack still convinced the Trickle Down Fairy is coming any day now, it's hard to get excited about disappearing pension plans, increased health care costs, the high cost of unnecessary war, the price of gasoline, and so on.

For an ever-increasing number of Americans, their 'financial portfolio' consists of waiting for the next paycheck.

As to that "so on", I saw my first $6.00+ gallon jug of milk at the grocery store yesterday. The store brand was cheaper, otherwise the Collective Sigh household would forswear milk for the duration.


I finally found the perfect 'sensitivity training session' for conservatives and vacation spot for Bush administration members - the Silver Plains cattle station in the far northeast Cape York in Australia -
Crocs trap Australian rancher up tree for a week

An Australian rancher described Tuesday how he spent a week up a tree in a remote crocodile-infested swamp as maneaters stalked him -- after he fell off his horse.

The manager of the Silver Plains cattle station in the far northeast Cape York peninsular, David George, said he watched crocodiles' eyes glowing red beneath him for seven nights before he was rescued by helicopter.

"Every night I was stalked by two crocs who would sit at the bottom of the tree staring up at me," George told Brisbane's Courier Mail newspaper.

"All I could see was two sets of red eyes below me and all night I had to listen to a big bull croc bellowing a bit further out.
There's nothing like being up a tree with nothing to eat or drink and surrounded by hungry crocodiles to give one a sense of unity with the American citizen.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The obstacle course

American health insurance in a nutshell.

"I was a person who wanted to live,” Mr. Hendrickson said, adding that he assumed it would be cheaper for the insurance company to let him die.


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