This is a blog for "people". You're not defined by your latest & greatest. You are you and that's great enough.
By: ricderr, 3:33 PM GMT on June 30, 2009
I received an email from my "adopted" mom yesterday showing their home as it was listed for sale and she informed me that it had sold and they are moving from Oakland to Gilroy. They bought the lot in '78, tore down the existing shack and built a new home. I had the pleasure of pounding a few nails and helping them build. Ma and Pa with the help of friends built the house without any outside contracted help. When I travel to California it is there that I always stay. I guess I'll be getting a hotel room now as Gilroy is about an hour and a half away. Oh well, I can't blame them I left as soon as I could and I now live clear across the country about as far away as I could from where I grew up and that leads to the QOD:
How far do you live from where you grew up?
By: ricderr, 2:51 PM GMT on June 29, 2009
Well, celebrities continue to fall like rain. (A weather reference for the blog purists.) Billie Mays was the latest to leave us and I can only imagine he's talking to God about how he can make an infomercial about salvation and make a mint. I have to admit I am a fan of infomercials. I know they are as fake as can be, with actors representing the audience and reading script as testimonials, and product claims that can only be attributed to fairy tales. However, there are a few items that actually work and I will admit we do own a few. My fascination with pitchmen started at the county fairs during my youth. The Ginzu knife man was always fun to watch and those were the days when the Teflon pans were coming out and watching the guy cook an egg with nuts and bolts in it to show how the pan wouldn't scratch was always fun. I even remember when I ran the lumber yard in California we sold a rake that the tines could adjust to various widths. We were at a home show selling kitchen cabinets and there was a pitchman there selling the same rake for 19.99 while we had it at the store for 12.99 and we couldn't sell them. This guy was selling hundreds of them a day and that leads to the QOD:
Have you ever bought an infomercial item?
By: ricderr, 2:18 AM GMT on June 26, 2009
Tonight I am sad.
I will miss Michael Jackson
I have chosen to believe he was not a bad guy because he was not proven guilty. I've chosen to believe he was just eccentric from a missed childhood.
But most importantly I've chosen to ignore his personal life for the joy of watching his style, musical ability and artistry and truly, very truly enjoying it. Of course I have my favorites but there are no songs that I've disliked. His music has spanned generations, his dance style is still emulated today and his videos will remain unmatched. I will always be a fan.
During my youth there were two hot groups with two hot stars. Donny Osmond and the Osmand Brothers and Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five. Growing up in Oakland and listening to KDIA I chose Michael. I grew up with Michael.
And there also lies another aspect that makes his death that much harder. I'm too young to suffer a heart attack. I want to still believe I'm immortal and the world will not someday pass me by. The death of MJ shatters that illusion.
I miss you Michael and that leads to the QOD:
Which celebrities death has hit you the hardest?
Updated: 2:22 AM GMT on June 26, 2009
By: ricderr, 1:12 AM GMT on June 24, 2009
I need to start this one early as I expect to be busy tomorrow and I hope to be able to come back and catch some fun comments.
I had wanted to continue with the topic of insurance by taking a look at the Republican plan, but there's just not enough information that I can discover yet and I want to do more research first. There are a few things I can say that I do like about it and some I don't like. However, if you truly want to see reform, the fact that both sides are actively pursuing change is heartwarming.
So as I was thinking of what I wanted the subject to be I kept coming back to a statement I read from a fellow blogger today as we traded a couple of e-mails back and forth. Now I'm pretty sure I found the comment a lot more funny than they did and I think I can predict the answers, but what I find when I post these questions is there's always an answer or two that makes me rethink my thoughts and ideas and that leads to the QOD:
Do you think Weather Underground caters to their left wing constituents?
By: ricderr, 1:24 PM GMT on June 23, 2009
I was a tv flipper last night as it seemed no show could keep my attention for too long. I did run across two shows that caught my eye though. One was on the History Channel about the condition of our highways, bridges and roads. I think the part that summed it up best for me was their detailing how Michigan is allowing some roads to return to gravel as they cannot afford the repairs and upkeep involved. The other show, well I don't even know the channel or title, was a story I watched until commercial break about the vastly differing prices people paid for airline tickets. On the particular flight they detailed, coach seating prices varied from 50 dollars one way to over 800 dollars for the same coach seat. For some reason I correlated this to health insurance as I know we pay differing amounts for health insurance for many more reasons than my pea brain can comprehend, but I do know the makeup of employees is a large contributor of costs for many companies.. To me it makes the comments left yesterday by Il a lot more sound to have health insurance move away from employer based and that leads to the QOD:
What do you pay for health insurance and how do you rate your coverage?
By: ricderr, 1:12 PM GMT on June 22, 2009
Can anyone describe rain to me? It seems it has been so long since we've had any here in Houston I've forgotten what it is like.
Well, in my opinion it is time to revisit health care. We had a QOD on it some time back and the majority of opinions expressed were against a government backed plan. That's fine, I understand that I'm in the minority in that respect, but peoples opinion are changing on the matter and some form of healthcare reform is going to take place. Now I'm sure that the material I present will be skewed by my personal view of the matter and I can't help that and political views will enter into the following discussion. It can't be helped but I will draw the line on personal attacks and blame game. We're all in this mess together and the sharing of viewpoints and opinions, no matter how much they differ, leads to understanding.
First off, I have a very personal viewpoint when it comes to medical insurance and it's positive. 1996 found me with a wife in the ICU and a daughter in the neonatal ward and I quit counting medical costs when they exceeded 1.5 million dollars. My out of pocket expenses were a total 50 dollars due to a fantastic medical plan. I will forever be indebted to Travelers Ins. and the doctors that provided care.
Now according to this poll Link
Oct. 20— Americans express broad, and in some cases growing, discontent with the U.S. health care system, based on its costs, structure and direction alike — fueling cautious support for a government-run, taxpayer-funded universal health system modeled on Medicare.
In an extensive ABCNEWS/Washington Post poll, Americans by a 2-1 margin, 62-32 percent, prefer a universal health insurance program over the current employer-based system. That support, however, is conditional: It falls to fewer than four in 10 if it means a limited choice of doctors, or waiting lists for non-emergency treatments.
The ramifications of incurring a catastrophic illness can and far too often wither the pocketbook Link
The Impact of Rising Health Care Costs
National surveys show that the primary reason people are uninsured is the high cost of health insurance coverage.2
Economists have found that rising health care costs correlate to drops in health insurance coverage.
A recent study by Harvard University researchers found that the average out-of-pocket medical debt for those who filed for bankruptcy was $12,000. The study noted that 68 percent of those who filed for bankruptcy had health insurance. In addition, the study found that 50 percent of all bankruptcy filings were partly the result of medical expenses.
Every 30 seconds in the United States someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem.
A new survey shows that more than 25 percent said that housing problems resulted from medical debt, including the inability to make rent or mortgage payments and the development of bad credit ratings.10
About 1.5 million families lose their homes to foreclosure every year due to unaffordable medical costs. 11
A survey of Iowa consumers found that in order to cope with rising health insurance costs, 86 percent said they had cut back on how much they could save, and 44 percent said that they have cut back on food and heating expenses.12
Retiring elderly couples will need $250,000 in savings just to pay for the most basic medical coverage.13 Many experts believe that this figure is conservative and that $300,000 may be a more realistic number.
Now we, the consume are not the only people impacted, hospitals and doctors are also feeling the pinch. Link
The median profit margin of U.S. hospitals has fallen to zero percent and financial strains are apparent across all hospital types, driven largely by a decline in non-operating revenues, according to a Thomson Reuters analysis of hospital finances.
The report tracked two dozen financial indicators, using proprietary and public data to dissect the balance sheets of more than 400 U.S. hospitals, including small, medium and large community hospitals, teaching hospitals and major academic hospitals. It evaluated trends in revenue and profit, employment levels, closures, inpatient volume, reimbursement rates and frequency of elective medical treatments to gauge the fiscal health of the institutions.
Finally, as an American I believe we are the best nation on this blue marble and yet when I comes to medicine, no matter the horror stories we share the truth of the numbers shows we've fallen behind when it comes to healthcare.
And the QOD:
What would you do to help reform healthcare?
Updated: 1:13 PM GMT on June 22, 2009
By: ricderr, 3:13 AM GMT on June 21, 2009
Well, it seems that things are getting too serious around here so maybe the bar needs to open again. I haven't seen an economic expert on here, nor a political expert. Heck, there's less than a handfull of weather experts here to boot. Just a lot of passionate people and that's not all so bad in itself. So stop on in, the drinks are free and the band is always live. Sip, slurp to your hearts content and remember why you came to this little corner of Sesame Street in the first place. Nobody is going to card you and the cover charge is always free.
Ladies, we didn't forget you and invited a few from Chipendales
What did you expect, the drinks are free and that makes for a tight budget.
We've got a hot tub though and all are welcome. Just jump on in.
OK, I know, still not posh, but I spared no expense on the band.
By: ricderr, 5:24 PM GMT on June 19, 2009
I'VE GOT MORE BALLS THAN YOU....NEENERNEENERNEENER!!!!
By: ricderr, 7:45 PM GMT on June 14, 2009
Yes I know I'm a bit early.
A few thoughts as I sit here and watch NASCAR.
I held the title of Sales Manager for just over a month> It seems a friend of the owner is a retired Army recruiter, auto sales manager and motivational speaker and has been brought in as the new Houston Sales Manager. Ego wise, losing the title does pain, except that I'm now the Operations Manager and my pay increased as I won't have to give up project managing. Essentially I'll make about 250.00 on each sale out of our Houston office, no matter who makes it. Plus they've extended the lease on the company apartment so I have free rent and board. Not to mention I'm in the process of my adjusters license. Nope, I can't complain at all.
I worked over in Austin Thursday and Friday. Thursday night was filled with some serious severe weather including a few tornadoes touching down. I was finishing up my last appointment and witnessed my first tornado formation. What an awesome sight as clouds dropped from the sky and started rotating. I'm hooked!
Austin also hosted a motorcycle rally this weekend and as I drove home at one traffic light as far as the eye could see was bike after bike. A whole lot of chrome, so I decided to see just how many bikes were heading in from Houston. In an eighty mile stretch I counted 432 bikes making their way to Austin.
Watching for bikes also got me thinking about the new CAFE mpg standards. Once passed, I’m sure most have heard the hype that it means we'll soon be driving in tin cans with rubber bands for propulsion. Well, in doing a little reading I was pleasantly surprised with how many cars are already achieving 35 or more mpgs. I was also surprised to read that 76 percent of Americans approve of these new standards. I didn't think that 76 percent of people could agree on anything. Well here in oiltown there seems to be a lot of bigger vehicles and I was just curious what types of cars are owned by WU members and that leads to the QOD:
What type of car do you drive?
By: ricderr, 2:00 PM GMT on June 09, 2009
Well, I'm done with classes, now it is time to wait on my license and then see if being an adjuster will work out or will I stay here in Houston as sales manager. One ridiculous aspect is that I have to be licensed in my state of residence. Well, that would mean for Florida, redoing everything I just did. So first, I must get my Texas drivers license and then my Texas adjusters license and then, because I am licensed in Texas when I do move back to Florida I can get my Florida license for just the licensing fee based upon the fact that I already have a Texas license. Pretty darn stupid and confusing if you ask me.
I listened to a news story detailing how a dairy company is changing their cattle feed in an effort to reduce the methane gas their cattle emit. Now while not a firm believer that CO2 is the key area for climate change I do feel that whatever reasonable means we can take to preserve our enviroment is important.
I took a walk around the apartment complex last night and I noticed something. I miss the lizards of Florida. I've seen a few, but at home there are millions. Take a walk and you see them lazing about everywhere and I enjoy watching them posture by sticking out the red flap of skin under their throat. Kyle loes to save them from the drowning in the pool when they fall in and Tim and Cassie are just about prone to heart attacks if one should happen to touch them. Lizards, just one of the quirks of living in our area and that leads to the QOD:
What are the quirks that you enjoy where you live?
By: ricderr, 2:04 PM GMT on June 06, 2009
I enjoyed the answers yesterday. It's always nice to see what others are interested in. At the end of the blog Rich and Mike made a few comments that made me laugh about their love of animals regarding their edibility. Oh meat, the ultimate CO2 contributor, farm land limiter and leading cause of man made murder ( That's a joke folks, maybe. LOL ) It got me thinking though of my biggest scare when I became a vegetarian. What the hell am I going to eat? So without getting into the political or emotional end of it, it leads to the QOD:
If for some reason you had to give up eating meat, could you do it and what would be your favorite non-meat main course?
By: ricderr, 3:18 PM GMT on June 05, 2009
I am an animal lover. I am married to a bigger animal lover and we both ran a non profit animal rescue and Becky founded The Florida Keys Wildlife Rescue and The Florida Keys Marine Mammal Rescue. I’ve had the opportunity to help rescue dolphins and whales and interacting with marine mammals is quite special. With all that said though I have watched a few minutes of the Animal Planet show “Whale Wars.” What a crock! If that isn’t taking it to a far extreme. They are little more than pirates terrorizing the Japanese whaling fleet. Now of course I’m against whalng. Whales are a social creature with the ability to communicate and interact on a level greater than most animals and as such I can only consider their being hunted and the slow death involved, nothing less than torture. Now of course as this is a TV show I know the motivation is garnering advertising revenue, so it is safe to assume many aspects are shown within a manner to keep the viewing audience tuned in, but with Becky personally knowing one of the key members of The Sea Sheppard. The guy isn’t acting, he’s not being portrayed out of character. He is every bit as fanatical and an ass as he comes across to me during the show. In my opinion the show and the group do more to harm the efforts than to help them and that leads to the QOD:
What is a cause you believe in and who or what do you see that harms the cause?
By: ricderr, 3:51 PM GMT on June 04, 2009
Well, I’ve decided to turn the radio off. I am a fan of talk radio and here in Houston I have the choice of right wing conservative talk radio or Sportingnews Radio. Sorry but neither one is working for me right now. In fact I’m fed up with both. Yesterday the news show in the morning ran a story about Obama’s Middle East trip and added a sound bite from an interview with a Georgetown professor, of course negative about Obama. This morning they ran a story about his speech and then the same sound bite as yesterday. Give me a break! To me this is nothing short of making up news. Same thing with these so called talk show hosts and I’m not just picking on the right. Keith Oberman disgusts me just as much. If tomatoes were the hot topic and talking about it would bring in the same audience, that would be the subject matter. It’s not about news anymore, it’s about target audiences and meeting the demands of advertisers. A case in point. Glenn Beck does not buy into the theory of MMGW and yet everyday the local station runs ads about green energy. Why, because they know a lot of his audience are those that vehemently disagree with him and that is the audience they are targeting. In other words, it’s all just a bunch of BS! It goes along with a conversation I was having with another blogger the other day about just who you can trust and that leads to the QOD:
Who do you trust?