Health Care

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Deb: One for the “No Shit, Sherlock” files…

Right here:

So, you ate less and exercised more and lost weight. But now the pounds are piling back on. You’re hungrier than ever, and you can’t seem to resist food. Once again, it’s all your fault, right?

Wrong. Blame evolution, and the fact that for the vast majority of human history, famine was a bigger threat than flab. Even your seeming lack of will power is part of a complex biological system that drives humans who have lost weight to regain it, according to new brain-scan research by scientists at Columbia University Medical Center.
Dr. Leibel also says that people should understand that regaining lost weight “is not free will. It’s biologically determined and the species that didn’t have this are the ones you see in the Museum of Natural History.” It’s only been in recent decades that this mechanism is contributing more to obesity than survival.

Um, yeah.

07:17 PM | MedicalNewsHealth Care • (0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, July 07, 2008

Jay: Not the Post I’d Planned

Have to go meet a recruiter today.  The kids are crazy.

Sadie woke crying in wee hours with apparently a sinus headache.  Which happened to Valerie 24 hours before, though she’s prone to headaches and it may not have been sinus.

Henry a little while ago drank a substantial amount of Valerie’s coffee and has gone all puffy and squinty-eyed and a little rashy, but he’s also been miserable, as has Deb. and for that matter me.  People burning?  No!  Something blooming around the corner, smells like maybe honeysuckle, so strong it can be hard to sleep.

So we’re not sure how much is the coffee and how much is that.  The coffee is about 1 part coffee, some sugar and dry creamer, and 5 parts cold water.  He’s had black coffee with sugar before and not blown up, but the non-dairy creamer has dairy in it, along with whatever else, so who knows.  At least it’s not almost pure milk as it would have been before we realized Val had a problem with the milk.

Anyway, I have to go get ready to go to the Stoughton town hall for Sadie’s birth certificate to sign up for RomneyCommunistCare and decriminalize ourselves in the eyes of the state, then the recruiter in Burlington.  And other errands.

01:53 PM | BloggingFood & CookingJob HuntingKidsMassachusettsMedicalMoneyNewsHealth CarePoliticsStupidity • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jay: Crunch Time

This is going to be a different post from the one I started the night before last, with the same title.  That one started out on the topic of needing to locate the taxes I’d done, for the partnership and personal federal, and to do the state ones and get them mailed.  I since located the partnership ones and mailed them, along with two books from Deb’s book shop.  One was an advanced computer book from my collection, so went for $17.50 at about the cheapest price available.  For us that’s real money.  When it arrives in the twice a month payout.  I also rewrote the federal to be neater, and did the state, cursing Romney over RomneyCare.  There’s now a form HC, which at 3 pages if you need the whole thing is longer than the main Form 1 at 2 pages.  I had the urge to ignore it, but you are supposed to use it to determine your personal exemption.  By running too low on money to pay the last $1300 of insurance for Deb and the kids to cover October through December, and failing to apply for subsidized coverage, we paid a penalty of $220 in extra taxes.

Anyway, that’s all done.  I have to mail those today.

Looks like the interview last week was a bust, which is fascinating in that it was a temporary gig.  Which I suspect they planned to try to get someone permanent out of, and looked accordingly.  The interview the week before was obviously a bust as well.

I have a possible something in the works with an internet marketing business.  I have someone putting in my resume for a well-paid support job that just happens to be in Lowell, so it’d be on the $25 a day commuting plan.  If I can stop worrying about money and the household long enough to chase an income just slightly harder and keep the household, something - even something great - should come pretty fast.  It’s probably a matter of keeping the balls in the air a few more weeks.

Trouble is, we’re out of time, and while some awesome people have picked up distress, we haven’t been forthcoming on just where things stand.  I’ve threatened to have a fundraising edition of Carnival of the Capitalists, even though I’m too busy trying to raise money to try to raise money.  I’ve pointed out the resume, Deb’s Etsy shop and used book shop, and my availability for side work. 

I haven’t asked for donations, apart from whatever is implicit in making the PayPal button available.  And it feels wrong to do so, much as we get annoyed by unhelpful people who dwell on the fact history ought have been different, rather than acting on (or ignoring) what is.  I could say and rue much about how we got here, but that doesn’t keep us from getting evicted.

Then again, I’d rather ask individuals for help than use public assistance paid for with stolen money.  Or worse, stolen from the future, given the financing of so much of it through debt, creating a future need for inflation and/or higher taxes.  But what do I know.  I’m just a crackpot who saw the housing/credit bubble vividly starting years ago.

So yeah.  Pretty much asking now, as I prepare to mail the tax returns and then throw ourselves on the mercy of the gas & electric department to avoid having those shut off tomorrow.  When I gave them Henry’s birth certificate, which by itself should give us until August 20, they also wanted an income number.  At the time, I wasn’t sure what I’d made last year.  I would never have guessed it would be low enough for the EIC, or that rent, medical and health insurance technically took 2/3 of it.  There was enough in residual, undrawn funds that it carried us a long time in the shutdown of the business (in which mailing the tax returns yesterday is the last major act, though I’ll have stuff to handle for a while).

If blogging is a bit slow, or you see as much on other blogs as here to keep them up enough to justify their value to advertisers, it’ll be because we’re scrambling.  The ads, the selling things, the found money, the incredibly generous donations we already received, the Etsy sales - nothing to sneeze at but also in jeopardy because you have to have money for materials and shipping - and the bits of side work here and there only go so far.  The fact I tend to stock the pantry as if I’m expecting to ride out the end of civilization - or something like this bad stretch - only helps stretch things so long before real money needs to be spent on groceries and sundries again.

Of course, if we lose power, that’s the end game.  What money we do make is online.  That would trigger a total meltdown of our situation.  I don’t think that should be a problem, but we do have to start paying them Real Soon Now.  We’ve been managing to get $250 or $300 a week to the landlord, staying basically half a month to a month or so behind.  If we miss a week, game over, barring something like working with us because I just started a job and it’s all going to change.  This week we’re sketchy but should manage it.  Next week?  No idea.  I expect to do some small side work early in the week, but not likely enough.

Anyway, if you can hit the donate button, even in small amounts, that would be amazing.  Alternatively, use the address deb at neatlytangled dot com for PayPal, as hers doesn’t have a transfer limit (to get it from there to the bank) and is useful that way.  If we’ve ever entertained you through blogging, given you helpful advice, or even if you think I’m an idiot but want to keep the kids fed and off the street, perhaps it’s worth something.

Onward!  Time to take care of business.  Mail tax returns.  Deal with utility crisis.  Try to shake loose work.  Planning to add Deb’s resume to the ones online and put a “hire us” box in the sidebar where “donate” is now, soon as I get a chance.  So on.  So forth.

Thanks for helping, or even just reading and quietly not saying or doing something unhelpful, no matter what you really think.


You guys are amazing.  Not to replace individual thanks, but holy cow, we’re just blown away.

02:46 PM | BloggingBooksFor SaleBusinessFood & CookingGeekeryJob HuntingKidsMassachusettsMedicalMoneyNewsHealth CareStupidityTotally Random • (10) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jay: Obligatory Post

Actually, I didn’t have a birthday until I saw one mentioned elsewhere, so I’d planned this to be something for a “no birthdays” morning post.

I was sad but not surprised Amanda Overmeyer was executed last night.  Kristy Lee Cook is one lucky country-twanged long-legged hot blond in a short dress.  I might prefer to see Amanda to her if I were attending one of the concerts, but I won’t be, it’s not that strong a preference, and this means, as I noted, Kristy needs the performance of her life next week.  Though a couple others flopping sufficiently might be enough, if she’s adequate and being cute.

I was shocked that Carly was in the bottom three.  She was too good for that, so there has to be some combination of the controversy sucking away votes, people thinking she’s safe, her support not being as strong as I might have thought, or David Archuletta’s lopsided vote totals sucking the oxygen out of the room and making funny things happen with the rest of the totals.  Face it, unless there’s enough controversy, backlash, or something, Achoo is the winner and this is a race for second through fourth now.

Today I have to call the nice lady at the hospital whose sole job is to line people up with insurance if they lack it.  Because this Republican Socialism thing, it won’t add bureaucracy at all.  Probably about the time we’re squared away with free insurance for the poor, I’ll land a job that includes it.

I’ve been meaning to do a giant fundraising edition of Carnival of the Capitalists.  It might be worth a few hours of that to fetch a little grocery money or even an additional week of rent and make me think people actually appreciated my efforts all these years.  Which I know they did, and not just the few who have expressed an interest in still seeing it or helping.  I’ve been told I should emphasize it and look for business development work, or something like that.  That may be gotten to soon, before it becomes moot.  I’ve been accumulating links for it.

And yeah, fundraiser notwithstanding, you are always welcome to use the PayPal tipjar button, now more than ever.  Or use the address for Deb’s, which is actually better, deb at neatlytangled dot com.

It’s so cute.  Valerie has taken to putting a mitten on a foot, like a very heavy sock.  She just had me put a shoe on the other foot.  She loves to change clothes and play dress-up.

Speaking of money, there’s nothing like going to the store with $16 available, needing diapers and groceries, and being focused on eliminating certain things from the diet.

Although we think we have a good idea what is going on with Henry, and what the allergic reaction was about.  That and the idea that food proteins consumed by the mother survice intact in breast milk appears to be bogus, if you research it sufficiently.

Still, the discovery that corn, usually corn syrup, is in almost everything was rather startling and something we’d like to start avoiding.  It’s also shocking that companies would put known likely allergens in some of the earliest foods one would feed a baby, thinks you buy because they are safe.  I’m also wondering about my own levels of food sensitivities, which are not the same as allergies, for which I once tested negative.

I am not only down 29 lbs from my high plateau and 39 lbs from my absolute high (and annoyed it hasn’t budged further for a few days), but also thinner than the current weight would imply.  I went from 42 required to falling off to 40 fitting comfortably to 40 wanting to fall off.  Which means some of the tighter pants in that size I have somewhere should fit.

This was supposed to be quick.

The job hunting proceeds apace, subject to excitement and interruption and confusion and mild sickness and such.  I have to make a list and follow it today.  I’ve been doing a lot of networking-related activity.

Okay, I can’t remember anything else I might have intended to say.  I need to get to the actual stuff to be done, starting with an announcement about CotC and link to the resume over at Bizosphere.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Jay: Lightening Up

Apart from any other consideration, like needing money that badly, we’re looking at lightening up on “stuff” by selling some of it off.  That way if we do change states (if not spins or flavors), we’ll have less to move, or to shed at the last minute.  Whether we move will depend in part on whether RomneyCare or something like it goes national, and on the economics of it all.  Obviously we have to bootstrap back up to where we could even think about moving.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking it might be worth offering any given thing in question via the blog(s) first, for “things we’d ship” items.

Thoughts?  On the whole ‘selling things off” exercise in general?

We’re looking at Amazon for book sales.  eBay seems like something we might prefer to avoid, but we may wind up there.  I understand Craigslist might be ideal for larger and more locally targeted items.  Then again, it has wild west elements as well.  It’s kind of disgusting to look through it at people offering computer work at unsustainable rates that range from below market down to barely above free.

Listing stuff here doesn’t get the traffic it might elsewhere, but it would be satisfying to give our smaller community first crack.

08:56 PM | BusinessGeekeryMassachusettsMoneyNewsHealth CareStupidity • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jay: Welcome, Blank

The company that owns the hospital where we had all three kids has bought the medical practice we have used for several years, rebranding both with the parent name.

There was once a computer company locally that used the same generic name, so that is what I think of when I see it.

There was no warning.  Reportedly 15 of the doctors are leaving for a different practice.  In suspiciously close timing with this, our own doctor sent us notices to reschedule every appointment that falls next month.  While it’s doubtful he’s leaving, as he practically runs the place, it would appear he’s taking at least two weeks off.

Being insurance outlaws and Just That Broke, the only one we’re actually concerned with rescheduling is the baby’s, as shots are involved.  We’ve also been talking about changing doctors, going back and forth between attachment to the one we have, and annoyance.  Which is in part due to the increasingly bureaucratic nature of the large practice.  Which the merger obviously feeds.

The other day we received patient cards, one for each of us, each under separate cover.  That also served as the announcement of the merger.

The cards are blank.

They are for accessing medical records for each of us, so any office or hospital in their network of them can identify us and pull up our records.  Presumably they contain an embedded RFID chip or something, which made me entertain “let’s put Mr. Hamster in the microwave” thoughts.

But they’re blank.  Five cards to keep track of, and they have no way for us to identify which is which without working out a way to label them ourselves.

That just seems weird, after going to all that trouble to make everything electronic and theoretically efficient, and to issue the cards.

03:12 PM | BusinessMassachusettsMedicalNewsHealth CarePoliticsStupidity • (0) CommentsPermalink

Friday, January 04, 2008

Deb: The Biggest Loser

I started to watch it again, and when they were doing the intros and the mother and son came on and mom insisted that her kid looked like her because she’s a terrible mother, I turned it off.  Because science is cool and I can’t take all of this bullshit anymore.  *headdesk*

Anyway, tuns out that I was way right to do so.  I don’t think my blood pressure could have taken the rest of the episode, per Jeff Jarvis, anyway. 

Just remember, that blood pressure spike would have had nothing to do with having to endure outrageous would have been brought to you by TEH FAT!

Honestly, I’m starting to really enjoy having given up TV again.  Thanks, WGA.  I *heart* you.

07:11 PM | MedicalNewsHealth CareTV • (1) CommentsPermalink

Monday, December 31, 2007

Deb: Thanks, Mitt Romney!

I was going to put a post here, but I thought better of it.  Let’s just say that I don’t tolerate any talk about how he’s presidential material.

Happy New Year, anyway.

10:02 PM | Job HuntingMassachusettsNewsHealth CarePoliticsStupidity • (0) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Jay: No Surprise Here

Via dubious Glenn, something that shouldn’t surprise anyone, but will, despite the evolutionary advantages, over regularly bordering on starvation, of being adequately fed and having reserves:

The most surprising finding was that being overweight but not obese was associated only with excess mortality from diabetes and kidney disease—not from cancer or heart disease. Moreover, the researchers found an apparent protective effect against all other causes of death, such as tuberculosis, emphysema, pneumonia, Alzheimer’s disease and injuries. An association between excess weight and nearly 16,000 deaths from diabetes and kidney disease was overshadowed by a reduction of as many as 133,000 deaths from all other deaths unrelated to cancer or heart disease. Even moderately obese people appeared less likely to die of those causes.

This comes right on the heels of Deb telling me last night about an apparent association between being a long-lived species and our tendency to gain 20 lbs between 20 and 50 years old.

It also fits with how prematurely old-aged many people appear after dramatically losing and keeping off weight.  There’s being careful and backing off from obesity, but then there’s artificially thin to the point of making yourself frail.

03:24 PM | NewsHealth Care • (0) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Deb: Really, really worth reading.

Sorry to link and run, but have I mentioned the three kids three-and-under thing?  Yeah.

Anyway, if you read one thing today, read this.  It’s about just how badly not sleeping will fuck your kids up.  Answer: it really, really fucks them up.  Fascinating stuff.

I also feel better now about being completely inflexible about the kids’ bedtimes.  Of course, I’m that inflexible because it’s not hard to see that disruptions screw them up for days.  In fact, the whole not-sleeping for school thing is one of the reasons we’re still thinking about homeschooling. 

Anyway, go read.

(From here.)

05:25 PM | MedicalNewsHealth Care • (1) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Jay: Submit the word you see below

Hey comment spammers, fuck off.

The rest of you, disregard this post.  I am attempting to mess with the results the manual comment spammers from Ukraine, Russia, or wherever they may lurk, get by searching Google the title of this post in quotes for this domain only.  That is why I am marking this post as being in every available category, because then every category should come up as a link in Google that is not a distinct individual post page with comment entry available.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jay: The Doors of Perception Have Squeaky Hinges

Via Glenn, this is an utterly unsurprising yet fascinating article.

One funny thing about it is my perception of what I describe as “tunnel vision people” as being not all that bright, however unfairly.  The article points up the difference between them and someone like me.  I’ve always been bemused by the success of people who can filter so thoroughly and unconsciously that things can fall apart completely around them, because of my unfair equating of extreme filtering with limited intelligence.  Ultimately I’ve come to appreciate how helpful it might be to have nothing distract you.

I’m so amused that someone squeezed in the last four words of the article that I am using that in my title:

“We are very excited by the results of these studies,” says Peterson. “It appears that we have not only identified one of the biological bases of creativity but have moved towards cracking an age-old mystery: the relationship between genius, madness and the doors of perception.”

01:17 PM | NewsHealth CareTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Deb: For the Last Fucking Time…

Making it illegal to be poor never filled anybody’s wallet.


12:37 PM | NewsHealth CareStupidity • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Deb: No shit!

I’ve been going crazy telling people exactly THIS for the last I-don’t-know-how-long and getting accused of all sorts of interesting things for doing it, too.  Maybe if somebody else says it (and Glenn Reynolds links it!) somebody will believe me.  If I’m really lucky, they’ll not assume that I approve of it, either, just because I noticed it.

A girl can dream, anyhow.

09:10 PM | NewsHealth Care • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Deb: Your Tuesday morning dose of The Cranky

Fer chrissake, people, if it were an insurance company proposing the same thing half of you would be all excited about what a wonderful idea it is, because half of you have not grasped that being abused by corporations is still being abused.  Not to mention that this is possible because the parties involved are not in any way actually private, but is it really worth trying to go into that this morning, given that the same half seem to think that government control is not only ethical but desirable just so long as there’s a layer of middlemen profiting from it somewhere along the line?  (See Romney, Mitt.)

10:16 AM | NewsHealth CarePoliticsStupidity • (0) CommentsPermalink
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