Posted By admin on December 11, 2013
The other day in sorting through my email inbox (need to work on a few more filters), I ran across a personal story about medical care overseas … in this case Bangkok, Thailand. For some of us, including the author, there is a preconceive notion that going into a hospital in southeast Asia is dangerous and will not be on par with U.S. hospitals. The results were surprising and in fact eyeopening enough that our bureaucrats, insurance execs, hospital administrators and doctors should visit and take notes. Maybe they could learn something about offering excellent care and reducing cost for our citizens (see procedure comparisons below)? I may plan a vacation to Thailand the next time a medical need arises, especially IF Obamacare continues to implode our already expensive health care system.
As for the story, I’ll shorten, de-personalize and include a few of the important points below.
I was rushed to the hospital… I was having trouble breathing. The problem came out of nowhere. And it was getting worse. I had no idea what a hospital in Bangkok would be like… but I was about to find out. I’m sure the average American thinks a hospital in Bangkok would be an incredibly risky place to go… But when I was having trouble breathing, what were my alternatives? The mental picture most Americans probably have of a Bangkok hospital is an old, overcrowded, extremely unsanitary place… In short, a place where you could easily die from some sort of mistake or poor care. The reality is completely different…
Posted By RichC on December 10, 2013
And I thought my son Taylor’s stretch of below zero temperatures in North Dakota were cold? Brrr, Antarctica has been putting up some cold “Mars polar region” numbers of its own. Maybe we should be “pro” global warming and add some more CO2 to the atmosphere?
Newly analysed Nasa satellite data from east Antarctica shows Earth has set a new record for coldest temperature ever recorded: -94.7C (-135.8F).
It happened in August 2010 when it hit -94.7C (-135.8F). Then on 31 July of this year, it came close again: -92.9C (-135.3F).
The old record had been -89.2C (-128.6F).
Posted By RichC on December 9, 2013
As a conservative, government intrusion into the private sector is something I have difficulty in supporting. Unfortunately in the United States we’ve at least partially embraced the idea that government will regulate crucial areas of our economy in order to keep prices affordable for the masses. Utilities and food items come to mind and the latter has been in place since 1949 as the “farm bill.” Without going into a political rant about our adding health care to the list of “crucial areas” we expect government to control and keep affordable – cough, cough — we’re now facing a deadline in order to renew or a change the existing decades long farm bill … last renewed in 2008.
What this means to consumers is that food prices could skyrocket if the existing support expires … and in my opinion would impact most citizens. According to business reporting, milk prices could “soar to $8 a gallon” causing a significant price rise for grocery shoppers.
Experts are expecting an outcome less obvious than just sticker shock as to the “real” price of milk and dairy for consumers … instead they suggest that consumers will reduce their purchase of dairy and that the glut of higher price milk to pinch farmers who will no long have a market for their product (farmers won’t receive the subsidies from the federal government or be able to sell higher priced milk — ouch!) Instead, they will see a loss of income and be required to slaughter their milk cows — “domestic demand for dairy products would fall by an estimated 9 percent, and exports, which have seen much growth over the past decade, would likely disappear as the cost of U.S. dairy products would become prohibitively expensive.”
So what’s the answer?
Most likely another round of kicking the can down the road and according to Chris Galen, senior vice president for the National Milk Producers, it is “likely that Congress will pass either a short-term extension of the bill until early 2014 when they’ll hammer out a new bill or another 12-month extension or possibly even 24 months.” We’ll see?
Posted By RichC on December 8, 2013
Have you ever purchase items from overseas that you thought were a great deal? Well, buyer beware since there can be glitches when it comes to jumping online and “importing or exporting” (the key words) to and from the U.S. when it come to customs … besides the inherent risk involved in exchanging money.
I have made a few purchases and a sale to an overseas buyer this year which had me researching these kinds of transactions. Besides selling some experimental airplane “parts” and some place setting and decor items for a wedding reception, I recently made a couple of electronics purchases from the far east. The little things like replacement batteries for phones and LED light bulbs didn’t bother me all that much, but purchasing an ICOM AT-140 antenna tuner on auction does have me concerned, so I’ve been reading a bit on the CBP.gov website about importing, tariffs and “duty” – which reminded me of this Seinfeld exchange between George and Kramer.
Besides the humor, below is some excellent information from the U.S. Custom and Border Protection website.
Posted By RichC on December 7, 2013
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
– George Santayana
Photograph from a Japanese plane of Battleship Row at the beginning of the attack. The explosion in the center is a torpedo strike on the USS Oklahoma. Two attacking Japanese planes can be seen: one over the USS Neosho and one over the Naval Yard.
Timeline of events leading up to and during the attack.
December 6, 1941
Washington D.C. – The president at the time, Franklin D. Roosevelt, makes one more request for peace to the Japanese. The United States gets no reply. Later on this day the code-breaking service for the U.S. begins to intercept a fourteen part message that was sent by the Japanese. The service deciphers the first thirteen parts and gives them to the President and Secretary of State. After decoding these parts the U.S. believes that a Japanese attack will occur. It is determined that it will probably be in Southeast Asia.
December 7, 1941
Washington D.C. – The last part to be decoded arrives at Washington. At about 9:00 a.m. it is decoded. This states that all diplomatic relations with the United States are to be removed. After about another hour yet another Japanese message is intercepted. This message states that the attack is to begin at 1:00 p.m. (more…)
Posted By RichC on December 6, 2013
Tried posting a photo to the blog on my way home from Cleveland on Thursday night, but the WordPress Postie plug-in failed to cooperate. The thursday night rain (left) gave way to ice and now snow (below the break).
Forecast: A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 1 am EST Saturday for SW Ohio. Total snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches; 1-2 tenths of an inch of ice in eastern locations. The snow will become heavy at times this afternoon into early evening. Heavy snow will be between 2 pm and 8 pm.
Posted By RichC on December 6, 2013
Thought this photo would make an interesting animated GIF, so I tweaked it as a filler for today’s blog post.
And in order to make this a “Tech Friday” post I’ll share a tweet that I haven’t confirmed works just yet:
@LifeProAdvices: When you’re at an airport simply add ‘?.jpg’ at the end of any URL to bypass the expensive WiFi and access the Internet for free.
Posted By RichC on December 5, 2013
I purchased a new 12 watt LED bulb for reading(larger bulb in left of photo) that promised to offer a few more “soft but bright” lumens from my chair side lamp. I “was” using two Cree LED bulbs (smaller bulb in left photo), but the light output still wasn’t comparable to a good three-way incandescent bulb. There have been improvements in LED bulbs in the last few years and I’m committed to using them going forward … but the choice has pretty much been taken away … thanks to our “big brother” government. Of course dictating light bulbs, CO2 emissions and car efficiency numbers all pale in comparison to Obama dictating our health care … but I digress. Back to light bulbs. What I like about the new brighter and larger evenly lit LED “reading” light bulb is that it would put off an excellent light IF used in a desk lamp. Unfortunately it still doesn’t produce enough bright light from a table lamp without keeping one of the Cree bulb in the twin socket (TIP: if you are trying to switch to LEDs and CFLs, try a twin socket adapter for better light).
Speaking of lights, I’m not sure where the night light (photo on right) is sold, but thought it was pretty creative.
Posted By RichC on December 4, 2013
We are anxiously waiting to find out where Drew and Katelyn will be living next year, but more importantly … I suppose [grin] … which Hematology fellowship program my son-in-law will be in. After talking with him about each of the interviews, there are pluses for each medical program (of course he’s a positive guy). Personally I’d like to see them stay within a 4 hour drive from home, but Katelyn thinks a move out of their comfort zone would be an exciting adventure … I understand that and am actually a little envious.
On a comical note, my nephew Justin (a Gastroenterologist) in Minneapolis has been pulling for his University of Minnesota program and he threatened to sabotage Drew’s other options with anonymous phone calls. We all had a great laugh. (EDIT: update below)
- Hematology focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood, bone marrow, immunologic, and hemostatic/vascular systems. Additional information can be found through the American Society of Hematology at www.hematology.org.
- Applicants must have completed a residency in Internal Medicine
- Hematology fellowships are two years in length
Posted By RichC on December 3, 2013
An early Christmas present to myself. I’ll probably never need an impeller puller for the boat again, but now I have one.