Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yes, I have medical insurance ... I think

After today's medical insurance meeting at work, I'm not sure if the name of our insurer is Cigna or "Make sure". We were told to make sure that our doctors were in such-and-such network, and make sure they follow certain procedures in filing claims and make sure they only used certain services. Apparently, two doctors can have the same equipment, use the same medical diagnostic process, prescribe the same diet supplements and charge the same amount for their services; but if one doesn't put the right number on the bill, you as the insured will have to pay for this little accounting difference.

Why aren't Insurance companies making this easier for their customers? Because they make more money if you're tricked into paying the bill.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Revenge of Nature

One guy had gone so environmentally green that he built his house into the side of a hill. He dug out a good amount of the dirt and had placed huge rocks that had been cut into shapes of furniture, bathroom and kitchens fixtures. Unfortunately he didn't take into account how moist the earth was. You might be surprised how quickly a natural stone bathroom sinks into the wet mud of a hill. Just another example of how, no matter how 'green' you want to be, you can't take nature for granite.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How To Burn Fat

If you are a hard core vegetarian, you probably should not read any further. If you looking to learn how to burn fat as a weight loss method, again, you should not read any further. BUT, if you are looking for a tasty and enjoyable way to burn fat, it is simple. Grab the thickest, juicy steak you can find and slowly roast it over an open fire. You'll find that the fire does a wonderful job at sculpting any those unsightly bulges of fat deposits and leaves behind a succulent morsel that may do little to help your diet. But, hey, my method is a lot more fun, isn't it!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Today's Audio Quality

Contrary to popular opinion, I got my start in electronics several decades after the likes of Tesla and Edison. Yes, we have come a long way. And yet there has been a slight degradation in how music is being reproduced.

A few decades ago, you could have your music played through smooth sounding tube amplifiers or through cheap, transistor-based devices --- cheap winning that choice as it often does. Over the years, digitized sound has become even cheaper and can do a much better job matching playback quality to sound's real-life origin (which is kind of like saying that a McDonald's hamburger is almost as good as one made by a world-class chef). So now, I am pretty much accustom to the digital tinniness of our modern day systems ... meaning that I no longer feel the need to drive a pencil in my ear when listening to a CD or MP3 player.

And then yesterday, it happened. A friend of mine showed me his new car radio. A few years ago, Samsung made a limited number of car radios that had vacuum tubed amplifiers. My friend was able to purchase one from someone in Japan. By purchase, I should say "pay ransom" judging by what he had to spend. In any case, when this good friend of mine played some music through his newly enhanced radio, it was amazing --- the heavens opened up, small children dried their tears, there was peace in the Middle East and life was good for those brief minutes. Even though my hearing has diminished somewhat since those good old days, I could still hear those warm lows and crisp highs that today's audio systems can't quite recreate. This was a case where 'cheap' did not win. And yes, I wept.

My friend often participates in the car audio competitions that go on throughout the area. I have no doubt is that he is going to win in a big way at next week's event. I expect there will be lots of tears from the awesome experience of the listerners as well.