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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The End of the World Cup Game

Really, you had to be there.

Whose Case Is It Anyway?

Well, now I know why the doctors I've been seeing about my spine haven't been giving me advice on how to manage my problems.  Seems that the neurologist now considers herself to be operating solely in an advisory capacity to the neurosurgeon, but she didn't mention that to me.  Also the surgeon moved his practice from Providence St. Vincent Hospital to Legacy Meridian Hospital (different health systems and provider networks, of course), and that's the first I've heard of that, also.  So it looks like I've fallen through the cracks.  Time will tell, we've got messages in to the surgeon's new office asking what my status really is.

Oh, and quite by accident, this won't affect my health insurance situation.  If I were staying on COBRA it would, since that coverage makes Providence a preferred provider network; anything done at Legacy costs me an extra 20% of the invoiced amount (which has been a problem because the neurologist is at Legacy Meridian).  But as of the beginning of this month my COBRA coverage has expired (thanks, Congress), and I'm going on the Oregon Medical Insurance Pool.  Coverage won't lapse, but I have to wait for the paperwork to be done and my coverage info sent to me before I can get it to the providers.  I believe the OMIP coverage will be the same for both providers (at least I hope it will; Providence is more convenient for a lot of things, and I like the hospital itself better).

It's interesting to compare this situation with the therapy Eva is getting for breast cancer prophylaxis.  There is a single person who is her case worker whose job it is to coordinate therapies and doctors, and to make sure that she knows what's going on, and that everyone is singing from the same page of the score.  And all the health professionals go to great lengths to keep it that way.  I think everybody should have a case worker, for all health concerns.  I did a rough back of the envelope calculation: Eva's caseworker says she's carrying 300 active cases; for everybody to get one (and assuming an entire family gets the same caseworker, which makes sense to me) means we'd need considerably fewer than a million caseworkers nationwide.  I bet we could train that many of the currently-unemployed to do the job in less than a year.

Undead on the Scene

You really have to love Portland.  It's not just that this is where silly things like the following happen, it's also where the police are cool with it.

After the jump: "Zombies" crash on I-84 near Lloyd exit

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hot Today

It's hot today (94 ℉ at 5PM) and the upstairs floor of our house, not being air-conditioned, is uninhabitable.  The downstairs floor is set into a hillside, so conduction into the dirt and rock keeps us reasonably cool unless we have a heat wave where it never gets cold enough at night for the air to cool down again.  So right now my office, which is downstairs, is in the mid-70s.  There's a portable airconditioner in the TV room, where we eat dinner most nights, that's holding that room at about 72 ℉.  So the only uncomfortable part of the day (aside from having to go out, of course), is making dinner.  I tend to keep that simple and fast.

The one thing I can't figure out is why the dogs like to lie around in the heat upstairs so much.

A Bit of FanFic

Last month John Scalzi and Wil Wheaten started a contest for the readers of their blogs write a piece of fan fiction no longer than 2,000 words based on an illustration of a fantasy battle between the two of them. I entered a piece, and it was a lot of fun to write, so I thought I'd put it up here for you to enjoy. Like most fanfic there are a lot of in-jokes, but if you're not up on them, don't despair; the big one at the end comes from Scalzi's famed bacon-cat photo. My piece is at the Read More link below, but you should definitely look at the illustration first.