Friday, February 6, 2009


Friday the 13th of February, it begins....

Image courtesy

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Healthcare: A Rant...

After a few days of a very stuffy nose, I woke up Saturday unable to move. When I finally made it out of bed, I checked, and sure enough, had a fever. I called my dad, and he told me he would take me to the doctor, as I was in no condition to drive.

I called my normal doctor to try and get an emergency appointment. After 20 minutes of no one picking up the phone, I gave up.

We went to an office my mom had a good experience with in the past. I start to sign in when the girl behind the counter tells me they do not take my insurance. Best case scenario, I am only responsible for 20% of the bills, but more than likely, I will have to pay it all.

We leave and go to the quick care office by my place. The parking lot is packed. We walk through the door and there are 20-30 people standing around. As I walk up to the counter, the man behind the counter simply pushes a clipboard forward and says "sign in here." I wanted to ask him how long of a wait it would be, and if they accepted my insurance after the last place didn't, but the most he would say is "we are busy, sir..."

Off we went to an office I visited before where I have had good and bad experiences. The female doctor here is very sweet and helpful, spends as much time as you need. The male doctor, he, well, let us just say he got his degree in the 60s and appears to be stuck in his ways. Guess who was on... We get in the door... no receptionist. A few minutes later, a woman appears. She has me sign in, then argues with me about whether or not I have been there before. Yes, I tell her, but its been maybe 18 to 24 months since I have been sick, so my information will need to be updated. She had to repeat everything 1o times because not only did she never look at me to talk, but she mumbled, and my head was congested. She also argued with me about tissues. She said some were on the counter. My ability to LOOK WITH MY EYES showed there were none. After 5 minutes of me asking repeatedly, she reached under he desk and finally handed me a box. Needless to say, she was of no help.

A bright note was the doctor's assistant, who is the nicest medical professional I have ever met in Nevada. I remember him from when I got sick a few years earlier, and how helpful we was. He actually remembered me and immediately commented on how proud he was that I lost so much weight. After a few minutes, he placed me in a room.

My dad and I spent the time waiting for the doctor reminiscing about previous insurance coverage. For 5 years I worked for 2 of the biggest east coast companies and had incomparable insurance, and my dad was management growing up, so we never had worries back then, either.

Once again, the doctor on was of little help. He poked and prodded, asked 2 questions, then said it "looks like you have an infection. What medicine do you usually take?" This medical professional is asking ME what medicine I should take... At no point did this man ever make eye contact, ask me how I was feeling, ever really want me to describe my symptoms... and after all of this, because of my deductible, I will still end up paying for this appointment in the end. He handed me a prescription and left. A day later and I feel no better, both in health or about the whole situation.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

CES 09: A Pictorial With Words

After 2 years of offers and denials, I finally went to CES this year (had no idea it went through the weekend...) and had quite a lot of fun! It was different than I expected. I was thinking something akin to E3: dark rooms where the only lights are coming from booth lights and the glow of monitors and chicks holding glow sticks. Instead, with the exception of the main hall, all of the floors were brightly lit, much like the other traditional trade shows I attend each year for work. While I didn't get to see EVERYTHING I wanted (no Palm Pre) we had the chance to tour the majority of the show in a single day. Here are a few highlights. Click on any picture to se ea larger version.

3D Technology: No pictures, cuz that's impossible. Very unimpressed with what I saw. Very gimicky. Don't want to take glasses on and off constantly, and it was no better than the old 3D tech we had growing up.

Big TVs were impressive. At the top is me standing next to a 108" LCD from Sharp, and below that is the crazy 150" unit from Panasonic.

Tiny TVs were even more impressive. The above 2 shots are of an OLED TV. The brightness on these things are incomparable, as you can probably tell in the first shot because everything else became black on the camera. The speed and refresh is perfect, and they are so thin and light that you could store then in the sleave of a folder. They even use the new thin wire technolgy.

Microsoft had a large booth, and right in the middle were touch screen Windows 7 demo units like these. Sadly, these did not actually run Windows 7, but merely used Windows 7 technology to show how the system might work, including multi-touch features. It was basically a less impressive Surface...

LG's wristwatch phone has impressed me ever since I first saw pictures it a while back. While I didn't see it in motion, it was still cool enough to make me snap a few shots.

Cool old school cars dotted the show floor, including the above Delorean and Kitt from the REAL Knight Rider. Overall, I was shocked to see how much in car tech was part of the show, as it took up an entire hall.

Robots are cool...