Category Archives: general

Year End Review: Achievements and Goals

I turned my bicycle ODO past 5,555.5 Km on Sunday. I even haz da pictures!

Saturday, I achieved 75 hrs total for the year with a footbag session in the Homie Hole. Here’s how the scoreboard looked after that:

..Plus 30 more minutes Sunday 12/28: 24×2, 23×3, 77 toes, 345 1st rally. Sitting at 75.5 hours Footbag for the year. I had to fight for this one but I got it! Here’s the 2x & 3x graph so far:

So, how DID I do on my goals for 2014? Here’s the tally: 

  1. 75 Hours FootbagI did it! Just barely, had to put in some serious time in the Homie Hole to do it, but… I did it.
  2. 4,200 Km on the bikeBoy did I blow through that! I’ll end the year with 5,600+ Km, more than 25% more than my goal. A new bike and a desire to ride have done wonders for my cycling. I also wanted to do a century ride tho, and failed that. I twisted my ankle, couldn’t really train, and only got a metric century.
  3. Try to bring Reflectingyou.com onlineFAIL AGAIN. I’m working on it, but not very hard. I feel like I’m scared shitless that it might actually take off (and consume all my time), or just fail, and consume some of my money.
  4. Get a new jobI did that, but… I remain very frustrated with a number of issues where I work. So, while I technically filled this objective, the result has left me very unfulfilled.

Now, for my 2015 goals. Same old, same old… 

  1. Be nicer, kinder, and more engaging with black people.After Ferguson, Kaijeme Powell, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, etc., I can’t look away anymore. And, I’m just as guilty as anyone seeing blacks as… less. Less human, less deserving of a smile and a hello. It doesn’t seem like much, but I’ve gotta start somewhere, and I’m going to try to be kinder to black people.
  2. 72 hours footbag. I’d think I’m crazy to set this goal with as many problems as I’ve had with my ankles, knees, back, etc. But, I’ve got the Homie Hole and the ability to put in 2 hours a week for the first couple months of the year. That will be a better start than I’ve had in several years.
  3. 5,000 Km on the bike. Yeah I’m bumping this one WAY up. I did great this year, and want to ride as much or more next year. Planning another century, or metric century if I can’t do the real 100 miles, again for 2015.
  4. Bring Reflectingyou.com online. No further comments here at this time. Wish me luck.
  5. Get another new job, this time a completely new job, not just the same pig with some lipstick smeared on it.  It gets harder every year. Age discrimination is already steering me towards Wal-Mart Greeter land. I swear I’ve poured as much of my time and energy into my job and career, as I have footbag or bicycling. But while I’ve succeeded more than I ever could have imagined with footbag and bicycling, my career has always been a miserable POS failure.
  6. Complete my blog analysis project. Scoring all my videos is slow and demeaning; watching and detailing, down to every contact, just exactly how shitty and limited my footbag game really is. I keep not doing the scoring. Gotta get it done tho. Despite the fact that I already know exactly where all the project data is going, I’m hoping some good might come of it. Maybe the data will prove to healthcare providers (who don’t believe me when I tell them I’m in pain and can’t perform) that there is indeed a loss of performance.

That’s it. 2014 is done, 2015 is just around the corner. Best wishes everyone, I hope 2015 is a prosperous year for us all.

Thanks for tuning in,

I Don’t Really Hate Them All, I’m Sorry I Said That.

Dear US Healthcare workers: I don’t really hate you. I’m sorry I said that. The vast majority of healthcare workers are kind and wonderful people; there because they really want to help.

I still have bad experiences though, and I marvel at that: almost everyone involved is a good person. People are trying their best. Yet for me, results seem 50/50 at best. Statistically, my criticisms of US healthcare are valid: we really do pay twice as much per capita as every other civilized country for healthcare, yet have some of the worst outcomes.

I have my opinions about why: Our chosen cost control and fraud prevention mechanism has become the fraud, and cost, in the system.

It all started with Ross Perot back in the 70’s. Medicare hired his (at the time) tiny little firm, EDS, to implement an electronic record keeping system. Back in the infancy of computing, memory was expensive. A coding system was implemented to represent descriptions of things to save memory. It was also implemented as a cost control measure; since it was all standardized, and computerized, they could easily search for and reject procedures that didn’t “match” with diagnostic codes, and reject any other errors or perceived discrepancies as well.

This government contract is where Ross Perot got all his money.

The private insurance industry quickly followed suit. Almost immediately, administrative warfare developed. Doctors and institutions had to hire staff to code and submit claims; insurance companies hired legions of claims processors to scrutinize and deny anything they could. The grain and complexity of the coding system quickly multiplied with growing computing ability and everyone’s vested interest in trying to either get paid, or not pay, for every little thing.

Today, this is known as the ICD-X coding system, where X is the current version. We are currently transitioning from ICD-9 to ICD-10. In this dictionary of medical procedure codes is virtually every single individual pill, poke, prod, pad, process, procedure, etc. that exists in the medical world. And it all has to be tracked, submitted, scrutinized, rejected, argued about, resubmitted… every. tiny. little. detail. This is why a tylenol costs $10 at a hospital; the pill is dirt cheap, but… the tracking of it is insanely expensive.

Today, this administrative warfare costs us about 25% of our total healthcare bill.  What was supposed to prevent fraud and waste, has become the fraud, waste, and useless expense in our system.

What’s worse, the system seems to have grown to absolute dominance. Everybody is trapped in the belly of this beast. This is why, despite the best intentions of the vast majority of healthcare peeps, the outcomes remain poor.

I am sorry I spoke so harshly about so many people trapped in the belly of the beast. I do not hate any of you; you are truly wonderful people.

I just want the beast to die, and for all of us freed from the madness.

2014 Dreams and Goals, 2013 Review

Sure, it’s a bit late for this, but I’m finally reconciling last year’s goals with the final reality, and setting a few new goals for this year. Last year’s goals: 

1. 75 hours of Footbag. Final tally for 2013: 81 hours. Whew, I barely made that, but… I did! 
2. 3,000 Km on the bike. Final mileage for 2013: 5,050 Km. A great year on the bike, tinged with sadness that my old Fuji Roubaix, the bike I’ve ridden for the last 24 years, finally died. I loved that bike, and it loved me
3. Bring my ReflectingYou.com business online. Nope, sorry, fail. It was a little more than I could chew. Maybe this year, but I’ve lost all my template artwork somewhere along the line. I need to re-create that, then contract with PhilsCNCCreations to cut my plates for me.
4. Go on a rip-snorting canoe trip for my 50th birthday. Unfortunately, this was a fail. Too many other obs, too little time and traction. This sucks, I’m really bummed it didn’t happen, and it probably maybe won’t ever happen for a long, long time. 
5. Take a picture every day on Flat Branch Creek. This, people, my Picture a Day Project, is my crowning achievement of 2013. I stuck to my commitment, taking pictures at 3 different locations on the creek every day. I published one every day from the start, then started publishing a 2nd in the spring. I held the 3rd site in reserve. In the end, I created three data-rich time lapses of a year in the life of Flat Branch Creek
Big Snapper Pond 
6. Take Wilderness Ridge Resort to court over getting hit by that bus. I purposefully, willfully abandoned this goal very early on. I decided to channel my energy into other things; my picture project, playing footbag, riding my bike, and earning back the money that was stolen from my by providing low-cost database development services to a non-profit business. It was a dumb, crappy goal to begin with. I’m happy I abandoned it. 

So… what’s on tap for 2014? 

1. 75 hours of footbag (again). But, I’m already so far behind after nearly the first 2 months of the year, I may never catch up. The weather has been horrible, and I’ve lost what little winter kicking space I’ve had. It’s been rough. But 75 hours is still my goal. 

2. 4,200 Km on the bike. Upping my goal again from last year, even though my picture project drove a lot of my bike riding. I didn’t set this specific goal, but I rode my bike all but 4 days last year. This year, instead of riding the same trail every day, I’m hoping to train and do a sag-supported century (100Mi / 161Km) or two. 

3. Try again to bring ReflectingYou.com online. Maybe without the picture project, I might be able to do it. Maybe. 
4. Get a new job. This was a really important goal for me, and the good news is, I’ve already got it in the bag!

That’s it. Those are my goals for 2014. Now, I’ve gotta get back to work.