Medical Insurance

On 18 December I went to the emergency room. I was pretty sick. I could not speak, could not swallow, was having a very difficult time breathing. I ended up having Strep. I was there maybe 3 hours, got 4 or 5 medications, and was sent on my way. Today I got the bill.

The hospital billed my insurance $3798. Of that, my insurance wrote off $2318, about 60%. Right there is the primary benefit of insurance. They make deals with hospitals to pay about what they think services are worth, or that is how I think it is supposed to work. If the hospital and insurance agree that the service is actually worth about 60% less than what the hospital charges, why do they charge 60% more? Is it really to cover those who just won’t or can’t pay? Of the $1480 left over, insurance paid $1104 and left me to pay $376. Seriously, how do people survive without insurance? Is there really no better way?

Ok, really going to bed now.

Sick Seporah

Today started poorly. About 0530 I woke up to Seporah breathing like a goose. I have become quite accustomed to my children coughing like geese, but she was breathing like a goose. It was one of the weirdest sounds I have ever heard. It wasn’t weird at all to Märia; she hears it all the time at work. Märia sent me out to get a pulse oximeter. I asked her if CVS and Walgreens were open this early, and she said of course they are, drive fast. So I check google maps, and go to the nearest Walgreens, and of course it is closed until 0700. It never occurred to her that I would go to the nearest Walgreens rather than the one all the way over by the hospital. I guess she sees that one so often that she doesn’t think of the one closer to the house, but the other direction from the hospital.  Anyway, I got back to the house, and Seporah already sounded much better. Märia had given her a breathing treatment. She really is the best mom and nurse. Turns out Seporah has some viral flu like sickness that wouldn’t touch most kids her age, but affects her worse than most due to her asthma. She will be fine

Work was ok. I went to Heritage USA FCU today and installed an environmental monitoring unit. Never got email alerting working just right, but I made certain that it is open to remote configuration, so I can look into it tomorrow. RamQuest is still being difficult, but today they were another coworker’s problem, not mine. I will have to call them back tomorrow though, and see if we can get stuff straightened out.

Today’s reading was 1 Corinthian’s 4. Paul could be biting and sarcastic, and yet I really don’t sense any bitterness, but perhaps some disappointment in the local church. The Gospel reading was John 1:18-28.

Today I watched Hawaii Five-0, season 5 episode 13. Nothing else so far, and I expect to go to sleep shortly.

Fast Failed Miserably

Well, I probably already should have known this, but I really should not try to fast the night of a big UFC event. Or perhaps the worthier statement is I shouldn’t watch a UFC event the night of a fast. Honestly, staying up and watching UFC isn’t compatible with a spirit of fasting for anyone, but especially for me, as just staying up after bedtime makes me want to eat, and it didn’t help that we had leftover Olive Garden in the fridge.  I made the Orthodox fast though, as it starts at midnight and ends at the Eucharist.

I did thoroughly enjoy UFC 195, even if I thought poor Carlos Condit was robbed by the split decision for Robbie Lawler. I like Robbie too though, didn’t want to see either lose.

I started the day today in prayer, but Phillip was calling “I have to go potty” about halfway through, and I never finished. Once you start with the kiddos in the morning, personal time is over. We went to church this morning, and then came home.  I made spaghetti for lunch, read “I am a hug monster” for Phillip again (must be up to 10 times now) and then Seporah and I worked on her science fair project. It was a pretty good day.

I heard the readings during Liturgy, and just now read them again. The first 8 verses of Mark, and part of 2 Timothy 4, where Paul speaks of fighting the good fight and finishing the race. I hope one day to be able to speak with the same confidence concerning my standing before Christ.

I also read a good portion of the first chapter of “Beginning to Pray”. It is especially touching when the author says that God is not some robot, that you say the right words and he is suddenly giving you wonderful spiritual experiences. We must foster a relationship with God, nurture it. We cannot expect Him to be right there for the 5 minutes a day we ask for His Presence, if we ignore him the other 23 hours and 55 minutes during the day when he requests our attention.

Added 1045pm – I stayed up, watched DutchBoyd stream poker on Twitch.  I really enjoy watching him play.  He came in 14th out of 145 folk, and took home something like $375, although I am not sure what the buy-in was. Had very abbreviated prayers tonight, didn’t want to wake up Märia to go get a book. Time for bed.

UFC 195

Well, to finish up yesterday, we watched Matilda, the girls and I. Seporah asked, she really likes it. I ended the day in prayer, and slept.

This morning I awoke with prayer, read the readings of the day. From Timothy 3: “God was monifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” Beautiful Trinitarian expression. “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, … who enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”

Matthew 3:1-6 was the gospel reading, and from it I just remembered that one of the two central teachings of Christ was first declared (in the new testament) by John the forerunner: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.

This morning my mom came over and watched Star Wars, The Force Awakens with me and the kiddos. It was all of our 3rd times watching the movie, although the first time we had seen it together. I just noticed for the first time that Rey had been dreaming of Luke, or at least where he was. I really like the movie, infinitely better than the new movies, and right on par with the original trilogy.

Right now I am watching UFC 195. I am 0-5 with my picks so far. =)  Tonight is just not my night.

UFC 195 picks


I read the words. I read on cue.
I read what others have said is true.
They must be right they are long dead.
Why must their words stick in my head?

Which one said this?  Which one said that?
They talk and talk so much chitchat.
My mind is filled there’s no more space.
We’ll empty out and just replace.

New Year, New Me

Well, not really. I am going to be the same old me, but hopefully with a little more discipline and accountability.  Sometime in October my site was suspended by DreamHost due to it having been hacked.  They gave me a list of hundreds of files that had to be deleted due their being malware. It took me until last night, but, over time, I deleted them all, changed all passwords (mysql, wordpress admin, dreamhost account, ftp) and finally got the site back online.

So It is a new year. I am starting the new year at about 280 lbs, a little less than the most I have ever weighed myself at, which was 287, a few months before I went to Afghanistan.  What am I going to do about it?  Well, for the first time in my adult life, I plan on fasting, really fasting. We, as a family, will do the once monthly fast expected of LDS folk. I will also do the fasting expected of good Orthodox Christians, which is a little different, but requires more discipline.

We are going to Disneyland in March, and between Christmas and Disneyland tickets and hotel already purchased, we have dug ourselves a little hole.  This year I will do what I have talked about doing every year since 2011 when I opened the account; I will count every penny in Mint.  That will help with weight as well, as if I know that I will be watching money, I will eat out much less.

And today. Well, today I opened with a good prayer rule, out of the little red prayer book, and read today’s readings.

Colossians 2: 8-12 About Baptism being the new circumcision. While much speaking of baptism in the Bible speaks about it washing away sin, here there is no mention of washing sin away, but rather it talks about being united with Christ through baptism, which is it’s proper function. When you realize that baptism’s true function is to unite a person with Christ, and the washing away of sin being a necessary part of being united with Christ, rather than the whole of it, then it puts away any objection concerning baptizing very young children. Those who object often state that they don’t need it because they don’t have sin, but the point is to unite them into Christ’s covenant people, to make them a part of the Body of Christ which is His church. It is exactly the same as circumcision was in the old covenant, the uniting of the people into the Abrahamic covenant.

The Gospel reading was Luke 2: 20-52. I enjoyed the reading here, but all I could think of was that Joseph and Mary here would have had Christ taken from them by CPS in today’s society. I am certain they were good parents, and good parents can lose their children occasionally.

What I have read, watched, listened to today:

Today I only read a few comics. Paper Girls Issue 3, in which Erin gets shot, the shiny armored guys look like they are going to be baddies, and it looks like the plagued mummies might actually be the good guys. I am enjoying it, we will see how many more issues I read.  Jughead Issue 3 – Jughead is really just dumb fun. It is much less dumb than the old comics, but still dumb fun. Saga Issue 32 – I can’t say enough good things about Saga. Finally Marko and Alana are friends and lovers again. I was so afraid they would divorce for a bit, but forgiveness and patience and love won out. Here is to hoping they find Izabel.

The Exception Doesn’t Prove the Rule

Why in the world do I have to clarify that I’m speaking in generalizations?!  Of course there is a one legged body builder in Nicaragua who can run faster than me!  That doesn’t mean my statement, “I’m really slow, but I could beat a guy with only one leg.”   untrue!

Stop making me address every exception to a generalized statement.  /Rant

Elder’s quorum irritates me

In today’s lesson we went over Elder Perry’s “Finding Lasting Peace and Building Eternal Families”. The first quote we went over, even though it was far down in the talk, was “Women who make a house a home make a far greater contribution to society than those who command large armies or stand at the head of impressive corporations”. What followed can only be properly described as woman bashing. “All these women today who just want to build their little towers which will crumble instead of building their families.” Etc etc. I mentioned that this was just a gender specific rephrasing of McKay’s “Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home”, and that the doctrine was gender neutral, and did not in any way apply only to women. This didn’t go over well in class, as the consensus was that I was being argumentative for no good reason. ugh

Ornaments, Saga, Arrow

Seporah made it!
Seporah made it!

Seporah has been sick.  Yesterday (Monday) she was diagnosed with Strep and she has been taking amoxicillin.  She missed a big test at school today but they are letting her retake it tomorrow.  She was a zombie yesterday, slept through most of the day, but today she was a little better.

We spent a solid portion of the day making Christmas ornaments for Mom.  I think they turned out ok.  We followed a Lifehacker tutorial for printing onto wood via some wax paper and then lacquered it up.  It turned out pretty good, but I think something with bolder colors will turn out even better.  I expect to do a few more projects before Christmas.  Märia has been having me make Nativities for her, which is quite fun.

Issue 8
Issue 8

I have been reading quite a bit of Saga.  It is one of the best books I have read in a long time.  I was never a comic book reader.  At least, I didn’t read the stereotypical “super hero” comic books.  I read the occasional Richie Rich and Casper and Archie (I loved Betty and Veronica, go team Betty!) but I never dug the guys wearing underwear outside their pants, and I still don’t.  (That is what TV and movies are for.) But I got into the continuation of Buffy, and then read some Serenity/Firefly and Jericho comics.  Dr. Horrible.  And then I found Y: the Last Man.  Really great writing.  Go check it out.  Also: Runaways.

Careful with Saga, it isn’t for kids. It is definitely mature material.  That does not in any way take away from its greatness.  It is about a family on the run, a warrior who has taken a vow of peace, and an antihero who makes you want to stand and cheer.  The female protagonist is a reader.  I love readers.  Seriously, my favorite thing to do with Seporah is to see what she is reading, suggest books to her, and read her suggestions.  She told me to read Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi and I was not disappointed.  She also loves Calvin and Hobbs.  It will be hard not to favor her.  =)

I just finished watching Arrow and The Flash.  All my shows are on Hiatus for the winter break.  Let us not fool ourselves.  Arrow isn’t dead.  Seriously.  Remember the Buffy Bot?  Something similar or a resurrection will be happening in January.  =)