Pure Gonzo Engineering

Saturday, December 30, 2006

9 Days Three Houses Too Many Families

Finally home again and have all of the new shit put away from the gift giving madness. I learned a few things while I was away.

  1. Never question John Tesh when he tells you to buy a board game. He knows his shit when it comes to quality family entertainment. Check out Apples to Apples if you get a chance, it’s super fun.
  2. Little kids are messy, especially the ones that can get to everything that’s within their little monkey grasps. If you can’t handle that, then you shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy all the nice little things about them.
  3. Left to their own devices with adequate food and water, cat’s will manage to fuck up their automatic litter box to the point they are too scared to use it any longer and will then proceed to shit in your basement and pee on your luggage.
  4. Other people’s rules and requirements and traditions are bizzaro.
  5. I love not having to shave. (Even if it is only the gross neck scruff)
  6. I always feel bad when I have to take leave of my parent’s house, this after I tried so hard to get out and stay away for those years.
  7. I could watch my son waddle and stumble around forever. He figured out what Ow and the sign for hurt actually mean this week. He’s so fucking smart!
  8. Saint Jimmy’s food makes my tummy happy :)
  9. I think it’s time for a new tattoo
  10. Crazy is as crazy does.
On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, I give this holiday season an 8.375


Monday, December 18, 2006

The business of Health Care

I apologize for not posting, but, just like everyone else, I’m busy this time of year. I’ve got a nice little story about how terrible and bloated the health care and health insurance industries are.

Carter broke his leg back in February. The total bill was around $14,000 for an ER visit, a couple nights in the hospital, and surgery to cast it. Simply because I work at Opposite of Dog I got $10,000 of the top. My first question is this, what is the actual cost of all of this. The hospital I go to has a deal with Opposite of Dog to give reduced rates because Opposite of Dog sends all of it’s employee’s there. So did all of the stuff that happened to Carter cost $4000 or $14,000? There is a real cost there, but who the hell knows what it is. Is it half of that? Do some people actually pay $14,000 for a similar service?

But I digress. Boy breaks leg, Boy can’t say this leg fucking hurts, and it’s the broken one. Boy gets both legs X-rayed to ensure the correct leg is identified. Lazy Orthopedic surgeons don’t work Sunday nights so Boy needs to have leg splinted so he can suffer through the night. Boy gets broken leg X-rayed a second time to ensure splint has placed bone in acceptable location for the night.

Our dirty insurance processing house United Health Care refused to pay for two of the X-rays because they were all billed on the same day under the same code Femur 2-views. I battle with them for like six months saying they weren’t the same and he broke his fucking leg so they needed to do multiple X-rays. They come back and say OK, Opposite of Dog says it’s ok to get one X-ray per bone per day. Excuse me?! One X-ray per bone per day! Opposite of Dog you dirty fuckers. The evil fuckers who came up with our health plan know exactly how all procedures are done within hospitals so they decided to hide some cost. Of course if you break a bone it’s going to be X-rayed more than one time per day. So Opposite of Dog saves $48 every time someone breaks a bone.

At this point I’m on a fucking mission from God to not pay that $48. I got screwed once before when Carter was born on a similar “snake in the grass” clause in our plan. Opposite of Dog also only pays for one Pediatric visit when your child is born. Of course the Pediatrician is going to come in every day to check and see how your child is doing, and I had to pay for that second visit.

I’ll figure I’ll use their own evil system against them and I decide to call up the hospital to get a full set of the medical records from the incident.

I go and get the records, during work of course. I start reading through the twenty or so pages of documentation, dictation, and ER reports. Turns out the first two X-rays of the left and right happened at 11:55 PM on Sunday, and the third on the left happened on 1:25 AM on Monday. Gotcha!

I fax all of this shit to UHC and now I’m waiting for their evil response. I’m guessing it’s going to be along the lines of it needs to be 24 hours between X-rays on a given bone. We’ll see though.

If I had to estimate how much time, at work, I’ve spent fighting this nonsense, I’d have to say at least 5 full hours on the phone, going to the hospital, analyzing the records, etc. Opposite of Dogs billable engineering rate is $150/hr. So in not paying a $48 claim, which actually only cost them $18 because of their “discount agreement”, I’ve cost Opposite of Dog $750 of lost productivity. Hopefully I’ve made up for all the people who’ve broken bones and just given up and paid.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

To get away with it, you just need to be more clever than the next guy.

I had my yearly review today at work. It actually went well. I got the above average rating, which got me a 6% raise instead of a 5% raise. I guess it worked out well that my previous boss thought I had all these issues, even though I didn't. My new boss comes in thinking I'm going to be trouble, and I just do what I was doing and it looks like a huge improvement. I still got the raises I should have last year, and I get an above average one this year.

I guess it still shows through my cheery corporate facade how much contempt I have for upper management though. I still need to work on my "attitude". It's just so damn hard when my wallet says "Bad Mother Fucker" on it. My skin screams at my body to say how stupid all the fucked up processes we go through every day are and how much money the upper management makes while we suffer through health care cost increases and short term pay decreases. I really should have been a plumber. It's so hard to play this corporate game day in and day out. I can't keep track of all the people's cornflakes I shouldn't be pissing in, constantly being aware of who's listening to what I'm saying and whether or not they approve of it.

A highly specialized doctor! That's what I should have been. If TV has taught me anything, it's that a highly talented specialized doctor can get away with almost anything. Maybe in another life...

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Another video from Lawryde


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Lawryde gets lazy about writing

We were snowed in most of the weekend after that huge ass storm dumped 10 inches on Peoria, officially 8.1, but we got more like 10 with 3 ft drifts in some spots in our driveway. I spend most of Friday digging out. We finally got plowed at Saturday just before midnight. I could have wrote all this cool stuff about, but I was feeling lazy and my wife captured this video of me talking about that laziness.