Mar/04
2011
Community pharmacists in New York are lobbying state lawmakers to pass legislation that would prevent health plans from requiring patients taking medications for chronic ailments to fill their prescriptions through the mail. While some plans had shifted to mail delivery long ago because it was often cheaper for both employers and consumers, drugstores have been offering more competitive prices and pushing lawmakers to level the playing field by ensuring that people can still visit their local pharmacy for their drugs. The proposed legislation, which was introduced in both state chambers in late February, would ban mandatory mail-order programs. (NYT)
Let me state it plainly: Express Scripts Sucks. They suck, suck, suck, suck. I can't tell you how much they suck because there's not enough space on this blog, but trust me they do and not in any sort of good way. I'm constantly badgered by their mailings demanding, pleading, insisting that I buy my meds through mail order. Through them and only them. I rip up every one. They grief me, on purpose, with every refill and renewal. They make my doctor jump through a dozen hoops just to enable me to keep taking the same medication that I finally found worked for me. They're bastards out to make a buck off my health and the couldn't care less the physical consequences on my end. So screw off you bastards. I won't, never will, and flatly refuse to order through you. Fuckers.
Mar/04
2011
WASHINGTON — The First Amendment protects hateful protests at military funerals, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in an 8-to-1 decision. “Speech is powerful,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain.”[...] The decision, from which Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented, was the latest in a series of muscular First Amendment rulings from the Roberts court. Last year, the court struck down laws limiting speech about politics and making it a crime to distribute depictions of cruelty to animals.
It's back to the states now to regulate what should be intuitive. When it comes to inflicting harm on others you would think that the court might use a "common sense" approach, but apparently not. It is the letter, not the intent, of the law that is being addressed in this conservative-leaning court, regardless of the potential side effects. I wonder how the court will feel when the result is more death, more tragedy, more mayhem and more abuse. Were I a family member at a funeral I doubt I would be able to hold back when accosted by someone screaming at me that my kin died because god hates gays. Is that what the court intended? Or are they just playing high-and-mighty hoping that the states will pick up the slack? Either way, it's out of touch and out of alignment with the reality of our time. Sad and it sucks.
Mar/04
2011
For someone so concerned with wasteful spending it really doesn't appear that he practices what he preaches.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner said Friday the House may go to court to defend the federal law against gay marriage, which President Barack Obama's administration has concluded is unconstitutional.[...] Boehner said he was convening the panel of House leaders "for the purpose of initiating action by the House to defend this law." But there was no immediate indication of specifically what action it would direct or when the group would meet.
There are far more pressing issues in this nation than gays being allowed to marry. Like the wars, health care, and the fucking mile-high deficit to name a few. Immigration, job creation, trade negotiations, the list goes on and on. But instead of focusing on something that matters to the entire nation Bonehead is pandering to a smaller and smaller set. The recent polls have shown that most people, even conservatives, don't really care about gay marriage any more. They've come to the general conclusion that "it really won't hurt anyone." Gay marriage is legal in five states, guess what, they haven't self destructed. So yeah, move on Bonehead, move on.
Mar/04
2011
When I make a dish I am highly displeased if someone starts adding a crap-ton of condiments to it before they've even tasted it. All I can think is Ffs! You don't even know what it's supposed to taste like! Give it a chance before you bury it in salt/ketchup/chili sauce! I'm fine with additions once you've tried it, even the tiniest taste, but at least do me the honor of an un-adjusted sampling so I know for the ~next time what would suit you better.
New York has spawned a breed of hard-line restaurants and cafes that are just saying no. No to pouring takeout espressos, or grinding more than a pound of coffee at a time. No to taming the intensity of a magma-spicy dish or making substitutions of any kind. And most of all, no to the 21st-century conviction that everything can be accessorized to the customer’s taste. “People just assume that every restaurant should be for everyone — I could understand that if we were in a town with, like, 20 restaurants,” said David Chang, whose mini-empire of Momofuku restaurants is well known for refusing to make substitutions or provide vegetarian options. “Instead of trying to make a menu that’s for everyone, let’s make a menu that works best for what we want to do.” He added, ”The customer is not always right.”(NYT)
I wouldn't go so far as to say that the customer isn't always right so much as "rude customers should not be tolerated." You want your sauce on the side? Then go to a place that doesn't care. There's probably a diner one or two blocks away. Shoo, begone from my eatery. You came here to eat my food, not to tell me how I could edit, deconstruct or otherwise pollute a dish that I'm staking my name on. Were I a chef at my own restaurant that's precisely what I would say. And in a way I am a chef with my own bistro: I cook for my family every day. By now the kids know, taste first then add, because they've been slapped with the hairy eyeball on more than one occasion. They have also learned to tame their sauce, dressing or gravy consumption down to something that doesn't test the vertical capacity of the plate. The breakfast has doesn't drown in gobs of ketchup which force the meal to resemble a plate of roadkill. The turkey doesn't do the back stroke as it swims in gravy. You need more? Add more when you need it. They, at least, have learned that lesson. And how when I refused to buy maple syrup for several weeks after disposing of plates that were still brimming with the brown more-expensive-than-super-unleaded stuff. So please, don't piss off the chef. Give the food its due before you start the critique. It's in your best interest not to irk someone that's probably quite good with those handy, sharp knives.
Mar/04
2011
China has been cracking down madly on foreign journalists, harassing them, confining them, lecturing them. They're especially into shoving them into an alley or store and forcibly deleting their images. I know how to fix this with technology. We need cameras with embedded cell phones. 4G these days can pump up to 15 mpbs (that's 15 Meg per sec) into the air. That's plenty sufficient to go from finger click to the net before some asshole, government monkey jams you up against the wall and mashes your gear. Then they'd have to block all cell comms in the area which would me a major inconvenience, and not just for their public either. Just an idea, but one that might work.
Mar/04
2011
So there are times when my attention is less than fully utilized at work. I love these moments because it gives me a great opportunity to clean up and streamline by workstation. Don’t gasp I’m serious here. (Note for any IT staff in the audience you may want to stop now before you’re overcome by the graphic descriptions to come, I’m not responsible for your flashbacks.) Sometimes I just run CrapCleaner, other times I go through and delete old emails, compressing, compacting and eliminating stuff I haven’t needed to look at in years. On rare occasion (long weekends) I will defrag my disk. This time I did one of my favorite clean-ups: I uninstalled old programs that I hadn’t used in years. Weeeee? Generally I pick on the small stuff first. Add-ons, extensions, itty bitty clients for messaging are good examples. The first puppy I seized on was from Microsoft and it was called Crystal Reports for VS 2008. (Please keep the screaming to a minimum folks, you were warned.) Twenty minutes. It took almost twenty whole minutes to uninstall this bit of bloatware. Wtf? I mean I never even used it. Frankly I need to punt the whole 2008 install since I moved to 2010 a few months ago. Ok I’ll admit that it was a Visual Studio component so perhaps there were all sorts of registry entries to be managed. Rofl. Right sure. Wanna buy a bridge? Moving on… Next I dusted off a few old codecs, some demo installs that had long run out. Then I spied Lotus Same Time Connect, a stupid attempt to keep people from using Google Talk by installing a godsawful CPU hogging hunk of crap. Within a week no one was using it. Another twenty minutes of my life gone. Wtf? IT’S JUST A STUPID CHAT CLIENT! Unless it was secretly key- logging spy-ware. Which it could have been considering how damned slow and shitty it was. Ugh. I decided to pick on more obscure crap. Most other things were gracious in their uninstall, quietly throwing up a dialog box with dll names screaming by as their bits were tossed into oblivion. Then I stumbled on a fifteen-part MS SQL install for VS 2005. Nifty way to make it harder to uninstall breaking it up like that. I figured that since they were tiny, they would go away quietly yes? No they wanted every damn application I had open to be closed. Just for them. Even if they couldn’t possibly have a connection. Trust me, Adobe Fireworks has nothing, I repeat *nothing* whatsoever to do with MS SQL Database Migration Tool X. Bullshit ok? You’re just being a whiney little bitch. Another half hour of my life gone as I angrily ripped each component out by the roots. Customer experience should not be exclusively limited to use. Install and removal should be included. True I’ve been favorably disposed towards MS or IBM, regardless of how many of their products I’m forced to use. But keep in mind that’s just work related. Given the option at home to support someone else I damn well would… that is if there were another option.
Mar/04
2011
Adults are obviously not immune to temper tantrums. Some don't care what they destroy and who has to clean-up after them, as evidenced by a bitch who broke booze bottles at a liquor store. I hope they throw the book at her. The self absorbed bitch needs to learn some patience and decency.
Mar/03
2011
I don't understand. The man enlisted at 16 and died at 110. He's the very last veteran of the first World War. Why deny him honors?
WASHINGTON (AP) — West Virginia's two Democratic senators blamed House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday after their hopes of having the remains of World War I veteran Frank Buckles honored in the Capitol Rotunda were dashed, at least for now. Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin III both released statements saying the Ohio Republican had blocked the Capitol honor.[...] President Barack Obama has ordered that flags on U.S. government buildings fly at half staff on the day Buckles is buried. His family has said they plan to inter him at Arlington, just across the Potomac River from the capital.
Hey John, you're an asshole. My grandfather served in WWI and your snub to a deceased veteran is personal. Go fuck your partisan self.
Mar/03
2011
You have at least one or more guns, so really, wtf are you afraid of?
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A plan to block release of the names of people authorized to have guns in Illinois has stalled despite gun owners' worries about privacy and safety. The burgeoning concerns follow a state attorney general's opinion saying the information is public record.[...] Madigan's office ruled Monday night, in response to AP's public records request, that the list of FOID cardholders is public record and must be disclosed. Permit holders' addresses and telephone numbers would remain private.
I don't get it. Where's the fear? This is public information, and thus it should be publicly available. You'd think with all the pomp and noise about gun rights being repressed (not that they have, in fact things have swung in just the opposite, motivated by a baseless fear that never materialized) that gun owners would be proud to acknowledge themselves and each other. So I don't get it. According to their claims you're safer if you have a gun, regardless of the situation. More guns means more safety. The ability to carry openly is cherished. Saint Heston himself shines down on the state of Arizona just for that reason. So really, what are gun owners afraid of? Unless of course they have something to hide.
Mar/03
2011
The name was silly but I bought the "Pestacator 2000" for several reasons. First, because it was made in the US of A. Yes it cost over $20 but it's made in the US of A! I will pay more then $20 for an item made here. Second, because it promised to rid our house of rodents (Note, not for use around *pet* rodents or Lil' Squeekums may suddenly flip out, and you'll find him staking you with a Barbie-sized hockey mask and appetizer knife.) Third, and probably most importantly, because we have a squirrel in the attic. No, that's *not* a metaphor, it's an accurate and honest description that explains why there are twenty pounds of acorn husks in the attic and the scurrying sounds above the bedrooms every morning. The Pesticator 2000 was Safe! Non-Toxic! And had Satisfaction Guaranteed! Really? Just like when I was a kid? I forked over my money at Home Depot. I also kept the receipt. Keep in mind before this I had tried other "organic" solutions. Mothballs for one. Worked like a charm for the first two weeks. Also stunk up the entire upstairs. But no squirrel... until the mothballs evaporated and then he was in like Flynn again. Fucker. I tried cat. Cat was a good solution while cat was in the attic, but there became another problem: cat extraction. While cat liked it up there, the cat also *really* liked it up there. Because the access to the space above our top floor is nothing more than a board set into the ceiling you can imagine trying to remove a recalcitrant cat while precariously perched on the top of a ladder might be a bit awkward. Also, if you didn't know this, cats have the ability to warp. Yes, that's right they can move themselves from one location in space and time and instantly appear in another. It might have something to do with the fact that there are times you need to take your eyes off the animal to prevent falling off a ladder as it angrily tries to de-flesh your face, but trust me, cats can do this - they just don't want anyone to know. No, cat was a poor solution. I was ready to try a trap and if that failed it was going to be poison, but as I went through the isles I saw this. And so it's been two weeks since I plugged the Pesticator into an outlet. That's it. You don't do anything else, just plug it in and see the LED come on. Since that time I have not heard a single scurry, nor a gnaw, or even a rustle. By the Gods I think it actually worked. I feel a bit bad for cat, because if the squirrel is gone and this device actually works as promised there won't be any more snacks meandering across the floor looking for crumbs. Cat will just have to make do with treats. In the mean time, I have a shit-ton of acorn husks to clean up. I think I can live with that.
Mar/03
2011
The officer was polite but firm, "Whose bag is this?" I looked up, it's never my bag because I'm such a careful, business traveler. But as I glanced up from my shoe-tying there he was, dangling my beatup, gray knapsack. Huh? "That's mine," I called out, still tying. "Follow me when you're done." Well ok, sure, I finished re-packing, re-tying, re-belting, re-sweatshirting, and obediently followed. I wracked my brain, what could it be? I had all the same stuff in the bag when I went through the checkpoint on the incoming flight. There was my notebooks, pencils, pens, cell phones (yes plural), some breath mints, lip balm, cables for this and that, and various decaying bits of detritus: shredded paper, crumbs, lint, pennies, pen caps, and a sandwich bag. That rung a bell. I also had my breakfast/lunch in there. Well shit. I would hate Airplane food if they offered it, but now they don't. I mean you can buy chips, cookies and "snack boxes" (more box than snack) but it costs a ton and since I had awoken at 4:45 AM to catch a 6:30 AM flight I didn't have time or the constitution to get something before boarding (note my iron-stomached co-workers went to Burger King and Chili's, bully for them.) So being the clever sort I had ordered a spinach-potato knish (baked not fried) from the deli with my dinner last night and had them pack it to go. And ~this was the one difference in the contents of my bag. The officer was delving through my bag, pulling out shredded paper, lint and pennies before going to the main compartment. Disdainfully he carefully extracted the brown paper bag with the words "Famous Deli" lavishly printed on its now-crumpled exterior. He held it at arms length against a device that paused and then emitted a single solitary beep. "Um, that's my knish." "I see." He dumped it back into the bag, which is where the dent in it's spherical form must have come from when I pulled it out later on the plane. Not that it damaged the taste any. Perhaps potato and spinach have the same consistency as C4, perhaps not but I wonder, if it had come with a tooth pick stuck in it... would they have just blown my bag up without even looking? Probably...
Mar/03
2011
And if he doesn't get his way then innocent heads WILL roll.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Thursday that he will issue layoff notices to 1,500 state workers on Friday if his proposal forcing them to pay more for benefits and taking away nearly all their collective bargaining rights isn't passed by then.
Well it's clear that Walker is pretty comfy with taking a leaf from the Islamist Militant Handbook: "If you don't get what you want at first threaten, then demand, then execute." Stay tuned, next week he'll be trying to have the Dems stoned to death and hands chopped off of the Union leaders.
Mar/03
2011
Kids these days really think they have it all. And for the most part they really do. Get a load of this for-credit, college class.
CHICAGO (AP) — Northwestern University's president said Thursday that he is "troubled and disappointed" that a psychology professor allowed a couple to engage in a sex act involving a motorized sex toy in front of dozens of students, and he is calling for an investigation.[...] A guest lecturer had been discussing bondage and sexual fetishes during Bailey's human sexuality class. According to published reports, a couple at the lecture decided that a video the students were watching on the female orgasm was not realistic and gave a live presentation involving the sex toy.
Sure our college had a class on human sexuality, it was affectionately referred to as "Sluts N' Nuts" but no it certainly didn't include any live-action events, much less semi-live, blow-up doll events or even anything more risque than than the reading material (admittedly the Story of O did expand my horizons a tad and I wasn't even *in the class.) Still, does diddling a dame with a dildo as a post-class, totally voluntary event really constitute bad judgement? Well, it depends on who you ask really. I'll bet the kids thought it was pretty informative however. And probably more than one girlfriend/boyfriend learned a think or two that will stick with them for a good, long time to come.
Mar/03
2011
Public Employees seem to be the most fashionable whipping posts these days. For many, we only know of their existence if they screw-up. However, as long as things run smoothly we don’t give these folks a second thought. We drive down the road, turn on the tap and generally carry on with our lives expecting everything to function properly. Consider some of the following “invisible” people who happen to be public employees: Traffic engineers make sure traffic lights are timed properly and functioning. Water quality engineers make sure that the source water to drinking water treatment plants is acceptable, that the right amount of disinfecting products are used and that the treatment plant is operating properly. Sanitarians inspect restaurants to make sure that the proprietors and their employees know how to properly handle food so that the public doesn’t get sick. Medical professionals evaluate complaints about doctors to make sure that doctors who might harm patients no longer legally practice medicine. Structural engineers inspect public structures such as bridges and dams to determine if work needs to be done to those items to prevent failure that may cause death and property damage. Health physicists make sure that X-ray machines and cancer treatment centers are not excessively dosing people with radiation. This is a short list. We no longer live in a frontier living off the land, living or dying by what we can provide for ourselves. We have structure. We have a society and our government is part of that society. Are our government and its structure perfect? Heck no. But that isn’t necessarily the fault of the people actually doing the work. If you think public employees have it way to easy and that they should all be fired, be careful what you wish for. If you want to see what life would be like without infrastructure and oversight, visit any number of third world countries. Cholera? check. Traffic jam because a traffic light is out? check. Derailed train on a poorly maintained bridge? check. Flooded town from a dam break? check. Just another day in paradise in a land with a "small goevernment".
Mar/02
2011
Talk about closing the barn door after the horse not only left but died, was resurrected, killed again and evolved into a new species. Still, I guess after absolving Galileo, the Church is still looking for new opportunities to make the news in as tame a manner as possible.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI has made a sweeping exoneration of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus Christ, tackling one of the most controversial issues in Christianity in a new book. In "Jesus of Nazareth-Part II" excerpts released Wednesday, Benedict explains biblically and theologically why there is no basis in Scripture for the argument that the Jewish people as a whole were responsible for Jesus' death.
Really I don't see this as a "stop the presses" kind of moment. It's much more of a "Yeah we knew this what took *you* so fucking long" kinda dealio. I mean it might make an impression on those that are still strongly Catholic and Anti-Semitic. All five of them. Because, you know, just no one is really Catholic any more and those that are believe in abortion, gay marriage and the ordination of women. So yeah, who's gonna really care? Better late than never but, still. Not impressed.
Mar/02
2011
But originality only goes so far, especially with something so clearly wacked out...
WASHINGTON (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a potential Republican presidential contender, accused the Obama administration Wednesday of favoring a run-up in gas prices to prod consumers to buy more fuel-efficient cars.
Actually it's downright hysterical, after gas prices rocketed into the stratosphere under the previous, oil-baron, President that Barbie thinks our current leader is so desperately green. Yes Barbie, Obama is secretly tap-dancing on dance floor constructed entirely of parked Prius's parked side by side. He's gonna jam hybrids down everyone's throats in the same way that every American was forced to buy a 12 MPG gas-guzzling SUV a decade ago. Guy, do you even think about what you say before it spews out of your mouth? What a dipshit.
Mar/02
2011
The British call it wanking. It used to be called "choking the chicken" or "spanking the monkey." But regardless of whether you choose to call it jacking off, jerking off, beating off this gay-bashing preacher was found doing it in a park full of little kids. Mmm hmm.
Rev. Grant Storms, a renowned anti-gay Christian pastor from Louisiana, was arrested last week for masturbating at a public park, in the vicinity of a carousel and playground where children were present [...] one woman saw Storms parked in his van "looking at the playground area that contained children playing, with his zipper down...," [...] After judging that Storms was masturbating, the woman and another mother who witnessed the event both alerted deputies. After being apprehended by authorities, Storms claimed that he had been urinating into a bottle. He was then booked for obscenity -- charges that he denied -- and then released due to overcrowding in the jail.
Yeah being a consenting homosexual adult is bad in this guy's book, but stroking your wiener and thinking about tots is not. But wait there's more! He's got an excuse? Ready? Wait for it...
The pastor appeared less willing to discuss the matter at a press conference on Tuesday, during which he blamed "pornography" for the incident. "Pornography is destructive and it can ruin a person's life, and it ruined my life," he said at the conference, admitting that he had his hands in his pants, but maintaining that he wasn't masturbating (Huffington)
Yeah apparently wanking off in the name of Jesus is just fine, so long as you're a man of the cloth. Heck the Catholics have been doing this for eons. Maybe the only mistake Grant made was to sign up for the wrong group.