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Because I've had issues with Xanga, I've moved to a new site for my blog. It can be found here. I hope you'll drop by every now and then and get my latest thoughts on politics.
Wow! How long has it been since I've done an honest post on here? Over a year by my last look. Longer if you consider when the last time I updated on what's going on in my life. It seems like everyone and everything's moved to facebook. For those that haven't found me over there, feel free to shoot me a message and if you're someone I deem respectable, I'll send you a link to add me over there.
So here's an update on everything. I'm still working as a substitute teacher, but I'm looking at potentially changing careers. The teaching industry isn't exactly pretty right now. So I'm looking into moving into mobile software development. I was recently awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for stuff I've done with Windows Phone 7. So mobile software is something I've been working with quite a bit lately.
I have switched churches. I'm now at Toledo Baptist Temple. We're actually looking at moving and recently bought land a few miles up the road from our current location. And that's just one project we're working on. Here are a few others:
-Website and internet presence. We're working on putting together a website, a series of videos (here's our first one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7VjeZ3l0WA), and a podcast. I'm involved in a lot of this and the production of the podcast falls on me. We cut a pilot, but the audio was so poor, we're not publishing it. Once Brett (who I do the show with) is back from Hungary, we'll cut another episode. I'll post a link to the website when it's done as well as a link to subscribe to the podcast once we get that rolling.
-Home school co-op. We're having a couple exploratory meetings regarding homeschooling. We've got a few people interested in this option and we're looking at the feasibility of doing a home schooling co-op. At first, I wasn't sure of the idea. But the more I think about it, the more I think we're positioned to pull it off. We've got a lot of teachers in our church and we could make it happen. I'll be interested in seeing how it works out and I look forward to possibly being a part of it. It will be nice because it'll allow me to keep teaching, even if I do switch careers.
-The reason Brett's in Hungary. Long story short, we're going to be possibly running a Bible Camp over there for orphans. I'm still learning all the details, but it's a great possibility.
On a personal bit, I was recently diagnosed with cancer. This was back in January. It was a bit unnerving. But I was lucky and we caught it quite early. After a surgery to remove the tumor and a couple rounds of chemo, the cancer is now in remission. I'm sure God had a play in all of that.
Anyways, I wanted to keep this short because it's late and I could really ramble on FOREVER if I let myself. Let me know if anyone out there in xanga-world is still alive.
|OK. It's been forever since I've posted here. But I figured "Why not?" |
I'm actually here looking for some support. I just submitted an app to be created for Windows Phone 7. If it wins, it will get made, be distributed for free, and I wind some cool stuff. Here's a link for everyone who wants to help me out.
|So I thought I'd take a break from politic and car posting and provide a bit of relationship advice to everyone out there. This is my latest relationship theory and I call it The Skywalker Hypothesis.|
Now let me clear up some probably likely assumptions that come with that title. No, this theory doesn't involve you buying droids, avoiding Stormtroopers, or even kissing your sister. Let me explain how this theory works.
Let's say you're out on a first date with someone. They're funny, energetic, and you have some common interests. All seems to be going well. But how can you truly tell if the Force is with this relationship or if it's got an Ewok's chance against an AT-ST?
It's very simple. As the night progresses and you talk about family, dreams, and your views on laissez-faire capitalism in a post 20th Century economy, drop in this question: "So, do you like Star Wars?"
Now this question will tell you more than simple film preferences. Let me tell you the true meaning behind the answers you might get.
-"YES! I love Star Wars!" Meaning: The Force is strong with this one. Marry him or her faster than George Lucas ruined Indiana Jones with Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls.
-"No. It's stupid with all those laser swords and aliens." Meaning: "I have no imagination." You'd be better off dating a Tusken Raider. The old man didn't get that tractor beam out of commission, because this is gonna be a real short trip... as you'll want to end the date here. Let him or her pick up the check.
-"No. It's a stupid story." Meaning: "Darth Vader's heart is more human than mine." Alderaan had a better chance of lasting than this relationship does.
-"I've never seen Star Wars." Meaning: "I don't like to try new things." Don't expect any excitement. You're dates will be as fun as an R2 unit with a bad motivator.
-"Star Wars is a movie for dorks and nerds." Meaning: "I'm judgmental and give into stereotypes." I wouldn't be surprised if this individual came right from Mos Eisley because you'll probably never see a bigger piece of scum and villainy.
So there it is. Hopefully this advice will help you avoid a potentially terrible downfall that has more in common with the Emperor's demise than Luke's rise as a hero and help you find that special someone. Let's just hope it ends better than it did for Anakin and Amidala.
|As I'm sure many of you know, there's a big push in Congress to get some sort of national health care program going in this country. I thought I would throw my thoughts on this issue out there.|
When I consider the ups and downs of universal health care, I consider my own, recent experience with the current American medical system. As I'm sure many of you know, back in November of '08, I was diagnosed with colitis. I first had issues in the beginning of the month. It was mostly severe stomach pain that would come and go. It would be so strong at times, I would have to stop whatever I was doing, and lay down somewhere until it stopped. As the disease got worse, I found mediocre tasks like pushing a shopping cart in the grocery store to be draining. Eventually it got to the point where all I could do with my day was lay on a couch and watch DVDs. Even that was a challenge to me as changing discs in the drive was so draining to me that it felt like I ran a mile every time I did it. In the first two weeks of it being really bad, I also lost 20 lbs. Being 5'9" and having weighed a little over 160 to begin with, I didn't really have 20 lbs to lose. I think the reason I didn't lose anymore is that there wasn't much more to lose. I ended up missing about 3 weeks of work until I was referred to a gastrointerologist who put me on medication that, generally, keeps all the symptoms under control. The only downside is there is currently no cure for colitis so I'll be taking that medication for a while.
Now when I was first prescribed this medication, I took the prescription to the drug store and was informed that it would cost me over $500 for a 30 day supply. Working as a substitute teacher, I don't exactly have $500 I can throw at drugs every month. Thankfully, I discovered a program with the drug manufacturer that allows me to get the drug for free.
In the end, between lost wages for not being able to go to work and doctor bills, I estimate that I lost over $3,000 in my whole ordeal. By the way, I do have insurance, it's just not designed for anything like this. But it's cheap and who in their mid 20's expects to come down with a disease like this?
The reason I tell this story is to put our current health care system into perspective for those who haven't had anything like this happen. Every story I read about what universal health care is like in countries that have it is disturbing. The biggest thing that bothers me is how long some people wait to see a specialist or to have to procedure. When I tore my ACL back in 2001, it was like a two week wait to see one of the best orthopedic surgeons in the area. Under some universal health care programs, people have to wait upwards of half a year.
Stop and think about that for a moment. Half a year. If you have some sort of medical condition that prevents you from working, not being able to work for half a year means you're losing out on HALF of your income. For me, that would mean the amount of money I lost over my ordeal would have been more than doubled. Plus, I would have had to live in misery for 6 times the amount of time I suffered. I would have spent 6 months in pain, laying on a couch, watching the same movies over and over (because I can't buy new ones, I'm not working!). Even if we cut the wait time in half, we're still talking about 3 times the wait for a solution compared to what I had with our current system. Also who knows what kinds of long term medical problems could have developed from being in that condition for that long of time?
So let's stop and think about this for a moment. Under a free and universal health care plan, I would have lost over twice the money and suffered for 6 times as long as I did under the current plan Oh, and I never figured in how much more I'd be paying in taxes to pay for this program. Someone please tell me how this program's going to help me. I seriously want to know how.
Here's the thing to consider: universal health care programs have been tried before. In fact, I recently was informed that the UK's universal health care program is the 3rd largest employer in the world! So this isn't a new trick that we're talking about doing here in America. And all around the world, all I hear about is crazy wait times for procedures and medicine. What makes us think we can do it and make it better?
Right now with our health care system, we still have some freedom of choice as based in our free market economy. If you don't like your health insurance provider, you're free to drop them and get a new one. If you don't like your doctor, you're free to go find a different one. If you don't like your hospital, you're free to consider a different one. What will happen under universal health care? Will we still have these choices? I'd like to answer that question, but as it seems no one's read the bill, we can't be certain. But let's, for a moment, consider the possibility that we don't have that choice. What will drive doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals to do their best and keep up on advances in medical technology? They can't lose customers so they get paid the same. We've seen time and time again in history that when a laborer's job and pay are secure, they don't work as hard. They don't have the motivation. They have nothing to lose. That's not the kind of thinking I want from my doctors. And one thing's for sure, we'll only have one health care provider, the US Government. If you don't like their coverage, too bad, so sad. If you thought fighting your current health care provider was a challenge, just wait until you have to fight the government.
Then there's the one thing I consider every time a new government project or idea comes up: what would our founding fathers think? Now sometimes it's hard to tell. Take the recent switch to digital TV. They didn't have TV back then. But back in the 1700's people got sick and injured and they had doctors that took care of these people. So health care was something they knew about. Yet if you scan the Constitution, you won't see any mention of government involvement in health care. Art. I Sec. 8 outlines what the federal government can stick their noses into. This includes things such as developing post offices, building a navy, regulate interstate trade, etc. If the founding fathers intended for the federal government to provide for a national health care system, why didn't they list it?
Now, I'm not saying our current system is perfect. It seems like it's very far from it. So how do we fix it? I don't know. But I'm sure the answer isn't a solution that's been tried and proven to be worse.