Catchin' You Up
But I have a lot to fill you in on.
- First, I have an article running next week (no worries, it'll be online also, with video) that will make any of you who are car lovers drool. I mean those of you who appreciate power and beautiful, precise, automotive engineering. I'm not kidding. I don't want to give it all away, 'cause it'll take away some of the fun and surprise. But here are four huge hints of how my Wednesday unfolded: Homestead Miami Speedway, 110 - 130 MPH, yours truly, Ferrari F430. There's more to it. But you'll have to wait and see.
- Second, I think I may have changed my mind about health care costs. You all convinced me with your comments on my last post about insurance company billing practices. That and the fact that United Health Care is still trying to bend my employer and me over from a mistake they (UHC) made. Plus my podiatrist, who pays $1,500 a month to Aetna for his family's insurance and rarely files a claim for care, just learned they rejected a $300 respiratory medicine he needs. Here's the abbreviated version of UHC's mistake: I went to an urgent care clinic for treatment of a severe ankle sprain last fall, 'cause those clinics are cheaper on insurance than traditional emergency rooms. Fast-forward to today, UHC is still trying to milk money out of my employer, because, as they explained, they gave the clinic the option of billing the insurance company for an urgent care visit or for an ER visit. Hmmmm. I'm the clinic, and I'm told I can bill more or less - my choice. Which do you think I'm gonna choose? Of course, they chose to bill UHC the larger amount. If they had that option, what was the point of me going to them to save money? I may as well have paid more and just gone to a traditional emergency room that was cleaner, and where the air didn't taste of stale plague. Health insurance companies are the collective Devil, and they all deserve rusty pipes in the you-know-where.
- Third, I have hope that mankind can learn to get along. Mrs. B and I were sitting outside a Starbucks the other evening, when another patron left, climbed into his car and started to drive away. He made it maybe 40 feet, when a different customer began to back his car out of its parking space, blocking the path of the first guy. The first guy, an older gent in a BMW leaned on his horn but didn't back up. The second guy, a younger man in a Firebird, must not've heard the horn, 'cause he backed right into BMW guy's bumper. BMW guy jumped out of the car and began yelling at the younger guy, calling him a stupid S.O.B. The younger guy replied "Eff you, you stupid (piece of male reproductive anatomy)! I didn't see you." So for the next two minutes they called each other names, with the younger guy looking like he wanted to flee, and the older guy taunting him by waving a wad of cash and threatening to call the cops. They both walked away then, like boxers going to their respective corners. Miraculously, about five minutes later they climbed out of their cars, approached one another, shook hands, traded info...just in case that invisible scratch later materialized on the BMW, apologized sheepishly for how they'd spoken to one another, and they both drove off. Amazing. This is Miami. Under "normal" circumstances, I might have ducked under my sidewalk table in anticipation of one of them whipping out a gun.
- Fourth, I've been meaning to say something for a couple of weeks about our useless Congress. But they need to leave this baseball steroids thing alone. I was listening to a sports talk radio show earlier and it reminded me of this. We have hungry people, mentally unstable military vets who need care, police who are outgunned by crooks, average folks who can't pay for decent medical care, and Congress is spending time on hearings about which millionaire jock got a shot of super juice in his butt cheeks and how many times he did it. This is almost as bad as when Congress held hearings on just how naughty rap lyrics are. Did you ever see that episode of Seinfeld where Elaine sneaked nto Mr. Peterman's office and ate is $20,000 slice of cake - a decades old slice he'd bought at auction, 'cause it had been preserved from a member of the British royal family's ascension to the throne? When Peterman found out what Elaine had done, he barely reacted. He smiled and asked Elaine if she knew what 40- or 50-year-old oil-based cake icing would do to her stomach. She didn't. He laughed and told her he had a feeling that when she found out first hand, she'd be punished enough. This is a Seinfeld moment. Those steroid-using jocks are morons. But when their coin purses start to glow in the dark and their junk starts to shrink soon, they'll get all the punishment they deserve for cheating.
- Fifth, I'll believe all the tough talk in presidential debates about whether or not to talk to Cuba's next leader with or without pre-conditions, when the tough talkers drop the double standard and insist on pre-conditions from China's leaders too. Remember China's leaders, The guys who ship tons of lead-filled toys, and crappy TVs to the U.S., and who run over government protesters with tanks?