Snow Afterglow

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.”  Carl Reiner



“I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.”  Mae West



“I was taught to do math and read at the same time. So you’re six years old, you’re reading ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ and it becomes rapidly obvious that there are only two kinds of men in the world: dwarves and Prince Charmings. And the odds are seven is to one against your finding the prince. That’s why little girls don’t do math.”  Emily Levine


Photos taken yesterday.

Health insurance companies and ideology

Keep in mind that when you choose an insurance company, you’re also choosing to abide by its ideologies (other than the most important one — to make a profit). This is especially important for a chronic pain patient.

Along with the DEA, insurance companies are the ones that decide how medical conditions are treated. And if an insurance company advocates for the opioid war, then it’s likely it will offer few benefits for pain patients. (It’s very easy for a private insurance company to discriminate, but it’s generally a little more difficult for government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.)

As an example, let’s look at the new health insurance policies offered only to religious people, like Catholics. With a policy like that, if you’re raped and need an abortion, you’ll be paying for that yourself. (Of course, you’ll also be paying for your contraception, which most say 95% of Catholics have used.) If you’re a terminal patient seeking assisted suicide services, you’ll be paying for that yourself. And if you’re a patient who wants to manage their pain with medical cannabis or opioids, I’m sure the Catholic religion has an opinion about that, too.

Almost all the large insurance companies now have new restrictions and hoops that pain patients have to jump through. So, before you choose an insurance company, it’s probably a good idea to do a little research first.

In my search terms:

“can a politician in my community help me fight unum for my ltd benefits”

Wow, this is a really hard question to answer…  (Please note sarcasm.) I guess that depends on how much money and influence you have. I mean, anti-drug advocates spend a lot of time and money on politicians, and it obviously works.

Unfortunately, the problem with Unum and LTD benefits exists in the federal government, not state or local governments. It’s all about the ERISA law, which no one really understands. Basically, ERISA should be renamed to something like URFUCKED.

Maybe religion should be invisible


Members of the St. Columbia-Brigid Roman Catholic Church in Buffalo, NY suffered a serious crisis of faith after their pastor posted a “shocking” message on the church’s sign last week.

“Jesus had two dads,” it read, “and he turned out just fine.”

A photo of the sign quickly began circulating on social media, attracting negative attention from other Catholics all around the world who felt it promoted same-sex parenting.

As a result of the controversy, the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo’s offices were bombarded with phone calls “from around the world, from callers protesting the contents of the sign,” a spokesperson said. The church’s online guestbook was also targeted, with people calling the sign “an abomination,” “blasphemous,” “heretical” and “an outrageous mockery of the Catholic faith.”

When word got back to Reverend Roy T. Herberger that his 10-word sign had literally caused an international outcry, he quickly took it down. In an interview with Buffalo News, Herberger said the whole thing was a misunderstanding and that he never intended to promote a “pro-homosexual” message.

“I just Googled ‘funny church signs,’” he said, adding that he thought the message was about fathers and stepfathers, not gay dads…

The ACA and buyer remorse

I know many people are unhappy with the Affordable Care Act.

Even though I have Medicare, some of the same problems apply. I don’t know my exact annual deductible, but I know it’s over $100. While that may not seem like much to you, it’s an awful lot to me. Which means that if I wanted to go to the doctor, my first visit of the year comes out of my pocket. And if I’m sick enough to go to the doctor, then the expense would include tests and medications… all this is out of my budget.

Of course, my budget includes bud, medicine not covered by any insurance. I’m still waiting to hear from Medicare about whether it will cover the annual doctor visit for a certification in the state’s medical cannabis program (it’s been 8 months):

But here’s the thing…  Even though the ACA didn’t apply to me, that didn’t stop me from learning about it. And all the things people are now complaining about were predicted before the ACA even went into effect. I know people are too busy (and political) to do their own research, but yeah, if they had, then they would have been better prepared for the insurance industry’s new cash cow.

painkills2 says:
November 17, 2015 at 1:59 am
I think it’s a little shortsighted to blame the ACA for the problems in our health care system. After all, it’s not the government that benefits from the ACA — it’s the insurance industry. And when you make deals with the devil, a lot of people are likely to get burned.

Doctors Call for Drug Advertising Ban in Position Reversal

In a vote Tuesday at the group’s annual meeting in Atlanta, the American Medical Association called for an end to television commercials and magazine spreads that are used to pitch prescription drugs. It’s a change from the AMA’s previous position, which said the ads were fine as long as they were educational and accurate. The U.S. is one of the few countries that allows direct-to-consumer drug ads…

The AMA has a membership of about 235,000 U.S. doctors and medical students. Last year, the group spent $19.7 million on lobbying the U.S. government, making it the No. 5 spender in the country, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, which works on behalf of the drug industry, spent $16.6 million last year…

C’mon, dance :)

In a new remix of Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk,” Nerd Fest UK shows just how well the catchy single pairs with nearly 66 films from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Nerd Fest UK explained that the video was inspired by a mashup that came out earlier this year, which paired 100 movie scenes with the same Bruno Mars song. According to the clip description, not a single dance move or scene is sped up or slowed down.

With the 2015 single in the background, this mashup perfectly pairs the music with the moves of Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Gene Kelly…