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US National Debt Clock

US National Debt Clock
How to see how fast we are sinking.

Bye Bye Blu Ray

On a link at TG Daily is a story World gives Blu-ray the thumbs down about a poll by Harris Interactive showing that Blu Ray is not getting it done. The story points out that only 7 percent of folks polled owned a Blu Ray Player (They had to count Sony Play Stations to get the number that high) It also mentions that the disks are expensive.(Part of that is the dollar per disk that is paid to Sony to produce a Blu Ray disk) Sony got screwed on Betamax during the VCR format wars and think that they will get us now. Plus the AACS is required on all Blu-ray discs and costs $1,585 per title plus $0.05/disc. Fuck em!

You can buy an up sampling DVD player for around 50-70 bucks and watch standard DVD’s at 1080p (the native Blu Ray resolution) on your Flatscreen TV if supported. You can buy a flatscreen that will do this for the money you will save buying DVD’s instead of Blu Ray.
I mentioned that Blu Ray would be the new laserdisk, and I am happy to be right. HD DVD has already crashed and burned.

I own a lot of DVD’s. Over 700 at last count. I even build my own cases to store them as commercial products are shit. I am an action, adventure and sci-fi movie and television drama junkie. The greatest thing to happen to television was putting shows on DVD. Really, watching a season of your favorite shows without commercial interruption is astonishing. Being able to follow the characters and the story arcs as they develop over the season is really a treat. Being able to watch shows that are no longer on air, at your pace on your schedule is almost as good as insane gut wrenching sex.

I have been through format wars in computers. 5 1/4 floppys, single side, single density, double side, double density, zip disks, LS250, and so on.I don’t want to play anymore. I still have around 200 movies on VCR that I am slowly replacing with DVD’s as they become available.

Buggy Whips, Edsels, Betamax, Blu Ray, Oh My!!

Clean and Sober – 22 years

Last Friday marks 22 years clean and sober. In just a few years I will be able to say that I have been clean and sober for half of my life. I started very early and rode it hard for a long time.

It remains a day at a time thing.

Medical Bills and Bankruptcy

Headlines around the web[1] are reporting that a recent study(Feb. 2005) by Harvard University[2] noted that medical bills accounted for 62% of bankruptcies.

This curious tidbit is not new, nor other problems with Insurance based Health care. From The National Coalition on Health Care [3] comes these nuggets:

Health care spending is 4.3 times the amount spent on national defense.

The annual premium that a health insurer charges an employer for a health plan covering a family of four averaged $12,700 in 2008. Workers contributed nearly $3,400, or 12 percent more than they did in 2007.2 The annual premiums for family coverage significantly eclipsed the gross earnings for a full-time, minimum-wage worker ($10,712).

According to a recent report, the United States has $480 billion in excess spending each year in comparison to Western European nations that have universal health insurance coverage. The costs are mainly associated with excess administrative costs and poorer quality of care.

Politicians are staging themselves around Health Care. This is political posturing. Everyone of these folks that is saying Health Care, really mean Health Coverage because they all have a large insurance company stick rammed up their ass. The only efficencies that are currently in the insurace industry is how fast they can deny your claim, exclude treatment and therefore payment, or use recission on your ass to just not pay at all.

The insurance industry should be the absolute the last group invited into any discussion about health care. When 62% of bankruptcies are related to medical bills, and 78% of them had health insurance, maybe you might want to think about why universal health care is a better idea.

[1] Google Search ‘Harvard University bankruptcies medical expenses’
[2] Harvard University Bankruptcy Paper – Final Manuscript (PDF)
[3] National Coalition on Health Care Health Insurance Costs