CodePrairie .NET

South Dakota .NET User Group

I Hate Linux

October 2007 - Posts

  • HD #2 re-re-re-re-re-visit

    Given HD (hand doctor) #4 being out of ideas other than having me see someone else on the east coast, today I saw HD #2 again for the first time since late may as it was he who referred me to HD #4 before we looked at external options... and external options it looks like it will be.

    Over the next few days will be collecting every note, test result and other relevant piece of documentation on my hand issues and attempted diagnosis me in this issue and send it all off to the Mayo Clinic to see if they want to give diagnosis a try.

    HD #2's office actually thinks that I could hear back from Mayo with an appointment date within the next two weeks... when I'd actually be seen is another question... but a two week turn around time for a once over on my records and a decision as to what they want to do to/with me over a day or two in under two weeks at such a place is not a bad deal IMO.

    In the mean time, HD #2's office will also need to send a 'letter of medical necessity' to my insurance company so as to ask for such a trip to be considered 'in network'. Given I've really exhausted all in network (that HD #1, 2 and 4 are aware of) resources this shouldn't be an issue... but given this is an insurance company... there is no way to know for sure.

    Now where was I... oh yes, waiting, a familiar state.

    Posted Oct 09 2007, 07:24 PM by I Hate Linux
    Filed under:
  • HD#4 no more

    After much telephone tag and after the last series of tests, last week HD#4 (Hand Doctor #4) and his PA decided that they had no new diagnostic ideas for me and sent me back to HD #2 who had originally referred me to #4.

    The one suggestion they made was to see a Dr that #4 knows of out in Boston... something I likely wont be able to do anytime soon for insurance reasons (not to mention airfare).

    In the mean time get back to dealing with HD #2... even if for a short time.

    Posted Oct 09 2007, 07:21 PM by I Hate Linux
    Filed under:
  • Don't forget to sue me too

    I was always raised to believe that lawyers were very smart people, after all, to be able to spend so many years in law school and pass the bar... it's an impressive feat,  and I'm happy to say that it has been true for all of those I've known personally. I'm sad to say though that from time to time I see a case here and there of lawyers who don't seem to be well grounded in reality... and at least one person at Dozier Internet Law, P.C....a Mr. Donald E. Morris, Esq seems to fit that bill.

    Apparently, his client DirectBuy was unhappy with some reviews of their company on and rather than work to professionally solve the issues... they sent the owner of the site a cease and desist letter... and probably the least professional I've seen... and I've seen a few (only two directed at me directly however).

    While points one and two of what they demand seem pretty straight forward and normal:

    1. Immediately remove from all of your websites all defamatory and disparaging remarks regarding our client made by you and your visitors, and

    2. Immediately cease and desist in publishing defamatory statements about our client, whether the statements are made by you or third parties, and

    It's #3 which I'm forced to wonder about:

    3. Compensate our client for its attorney fees and costs

    Since when do you demand legal fees in the first threatening letter? Isn't that usually reserved until letter 3 or 4 where you say "this is your last chance, your very last and absolutely final chance... after we give you a couple more... if you do not comply with our perfectly reasonable demands... we will add court and attorney fees to the list of things we will be suing you for... whenever we get around to doing so."

    As sad as it is that some companies think this a legitimate way to deal with angry customers... there is just something about a SLAPP suit (strategic lawsuit against public participation) or even a threat of suit that just makes me smile.

    Of course... one that ends with this just makes it so much better:

    Please be aware that this letter is copyrighted by our law firm, and you are not authorized to republish this in any manner. Use of this letter in a posting, in full or in part, will subject you to further legal causes of action.

    Well hot damn... I think I just violated their copyright as well... and of course for such threats to be meaningful... they have to be willing to make good on them.

    With that said... I hereby demand that you Mr. Morris immediately file a copyright infringement suit against Mr. Leonard in this matter and name me as a co-defendant for my blatant disregard for your copyrights in my reproduction of parts of your letter that is marked as "for negotiation and settlement purposes only," not to mention hosting a full copy of it here, as well as all other persons and groups who reproduced, hosted, discussed, read or thought about any part of this letter.

    This blog post puts you on notice that should you refuse to comply with our demands by October 15, 2007, I will have no choice but to recommend that the blogosphere pursue all legal causes of action, including the further reproductions of your letter, to protect its interests and that of all free people in this country who may wish to express an opinion you or your client may not agree with.

    On a side note... I'm forced to wonder if any law schools out there spend some time discussing SLAPP suits and recommend that their students once out in the real world caution their clients against them because no matter how well intended they might be... they have this funny way of backfiring.

    More info can be found on the Consumer Law & Policy Blog, as well as their response to Mr Morris.

    Truly a Digg worthy case.

  • I'm a warm hearted ***

    As discussed earlier... I am a cold heartless ***... but also I am also a warm hearted one as well... just depends on the situation and last night was one of those cases.

    Being at the wedding a couple friends and I decided to show our love with a little covert decorating of the happy couples hotel room (this is something that is done at weddings in this group of friends).

    Immediately after the reception and before the dance, Kevin, Stephanie and I made our way to a local dollar store, auto parts store and a Walgreens to buy supplies and then bide our time.

    Come around 9pm we slipped out of the dance and made our way next door to where we had earlier learned that the happy couple was staying.

    Ideally when doing something like this it's good to call ahead and get the hotel manager to help you out. In this case it was a bit of a problem as he thought we were going to destroy the room... so as to put his mind at ease, Stephanie gave him her number and other info and promised that she and Kevin would come back in the morning and clean up anything that needed cleaning.

    So after getting in (unescorted amazingly) we began our work which included:

    • Saran wrapped their toilet
      Watch where you go
    • Fill the hot tub full of balloons
      The Jacuzzi
    • Taped a mirror on top of the bed
    • Short sheeted the bed
      Short Sheet
    • Attach a toy set of hand cuffs to a lamp
    • Add dish soap to the hot tub jets
    • Write a few friendly messages on the mirrors
    • Leave a disposable camera in the room on which we took some jokingly provocative pictures of us and a note which said "we've taken plenty of pictures for you... why don't you take some for us?"
    • Spider webbed the room
    • Spider web
      Multi-room spider web
    • Sprayed silly string around the hot tub

    For those worried... we left several lights on so that they would not accidentally run into the web and even left a knife near the door so they could get through quickly (if they didn't want to undo it properly).

    So a good time had by the three of us for sure... and I expect Bri and Pat had a good laugh as well.

    Next stop... the Latanda and Brandon (aka Fish) wedding next month.

  • Congrats Bri and Pat

    Big ole congratulations to go my friends Bri and Pat who finally got around to tying the knot yesterday in Bri's home town of Worthington, MN:


    Twas a nice service in the local Lutheran church (and one that was the first I'd ever seen with a giant cross behind the alter) and the dinner and dance afterwards was just as good... and like all other such events, I kept the digital camera at hand and get so many telling moments like the male stripping:


    Conga lines:


    Dirty dancing with gay men:

    Hints of cheating (she was only talking):STA71067

    Angry Best men (I refused to join in the dollar dance):

    Same sex dollar dancing:


    So once again... congrats to Bri and Pat, you are a great couple and I'm thrilled to see that your nearly 2 year long engagement has ended and that you've officially begun your lives together and no longer live in sin (kidding).

  • I'm a cold heartless ***

    In life there are plenty of unexpected things that can happen and so as to avoid many of them we prepare... we brush our teeth to avoid cavities, we wear a seatbelt to avoid the windshield, we lock our doors to keep people from breaking in, and we carry health insurance so as to avoid overwhelming medical bills.

    Sure no level of prevention or preparation is perfect, however it is every persons responsibility to make a reasonable effort to prepare/prevent issues that may come up.

    This morning a TV I was near had the CBS Early Show on which had an interview with Tom Rider, husband of Tanya Rider, the woman who spent 8 days trapped in her car at the bottom of a ravine. On it he was talking about his wife, her slow recovery and the costs involved. That's right... she's uninsured and it's expected that her medical bills will end up totaling somewhere between $500,000 and $1,000,000. Truly a wonderful story of survival and aside from it being a wonderful sob story to try to sell people on programs like HillaryCare II or the Edwards plan as she is one of those 44 million Americans who lack health insurance... only it, like that mythical number leaves out a lot.

    Lemme share a little secret most people don't know about the medical industry... and especially large hospitals... just because the bill lists something as $1,000, doesn't mean you are actually going to end up paying that much, even if you don't have insurance.

    The short reason is that hospitals are known to artificially inflate their prices so as to have room for lower, negotiated rates with insurance companies that they actually charge. That's why when you've got something on your bill as costing $1,000, the actual cost to you (pre-out of pocket limits) might be closer to $78.

    Hospitals are also known to be enormously generous as they want to avoid looking like a bunch of greedy monsters that care about nothing but money and are actually fairly willing (at times) to wave large portions of bills under certain circumstances.

    So it is very likely that even if her total bill comes to $1,000,000... the total amount the hospital would ask them to pay will be significantly less... assuming they ask for anything at all. It is more likely that the hospital will simply decide to wave most, if not all of the remaining bill out of a (public) sense of community and compassion, after all, it only makes business sense as they are likely not the only hospital system in the area and want people to want to come to them for treatment and such an act is a wonderful PR stunt.

    So we've got an uninsured couple who hit hard times... that stinks right? Not so fast... he is insured and she's not. Why couldn't she get on his plan? Good question. Why wasn't she covered at all? Even better question.

    From the sounds of it, it was largely by choice.

    Some articles claim that because some of her jobs were so new she wasn't covered yet, the interview I saw this morning the husband said something to the effect of "we figured that if she got sick, or broke her leg, that we'd have the money to take care of her."

    Sounds like by choice to me... but still not sure? According to the same interview the couple on the verge of closing on a house AND had $60,000 sitting in the bank for a rainy day.

    I'm sad to say that I took this story a little personally (a rarity for me) and it infuriated me because I am largely unemployed and unemployable, and spending $228 a month (on plastic) to maintain health insurance (and would even if I didn't need it) because I recognize it's necessity and am responsible enough to take care of myself and not expect others to do for me what I refuse to do for myself.

    It is astonishing to me that this couple WILLINGLY went without insurance and now has the gall to whine about it.

    Don't brush your teeth and get cavities? Tough. Don't wear a seat belt and go through a windshield? Sucks to be you. Leave your doors unlocked and have someone walk right in and steals your tv? Ha ha. Decided to remove the batteries from your smoke detector to power your GameBoy and you didn't find out about the fire in time? I guess Tetris was more important eh? Live in an area in a known floodplain and don't carry flood insurance? Hope you can swim. Don't change your oil very often and had your engine seize up? Maybe now you'll learn.

    Hence the title of this post... I'm a cold heartless *** and I freely admit it as I've got little sympathy for those who choose not to take at least basic and adequate preventative measures so as to reduce the likelihood and impact of a catastrophic event.

    What's the solution? One option is something similar to the Romney plan (state mandated, not federally) of requiring people to carry some degree of health insurance, despite the far too often cry from people about the high cost of insurance, on which to a certain extent they are correct... provided we are talking about full coverage. Instead though they need to view health insurance the way we do auto insurance.

    When was the last time you had your auto insurance company pay for an oil change, a tire rotation or an engine replacement? You don't! Why? Because those are the basic auto services that we all pay for out of pocket... just like a trip to the doctor or other minor things are for many who do not carry full coverage health insurance.

    Generally the only time we involve the auto-insurance company is when we get into some sort of accident that involves significant vehicle or personal damage... provided you've got coverage, something that is sometimes optional (at least with regards to collision coverage).

    The solution to cases like this is people being responsible citizens and consumers and carrying some degree of health insurance. Ideally they'd go for an inexpensive plan (not unlike life insurance) that covers only the big things, things that are not likely to occur so that if they do have a cough or a broken leg... they pay for it out of pocket, but if they require major surgery or extended hospital stays... the insurance kicks in.

    What's stopping it? Personal responsibility, and the CBS Morning Show touting the irresponsibility of this couple sure doesn't help things.

  • How little I know

    Over the years I've found that I'm an unusual kind of .NET developer... as I really don't use databases directly either personally or professionally.

    Sure has a SQL 2005 backend with a dozen quick stored procedures... but other than that, the only real DB programming I've done was in the 2002 timeframe when taking a database programming class back at DSU and where I became quite proficient at writing PL/SQL... so much so that the teacher ended up using my homework assignments and tests as the answer keys and lost only a single point during the semester... only because I ended up making the same mistake as everyone else on the final.

    Why is this relevant? Because I'm seeing this week just how rusty I've gotten and how things have passed me by.
    This week I am taking MOC 2779: Implementing a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Database (for free) so as to learn a bit more about the data world and wow... there are a lot of things I'd heard of... but never used... and even more things that I'd never even heard of.


    More so it's been interesting during practices and labs when we've got to write some (at times) complex queries... and I completely forget SQL syntax for a join or how to do other SQL operations from a hand written query. It's especially interesting as SQL is so different than the way I think... I tend to be a more procedural person than simply not a declarative person.

    That reminds me... where the hell is the Intellisense in SQL Server Management Studio? Yes I know there are other tools that offer it... but come on... this is a Microsoft tool... released in 2005!

    So taking this course has been a bit of a humbling experience... but also one that reminds me that there are areas I need to keep up on and try to use a little more if for no other reason but then to keep up on it.

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