Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sure 'n Sure

Insurance is a great concept -pooling risk.  However, I have grown up with an intense dislike for insurance.  In every facet of its use it is too complicated, and rarely has it benefited me.  In fact the very concept of it benefiting me means that someone else paid for the services I have received.

Today I spent the day dealing with health insurance.  First, I started the appeal process as a result of Aetna's denial for Mom's skilled rehabilitation physical therapy. Then it was an evening of reviewing the 2015 Medicare & You guide and the Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan for Mom and Dad.  Then Jenna and I sat down to review her annual enrollment for health care and benefits for her job at Christ Hospital.

I just don't like the concept that health insurance plans incent - "How can you get more services and not pay out of your pocket".  Trying to make it a game of planning your healthcare each year so that you pay the least into the system and get the most out of the system.  You win ..  someone else loses.

Even after you come to equilibrium on what insurance level to pick, you discover when you need it - it's not there. Take the example of Mom in a Skilled Nursing Rehabilitation Facility.  Within a week, the facility and Aetna were denying claims (even when Medicare states you can receive up to 100 days of therapy).  Mom was not performing to "standard" (whatever that means).

This story is long and complicated and has reconfirmed my dislike of insurance - and particularly health insurance.

You can be SURE that your condition will not be inSUREd.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Clock Talk

I've always been fascinated with clocks.  We have several meaningful clocks at our house.  The cuckoo clock in our kitchen pantry, the wall clock as we exit the back entrance, the Peck Wellingborough Antique Grandfather clock at the top of the stairway to the Master Bedroom, and the Howard Miller Graham Bracket Mantel clock that was Walt and Martha's wedding gift to Susan and I (which has been inoperable for the past 14 years).

Well my attempt to lubricate the Grandfather clock resulted in the snap of the 5 3/8 inch pendulum spring. While I thought this would require the expertise and help of an antique clock repair specialist, instead I was able to find the part on the internet ($23).  That gave me the courage to try a "do it yourself" repair of the Howard Miller mantel clock.

 A little lubrication and adjustments to the striker hammers was all the clock needed (tender loving care)  The Key-wound, Westminster chime Kieninger movement plays 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 chimes accordingly with full chime and strike on the hour.

In researching the Westminster chime I discovered an interesting bit of trivia:
The Westminster chime was not originally associated with Big Ben in London, instead it was fitted in the University Church St. Mary's the Great in Cambridge (1793).  The chimes are believed to be saying the simple but beautiful prayer"

"Lord, through this hour
     be thou our guide.
So, by thy power
    No foot shall slide"

And for the tone inclined the notes are permutations of E major:

1st Quarter -  g#  f# e b
Half                e g# f# b     e f# g# e
3rd Quarter -  g# e f# b      b f# g# e    g# f# e b
Full              - e g# f# b     e f# g# e     g# e f# b  b f# g# e
Hour Strike   (three notes together e b g# with g# octave lower) 

For the mathematically inclined there are five sets (combinations above) or maybe called stanzas.  They are played in order 1;  2 and 3; 4, 5 and 1; 2, 3, 4 and 5.

For the rhythmic inclined:

5/4 time -  quarter note, quarter note, quarter note, half

Is that enough Clock talk  :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Just Reason It

Seems my book reading is at an all time low.  However I do get to listen to books during my trips to Kansas.  The latest book was "How to win friends and Influence People .... in the Digital Age".   It has been a while since I read the original book but this was full of jewels of interpersonal development.

"The reason we do things is more important than the things we do".   I couldn't agree more.  While there is no substitute for action (e.g. Just Do It!), the reason we do things and how we decide what to do make up the complete self.  We are what we think and do.  Carefully deciding what to do, when to do it, and how to do it reflect our values.
Doing something is easy.  Doing the right thing is the difficult (and important) part!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Seasonal signs

Fall is waning and winter attempts its entrance.  No frost this morning but the crisp chill has found it's way into the house.  The smell of chili cooking on the stove and the faint beeping of the home made bread maker are the true signs of season change. 

Saturday's chore was the visual indicator with piles of leaves dotting the yard and outdoor furniture snuggly stored away.  Winter clothes have penetrated the closet and Ellen's plea of a chilly house resulted in the flip of the thermostats to "heat".  My response - "Wear a sweater".

Even the fireplace magically turned itself on - a learning experience for all since the remote had been set mysteriously to automatic (the family room had dipped below 69 degrees). 

I personally enjoy each seasonal transition and the signs - both natural and man made.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ebola in the Air

A recent email from Susan demonstrates the how quickly an interconnected globe becomes personal. A student at my nieces school near Cleveland was on the plane with the infected Ebola nurse from Dallas.  Suddenly a infectious disease across the ocean is one degree from me (only if all the degrees aligned - contact of my niece with a student and then contact with me an my niece).

The simulation in the Washington Post article show the reason in black squares why this disease has people concerned:

Naturally, I couldn't resist researching the mathematics of disease.  The key variable is the basic reproductive ratio, $R_0$.  The rate of increase of the disease over a generation.  For measles this ratio is 12-18; for flu 2-6; for Ebola  -  the guess is 1.5 - 2. 

 So the good news is Ebola travels slowly -  unless you travel by air!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Heaven Board - Entry #8

J.V. walked into Friday Morning Bible Study and tilted the chair next to me against the table - as one would do to save the seat location.  It was Bob Edwards normal spot to sit and one I was privileged to be near for the ten plus years I have been attending. 

Today his seat is near God in heaven.  Yesterday a tragic accident occurred when Bob was hit outside of his car on I71 by a cement truck traveling southbound  (why .... we may never know). 

My memories of Bob are many -  his gift to Ellen 10 years ago -- a glow in the dark Rubber Duck;  his interest and support of SVP Cincinnati; his idea that got me interested in researching my Grandfather's cattle brand;  our joint interest in talking about WWII history........... and many more.

Bob Edwards was a witness of what philanthropy and Christian discipleship is all about.  His passion with the Freestore Foodbank and his fund raising effectiveness in bringing the Rubber Duck Regatta to Cincinnati will be how many will remember Bob.  My memories will be as a mentor and person with the gift of exhortation to other philanthropists -  and his example of how to be an "engaged philanthropist".

I will miss you Bob - but your spirit lives on.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Rust Sounds Good!

"Back in the late 70's Neil Young sang a song about the emerging punk ethic ...  and the pivotal line in that song is 'It's better to burn out, than it is to rust".  Now I'm not sure that even Neil himself subscribed to that sentiment, but I don't see rust as a bad thing.  I have an old 1962 John Deere tractor that is covered with rust but it runs like a top.... you know, the inner workings are just fine. 

To me that rust symbolizes all the miles driven and all the good work done and all the experiences gained.  From where I sit rust looks pretty good."        Don Henley "The History of the Eagles"

Just finished watching this 2012 Documentary now available on Netflix.  Worth every bit of the three hour investment.  The quote spoken by Don Henley at the end summed it all up -  40 years of rust still sounds pretty good.