Monthly Archives: June 2008

Hospital Emergency Rooms! Can someone please fix this system?

If you are like me, you dread going to the Hospital emergency room. Luckily I only end up seeing one maybe once or twice a year, whether its for me, or another family member.

Under any other circumstance, I would be patient with things like this, because it’s rare that I need to go there..  But since the reason I am going to a Hospital’s Emergency Department… is always an emergency, I want emergency care.

But it doesn’t happen like that..

You show up at the Emergency Room, and a triage nurse takes your temperature. She asks how bad your ailments are, and then sends you to the registration desk. You answer a bunch of questions, and then you get directed to the waiting area.

Now waiting up to 20 minutes to see a doctor is about the most I can handle before I start getting pissed off. Usually your pain is so extreme, or you’re light headed and have nausia, coughing up a storm, whatever the case..

You want help, and you want it fast.

As you sit there, you watch all these “druggies” walk in, who are begging for pain killers, and they know how the system works. These druggies take up the nurses time, and everyone knows what they want, they just add to the wait queue. Sometimes they’re seen faster than the rest of us, to expedite their request.

The last time I visited a hospital emergency room with my wife, she had a 106 degree temperature, had major chills, and was in severe pain. We drove by the emergency room and only saw 2 people waiting. We figured it would be a 30 minute wait at the most. We parked the car, went in, got seen by the triage nurse, and then they wait an hour and a half to see a doctor.

My wife was complaining about how cold she was, and one of the nurses told us where to find blankets to cover up.  You would think that if you’re running 106 degree temperature, that covering up to preserve more body heat is a bad idea. Obviously the patient’s care isn’t that important to them. I ask how long it will be to see a doctor, and I’m told there are 4 people ahead of us.

We wait another 1/2 hour… Bringing our total wait to 2 hours.

There is another smaller hospital in a small town nearby. We started thinking that driving to the new hospital might get us seen sooner. I ask how much longer the wait will be, and the nurse says there are still 6 people ahead of us.  I explain that 1/2 hour ago, they told us that only 4 people were ahead of us..

The nurse then says. See this side of the room? These are the almost dying people. See that side of the room? That’s the more dying people. See your area? That’s the not so dying people. Everyone is seen in priority, you just have to wait.

I go back and tell my wife that maybe we should drive to that smaller town. Usually the wait there is only 10 minutes to see a doctor, eventhough its a 30 minute drive to get there.  (We should have just went there in the first place. Who would have thought that 2 people in the waiting room would turn into a 2 hour wait, with STILL  6 people ahead of us?)

My wife, now with a migrane headache, severe chills, and abdominal pain, said “yes, lets go, I can’t wait anymore”. She’s in real rough shape.

We walk past the desk and say, we’re going to try that small town hospital, we can’t wait here anymore. Immediately one of the doctors who was sitting there filling out paper work looks up and asks the nurse, what’s happening?

The same nurse I just talked to 2 minutes earlier goes “they’re driving to that small town hospital. They were next to be seen, but I guess they don’t want to wait”

WHAT A BLOODY LIAR!! SHE NEVER TOLD US WE WERE NEXT!

The doctor looks concerned, more than the nurse. See, the doctors are there to help you. The nurses, seem to look at people as mere annoyances.  Sorry if you’re a nurse who is reading this, but I just find that many people simply do not care about the patients. They’re just there for the paycheque.

At this point, we don’t trust anyone anymore and why high tail it out of there. 40 minutes later we’re seeing a new doctor at the small town hospital who confirms that my wife has a severe kidney infection. He administers pain medication, breaks her fever, sends her home with antibiodics and takes proper care of her condition.

It took less than 10 minutes of the doctor’s examination to diagnose and treat her condition with the aid of a nurse. Why must we wait 2 hours at the original hospital, and be lied to, about how many people are ahead of us?

I hate Hospital Emergency Rooms! Can someone please fix this system?

 

Flies by the hundreds! I killed 72 of them by hand last night.

Ok, back to the trailer last night, I showed up at 11pm.

Started the generator. Lights flicked on. Walked into the trailer, and BLAM! I see a massive amount of large black flies everywhere.

Now, I just drove a whole hour to get to the trailer. I could have turned around and went home.. but instead, I decided to deal with the problem.  I move towards the flies, and they all immediately take off from the walls and start buzzing around in a large swarm.

One fly isn’t scarey. But having 70 of them swarming around.. all of a sudden you’re quickly out numbered and you know its going to be next to impossible to kill them in mid flight.

Then I get an idea… These flies were sleeping in the dark on the walls when I first walked into the trailer. What IF I turn out the lights?  Sure enough, they all fly to the nearest wall and sit there.

AHA! The flies can’t see in the dark, and they can’t fly in the dark.

Perfect. I pull out my headlamp and switch it onto the red LED portion and begin my killing spree.  I kill one after the other… What a mess.. it is working, but ewww, its gross to have several dozen dead flies stuck to the walls, windows, etc.

The carcasses are dropping to the floor..

I flick back on the light, 6 more flies show up. I turn the lights back off, and kill them. Turn the lights back on, it’s safe for about 10 seconds, then 3 more flies show up. I repeat the process..

So for the next 45 minutes, I kill 3 or 4 flies, turn lights on, more flies show up… I turn the lights back off… kill those ones.. and repeat.. again, and again.

I’m finally done. No more flies exist.

I better check the washroom now. I open the door, and there are 25 flies inside this tiny little room, all stuck to the walls, they see the light and look at me, ready to take off… I immediately slam the door shut.

Will it ever end?

I sit for 15 minutes… rest… and then the lights go off again. Another 25 flies met their maker.

Now I suspect something is either really dead around here.. OR flushing out the RV toilet holding tank last week is what brought every fly in the forest here.. Either way, I really don’t care what the reason is… I’m just pissed off at having to deal with such a stupid scenario.

I ask: How many of you have had to kill 72 flies in one night by hand?

Eventually, due to exhaustion, its time for bed. Atleast now I can sleep knowing that only the odd fly exists..

Wake up in the morning, and guess what surprise awaits me?

No, not breakfast in bed. Not a hot coffee…

MORE FLIES!! There is like 17 more flies in the trailer. I kill about 12 of them, and then give up…

No one should have to kill 89 flies in less than 24 hours..

This is just crazy.

I did a lot of internet searches and found how to build an organic fly trap, and may do that.. but really though.. a trap is a preventative measure. When you’re already overrun by hundreds of flies, it’s too late for a trap.. the trap should have been built BEFORE the flies got here. 🙁

If I write another blog post after this one, then you know I survived the flies… If you never hear from me again, then you know I was the world’s first fly victim who never lived through it.

Tipping over a mailbox. How much fun can that really be?

In our neighborhood, I’ve noticed someone keeps tipping the mailboxes over. I understand, doing it once or twice as a prank might be funny when you’re a teenager.

But who ever is doing it, does it religiously, like 2 or 3 times every week.

How fried must your brain be on drugs  when tipping over a mailbox becomes funny the 15th or 20th time?

Now there are two distinct things that bother me about this repeated prank:

1. It looks bad in our nice neighborhood to see a mailbox deliberately tipped over all the time. It’s a form of vandalism no matter how you look at it.

MORE IMPORTANTLY:

2. Some employee has to come by every morning and lift it back up again. So while you take 10 seconds to giggle about it, you’re really cause extra stress and work for someone..

There are other ways to get a laugh without causing this type of trouble.

So again, I ask:

Tipping over a mailbox. How much fun can that really be?

Graduated Drivers Licensing Programs: COUNTER PRODUCTIVE AND STUPID

The concept of a Graduated Drivers Licensing Program for new drivers, is that it puts extra restrictions and limitations on them during the probationary period.

I agree with that.

If the new driver violates these additional restrictions, they get their license suspended, and their graduated licensing program starts again.

I totally disagree with that..

How is suspending someone from learning how to drive, improve their driving behavior?  The longer you sit idle without driving, the better chance you have of not getting enough practice.

For instance, let’s say you were teaching a 5 year old how to say the alphabet A, B, C

After much repetition, the 5 year old forgets a letter, and you say “I’m sorry. Until you learn to get the alphabet right, you are going to have to suffer the consequences. You are suspended from repeating the alphabet for 3 months. Once your suspension is over, we’ll try the alphabet again.”

Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?

Well that is exactly how Graduated Drivers Licensing Programs work. While the government feels happy that they are keeping these drivers off the road, they are just escalating the problem by interrupting the learning path of new drivers.

So what should we do when a new driver gets a ticket?

Well, hurt them where it counts. Give them a fine, give them a single day in jail. But do not take away their driving privileges for 3 months. It is counter productive and stupid.

Its unfair to the new driver. It’s unfair to existing drivers on the road who constantly have to dodge new drivers who are back on the road, all nervous, after being suspended for 3 months.

But ahh, there is one benefit, and the government likes this part. When you suspend a new driver, you issue him fines that he must pay. Then you impose “reinstatement fees”, and new “drivers license replacement fees”, and other associated taxes and costs.

Well if money is an issue, forget the suspension, and just charge the person, and either give them a full day in jail (which is enough to irritate anyone), or send them to 2 or 3 days of mandatory classes. Eventually these kids will get the message and be more cautious on the road.

Horrible Tasting Pizza: Why do we accept that?

Today I ordered pizza from what looked like an authentic Greek restaurant. Normally Greek Restaurants are second best to true Italian pizza outlets.

I paid $30 for two medium “special” pizzas.

Here’s my review.

On first look, the pizza did not look like it had fresh toppings. You can kind of tell when mushrooms are old and wrinkly before they are cooked.  The onions were thickly cut, putting more flavor concentration on them than anything else.  The ham and salami was more “greyish brown” looking, instead of red or pink.

Biting into the pizza, it became quite clear that they were using either low-fat skim mozzerella, or to be exact, it tasted like processed pre-sliced mozzarella cheese, like Kraft, etc. But that cheese doesn’t melt very nicely, and is not an equal substitute to real mozzarella.

We we have old toppings, and cheap processed cheese that melts horribly.

One bite into the crust, and it has the same taste and texture of dry, overtoasted bread. You can tell that this pizza crust must have had old yeast in it, or it wasn’t allowed to rise properly. In addition, there wasn’t enough moisture in it, and I think he must have run out of flour, and used bread crumbs too.

The pizza sauce didn’t taste right either. I peel back the toppings and take a look. It appears that he smeared tomato paste all over the pizza, and then added some powered spice ontop of it. That isn’t how you make pizza sauce!!!

This guy has no right making pizza. Now we did also get a few other food items from him, some pork cordon bleu (strange for Greek restaurant) and a Bacon Cheeseburger.

Wait a minute, the more I talk about it, the more I realize… This place that serves all kinds of things from different cuisines probably is a jack of all trades and master of none. No wonder the food was bad..

The cook was a 68 year old man, who looks like he lost his enthusiasm and knack for cooking. The restaurant probably doesn’t do well, so he serves sub standard product.

Dinner cost me $53 tonight for 3 adults, and it was the worst meal ever. I’ve eaten frozen store bought pizza from a Microwave that tasted better than this expensive slop. 

I must admit, the greek salad that came was amazingly good.  I suppose thats one of his signature dishes that he always gets right, even with his eyes closed.

But once pizza comes from a local private restaurant (not a franchise), is there really any point in complaining? Obviously this is the regular way that they serve product, so the only lesson learned is to avoid trying them again.

 

 

Power Adapters = Wasted Energy!

You know those black “brick” power adapters… Our cell phone chargers have them, our computer peripherals have them. Any cordless device we have, that needs recharging, has them.

If you go through your house, it is not uncommon to have 20 of these power adapters plugged in..

All of them down convert 120 volt AC electricity to something like 5 or 10 volt DC electricity.

The problem is that the adapter gives off the wasted energy as heat. (Feel one that is plugged in, you will see how warm it is).

Why don’t they have two wall outlet plugs. One that is normally shaped for 120 volts AC, and then maybe a weird round or square one, that is 12 volts DC ?  This way all your automobile accessories at 12 volts would work with it, and all your cordless power drills could recharge on it, etc, etc ? Down converting from 12 volt DC to 9 volt DC wouldn’t use a lot of wasted energy?

Sometimes I think the world is brain dead. Albert Einstein would be laughing at us today, because simple things that could be easily rectified exist with no fix in today’s world.

Why are we so mentally challenged that we cannot address the very problems that plague us?

Winning a major prize. Greed or Stupidity? You decide!

Ok, I was at a Casino tonight. At 8pm they were drawing for a prize of two (2) Vespa Scooters, worth $12,000 U.S. Dollars.

Someone won the prize.

They asked the winner: “Will you take the two Vespas with a retail value of $12,000 or will you take $5,000 cash instead”

Without hestitating, she said “I’ll take the $5,000 in cash”

Ok, look. If you’re THAT brain dead, then give me the Vespa scooters. If they are worth $12,000 U.S. retail, surely I could unload them for $9,000 and still be $4,000 ahead of the measily $5,000 you took.

WHY ARE PEOPLE THIS STUPID?

…and most of all…

WHY DO STUPID PEOPLE WIN?

I remember a radio contest when I was a teenager. The deal was that every Monday they would draw a random date, and if you were born on that date, and the 5th caller to call in, you would win $20,000 cash.

Everyday I listened, I was so excited.

One morning, they called my birthday, January 3rd!  I frantically began dialing the radio station phone number.  It rang 4 or 5 times, and the person picked up and said “hi, you’re caller #4, sorry” and then hung up.

I frantically started hitting redial…

Then on the radio I heard “Hi! You’re caller #5! What is your birthday?”

The monotone caller said “its January 3, 1960”

The radio host said “congratulations! You just won $20,000 how do you feel about that?”

<the caller paused>

In a monotone voice said “uh, yeah, uh, thats good.”

The radio show host then said “well how do you plan to spend the money?”

<the caller paused>

Again, another dreary, depressed monotone voice said “uh, probably pay some bills”.

That’s it.

Here I was, on the edge of going insane over the possibilities of having $20,000 and here is this monotone depressed guy who wins the money, and could care less.

In sheer curiosity, the radio host goes “What do you do for a living?”

<another pause>

“I’m an electrician” the caller says in the most boring monotone voice possible. There you have it. He already makes $90K or more per year, so $20,000 to him is just a bag of peanuts.  To a young teenager like me, its a change of life.

So they paid him, I lost, and I could never understand why it worked out that way, its not fair.

Now back to my original story of greed or stupidity…

If you won 2 Vespa Scooters at a retail value of $12,000. Would you accept only $5,000 cash, or would you take the scooters and try and sell them yourself?

Ready to get your first tattoo? DON’T DO IT

Before I explain why, let me tell you this one simple fact.

90% of the people who get their first tattoo, end up getting a 2nd, then a 3rd, then a 4th… By the time they are on their 5th tattoo, they usually begin thinking that 1 of the 5 tattoos already on their body isn’t quite as important anymore and they begin wishing they didn’t get it that particular tattoo.

So the 6th thing they do, is either look for a tattoo to be modified, or erased.  But erasing leaves scar tissue and isn’t as easy as it sounds.

When someone gets a tattoo, very rarely do they think about it for 2 years ahead of time, and then make the decision to do it. Like any “major” purchase in our lives, we usually get the idea one day, we entertain the thought. We talk about it with friends and family and we fantasize about it over 2 or 3 months. Eventually we can’t get it out of our mind anymore, and we give in and get it done.

Once the tattoo is done, we’re proud of it. We want to show it off to everyone. We eagerly run up to people and say “hey! Did you see my tattoo yet?”  When you look in the mirror, you admire yourself. Wow, I’m a different person now! I have this tattoo I wanted so bad.  I am the new and improved me.\

You find opportunities to show off the tattoo in public. You try and watch people’s eyes dart down to the tattoo and you smile when you catch them looking at it. Having a tattoo is a big deal for yourself, and how everyone perceives you.

Everything is great!

AND THEN THE UNEXPECTED HAPPENS! WAIT A MINUTE! I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT THAT!

1) You didn’t think that the band name you loved so much became unpopular in everyone’s eyes. What’s that, you were in the 80’s and had Minnie Vanelli, or Michael Jackson tattoos that people laugh at today?  This could happen with ANY band, at any time in the future. Remember the Bay City Rollers and other bands now that no one talks about very much?

2) You didn’t think that your 5 year relationship or marriage would come back to haunt you 10 years later everytime you look in the mirror. Oh darn, time to get that name off my body, because the new person in my life hates it.

3) Oh, its so cool to have the vines or barbed wire around the upper arm.  But now too many people are doing it, and now you feel like nothing but a silly follower. The uniqueness of your tattoo is so lame, that you might as well have tattooed the phrase “I’m another loser with a stupid tattoo”

4) Ahh, the chinese symbols. That’s the new thing. Want to know why it is lasting so long? Because there are so many symbols, it gives you the feeling that your tattoo is different. This will work as long as we keep inking ourselves with chinese symbols to the point that we all have them. Then one day we’ll wake up and realize that we look like a bunch of chinese teenagers ran around and sprayed graffiti on all of us… You are so “owned” now, its not funny.

5) How about tattoos of cartoon characters or video game characters? How about getting the Mario brothers tattooed on your neck?  How about donkey kong? Sure, these are old classics, but you don’t look too cool 10 years after the games aren’t played anymore.

It’s quite simple:

NEVER get a tattoo that is cool today, and may not be cool in 5 or 10 years when things change. Put some real thought into this.. 

NEVER get a tattoo that seems to be popular with everyone (like barbed wire / vines above the bicep). Eventually too many people will get it, and you’ll look like a stupid follower when the fad wears off

NEVER get a tattoo of a person’s name. There are plenty of ways to remember of honor someone without having their name inked on your body. Find a more creative way to show that you care..  You will have a few dozen people in your life  be important to you and lost at one point or another. Does this mean that you will tattoo 36 people on your body?  What happens if you only tattoo 3 and if you don’t tattoo the 4th name, you look like you didn’t care about that 4th person? It starts a stupid vicious cycle.

NEVER get a tattoo if you think you are going to stop at one tattoo or two.  THAT RARELY happens, and your not something special. Even those of us who feel special, they still fall victim to the same thing that everyone else does..

NEVER get a tattoo on a body part that cannot be hidden when wearing dress clothes for a job interview, a wedding, etc.  Tattoos should be able to be displayed when you want to do that — and hidden when you also want to do that.  Putting them on your neck, hands, face, because you’re brave and all attitude today will quickly change when no one wants to hire you anymore, or your socially an outcast in your retirement years.  Don’t put yourself in this position. A tattoo should not be seen as more important that living a healthy and fruitful life in society.  (And if you don’t care about society, then don’t be a part of it. Move off to the middle of the forest somewhere, or a remote island and be happy there. )

The whole concept of Tattoos brings a lot of discussion to the table. Some of these these points you may see value in, other ones, you may simply not care.

But the point is — if you ever think about getting a tattoo of something, and it plays on your mind for 2 or 3 months, and you give in and do it, then you’re selling yourself out.

A major change to your body should never happen quickly, or spur of the moment, because no matter what I say, you’ll eventually have regrets later on in life. Maybe you don’t see it today, but I bet you will eventually.

Good luck to you.

TV Commercials & Marketing: It gets dumber, and dumber.

Back in the old days (1940’s), TV commercials were used as “a note from our sponsor”. In exchange for some TV advertising, the sponsor would deliver a short entertaining message to the audience, and the TV station would receive funds in order for it to function.

That form of advertising was understandable. The TV commercials were non-intrusive, and entertaining.

After awhile, instead of 1 or 2 notices from your television sponsors, each commercial break would have 3 or 4 commercials.

Often people would use this time to get up off the couch, go into the kitchen, refresh their drink, and sit back down infront of the TV.

Advertisers soon figured this out, and began toying with peak volume.  Basically there is a legal limit to the volume spectrum you can use during Television programming.  When watching a movie, they will often take advantage of the highest peak volume during things like explosions, or a thud during a horror film, etc.

But TV commercials will use audio tricks to maintain the entire commercial at the highest peak volume during the entire commerical.

They did this, so when you walked away into the kitchen, you could still hear the audio of the TV commercial while you were moving around, and you would still subconciously be receiving the details of their advertisement, even if it was in audio format.

This concept made sense. But I believe it is time to re-evaluate this concept and realize that the advertising is ironically causing their advertisements to not be seen or heard!

If you remember the original cable boxes and early TV remote controls they had TV channel selectors and volume selectors. However MUTE buttons were less important than they are today.

Today, when the commercials come on, they are usually loud and blaring. What do we do? HIT THE MUTE button. Now we can’t hear the commercial.  We usually watch the screen for a second, and it’s not fun watching a TV commercial with no sound, so we’ll either engage ourselves in a conversation, make a quick phone call, head off to unload the clothes dryer, or some other miscellaneous task.

Now that the commercial is muted, we’ll often not hear when the TV program returns, so we’ll get preoccupied with other things for 20 minutes.  Once we’re done, we’ll come back to the room, and hit REWIND on our PVR.  We pick up the programming where we left off, and watch until the next TV commercial break. Since we have a lot of the live TV now in our PVR memory, we’ll simply FASTFORWARD through the next set of commercials, bypassing them completely.

So by them being intrusive with their “peak volume” on the TV commercials, they’ve caused us to:

a) Mute the commercial entirely

b) Encourage us to stand up, walk away, and find something else to do to preoccupy the 3 to 4 minutes of commercials

c) Use our PVR devices to buffer the live TV, so when we do finally return, we’ll watch our program and then be able to fast forward through the next set of commercials.

———–

Why can’t the TV broadcasting industry realize that they’ve pushed their viewers away with their methods? STOP being so darn intrusive. It doesn’t work, and it puts us on the defensive.

You have to encourage people to watch commercials. Everyone has the internet, use some codes on your commercials that people can type into websites and win something. Give some value for us to sit there and watch the commercial.

But most importantly DO NOT USE PEAK VOLUME.  WE ALWAYS HATE LOUD ADVERTISEMENTS.

Now we return to your regular scheduled programming..