Thursday, April 17, 2014

bounce in my step

Good News

So the pathology report is back.

Two small polyps: Fragments of tubular adenoma. Negative for high-grade dysplasia or malignancy.

Large polyp ("mass"): Tubular adenoma with small foci of superficial high-grade dysplasia. No high-grade dysplasia is seen t the cauterized margin in the plane of sectioning, but it is not possible to fully evaluate all of the margins.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

shit just got serious

Will I owe my life to President Obama and John Roberts?

Since roughly my 40th birthday, I've been feeling an increasing pressure to get a colonoscopy.  My family has a history with colon cancer on both sides.  My father had a polyp removed about 12 years ago, and on my mother's side, her mother and an aunt or two all ended up with colon cancer.  It actually took out my Nana, the first family death I dealt with at the age of 11.

So when Obamacare was implemented, I made it a priority to finally get a colonoscopy.  I thought it would be a wise precaution, given the family history.  But even though the family has a history, we don't have a history of early onset cancer.  So I was pretty much assuming I'd get a clean bill of health.  And when I met the GI specialist, he said that there was a 20% chance of finding something.

Well, we hit that 20%.  And three times, to boot.  Two polyps: one 9 mm and the other 5 mm in size.  Both were removed. Also, and most worrisome, there was a 25 mm "mass".  And, worse, the doctor didn't think that he got all of it when he removed it "piecemeal".  

So that's going on.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Health care costs are weird

So I recently had my first physical in a few years.  I'm a bit unfamiliar with how this works, since it's been a while.

No cost to me for the physical - I thought it might be $20, but I'm fine with that.  But it's free.

Today I got an invoice for the lab tests on blood and urine samples.  Now this gets weird.

11 different tests were done, with costs for each ranging from $33.27 to $234.30.  But CareFirst says that the "allowed costs" for these tests range from $0.62 to $8.20.  Apparently LabCorp would charge $234.30 if I did not have the clout of Blue Cross Blue Shield on my side?

LabCorp wanted to charge $1,135.85 for the tests.  CareFirst is paying them $43.53.  I pay nothing (other than my premiums.)

This whole thing baffles me.  What's up with the rest of the $1100+ of the bill?  Is this just some kind of game that everybody plays?  My insurance pays for 3.8% of the bill, and the lab writes off 96.2% of the bill?

This is a bizarre system, to say the least.

Should get to the Bill Murray reviews soon.  The Bond series is in limbo until I can find a way to re-watch the Dalton films, but they're not on cable much, and not to be found in the library system.  Bodes poorly - they are apparently the least popular.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Harold Ramis 1944-2014

We lost a great comedic mind today.  Harold Ramis is most famously known as Bill Murray's straight man in "Stripes" and "Ghostbusters", but he was much more than that.  He was the first head writer for the legendary show Second City Television, and writing was always his strongest talent.

Let's run through the films he wrote or co-wrote: Animal House.  Meatballs.  Caddyshack.  Stripes.  Ghostbusters.  Back to School.  Groundhog Day.  The funniest movies from the late 70s through the early 90s.  I could link to all of them, or you could just go to the Ramis page and go from there.

I've been watching a lot of Bill Murray movies this month.  So I'm going to go over his body of work in the coming days, and that will include many of the movies listed above.

But for now, enjoy a couple clips from Stripes.

Great stuff, and it's aged well.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967 - 2014) - a retrospective

There's already talk that he's the best actor of my generation..I don't exactly agree but he's certain among the best.  The idea of being one "best" actor bothers me a bit.  I thought I'd go through his career and recall some of my thoughts about his more noteworthy performances.

Going through his filmography, I was repeatedly impressed by just how many great films Hoffman has been involved with.  In this post, I'll highlight some of his most noteworthy work.  A lot of his work was as part of large ensembles, but even then Hoffman always held his own.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger (1919-2014) passes

One of the greats of folk music passed last night.

Seeger is one of those guys (like Woody Guthrie) who wrote all sorts of songs that I heard while growing up without  knowing who the songwriter was.

Anyhow, here's a link to an interview he gave to Terry Gross on NPR way back in 1985 (yes, Terry Gross has been on NPR a long time!)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Three hours wasted

I should have just seen Catching Fire for a second time.

Instead, I decided that, in spite of my misgivings, I should give The Wolf of Wall Street a try. Because Scorsese. I mean, it couldn't be as dreadful as it looked, could it?

But it was. Three hours of sociopaths, making money by pushing junk stocks on suckers, doing tons of drugs, having orgies, having affairs, driving while on drugs, flying a helicopter while (chemically) high, etc.

I don't know what the point is supposed to be.