Tuesday Night Open Thread

It's a dead TV night, so I'm going to test out new Apps for my iPad. I take it everywhere now. It's so much faster and easier to read and use than my iPhone, both on wi-fi and 3G. And the screen display is so awesome. Netflix movies and TV shows look incredible and reading is more enjoyable than on the Kindle. The Kindle syncs with the iPad, so I can pick up either one and access all my books. The battery lasts hours and hours.

For those of you online, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Charlie Sheen Agrees to Misdemeanor and 30 Days in Jail | Wednesday Morning Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Well... (5.00 / 6) (#12)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 08:39:57 AM EST
    ...I'm pleased to announce that my Memorial Day involved getting a new kidney late on Sunday night.  

    Surgery went well, I'm out of the ICU and the little guy seems to working well and adjusting to its new home!

    Fingers are still crossed for awhile though...

    Best of luck for a speedy recovery! (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 08:48:59 AM EST
    Thanks! (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 08:55:36 AM EST
    Having my first taste of real food in awhile this morning...

    Godspeed Hawk, (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by jondee on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:44:28 PM EST
    Im sure everything'll work out just fine..

    As they say in New Orleans, "Dont worry 'bout nothin'"


    Treat my pal well Mr. Kidney!... (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 08:53:22 AM EST
    best of luck in your recovery...fingers crossed here for ya brother.

    I'm going to have to come up... (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 08:59:56 AM EST
    ...with a fitting name for it.  All I know at this point is that it came from a 20 year old person from Colorado Springs.  

    Springy perhaps?


    How 'bout... (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:05:09 AM EST
    "The Virgin Kidney"?

    Such a strapping young kidney is a good fit for a man so forever young at heart!


    If you care to respond, how long did you (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 12:28:24 PM EST
    have to wait for a kidney transplant?

    A little over... (none / 0) (#38)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 08:06:26 AM EST
    ...two years.  Got on the list the day after my Dad died.  

    @ yrs. on the list is a long time, isn't (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 05:05:42 PM EST
    it, for a kidney?  

    Congratulations! (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:03:00 AM EST
    Glad you are recovered enough to chat with the likes of us. Here's hoping your new friend stays happy and healthy.

    Feel better soon!


    Wow, sending many good wishes (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:36:14 AM EST
    your way for a total and safe recovery. That's intense, you are dealing with so much. I sincerely hope that everything goes as perfectly as possible.

    How are you feeling at this point?

    Nickname suggestion: New Kid on the Block.


    Congratulations! (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by scribe on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:45:33 AM EST
    Take him out for a test ... ride:  have a beer.

    Well you sure know how do (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:48:04 AM EST
    make Memorial Day memoriable.

    Good luck and may the new guy and you both proper.


    Best of Luck (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by squeaky on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:50:21 AM EST
    For a speedy recovery.

    Must be nice to eat real food.  Here's to a loooong relationship with Lady Kid Nee III.


    excellent news (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:25:28 AM EST
    So glad to hear it went well. Keep us posted on the recovery and congrats!

    Prayers and best wishes (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by sher on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 12:15:14 PM EST
    for your recovery

    Great news, MileHi. (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:51:08 PM EST
    Glad things went well. Here's hoping for a speedy, complication-less recovery.

    Thanks to all... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 08:10:07 AM EST
    ...for the well wishes and prayers!  I'm supposed to be released home today.  Then the fun part of getting the anti-rejection meds leveled out and adjusted begins.  

    A whole new way of life...  


    Justified was good last night...approaching great. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:13:46 AM EST
    The Ava storyline was annoying, but believable, I'll give it that. Unfortunately there are people that dumb.

    Can't wait for the finale next week.

    agree, it was one of the best (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:36:57 AM EST
    episodes, if not the best. I am really sorry the season ends next week. I think the casting of the characters is close to perfect, especially the women (ex-wife, Ava, and stepmom.) I even love the curmudgeon-like Marshal boss. I finally placed the AUSA, who I knew I liked in some other series. He's Rick Gomez from What About Brian. Olyphant has really grown on me too. I thought he was too pretty at the beginning but they developed his character so well now I think he's really hot.

    This and Breaking Bad are my favorites this year. The difference I think is that BB is more like the Sopranos -- none of the characters are likable, but they are all compelling and you come to care about them, even though you don't really like them, while the characters in Justified all have likable sides (except for papa Crowder). Even Bo, the ex-con murderer who's now a nutty holy roller and goes around blowing up meth labs with cannons, has his likable moments.


    I remember when you said he was too pretty (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 01:46:10 PM EST
    Glad he grew on you. I watched him in Deadwood also, so I already had a history of turning to mush under his steely gaze. And the voice - don't get me started, I have work to do here.

    I'm waiting to see if Boyd Crowder turns out to be sincere in the holy-roller persuasion, or if it is just an act. I really hope he is around for the next season. He is such a good character and actor. I've seen that actor pop up in other things, as you do once someone gets your attention like that.

    If you missed Deadwood the fist time around, I highly recommend it for your summer Netflix queue. I think you'd like it. The theme is basically creating a society from utter lawlessness. (Hint - it takes a lot of bad language.) Probably my favorite characters ever - some of them likable, some not so much, but always interesting.


    Second this (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Yman on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:29:28 PM EST
    Great characters, great dialogue ... Ian McShane in particular.  Critically acclaimed and won something like 8 or 9 Emmys, but I was disappointed it only lasted 3 seasons.

    My nephew's college buddies tried to make a drinking game out of the show at the time, requiring everyone to take a drink after every F-word.

    They never got through an episode.


    Really good (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Yman on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:59:26 AM EST
    I wasn't crazy about the show at first (probably because it seemed so different from the preseason previews), but it's really grown on me.  I haven't seen any ratings, but I hope it gets continued next year

    It did get renewed for next season (none / 0) (#32)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 01:31:32 PM EST
    So I'm thinking Raylon is going to survive the finale. Not laying bets on anyone else though.

    America Got Talent (none / 0) (#1)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 10:21:39 PM EST
    I have never watched before and I missed the beginning, but they had a few cool people on there. There was a group called New Directions that brought tears to my eyes. Very emotional. They are a choir of ex-vets who were homeless before finding a new beginning or direction. I mean, 10, 20 years on the street. They sang old man river and it was very good. They also had another kid on who should have been on American Idol. Well, I was watching something else at the same time and did not see all the acts, but I might just have to watch it this season. More talent and less flakes. So, just a thought.

    thanks, it's the flakes (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 10:29:48 PM EST
    that keeps me from watching until mid season. I did tivo it just in case I got really bored, so I'll watch it in the next couple of days.

    Fast Forward button is a good thing (none / 0) (#5)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 10:47:46 PM EST
    I probably missed most the flakes. 90 sec is all they get.

    no worries (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 10:44:13 PM EST
    it stays in whatever tote I am carrying my files in that day.  (I don't even pick up the cell phone in the car, it's on blue tooth and UConnect, hands free.) We also have a law here against texting while driving now, although I think you can't be stopped for it, just ticketed if you're stopped for some other reason and they catch it. But don't quote me on that.

    Something new (none / 0) (#6)
    by mcl on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 11:32:28 PM EST
    People who've used the iPad aver it's something entirely new -- not just some tablet computer with a hokey clinky Windows operating system tacked onto it.

    Apparently most of the so-called "objections" voiced about the iPad are wrong-headed and simply don't apply. For example, the criticism that it doesn't do multitasking...not necessary because the iPad interface fills your whole screen so the entire issue of running apps in different windows just isn't a concern. Or the criticism about the alleged lack of power of the iPad CPU: apparently, the programs have been optimized so that the iPad is lighting-fast, and once again, it's just not an issue.

    It'll be intriguing to see what news categories of applications the iPad encourages. My sense right now (from reading second-hand reports, admittedly) is that most of the current iPad apps were designed for other machines (the e-book reader, for instance) and there hasn't yet been a category of app that really makes 100% use of the iPad's unique capabilities.

    Look forward to hearing more about the iPad from those who use it.

    iPad has Windows OS?! (none / 0) (#7)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 12:32:53 AM EST
    A guy I know just had a Windows 7-based tablet computer prototype made up in China. afaik, he's got the only one...

    I think the multi-tasking concern is the only (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 08:56:30 AM EST
    valid one. I can see that it would be nice, for example, to keep my mail app open while I do something else. The screen has enough real estate to support that. Not to worry though, since the 4.0 OS will be out soon and will allow some form of multitasking.

    App design is starting to take more and more advantage of the format. There is one called 'Moodboard' that is a well designed form of collage/journal. Lets you easily grab web pages, photos, etc, and add text. Then you can export the result to facebook or email. I think these types of things are going to change communication. Sure, it is nothing you could not to on a laptop in MS Word if you had an hour and wanted it to feel like  work instead of a form of self expression. but I captured my morning in 10 minutes and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

    And that is just one example. Other manufacturers will come out with similar products, but Apple's emphasis on the user experience is something they don't even try to match because it comes with a lot of guidelines/rules for developers. As a user I really appreciate that, and as a developer myself I can see the advantages and choose to play on that playground. I can see where others may disagree, and that's fine.


    Someone had made a comment here (none / 0) (#36)
    by Raskolnikov on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:00:44 PM EST
    about the weight, I think, 1.5 lbs being a bit too heavy for an e-book reader, as opposed to the Kindle's much lighter weight.  Out of curiosity, I weighed my two most recently read books, one a paperback, the other a hardcover.  Both around 600 page books, both weighed 1.8 lbs, so seems about right.  

    Still don't know if I could switch to digital for books, really really love the tactile feel of a paper book, and love to have bookcase upon bookcase for my personal library.  It's a shame too that Iowa City has abysmal 3G coverage with AT&T so I'd be relying almost exclusively on wi-fi for app fun.  Still, its the plan to buy for next year's tax return, after a 2nd or 3rd revision comes out by then.


    I know what you mean about loving the feel (none / 0) (#40)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 03:30:54 PM EST
    of books and I have plenty myself - just like to look at them and feel them even if I'm not reading one.

    But I used my iPad for traveling over the weekend for the first time, and it sure was great not hauling books around with me!


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 05:53:51 PM EST
    Some, if given the choice, would max out credit cards on clothes or cars.  Me, I would max out at Barnes & Noble.

    The best part of the movie "Meet Joe Black"? (Besides the scene where Brad Pitt has his shirt off) - Anthony Hopkins' library.  My fantasy.  :)


    Shall I blame the increased co-pay for (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 01:26:12 AM EST
    prescription drugs (both generic and proprietary) on HCR's failure to deal with increased charges for prescription drugs?

    No (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 02:50:17 AM EST
    The decision to raise the prices predated HCR. At least for my plan, I was notified months before HCR that when my policy renewed, there would not longer be 100% coverage of prescriptions, only various percentages depending on the kind of drug.

    On the other hand, my policy renews July 1 and I got the premium increase today. Without being sick or having medical bills, it's jumping $320 a month, after jumping $250 a month last year. This year it's due to an age bracket change, but still, $1,100 a month for group (not individual) health insurance with a high deductible for one healthy person is ridiculous. I think HCR is a factor in the premium renewal. Their claim:

    In June, 2007, Gov. Bill Ritter signed Colorado Health Bill 1355 into law. Simply stated, this bill prevents health care insurers from considering risks such as claims history and health status among employees in determining your premium rates. As a result...the law shifts a portion of the costs of insuring the relatively unhealthy groups onto the relatively healthy groups.

    The new law eliminated the modest adjustments to small business health insurance premiums based on a person's health status or claim's experience. Our data shows that these adjustments helped stabilize the small group health insurance market to the benefit of our small employer members by keeping their rates seven to eight percent below the standard rate.

    [In the past] if your group's claim experience was low, or your health history favorable, you were charged less than the standard rate. By using rate adjustment factors (RAF) based on health and claims, our underwriting system allowed us to provide lower rates for the healther groups while charging a greater premium for those groups with higher claims experience..

    HB 1355 requires all Colorado small group health insurance companies stop using claims experience or health status in calculating a small group's premium. This means healthy groups will begin absorbing more of the costs of providing health insurance for groups who, but for this law, would have had to pay more than the standard rate.

    In 2008, insurers couldn't use health status or experience to charge more, but it could still offer discounts to healthy people. No more.

    In 2009, the law required health insurers to stop considering claims experience or health status in determining a group's premium. this means that healthy groups, which prior to 2009, could get a discount, "will likely experience an increase in their premium now that their health status can no longer be considered in determining their premium.

    They sent a big packet with 19 other plans to choose from. An Standard HMO  would $2,100 a month for a single person in my age bracket.

    I have a few weeks to decide my options. I think every person in this country deserves the best health care possible. For those who are unhealthy, they should be allowed to get the insurance. But it shouldn't be the healthy paying for the unhealthy. It should be the Governmnet paying the excess tab for the greater premiums for the unhealthy. Defund the War on Drugs in Mexico, get out of Afhanistan, Iraq and Africa v and stop sending so many billions in aid  to every nation in the world. In other words, that money could  be better spent here, on health care for all of us.

    The HCR health plan, in forcing healthy people to pay for the unhealthy, rather than have the Government hands over relief money to make up the differnce, is just  a*s backwards.

    I knew this would happened and complained about it plenty during the many health care discussions on. Paring items off a monthly budget by $400 isn't easy. I wonder what I'll decide to give up to keep my insurance. How much of what you enjoy spending your hard-earned money on would you be willing to give up?


    Um (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 08:24:25 AM EST
    The HCR health plan, in forcing healthy people to pay for the unhealthy, rather than have the Government hands over relief money to make up the differnce, is just  a*s backwards.

    From whom does the government get that money?  


    it's money the government has already taken (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:24:19 AM EST
    from us. This is the document I'm referring to, 790 pages of U.S. aid for 2100.

    Just got the memo... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:59:22 AM EST
    from my boss yesterday afternoon...Oxford hit 'em with a 20% increase on our plan.  So like last time, they're downgrading the plan in lieu of passing the increase on...higher co-pays and deductibles, higher drug costs, yadda yadda yadda.

    This much closer to cancelling my enrollment...being irresponsible seems preferable to being a mark.  It's a small business with around 20 employees...no one has had a catastrophic illness in my 9 years here...I've used my insurance twice in 9 years for 2 ER visits...Oxford making a killing on this account...and still they want more.


    They need to be locked up (none / 0) (#29)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:59:36 AM EST
    in a Mental Health facility.

    $1100 a month for individual in a group?!?! $2100 for a single HMO?!?! They are def off their rocker . . .