Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why I Changed My Mind About Gen. McChrystal

I've been calling the situation in Afghanistan a quagmire since the get-go and as I see it, that ain't gonna change. Duh! It's an F'n Quagmire.
Anyway, I had no expectations about McChrystal's tenure. He seemed OK. I was betting on him not making things worse.
So fast forward to Michael Hastings Rolling Stone's article. I read it.
Let me say up front that there was a lot in that article that could have been on McChrystal's positive side of the ledger. But, early in the article I came across the deal-breaker, the stake through the heart, the unforgivable.
"He prefers Bud Light Lime (his favorite beer) to Bordeaux,...
Bud Light? Bud-Water Light? The drink of losers who can't handle Bud-Water... let alone the taste of real beer?
'Nuf said.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Breaking news - Howell Township, Monmouth County, NJ

State Trooper seriously injured; Armed suspects sought:

(photo credit: Asbury Park Press)

One suspect, a 30 year old women, was captured and a male companion is the object of search by State Police, helicopters, and dogs.
more photos

(photo credit:

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Shy Chickie? & Her Royal Highness Hennie

Actually, she's not shy at all. She's just not very trusting and is constantly assessing her surroundings. I’ve seen her stand her ground and give warnings when confronted with a monster (leaf blower).

I often wonder if her distrusting nature is because of the careless handling she received when very young. Her jaw was broken as a result.
Flickr Link

The chickens have matured. They are about 16 months old.
Flickr Link

Monday, May 31, 2010

Dan Trim Made Me Do It

Dan has a Mothing Blog (Check it out).
Though moths have always facinated me I don't usually take many photos of them. But it just so happenes that today I spotted an interesting one that I had never seen before. So I'll post it here along with another interesting one that I shot a few years ago.

Beautiful Wood Nymph - Eudryas grata. It's a small (2.2 cm) moth in a huge and diverse Family, Noctuidae also called Owlet Moths.

The second moth, and Eight-spotted Forester, Alypia octomaculata, is also in the Family Noctuidae. Alas, its photo has gone missing this evening. I also had a photo of the larva which is memorable because it causes a painful reaction if you touch one of its many spines.
Until I locate it, there are several good photos on Flickr. This Eight-spotted Forester is by Ms. Gould.
The Forester's larva here is by Roy Niswanger.

Is this How Hemsley at UnitedHealthcare Manages Costs?

Reuters 03/04/2010

This is a recent photo. I wasn't able to find the photo from more than a dozen years ago when he was CFO at the accounting firm of Arthur Anderson LLP.

Open Letter to Mr. Hemsley

May 31, 2010

Mr. Stephen Hemsley
CEO UnitedHealthcare

Dear Mr. Hemsley;
I have a problem and now I want to make it your problem. You see, my medical claims are constantly rejected by your claims processing department. Your claims processing department agrees with me that the error is theirs when I contact them. They will reprocess the claims correctly when I call and point out their error but they only correct the old errors. New claims are processed using the same error.

The error appears to be caused by a default assumption during the processing of claims that Medicare is the first payer. But this default is only true if the group policy is for a company with less than 20 employees. UHC certainly must know that DRS Technologies has more than 20 employees. In fact, DRS has 10,500 employees in 40 plus operating locations in the United States.

How many other people’s claims are treated this way? How many others give up after being told that this policy is legal and they have no other recourse?

If this error is the default, what possible reasons are there? I can think of a few.
UHC’s claims-processing software has no links to your own data about the group.
• Or, though there are links to that data, a critical field for group size isn’t linked; it was somehow overlooked or considered unimportant or…?
• Or, what I see as a problem is not a problem for UHC because it saves millions of dollars by not paying legitimate claims and delaying payment of millions more?

So I challenge you Mr. Hemsley. Prove to me that UnitedHealthcare has a valid reason for delaying payment of legitimate claims.

Here is a list of my legitimate claims incorrectly processed for that same error.
UHC Claim #

Mr. J. Lippincott, Ombudsman, NJ Department of Banking and Insurance
Hon. Frank Pallone, Jr., Congressman, US House of Representative


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Our New Home Guard Front Door

Asbury Window and Door in Ocean Township did a fantastic job when we needed a new front door. They had great suggestions and helped us decide the type and color. We chose their Home Guard fiberglass door with a mahogany color exterior and white interior. The installers, Tony and Lee are real professionals. So many people have stopped to say how beautiful it is. With the full sidelights and fanlight, it turns heads.
Thank you so much!
Dennis and Susan.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Thank You Senator Bunning!

Senator Bunning,

Thank you for entering a bit of sanity in the legislative process. Spending billions of tax-payer dollars without a means to pay for those dollars has got to stop.


Dennis Pederson,
Neptune City, NJ

Bunning said again Tuesday that he opposed the extension because it would add $10 billion to the budget deficit, and he attacked Democrats for abandoning promises to pay for legislation instead of contributing to a budget deficits projected to hit almost $1.6 trillion this year. Bunning proposes to pay for the extension with unspent money from last year's massive economic recovery package, but Reid objected.

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer

Friday, February 26, 2010

Senator Judd Gregg Tells it Like It Is...

US senator warns of ‘financial meltdown’ risk
By Edward Luce in Washington

Published: February 25 2010 22:30

The US is heading for a debt-driven “financial meltdown” within five to seven years, according to Judd Gregg, the outgoing Republican senator for New Hampshire.

In a robust and at times testy video interview for the Financial Times’s View from DC series, Mr Gregg also complimented China for showing rising alarm about the US’s mounting levels of public debt.

We have had China say that they are looking for other places to put their reserves and that is probably a smart decision on their part,” said Mr Gregg, who will not seek re-election in November. “So the warning signs are pretty clear and the path is unsustainable and, at this point, unless we take different actions...

Financial Times of London -

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Weather Hyped to the Max!

Does weather need to be hyped? Does it need exaggeration worthy of a carny barker?

Case in point:

Issued by The National Weather Service
Philadelphia, PA
10:55 am EST, Wed., Feb. 10, 2010



Who writes this stuff?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Temperatures - December 2009 vs. January 2010

As long as I was recording high and low temperatures, I decided I might as well blog some comparison charts.

I'll include the daily averages if I think it will add to or clarify the images.

We have an interesting visitor in our backyard today. A warbler. Specifically a Yellow-rumped Warbler. They commonly winter here in New Jersey but we don't usually see them in the backyard this time of the year. A single individual would go unnoticed in the crowd of sparrows, finches, dee-dees, tufties, etc.

Low Temperatures - Dec 2009 vs. Jan 2010

High Temperatures Dec 2009 vs. Jan 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

Maybe it's Our Drinking Water?

When did a corporation morph into a person? When was a corporation granted the same rights of an individual citizen?

Thomas Jefferson saw it coming.

"In this respect England exhibits the most remarkable phenomenon in the universe in the contrast between the profligacy of it's government and the probity of it's citizens. And accordingly it is now exhibiting an example of the truth of the maxim that virtue & interest are inseparable. It ends, as might have been expected, in the ruin of it's people, but this ruin will fall heaviest, as it ought to fall on that hereditary aristocracy which has for generations been preparing the catastrophe. I hope we shall take warning from the example and crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

After 34 Years, a Plainspoken Justice Gets Louder
Published: January 26, 2010

The New York Times

Justice John Paul Stevens, in what might be his final term, has crafted opinions that suggest the Supreme Court has lost touch with its sense of fair play.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Get the Mega-Money Out of Politics

Congress is a broken, dysfunctional, living on a different planet, worse than useless, institution. I have long ago concluded that there is only one bottom-line goal for our representatives in congress and that is to get re-elected. Nothing else matters anymore.

I have stopped believing that there is a practical solution for this mess. Sure, in theory, all that has to be done is separate the mega-money from campaigns. It would be far less expensive for the American taxpayer to set a limit to what can be spent on a congressional campaign and then write a check for every viable candidate for that amount. Campaigns don't have to cost hundreds of millions. TV and radio frequencies used to belong to the American public. Congress gave them away. Congress could take them back. Write a check for $10 million and put every S.O.B. in jail who violates it. Everyone. Every banker, wall-street tycoon, movie star, corporate sleaze-ball who has a congressman in their pocket.

Well you can see why this is going nowhere. When you sell your soul to the devil, there's no "do-overs". There's no "I-didn't-mean-like-forever."

After the Massachusetts Massacre
New York Times
OP-ED Columnist
Frank Rich
Published January 24, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Sister's Warped Sense of Humor - 2

She forwards these great silly emails a few times every week. Among the groaners are some real this one:

The economy is so bad that:

I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

When I ordered a burger at McDonald's the kid behind the counter asked, "Can you afford fries with that?"

CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

McDonald's is now selling the 1/4 ouncer.

Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their
children's names.

A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico .

Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.

Motel Six won't leave the light on anymore.

The Mafia is laying off judges and Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

Congress says they are looking into this Bernard Madoff scandal.

Oh Great!! The guy who made $50 Billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $1.5 Trillion disappear!

And, finally...

I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Lifeline. I got a call center in Pakistan, and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck.