The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

Archive for the ‘Le Snark’ Category

Why Toyota Is Going to Be Just Fine And GM Isn’t

Posted by Bill Nance on February 10, 2010

I just got a robo-call from the dealership where we have our Toyota Yaris serviced: Toyota of Nashua.

The recording said that in light of the recent recalls they wanted to let their customers know they were changing their service department’s hours. -To 24/7 until further notice.

The recording gave me the option of pressing 1 and getting connected with the service department right away.

Love them or hate them, THAT is good service and good customer relations.  -Two things I’ve never received from GM.


Posted in economy, Le Snark, Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Welcome to Massachusetts: Where drivers can’t drive and pedestrians can’t walk

Posted by Bill Nance on November 24, 2009

LOWELL — Police do not expect to file charges against the 84-year-old Lawrence man who struck a pedestrian on Merrimack Street on Monday.

Lt. Timothy Crowley said an accident reconstruction team was continuing its investigation at the corner of Merrimack and Central streets, where Philip Laverriere was driving his Cadillac DeVille when Angel Pena, 18, of Lowell, walked out in front of his car.

Pena, who was listed in critical but stable condition at Lahey Clinic in Burlington with a serious head injury Tuesday morning, was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and listening to an iPod when he walked in front of Laverriere, who had the green light, according to Crowley.

For those of you who don’t have the misfortune to travel or live in the commonwealth, this is par for the course. The drivers are downright terrifying. 3 feet off your bumper at 70 MPH in the rain, blasting thru an intersection turning left in front of traffic with the right-of-way, you name it. If it’s dangerous and stupid, it’s normal driving here.

But the pedestrians are, in a word, suicidal. As bad as the drivers are here anyone who’s not paranoid about crossing the street or walking their dog off a sidewalk has to be nuts. I regularly have people driving down my residential street at 40-50 MPH because people use it as a cutoff for a nasty intersection nearby. I can’t count the number of times I’ve nearly been rear-ended pulling into my driveway.

Prosecuting dangerous driving is fine by me but walking while stupid gets little sympathy for the “victim.” Maybe the genius with the walkman will watch where he’s going next time.

Posted in Le Snark | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

How the American Healthcare System Is Broken

Posted by Bill Nance on August 9, 2009

The healthcare system in the U.S. is broken in dozens of fundamental ways. Over dinner last night, a friend said: “We have the best healthcare in the world with the worst delivery system in the world.” More accurate words could hardly be spoken.

Another way in which the system is fundamentally broken is the way defensive medicine adds billions of dollars to the cost everyone pays in increased insurance premiums and tax dollars.

I thought I’d share a personal story on this subject that happened to me not too long ago.

I have what is called Cystic Acne. I’ve had it since my early 20s. I don’t get many pimples, but every few years I get a Sebaceous Cyst. These are large, unsightly and usually painful boil-like pimples that will harden into a large nodule.

Two things can be done about these. One is antibiotics, which sometimes helps. But in my personal experience, I’ve never had success. The other way to treat these is to lance them and drain them, and on occasion, cut out the infected tissue.

Now treating a cyst like this is something that until relatively recently was done by your general practitioner. The process is quite straightforward and technically speaking, is well within the capabilities of any first-year resident, much less someone who’s completed residency.  I’ve had these removed by a GP before and it’s about a 15 minute process.

I hadn’t had one of these in almost 20 years, so I was amazed when I went to my excellent GP and was told yes, it was a cyst, but no, she couldn’t treat it. Apparently the medical board and her malpractice insurance insist that anything more complicated than a fever be treated by a specialist. That office visit was $50.

My next stop was at the dermatologist, who looked, remarked that it was a cyst and a rather large one at that, but then shook his head and said he couldn’t treat it either, because it was someplace he thought yet another specialist was better qualified for, due to the regulations and malpractice insurance requirements. That visit was billed at $200.

My next stop was the “specialist.” Yet again I was told that my observation was 100% correct. HE could treat the thing. the consultation was $350, the fee to do the 15-minute procedure was $900.

So the end result was that I completely wasted my time, and wasted the time of two specialists who could have been treating people with far more complicated and serious medical conditions, and paid $1500 for a procedure that my GP could have performed effortlessly for perhaps $200 at most.

Fortunately, I have rather good insurance and the out-of-pocket expense was minimal. But I didn’t get away without paying for the entirety of that procedure, and if you have Blue Cross, neither did you.  I didn’t pay it all up front, and you won’t either. What will happen is that this situation will be played out thousands and thousands of times and for each one of those, the cost of insurance premiums will rise. Since 1999 employer-based plans have had their premiums rise by 120%, compared to an average 44% cumulative rate of inflation.

Medical costs aren’t magically “absorbed.” Whether it’s my $1500 cyst or the $800 emergency room visit by an uninsured person with the flu complications, someone has to pay, and that someone is you and me.

So there is my story. And I personally want to thank each and every one of my friends opposed to serious reform of the system for paying their share of the $1,500 cyst removal that should have cost $200.  Get used to it, it won’t change unless the system itself gets an enema.

Posted in healthcare, Le Snark, Politics | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

A Thought For Dick Cheney

Posted by Bill Nance on May 19, 2009

How can we miss you if you won’t go away?

Posted in Le Snark, Politics, Right-Wing Nut-jobery | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Snark For The Day

Posted by Bill Nance on April 30, 2009

I was listening to NPR today and heard the Swine Flu epidemic mispronounced as: SLIME Flu.

It is teh funnay.

-That is all.

Posted in humor, Le Snark | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Wile E. Criminal…Suuuper Idiot.

Posted by Bill Nance on April 3, 2009

Here’s a hint to all you would-be bank robbers out there:

When you rob a bank, have a better getaway plan than hailing a cab.

(Click on video to right of the page linked for a video of the full story).

Posted in Crime, Law & Order, Le Snark | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Cops arrest wedding party

Posted by Bill Nance on December 21, 2008

Police in Lowell, Massachusetts arrested six people after a fight erupted at a wedding:

One officer used pepper spray as well over a dozen officers subdued the crowd and arrested six men on charges of disorderly conduct and affray.

Police call it a fight. We Irish call it a garden-variety wedding discussion. I guess something got lost in the translation.

Posted in humor, Le Snark, News & Analysis | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Border Patrol -In Iran

Posted by Bill Nance on December 20, 2008

I posted a few days ago that Iran is not the Boogeyman and that we share many common national interests.

Now this:

See? They even have their own Mexicans. We should have a chat.

Posted in Le Snark, National Security | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A holiday note for the sensitivity police

Posted by Bill Nance on December 17, 2008

I know, it’s sick. It’s also funny as Hell.

Posted in humor, Le Snark | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Deep thoughts…

Posted by Bill Nance on November 29, 2008

Based upon a detailed and scientific analysis of my spam, I am ready to draw three conclusions about the average American male:

  1. They have very small penises
  2. They cannot use them well and need “V-!Agr_a”
  3. They have a real thing for teenage girls named Debbie doing obscene things with farm animals

-That is all

Posted in Le Snark, Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »