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inactive? nope - just busy as heck

Aug. 28th, 2010 | 02:00 pm

I just got back from a few days in Berlin raising funds for one of the startups I'm involved in. This is good news day, it was a success.

The difference between Germany's economy and ours is pretty shocking. For instance, they have an economy. There's a shortage of skilled labor, the economic indicators are all up, and people are worried about inflation.

The long delay between posts is because I've been busy beyond words. We're raising enough money to keep progress going, bootstrapping where we have to, and honestly I just haven't had time to write about it.

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Publix grocery stores - they understand

Apr. 19th, 2010 | 06:16 pm

Attention to detail.

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Dear Georgia Legislators, Governor, and related elected Imbiciles

Apr. 1st, 2010 | 08:42 am

Dear Sirs and Madams;

With all due respect, do you mouthbreathers have the first notion of how much damage you are doing?

I didn't think so. So let me start by thanking you for your efforts to date, which may get you elected one last time, ghods forbid.

Thank you.

Thank you, in the middle of the worst economy since the Great Depression, for deciding that the most important thing you can do is pass racist anti-abortion legislation. After all, women and poor minorities collectively only make up about 65 percent of the voting public. Good job.

Thank you, in the middle of the worst economy since the Great Depression, for deciding that what really matters is impeaching the state's senior attorney since he refuses to waste taxpayer money fighting the new health insurance reforms that JUST MIGHT make it possible for us small business people to compete with the Germans and the Japanese someday. Hey, maybe you can get an auto company to open a plant here instead?

Thank you, in the middle of the worst economy since the Great Depression, for pandering to the worst instincts of the most ignorant parts of the troglodyte reactionary "Republican Base" and continuing to gut education, infrastructure, and health care - hey, who cares about the future when you can cut taxes today. After all, the university system here can probably coast a few more years before it is completely uncompetitive with the Chinese and Indian systems. One more term, for sure.

Thank you, in the middle of the worst economy since the Great Depression, for so successfully demonizing science and reason that it is now effectively impossible to raise money for any medical or biologics company unless we move out of state. But hey, those lost jobs don't show up during your term in office, so no worries. And hey, that ONE 20M$ investment in a local medtech company - the word for that is "outlier". Look it up.

Thank you, in the middle of the worst economy since the Great Depression, for making life so much better for all of us who are actually trying to create the jobs for the next generation.

Let me quote the Atlanta paper, "For 28 consecutive months, Georgia’s unemployment rate has been higher than the national unemployment rate. And, since the recession began in December 2007, Georgia’s workforce has shrunk by 130,043, or 2.7 percent, from 4,832,698 to 4,702,655."

No, really. Thank you.

But please. Please. I beg you. STOP TRYING TO HELP. Go home. Quietly. The adults need to get some work done.

And until then, I'm just going to keep lobbying FARK to add a "Georgia" tag.



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What the Health Insurance Reforms actually do

Mar. 22nd, 2010 | 12:14 pm

GO TO THE INDEPENDENT FOR A COMPLETE DISCUSSION - you have to read a British newspaper, because we don't do journalism in the USSA.

Within the first year of enactment

* Insurance companies will be barred from dropping people from coverage when they get sick. Lifetime coverage limits will be eliminated and annual limits are to be restricted.

* Insurers will be barred from excluding children for coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

* Young adults will be able to stay on their parents' health plans until the age of 26. Many health plans currently drop dependents from coverage when they turn 19 or finish college.

* Uninsured adults with pre-existing conditions will be able to obtain health coverage through a new program that will expire once new insurance exchanges begin operating in 2014.

* A temporary reinsurance program is created to help companies maintain health coverage for early retirees between the ages of 55 and 64. This also expires in 2014.

* Medicare drug beneficiaries who fall into the "doughnut hole" coverage gap will get a $250 rebate. The bill eventually closes that gap which currently begins after $2,700 is spent on drugs. Coverage starts again after $6,154 is spent.

* A tax credit becomes available for some small businesses to help provide coverage for workers.

* A 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services that use ultraviolet lamps goes into effect on July 1.

What happens in 2011

* Medicare provides 10 percent bonus payments to primary care physicians and general surgeons.

* Medicare beneficiaries will be able to get a free annual wellness visit and personalized prevention plan service. New health plans will be required to cover preventive services with little or no cost to patients.

* A new program under the Medicaid plan for the poor goes into effect in October that allows states to offer home and community based care for the disabled that might otherwise require institutional care.

* Payments to insurers offering Medicare Advantage services are frozen at 2010 levels. These payments are to be gradually reduced to bring them more in line with traditional Medicare.

* Employers are required to disclose the value of health benefits on employees' W-2 IRS forms.

* An annual fee is imposed on pharmaceutical companies based on market share. The fee does not apply to companies with sales of $5 million or less.

What happens in 2012

* Physician payment reforms are implemented in Medicare to enhance primary care services and encourage doctors to form "accountable care organizations" to improve quality and efficiency of care.

* An incentive program is established in Medicare for acute care hospitals to improve quality outcomes.

* The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the government programs, begin tracking hospital readmission rates and puts in place financial incentives to reduce preventable readmissions.

What happens in 2013

* A national pilot program is established for Medicare on payment bundling to encourage doctors, hospitals and other care providers to better coordinate patient care.

* The threshold for claiming medical expenses on itemized tax returns is raised to 10 percent from 7.5 percent of income. The threshold remains at 7.5 percent for the elderly through 2016.

* The Medicare payroll tax is raised to 2.35 percent from 1.45 percent for individuals earning more than $200,000 and married couples with incomes over $250,000. The tax is imposed on some investment income at a rate of 3.8 percent for that income group.

* A 2.9 percent excise tax is imposed on the sale of medical devices. Anything generally purchased at the retail level by the public is excluded from the tax.

What happens in 2014

* State health insurance exchanges for small businesses and individuals open.

* Most people will be required to obtain health insurance coverage or pay a fine if they don't. Healthcare tax credits become available to help people with incomes up to 400 percent of poverty purchase coverage on the exchange.

* Health plans no longer can exclude people from coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

* Employers with 50 or more workers who do not offer coverage face a fine of $2,000 for each employee if any worker receives subsidized insurance on the exchange. The first 30 employees aren't counted for the fine.

* Health insurance companies begin paying a fee based on their market share.

What happens in 2015

* Medicare creates a physician payment program aimed at rewarding quality of care rather than volume of services.

What happens in 2018

* An excise tax on high cost employer-provided plans is imposed. The first $27,500 of a family plan and $10,200 for individual coverage is exempt from the tax. Higher levels are set for plans covering retirees and people in high risk professions.

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the two kinds of blogs

Mar. 15th, 2010 | 10:13 am

Actively Seeking Readers v.s. Thinking In Words

The first category is the one for all the folks who want to get readership and monetize.

This blog is just a place where I put thoughts when the occur to me and they are too long for Facebook. That is to say, my friends stop by when I tell them about something new here, but otherwise this is not a hip and happening place.

It's just a spot where I can put interesting stuff, rant about things that bug me, and so forth.

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a short rumination on human factors

Dec. 1st, 2009 | 12:29 pm

It's been quite a few weeks since my last post. I do have a good excuse, however. The cast in now off my right hand. I broke some bones in a bad fall... in my dominant hand. So for the last six weeks I have been experiencing the frustrations of all lefties - but uncoordinated. Scissors, by the way, get very very tricky.

As I was trying to do simple things, and finding them vastly frustrating, I realized that I was a walking experiment in human factors. For instance, just using my mobile phone was a challenge. The touch screen made me crazy - I couldn't even get it to dial reliably. Every time I was at the drug store I was looking at those blood sugar monitors. Wow - there's no way I could have worked one of them with my left hand only. And without my reading glasses?

So - what have I learned? Pay attention to interfaces for folks who have limited vision or mobility.

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useful acronym: GAS

Nov. 1st, 2009 | 11:54 pm

GAS = Give A Shit

This is the most easily depleted resource in your life. In these hard economic times, do you find that all the work and worries have you low on fundamental GAS?

GAS is refined from OIL.

OIL = Obvious Interest Level

As long as you work on thing you have OIL for, you'll have GAS.

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psychopathy & effectiveness - an assessment tool

Oct. 14th, 2009 | 05:05 pm

I recently saw a lovely sketch at gapingvoid and it reminded me of something I've used for years. In his post, Hugh McLeod points out that it seems that the executive level is populated mostly by psychopaths. There's actually tons of research on this, but I'm too lazy to dig it all up again.

However, I have long used a simple grid to evaluate the folks I have to work with. Here's a little snapshot, where one axis is relative sociopathy (Y axis) and the other is relative effectiveness (X axis):

In a perfect world, you execute the yellow/orange/red, you hire green/aqua/light blue, and you fire the grey and dark blue. But the full PDF is available if you want to see this in all it's glory - drop a note here, since I'm too damn busy to figure out the upload/store/link process. To Hugh's point, executive success depends on looking like a dark green, but the yellows and reds are able to game the system and there are more of them, so they predominate. Good luck, eh?

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serious hats, seriously

Aug. 3rd, 2009 | 10:01 am
mood: stylish

What a lovely article - in praise of mens hats. 

As further evidence, hats work for the old, the young, and the stylish executive.

As well as yours truly....

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A secularist hymn that's wonderful

Aug. 3rd, 2009 | 08:32 am
mood: delighted

I may be committing business suicide here in the South, but since I've already ranted about the Christer Taliban, I guess I can't get in any more trouble. So, thank you BoingBoing for pointing me to this lovely video.

Why don't bees go to heaven? A beautiful secularist hymn.

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