Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Health Care Cost Rant

The cost of health care in the US these days is ridiculous.  The amount they are charging for basic medical procedures is so out of proportion to how much people are earning from their jobs.  I currently have decent health insurance which definitely helps, but that does not change the fact that I am still extremely bothered by how much the health care industry to taking advantage of people.

I am pretty healthy for the most part so I don't have to go to the doctor or buy prescription drugs very often.  I recently went to the doctor for a basic check up after having not gone from the past 3 years.  The check up included one immunization, a blood test, and urine test in addition to the basic look over.

A couple weeks go by and I get the bill in the mail.  Shouldn't be too much right, for just a check up?  How does $1000 sound?  Yes that's right.  In total, that's how much they charged for their services.  Now I didn't actually have to pay this.  The insurance covered most of it, and some how whatever the insurance doesn't cover, they just don't charge you as long as you are part of the PPO network.  But still, without the insurance, they are charging about $1000 for a routine check up.  That is insane if you ask me.

On the bill, they don't even tell you what the charges are for exactly.  For example, there were 4 different charges for "lab services".  Now I know I didn't have that many lab tests done.  I had to call up the office and ask about these charges.  They explained that the blood test is broken down into several different tests and they charge for each individual test separately. 

It's just getting way out of hand and there needs to be a stop to it.  Prices for medical services need to come down to a reasonable level.  Then those prices need to be clearly advertised to patients BEFORE they go in for an appointment.  These costs need to be publicly available for patients so they can compare the costs between local offices and hospitals.

As it stands right now, it's really not even worth it to go to the doctor with the outlandish amounts of money they are charging.  I hope something is done about this to make the health care system better for everyone.

Update 7-10-13:
I just went to pick up a prescription at the local pharmacy.  I get there any they say it is $60 for a small thing of medication, and that is with insurance!  I turned it down and asked them to find a generic version for less.  They have to call to the doctor to make sure it is ok.  Then I go online to check how much they charged my insurance.  For this medication, they charged about $500!  Now not to disclose any details, but this medication is very minor and not something that is really necessary, and they have the nerve to charge $500 for it?  I don't care what it does, nothing this small is worth anywhere close to that amount. The madness continues. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

ABC's Whodunnit Mystery Reality Competition Show Review

Whodunnit is a new show currently airing on ABC.  The concept of the show is a group of contestants living in a house together and each week one of them is "killed".  The remaining guests must then use clues they find around the house to try and figure out how it happened and who did it.  The show is hosted by a mysterious butler named Giles.  Some things that make it interesting are the fact that owner of the mansion they are living in is the one doing the killings and that one of the contestants is supposedly the killer.

After watching the first few episodes, I would say this is one of the most fun shows I have ever watched.  Yes, it is corny and yes, you have to suspend disbelief, but watching the guests work together and against each other to try to solve these crimes is very entertaining.  There is drama among the players, lots of strategy, and of course mystery.

It's fun to try to guess who the killer is.  I have a couple suspicions of who it is.  One would be one of the players, another would be a huge twist if it happens.  I won't revel my theories.  You will have to watch and decide who you think it is for yourself.  I'm looking forward to watching this show each week and I highly recommend checking it out if you like fun reality shows with a little bit of mystery.

Have you seen the show?  What do you think about it? 

Update 7-29-13
I'm still watching Whodunnit and it is possibly my favorite new show of the year.  I can't get enough of Giles' cheesy puns and the drama and suspense between the contestants as they try to solve the crimes and find out who the killer is each week. I really hope they renew it for a 2nd season!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to Fix a Clicking Cabinet Hinge without Replacing it or Using Oil

So I had this cabinet that was driving me nuts because every time I would open and close it, it would make this loud click. This was a cabinet I used often so it became very annoying. I did a bunch of research online trying to figure out how to fix it, but there really was not a lot of information out there.

First I tried the obvious solution, which was oiling it. I had some WD-40 type spray so I tried that first. It worked for about a minute, and then it made it worse! Apparently, these hinges need some kind of special lubricant that is thick and will not dry out. Well, I didn't want to have to go to the store and buy a new cabinet oil. Next I tried putting some lotion on it. This worked, but only for a few days. Then it dried up and started making the clicking noise again.

I didn't want to go to the hardware store and try to find a new matching hinge, so I got creative and found a solution. Chances are if you have one hinge that is making noise, you have other cabinets that use the same type of hinge. Often some of these other cabinets are not used very often and that is why they do not make the noise while the one that is used most often does make the noise.

Since I had a few cabinet doors that I rarely use, I just picked one of them and swapped out the bad hinge. This was very easy and only took about 10 minutes. You just need a screwdriver. After switching them out, the hinge was good as new! No more noise. I even tested out the other cabinet and it didn't even make the noise, probably because it was a smaller door with less weight.

I realize this is not the perfect solution, but if you want to fix a clicking hinge without buying oil or getting a new hinge altogether, this is a quick and easy way to do it.

After time, the new hinge may eventually start making the clicking noise again. Recently I tried applying some olive oil to the hinges and so far it seems to be working pretty well to reduce the clicking noise. I took the cabinet doors off the cabinets to apply the oil so I could get a good angle and coverage on the hinges. It is pretty easy and seems to be a good solution to solve the clicking noise. The clicking noise does tend to come back over time but applying more oil to it seems to fix it.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Siberia Episode 1 Review - New Show on NBC

I just got done watching the pilot episode of the new reality competition show "Siberia" and I must say, I am very impressed. I didn't know much about the show going in so I went in with an open mind.  After seeing the first episode, this may be one of my favorite new shows of the year so far.  Already I'm hooked.

So the show starts out with a bunch of contestants being taken to a remote area in the Siberian wilderness. They are dropped off and told to find a campsite 2 miles away. The catch with this show is that there are no rules, so contestants can do whatever they want. Early on we have some characters who work together and help each other while others are selfish and only look out for themselves. Some are mysterious, others put everything out there. Some step up as leaders, others become followers. 

If you have not seen the show yet, you may want to watch it before reading ahead because there are some pretty big things that happened in this episode that I will discuss here.

So the host mentions how they are out here alone just with the camera crew and the only way to get out is to hit a button to summon a helicopter, ultimately forfeiting the show and giving up the chance to with the big prize money.

On the first night they hear some growling noises which scare all of them. On the second day something bad happens. One of the camera crew members stumbles back to camp all bloody and one of the contestants that was with him is not there. A while later the host gathers the group and tells them that the missing contestant has had a fatal accident. This greatly disturbs the group. The host says if they want to leave, they can go home and they will be paid for their time here.

The show ends with some final footage of what happened to the guy who supposedly had the fatal accident. In the credits, they tease us by saying "What is real?" By showing that final footage, and giving this hint, it makes me think there is more to this show than they or we know yet.

I think the death is fake, but the contestants don't know this. I also think that some of the contestants are actors or are working with the show, while others are real and think this is a legitimate reality competition show. This is just my theory, I could be wrong.

The final preview clips of this episode were amazing. I actually got chills seeing the teases of what is going to happen this season. There looks to be a lot of really good drama and action that is going to take place. What is real and what is fake? We will have to tune in to find out.

What did you think about Siberia? What are your theories?  

Update: 7-16-13
After realizing that this show is not actually a reality show and is in fact scripted with all the contestants being actors, I have begun to lose interest in the show.  I think it would have been much better if they had at lease some of the characters as real contestants.