October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

I know the mess is still happening - and thoughts go out to those on the CT coastline, to the folks in New York City, and those who remain without power.

Sandy was a lot like last year's Irene for me - never lost power then or now, never lost cable / internet. The UPS kicked on a few times due to sags / instability but otherwise, no problems. The upside of living in / near a city.

I have to believe that this is going to help out President Obama. Even though he'll have to suspend his campaign, and turnout in the northeast states (mostly safely in Obama's pocket anyway) will be impacted, he'll have a week of lookign and acting presidential (don't blow it!)

And after an event like this, I would think that the candidate who accepts the concept of global warming and climate change, and who supports the federal role in emergency preparedness, disaster relief, and things like strong building and zoning regulations might have a bit of a leg up.

But we shall see. In the meantime, stay safe everyone!

October 26, 2012

Springsteen in Hartford

Made my occasional pilgrimage to see the high priest of Rock N' Roll, Mr. Bruce Springsteen, last night at the XL Center. I went with Robert and Kristen (my frequent Bruce companions) and Robert's daughter Devon, for her first arena show and her first Springsteen show.

Anne Haines did us the solid of recording the set list; I've been a twitter follower of hers for a while (and have been keeping up with the tour as a result) - wonderful to have the list in front of me as I recall the show.

Mostly, it felt a little like hanging out with old friends who kept pulling oldies but goodies out of theur hats and giving them a whirl. Songs I never expected to hear live again included Held Up Without a Gun (the opener), Spirits in the Night, Incident on 57th Street (a request), For You (a request, solo on piano). Lot of stuff from Wrecking Ball, a whole lot from The River, and a healthy dose of the classics - Badlands, Tenth Avenue Freeze Out, Born to Run. No Rosalita, no Jungleland, no Thunder Road.

I think my favorite song pairing was Point Blank and Because the Night - I go back far enough to remember when Point Blank was unrecorded and Because the Night's Patti Smith bona fides made it a real treat (although I kind of would prefer her take on it, I'm liking it a little darker)

I only cried a few times - Wrecking Ball (that whole coming to the end of the road thing), the Rising (with it's 9-11 imagery and energy), and Land of Hope and Dreams (gotta love a little come to Jesus revival moment!)

I was surprised that Bruce said not a word about the election - not even a "get out and vote" message - maybe he knew that with the aging frat boys in the house, the hall might go for Romney. He did plug Foodshare Hartford, though, so I will too!

Not much else to say. Was an awesome show, as they all are. We were in some reasonably bad seats - halfway up the second level on the side. Sometimes ludicrously bad seats (behind stage, or last row, all the way back) are more fun.Once upon a time Bruce could take an arena down int silence with just a gesture - but there were a lot of not-so-true-believers in the house (the couple next to me sat through most of the show and left after Born to Run) - so there was a lot of chit-chat through the quiet songs (come on dudes, it's Bruce and a piano playing For You - when are you ever gonna hear that?).

There was a nice tribute to Clarence (mostly) and Danny (a bit) in the middle of 10th Avenue Freeze Out that was very sweet, and Clarence's nephew Jake Clemons did an amazing job of filling his late Uncle's shoes - both technically and energetically.

Mostly though, I am thankful that my self-employed lifestyle means I could sleep in a bit today - unlike my fellow travelers (teacher, student, and corporate gig). Need to gargle a bit before I teach today - my throat is a bit raw from the singing, the yelling, the beers, and the hours.

October 12, 2012

Thanks, Obamacare

I have a high deductible, HSA based health insurance plan; it really does not pay for much. But the other day I received this letter - women's health coverage is increasing significantly. And even though I'm not going to need most of these services, getting coverage for an annual trip to the gyno is a good benefit. (Not to mention the colonoscopy that got covered 100% in the past year, also thanks to the Affordable Care Act).

But for other women, women who are in their reproductive years and considering having kids, this is great news.

Thanks, President Obama. One more reason I am voting Dem in 2012.

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As a result of the Health Care Reform law (Jude notes - aka "Obamacare), the following preventive services are included in your plan. Preventive services are covered with no cost share when provided by a network provider. No cost share means that your deductible, coinsurance and/or copay do not apply to these services.
• Well-woman visits (this includes prenatal visits)
• Screening for gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
• Human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing
• Counseling for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
• Counseling and screening for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
• Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence
• Breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling
• Contraceptive methods and counseling (when prescribed by a physician)

Some of these services are already benefits under your plan. These changes go into effect on January 1, 2013.