Communicating via IM, email, or mouth.

Gratuitous Image

Sorry for the image.  Caught your eye right?

This is a followup to this old post ( ).

I like Instant Messaging (IM) and I had it.

I like the “instant” feedback (duh).  I like that you can have multiple convo’s simultaneously.  I like that you can archive the conversation.

I dislike IM because it can be intrusive, bothersome, and too interrupting.  When you get an IM, you feel you have to respond immediately as opposed to email or a phone call.  Where you have multiple convo’s (a like) it is also a bother when you are having a convo and someone IM’s you and interrupt.  They don’t know you are having other IM’s going (not their fault).  I wish I could see how many convo’s others have going so that I can think twice about my need to IM then.

In my opinion, the best way to IM is to open it up during a conference call and have side conversations with your colleagues.  You can have a little sidebar while the conf call is going on then engage with better info.

People often misuse IM.  If your question, comment, whatever is something that can be responded to later, send an email.  When you send an email, people have the courtesy (mostly) to respond to do you in a timely manner.  An email (in my opinion) is something of a task that sits in my inbox that I will get to eventually.  Priorities range.

One thing I can’t stand is this.  I will send someone an email of minor importance but requires a response and that email NEVER gets responded to.  That pisses me off.  When you never respond, I interpret that as “I am not that important”.  To that I say F off!

Moving on…

I’ve witnessed this phenomenon where people refrain from using email for the reason that they don’t want their words “recorded”.  I don’t get this line of thinking at all.  In my estimation, no matter how you communicate your message will be remembered no matter if it is an email or not.   If you write, say, communicate something that later changes in nature of fact etc. that’s fine.  You have the right to retract or change your message.  Maybe its because people are afraid of being wrong.  I get that, but I also respect you more if you can admit you were incorrect about something.  Moving on…

What have we learned?

Use email when don’t need immediate feedback.  Use IM only if necessary, don’t overuse it.



Healthcare and a Mandate

As I write this, the Supreme Court is still hearing the arguments regarding the Constitutionality of the Mandate to buy health insurance.

My personal belief is that everyone should buy insurance coverage.  It is the prudent thing to do in order to take of yourself and your loved ones.  I also don’t believe that our system of government should force people to purchase.  I believe in that inherent freedom at the same time understand the reality.

So here we are.  You win Liberals.  You have once again created a program under the guise of basic human rights.  While at the same time with little regard of how to pay for it.   Like always you use the term “shared sacrifice” but it boils down to putting the burden on all the people.  Not all people, but the wealthiest of the people.

There are realities to funding something so large and so overreaching.   We are seeing it with Social Security, Veterans administration, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Let’s only talk about how to implement a “mandate”.  How do we enforce/encourage all the citizenry to get health coverage insurance?

The car insurance analogy gets tossed around.  The only difference is that we choose to buy a car thus we have to carry insurance.  This is a choice.  With your health, there is no absolute that can assure you never visit a doctor or ER which WILL treat you and then the costs get spread among the paying consumers.  You can claim you never get sick, but you can’t guarantee it.  If your religion dictates no medical attention or use of modern science, we can allow for that.  However, there may come a time when you are unconscious and end up in a medical facility needing treatment.  The people who don’t want insurance is a small portion of the entire population (maybe 5% or less).

I don’t know the answer to this 5% outlier.  My only thought is a national registry of exempt individuals based on either self insured (more in a second) or religious reasons.  If you are on this list, you don’t get treatment.  Sort of a like a living will or do not resuscitate order.  Maybe a “medic alert” bracelet equivalent.   If you claim to be self insured, you must keep a special account active and well funded.  That account must be referenced before treatment is administered.  This sounds somewhat complicated and when executed by a federal system, it is sure to be performed poorly.  If you ever receive treatment while on this exemption, you are then put into the system by way of the “penalty” that is added to your taxation.  Probably another can of worms.

Our health care system works from the Hippocratic Oath premise that everyone who needs treatment will get treatment.  If we somehow establish an exemption system where people can choose and accept the consequence of no treatment we can stop calling coverage a mandate.

Heck, it may pay for itself.  Those who refuse medical science probably live shorter lives.   I’m speculating.

Take a kid fishing?

The “Take a Kid Fishing” campaign has been around for quite some time now.  I can’t remember when it started exactly but I know it was long before I had kids (mine are 12 and 8) and long before the introduction of the Wii and PlayStation3.

The cause is well intended and promotes getting kids out and teaching them the outdoors.  I do enjoy this.  I do support the idea and the cause.  I enjoy spending the time with my kids.

But let’s be real (or should I say “reel” [rimshot]).  [record scratch]

Taking a kid fishing in 2012 is not the same as was in 1950 when kids were stuck at home playing with sticks and Radio Flyer wagons.  Fishing competes with video games, DVR’s, NetFlix, you name it.

My version of a successful “take a kid fishing” relies on the fact that I have to put the kid(s) in a boat and move away from shore.  To my credit, I pack a cooler full of snacks and drinks to help occupy the false hunger pains they seem to endure 1 hour after eating a full meal. I am also lucky to own a private lake on which I am 98% confident we can catch fish.

Catching a fish or fishes will hold their attention.  Not catching fish creates boredom.  The formula is simple.

If I try to take my kids to our neighborhood pond, the adventure lasts about 10 minutes and they walk back to home to fire up the DVR, the Video game, the NetFlix, etc. etc.

If any fish are caught, the trip ends with a session of cleaning the fish.  This is always entertaining from both my boy and girl alike.  Maybe I am raising a couple of sociopaths, but they do not shy away from the bloody mess of which is “cleaning” the fish for consumption.

Now… eating them later is another story.

Take a Kid Fishing

Thinking out loud: vending machine for charitable donations

I have this idea.  How about a vending machine that accepts debit cards, cash bills, coins, AND EVEN PENNIES!

Place the machine in locations where individuals have loose change after a purchase.  Those who feel giving can plunk money in the machine.

This is very similar to the Salvation Army bucket, but the machine will have multiple charities listed and you can choose which one to give to.

Working title: “Loose Charity”.  If you have loose change floating around your car, give to a favorite charity.

Will this work?

Charity Charity Charity

Because I am a fan of Adam Carolla, I have caught a few segments of the current Celebrity Apprentice.  Having not watch the show before I knew very little.  I do know a bunch of celebs get gathered up and handed some task or project to execute as a team then sit in front of the Trump exec team and get treated like Fraternity pledges.  All of this is to win some money that goes to the project leaders charity.

The show is successful.  Network TV successful.  This means they make money, big money.  Yet the cash payouts to the winners (their charity) are small by comparison.  They range from $20k to $50k which probably equates the interest earned by Trumps accounts on a daily basis.

I don’t want to sound like a whiney 99%’er and criticize the people who give by saying they don’t give enough.  I want to shine a light on any endeavor that uses “in the name of charity” to pull at the strings of the viewer to enterprise the greater thing. Trump is using all of these celebs and their chosen charity to air a network tv show that makes millions.

It’s not unlike the Pink Ribbon breast cancer organization.  They all pay their top people a handsome salary “in the name of the charity” and they do good things.  I understand the overhead involved.  The end result is charity funds.   That should be the end of it.

Does this bother you?  If you had the power to shutdown the operation and the charitable money dried up, would you feel ok about that?

Food for thought.