White River report

Decent fishing this weekend.  We experienced low water conditions and perfect weather.  We fished around the Wild Cat Access.  I preferred going downstream and working the wildcat shoals.

I didnt catch much of size.  Mostly caught rainbows around 12″.  The fly of choice was a tan elk hair caddis #18.

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Thanks again trout house cabin.

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All Bran

I eat All Bran for breakfast.  Its the old person cereal right?

When I say All Bran, I’m talking about the original.  Not the frilly spin offs with granola or fruit.  The original… which looks like shredded cardboard pieces.  To be honest, kinda tastes like that too.

I’ve grown to like it.  …who am I kiddin, grown to tolerate it.

Calorically, it works out well for dieting.  In terms of bowels, I can’t say either way.  Things seem normal.

I’m 41 and being a good boy.

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How to fix Medicaid?

Dear Carol, I hope this blog finds you well.  😉

Seriously…

The question was asked, “how would you fix medicaid”?

My short answer is “I don’t really know, and my gut response would be to root out any fraud to not waste money.”

My responses will only be high level with one example I know of when dealing with Medicaid.  I apologize if my thoughts are half baked and come off ignorant.  They are.  Simply put, these are my thoughts and have not been “in the system” to give clear examples.

We’ve seen enough 60 minutes, 20/20 to know that there are examples of fraud in the system.  We hear stories of people “who has a brother in law” who collects public assistance but earns good money under the table.  Either way, fraud is not good.  I also understand that there is a cost to policing the fraud and that factors into how much an agency will explore and spend on the matter.  Some Fraud is accepted if the cost of policing it outweighs it.

With that said…  As a conservative (some might call me libertarian) I believe our society should uphold public assistance.  We DO have needy in this country.  The system should understand that public assistance for the truly needy which I believe it does but with any government agency there is inefficiency.  Therein lies the debate… how does our society define the needy.

“Fixing” Medicaid probably starts with identifying why people come to need the assistance.  Aside from disabilities (mental and physical), what we have remaining is mostly low income from a variety of factors. Why the low income?  It is lack of employment right?  Why the lack of employment?  Downturn in the economy or unskilled/uneducated to the point of no opportunities.   This leaves the answer to be jobs.

But I don’t want jobs to be the answer.  Because it is not.  When able bodied people are employed, they want off the public assistance and this largely happens.  This is the Utopia of public assistance… people only temporarily using the assistance.

OK….  next component.  Accountability of individuals.  Children are not part of this discussion but they are a potential negative side effect.  Children who grow up on assistance mostly likely continue on assistance.  This is not a golden rule, but a potential hazard.  From the start, children are not to be blamed for receiving Medicaid.

Accountability of adults is important.  Medicaid should have mechanisms built in for people to work to move out of the public assistance realm.  Job Training, home economic education (balancing their money, etc).  These may exist.  I don’t know for sure.  If they do, great.  If a recipient shows up at the Medicaid office holding a smartphone and drove up in a new car, an eyebrow should be raised.  I only speculate this happens.  I would hope this type of fraud is discovered and eliminated.

My only example of how Medicaid is taken advantage of deals with the elderly.  When someone is to the elderly point in life when nursing care is necessary, the elderly couple can be divorced with all assets moved to the healthier spouse leaving the other spouse under the income/asset level to qualify for medicaid and have all nursing care paid for.  Yes, this is a real life example that has been used.  It is unfortunate, but real.

Medicaid is a facet of our government that is fiscal in nature but is at the crossroads of social issues.  Back to able bodied people on public assistance.  Some who receive Medicaid most likely receive food stamps.  If an individual is a high health risk due to behavioral factors (smoking, drinking, poor diet, lack of exercise) they should engage in programs to reverse those negative factors.  If on food stamps, we can track what people purchase and help guide them.  This is not a sure fire tool, but you get my point.

I know this sounds intrusive to individuals, but when you receive public money and engage in something not healthy for you then you should receive some scrutiny.

Whew… I hope this does not come off as a right wing kook.  My short answer is, public assistance for those who need it, find and eliminate fraud, help those able bodied people move off of Medicaid.

 

New Years Resolution? – Weight Loss right?

Instead of writing something new, I will repost what I wrote last year.  Cuz…. it’s the same thing.  Why try to re-invent something that is a simple as losing weight.  …that is… the formula for losing weight.  The execution is another story.

Click Here for original Post

Read the original then see below for my cheap way to create a walking workstation.

 

 

Treadmills…

Many health articles recommend 30 minutes a day of activity.   The photo below is my treadmill retrofitted with a platform so that I can walk and still use my laptop (work etc).  It’s a pic from my facebook page.

You can buy workstation treadmills, but they are mucho $$$$.  You can use something like the SurfShelf for $40.

This DIY below was about $25 of materials and 2 holes drilled into the side frame of the treadmill.

Materials (Lowe’s): white pre-cut shelf, 2 bungees, 2 3″ eye bolts.

1. (key) Place the shelf across the arms of the treadmill where you think it fits best, measure from the board to where you need to drill for the eye bolts the distance it takes to stretch the bungee just enough to keep the shelf in place but not too tight that you stretch the bungees too far.

2.  Drill holes in the shelf board where the bungee hook can connect.  Drill holes for the eye bolts.

3.  Insert and bolt down your eye bolts.

4.  Connect bungees.  Bam!

Walking Workstation

The FitBit

Fitbit Banner - Affiliate Program I finally got my fitbit yesterday.  I have it all setup and ready to track my sleep and activity.

If you don’t know what this thing is, it is simply a pedometer that ties into a tracking website.  My employer has developed linkage into our health record so that we can get credits for our non-sedantary activity.

http://fitbit.comIt can also help track your sleep patterns.  I am curious to see my results after a week or so.  The FitBit site also allows you to input your food intake to help calorie tracking.  To help you out, you can use the fitbit apps on your iPhones and Droid devices.

Now I am the nutty guy who takes the stairs when I can.

Oh… I also got one of these adorable things for my desk.

Resolution Season: Weight Loss?

Burn it off...

Most everyone has quit smoking by now.  If not, you probably won’t and you enjoy being isolated from the world in your home slowly killing yourself because you can’t smoke in public or on your work property.

Weight Loss is the obvious choice.  Your vanity has awakened today.  This is the wake up call for those who have Mexican getaways planned or are thinking ahead to Spring Break.

Be realistic about weight loss. Take is slow. Don’t rely on a pill, a piece of machinery, a gimick program.  It’s all on YOU.  Only YOU can do it.  Don’t be hindered by yourself.  Like all the ad campaigns say, “Just do it”.  “Let’s Move”.

Losing weight requires motivation to exercise more and discipline (willpower) to consume less.  Keeping the weight off requires the same thing over the long haul for lasting results.  Eating right doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat a twinkie again.  It only means you can’t have one for the next 12 weeks.  However, in the long term you can indulge from time to time.  The simple truth is to not indulge all the time.  Understand your lifestyle and maintain a good balance of eating and exercise.  Calories in, calories out.  By the way, today is the last day to eat cornbread until about April.

TV Diets: quick thought on these…  These can work but they can be expensive and all they do is restrict your calories.  They are not realistic long term.  When you are off the plan, you have not fully learned the skills to eat your own prepared foods.  You need to learn to do things for yourself (teach a man to fish… blah blah blah).  DVD programs can work too but many are far too intense for the beginner.  Again… be realistic.

Exercise: Don’t have the time?  Bull crap! You CAN make time for it.  Just get up and walk.  Get up and do some lunges.  Watch TV and do planks on the floor.  It’s that simple.

I have fallen into this trap where you think you have to “prepare” for working out.  You can actually come home from work and do some things (assuming you are not wearing a 3 piece suit).  As long as you have comfortable clothes, you can do squats or pushups, or situps.  You get the point.  Just do it.  But don’t over do it at first.  Ease into it and you WILL feel better.

Eating Right:  There are some basic principles that you need to understand to cut the empty calories from your diet.  This is not forever, but in the short term you should start following these things.

– no bread, sugar, or pasta.  Eliminate them at first and ease into them later but not reverting back to bad habits.

– no fries, eat potatoes only baked and sparingly.  Eating out is easier now.  You don’t get dirty looks when you substitute the fries with a side salad or steamed vegetables (I don’t like the term “veggies” by the way.)

– Eat meals using utensils.  This does not mean eating a Snickers Bar with knife and fork.  I think you understand what this means.  Avoid sandwiches, burgers etc.

– Hungry?  Drink some water and eat a palm full of almonds or nuts.  A palm full, not a bowl.  A hunger tweak is often times a signal of thirst.  Fill the stomach with no calorie water.  Side note: you will burn more calories making extra trips walking to the bathroom to pee.

Focus on entrees of Chicken and lean meats.  Eat more vegetables.  I have some tasty ideas here on this website.

Harsh Reality:  No more deserts. This is probably the biggest mental block that people have.  If you have to trick yourself, go buy the sugar free pudding mixes that you add skim milk too and mix it up and have it handy in the fridge.

For great cooking ideas, get to the book store and hunt for cookbooks.  There are a ton.  You can even find good crock pot ideas for the families with sports and after school stuff going on.  My wife and I have many good crock pot recipes that work well for busy families.

Today is the beginning.  This time next year you will be 20 lbs lighter and feel great. Minus the vodka hangover (when you get into serious eating right you will understand the Vodka thing).