Healthcare & Prevention - 06/16/2009
One of the wonderful things about the internet is that people are openly free to make fools of themselves by writing about things they have no business talking about.
Today feels like a good day to be foolish.
Listening to NPR over the last couple of days there have been many notes about the health care system in the US, and what the current adminstration plans to do based on project budget overruns in the future. I believe the big statistic that they are throwing around is that the federal budget will be completely consumed by medical related spending by the year 2030 (thats a nice round year choice). This means there won't be any spending available for schools, defence, federal police agencies, etc...
As you might have guessed this information is troubling to most people. We like our government to a certain extent and we probably don't want our government to turn into one giant medical institution and nothing else. So everyone is frantically trying to come up with plans to stop this from happening. Most of these plans focus on cutbacks in pay for certain specialists, creating competition for insurance companies, and putting more of a burden of the health care costs back on consumers and companies. The problem is large enough that there isn't a silver bullet that will make the problem go away. We will more than likely need to adopt a variety of these changes to make any real impact.
I'm not going to talk about any of that here.
What I am going to talk about is prevention. Prevention is funny because in order to prevent horrible diseases from spreading you need to spend money. So the bet is that you spend less money on prevention than you will on care. This may or may not be the case, however I say we take some preventative measures to curb health risks that help pay for other forms of prevention.
If you just followed that last sentence then you should have been thinking "TAXES!"
We already do this to a certain extent. We tax the heck out of tobacco products and alcohol. We can't make people quit hurting their bodies outright. We tried that. It was called prohibition, and it sucked just about as much as anything could suck in regard to being effective. However the use of taxes seems to work out pretty well. I personally can thinking of plenty of smokers who have quit or scaled back their smoking due to rising costs. I can also say that while many college kids spend a lot of money on alcohol, it is probably way less than they would be if it weren't taxed as much as it is.
What do we tax beyond those though? How about foods high in cholesterol, or that use high amounts of high fructose corn syrup?
I am pretty sure any average American can go into a restaurant and point out what is good or bad for their health. The problem is we decide to choose the bad stuff because we can afford it, and because it tastes AWESOME. I know. I eat at least one sweet treat a day (at least). So this isn't coming from a guy on some high horse of healthy dieting.
I just realize that, like alcohol and tobacco, we consume these foods because we enjoy them. They don't make our lives better in any physical way. Maybe emotionally, but it could be argued that temporary delight from these foods doesn't stand up to sugar crashes, obsessive behavior related to weight, and overall stress from lack of physical fitness.
This excessive behavior is due in part to our wealth as a country. We have the money available to spend on developing way to many ways to eat fun foods that in the end aren't very healthy. This in turn makes us develop new unhealthy physical conditions over time, and requires us to spend millions of dollars in research to fight the rising tide of diseases related to our excessive habits.
I am afraid that our wealth and desire to spend our time making money has made us grossly unaware of how we are treating our bodies. Or if we are aware we figure we can just spend millions of dollars to fix the issue instead of curbing our behaviors.
With that said I am willing to throw down some extra cash for my donuts, cakes, ice cream, and Venti Caramel Macchiato if I know that cash goes towards mitigating the risk to our country's medical budget.
Let's use that cash to drive messaging to the citizens of our country about how they can manage their eating habits. Let's provide well stocked gyms at a low cost to the general public, and incentivize people to actually use them. And for the love of all things holy, let's get some real food into our schools and some real budgets behind our kid's physical fitness classes.
NEWS: Twitter Added and Layout Expanded! - 06/06/2009
So I took a look at the site last week and decided I would bump it up to work with a min resolution of 1024x768. This would allow me to get away from the old micro font size style and make it a little easier to read as well.
I am not positive the bump up works (for me) with the older site style so I may look at updating the header/footer and some of the spacing, but I do like having the three columns now.
In the mean time you may have noticed that I have updated the layout with my 3 most recent tweets from twitter (right side column). I received some PHP from one of the guys on the creative team up at work to read in the tweets. All I had to do was change up the styles to match my site. It was a pretty quick but useful addition.
Finaly I moved the "About Me" box over to the "Latest Work" link. This is where I am going to keep up with what I have done lately kind of as a personal journal to go back and look at when I am deep in work, and worried that I just don't get enough done. :)
NEWS: Long Time No Post - 06/04/2009
It's been a little while since my last post but I figured it was time to get back into the site, and make some updates.
As you may have noticed I decided to throw in a new area on the home page (see below) to talk about some of the things I have done accomplished over my past 7 years in the web design world.
My job has kept me super busy lately which is a good thing because that means business is rolling, but I haven't done a good job of letting everyone know what I have been up to. So with that said expect to see some new updates to the content areas in the "About Me" box over the next few days that talks a little bit about what I do :)
Team Fortress 2 Makes Me WordPress - 9/19/2007
If you want to know how ordering a game can lead to installing wordpress read on…
Being bored, and tired from work I sat down at my computer and decided to checkout any new news/demos on gamespy.com (GameSpy has been a stop of mine for years so it is ingrained in my browsing habits). The first thing I noticed was an article previewing Team Fortress 2(TF2). Being a fan of the original TF I decided to read on.
The first thing that caught my eye was a line of text that said if I pre-ordered the “Orange Box” on Steam I would get to play in the TF2 beta that is now open. Unfortunately for gamespy this was as far as I got.
So I broke down and pre-ordered. I wasn’t going to do it originally, but then I noticed that cheaper to pre-order than it would be to buy Portal, Team Fortress 2, and Episode 2 individually, and the beta option was the straw that broke the camels back.
With the credit card number flowing across the cat 5 the pre-order downloads began. The Peggle demo that comes with the pre-order finished first, and I decided to try it out. For those of you not familiar with Peggle, it is a simple arcade type game that plays like a mix of Bust-A-Move (AKA Puzzle-Bobble, or Frozen Bubble for you Linux fan-boys) and plinko (that sweet game Bob Barker used to torture people with on The Price is Right). It played well. The sound was good, the learning curve wasn’t steep at all, and it had that slight addictive nature that simple arcade games have.
I played for about 30 minutes, my ADD was kicking in hard, and I decided to check my other downloads - TF2 Downloading (58%) - still no love for the TF2 beta so I decided to browse the web some more. This lasted for about another 5 minutes before the ADD kicked in some more and so I checked the downloads - TF2 Downloading (59%).
As I began to get more and more stir crazy (as I tend to do when bored) I remembered a conversation I had with my SEO team earlier this week about WordPress. In the past I have just managed my own site, and stayed away from blog software, but managing all of the PHP files, and trying to keep everything tidy keeps me from wanting to post so I figured I would give it a shot. My SEO guys love WordPress, and I respect their opinions so I went online and grabbed the zip file.
I have to say that I am fairly impressed. It took about 20 minutes to setup from download to the writing of my first blog, and it would have taken less but I went through every option I could find in the system to get used to it. The next stop will be to edit the layout, and find some fun plug-ins.
So to wrap up Bored+BetaGames+DownloadTimes+BoredAgain = INSTALL WORDPRESS.
Have a lovely evening -
NEWS: Lots of Change Not Much Posting - 09/08/2007
Well I have had an interesting couple of months lately, and I have been super busy up at work. I am going to be looking around at laptops in order to get into more PHP and Database work while being able to watch TV :)
I am trying to implement a few ideas I have had for a couple of years now. Hopefully it won't be too dificult.
NEWS: Everything is Going to Change - 03/06/2007
Well as you can see I took down all of the items dealing with the Counter-Strike Server. I eventually got bored of the game, and I have been going back to my usual distractions of the XBox 360 and World of Warcraft (the new expansion sucked me in).
There isn't much going on right now. I have played with myspace some over the last couple of months, and I found a good CSS file that I could use to edit the layout, and spiced up my page. You can check it out here.
How to Surf - 09/29/2006
One of the CG members posted up a guide to surfing in the forums, so if you are new to surfing in Counter-Strike: Source, go here and read all about the specific of how suring works in the game.
A Forum For Your Thoughts - 09/14/2006
I just wanted to add a quick note that we have added in some forums to the system. You can check them out here.
Maps & Crashes! - 09/08/2006
We finaly added some more to the site here with the new application form for people who want to join the CG crew and help make the server a great place to play.
Along with this, we have added a TON of maps to the server, however a good portion of those new maps tend to make the server crash for some reason, and it is about to drive me insane!
On one final note, there are a few new recruits to the CG team, and they will be getting some levels of admin soon, so look for the CG tag by a players name if you are having trouble with the server or other players.
Changes to the Server & a Story With a Moral - 08/28/2006
Well the server is a big hit so far, it stays pretty busy with 11 out of 12 slots full most of the time with the last slot resserved for admins to login.
We finally have the CSS: DM Mod installed as well as the CSS RPG mod. These two combined make the server pretty fun, and give the whole deal some replay value.
So far the experience of running a server has been pretty fun. I did however have a run in with one of the players tonight that ended up with us banning him.
We had warned him a couple of times not to spawn camp, and generally he might kill a couple of people in the spawn and move on. This is usually fine by me. Unfortunately for me(and for him), I came back to the spawn at one point and there were 3 guys from his team including him killing anyone that respawned.
I tried to kill them a couple of times, but just got beat down about 5 times in a row. After I had gotten killed about the third time in a row I started looking to see who was killing me, and it was this guy, and he was knifing me over and over. Not only was it slightly annoying, but I had told him before not to spawn camp.
I usually follow a pattern for punishing people who repeatedly kill people in a spawn, and this time would be no exception. First I will admin slay the offending player, then I will kick them, and if they continue to do it I will ban them.
So, as I was being killed, I stopped fighting back around the third time in a row they killed me so I could just slay all three of them with a console command.
I slay the first name that I had noticed, which was the guy that was knifing me, and he immediately pipes up with, "Why the hell did you do that!?"
Being the wonderfully nice person that I am, I tell him that he was spawn camping, and he had already been warned about it before. He goes on to whine some more about being slayed so...
I slayed him 10 more times. This may have been a bit vindictive, I guess I could have gone with 9... but hey, I am the admin, he is breaking the rules, and he is arguing with me. Honestly I should have stuck with my normal pattern and just kicked him, but I was slightly annoyed and decided to "chat" with him about it.
So after I slay him 10 times (not 9), he starts whining that he was the only guy I slayed for the camping incident. At which point I slay him a couple more times for good measure.
Granted, this probably just made him angrier, but if he had just shut up and kept playing everything would have been fine.
Again he starts to talk smack about the slaying, and this is when I actually try to calmly tell him that the only reason I slayed him was because he was the first name I pulled out of the list of spawn campers. Truthfully I should have told him this at the begining, but if he hadn't started arguing with me I would have slain the other two and gone on with the game.
His response to my calm and soothing explanation? He starts calling me a jerk and generally being rude. So I tell him to drop it and play, but it is too late to save this one, and he goes off on me some more. This is when I decide to kick him from the server.
At this point he hasn't got a rational bone in his body and is probably seething. I have this personality trait about me that allows me to soothe people, or to really push their buttons, and I fear this is one of those later times. Either way, he comes back to swear at me, and to tell me I will have to ban him to get rid of him.
So I give him what he wants and ban him from the game. I bet he felt real good at this point. I actually felt kind of crappy because I realized a while back I should have just gone with my normal punishment. Unfortunately I let him get under my skin, and that is where I failed in the whole process.
So where did he fail in this entire process? He failed to grasp the moral of this story.
I would like to say the moral of this story is that I am a people person... that we both hugged and let it drop, but truthfully he annoyed the crap out of me with his whining and his inability to handle being slayed.
So the real moral is don't be a whiny ass to the admin.
Changes to the Site - 08/27/2006
I am changing some things around on the site to tie it in more with the Counterstrike server I have setup. I will be trying to add a forum soon, and all of my personal blog/art information will now be in the subsection of the Chaz Blog in the left hand navigation.
Counter-Srike Server- 08/25/2006
I cancelled my WoW and CoH accounts today and diverted that money to renting my own Counter-Strike server. Hopefully this will be a fun venture, I plan on running mostly surf maps, but it seems like it would be a good place for me to start working on building my own maps again.
I will post up the IP on here when I get a chance and let people know how to get a hold of me on Steam too.
A Year Goes By... - 08/08/2006
So... I had a super long post I was going to put up here, but truthfully it was a bit whiny and even I got on my own nerves when I read it. The bottom line is that I need to find something I believe in if I am going to be truly happy in a profession. I love to hear people’s stories, and I love to help them out. I am also fairly good at understanding other people’s points of view, and communicating with them.
With that said, I have gotten a chance to put those skills to use up at work in a project management type of role. This is good because it utilizes my skills, but at the same time I don't know if it will satisfy the altruistic streak in me.
I guess we will find out.
Work, Games, & Church! - 06/27/2005
So I am finaly posting up here again. I have been fairly busy with work, softball, basketball, and church activities. I registered a new domain that I haven't pointed to the site yet, but the concept will be fun, and I will write some more on it later.
In the mean time, I have moved the old posts over to another page and added a link to them on the menu. I will rotate posts from here and put them on that page when they get too old or I run out of room. With that out of the way, I am going to go and work on my other project!
Cleanup! - 05/26/2005
Alright! After a little bit of work I looked around and found some ways to clean up the CSS a little more, and I have gone back and added in dates to the posts... one more post though and I am going to need to start an "old news" page =p.
Speaking of other pages I did a drawing from a bridal picture that was taken of my wife, and I will see if I can get that up soon. I am so out of practice though (not that I have ever been really good). The details are still way off, I think I will stick to some of the more basic stuff to get my shapes down for a bit. At any rate I will get that posted on the "Latest Works" page when I get a picture of it.
UPDATE: The picture is up in the latest work section you can check it out if you like.
More CSS & Basketball - 05/25/2005
Well I have the boxes for the posts setup, now I just need to figure out how to create a database and write up some PHP to archive these posts... I could probably use someone elses system, but that wouldn't be any fun ;)
As for basketball, I have been playing irregularly with one of the guys up at work, and we are going to be putting together a work team for a league. I used to be good at basketball, but 6 years of loafing around has just proven that I wasn't good at basketball, I just had more energy than the other guys.
Thats ok though, I am having a good time playing and it is a good workout. I really need to look into the strategy involved. I mostly played streetball growing up, so it wasn't very organized.
Other than that I don't really have much to rant about. Randi and I will be heading out this weekend to attend some weddings, and that means it is going to be a long and busy weekend.
CSS & My Struggle With Sanity - 05/24/2005
So the site is back up for now as I try to mess with using CSS for layout and other sweet little tweaks. The header image is slightly off in firefox because of the box model issue between IE and firefox. I decide to go with what worked in IE in order to please the masses for now, but will be revising it later.
As for my struggle with sanity... I have decided to change a few things in my life that might make people who know me think I am crazy. I have stripped all of the games off of my computer, and decided that it was time to get down to being responsible and actually accomplishing things when I got home.
I don't want to say that games were an addiction for me but if I have them around I tend to put other things off in order to play them because of my poor impulse control ;). I have the desire to play the games so I do so. This desire hasn't gotten me very far in life, and while I did gain many skills from playing games I have to wonder how many skills I have passed up in the hours of fragging that I have logged.
I will be playing the occasional game on one of my many consoles (the wife won't let me get rid of those) but my goal now is to keep this site up to date, and to work on my artistic and writing skills.
Man I feel sorry for you guys that I have to unleash this on the world.