Desire for simplicity

There’s a lot of days when I wish I could live like a normal human. I’d probably been going too hard, and my body seriously revolted against that a couple of weeks ago. As I’ve tried to get back on an even keel, I’ve struggled getting things right. Obviously, I did something wrong, because I’m out of work again, today, with muscles randomly cramping up.

But, with that, I decided not to subject myself to the unpleasantness that is work today. After the problems I had a few weeks ago, it’s better that I just not risk things when I’m having problems.

So, what to do…. Well, exciting stuff like 401K rollovers. And long for having a NetBSD environment to play around with again. This sums it up pretty well. Since went to the dark side that is loonix, I’ve been missing it.


What else can I do until I can get home this afternoon?

Shmoocon 2015 from afar part deux

Streamed this, notsomuch because I have a thing for girls named “Sarah,” but because the topic sounded interesting.

I understand where she’s going with her focus on employment subsequent to the programmers’ undergrad studies. Still, I’m a bit skeptical, considering what I’ve seen the past few years.

Because there’s so much broken code out in the wild, managers don’t seem at all interested in actually deploying anything that’d really fix the problems. Whether that reluctance is because change would require documentation rework, or because the application used busted-ass proprietary nonsense in the past is unimportant. “I’ve been doing this a long time.”


So much of what I see lately is simply maintenance on fundamentally broken systems; security has to be an afterthought. Nobody understands what it is that the systems or the code they run are supposed to do. Just keep them running exactly as they always have.

Fixing the undergraduate curriculum isn’t going to fix that. I don’t know what will, really.

Shmoocon 2015 from afar

I watched this over the stream.

I find it interesting that location services, even when the user says to turn them off, are often still transmitted. I don’t know that there’s an easy way to fix this if the vendors still allow location data to be transmitted even after the user says to turn it off.

Such a feature would be rather easy for Apple to add to the API, but it’d be up to the folks who police the app store to enforce use of it. It might slow application approval, since someone would have to verify that the application is using the correct faculty, etc..

In the disaster that is Android, there’d be no way of enforcing it. With things that I’ve read that say the spyware infection rate being somewhere north of 70% on Android devices, it might well be impossible.

I understand the paranoia, but I don’t share it. I’m okay with my location being tracked. Maybe when I was young and healthy, I would have cared more about being able to just disappear, but I don’t now.

Secrecy and surprise really don’t afford you that much protection if you’re still a lumbering target. I’ll eschew my normal allusions to football, but they’re very appropriate.

I am not at Shmoocon this year, because I couldn’t get a ticket. I am watching from home via the stream. Do with that what you will.

An Affordable Nightmare

I’ve basically not worked this week.

I’m having some issues related to my condition that have been tough. Since May 2013, I’d been taking Tecfidera. No real concern, though, as my neurologist was thinking about switching me to one of the infusion medications.

Last fall, I didn’t enroll in my company’s HMO offerings for a variety of reasons. Naturally, just after the open enrollment period, we received notice our private policy wouldn’t be offered for 2015. Somewhat reluctantly, my wife and I chose a plan offered on the Federal Exchange with a company we’d previously used (and had difficulties with).

We went with the plan largely because we knew that the specialists I’d been seeing accepted it.

My wife saw her PCP last week on the new insurance without any problems.

This week, I had two appointments with specialists scheduled. One of them was with the neurologist who’d been treating my MS since just after diagnosis, the other with a specialist I’d been seeing on referral from the neurologist (albeit, this time to address a problem discovered in a routine test as my PCP; since there was an existing relationship, I figured I’d let them handle it). Friday, tomorrow, I had an appointment scheduled with my neurologist to discuss changes in my treatment.

I saw specialist two late last year. He wanted to run some tests, but agreed it’d probably be better to wait until my new policy started.

Early in the week, I got a call from the second specialist saying they didn’t have my insurance information. Since I didn’t have my card on me at the moment (I’d given it to my wife when she went to pick up a prescription for me), I told the caller the company, and that I’d bring my card with my for my appointment on Wednesday.

So, yesterday we set out to my appointment. After someone rudely cut in front of us, we finally got to the check-in. Hand over my card. Paraphrasing —
“Did you get this from the Exchange?”
“Yes. The woman I spoke to said that you accept this company.”
“We do, but not the plans from the exchange.”

After a bit of back-and-forth about the cost of the appointment as an out-of-network patient, we left.

My wife reminded me that I should call my neurologist, with whom I had an appointment scheduled Friday. They don’t accept the exchange program, either.

Later that afternoon, while looking for replacement specialists on the insurer’s site, I found a doctor at my neurologist’s practice listed. Again, paraphrasing —

“Which doctor?”
“Dr. S.K.”
“Please hold….” “Sir, we don’t accept that insurance at all.”

So, cancel that appointment, too, and see the PCP Friday to get referrals to new specialists.

Meanwhile, I can’t work, and none of my conditions is being treated.

A big “thank you” to the politicians responsible for this.