Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Great IBM profile of my Uncle Robert H. Dennard!

What do you think they are discussing?

You remember them?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Affordable Healthcare Law! Want to blow out the candle... or blow out the law?

Today is the first anniversity or birthday of the so-called Obama-Care Law... NBC was kind enough to send me a news summary, but it was filled with lots of ????? in it that at first I was more confused by the typos than by the content.

Instead of removing the typos, I have decided to live them in and let it re-enforce the confusion that the Affordable Healthcare Act Law has created in it's (it?s) first year on the books as the Law of the Land:

A nation still divided?:

Back to the health-care anniversary? the needle hasn?t moved all that much on the health-care bill?s popularity. In the most recent monthly tracking poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 42% of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of the bill compared to 46% who saw it unfavorably. In April 2010, just after the bill was signed, the numbers were a similar -- but more favorable -- at 46%-40%. In November 2010, when the midterm elections put the politics of health care front and center, those numbers were 42%-40%.

The 2010 exit polls, which reflected an electorate that voted to sweep Democrats out of power in the House, showed an equally split country -- with 47% saying it should either be expanded or left as is and 48% saying it should be repealed. Kaiser?s numbers are similar to the ones shown by our NBC/WSJ poll. In March 2010, right before the legislation passed, 46% said they supported passage, 45% opposed. That?s exactly the same breakdown as NBC/WSJ found 10 months later in January 2011 on a DIFFERENT question -- on whether they supported or opposed its repeal.

*** And still equally confused:

Polling indicates Americans continue to be confused about how the bill will impact them, what's actually in it, what's been implemented, and whether it's been repealed.

Kaiser shows that, as of March, 53% say they are ?confused? about their feelings on the law. In April 2010, 55% said they were confused. That dipped to 42% by June, but then spiked back up to 53% by September, dipped again to 43% by December and ticked back up at the beginning of this year; 52% say that they don?t know enough about the legislation to understand how it will affect their lives. That?s about the same as April 2010, when 56% said so. Incredibly, almost half in February of this year said INCORRECTLY either the bill had been repealed (22%) or weren?t sure (26%).

*** Congress -- who?s left:

Of the 219 House Democrats who voted for the health care bill, 171 remain. The four House Democrats who voted for the health-care bill and ran for Senate all lost. Of the 34 House Democrats who voted no, 14 remain. One, Charlie Melancon (LA-3) ran for the Senate and lost. Of the 56 Senate Democrats who voted for it, 46 remain, 11 of whom won re-election in 2010. Of the three Senate Democrats who voted against it, two remain. Only one -- Blanche Lincoln (AR) -- was up for re-election last year. And she lost.

*** Where it stands in the courts:

Nearly two dozen legal challenges have been filed in federal court over the law, NBC?s Pete Williams reports. And while most have been dismissed on technical grounds, five resulted in decisions on the central issue -- whether the law?s requirement that nearly all Americans buy health insurance is unconstitutional. The five cases are pending before federal appeals courts, and one may reach the U.S. Supreme court during its next term.

In three of those cases, filed in Virginia, Michigan, and Washington, D.C., judges said the law is constitutional. In the other two, brought by the states of Virginia and Florida, judges said Congress exceeded its powers in passing the law. The lawsuit filed by Florida was backed by 25 other states. Adding Virginia, that brings to 27 the number of states challenging the law?s constitutionality. Six more cases are pending in the lower courts.

*** How is the law affecting you RIGHT NOW?

There were cries of, ?Have you read the bill?? and ?What?s in the bill?? which led to a lot of the confusion. Well, here?s some of what?s ACTUALLY in the bill that?s taken effect already or will this year,

According to NBC and others:

- Children allowed to stay on their parents? health insurance plans until their 26th birthday.
- A 10% tax on indoor tanning services. (Sorry, Snooki.)
- Seniors receive a $250 rebate to help cover the so-called ?donut hole? in Medicare drug coverage
- Free preventative care covered by Medicare and private plans. (So, when your company says, ?Good news, you now get free health-care screenings, child well visits, physicals and other preventative care,? that comes from the health-care bill.)
- Nursing mothers to be allowed lactation breaks
- Insurance companies no longer allowed to discriminate against children with pre-existing conditions
- Government-run insurance plan set up for adults with preexisting conditions who are denied coverage
- Government-run long-term care program set up. For those who participate, people pay premiums for five years and then will receive benefits if they need them -- ?whether they are 20-somethings in snowboard accidents or 80-somethings with Parkinson?s disease,? the New York Times wrote.
- Insurance companies barred from placing lifetime caps on benefits
- Insurance companies barred from dropping patients? coverage when they get sick
- Insurance companies must prove they spend 80% to 85% of premium revenue on medical services.
- Insurance companies required to disclose rate increases (and the reason) of 10% or more
- Small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) begin receiving tax credits covering 35% of premiums to help them buy coverage. (This credit jumps to 50% in 2014.)
- States receive billions in funding for community health centers
- Drug companies face $2.5 billion in fees (rises in later years)
- Creation of a government research institute created in to examine the effectiveness of medical treatments
- Establishment of a Medicare Independent Advisory Board, which will be tasked with trying to keep Medicare spending down and submitting legislative proposals to do so. It will first submit recommendations in 2016.

*** How will it affect you IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS? I

f most of that sounds good (that is, unless you?re Snooki), Republicans will rightly argue the law was front-loaded with many of the positive parts. In 2013, new taxes and fees go into effect for individuals making more than $200,000 a year (and families making more than $250,000 a year), on dividends and interest, and on sales of medical devices. By 2014, the individual mandate goes into effect -- if you don?t have insurance, you have to buy it or face a fee. By 2016, that fee will be 2.5% of your income or $695 a year, whichever is more. (Kaiser has a helpful interactive timeline here.)

*** Bet you didn?t know?:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell?s office yesterday passed around a quote from Starbucks? CEO, who said, ?I think as the bill is currently written and if it was going to land in 2014 under the current guidelines, the pressure on small businesses, because of the mandate, is too great.?
It?s true that by 2014, businesses with more than 100 employees will have to contribute to buying health insurance for their employees or face hefty fines (if at least one of their employees qualifies for tax credits, but not Medicaid).
But, we bet you didn?t know that businesses with fewer than 50 employees NEVER have to buy health insurance for their employees, per the White House.

*** By the numbers:
For all your quick facts needs, here's a health care, by numbers (gathered from published reports, the Kaiser Family Foundation, government health-care Web sites, the Department of Health and Human Services, and White House fact sheets):

- $2.8 billion: Dollars distributed so far to states to implement the law.
- $241 million: Dollars given so far to six states and a ?coalition of states? in ?Early Innovator? grants
- $50 million: Dollars to go out this year for five-year medical malpractice grants to go out this year to states to ?develop, implement, and evaluate alternatives to current tort litigations?
- $50 million: Dollars in grants sent to states to establish exchanges
- $46 million: Dollars in grants so far to states to address insurance rate increases
- 4 million: People received $250 because they hit the Medicare ?donut hole? since the law passed
- 12,000: People who were denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions since the law was passed and were added to the government-run Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan
- 1,040: Waivers granted that allow companies to cap annual payouts at lower levels than the original law orders
- 219: House Democrats voted for the health-care bill
- 171: House Democrats remain in Congress
- 63: House seats Democrats lost in the 2010 midterms
- 56: Senate Democrats voted for the bill
- 53: Percent who say they?re still confused by the law
- 48: Percent who say they think the law has either been repealed (22%) or aren?t sure (26%)
- 46: Democrats who voted for the bill remain in the Senate
- 38: States whose legislatures have proposed measures opposing elements of health reform
- 27: States have challenged the constitutionality of the law
- 26: Percent who say they?re not sure if the health-care law has been repealed
- 22: Percent who say incorrectly that the health-care law has been repealed
- 6: States -- Nevada, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, North Dakota, and Iowa -- all have applied for waivers and are being reviewed
- 6: Cases pending in lower courts challenging the health-care law
- 5: Health-care lawsuits taken up by the courts out of the dozens of cases that were filed -- most centered on the individual mandate, which requires all Americans to buy health insurance
- 3: Steps the Small Business Administration created for small businesses to apply for or see if they qualify for government subsidies. The SBA claims, ?Four million of the nation?s six million small businesses that employ workers could be eligible for these credits.?
- 3: Court decisions in court in favor of the administration
- 2: Court decisions against the administration.

- ONLY ONE State -- Maine has undergone the full process to get approval for a waiver on the 80%-85% provision of the health-care law. It got the provision adjusted to 65% through 2012. The reason for approval, per HHS: The main insurance company that provides coverage for about one-third of the 37,000 people on the individual market said they may leave the market if they are required to meet the higher standard.

- 1: Other state -- New Hampshire -- is farthest along in its waiver process and has a hearing set for Thursday.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Cousin Salen has past me her Handbook for 2011... so I pass it along to you.

"People need to see that, far from being an obstacle, the world's diversity of languages, religions and traditions is a great treasure, affording us precious opportunities to recognize ourselves in others." ~Youssou N'Dour, musician



1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games with your spouse and friend and kids and grandkids.
7. Read more books than you did in 2010 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes' walk daily. And while you walk, smile.


11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts of things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't overdo. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past.

Don't remind your partner of his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.
Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...


25. Call your family often. And be thankful that they are still around.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything. You don't need to personally seek them out, just forgive them in your heart. Forgiveness isn't about their peace of mind and well being, it's about yours.
28. Spend time w/people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.


32. Do the right thing! No matter what others think or do. It's about how you feel about it.
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, joyful or brings back good memories.
34. Your GOD heals everything. Don't worry about their GOD... or their DOG.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. Believe that the best is yet to come.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner Self most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least:

40. Please Forward this to everyone you care about, I just did.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Does your Dog understand you?


I don't know what you guys are paying for gasoline.... but here in California we are paying up to $3.75 to $4.10 per gallon. My line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth for every gallon:

Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in San Jose, CA we deliver about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline.. One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.

Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening....your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role.

A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.To have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of gas buyers. It's really simple to do.

I'm sending this note to about thirty people. If each of you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300)...and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers !!!!!!! If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted!

If It goes one level further, you guessed it..... THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!!

Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people. How long would it take?

CPAP is considered the gold standard treatment for OSA.

CPAP is a machine that pushes air into a person while they are sleeping to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a medical condition where a person stops breathing multiple times throughout the night leading to all sorts of medical problems including increased risk of hypertension, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, heart attack, etc.

In order for this device to work, a mask must be worn while sleeping in order for the air to get pushed into the lungs.

It is considered the gold standard treatment for OSA.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Costs of the Wars: Sacrifices by the Few

A soldier with the US Army's Task Force Mustang "Dust Off" Company based out of Fort Hood, Texas, cleans snow with a broom off his Blackhawk medevec helicopter in Kunduz, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011.

AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus

Costs of the Wars: Sacrifices by the Few
The U.S. is engaged in one of the longest periods of combat in its history. But only a small percentage of the population carries that burden. Diane and guests explore the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the military's...

The U.S. is engaged in one of the longest periods of combat in its history. But only a small percentage of the population carries that burden. Diane and guests explore the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the military's growing sense of isolation in its sacrifices.

James Kitfield senior correspondent, National Journal magazine.

Michelle Joyner Director, Communications at The National Military Family Association.

Joseph Collins Professor at the National War College, retired Army colonel, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability Operations from 2001 to 2004, author of the upcoming book "Understanding War in Afghanistan."

Matt Pottinger Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, former Wall Street Journal reporter, and a U.S. Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Southern Encounter Aquarium and Kiwi House in Cathedral Square will close.

The Southern Encounter Aquarium and Kiwi House in Cathedral Square will be closed indefinitely after the Canterbury earthquake damaged their building beyond repair.

Orana Wildlife Trust, owner of the aquarium, reported that all staff and visitors were evacuated safety after the quake, but the building has been declared unsafe.

Chief executive Lynn Anderson said she was full of admiration for her team who had "poured their heart and soul" into the attraction.

"Over the past week they have worked incredibly hard, going beyond the call of duty and risking personal safety, to rescue and release many of the animals."

Although the building had been redstickered, staff were able to gain access to the site every eight hours to refuel generators keeping animals inside the aquarium alive.

Many of the land-based animals, such as kiwi, tuatara and geckos, have been transferred to other wildlife centres including Orana Park.

Many fish, including eels and over 100 nationally endangered Canterbury mudfish, were released into the wild.

Anderson said some fish died as a result of the earthquake and the remaining fish that could not be rescued were euthanised humanely on Monday. Some of those fish were too large for staff to rescue safely, while others would not have survived a transfer.

"Whilst it is very upsetting that Southern Encounter has not survived the event, we remain so grateful for the good fortune that all staff and visitors were safely evacuated," Lynn Anderson said.

The aquarium gave visitors a glimpse at some of New Zealand’s unique native animals and was a valuable educational facility, she said.

“We take this opportunity to thank the public for their support of Southern Encounter over the years.”

Anderson said Orana Park will be doing all they can to look after the facility's seven full time staff.

The $5.5 million aquarium was opened in 1997, originally focusing on freshwater sportsfish.

It grew to showcase more of the South Island's marine and native freshwater species, as well as native land-dwelling animals including kiwi, tuatara and geckos.

The facility hosted more than one million visitors over its 13-year life.