Irrsinn.net: taking joy in human unreason

insurance tag

Weekly Linkage: Healthcare, Midnight Deployments, and Markov Chaining

I’ve been all over The Incidental Economist lately, and it’s really hard not to link to every one of their posts that I can make heads or tails of. They’re really prolific by my standards, though, which means it’s a struggle to keep their posts from falling off the 30-day cut-off in Google Reader.

  • Simply put: Marginal cost/benefit – "You’ll consume as much health care as you think worth it for the transaction price (your copayment if you’re insured). The lower the price, the more you’ll consume. You’ll keep using health services until the marginal benefit falls below the price you pay."

    I'm not sure I agree that people will keep gobbling and gobbling up health care, but I definitely understand that people will use more if it's cheaper.

  • Student drowning in debt needs professional help – I think my brain stopped working when I saw the mortgage payment of $1900 a month. That's… what? A $350,000 house? Fer skerious. That’s a whole lotta house. Keep reading >>

Financial Advisor: Not This One

My first financial advisor discussions have ended with a quiet crash and burn. The Bogleheads’ Guide to Retirement Planning warned me about commission-based folks. I listened to them and then called him on some junk.

Jackie, sitting in our PS3 shipping box.We met yesterday to catch up on some of the things we talked about the first time, such as pre-tax vs. post-tax investments, “real wealth” vs. “paper wealth”, etc.

Showstopper: he was trying to sell me insurance.

Lousy insurance at that.

His ideas of safe, “real wealth”, tax-protected investments were whole life and variable universal life insurance. Which he’d get a commision on for selling me.

Keep reading >>

Weekly linkage

Everything’s a day behind this week. I wanted these out yesterday. Anyway, here’s this week’s internet cruising:

  • The Little Easy – OMG, can I move into this house, please? Please?
  • White Bean and Onion Confit (recipe) – I'm totally going to try this. Healthy and yummy-sounding (although that's quite a bit of oil).
  • Graphic Designer’s Journey: Freelance to Freedom (Infographic) – Apparently I'm on a freelance kick today. This totally resonated with me. As much as I like people, client work can be rough. It's hard to maintain the cheerful and patient "service industry" outlook 40 hours a week. It feels much more satisfying to do your own work or select volunteer work, especially if you think your work has redeeming social value.
  • Aggressive Expansion: 8 Tips for Finding More Clients Now – I saw a lot of these techniques (sans the job boards) used to good effect at Skookum. Were I to go into freelancing, this would be an awesome guide. It's good anyway.
  • Winning a User Experience Debate – "To bring UX to the heart of the business, you must persuade colleagues to trust your opinion and expertise. Handling critique well is an important way to earn trust. It’s easy to undo your hard work with rash disagreement. Never dismiss stakeholder feedback out of hand."
  • YouTube – Speed Up Your Iphone backup with Itunes – Easily done. I was having 1+ hour syncs. Here I was (apparently) trying to be nice, sending in diagnostic info.
  • Reader Story: How I Purchased Private Health Insurance – I've thought about going independent myself with health insurance, just so that I won't be shackled by a job. That said, some companies offer better benefits than I'd want to pay for out of pocket, especially since I do need more than just preventative care on a regular basis… This article explores a couple of good options.
  • 22 seconds of joy – A confused puppy.
  • POD is Bad Business – An interesting perspective on publish-on-demand. It hinges on writers wanting their books on bookstore shelves. I'm not sure the argument holds as much water if you care more about online sales through Amazon (etc.).
  • Buttersafe – The Portrait – I almost peed my pants on this one.
  • Keep reading >>

Shenanigans with an insurance salesperson

So I’m trying to get life insurance. Just 20-year level term life insurance. It’s supposed to be cheap and easy to get.

Some of the big dogs won’t do online quotes, New York Life in particular. So I agreed to meet with a local agent yesterday morning and let him talk at me over coffee. Yes, coffee, which I don’t go for often. Luckily, it was at Panera Bread, so the coffee was pretty good, although a little aged.

We go through the usual rigmarole of “Oh, you used to be a teacher? So did I!” After the meeting, I think I knew pretty well why he ultimately left teaching, if I may be catty.

Mmm, blog. Yes, I can be catty. Tasty.

I knew insurance is a sleazy business, and this guy certainly isn’t the worst I could imagine dealing with, but it was still hilariously smarmy.
Keep reading >>

Daily tasteeness (2008-01-20)

Organize & Prepare: Do Your Taxes Quickly | My Dollar Plan
The title says it all. This seems like a good way to get organized to make taxes simpler.

Single Guy Money: Save Money on Auto Insurance
I just ripped Progressive a new one for how much I’ve been overcharged for my car insurance. If you have the money to do so, Single Money Guy has some tips to get discounts on insurance.

Time To Call The Credit Card Company
“If you are trying to get out of credit card debt, you might want to think about giving your credit card company a call.” Get your rates reduced, increase your limit, waive balance transfer fees… Make it easier to get out of debt. Argue well.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of Spending Cash | The Happy Rock
I mentioned previous that I was using cash to help with my budgeting/spending issues. This post lists some of the pros and cons of spending cash.

Keep reading >>


Recent Posts

Exploit: Zero Day “Headless Swarm” Landing December 1

So we’ve been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a couple of years now, but I haven’t talked nearly enough about it here. It’s a web-based cyberthriller puzzle game where you play as a hacktivist, uncovering and battling against oppression and exploitation.

*innocent whistle* Totally not the sort of game I’d want to make or play, no…

It’s been in closed alpha for a while, but we’re ready to offer a prelude season of paid story: “Headless Swarm”. For details on the plotline and how it relates to the continued free alpha access, check out the announcement blog post over at FPG.

Keep reading >>

Attending a Charlottean Protest

I visited uptown Charlotte tonight, amidst the current protests and unrest after Keith Scott’s death. My friend and I had a few tidbits of info on where people were meeting, but nothing concrete, so we wandered along several streets.

In areas where people weren’t protesting, businesses were closed, and the streets were unusually silent for 20:30 on a Friday night. Troops stood in clumps of three on corners, waving or saying hello when you passed them. The occasional humvee or police SUV drove by.

Things were more lively at the Omni Hotel, where folks had covered the sidewalk in chalk. There were lots of media there: it was clearly an “allowed”, acceptable, media-consumable gathering. I’d maybe characterize it as a space for quieter expression of grief, although it was criticized by another gathering as essentially being for the white people. The writings were names of people killed and sayings that many of us are familiar with: “hands up don’t shoot”, “when will we have justice?”, etc. Religious figures were around, praying with people.

Further down Trade St., past the bus station, a group had gathered in front of some government building. My friend and I stayed there for a while. They were chanting “I am my brother’s’ keeper!” and folks were stepping up to share their perspectives. Four National Guards and a cop stood between the crowd and the building (with the aid of crowd control barriers), utterly stoic when the crowd shouted questions at them.

Keep reading >>

Remastering “The Majesty of Colors”

Folks probably know that I make video games as part of Future Proof Games, but maybe not what we’re doing at the moment. Many, many (many) years ago, Gregory made “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”, a very sweet Flash game about balloons and drowning.

As the site stats geek for FPG, I can tell you “Majesty” remains pretty damned popular. (Hell, it just got linked by Buzzfeed a few days ago.) It’s an evocative game that continues to appeal to folks wanting to explore the soft feelings of a big, weird, sessile alien. Problem is, Flash is finally actually dying — no phone/tablet can run it, and some browser configurations require user action before it’ll run Flash.

So we’re bringing “Majesty” to modern devices: Android, iOS, and Windows/OSX/Linux. And holy crap, this game feels great on a phone; moving the tentacle with your finger just feels real in a way that the tiny, mouse-controlled Flash version doesn’t. I’m excited to test it on tablets.

Keep reading >>

July 3rd 2016
Tags: On Life and Love, , No Comments

First Hair Highlights

The first time I dyed my locs.

One of the first pictures taken of my newly-dyed locs.

I did it! I’ve had locs twice now, for a total of almost five years, and each time I’ve gone, “I should be bold and dye my hair!”

But it’s very permanent, especially since my natural hair color likely needs to be lightened for color to show much. Plus, lightening hair can be damaging. Last thing I want is to have my locs falling out. I’ve literally spent years growing these things; I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little attached to them, even if I don’t name them or count them.

But finally, with the aid of recommendations from friends and family on a beautician, I got my hair did.

Keep reading >>

Ossuary 25% Off on Steam!

Steam Summer Sale 2016 Offer

Ossuary—Future Proof’s first commercial game release—is part of the Steam Summer Sale and will be 25% off until July 4. If you haven’t had a chance to play yet, it’s only $7.50 (USD). If you’re on the fence, the demo, “The Hodge-Podge Transformer,” is also on Steam.

It’s been on Steam for a year and a month now, and it’s been a fascinating experience. After watching a few Let’s Plays of Ossuary and “Hodge-Podge,” we released an update in December to improve the tutorial experience and solve some colorblindness issues.

EZD Logo Color Our current work in progress is Exploit: Zero Day, a cyberthriller where you roleplay a hacktivist by making and solving puzzles. It’s pretty cool, and our alpha players are making really friggin’ awesome puzzles and stories. If you want in, hop on the monthly mailing list and you’ll get a key in the next newsletter.

When a Nasal Polyp Isn’t a Nasal Polyp

I had a pretty gross thing happen to me today.

It started with a long, thin scope being poked into my nose — deep into my nose. They need to see where this mass in my nose was attached before they removed it.
Keep reading >>

Questionable Decisions: Hot Yoga

I made a questionable decision this afternoon.

After coffee with a yogi friend, I was inspired to start climbing back on the yoga horse. Most yoga studios in my area only have Saturday morning classes, so I had very few options for something in the afternoon.

Whatever. I was feeling brave. I signed up for an all-levels Vinyasa hot class at a studio I’d never been to. Ninety minutes.

Keep reading >>