Ideas

Kevin Lightner, 4/24/2010:

The situation now is that the doctor who was prescribing pain relievers and had promised to continue doing so, stopped without notice.
Instead, he demanded we sign up with a pain management clinic and referred us to one by name.
That day, we did just that and made an appointment with this new clinic.

Today we received a letter from this pain management clinic indicating that we have an appointment, but they will not be prescribing any pain relievers for at least a month and that we should see.. you guessed it.. our doctor for a refill.

One hand doesn’t know what the other is doing and I’m stuck in the middle.

I remember when docs made housecalls.
I remember when you could call and speak to a doc directly.
I remember when returning a phone message or refilling a prescription was no problem.
I remember when they asked “cash or insurance?” at the front desk.
I remember when saying you’d pay cash meant a better attitude from a staff, not as if you’re homeless.
I remember when the staffs gave you your own medical info and test results.
I remember when the docs knew their own rates, what their staffs say and other reasonable expectations.

After about 5 docs, I can assure you none of these things are done here.
My wife is convinced these are the reincarnated ghosts of Buchenwald guards. 😉

But this is what happens when you take three popular career disciplines- law, medical and business management and group them together.
Rules and laws can then be ignored as standard operating procedure in that the expected law suits cost less than implementing policy changes.

In other words, it’s built into the managerial framework to deliberately break laws and rules because they’re rarely prosecuted or they’re protected from claims.
I haven’t seen a doc or dentist in the past 10 years that doesn’t make you sign your rights away at your first form filling session.
It’s business as usual to deny all claims and grievances upfront or state arbitration-only contests should there arise a problem.
The ones that make it through to courts are almost always wrongful deaths and other major screw ups where good lawyers can use a sympathetic jury to win huge awards and then even those are paid by a doc’s insurance.
So there’s no incentive to treat people for problems.
They’re there for money. Period.
It’s a natural progression when business, law and medicine have so many patients available.
If they do their jobs right, they get paid high sums from insurance companies.
If they do their jobs wrong, there’s little or no penalty and any suits are paid by insurance companies.
From the top managers to the bottom of the office staff, this is how medicine is practiced today.
With me having no insurance, there’s no one to bill and no one to sue.
No incentive to even see me.

For those folks that say “Go to an emergency room. They have to treat you.”
No. You’re wrong.
They don’t have to treat me.
The emergency room is for life-threatening medical condtions.
Spinal stenosis is extremely painful and delibitating[sic], but it unto itself is not directly life-threatening.
If one is suicidal, that’s an emergency, but this is treated very differently from the underlying problem.
Rarely is there any help at all for the underlying conditions that cause suicides.
An emergency room will not perform the surgery I need either.
The normal price in the US for this is $60K to over $100K.
One will not obtain such treatment at an emergency room.

So for all the people that gawk over what a nice Minimoog I can produce, please understand there’s another side of the coin to work like that.
Namely, very little profit and little wiggle room to charge clients more.
There may be guitar luthiers who can charge $30K to fix up a late 50’s Les Paul, but few are willing to spend several thousand restoring a synth.
If you read synth blogs today, you’ll see all sorts of complaints regarding prices of synths offered today, yet they’re priced much lower than decades ago and provide more capabilities.

Many of the vintage instruments I work on cost a fortune when they came out new, but today people are considered crazy to spend the same amount even though they’re getting so much more.
It’s rare to see a synth cost more than $5K today. In the 70’s, not so much.

And yet back then, making $35K a year was considered good.
Today you couldn’t raise a family on $35K / yr.

Vintage synths are quite like computers in prices.
I can recall spending thousands on a 33mhz Mac, but could’t get even $50 for the same computer today.

I don’t believe in magical thinking.
This means I don’t believe in any of the beliefs listed below.

Alien Crop circles
Angels / Archangels
Astrology
Baptisms
Big Foot
Blessings
Boogeymen
Chemtrails (other than contrails.)
Clairvoyance
Crystal power (excepting piezo effects)
Curses
Demons
Dowsing
Devils
ESP
Evil
Exorcisms
Fairies
Faith healing
Fortune telling
Ghosts
Ghouls
Goblins
Gods (any, all, including the concept of Jesus as lord)
Good luck charms (4 leaf clovers, rabbit’s feet, et al)
Hexes
(that) Homosexuality and deviations are by choice, not genetics.
Hoping
Immortality
Incantations
Jinxes
Kharma
Last rites
Laying of hands
Loch Ness Monster
Luck
Lucky numbers or objects
Magic (true, not by performing “magicians”)
Martians (present-day anyway)
Mojos
Numerology
Oracles
Ouija boards
Palm readers
Past lives
Physical representations (Jesus’ likeness in trees, food, etc. Virgin Mary appearances, etc)
Poltergeists
Potions and elixirs
Powers of inanimate objects and shapes (crosses, pentagons, etc)
Power of positive thinking
Prophecy
Psychics
Prayer
Premonitions
Rain Dances
Reincarnations
Rituals (purifications, carrying a bride over a threshold, fertility, rain dances, etc.)
Sainthood
Santa Claus
Sin
Sorcerers
Souls
Spells
Spirits and spirituality
Sprites
Superheros (Batman, Superman, Spiderman, The Hulk, etc.)
Supernatural powers
Superstitions (stepping on a crack, four leaf clovers, under a ladder, black cat crossing, throwing salt over shoulder, knocking on wood, et al)
Tarot cards
Tea leaf reading
Telekinesis
Telepathy
The Easter Bunny
The Tooth Fairy
Time travelling
Trolls
Unicorns
Vampires
Vigils
Voodoo
Warlocks
Werewolves
Wishing
Witches
Wizards
Worship
Zombies

None of these beliefs above have any solid evidence of existence yet provided for.
No religions either: Including Christian (all sects), Islam, Buddha, Hindu, Taoism, Scientology, Zen, etc, etc,

Certain beliefs I have are real, but limited.
For example, chiropractic, accupuncture/accupressure, etc.

Below is what I DO believe exists, yet are all unseen by the unaided human eye (except for light and certain lasers).

Anti-biotics (unseen)
Atomic and sub-atomic particles (quarks, electrons, protons, neutrons, etc) (unseen)
Atoms and molecules (unseen)
Bacteria (unseen)
Cells (blood, plasma, cancer, stem etc) (unseen)
DNA / RNA (unseen)
Electricity (unseen- closest natural sighting would be lightning)
Electromagnetic inductance (unseen)
Lasers (can be seen or unseen depending on frequency or type)
Life on other planets (unseen)
Magnetism (unseen)
Microbes (unseen)
Photosynthesis (unseen)
Proteins (unseen)
Radiation (infrared, radio frequencies, microwaves, x-rays, atomic, nuclear, cosmic, gamma, etc. (unseen)
Viruses (unseen)

–Kevin Lightner, 6/19/2014

My idea would be to make a configurable modular.

Identical panels with controls and jacks, but hi-speed A/D and D/A and internal processor inside. Possibly DSP.

Made cheaply using surface mount techniques and with having to design only one panel, the modules could have their function defined by what program they’re set to run.

Make one an envelope, make one an oscillator, cascade several and make a sequencer, etc. Redefine as needed and upload future new programs and ideas.

Done right, they wouldn’t cost too much and they could have their programming info made public, so others would offer new functions.

Panels could be offered in 1/8″, 1/4″ and banana jacks too.

 

January 10, 2003, 5PM