The Final Pundit Contest Draft…

The final draft:

My idea for reforming health care: government health insurance for all children. Anyone under the age of 18, plus through their final compulsory day of secondary education, is covered. All prenatal care is included. Why concentrate on covering children? For all citizens to have equal opportunity in life, they need to start on equal footing. There is no reason any child should go without medical care in a country as wealthy and powerful as our own. Once you enter adult citizenship, you make your own way.

A benefit is that it takes some of the burden off of having a family. I keep myself in a lower-paying job because of the good benefits package (I work in education, not as a teacher) for my family of four. If the federal government paid for my children’s care, my wife and I could opt for cheaper benefits through our employers or, heaven forbid, purchase our own personal insurance that would have a vested interest in keeping us healthy. Buying health insurance could be as (relatively) easy as picking a cell phone plan.

Legislation to bring this about can appeal to House members from either side of the aisle. For social conservatives, it is a very pro-family move, giving support to those who need it: working families who must make those tough choices between money and health. For economic conservatives, it gives working adults better mobility through the workforce as well as decreasing what employers need to contribute to the health care pot. And for social liberals, such legislation would give a foot in the door to universal health care or blanket federal funding for education, rather than disparate state funding.

Universal health care for children–including dental care–is a priviledge to bestow upon ourselves as an advanced society. I would appreciate not having to worry about medical costs for my children. Recently, my wife and I had to decide whether to take our 18 month old daughter at 1 a.m. to the ER due to a relentless high fever for $150, or wait through the night and go to the clinic for $20. We opted for the clinic, and all was well after a change in medication. However, had worst struck that night, how could I live with myself for saving $130 over potentially my daughter’s life? None in America should have to.

The self-promotion:

I am Evan Fryer. I was raised by well-educated parents in California’s Central Valley–socially liberal, fiscally conservative. I hold a bachelor’s degree in political science, and hold the arts in high regard. Now I live in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota with my wife and two kids (boy and girl, 6 and 1.) I work as a computer technician for a middle school and have a vested interest in technology and education. I’m a working-class dad with a degree in politics and know how to explain what is going on.

It’s all submitted. I don’t hold out much hope, but then again, I can’t help it. It’d be cool to get into the top 10.

Pundit Contest Draft…

Here is my draft for the pundit contest:

My idea for reforming health care: Government health insurance for all children. Anyone under the age of 18, plus through their final compulsory day of secondary education, is covered. All prenatal care is included. Why concentrate on covering children? For all citizens to have equal opportunity in life, they need to start on equal footing. There is no reason any child should go without medical care in a country as wealthy and powerful as our own. Once you enter adult citizenship, you make your own way.

A benefit is that it takes some of the burden off of having a family. I keep myself in a lower-paying job because of the good benefits package (I work in education, not as a teacher) for my wife and two young children. If the federal government paid for my children’s care, my wife and I could opt for cheaper benefits through our employers or, heaven forbid, purchase our own personal insurance that would have a vested interest in keeping us healthy. Buying health insurance could be as (relatively) easy as picking a cell phone plan.

Legislation to bring this about can appeal to House members from either side of the aisle. For social conservatives, it is a very pro-family sort of bill, giving support to those who need it: working families who must make those tough choices between money and health. For economic conservatives, it gives working adults better mobility through the workforce as well as decreasing what employers need to contribute to the health care pot. And for social liberals, such legislation would give a foot in the door to universal health care, as well as blanket federal funding for education, rather than disparate state funding.

Universal health care for children–including dental care–is priviledge to bestow upon ourselves as an advanced society. I would appreciate not having to worry about medical costs for my children. Recently, my wife and I had to decide whether to drag our 18 month old daughter out of bed to the ER for a high fever that wouldn’t go down for $150, or wait through the night and go to the clinic for $20. We opted for the clinic, and all became well after a change in medication. However, had worst struck that night, how could I live with myself for saving $130 over potentially my daughter’s life? None in America should have to.

And here is my self-description for why they should pick me as a finalist:

I am Evan Fryer. I grew up under well-educated parents in California’s Central Valley–socially liberal, economically conservative. I hold a bachelor’s degree in political science, and hold the arts in high regard. Now I live in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota with my wife and two kids (boy and girl, 6 and 1.) I work as a computer technician for a middle school and have a vested interest in technology and education. I’m a working-class dad with a degree in politics and know how to explain what is going on.

What do you think? It’s due tonight, so I know it’s short notice (to be honest, I forgot about it while everyone at home was getting sick.)

My Digital Tools (Part 3)…

I have so far written on my general computing programs (part 1) and my internet/blogging tools (part 2). This third part is on the programs that are more utilitarian and what I use as an administrator. Some of these could easily fit in the general computing category, but they are more in the way of utilities than regular-use programs.

Continue reading

More Evidence I’m a Twit…

  • Mmm… my house smells like tacos. #
  • It is snowing something beautiful right now. #
  • "Were we teachers trained on what this is?" "How the fuck should I know? I was told about it for 20 minutes in a 7 hour tech meeting." #
  • @JollyAndy Like a spanking? in reply to JollyAndy #
  • Sonofabitch! My uploading issue was a 30 second fix once I searched for it the right way. Birthday kids fix pending. #
  • @JollyAndy Roll up the paper and whack him on the nose with it and say, "No!" in reply to JollyAndy #
  • How unbelievably clueless can people be today? Honestly? #
  • @doctorstine Don't those usually cancel each other out? in reply to doctorstine #
  • My one year old daughter is singing and rocking out to Bach's "Little Fugue" in G minor. #
  • At BWW in Coon Rapids if there are any joiners out there. #
  • My jaw hurts. I guess I should stop getting in bar fights. #
  • My son has been home since 10am last Wednesday morning. Schools are closed this Wednesday through Monday. #
  • My kids had better be totally fine tomorrow morning. #
  • The snow and frost on my deck furniture is subliming into the air. It looks very cool. #
  • @feliciaday I hope you at least snapped a phone picture of that! in reply to feliciaday #
  • Last change to pick up a cuddly, giant orange cat this weekend, folks! #
  • Bomb diggity if this happens! #pctutes rides the Wave #
  • Oh Dictionary, how I love thee. #
  • @leannrose Cary Ewles, really? That is both funny and awesome. in reply to leannrose #
  • YES!!!! http://tr.im/BL8q #
  • #pctutes rides the Wave http://po.st/Z08 #
  • What the hell just landed on my desk?? #
  • Well, that was a good day of work this week. Maybe I'll get to do another next week. #
  • Anyone need a part-time writer? Blogger? WordPress administrator? Computer repair guy? Gutter cleaner? #
  • My son passed out on the couch. First day back to running around like normal threw him off a bit. #
  • Do I dare order some Chinese food delivered? And if so, what should I get (other than spicy noodles, of course)? #
  • Oh. My. God. #MST3K Mystery Science Theater 3000 is now on watch instantly in Netflix! How do I add them all then have time to watch them!? #
  • @JollyAndy What's the big deal? 1st gear is for pansies anyway. in reply to JollyAndy #
  • Fever broke! She's below 100 and babbling and giggling again. #
  • And spitting. The joy of joys. #
  • Do I order in Chinese or not? These are the big questions in life, my friends. #
  • I hate owning a TiVo and forgetting I own a TiVo. Fast forward, idiot! #
  • Could someone with long hair come put my daughter's hair up? It keeps getting in her snotty nose and yogurt. #
  • @soulpancake Watched the video. Made me think: is God a placebo? #
  • I don't like Elmo or his world at all #
  • I'm trying to catch up on lots of little chores before everyone wakes up from their naps. #
  • Finnegan's beer is as good on the tongue as a lilting Irish accent. #

The Rite of Spring…

The novel illumination geometry that accompanies equinox lowers the sun’s angle to the ring plane, significantly darkens the rings, and causes out-of-plane structures to look anomalously bright and to cast shadows across the rings. These scenes are possible only during the few months before and after Saturn’s equinox which occurs only once in about 15 Earth years. Also at equinox, the shadows of the planet’s expansive rings are compressed into a single, narrow band cast onto the planet as seen in this mosaic.

I have been following an RSS feed for NASA’s Image Of The Day (link to feed in right column) for a while now. I don’t have as much interest in the stuff dealing with the shuttle or general equipment. But frequently, there are stunning pictures from our probes and telescopes of the objects in our heavens.

The picture above is my desktop picture. I like the humbling reminders of my insignificance in the universe, as well as the reminder that there is a greater universe beyond my own life. Perspective is a healthy thing to regularly inject in one’s existence.

Birthday Kid Fix…

Many apologies for the delay on this post. Following his birthday, Austin got the flu, then my servers got moved around and it took a while to get picture uploading to work again. It seems that the wonkiness all around has cleared.
Two Saturdays ago, my young son turned six. He was so excited to finally be six that he counted down the days for nearly a month. Having lots of family from distances far means goodies get to arrive in the mail and build up. So birthday morning was practically Christmas morning.

From October 3rd, 2009. Austin still in pajamas and opening presents.

09-10-03bday1

Reading his card from Gram and Granddad.

09-10-03bday2

Continue reading

More Evidence I’m a Twit…

  • Fixed two printers already this morning. Not bad for a Monday. #
  • I have 9 programs open right now, and I apparently need all of them. #
  • RT @GrammarGirl: 10 must-have grammar and style books: http://j.mp/QNbH8 [I need all of these!] #
  • RT @artofmanliness: 10 Pieces of Classical Music Every Man Should Know http://bit.ly/3aZnT9 [Pretty good list here.] #
  • I love my bootable hard drive goodness. #
  • RT @torgospizza: Got this from a friend in the mail. Pretty amazing. – http://twitpic.com/ki61m [That's awesome!] #
  • I'm feeling a little too nostalgic right now, I think. But in all honesty, I do miss my friend. #
  • My son's DS is taunting me from my bag. I can hear the Mario Bros. music calling me like a siren song… #
  • The flu. My poor boy got the flu. What rotten luck. #
  • "Evan, you're not going to make it as a special ed advocate." #
  • Dang, I miss watching Top Chef. #
  • It has been quite a length of time since someone last asked me for a length of twine. #
  • I think I need Google Wave to coordinate a grocery list with my wife. #
  • I can't seem to upload pictures to my blog right now. This may be trouble. #
  • Man, I can't make it to the #rifftrax encore tonight. Sick kid and wife making up hours missed while staying home. Boo-urns! #
  • Teaching my son to make salsa. He like the non-spicy kind. #
  • Ach. Mein. Gott! I made really good salsa tonight. Even the batch with no peppers is tasty. Even the sick dude liked it! #
  • So close, yet so far =/ #
  • I sent my son to brush his teeth 22 minutes ago. I wonder if he got lost in the Mushroom Kingdom… #
  • I forgot about a meeting this morning. Somehow, I don't think I'll be missed. #
  • I think I did a full day's work in an hour. Oops. #
  • I think the information that has been relayed to me just curved my spine. #
  • Please don't scream in your emails to me about your Word documents, crazy person. #
  • This day needs to end. Now. #
  • Some days, I swear, I am just talking to the walls. #
  • Daddy heaven: his little girl falling fast asleep in his arms. #
  • @michaeljnelson Definitely ornery. It's a direct lead-in to crotchety, which to be honest, is one sweet deal. in reply to michaeljnelson #
  • Bacon, I don't know how you do it, but you make my heart feel good and bad at the same time. #