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03/02/08 05:04 - 34ºF - ID#43531

health care rant

started this as comment to (e:ajay)'s post, but it got too long.

He said something about a restaurant in SF publishing on its menu that there is a 4% surcharge to subsidize the employees' healthcare.

A few disclaimers:
yes, I know the US healthcare system is not perfect
yes, I know healthcare is expensive
yes, I know a lot of people can't afford it
yes, I feel badly for them, and wish there were a good solution

But why do we seem to think it's so horrible that doctors want to be paid? That doctors should just work for free all the time?

I do believe that ACCESS to healthcare is a 'right'. I.e. if you are bleeding and go to an emergency room, you should not be turned away due to race, income, insurance, etc.

However, I don't like the attitude that we seem to have that it should just be FREE. I think if you go to the ER, bleeding, and get treated, and don't have insurance, then it is not unreasonable to ask you to pay your bill.

It might not be PC to say so, but medicine is a service industry, to an extent. But somehow we treat medicine differently. We feel entitled.
I.e. if we call the plumber and wake him up in the middle of the night and he comes over and fixes our leaky pipes, we don't seem to have any problem when he sends a bill. We needed service, he provided it, we pay for it.

But somehow we think it's wrong for doctors to do that.

There's also no other industry I can think of off-hand where the gov't sets all the fees.

People seem to think doctors play golf all day and make millions. And I'm just so sick of hearing people bitch about it b/c it is so not true.

When I finish training, I will be 200K in debt, not to mention 8 years of school plus 6-8 years of residency training, which are 80+ hour work weeks for not much more than minimum wage. I basically put my whole life on hold for my career.

Yes, it was my choice. No one made me do it. I am not saying that. But I'm just saying that I should not be made to feel badly for wanting to be paid. After all, we have no problem paying athletes millions to PLAY GAMES, and we just call Bill Gates a "smart businessman". But in an effort to contain rising healthcare costs, we seem to cut the only factor we can control- doctors' reimbursements. Doctors can CHARGE whatever they want. But they more or less HAVE to accept what insurers pay them. I can charge $1000 for some procedure, but if medicare says they're only going to pay $100, I am shit out of luck, and I have to take the $100 and say "thank you". No other field in the world would put up with that.

This all came up b/c I talked to my mom yesterday... she said she had lunch with some girlfriends, and somehow they both started bitching about healthcare. One woman (who is very wealthy) was talking about how she worked the system to get her daughter's daughter on medicaid so her meds are free. Even though they can MORE THAN afford them. Then the other woman was bitching about doctors charging so much. This after she called my father AT HOME, on NEW YEAR'S DAY, b/c her son-in-law had tripped and fallen, drunk, and cut his face, and "needed" a plastic surgeon. So, my dad goes to their house, and sews him up. And no one every says 'thank you', let alone offer to pay anything.

So finally mom couldn't hold her tongue any more, and pulled out some number (that I have never heard, that really astonish me.) She said my dad (who is by no means a big time fancy doctor- I swear) had 200K in accounts receivable last year that he had to write off. TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS in lost income, b/c people just don't pay their bills. think they shouldn't have to, so they don't. And there's not much he can do. Sure, he can send them to collection, but that doesn't bring in much of it.

I just find it incomprehensible. We have no problem paying teachers/garbage men/cops [hell, we're supposed to "pay cops as if our life depends on it", right? and subsidize their cosmetic surgery?], etc. But doctors are greedy pigs if they send out bills?

And please don't take this as me pulling a 'poor little rich girl' thing, b/c that is NOT what I'm trying to do.

Ugh. sorry. I know this is very one sided and skewed and biased, and I'm sure some of you will have good counter-arguments and I'm more than willing to listen, but the whole thing just infuriates me.

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Location: Buffalo, NY


02/25/08 10:07 - 25ºF - ID#43463

overdue pix

Ok, so here, finally, are some vacation pictures. I know it's a lot- but I took >250, so be glad I showed SOME restraint. ;) And sorry, they're totally out of order.

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I forget the name of this beach, on Anegada. Maybe Loblolly bay.

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Lobsters! (Caribbean lobsters don't have the big claws like Maine lobsters)

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I forget what island that is, but I liked the clouds.

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The view from Biras Creek resort. (we only had lunch there; it's like $900/night. But gorgeous.)

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Looking the other direction from Biras Creek.

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a very cute little dog named Brie.

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Approaching Anegada. (Anegada is one of the (if not THE) only island in the Virgin islands that is not volcanic [I guess it's a coral atoll?], so it's highest point is about 5' above sea level.)

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Brie fetching her frisbee.

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More Anegada.

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On the ferry to Anegada. I took this for the T-shirt. It says "Racing at Bitter End: it ain't over til the cooler's empty!"

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For josh: this boat is called Chowderhead (prob doesn't zoom in enough to show it, but I promise!)

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iPod vending machine in the atlanta airport (did I already post this? sorry)

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These tiny little miniature horses at the first harbor

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By the ferry dock on St. Thomas

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At Bitter End Yacht Club (on Virgin Gorda), with Saba Rock in the distance.

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Necker Island (Richard Branson's (of Virgin Atlantic) private island)

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Action shot! (the starboard [right] side of the deck is actually underwater)

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Postcard shot- a beach at BEYC.

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The V-berth. In the very bow of the boat. Where John, the captain, "slept" at night. (that little blue ironing-board looking thing folds down)

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Another action shot. We were hauling ass. :)

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My first time fishing.

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The squirrel fish I caught! (we threw him back and he swam away just fine.)

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John kissing my parrotfish goodbye.

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At the award banquet, we won the "when pigs fly" award (for thinking a boat that big could sail in to anegada (the water is only like 5' deep). My dad was trying to see if the pig would really fly.

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My dad playing foosball, I think for the first time in his life.

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The Baths (this huge crazy (popular, touristy) natural rock formation on Virgin Gorda)

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The Baths again

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More Baths
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Words: 432
Location: Buffalo, NY


02/15/08 11:29 - 24ºF - ID#43344

Big valentine baby

I really hate that I'm such a stupid GIRL sometimes! I generally think I don't play stupid games and all that, and in fact pride myself on it, but am realizing that sometimes I do. I want things, but I say I don't, and then get mad when I don't get them. Hello, that's stupid and my own fault.

I always say I think valentine's day is stupid.

but.... that's when i'm single.

This year I wasn't, for the first time in a looooong time.

And as much as I *DO* think it's a stupid hallmark holiday, I have to admit that I was looking forward to it- more than I care to admit- more than I think I even realized. I certainly don't expect (or want) silly heart-shaped jewelry or anything like that... but I guess I wanted SOMEthing. A card or flowers or dinner or something.

And in his defense- he was at my house when I got back from RI on wed, and made dinner. Very sweet. AND, I agreed that valentine's day is silly and we didn't have to make a big deal out of it. But I guess I didn't mean we didn't have to make ANY deal out of it. So it's all my fault. But I'm still disappointed.

I also need to lose this overly hopeful habit of believing/hoping that when people tell me we're not doing anything, that it really means they're planning a big surprise.

He'd told me he had to stop by his mom's to help her with something. Fine, I thought we'd have dinner afterwards or something. At least cook a nice dinner, if we weren't going to go out.

So he called from work around 5 saying he was about to leave and that he had to go to his mom's at 7:15, but that she'd made stew and offered it- he didn't tell her if we'd come, b/c he wanted to check with me first. So he asked what I had wanted to do. I said "oh i dunno... I guess I just thought we'd have dinner". He said "like.... romantic candlelit dinner, or dinner at my mom's?" I didn't want to be a brat, so I said mom's was fine.

I was sad about it, but knew I was being stupid, so I didn't want him to know. And then I got it in my head that it must all be a big plan to cover some surprise. So then I was kind of excited.

But, no. No surprise. I got to his house- no surprise. We went to his mom's and had dinner- no surprise. Dinner was nice, don't get me wrong, and his mom's a sweetheart. But it wasn't exactly a valentine's dinner.

But I think he knew this so then we went to wegman's and got some dessert.
He made some joke about "honey do you want me to buy you some flowers?" and I shrugged it off and he said something later about did I want a balloon, and I finally snapped "you're not supposed to ASK". Then he realized I was upset, and asked, and I lied and said I wasn't.

Then we went to his house and had wine and dessert in front of the fire.
That is sweet and romantic and should count, but I was bummed and cranky.

I gave him a card, he didn't have one for me.

I think he got the hint when my birthday came up and I said "just know that if I say you don't have to do anything for my birthday, I don't mean it."

He didn't do anything wrong. We said we weren't going to do anything. He's not a mind reader, I'm not sure how he's supposed to know that I really DID want to do something.

AND, bottom line- we had cute romantic wine and dessert in front of the fire. So I don't know what my problem is. Why am I upset about it? B/c I didn't get flowers?!

That's retarded.

I need to get a grip.

And Dan, if you see this, I'm sorry for acting like a jerk.
:(
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/jenks/43344/Big_valentine_baby.html
Words: 694
Location: Buffalo, NY


02/12/08 11:50 - 15ºF - ID#43293

catching up

wow... I feel so out of the loop!
Trying to catch up with >1wk's worth of posts. And sorry peeps, but if you posted more than three, I didn't read them, b/c I can never get the >10/<10 arrows to work right without clicking/loading like 4 pages.

But so much happened...

Drove home in the shitty ice storm.

Went to an amazing funeral for an amazing man. Standing room only (in fact, overflow in another building, with an audio feed but no video, so they just sat in folding chairs and listened?), not a dry eye in the house. Somehow we got "VIP" seats. :/
Lovely, lovely eulogies.

super bowl-- sad, sad, sad.
But I liked the baby etrade ads.
But no one posted here about it?!

then we left for vacation.
More on that later. but some highlights- well there were 8 people on the boat, not 5 like I was expected. A 56' sailboat is a big boat, but for eight people to live on for a week- it gets tight. But the captain (i.e. kid the owners hire to do maintenance etc while they're not there) turned out to be a kid from the next town over, who knows my bro. small world.
But the food was awesome. Leave it to the former owners of an amazing restaurant to be able to whip up salmon with chipotle cream sauce and fresh mango salsa, and curried grouper with a variety of fresh chutneys-- in the galley of a boat.

mardi gras... sad I missed it.
But the boat's owners' daughter and her husband were on the trip- and they live in NOLA so that gave me some mardi gras spirit.
And timika- she works for an organization that is helping rebuild houses in the Tremaine district post-katrina-- and their funding is a 2.5 mil grant from Qatar! It was funny hear her talking about it expecting no one to know about it, and I was like "actually my friend lives there"

super tues- I'm not registered so i couldn't vote anyway, so I'm ok to tune that out. Frankly I don't want to think about the election until about october.

On the flight home it was brilliantly clear, and the view of the NYC skyline was breathtaking. And I never knew that it only takes 25 min from the time we fly over manhattan to the time we were at the gate in providence.

And last night seeing a friend's (from work) facebook status- "xx is: saving lives, one hockey player at a time" and hearing about the Zednick injury- YIKES. And then seeing people I work with on a big ESPN press conference was kind of cool.

and now I'm back... went from 82 degree weather to 12 degrees in a matter of hours- boo.
My brother was at the airport waiting for us with winter coats and a cooler full of soda. And glasses. What a good kid, esp considering that we went on vacation without him. And the house was painted (interior) while we were gone. wow.
And I'm barely tan, which is a bummer. It will probably be totally gone by the time I get back to buffalo (hopefully tomorrow, barring another miserable ice storm).

Now it's time to take a good long hot shower (showering on a boat, where you have to conserve fresh water, is a pain), try to catch up with email, do laundry, blah blah.

I wonder how long I'll feel the ground rocking. Sleeping in a real bed last night for the first time was interesting. It really felt like it was rocking all night. Still does. Typing this feels strange.

A couple pix from my phone that I tried to mobile-post while away-
(tons more coming once I'm settled back in b-lo and get them uploaded):

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From the Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. (can't see our boat in the pic)

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ZOMG!!
There is an IPOD VENDING MACHINE in the atlanta airport!!!!
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Location: Buffalo, NY


02/02/08 06:06 - 30ºF - ID#43150

More e-cards

these are almost timely...
(and once again, I can't thank (e:hodown) enough for introducing me to this site. :) )



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Words: 23
Location: Buffalo, NY


02/02/08 01:49 - 33ºF - ID#43138

made it home...

...but OH what a drive.
I'd heard it was supposed to be snowing in Buffalo as I left... I wasn't too worried. I walked out of my house to a driveway that was a sheet of ice... I probably should have taken that as a sign, and said 'sorry mom, I know there's a funeral, but I'm not driving in this.'
but oh no, I had to be a tough guy.
So, I got the GPS going. it said 404 miles, and estimated it would take 8 hours. Last time I did it in under 7, and being my usual competitive self, I wanted to beat that time this time.
Note: last time the roads were dry.
So I make my way to the 90, and GPS pipes up "go 272 miles, then bear right"
So I'm driving along. It's rainy and nasty, and occasionally I feel one wheel slipping a little. But I'm not scared. I'm tough.
I hit rochester at exactly 1 hour. Syracuse at exactly 2. Stop at the big rest stop right past syracuse, and when I got out of the car I realized that it was not just rain, but ice. My entire car was covered in a sheet of ice.
I got back on the road and kept plugging along. Called everyone to check in and say things were going fine.
All the while those monster plows are everywhere, and there are spun-out cars off the side of the road ALL OVER THE PLACE.
And then the thermometer in my car went from 33 to 31- and OH what a difference it made.
All of the sudden it was not rain, it was slush/snow.
It was so slippery. Not like ice, but still scary.
And then my wipers were all frozen so they only made contact in one little corner and I could barely see at all. But I didn't want to stop b/c I just wanted to get there and be done. not to mention I didn't want to get out of the car in that mess.
After a few TERRIFYING moments (giant trucks passing me at like 85mph spraying slush everywhere, so I couldn't see ANYTHING, while going around a curve with minimal traction, etc) I finally had the bright idea to BLAST the heat at max, which finally thawed out the wipers. and made me so hot I was tempted to drive around topless. HA.
Then about 50 miles past syracuse or so, the temp went back above freezing, and just like that the ice was gone and then it was just nasty rain the rest of the way. I hit the 272mile mark (Albany) in 3 1/2 hours or so, and I thought "wow! 404-272 -> ~125 I'm more than halfway there! no way is this going to take 8 hours! yahoo!"
Then checked a different screen- 220 left to go.
So I'm not sure where that 404 came from, but that was a huge downer.
And it did indeed take me all 8 hours. Which I seem to take as some sort of a failure, which is stupid. it was called "not dying"

But wow.
I like driving fast.
But this made me realize- I like driving fast when I have control of my car. Not when there are huge trucks bearing down on me and flashing their lights and I am afraid I'm about to go off the road.

I guess I didn't realize how tense and scared I was- but now my whole body is sore all over.

YUCK.

But, I made it home safe and sound.
Rocked out on Guitar Hero with my brother, had some quality time with the dog, and have already been fed about a week's worth of food.

Ahh, gotta love visiting the fam. :)

Hope you are all staying warm. I'll be back next week.

p.s. if any mac people are still reading- have you tried "back to my mac"? it's pretty amazing! I'm in RI but using my computer in buffalo via screen sharing. But I have access to everything! A little slow, but still- tres cool.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


01/24/08 09:47 - 18ºF - ID#43021

how time flies...

I have been so fixated on getting this stupid test over with that it didn't dawn on me until now-

tomorrow is my last day at roswell, EVER!!

And we totally barely ever even had lunch!!




I hate this test, and I am going to do shitty (shittily?) on it.
Boo.

And I miss Dan.
Even more than I thought I would.

But, he comes back saturday.

And just to be shmoopy for a second (bear with me, I don't do this often)-

He sent me a card that is (I think) cute/funny.
On the front it has two frogs (random) and it says:

Life is so busy
If I could have
five extra minutes
each day..

[and inside]

I'd make out with you
like crazy
for five minutes

hahaha.
(and I won't tell you what he wrote b/c it's even more sickeningly cute.)

Sometimes I can't believe the cards they actually sell out there. I mean a card about making out? with frogs on it? how random!

Ok, back to procrastinating studying.
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Words: 177
Location: Buffalo, NY


01/19/08 12:43 - 22ºF - ID#42952

sports sports sports!!

I know, I know, a sports post from Jenks? I don't believe it either...

I went to the Sabres game last night.
They won 10-1. Finally (I think if they'd lost it would have been the 10th loss in a row or something). Against the Atlanta Thrashers, who we thought should maybe change their name to the Atlanta Thrashed. Or Thrashees.

Dan says that "hockey-wise" it was a boring game. But, I thought it was pretty exciting b/c everyone got all into it b/c they JUST KEPT SCORING.
The best part though was the little 9 year old girl next to me. She was there with her grandpa (which is about the cutest thing ever) and she was cheering like crazy. And then Stafford got a hat trick, so everyone started throwing their hats onto the ice. But someone from the upper levels threw a hat that didn't quite made it to the ice, and landed in our laps. The girl was wondering if she could keep it, and I explained that people were throwing them on the ice b/c it was a hat trick. And she said "well do they get them back?" and I said I didn't think so, and she said "well that's a waste of money!"
haha
and the other best part was the huge fight at the end- and one guy got (if I remember it right)
2 minutes for roughing
2 minute for instigating
5 min for fighting
10 min for something else
and a whole game for disorderly conduct or something like that.
And another atlanta guy got a penalty too, and somehow buffalo got no penalty, so it was 5 on 3 for a while, and almost went to 5 on 2.

But don't worry peeps. I'm not turning into a hockey freak. Like this guy.
(have you seen this commercial? it's awesome)


And for the soccer/football people-
This is pretty funny. Well at least the first 2 min or so, then it turns to rubgy and it gets a little long.



So... my stupid exam is saturday.
I can not WAIT til it is over, so I can get back to a normal life.
And vacation in two weeks! woohooooooo!
Dan just left for aruba this AM.
I am super-jealous.

And- I finally got my applications in, and apparently not too late, b/c I mailed them out tuesday night, and by friday had 3 interview invites! woot woot. UB, Stony Brook, and UMass. So we'll see.

Now time to procrastinate a little more before I transform into study-monster.
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Words: 439
Location: Buffalo, NY


01/16/08 06:37 - 30ºF - ID#42917

Politics

Four doctors attending an international medical convention are discussing medical care advances in their respective countries.


A Japanese doctor says, "Medicine in my country is so advanced that we can take a kidney out of one man, put it in another, and have him out
looking for work in six weeks."

A German doctor says, "That is nothing. We can take a lung out of one person, put it in another, and have him out looking for work in four weeks."

A British doctor says, "In my country medicine is so advanced that we can take half a heart out of one person, put it in another, and have both of them out looking for work in two weeks."

The American doctor, not to be outdone, interjected, "You guys are way behind. We are about to take a woman with no brains, put her in the White House, and then half the country will be out looking for work in one week!"

Ba- dum- bum...
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Words: 165
Location: Buffalo, NY


01/13/08 04:38 - 39ºF - ID#42870

if I had time/$$$

a few months ago I got some email from Yale about some trip- it was like a medical relief mission in the dominican republic or something. Sounded great, but I didn't read the email in time and totally couldn't go.

But there must me some new travel program going on or something, b/c then I got another one about some safari in africa. I mean it sounds amazing, but it's $5400 and that doesn't include airfare. Or the "optional hot air balloon safari and champagne brunch in the serengeti" which is an extra $500.



I guess for the most part yale alumni do pretty well for themselves. The back of the alumni magazine is full of classified ads for ridiculous vacation homes etc- far out of the the reach of most "normal" people. Myself included.

Must be nice to have crazy money, and the time to take crazy trips.

Someday, maybe....

Here's just the first few days:

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
October 10: Fly to Africa
Depart the USA for your flight to Tanzania. Arrive late in the evening the next day.

October 11: Arrive in Africa, Transfer to Arusha
After arriving into either Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi or Kilimanjaro Airport, you will travel on to Arusha. Arusha is approximately 4-5 hours from Nairobi, and approximately 1 hour from Kilimanjaro Airport. Spend the night at Serena Mountain Village near Arusha.

October 12: Lake Manyara Safari
After breakfast and a short orientation briefing, depart for Lake Manyara National Park and check-in to Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge. After a relaxing lunch at the lodge, enjoy the afternoon wildlife viewing in Lake Manyara National Park, famous for its tree-climbing lion, elephant, hippo, giraffe, and smaller animals. Tonight you will enjoy a festive welcome reception before dinner and spend the evening at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge. (B, L, D)



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Words: 312
Location: Buffalo, NY


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Robert said to joe
I'm so ;azy with duolingo... i admire your drive!...

tinypliny said to joe
ExBuffalonian, I think you nailed it when you said:

I still love Buffalo, which is why I check this...

tinypliny said to joe
Okay, you need to stop using fluorescent colours as background. :P I looked up and I see all orange ...

tinypliny said to joe
Wait where is Basra's art??...