27 May 2006

A good Hollandaise makes my toes curl

A good Hollandaise sauce does it for me. And I hadn't found one at a restaurant here in the Denver metro area until today.

We had brunch at The Delectable Egg in Westminster this morning. I finally got brave enough to try their Hollandaise sauce - I was starting to think that Denver had a different definition of Hollandaise than the rest of the world, cause everywhere I'd had it it was sour or clumpy or way too runny, so I've been avoiding ordering anything with Hollandaise sauce unless I really trusted the kitchen, and even then it was bad (shame on you, Racine's!). This Hollandaise was divine - every mouthful had me closing my eyes to savor it. I could have eaten two plates of Quiche Lorraine crepes, it was so good.
Is it bad when the only nice thing I can say about my bank is that, since I've had to go in so many times to fix things they've done to our accounts, find out why deposits haven't been credited, why accounts are locked, etc., they know me by name enough to cash a check for me when I can't find my wallet?

26 May 2006

A sign your kid watches too much Food Network

"Welcome to Iron Chef America. Today we're going to make carrot soup and learn about the color black."
I actually got a call back from a Kaiser administrative assistant straight up at 8 am this morning...who unfortunately wasn't able to help me. She said she would have a rep call me back by mid-morning. It's mid-morning, no call back. So I can't run any of the errands I needed to run until they call back, I can't even go out to work on the yard since our cordless phone is on the fritz (one of the errands I needed to run today was to pick up a new one).

Why did I put this off until a few days before I needed to have this taken care of, you ask? Well, the goal was to get this done last week, but I had to go out of town for the funeral of my great-uncle. He was a wonderful man, and he is loved and missed by everyone who knew him. How many men do you know who would take on the full-time care of two great-grandchildren? He brought a smile to the face of everyone he met. He volunteered as transport for the sheriff's office, and took the opportunity to minister to the over 1,000 inmates and juveniles he transported for the county - but he never came across as preachy, at least not to me or anyone else in my family. He co-founded the mounted police for his county, and they were gracious to retire his MP number upon his death. Uncle Bob, you are missed.

Update: after a few more calls, I got a call back from a rep who was actually HELPFUL! And who answered my questions! Thanks, Stacy!

25 May 2006

Kaiser Permanente customer service

We're switching our insurance from Pacificare to Kaiser Permanente since the insurance rate is about to go up to $1115 to insure the four of us. That's $1115 a month, not $1115 a year. Kaiser will still be taking a chunk, at $871, but it's not quite as painful a chunk. Our season tickets to the Colorado Rapids for all four of us, on the center line of the field on the fourth row, so close we can spit on Fernando Clavijo, don't cost as much as one month of health insurance.

Anyone care to hazard a guess as to how long it will take me to get someone on the phone at Kaiser to answer questions about coverage so we can plan our flex bux and find a pediatrician? It's been 20 minutes so far. This includes three transfers and a hangup.

This isn't much worse than the service at Pacificare, though - I've spent at least an hour on the phone with Pacificare over the past two days trying to figure out 1) why they just withdrew payment on an urgent care visit last January (they don't have it in their system that they withdrew payment, but the explanation of benefits they sent says they withdrew the payment), and 2) why they haven't paid two claims that have been submitted twice, rejected once, and ignored the second time - which they also say they don't have in their system, including the rejection.

Been on the phone for an hour now, been transferred to nine different people, been hung up on twice, been told I couldn't be heard twice. Left a message in one person's voice mailbox, got transferred to another voice mailbox that hasn't been set up to receive messages yet but said their office closes at 5 (it's 4:55). I've tried just waiting

I'm not much for government interference in much of anything, but right now I'm all for requiring automated phone systems to deliver a caller to an operator when the caller presses 0, at least during their regular business hours.

Hour and twenty minutes. Reached someone in appointments (person number eleven) who said to call appointments tomorrow and have someone transfer me to benefits, because the main customer service line is nothing but a loop. But benefits closed at 5:00 pm. Lovely.

13 May 2006

CNN is so cute

Headline on CNN: Education law leaves children behind.

How cute.

Of course, nothing in the article reflects that the No Child Left Behind Act is what's failing the students. NCLB requires teachers to be certified proficient in what they teach. It holds states accountable to parents and the federal government for the quality of their school systems. And it expects schools to show that they are improving academically. How this law has left children behind is beyond me, but CNN thought they'd be smartasses and make it look like the feds should take the fall.

Several states didn't even make an effort to meet their NCLB requirements. I'm becoming more and more convinced that school districts are trying to fail the NCLB requirements on purpose because the act was put in place by a conservative president, and can be cited as a failure since schools aren't passing it. Never mind that it makes the school districts look like idiots - they can't even bother hiring teachers that know the subjects they're teaching, they don't utilize the federal money available for tutoring, and they whine about standardized testing instead of recognizing that the standardized testing covers the most basic of knowledge. Anyone remember the tests that were required in school during standardized testing days? Some of us took CAT tests, some of us took ITBS, but I think most everyone would agree that they were fairly easy. I remember thinking the tests I took in high school really only covered material that was taught in junior high, and I wasn't in some fancy-schmancy suburban school district. Where do these school districts get off thinking students don't need basic reading and math skills? Where do they get off thinking they're not expected to do their jobs? Where do they get off thinking that our tax dollars don't need to be spent educating our children?

01 May 2006

I thought part of the protest today was to not spend any money, to bring our economy to a screeching halt.

If that's the case, then why were corn and pork rinds being sold at the protests at the Colorado State Capitol?