Kansas county sends people to prison for medical debt

It appears that a county in Kansas has found a way to make people overburdened by medical debt struggle more.

CBS News:

That law was put in place at Hassenplug's own recommendation to the local judge. The attorney uses that law by asking the court to direct people with unpaid medical bills to appear in court every three months and state they are too poor to pay in what is called a "debtors exam."

If two hearings are missed, the judge issues an arrest warrant for contempt of court. Bail is set at $500.

Hassenplug said he gets "paid on what's collected." If the bail money is applied to the judgment, then he gets a portion of that, he said.

"We're sending them to jail for contempt of court for failure to appear," Hassenplug said.

In most courts, bail money is returned when defendants appear in court. But in almost every case in Coffeyville, that money goes to pay attorneys like Hassenplug and the medical debt his clients are owed.

"This raises serious constitutional concerns," said Nusrat Choudhury, the deputy director of the ACLU. "What's happening here is a jailhouse shake-down for cash that is the criminalization of private debt."

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Elizabeth Warren already has a dog

Senator Warren doesn't need Mike Pence, she has a dog. Read the rest

This motorcycle cover lasts years in a marine environment

I like my BMW more than I like most people. This Dowco Guardian motorcycle cover keeps my classic bike looking nearly restored.

Loving both the ocean and shiny things can be hard. A lot of work goes into keeping corrosion at bay on my old airhead. Fog and wind bring minute amounts of salt that go after the metal. Harsh temperature changes and direct sun bake the plastic bits. Keeping the bike covered when not in use is the only way to keep it alive.

Cheap eBay covers were not doing it for me. I can find a number of $25-45 covers that fit and will last one or maybe two years. The salt and sun also destroy covers. They give at the seams, or holes wear thru around my mirrors. I decided to spend twice as much on a Dowco cover.

I got 6 years of service out of the Dowco. It is not dead, but holes have started to appear. I will replace it with the same cover.

When I was directly next to the ocean I also used a flip-over cover for a few years. The double layer of insulation helped until high winds would start whipping the shelter about and made me fear for the motorcycle's safety. I may try one again if I can find one small enough to co-exist in a parking space in front of a car.

Dowco Guardian 50003-02 WeatherAll Plus Indoor/Outdoor Waterproof Motorcycle Cover via Amazon Read the rest

Bill Murray blows a putt

Actor, comedian, golfer. Bill Murray has style.

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Bill Nye the super fly guy

Bill Nye struts his stuff for charity.

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Technology company co-founder reports car stolen to avoid mechanic's bill

Rather than pay a large repair bill, a gentleman the Marin Independent Journal identified as "the co-founder of a San Francisco technology security firm" apparently reported the car stolen and received a nice insurance payout.

...and then the police found the car.

Marin IJ:

“Dhoopar told the CHP and his insurance company that the car was stolen off his street,” Petersen said, “when in fact it had been reported stolen shortly after Dhoopar learned of a large repair bill that he would be receiving from the mechanic.”

The insurer paid Dhoopar about $8,200, the full value of the car.

Investigators arranged a meeting with Dhoopar on Tuesday in Corte Madera, presented him with the evidence and made the arrest.

Dhoopar, the cofounder of a San Francisco technology security firm, could not be reached for comment.

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The only car from the 1980s I'd drive

Delightful, but barely adequate, the Vanagon is one of the few enduring cars from a decade of shit. This 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia is just waiting for you to make it your own.

Bring-a-trailer:

This 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon is a Westfalia camper equipped with a pop-top and canvas tent as well as a sleeping loft, convertible bed, stove, refrigerator, sink, and utility hookups. Power comes from a water-cooled 2.1-liter flat-four paired with a four-speed manual transaxle, and the van is finished in metallic blue over a gray cloth interior. New tires were fitted and an oil change, tune-up, and front brake work were performed in the last 500 miles. This Westy Vanagon shows 38k miles and is offered by the selling dealer on consignment at no reserve with curtains, a ladder, manufacturer’s literature, a clean Carfax report, and a clean Florida title.

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5 new cases of the measles in Los Angeles

The linked article has a fairly long list of places in West Los Angeles that unimmunized area folk might want to review.

NBC Los Angeles:

Los Angeles County health officials Wednesday confirmed five new cases of measles and warned of possible exposure at a series of locations over the past week.

According to the county Department of Public Health, the new patients are four county residents who were "exposed to an unimmunized, international visitor who was infectious with measles while in Los Angeles County."

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Vivere also makes the best chair hammock stand

Long-lasting and exactly what I wanted the Vivere chair hammock stand will be with me for years.

I have kept a Vivere double-hammock on my deck for nearly 10 years, in a super harsh marine environment. It has barely achieved a patina of corrosion. I and others have spent hours and hours swinging gently in it. Now, I have added a chair hammock.

I went with a Komorebi hammock chair, as the stand does not come with one of its own. This combo is super comfy and if I can remember to take the chair in at night it should last a very long time as well.

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Gumby rocks out at the Skateboard rally

Those silly blockheads! Read the rest

An Apple watch without a crown sounds like a good idea to me

I love my Apple Watch. I use a Series 3 and I can not understand why I would want to upgrade it as yet. While the digital crown is more annoyance than evocative of the crown on a wind-up watch, I would not buy a new one to avoid it.

The Apple Watch 'digital crown' is a knob that spins. You could wind a digital camera between exposures, but that'd be stupid. Using the crown as screen navigation input is OK but I am willing to believe they can do better.

Forbes:

So, that’s pretty clear. Instead of the Digital Crown, the patent suggests an optical sensor in its place.

A direct replacement, then, because the abstract goes on:

“The input component provides a user experience that simulates user interactions with a crown that is rotatable and/or translatable.”

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure about this change and my hesitation is this: the Digital Crown is part of the essence of the Apple Watch. It is a delightful evocation of the winder found on a traditional watch, it sits in just the right place and works perfectly. Of course, the current version is very different from how it was on the first Apple Watch.

Winding a watch is a tactile pleasure, much like winding a Rolleiflex camera loaded with 120 roll film. It is annoying, however, when my watch stops and I need to set it and wind it every day. Again, we do not wind our digital cameras. Read the rest

Dean and Sammy were the best part of Cannonball Run

This is the best part of the movie.

Sammy should have beaten Burt down tho. Read the rest

KC Chiefs player celebrates win by paying adoption fees for dogs in KC shelter

Chiefs DT Derrick Nnadi celebrated their superbowl win by paying the adoption fees for all the dogs in a shelter he works with.

NBC4i:

Derrick Nnadi is helping homeless dogs find new homes in the wake of his Super Bowl win.

The defensive tackle is paying the adoption fees for all the dogs currently available at KC Pet Project.

Nnadi has been helping out homeless animals all season though the Derrick Nnadi Foundation‘s partnership with KCPP.

You can find out how to adopt the dogs here.

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The Bill Murray/Jeep Groundhog day commercial

There was a football game yesterday and this is the commercial that has everyone talking. Must have been an exciting game.

I also saw a car commercial with Arya Stark in it. It made zero sense. Read the rest

Kate McKinnon portrays Elsa as gay in SNL's 'Frozen 2' spoof

The best impressions SNL has ever seen are the work of Kate McKinnon. Read the rest

Chicago to host "As You Wish!" a Princess Bride pop-up theme-bar

A Princess Bride themed pop-up bar is opening in Chicago. Perhaps you can find the man who killed your father...

NBC Chicago:

Inconceivable! "As You Wish," a "Princess Bride"-themed pop-up bar, will soon open in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood.

The Sixth, which is located at 2202 W. Lawrence Ave., is launching the immersive bar on Feb. 11 with decorations replicating scenes from the 1987 film, according to Eater.

The bar will also have 16 cocktails named after some of the movie's most quotable lines including "Twue Wuve" which is a concoction of Lucy Pistolas Mezcal, Arakku, Fino Sherry, caramel pineapple simple syrup, coconut and blueberry foam.

Chicago is absolutely home to ROUS and I am pretty sure Miracle Max teaches improv at the Annoyance. Read the rest

Some data on your chances to ride Disneyland's 'Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance'

I missed the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance by a few weeks. Star Wars Galaxys Edge is wonderful.

OC Register:

On most days, the backup boarding group threshold tends to be in the 80 to 83 range, meaning visitors with boarding groups below that number are expected to get on the ride. The backup boarding group threshold has been as low as 42 — which happened on Wednesday, Jan. 29, when the park was closing early for an 80s Nite after-hours party.

Disneyland has been able to accommodate some backup boarding groups on most days. The park made it all the way to boarding group 122 on Jan. 27, one of the best operational days yet for Rise of the Resistance. On the flip side, the park only made it to boarding group 81 on Jan. 19 and 26. On most days, Rise of the Resistance reaches backup boarding groups in the 105 to 115 range.

Back-to-back downtimes hurt the most — and Rise of the Resistance has had its share of them during the first two weeks of operation. The ride had back-to-back breakdowns that stretched for approximately two hours or more on Jan. 22, 23 and 25, according to Touring Plans.

But those weren’t the worst days by far. Back-to-back breakdowns stretched for approximately 4 hours on Jan. 19, according to Touring Plans. On Jan. 26, Rise of the Resistance went down three times in a row over the course of an 8-hour period, resulting in no backup boarding groups being called, Touring Plans data shows.

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