Friday, October 29, 2010

wow! 5 Years Ago

I got a text from Don this morning reminding me that it was exactly 5 years ago today that we were caught in the worst storm ever - Hurricane Wilma. We were without power for about 13 days, there was a curfew, no flights in or out of South Florida, I couldn't even drive my car down the street because of the debris, and to top it off, we weren't at all prepared. We didn't have water, food, candles or anything because we weren't supposed to get hit that hard. We thought we were just going to get a tiny piece of the storm. Instead, we were pummelled, our window broke during the storm and I was afraid the roof was going to blow off. I was literally curled up in the hallway praying to make it through.


I bet you guys never even heard about Wilma did you? That's because it happened after Katrina and she got all the attention.


"Five years ago today, Hurricane Wilma ripped across Florida and into the record books as the third costliest storm in U.S. history, and the most damaging hurricane ever to strike Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Tens of thousands of South Floridians lost electricity, schools and businesses were shut down for days, gas lines were blocks long and destruction was so widespread that many roofs have yet to be repaired.

Wilma's final toll: five dead in Florida, $20 billion in damage, and a haunting awareness that even a mid-size hurricane can cause enduring disruption."

A few pictures...


















I loved Florida, but after Wilma, I had enough.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Update

So, here's the latest...

I've been trying to figure out what to do, so I made an appointment with HR at two hospitals to find out what they are looking for when they hire someone in the medical coding and billing field. In particular, are they just like willing to train the right person, do you have to have a degree, how do they feel about techincal schools etc.

While I was waiting to talk to the HR people, Anthem of course kept calling and calling and calling. I know they are just doing their job and they want to know if and when I am starting school, but it gets annoying.

So, finally, today, I decided to e-mail the recruiter and ask her the hard hitting questions. This is the message I sent...

"Emily,

I am just going to be honest with you. I found a message board where students of Anthem Institute review the school and there's a lot of bad reviews. I'm just very torn. In particular, I'm hearing that the job placement department is a joke and that the college has a terrible reputation with employers.

As you know, my sole reason for attending Anthem would be to gain knowledge of coding and billing and then to immediately start working in the medical field. What is your rate of success with job placement? Can you give me a few references of students who completed the coding and billing degree and used Anthem for job placement??

Thank you so much."

So, normally, she's responding to me immediately. Like, I asked her if they are accredited the other day and she said they are. But, I sent this e-mail this morning and it's like 5 p.m. now and I haven't heard back from her. It's funny. I'm thinking she's scrambling to figure out how to appease me.

Other than that, my cousins are in town, we went to Fremont Street last night and on the way we found that Gold and Silver Pawn shop that they do the reality sh ow about on A&E. Wow. Talk about ghetto. There were hookers standing out front, the place was really run down, it was dark and dismal and not a nice place to be at night. I've never seen the show myself, but they said that on T.V. it looks SO much bigger and it looks like it's near all the big casinos. hehe The marvels of film!

And for my poker readers, if there are any left - Poker Buddy is doing a contest...



"Share Your Bad Beat With Us!" is a contest in which poker players can share stories of bad beats they have suffered in the past. To help ease the pain of those bad beats that broke their hearts, the best storytellers will receive free prizes. The person whose story receives the most “likes” on Facebook will receive the first prize: a fancy poker case with 500 chips. The top 50 runner-ups will each receive a PokerBuddy T-shirt or baseball cap to show off at the tables.

The stories don't have to be long or expert, but they do have to be interesting and awesome. As such, the following blog post we've written in support of this campaign that will be posted tomorrow and should help get your creative juices flowing: How to Write a Good Bad Beat Story.

We also want to let you know about all the exciting new features PokerBuddy is launching in conjunction with, and on the same day as, the contest!

- A new section on PokerBuddy.com will allow players to share statuses and images of their hands played through PokerBuddy, as well as personal stories and advice.
- Users will be able to log into the PokerBuddy Pro client and the website with their own user accounts.
- Hand histories will be stored and privately accessible by each user.
- Users will be able to improve their skills by watching live replays of their past hands.
- PokerBuddy will now support for WSOP Poker by Playdom. The client will automatically detect whether a user is trying to connect to a WSOP Poker or Zynga Poker room.
- PokerBuddy will continue to operate on a credit system, and users will be able to buy additional credits beyond the initial 20 free credits in order to obtain live advisor advice. Users who do not refill their credits once they run out will still be able to see big blind calculations and hand odds, and can still share their hands on the PokerBuddy website.



A few words about PokerBuddy:
PokerBuddy is a free add-on for Zynga Poker that uses artificial intelligence to provide its users with live, professional advice. Users can specify their preferred playing style, which factors into the hand recommendations they receive. More than two years in the making, PokerBuddy's complex algorithms are much more advanced than limit-based call/fold recommendations, providing dynamic recommendations that vary according to all circumstances in a no-limit environment. Zynga Poker, with millions of players each day, is the most popular Texas Hold'em game on Facebook and the third-most popular game overall.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hmmm...

Break Time...

I am sitting here online taking a pretty boring course for the most part, but I just read this little sentence and I had to do a double take. I need to make a copy of this and keep it in my wallet, so that when I get a job and they try to tell me during my performance review that constructive criticism is helpful, I can share with them that it's NOT...




Communication

Communication is the Key to strong, healthy relationships.

Positive Listening

•Pay attention to both the words and the feelings
•Avoid being distracted when you are listening to someone
•Listen without becoming defensive
•Listen without figuring out what you are going to say before they have finished
•Listen with compassion. Understand that each of us has a point of view. We do not have to accept another's as our own. We just have to allow that we each have one.
Ask Questions

•Ask for details and examples. Ask to help clarify what the person is saying.
Give Feedback



Give Feedback

•Positive feedback encourages people. There is no such thing as constructive criticism. All criticism is destructive.


Paraphrase

•Telling the other person how you interpreted what they said
Perception Checking

•People have different perceptions of the same thing. Don't argue about who is right or wrong. Try to understand each other's perception of things.
Describe Behavior

•Give the facts related to the behavior. Don't interpret them.


Interesting huh???? I guess it's a matter of opinion, but I'm being tested on this crap, so for tonight, constructive criticism is a no no.

Anyway, Opie is going to be a turtle for Halloween - he's just too damn cute in his little costume...






Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Update

Here's the latest...

I am loving my car. It's a luxury car and it's in remarkable shape. It has all leather seats, the gas and brake pedals move which is good for me because I have short legs, there is a moon roof (what's the difference between a moon roof and a sun roof??). There is a really nice sound system, everything is automatic, the seats move up and down, back and forth, there's a button to tell me the temperature outside, and it has a lot of pickup! It's a 6 cylinder with a lot of kick. The only thing that sucks it that it has a keyless entry numberpad that I don't know the combination for and the cruise control isn't working either. I utilize cruise control quite a bit, so I'm missing that.

My aunt was here last week. Just her and I went out for thai food one night, and then her and my mom went to the Grand Canyon and to arizona. Origninally I was going to go too, but I changed my mind. I'm knocking out the court stuff I have to do. Today I'm taking an 8 hour class online. I'm trying to get the credit card to go through, but it was declined. It's a good card, it's my parents card, so I'm waiting for my dad to get out of the shower so he can talk to the girl on the phone.

School, well, let's see. I did some research on the school and I found out that it has a pretty bad reputation and it's not accredited. So, I'm still planning on attending, I just need to find a different school. Ugh. So annoying. I keep running into dead ends. I might just have to bite the bullet and go back to college. I wanted to do a technical school, not a college, but I think I'd be wasting my money and college is probably the way to go. What do you guys think??

Friday, October 01, 2010

Update

I am officially done with almost all of my court appearances. The last one is in December and that's just a quicky followup to make sure I finished everything.

So, this week I was ordered to go to driving school for my ticket. Not a big deal. The class is like 5 hours long and very boring, but I think I won't get any points if I take it.

We just opened my car insurance bill. Not surprisingly, my insurance is going up from $108 a month to $180 a month - ouch!!!!

Good news... I got a new car. It's a Mercury Sable LS premium, it has leather interior, it's silver and it only has 55,000 miles on it. A guy in the community had a heart attack a few weeks ago and died. So, his wife sold the car to us for a really good price!

Here's a picture...







I went to school today to fill out the financial aid paperwork. It's a pain in the ass, but if I can get some help with the tuition, then it will all be worth it.

I have about 3 more weeks until classes start.

Last but not least, I went to the Cannery last night and actually won for a change. I hit 5 out of 5 like six times on four card keno. Good times. I love winning.

Have a good weekend.