#316 - Good Mood Rant

Motto: Hello! My Name is... Mr. Complainer

I'm in a good mood. I've switched NSAIDs and my back feels great. I've had some great times over the past week and everything is going really well.

Now prepare for me to dump on stuff for the rest of the Column. First up, healthcare. Then, Google. Afterward I'll slide into a more fun Top 5 and leave you with several quotes.

As I've written about fairly recently - I have a disease. Not the kind of disease you can avoid by washing your hands or eating healthy. I have the kind that you just... get. At least that's the best science really has to say about the issue. It's nobody's fault. There's nothing I could have done to prevent it. But it's here and it's permanent. I will be on some form of medication for the rest of my life.

I was going to write a ton here about our current healthcare system and insurance and how everything is woefully hamstrung, but this is the last part of the Column I'm writing and I don't want to get into it all, cause it's a big topic that I'm too passionate about to just give it "a portion" of a Column. It could be an entire blog of its own. We should have a single-payer healthcare system. But that's a topic for another time.

I switched NSAIDs. Think of it like I switched from asprin to ibuprofen. Those aren't them, but it's pretty close. THANK GOD my new NSAID is working right now, because the next step down the line is a "Biologic" drug, such as Humira. Humira, according to my insurance's "estimate the out-of-pocket cost of your drugs" would cost me $3,106.04 for a 30-day supply. That's just a complete non-starter. That would be the equivalent of me buying this incredibly nice house, on top of my current one... and also an buying a new iPad every month. And what would I get for that cost? A normal life.

Leaving it at that could be a bit disingenuous. There are payment plans & rumors of "programs" I might be able to explore. Also my insurance also has an annual out-of-pocket maximum that in theory should apply after I spend roughly all of the money I make in January and February on it on 4 syringes. But, even if I only spent that amount - I'd have to sell my house. Or one of the cars. Or maybe quit the job I love to find another job whose health insurance is more consumer-friendly. Or take another job on top of my current one. Or just live in constant pain forever.

What I have is insurance, what I want is assurance... I don't think it should be that hard.

Switching topics now - I'm going to complain about Google. I write about Google a lot. It used to be about how cool of a company they are, and what great things they do... and I still think those things. But the rose-colored glasses have come off. I'm going to title this segment "WHAT ARE YOU DOING OVER THERE, GOOGLE?"

Google Fit
Google Fit was announced three years ago. Seeing the Google Fit logo for the first time during Google I/O was one of the most exciting things I can recall for me from ANY I/O. There they promised a single set of APIs, showing a complete picture of the user's fitness, blending data from multiple apps and devices. Their announcement was a little vague on how that would work, but my mind was instantly thinking of what sorts of things they would obviously include. When the app debuted, it was missing a few things from my list. Now that it's been 3 years - let's look at the list of things it seems like Google Fit should have:
- Weight - good job with this one, Googs!
- Running - good job here, too!
- Sports - sports are sort of handled, that's not too bad!
- Food tracking - technically supported, but you can't see it in the Google Fit app
- Sleep tracking - technically supported, but you can't see it in the Google Fit app
- Water - technically supported, but only by niche apps whose only purpose is that
- Weightlifting - after 3 years it's technically supported... but only by using Android Wear, and there's a zero percent chance it would show in the app.
I thought Google Fit was going to render the health & fitness portion of my Life Tracker unnecessary with this service. They didn't give me a fish, nor did they teach me how to fish. They just gave me a hook and some string and said "good luck!"

Google Home
The Google Home is my every day reminder that somebody over there has the priorities backwards. The Google Home is capable of some truly AMAZING things - but it's incapable of some truly OBVIOUS things. It's actually a worse product now than I was when I bought it 6 months ago. It used to work with the Shopping List that Melissa and I want to use. Now it only works with the shopping list Google wants us to use. Nice. There goes 15% of the reason we use it every day. Also, I'm sick of saying "Okay Google" and "Hey Google" is only slightly better. Why I can't I choose my own wake word? Beyond that, there's just some really surface-level, obvious things it doesn't do.

Here's an example conversation:
Okay Google... where's my phone?
I'm sorry I don't know how to find devices yet
Okay Google... remind me to find workarounds to your shortcomings.
I'm sorry I can't do reminders yet
Okay Google... add an Amazon Echo to my shopping list.
I'll add an Amazon Echo to your shopping list
Oh yeah, I won't see that because I don't want to use "Google Express" to list the things I'll buy when I go to the store. So that's worthless. Literally without worth. It does me no good.

If it weren't for the Chromecast integration, I would have returned the Google Home for an Amazon Echo by now.

Google Messaging
This is maybe the crown jewel of frustrations maybe people have with Google (aside from them just cancelling services that people use all the time). Their scatterbrained approach to messaging, in just the past 5 years, has been mind-blowing.
You want to send a message to your friend? You should use Google Chat. 
No wait - Google Voice. 
No wait - Hangouts in Google+.
No wait - Android Messenger.
No wait - Hangouts outside of Google+.
No wait - Allo for text-based messaging and Duo for video chats... we've added AI to your messenger, but removed useful features like a web interface, consistent chats between devices, or multi-person video chatting. 

WHAT ARE YOU DOING OVER THERE, GOOGLE?

Ugh.

ALRIGHT HAPPY FUN TIME PICTURE TO GO OUT ON!


That isn't my dad, but it's the type of joke he'd make.

Top 5: Best DC Superhero Movies
5. The Dark Knight Rises
4. Batman Begins
3. The Watchmen
2. Wonder Woman
1. The Dark Knight

Quote:
"Just look at my poop swirls and you'll feel better about your own poop swirls."
- Krista, during a painting class -


"SWoLE
The o is my head.
The other letters are my shoulders and arms."
- Danielle, on chat -


"They're basically just using their lips to fart into the trombone."
- Melissa  -
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