Archive for 2008



The Art of Rock Balancing

Last Saturday at the Highland Center, I had the pleasure of taking a Rock Balancing Class with Lila Higgins, Rockbalancer. Lila presented a slide-show on the subject to an enthusiastic but skeptical group of amateurs. We were stunned at some of the photos she had taken of her work and the work of others. We suspected that super-glue or some other adhesive had been involved in the shenanigans. How could you balance rocks like that?

Rock balancing.

Rock balancing goes way back. We saw photographic examples of cairns, stacks, and other balancing sculptures, from England, Hawaii, Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, Korea, New England and elsewhere. The Inuit people are known for their inukshuk stone figures representing human forms. Many of these stone constructions are sacred.

It takes practice, as we would learn. After the slide show, Lila led us to the brook behind the lodge. She had already constructed some examples for us. We started with stacking and then proceeded to the more difficult, balancing. As she said, even the roundest rocks have little nooks and crannies. Her advice was to concentrate on creating three points of connection–a triangle.

Rock art.

Some folks were more successful than others and it didn’t take long to get the hang of it. Each creation is unique. She explained the ethics of rock balancing. Use Leave No Trace tenets. Return the rocks to where you got them. Don’t move rocks that might impact wildlife.

Lila’s photo page displays much of her work. Bill Dan is a rock balancing luminary and one of the sources of Lila’s inspiration. Also, she spoke of Andy Goldsworthy, a British artist who works with site specific sculpture and “land art.”

 Lila Higgins balances.

Rock balancing is fun, meditative, and challenging. Lila was enthusiastic and did a great job explaining why she has a passion for it, as demonstrated through her own creations. I was so happy that I opted not to go on the hike up Mt. Willard (again). I’ve been there and done that. The rockbalancing was a blast. I might have to just take her course again at Kripalu Center in Lenox, the same place where Debbie goes for her yoga certification and inspiration. Of course, you don’t need Lila’s help. All you need is a couple of rocks. Go on, try it.

2008 Soapstone Mountain Trail Races

Yesterday was the Soapstone Mountain Trail Race. Hosted by the Shenipsit Striders for the 24th time, it is one of the classic New England trail races and is part of the New England Grand Tree Series. The 24 kilometer long course through Shenipsit State Forest was in good condition. I skipped running this year in favor of race organization and photography. Debbie is the Race Director along with Jerry Stage. Other Striders, including Joe King, Rich Moore, Bill Friday, Kevin Simons, Ken Clark, Tom Curtis, Ginny Patsun, Vicki Quagliaroli, Barbara Schieffer, and Clint Morse; were key volunteers before, during, and after the race.  Fellow race directors know that putting on an event for 225+ runners takes a lot of work and Soapstone is no exception. Marketing, pre-registration, race day registration, course marking, timing services, aid stations, refreshments, first aid, post-race cookout, awards, t-shirts, volunteer recruiting, insurance, permits, signage, and of course, port-o-potties; are some of the things a race director and the committee need to think about. Even after 24 years, a race like Soapstone is a challenge to organize. 

Fortunately, the trail running community is appreciative of the hard work that the running clubs put into their events. Most runners can deal with the occasional hiccup. Botched results, late results, running out of certain refreshments, and course markings are some of the more common challenges. Heck, without some of the quirks, it wouldn’t be trail running. Safety is always the top priority and fortunately, 2008 was a good year for the Striders. There were no major injuries. 

The 24k start.

The weather was great and conducive to running well. Ben Nephew was first in the 24km race, followed by Matt Bedouklan, and Keith Schmitt. Rich Fargo and Brett Stoeffler rounded out the top five men. On the women’s side, Beth Krasemann continued her assault on the Grand Tree Series with another win. She was followed by Robin Pitt, Serena Wilcox, Debbie Livingston, and Donna Utakis. 

Full results.

The Soapstone Sampler 6km run/hike is run with a handicap start like the famed Dipsea Race. First across the line was Jong Lee, but he actually started six minutes before he should have, in the wrong age category. It was a simple miscommunication and he was granted third place based on his time. So, the win went to Clint Morse. He was followed closely by Stephanie Nephew. I think the Sampler runners have the most fun. There were a lot of smiles afterwards. 

Full results.

It was unfortunate that we didn’t get the results posted after the race as quickly as hoped, and we are still struggling with a few minor details, but all in all it was another success. Peter Gagarin was first to post his thoughts.

The race couldn’t be put on without the support of Reddington Rock Riding Club, the Stafford Lion’s Club, the Northern Connecticut Land Trust, and the Connecticut Amateur Radio Emergency Services.

I shot a lot of great photos at the event and am already looking forward to the 25th edition in 2009.

White Mountain Wonder

My road trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire was quick but fruitful. I had a chance to plan some stuff during the long drive. I was hoping to connect with several Thread Rolling Inc. customers in Vermont, but Friday is a tough day to catch people. One company, in Northern Vermont, closed at 2:30 P.M., so I ran out of time. Nevertheless, I made calls and touched base with some people that I hadn’t spoken with in a while. The weather got better as I drove north and I was treated to a great sunset after reaching Crawford Notch and AMC’s Highland Center.  

A great view right out the back door of the Highland Center.

Winter has only recently released its grip on the Whites. They got hammered this year with near record snowfall and there was still a lot of the white stuff at higher elevations. I took a short walk early on Saturday morning to the summit of Mt. Willard, a 2804 foot bump. I had a nice view of the notch and also of the mountains on the eastern side of the White Mountain National Forest


It was a pretty relaxing walk by my standards and I even did little yoga at the overlook. 

Downward Dog.

I haven’t spent as much time in the White Mountains in recent  years. Several years ago, Debbie and I were up there every chance we got. Over the course of two years, we hiked the 48 4000 foot peaks in New Hampshire, often bagging six or more summits in a weekend. That is an adventure that we will forever cherish. The AMC 4000 Footer Club has welcomed hikers (and even dogs) from all walks of life and of all ages. It’s Monday and the White’s are already calling me back.

Centennial Pool.

Appalachian Mountain Club: at the Highland Center

Last weekend, I had a meeting at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire. The Highland Center is a great example of green building and is the centerpiece of the club’s facilities. It is also a hub for much of the great educational activity that takes place in Northern New Hampshire. I had a bunk at the Shapleigh Studio, an outbuilding that offers lower cost accommodations to hikers. There is a lot ot be learned about AMC through a stay at the Highland Center. Also, there is a lot to be learned about the environment and how you can improve your own living/cost situation at home and work, through smart building design, construction, and conservation.

Shapleigh Bunkhouse at the Highland Center.

I’ve been a member of AMC for more than 10 years now and am excited about the growth of the organization. We have undertaken several bold initiatives including a major one in Maine. I’ll be even more excited when someday, my own children can take part in all that AMC has to offer. Of note: I got my hands on a new AMC book, a re-issue of The Wildest Country: Exploring Thoreau’s Maine. I flipped through it quickly and noticed some great photos. It is going to be an enjoyable read. 

The Highland Center main lodge.

Hay, it’s Norwich, Vermont

On the way back from my White Mountain trip, I stopped off in Hanover, New Hampshire to visit cousin Monique at Dartmouth College. She is a Dartmouth graduate and currently employed by the school as a Residential Director. Like most successful US universities, there is always construction going on. At Dartmouth, it was right outside the window of her dormitory based apartment. When you an raise your prices 6%/year for infinity and grow your endowment by hundreds of millions of dollars annually, you can fund a lot of projects. It was great to catch up and hear about life in higher education. It was also great to get a pulse on the current generation of “kids” that she is responsible for. She taught me all about helicopter parents and said that she had recently attended a seminar where she learned that some Generation X (my generation!) parents are now being called “stealth bomber parents.” How grave. This was such a new term for me, and apparently the American lexicon, that it doesn’t have a Wikipedia entry yet. Google only found references to the B-2 Spirit bomber. I did find one link that explains the condition more.

Hanover is a hopping town, especially so, on the last big party weekend before final exams. Since we are both thirty-some-thing’s, we “escaped” to dinner at The Norwich Inn across the Connecticut River in Norwich, Vermont. They craft a very nice IPA, the Old Slipperyskin India Pale Ale at their brewery. The operation is self described as “perhaps the smallest brewery in America.”

After dinner, I got a tour of Mo’s plot at the Co-op community gardens. When I connected with her via phone prior to my visit, she had been on the hunt for more hay.

Mo poses with her plot.

Apparently, each plot was only entitled to one bale and she was running short. As it turns out, when we arrived, a couple of good Samaritans had left her their unused hay at the edge of her plot. This really made her day. We were about to leave, when I saw her turn and run back inside the fence. She came back out exclaiming, “I put it inside…so there would be no doubt!”

The Norwich community garden.

Stowe, Vermont: Back on the LT

Last Saturday, Debbie and I were back on the Long Trail for the first time in nearly three years. It was only a brief excursion. In town for the Green Mountain Club celebration, we decided to run up the toll road from the Stowe ski area. It was 3000 feet of elevation gain in a little more than four miles. Running up the slopes of Mt. Mansfield, to the Forehead, brought back some great memories. We thru-hiked the LT in July 2005, which seems like eons ago. Still, we rarely go a day where we don’t bring up the trip. Long distance hiking is in our blood, though we don’t have the time to do it as much anymore. We are GMC Long Trail End-to-End Mentors and normally a week doesn’t go by without us sharing our experience with another potential end-to-end hiker.

We were joined on our run up (and down) the Forehead by Ben Rose, the Executive Director of the GMC. Ben is a runner and has many consecutive finishes at the Key Bank Vermont City Marathon. He had done an historic running race up and down the toll road before, so he knew what he was in for. Mostly, it was Deb setting the pace and Ben and I struggling to keep up. Of course, we all did better on the descent. The views from the Forehead were fabulous, stretching far to the Adirondacks of New York in the west, far north into Canada, and to the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the east. We chatted amiably (though mostly on the way down) about GMC, Vermont, AMC, New England, hiking, running, Lake Champlain, kids, education, family business, and a host of other topics.

It was a fine morning. The LT itself was pretty much impassable. We ventured onto the trail briefly, though it still had two to three feet of snow on it. That is proof that it is going to be a long mud season in Vermont. End-to-enders who think they are going to get an early start this year should bewarned that going could be slow…and messy. Best to wait a bit longer and minimize damage to the trails. Too much foot traffic on soft trails isn’t good for the Leave No Trace ethics.

After our run, we drove up into Smuggler’s Notch. The road was sort of open. Folks were up there and we had a nice view of a couple of rock climbers high on the rock face.

The trip to Vermont was just what the doctor prescribed. Clean air. Great trails. Good vibe.

Hail to the Green Mountain Club

Ever since Debbie and I thru-hiked the Long Trail in 2005, we have become loyal supporters of the Green Mountain Club. Last Friday, we made the journey to club headquarters in Waterbury Center, Vermont. We got to see where the old barn/visitor center was before it burned. We got to see the makeshift offices where the staff has been living/working for the past several years. Best of all, we got to see where the new visitor center will be constructed. We even got to shovel a little dirt as part of the groundbreaking ceremony. The trip was for a good cause. 

Current GMC Headquarters in Waterbury, VT.

After visiting HQ, we joined a group of dedicated GMCers at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe. There, we celebrated the success of the clubs $5.25MM Second Century Campaign. Hanging around with a group of “real” Vermonters, transplants, and interlopers–all in support of the GMC’s mission, was a fabulous way to spend an evening. GMC has been maintaining and protecting Vermont’s Long Trail since 1910. As 2010 approaches, the pressure of keeping the trail the way it is and was, is greater than ever. Even in Vermont, capitalist temptations conspire to damage the environment and specifically the trail. Vermont needs to keep its “footpath in the wilderness” as it is, and even better, as it was. 

Groundbreaking of the new visitor center.

 

The China Study

The most influential book that I have read in a long time is The China Study. I’m already vegetarian, so I don’t need any convincing that a whole foods-plant based diet is superior to the traditional American or Western diet. However, I’ve recently cut way back (virtually eliminated) dairy products from my diet as well. The China Study, written by T. Colin Campbell and his son, Thomas Campbell II,  is provocative and has its fair share of detractors. One example of disagreement that I found online from Chris Masterjohn:

Yet the 19 years of research into this project leave us with more questions than answers, and have left T. Colin Campbell with a foundation of unsupported conclusions upon which he has built his tower of vegan propaganda.

Propaganda? Yeah right! Read the book yourself. If you don’t have an “a ha” moment, then you are probably not interested in making the radical changes necessary to improve your lifestyle. I’m sure that there are others detractors, like Masterjohn. I’m sure that many of the have Ph.D’s. I am not a student of medical research, but I have still read a lot about nutrition over the years. I’ve paid close attention because there is a long history of heart disease in my own family. The Campbell’s profess that the “moderate” low fat diet that is professed by major US organizations, like the American Heart Association, is “watered down.” The Campbell’s believe that a much more rigorous approach to diet and nutrition is the only way to reverse the effects of heart disease and other “diseases of affluence” that primarily impact Americans and other Westerners.

I’m not done with the book yet. I’ll be diving into the obesity chapters next, then on to cancer. I’m sure the Campbell’s have even more to say about how the typical American is killing himself/herself with an animal protein laden diet. Good luck trying to convince your friends that going vegan, or at least vegetarian, is the best way for them to lower their cholesterol. They won’t hear it. They won’t believe it. We have been brainwashed into thinking that cholesterol level under 200 is good. Folks in Asia, who predominantly get their protein from plants, and who get less than 10% of their protein from animal sources, have cholesterol levels under 100. It is a world of difference. Their hearts are much healthier.

Another reason why this book’s message is resonating with me: healthy eating is MUCH less expensive than surgery (by-pass, angioplasty, stents, etc.) and less expensive than drugs (statin drugs, blood pressure medication, etc.); and it focuses on preventive maintenance. None of the practices that are common in the bloated, inefficient, and wasteful US medical system are nearly as cost effective as prevention. I think that most of our society is blind to the real cause of our demise. No one wants to admit that in our fast food society, we eat a lot of crap. Hey, it isn’t just at McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell. Even the best five star restaurants serve dishes loaded with animal protein and fat. It takes real knowledge, effort, and conviction to eat a healthy diet. I know. Most people live in denial. Give me a pill so I can keep on eating my 32 oz. steaks and washing them down with Coke. Many Americans are just plain eating themselves to death.

7 Sisters Trail Race

The 7 Sisters Trail Race was all suffering today.

1) Debbie and I both started the race (in the rain) with bad colds and ran below par.

2) I lost my GPS watch.

3) I was mad because there were runners without numbers.

4) I miraculously found my GPS.  Well, that isn’t a bad thing.

No excuses, but we were both hoping to run a little better today. It wasn’t to be. The whole family has been sick this week and for the most part, hasn’t been healthy at all recently. Normally, a nagging cold wouldn’t debilitate you, but 12 miles across the rocky Holyoke Range with 3700 feet of elevation gain and loss, requires a little more lung capacity than the average jog. This was Debbie’s 9th Sisters in a row and first time outside of the top three, not counting the year she ran it five months pregnant. Credit goes to the three women up front who battled the wet and slippery conditions. Going up the first climb, the race order was pretty much set, thought it looked like there might be a pitched battle for the top spot. In the end, Beth Krasemann reprised her Northern Nipmuck performance and took her first 7 Sisters title, beating Ruthie Ireland. Ruthie was second for the third year in a row. She is going to nail first one of these years. Each of the past three years, a different woman has edged her out (Kelli Lusk, Debbie, and now Beth). Abby Woods also had a strong race and finished third.

I don’t have much to update on the men’s race. My mid-pack viewpoint requires me to wait for the results before commenting. I saw many of the usual characters up front, including Ben Nephew, Leigh Schmitt, and Greg Hammett. The first runner to pass me going in the other direction had an Inov jersey and Ben and Leigh were in hot pursuit. Maybe the Inov runner hung on. Like I said, the results should be out by tomorrow.

Just to illustrate how much oxygen debt I was in, I didn’t realize I lost my Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS until the five mile mark. This isn’t a little watch; you know when it is on your wrist! Apparently, I lost it in the first mile, but I didn’t know that until after the race. Debbie caught me shortly after crossing the porch on the Summit House, and I looked at my wrist to see how much time had elapsed and I couldn’t tell. A sinking feeling entered my brain as I realized that not only was I running slow as molasses, but I couldn’t prove it!

Debbie gapped me on the descent to the turnaround at six miles, but I clawed my way back to her on the the uphill climb. I caught her on the return trip across the Summit House porch, then she blew me away. The last four miles were agony and involved a lot of walking.

I figured that with 200+ runners on an out and back course, someone must have seen my GPS. My hope was that if someone found it, they already had one and didn’t need another.  I was also hoping that Dick Stoeffler, who was hiking one way from the turnaround to the finish, would see it as he passed by at a more pedestrian pace. Before we left the venue I checked with race director, Scott Hunter. Amazingly, someone had just told him they found a GPS. It was Dick Stoeffler who had it, but he didn’t find it. His son, Brett, found it running on the way back down Bare Mountain. The measurements prove that I lost it just after the top of the first climb around .75 miles. Brett, I owe you one! The wrist band clasp had broken off. I was fortunate. Phew.

Runners have been running races without numbers for years. Commonly known as “renegades” these folks simply don’t register for the event, but do it anyway. This is a lame practice and in my mind, qualifies as theft. 7 Sisters was $15 if you pre-entered and $20 if you registered today. That is a bargain. For your dough, you got an organized event on a great course. You got race direction, race volunteers, aid stations, traffic police, water, bathrooms, medical personnel, post-race food, and a bunch of people to run with. If you are a renegade, you may rationalize your behavior by not taking water or by peeing in the woods, but that doesn’t make it right. 7 Sisters supported by the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club, benefits the Friends of Mt. Holyoke Range. These groups, like many others in New England, are stewards of the trails. So, by registering today, your money went towards the maintenance of the very trail that you ran on. What a privilege.

I saw several people on the trail without numbers, but I’ll give them the benefit of doubt. They may have been hiking, but, it didn’t look like it. Debbie witnessed a finish line incident when the RD asked a finishing runner what his number was. He said he didn’t have one. When asked why he was racing, he replied, “Just for fun,” and walked away. Like I said, lame. Debbie is the RD of the Soapstone Mountain Trail Races in two weeks. The entries are filling up our mailbox, so I know that there are a lot of honest runners out there. $17 for pre-entry. You get 13.5 miles instead of 12 and a post-race cookout. $17 isn’t as cheap as 7 Sisters, but damn close! Let’s hope the renegades stay home.

East Hartford Adult Entertainment District–$ex $ells

When you are the CEO of a mid-sized business, you never know what each day is going to bring. This past week, I had no idea that I was going to have to invest time and energy into the East Hartford (Connecticut) strip-club issue. I mean, come on. I’m busy all of the time and this issue popped up out of nowhere. At least there is some comedy involved.

Strip club battle

The story is this: I’ve known about the ongoing struggle between the town and a couple of adult entertainment entrepreneurs. The town already has a couple of “establishments” focused on this type of XXX entertainment. I’ll let the readers explore some of the options on their own. Apparently, there are some folks who do very well ($$$) with this sort of thing. It is also apparent that these businesses attract crime. I’m no expert on the subject, but I read the papers and there are a heck of a lot more incidents involving the police at these businesses than there are at the one I work at.

I don’t even have the whole story, but a couple of lawsuits have been filed, including one against the town for denying first amendment rights. It seems that federal law requires that the town designate at least one area (zone) where these businesses are permitted. This is how I got involved. They picked our neighborhood (the North Meadows) and another industrial park (Prestige Park). The Town of East Hartford didn’t heavily promote that they were hosting a hearing at town hall, but word go out. So, we sent a representative to the hearing last Wednesday to get the lowdown. I also contacted the mayor and our local legislative representatives. Most of the residents of East Hartford don’t want these kinds of businesses anywhere in town and they have expressed their feelings through various forums. Mind you, our legislators and town leaders are the people who should be making legilsation that will help us navigate our economy through the economic morass that we are in. They are also tasked with setting rules, public safety, and preserving freedoms. They also have better things to do than deal with “strip-club anxiety.” I won’t get into the morality issues. I’m more concerned with the fact that a sex related business isn’t appropriate in our neighborhood. Our neighborhood is one of the original industrial areas in town. At one time, it was all residents, but it flooded frequently until they built the dike. Once the levee was up, businesses moved here, but that was 60 years ago. We lack some of the more modern characteristics of a new industrial park and the buildings are old. We have our challenges. I guess you could call me a NIMBY. The town shouldn’t be wasting resources on this type of economic development and I told them so. We support more manufacturing businesses and good service businesses, but not this kind of service business.

One of the funny things to come out of the hearing was that the new club or clubs are supposed to be “high end.” That’s funny. One resident told one of the attorneys that they should locate their high end club in a high end town. We have plenty of those in Connecticut, and East Hartford isn’t one of them. Believe me, that isn’t a knock against our community. Avon, Farmington, Glastonbury, and West Hartford have their own issues.

I did offer a proposal to the mayor. I said that since there was so little action at the Rentschler Field development (other than Cabela’s massive 200,000 sq/ft store), that we could move our whole neighborhood to that site and designate the North Meadows as the equally massive Connecticut Riverfront Adult Entertainment District. We could establish a special tax rate for these businesses to fund the construction of a 12 foot high wall the entire length of Governor Street. I’m sure the huge profits generated by teh businesses in this district would help the beleaguered East Hartford School System. The best part about this idea is that Horst Engineering would get the extra space it needs and our neighbors would get to upgrade their infrastructure. This could be a win for everyone involved. Now we just need to find a developer.

Robert Reich’s Unique Viewpoint

I enjoy reading Robert Reich’s stuff. I’ve mentioned Freakonomics (the book and the blog) in the past, and was pleased to see an interview with Reich earlier this week. He is the kind of gadfly that I like. I don’t agree with all of his ideas, but he is a voice worth listening to.

Deb You Tube’s It

Leigh Schmitt, Debbie Livingston, and some of the other runners at the North Face Endurance Challenge (Bear Mountain), are the stars of this video. Even the Shep-Man has a cameo.

Tour of the Battenkill

I finished the Tour of the Battenkill road race in Salem, New York, today. The race was truly a classic. The race is nicknamed Battenkill Roubaix because it is an April road race on an epic course with five sections of bumpy dirt road. It pays homage to Paris-Roubaix, one of the most prestigious one day races in the world. Paris-Roubaix is known as “The Queen of the Classics” and is famous for the pavé, or cobblestones that line much of the course. Paris-Roubaix was last Sunday. The Sunday prior, was The Tour of Flanders, another one of the spring classics. I’ve ridden much of the Flanders course and it is very unique. In Flanders, there are several steep cobblestone hills that are treacherous when wet. Today’s race was actually more like Flanders than Paris-Roubaix, which is a relatively flat race. Battenkill Roubaix would have been more like the European spring classics if today’s weather would have been more traditional (lousy) for early spring in the Northeast.  

My dusty steed.

Battenkill Roubaix has no cobbles, but the sections of steep dirt road are very challenging. In addition to the dirt, the course is very hilly and consists of several other significant asphalt climbs. We had unseasonably warm weather today with temperatures reaching 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I posted a more detailed race update and some photos on the Horst-Benidorm-Property Research Corp. Cycling Team blog. The course was gorgeous, the weather was fabulous (thought too hot for April), and the race volunteers were great. Battenkill is east of Saratoga and just to the west of the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts and Vermont. It was a great day for a bike ride.

$1406.00

This is insane! I was billed $1406.00 for five stitches and 30 minutes in the Emergency Department at Manchester Memorial Hospital. That is $2800/hour or $281.20/suture. Connecticare says I only have to pay half-$703.00. This is going to require a letter writing campaign. I’ll be contacting some folks at www.echn.org, the parent organization of the hospital, to learn a bit more about this. Of course, I’m happy for the care and grateful that the cut wasn’t worse, but I recall that Rambo stitched his own for a lot less!

Suture Removal

Over the past 17 days, I’ve suffered from a badly lacerated left hand that I injured in a freak kitchen accident. After a long trail run with Debbie on the Quinnipiac Trail in Prospect, Connecticut; I decided to carbo load with a beer. I decided I would go high class and pour it into a glass. Two glasses were stacked in the cabinet, and when I tried to separate them, they shattered, fell out of the cabinet, and I caught them. The result was an ugly gash. 

This is the stitched up version of the cut about two weeks after the accident.

Unfortunately, the cut is in a bad spot. Fortunately, it is my left hand and I can still type. Well, the accident has taught me several things, especially about the current medical model in our country. I harp a lot about the cost of medical care. I can’t comment on quality of medical care, but I know that the insurance premiums that our business pays are outrageous. 

The sutures were installed at a local hospital’s emergency department. Since we have an HDIP/HSA insurance plan, I was looking for the lowest cost solution. I still haven’t seen the bill, but I’m assuming that the ED option was not cheap. I did my best to help the nurse practitioner who stitched me up, minimize the expenses. It was a vain attempt to save the hospital a few bucks so that they could pass the savings on to my insurance company. I gather that it was a fruitless effort. You wouldn’t believe how many supplies were consumed in the stitching process. It was crazy. Everything, including the stainless steel scissors and tweezers was disposable. It was all thrown out. No wonder it cost so much! Yeah, I know, infection and cleaning costs are issues, but isn’t this just another form of environmental waste? 

Medical waste from the 5 stitches.

When it came time to remove the sutures. I opted for a cheaper method. I’ve got video, but haven’t figured out how to upload it yet. The cut is healing, but very slowly. I expect the bill any day now and will report back on the real cost.

 


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