“It’s amazing how one single instrument can sound like so many dying cats”

“It’s amazing how one single instrument can sound like so many dying cats.” – a comment left on YouTube after watching this video.


I’m traveling to France today for my annual work-battical, house-and-cat-sitting for Chris in Paris while he and his wife Joelle are on vacation.  I of course will still be working full-time while in France, but at least it’s a (very nice) change of venue.

This also serves as my annual medical-tourism jaunt – my insurance has an annual limit on prescription coverage of $1500, so unless I go to France, I end up paying a lot of money out of my own pocket for my asthma drugs, such as Advair, that gouge Americans with absurdly high (and ever-increasing) prices in order to subsidize cheap sales of the same drug in Europe (Advair is four to five times more expensive in the US than in France – and while the price doesn’t ever go up in France, it’s gone up 30% in recent years in the US).  I calculated that I’ll save $1600 buying my Advair in Europe, which more than pays for my flight over.

As an aside, Obamacare eliminates the annual limits on new health insurance plans, but not on grandfathered plans like mine.  I can switch to one of the new plans, and pay another $2500 a year for that coverage, in order to have all my prescriptions covered, but that’s another two and a half grand that I don’t really have.  So, until it’s cheaper to pay for the more expensive insurance, than to fly to France for a month, I’ll take Paris over Blue Cross any day.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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7 Responses to ““It’s amazing how one single instrument can sound like so many dying cats””

  1. The_Fixer says:

    Ah, the 555. Such a versatile integrated circuit, put to many a good use. I think that this is too vile a job for the noble 555 to do. It must be some other custom-designed piece of demonic witchcraft-based electronics doing this.

    This “instrument” has all of the tonal appeal of a roomful of screaming Justin Bieber fans surrounded by chorus of honking car horns accompanied by a barroom full of drunken karaoke singers.

  2. GeorgeMokray says:

    I’ve used Canada Generic now Choice Pharmacy (http://choicepharmacy.com/) for years for my Advair. The generic version is very affordable and the name brand is not really expensive. My doctor sends the prescription directly to them and I order when I need it. Never had a problem.

    Still, an annual visit to Paris is a good side benefit to protecting your health.

  3. condew says:

    It also comes in black. I guess that one’s an Obamatone.

  4. Monoceros Forth says:

    Listening to it, you realize that this toy is probably ten cents worth of cheap plastics and semiconductors, using a circuit you could likely scribble in full on the back of an envelope with a blunt pencil (seriously, if there’s anything in it more complicated than a 555, I’d be flabbergasted)…and someone’s making a mint off it. It’s hard not to feel a little envious.

  5. microdot says:

    I’ve probably mentioned it before, but I have been a chronic asthmatic my entire life. I’m not familiar with Advair…perhaps because my condition doesn’t require it. I do use Foradil, but I’ve noticed side effects over time. Fatigue, muscle cramps and tremors…so I try to keep my usage to the barest minimum. I do believe that if I still lived in the USA, I would have a considerably diminished quality of life. As it is, I live in rural France and have been enrolled in the Health care system here for years. I have a doctor who tells me his goal is to keep me on my bike until I keel over when I’m in my 90’s. I think the best part of the system here is that it is really about prevention. As part of my “treatment” I get a membership in a pool and gym complex up in St. Yreix-la-Perche. You gotta move over here, man! Socialized medicine is the hall mark of a civilized humane society. It is your right.

  6. Drew2u says:

    Shoulda posted this video of the otamatone!


  7. citizen_spot says:

    Dying cats? More like cats getting their freak on! As for the instruments, the burning question that just has to be asked is….why?

    Safe travels John.

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