Saturday, December 06, 2008

Women's Calendars are from American Greetings; Men's Calendars are from Intel.

Here's my wife's calendar for the next two weeks. Written on the inside of a greeting card box lid. Graphics are hers. Nice tree.

Here's mine. Requires electricity. Performs better with internet access.

Not sure which is better, but they summarize pretty neatly our respective preferences for organizational activities.

1 down, 6 billion to go

Ellen Kim got a Mac.

Why I'm a Phillies Fan

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two degrees

On reading my Kentucky alumni magazine today I ran across a book review of The Venus Week, written by the older sister of my first 'real' date (to a high school homecoming in the 7th grade - but that's a post for another day...) 

It turns out my one time date has made a name for herself by marrying Ted Olson (his fourth wedding, her first.) If you don't know him it's probably because you've blotted the memory from your mind - how he won Bush v Gore in the Supreme Court for Bush? Then was rewarded with an appointment as solicitor general for the US from 2001-2004. In her defense, she met and married him only after he stepped down from the SG post. His third wife (Barbara Olson) was killed on American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the pentagon on 9/11 - his 61st birthday. I suppose that'll rearrange your priorities: his new wife is a registered democrat.

As SG he argued (and lost) an affirmative action case against the University of Michigan, whose president then and now– Mary Sue Coleman – taught me biochemistry and prodded my entry into UK's medical school many years ago. 

Which only goes to show, it's not six degrees, it' two. And Kevin Bacon has nothing to do with it.

And as for former dates; no offense Lady, but I'd have to say I've upgraded.

Monday, November 24, 2008

DrRich (the other one) sums it all up

And nicely, too. 

I'm meeting incredible applicants for our residency during this interviewing season which, along with DrRich's advice, gives me hope for the future. I wonder if they feel the same.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

NEJM and primary care

Others have remarked on this NEJM series which appeared yesterday. My response is less prosaic but more concise.


Less talking, more action.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Facebook finally

I may be a geek, but being over 40 means I'm slower to some things than others...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


What a day. Are you inspired? I am.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

This is why I like John Faughnan's blog...

...and why my little brother and father should read it. The former wasn't born when Goldwater ran; the latter supported (and I suspect voted for) him.

If not Eternal, at least 28 years!

It's a great time to be a phillie's fan!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hope springs...

Is there anything better than October baseball played during an indian summer?

Two things; the Phillies winning and watching it all with my beautiful wife!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Olympia is a beautiful place

Sure I like Philadelphia, but Olympia has its charms too. Look west and see the Olympic mountain range. Look east and see Mt. Ranier. North and South aren't too shabby either, as these pics of Budd Inlet and the Washington State Capitol show.

Sure I like Philadelphia, but Olympia Washington is also a beautiful place. Look one way and it's the Olympic Mountain range. Look the other and it's Mount Ranier. Look north and south and here's what you see:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

GQ in the house

My family is far flung. One nephew just climbed Kilamanjaro, while another is living la buena vida in Argentina. I may be old and set in my ways but I still enjoy living vicariously through my gene pool.

Here's Stevie's GQ shot. Handsome huh?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In defense of Family Medicine

I can't wait to read Bob Centor's reply to this essay in the recent Annals of Family Medicine. His post about it and some provocative comments are here.

As I grow more experienced in what it means to be a family physician in what is an otherwise quaternary-care environment the value of the primary care function grows all the more valuable in my eyes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's a good day....

When a former trainee turns out (because or in spite of your work) so well.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Crisis of the bourgeois

A year ago I walked right into my local Apple store and picked up an iPhone around 8 pm on release day. No line, no fuss; until I got home and tried to activate it.

Fast forward a year and a week to yesterday. My wife is in the market for the new iPhone but the line was 20 deep at 9 pm last night, and after reading about activation delays she begged off to a later day. Then when we did stop in to pick one up (again no line, no fuss), ATT squelched the deal by invoking BMG, IRU, and FAN. And if you know what those acronyms mean you've spent way too much time on the phone with ATT.

So still no iPhone and all the stores near us are out of stock.

iPocalypse? Hardly.

Catastrophe? Iraq is a catastrophe. Katrina is a catastrophe.

3G iPhone activation problems? Just another...

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Tried to upgrade my wife's phone today. Suffice it to say ATT is still customer service impaired. Deeply.

Geolocate this post

Posted with LifeCast

Friday, July 04, 2008

Why it pays to practice

You think you can eat a pie? Then listen to the advice of my 5' 11" son and 6'2" brother-in-law, neither one an amateur when it comes to eating: practice, practice, practice. Otherwise you'll suffer the same disgrace they did when losing to the 4' 8" ultrapetit who bested them both for third place while they were daintily cleansing their palate between tastes of their Tastykakes.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Orientation 2008

Here's this year's new incoming residents in what is becoming a traditional first day shot.

Dragon Boat Champions

I would be remiss if I did not post a pic of the 2008 Dragon Docs, so here they are. Can you believe this group helped win the 2008 Independence Dragon Boat Regatta Hospital Challenge Cup Championship? We're already plotting our championship defense for 2009.

Getting physical

My nephew Mike V is off climbing Kilamanjaro. Meanwhile my feet are still hurting from riding my #1 son's folding bicycle last weekend and my wife is out digging in the dirt to lay a foundation for our new patio. Those of you who know her well know that the patio is only her most recent excuse to dig in the dirt.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Time Flies

Here's one of the earliest and most recent pictures of my oldest. His prom was last night and he's flying to college for his freshman advising conference this coming weekend. Enjoy it while you can - it goes by fast!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Evan's new sport

Every sport has it's own culture, and rowing is no exception. Here's a clip of Evan's latest regatta - the NJ State High School Rowing Championships in Camden on the Cooper River. You can tell from the photos that it's really all about the tents.

His crew placed 5th in their head race to make the final and placed sixth in the final rowing into a vicious head wind. He's rowing fourth from the bow in this boat. Next week is the Philadelphia Scholastic Rowing Championships. Pray for sun!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mid-Eastern Europe

Just got home from a week in Berlin, Dresden and Prague (selected pictures here); all an educational counterpoint to the more typical London/Rome/Paris that comes first in most grand tours. What did I learn?

Berlin and Dresden show scars from the war that manifest themselves architecturally, psychically, and culturally in the food, fashion, language and rituals of the street. It's striking to walk Jewish quarters of all three cities emptied of Jews by the holocaust. It's equally striking to note that protestants and Catholics are separated by country borders with the memory of why still fresh in the minds of citizens, despite reasons that are 500+ years old. If you want to learn about war and its aftermath, visit here and watch and listen closely.

Prague is Florence on tourist steroids, but with narrower streets.

Czech restaurants know how to turn a table.

On our trip to Europe in 2002 we got about 1.3 Euros to the dollar. This week it hovered around 0.6 Euros to the dollar - an all time low. Even the Czech crown reached an all time high against the dollar when we were there, promptly dropping a few points after we'd exchanged as many euros/dollars as we were going to. If you want to give your kids a lesson in international monetary exchange, visit Europe when the dollar sucks. My 16 year old was converting the 15.80 Czk to the dollar in split seconds.

When I was a teenager the common street lore was that Levi's jeans could be sold behind the iron curtain for $100 a pair. Now that the iron curtain is down they cost $150. Chuck Taylor tennis shoes that I paid $12 for as a 13 year old cost over $100 on Wenceslas Square.

Fortunately however the cultural hegemony of the west is incomplete: good beer is cheaper than water in Czech restaurants; trains/streetcars/metros are incredibly cheap and follow precise, reliable timetables; and tasty pork knuckles are the cheapest menu item everywhere we go. Even mini-marts have beer that's cheaper than Pepsi. Meanwhile back home in Pennsylvania it's still illegal for one person in one trip to one store to buy three six packs of beer, assuming of course you can find a place to sell it to you. 

Learning Czech isn't as hard as it looks.

There is indeed something to the Czech spirit, which I felt most in the museum of communism off Wenceslas Square where film of the 1968 and 1989 protests gave a sense of what it was like to live with no liberty and, perish the thought, no internet. By contrast the Tibetan protests happening this week show how hard it has become to control information.

Despite the 18 years since the fall of the iron curtain there is still a stark contrast between the east and west, most evident in the architecture but also in the day to day lives of the older and younger generations. 

Prague/Vienna/Budapest seem to have a New York/Boston/Philadelphia thing going on. Don't make comparisons without knowing the allegiance of the person you're talking to. It could get ugly if you presume Vienna strudel is better than Prague's. (It was explained to me that Vienna just stole it from Prague anyway, like many other things the Hapsburg dynasty mooched.)

And lastly, it can get damn cold in Europe in March. Note to self: it's always easier to take clothes off than to put clothes on that you didn't pack.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

#1 desired iPhone apps

I'm sitting in the mini outside the Moore school at Penn waiting for #2 son to finish crew practice and find myself hoping the iPhone SDK gets out on time and allows me to start using a pharmacy reference on my iPhone. The only thing more pressing and more basic is todo list and notes syncing with my mac.

Soon, please.