Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Hospitals helping hospitals
There was a phone conference with Health and Human Services Sec. Leavitt and hospital CEOs from major medical centers and large institutions around the country this afternoon. The government is assembling 40 medical shelters (essentially MASH units), each manned by an 100-person team, to support New Orleans and Mississippi hospitals in the wake of Hurricane Kristina. Shelters will stabilize and then discharge patients to hospitals outside of the region. The Maryland Hospital Association is coordinating the response of our area's hospitals in this effort.

Will post more information as I receive it. Like the tsunami response, the best thing you can contribute TODAY is cash to the American Red Cross, The Humane Society (there are a lot of homeless pets down there right now too), The Salvation Army, and any other NGO you are fond of.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:57 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Hospitals struggle in Katrina flooding
More coverage of how New Orleans hospitals are faring in the wake of Katrina.

"People coming in here, it's like running into a burning building looking for shelter..."

"It's like being in a Third World country. We're trying to work without power. Everyone knows we're all in this together. We're just trying to stay alive.."
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:42 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Tulane University Emergency Information
A blogger in LA writes:

Tulane Univ. Hospital is evacuating by air, using 20 helicopters from their parent company and lifting one or two patients with some staff each trip and carrying them to triage centers outside of the city.

Several hundred patients and staff remain in the hospital at last word; the water's much faster rise, somewhere between 2-to-4 feet per hour, has knocked out their fixed generators, and they're running essential equipment on portable generators.
I can't even imagine operating under these conditions. Tulane has created an emergency blog. I don't know how much longer they'll be able to keep it updated.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:05 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
The horrors unfolding on the Gulf Coast just keep on coming. It really boggles the mind that this is happening in the US.

The greatest fear of any hospital administrator is keeping a place of this size, complexity, and fragility up and running in the event of a major natural disaster. It is simply and without equal, the biggest fear we know. To provide adequate food, water, and care to either huge numbers of people suddenly, or to continue providing care in the event that we are shut off from the rest of the world - are things we plan for, practice, and think about constantly. We have to make certain that in a complete disaster, that we are self contained and self sufficient for upwards of a week or more. We need to provide our own power, water supply, food and have enough staff and drugs on hand to take care of fragile patients independently of whatever else is going on around us. It's simply what we do.

My thoughts have been with my friends and colleagues at Tulane Medical Center these past few days. I marvel at the fact that they are still there, and that the staff, nurses and doctors, who have all lost their own homes and are worried about the safety and well being of their own families are doing everything in their power to take care of those patients who cannot take care of themselves. They are manually ventilating patients. This is the ultimate case of having someone's life in your hand when you are literally breathing for them.

I've spent plenty of nights at the hospital during snow emergencies over the years, but that minor inconvenience pales in comparison to what the brave men and women of New Orleans are facing now. They are true heroes.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:44 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
ABC is asleep at the wheel
I turned on the bedroom TV to watch the Hurricane Katrina coverage on ABC's Good Morning America this morning, and tuned in to see Robin Roberts wearing jeans, a T-shirt and a denim button down. Normal attire for hurricane coverage given that they drove all night to get to where they were broadcasting. Startled, I realized while I was watching her speak that there was light blue lettering on her white T-shirt, and upon closer inspection, you could just read "..S Christ". It could have said anything from "Jesus Christ" to "Roberts Christian Mission", but it was clearly a Christian T-shirt.

ABC let her on the air wearing a T-shirt with religious symbolism?? I don't think Robin Roberts makes any secret of the fact that she is a devout Christian with family in Mississippi, but I think ABC was asleep in the producer's booth to let her on the air wearing that shirt.

I mean, you don't see Larry King wearing a yarmulke on CNN.

UPDATE: MMMmmm - crow tastes good first thing in the morning. Apparently I wasn't the only person who noticed the shirt because they went to great pains this morning to repeatedly point out that the shirt actually said "Pass Christian" - the name of Roberts hometown. There was copius footage of her later in the day without the denim shirt, where the T-shirt was clearly visible, and they made the point every time she came on the air this morning between 7:00 and 7:30 (I had to leave for work after that). So there you have it.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:44 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Monday, August 29, 2005
We now resume our regularly scheduled broadcast
Sorry for the brief absence and short posts. I was awash in social engagements and houseguests. Thursday and Friday saw the arrival of a dear friend and his delightful progeny and we attended a few baseball games, met other close friends, and hit the National Aquarium. They departed town on Friday mere hours before #1 Sister arrived later that evening. We had the requisite shopping and Thai food experience, coupled with movies and sleeping in. #1 Sister departed Sunday to fetch her brood and take them home to start school (they had been visiting their Dad in VA all week), leaving me just enough time to clean up the aftermath, and host a working dinner party at the house for members of the City's League of Women Voters. I'm co-chairing a week long visit of Russian politicians in October and the logistics (housing, transportation, and the schedule of events) is mind boggling.

But - I'm back - will resume regular posting as time and energy permit.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:50 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Comeback Player of the Year Award Presented by Viagra
I had the rare opportunity to spend what was probably the finest day of the summer (both from a weather and companion standpoint), attending not one, but TWO Major League games in TWO stadiums in TWO cities today.

For anyone out there unfamiliar with Baltimore weather the last week of August, we SHOULD have been sweltering in unbearable heat hovering close to 100 with humidity in the 90% range. Today. Was. Glorious. Cool, with clear and utterly blue skies. We get perhaps 10 such perfect days in an entire year. We joked that there should be a rule obligating people to attend baseball games or go sailing when the weather is this perfect.

We started the day at RFK stadium in DC to watch the Nationals lose to the Cincinnati Reds. This was a terribly confusing game for myself and at least one other friend to watch because the Reds were wearing dark grey uniforms (like the Senators used to wear) and the Nats were wearing white uniforms with red hats and socks - like the Cincinnati Reds are supposed to wear. As a result, we kept cheering for the wrong team. The DC game started at 1:05 PM and ended at 4:40 PM. We were on the road and on our way up to Baltimore in rush hour traffic by 5:00 PM, had time to stop in Columbia for a brief shopping excursion, and STILL make the 7:05 PM start of the Orioles / Angels game. A true double header. Luckily - the O's won the game and we were left feeling as though we all accomplished something special and had a terrific day.

Then I come home to check email and blog updates before going to bed and see this on the MLB web site. Is this just the most tasteless thing ever or what?? How can the "winner" of this "competition" be anything but completely embarrassed?? Of course, you know I have to vote for Richie Sexson, because it's just too good to pass up.

What are they thinking???
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:06 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Everything old is new again
Age-Old Cures, Like the Maggot, Get U.S. Hearing.

It seems that medical advisors are getting together to draft policies in the resurgent use of leeches, maggots and bone wax in high tech medicine. I did another post about this same topic a few weeks ago. Looks like my docs are on the cutting edge.

Leeches, it turns out, are particularly good at draining excess blood from surgically reattached or transplanted appendages. As microsurgeons tackle feats like reattaching hands, scalps and even faces, leeches have become indispensable.

And maggots clean festering wounds that fail to heal, as among diabetics, better than almost anything else, although their use in the United States has been slight, in part because of squeamishness.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:44 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Happy Hour Conversations
I'm not sure which Happy Hour ACW attended, and granted, I left before the trip to visit epiphany at his place of work and the post blogger drinking at Ale Mary's, but MY conversations were totally wholesome. I seem to remember talking to ACW and ACWF at length about kittens, cats, the cute tricks they do, and pets in general. I even told my famous "frozen ferret" story if memory serves me right. The bestiality cum necrophelia discussion must have started just as I was leaving. That's a good thing.......

We probably have a chance for one more outdoor blogger gathering before fall really hits. Let's get a good group together for a "back to school" event. Last night was really fun, but we were missing some key constituents !! I think we hit summer vacation schedules full on.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:45 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Office Artwork
So...I moved in to a lovely office with two completely bare walls. Of the four, one is taken up by a bookcase, and the other wall is entirely a window.

I went through my personal collection of prints and artwork wondering what might be appropriate or interesting for my new office. I have lots of unframed museum posters from around the world that don't feel right. Also, the fact is that my Mom is an artist and my Dad is an architect and even with lots of goodies from their stash, I still couldn't think of anything appropriate for my office.

Today, I discovered that there is someone in our Marketing office who will "decorate" your office for you - for a price. They come to your office, look around, discuss your preferences and document your color scheme .....

And then return with some God awful Thomas Kincaid / Painter of Light - monstrosity and call it "art".

Faced with this option, this is what I had in mind, but I don't think they'll go for it....

posted by Broadsheet @ 10:35 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
Monday, August 22, 2005
Road Trip Anyone?
I dropped off the new ride to:

1. Have the windshield replaced (yeah - warranty!!!)
2. Have software for the phone installed (I never thought I would write about installing software in my car)
3. Have it checked out, because sadly, the "service vehicle soon" light came on this morning (yeah - warranty!!!).

I'm not (too) worried that I might have purchased a lemon - yet. Lemon BMW's aren't too common (it was a dealership car from a top dealership), and since it's been less than 30 days since I bought the car - I'm covered, and can turn it in - no questions asked.

One of the sweet things about this place is that you can pretty much walk out and pick a loaner vehicle while yours is being serviced.

So.....Anyone wanna go for a spin in a BRIGHT red, tan leather, 2006 model with all the extras?

If my car is sick - I'm keeping it.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 7:24 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Coming to a Bumper Sticker Near You
Pastifarians unite! I got your Flying Spaghetti Monster right here.

posted by Broadsheet @ 2:17 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Mongolian Idol
More than 120,000 people auditioned for China's version of Amercian Idol, a female only version wierdly calledThe Mongolian Cow Sour Yoghurt Supergirl Contest. Gotta love it. The estimated TV Viewing audience is 400 million - that's 105 million more than the entire population of the US. Talk about ad revenues.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:21 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Back to School Shopping
Note to self:

Self: Don't ever just "run out to IKEA", the weekend before every major college and university on the East Coast is gearing up for fall semester.


They had a special 'display room' totally outfitted to accommodate 2 people in less than 600 square feet of space. No room for clothes, studying, or storage, but the bathroom was nice.

In addition to every family with hormonal teens looking for a bargain and trying to outfit 600 square feet of living space, there were a trio of frat boys in the sofa area. Now, these guys had already had a few, and the 'lead guy' (AKA most drunk), kept bouncing on the display sofas and reminding his compadre's that their goal was "durability and stain resistance". Oh - Ick.

I rounded out the day with the less than 30 day old BMW getting a starburst crack in the windscreen from an errant pebble.

posted by Broadsheet @ 9:11 PM   5 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Baby Hedgehogs
All together now - aaaaaw!

HT: boingboing
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:37 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
The Rodenator
Ground squirrels are the enemy in CA.

The Paso Robles Public Schools is considering buying squirrel extermination systems called the Rodenator Pro for its more than 10 campuses.

The $2,000 system exterminates the critters by releasing a mixture of propane and oxygen into a hole and lighting a fire. It was demonstrated by a Pinedale, Calif., distributor at Pat Butler Elementary last week.

Paging Carl Spackler, paging Carl Spackler!
License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations. Man, free to kill gophers at will. To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit - ever. They're like the Viet Cong - Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior firepower and superior intelligence. And that's all she wrote.

-Carl Spackler

PS God, my brother would SOOO love to own a Rodentator
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:03 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Friday, August 19, 2005
Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory
God bless The Onion. Sadly, this parody is so spot on that it's within the realm of ridiculous possibility.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:17 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Sleepus interruptus
My electricity went out for a little bit yesterday afternoon while I was at work. I barely noticed because most of the major timekeeping pieces in the house update automatically (TV, computer, phone). It wasn't until I got to the kitchen and the time zone was different on the coffee maker, microwave and stove, that I even realized something had gone wrong. No biggie.

I've been working crazy long hours lately (and loving it BTW), so last night I decided to read a book and go to bed early. I also had to be at work before 7:00 AM, so I wanted to get a good night's sleep. Well, after reading the same paragraph for 20 minutes, I probably fell asleep around 9:30 or so. That's all I remember until the alarm went off and I reached over from an astoundingly deep sleep and smacked it. I mean, I was REALLY asleep. Hard to swim to the surface asleep. I went into the bathroom and stood under the shower for an extra five minutes trying to figure out why the hell I was so tired since I had gone to bed early and slept so soundly.

I got out of the shower, and per my usual morning routine, grabbed the remote for the TV and turned it on to catch the early morning news. Commercial break. As I was brushing my teeth, the commercial ended and cut back to the regular broadcast. And all of a sudden, I hear.....Jimmy Kimmel. WTF? Only now do I bother to actually LOOK at the clock, and realize that it's only 12:20 AM. I had forgotten to reset the alarm after the electricity cut out, and it defaults to 12:00 AM. $@$%@!#!$#!!!!!

So there I was, freshly washed, hair wet, teeth brushed - just 3 hours after I went to sleep, and I had 5 more hours to go till 5:30 AM. What a doofus.

I fell back asleep pretty easily, but it wasn't very restful. Needless to say, my hair was freakish when I woke up at the right time later on, having gone back to bed with it all wet. I wet it down again and slapped on a hairband, some makeup and came to work.

I still feel like I just got off a plane four time zones from here.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:02 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Pride Goeth Before the Fall
OK, so this puts an irreparable dent in my ever shrinking / non existent blog anonymity....BUT

This Artists' co-op / group and gallery has been one of the primary centers of support and interest from my family for more than 30+ years (70 years if you count my Grandmother, a well known local artist, who was a founder of the group).

My Mom has spent tireless hours getting this gallery up and running, and keeping it going. From organizing volunteers, to getting grant support, to having fundraisers, she has overseen a lot. Thanks to very generous donations of time, design work, and materials from Dad's architecture firm, there is new paint, lighting, better gallery space and other ammenities at the Center. In addition to a full range of adult programs and classes, they have children's programs in art, architecture and drawing. It's the best example of a community based arts appreciation program for a town of its size that I know, and I'm very proud of my Mom and Dad to put so much effort and support into it.

It's a good thing.

posted by Broadsheet @ 10:53 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Strange fossil defies grouping
Hmmm - must be a case of Intelligient Design!
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:04 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Gilding the Lilly
Somehow, I suspect that this effort is similar to clothes makers labeling women's clothing a size or two smaller, in an effort to make them feel thinner.

"This could help condoms become cool," he said. "Men will buy them to boost their ego."

Even more importantly, it will remove the excuse made by some men for not using condoms - that they are too small.

However, Mr Xolo said he was not sure how many of the millions of condoms sold each year in South Africa were being properly used.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:27 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Monday, August 15, 2005
Plumbing Distractions
Saturday, I was busy getting the house ready for a party. Of course, I had the day planned down to the minute with time to get everything done - assuming nothing went wrong. So, when I went downstairs to throw a load of laundry in the wash, and walked into a small flood in the laundry room, I realized that the day was not going as planned, and it was only 9:00 AM.

There has long been a rather remarkable feat of plumbing and sheer idiocy that connects the condensation outlet from the heat pump, to the drain into my sump pump. Rube Goldberg would be proud. It consists of five feet of PVC tubing with no less than 3 elbow joints to get to the ground drain. Therefore, on really hot days like Saturday, the joints get clogged by the dust and muck in the condensation, which causes the drain pan to overflow and flood. This is remedied amidst much cursing, by twisting apart the tubes, cleaning them out as best I can (which also results in black goo and water spilling all over the floor), and putting the whole thing back together, and then mopping the floor.

Well, I was in no mood to deal with this on party day, and in my haste, the tube snapped in half and black goo and water sprayed all over me, the floor, and the wall. Nice. Now I was looking as spending 2-3 hours that were not in the program to get parts at the hardware store and fix the damn thing. Alternative? Clean things up a bit and place a bucket beneath the remaining tube to catch the water, and deal with it later.

Because it was so hot, and because the air conditioner ran constantly, the bucket was filling about once an hour. Therefore, while getting ready for the party, and during the party, I had to run to the basement every hour and dump the bucket or risk having it overflow and flood the basement again.

Fast forward to 3:00 AM when I sat bolt upright in bed with my post party, wine addled brain and realized I hadn't emptied the bucket since midnight!! I ran to the basement, saw that it was dry, looked at the heat pump and cracked up as I remembered what I had done. My last conscious act had been to duct tape the broken tubing together, with the roll of duct tape still attached to the makeshift repair. The joint was leaking so I had placed the bucket underneath it, but it wasn't leaking very badly, and the bucket was in no danger of overfilling. Relieved, I headed back to bed for much needed sleep.

So yesterday, after two trips to Lowe's for tubing and hose clamps (because one trip to a large suburban mega hardware store in 98 degree weather a 1/2 hour away is just never enough), I had the right size tubing and instead of a rickety pipe, I now have a simple flexible hose line running from the outlet into the drain, which is what should have been installed in the first place.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:00 AM   4 Editorial Opinions
Sushi Fundraiser At The Aquarium Called Bad Taste
Somebody needs a new marketing and development manager.

The announcement that The Florida Aquarium is holding a fundraiser tonight that will feature seven chefs competing in a Sushi Showdown was met with lament from familiar quarters.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:58 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
More Cowbell!
Christopher Walken for President.

UPDATE: Damn. I gotta quit believing everything I read on the internet. Hoaxed again.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:47 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Friday, August 12, 2005
It could be worse....
Gas tops $6.68 a gallon. In Norway.

Quit your whining.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:17 AM   8 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Praying Mantis Eats Hummingbird
Ick, but also very cool.

When I was little, we found a Praying Mantis egg case in a bush outside my bedroom window. My Dad made a little cage for it covered with screen, and we cut the branch that held the egg case out of the bush, put it in the cage with some leaves and a small dish of water, and waited. Sure enough, a few days later, little, miniature mantises were spewing out of the case and crawling around. Sadly, I think we put the wrong kind of leaf in the cage, because they ignored it and started to cannibalize each other. My Mom quickly let them free to fend for themselves, and to this day, I've never seen as many Praying Mantises as I did that summer.

Even now, I find them somehow regal and magical when I see them. I never expected them to act like a Great White Shark though.....

posted by Broadsheet @ 9:41 PM   5 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Redheads don't feel your pain
Well, this explains everything!!! I love when scientific fact backs up my reality.

I think what we lack in discerning physical pain is amply compensated for by our ability to feel pain emotionally.

1. "Oh, my leg is broken? Really? Hmm. Doesn't bother me much"

2. "He hasn't emailed me for a week". "Where do you keep the knives?"
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:56 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
No Chuckles
From the front page of my hometown newspaper in the features section:

Today's Chuckle

There is no Chuckle today.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:44 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Explicit Invitation
Dear Blogtimore,

After much hearsay and subterfuge; here it is Baltosphere:

An announcement went out a couple of weeks ago that there will be a gathering at Casa de Broadsheet for friends, neighbors, fellow bloggers, and colleagues this Saturday evening. Details regarding findings of their discovery have got out, and because I am terrible at being entirely inclusive beforehand (the hostess is a well known doofus), I usually find out tragically later that I forgot to invite the "neighbor of the landlord of another good friend", or the " ex co-worker of the new boyfriend", and then my social currency bounces for at least 6 weeks or so (neighborly speaking).

More importantly? I don't want to blog about this party later for folks who can't attend simply because you don't live in / near Baltimore, but who may keep this blog going in spite of it.

So...Dear landlord of my neighbor's best friend, friend's of neighbors, and the internet in general:

There is to be much socializing, music, and food at Casa de Broadsheet on Saturday evening. If you wish to protest, contact me via my Gmail account.

Conversely, if you live in the area and want to attend, contact me via email and I will happily provide directions and details. Local bloggers are extra, extra specially welcome.

Share the love and stop by!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:31 PM   5 Editorial Opinions
Monday, August 08, 2005
Girl's Weekend - aftermath
Well, for once, my affliction for bad air travel was minor. Only an hour and a half delay on the flight up to Rhode Island, and an hour delay on the way back last night. Got to have a great lobster dinner on Naragansett Bay and watch the sun set last night, and still got home to Baltimore by midnight.

I managed to forget to put a memory chip in my digital camera, so conveniently there are no photos of our debauchery. But let me just say that when you get a lot of really smart women together, you can count on some really good conversation and a terrific experience. When those same smart women are also scientists, you can also count on decanting a large quantity of home made (award winning, I might add), red wine directly from oak casks into large chemistry beakers, using mouth pipettes to mix different varietals, and also setting up the pipettes to infuse an amazing and impressive amount of spiced rum into a watermelon.

Add a really nice pool, terrific food (fresh vegetables and luscious summer fruits with mascarpone and limoncello), amazing summer weather, and good music, and skinny dipping at midnight is fairly inevitable.

Life does not get much better than that.

I have a sunburn in a few spots and an outbreak of really annoying mosquito bites on my feet and ankles, but I've also got great memories and the knowledge that I have some pretty amazing friends in my life.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:03 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Friday, August 05, 2005
Girl's Weekend
Am off to catch a flight up to Rhode Island for the 5th Annual Girl's Weekend at my buddy Diane's. No husbands, no boyfriends, no kids allowed. Just lots of gabbing, drinking wine, floating in the pool and solving life's problems. Therapy doesn't have to cost a lot! Out.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:13 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Hey Yankees - need a new coach?
Mazilli is out. Let's see what the new guy can do. There's no where to go but up. Well, there is, but let's hope not. Otherwise, the fact that the Yankees gave up the World Series to the Red Sox last year after being 3 games ahead is going to look like a good streak.

Go birds!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:45 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Rim Shot Please
Overheard at surgical conference this morning:

Fellow: Patient is a 24 yr. old female being evaluated for a limb lengthening procedure to enhance her stature. I couldn't find her x-rays films, or the clinic notes from her pre-op evaluation.

Surgeon: Not even a short one?
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:58 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
All the Pretty Horses
They are constructing much needed additional parking garages on campus to ease the parking crush at work. During this time, we are renting the parking lots at what is arguably one of the most famous, and the second oldest horseracing track in America. There is a short shuttle bus ride from the racetrack to the hospital. Everyone seems to be griping about the inconvenience, but as a newcomer, I find it quite convenient. I've never had to wait more than a few minutes for the shuttle, they are air conditioned, drop you off at the entrance, and hell - it's FREE. At my old place of employment, parking on site cost $150 a month, and then you had to walk 3 blocks to get to your office.

This morning, I came in to work at 6:30 AM, and it was still a little foggy. The sun was just beginning to rise above the horizon. I parked next to the hedgerow immediately adjacent to the track and stopped to watch the riders exercising their mounts in the early morning mist, while trainers watched from the sidelines with their stopwatches in hand, shouting times and instructions to the riders.

Some riders were galloping full out, racing each other in mock earnestness. Others were simply going through their morning workout at a slow canter, varying the speed and distance.

At 6:30, it was already 75 degrees, and the dewpoint was almost 70, so the horses were taking advantage of what little cool weather we will have today. By 8:30 or 9:00 in the morning, it will already be too hot for them to work out.

It was a very, very pretty, almost romantic, sight. Having had a love affair with horses when I was young, it made me wish I hadn't grown out of it as most girls eventually do. I may have to start throwing my camera in my bag in the morning to take some pictures.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:45 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Wound Care 101
There seems to be a sudden rash of discussions involving necrophelia in the Balto blogosphere started by this guy at Happy Hour last week. This morning was no exception.

Since I've started the new job, I've been attending the 7:00 AM teaching rounds with the surgeons where they review all the surgical cases from the previous week, and plan out the approaches for the next week's surgeries. I spent more than 13 years managing cardiology, and can tell you exactly what a bi-phasic defibrillator with endocardial leads and caps costs, and what's it's used for, but now that I've gone from plumbing to hardware, so to speak, I'm on a learning curve for all the orthopedic protheses, plates and hardware and their uses, so I'm attending teaching rounds to learn.

Despite all the advances in orthopedic surgery with lasers, arthroscopes, and other less invasive techniques, it is still highly, highly, highly invasive stuff when it comes to replacing joints. This means large wounds with even larger scars.

The star case of the this morning's presentation involved an elderly woman and a hip replacement. Pretty routine stuff. Until it came to healing her wound. It wouldn't. They tried everything, and still it wouldn't heal. So.... (pay attention ACW). They brought in the maggots. Yes, maggots. They cost about $100 for a package of them from a place out in CA. When they arrive, they look like tiny pieces of rice. Toss them on the wound, cover with a most cloth drenched in some protective ointment, and 48 hours later, they have eaten all the necrotic tissue and while the wound site is much smaller, the maggots are now the size of pencil erasers. The slides of this miracle treatment, posted in living color on the wall of the conference room, did nothing for the coffee and bagel I was trying to eat while taking notes.

There was brief moment of levity when the surgeon reported that he neglected to remove the maggots from another patient in time, which resulted in an outbreak of flies on the nursing unit and Environmental Services scrambled to vacuum them out of the rooms and contain them.

Ahh, the wonders of modern medicine.

Enjoy your morning coffee.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:27 AM   6 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Earth from space: bloom in the Baltic
Cool article of the day. A satellite photo of the Baltic Sea shows the extent of a massive phytoplankton outbreak.

That's chlorophyll in its purest form.

HT: boing boing
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:23 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Best Sports Headline Ever
Although some might disagree.

HT: Fark
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:20 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Monday, August 01, 2005
Baseball Star Is Suspended for Violating Steroids Policy
Sigh..... Last month, he hit the magic 3,000 mark, this month...

"I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period," he said. "Ultimately, although I never intentionally put a banned substance into my body, the independent arbitrator ruled that I had to be suspended under the terms of the program." (emphasis mine)

Is this the baseball version of "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. ... ?" Define "intentionally".

To say I'm dissapointed in Rafael is an understatement.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:40 PM   1 Editorial Opinions

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