Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Monday, February 26, 2007
Feel Good = Look Good
There are two types of people that go to spas like this. Those who primarily care that they LOOK good, and those that primarily care that they FEEL good.

The good lookers spend most of their time in the cardio center pumping away on the elliptical trainers and treadmills. They are also usually wearing the tightest outfit possible to exhibit their hard earned chiseled physique, and have a tight, drawn, look on their face.

Those who primarily care that they FEEL good, are walking around without makeup, with bad hair, in big fluffy robes and silly sandals, going from one indulgent treatment to the next.

I hope I fall somewhere in between. I took a long swim and pushed myself, and then followed it up with some indulgent treatments. But I have to admit, I will ALWAYS want to feel good about myself, both physically and mentally, before I EVER care about how "good" I look.

Exhibit A: I was having a salad in the Spa Cafe wearing my fluffy robe and silly sandals, and had just come from a massage, so I had oil in my hair, no makeup, and was wearing my glasses - IN PUBLIC. A VERY good looking, VERY hard body guy (with highlighted hair, and looking like he had had "some work" done on his nose), was being snippy, short and rude to the waitress for no reason that I could tell, other than she wasn't fawning over him enough .

In such a posh place, where people are trained to wait on you hand and foot, and I was feeling really good and just grateful to be able to do something like this, and he has to bring the whole room down because people weren't paying enough attention to him.

Well, I was, and I was not impressed.
posted by Broadsheet @ 6:08 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
No Worries
Well, I'm glad we took the bus with everyone else to get out to the resort yesterday. Our bus driver did a GREAT job in harrowing mountain whiteout conditions, while we enjoyed coffee, the Sunday NYT, snacks, and watched "Little Miss Sunshine".

Oddly enough, we drove through an ice storm on the east side of Keyser's Ridge, but as we came down the other side of the mountain into the resort, they had had nothing more than some morning rain. It was sunny and warmish when we arrived at about 2:00.

After checking in, walking around (this place is HUGE), checking out the shops on site, getting our bearings, and taking a short nap (I was exhausted from Saturday), we enjoyed a fabulous dinner of stuffed quail and a nice wine last night. The wine list here is 33 pages long. There is no bottle of wine <$45, and the vast majority of them are in the hundreds of dollars.

There is a vintage bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild for the bargain price of $3,750, and a couple of pages of wine in the thousand dollar range. Largest wine cellar in PA, and perhaps one of the best collections I've ever seen.

Same goes for the artwork. $45 million of art all through the place: Leroy Neiman, Norman Rockwell, Matisse, Hermes prints, native American artwork and artifacts, you name it - they've got it.

And I've got a BUSY schedule today!

7:00 AM - up and calling the office to make sure everyone got in because of the weather. Check Email, send work related emails.

8:00 AM - Coffee and newspaper. Watch the Oscar Highlights, read blogs / news.

9:30 AM - Head to Spa for a morning swim and a spin in the hot tub.

11:00 AM - Hot Stone Massage

12:30 PM - Lunch in the Spa Cafe'.

2:00 PM - Pedicure

3:00 PM - Tour of the resort's artwork with a docent.

4:00 PM - Skin consult

5:00 PM - Dress for dinner - head to Lobby Bar to meet people for drinks.

Tomorrow: Body scrub, Facial, more swimming, walking, repeat as needed.

Somewhere in there, I do need to spend about 4+ hours working on my budgets for next year. Can't avoid it. Need to have them ready for review first thing Thursday when I get back. Small price to pay for three days of decadence.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:12 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Crunch Time
OK, so about a month ago, I thought it would be a nice idea to host an open house cocktail buffet for all the new people that have moved into our neighborhood over the last few months. The first date I chose was a bad one for most people's schedules, so I just had the next door neighbors over for a casual supper that night, and we rescheduled the big party for this evening.


I haven't gotten home from work before 8:30 any evening this week, and last night was no exception. I hadn't touched my bags from the San Diego trip, nor set foot in a grocery store since I got back.

So, last night I managed to unpack, get some laundry done, and start RE-packing for the spa trip tomorrow.

For this evening, I'm making a white chicken chili with tomatillos, a REALLY spicy jalapeno chili with tons of beef and sausage that our family has affectionately dubbed "Circuit Breaker Chili", and then I'm going to turn the kitchen island into a make your own quesadilla bar, and put out tons of different fillings and the panini grill for people to grill up their own quesadillas. Oh, yeah, and margaritas at the bar. About 20 people - no problem. GULP.

I've been up since 6:00. The house is mostly organized and "tour proof". I went to the grocery store, and I've knocked off the white chicken chili which is simmering on the stove. I grabbed a shower, and now I'm about to start on the second batch of chili, and then chop up all the condiments, and make a batch of corn bread. With help from some neighbors who are making con queso and guacamole, a trip to the liquor store for refreshments, and some more cleaning, and I MIGHT just pull this off.

UPDATE 2:15: Both chilis are done, and the liquor is in the car. I need to run to the dry cleaner, chop all the quesadilla fillings, set up the bar, the buffet, tidy up my bedroom, clean the cat boxes, and finish laundry / packing. In less than five hours.

UPDATE 12:15: I was officially ready, and was applying lipstick when the first guest arrived at 6:47 PM. Everyone ELSE arrived at exactly 7:00. The last stragglers left at midnight. I had lovely help with with the leftovers, pots, pans, and glasses. All that could be frozen or given away - was.

A good time was had by all - as they say.

What the hell do I care? I'm on vacation for the next 3 days.......
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:58 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, February 22, 2007
To: My Direct Reports:

I'm seeking your help.

My incoming e-mail has ballooned out of all control.

For example, my morning has been consumed by reviewing compensation data, proposals, policies, staffing models, evaluations, presentations, in addition to multiple versions of e-mail conversations. This morning alone I have received the equivalent of 72 pages of documents to review.

By everyone sending me multiple documents by e-mail I have become chained to my computer. It has become an inefficient way for me to respond to your requests and feedback on projects, tasks, proposals, etc. Let alone walk around your various departments, talk to staff members, and see how things are going on a daily basis.

Please : Do not send me any e-mail with multiple attachments, or any e-mail that is longer than three paragraphs.

If something requires my signature or approval, copy my assistant on the email, and she'll print it out for my signature / comments.

When it becomes longer than that, it requires discussion. You each have individual times to meet with me every month, as well as twice a week at open office hours, or any time if the issue is urgent. I am making every effort to be more accessible for meetings with you - please use that time to the best advantage for both of us. If there is a question that will require more than a quick answer and you can’t wait for a meeting, please give me a call.

I request you assist me in stopping this madness. Thank you.

posted by Broadsheet @ 11:03 PM   5 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
There's a reason people who manage a lot of people get paid well. IT SUCKS!

Ever since I got back on Monday morning, it has been one closed door session after another with personnel gripes, complaints, bad attitudes and sheer pettiness. If these people spent even 10% of the time they take to complain about everyone else to just do their own job, they'd be 50% more productive.

And with today's policies and procedures for everything from patient privacy to harrassment in the workplace, every conversation requires about an hour of documentation.

And last night - even the doctors got into the act. At our Faculty meeting (which went on, and on, and on....till 8:30 PM), they acted like a bunch of kindergartners.

There is a reason I don't have kids. I have 150+ of them at work!

I'm trying to put the finishing touches on 30 Power Point slides for a Strategic Planning meeting this Friday, and at this rate, I'll be up all night.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I'd like to be able to unpack from the trip and start to plan the cocktail party I agreed to host this Saturday for the new neighbors.


At least I have a three day spa trip to look forward to beginning on Sunday.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:27 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Monday, February 19, 2007
And The Best of the Rest
More from San Diego...



Some Like it Hot!

Casa Del Prado:



King of the Meerkats....
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:30 PM   7 Editorial Opinions
I Wish They Could All Be California Girls.....
First, we have a scanned photo circa 196_, from 4816 Pescadero Avenue, in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego, CA. This was the humble one bedroom bungalow of a young Navy couple aged 23(?!) and the publishers of Broadsheet. My first known newsstand location - "Extra! Extra!!:

4816 Pescadero Ave

Fast forward to 2007, and the bungalow is still there:


Lots more foliage, and I wish the SUV weren't in the way, but hey - not our house anymore.

Another view:


I told my Mom that the neighborhood is still a Surfer's Paradise. A wet suit on every balcony or backyard, and a surfboard in every garage. Less than a block in both directions from the crumbling cliffs of Sunset Cliffs Blvd., one of the most popular surfing spots in San Diego. I mean seriously, this little house is on a peninsula cliff with the ocean at two corners. I'm amazed the neighborhood hasn't been more developed, but it's actually much the same despite its choice location.

What used to be hippie society has matured with the neighborhood into a Bohemian Surfer Culture. When I went just a few blocks down the street to where all the surfers hang out, the easy majority of the surfers were my age and older. The difference now is that instead of your Dad's Woodie Station Wagon, they have $50,000 SUVs with all the toys. One group of guys my age were unloading their boards and hunched over a laptop, mapping currents and waves with GPS satellite software, and arguing over who was going to man the computer while the rest of them surfed. The future has finally caught up with yesterday.

I seriously wonder if all that technology makes a real difference in the enjoyment of the sport...

My gut response is no - but for guys who like gadgets, I can see where it adds to the enjoyment.

For me? Just being out in such beautiful weather, in such a beautiful place, and seeing what my parents enjoyed so much, at such a young age, in such simpler times, so long ago, was enjoyment enough.

Proof that you can go home again.

Pretty cool weekend. (Sniff - reaches for tissue).....
posted by Broadsheet @ 7:40 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, February 17, 2007
A Well Balanced Meal
When your glass of wine costs as much as your lunch.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:34 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Meanwhile, Other Conventions are also Ending
Namely, an ASHREA meeting (The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers), of which my brother is a proud member. Don't get me wrong, they've get some nice locations for their get bigger get togethers, like San Antonio and the like, but this time, while I'm out in sunny CA, he's freezing his you know what's off near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

From the comments: Meanwhile, on the frozen tundra of Belgium, WI, I rolled out of bed to zero degree temperatures and a wind chill of -25F at the luxurious AmericInn Hotel. I finished off the day with a flight in a 19-passenger "school bus with wings" that practically had no heat. After delaying the flight for 40 minutes while they waited for 2 passengers from another flight, they had to turn around and bribe one passenger to deplane because the plane was overloaded. I felt much better knowing that we were taking off at the maximum weight limit of the plane. I finally got home at 10 pm - 6 hrs after our connecting flight touched down in Cleveland. I could've driven home in 2:15 hrs. Ahh, the conveniences of modern travel!

Too bad bro.

I'm off to La Jolla and a drive along the coast.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:04 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, February 16, 2007
Some Days are Better than Others.....
And when you get to take the ferry across the bay to Coronado Island, and have a late lunch outside on the terrace at one of America's truly iconic hotels, it's one of those better days. If you ever come to San Diego, it is well worth your valuable time to visit the Hotel Del Coronado. A real trip back to a more elegant time. Ironically, it was the hotel of choice for the Japanese at the conference. With rooms going for $300+ per night - it was a bargain for them!

The conference was over for me around 11:00 AM this morning, so after spending a few hours on Coronado having lunch, sticking my toes in the Pacific Ocean, getting a sunburn on my neck, walking on the beach, and getting blisters from my dress boots (I was still in conference/business attire), I came back to my hotel, rented a car, and am off for more adventures. Tomorrow. I'm having a low key evening this evening. I'm totally beat.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:00 PM   5 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, February 15, 2007
1. An orthopedic convention is kind of like Home Depot meets Vegas meets NASA. Ortho surgeons use the most toys, tools, and implements BY FAR of any other surgical specialty. The Exhibit Hall here is the size of an airplane hangar. Some of the displays have two stories.

2. There are entire displays set up like jewelry counters hawking the SAME lag screws and bolts you can buy at Home Depot. But thanks to the FDA, manufacturing, and marketing, the same screw that costs $.50 at Home Depot, costs $500. The SAME screw.

3. Lots of ex athletes, trainers, and the like get into Orthopedic product sales because they're familiar with kinesiology, body mechanics, injuries, etc. As a result, you have a lot of big, burly, no necked, crew cut, bodyguard types in business suits, and usually sporting some huge ring of some sort, hawking hardware, implants and braces. It's weird. Personally, it's also my least favorite body type for men by far.

4. You will never see this many rich, white men all in one place at the same time outside of a Republican National Convention.

5. Ditto for trophy wives with lots of "work" that has been done to them in the face lift and silicone enhancement areas.

6. Other than rich white guys, Barbies, and bodyguards, - there are LOTS of folks from Japan and Europe here as well. Every language you can imagine is spoken, and some of the sessions look like the UN Council with people listening to simultaneous translations through ear pieces.

7. With more than 12,000 surgeons, and more than that in other personnel and vendors, there are close to 30,000 people a day in the Convention Center. And every single one of them has a cell phone in almost constant use. I had a hard time getting calls to go through because the network was busy.

8. The US military had a large presence here with MASH units set up alongside the Convention Center, and many, many presentations on field trauma, prostheses and rehab. I spent some time walking through the displays and talking to the corpsmen. The technology is mind blowing, and yet also very basic. Stop the bleeding, stabilize, and ship them out. Tourniquet technology is VERY big - staunch the blood flow, but preserve the limb (or what's left of it).

9. The poster presentations, surgical skills areas, and a LOT of the marketing here would make even Stephen King's stomach turn a little.

10. Very, very, cool stuff.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:56 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
San Diego Sampler
I'm exhausted. In a good way. I had one of nicest, most memorable days ever today. I attended my morning sessions, and then we had an amazing behind the scenes tour of the San Diego Zoo which included a tour of the vet hospital. We saw a juvenile tiger whose leg was broken, and they had him in an external fixator. That tiger got a LOT of free orthopedic consultation! The Zoo is truly world class. Their dedication to conservation, science, and the level of care they provide the animals is truly impressive. Everyone I interacted with had a truly deep and committed passion for what they do. It was a real privilege to meet them and see how they work. This is going to sound strange, but there are parallels to be drawn between zoo administration and hospital administration - I learned some things, and the lessons were not lost on me.

From the zoo, I headed off to explore the rest of Balboa State Park , and it simply takes your breath away. From the Spanish Market, the Botanical House, to the Carillon Tower, the Museum of Art, and Casa del Prado, what an amazing cultural and environmental legacy for the city. It's the Central Park of San Diego - and for good reason. I had a cocktail and a late afternoon snack at the Prado Restaurant in Casa del Prado, and made friends with the woman sitting next to me. She happened to be the curator for the Museum of Man, and gave me a free ticket to the exhibits!

At that point, I was beyond tired, and the last thing I felt like doing was jostling for a table for one on Valentine's Day, so it's work, "Lost", and room service tonight. In the meantime - here are some highlights of today's outing.


Panda - up close and personal We got to meet the Panda keeper and had an in depth presentation on their breeding and conservation programs.


This little guy was a total ham. He delighted in swinging around in front of everyone and taunting the adult females.

Flower Pool

I was struck by the contrast of this flower floating in a small pool of water. I'm pleased with the way the photo came out.

Prado Palisade

I had THE most beautiful late afternoon light to work with, and the promenade of Casa del Prado didn't disappoint.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:23 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Baby Boom
Hmmmm, half the country snowed in on Valentine's Day??

I predict a bumper crop of Thanksgiving Babies in November!!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. Stay warm.

High of 61 here in sunny SD today. Stay tuned for photos - today is Zoo day this afternoon!!

I will most likely come back to the resort, have a nice dinner here (aka Room Service), get a little work done, and get some sleep. I've got a big day tomorrow and I've been up since 4:30 AM trying to manage a skeleton staff back east on a three hour time delay. Need a nap.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:06 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Whose idea were these things anyway? Put 10,000+ people in the same profession / industry with all the companies that make things to service that industry / profession, add obscene amounts of money and shake well?

It's just one big, giant, conflict of interest with a dash of self importance, and a whole lot of cool science and technology trying desperately to poke its head out from underneath it all struggling for legitimacy.

I heard you guys had a bad hair day back east. Sorry about that. If it's any consolation, I listened to Snow Patrol on the iPod on the way to the Convention Center through the Old Town / Gaslamp District on the Trolley this morning. It was brisk here in San Diego. Started out drizzly and cold and then got sunny and very windy. This evening was cool, but very nice to walk around the Old Town.

Today was the first, and toughest day on my agenda. After getting in late last night, I had to be up and at the meetings by 7:30 AM. I was on a panel of speakers at 8:00 talking about strategic planning and marketing tactics, and then we went on from there - for 10 straight hours.... We had a 15 minute break in the morning, a luncheon with a speaker, and another 15 minute break in the afternoon. 7:45 AM - 5:45 PM. Honestly? The day flew by, and I learned something from every single presentation. Some better than others, but not a waste of my valuable time by a long shot.

I was exhausted by 6:00 however, and had made plans to have dinner with colleagues. We ended up helping our Fellows put up their scientific posters in the Exhibit Hall, and then all went to dinner at an awesome Thai place in the Gaslamp District.

The place I'm staying is very retro in an "Old California" kind of way. Think Beverly Hills Hotel. It was built in 1954 as a series of luxury bungalows along the San Diego River, and has managed to keep its charm, a certain shabby chic glamour, and a lovely Doris Day kind of feel to the place, right down to the white picket fences and ivy wallpaper. Because of its age, it is also magnificently landscaped with lush, mature foliage and gardens- the kind you could never replicate with the newer downtown hotels and resorts.

I'm busy with seminars every morning (gender specific joint protheses, or "rebuilding the revision knee - what's in YOUR toolbox?"), and I have to make time to visit some vendor exhibits, but I did sign up for a VIP tour of the San Diego Zoo with the zookeepers to see the vet hospital and talk to the people in the breeding program. They are also giving us tours of the USS Mercy Hospital ship which should be really cool. I'm hoping to rent a car on Saturday and head to Coronado, and perhaps up to La Jolla for some shopping and to see the Scripps Aquarium. I also need to see if Mapquest can pinpoint the location of the apartment we lived in when I was born. This is, after all, my "hometown". I remember nothing - except for some very dim images of the zoo and our backyard that are hard to distinguish between reality, and those imposed by family photos. We lived here twice in between Naval assignments actually, and finally moved to Western PA when I was a toddler. It's kind of like being adopted. Western PA is my home, but I was born here, so I feel this odd sense of loyalty to a total stranger.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:58 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I heart Southwest Airlines
Today was a travel day - once I worked for five hours in the office that is....

Greetings from somewhere over the Arizona dessert. We just flew over Phoenix. I’ll post this when I land in San Diego, but figured I could kill some time blogging on the flight.

Southwest Airlines has already done me a HUGE favor. When I changed planes in Nashville, I was patiently waiting in the “B” Line talking to Toby Keith’s producer (seriously!), when they called my name on the airport paging system and asked me to return to my old gate. Confused, I went back and the flight attendant asked me if I’d left anything on the plane.

“Not that I recall, no. Oh, there was a magazine I brought on board with me, but I finished reading it and left it for someone else to read”

“You didn’t leave an iPod?”

“Is it a black Nano in a leather case?”

“Yep – thanks for identifying it – here you go”, as she hands me my only source of entertainment this week.

“How’d you know it was mine?” I asked.

“I turned it on, and it said ‘Welcome to Broadsheet’s iPod’, and when I checked the manifest, you were the only Broadsheet on the flight”.

Awfully nice of them to take the time and effort – don’t you think? I still had to buy a wrap sandwich and a bottle of water in the concourse to take on the flight, since even a five hour flight doesn’t get you more than peanuts and cookies anymore, but at least I can blog and listen to the Dixie Chicks, Gnarles Barkley, Imogene Heap, and Regina Spektor.

Good thing too, because in addition to not serving food anymore, this is the first cross country flight I can remember that they haven’t shown a movie. I may borrow the DVD from the guy across from he, he’s watching the latest James Bond movie on his laptop and I haven’t seen it yet.

I didn’t tell Toby Keith’s producer about the Dixie Chicks – I don’t think he’d appreciate it very much.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:07 AM   8 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, February 11, 2007
To Do List
Borrowing a trick from Charissa, and because I have an appallingly long list of things to get done today, here we go:

1. Unload dishwasher - DONE!
2. Clean up kitchen and load dirty dishes, and run dishwasher - DONE!
3. Laundry - whites, darks, tans/khakis, jeans/blue stuff, reds and pinks - LAST load in progress at 5:30.
4. "Dry Clean" clothes for trip to San Diego - OK, thanks to Charissa again, I tried the dry cleaning laundry sheets you use in your dryer. Damn! They did an awesome job on my dress slacks. I'm doing a few silk blouses now- if it works, this is going to save me literally hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. I spend between $20 - $30 a WEEK on dry cleaning. - DONE!
5. Clean out fridge - DONE!
6. Gather and put out recycling - DONE!
7. Clean out cat boxes and leave toys, food and litter for the neighbors who are kitty sitting the monsters while I'm away. - DONE!
8. Water plants - DONE!
9. Pay bills - DONE!
10. Put together camera bag. DONE!
11. Charge iPod, upload music for the trip, and find travel charging cord. - Charging iPod, found cord, will upload if I get a chance.
12. Make Power Point Slides for 9:00 AM presenation. - WORKING ON IT
13. Find spring / summer clothes - DONE!
14. Pack for San Diego - STARTED
15. Fold and put away / pack laundry
16. Change sheets on bed
17. Take out the trash / recycling. - DONE!
18. Print out boarding pass and get carry on bag assembled: laptop, conference papers, reading material, etc...

Note to readers, don't slip on the ice or fall and break anything next week. All the GOOD Orthopedic Surgeons will be out in San Diego this week.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:34 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
One of those Days
Ever have one of those seemingly simple lists of things to do, a list that should take a couple hours, and it becomes a nightmare task of endless running around? Yeah - me too.

About two years ago, I made the mistake of getting a set of luggage on Ebay. Eight pieces for something ridiculous like $100. I knew instantly that some of the pieces I would never use, but for $100 - what the heck right?

Wrong. The stuff was good looking enough, and certainly worth the little money I paid for it, but after Southwest, United, and British Airways "lovingly cared for" the most popular sized bags just four or five times, the zipper was trashed and a wheel was broken. And let's face it, it just felt cheap.

I'm leaving for San Diego for a week tomorrow, and have a bunch of other little trips coming up, not to mention a trip to China this fall, so I decided to invest in two pieces of really good luggage instead of eight pieces of cardboard. After looking around a little, I realized that this might actually require a trip to perhaps my least favorite place on earth - the mall.

Then to add insult to injury, I decided to stop and have a little lunch in the process, but the thought of the Food Court at the mall just took my appetite away, so I decided on a restaurant instead. I chose badly. VERY, very, badly. Because, dear internet - I had never been to a Rainforest Cafe. Had I known it was a Disney version of "The Junglebook" meets Chuck E. Cheese, I NEVER would have gone in.

But I did. God help me, I went in. There was a huge line waiting to get in, so I went and sat at the bar (on a stool shaped like a zebra's ass with a tail - THAT alone should have said something), ordered an ice tea and looked at the menu. The food looked decent, so I ordered a Chinese lettuce wrap salad. Then it happened. Apparently, every 5 minutes or so, the entire restaurant is rigged with bad animatronics and "comes to life". An elephant trumpets out of one corner, while monkeys drop from the ceiling, and devices mist rain everywhere. It was the most awful thing I had ever seen. And it got worse. Much worse. I did not realize that the Rainforest Cafe was Birthday party central for every soccer mom and snotty brat under the age of eight in Maryland. There must have been six birthday parties going on. One toddler wandered into the bar and groped her way along the grimy foot rail looking at the bubbles in the bar's fish tank base, smearing her little paw marks all over it. Thankfully her Mom grabbed her, but unless she immediately wiped hand sanitizer on that kid, I hate to think how sick she's gonna be.

Lunch arrived, a garishly over sized salad that could feed an entire family. I ate about a third of it, and left the rest. The bartender, Jess, was actually pretty nice, and I asked her if they had any wet wipes I could use, because although I'm sure they try to keep their restrooms clean, after seeing all those kids in there, there was NO WAY I was going to risk finding out - especially after Jess said, "Yeah, one of my favorite things about working here is that they have separate rest rooms for the crew". Nice.

Great start to the rest of the day. Two hours, four luggage stores, two annoying sales people and almost $400 later, I had two VERY nice pieces of rugged Briggs and Riley luggage with lifetime warranties that include free repairs for airline damage.

Next stop? An ATM to deposit some checks for our Home Owner's Assoc. I always go to the ATM at Whole Foods in Mt. Washington, because I can get groceries, and drop off checks. Much to my annoyance, they swapped out the ATM with one that only distributes cash - no deposits. I called the bank on my cell phone and found out that there were two other locations sort of nearby that took deposits. One at the branch on York Rd., next to the Senator, and the other at the 7-11 in Waverly on 33rd.

Because getting robbed in broad daylight is not something I enjoy, I opted for the branch on York Rd.

You know what's coming - right? It was out of order.

On to a VERY scary 7-11 stop in a less than nice part of town to deposit a couple of grand of checks.

Only THEN, could I get groceries, pick up the dry cleaning, deposit checks at my OWN bank, drop a package at the Post Office and come home. At 5:30 PM.

I had originally thought all of that would take me till about 2:30 or 3:00.

I want my Saturday back.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:20 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, February 10, 2007
When more is not enough....
You may need Havidol, the only FDA approved drug to treat "dysphoric social attention consumption deficit anxiety disorder" (DSACDAD).

See your doctor, and ask them for Havidol* today.


Problems can be avoided if you take HAVIDOL only when you are able to immediately benefit from its effects. To fully benefit from HAVIDOL patients are encouraged to engage in activities requiring exceptional mental, motor, and consumptive coordination. HAVIDOL is not for you if you have abruptly stopped using alcohol or sedatives. Havidol should be taken indefinitely. Side effects may include mood changes, muscle strain, extraordinary thinking, dermal gloss, impulsivity induced consumption, excessive salivation, hair growth, markedly delayed sexual climax, inter-species communication, taste perversion, terminal smile, and oral inflammation. Very rarely users may experience a need to change physicians.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:15 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Marilyn Monroe she was not...
I'm not the least bit surprised by the news that Anna Nicole Smith died today.

I saw her last night on "Entertainment Tonight" and she was so high she couldn't even answer questions beyond an unintelligible slur. Bloated, puffy, her eyes were more than half closed, and she was swaying back and forth. Her partner, Howard K. Stern had his arm around her literally holding her up. I was surprised that the interviewer didn't ask her about how she felt. She was in no condition to appear on TV.

Sad, sad woman.
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:04 PM   5 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
NOT a Luxury Problem
This is one spa treatment I will definitely NOT be having!

(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Isreali spas are using live, nonvenomous snakes as "soothing therapy". I'm not sure I'd consider this "soothing" at all.

HT: boing boing
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:56 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Luxury Problems
Whenever my friend "Betty in Beijing" and I travel together, and we find ourselves trying to decide between the more decadent of two choices, we always refer to them as "luxury problems". We've managed to survive serious, even life threatening, luxury problems in Baltimore, Brussels, London and the Caribbean, and although perhaps a tad more exotic, I expect to have more than our fair share when I visit her in China this fall.

Luxury problems can also occur whenever we find ourselves sipping wine with some unbelievable view at hand, on a perfect summer evening, or when providence provides that perfect moment when all is simply right with the world - even for that brief moment. Luxury problem indeed.

So it was this evening, when I met up with my neighbor at the local bistro up the street, aptly titled "b", to split a nice bottle of Pinot Noir (Tuesday is 1/2 price wine night!), and pour over the 15 page brochure of this resort, where we are headed for a 3 day mid-winter escape in a few weeks. Choosing between the various massages, facials, body treatments, scrubs, etc., to fill our time was most definitely a "luxury problem" in itself, and trying to leave plenty of time for reading, skiing, their pools and fitness centers, and making the most of the largest wine cellar in PA, was almost more than we could handle.

We persevered, and tomorrow, we will call and schedule appointments with destiny decadence.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:05 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Only YOU can prevent bad Engrish
Say a fond farewell to the world renowned "Dongda Hospital for the Anus and Intestinal Disease Beijing". It's now simply known as "Hospital of Proctology".

It seems Beijing is trying to clean up its amusing, but bad English sign translations in advance of the Olympics in 2008.

Maybe they should concentrate on their air quality and public restroom facilities instead.

Just a thought.

To get it while it lasts, you can see some of the best "Chinglish" translations here.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:41 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Mad Man or Hero
If my last post made you wince - don't read any further:
When Professor David Pritchard wanted to test the effects of parasites on humans, he had to apply to the Ethics Committee.

They refused him the go-ahead because they weren't confident it was safe. So there was only one thing for it: he volunteered himself.

This involved putting 50 hookworms on a plaster, then sticking it to his arm so they could burrow under his skin and travel to his gut. They would live in his body for five weeks.

"When I told my wife what I was planning, she was horrified," Professor Pritchard recalls.
His hypothesis is that people infected with hookworms are not susceptible to certain diseases like asthma. He thinks the hookworms secrete a chemical to trick the body's immune system into not rejecting the worm, and in doing so, it keeps other illnesses at bay such as asthma and auto immune illnesses since the immune system doesn't overreact to foreign bodies. He is trying to isolate and create a synthetic version of the chemical: drugs from bugs.

If this works - he's a hero. If not, he's still a brave guy.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:31 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Monday, February 05, 2007
A Little Dab'll Do Ya
I had a little kitchen mishap Saturday afternoon when I was making dinner for the neighbors. Namely, I managed to nearly sever a piece of my middle finger while chopping vegetables.

After I hopped around and swore for a few minutes and held it under running water, I tried wrapping it up in a thick piece of paper towel to stench the flow, which worked, as long as I held direct pressure on it. As soon as I took my hand off it - I would hope for an immediate seal like the cheerleader on "Heroes", but alas, I'm mortal, and it would start gushing again.

After about 20 minutes, I got it to almost stop, and determined that the cut was not only deep, it was a slice, so I couldn't really stitch it, and it was the tip of my finger, which made it awkward. I managed to get a bandage on it, but it's really hard to maneuver or keep dry, and every time I take the bandage off - it's geyser time again.

Let's hear it for glue! And no, I'm not talking about Super Glue, I'm talking about Liquid Stitches. Came in to work this morning, held my bandaged, bloody finger out to one of my docs with a pouty little girl look, some disinfectant, a dab of Derma Bond, and voila!

All better.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:49 PM   9 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Super Bowl Question
You know, it's halftime, and so far, the commercials have been pretty tame and lame compared to previous years, but it's kinda hard to tell since so many of the "commericals" are promos for CBS. Every single show they produce is being hyped to the nth degree ad nauseum. Annoying beyond belief.

Is it because they couldn't sell all their adtime for a mere $2.6 million for 30 seconds?

Whatever the reason - the ads are suffering as a result.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:21 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Lazy Winter Sunday

Laundry, taxes, a staffing plan for work, lots of herb tea, leftovers from an absoutely lovely dinner with the neighbors last night, and I think perhaps, like these two in the bay window, there is a nap in my future. Need to build a fire in the fireplace....
Posted by Picasa
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:22 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
It takes one to know one
Hmmmm - groups in Turkey flood French schools and universities with textbooks decrying "Darwinism as the true source of terrorism".

Excuse me? Who is the terrorist here?
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:03 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Media Hysteria Scales
Is it just me, or are the scales that they use to rate the intensity of natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes, wind chill, heat indices, etc.), just a vehicle for media hysteria??? Oh, and let's not forget the Homeland Security Alert System - code orange anyone? WTF does that mean?

Now they've developed a scoring system for something that doesn't even exist - yet. The bird flu / major pandemic rating system.

Category 5? Head to Antarctica.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:46 PM   1 Editorial Opinions

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