Friday, June 25, 2004

Please don't page me

Orientation was remarkably boring and a waste of time. Practically nothing of relevance was discussed and I'm still likely to have no idea where anything is when we start next Thursday. On the other hand, we received our long coats, ID badges, and pagers today. That was pretty much the highlight of the week.

We discovered Liquor Barn on the way home this afternoon. That place really rocks. The prices on alcoholic beverages in the store are even lower than in Louisiana. And the selection is amazing. And it's fun going to a place with barn in the name.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

From Heather-
I am supposed to be getting ready this morning. Today is our second day of orientation. We learned yesterday that needle sticks were bad, we shouldn't sexually harass co-workers, and blood transfusions can make you really sick. I cannot wait for today. Tomorrow we get to spend time shadowing a nurse to learn what he/she does all day. I am going tonight to buy magazines so I can sit on my butt and read all day, at least that is what the nurses at South did. I will refuse to change a bedpan.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Big Bone Lick

So we went to the Cincinnati Zoo yesterday. It was cool. Pretty impressive. We're still a little terrified that Ohio is only a little over an hour away. Ohians are funny-looking, based on the zoo experience. Saw something called a takin yesterday. It's a big Himalayan buffalo-like creature that I had never even heard of. All that time watching the Discovery channel and there was a large mammal (keep in mind, there really aren't that many large mammal species on the planet) that I had never even heard of. It was like seeing something from a science fiction movie. The legs were all weird and it moved oddly.

So tomorrow is our first day of orientation at the hospital. This will be a painful four days (which could probably be condensed into two) of filling out employee paperwork, being shown how to use the computer system, finding where the lab is, etc. Being assigned a pager, being told how the paging system works, being given a whitecoat, signing some more paperwork. Etc etc. Largely a waste.

And the title of this entry....the name of an actual state park in northern Kentucky. Giggle away.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Tomatillo, anyone?

So we made it to the farmer's market and got some plants. Or rather, a lot of plants. We bought the day-lily guy out of day-lilies, the hosta lady out of hostas, and the tomatillo lady out of tomatillo plants. And them some others. Actually we got the tomatillos last week. And guess what, we already have little baby tomatillos beginning to grow. They're cool-looking.

We have new neighbors moving in on one side. Haven't talked to them in depth yet, but they're young and they're from Orlando. So, when it snows, they'll be more confused than us. I've seen snow at least, maybe, 10 times in my life. Only one big snow since I started driving. For Heather those numbers are even lower, say, 2-3 and none.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Cat-Dog and Kinda-Diet Coke

So I tried the new Coke product C2 yesterday. Half the sugar and therefore calories of regular Coke. In my opinion, it tastes 97% as good as regular Coke, which is more than plenty. This product is brilliant for those who want to drink something which is healthier than Coke, albeit in itself still not as good as, say, water, and for whom Diet Coke tastes like ass. Stale ass. In summary, if you're a Coke addict (not coke addict) and know you should drink diet, but refuse because diet tastes like stale ass, this is for you.

Our female cat Athena has learned how to play fetch. I kid you not. Stand at the bottom of the stairs and throw a ball to the top (small ball) and she will run up the stairs, pick the ball up in her mouth, and bring it back. She only does this trick on the stairs though. She also makes a bark-like noise when you scratch her near her butt, but I guess that's another story.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Hooks and Slices

My very productive day today included a much-desired trip to the driving range in nearby Jessamine County. I just like typing and saying such a pretty name. Scale is so different here. I drove to the county seat of the next county to go to the driving range and that was only 5 miles away. Apparently I'm slicing my drives and hooking my iron shots. And to top things off this place I went to not only has a full golf course with driving range, but also a Tiki bar. Now that's class.

To prepare for both residency and the impending police state that we will be living in soon, I've begun reading The Gulag Archipelago. Charming and uplifting piece of work. Some of those little hippy shits that protest all the WTO meetings and who would gladly plunge the world into a communist nightmare should check it out. On a related note, apparently Bush has decided that torture is OK in the name of state security. Why did he need a legal opinion from the ethics panel if he didn't intend to do it? Very slippery slope.
In response to the situation pointed out by Richard: First about precedence, I don't think that that will be an issue because within the scope of universities having existed for hundreds of years in Europe, this has hardly ever happened before. Actually, I'm just making the idiotic assumption that someone has tried it sometime in the past and clearly it never caight on. Maybe it's never happened at all. Nobody takes away diplomas because the diploma was presumably awarded because the couse of study gave someone a certain qualification within that field. That is, a qualification of ability or knowledge or method. Not ethics. At most places the ethics are assumed to be part of the course of study or that only ethical students would be awarded higher degrees. Maybe some places care and some don't. But the degree is awarded based on the fact that at that time and place, that student has achieved a certain level within that field. This is completely independent of what they plan to do with that education (ie, degree). As Richard already pointed out, the university has no responsibility for what individuals do after the degree has been awarded. Just as if my medical school were to happen to lose accreditation 5 years from now, that would not nullify my degree. The only way that a university could be responsible is if the student showed signs of unethical behavior during the course of study and awarded a degree anyway. By responsible, basically I mean embarassed within the academic community. The same embarassment which is what really serves as punishment for people like these that put forth fraudulent research.

Anyway, that was long and rambling and probably not interesting at all.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Boil-Ease

So we were in Walgreen's today getting some stuff and noticed a product that we had never before even heard of: Boil-Ease. Seriously, if you've got "boils" that are hurting that bad, are actually that exist at all, please go see a medical professional. One shelf below this was another product that we had never seen before called simply "Pinworm Medicine". Welcome to Kentucky. Today we also saw the famous "Gettin' Lucky in Kentucky" tee-shirts. Woo-hoo.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Severe Weather, once more (hopefully without feeling)

We have now been in Kentucky just about 3 weeks. During that time we have had at least a half dozen severe weather and usually also tornado warnings close enough to Lexington to break into network TV. This includes tonight where Nelson County KY is under a tornado warning. The great side effect of these things is that I'm learning my Kentucky local geography very quickly. And these weather people take their jobs very seriously. Back in Mobile, there could be a hurricane about to land and all the TV would show would be a little icon down in the lower left corner that said "Hurricane in progress".

Our conversion of light bulbs to the compact fluorescent type is occurring smoothly. As old incandescent bulbs burn out we're replacing them with energy-saving CF's. I've seen packs of these bulbs available now for as low as $2.50 a bulb (at Lowe's specifically). A lot of people will flinch at that price, but come on, they last forever AND use less energy. Even if the cost came out even, the fact that it saves energy (especially if everybody did it) makes it an environmentally friendly thing to do. And now they're being made that can be used outdoors or even in dimmers. Just a thought.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

From Heather

We are now the proud owners of a new condenser motor for our heat pump. It sucks to be a such a tight budget and to have everything breaking around you, but on the bright side, the cats are now running around again instead of sitting underneath the ceiling fans.
Many of you have heard us talk about and some of you have even been to the strange Baptist run diner in Mobile. They write "God Bless" on every ticket and then give you evil looks when you let a mild expletive past your lips when you eat there. Brian and I found the Lexington equivalent tonight, but you can get beer there. Very strange. There were children running around and a strange Yankee woman talking about how upset she was that those two men who run France and Japan didn't come to Reagan's funeral even though they were just in Georgia this week and that they should be "drug out into the street and shot" for not going.
On the moving front, we now have gotten rid of all of our boxes, a neighbor is moving out so he asked and he received. We also are beginning to hang artwork and arrange lamps and knick-knacks. And I have completed two inches on my new sweater that I am knitting. I am going to plant flowers and read about sick babies tomorrow.
Maniacal laughter and no super-sizing here

So after a couple of days we have a working air conditioner again. At first it wasn't that bad but when it got to the 80's with humidity in the 80's in the house it was definitely time to get the thing fixed. And when I first felt that gush of cool air from the vent, I indeed laughed uncontrollably.

So we saw Super Size Me last night. For a movie that superficially is just about a guy eating for a month, it's good. It goes into a lot of detail about some issues surrounding fast food and obesity in society. And it's no longer just American society. Many parts of the world, especially the third world are becoming obese too. That part is not in the movie, just a tidbit. The movie mentions some European stuff, but the mass of information available seems to show that the Europeans are a little more resistant to the "McDonald's diet". At least he pointed out that it comes down to the consumer's responsibility not to eat a lot of junk food if the consumer doesn't want to become a fat pig. Despite a few flaws, such as not getting a good idea of what his diet was like before the McBinge, it achieves its purpose. Like the doctors in the film, I was a little surprised at the degree by which is cholesterol, liver enzymes, etc increased in just one month. But like I said, maybe he was eating relatively healthily beforehand. After all, his girlfriend is a vegan chef. Now that's funny. And not just because it's an oxymoron. Overall the movie made me glad that I've had McDonald's less than 15 times in my entire life. I'll plead the 5th on other fast food joint. Now I just can't wait until Saved! comes to town.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Dueling Banjos and Phalloplasty gone bad

So today we made the one-hour journey east into the mountains to see the Red River Gorge Geologic Area (here's another link). It's amazing how the transition from bluegrass to mountains occurs in a span of about 5 miles ... and precisely at the county line between Clark and Powell counties. The landscape isn't the only thing that changes. Socially, culturally, and especially economically things begin a fast downhill slide that doesn't get much better until you go so far east you're in Virginia. Good people, don't get me wrong, but disastrously lacking in opportunities. We actually saw a moonshine still in operation (private individuals can get permits and since this one is visible from the road going into a park, I assume is licensed).

So the gorge itself was absolutely beautiful. We went up on one of those natural arches and realized that we were at several hundred feet up in the air on a rock bridge between two mountains and the natural bridge that we were on was less than 15 feet wide. That and it was completely straight down on either side. I've got some really cool pictures but can't post them here.

Over by the visitor center there were some buffalo, including a buffalo calf. No wings. This looks and sounds hokey at first, but years ago buffalo were actually found this far east (and further, ie, upstate New York). Twas cool. Hence the name of the Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort. Now you know.

On a completely different note, I was reading some medical literature the other day, yes, me, and found the "Duh!" article of the week. This is what Heather and I refer to those articles that proclaim such hidden secrets as "The flu makes people sick". So this article was about phalloplasty, more commonly known through your spam-box as penis-enlargement surgery. Did anybody really think that that crap works? Now we have proof. Apaprently 73% of those receiving it find that they are worse off after the surgery. Not only did it only add 2-3cm to the flaccid length (the study did not mention erect length or girth), but most patients had had "uncomfortable side effects" such as infection, scarring, erectile dysfunction, and everybody's favorite, urethral trauma (that is, the urine no longer has an adequate or direct pathway to the opening). Don't make me draw a picture. This hurts enough as it is. So there, don't do it, because apparently somebody out there is. And now we have proof that it's stupid.

Later

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Hammocks rule and Benadryl ain't all bad

So we finally obtained a hammock and got it up in less than 10 minutes yesterday. Now many an hour of "reading" can go by in the shade under the deck. So I found out my schedule for the first half of the upcoming year. It seems that my first month as a "doctor" will be spent half on a consultation service (which one remains to be determined) and half on nephrology, ie, the dialysis service. Not too bad a way to start off actually. Definitely less intense than, say, ER or the ICU. Heather has her schedule and starts off on the very intense neonatal ICU. But at least she will get it over with and has a run of fairly light months after that. Overall, we're just avoiding the thought that in 3 weeks nurses will actually start asking us what to do. With some exceptions, the answer Benadryl will often suffice until someone intelligent arrives.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Bourbon makes nasty people more tolerable

I think that I have rediscovered Bourbon. I had sworn it off since the unfortunate incident of one slow afternoon in February, 1998. However, along with horse-racing and tobacco, it is a key part of the Kentucky triad. I think in small quantities I can dig it.

So we took our trip and tour of the Woodford Reserve distillery over in Versailles. Apparently it's on the other side of Versailles, so we were nearly in Frankfort. Woo-hoo. Damn fine tour. They did a little bit better job explaining the bourbon-making process than the tour we took at Maker's Mark last fall, but I think that Maker's Mark has a prettier facility. One upshot is that Woodford County is wet, so everybody (except the 16 year old kid on the tour) got a half shot of premium Woodford Reserve bourbon at the end of the tour. Damn fine stuff. And at $30 a bottle, less expensive than I thought it was.

At long last, I finally opened my bottle of Conecuh Ridge bourbon-style whiskey. This is a brand new product that somehow has been designated the official state spirit of Alabama. It meets all of the legal requirements to be called bourbon, except that they use re-used barrels. I have been quite impressed with this stuff. Supposedly the recipe is that of an old moonshiner in Pike County Alabama, but it seems a little too tasty to be of that origin. Whatever, it's nearly on the same level as some of the finest bourbons out there.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Four-Way Stops and Affidavits

Those two items are ubiquitous in Lexington. Even 4-way stops between 2 4-lane streets. Those work well. And affidavits solve everything. For joint tax credit on an automobile, one of course must prove marriage. They do not even accept marriage certificates for this proof, but rather simply signing an affidavit proves it beyond doubt. Speaking of tax, I was introduced to the concept of "usage tax". Sucks ass.

Another humorous thing that I have neglected to mention: the adult movie theater in Lexington is located on a street named Family Circle. Cracks my shit up every time. Umm, I learned that from the yellow pages (looking for regular theaters dammit).

Our nesting pair of mourning doves on the deck have hatched their eggs. It has been extremely rainy lately so I hope they turn out OK.

Met the people next door yesterday. Big UK basketball fans. OK, who where isn't? Nice folks though and they own a donut store. Excellent.

Got my new car tag yesterday. I opted for the plain tag, nothing special, although I deliberated on one of the wildlife tags for a while. Follow this link and observe the smiling sun to see why we call it "the teletubby sun tag". And that sun is reflective at night.

Anyway, we are off to the distillery in nearby Versailles (pronounced in Kentuckian as "Ver-sails") where they produce Woodford Reserve. Should be nice. Got to see Makers Mark last fall.