Sunday, November 28, 2004

20 Years in 38 seconds, or Heartbreak on Rocky Top

So close. Kentucky actually led Tennessee for most of a football game. UK hasn't beaten Tennessee since 1984. And then with 0:38 left, Tennessee got a winning touchdown. Alas. What was really sad was that on UK's ensuing :38 attempt to score again, the UK band kept playing the theme from Lord of the Rings. That whole underdog thing going on.

Saturday, November 27, 2004


So our upper year resident made a bet with we two lowly interns at the beginning of last week, that if we got our patient list to 5 or less by 7pm on Thanksgiving, we could both have a 3 day weekend. This was a bet that we were not expected to win and the Vegas odds were actually about 50:1. But we made it happen and now I'm waking up from my second consecutive day of getting up at 11:00am. Definitely giving Thanks.

We had some flurries on Thursday morning, but they didn't get to the ground because it had already warmed up too much.

Big USC-Notre Dame game today. An Irish win would make the BCS look so more appealing. But at the root, would still not fix the problems inherent to the entire system. UK basketball has started up, destroying the first three opponents without a hitch. Ranked no.8 or so. Good for them.

It is now officially Christmas decorating season, now that the turkeys are gone. Have ambitious plans this year. Ambitious. That phrase makes Heather nervous when mixed with multicolored blinking lights. Can't imagine why.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Productivity Galore

Got the chimney cleaned out today. Got a haircut. Washed the car myself. Consolidated enough student loans to shake a stick at. Rearranged a room in the house because our new sofa is coming today. Read some medical literature about a new anti-depressant that can help with diabetes-related neuropathic pain. ALL BY 3 IN THE AFTERNOON.

Yes, we medical residents can bitch about our long hours. But every now and then we do get days off just like everyone else. Sometimes even 5 in the same month. It's been a while since I've been this excited about getting chores done and just needed to share. Now I've gotta go figure out what my part in the putluck for Thanksgiving is, since those of us that are at the hospital tomorrow are all making stuff. The key is whether any of us will have time to sit down and eat it.

Monday, November 22, 2004


I managed to make it 20-something years without saying that, nor did I think I ever would. Thank you, BCS, you pile of shit. No, seriously. I will actually watch the USC-Notre Dame and care who wins, which is definitely something I've never done before. So the BCS has made people care about games like that. At the same time, if that doesn't work out, there's always Iowa St (or possibly Colorado). Is someone going to finally win the North? UCLA has a winning record, right? Maybe that's the upset most people east of the Rockies are waiting for.

The real problem, as stated before, is that this is essentially a 1-game, 2-seeds playoff system with a rigid and faulty system for picking the 2 seeds. This system assumes that 2 teams are clearly going to stand above all others. If you erased all records, but kept intact a "memory" of how teams had done during the season, there are several teams who might be worthy of playing for the title, beyond the unbeatens. Texas. Many people would argue for Cal. Even Utah, who while unbeaten, no one takes seriously, but how does one know, until they're given a chance to earn their first loss? They'll probably demolish the Big East "champion" if that is the matchup.

An eight-game playoff would virtually be guaranteed to include all unbeatens, as well as almost all of the 1-loss teams of proven ability. No automatic conference tie-ins. If the Mountain West or WAC or C-USA (think BCS conference teams are lining up to put Louisville on their schedule?) have a representative, but the Big East or ACC get left out, then tough. Collegiate sports is cyclical in nature. Interestingly though: before the BCS Oklahoma, Auburn, and USC most likely would have gone to different bowls. Imagine the motions for a playoff system, if there were a year with tri-champions!
It's not Monday at the VA without yelling at someone

I should have been home an hour and a half ago. Then someone in an office, who had not even seen a certain patient, decided they needed more social work, based on a nursing note written by someone that at any other hospital would be unemployed within a week. Fuck damnit. The natural state of a human being is not lying in a hospital bed waiting for nosocomial infections with multi-drug resistant bacteria...except at the VA. It is overwhelming satisfying however to threaten to transfer the patients to an actual hospital, since there is one about 100 yards away (UK Medical Center).

I don't mean to make it sound so horrible. It's actually usually worse. Luckily, over the course of my residency, only about 30% of my time is at the VA, the rest is at the real hospital.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Good versus Evil

It's almost the 3rd Saturday of November. Almost 2:30. Auburn at Alabama. The most worrisome thing about the Iron Bowl is that whenever one team has high hopes and dreams and expectations, the other one almost always wins. The most disappointing thing about the game in the last couple of years, is that Alabama has not been carrying its weight. Lately they either suck or are on probation. But what can you expect from a place like that?

In all seriousness, should actually be a good game. Auburn's rushing defense against an offense that has nothing but rushing...and a 19th string QB. Of course, last week I really thought that UGA would be a good game as well. No matter what the team playing against Georgia is, I just can't get enough of seeing David Greene get sacked, because it is a relatively rare event.

The other aspect is the heart with which players from both Alabama and Auburn play. Especially considering that most years almost half the Auburn players are from the state of Georgia. Hatred can be learned in less than 4 years after all.

Alas, supper calls. More to come. Almost game day. This really was meant to have more lead in, but well, the VA has been busy this week.

Sunday, November 14, 2004


Hmmm. I've been silent on this whole Auburn in the BCS thing until now, waiting to see how the Georgia game would turn out. Wow. Sure, Georgia's a little overrated, but they are the next best team in the conference this year. Tuberville has already suggested a 4 team playoff in the future. Sugar and Fiesta Bowls could feed their winners into the Orange (and of course rotate every year, as currently done). Albeit, these arguments have been made before, usually a few weeks before the end of the season, and before one of the extra teams gets beaten nexpectedly.

Auburn still has to beat Alabama and Tennessee, which is a long way from being a done deal. USC still has to beat Notre Dame. Seriously, the Irish have a chance, depending on whether the Notre Dame that beat Michigan and Tennessee shows up, or the one that lost to Pitt. Oh, and Oklahoma has to tough it out against Baylor and whichever creampuff gets stuck with "winning" the Big 12 North. Chuckle.

The unfortunate part is that the national championship system relies on temperamental voters and formulas to compare teams from different regions, that don't have much overlap. How many games were there this year between the SEC and Big 12? Only one that I can think of offhand. What about between the Pac 10 and the Big 12? Only two that I can think of. And only one that I know of between the Pac 10 and SEC. Bowl games have traditionally been the best way to compare conferences, because in most cases they're actually designed to create more or less even matchups. The simple heart of the matter is that most years, there can be multiple teams with roughly equal claims to play in a national championship game.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

OK, so it's been another extremely long interval between blog posts here. For the month of November I'm doing general internal medicine wards at the VA. Exciting. I've been spending my free time enjoying myself and enjoying autumn, but now it's raining.

Things that suck: multiple myeloma, hepatocellular carcinoma, pancreatic adenocarcinoma. These three types of cancer suck really a lot. I know that's a lot of technical info to absorb, but it's 100% true.

We had our first frost on Tuesday morning. It got to 31 degrees and stayed there for 3 hours. It hasn't frosted again since, but I hear that it may even start snowing within a month or so. We should answer some important questions before that point, like how deep does snow have to be before it becomes necessary to shovel it out of the driveway?

By Thanksgiving we should have had our fireplace inspected, which means we can build a decorative fire on the night after Thanksgiving, since we're both working on the actual holiday. I can't wait to get a fire going.

People here are really getting excited about basketball season. We may have to learn the rules and see a game on TV or something, since apparently UK basketball tickets are much harder to come by than the football tickets. Oh, and Ashley Judd is at almost every single home game, which doesn't hurt attendance either.

I feel bad that we haven't been contributing to the recipe blog, but quite frankly we haven't even been cooking lately. Hopefully soon, maybe we'll start. Perhaps our specialty will be wine selections. Drinking alcohol is definitely something we have time and/or stress levels high enough for. Smoking Loon chardonnay is a good starting point.