Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

Oil for everyone  0

Posted on November 12th, 2007. About Uncategorized.

On Sunday, November 11th, 1,000 tons of fuel oil were spilled into the Black Sea after a storm split the ship that was carrying it apart. This spill comes less than a week after the massive 58,000 gallon oil spill into San Francisco Bay.

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What is the matter with us? Why are we still using this stuff? Why aren’t we more aggressively seeking alternative forms of energy?

Bring Back Happy Apple!  6

Posted on September 11th, 2007. About Uncategorized.

Prior to Gabriel’s birth, my mother sent me several of my favorite toys from my days as an infant. I was delighted that she had saved Happy Apple, which she reports was a preferred toy of both my brother and me. I found a picture online that captures the essence of both the apple and the box in which it was packaged.

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In 2003 I was giving a baby shower for a dear friend, the theme of which was “our favorite childhood toys.” I immediately determined I was going to give her a Happy Apple, but after two separate trips to Toys R Us and some research, I realized Happy Apple was no longer made. What a tragedy! For those who never had a Happy Apple, it is basically a plastic apple with a weight in the base and a bell inside that makes a “dingle dingle” sound as the baby pushes it. It remains upright because of the presence of the weight.

So, I was disappointed – why stop making such a cool toy? Then, when Mom sent my Happy Apple to me to give to Gabriel, I was excited that he would have the chance to play with it. And he does – he loves it. It’s the one toy he consistently enjoys at the young age of two months. It’s teaching him to reach, to touch, to focus. It has been awesome to watch him learning from it.

Just after he was born was when startling headlines appeared about Mattel/Fisher-Price (now one company) and the presence of toxins, including lead-based paint, in many of their products. Production has now been outsourced to China, and their toys are no longer produced here in the United States. Following this news, I noticed on my Happy Apple that strangely uncommon phrase: “Made in U.S.A.” Wow, truly an antique.

I would like to call on Fisher-Price to bring back Happy Apple! Bring back what Happy Apple stands for – happy infants and young children, learning, from a simple, yet so clever, toy, crafted by Americans and safe to enjoy.

Likely Final Post on Andrew Speaker  0

Posted on July 4th, 2007. About Uncategorized.

This morning, Evan informed me that Andrew Speaker, the Georgia attorney on whom the media fixated for flying internationally while infected with XDR tuberculosis, does not actually have XDR tuberculosis.I found the article under CNN’s health section, but it was not one of the leading headlines, although I’d argue it should have been, since a paperwork glitch that questioned the legality of Speaker’s marriage was THE leading headline for a day.

Anyway – interesting story, but it turns out that his TB is resistant to some drugs, but can now actually be treated with antibiotics! You can’t expect it to be a leading headline, though – otherwise CNN might have to bump Man bites dog to rescue puppy to make room on the home page.

Views on Gasoline in South Carolina  0

Posted on May 28th, 2007. About Uncategorized.

In my previous blog post, I highlighted some of the stand-out observations from my recent trip to South Carolina. The gasoline issue was worth expounding upon.

  • During the time we were in Charleston, SC, the lowest gasoline prices in the nation could be found in – you guessed it – Charleston, SC. This was clearly stated on the local news channels there, so the locals do actually recognize that they are paying less for gas than the rest of us.
  • Despite my first observation, every night, the local 6:00 news channels devoted an amazing amount of time to “rising gas prices” and how expensive gas has become.
  • After the reporters bemoaned how much gas is costing people of the Lowcountry, they would transition to a segment during which a different journalist would stand in front of a Charleston map, highlighting points where gas could be purchased at the cheapest prices. My friend’s husband calls the segment “The Pump Finder.”
  • There are still gazillions of SUVs and trucks on the roads there! In Columbia and in the upstate, it was even more prominent. We would count the number of compact cars from time to time, and with each sampling the number of trucks/SUVs dramatically overpowered the quantity of compacts (or any other sedans, for that matter).
  • The local radio shows are not encouraging alternative fuels, riding bicycles, or better public transportation, but rather – how to get more oil, ie) drilling in Alaska, or building more refineries. This is what we call – missing the point.

That being said, I was pleased to see Charleston’s mayor, Joe Riley, on a news broadcast, discussing the implementation of bike lanes around the city, including from West Ashley to downtown Charleston (I wanted these during all four years I lived in West Ashley while I was in medical school). Better late than never, I suppose. I was also pleased that Charleston finally passed the 1/2–cent sales tax increase for road and transportation improvement. I voted for it in 2004, but it barely lost at that point. Perhaps enough bicycle enthusiasts have moved to the area now, or maybe enough motorists grew frustrated with puncturing tires on crater-sized potholes and realized they would have to pay to have them fixed.

Down Side to Alternative Energy  1

Posted on August 16th, 2006. About Uncategorized.

I ran across this article this morning as I perused financial sites prior to catching the bus (or shall I say, “electric trolley” – there’s some smug I’m putting into the atmosphere). It outlines concerns about ethanol as an alternative fuel source and how it could potentially lead to greater world hunger. I can understand how growing fuel would strip soil of minerals over time, making it more difficult to produce crops. Fine. So where is the electric car?

Evan and I saw Who Killed the Electric Car? a few weeks ago, and it was both interesting and sad. I was considering the possibility of an electric car in Seattle, and how an EV1 would suit my needs here. When I do drive, the distance is well within the limits of the EV1. If plug-in stations were located around the city as gas stations are, then it would not be a problem for the huge majority of commuters. Our electricity comes predominantly from hydroelectric power, so no problems there either. No questions of hunger, pollution, Global Warming…too bad they are not even available for purchase.

Congratulations Joanie!  1

Posted on July 23rd, 2006. About Uncategorized.

Many of you have heard me gush in the past about my cousin, Shannan Wilson, and how proud I have been of her impressive modeling career. Evan has observed as I have rambled about Shannan, and the excitement that comes with seeing a loved one on tv, in magazines, etc. Now, he can experience that pride first-hand!

Evan’s cousin, Joanie Dodds, was recently named runner-up on Tyra Banks’ UPN reality show, America’s Next Top Model. I remember the first time I met Joanie – Evan and I had been together for almost a year, and drove back from Wisconsin via Pennsylvania to return home to SC in 1998. We spent several days with his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Joanie, even at 16, was very striking, and we laughed on the way home about how fortunate she was to have a strong family and sense of values, because she was gorgeous and might run wild otherwise. 8)

We have enjoyed pouring over her America’s Next Top Model portfolio, blog, MySpace page, Wikipedia entry, and fan site, mostly because she seems to have maintained her true sense of self without becoming tarnished by her new-found fame. It is very touching that the first photo that scrolls across her MySpace page is one of her father (Evan’s Uncle John) and grandfather (Grandpa Dodds) (and proof that she has visited Doddsnet in the past). 😀

Congratulations Joanie! We’re so excited for you!

A Busy Two Weeks  0

Posted on May 21st, 2006. About Uncategorized.

Wow, so it has been a while since my last blog posting. Evan and I have been away on several trips. I complained when I learned last June that my department put two of my three vacation weeks together at the end of the year (my year runs much like a school year, from July 1st through June 30th). The months flew by, however, and before I knew it my two weeks off had arrived. We travelled to Buffalo, NY for my sister-in-law’s graduation from SUNY – Buffalo, and then flew from this location to Houston, TX for two graduations – my cousins had finished at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. Evan and I really enjoyed our time with our families, and I write this with great honesty. Being with our mothers near or on Mother’s Day weekend, hanging out with our siblings, and just catching up with our families – wow, what a great week.

Here are some comments about which I have wanted to blog, inspired by the trip:

A) If you must bring small children to something as monumental in a person’s life as, say, a college graduation, take them outside if they start screaming. However, under absolutely NO circumstances do you allow all THREE of your children to run and play in the aisles.

B) Uncle Randy gave us a fascinating tour of the (outside of the) Huntsville Prison in between graduations, notorious for putting more prisoners to death each year than any other U.S. facility. His grandparents lived down the street from the building, so he was able to give some interesting first-person accounts.

C) Continental Airlines fed us breakfast on the flight to Buffalo, and they fed us lunch on the way to Houston. All flights and connectors were on time. No complaints!

Once we returned to Seattle, we packed the car and headed to Montana for our camping trip. After a night at a small campground in Clinton, MT, we made it to Yellowstone National Park the following day. Gorgeous sites! My favorites were a sapphire pool and the “Artist’s Paint Pots” (those of you who have seen the park will know what these are). Our trip also included a day through Glacier National Park, a night of camping in a wide-open field in Alberta, Canada (with 50+ mph wind gusts, this was an interesting experience). We ended up coming home a day early and are now watching our recorded final episode of Will and Grace.

Good to be back – more to come later!

Excellent website  0

Posted on February 13th, 2006. About Uncategorized.

Recently, I was driving down the road and saw a church sign too good to pass up. I returned to the spot with my camera the following morning, just to document it for my blog.

So actually, and many of you may already be familiar with this website, but it’s from http://www.churchsigngenerator.com/ – a great site for playing intelligent (but totally immature) jokes on friends. Thanks to Austin and Evan for passing it along. 🙂

Shannan’s Modeling Career – Part 1  0

Posted on February 9th, 2006. About Uncategorized.

I’m so proud of my cousin, Shannan. She is a model in NYC/Philadelphia who has now created her own talent agency. Recently, she also gave birth to my newest first-cousin-once-removed, Kendall! 🙂

Anyway, Shannan was modeling maternity clothes prior to her delivery, and now I’m pleased to know that she is being featured on the clothing company’s website. Click here to view the site. The garments are quite becoming – might have to keep them in mind when the day arrives. 😉

 

Thoughts for Today  0

Posted on February 5th, 2006. About Uncategorized.

First of all, GO SEAHAWKS!! Today is Super Bowl Sunday, and I’m hoping for a Seahawks victory in Detroit. Unfortunately I’m on call today and will not make it to the follow up party at Rob “Dizzle” Gruen’s house (the NFC party was there two weeks ago), but I suppose a hospital is equipped with hundreds of televisions.

So yes, I am on call today. Besides being on call for just about every holiday this year and now for the Super Bowl, I’m actually excited about today’s duties. I finally started my Harborview neurology month. Harborview is the level I trauma center for the entire Pacific Northwest – the ER stays full all day and throughout the night, and the hospital’s capacity nears 100% at any given time. The other night while I was admitting a patient in the ER, a methanol (wood alcohol) ingestion came in, followed by a guy with a huge piece of glass sticking out of his eye, followed by a guy whose legs had been smashed in an accident. Then, there are people on gurneys in the hall, awaiting admission for alcohol withdrawal. It is quite an experience. In any case, I have already seen quite a few strokes and seizures. It’s a great reminder of why I chose neurology!

Finally – Evan and I went to the Columbia Winery yesterday for our first Wine Club shipment pick-up – their 2004 Barbera, Alder Ridge from Yakima Valley, and the 2002 Cabernet Franc, Red Willow Vineyard from Yakima Valley. Our membership also grants us an included Reserve Tasting every two months when we retrieve our shipments. Que magnifico!

Off for a thirty hour shift. It is another every-fourth-night-of-call month again, although my last one of my intern year (the remaining months are every fifth night). Again, Go Seahawks!

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