Monday, April 5, 2010

The Apple Store: role model for clinics & FEMA

Two quick insights after picking up my iPad on Saturday:

Medical clinics could learn a lot about customer care and clinic efficiency from watching Apple Stores on normal days.

FEMA could learn a lot about efficient emergency response from watching Apple Stores on iProduct Launch days.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I've been a fan of the Scott eVest for some time now, ever since my spouse gifted one to me. It is the perfect layered garment for a geek living in an occasionally chilly part of the country (plus, you have to love a company that puts X-Ray views of their clothing on their website). It comes with 22 pockets for electronic gear which are connected by a network of cloth conduits for cables. So far, I've only been brave enough to use 2 or 3 of these pockets. As it is, I have a hard enough time with only 4 pants pockets trying to keep MiFi routers and USB drives from an unplanned session of data laundry. However, once I finish installing our home laundry fluoroscopy unit, I'll feel brave enough to start using some of the more arcane chambers in my vest.

When the iPad was first announced, Scott was quick to point out that their eVest was probably the only stock garment on the planet that would hold a iPad without alterations. My iPad does, indeed, fit nicely in my left eVest pocket. However, I feel like I'm listing a bit to the left when I carry it there.

Where vests lead, can pants not follow? I spotted the following ad last month, and am still not sure whether it is actually a legitimate product. However, I'm glad that someone is thinking way outside the box on this issue, gag or no.

Exogenous Brainfreeze

I'm no stranger to brain freeze. Once or twice a year I'll snarf down some really cold ice cream a bit too greedily and then relive that nasty dull ache that seems to fill the center of my skull.

Yesterday was different. Cabin fever drove me out of the house for a quick bike ride during a break in the chilly rain we've been having lately. This hole closed a lot quicker than I expected, and I found myself totally soaked a mile from home.

I've been wet before and I've been cold before, but this was something new:

40 degree rain + 30 mph wind + drafty bike helmet = a whole new type of brain freeze.

It's an odd thing to have that old, familiar frigid ache now covering the entire outer part of one's skull. Exhilarating but painful at the same time. I would ride a few hundred yards until it became too intense, and then pull over under a tree to let it subside. I repeated this cycle several times until I got home to a hot shower and dry clothes.

Oops, gotta go — we're having another sunbreak. It's time for me to roll the biking weather dice again…

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Waking Up is Hard to Do

If these 5 Minnesota nurse-anesthetists can pass gas as well as they can sing, I want my next surgery in their hospital.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

LOGICOMIX: An Epic Search for Truth

Yesterday was to have been a day of writing and programming. Instead, I surprised myself by buzzing through a 300+ page graphic novel on the life of Bertand Russell and his quest for the foundations of mathematics.

This "comic" was an impulse buy in our local indie bookstore yesterday. It's browsing for and finding jewels like this that remind me why I still love physical bookstores so much.

The authors and illustrators tell a great story, mixing romance, two world wars, politics, philosophy, logic, math and human failings into a narrative compelling enough to distract me from A Lot of Other Stuff I Needed to Get Done.

A fine tale well told. I've passed it on to my son, to see how it fares with the tastes of a 15.9 year old.

I'm off to a play this afternoon, and then it's back to the joys of XCode and Objective C.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

All Clear

Okey, doke. Lesion out and the margins are clear. The dermatopathology fellow was kind enough to give me a tour of my biopsy. It turns out that one *can* use an iPhone for photomicroscopy as long as one's expectations aren't too high.

Here is a chunk of my normal skin at medium power. I took this by just holding my iPhone 3GS up to the microscope's eyepiece. By no means diagnostic, but good enough for blogging purposes.

Once they stitch me up, I'll head over to my office and work on ARRS and AUR abstracts like a crazed ferret for the rest of the afternoon.

The Smell of Long Pig in the Morning

Turns out I'm live-blogging my outpatient surgery today via my iPhone.

I'm having a minor skin lesion removed today in our university's rather slick dermatology outpatient surgery center. The drill here is:

1. Remove the lesion
2. Take a 45 minute break while a dermatopathologist processes and analyzes the tissue.
3. Repeat until the margins of the lesion are clear.

I'm grateful for this built-in break. I came to my appointment NPO (ate nothing after midnight) and I'm hungry.

To make matters worse, the electrocautery unit they use to stop the minor bleeding creates a smell that is disturbingly similar to barbequed pork.

I used my first break to run to the espresso stand next door for a bite. There I spotted a "bacon, sausage, egg and cheese, French toast bagel sandwich" for sale. No shit. However, like a car wreck you can't turn away from, I just couldn't stop looking at it. OK, OK, I bought the damned thing.

However, the unwillingly tasty scent of sizzling long pig was still fresh in my nostrils. Fresh enough, that when the espresso lady asked: "Can I heat that up for you?", I had to say,

"Uhhhh… No!"