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27th-Feb-2017 05:30 pm - Hedgefund has discovered bubble wrap
And the joys of popping it.
That's all.
26th-Feb-2017 06:08 pm - Down to single digits
After my computer crash, I could access emails on my phone, and was able to answer many of them. Others required access to files on my computer (or were to be saved on said computer), and I put them in a "hold" file on my server until such time as was back up and running. In the 10 or so days I was doing this, I accumulated 130+ emails. In between more important tasks such as nibbling toes, I spent hours yesterday and today dealing with them (plus paper files I'd set aside). I'm down to single digits. It's amazing how much stuff has to be dealt with in modern life in that short period of time. I think we spend half our lives just doing the administrative side of having a life.
25th-Feb-2017 07:08 pm - Back on line
I mentioned my computer having died. Only took them 10 days (and several calls and visits from me) to diagnose, fix, and restore from backups. Grrr. I have over 130 emails waiting that have to be attended to. I did do a couple of posts typing from my phone, but that is too slow, so here is a quick summary of The State of the Warriorsavant:

1. On callCollapse )

2. Valentine's Day dinner.Collapse )

3. Books.Collapse )

4. Battle of the hair.Collapse )

5. Contracting out.Collapse )

6. Is real or is it a film?Collapse )

7. Big brother is watching.Collapse )

8. I'm here for the veterans.Collapse )

9. Better to curse the darkness?Collapse )

10. Renovations.Collapse )

11. Nostalgia already.Collapse )

That's all the news from warriorsavant, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all children are above average.
18th-Feb-2017 03:14 am - It was a dark and stormy night..,
Three Musketeers
An abandoned house. A small number of shadowy figures gather by a dim light in the dark of night, as snows wafts down outside. What skullduggery is this? What evil deeds are being planned? What conspiracy?

A conspiracy to taste scotch! Had the latest instalment of my twice yearly scotch tasting at the new house. Unfinished and unmovedinto rather than truly abandoned. Was putting it off from the usual moreorless solstice event because wanted to do it by firelight, but couldn't manage that one. (Going to be gas fireplaces, but still not connected. Gas utility blames the plumber, plumber blames the gas utility.)

People brought chairs (tables courtesy of its being a construction site), munchies, and of course scotch. The tradition for the winter solstice event is to bring partly empty bottles to kill off with the dying of the year. (You have your year-end symbolism, I have mine.) Not strict about this, fresh bottles are accepted too. Since missed the (approximate) solstice, went with (approximate) mid-winter day. (Most ppl take that to mean the same thing as solstice, but I use it more literally as being the middle of winter: half way between the solstice and equinox.) Also felt the menfolk needed something to help recover from the stress of Valentine's Day.

Regardless of the date and source of illumination, a good and inebriated time was had by all. Nice munchies, interesting environment, wonderful scotch, splendid company. The surprise star was Amrut, a single malt made in India.

do dheagh shlàinte
13th-Feb-2017 11:21 am - Computer stuff
Writing this on my phone, as my computer seems to have died. Will bring it in to service or replace tomorrow. Grrr. Fortunately do have backups, although one never knows if those work until one loads it onto new/repaired system. If not, will have to commit seppuku.

Amusing bit of how computer terminology has infiltrated the language. When Nom wears a sanitary pad, Hedgefund wants to wear one also, which she refers to as an ipad. I wonder if I could sell the concept to Apple.
10th-Feb-2017 03:28 pm - Going out with a bang. Ironically.
White Lion - Jabulani
I may have bitched, whined, and moaned about mentioned the new provincial guidelines about charging fees in offices (see Jan 24). As part of the ban on that, I have stopped doing patch tests (a form of allergy testing), because the materials cost more than they would be paying me to do the testing. Today I did the last readings (determining if positive reaction). It is standard to consider that if you have 50% positives, then you're threshold for testing is about right. (That is, if you have fewer positives, you are testing too many people who don't need it, and if you have more positives, you're not testing people who should have had it done.) I'm usually at a lower level than that, because I test patients referred by other Derms, some of whom are just referring annoying patients to get them out of their hair. Of my own patients, I've been about at the 50% level. Today, between my own patients and those referred to me, most of them were positive. It's satisfying to get a positive result, because then I have something useful to tell the patient (and because it's just generally more fun to see a result). Today was a good patch test day for me, but it's my last (unless something changes). It's good to go out on a high note.
9th-Feb-2017 11:30 am - Local Lawyers
Sword & Microscope 1
There is a lawyer taking over the office next to mine. Yes, the building is going downhill - lawyers everywhere. (For you Gentle Readers who are lawyers... just teasing.) Actually, two offices down the hall the tenant is a retired law school professor. Seems McGill used to let them have offices on campus forever, but has run out of room, so he’s renting a place to have his law library and pontificate (to himself) and likely avoid his wife. I thought he might be interesting, but the couple of times I talked to him, he was way full of himself. If one thinks that doctors and military officers are egotistical, one needs to talk to a few academics, especially Full Professors, especially of Law. I digress. The one opening next to me (still renovating the office) is apparently a noted criminal defence lawyer. All the offices are numbered to the nearest “10.” That is, I’m 780, that office used to be 770, the next was 760, etc. He insisted that it be numbered 777. I’m not sure if that means he’s an approximation of the number of the beast, or more likely, there are many gamblers among his criminal clientele, and 777 is considered lucky.
4th-Feb-2017 03:49 pm - Conference Funding
Dr. Injecto
A better title would be: Whoring Soliciting Funding

My Cutaneous Lymphoma Clinic has hosted an annual conference twice so far, and this year we are planning to do so again. Part of the event is a small, but real, officiallly gives CME conference to which the medical community is invited. For our group, the best part is getting visiting experts to come in and see our most complicated patients. On the one hand, we're part of a world-renowned medical school. On the other hand, "renowned" isn't all it's renowned to be. We're basically a small group of self-taught local experts, who only have a small percent of our time to devote to this. We're pretty good, but we can always get better. We have gotten, and will continue to get, visiting experts, including doctors who are among the top 5-10 in the world in this field. Our patients benefit from having a consultation at this level of expertise, and we learn immense amounts.

Expertise comes at a price. We have to pay their airfare, hotel, and honoraria. Neither the university nor the province gives us funds for this, and we're unlikely to pull that money out of our own pockets. Hence, I go begging for funds from "Evil Big Pharma." They're no more evil than anyone else, and part of their funds go to supporting medical education. Admittedly they do that as much for the good PR as for the altruistic joy of it, but so what? All motives are mixed, they produce drugs and equipment that are needed, and they are also supporting our educational needs. Asking for money gets easier. Last year, I approached it with fear and trembling. It just isn't - wasn't - my nature, to go up to someone and ask for five grand. Hey, it's not their money personally, and it isn't going into my pocket, but still was hard for me to do. This year much easier.
     New drug rep, "How can I be a good product representative for you?"
     Me, "Five thousand dollars to support a conference will do for a start. Make an appointment so we can discuss it. Oh, and bring sushi." (Okay, that part goes into my pocket - or rather mouth - but Evil Secretary gets her share too.)

It's interesting to see how each company approaches it, and who at the company holds the funds I need. Just this week, two different reps got back to me. One said the funds for this sort of thing come from the Sales Division, and I needed to write the lettter to her, specifically stating that she could have a table at our conference. The other said the funds comes Education Division, and I needed to write a letter to that committee, specifically stating that they would not get any promotional considerations. It's all the same to me. It's only paper (well, electrons), and we get our speakers funded. Everyone wins.
1st-Feb-2017 07:30 pm - Comments about two material items
Got a new lining put in my old leather jacket. In the US and other places, leather jackets are for bikers and wannabes. In Montreal, they're for everybody. It's practically a civic uniform. Said jacket is probably 20 years old. The shell is in fine shape, but the lining was falling apart, the material too worn to even patch. Replacing it (tailor in the dry cleaner downstairs from my office) was way cheaper than a new jacket.

Our car is my late father's old Toyota Matrix, which is basically a small station wagon built on Corolla body. I thought it was large, until put two full-sized child seats in the back, leaving room enough for Nom to wedge herself between them only for short trips. I think she'd be more comfortable in one of the child seats. A friend gave me a lift somewhere the other day. He has 3 teenage children, and both a large SUV and a minivan. We were in the latter. I never claimed to be cool in the usual sense (in other senses, I'm the most interesting person I know), but at least I could comfort myself by knowing that I did not, and never would, drive a minivan. Gentle Readers, never say never. A chill wind blew across my soul, knowing that there is likely a minivan in my future. *Sigh* The sacrifices one makes to have children.
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