Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tower of power

Like many fans of the Bay Area, I've had a long-time fascination with Sutro Tower, the huge structure perched on Mount Sutro and visible from most parts of the city. With some free time one afternoon a while back I finally did something I've wanted to do for a long time: climbing up to the darned thing. Turns out you can walk right up to the fence at the base. Here's the proof:

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Sunday, September 28, 2008


The other day I asked a patient what he was doing when his chest pain started, to which he replied "I was eating, and drinking wine, and smoking cigars, and gambling." I appreciated the honesty.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Legends of the Call

Why the blogging radio silence you may ask, faithful reader? Well, lemme tell ya....

I've been rotating on Cardiology, certainly a vital area for an emergency medicine doc to know a thing or two about. However, the census of patients more than doubled just before I came on-service, so it's been busy, busy, busy. I'm on q4 call, which means that every fourth day I'm on for 30 hours straight. It's a truism among doctors that call gets a lot harder once you pass 40, and I'm here to testify to the truth of that. Everybody wilts by the end of call, but I'm having a tough time keeping up with my much younger colleagues. Today is my only day off in a 12-day stretch, so I wanted to seize the opportunity for a quick post.

However, I'm off to the library now. Every month we take a standardized test that's compared with scores in other programs around the country and reported to our program director, and today's my only chance to study and take it before the end of the month. Not exactly what I'd prefer to be doing on my day off, but whaddya gonna do? Nobody said that being intern would be easy. Or humane.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008


I spent the other afternoon walking around a 36-acre patch of restored prairie. As promised, this is what it looks like:


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Blogging from the heartland

A quick post from Iowa, where I'm visiting Mom-Bob and Dad-Bob, enjoying the deeply familiar and subtly beautiful landscapes, and getting together with longtime friends.

Pictures of restored prairie to follow.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

If we could talk to the animals

Apparently Madame L's cat is far more sensitive to the roilings of the bowels of the earth than our rabbit is.

Also, it's interesting to note that we both link to the same quakenerd web site.



Last night we were watching a movie in the living room when the building jolted and shook for a few seconds -- our first perceptible quake since moving to the Bay Area.

I've been waiting for this moment to see how Usagi would react -- after all, aren't animals supposed to have a special sense for seismic events, displaying all sorts of unusual behavior as the earth moves? Usagi responded to the motion of the tectonic plates by continuing to diligently preen her ears, followed by a thorough and undoubtedly satisfying round of scratching. However, her nonchalance was probably just because it was only a minor quake; I'm sure that a few minutes before the Big One hits she'll run around the apartment to wake us all up, giving us time to run safely into the street.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bank lobby

The other night Lady M and I were out for the evening in downtown San Francisco. We happened to pass the Bank of the West branch on Montgomery and Bush and noticed this display in the lobby:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chief complaint

Went in today to see a patient triaged with belly pain. When I asked what was wrong he said "my yin and yang are out of balance."

That'll do it.