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Archive for February, 2014

It was like déjà vu all over again.

There I am, jogging along.  Minding my own business.  And then there’s ice.  And then there’s me, falling.

Runner down!

So what did I do?

I jumped back up and continued running, before anyone else might have noticed.  There is a trail that leads from our development to the high school, and that was where I fell.  I fell right in full view of several houses.  I ran far enough to be out of the line of sight before I stopped to check for injuries or missing body parts.

Unlike 2009, when I fell on the ice while jogging around the high school, I did not seriously injure myself.  I did scrape and bruise my arm.  My hip hurts, but not the joint itself.  Just a flesh wound!  Or bruise.  I finished another three miles after the fall–including running back the same icy trail to get home!  I also apparently cut my ankle, but I didn’t even notice that until someone else pointed it out.

I was actually more worried about my Ipod.  I carry it in my hand inside my glove, and run the ear bud wire down my sleeve.  When I hit the ground, the music suddenly stopped.  I might have gone deaf, but I was more worried I had smashed my Ipod.  My right arm was hurting and took the brunt of the fall.

But a quick check showed that the wire had been pulled free.  I plugged it back in, the band played on, and off I went.

Now you may ask, why would you run on a trail you knew was icy?

TRADITION!  Tradition!

Why do rednecks ask someone to hold their beer and watch as they try to drive an ATV up a tree?

It’s what I do.  I run.  I can’t let a silly thing like weather get in the way.

The trail was there.  I had to get from here to there.  I couldn’t very well fly over it.  My dogsled is in the shop (it’s been a loooong winter.)  I ran on this trail yesterday without falling.  I fully expected to pull this thing off again without bloodshed.  Alas, I was wrong.

Couldn’t you run on a treadmill?

I own a dreadmill.  I hate the dreadmill.  I’d rather fall on the ice than run on the dreadmill.  I would not dreadmill here or there.  I would not dreadmill anywhere.  I would not do it with a goat.  I would not do it on a boat.  Well, I might if  I couldn’t jog around the deck.  But I digress.

I have noticed that when I run, my pace varies.  Here is a chart of my pace when I’m not running falling on ice:

PaceChart

If it were my heart rate, it would probably be fibrillation.  Don’t quote me on that.  Dammit Jim, I’m just an eye doctor!  I haven’t put a stethoscope on a patient’s heart in 23 years.

Now, can you imagine trying to run those peaks and valleys on a dreadmill?  My finger would have a blister on it from adjusting the speed up and down too often.  I would be in fibrillation if I had to do that.

And, if I haven’t been perfectly clear on this matter, I hate the dreadmill.

Couldn’t you just not run?

Couldn’t you just stop asking stupid questions?  I don’t ask you to just stop breathing do I?

So why don’t you wear YakTrax or some other product that would be useful on ice?

My you ask a lot of questions.  Just like I own a dreadmill, I have a pair of DueNorth Ice Cleats.  I don’t like them!  Oh, they work fine, if you are constantly on snow or ice and don’t mind things strapped to your feet besides your shoes.  But the road from my house to the trail–NO ICE!  From the trail to the rest of my run–NO ICE!  I would only need them for about a quarter of a mile or less, and I hate the clacking, bumpy feel of them on dry pavement.  Don’t roll your eyes at me–you asked!

OK.  I could stop and try to stretch them on over my shoes before I hit the trail, and then reverse the process on the other side.  Repeat for the trip back home.  Carry them in my hands when I’m not on the ice.  But if you don’t know me very well, I do not have the patience for that shit and I’ll take my chances with the ice.

So why did I bother telling you this?

CautionIce

It’s a public service announcement.  Ice is icy.  You might fall.  When you fall, you might get hurt.  If you get hurt you might go to the hospital.  If you go to the hospital, you might have to watch cable TV.  Don’t  get stuck watching cable TV.  Stay off the ice!

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Money4Nothing

That ain’t Twerking . . .That’s the way you DO it!

And my chicks for free!

The Daily Post asks . . . If you’re like most of us, you need to earn money by working for a living. Describe your ultimate job. If you’re in your dream job, tell us all about it — what is it that you love? What fulfills you?

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I am, by profession, an ophthalmologist.  An eye doctor/surgeon.  And while I do like my job–I really enjoy giving cataract surgery patients the gift of better sight–there are certain things about my job I do not like.

I really do not like our government and its bureaucratic intrusion into my practice.  I wish they would just leave me alone to do what I was trained to do.  Dealing with insurance companies makes me want to stick needles in MY eye!  Obamacare is just worse and more of it!

I loathe computer medical records.  Electronic Health Records.  EHR.  Errrrr!  Meaningful use = meaningless abuse.

I really don’t like having to get up at a set time every morning and living my life to a schedule.  Didn’t bother me years ago, but as I have aged, I really look forward to sleeping in on weekends!  I could get used to doing that every day.

I don’t like call.  As I have turned 39 for more than a few years, the ER calls in the middle of the night really bother me.  I no longer can fall back to sleep right away which affects my next day’s performance.  I already work a very busy schedule and additional add-ons are just additional stress right now that I could do without.  It is what it is, though.

So, in a nutshell, right there is my dream job . . . making the same amount of money I currently make (more would actually be better since I still live paycheck to paycheck with my doctor’s salary) but not having a set schedule, no call, and still do what I enjoy doing.

I enjoy running.  Can’t see anyone paying me what I make now to simply run.  And I am certainly not an elite/Olympic runner.  If I have to compete to get paid, I will starve.

I enjoy golfing.  And while I could make more than I currently make being a great professional golfer, I am not a great golfer.  I’m not really a good golfer.  I’m not worthy of playing with Tiger Woods.  I’m not really worthy of playing with Tiger’s woods, or even carrying his clubs.  I have probably lost a few balls in Tiger’s woods and if not, I certainly could manage that.

I also enjoy bowling, but I don’t think my current 192 average is good enough to keep my salary level where I am.  Nothing more pitiful than a starving bowler.

I’ve always dreamed of being the head coach at Penn State, and that would certainly pay better than my current gig.  But as passionate as I am as a fan, I do lack the X’s and O’s to actually be a football coach.  And looking at the hectic schedule that our new coach is living–travelling on the recruiting trail–I don’t think I would enjoy that schedule.

I am thinking Penn State University president.  The job may still be open, but I think they will be announcing a new president shortly.  I have not the experience nor qualifications, but there would be no bigger promoter of the University that I know of.  I can cut a ribbon without cutting myself.  I think.  I could ask people to donate money.  I’m not sure how I could handle dealing with our State Legislators, since my opinion of monumental idiots lawmakers in general is not very high.  The schedule probably isn’t as flexible as I’d like, so I think this is a no-go as well.

I could be a professional blogger if somebody wants to pay me what I’m currently making.  Yeah, I don’t see that happening.

Professional lottery winner?  I’m so there.  I just need to win the freaking Power Ball!

I’ve always thought stand-up comedy would be great.  I’m currently the entertainment for our annual office Christmas party, but that’s a once a year gig.  Not sure I could pull it off on a regular basis.  Maybe if I had a team of joke writers.  But the whole stand-up thing is not my style.  One of the things that drew me to eye surgery in medical school is that you can do it sitting down.  I guess I could be a late-night show host–a little actual standing followed by sitting behind a desk drinking coffee.  I could drive around like Jerry Seinfeld and drink coffee with other comedians.  I could drink coffee with just about anybody, especially if I’m getting paid well to do it.

I do dream of being a “professional” writer some day.  I have several novels in very stages of completion.  I blame my day job for the lack of time needed to actually finish and publish these projects, but we all know that is just an excuse.  And I have heard that publishers can be downright nasty with deadlines which would annoy me.  Sometimes the muse inspires me; sometimes the muse perspires me.  You just never know when the words will come.

It looks like for now, I’ll have to stick with taking out cataracts.

That’s not working.  That’s the way I do it.

Lemme tell, eye docs ain’t dumb.

Maybe get a blister on my little finger.

Maybe get a blister on my thumb.

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I know that the Super Blow (spelling intended) is now a week old, and in this media age of Twitter, Vine and Instagram, a week old post is so 2000-late, but dammit Jim, I am just a doctor.  I’m always running behind.  I haven’t posted since my half-marathon in . . .Holy Crap! . . . October!  And I was running behind people then!  But I digress.

So a week late and a few apples short of a bushel, I wanted to add some post-game commentary.

Actually, it wasn’t much of a game, at least not after the first quarter, so I want to talk about the real subject of the “game”–the commercials.

Were you not just a bit disappointed?

The Budweiser puppy was cute.  The Budweiser hero commercial was moving, but not spectacular as commercials go.  The Radio Shack (“the 80’s called and want their store back”) was probably my favorite, but I loved the eighties and am old enough to identify with every aspect of that commercial.  The Doritos commercial (Time Machine) was good, and perhaps the bar has been set too high.  I missed the actual showing of this one (probably when I had to run out and buy a Maserati Ghibli) and had to watch it on the computer, so it probably lost something there.  I wasn’t outraged over the Coke commercial–but apparently America the Beautiful is only tolerable in English to some people.

But nothing jumped out at me and yelled “this was worth FOUR MILLION DOLLARS!”

Seriously.  $4 million for 30 seconds.  Maybe that is the problem.  There’s nothing left in the budget to actually spend on producing the commercial!

Which brings me to the main point of this diatribe.

Pistachios.

When the first Stephen Colbert clip for Wonderful Pistachios aired, I thought to myself . . . “what a waste.”  No offense Stephen, but I don’t imagine you starred in that one for free, and I suspect you got paid more than the eagle, though the bird was a nice touch.  But when the second clip aired, it made me smile.  You fooled me!  I did not see that coming!  First one set it up, and the second one hit it out of the park.

WonderfulPistachios

But wait . . .

What?

Four million bucks to hawk pistachios?  Is the pistachio market that competitive that Wonderful Pistachios felt compelled to spend their ad budget (perhaps their entire budget . . . for several years decades) on the Super Bowl demographic?

I have been to many football games over the years, and I have never seen one person chewing on a pistachio.

They might do it surreptitiously, but I have never seen it.

Peanuts yes.  Pistachios no.

No offense Wonderful Pistachios, but your nuts are an eclectic taste.  Perhaps an acquired taste.  I imagine among most Americans, they fall behind peanuts, walnuts, pecans and cashews by a large margin.  And spending $4 million ain’t gonna change that.  (And peanuts are technically legumes, but I digress again.) Granted, the Super Bowl is a global phenomenon and pistachios might be the snack food of choice in some other countries.  But I really believe you could advertise in those countries for a whole lot less than the bill for a Super Spot.  I’m guessing A LOT less.

Or perhaps the idea was to sway you from buying Doritos and picking up a pack of pistachios.  Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pistachios, but he didn’t eat them.  He sold them and bought some real snack foods like Doritos.  Or Twinkies–which probably sell better than pistachios without a Super Bowl ad.

Let’s do some math here.  You can buy Wonderful Pistachios at WalMart for $4.98.  For the sake of making the math easier, we will round this up to $5.  At five dollars a bag, Wonderful Pistachios must sell 800,000 bags of pistachios just to pay for the air time.  This assumes a 100% profit on the sale and that Stephen and the eagle worked for free.  And you know better than to assume anything–you’ll make an a$$ out of U and Maine (ME).  And we don’t want to make an a$$ out of Maine!

According to the ratings, 111.3 million viewers watched the Super Bowl.  Assuming each one of those viewers also saw the ad, that means at least one out of every 140 persons has to buy a bag of pistachios–no! specifically a bag of Wonderful Pistachios!–just to almost break even.  I don’t even know 140 different people so I don’t know if that is even possible.

I know that advertisers do studies.  They research these things.  Aside from a Diet Coke at McDonalds (and only because they do not sell Pepsi) I haven’t purchased a single item advertised during the Super Bowl that I know of.  None of these commercials made me want to purchase their products.  I’ve never owned a Maserati or an Audi.  I have driven a Ford before, but to be honest, I couldn’t tell you which model they advertised with all the fireworks at the beginning of the game.  I don’t drink Budweiser.  Cute puppy.  Keep up the good work.  But I don’t like Bud.

Just who are these people that buy things because they were advertised?  Am I lacking some gene that makes me want to go shopping at Radio Shack?  In my Ghibli?  Sounds like a dog food more than a car.  Ghibli and Bits.  Ghibli and Bits.  Gotta get me some Ghibli and bits.

I can remember jingles from the seventies.  I just have never felt compelled to buy a product because of the jingle.

Maybe it’s all subconscious and I’m not even aware of the power when I’m shopping.  Ooh, that’s funny.  The only shopping I do is for running shoes and running clothes, and I do most of that on-line anymore.  But for the sake of an argument, if I actually shopped for nuts, would I really pick up a bag of pistachios?

I don’t think so.

But dudes, my subconscious is really enjoying those pistachios while I drive my Chevrolet with Bob Dylan at my side.

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