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Posts Tagged ‘Daily Post’

You can’t swing a dead social media site around without hitting someone wishing you a “Happy Leap Day.”

leapyear

Seriously?

It’s freaking Monday, people.  There is nothing happy about that.  There is nothing to celebrate.  Start gathering your old pictures for throwback Thursday and quit annoying those who work for a living.

I fully understand the need for leap year.  Our planet actually takes 365.2422 days to orbit the sun instead of a precise 365 days as divided up on our calendars.  The extra day every four years helps keep things in sync.  Blah, blah blah.

What I don’t understand is this:  if we have to add a day to the calendar, why do we add another workday like Monday?  Why don’t we add another Saturday?

Here’s how it would have worked this year.  Saturday would have been February 27th.  Then we would have Leap Day Saturday (no number needed) as a second bonus weekend day.  Then we would have had Sunday the 28th.  And then Tuesday March 1st. Voilà!  Extra weekend day–no Monday.  Our calendars are synced with the Universe.  Win-win!

And if you really want to make people happy, let’s add this day in August when we can cook out, play golf and enjoy an extra Saturday of nice warm weather.  No offense, February, but you suck.  And you already have Groundhog Day and Valentine’s Day.  Poor old August has got nothing.  Win-win.

And while we are at this, let’s do something about daylight saving time.  I have no problem with getting an extra hour of sleep in the fall.  But when we move the clocks forward in the spring, why must we lose an hour of sleep?  Why not move the clocks ahead at 2 PM and lose an hour of work!

Write me in for President and I will make sure that these pressing issues are addressed as soon as possible.  Or at least in four years.

Today’s Daily Prompt that inspired this post:  LEAP.

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The Daily Post prompted bloggers today with this question:  What question do you hate to be asked? Why?

I debated whether of not to attempt to answer this prompt in a blog entry, not because I couldn’t come up with an answer, but rather because the answer was all too evident.  I’m not one that likes to share feelings–I blog for the world to see, but it is an amusing pastime that does not require me to share anything of the real me.

howami

I hate it when anyone asks me, “How are you?” or “How are you doing?”

Because inevitably, I must lie.

No one really wants to hear the real answer, or any explanation thereof.  It’s just part of the rapport between human beings attempting to be friendly.  Some of the people who ask me this might actually care.  But I seriously doubt they want to know the answer.

As a physician, I have to ask patient’s how they are doing, at least in the context of their eyes and vision.  But I don’t really need to know most of the rest of their problems or pains despite the fact that many are overly willing to share that unnecessary information with me.

So I throw out the ever popular, “Fine” and try to move on quickly.  Sometimes, I might just try to ignore the question, as if I hadn’t heard it, but I fear this often comes across as being rude.

Sometimes, I attempt to be a little more truthful.  I might answer, “I’m still alive.”  And if I’m in a particularly playful mood, I might add, “but the bastards are nipping at my heels.”

Or another popular response of mine is, “I’m hanging in there.”  And then I add, “the trick is not to get hung.”

I have no logical reason not to be fine.  Or good.  Or even great.  I make a lot of money.  I have my health.  I remove cataracts and give people the gift of sight, a talent not everyone has.  I have three children who are all healthy.  I have faith in God, and that someday, somehow, He will help me find what I am looking for.  Or comfort me that what I want was never meant to be.

Yet, I cannot bring myself to admit that “I’m good.”

I don’t feel good.  And I am ashamed to feel that way.  My problems all seem so first world.

Traffic irritates me.  If I carried a weapon in my car, I would probably average killing 6 people per day, at least the days I’m feeling “fine.”  Be the last time you pull out in front of me and go slow, though.

While I truly enjoy operating on patients and giving them back their sight, I no longer enjoy all the other bullshit that I am forced by my government to put up with on a daily basis.  I cannot simply treat my patients; I have to treat their computerized record as well.  I have to justify my existence through a process called “meaningful use,” whereby the federal government uses the data entered into the medical record to generate numerators and denominators, and in order to get paid, I must generate certain numerical ratios.  Perhaps I am being overly sensitive, but it makes the practice of medicine miserable and adds not one iota of benefit to actual patient care.

The government has intruded on nearly every aspect of how I care for a person, even down to the point of dictating how, when and where I “mark” the correct eye to be operated on for a patient having eye surgery.  We do “time outs” in the OR which are superfluous and unnecessary.  Insurance companies often dictate what medications I can prescribe–oh, I am free to prescribe anything, but they will only pay for certain things.  I have encountered very few patients who are financially well off enough to override their insurance and pay out of pocket instead of accepting what is covered.

They indirectly control how I keep up to date with continuing medical education.  Everything is regulated and has to be documented.  And while I understand the need to do these things, the amount of paperwork involved rises exponentially with each recertification period.  The governing board of ophthalmology keeps changing the requirements on me as well.  Now I have to travel to another city to sit for an exam.  The exam costs thousands of dollars, and that does not include the travel expenses or the income I lose from not being in my office.  I didn’t have to do that the last time I recertified, but I must now do as they say.

So I work in a job I no longer care much for, other than the warm fuzzy feeling of giving sight, in order to pay bills and taxes I don’t want to pay.  I don’t like how the government spends my money, and no one I elect can change that.  Of course, the last person I voted for that I really wanted to elect was Ronald Reagan.  The rest of my choices since then have come down to the lesser of two evils, and I vote not for who I want, but against who I don’t want.

I should be happy.  Despite the traffic and meaningful use, I make a lot of money.  But I drive the second oldest vehicle out of five (next to my son’s truck which was actually my dad’s before he passed away and I didn’t have to pay for other than the current insurance.)  I have no air conditioning in the summer.  This is a choice–the estimate to fix the unit was $1600 which is nearly three times what I get paid to remove a cataract and give someone the gift of sight.  Seems over-priced and despite global warming, the summer’s aren’t that hot anymore.  Again, I suffer not from hunger, malnutrition or cancer or ebola, or anything truly awful–only first world problems.  Maybe I suffer from being cheap.  But I generally like my jeep and it gets me from here to there.  My phone is a dumb phone–I have to press numbers to text and I cannot access the Internet.  Yet my household cell phone bill is $260 per month.  Don’t cry for me, Argentina.  I’m just ranting now for no reason.  I can still make phone calls without a problem.

I hate when my electric toothbrush battery dies in the middle of brushing my teeth.

I think perhaps I don’t know what would make me happy, and therein is the real problem.

Running make me happy.  But what am I running from?

I like it when my sports teams win, but I am depressed and angry when they lose.

I like it when people like my posts or follow my blog.  I feel liked.  And wanted.  Strange. I don’t know why.

If someone offered me half a million dollars a year to blog, I think I could be happy.

I think winning the lottery would make me happy.  Probably not.

I like making people laugh; but I fear I am becoming Robin Williams.  With all the insurance I pay, I am still worth more dead than alive, but not if I commit suicide.

I am not suicidal.  Perhaps depressed, but more frustrated and angry.  (Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering.  This all leads to the Dark Side if you believe Yoda.)  I don’t want any medications or counselling. Counselling has failed me already in other aspects of my life.  An exorcism might help.  I want the government to leave me alone and let me do my job the way I was trained.  I just want people to stop asking me how I am!

I can be in a roomful of one hundred people, and feel as isolated as if I were on a deserted island.  At least the weather would probably be better on said island.  I hate the winter, the cold and the snow.  It has been snowing here all day today.  I hate to shovel it.  I hate to drive in it.

I am not fine.

So please do not ask how I am.

I really don’t want to answer.  I really don’t know the answer.

But I know I’ve got snow to shovel.

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The Daily Prompt asks, what is you ideal Saturday morning?

Saturday has always been a special day.  In childhood, it was the day of NO SCHOOL and NO CHURCH.  It was about sleeping in, although that is much more important to me today than it was back then.  It was about watching cartoons on TV, because, quite frankly, in 1970, we did not have cartoon network, Nickelodeon and Disney channel.  (We had NBC, CBS and ABC and we were damned glad to have them on a fourteen inch screen and despite the fact we had to get up and walk across the room to change the TV to one of the other channels!)  There was a timelessness to Saturday mornings that was more sacred than Sunday morning in a pew.

The cartoons we watched were simpler.  Bugs Bunny.  Tom and Jerry.  The Road Runner.  There was a clear plot line.  Elmer Fudd went after Bugs Bunny.  Bugs always thwarted him.  Ditto Tom after Jerry, Sylvester after Tweety, and Wile E. Coyote after the roadrunner.  Beep.  beep.

You'd want to kill your hairdresser too!

You’d want to kill your hairdresser too!

Today’s cartoons are different.  Now don’t get me wrong–I like Spongebob.  I have watched Fairly Oddparents, but it is not my favorite. Jimmy Neutron is okay.  Ed, Edd and Eddie?  I scratch my head.  Where’s the plot?  Who is good?  Who is evil?  Who is Fog horn leghorn and who is the chicken hawk here?  It is not so easy to determine.  Even Mr. Krabbs has his good moments.  Today’s cartoons are more like Seinfeld, a show about nothing.  Cartoons about NOTHING.  The only goal of these characters appears to be to generate laughs, usually in the form of annoying others.  There are some newer cartoons out there (what exactly is robot chicken?) but I cannot comment on those.  Since my youngest kid is now 17, I don’t watch cartoons as much as I used to.

But my ideal Saturday morning is still all about the pace.  (It’s all about that pace, bout that pace, no trouble.)

I get up when I get up.  Not when someone else or some alarm clock tells me to.  I drink coffee.  Always have to have the coffee.  I usually run.  I run most days, but Saturday is that ONE day when I can choose when to run, where to run, how far to run and the time it takes has nothing to do with it.  I don’t have to be to work at a certain time.  I don’t have to be back to get ready for church, or wait until after church if I didn’t get up in time.  (A few times a year I might have to be ready to head out for a noon Penn State football game, but I love PSU football so that time commitment is not onerous.)

Even our calendars–which traditionally start the week with Sunday being the first day of the week)–confirm this:  Saturday is the last day of the week.  The seventh day of the week.  The day of rest.

Add coffee and a run, maybe a little blogging, and Saturday is still perfect.

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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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The Daily Post asks:  Is there “junk” in your life? What kind? How do you get rid of it?

Albert Einstein once asked,  “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

Fortunately, my desk (and more or less fortunately my mind) does not have this problem.

cluttereddesk

I’m probably a pile or two on the floor away from being an episode on Hoarders.  Does that mean I’m also that close to needing a lobotomy?

How do I get rid of it?  Short of a house fire?

I might need that.  If I throw something away, I invariably need it almost as soon as it is gone.  There’s probably a thermodynamic law of physics to explain that, but I can’t remember which one it is.  I have it written down someplace.  Under that pile on the desk would be the best bet.

Eventually, age and the pressure from the clutter on top will convert the junk into oil at the bottom.  Or maybe diamond.

Until then, my wife keeps the office door closed.

Cluttered desk.  Cluttered mind.  Out of sight.  Out of mind.

Or maybe just out of my mind.

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