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The Modern Prometheus Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "The Modern Prometheus" journal:

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November 3rd, 2010
10:43 am
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Well, annoyed, sad, frustrated, and unsurprised, all at once, really. So, crossposting a question from Facebook. I believe that a certain degree of wealth redistribution (lopping the long tails off the economic bell curve) is a Good Thing, and I believe that our current policies, at the state and national level, and seriously failing to do this. I blame the resulting inequality of access to health care and education as a major reason for the crappy state of our economy and polity. I recognize that numerous friends of mine might well disagree, to which I can only say, you have not and likely never will meet some of the incredible horror stories I encounter every day. I am willing to argue about this with you further if you'd like.

Meanwhile, the question: if we have managed to save some small amount of money this year, and might be able to afford to donate some of it, where should it go? Normally, my chunk goes to civil liberties groups, but right now I'm less concerned with Congress trying to ban sex/drugs/the Internet, and more with Congress trying to passively murder anyone who's inconveniently impoverished. Is there any reasonably efficient advocacy group, other than the Democratic Party itself, that consistently advocates for that evil socialist welfare state?

Current Mood: pensivemixed

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July 17th, 2010
01:31 pm
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I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Unfortunate, really, as I do not *like* David Foster Wallace. Holds true for both this and my more public blog, as have tested text from both.

In woods with limited Internets due to tepui and burghbadger wedding. Maybe more later. Must go eat tons of food now.

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June 21st, 2010
06:47 am
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Yesterday, I had a (quite decent) latte at the Shire Cafe in Arlington, WA. The building housing the Shire Cafe is also home to:

Mirkwood gift/tchotchke shop
Merry Havens pub (actually a beer cooler at the back of the Shire)
Rivendell Hair Salon ("a Paul Mitchell Salon Experience")
and (Eru preserve me, I am not making this up)
Mordor Tattoo and Piercing

They also host no-cards-excluded Magic tournaments. What more do you need?

Current Mood: amusedamused

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May 26th, 2010
01:56 pm
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Life is good!
Have not posted much on the Interwebs in general, as have been busy. Not crazy-on-call busy; I have actually not had to take in-house overnight call since early March, and won't have to do so again until late summer. The past 1.5 months have been totally call-free, assuming you don't count overnight ER shifts (which I don't). In short, the day job's been behaving itself.

What that's done is let me get busy with good stuff. Been spending a lot of time (not as much as I should) doing journal searches, piling up articles, and trying to design my next research project. Found out from my schedulers that I get March thru June next year as pure lab time (with some call). Now all I have to do is figure out what I'm going to do in those four months and how I'm going to get it paid for!

Also have been working with something that isn't a local startup yet but wants to become one. Basically, decided it might be fun to play around with our local business plan competition, hooked up with a scientist who had an idea about medical diagnostic testing, and tomorrow will give our team's pitch at the competition semifinals (and maybe finals, if we're lucky). Don't know if we'll win, but we've got a solid shot at it. I'm predicting we'll hit the top four.

Speaking of which: if you didn't already get this link via Facebook, I'm trying to help them do some needs analysis to figure out whether there's really a product here. 5 minute survey at https://academictrial.qualtrics.com/SE?SID=SV_eLfSJtkqtnZmwYI&SVID= if you've got the time.

Other stuff in the past few months including taking yet another annoyingly expensive and long standardized test for licensure (passed!), continuing to search for a slightly better apartment so that we'll have room once we finally get around to having a baby, and planning upcoming travel. This weekend we're off to the San Juan islands for three days of kayaking around looking for orcas and other seagoing critters. In a few short months, we get to come back to Pittsburgh (we miss you guys!) for two of our best friends getting married. Should be some more hiking, biking, maybe even some camping interspersed in the weekends.

Basically, I'm not writing much because I'm spending a lot less time just sitting around in front of a computer. Still around, will continue to attempt to update eventually.

Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed

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April 29th, 2010
10:53 pm
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The other thing that recent NH trip taught me was a reminder in contentedness. I meet a lot of people on these trips. Some are friends or prior mentors who are well ahead of me in the tangibles -- money, houses, vacations, etc. Some are college students getting in a whole lot more "exploration" than I ever did. Some are new acquaintances doing brilliant scholarship.

And yet, for all the variety of riches I see, I find myself less feeling jealous and more wanting to get back to [Bad username: jennifermuppet&quot;] and my own life, 60-hour work week be damned. Every person I met has had to make some major trade-offs to be where they are. For all they have that I don't, each and every one has a burden that I'd really rather not carry.

This should not surprise me. I am very fond of quoting the still-evolving body of work that says human being are just wired for certain levels of happiness, and that we'll probably be content (or malcontent) no matter what. It's still useful to get the occasional reminder that all things considered, I have it pretty good.

Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed

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April 25th, 2010
07:05 pm
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headin' home
I think one of the things I missed most about travel was the chace to introspect. you spend a lot of time waiting in lines, killing short periods here and there, and generally in transition. Plus, you get jarred out of your familiar surroundings, which makes you reconsider patterns.

That said, nothing profound this post other than the well-worn "you can't go home again." A lot of the familiar and nostalgic is still present around Hanover, but everything's also been made just that little bit newer. Most of it is change for the better, I'd say.

alpha_theta is one of those places that's simultaneously the same and seriously different. They've updated the physical plant since I last walked through four years ago; the skeleton is there, but there are walls where one might not expect, and a whole bunch more wheelchair-accessibility. Still not cleaner, but the wiring's finally up to code and not likely to kill anyone. The new-member "sink" initiation is barely familiar -- a few old elements, but way out of order, and with a whole lot of new stuff. I think it might be more fun to go through than my version.

The people, on the other hand, are the same. Names and faces have changed, but it's amazing how comfortably familiar the social patterns are. I've never put a name to the specific brand of nerd that inhabits that house, but it's breeding true. Of course, that's in both the positive and negative traits. They're still smart, creative, odd, and loving (sometimes very loving) towards each other. They also all pretty much have one or more of substance problems, emotional issues, general dorky social stunting, or just a total lack of direction. So did every single person I graduated with, of course. I've long felt that everyone who signs their name on our house's membership card turns out to have something seriously broken with them. (This may actually just be endemic to the whole school, as my sample is limited.) Most of us managed to fix ourselves well enough. I'll bet most of this new batch will as well.

I'm glad I went. It's odd being a generation away from everyone else at the party, and I'm not in a hurry to do that again. It was still incredibly fun to see just how things are evolving, and of course there's all my old friends and colleagues who are still in the area. Very little in this world beats good weather, a cold drink, and a few hours with someone you haven't seen recently. (Especially when that friend is an insane robotics math nerd and brings a backpack full of toys and tricks that he demos on the bar while you share some beer.) It's never going to be home the same way it used to be, but I'm glad to see it's still somewhere I can be welcome.

Current Mood: tiredtired

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April 23rd, 2010
02:31 pm
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Spending a couple days in New Hampshire for combined business and pleasure. I gave a lecture on Thursday, then am spending Friday through Sunday AM hanging out around my prior College, seeing some old friends and former collaborators, and watching my old house initiate new members. I'm also figuring on getting in some much-needed time to study for my upcoming board exam and do some serious lit-searching. Practically, I know social time will expand to fill the available space, but any time I'm not scurrying around a hospital is a good thing.

Realized on the way to the airport that this is my first trip away since marrying jennifermuppet. it's strange -- our relationship before we moved to Seattle was pretty much defined by me being away. AMA meetings, research conferences, interviews, India, family vacations, this same lecture... there wasn't a single month that I didn't spend at least a weekend away. It feels different now that we've had nearly a year of constant contact. I'm happy too -- even though I'm not going anywhere I haven't been a thousand times before, I actually do miss the constant shuffle of airports, rentals, and receipts.

There's a couple applications in the ire for various boards and committees, so perhaps I'll be doing more of this in coming years. There'll certainly be more scientific conferences as the research gets going and I get data I can present.

Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed

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April 14th, 2010
12:24 pm
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Best chief complaint ever
"Overwhelming rage."

To our dismay, patient was not green, nor did his clothes appear to be substantially ripped. He did state that people didn't like him when he was angry.

Current Mood: tiredswing-shift jetlag

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February 25th, 2010
06:21 am
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You may, perhaps, think that psychiatry night call is not quite as difficult as, say, internal medicine night call. If you think that, I offer the following.

Nursing note, patient information thoroughly redacted:

Came to writer with a very small organism crawling on her finger said it was a crab and she took it from her perineal area. Said that she had itching there and on her scalp. Was checked by the HO. Nothing was seen on either scalp or perineal area. Medication ordered but hasn't yet arrived from pharmacy. Pt. showered and shampooed.

(HO being "house officer", AKA "poor schmuck on call")

Contents of the electronic signout system for this patient, physician information thoroughly redacted:

mdrnprometheus you owe me: toting flashlight and magnifying glass I searched for pubic and head arthropods. didn't see any, only inner labial erythema, but treated empirically with permethrin. Recommend rechecking if itching continues.

I'm going to let you ponder for a while the idea of doing, on night call, a pubic lice exam on a lady who is very nice and who I really like as a human being, but who also has a history of exchanging access to parts of her anatomy for access to crack cocaine and/or money to purchase same.

You don't have to be crazy to work here, but it helps.

(Real blog post on some seriously weird/interesting/complicated patient stuff coming soon.)

Current Mood: awakeawake

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January 13th, 2010
08:10 am
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Discharge instructions that are hard to write with a straight face
"If your house is locked and a stranger answers the door, check to be sure you have the right house. Don't get angry with them or they might try to have you arrested again."

...on further review, the attending and I agreed that while very correct, these did not actually need to be made part of the patient's medical record.

Current Mood: confusedbemused

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