Saturday, 8 December 2007

Monday, 25 June 2007

Now where did I leave my passport?

This is possibly the messiest that I have ever been. By some cosmic conspiracy even after a day of packing and cleaning it still looks the same. Absolutely baffling. One explanation could be that I just rearranged the mess(just like the icons on my desktop) so at the end of the day it's the same mess but different. Fortunately for me, this mess not unlike the mess of facts and figures in my brain, is quite organised in a chaotic kind of way. I actually know where my passport is. Really. Where my house keys are on the other hand is a true mystery. So folks at home, if you don't come to get me I WON'T be able to get in.

In just a few days all these items will be packed into bags and flown home. Then they will unpacked and strewn all over our new home just the way you see now. So same mess different place. Fortunately then Yin will be balanced by Yang and it's likely that this explosion of cloths, books, gadgets, gadget chargers/adaptors, more gadgets will be somewhat held in check by the less-messy Nat.

now who said a convertible is for show offs? If not for this convertible HS would not have been able to take home his projector screen which turned out to be much longer than bargained for.
And finally, to celebrate this glorious mess, a scrumptious Barbera by Camp du Rouss. Morto bella!!!

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Down by the Missisipii? I am not a spelling bea...

So, the trail that runs between Crosby regional park to Lilydale park in St Paul is suppose to be one of the prettiest in Minnesota. With new found freedom after a grueling 2 weeks subconsulting in the unit and having less sleep in a week than most of you get on the weekend I headed out like a bat out of hell for St Paul. Due to the paucity of signs, I never did find Lilydale park and instead ended up at the U of M. WTF indeed. But, the ride was pretty.

Passed this art museum along the way ( but was too grotty to even dare walk in.

This being my last week here and I mean my last week plus the fact that I do not foresee myself coming by this way again anytime soon, I decided to go the whole hog(after a little nudge) and got something nice to drive. Once again I realise that I'm a real car nut as I couldn't wipe that silly grin off my face the whole day. Not to say that the Mustang is an inspiring drive, far from in fact. The T5 is whole lot faster despite having have the capacity(it has a 4L engine under the hood that feels very much like the ford explorer, strange). The suspension is soft and steering vague. The brakes don't bite. Finally, no self respecting sports car should have an antenna sticking out of the hood that just breaks the lines. But, and a big but there, it's got one saving grace - it's a convertible! With the gorgeous weather today, driving topless was nothing short of awe inspiring.

And that's another reason to get a folding bike!

Tonight, I drink to a good nights sleep without my pager going off at 3am. Just twisted the screw-top off a Mitolo Jester - a nice big Australian Shiraz.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

A Sunday morning ride

Went for a nice long ride today with TK and K. Haven't been biking for a week thanks to my crummy schedule so today was biking with a vengence. It was a plus as the weather was pretty gorgeous.

We made a detour to George's place but unfortuantely we woke the dude up(that's bed head if you've ever seen one). It was nice catching up and making grand plans for next weekend.

So, this gets submited to National Geographic this month. This is probably my all time favorite shot simply because of the fleeting moment that Jackson remained silhouetted. It hit me that instant that what lay before me was a gorgeous photo op so I took several shots and what we have is the best of the lot. Hope this gets in.
I've almost forgotten how much I miss Japanese food till this evening when I embarked on a solo culinary excursion to Sakura in St Paul. Sashimi and sake, heaven.

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Grandround comes around

All done with Grandrounds! Fortunately I did not look or feel like a deer-in-the-headlights. Grandrounds at the WFMC is actually quite grand - it's televised live to both Mayo Scottsdale and Jacksonville.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

A babbling brook.....not unlike myself after a few drinks

Pretty darn scenic if I do say so myself. There's a biking event in 2 weeks time. Thinking of entering just for the heck of it even though I was overtaken by 2 older looking gentlemen just the other day on the Douglas trail. One of whom was riding a rather crappy looking bike. Have to choose between a 30mile or 50mile route. Thinking 50, quit laughing.

Friday, 25 May 2007

Is this the way to Amarillo?.....are you weeping like a willow?

...Those of you who know the words feel free to sing out loud right now where ever you are, you guys sure did a while ago on the balcony-with-the-drinking-mojo. So today is one of two long weekends that the Minnesotans enjoy(oh dear). It's memorial day weekend!

I left work like a stone from a sling shot mainly because the weather was gorgeous(work isn't so bad now really, had a great day in the echo lab) and headed for Douglas trail again. Snapped a few pics of the country side until I realised that they resembled those inspiration pictures with inspirational themes like "team work, blah blah blah" hanging on the walls of a certain institution I will be returning to in July(sigh, If not for the friends at work). That instinctively made me pocket my camera and pedal on, concentrating on the music piping through my earphones.

The appetizer this weekend is BBQ at TK's place tomorrow, shopping at the memorial day weekend sales over at Albertville outlets for a hearty main(Sunday) and for desert, who knows. No plans as yet, save maybe for more prep on the blasted grandround(translated to desert speak would rank as green bean soup, yuck)

A lovey garden of wild flowers tucked away in the forest along with who knows how many creepy-crawlies. Life ain't all a bed of wild flowers.

Monday, 21 May 2007

A stab at fame!

This is the pic I submitted to National Geographic for their monthly "photo contest" of sorts. Will be sending a pic every month for sometime methinks. This one was taken in Savuti in Botswana on our first safari drive sometime in the evening. Beginner's luck for sure. These man-eaters were literally a stone's toss away.

Meanwhile, a quiet night with a nice glass of Oban. An excellent 14yr old single malt.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Rochester to Pine Isand: 26miles on the Douglas trail

A tunnel of green. Quite a scenic stretch especially towards Pine Island. At an unhurried pace of about 13 miles/hr, I was still slower than the Kenyan marathon runners.

Gene fends for himself and several others this weekend...

The theme for this weekend is doing-good. Not referring to saving lives in the ICU by way of being on call but rather giving friends here a hand in someway or other. I've just return from Vincent's(a hand surgeon) commencement after having completed yet another post grad degree. This would probably be his 3rd commencement but this in no way implies that he's back at square one. (giving a hand surgeon a hand, hmmmm). Anyway, Mr photographer here took a couple of nice pics. Will be taking a couple of hand surgeons from Singapore who are attending a course here at the WFMC for dinner tonight and tomorrow I'll be giving a friend a lift back from Minneapolis. Not too bad for what initially looked like a boring weekend.

One problem this do-gooder has encountered so far though is the realisation of the fact that he's just laundered and spun-dried his 2G USB drive(on which the grandround presentation is backed up on). We'll see exactly what they mean by these things being indestructible.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I'd end up attending a fellow Singaporean's commencement somewhere in the Midwest. Surreal.

So now, sometime for biking again!

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Biking the Midwest

I'm beginning to realise just how many biking trails there are here in Rochester. Some of these are really quite pretty especially the wild flower/dandy lion lined ones that hung the Zamboro river. My zippy mango yellow foldable Dahon(Dahon makes bikes, Honda makes cars, Dahon is from Taiwan, Honda is from Japan) has been getting a fair deal of attention. Not surprising I suppose when one is over taken by what looks like two unicycles wielded together. The 20 inch wheels are really quite small. Today I will check out Douglas trail even though my legs are pretty darn sore.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Do You have a heart? 2 more precious weeks of transthoracic echo left

Sometimes that's exactly what pops into my mind when I'm scanning an unechogenic patient.

It's been almost a year since I echo-ed anyone but I'm glad to say that it didn't take long to pick up where I left off. The echo exposure here at the WFMC is fantabulous! Literally learning something new everyday. It's a pity it's only 5 weeks. oh well...

Today was a great scan-day. Managed to acquire prewty preeewty images on all the patients. Some views still need a bit of work but I intend to tap the talents of the sonographers here(who are really really darn good at what they do, phenomenally good) just like the tick-monster in Starship Troopers. Except that I will strive to avoid capture and interrogation by a geek with ESP.

Tonight, for desert, an excellent 04' Chardonnay by Cuvaison vineyards(Napa). Again salut!

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Lanesboro re-visited: Applebees for breakfast, two bugs and a leaf for lunch, pie for tea. A 28 mile journey on 2 wheels.

The day started off rather gloomy with sporadic showers in Rochester. However, weather in Lanesboro according to was benign. Upon this bit of info we set off for a day of cycling. It was darn windy though. So windy that 2 bugs and a leaf were blown into my oropharnyx and subsequently ingested(downside of being a predominant mouth breather on exertion).

Tea was fortunately more palatable. We chanced upon this cafe on our way back from Preston and decided to find out for ourselves after all the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.

a trio of banana cream, rhubarb and peach pies. Pretty tasty.

It panned out to be a darn nice day after all. Blue skies and sunshine. Just what the doctor ordered. My complexion will no longer be the same shade as the underside of a lizard. Yippee!!!

We ended the day with a mediocre sav blanc from Marlborough at a cafe overlooking the root river. After 28 miles of peddling, I'm more than pooped and suffering from bicycle backside. So it's off to an early night for me once I finish the last bit of an excellent cab sav by Merryvale vineyards(Napa). Salut!

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

"Band of brothers" warning: corny blog

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,This day shall gentle his condition:And gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day. "

- Shakespeare's Henry V, 1598

As corny as it sounds, the camaraderie amongst those that look after the critically ill is much akin to that amongst soldiers slogging it out on the field. I know this as I've had a taste of both worlds. Except that in critical care, the blood spilt is not yours or your comrade's but your patients (well it could be the former 2 if you have butter fingers).

Anyhow, Dr Remzi, a critical care anaesthetist is due to leave for home, in Bursa, Turkey tomorrow. He finished a year doing research at the Clinic and is awaiting publication of a couple of papers in well respected journals. Upon that occasion, a couple of us took off early and headed for a pub/restaurant by a "lake" for some drinks and food. Didn't really expect tequila shots but hey what a nice surprise even if I don't really dig tequila.

Mykola(a proud Ukrainian, not in the derogatory sense) in black. Juan's in white(Colombian) beside Remzi.

Merry making.

This is where my bottle of tequila sits. Beside other non-consumables.

Other news, my new bike has arrived. It's in "mango yellow" which is strange shade I must say. The idea was to have it fit in the boot of my car as I hate bike racks.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Tar Dah!

A new blog is born.... freshly hatched, a bloglet...

save for the fact that I have NO time to blog. None.

That's a great combination for a new blog. I foresee that it will likely either remain un-updated or filled with brainless photos. But still, this will be the scratch pad for my brain, whatever is left of it. Battered by expensive salt filled greasy American food and cheap high quality booze.

So, a brief explanation my current predicament... I have been busy as a bee trying to get my grandround presentation off the ground. This involves lots of reading as it is somewhat the equivalent of doing a review article. Except that for me, it won't be published because I am too lazy and someone else has already done something similar. Anyhow, this diligence was spurred by lessons learnt the hard way from numerous previous last minute presentations, most of which I got lucky. So this time, at the WFMC, we're not leaving things to chance. Besides this crummy presentation, I've been behind in my reading on echocardiography, a subject which I have a genuine interest in. This in part is due to the fact that I am a technogeek, use to play first player shoot 'em ups(which has been shown to give one better spatial perspective in ultrasound examinations - no kidding, papers have been published) and have a mentor who is the former two as well. So there.

So before things start to go pear shape(along with my other favorite saying "it's all going to hell in a handbasket") I will bid all adieu till my next post...