Archive | February, 2014

swimming upstream

28 Feb

pedestrianSome of you will recall me writing about the rules of being a pedestrian back in January. We were on holidays on the sunny north coast…and I was busy challenging the conventions of the morning walk.

Well forget all that… and imagine the peak hour foot patrol on 5th Av, NYC…  in the snow.

At 6pm  frozen faces with set expressions are hurrying to get home …or at least to dive into the nearest  store for a quick thaw. A constant stream of bodies covered from head to toe ON THE WRONG SIDE of the footpath. (One of the fun things about travel is remembering which side of the road cars are driving on and which side of the path you are expected to walk on… well get it wrong in this scene and you are in for a challenge).    

While normally such rules don’t concern me …(in fact I like nothing better than a bit of civil disobedience), the thought of slowing my progress by swimming upstream was more than this little cold duck could bear.

Sometimes it’s just so much easier to ‘go with the flow’. P1120773

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excess baggage ….

27 Feb

There has been a lot said lately about the dramatic rise in steroid use….for a whole lot of reasons; and while the debate is raging about health impacts, costs to the health system, and cheats in sport….I haven’t yet heard anyone discuss the impact of steroids on flying.  ….(yep stick with me).muscles

Sitting in the airport yesterday I was struck by the number of fellas having trouble walking, with their over pumped thighs, triangular torsos and Popeye-like biceps…. I began to wonder if there was a muscle man convention happening somewhere …Then it hit me… SOMEONE (in this case many someones) would need to sit beside these blokes on the plane.

Anyone who has flown knows the limited personal space available, so the thought of having mine intruded on by all that hormone filled bulk for a 22 hour flight was just terrifying.

It got me thinking whether there should be an ‘excess bulk’ levy for these deliberately ‘image enhanced’ travellers.

However, I am happy to report that whatever was going on, it wasn’t in LA or New York ….we were safe from the ravages of a steroid enhanced flight…this time.P1120701

up up and away…

26 Feb

There’s no place like an airport for watching people. .. (although I do love a hospital foyer too).airport

Actually ‘I love to watch’ any-time, but there is something extra special about an airport. The extremes of emotion as  people return… arrive…. or depart; and the back stories that you never know, BUT are great to make up.

You know the sort of thing (pondering) I bet they are …”honeymooners” …”a wealthy tycoon” …. “a celebrity” …OR…  is she a  “mail-order bride”?

It’s also a great place to study travel fashion and ‘how NOT to dress’ on a long haul flight….and to wonder …how DO some people emerge from that tunnel looking like they just stepped out of the shower, and yet others look like they’ve been sleeping in a park bench for a week.

I reckon if I had a favourite place to ‘hang out’ and watch the passing parade …this would be it.

(But it’s even better when I actually get to board a plane and become one of them).

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one man’s junk…

25 Feb

…is another man’s junk (sometimes).junk

I love that we have all become so much more environmentally aware…and that recycling has become the norm; but I sometimes wonder about the roadside ‘junk’.

Today while I was out driving I passed not one but THREE TV’s sitting on the footpath… each with a sign indicating ‘free to a good home. But the truth of the matter is that they are now nothing more than junk (especially after sitting out in the weather).  Every few weeks, piles of pre-loved and rejected goodies are left out on the footpath for Council pick-up  providing a bonanza for bargain hunters … I guess it’s one way of relocating the junk and keeping the cycle alive.

On the other hand…back on the first week of the school year I was driving to work and I couldn’t help but smile. …. A house nearby my office had a bunch of local school uniforms hanging on their picket fence, all pressed and ready for the taking. While it looked a bit like a Chinese laundry… I thought it was a fantastic way of sharing the love in what is a struggling blue collar (perhaps even ‘no collar’) neighbourhood.

You’ve gotta love recycling…. junk and all.

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what are the chances? ….encore edition

24 Feb

WATCSome of you regulars will recall me pondering the world of coincidence and synchronicity in  ‘what ARE the chances?”  (9th May 2013)…..well I again I find myself reflecting on the world of ‘chance Vs  master plan’.

Never fear … I’m not about to get all religious on you and say that it’s God’s  will… because that’s not the way I roll…. (BUT if religion is you thing then sure ….feel free to run with it).

My point is that there are just so many things going on lately,  that feel so much bigger than ‘chance’… The planets appear to be aligned and I can’t help but wonder what’s going on.

Just over a month ago on the 20th January, I wrote about the fear of becoming a bag lady. In that post I happened to comment on the fact that I had just discovered I was still carry around a map of New York City from our visit in 2012 (still unsure why I had not chucked it or at least removed it from my bag).

One month later I receive a phone call telling me that I have WON a trip to New York City!!

The following weekend ‘Mr 50 Something’ attended a school reunion. Over that weekend I mention to him that I should get my act together and organise a reunion of MY school buddies.

The very next day  I received a facebook message inviting me TO A SCHOOL REUNION!!

As well as these examples of curious coincidence …there have been a whole bunch of quirky work related flukes over the past 6 weeks (way too boring to list)…. enough to make me think that someone much smarter than me, is driving my bus. …and I’m just enjoying the ride.

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button up

23 Feb

Today I am absorbed by buttons. Nothing artistic or fancy just plain ordinary buttons, the kind that hold trousers up and sleeves down.buttons

You see, it appears that another one of my failings (along with not keeping up with the ironing) is routine button maintenance and ‘mending’ (another chapter that I appear to have missed  in the 1950’s housewives handbook) …. I discovered a number of shirts and pants in the ironing basket that were clearly put there to be restored (maybe as far back as last century) …and were still waiting.

So today was ‘Button Day’.

But here’s the thing I want to know….. WHY is it that buttons can come loose and fall off while being worn… BUT when you need to remove one to move it to a new location…it won’t budge so you spend time and risk damaging something trying to get it off.

Fascinating I know …

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what’s in a word…?

22 Feb

jargon

Having cut my adult teeth on medical jargon, you would think after 33years in the Health system, I would be used to nonsensical language. But the past few days have highlighted that you can never stay ahead of the ever changing word game. It seems that creation of new language (and acronyms) is a never ending craze… morphing and changing a bit like a mutating virus

I attended a conference over the past couple of days.The presentations were a mix of really interesting… voyeuristic…inspiring… and zzzzzzzzzzzz and I spent much of the time focussing on the language.

Every industry has its own ‘speak’ … a way of communicating that either  lets you ‘in’ or blocks you ‘out’ and I guess we just get used to it and become a bit immune; BUT when you superimpose web words, social media speak and industry idiom… and bring them together in one sentence it can be a little comical even to an insider. … for example

“using SMS, twitter & FB to increase HCV PCR screening of  IDU via SHCs & NSP”.

On top of that… it  seems that no organisation goes by a full title anymore, keeping you guessing what they actually do (mmm…perhaps that’s a strategy in itself ) and adding to the jargon. Over the  past two days we had CSRH,ACON, ASHM, MHHAS, AFAO, NHMRC, AHMRC, AIVL, NUAA along with NSP….. and that’s just off the top of my head.

But I wonder how different all of this language is really ?… compared to the late 70’s when I was just a junior nurse.

Ten points to anyone who can decipher the following (real) entry in a very memorable medical file when I worked in the Emergency Dept in 1979.

“this LOL, PAAF fell and # RNOF”

go figure …

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