Category Archives: Balance Report

weekly rounds

  • Otherwise, this week has been about putting 2009 to bed, and relaxing before the madness of 2010 begins. Which, in terms of work, is tomorrow. Bring it on, 2010! I’ve got a bloody pus-filled syringe, and I’m a trained professional. Just try me…
Sunset at Sinai (Hospital of Baltimore), photo by John Cmar
Sunset at Sinai (Hospital of Baltimore), photo by John Cmar

weekly rounds

  • Laura and I had a blast going to see Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm on Friday night at the Ram’s head On Stage. While we’ve caught a show of theirs before, this one was notably better, mostly due to a hotter crowd. Paul and Storm are incredibly funny, and Coulton’s songwriting has an emotional depth that I think is often (unfortunately) overshadowed by his geeky topics and humor. Absolutely brilliant stuff.
  • Columbia saw it’s first snow of the season yesterday, which was relatively minor, and still resulted in the usual extremely inappropriate freakouts about driving dangers in the local populous. Sadly, grossly inefficient local plowing did cause me to miss a much-anticipated hospital holiday party, but roads aside, it made for quite the picturesque scene:

first snow of the season
first snow of the season, photo by John Cmar
  • Over on the GLF, I had the chance to try Clipper City’s Yule Tide Belgian Tripel, which ended up being a perfectly acceptable beer… and since they were aiming for a result much higher than that, it was a significant disappointment.

weekly rounds

  • This week was a bit abbreviated due to the Thanksgiving holiday, and I’ve just returned from my southern Ohio homeland, where the obligations of family, rest, and celebration were somewhat barely balanced. It is now time, as they say, to get back at it.

weekly rounds

  • I’ve just collapsed at home after returning from Philcon, which was a damn fun time. More on that will surface this coming week.
  • After some consideration, I’ve decided to crosspost my medical thoughts both at Lifebridge Heath’s blog and here, as I did earlier this week. In the style of Orac, the version that shows up here may be a bit more “colorful” than the other, which is just how I roll.

weekly rounds

  • My three-part “state of the flu” series over at Lifebridge Health I mentioned last time didn’t materialize for several excellent reasons, but I look forward to it showing up in the coming week.
  • Laura and I will be attending Philcon next weekend as science guests. It will be great fun, and more on that is forthcoming.

weekly rounds

  • In what I do find on some level to be amusing, both Laura and I have been waylaid over the last week by what is very likely influenza due to the novel H1N1 virus. Things are returning slowly to a better state of health, and I’m planning a three-part “state of the flu” series over at Lifebridge Health for the coming week.

RavenCon Startles Me From My Hidey-Tube

It’s been quite a busy month, even by my own standards. Clearly, I’ve not been totally successful in keeping with my theme for the year. I have some more cogent ruminations on that coming down the pike in a few days.

In a brief bit of site news, I have resurrected the Gustatory Libation Front from a period of neglect (although it has suffered from the same update-paucity of late). While I’ve enjoyed putting my beery ponderings up on Saint Nickanuck, it has become evident to me that said commentary appeals to a slightly different audience, so having its own forum is worthwhile. I’ll be putting some culinary and beverage observations from my recent travel to New Orleans and Chicago there shortly.

But, first – this weekend is RavenCon at the Crowne Plaza West in Richmond, VA! The convention is in its third year, and I’m pleased to say that this will be the third year that Laura and I will be participating as guests on the science track. Past experience has shown this con to be well-run and an absolute blast, so if you aren’t already planning on attending and happen to be within striking distance, I encourage you to stop by and check it out.

Laura will be doing a number of panels relating to space science, including the latest on her work at NASA and the International Space University. As to my own schedule, it is as follows:

  • Thirteen Dooms (Friday, 11pm, Potomac) – A multidisciplinary science panel addressing the various ways in which all life on earth might be eradicated. Bwa-ha-ha!
  • Live Recording of Mr. Adventure (Saturday, 11am, James) – I’m uncertain as to what role I’ll be playing, but I understand it may be evil and nefarious. Bwa-ha-ha-ha!
  • The New Reds Deaths (Saturday, 2pm, Potomac) – In which I will consider many horrific and interesting diseases, from Poe’s Red Death to the latest modern day terrors. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

What? You sense a disturbing theme? No… I think not. But, that means you’ll just have to come out and see for yourself.

BWA-HA-H- uh… sorry.

So, I’ve Been Ending My Progress Notes With ’08 For A Couple Of Weeks Now…

With a new year, invariably, comes chatter of resolutions. (Top Ten lists as well, but I digress.) Many people make them. Very few stick with them. Some pay the concept no mind. As Mur astutely points out, it negates the idea of a “resolution” (namely, the whole “resolve” part) to stop talking about it after a few months, then after a few more, looking forward to making resolutions again for the following year.

My own history with resolutions hasn’t been all that successful. The only one that I can recall keeping was that of losing weight a couple of years back, and that was motivated not by an arbitrary numerical date change, but by a significant personal event. That said, the idea of making resolutions to time with a “new year” isn’t necessarily flawed – a flip of the calendar is as good as any symbolic milestone to use as a starting point for changing something about one’s self for the positive. Without some other independent factor, though, the follow-through usually fails.

Instead of resolutions, then, several of my friends have been establishing hopes or goals to look forward to in 2008. I’ve pondered doing something like this, but I’m finding the potential pool of candidate goals is quite large, and all seem to be equally screaming for my attention. If there’s one thing I truly want to change, it’s less specific things (i.e. lose 20 pounds by June), and more a global approach to my daily living and workflow that will allow me to do more of what I want, and make what I do better. As such, I’ve decided to experiment with the following – I’ve selected a theme for the year:


Despite all that I’ve accomplished over the last year – some of the more meaningful items included moving out of fellowship into full-fledged attending physicianhood, passing my Infectious Diseases boards (I never mentioned that, did I? Well, I did now!), and actively participating in some podcasting voice work – there’s a lot more that I didn’t get to. Be it finishing research projects from my fellowship, gaming more, combating the entropic beast that has taken over the house, keeping in closer touch with meaningful people both near and remotely (and yes, that includes blogging), or realizing a seekrit projekt or five, balance is the key thing needed to shoehorn these into an already overfull schedule. Noone will ever accuse me of having a lot of so-called “free time,” but it is true that what I do have I often don’t put to the best use possible.

So here’s the experiment: I’m committing to regularly discussing “balance” in this space, at least once a month. A Balance Report, if you will. While I’m not aiming to discuss specific goals, I have a few ideas on how I can balance my existence better in the coming months that I’ll ruminate on, and maybe even enact. At the very least, it will keep my Theme for 2008 in the forefront of my mind.

Oh, I will be putting up a couple of “2007 retrospective posts” in the coming days. Not out of any sense of nostalgia, mind you, but more because I promised to blog about several date-specific topics (conventions and movies, for instance), and didn’t. That will be remedied.