Monday, February 28, 2011

Mystery Photo 6

   We are switching to a different part of the World for this Mystery Photo. There are not too many clues here so if you are not familiar with this landmark, you may not be able to guess it. On the other hand, it does have some characteristics to its architecture that may help you place it in the world. Please feel free to enter any guesses, because this is a hard one, I think. Comments are anonymous as far as I am concerned. But if you make a guess, I will answer it personally, if you desire.

My email: renraeretire@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Revolution" in Wisconsin!

   
 I have purposely avoided writing about politics on this blog. I never wanted to stir up the comment and flaming rages that occur on some websites. But I think on this issue, I must. Hit the button Read More to see my opinion.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mystery Photo 5: Peterhof, Russia

Mystery Photo 5 -- Peterhof, Russia (Petrodvorets)


    
    The Mystery Photo 5 was of a classical European Palace Complex built by Peter the Great across the Bay of Finland from Saint Petersburg, Russia. Several of the buildings are built right on the Bay of Finland. Over time both Peter the Great, his wife Catherine and then succeeding royalty spent time here at Peterhof.

      These two photos (above and below) show the Monplaisir Palace. This is the first Palace that Peter the Great originally built on these grounds. Later after the Grand Palace and other dining palaces, etc were built, this Palace was used primarily by his wife Catherine who modified and added to it. It was also later used by Katherine the Great after her husband, Peter III was deposed.

     Following are several photos from inside the Monplaisir Palace. It has lots of wood, mostly oak, gorgeous chandeliers and a very large collection of 17th century antique furniture, much of it from the private collection of Peter the Great.




        Peter the Great reigned for 42 years over Russia, from the time he was 11 years old. Born in 1672, as he grew into majority, he became more and more influenced by European ideals. He traveled several times to European capitols and attempted to forge alliances that would help him and his own country. He also fought wars with the Turkish Empire and with the Swedish Empire. These did not always work out for Peter but in the 18th Century he was eventually named Emperor of the Russian Empire though he himself disavowed this title of Emperor. His European influence comes out in the construction of Peterhof. The word means Peter's Court, and shows some of the German influence in the area as well. Later the name was Russianized to Petrodvorets. Peter was married twice. His second wife was Catherine who was eventually named Empress, Catherine (not Katherine the Great, who was the wife of Czar Peter III later in the 18th century).  Her influence is also strong at Petrodvorets. Some buildings were modified or added to at her behest. Peter died at age 57 after ruling for 42 years. But Peterhof was utilized and slightly modified by later royalty all the way up to Nicholas II and the Russian Revolution in 1917. The buildings and grounds were highly damaged by the Germans in World War II but they were among the first to be restored after the Great War. Thanks to Russian Army engineers and 1000 volunteers the buildings and grounds were restored to their original beauty by 1947.

     The following three photos show the lovely gardens and some of the fountains that are scattered around the grounds.



Below is the Aviary. 
     Peterhof has been called the "Russian Verseilles." However, I have been at Verseilles also in my lifetime and I agree with those who say that this pronouncement actually might be an insult to Petrohof. The grounds and gardens are certainlyextremely beautiful, and I think more picturesque than Verseilles. Peterhof is also very well known for its magic with water. There is an extensive fountain system throughout the parks surrounded by statuary, terraces, and patios with marvelous stonework. This system serves as the showcase for the beautiful palaces and buildings at Peterhof. We took the hydrofoil across the Bay of Finland which lands right on the property. This manner of entrance allows the visitor to amble up the broad entrance avenue beside a long reflecting pool and approach the Grand Palace from a gorgeous perspective. One enters the main fountain courtyard and from there can amble in various directions to view the several other small palaces on the grounds. 



Below is the Grand Palace and its front terrace and fountain display.

     The above photo is taken from the front terrace of the Grand Palace, looking out over the fountain display, and down the long reflecting pool right to the Bay of Finland which is how we arrived when we came by Hydrofoil from Saint Petersburg. This was certainly a lovely place to visit.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Catholic Hospital vs Secular Hospital -- What a change!

     Below is part of the mission statement of a large local hospital that I wish to speak about below:

"At (LOCAL LARGE HOSPITAL) we value the diversity of our patients, employees, physicians and visitors. We recognize the importance of intentional activities, projects and initiatives to help make our environment one that cares for and nurtures the health and personal development of every individual. The diversity of each of these individuals, makes CSM the successful organization it is today. Our success and growth are dependent upon our:



Creating an environment of continuous learning about diversity and inclusion


Community involvement


Creating new and innovative ways to serve others


Our patients and staff deserve an inclusive environment in which they can move towards optimum health and development without unnecessary barriers to their success. We are made stronger by the diversity of knowledge, experiences and perspectives we each bring to this environment."

     Recently my hospital at which I practiced for 34 years before I retired, merged with a large Catholic Hospital in Milwaukee. For some years the two hospitals, though joined, maintained their own separate campuses. Then this combined hospital conglomer decided to build a large brand new hospital building on the site of the Catholic Campus, using some of the old buildings but adding a huge new building. They then closed the secular campus and slowly moved all operations to the new hospital.
 

     I had been attending Grand Rounds Medical Education meetings once a week even after I retired. There was a month or 6 week hiatus in the Grand Rounds after the move, and then the meetings were again reved up.
     There was just one major problem which continues to be an admitted problem. No space was allowed in the new hospital for medical education. That is there is no auditorium or any large room with audeo visual capabilities which will seat more than 35 people comfortably. Our old hospital had a beautiful stadium seating auditorium with an audio visual room in the back, a small stage/riser across the front and a vestibule and cloakroom at the back. This room was not only used for staff medical doctor meetings at least once or twice a week, but the nurses used it, and it was sometimes used for patient meetings as well, also sometimes opened up to the community to give educational or leadership meetings. So the idea that the brand new up to date, hottest of latest technology hospital would not allow space for larger meetings and education was inconceivable to me. I was told that space had been allowed on the top floor but in decisions to cut costs and redesign, the space was taken for some other purpose. There is now a move to put a space in the medical office building on the site, but there is no allotment for audiovisual technology so that would have to be paid for by the doctors. Incredible!
     The meeting I attended on Tuesday was one of the bimonthly medical ethics meetings. Now I have attended many of these back at the old hospital. They are led by a PhD in ethics and examine various ethical dilemmas in medicine. You can imagine that such occasions arise in the life and death business of medical care. In past ethics meetings, there was not usually any significant consideration of Catholic canon or the ethical decisions being made in a Catholic Hospital. Well, now the whole hospital is really a Catholic Hospital. The topic was "Maternal and Fetal Medical Ethical Conflicts." Our ethics PhD presented a case from Phoenex, AZ which made national newspapers. A 23 year old woman had pulmonary hypertension, a disease which can cause heart failure and has imperfect treatments. She was given birth control and told not to get pregnant, but she did get pregnant and presented at about 7 weeks. It was recommended to her in the doctor's office that she should have the pregnancy terminated. She refused. Then she returned at 11 weeks of pregnancy in heart failure and in cardiogenic shock (the heart was no longer able to pump strongly enough to maintain the blood pressure and blood flow). In other words, she was sick unto death. She was going to die probably within a day or two if the pregnancy wasn't terminated. Finally at this Catholic Hospital in AZ, after an ethics consult and much discussion, it was decided to cause the fetus to be delivered. It was felt that the mother could be returned to at least the level of function that she had before the pregnancy in a few days without the added burden of the pregnancy on her heart. The Director of Medical Care at the hospital, a nun, after much deliberation did approve the pregnancy termination to proceed. After all the baby was going to die either way: of course, if the mother died, or if the pregnancy was terminated. The baby was not large enough to survive on its own even with ventilators and all the treatments available to premature infants. This was just too premature. Everything proceeded as planned, and the mother improved and was discharged from the hospital. About a year later, apparently the local archbishop somehow got word of this and a huge bruhaha occurred within the local archdiocese. Bad things happened to that Catholic Hospital. It's Catholic status was removed, which means the hospital loses its non profict status and there are all sorts of financial and social implications. The nun who still was Director of Medical Care was excommunicated and had to resign her job so that the ramifications did not extend to her Catholic Order. This information made it to the national news media, and many obstetricians around the country began to feel that they would not be able to practice at all in Catholic Hospitals around the country. These types of issues are always possible in a busy obstetrical hospital.
     Our ethics doctor began to go into the ethics of this whole case. He then brought out the Catholic issue of abortion, even to save the mother's life and how the Holy Canon is against this. He then tried to frame the case in a different ethical way in which under these circumstances a decision not to stop the pregnancy and save the mother's life would be classed as irrational. He really had to jump through some ethical hoops to try to get around the Catholic Canon. This type of lengthy discussion would have never taken place at the secular hospital where I was on the staff. One of my retired colleagues raised his hand and commented that the problem didn't seem to be ethical, but rather was only in question because of the religion at the hospital: Catholicism and its Canon. The ethicist had nothing to offer in response to that comment. I just found the whole lengthy and convoluted discussion to be so entirely different to the types of discussions that were held at these conferences at the previous hospital campus. What a change! I have since spoken with another OB on the staff at the nice new hospital. She cites an example just in the last 9 months of her practice at this new hospital, where she was set to stop a pregnancy also to save a mother's life, though the mother's life was not as immediately threatened as the Phoenix case. This OB said that the religious director of the hospital had found out about her surgical plans and was outside the OR telling her that she could not proceed with the surgery. The mother was already anesthetized. They had to get an ethics committee to come into the hospital and lots of discussion went back and forth, but finally she was able to proceed with her operation. It sounds to me that issues like this in lesser degree are more common than we think.

     I ask you to read again the above mission statement of the hospital with its paragraph about inclusivity and diversity. Do these types of case decisions sound like inclusivity and diversity? Can current medical care of the mother and the fetus mix with Catholocism? What do you think?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mystery Photo 5

     Lots of glitz at this historical site. Can you guess where this is? First guess the country. Then try to figure out which palace this is? Enter your guesses in the comments or email me at renraeretire@gmail.com. I will answer you directly and tell you if you are right or wrong. Answer will come in a few days with other photos.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

After the Super Bowl is Over!

     Did you ever wonder what happens after the Super Bowl is over? Where do the team members go? Where do the fans go? How do they all celebrate after they get back home? Do they fly back to their home town and retire from the media hype and quietly go back to their day jobs. No, I can verify that is not what happens.
    First of all the team flew back to Green Bay on Monday arriving about 1:30 PM. They were welcomed at the Green Bay airport by a crowd of fans. A huge cheer went up as Coach MacCarthy and the President of the organization stepped out of the plane and held up the Lombardi Trophy, back where it belongs, where Coach Lombardi himself coached a team to the Super Bowl so many decades ago. Then the team and all their staff members boarded about 11 buses that wound there way back to Lambeau Field where they had all left their cars as football players and returned as World Champions. People lined the way several deep especially as the buses got close to Lambeau. A media helicopter showed the cavalcade all the way in. Thousands of people were clustered around the pass into the parking lot that the buses would take hoping for just a glimpse of their favorite players either in the bus or as they disembarked the bus and went into Lambeau, or carried their bags to their SUVs. The players got out of the buses and made their way to the players' entrance to Lambeau. Many high-fived the fans, tipped their hats to the fans, and otherwise acknowledged their support. Donald Driver was especially moving. Even though he is in an ankle immobilizer, he limped up and down along all the fences that showed fans greeting them and waving. He is so well liked!.
     Meanwhile, a call had gone out to fans and a huge crew of volunteers who would get paid $8 an hour and a free ticket to Tuesday's celebration,  and were shoveling out the Lambeau Field seats all morning. The next day another group of volunteers applied salt to all the foot areas in the stadium where ice was found. Aaron Rodgers was not among the returnees. He had other committments, as the local media put it. First he went to Disneyland in FL where he rode in the daily parade. Then he flew off to New York City and appeared on Letterman last night. Today, Tuesday, he was back in Green Bay for the festivities there.
     Today, Tuesday, was the official welcome back and Return to Titletown Celebration to be held at 4:00 PM inside Lambeau Field, not in the atrium, but in the open air bowl itself. It is high of 14 degrees today with a wind that makes the windchill down below zero. Tickets were $5 a piece and the event was a selllout -- 56,000 fans weathering the elements to welcome their beloved Packer team back with their Lombardi Trophy. Coach McCarthy came in first carrying the Lombardi Trophy around a portion of the circle of the field so people could touch it. Later Nick Barnett carried it around the entire oval of the stadium letting people touch it with gloves or without gloves. Then all the players circled the field with also high fives all around. Part of the center of the football field between the 40 yard lines had been shoveled off; indeed their were huge piles of snow from the stands and from that center over the two ends of the field. It was certainly the Frozen Tundra. But here were all those fans, cheering, waving their various celebrants like cheeseheads (it was too cold for them on the heads), replicas of the trophy, and replicas of the MVP belt that Aaron's brother designed for him. The main players in this event spoke along with several of the coaches. Charles Woodson said he would never come down from the high he is on because no one will ever take this honor away from the Packers. Aaron Rodgers spoke very fluently about what everyone felt and how grateful to the fans the whole team is. He is due to now fly out to California to be on Jay Leno's show. Wow, being a Super Bowl MVP is hard work. And to a big cheer, both Coach McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers spoke of coming back and doing this same thing again next year. It is a young team who seem to have a lot of chemistry and with Grant and other players who were injured for this season returning next year, who knows? Maybe we can do it again. Wow!
     Our Fabio player, Clay Matthews, seems to initially be even busier than Aaron Rodgers. He has been on Jay Leno, will be on Ellen Degeneris' show this afternoon, and will be a presenter at the Grammy Awards this weekend in CA. He already has an endorsement contract for Suave shampoo, due to his long straight blond locks. On Jay Leno, he was a soft spoken man with lots of poise. Aaron Rodgers also shows a lot of poise when dealing in front of a camara, as do Charles Woodson, and Donald Driver. No doubt appearances and demands to be in front of those camaras will continue to occur. These are men who are tired, who haven't seen their families in weeks or months, who need to rest and rejuvenate. Some may need to hire agents to control and organize all this media hype. Meanwhile Coach McCarthy has already aluded to his work that awaits: he has to decide about next year. There are all these great players who played and won the Super Bowl, but there are a dozen or more players who will be coming off the Injured Reserved list. Where are they going to fit into this team after missing all or most of this last season. Some were very good players prior to their injuries. Coach McCarthy has to sort this all out during the off season to get ready for restarting practice camp this summer. As you can see, there is a certain amount of hard work and angst that continues even after this kind of huge Win. Ah, the ecstasy of winning but also the angst!
      Meanwhile I heard that media in Texas is saying publicly: Ok, your northern football teams and fans, the game is over now and you are all back home. So could you please turn the heat back on?

     So that is what happens after the Super Bowl.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mystery Photo 4: Hanoi, Vietnam -- Exceeded all Expectations

Understatement: There are a lot of scooters in Vietnam.

      My expectations of Vietnam were probably somewhat low, though I had heard of other American tourists going there and enjoying the trip very much. There is a lot to see in this little country. The country is quite small in overall area, but it is also quite long. Therefore it is necessary for efficiency of travel to fly from one place to another. This post will primarily show Hanoi and Halong Bay. I have a lot of photos and there is a lot to show. Future posts will show more of central and southern Vietnam.

Above is the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam, the subject of Mystery Photo 4

Below are two pictures of the Lenin Mausoleum in Red Square in Moscow. It is a red granite building much lower than the Hanoi building because it is backed up against the wall of the Kremlin. But the structure and style of the base is very much like that we see above in Hanoi.

     We flew from Chicago O'Hare with a short layover in Tokyo Airport, and then to Hanoi. The Mystery Photo 4 is of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square in the center of Hanoi, Vietnam, where Ho read the Declaration of Independence for Vietnam,on September 2, 1945, establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, then know as North Vietnam to us.  The flag of Vietnam is red with a  solid yellow star in the center. You see this flag hanging near the Mausoleum in the "hint" photo I provided. I wrote about visiting this Mausoleum in the December 12 posting. It was inaugurated August 29, 1975 and inspired by Lenin's Mausoleum in Moscow which we have also seen, though we did not wait in the very long line to go into that place. Here in Hanoi, there was not a real long line for some reason, so we were able to go inside. Being laid out like Ho Chi Minh is inside was totally against his wishes. He left a will that stated his wish to be cremated and have his ashes scattered in the hills of the north, central and southern Vietnam. He said he preferred cremation which is "more hygienic than burial and would also save land for agricultural purposes." But he was afterall the father of Vietnam reunification so the mausoleum is there in spite of what he wished.
                                         Lenin's Tomb backed up against the wall of the Kremlin
     One of the interesting characteristics of Vietnamese architecture is the narrowness of the houses. That is because it costs a lot to buy land fronting streets and roads, so the frontage of the houses is very narrow. But often these houses are 3 to 5 stories high and they are often painted bright colors and have very interesting decorations and styles. I have added several photos of these buildings from around the Hanoi area. Sometimes the houses look very strange because some have been built virtually by themselves in the countryside or in the suburbs standing tall and narrow all by themselves with no windows on the sides. I have
not seen this characteristic building anywhere else in the world. Even their cemeteries show this style of architecture in very small scale as you can see in the last photo.


One skinny house of Vietnam, out in the country.
                                 What the skinny houses of Vietnam are supposed to look like when put side by side.


The skinny house architecture carried over to the cemetery.

                                                 Water puppets for sale at a sidewalk shop.

The instrumental band for the Water Puppet show.

The National Vietnamese Water Puppet Theatre and its colorful stage.

                                 The water puppets in action. They are maneuvered on long sticks that are under the water. The manipulators are located behind the stage, reaching forward with the sticks.It was a ancient and very unique way to tell local folk stories.

                                                                    The cyclo.

A famous bridge in Hanoi which leads to a famous Pagoda Temple. We had to get our photo taken on this bridge. Below are street scenes in the markets where Communist Vietnam practices their rampant capitalism.



   

                           Below two older men playing a board game in Ba Dinh Park, downtown Hanoi.


     Above is the entrance to what remains of the "Hanoi Hilton", the former French prison where dissidents were chained. Most of the large prison complex has been torn down and a high rise hotel tower has been built behind this remnant. Also the Vietnamese National Museum has been built on this property.  Below is a view from inside the Hanoi Hilton museum. Here are seen ceramic figures representing how the French imprisoned the dissident Vietnamese during their Colonial days. There is a section which is devoted to the time that American POWs were kept here, but as you can imagine there is some degree of propagandizing here: for example referring to the American devils, etc. I guess to them we were the Devils; obviously we were the enemy. But interestingly one whole room is devoted to John McCain, showing his history, telling how he landed in the middle of the well known lake in the middle of downtown Hanoi. They have his flight suit on display. They seem to be quite proud that a man who ran for President of the United States was housed in their prison for a bunch of years.
Below is the entrance to the Vietnam National Museum.

     Above is the Vietnamese National dress, the au dai for women. It consists of long flowing pants, with an overdress with a long panel in front and another long panel behind. The slim young Vietnamese women universally look gorgeous in these costumes. They are worn when the women dress up and for special occasions. And the women just mount their motor scooters with this beautiful dress.

     Below is a video of Halong Bay about 2 hours north of Hanoi. These limestone hills within the Bay are known worldwide. Take a look at this video panorama of this lovely site. Above that is a combination of these rock formations that is called "Kissing Chickens." You have to take your boat around to the proper angle to "see" the chickens. 
   
video

     I have lots more photos from Vietnam. I think I will have to post again just to get a few more out there. As I said, there was a lot to see in this energetic young country with an ancient past.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hint: Mystery Photo 4

      Where is everybody? No one has ventured a guess about Mystery Photo 4. Here is a hint, kind of a big hint actually. Check out the one thing that is different in this photo -- a red object. It is small but I think you can make out a yellow form in the center. Check out country flags. I still dare someone to enter a guess.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

SUPER BOWL XLV CHAMPIONS

       So many emotional ups and downs in this game. The Packers have overcome so many injuries this season. And this game was no different. Our number one defensive player, another well performing defensive player, and another probowl defensive player as well as one of our number one receivers went down during this game. And still whiteknuckling it and chewing our fingernails, this Packer team managed to hold on and put together offense and defense to win this Super Bowl Game and bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay where the coach for which that Trophy is nameed took the Packers to the Super Bowl , oh so many decades ago. I just can't believe it. What a great evening!
     CONGRATULATIONS GREEN BAY PACKERS

    And to top it off, Aaron Rodgers won the MVP trophy. Who needs Brett Favre!  Brett who? Our team is great! GO PACKERS!

Memorable Weather -- 2011

     The weather has been making quite a bit of national news over the last week. A huge storm, one of the largest that many meteorologists have seen in their career, stretching across the entire mid section of the United states, causing snow and sleet, and freezing rain even in Dallas where our Super Bowl will play in two days. Stretching all the way up to the plains states, to Green Bay and Milwaukee, home to the Green Bay Packers, and then moving slowly out toward Pittsburgh, home of the opposing team, the Steelers. First people who were trying to get to Dallas could not get out of Milwaukee and other midwestern airports. Then finally after about 26 inches of snow over 2 days here, after much work getting shoveled out of our driveways, and getting moving on side streets and freeways, taking a whole day to get our airport open, fans were able to start to fly out. Then Dallas got a second storm of 6 inches or so which paralyzes that area again, and again the midwestern and eastern visitors and fans can't get into Dallas. Meanwhile large chunks of ice fall off the top of the new domed stadium in Irving, TX where the game is to be played, and injures some people on the ground. What is going on with the weather?
     Of course, we have Green Bay Packers media frenzy going on here. One piece of coverage related to two men (should I say crazy men?) who met at the NFC Championship Bears/Packers game in Chicago and probably under the cover of a somewhat inebriated conversation made plans to drive an old Cadillac Eldorado convertible down to Dallas. Now this convertible is old and now has no top, not even a canvas one to pop up.  http://offthebench.nbcsports.com/2011/02/01/idiots-loyal-packer-fans-driving-from-lambeau-field-to-dallas-in-convertable/ So the owner has somehow fastened a surf board lengthwise onto the top of the car. These two guys somehow made up some head gear that was a mix between stocking caps, a mohawk down the middle shaped something like a yellow footbal helmut. The story showed them leaving for Dallas for a roadtrip to Dallas. Well, this open convertible was not going to make it anywhere near Dallas. No way, not with this storm of the decade or maybe even half century working its way across the country's midsection. These two guys and their ideas, no doubt born when reason was not high in the conversation, would not succeed easily. We have not heard anything more about them. No doubt they had to hole up in a motel somewhere and it would have to be a hotel or motel that had some sort of covered parking. Otherwise that convertible would just fill up with snow. I saw in today's newspaper that these two crazies made it to Dallas, and were photographed taking part in a fan event. They don't even have tickets to the Super Bowl. Like a lot of Packers fans they just want to play a part in the celebration down there. They made is down there in spite of all the snow storms on the way.
     The media called this storm one of 4 of the largest and with the highest wind speed of all storms. My mother heard the reporters citing the years in which these three other bad storms occurred. She heard 1936. So then she began to ask herself what she was doing in 1936 and what did she recall about a big storm. She recalled very astutely that she had just graduated from high school the June before. And she had found a job with National Lock in Rockford, IL. She had only been hired a week or so before. So she had to get into work. So her father, my Grandpa Harry got their old Model T car dug out of the bran, and they got on Route 20, a then 2 way road between Freeport and Rockford, IL. They lucked out and got behind a snow plow and just followed it into Rockford. Mom was working the second shift so Grandpa just took her right to the factory. She had made it to work. Now she says she realizes that then her father had to drive all the way back to Pecatonica, without the benefit of the snowplow. She doesn't recall worrying about that then, but she thought of that now. Well, obviously he made it. It is just quite interesting that my mother can recall this with complete accuracy even now. She is now 93 years old, widowed and living by herself in her little 3 bedroom ranch house even though she is blind from macular degeneration. But she is dong fine by herself. She still bakes cookies for church bake sales, and does her own cooking and cleaning. We have been calling her dialy through the storm days and so have neighbors to make sure she is OK. She is no doubt lonely and shut in from the storm but she is surviving. Just another view of this storm from the inside and from the eyes of a very old woman.
     Well, it's Super Bowl Sunday. It's snowing outside again here, but this time it is just a gentle light snow. We are only supposed to get about an inch. This afternoon we have been watching the lead up show. The Super Bowl is huge. It is a big celebrity event. Though the game is the center of the conversation, it's like all the bruhaha happening outside the stadium seems to have taken over. I guess I never noticed this when I didn't care about either of the teams that were playing. But now its our Packers. We should be only talking about them and the game, right? Expectations totally change.  GO PACKERS!!! I'll be back on this blog about the game if we win. If we don't, you'll not hear another word about it here.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mystery Photo 4

     Here's another mystery photo. I dare anyone to name this place and put it in the comments! But if you are too afraid to venture a name in public, then email me at renraeretire.gmail.com. I may give you a clue after a day or two, if you need it.


Good Luck!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chronic Post Cancer Pain-- A Study

     I ran across this article summary on chronic cancer related pain. This study confirms what I have written about here on this blog before. Most of the pain is related to cancer surgery. This news is certainly not very reassuring for me personally. I had completed a course of physical therapy for my post melanoma surgery pain. I was able to take a trip to southeastern Asia in November and did OK. But now the last few weeks, I have been doing more work on my laptop computer, writing and clearing out stuff I no longer want on it, backing up what I do want, etc, and now my arm is bothering me again. The physical therapist I saw before had determined that my ergonomics are not so good for my neck and shoulders and arms when I work on my laptop. So this may be why my arm is flaring up again. I have put back on the "tennis elbow" counter force brace around my lower arm and it helps a little. Is it bad enough to go back for therapy again? I do have a prescription to go back if I need to. I will wait a little bit before I decide to do that. I have reinstituted the exercises that the therapist had shown me. What does all this mean? Well if you read below, it apparently means that I could fall into the 40% of people who still have chronic pain 2 years after surgery. Of course, to keep it in perspective, I am only 8 months from my surgery. We are cancer survivors so I guess we all probably determine that we will have to put up with the pain; we are alive afterall. But what does this say about our cancer treatments and quality of life afterwards? There is certainly room for improvement. I do feel that the medical profession tends to ignore this problem.

Read the following summary of the study. Hit Read More