Thursday, May 27, 2010

Charity and -- Charity....

Wednesday night I went to a baseball game - for charity....

It was a baseball game that benefitted charity....

And it was a baseball game that, by my attending, was charity....

It was a Brewers game up in Milwaukee... Great stadium.... Not my team....

Leave it to Milwaukee to send off a bunch of flaming rockets in a domed stadium.... I'm not sure that thats 100% safe - especially when they opened the dome AFTER they sent the FIREworks up (note on word FIRE)
This is the weird mascot the Brewers have. I don't even know what it is -- a blonde guy who probably makes beer? Anyways - apparently, at some point in the game, which is actually the beginning, he get really excited and goes down this slide. I don't know that anyone even noticed. The rest of the night, he just made me nervous by pacing up and down his little clubhouse balcony.... Chicago doesn't have a silly mascot running around - we're too much on the edge of our seats to do anything but watch the actual GAME.

I love that they encourage you to rat on each other...

They've got to make it as comfortable as possible for those Brewers fans... its apparently what gets them out as I really didn't hear that much cheering from the fans...

I did hear cheering from my friend, Kim, as she looked right down on top of the Astros dugout and screamed, continually and loudly, "GO CHICAGO! CUBS!" Welcome those southerners to the midwest :)

And here is, apparently, another highlight of the game -- the weiner race... There's a Bratwurst, a Polish sausage, a hot dog a Chirizo and an Italian sausage.... They all run from one point to another ... I don't know why... I don't know who cares....

But, I got to hang out with a bunch of my fellow-Cubs-fans friends so -- it was a great night for charity!

What Did You Miss?

So - I know that you all think that after my Baltimore trip, the rest of the week went south....

Contrary.... it was quite busy!

What did you miss???

Well -- if anyone has been in my car in the "between months" you know that it can get FILTHY, thanks to Mr Calvin. It was caked on this time, so I designated a day to drop off my car at the detail place. Its so clean when I pick it up, that I've literally slipped off the seats because they so shiny and polished. My feet are slippery to walk on after I have them on the carpet and then plop them on the ground. So worth it!

I did this because my friend, Jodi, from Campus Crusade in Hungary came on the same day to stay the weekend and do some presentations. I had some friends over on Friday night and we met with another friend on Saturday night and then Sunday was packed with presentations in Sunday School and I had a group of people over for lunch in the afternoon. Busy -- but that car was clean.

My other commitment was a bridal shower for a friend that I've known since her freshman year in high school. She's getting married in June and they had this cute little shower for her on Saturday.

The only "game" they really played was they put out a bunch of cooking/baking stuff and told Heather she had to make a cake from scratch - no recipe. She doesn't cook at all so, everything from measurements to oven and timing was all a guess with her. She actually did quite well and surprised us all with a cake that didn't taste half bad -- actually, it didn't really taste at all, so I suppose that was a good thing for her :)

And this will be the highlight of my summer -- thank goodness I didn't plan to really go anywhere until October.... I have a litany of wedding and baby shower, wedding, graduation and open house invites litered throughout the summer. I can't believe how many I have. Its like I went through this LONG spurt of never having a wedding to a time where, almost every weekend, I have something going on. At least they're all people I love and not ones that I barely know :)

And now you're updated with last week!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

No Picts Here!

I flew into Baltimore last night to work the day in the area. We covered our first hospital, Johns Hopkins in Columbia, MD. Then we picked up another colleague and headed into D.C.

Our primary stop was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Its always such an interesting place to go. Its HUGE and its so spotlessly clean and shiny. Its crazy!

When we first walked on base, they had all these tables set up on the lawn and tons of soliders were going to each table. Both of the reps I worked with are ex military (one Army and one Navy). They said they do these educational fairs that you have to go to in order to update and keep your stats current. The one that we were watching had something to do with weaponary as they had their rifles out. It looked like, disassembly and assembly. It was just weird seeing these table set up all over the lawn.

They're actually in the process of closing Walter Reed. Its actually supposed to be a benefit - its huge now, but it will increase in size.

Here's the kunundrum.... They're transfering the whole ARMY facitliy of Walter Reed to the NAVY facility at Bethesda. Both the Army and Navy will be working side by side and functioning from the same facility. Weird! The crappy thing is that, the area I work with in Sterile Processing/Decontamination is a department that needs tons of space for processing and storage. They have 2000 sets (which mean containers the size of about 3 shoeboxes put side by side - filled with instruments for a specific type of case such as a hysterectomy or a gall bladder removal. Sometimes, as specific case may have more than one set used for the same procedure, such as Orthopedic cases which can sometimes have up to 4 or 5 containers for one case!). So - the room they have all these sets stored in is HUGE - it has to be. But, moving to Bethesda, the size of the room decreases to half what they have now - AND they have to combine their sets wtih Bethesdas. Which probably means that a lot of sets will still be stored at Walter Reed and then will have to be transported to Bethesda when needed - which is not the most ideal situation at all!

Here's the other thing I learned. At hospitals, they'll combine military and civilian employees. The philosophy is that military transfer so often, that some sense of consistency needs to be there because there is so much information that needs to be retained.

The one guy that I worked with today who was in the Navy was actually a surgical tech before he was a sales rep. A good portion of his service time was, in fact, spent on the Comfort... If you go back a month or so in my blog, I have the article on the Comfort which was from the Hemispheres magazine. If you haven't read it yet, do so because its such an interesting thing!

The Comfort anchors in MD when its back in the states so, one of these days, if its there when I'm there, I'd LOVE to see it! Stay tuned :)

That was the interesting portion of my day -- the rest -- not so much. But, I did have a good day! :) I'm sitting at the airport right now waiting to get my 7:29 pm flight home!

By the way -- no picts for today as I didn't DARE try to take one on a military hospital base like Walter Reed!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Catch Up - Minneapolis

So, Wednesday afternoon I took off for the Twin Cities for one of my really large accounts up there. Thursday morning I went in to take care of some things... the hotel I stayed at put me over the bridge that, several years ago, had collapsed. You can't really see it, but the rebuilt one is pretty utilitarian. The second picture shows the older bridges that are kind of pretty. Bridges, bridges all over the place!

After I finished up, my two other accounts fell through for the day so I decided to actually drive up by Grand Rapids to see my good old buddy (sister separated at birth) Melissa, aka, Melnolium.

Heres another tidbit... Grand Rapids is Judy Garland's hometown -- GR's claim to fame! So - the school that she went to is this museum/shop thing and the sidewalks on either side of the place are - you guessed it -- yellow brick roads.

I got up to Grand Rapids in time for dinner so Mel got a babysitter for Jack and then Miss Emily, Mel and Mel's "hot, eye candy" husband (as he's been termed by his co-employees) headed out to a log cabin in the boonies for some just caught walleye!

Friday morning, I headed home at like 7:30 a.m. ... Trip was too short!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Another Rescue

Yesterday, we hired a company to come and take down three dead oak trees in the yard and a bunch of other big tree limbs that were dead as well. They did a great job and it took them one full day to take everything down and clean pretty much everything up. Today, they came with a big truck with a big claw lift on the back and picked up all of the trees that they had cut down. Pretty impressive work and now we feel a little safer in the house without three dead trees hanging precariously over the roof.

When I got back to the house yesterday evening, I was walking around scoping out the work they had done and I suddenly heard this high pitched squealing. I kind of looked around and then I wandered into the garden and, amongst my wildly sprouting mint, I saw these two little baby racoons. One was huddled under the other and the one on top was loudly crying. It was pitiful. Thank goodness, because of the Invisible Fence, the dogs didn't even come near them - Calvin would have had a blast "playing" with them.
Anyways - I suppose that they were in one of the trees and I kind of think the mother may have gotten killed or something - one section of one of the trees they took away was high interest to Calvin and he was almost trying to climb inside of it.

I had called the animal hospital that I had taken the cardinal to before - they work with wildlife. The woman told me that I should just leave them because the mom would probably come back. I didn't feel good about it, I didn't think the mother would come back, but I left them. This morning, I ran out there quickly before I left and didn't see them so I was hopeful.
But, tonight when I got home, I was over by the garden again and I heard more squealing coming from a big patch of iris and wild onion leaves. I couldn't see in at all, but I heard it. So, I begged one of my nephews to come over and he helped me retrieve one of the racoons. We couldn't find the second one anywhere and I was feeling pretty terrible as I'm sure it didn't survive. Something probably got it or it wandered off. Who knows.

I did get a hold of a woman who does wildlife rescue and she had someone come over and pick up the baby. She had asked us to get the racoon out and dry it off with a towel and try to keep it warm. Thank goodness, my sister had just seen her heat lamp from when her dog had puppies. We got a big tote box and put the light over it and put the racoon in where it cried pitifullly for a while and then kind of fell asleep.

The woman who picked the racoon up said she was just ready to do the feeding for the racoons so he was coming at a good time -- I guess she had like 20 of them at home..... She gets them to a certain point and then has a release program for them somewhere. I was just thankful that at least it will probably be okay for one of them.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Seiko Comes From Japan

This past week, my friend Seiko came from Japan. She lives a few hours outside of Tokyo and has been wanting to come back to the states to get her graduate degree in counselling. When I was there last year, she was talking about going back to California and I mentioned Trinity International University in Bannockburn to her. She looked into it and was interested enough to make the trek to come and visit the campus. She was there for classes on Thursday and loved it. I had to work at Northwestern on Friday so I brought her downtown Chicago with me and she wandered around until I met up with her later and showed her some city sights.

She loved the area and the school and commented how people are so much more friendly here than in CA. She needs to retake the TOEFLs and then get all the rest of her application in if she ends up feeling led to come. I'm praying she does :)

Here are some picts from her visit.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

When In San Diego - Eat Seafood!

This spot is for everyone out there who actually looks at my blog. I couldn't let you all think that I'm such a boring person that I came all the way to San Diego and sat in a conference hall and hotel for 4 days. Even though I have a 6:18 a.m. flight tomorrow, I decided to go down by the harbor and eat at a seafood place. The restaurant was right by all of the navy ships and the Midway was anchored there - its a museum now. The pier around it had all this WWII art in sculpture form - very interesting. I love the picture above - sometimes I can get good ones with my IPhone. I love how he's just sitting looking across the water at all the ships that are in for repair before they head back out for the military.

Put Yourself In Someone Else's Shoes

I had some time between meetings and my toes were looking quite pitiful. The last polish I had is ready to just come off in a whole toenail shape. My friend Seiko is coming in from japan as soon as I get home and so I won't have time to get them repaired at home.

So, I've taken my free time to accomplish this chore as there is a salon right down from my hotel.

I'm sitting here in the Mani pedi section of the salon and there's an older woman having her nails done. She's got a French accent and is giving her manicurist the recipe for ratatouille.

Im noticing that her back is pretty rounded. Since moms bout with her fracture, I'm more aware of osteoperosis now. Seeing this womans back made me wonder about her childhood and how she grew up and what she might have not had and how her life has probably changed. I can look at her and tell that she lived in France during the war. She's at least 70 if not even 80. It's just interesting to think of what she may have seen and lived through and how she got here.

Sometimes it's interesting to imagine what roads other people have walked on...

Monday, May 3, 2010

What You Can Learn From A Giraffe

The keynote speaker today was John Nance. Here's his biography link -- you'll probably actually recognize him once you read his bio...

His presentation was actually excellent.... just thought I'd share a little YOU TUBE clip her played. We were laughing pretty hard.... Have fun!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Life In A Bouffant

So I'm here at the annual IAHCSMM convention (International Association of Hospital Central Sterile and Materials Management). There were some really great sessions today. I respect the people who come here so much because they give the time and credit to their profession to keep on learning and to keep us, as patients, safe when we have a procedure at their hospital.

Here's the crazy thing. So, I work all over the country - from Maine to California. I've met a bazillion people who work in the CS department and the OR. Usually, when I meet these people, I'm gowned up in scrubs and/or bunny suit with a bouffant on. AND - my meetings are always with people in bouffants. SO - when we come to these conventions, we all look at each other and say "HI" with recognition in our voices but we're trying to inconspicuously move our eyes down to their name badges. And then, when we actually place each other, we're in awe because we totally don't recognize each other with actual hair and street clothes. Too Funny...
Ate in Old Town tonight at a, surprise surprise, Mexican restaurant that was pretty good. We meant to head someplace else but the whole downtown was closed off because of some street fair so we just had to follow roads until we found parking, which happened to be in a restaurant parking lot. Had a crab and lobster enchilada.... YUM! Took a potential customer with and we had a very pleasant evening as she's a woman and is younger and from MI so we had a good conversation just on a personal level.

Oh - thought I'd share a picture of a bed of poppies that I passed while walking to the convention center this morning. Don't see many poppies around us so they were a pretty change.

Weekend Blech

Blech - so here it is Saturday evening, and I've just landed, by myself, in San Diego. I'll be here for 5 nights for a conference. The conference runs from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. every evening. And then, several of those evenings, I have dinner meetings with clients and potential clients.

I thought the pic was kind of cool with the setting sun lighting up the jet engine and the snow capped mountains below.

But, enough of that snow capped stuff -- hello to the beach -- well, I think its there, but who knows if I'll see it....