Word and Image

Archive for March, 2014

Harness Racing

_DSC6105You bet?! It’s a big money maker for the organizers. The riders are coming from far and away to compete. The advantage for me is that no one seemed to know what to do with me. I just wandered all over, along the rail, in the infield, in the paddock and was never really prevented from getting up close. Everyone ignored me. Later I found out you can’t do any of this. No one from the audience is allowed in the staging area. But a big camera and looking like you belong can go a long way. I had a great time all along the rail in the infield. With all this freedom to roam, I was stuck trying to get the best action shot. You do your best. Unlike stock cars, there were no crashes, at least while I watched.


Greased Pig

_DSC6160It’s another event I came across at one of the Maine County Fairs. Throw a series of pigs into a pen and let kids try to catch one. Each kid gets a bag and the mission is to put a piglet into the bag. It’s pretty chaotic. Everybody wins. There are enough piglets, one for each kid. Cute? This is a lot of piglets all crowded around to feed from mama. They make their money/profit on the lottery to pick which kids get into the pen. I’ve heard of greased pig contests ….


Bellydancing – Go With It

_DSC6514I’ve been two years in the Middle East and I’ve not seen belly dancing. Where? Maine again… those county fairs have some crazy entertainment. There is a class put on by an authentic instructor. They did a few exhibitions. And I took the opportunity to get some images when I saw the demo class on the schedule. I can’t say I knew what to expect so it’s impossible to be critical. After you grab the usual group photos, you look for something more. What else? … a belly!_DSC6448I am told that this is one of the most religiously  conservative cultures here. So unless you get behind the curtains (as in Victorian England) you ain’t gonna be seeing any bellies anytime soon. There are no illicit drugs and no alcohol. (so I’m told, again) A  pre-op patient nervously told me he was an alcoholic. How many? …. two glasses of wine a night. Yeah! So far no sighting of any belly dancing round these parts in the Middle East.

One more story – we were recently cautioned about examining female patients inappropriately. This would be routine physical examination. To be sure we could do this by remote control or perhaps have the patients draw pictures for us. It was suggested that we don’t touch them. And when I operate on their back (ass right below, but discretely covered) should I keep my eyes covered as well. These are some laughable moments. But I certainly do not want to a guest of the local constabulary.

When I work out in the gym and pool at the hospital, the men’s locker room is constantly filled with women (all covered in abayas) traipsing through to wash hands or adjust some facial problem. Hey! It’s a men’s locker room! The standards do not swing both ways.

There’s also a medical school not far from here with two buildings labeled ‘men’ and ‘women.’ I imagine that the education is highly restricted and probably comical. But once again… go for it!

 


Bullriding

_DSC6592http://rodeo.about.com/od/bullridingfaq/f/bullbucking.htm

Nothing is done to intentionally hurt the bucking stock.
This includes binding of testicles (a popular lie spread by certain groups against rodeo), drugging, beating, burning, etc.

It’s written in “bold” on the website. Where did I see this? In Maine in the autumn of 2007 at a county fair… It was a serious competition for points. It was not a mega event. It occurred on a very chilly evening in the dark, a highlight of the evening’s activity.

I arrived early to ‘scope out the venue and pick the best place from which to get photographs. I brought a flash expecting to need the extra light. I was really to far away to be in an ideal position. At the earlier hour of sunset the bulls were peacefully standing in the coral, perfectly docile and crowded together. To look at the bulls you would never consider them to be a ton of angry bucking muscle.

_DSC6594If you look closely there are two ropes. The first is for the rider to hold dearly hoping to make 8 seconds and get a score for a ride. The rope wrapped around the bull behind the rider is (not?) attached to the testicles (remember it’s bulls not cows). Whatever the rope does it certainly gets the bull’s attention. Riders are thrown and they are injured. This means an ambulance is on standby. Some of the riders now wear flak vests and crash helmets. It’s not too western looking but it’s a bit more protective. Stomping usually doesn’t involve head injury, mostly broken bones. I make this assumption because, by my estimation, access to a competent neurosurgeon is not high on the priority list. But please keep in mind no animals were hurt in the making of these images.

 


Gracious Home

_DSC0728If I had my choice of home styles this home would be right up there. it’s in Harrison Maine nearby to the Camp Pinecliffe that J attended. We passed the house on a backroad and then I never saw it again until I passed by in my random wandering one day. It was unexpected that I would find it again. But then again there aren’t too many ways in and out of the area. I like the roofline. At this point I think that there aren’t enough windows and sunlight. The stone wall is a great touch. Overall it’s a memorable home architecturally.

As time has gone by there have been many homes I have admired. I suppose there are the memories of the car ride to Maine and the bittersweet goodbye to your kid for the summer. Lisa explained sending the kids to camp would make it easier when it was time for them to leave home for college. It worked too well. They left and lived in Africa and South America for a while. I missed them then and did when they were a continent away.


Right Place… Right Moment

Patient__2014-02-17-14-54-05-577This is an intraoperative image taken through the operating microscope. The scale of magnification would be to look at your thumbnail and imagine this is the field of view. It’s small and you can’t do this without high magnification and sufficient light. The titanium clip has taken the aneurysm out of the circulation. In the view (right to left) are the optic nerve, carotid artery, clip, aneurysm, and third nerve. We saw the other critical structures necessary to be sure the aneurysm was gone and no vascular compromise had occurred.

Emergencies have a way of occurring at odd times. I was busy on another project and was called by my clinic nurse. One of the clinic nurses, very well known and well regarded by the staff, had collapsed with a sudden ictus. She was immediately resuscitated and taken to the CCU. The diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage from a cerebral aneurysm was made after a series of examinations. She was in coma. Her vital signs were extremely labile with the blood pressure so high as to invite another hemorrhage. The prognosis was grim. Nurses and fellow surgeons expressed concern to me about her condition. While everyone hoovered as a supportive audience no one else could really help me in the decision-making and the surgery. I kept to the plan I formulated as information became known. I facilitated and supervised the diagnostic tests. Two operations were performed. The second was a craniotomy in which the aneurysm was isolated and the cerebral circulation protected. The danger lay in finding out if the aneurysm was so weak after the initial rupture that it would let go again during surgery and the patient could bleed to death in the operating room. The operation turned out well from the technical standpoint. It was performed without any exciting intracranial events. For now prognosis for her eventual recovery from the stroke is unknown. It will be many months before we will see the extent of the recovery.

The collapse occurred in front of medical staff who saved her life by timely resuscitation. Otherwise I doubt she would have survived the initial insult. For that I’m thankful. It was the right place and from that moment the right treatment has at least saved her life. Everything fell into place on this particular day in order for this to happen.


Small Plane, Why You Tell The Truth

1120 09 JuliaThis reminds me that traveling with a pregnant woman and a toddler from island to island can be a story by itself. We were in Honolulu transferring to an airplane for Kauai. I expected a twin-engine passenger jet, you know, the big one. As we pulled up to the airport they asked for our weight, which should have been the big clue. I told them mine and thought nothing more until we boarded a small twin engine airplane (12 passengers). Lisa was sweating profusely and clearly agitated. I thought that this was the pregnancy and corralling J. No, she tearfully cried as the doors closed, “I lied about my weight!” “So what it’s only a few pounds,” I said reassuringly. She wailed it was wrong by a whole lot more than …. Well, we weren’t done. The plane taxied behind a big ass regular passenger jet on the take off line. I could look out the forward window along with the pilots.  They were conferring and then taxied back to the gate for some repair. I thought we would switch planes (bigger) and the weight thing would be solved. Nope. We got on board the same plane, this time without the co-pilot (what did he know and why did he leave? maybe Lisa’s weight?). Oh great! I was sitting close enough to see the gauges – including gas, the only one I could understand. We were at 1/8 in one tank and less in the other. It’s ok in a car but I thought it was a bit reckless in a plane. We took off into a rain storm, struggled to maintain heading and altitude, and landed by diving out of the clouds descending abruptly to the tarmac. The pilot waited till the luggage was off and then took off again without refueling. I’m glad I wasn’t on the return flight and out of gas. At the car rental counter I asked for directions to the hotel and was told to go out and turn right. Ha ha! The hotel was steps to the right of the airport entrance.1115 33 Sunset


Chase

1112 11 Yvonne ChengYvonne Chang. Lisa saw her work on Kauai. Then we tracked her down as we went from island to island and finally met her in Honolulu where we had started. She introduced me to Asian pears. Lisa commissioned her to do a batick. We haven’t purchased many original art works. But this was one time. It was kind of an interesting adventure to go from place to place and eventually find and meet the artist. Most other occasions you buy the work or a print but never meet the artist. It’s not the same to get a little printed bio. Sometimes I’m amazed by my own stupidity. I never did take a picture of her or her studio.1120 01 Yvonne ChengWe have an ink and a batick, just not these, which I took as a reference for what Lisa liked and wanted. Note to self: it would have been nice if you had a picture of the artist. Duh?changFor purity, I found this photo on the internet. I’m glad she’s still in the news.

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Dec/11/il/FP612110302.html


Napali Coast

 

1114 26 Julia VictorHere’s what not to do to your family. Kauai – the Napali coast is famous for it’s cliffs. It is really a sight to see from water or from a helicopter. Lisa’s pregnant with David on this trip. And J suffers from being car sick, as in throwing up. She’s good about it, we get a warning, “Mommy!” and in less than a second she “hurls.” Well, at least she warns you. 1114 23 Julia Lisa(Please note: no big fat! pregnant belly in the picture – Politically Correct – but David [no name yet] is there.)

We’d been camped at the hotel on the beach and I got the itch to drive over to the Napali overlook which was clear for a few minutes about everyday at noon. Then it would cloud over again. Into the car, raining, twisting road, and driving a little fast to get there. J is in her car seat in the back. Lisa is riding shotgun. I pull into the foggy parking lot, no parking spots, until I see one just as I went past it. Stop short, back up, stop again and start to park. The sudden change in directions resulted in pregnant wife (with morning sickness, it’s a boy – worse) and car sick prone daughter both throwing up simultaneously. They did not get out to see the view (there wasn’t one – foggy). I drove home with the windows open and no one would talk to me.


Secret Friend

2046 19 David Tower of LondonThis lasted just one trip. Lisa’s fortieth, we were in London. I took her (and kids) – surprise. David brought a stuffed pig. He talked to it and showed it around the town. After we got back I never saw him talk to the pig again. Hey? It’s cool!2046 32 David Lisa Julia Tower of London


Thanksgiving Turkey

1126 12 Bill JuliaIt took a little longer to find this shot. But my database came through again. I have thousands upon thousands of subject labeled Bill. And unless I used turkey or Thanksgiving as a key word… or Bill’s house or Lila’s house, this was going to be a long search. I got it from Thanksgiving and J’s approximate age. The visual joke here is that the turkey and J are about the same size and the turkey weighs more. Some jokes whether good or bad linger longer than others.


Sunrise

0939 31 DawnNo dates (years) please! As Jack Benny said, “39 years old.”

This is one I will not forget… ever. It was the sunrise of July 31. We’d (Lisa) been up all night long. Remember the photos at labor and delivery. This was the view overlooking the East River at dawn from NYU, University Hospital. I’ve been up early plenty of times. And I’ve been bleary and weary because of a bad night on call. But this dawn was pretty special. Of course I didn’t know labor would go from the night before, all day, and into the early morning of August 1. And of course this was the worst time to be delivering at a teaching hospital, even if it was my hospital. All the new students, interns, and residents just came on board on July 1. So it’s kind of like clowns on parade. No offense, I was once one of them. It just that it’s different when it’s your wife and first child. When David was born the obstetrician who showed up was named Ida. Ah, I exclaimed at 4AM, “I always wanted to name my kid Ida.” This got me a withering look from this bleary eyed doctor. Who names their kid Ida? “You know Ida as in Ida Ho.” Old joke. Bad joke. Bad timing.

As long as we’re talking names, David would have been Ivan… not a chance. But I almost named him Otto. I just liked the sound and nearly pulled it off until Lisa ripped the name paper from my hand as I bent to fill in his name. Four years later David and I had a conversation in which I told him my wish to name him Otto. “Just between us… when we’re alone… you mind if I call you Otto?” Four year old David sat for a moment, pondered seriously, and said, “But Dad, my name’s David.” That was the end of that.


OK, I Found It

0938 08 Kim Bassinger JuliaI found it. I just didn’t know if I had scanned this slide. You would think that I would have kept this somewhere prominently. Nope! J is now teaching in LA and the other day ‘Grandmother’ came to pick up one of the kids. Goldie Hawn! J was tongue tied.

As I said they were making “9 and ½ Weeks” when J was born. Shortly afterward we got a photo op with Kim Bassinger. I had an even closer experience the night after J was born. I had just gotten off the elevator when someone popped out and dragged me into the neighboring apartment. “Here, check her knee!” Kim was on the sofa clad in a white slip and fishnet stockings. She had feigned injury to stop filming during a scene. And here I was practicing outside my specialty examining a very shapely leg… oops knee. Déjà vu… “Seven Year Itch?” “Nothing wrong… get an orthopedic surgeon here first thing in the morning!” And I was ushered out. Ah, the things that happen when you’re in a certain place at a certain time. Well, my daughter had her star moment very early on. (Kim and I don’t stay in touch.)

 


Backyard Pool

1546 25 6BThis is a Manhattan backyard of my kids experience. It was weird because we had the roof rights and took advantage. We finally got the deck built a few years after Kim Bassinger made “9 and ½ Weeks,” the movie in our building. The crew was supposed to build a deck for us. Then it came to giving us the money to build a deck. But it was a few years later before the tar roof was covered.1126 10 6B


St Patrick’s

_DSC3130 copyIt’s a big event in NYC. Everyone is Irish for a day, especially the politicians. I was at a Columbus Day parade a few years back and Hilary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo were marching with their own placard and flag-waving crowd in the background so the publicity shots would seem to show an enthusiastic and supportive crowd. It’s something the media ignores and makes me think that news is made up for TV. This year Mayor de Blasio will skip the parade because it discriminates against gays. I went for the color and the bagpipes. Politics and religion is for another discussion. No matter where you look, green is the color. I wasn’t wearing green and wasn’t marching for any cause except to see the spectacle.


Travelogue

1555 24 Julia DavidI’ve mentioned the Tyler Place. It was idyllic. At least my pictures say so. I hope that the memory my kids have is similar to the photos. As J told me when she was old enough for me to query. “I have seen the photos and the videos. So I know I was there. I just don’t know if it is my memory or whether it is the media show I remember. Sometimes I think that Photoshop and some generic background pasting would have cost me less. But a kid with a stick… priceless.1555 21 Julia David

1555 09 Julia

1555 10 DavidSince early memories are sketchy until around four years of age, maybe I should have kept them hidden away. Ah, but they did learn to ski before that. So even if you don’t remember how you learned, isn’t it wonderful to feel like you’ve been doing it all your life?


Fog

1817 31 MaineParaphrasing what Forest Gump said, ‘(fog) is like a box of chocolate. You never know what you’re gonna get.’ It is such a subtle thing to shoot fog. Like rainbows the effect is ephemeral. And back when it was film, you would not know what you had until the moment was long gone. As a kid I rode to have transportation around the neighborhood. At this point in my life it was for the scenery that changed faster than running. And later biking would be for fitness. We were on our one and only guided bike tour in Maine. The kids were dropped off in camp. And here was that foggy morning….Lubec, Maine.


Tennis Lessons

1816 23 DavidTo this I say to my kids, “Thank goodness you mother never had you in ballet class.” I was, and also in tap dancing. It didn’t last long.1816 12 Julia tennis And the tennis lessons lasted for a few weeks one summer. But for Manny my Sports Illustrated mentor, here’s where I got my start. The key in tennis photography as Manny taught me is to get the ball, the racquet, and the players expression in the same frame especially as the ball is on the racquet. It was a few lessons later (about 20 years) that I got my call to the US Open Tennis Championship. Ready? You bet!_DSC1256 copy

Like Walter Mitty, I had two magical experiences as a Sports Illustrated photographer (credentialed!) shooting the semis and the finals. Wow! And thanks Manny!


For Susan

1811 34 Lisa spoonsWhat do grown-ups do at night after the kids are sent to bed? It’s a family resort, the Tyler Place in Vermont. Lisa and Kevin (Susan’s husband) are playing a game called ‘spit.’ I’ve never played it. We also played spoons, a game that Kathy taught us. It was competitive, very, and there were a lot of laughs because in the end everyone is a winner. We had to play in a room far away from the kids. It’s kind of like the secret life of grown-ups acting like kids. And now all of our kids are grown-ups with kids of their own, which makes this a young picture of a bunch of old grandparents.


Camel Ride

1805 30 Julia DavidTo my kids: I bet you don’t remember this.

We didn’t go to the Bronx Zoo too often. But once upon a time we went and the kids took a camel ride. If you think about it (as I am right now), it’s kind of silly. Collectively, J, David and myself don’t remember this at all (I bet – see above). Otherwise somebody should have spoken up when they were here in December. I got the picture; they don’t remember. Who’s old now?


Marathon Aftermath

julia marathon 4Well, the unofficial official time is in… J did very well in her age group, among females, and overall (better than 75%) among all racers. The top woman in her age group was one of the top finishers in 2hrs 25min. The next woman after that was 2hr 43 and then 3 hrs. Except for the first two women everyone was in the range of 3 hrs and up. Competitive? Well J finished better than 80% of the other women in her age group. Lisa sent video. She needs work as a videographer. J was on screen about a second and a half.

The finish line video is out also. Amazing!! In this day and age everything is recorded and you can get access on the internet. They had a two camera angle setup and you can look up your video based on finish time. It’s Los Angeles – Hollywood – but this ain’t a Hollywood work of art. I know my daughter and couldn’t pick her out till I looked at the video about 4 times. But since I’m accessing this information from halfway across the world, hey, not too shabby!

The next thing are the race pictures but no doubt screen saving an image or two will trigger all sorts of copyright problems.

Am I still competitive? Well the other day in the pool, the training coach goaded us into a short sprint. I got touched out by a colleague 20 years younger and was pissed.

When I was a senior resident, my chief, Dr Ransohoff, arrived at the hospital late one weekend night. He had traveled back from the Hamptons having injured his quad muscle in a footrace in a parking lot outside a restaurant. I didn’t know from quad injuries and it was a strange feeling to be examining my boss’s quad as he dropped his pants in front of me so I could check him. All the while his disapproving wife was in the background making the sounds of, “I told you so.” Come to think of it, I’m about that age now. But don’t worry, I’ll not be dropping my pants for an exam anytime soon.

Me running? I never did like distance running though the coaches all told me that my build was not for sprinting (which I preferred).

J, it seems has found her niche. She did middle distance in high school but was not a fan of distance running either.

David was not a competitive athlete but has completed the NYC triathlon which is no minor feat. I was surprised at his skills in swim, bike, and run.

No couch potatoes, these kids of mine. Did I mention I’m proud of them both?

 

 


Beach

1805 35 Jane Julia DavidI’m still spinning the slide archive for old slide memories. I’m old enough to vaguely remember this day at the beach. But I definitely don’t remember the slide. So I admit to being old now. Cousin Jane is there with David and J. Too many slides (archive) and not enough memory (me).


Stairway

1804 06 JuliaWe don’t live here. But J was doing a little dance on the steps. What else is there to say. Good shot. I got that foot inches above the step so it’s technically an action shot too.


LA Marathon

marathonMarathon Sunday Los Angeles, TODAY. J did it! The internet is great and wonderful. They gave me updates every 10K. And I could watch the feed on Los Angeles TV. Of course, they concentrated on the winners. And I was in contact with the family halfway across the world. I did remind them that the daylight savings time kicked in overnight. Fortunately J made it to the start on time. Right now as of this post, the news is fresh within the hour I was notified that she finished. I still have to wait to speak with her.

But it’s still quite an accomplishment. And I can honestly say that J has done something that I would never try myself. It’s nice when your kids surpass you. Need I say more?

PS – Spoke with her. She’s injury free but tired. There are hills you can’t see on TV (everything looks flat). At mile 21 everyone bonks and she did as well, almost walked. But then at the finish she said it would be embarrassing to be walking so she was running. Her time is average at 4 and 1/2 hours among all marathon (average human, male or female) runners in general (very nice!). But keep in mind that the winners were done in a little over 2 hours which is faster than I can ride my bike (just about). So that is a bit humbling to me.