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Archive for March, 2017


Yes, before it was email, it was food. There are spam festivals. Really! The Koreans love the stuff. I ate it as a kid. Slice it and pan fry it covered in sugar. Read the label. Do it. Did you notice the calorie count? Did you notice you are eating pure fat? “Lite?” How? Oh really, seriously, make it lite and it won’t kill you? Read the label on processed sardines. Repeat after me, I will read the label and then put the can back on the shelf where I found it. Fat. It’s about as appetizing as my email spam.



Sometimes I shoot through the car window. Not a great idea I admit. We’re not talking museum exhibition here. Another day another sunset… I like blue sky days. But sunsets are the ones that get all the attention. Yes kids, don’t try this while driving. Do what I say, not what I did.


Texas Roadhouse

You can’t go back. It’s interesting. There is a plethora of fast food chains in the USA. This one was started in Indiana. I found this restaurant driving through Maryland. I ate in one for the first time in Jeddah. Go figure. Comparison? Yeah, the Filipinos (Jeddah) can cook better than their American chain immigrant counterparts. That is to plainly say, the food was prepared better in Jeddah. Maybe it’s just too plain and tired in the USA. I imagine it the same reason they fire the cast of Broadway show and start over. It helps to be new and scared. Familiarity becomes lazy and the food slips quickly into mediocrity. Trust me, the idea is good. But the food was less than expertly prepared to order. It’s hard to do soggy fries. They did. I’m not complaining. Macaroni Grill had the same tiredness. It’s good to know I should avoid the American chain restaurants. And if I go then I know not to be disappointed.



Technically he’s not a fish. Ugly. Very. Almost spooky. He was under a plastic football helmet in a pet store. He was minding his own business. Hermit crab? A pet? Gee, that’s exciting.

No Stopping


I’m lazy. I don’t stop and set up a tripod and shoot a glorious sunset. Life moves too fast. And, I am not inclined to stop to smell the roses. Sorry. But I keep a camera around and shoot something almost every day. Sunset in the car, it seems I am always going somewhere around sunset time. Often as not wires or other obstructions obscure the image. Civilization. Digital images are simply amazing. You could never and probably would never try any of this with a film camera. And the resolution is also amazing. Shoot, “amazing” three times in one post.


Jets fly at an average altitude of more than 35,000 feet. So that would be close to 7 miles above the ground. Check out the wings and the engines. So, I’m looking up. I’ve spend plenty of time looking down. I’m too small to be seen by anyone from above. It gives you pause to see how you stand in the world.


Turkish. It’s a restaurant in Delaware. You probably won’t try it. So, I won’t bother to tell you an exact location. I have not missed Middle Eastern food since I left Jeddah. But… well, where is there a place for kabobs? Aha! The internet knows all. It was open and authentic…pretty much. It was like the place I liked in NYC so well. Family run and cordial, they have belly dancing once a month. It sounds like a plan. Kabobs were good. I had sigara borek which was spelled cigarette borek. Don’t worry if you have never had it. But it’s good and a staple. Falafel, that too, is standard stuff. It is a lot less expensive in Jeddah. But it’s a lot more of pain to get to Jeddah these days. Imagine that, authentic Turkish food in Delaware. The authentic Vietnamese, Asian fusion place, closed this winter. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you don’t.

Do you know why you lost?


Clueless! 17% approved your Republican bill. That would be… among all Americans. Duh! Your own Republican majority failed to pass a bill they have pushed for seven straight years. Failure? Nope, it’s a Democratic plot to continue to foist Obamacare on the unsuspecting American voters. Better yet, Ben Carson, MD, the preeminent neurosurgeon and now cabinet member stated that he could implant an electrode in your brain and you would recite word for word from any book you read decades ago. Right! I’m a neurosurgeon too. It ain’t happening in his dreams. But maybe he should offer POTUS a quick fix. It ain’t hard. And Ivanka? Skiing in Aspen with her kids on break. Yeah, the kids are more important than 24 million Americans about to lose health care. I get it. (see first word here today)

If you believe I am gloating, please see the previous parenthetical phrase…

Do You Miss It?


Do you miss my fish stories? None since last September, I’m stretching for things. I used to talk about old pics, then current pics, and now it’s an eclectic mix of what’s around that triggers another yarn. I used to live in NYC too. There, you were in the midst of everything. Nowadays everything flies over me. See the contrails. I have to say that these days I do a lot of nothing and it fills my day. I don’t have time lately to work. I don’t miss the news either. If you just get the summary once a day, it’s more than enough. I watched CNN and MSNBC for the first time since the election. It’s not fake news but the announcer was actually arguing with one of his guests. When did we cross over from news to opinion? The hits keep coming. Trump 2: travel ban 0. It’s Christians in the coliseum again. Reality politics, stay tuned, blink and you will miss it. Not me.

Chicken Soup


It makes you better from whatever ails you. ‘Wish everything were so easy and straightforward. But it works. My version was made from my head, no recipe. I got back a pot made from a recipe. It all works. Everyone felt better.



There are ladies. Elle. Prim, proper, she stands aloof from the others in our house. She does not cavort nor unravel yarn. She’s loving on her terms. We are hers. She has the “it” factor. Yup… in charge.




I have to say that digital photography is fascinating. I keep my camera on the dashboard at the ready. And the camera shoots in the dark from a moving vehicle. And it focuses in fog which is ephemeral and has no sharp edge upon which to focus. I can’t say how this all comes about. I just aim and shoot in the general direction and get what I get. Of course, there is a bit more to having experience and having experimented in the past. But, it’s still one part savvy and ninety nine percent luck.


Please Rewind

While the cat’s away. Angels. Nope. While we sleep the cats play. They especially like the yarn. Which is to say, they love to unravel it. They hold a ball in their teeth and run about hither and yon. The unraveling is awesome to behold. You would laugh. I do. Yeah, I wind it up each morning. Fool that I am, we play our roles in the game. Do they know what they are doing? I think that I do. Foolish me.

Sunset Two Ways


Light at dusk changes so quickly. In a moment the mood shifts dramatically. And it never looks like this again. Sure, there’s a sunset everyday. But, it always will be different from today. I feel wistful. And I keep shooting each time I see a sunset.



I found some lichen. It was a macro photo op. I can’t shoot underwater. This is as close asit gets. Neat, I’ve never come across crimson lichen. My skill was up to the task.


But first I was interrupted by a group of curious kids. They were fascinated by a stranger in their playground. And more so they were curious about an Asian stranger in rural West Virginia. They came around and sat next to me and asked what I was doing. I answered and they all moved away to play. Curiosity was satisfied and I was no longer of interest. My fifteen seconds were done. What they will remember of the encounter I do not fathom. I have always been a stranger in a strange land.


Barns have a different life. They live on even though they look rundown. I’ve seen some in terrible shape. True. But often a barn is still in use despite its forlorn appearance. There are many a weathered board that is still in service and purposed. They make a quaint picture.

Once a House


Sad. It was once a house, filled with love? It was a shelter from the storm. It was a home. No longer, homes need care. This one was left abandoned long ago. In a little bit, there will be more disrepair. At this point it’s really a matter of who knocks it down. But, then where do you take the trash?

Still Around


It’s an outhouse! Seen one? They still have them. The modern ones are Porta-potty or Mr John or something funny. There’s nothing funny here. When you gotta go, you gotta go. I was amused to see them labeled “men” and “women” too. Still around, and this one will be here when you come back.

Crossroad – nowhere

Helvetia, WV, the Hutte (huh-ta). Try to pronounce it? It’s at a crossroads and is an old restaurant – ‘been there forever. Family run. Quaint. Colorful. Fun. The food is straightforward. Yup, they had a switchboard – old. It was a fun spot. It was a long way from home. We won’t be back – maybe?



Fascinating! They are building bridges all over these days. This is the new Goethals bridge connecting Staten Island with New Jersey. The old bridge was really narrow. I mean really! It was barely wide enough for a car. So you can imagine passing an 18 wheel tractor trailer truck on the bridge. That is not for the faint hearted. I’m not; so I passed lots of trucks in my day. The style is now about towers that lean out. I never knew bridge building could be so dated and architecturally interesting.

Buddy, can you spare a dime?


Seen one lately? Know what it is? Amazing! Payphones are a relic. It cost a dime to make a call when I grew up. It was later a quarter – that would be 25 cents. David objected strenuously. He had to use them when he was in high school. Nope, he did not have a cellphone until his senior year. Imagine that. This forlorn thing was sitting on a wall at a closed abandoned country store. Progress?


img_5354Pulled the bathroom curtain down

Ate the rose

Unrolled the toilet paper and made confetti

Flipped the pan – ate the pear tart

Lifted the roll top door – chewed the bag – ate the cat treats

Opened the bi-fold doors and ate cat food – food coma

Opened the laundry room door – jail break

Tormented Elle

Climbed on the table when we eat

Climbed on the table and escaped with grilled cheese sandwich

The list goes on and bad behavior will continue. More to follow… With a cute face like this, can you really be mad?

Where were you when Kennedy was shot

When John F Kennedy was elected, he was JFK. Later it was LBJ. No one else is really known by their initials. I was in a salvage shop and on the counter, was a stack of my hometown newspapers. Yellowed dog eared, there sat a stack of three on top. Stunned, I looked at each. The third one down carried the fateful headline that rocked my childhood. Yup! The woman at the counter was a kid. For her it was 9/11. We all have our moment. I had just gotten done with track practice. The ‘chief executive’ was dead. Denial. They didn’t say ‘President.” Maybe it was not so. It was one of the few times I ever saw my mother cry, as she watched the funeral on our Philco black and white TV. Years later, from a fellow neurosurgeon, I heard the tale of that day in Parkland Hospital ER. JFK was brought in by ambulance. It did not take the neurosurgeon more than a moment to glance over and pronounce him a “goner.” He related that he was next looking at a .45 pistol as the Secret Service told him divert his attention back and to attend the case “now.” It was only then he realized who the gunshot victim was. Gunshot injuries to the head never cease to make the ER staff breathlessly call you. But the secret is that the bullet settled the argument on the street. You arrive in the ER dead or alive. The role of neurosurgery is limited.

I will quickly recall a phone call I received at 3AM when I was chief resident at Bellevue. “We’re getting a gunshot to the head from Columbia.” my junior resident related. At 3AM it’s a rule. Make sure I am speaking in sentences before you give me information. Columbia? The South American country.

No! Columbia University – Neurological Institute of New York, the pre-eminent “Ivory Tower” uptown. Why? “…because they are not taking gunshots tonight.”

It turned out that my counterpart chief resident at Columbia was too lazy to get his ass out of bed in the middle of the night so he turned the case down and sloughed it off downtown.

Happy ending! The bullet was lodged under the scalp and had never penetrated the skull. My junior resident removed the bullet at the bedside in the ER slot and in an act of cheekiness sent the bullet fragment with our complements to Columbia. Our respective departmental chairmen had some choice words to share in the morning. Life goes on in the big city….

That reminds me of when the orthopedic surgery resident put a patient in traction by driving a Steinman pin through and through the skull….

Traffic Light


You carry a camera around; you get these shots. I don’t know whether you want one, but I got this. I just looked out and saw the juxtaposition. Neat! Stop at McD? Your call.

Bird on a wire


It was the title of an old Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn movie. Better not to see it. I can’t bear to watch it again. Funny, it doesn’t show up much on cable TV either. Nice shot taken while I waited at the traffic light. It works for me. Symbolism, there’s got to be a deeper meaning somewhere here?