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Posts tagged “Technology

Butt face

I hate it, when they change things. WordPress, the sponsor of this blog site has changed the format for creating and editing a post. Yay! By now everyone has had a chance to try it. I hate change. I just got used to editing and creating…. What if one had to change wives every…. Oh shit! I’m in deep shit….. Please forgive me honey, I don’t know what came over me. I’m so terribly sorry! 🙂

Butt soap – for Ginny, or Emma – there’s a side for your face and one for your ass. Don’t get mixed up? Please. (You know who you are.)



No, I am not advertising for Lay’s chips. At the Grand Canyon you are at 6800 feet. It’s high enough for the pressure inside the bag to exceed the outside atmospheric pressure. So my model was kind enough to show you two bloated bags. It happens in jetliners too. The cabin is pressurized to about 6000 – 8000 ft. I never noticed the pressure change on an airplane but walking about at >6000 ft will leave you short of breath. Maybe. I was. Colleen wasn’t. She’s a better (wo)man than me. … and always has been.

Gilbert Microscope

Would you believe that Colleen and I both had a Gilbert Microscope set as kids? Ditomaceous earth, it was stuff they gave you that appeared iridescent under the microscope. Of course, I had a much better medical microscope years later. Unfortunately there is no glowing report or any story that this whetted my desire to become a physician. Colleen and I both exclaimed when we saw the set for sale. She had a great time looking at all manner of things. Somehow I knew this plastic thing was too juvenile for my eventual adult pursuits in medicine.

Phone home


In the middle of nowhere, again, here are a couple vintage London phone booths. How they got here, I do not know. They are worn and forlorn. Long ago they were quintessential London. I don’t even have a hard line phone any longer. Cell phone, it’s the only way to go. Video chat?

Placebo – Vertebroplasty

vertebroplasty copy

The white blobs you see are hardened plastic within a vertebrae of the spine.

Placebo was always a dirty word to me. I’m a physician. I don’t lie to my patients. I’m a scientist. Show me what works and what I can feel and touch. God? Once a upon a time nurses administered norsal for pain. (normal saline) And there was the 2-week Harvard study in which they gave patients sugar pills. After the study a woman demanded more pills. (she said they had helped her)

Then, there are industry myths perpetuated for money. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are billed for $10,000 or more –

“Insurers generally cover the treatments. Medicare pays about $2,400 to $3,000 for vertebroplasty, and $6,500 to $10,000 for kyphoplasty, depending on where the procedure is performed.” NYT 1/24/2019

To be sure I have done it (vertebroplasty/kyphoplasty) – both methods. The results in my hands were mixed. We tend to forget failure and to remember our success. Particularly, I remember an elderly woman who literally rose from her wheelchair to give me a big bear hug. Hey, it works?

No one knows how the procedure gains its success. There is no real science behind it. Injecting a balloon will not lift up a compression fractured vertebral body. A chemical reaction? The heat of the cement setting? No definite science except that the money pours into the coffers of all parties – physician, hospital, supplier (manufacturing company).

The procedure was in my armamentarium of treatment options. More often than not I forgot it was and didn’t do the procedure but a handful of times. We have all had our suspicions. Some chose to make money while others abandoned the procedure. By the time I retired, radiologists were doing them frequently. (Baby, needs new shoes, or daddy needs a new Porsche.)

In summary, the procedure will still be done widely. Money. The companies will push and tout the procedure. Money. And the placebo effect will allow patient testimonials continue with true earnest belief.

….gimme those sugar pills, they worked. … at least they cost pennies not $thousands. I post this on April Fools. Who’s the fool?


2894 06 Costa Rica

This is from 2002. I’d not given any thought to this picture until I realized how innocuous the internet was back then. Nowadays I travel with a smart phone. In fact, I got my first in 2014. I was forced into it. David made me buy it. Actually, he got it for me at the Apple store near Lincoln Center. The rest is history! Can’t live without it! Amazing! How’d I become so attached to my phone in just a few years. Do I need to mention books, information, images, video, music, and more? I don’t use it as my primary camera. But if you are a minimalist, travel with an iPhone and you are pretty much set. So, there in the corner of the sign in Costa Rica – “Internet” available. They were ahead of their time. I remember 2800 bps dial up. No, on this trip internet was not on my mind. In 2014 it was a game breaker and changed my life forever. You know what I mean. (wink) Hey?! Really? Remember that first call in June? You were nervous! iPhone to iPhone is free. We talked for hours. You have a twang. … a lovely one.


I was in a parking lot and struck by the technology that surrounds me. How many cellular antennae are needed to give me seamless service? How many? I guess the more you look at the infrastructure the more bewildering it appears. Line of sight? Maybe they need to touch each other? Whatever! In order for me to talk and text and surf there is a lot of support. The eye pollution is disguised and hidden in plain sight. There is no going back. What is a landline anymore? I’m a long way from fish in the Red Sea.




Available light has a soft appearance different than the look of a strobe. The majority of professional style images are all done with strobe lighting. Smartphone photos by far are the most dominant images posted to Flickr. This was a throwback day.

Sometimes things go to hell. I have had all sorts of problems underwater. The first worry is that salt water will leak into and damage your gear. Yup! Been there done that. Fried two cameras and counting… one strobe…. Fortunately, the strobe main body is waterproofed. So, the batteries fried not the $400 strobe. Dive computer – o ring failure – check, yes. Forgot my memory card on one dive… yes, stupid!

Things breakdown. It will happen. Be prepared. Have a backup plan. My buddy forgot to charge his batteries. I had spares to loan him.

The latest calamity? The wire that connects my strobe to the camera sheared. It’s a fiber optic system that simply broke apart. At the beginning of the dive…it’s always right when you are in the water and at the beginning of the dive. I even have a back-up camera – (did not have it that day).

So? There has been only one dive I recall when I did not have a camera. Otherwise, you improvise. I love it when my advice rhymes. I went available natural light. I haven’t done this in ages. You have to white balance every ten feet deeper you go. And there are a bunch of settings to adjust. I did it on the fly and it only took a minute to recall all that I needed to do. Saved! Well, it was enough for me to come away with images. You know? Make lemonade when they give you lemons. I tested and experimented. It’s a learning experience when things breakdown. Yes! I could take a sharp highly magnified image. The main difference is that your odds are better when everything is working. But you can still get something. So it was not a wasted dive. I learned something today.

So? What caveat? It’s about backup storage. It’s enough to strike fear. Do you worry about losing all your images on your phone? Have you heard of the cloud? Do you remember floppy disks? Or VHS tape. Did you ever see a Betamax player. 8 track tape?

The New York Times published a very earnest article by a so called expert who advised – use Google cloud. It’s advice. And therein lies the caveat. All that other technology became obsolete and discarded. Floppy disks are coasters. There are no readers, so they are toast. Companies come and go. Kodak! Did you ever think that the great “Yellow father” would be an historical footnote? Ever hear of a platinum print?

Pardon me Mr NYT. Fine and dandy, but at least let me have redundant back up on an external drive that I own and control. Google forever?! Do/did you Yahoo? I zen too, but I want my photos to be preserved. Zen will live on; will my photos? They say my blog will be on the net forever. I’ve got my posts on word and the images on my hard drive. Paradoxically, anything you wish would go away will follow you forever too. Like old girl friends…did I say that?