Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
But seriously, the roads around the Milwaukee area are in bad shape. Even for driving! The lines are hard to see, there are almost no shoulders. The only thing good for cyclists is that most roads seem to have speed limits of 40 MPH or slower which makes it easier to stay out of the way of traffic.
The worst is that any place in the suburbs of Milwaukee is really congested. It's like they just left all the oldest stuff and kept going with only slightly less old stuff. Even the patches in the pavement are old. It makes it hard when I have limited time to get out and ride, I want it to be on pavement worthy of my wheels.
That's what I get for choosing a med school for its academic credentials, though, instead of riding locale. Pssh! What was I thinking?
With that said, I have found some decent routes. They just can't quite compare to what I've been brought up on. I rode this today:
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
For those of you without allergies, count your blessings. Allergies can really mess you up. While I may not ever actually sneeze my head off, it feels like I could sometimes. Having seasonal allergies is kind of like having a nagging cold for a couple months at a time or more.
During the first two fall semesters of college I would frequently carry around a ridiculous amount of tissue or toilet paper for nose wiping and even then it wasn't uncommon that I had to leave the room to get more. It stinks. Since then I've had better control of my seasonal allergies but as anyone with hayfever knows your success at fending off the inevitable all depends on the day.
Today and tomorrow are supposed to be bad days with pollen scores in the "High" range according to the pollen forecast on Pollen.com (yes there is such a thing as a pollen forecast). While I used to think that a significant amount of willpower could simply push aside the ill effects of seasonal allergies I have been proven rather wrong time and time again. When it comes down to it, the pollen always wins. No matter how hard I try I just can't stop being allergic. Too bad, huh? Maybe that's something I can figure out during one of my pharmacology classes or something.
The worst part is when allergies mess with your physical or mental performance. Both of which are problems for me as an amateur athlete and professional student. It's not easy to roll out of bed and go to class when your eyes are burning and hard to open first thing in the morning only to give way to a runny nose, incessant sneezing and itchy eyes during the day. Luckily it's not that bad yet, but the season is just beginning.
On the bike is a totally different story. Fall is generally my allergy season, but thanks to lots of rain and a cool spring, our spring allergy season hit extra hard in Minnesota this year causing unsuspected difficulty on the bike. My hopes for a 3-4 week track racing season in early June were obliterated when I realized that just stepping foot into the infield and getting ready on the freshly cut grass made it difficult to breathe. It's no fun trying to ride 25-30MPH when you have to catch your breath just standing still. It's the first time I've been able to empathize with asthmatics. Not cool.
All this to say that you have to pick your battle strategy carefully. Obviously I can't avoid going to class, but I can avoid racing during the times that my allergies are at their worst. Central air is always a useful tool in combination with daily antihistamines and all those other prescription-style solutions. But sometimes, even all that isn't enough. I was relieved to find that even pros like Alberto Contador and Oscar Freire had to call it quits for a little while this spring to wait out their allergy season.
Now if only I can find a professor who will cancel class on days that the pollen count is too high...
Monday, August 16, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Published Friday, February 12, 1999, in the Miami Herald
LIVING & ARTS
From Now On, Let Women Kill Their Own Spiders By DAVE BARRY
From time to time I receive letters from a certain group of individuals that I will describe, for want of a better term, as ``women.'' I have such a letter here, from a Susie Walker of North Augusta, S.C., who asks the following question: ``Why do men open a drawer and say, `Where is the spatula?', instead of, you know, looking for it?''
This question expresses a commonly held (by women) negative stereotype about guys of the male gender, which is that they cannot find things around the house, especially things in the kitchen. Many women believe that if you want to hide something from a man, all you have to do is put it in plain sight in the refrigerator, and he will never, ever find it, as evidenced by the fact that a man can open a refrigerator containing 463 pounds of assorted meats, poultry, cold cuts, condiments, vegetables, frozen dinners, snack foods, desserts, etc., and ask, with no irony whatsoever, ``Do we have anything to eat?''
Now I could respond to this stereotype in a snide manner by making generalizations about women. I could ask, for example, how come your average woman prepares for virtually every upcoming event in her life, including dental appointments, by buying new shoes, even if she already owns as many pairs as the entire Riverdance troupe. I could point out that, if there were no women, there would be no such thing as Leonardo DiCaprio. I could ask why a woman would walk up to a perfectly innocent man who is minding his own business watching basketball and demand to know if a certain pair of pants makes her butt look too big, and then, no matter what he answers, get mad at him. I could ask why, according to the best scientific estimates, 93 percent of the nation's severely limited bathroom-storage space is taken up by decades-old, mostly empty tubes labeled ``moisturizer.'' I could point out that, to judge from the covers of countless women's magazines, the two topics most interesting to women are (1) Why men are all disgusting pigs, and (2) How to attract men.
Yes, I could raise these issues in response to the question asked by Susie Walker of North Augusta, S.C., regarding the man who was asking where the spatula was. I could even ask WHY this particular man might be looking for the spatula. Could it be that he needs a spatula to kill a spider, because, while he was innocently watching basketball and minding his own business, a member of another major gender -- a gender that refuses to personally kill spiders but wants them all dead -- DEMANDED that he kill the spider, which nine times out of 10 turns out to be a male spider that was minding its own business? Do you realize how many men arrive in hospital emergency rooms every year, sometimes still gripping their spatulas, suffering from painful spider-inflicted injuries? I don't have the exact statistics right here, but I bet they are chilling.
As I say, I could raise these issues and resort to the kind of negativity indulged in by Susie Walker of North Augusta, S.C. But I choose not to. I choose, instead, to address her question seriously, in hopes that, by improving the communication between the genders, all human beings -- both men and women, together -- will come to a better understanding of how dense women can be sometimes.
I say this because there is an excellent reason why a man would open the spatula drawer and, without looking for the spatula, ask where the spatula is: The man does not have TIME to look for the spatula. Why? Because he is busy thinking. Men are almost always thinking. When you look at a man who appears to be merely scratching himself, rest assured that inside his head, his brain is humming like a high-powered computer, processing millions of pieces of information and producing important insights such as, ``This feels good!''
We should be grateful that men think so much, because over the years they have thought up countless inventions that have made life better for all people, everywhere. The shot clock in basketball is one example. Another one is underwear-eating bacteria. I found out about this thanks to the many alert readers who sent me an article from New Scientist magazine stating that Russian scientists -- and you KNOW these are guy scientists -- are trying to solve the problem of waste disposal aboard spacecraft, by ``designing a #####tail of bacteria to digest astronauts' cotton and paper underpants.'' Is that great, or what? I am picturing a utopian future wherein, when a man's briefs get dirty, they will simply dissolve from his body, thereby freeing him from the chore of dealing with his soiled underwear via the labor-intensive, time-consuming method he now uses, namely, dropping them on the floor.
I'm not saying that guys have solved all the world's problems. I'm just saying that there ARE solutions out there, and if, instead of harping endlessly about spatulas, we allow guys to use their mental talents to look for these solutions, in time, they will find them. Unless they are in the refrigerator.
Copyright © 1999 The Miami Herald
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Up until now, every class I've been in has been populated primarily with people more like me. We've all lived closer together (except college maybe), we were all closer in age and generally closer in background. Here we all have some things in common. We all want to be doctors, we all went to college (at least I think so), we all eat and breathe and sleep and study... A LOT. And we're all bored with orientation and ready to hit the books, sort of, I guess. Regardless of what we have in common it all feels a bit different than anything before this. Which is probably a good thing. I mean, no one wants medical school to feel like kindergarten, right? Just imagine what our health care system would look like then. Oof.
Even though it's orientation, we still get a bit of a feel for what it will be like time wise. It's going to be really hard to do a lot more than go to school, eat and sleep, but it's definitely doable. The prospect of minimal free time makes me value my summer that much more. It was awesome. I'm going to miss riding my bike 8+ hours a week.
However, in an effort to stay sane and not squishy I have resolved to take steps to be involved in "non-studious" activities and "good lifekeeping" habits.
1. Eat good food and at home whenever possible. (note: good food)