to be added to the cross stitch and a few scarves to be made. Otherwise quiet here.
Oh – and amazingly enough, the Athletics actually managed to beat the Yankees 4:1. Couldn’t happen to a nicer team….
to be added to the cross stitch and a few scarves to be made. Otherwise quiet here.
Oh – and amazingly enough, the Athletics actually managed to beat the Yankees 4:1. Couldn’t happen to a nicer team….
In case you were wondering – construction is proceeding apace. Actually, at this point it is more destruction. Let me demonstrate:
in other words – all the stucco is gone from the areas being affected, the complete area for the new foundation has been dug out. There are supporting towers and steel beams holding things up. Multiple large piles of dirt have been formed and removed. Rock has been drilled out. New pipes have been put in so that we have water and sewer. Unless someone forgets, we actually have gas as well. If the vibrations that day have been heavy, the automatic shut off kicks in and the gas goes off. Now that we know how to handle it, no longer a problem. It is also reassuring that the earthquake upgrades we did actually work.
Next to be done are the changes to the front entry to include digging out for the interior stairs going down.
Obviously, it isn’t quiet during the day. The dogs don’t seem to care. Unfortunately, it is just one more external thing I can blame (who me? admit that I am just naturally cranky? I don’t think so….)
I’ve made some progress since the last time I showed you a picture –
Jill and Graeme are on a plane this evening headed home.
The As actually managed to win a game. RF 149 managed to make a fair amount of noise in spite of being down more than a dozen of the regulars. The team is headed to NY tomorrow and resume play on Friday. I’m finishing up my freaking meds and glad of it as I am not being the worlds easiest person to be around at the present. I hate needles, I hate prednisone and I don’t appreciate becoming short of breath again.
crab, crab, crab….
ball game, which is exactly what we did. Wandered around a bit during the day including a drive up to Grizzly Peak for a look over the city. Between the marine layer and the fog, everything wasn’t quite as clear as one would like. From there we went toward Richmond and the Rosie Museum followed by lunch at Assemble.
Since it was free parking Tuesday (thank you very much Chevy) it seemed more sensible to drive than to have four people taking BART only two of whom had discount cards. I had wanted to get there early, plenty of time for the Food Truck Mafia selections, lots of time to explain the game (George is good at explanations) and time to watch batting practice. As it turns out, the park now opens at 1630 on Tues for home games. Plenty of time to watch batting practice. And, of course, for the ball hogs to hang out in the bleachers and field anything that comes up that high. I can understand wanting a ball or two. But taking home 3, 4, 5 without sharing with the little kids is just beyond me. But now I know who to avoid. It is not like I have the ability to catch anything, but still it would be nice….
Anyway, it was fun. Four drums, a horn, a whistle, three cowbells plus lots of fan noise. Oakland still managed to lose to the Marlins (11:9) but considering it was 18 hits to 9 hits, I was surprised the score wasn’t worse.
Pretty tired by the time I got home which should not be surprising at all…
If you are from a country where the merchants want to charge you $1.50/AU skein for embroidery floss? Why shopping at JoAnn’s of course. There is something fairly pleasing about paying $0.40/US instead. I had made a list of the colors of which I was short. Jill had her list. We had decided that these couple of days were going to be low key, low stress and sight seeing only on this side of the bay.
And so it was that we spent a few pleasant hours both looking for things we really didn’t need, relaxing with cross stitch. Well, mine is relaxing, Jill’s – at 350×350 is a much more challenging fractal…
They had dinner with Dani and Alex as we had a business dinner obligation.
The As had swept the series so far: 8:3, 3:2, and another 8:3 win.
But then it came home to roost. Errors from the field, stranding runners on base and a series of amazingly bad pitching from the mound led to a Sunday afternoon of watching the As go down 12:3.
It wasn’t that I was in a bad mood before this and my perspective had changed. This round of chemo has left me feeling slightly irritated and completely unfit to be around people.
Baseball fans don’t fall into the same category. The yelling and shouting along with noise making relieved a bit of the worst crabbiness. It helped that George was willing to drive this evening to SFO where I picked up friends with whom I had stayed in Australia last year and spent time with on the Legend this year. Jill and Graeme did the short northern run TransPacific on the Millennium which started in Japan and ended early this morning in Vancouver. I get to keep them till Wednesday when they head home via Aukland.
Did I mention that their plane doesn’t land till 2200?
The following information will be presented in the antiquated English weights and measurement system so favored by the US and rightfully ignored by the rest of the world.
Berkeley was a pleasant 70*F when Alex and I took the BART to the stadium. Oakland is warmer. We were on the flat, it was in the sun. The temps reached 88*F. Yes, it was warm and I had sunblock along with money, noisemakers and phone. Hats we didn’t have, so I wound up purchasing a couple as that kind of direct sun baking on my head would fry my few remaining brain cells.
Never mind – it was a great game. The As managed a 8:3 win. There were a lot of home runs (including a rookie 460 ft home run). Headed home. Crashed..
In which I got to the SFVA early, found out from the lab draw that I still had a few white cells left floating around my body and hung out for a number of hours of infusion. The good thing about a full day is that I finish in time to get the shuttle back to the BART. From there it is just a hop, skip and and jump to…
I had skipped last night’s baseball game as I was just really tired. Today however? It wasn’t even remotely within the possibility of going home. Instead, I watched a decent pitcher’s battle at the Oakland Coliseum with a great bunch of people. Saw Mark Canha pull off a homer in the bottom of the 10th to clinch the victory for the As, breaking the 2:2 tie. Beating the Red Sox. How lovely.
We all know that I am totally insane right?
How else would you explain a flight before 0700 in the morning out of Barcelona. That meant a cab at 0430 for the 20-30 minutes to the airport. Prompt check-in was followed by security (one person at a time thank you very much) and breakfast in the lounge. So there we all were, prompt at B26 for our flight. Except for the fact that the flight boarding was for Malaga, not Frankfurt. The phone beeps – you have a gate change to B26.
Oh, really? Meanwhile the announcement over the tannoy in Catalan and Spanish informs us of the gate change to B42. At least it is the same terminal. The crowd moves in mass and lines up once again. I notice a couple of minutes later that there is a “business line” that is empty. Lufthansa Sen right? I change lines not that it turns out to do much good since we all board a bus out to the plane.
This is where it gets really fun. There are two sets of stairs and everyone but five of us head to the front stairs. I am in row 15 which isn’t quite half way back (so I thought). Turns out there are 42 rows? Some would say celestial significance to the gate number. Me? I just can’t recognize the seating configuration from the outside. Nevertheless, it takes me no time to move forward and take my seat. Several minutes later a woman in another row starts taking bags out of the overhead compartment to put hers in where she wants. Not happy when I explain that I would prefer my bag be left (above my row) where I placed it. She is young and healthy – I have the steely glare and she backs down.
I love Frankfurt Airport. It is organized. It is well signed. You can go from Terminal A to Passkontrol to Terminal Z WITHOUT having to go through another security check. Seriously. Luggage checked through to final destination, only goods and services those provided by the airport. How civilized….
Please note – in spite of my header, the reason for coming back early is not to make the game but to make a couple of appointments at the SFVA on Friday morning.
Other than getting sent in the lower level (380s have two levels, being upstairs is lovely) and having a discussion with old of the cabin attendants, boarding went smoothly. The food was good, the flight comfortable. Didn’t get any sleep but that was fine. The lovely niot so young pregnant woman I wound up spending time with was interesting. Resolving anxiety (her, the cabin attendants) and that we had no need to drop her off in Greenland was more than worth the loss of a nap.
Arriving in SFO, I used the Mobil passport app and was 10 minutes from plane to baggage claim. Wish I could say that my luggage arrived in less than an hour. By the time I made North Berkeley I was wiped.
After all of that, I went to sleep rather than to the game…
Both the education and the entertainment continued today. Takeda (Pharma) was kind enough to provide both wifi and an app for the program. As a result figuring out where to go and what to do has been extremely simple. It has also made the evaluation of each presentation and panel easy as the usual questions can all be answered on line.
The highlight of the day was a presentation by Jay Keystone (Canada) who has an extremely dry sense of humor as well as a breadth of knowledge in infectious disease. For this conference he was tagged to discuss STIs (sexually transmitted infections in CA/UK parlance often referred to as STD – diseases in American English) as they relate to the travel population. The issues of human trafficking, sex tourism (which includes both men and women on the travel side – men, women and children on the host country side) and disease spread aren’t particularly funny. But confirmation of sexual activity in the younger set (hey – alcohol, drugs, opportunity with fellow travelers and rarely planned) is not the same as the business traveler (older, money, often planned) still leads to consequences in both groups. As a side note – the CDC’s condom information includes the reminder to “open the package.” Most of us assume a slightly higher level of intelligence in our patients. Our issue is reminding them to take condoms along on the trip.
The business meeting at the end of the day was just about as boring as one would expect. The money is being handled responsibly, awards were given out, the outgoing and incoming executives shook hands and gave speeches (yada, yada, yada). I stayed through about 15 minutes of the reception then headed to the Tram. My flight is early in the morning (looking at an 0430 cab ride) and grabbing coffee at the airport. It is going to be a really, really long day…..
There wasn’t anything in the 0800 offerings that thrilled my heart which gave me more time to wander from the hotel to the conference center. It also meant being on a slightly more crowded Tram which wasn’t all that exciting.
Today’s sessions covered the range from effects from climate change through public health emergencies in the morning to special groups of travelers, new vaccines and the usual discussions on malaria. What I didn’t do was attend the Gala Dinner thinking an early bedtime was much more interesting
The cross stitch is now going more slowly. Not surprising as the sections are smaller, starting to curve. This results in ending the fun of long runs of a single color mostly in straight lines which translates to mindless stitching while listening to an audio book. I’m on the last Daisy Dalyrumple (Carola Dunn, author) that is available on Hoopla. But this way I don’t wind up with another half dozen audio books in my “collection.”
Picking up where I left off yesterday, this is the official first full day of the conference. As professional organizations go, it isn’t all that large. Even with membership from 120 countries, the vast majority still belong to the major four English Speaking (UK, US, Canada, Australia) which makes sense in terms of the founder group and the original focus on medical care for tourists.
The first plenary session addressed the issues of migration from the EU perspective. From the US side of the Atlantic, we read about immigration from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria but don’t always have a good idea of the actual impact on the towns, cities, villages and countries that are the receiving side. It is startling to realize that there are now countries where 1:4 or 1:7 total population is refugees. Few, if any countries are stable enough or wealthy enough to absorb that kind of population increase. From the medical side, infectious diseases aren’t really the issue; it is trauma along the way and chronic disease that put a significant burden on the receiving country.
I spent a fair amount of the rest of the day listening to vaccine updates or conversing with various other members of the Responsible Travel group. I also ran into an old French Military Colleague and may just have gotten suckered into working on the establishment of a new interest group.
Taking the tram back was easy but used up the last of the change in my pocket….
From it’s inception in 1991 the emphasis of ISTM has been the traveler. Usually in fact the tourist. Over the years the membership has expanded both beyond Western travelers and health care providers into areas of travel and those who worked there. Over the last ten years both regional meetings and involvement in issues of population movements has spread. No longer just oriented on the tourist experience, the organization has been active in environmental impact, expedition, altitude, wilderness medicine in addition to increasing involvement in travel by and problems of refugees. It has taken a lot of work over the years to reorient even a little from a primary concern with infectious diseases. Face it, we all like malaria. It has a clear path from infection to treatment, lending itself well to Western concepts of curative medicine.
And so, the emphasis of this year’s ISTM conference is on travelers of all kinds, not just tourists. The young Japanese doctor who is the chair of the Refugee & Migrant Interest group had put together an extremely interesting and educational recourse for those of us who want to maximize our learning for the number of hours spent in Barcelona.
Completely aside, this is probably about the 9th or 10th time I have been in Barcelona. There is always something to explore; a museum, a gallery, an old neighborhood . I am finally conversant with the Metro and tram system; leaving me to wonder why I had not made much use of it in the past. Getting from the airport to the Congress turned out to be easy and 4.50€ (compared to taxi or private transfer fees). As an aside another participant asked me in all honesty if a day would be enough to see the city after the conference. Hum, would you expect to be able to do that in Berlin, St Petersburg, London, Paris, NYC? Perhaps five days might be a good start….
So I attended the afternoon course following my early flight from Munich before going to my hotel. I had stayed for the opening remarks but bagged the reception on the grounds of being tired. I’ve free wifi at both conference and hotel resulting in my sparing of our phone budget
There are times that all the neurons just aren’t firing and you go down this strange path trying to figure out something that just doesn’t need to be bothered about.
Let me give you an example. I was in Munich at a conference, then traveled to Speyer to visit friends, returning to Munich today. I bought a round trip ticked from Munich to Speyer along with one City-mobil pass.
With me so far?
In Munich on the way to the train station I just spent 2.80 for an U-Bahn ticket since had hours of time and wasn’t sure what my connections on the way back would be. That would be when I would use the City-Mobil as part of the train ticket and not have to worry about purchasing a local ticket. My friends dropped me off at the S-Bahn in Speyer. And somehow it was in my head that I was choosing when to use the City-Mobil part of the ticket. Now? or in Munich. This lasted till I looked at the price of at ticket to Heidelberg – 10.50. Hello? That is expensive. So I double checked my train ticket.
Blinding flash of the obvious, I have already paid my way from Speyer. Why would I want to do it again? Perhaps it was the fact that I had a train change in Heidelberg from the S-Bahn to an EC train? Who knows? In any case I figured it out before paying a second time……
Both S-Bahn and train were on time as was the S-1 toward the airport in Munich. My train trip proved to be a bit interesting. I had reserved a seat which turned out to be wonderfully right near the door and adjacent to the luggage rack which negated having to boost anything into the overhead rack. I sat down. There was an elderly (trust me, she looked a lot older than me) woman sitting in the window seat giving me a really hateful look. Perhaps she wanted the seat to herself? The train was quite full and I was glad to have paid for the reserved seat. In any case, I proved impervious to all of her bad vibes not regretting a moment when she got off in Stuttgart. With both seats to myself for the duration of the journey I attempted to cross-stitch. No go, train vibrates too much.
So it was audio books (for those of you with an Audible account – there is a Ben Aaronovich authored Peter Grant short story for free down load.) for the duration of the journey.
I’m checked in to the hotel and facing a 0635 flight to Barcelona.
It is going to be slower going from here. The runs of color are much shorter and more likely to be separated rather than contiguous. I also didn’t bring any colors beyond the blues and greens to might just run out of cross-stitch before heading home.
It has been a lovely day; visiting, stitching and otherwise going nowhere in a big hurry. The only two things I needed to do today – mail a package and a bit of laundry – were easily accomplished.
Then of course, there is spargel –
and served on stone oven (wood fired) dinkel pancake (aka spelt in English).
Other than that – I made a bit of progress on Fractal 54 which turns out to be the second easiest one I have attempted. There aren’t a lot of isolated single color stitches.
Is what it will look like when completed.
So far –
I think I am making good progress.
I’ve a late afternoon train back to Munich tomorrow and an extremely early flight to Barcelona on Sunday.
It wasn’t all that long ago I was stationed here in München with the Bundeswehr. Or maybe it was, since I had children in Grundschule and a daughter in University. Come to think of it, that was 1999-2001. But it seems like yesterday when I come back. That is, until I start looking around. Asian food options lead the choices at the main train station followed by the ever popular pizza. Würst and beer would have to be hunted down. The pedestrian traffic has increased in both numbers and diversity. Unlike 15-20 years ago, other languages than German are commonly spoken by individuals who are obviously not tourists.
I arrived early enough at the train station to enjoy people watching with my brain still feeling overstuffed from the morning lectures. My train was an EC (European City) that started in Klagenfurt (Austria) and ends in Frankfurt. Not being completely stupid, I had reserved a seat which turned out to be quite a smart thing to do as the train was essentially full from Munich to Stuttgart.
My change in Heidelberg was easy – Track 3 to Track 4. Then the dreaded Bahn delays hit. Five minutes isn’t all that much and wasn’t a problem for me. However, at two of the stops the translation essentially ran “All of the connecting Trains and Buses have left. We are sorry for the inconvenience….” If it was the last connection of the night – I would not exactly be a happy camper. One of the exiting passengers just patted his bike and grinned.
I’m in Speyer till Saturday with friends and not planning on doing much of anything. Brain rest and sleep? Maybe some coffee, but not tonight.
Feeling a bit less stupid today (many lectures relating to Epidemiology or science that didn’t feel too futuristic) I enjoyed both morning and afternoon sessions. Plus there was the fun of poster sessions.
Doesn’t mean that a nap was any less welcome or that I didn’t have a quiet evening listening to Graphic Audio’s Eric Carter: Broken Souls. Think gritty Urban Fantasy with a pretty messed up protagonist.
And then there is my traveling stitch project- of which I will photo upload later.
My brain is no longer used to having to concentrate for multiple hours in a row. There were four panels today, each with 4-7 presentations. All were technical, loaded with jargon and data heavy slides. Coffee breaks insuredthat my eyes stayed open, but I am really not sure that I wanted that level of detail.
Tomorrow will be more of the same + posters. Most of those with whom I worked have allretired andthose young researchers and officers seem really young.
Since my internet access is only through my phone, mailing out won’t be possible for a few dats yet.
And here I am in Bavaria, and I don’t drink beer!
At the SanAk for a Monday. Classes are in session so platoons are marching here and there while NCOs grab meals on the fly.
I wandered over to the Conference Registration this morning to be greated by a couple of the civilian staff I remeber from previos conferences. Paid my fee which now includes a whopping 38€ for the four nights billeting. Ah, for the old free days when I was active duty. Don’t miss it a bit. Still, when I compare the cost of a hotel room, a private bath is just not worth the difference.
I’ll spend the rest of the day listening to audiobooks, reviewing the program and capturing a goid night’s sleep.
Go out and about in Munich? I could do that. But then I would have to deal with the cold, wet drops falling from the sky to splop on my head. The forcast might have predicted 10%, but the reality isbinary. I will be a comfy cat instead; staying warm and dry thank you very much.
It was night, it was morning but it was really afternoon. It was still breakfast on offer. The flight was fine, my friend was at the airport to pick me up.
I am now headed to the SanAk to sleep.