Saturday, October 31, 2015

WildcatSports: Tennessee Game Day

It's Halloween, it's a Blackout, and it's Tennessee Hate Week, yal.

The Cats bring it home to Lexington, hoping to get back on track and lock in plans for post-season bowling.

Kickoff: 7:30pm @ New Commonwealth

#TENNvsUK #TennesseeHateWeek #AllIn #BBN

Who are the Tennessee Volunteers?

They low-down, they dirty, they some snitches.

Seriously, it's my favorite thing ever. Go watch it again.

Lex is also hosting the Breeder's Cup this week, and it's kindof a big deal.

We're getting closer to official basketball season with BBM and the BW game behind us, and exhibition games next week: (Full Schedule)
Ottawa Monday at 7
Kentucky State Friday at 6

Fun fact: the last time we beat the Vols was in 2011, by starting a WR as a QB. I love that story, it makes my heart all warm and fuzzy. Hoping the cats have some of that magic with them tonight!

Friday, October 30, 2015

MedTech: Stanford MedX

The Stanford Medx conference was held the last week of September, bringing together doctors, patients, and technology experts to create better medicine.

Stanford MedX 2015
Medicine X is a catalyst for new ideas about the future of medicine and health care. The initiative explores how emerging technologies will advance the practice of medicine, improve health, and empower patients to be active participants in their own care. The “X” is meant to encourage thinking beyond numbers and trends—it represents the infinite possibilities for current and future information technologies to improve health. 

The 2015 Presentations (a selection):

Medicine X Student Leadership Program: Tim Van de Grift
 - Bringing doctors, patients, and people from different fields together to better educate med students, and better serve patients

Empowered Patients Empowering Others:

Medicine X ePatient Scholar: Emily Kramer-Golinkoff
 - embracing a life of activism - experience navigating through the medical system is valuable experience that needs to be shared
 - the power of gathering experts in the same room to solve problems

Medicine X ePatient Scholar: Devon Low
 - the benefits of Health Coaches
 - what makes a good patient

Medicine X ePatient Scholar: Leslie Rott
 - life in college and grad school with a chronic condition
 - the value of a patient advocate for helping students with chronic illness navigate and handle academic life

Medicine X ePatient Scholar: Julie Flygare
 - Giving a face and a story to invisible illness

There's a lot of information to wade through, and I think there may be more videos to be posted. But my takeaway (so far) was the idea of re-making hospital rooms into a place for information exchange.

Hospital rooms are terrible places for gathering and sharing information --
- patients who are ill and the family members caring for them are not in a position to retain and process information 
- the number of hospital staff members in and out, with widely different backgrounds and  goals, and sometimes very brief case knowledge leads to patients who are presented with confusing and sometimes contradictory information
- if multiple family members visit at different times, they are on their own to ensure information exchange between them, on little sleep and frayed nerves
I'll repeat: the hospital room, in its current form, is a terrible environment for information exchange. (added to my plan for The Fixing of Medicine)

MedX's great promise is in getting the right people in the right room to have the right conversations about how to Do Medicine Better.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fiction: The Halloween Book List

Confession: I'm not a big fan of Halloween. It's like New Year's -- never quite lives up to the hype.

And then, of course, there's my strict "no tolerance" policy on scary stories.

I must sheepishly admit that Doctor Who and Bradbury are my uppermost limit, and even they are sometimes too much. (I may have watched The Silence episodes with the sound off, and liberal use of 'fast forward'... Yes, I am an adult.)

Still, I suppose All Hallow's Eve should be marked in some way.

It is a gray, rainy day, trees fully committed to autumn; the sort that makes you think about getting out the crock pot and looking up chili recipes, retreating to the extra room, under extra blankets, with hot coffee, and books with pages.

So I went looking through the dusty shelves, and found three of my kind of Halloween-appropriate books that are asking for a re-read this last week of October:

The Dante Club - A band of intrepid amateur detectives solve murders in 1865 Boston. The intrepid amateur detectives happen to be famous poets and their colleagues -- Longfellow, O. W. Holmes....

The Devil In The White City - Based on the real murders during the 1893 World's Fair, the book switches back and forth between the great and grand Colombian Exposition and the terrifying serial killer. Seriously, this is probably past my limit of scary stories in print, but the parts about the first Ferris wheel and all the other incredible achievements of the Expo make up for it.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - It's been awhile since I last visited the adventures of Mr. H. Potter. For me, the 3rd one was the turning point from 'kid wizards go to school' to realizing there was a bigger story going on.

And maybe a few other candidates, but a girl's only got so much time before the clock strikes November 1st.

May your tricks be treats and your treats be pumpkin-spiced.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Music and Movies: Muscle Shoals

On the edge of the Alabama border, along the Tennessee river, sits a town that is the birthplace of gritty, funky, R&B, Soul, and Southern Rock.

A sound born out of adversity, hardship, and loss
Out of the heart, soul, and gut
Out of the mud of the river that sings

This is the story of the Muscle Shoals sound.

Muscle Shoals
The incredible true story of a small town with a big sound.

The great thing about recording is, from then on you're immortal because it’s in the grooves, right? Keith Richards

Etta James... Aretha... Skynard... it just goes on and on...

But this is one of my favorites:

(Amazon download)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Wildcat Sports: MSU Gameday

I've got to admit, I'm a little bit less enthusiastic this week -- maybe I'm still getting over the loss to Auburn; maybe it's watching the game with the gato diablo via livestream instead of with the family in the Wildcat Room(TM); maybe it's just an off week.

Not going to lie, it's going to be a tough one -- here's hoping the football cats can surprise me and show up big to the second away game of the year!

Kickoff: 7:30 @ MSU

Newsflash: You can order the sports posters online. Free plus shipping. Though the football one is my fave and it's sold out. Bummer.

Who are the MSU Bulldogs. Well, they have a fondness for cowbells...

And Cal is giving away Spring tuition to two lucky students at the B/W scrimmage. There is no truth to the rumor that the winners have to wear 'I Heart Cal' shirts to class every Tuesday. Though it would be a nice gesture. Sayin. #HowDoTheseRumorsGetStarted

That's all I got today #LetsgoCats! #Allin!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Med Tech: The Medical Makerspace

Nation's First Medical Makerspace Opens in Texas
University of Texas Medical Branch and MakerNurse Provide 3D Printers, Laser Cutters and More to Help Clinicians Improve Patient Care

Medical staff can use the makerspace to prototype a new tool, to upgrade an existing hospital device, such as adding a sensor to a take-home pill bottle to monitor use, or to customize materials for individual patients. All devices made in the makerspace are sterilized and tested through a quality improvement or institutional review board study before being used on the hospital floor.
“We know nurses have breakthrough ideas for improving health care. Providing them with the space, tools and materials to create these solutions, rather than outsourcing them to engineers and designers, just makes sense.”

There is so much to love about this, I don't know where to start. My own experience with motor control issues and frustration with finding new hobbies has inspired a couple ideas of my own that would make for great 3d printer/maker-space projects. So I'm excited about all that Mixxer is doing and hope they are able to open a physical space soon.

But this -- specific to hospitals -- is just incredible. I worry that already over-worked healthcare professionals won't be able to carve out the time to use it, but I hope that they do. Because more than just a place to create better tools and immediate applications, it could be an opportunity to inspire creative thinking across all aspects of healthcare, encourage and empower providers to look for the best solutions, and provide new ways for patients and providers to connect and collaborate.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Misc: Mosquitoes and other Small Game Hunting

New this last trip to Florida: the Mosquitoes, which used to leave me well enough alone, were in Relentless Kamikaze Attack mode. Luckily, Dad had a new weapon: the Electric Bug Zapper RacketBest Invention Ever. I suggested putting up a chalkboard to keep score, but was inexplicably vetoed.

Mildly informative video, which doesn't explain why they suddenly think I am like the free ice cream at Jason's Deli:

I assumed my battle with flying insects would be done when I returned to NC, but alas. Apparently when I closed up the house I remembered to empty out the fridge, but forgot to take the trash to the dumpster....

In other news, due to fruit flies, all meals will be served al fresco for foreseeable future.

Also: will henceforth ask trusted friend to do final walkthrough before locking up.

I finally settled on a 3-pronged attack, involving Terro traps, a couple DIY experiments, and targeted strikes with Windex.

After 24 hours of hard battle, have found:

 - Windex works better than Febreeze and Charlie's cleaner -- even if you miss, it kindof slows them down so you can smack them later

 - The Terro traps were a good start because I was too tired to figure out anything else, but it turns out the Terro trap is, in fact: a heavily-engineered plastic container, containing apple cider vinegar.

 - In the end, my Macgyver'd solution - a very simple plastic container, containing apple cider vinegar - caught the most. (Though the Windex-smacking combo was the most satisfying.)

In summary: Yick. Gross. No thanks.

Filed under: things I do not want to know; things I do not want to deal with

Monday, October 19, 2015

Music: The Hunt - River Whyless

a song about siblings (with a great fiddle part), for youngest brother's birthday-week

River Whyless: The Hunt

Friday, October 16, 2015

MinM*: Patient Tookits and Resources

Resources for undiagnosed patients -- a starting point:

Becoming an Empowered Patient: A Toolkit For The Undiagnosed
PDF Toolkit

For many people with a rare disease, obtaining a correct diagnosis takes time. The Shire Rare Disease Impact Report found:

  • The average patient spends five to seven years searching for a proper diagnosis.
  • They typically consult with up to eight physicians, receiving two to three misdiagnoses.
  • Physicians (both primary care and specialists) often don’t have the time, resources, or information to properly diagnose/manage patients with rare diseases, compared to more common diseases.

Preparing for Appointments

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Wildcat Sports: Auburn Gameday and BBM

'Twas the night before Madness, and the rest of sports is just nuts...

     Spurrier retired resigned

     Grier was suspended

     The Cubs are winning games in October

     Louisville is.. still Louisville

Entropy, people.

Let's play some Thursday Night Football!

Gridiron Kickoff: 7:00 THURS @ New Commonwealth [ESPN]

BBM: 7:00 FRI @ Rupp [SEC]

but there's pregame stuff for both

Who Are the Auburn Tigers

Answers to all of your questions about Life, The Universe, And The Auburn Game

The Orange Ball Breakdown

Also: This How-To Guide to Taylor-gating is the best thing ever and should be read at halftime as a mid-game pick-me-up.

Also: "Halftime entertainment" should be a regular addition to Wildcat Sports. I will make a note...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Poetry: Come Closer

Anis Mojgani may have completely reformed my opinion of spoke word (slam) poetry.

He is not a Christian (his faith would say all faiths are the same). But I was blown away by this picture of who we are as God's own creation, and how he calls us back to him.

there is a doorknob glowing like chance before you
...walk through this with me

The world desperately needs Christ-rooted art and music that is less sugar-sweet, more fiercely hopeful and real. Or at least, I desperately need it.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Music: of Comfort and Peace

dear friends are grieving. and we are heartbroken with them.

Vince Gill - Go Rest High On That Mountain

Johnny Cash - Angel Band

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Wildcat Football: the Bye Week

11 ways to spend the bye-week weekend

As usual, pre-season Cal thinks the team is terrible. (Is there an over-under on how many wins before coach admits they're decent? I say 10)

And L'ville continues to spiral into chaos...

Enjoy the weekend off, and get ready:
Thursday Night Football!
Midnight Madness Friday!
rest up folks, there's a big week ahead!

Friday, October 9, 2015

WTINW*: on T-Shirts and Labels

So, are you a runner?

It is a question that's been following me for the past 2 years. Hanging out in the back of the room, appearing in the middle of conversations out of nowhere. It is short, and trivial, and many a poor unsuspecting stranger has thought they were making easy conversation by asking it. But I hate this question. The answer never leads anywhere good.

Am I a runner?

I want to be.
I used to be.
not fast or good, but I was, I swear.

but honestly? I don't know anymore.

2 years since my last real race, I should admit... 'no'. 
or at least, not for now.

but there is this basket on the floor of my room full of shirts confusing the question.
cooper river
that triathlon in Hawaii
the one at Tanglewood I relay'd with dad

merit badges from another life

that I sometimes wear defiantly
sometimes ironically
and sometimes do not wear, because I've thrown the whole lot of them in the back of the car to drop at the front door of goodwill

Runner, Race Director, GOTR Coach, Habitat House Builder, Shelter Volunteer...
I am constantly confronted with things I used to be

I need new labels.. In t-shirts and in life

Psalm 139:1
[God knows me even when I don't know myself]

*Ways That I'm Not Well: the ridiculous ways in which life is different even though I look the same. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Books: The Wright Brothers

To know me is to know my love of all things that fly through the air.

All things except bats.. most insects... frisbees... actually I'm not a big fan of birds, either.

To know me is to know my love of all man-made mechanical things that carry humans through the air.

Favorite Smithsonian? Air and Space.

Favorite school-time activity break? Watching shuttle launches from the playground.

Biggest disappointment at KSC? There was some kind of space vehicle mockup where they let you mess with all the buttons and knobs, but no instructions on how to run through an actual launch sequence. (What, I'm going to stand here and press random buttons all day? Tell me how it works!)

The Wright Brothers
David McCullough

The Wright Brothers is the story of two crazy men on a mission. Except not so much crazy as humble, hard working, dedicated, diligent mechanical engineers. Which has been much touted through the years, but perhaps lost in the mythology of the Wrights has been the fact that they, and Wilber especially, were truly bona fide geniuses. Who developed systems for calculating the flight of birds, invented a wind tunnel to test wing shapes, and were smart enough to know that building a plane was only half the battle, learning to fly it, the other. Not to mention clever and witty and funny.

My only complaint is near the one directed at KSC -- much to love about the Wrights, their lives before, during, and after their great adventure. But I could have read a whole tome on just the inventing and building and learning to fly the thing. Somehow the building and testing felt anticlimactic -- "they took it out, tried it, tried it again... fast forward: success!"

But a complaint of "too short" is equal parts praise. As with everything David McCullough, if you're going to read one book on the Wrights, read this one; if you're going to read several, start here.

All the time and effort given to the wind tunnel tests, the work designing and building their third machine, and the latest modifications made at Kill Devil Hills had proven entirely successful. They knew exactly the importance of what they had accomplished. They knew they had solved the problem of flight and more. They had acquired the knowledge and the skill to fly. they could soar, they could float, they could dive and rise, circle and glide and land, all with assurance. Now they had only to build a motor.

Incredible that barely over 100 years ago, it was such a controversial thing to ask whether man was meant to fly. Does anything seem so impossible now?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Music: Throwbacks

so there is some kind of throwback trend going on, and I can't even say how much I am loving it.

Anderson East: Only You

Leon Bridges: Coming Home

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats: Howling At Nothing

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Wildcat Football: EKU Gameday

Opening weekend at Keeneland, the kids are recovering from Camp Madness, Boom may or may not be bringing the drama, and it's Homecoming. Big Day in Lex!

Garden & Gun tips for Keeneland novices.

Reasons I already love the 2015-2016 Orange Ball Wildcats Part 1 Part 2

Re. our regularly scheduled football season: Who Is EKU

Due to my own geographical history, I keep thinking we are playing the ECU Pirates and it's all very confusing.

Kickoff: 7:30 @ New Commonwealth

Friday, October 2, 2015

Music: an Otis Redding James Taylor Birthday Mashup

In celebration of dad's birthday... A Music Monday on Friday

Dad found this great Playing For Change version of Dock of the Bay last week, and we've been enjoying digging through their stuff on youtube.

But my best memory of San Francisco is from an old family vacation (the same trip when I was viciously mocked for bringing a suitcase full of sweaters only to arrive in rainy 40deg weather -- 'sayin).

We were stuck at the very end of a trolley line, after a long day of sight-seeing, waiting for what seemed like hours to get back on board and head to the hotel.

But there was a guy with a guitar and an open case playing James Taylor. So dad sent us over, back and forth a dollar at a time, until the poor guy finally ran out of songs and had to start again from the beginning.

And so it was, that my cold and tired siblings and I were serenaded with songs of Carolina, in Ghirardelli Square.

at Amazon:
Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay
JT's Greatest Hits

Thursday, October 1, 2015

WTINW*: Invisible Illness Week and 30 Things

[bonus Thursday post for #invisibleillness week!]

Invisible Illness Week 30 Things

So it turns out this is Invisible Illness Week in the twitter-sphere, and there is a thing going around, where bloggers answer questions about living with their illness. I thought it sounded like a good way to explain my crazy situation... But about halfway through, I realized I don't have the energy for 30 questions. So here are my 30 10:

30 10 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is:

Noooo clue.

Over a dozen doctors, a lot of good theories, but no definite answers... there are a bunch of symptoms but the big ones are: really terrible neuropathy, motor control issues, and muscle weakness/fatigue.

I used to be able to run 5 miles no problem as part of a full day, these days I have trouble getting through the grocery store.

3. 2. But I had symptoms since:

Symptoms were lurking in the background for awhile, but I ran a big race 2 years ago, and could not get my feet back under me.

Kept thinking I would eventually 'shake it off' until a bad episode sent me to the emergency room about a year and a half ago.

4. 3. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is:

Accepting that there are things I can't physically do and learning how to balance energy and activities across good days and bad days.

5. 4. Most people assume:

I'm not sure why, but it's been hard for me to talk about the extent of everything... so then people only know a piece of what's going on, and might think that I just have occasional migraine headaches (one lasted 10 days. seriously.), or that the 'pins and needles' is a sort-of subtle twingy sensation (it is worse. much much worse).

But I am learning how to Talk About This better -- with doctors, and with friends and family, and the world at large.

8. 5. A gadget I couldn’t live without is:

ipad with Kindle, Amazon, and Netflix apps ("dad was right")

iphone with Siri. Siri saves me daily: "Siri set a timer for 10 minutes." "Siri remind me to take medicine in 8 hours..."

9. 6. The hardest part about nights are:

If I can't sleep I hate knowing that the next day will be a lost-day.

14. 7. People would be surprised to know:

How different bad days are from good days -- and how much I wind up paying for fully taking advantage of good days.

How incredibly grateful I am for the gift of community. Before I was sick I was involved in a lot of things that I just can't do anymore.. but I have been incredibly blessed to have been led into new communities that care and look after each other and extend great grace and understanding when I feel like I'm being flaky or inconsistent.

18. 8. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed got sick is:

Running and hiking!!

22. 9. My illness has taught me:

It is continuing to teach me how to ask for help when I need it and how to be more assertive.

And it has really opened my eyes to the way the medical system works and how difficult the journey to a diagnosis can be.

25. 10. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:

"When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I" Psalm 61:2 

"Remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know" A A Milne (paraphrased) 

*Ways That I'm Not Well: the ridiculous ways in which life is different even though I look the same.