Sunday, December 13, 2009

What We Did For Thanksgiving

My wife and I weren't planning on leaving Kirksville for Thanksgiving, but she went snooping around for plane tickets while I was preoccupied with finals and found great fares to LA where my family was gathering to see the new addition to my brother's family. Here's the pics we took while we were at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.



Mom hiding behind the camera.

Still hiding.















A fuzzy rhino for good measure.

Now mom is hiding behind a hairy gorilla.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Long Time, No Post

I suppose one should expect a med student to be terribly busy, and in that sense my lack of posts means that you, dear reader, are getting some good insight into the actual life of the med student. Among the ways I've been spending time on things other than blogging is applying for the Air Force Health Professions Scholarship Program (HSPS). One of the major obstacles for my application is getting down to military weight, which is 225 lbs for my 76 inch height. I don't really have any before and after pics, but this is the 280 lb version of me that started med school:

So losing 55 lbs is a bit daunting, so I asked about an alternate way to meet the physical requirements. The answer is body fat percentage measured by belly girth minus neck girth plugged into a height formula. Essentially for me, it boiled down to needing my widest girth to be within about 21 inches of my neck. At the 280 lb version, a favorable set of measurements put me at about 28 inches. Seven inches doesn't seem that bad, except that typically, a person will lose inches off the neck before off the waist. I basically decided that with the work required, getting to either goal would likely accomplish the other, so I started working on a plan. During the first week, I just attacked my foods. Breakfast went from a ginormous bowl of cereal to a granola bar, lunch went from large sandwiches or leftover pizza to a single bratwurst with no bun and limited ketchup, and at dinner I cut down to only a first helping. I also went to all diet soda, no exceptions, and changed snacking to 100 calorie packs or the little 60 calorie Jell-O pudding packs. I estimate that the average daily caloric decrease was around 1000. The next step was exercise, which I'm getting a much better amount of. I play intramural basketball and flag football, which are an hour each every week, and I've gotten back into running to the tune of about 3.5 miles in about 30 minutes. Its not Olympic caliber exercise, but I'm getting consistent exercise six days a week so that my caloric use has increased along with the intake decrease. It remains to be seem whether or not I will reach the 225 lbs in time for the scholarship, but so far... I've lost 33 lbs and my pants are falling off!

Monday, September 21, 2009

What Have I Been Doing The Last 2 Months?

So this might be a long post, as I haven't actually put up anything about my actual life in a while, though I did make a brief reference. Summary version goes like this: got married on the 17th of July (picture me doing some version of a happy dance); honeymoon for a week; back to work for 2 days; driving to Boise, Seattle, Semiahmoo, and Victoria for 5 days; my wife flying to Houston without me for 4 days (probably the hardest thing I've ever done right there); me flying down to join her in Houston for the weekend; one week of me working while my wife packed all my stuff (since we never really had a chance to unpack her stuff); babysitting for 2 days, including on the day we checked out of the Utah apartment; 24 hours of driving (which we split up over 2.5 days to get to Kirksville; starting med school orientation 3 days later. I'm kinda tired just from writing it all down.

I'm not a huge picture taker, but I know I have pictures of some of the described events, so I'll post them later. For now, I'll post some wedding pics at the end.

Since the end of the first paragraph, my life has been all about med school. Orientation here at KCOM was stretched out over 3 days (Fri, Sat, Mon) and the Tue that classes started was mostly non-testable ethics and professionalism lectures plus one hour of BioChem. After that, they turned up the speed and it feels like we've been cranking along non-stop since then. I keep thinking they can't feed us information any faster, but I get proven wrong every week so far. Despite the speed, so far I do seem to be doing relatively well and getting good scores on most of my graded assignments.

And now for what people really want:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Truth About Music

Thanks for sharing Amber!

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Next Chapter

So the news is little over a month old, but this is no longer true, "Since I don't even share my apartment with a goldfish, I have to tell somebody about the random crap that comes into my head. You're it." For the next several years, I get to be this, "I'm a crazed medical student that can't remember my own name but knows that the pancytopenia means a deficiency of all blood cells. When my wife can't stand listening to my random thoughts, you get 'em."

Monday, July 13, 2009

Some Huge Thanks

The open house last Saturday turned out very well, thanks to some really great help. So first off, thanks to Paul & Laura for letting us piggy back on their Costco membership and knowing exactly where to find everything we needed; secondly, many thanks to Patricia at Patch Tailoring who did fantastic work on a rush order; next, Aubrey for taking a 3am emergency text in stride and hunting down missing items of importance; and last but not least, Ashton and Zarah for showing up first and asking if there was anything they could do! Thank you all!

A little explanation about the tailoring is in order. A friend of a friend had been asked to sew a shrug for Christa's wedding dress, with a specific fabric and theme based around a yellow (One of Christa's favorite and therefore wedding colors) shirt and tie combo of mine. This was a few months ago and it seemed the easiest solution to getting the exact right shrug without spending eons hoping to find it shopping. Well, it turns out the friend of the friend is a procrastinator that will not be recommended by us and the shrug was not yet completed the day before the open house. Christa went down to the fof's house and spent several hours there while sewing was hastily done. In the end, Christa walked out with a shrug that had a passable body, but the sleeves have thus far been best described as 'balloon animal sleeves.' The material was cut completely straight, so the cap sleeve became a tube and cloth was folded back over itself with no seem at the end of the sleeve to keep the fold in the cloth from making the sleeve balloon. The world came very close to ending that evening. Not even a slight exaggeration. Fortunately, when I started calling tailors, Patricia was still at her workplace and answered my phone call, despite it being after her regular hours. We did pay extra for the rush order, but Patricia gave Christa exactly the right shrug the next morning at 10:30 and world got to live another day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Little Perspective

Those who know me well know that Russia is one of my personal favorite places in the world. Sergei Larenkov has done an unbelievably good job of putting some historical perspective into a modern view of St. Petersburg. (Don't let the ads under the first picture fool you, there are a ton of great shots)

Open House Tomorrow

Hope to see you there! If I've failed you miserably as a friend and this is the first you're hearing about this, I apologize profusely, but still hope to see anyone who is Utah Valley local. Its at my apartment on 7/11 from 1 to 5 and if you need directions, sent me a note at gjcox13 at gmail.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Totally Want One

One what you might ask. Well its one of these:

I'm going to guess its not obvious that its a carnivorous clock, but its no surprise I found it on slashdot.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP King Of Pop

Love him or hate him, he made pop what it is:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

You'd Think They Thought Something Was Wrong With Me

So this is some of what they hook you up with for a polysomnogram. These pictures aren't going to win any photography contests, but that's what you get from a cell phone camera I guess.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'll Start With An Apology

This apology is directed toward anyone who has ever had to sleep within a hundred yards or so of me. Even if that entire space was filled with sound proofing insulation, I'm sure my loud snoring has managed to wake you up. My youngest brother recently told my fiancée that my snoring has woken him from two or more rooms away on more than one occasion. Needless to say, she had some concerns about trying to sleep through my private deforestation imitation, so a couple weeks ago I went to ask my doctor what the real deal with my snoring is.

The doc set me up to get a preliminary sleep study from which I learned that I snored 800 times that night and stopped breathing 11 times. Though he was pretty certain that this pointed to sleep apnea, he still sent me to a specialist to verify this fact. The specialist (ear, nose, and throat) is also fairly certain of that diagnosis, but also told me that my heartburn is frequent enough its eating my throat (Omeprazole is now one of my favorite chemicals ever). So this gets things up the present moment and my scheduled full sleep study tonight. The idea is that they will measure my brain function, heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, breathing, and a bunch of other stuff for the first half the night, and provided sleep apnea is the correct diagnosis, they'll start up a CPAP machine and spend the rest of the night figuring out the minimum requirements to overcome the problem.

Can't say that I expect a terribly restful night tonight, but here's to hoping that outcome of it all is better sleep in the near future!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Four Weeks

That's right, four weeks until the big day! Its amazing how all the excitement and anticipation makes it feel like four weeks is an eternity away, but that the last several months has been so much fun that it feels like they've only been the blink of an eye.

And I'm a total slacker, so congrats to Dano & Sarah, Jenny & Blair, and Jake & Jennie, all the newlyweds that beat me to the altar!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This Is How The Government Spents Our Money

I think I'm a reasonably smart guy. I like the fun of the moment, but I try to make a lot of my decisions based on the long term picture. That's a portion of why I bought myself a Toyota Corolla about 6 years ago. Its a relatively inexpensive car that also gets great gas mileage. Smart. So we all know about how the economy has tanked in the last couple of years and that the government is doing its best to print enough money to pay for all the new programs that not all of us need, right? Well this particular program for the government to give you a voucher for your POS car is one of the dumb programs that hit closer to home for me. Why should my tax dollars be spent to 'correct' the poor economic decisions of people who purchased gas guzzlers or the car companies that made the stupid things in the first place!!! If you're not incredibly worried about what our government is doing, I urge to you read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Revisiting More Signigicant Matters

A few days ago I mentioned a rather significant life event but managed to push that post off the top way too fast. So I just thought I'd shout into the nothing that is the blogsphere (or is that twitter?) again that I'm getting married!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Quick Update

So thanks to Will and Debbie at Utah Wedding Photography for letting me know that they have additional Conrad Ranch photos up! If you didn't check out the links in this and in the last post, you really are missing seeing an amazing place and an amazing job of seeing it captured on film.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Why I Have Been A Delinquent Blogger

So I hope the word travels faster than my ability to talk to everyone because I'm hoping that the news that I'm getting married isn't new. Major apologies to those who haven't heard it yet, but my attention to anything other than my bride-to-be has generally gotten a low priority. Picture me with a grin on my face and an expression that doesn't seem to know what reality is and that's about me for the last several weeks.

What reality I am in touch with is that the date is July 17th, the location is Conrad Ranch up Provo Canyon (I couldn't find any pictures anywhere except on this photographer's blog and figured they would appreciate me sending you to them rather than posting their pictures on my own), and the lady is the most amazing person in the world!

In that spirit, it is time to retire, "Since I don't even share my apartment with a goldfish, I have to tell somebody about the random crap that comes into my head. You're it." The random crap is still going to be shared, but soon, so is the apartment, and let's face it, by signing up with me my finance is sentencing herself to hear more random crap than ever gets up here. Anyway, the point is: I'm going to change the 'About Me' section and I'd like anyone who reads my blog to give me a one or two sentence descriptor that they like, so comment away!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Good Laugh

I heard about this Josh Faure-Brac cartoon from my buddy Mikal Belicove and just had to pass along the laugh.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Shoes

Not everyone is a fan of new shoes they way my buddy Jake is (dude owns a book on the subject!). Anyway, I really like my new shoes, so here's a picture:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Random Stuff Wins

So I like the two analytics services (Google Analytics and StatCounter) I use on my blog, and occasionally I get a really good kick out of what they tell me. This weeks fun came from the keywords that y'all have been finding me with.

There's mundane stuff like 'overflowed brain' where I come in as the top hit. Someone really must have spent a long time on lmu dcom interview'lmu dcom interview' cause I don't show up until the seventh page of results (at the time of this post). I'm a big OOTS fan, so I although I no longer show up when searching "it only shows reality programming," I assume other fans have seen my blog. Some people go for the very literal with 'greg blog utah goldfish' turning me up as the fifth result. The winner of the day however, is 'kathy dideum' where I'm on the ninth page. (It took me a while to figure that one out, but thanks to Bo Diddly's mention of his last name under Identity Crisis and my aunt Kathy's blog, my site becomes a winner!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Bet Your Job Isn't This Cool

Since we had so much snow today:

Doba's owner decided we needed to have a snowball fight at work, which he announced by coming into the building with an armload of snowballs and throwing them in the cubicles, through office doors, and on the pool table. You so wish you had my job.

and Taxes

So I got a letter from the IRS yesterday.

That 'Oh, no!' gut reaction you just had was the same one I had when I saw the letter. I filed my taxes a couple weeks ago, and thanks to the retardation of the US tax code I didn't get a refund for the first time in my life. With that in mind I was figuring that the best possible outcome for the letter was that they were going to tell me that my payment had failed or was for the wrong amount or something along those lines. I opened the letter and the first thing I read was that they found an error on my taxes, and I just about had a heart attack.

Well, I should be more optimistic, because they went on to explain that I failed to give myself one of the credits I didn't know existed. Since my taxes were already paid, they sent me a check for the credit amount, which was in a letter at the bottom of my mail stack.

Thank you IRS... in gratitude for helping me out, I promise to not hate you for the next... 30 seconds or so.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter

I may be a day late in posting this, but its never too late to share a message like this.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Deserve A Pat On The Back

I've always filled out at least one bracket in Yahoo!'s Tournament Pick 'Em but I've never done very well. I mentioned last week that I was doing rather well, and I actually finished out on the strong note.
Round 1: 24/32
Round 2: 12/16
Round 3: 8/8
Round 4: 3/4
Round 5: 2/2
Round 6: 1/1
I actually won going away in my work (Doba) pool. Better luck next year guys!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Go Spartans!

Thanks to some great play by Michigan St., my bracket is at the top of my office pool. As you can see, the sweet sixteen games were very good to me!

Friday, March 27, 2009

I Don't Think Of Myself As A Complainer

But sometimes I just want things to be over with. In this case, I have been trying to sell the rings, more specifically the diamond, from my failed marriage. This is a total nightmare. No one really wants 'failed' jewelry apparently. So the ex knows I haven't sold it, and I assume she's complained about it to her friends because she sent me an email asking what I thought about having a friend of hers try and help us sell it on eBay.

OK, so I think to myself, I hate this ring, I want it gone, fine, anything to unload this thing. I send the ex a response saying OK, but lets sign a selling agreement, just to be safe. Dumb. So she forwards her friend's response to my request to have something signed before he sells the thing. Not helpful. At all. I'm not really surprised, I mean, the only reason I can think that he would be wanting to help her sell this thing is to get in her pants, and damn it if his email doesn't basically tell her she should just ask for the ring from me straight up.

I now know myself to be dealing with an ex who's deciding to ask all kinds of 'what if' questions and feel all sentimental about our marriage from hell. Can't tell you what kinds of warm fuzzies that gives me... cause they ain't warm or fuzzy.

If anyone reading this wants to buy the ring or stone, let me know, cause I'm ready to entertain just about any offer just to get the thing off my hands...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Its Nice To Know You Have An Impact

So I was sent an article for which Doba's founder Jeremy Hanks was interviewed. The article is focused on how Doba's restructuring over the last year or so is creating a stable company despite economic trouble. The bit that talks about me:
It took considerable resources to build the data warehouse and BI capability — around $100,000 including six months of a top engineer's time, Hanks says — but it's already starting to pay off.

"We go and we say, 'Greg, I need this and this and this' and he can get it out of the system for us," Hanks says.

Now his team can see, for instance, not just the average monthly retention rate, but the retention rate for customers who found the service through Google ads versus those who came through partners.

He can see whether an alternate sign-up process the company tests makes a difference, or whether customers attracted by search ads with particular keywords behave differently than those lured by other keywords.

That kind of real-world information really helps you marketing team understand what pays off — and to continue to invest in their most winning campaigns.

Makes a guy feel good to know the head honchos like what he does. Thanks Jer!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Kid Missionary Brother

So my brother included this in his weekly letter home, and it struck a strong chord with me.

Elder Maxwell said: “Most of all, revelation requires us to have a sufficient degree of personal righteousness so that on occasion revelation may come to the righteous unsolicited.” That is the reason why merely “not crossing the line” isn’t good enough. You have to be doing your best to do what you know to be right in order to be worthy of having the Spirit to that degree.

(My brother is serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Guatemala, and I consider him to be one of my spiritual heroes. For any who don't know what that means or want to know more about why the above quote means so much to me, please ask!)

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Favorite

All American Rejects - Gives You Hell: this video really hit the spot for me. Wish I could embed it for you here, but copyright laws, blah blah blah.

You might have to try another location to see the video.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Why Do We Do This To Ourselves

As I sit here at work, really wishing that it didn't feel as tired as I do, I can't help but be angry about having lost an hour in my schedule over the weekend. Even the best explanations about why we do this ridiculous thing with our clocks leaves a logical mind wondering why we don't just pick one version of the time and stick with it. As far as I can tell, the reasoning from the opposition camp is way more sound than anything else you ever hear. I could almost move to Arizona just for the lack of daylight saving.

So not many have commented here, but I've heard from many people in person and on facebook that they agree with my thoughts here. Not one person has said they like daylight saving time, so what is it that keeps us practicing it? Is there someone out there that likes this and just hasn't said so? Please comment if you're out there, I'd love to know your thoughts.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Contemplations On Insanity

I think everyone asks themselves if they are insane from time to time. I feel like the frequency of this idea has gone up for me lately, so I thought I'd get some expert opinions on the subject:

There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
Oscar Levant

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

Love: a temporary insanity, curable by marriage.
Ambrose Bierce

When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark Twain

The sanity of society is a balance of a thousand insanities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Insanity in individuals is something rare -- but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.
Friedrich Nietzsche

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allan Poe

In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.
Oscar Wilde

Insanity is hereditary; you can get it from your children.
Sam Levenson

Monday, March 2, 2009

My Recently Favorite Playlist

The Party's Crashing Us - Of Montreal
In This Life - Delta Goodrem
Fall For You - Secondhand Serenade
Sideways - Citizen Cope
How I Could Just Kill A Man - Charlotte Sometimes
Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
Shattered - O.A.R.
Chasing Pavements - Adele
Shadow On The Wall - Brandi Carlile
Love Song - Sara Bareilles
All I Got - Newton Faulkner
Midnight Bottle - Colbie Cailat
Best Days Of Your Life - Kellie Pickler
Ashes - Embrace
Better In Time - Leona Lewis
Believe Again - Delta Goodrem
Loving You - Paolo Nutini
You Picked Me - A Fine Frenzy
Wake Up - Coheed & Cambria
Viva La Vida - Coldplay

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me

I think everyone should have some cake in celebration of the day, so here's what you should make:


Bring to a boil
* ½ lb butter
* 4 T cocoa
* 1 C water
Mix separately
* 2 eggs
* 2 C sugar
* 1 tsp vanilla
* ½ tsp salt
* 1 tsp soda
* ½ C buttermilk
* both above mixtures
* 2 C flour

Pour into a greased jelly roll pan (11 X 17)
Bake 375 for 20 min.

Make ICING just before cake is done

* 1 cube butter
* 3 T cocoa
* 6 T milk
* 3 1/2 C powdered sugar (1 lbs)
Beat and add
* 1 tsp vanilla

Sprinkle miniature marshmallows over hot cake
Pour hot icing over marshmallows.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

100 Books

Apparently I like these survey style things I keep seeing on facebook, so you, dear reader, get to suffer through knowing my survey taking habits.

1) Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read.
2) Add a '+' to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total at the bottom.
5) Add an 'M' if you saw the movie
6) Add a '-' if you've started it

(XM) 1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
(XM+) 2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
(-) 3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
(XM+)4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
(XM) 5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
(XM) 6. The Bible (M being The 10 Commandments ;)
(X) 7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
() 8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
(XM+) 9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
() 10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
X-7 M-6 *-0 --1 +-3

(XM) 11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
() 12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
() 13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
(XM) 14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (I'm sure there's more movies than I've seen, but I've seen a ton)
() 15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
(XM+) 16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (really really bad movie)
() 17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
() 18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
() 19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
() 20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
X-10 M-9 *-0 --1 +-4

() 21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
(XM) 22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
() 23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
(*) 24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
(XM+) 25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
() 26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
() 27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
(XM) 28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
(XM) 29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
(*) 30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
X-14 M-13 *-1 --1 +-5

() 31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
() 32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
(XM+) 33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
() 34. Emma - Jane Austen
() 35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
(XM+) 36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (don't know who did this list and didn't see this as part of #33)
(*) 37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hossein
() 38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
() 39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
() 40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
X-16 M-15 *-2 --1 +-7

(X) 41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
(XM+) 42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
() 43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
() 44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
() 45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
(M) 46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
() 47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
() 48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
() 49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
() 50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
X-18 M-17 *-2 --1 +-8

() 51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
(XM) 52. Dune - Frank Herbert
() 53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
(X) 54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
() 55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
() 56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
() 57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
() 58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
() 59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
() 60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
X-20 M-18 *-2 --1 +-8

(XM) 61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
(M) 62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
() 63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
() 64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
(M) 65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
() 66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
() 67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
() 68. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
() 69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
(X) 70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
X-22 M-21 *-2 --1 +-8

() 71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
() 72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
(XM) 73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
() 74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
() 75. Ulysses - James Joyce
(*) 76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
() 77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
() 78. Germinal - Emile Zola
() 79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
() 80. Possession - AS Byatt
X-23 M-22 *-3 --1 +-8

(XM+) 81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
() 82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
() 83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
() 84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
() 85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
() 86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
(XM+) 87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
() 88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
(X+) 89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
() 90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
X-26 M-24 *-3 --1 +-11

() 91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
() 92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (In French, no less)
() 93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
() 94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
() 95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
() 96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
(M) 97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
(XM) 98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare (again with the duplication)
(XM+) 99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
(XM+) 100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
X-29 M-28 *-3 --1 +-13

Read 29
Started 1
Movie 28
Future Reads 3
And even though there is one I've started, I'm not seeing really ever finishing that one. I guess this just confirms I like to read off of non-'classic' shelves.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

25 Random Things

Yep, I gave in.

1. I hate all salad dressing.
2. I have been seriously proposed to twice.
3. I have had glasses since the age of 2.
4. Purple is my favorite color.
5. I think barely cooked is the only way to eat beef.
6. I have been to Canada several times, but never to Mexico.
7. When I'm driving on road trips, I like to do things like figure out the next time the miles on the odometer and the sum of the digits will both be divisible by the number of digits and where (geographically) I could get to by the time that happens. Yep I'm nerdy.
8. I once stayed awake for 76 straight hours.
9. I am an Eagle Scout.
10. I once tied for 3rd place in a photography contest.
11. I can play the piano and guitar.
12. My favorite song is Just Wait by Blues Traveler and has been for 10+ years.
13. Thirteen is my lucky number.
14. I think the death penalty is under utilized.
15. I have over 100 cousins.
16. Despite participation in many other mind altering activities, I've never had a single drink with alcohol.
17. I have sewn my own clothes.
18. My favorite indulgence is cookie dough ice cream, followed very shortly by all night LAN parties.
19. One of my life goals is to beat my dad at Trivial Pursuit, the original version.
20. I have stolen a girl from a best friend.
21. I have cried over the outcome of a sporting event.
22. I am an organ donor.
23. My favorite book is Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli.
24. I am named after my dad and my great-grandpa.
25. My favorite movie is August Rush.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It IS A Tumor

Or was, or whatever. I had this lump on my back, where the neck and shoulder meet, for ages, and I'd asked a doc or two about it. The answer was always, if it isn't growing and isn't bothering you, don't bother it. OK, I can handle that. It never bothered me until this year during all the med school interviews, when I found it to be extremely tender and getting bigger. So I go in to the doc and he tells me all about lipoma, and tells me he can get rid of this thing since its bothersome. Great. He has me schedule an hour appointment for something he says he doesn't think will take longer than 30 minutes or so.

And we arrive at mistake number one. What with the doc making no big fuss and me having had this thing for years, I think its a complete non-issue. Ask any woman in my life their thoughts on that. I think my girlfriend was contemplating homicide when she didn't find out I was having the thing removed, let alone that I had a tumor, until about 18 hours before the scheduled appointment. I didn't tell my mom about getting the thing removed until well after the said event... also dumb.

So I show up to my appointment, with moral support, and think I'm going to go back to work once I'm done. HA! Two hours later, the stitching me back together gets started. Turns out there was not quite two golf balls worth of material hanging out under my skin (and I should have gotten a picture with my phone, but hey, we already covered me and dumb). So if you didn't go to the lipoma link yet, its a fatty tumor. In my case, it had large amount of connective tissue not only attached to it, but interwoven into it. Not really a huge deal, but you know how to get a splinter out, you push at the base of a splinter to get it to start poking its head back out the hole, well the doc couldn't get the thing to poke out of the incision much at all cause it was being held in too tightly. So then she (the initial doc and the op doc are in fact different people) tried grabbing on to it to pull it a little way out, or at least expose the first line of connective tissue for cutting. The tumor was broken up enough by all the connective tissue that every time she tried to grab the thing, tiny pieces would break off from the main mass. Well, it all just amounted to taking a long time to get enough stuff cut away that the primary mass could finally be pulled out. Then there was the encasing that had to be cut away. Then stitching.

Stitching me closed was a bit of an adventure, as in, the doc broken needles trying to stick them through me. I have no idea how this happens, but apparently, I'm tough, like a really bad steak. So eventually, they do get some needles to do what they want and I'm closed up and head home. End of story... I wish. I get a call a few hours later that the needle count is off. Its a weird thing to hear. The doc says that they think one probably got dropped on the floor or something, but since they didn't account for all the needles, they want me to come in for an x-ray. Sure enough, one of the broken needles has a decent portion of it left in my back. So that sucks, but I figure they just cut the stitches pull thing out and re-stitch. Wrong again. They cut the stitches and they can't see the needle at all. They took a little metal pellet and tape it to my back and take more x-rays and use that marker to narrow down exactly where this thing should be. Eventually, to tell exactly how deep it is, they actually stuck the pellet in the hole for relative depth. That all sounds like it shouldn't take that long. Wrong again. Three hours.

So I had felt kinda beat up Tuesday night, once the anesthesia wore off yesterday, I've been feeling more like I got hit in the neck by a semi. If anyone reading this doesn't know me well enough to have guessed this already, I'm not suing the doc. He did offer me compensation for my antibiotics, appointment co-pay, and my time away from work, which I will accept. Long story short, its not a tumor any more, its a big hole.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Med School Questions Other People Thought Of

OK, so first, I am not leaving for Missouri tomorrow. With classes starting in August, I figure the first of August is probably the earliest possible departure, but I probably won't know for sure until when I'm leaving until April or May.

Entertainment in this part of Missouri is hunting, camping, fishing... there is an 8 screen movie theater, a Wal-Mart, and Truman State University in town, but frankly, its the kind of town where focusing on studying really won't be too hard.

A couple things that made A.T. Still University the best option in my mind. First, its the oldest D.O. school, A.T. Still being the founder of osteopathic medicine. Locationally, I had preferred going to AZ, but they are a very new school, doing some very new things with their training. I liked what their philosophy is and think it will become more prevalent, but I decided I would rather go somewhere more established, feeling this gives me better opportunities to get into whatever specialty I eventually choose. LMU DCOM is the other school I got accepted to; it is a new school, and in travel time is a bit further from 'home' than Kirksville. I flatly did not like Nova Southeastern. I'm sure its great for some, but I'm not one of them. The University of Toledo would be a good fit for me, except that I have been thoroughly converted to the osteopathic philosophy.

And lastly, for those who don't understand what osteopathic medicine is, that last link is has a pretty good explanation, I recommend it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Identity Crisis

So I have a name that's pretty common. I've tried googling myself for years, originally just to see what's out there, then to see if I could actually find something actually about me. There's a dermatologist in Atlanta and a sci-fi writer that are the most popular users of my name, but I also found

1. MySpace - 376 profiles
2. Facebook - 121 profiles
3. Friendster - 107 profiles
4. ZoomInfo - 78 profiles
5. Spaces - 68 profiles
6. Linkedin - 41 profiles
7. Hi5 - 32 profiles
8. Yahoo - 27 profiles
9. Bebo - 11 profiles
10. IMDB - 6 profiles

My name is common, so I tried adding other words to try and get something. I figured that maybe old high school box scores or the local paper in the town I grew up in might turn up some results... HA! None of those things worked out quite like I'd hoped, but the high school name did turn up the first correct hit I've ever seen. Identity crisis over.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Look Out Missouri, Here I Come!

So the decision has officially been made, I will attend A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine! I get to send in my signed acceptance letter along with my savings account later today. I know I told plenty of folks that I wanted to go to school in Mesa, but the school there just didn't match up with what I think I want from my medical education (as if any prospective med student really has any idea what medical education should be). So I'm excited enough that I'm know I'm not really answering a lot of the questions y'all are likely to have about how this whole process goes, but all the fun starts August 21st. And for everything else I've completely failed to address, please ask!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

And We Pay For This...

This just gives me all kinds of warm fuzzies about my government:
Washington » Nearly 400 U.S. House members voted for a resolution Thursday honoring the University of Florida football team for winning the Bowl Championship Series title.

But Utah's delegation was not among them.

Read the whole thing in The Salt Lake Tribune
Its just revolting that congress wastes its time on crap like this when there are real problems out there.

Super Food

I never thought I could damage my health enough to have a heart attack just by looking at pictures of food, but I think these guys at Holy Taco have proven its possible.

You really should check out the 'making of' over on their site.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Choices, Choices

I got a call today from AT Still Kirksville, offering me my second acceptance to medical school! After three years of famine, the feast seems to have arrived!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And The Down Side Is

$2,000. Yep, $2,000. That's how much LMU wants as a non-refundable deposit to hold my place in the next entering class. And they want it in 14 days. I would really like to have a chance to hear back from some other schools before making a wicked monetary choice like this, especially since I can't get any of that med student loan money until the fall.

In other news, I finished my weekend of way too much travel without any incidents, major or minor. I interviewed Monday at the University of Toledo, one of the schools I interviewed at last year. I feel like I did much better there this year than last, but still don't feel like I did nearly as well as I did at the LMU and Kirksville interviews. All told, I'm still pulling for Arizona, but I want another one of the schools, specifically Kirksville, to accept me so that I can still hold a spot somewhere without paying for it while I wait on Arizona (where I don't interview until Friday).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Let The Good Times Roll

So I'd say this picture pretty much sums up my week. Obviously the med school acceptance was a huge deal; I get a pretty good emotional high from completing my short term goals, so having this three-year-way-to-many-thousand-dollar investment pay off was exponentially more satisfying. I'm still going to the other interviews because as cool as acceptance to LMU is, Harrogate, TN just isn't the most happening place on the planet. I think I liked the atmosphere in Harrogate better than Ft. Lauderdale, so were I to have a choice there, I think TN wins. I'm a bit torn over Harrogate vs. Kirksville. They both require a lot of time to get to (though they're not so remote as what my sister deals with since they both have Wal-Marts), but after having visited Kirksville and finding out how strongly the LDS church is represented in the student body, its a harder to say that TN is clearly higher on the list. So that's med school.

I also went on something of a last minute date last night, and she's not 17! So now that we've got that question out of the way... I'm seriously impressed by this girl. My cell battery will attest to the fact that I very much fancy this girl. I think I need new words between like (something that belongs on the note passed in elementary school) and love (cause we abuse this term to avoid 'like' when we, and in this case I, very much don't mean it). For the high points, she's a lady that allows me to be a gentlemen (you guys all know you dig that), extremely intelligent (which translates into very enjoyable conversation), doesn't let that intelligence interfere with her faith, and she 'fits' (sorry Emily, I'm wasting my height again). Lest I sound obsessed, mom, this still belongs in the 'getting to know you' category of dating; everything I've learned just happens to be positive.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Med School Here I Come!!!!!!

I got in! I got in! I got in! I got in! I got in! I got in! I got in! I got in! Can you tell how excited I am?! I got a call from the Dean of Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harrogate, TN, informing me that he had just signed my acceptance letter and wanted to congratulate me. So that whole trauma over just getting to the school turned out to be worth it!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ever Wonder Who That Was

Ever been sitting in the airport when they were paging someone for immediate departure and wondered who that person is and how they would up having to be paged? Myself and 6 or 7 other passengers on my Ft. Lauderdale to Atlanta flight got to be those people while we sprinted from Gate B3 to B31 (about a half mile run). Nothing so interesting as the last interview, but still more excitement than I look for in my travels.

The interview itself was OK; I'd rate it not quite as good as LMU-DCOM from earlier this week.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Things Not To Do

1 - Lose your driver's license.
2 - Do #1 while traveling.
3 - Do #2 on the outbound leg.
4 - Do #3 when you have to rent a car for a 90 mile drive.
5 - Pack a suit but not a tie.

I case there's any doubt, I managed to do these thing on Sunday. I discovered the license to be missing when I landed in Knoxville, and promptly talked to a airline agent. They called the desk in Detroit at the gate where I had waited for my connection, and told me it was found at would be on the next flight in to Knoxville. Five hours and three flights later, no license. At this point I just had to get out to Harrogate, so I got to a couple cabbies to bid on my 90 mile drive. I do recommend making the drivers compete, but I do not recommend needing a 90 mile taxi ride (it costs too much even when they have to compete with each other).

The next morning I realized I had failed to pack a tie... just plain dumb. There was a Wal-Mart across the the street from my hotel, so that turned out fine. After buying a new tie, I talked to everyone in the hotel lobby who was wearing a suit, until I found another student there for the interview and who was driving back through Knoxville. He saved me the pain of another 90 mile cab ride.

When I got back to the airport, I went to the airline desk to inquire about my license again, but they had no new news. They did give me the desk number for the gate in Detroit so I could pursue things further myself, but of course, the agent at the desk had to refer my inquiry to a supervisor and told me to call back after at least an hour. So in the mean time, I checked in for my flight home.

Apparently a student ID with picture and signature line combined with multiple credit cards can get you checked in to a flight and through security; if you agree to allow them to search you and your carry ons as though you walked up and told them your a drug camel. OK, it wasn't that bad, it was even really funny to hear the security guy tell me the S's on my ticket meant I had been 'randomly' selected for additional security measures. Yep, random.

So its at about this time that I learn my flight to Atlanta is delayed. Not a big deal. About every ten minutes they added another five minutes to our estimated departure time. By the time we get on the plane, its already going to be a close call on catching my connection to Salt Lake, so I've also been given a provisional booking on a later flight. The earlier flight would get me to Salt Lake at 8:30, the later at midnight. As I'm telling this whole story to the girl sitting next to me, she makes a joke, something about Murphy's corollaries and how there's no way our plane will get to Atlanta in time for the early connection. Sure enough, the pilot then comes on the intercom and says we're #1 for take off but can't leave because the airspace around Atlanta has no windows to add us to their traffic pattern...

Atlanta is a big airport, so landing at 6:12 for a 6:15 flight that's 3 terminals away just doesn't work out all that well. The upside of suddenly having a three hour layover is that I get to call Detroit again. The official report from the supervisor is that no one ever found my license and they have no idea why Knoxville thought they had. Lovely. I called the Detroit airport main line and talked to their lost and found, and as I should have expected, no dice there either.

So there you have it. Oh, almost forgot, the interview itself actually managed to go fairly well, and I actually got a very positive read from one of the interviewers :D

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Score Another One

So I got home last night from playing video games around 1am, and since I'm retarded I thought it would be a good time to check my email. Well, turns out the late night check was worth it, cause I had another interview request for AT Still Arizona waiting for me! So hurray for me! I'm pretty excited to about all these interviews; the first one on Monday just can't come fast enough.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

John Denver's Turn

Since I love musical references, apparently, I made another one ("Back Home Again").

Fortunately, the drive home was much better than the drive up to Boise, and I'd say the whole trip was definitely worth more than the trouble of getting there (see last post). Its a ton of fun to hang with my youngest brother, playing video games, football, and maintaining my 1 on 1 bball dominance (since I can't beat him at anything else any more). I think one of the coolest moments was playing Trivial Pursuit with my Dad, brother, and sister (we gave my Dad the newest genus of the game for Christmas) and all three of us managed to get all six wedges before him. That's a life goal accomplished right there folks.

The star of the show was my niece, of course, but we only got to have her around for a couple days, as that brother had to get back to work the soonest. Runner up goes to the ol' missionary Christmas phone call with my brother in Guatemala, who's mission president gave them permission to talk, "until the money runs out." I got 20 minutes all to myself.

Anyway, it was good to hang with the family for a couple weeks for the holidays, but its always nice to get back on my own turf again, even if it means back to work on Monday.