Saturday, May 8, 2010


This being my last weekend in Pittsburgh I figured I could finally update this again. The past month has been extremely busy with graduating, packing to move, and saying goodbye to friends and family. It has also been perhaps the best month I have ever had in Pittsburgh, which is making this even more difficult to leave. I am very excited to move to a new place, meet new people and see what life on the west coast is like but it will be hard to leave all of my friends and family behind. My trip begins Monday as I set out on the 5 day drive. I have started a Twitter (yea yea I know) to post quickly from my phone so look for pics or updates during my trip.

2 More days... Anyway, go Pens!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mr. Tire, A Frown of an Experience.

So finding an apartment couldn't be easy and straightforward so I will be flying out to Portland tonight at 7:00pm and coming home Thursday evening. While this is a bit inconvenient it is probably for the best as I will actually get to visit Portland before I just uproot and move there and I can properly evaluate apartments. I am just irked that I will have to come in two days the week after I should be done with rotations completely. Oh well. Pictures will be coming shortly.

Over the weekend I happened to get another flat tire and unfortunately decided to follow the AAA guy's recommendation and went to Import/Export Cooper Tire in Monroeville to get it repaired. I know nothing about cars at all and have not dealt with many repairs or mechanics so I figured that someone in the business like my AAA rescuer would be able to point me in the right direction. Well I can't comment on how Import/Export used to be, but I can say that it is now owned by Mr. Tire while still being operated by the old staff. This change required the implementation of a new computer system which was the downfall of my day. They were a bit busy but they assured me my tire could be repaired or changed in 1 hour. This gave Roxanne and I time to go grab some food at Kings. And watch some TV in the waiting room. And read every magazine in the waiting room. And color in children's coloring books with rose art 'crayons' (anyone who has used a RoseArt crayon knows the title is applied very loosely). So after 2 hours of waiting for a simple tire change, it was announced that  our car was ready. So I go up to pay and there are 3 other people ready to check out. Well the 'kind' mechanic at the counter was very skilled at utilizing a computer, typing at a speed of about 10 KEYS per minute, looking up every few moments to utter some remark about how the system was new. Unless the 'system' came with a keyboard in Japanese kanji there is no excuse for how far behind on the learning curve he fell. Well after about 20 minutes of waiting to pay, I finally was set free and I can assure you I will not be returning. Perhaps if the staff were even just a bit courteous i could have overlooked the waste of my time but the customer service just is not there. Their symbol says it all. Mr. Tire will make you frown.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Search Continues...

Holy freaking crap! I am posting? Yea well rotations keep me busy and I really haven't been doing much but working so I haven't posted. However, seeing as my rotations switched and I have a few developments as far as the move goes I figured I could take a few minutes to write something. Oh yea, I went to Washington D.C. too for the APhA-ASP national convention.

So rotations. Rotation #6 at CHP completed finally. I learned a lot and worked too hard, but its finally done and I have now officially started my last rotation and last bit of schoolwork ever. I am now in my second week at the Hillman Cancer Center for my acute care rotation. I am not so taken with it so far as it seems to pretty much be a lot of duplication from my other rotations, but I am just eager to finish up so I may be giving it a biased review. Anyway, there are 4 more weeks of this left and 2 more presentations to give (glioblastoma and lieomyosarcoma) and then I am done!!!!

My trip to the APhA 2010 conference was funded by the school, got me out of rotation for 3 days and was my first experience at a professional conference. It rained the WHOLE time, all of my clothes were drenched, and the hotel room was a bit cramped with 5 guys in a 2 small double bed room, but it was a great time. I got to learn a little bit about pharmacy, got to see D.C. a bit, and got to hang out with some other pharmacy kids for a bit and just relax which was really fun. I brought my camera along but it was so wet out the only pictures I took were in bars and I had a difficult time steadying my hand.

The best picture I took the whole time - P1 and P2 kids I hung out with

the rest were like this.

And then in 42 days, Portland. I finally stopped in to see the vet about how to get my lion Furball onto a plane with the reassurance that I will be able to drug the crap out of him. Now as for the second most difficult part of moving, finding an apartment. For nearly the past 2 months I have been looking up every apartment, townhouse and rental in Portland in the hopes of finding any place that Roxanne, Furball and I could stay in comfortably. I had hoped to have signed a lease a while ago but no one in Portland seems to want to set up a lease as far in advance as I would have liked. After emailing some 40-50 some apartments I finally have found a decent place that is ready to talk about signing a lease. If everything goes well, the lease will be signed this week and apartment 216 will be ours. Keep your fingers crossed.

That's about it for now. I will try and update more in the future. Oh yea, Hellhounds finished off the season in first place 15-1-0 and one the first playoff game 7-1. Semifinals are 2 weeks from now. Come watch at the Harmorville Bladerunners if you are bored 2 Sundays from now.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Brown Blizzard

Well the plans are only in a framework state at the moment, but Roxanne and I are set to move to Portland, OR in early/mid May. Today is transplant Day -76, and I still have a lot of things left to do here in Pittsburgh before it is all said and done. It is also only 68 days until I graduate and technically am a doctor (see picture below for details). I said I would start one of these for the people here at home to stay in touch so here it is.

After a long 3 month reprieve marred by the Snowmageddon of 2010, I am back on my P4 rotations. I am a week and a half into my pediatric oncology acute care rotation at CHP and am finally falling back into the rhythm of working. Driving to the rotation turned out to be a pain in the ass (not to mention expensive as we pay tuition to go work for free...YAY!) as you have to park in a garage and take a shuttle to get to the hospital for a total transit time of 45-60 minutes. So I have been walking home as it only takes 40 minutes  and I can use some exercise. This has only been possible now that reasonable weather has resumed and most of the blizzard has melted. However, now that the snow itself has melted, I have noticed that a new blizzard has hit Pittsburgh. Almost as despised as the classic blizzard, this is a blizzard of the brown. As the weather warms up, snow melts, and mobility returns, the creatures of the burgh migrate to the streets to finally void their bowels in a more ventilated location and give their pizza air fresheners a chance to overpower the stench of their luxury poop-holes.

Having narrowly avoided these poostacles on a daily basis for over a week now, I decided to do a little analysis of the actual severity of the situation. To me it has seemed that I have been wading through knee deep sidewalks of defecate, but I wanted to quantify the situation in more concrete terms. Following a path along the left side of the road starting at CHP and ending at my apartment on Walnut street, every incidence of sidewalk poop was recorded. For the purpose of this study, an incidence of poop consists of the whole deed, and is not counted log per log. If the sample was qualitatively consistent enough and in a close enough proximity to other samples that one could reasonably assume it originated from the same creature, it was marked as one incidence. In the entire 2.1 mile (11088ft) trip, 23 sidewalk poops were counted. That gives Pittsburgh's current state of existence a poop per 482ft. With the average person taking 2000 steps to walk a mile, each step is about 2.64 ft, which means that in Pittsburgh, you are at risk of soiling your shoes every 183 steps! Go to red alert! The situation is critical! All prior studies on the subject show that a poo-per-step rate of <250 steps is indicative of a brown blizzard and cause for alarm. So, for the love of your feet and your shoes, call your mayor and let him know that he once again needs to come and save us from the blizzard. Call out the plows and backhoes! If we are lucky, we might have this cleared up by next year. In the meantime, get out your waders.

Monday, February 22, 2010