Now, here is where I was on December 10, 2006 in my last entry: "I think we'll take a cruise and hopefully find another group of Porsche liberals aboard the Zuiderdam where the Nation has its annual cruise. I know that Molly Ivins will be there, and a lot of other folks who will be basking in the glow of the last election. At least it's not Orange County, or Kansas. Another vacation, and a chance to finish "Fast Food Nation." Fascinating book."
The cruise was fabulous.... lasting from December 16th to 23rd, and it was a wonderful feeling to be able to verbally express myself amidst 4-500 other unembarrassed Liberals and find general agreement. We sat down to dinner with different people every night and found a number of Californians who were intelligent, interesting, creative thinkers.... delightful dinner companions. The speeches and panels were thoughtful and entertaining. We'll be back for the 10th annual Nation Cruise, which will be this summer, to Alaska. I'm confident that the speakers and topics will be just as good, and we will return with the same kind of optimism that there is hope that America will return to its journey forward as a liberal democracy. The pendulum began to swing back with the November election, and it continues with the recognition on the part of 70% of our nation that escalation of troop levels in Iraq is wrong and that involvement in the Iraqi civil war is no more rational than involvement in the Viet Namese civil war. Only the president and Republican diehards cling to the delusion that a "Victory" in Iraq is possible.... but everything that needs to be said has been said, and we must simply keep reminding our elected officials of the people's will. Hooray for Chuck Hegel, Republican senator from Laurie's Nebraska. He called the "surge" the biggest foreign policy mistake since Viet Nam.
After returning home, we had our usual Christmas get together with family, and missed Geoff and Jeanie, Laurie and Matt, and Dirk. Well, 4/7 of our kids was better than nothing, but we missed the absentees. Lin came down with a cold that lasted about 10 days, and on day 2, I started, so we were pretty miserable, and I kept on working with my usual workload, very heavy in the first 2 weeks of each month. I was dragging.
Of course, I was watching my Bruins look horrible in losing to Florida State at the Emerald Bowl, and enjoying the basketball team knocking off some pretty good teams, until they lost to Oregon. There are a lot of very fine teams in the Pac-10, and a loss is unavoidable. In fact, the winner may have 3 losses.
I will stop here and not complain about the usual frustrations in medical practice, the HMO hurdles, the idiots who make health care so arduous and expensive. It would be a full time job, and it would sound like whining, which it is. One hour on the phone to a Medicare Part D carrier and a pharmacy to find out why a patient couldn't get quinine for leg cramps. No incentive for anyone in the system to do the right thing. It finally got solved in an uncompensated hour so you can imagine how often this scenario repeats itself. I had the time because it was week 3! The patient has no idea what it took to get his prescription. I picked it, and I'm healthy, and I'm going out to dinner with my old friend, Dave, the oncologist, and we'll talk about our frustrations and the stupid move of the month. La Brasserie, in Orange, with Lin and Diana, and grandkid stories. Dave's son, Jeff, and his bride, the lovely Melena, are execting twin daughters. And Josh and Tammy are about to have their second child, a daughter, sometime in the next week or so, maybe tonight.