Heidi, Kevin, David, and Grandpa Paul all contributed to this issue! With so many contributors, it didn't take long to finish it. And with Anthony always happy to pose for the camera, there are more baby pictures also.
Amazing! Those Pennsylvania Squirrels just don't give up. Remember the bird feeder that hangs from the front yard tree - the famous Hunter-Killer of Weston put a wire mesh cage around it. The cage was built so that small birds could get in, but the squirrels could not. A larger mesh would allow bigger birds and squirrels access. A smaller mesh would allow no birds in and of course no squirrels.
Well the caged bird feeder worked... kind of. The birds still feed there everyday. The feed in the bird feeder lasts about a month as opposed to a week when the squirrels had unlimited access. But.... guess who the Hunter-Killer sees every afternoon at the bird feeder? Yep! Those pesky squirrels! The climb to the bottom of the cage and stick their small heads thru the mesh and eat off the dish at the bottom of the feeder. Not too much, but just enough to encourage them to come back often.
What to do? For now, this is our Mexican Stand-Off. The squirrels haven't yet been defeated, but they aren't winning either.
Anthony Loves to Stand Up
Little Anthony is now 6 months old. He loves to push or pull himself into a standing position. He's really not ready to stand as his balance isn't there.
But that doesn't stop him from doing it every day. Bonk! That's his little head when he hits the floor. Whaaaa! Tears and sympathy must follow. Five minutes later, he's up again. Bonk!
Heidi Begins CT-SICU Rotation
The cardiothoracic surgical intensive care unit is reputed to be the most difficult, most painful surgical rotation out of the five years of surgery training. It may be the most difficult rotation of any program.
General surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania must do three months at the CT SICU, and Heidi is beginning her first two months now. "You should not expect me to come home for a couple months," warns Heidi. David, in fact, is taking a week to travel to Boston - Heidi should hardly notice his absence.
The upcoming rotation is a worry for reasons other than just sleep deprivation. "Do you think that Anthony will remember me after I'm gone for two months?" Heidi asks. "Maybe we'll bring Anthony in to visit when you're at the hospital," suggests David.
Is all the concern warranted? Well, her first "day" of work was 42 hours long, from 6 AM to 12 midnight nearly two days later. Next day starts at 6 AM again, and is expected to be over 40 hours again. If the pace keeps up, Heidi will spend more than 140 hours this week at work.
For those keeping track, it is impossible to spend more than 168 hours a week doing anything.
Prince Anthony To Visit Boston
The town is abuzz. Prince Anthony is on his way to Boston next week, and the locals are preparing for the arrival of his highness.
Grandpa Paul brought a shipment of baby supplies like clothes and forumla to Boston last week. And Grandma Rachel is also ready. "I have a high chair, a car seat, a playpen, and lots of diapers," she said. "Do you think he can eat ground up tofu and rice?"
"Mlaaaaweee!" said Anthony, who doesn't know what a plane ride is all about. He'll know soon!
More Residency Perks
One of the great benefits of being resident of HUP is the free parking. The designated residents' parking lot in Greater West Philadelphia is a mere one mile away from the hospital. For those who do not wish to make the scenic walk in the dark, there is a convenient shuttle service on a reliable schedule. To keep to its customer-friendly 15-minute timeline, the shuttle bus has been instructed depart promptly, especially when there are no passengers, while residents are running after it in the rain.
The parking service has been staffed up in the last year, and the personalized service shows. There are now designated security guards at the nearby hospital lots whose sole mandate at work is to stand at lot entrances starting at 5:30 AM and refuse entrance to physicians.
One of the perks of working on the weekend is that they shut down the mile-away parking lot. Anybody who parks in the official lot Friday night gets to have their car safely locked away from them all weekend.
So residents working on the weekend get the enjoyable benefit of parking in the nearby Penn Tower lot, where the parking attendants look after you. If you've been working overnight on Sunday, "you need to come out here move your car out 4:00 Monday morning," they let you know, "or else you have to pay full price for parking."
Kevin has started reading some of last years business school rankings, the two most famous of which are those written by BusinessWeek and US News & World Report. In BusinessWeek's website, there's an interesting Q&A session with a number of MBA admissions directors.
Columbia's director, Linda Meehan, write that an applicant will be notified roughly eight weeks after their application is complete. An application is completed after everything is received-- including the evaluation of the interview. Sheesh! That means he might not hear until early April.
The saga continues. Eastwind, having lost communications with Paul and the world for several days finally answered their phones. This was important as Paul had a return flight to Boston scheduled ( or so he thought) in only 4 days. First McCall and then Cheryl came on to explain the problem and why they couldn't find my confirmation number, my original flight out of Boston, or my return flight from Phili. They had just moved their telphone communications center from Orlando to Greensboro,NC and the staff up in Greensboro was still being trained.
They changed computer systems and their method of giving out confirmation numbers and mine was obviously the "old method" (perhaps a week old) and could not be found any longer. My flights (not just my reservation) couldn't be found. As weather had caused my flights cancellation, their company policy didn't allow for a refund. However, as they just cancelled all direct flights from Phili to Boston, they would be happy to fly me from Trenton to Boston. Yippee! Trenton,NJ is not close to where we live. A taxi to Trenton would cost more than a train ticket all the way home. Finally, the supervisor told me that if I would write a letter to their customer "care" center (an oxymoron if ever there was one), they would issue me a refund. Why they could do it on the phone is a mystery to me, and I remain very suspecious. Write them a letter. Is this like, "Trust me, the check is in the mail"
Help from the IRS?
We sold a rental apartment on Beacon Hill in 1998 and need to pay the taxes on the profits. Seems straight forward enough, profits equal selling price minus the adjusted cost base. But what the adjusted cost base if one has not been allowed to deduct losses or depreciation since 1886, when the federal tax laws were changed so that high income people were no longer able to deduct rental income losses from their personal income taxes.
Tried dialing the IRS help line twice. 1-800-829-1040 and was told twice someone would write me within 10 working days with the answer to my questions. No one evver responded. I went twice to the IRS Walk-in center at the JFK building in downtown Boston and talked with 5 different counselor. None of them could answer my questions... all were extremely friendly, but none knew the answer to my questions.
Help from the IRS? I don' think so! I'm really looking forward to April 15th this year.