Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Leaving on a Jet Plane. . . .

Old classic songs make for catchy Blog titles, don’t they?
Actually, I am returning home from a successful trip to San Diego. That city lived up to its promise of sunny days and mild temperatures. You’d think with all my grousing about Chicago weather that I’d love to move to Southern California, but I had quite my fill of living in Los Angeles, thank you.
My great-grandparents and grandparents made the traditional flight from the New York and Detroit to warmer climes and never seemed to complain about it. I was born in L.A. and went to high school in the “Valley” at the time that the phrase “Valley Girl” was something to make girls like me cringe. But I spent too many years in the Pacific Northwest to adapt fully.
The lack of weather became boring. I think it was Johnny Carson who said that L.A.’s 4 seasons were smog, fire, mud and heat. In fact, in the valley, it was usually just smog and heat. You needed to be well-to-do enough to live in the hills to suffer from mud-slides and forest fires. There were no forests and no mud in the valley when I lived there, only concrete. Rivers were concrete washes with murals painted on the walls. Playgrounds were asphalt. Even grass wasn’t. It was something called dichondra.
We never had snow days at school. We had smog alerts and heat days. Weather reports used terms like “inversion layer” and “Santa Ana conditions.” I remember the day the wind blew away the smog and I realized for the first time that there were mountains near my home that actually had snow on them in the winter.
But it was the culture that bothered me the most. My husband says Chicago kids cut school to go to Cubs games. LA kids cut school to go to the beach. Your value is measured by your clothes, tan and car. Tanning came easily but I never had a cool car or clothes. My mother owned the ultra-chic Ford Granada and we lived in trendy Van Nuys. Women in LA buy whatever sub-zero rated winter coat is fashionable in New York and actually wear it out-of–doors although the only sub-zero in LA is a refrigerator brand name.
The cultural highlights of my youth in LA were getting to see the back lot of Warner Bros Studios (family connection) and having my photo taken on the set of The Waltons. I saw James Caan filming a movie and my high school was used as a movie set. Emergency was once filmed in the parking lot nearby. I was able to line up to see the first 3 Star Wars movies before my peers in the Midwest.
It was in LA that I saw my first flasher (yuck). I learned that oil spills make the beaches sticky (double yuck). I took classes at UCLA and called USC, the University of Spoiled Children (abbreviated U$¢). Needless to say we hated their football team. Rumor (probably false) had it that gang initiations involved assaulting USC men and raping USC women.
Well, this rant is long enough. It has to end before I arrive in Chicago and freeze my tuchus off after all.
Signing off for now.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Today I leave San Diego, land of eternal summer, and return to Autumn in Chicago, where Halloween costumes have to be covered by winter coats.

Bedtime Story--for Sunday Scribblings

Once upon a time there was a mother. She was usually an ordinary mother, not too tall or too short, but maybe too thin. She had long dark hair and dark eyes that could be too intense. This mom had two sons. Like all moms she thought they were smarter and cuter than all other children, although less well-behaved than most. The mom was pretty smart, a little pretty, and often kind and understanding but none of these things made her special. It was her angry side that made her special to her two boys.
Now, usually anger is a bad thing in a mother. Angry mothers yell, give time outs and take away privileges like Game Boy time. But this mother needed to be angry because her house was infested. Little infestations like mice, roaches and termites are easy to solve. You buy a cat or hire an exterminator. Once the carcasses are gone, all is well.
This house was infested with something extraordinary. It had monsters.
These were the kind of monsters that preferred to live in little boys’ bedrooms. They liked to hide under the bed or in the closet and would make strange rustling noises at night. The boys were sure the monsters were green, scaly and had large fangs. Of course they never saw them. Monsters are too smart and always hide when you look at them directly. But you know they are there, peering at you through the crack in the closet door. And they never came out when it was light. Keeping the closet light on helped a little but the monsters just went under the bed then.
Every night after lights out, the little boys would call their mother in to the room to sleep with them. Every night the mother would say, “Go to sleep. There is no such thing as monsters.” But the boys knew better and the mother always wound up sleeping with them.
Once in a while the mother thought she could hear the monsters too, but every time she checked under the bed there were no monsters there. In fact, she never saw them, no matter how vigilant she was. The monsters were always sneakier. And every night the mother became a little more tired and every day she became a little more cranky.
This went on for some months until one evening the mother finally lost her temper. “Come out you monsters!” she screamed. And they did. So she bit their noses off and they ran away never to return again.
The little boys still wanted their mother to sleep with them but they knew the monsters were gone for good. Every now and then they let her sleep by herself because they had a healthy respect for her anger and did not want their noses bitten off too.
So everybody in the house slept better and they lived happily ever after. Except for the noseless monsters.
The End

Read this story to your kids.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Byzantine Fish

I am submitting to "Macroday" this picture of a Byzantine pottery fish seen at the Byzantine Museum in Athens, Greece.

The Upstart Crow

I am currently sitting in the Upstart Crow Bookstore in a window seat sandwiched between the philosophy section and the books on books section. Life could be worse especially as I have a large iced Americano coffee next to me. The only thing that could make life more perfect would be if they had wireless here.
I think my next book purchase may be from an Oxford series on the seven deadly sins entitled Anger by Robert Thurman. It has a fittingly red cover and a picture of two hands holding a broken pencil. I got it off the philosophy shelf where it is displayed next to Pride (purple), Greed (yellow), and Lust (blue). They have the final three deadly sins as well but Anger suits me best. It seems the most important sin for a psychiatrist to understand.
My meeting is going well although I am not accumulating as much Continuing Medical Education as I might wish due to general sloth on my part (sloth is a light blue deadly sin). Should I buy that book instead? Well, I should probably pay attention to how many books I can carry home and I prefer anger for now.
On the books about books shelf behind me I found a product I want to buy for my once and future work library. It is called a Personal Library Kit {For Bibliophiles}—brackets are part of the title. It includes 30 self-adhesive pockets, 30 insert cards, a genuine pencil, 30 For Reference Only (Do not circulate) stickers and a date stamp and stamp pad. Maybe I’d get more books back if I used these (see my post "On Amazon and Advertising"). The kit comes in a nice little box but weighs a lot. Since they have a web site, www.knockknock.biz, I may wait until I get home to order this. But no one is purchasing from my Amazon.com ads yet so my library is still growing at my own expense.
Speaking of budgets, I learned more about my medical malpractice insurance. The type of insurance I have has changed in recent years. What I hadn’t realized is that it will keep on increasing over the next 3 years to a total of about $19,000.00 a year. I may need to stop going to meetings and buying books soon. I also may need to raise my rates again. Malpractice would need to be an entire additional blog so I’ll leave this for later.
Signing off for now as I have a “Special Interest Group” to go to soon.
My new book:

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Night trees

Submitted to Lens Day--topic "night".
Since I don't have a tripod, I had to prop my camera on a concrete lamp post and set the timer. The exposure may have run as long as 8 seconds by my count.

It's California, Dude--Child Psychiatry and the Holocaust.

I made a call on my cell phone a couple of days ago and the young person who told me I had dialed a wrong number called me dude. Really!
Somehow the title seems appropriate here in San Diego, although I haven't made it to the beach yet. I'm in the right coffee house though. It is an internet cafe (free wireless!) by the name of Lestat. No vampires yet but a few vegetarian-eating, chain-smoking, tattooed women, and a bearded man who is drinking bottled water and talking to himself loudly. I just bought Day of the Dead skull earrings (for Halloween) but hope I don't scare any of my young patients. I also bought a couple of 1906 postcards with pictures of my Chicago neighborhood. Figures I would find them in California.
I am playing hooky from my conference. The only meeting over the lunch hour was pretty dull and not germane to my clinical practice.
This morning's meeting (8AM which is torture for me) was one of the most moving conferences I have ever been to. I actually cried. We saw a documentary movie about an Englishman who was responsible for saving 669 Czech children during the Holocaust. The English gentleman who rescued them was so unimpressed with his feat that he did not tell anyone until some 50 years later his scrapbook of documents pertaining to the kids he rescued was discovered in an attic.
Then we heard from a panel consisting of 3 of the children (now each 70 or so) who were saved, one of their daughters, and her high schoo-age daughter. It was hard not to cry when hearing testimony of children whose parents opted to put them on a train to a foreign country. The kids were mostly bewildered but the parents knew they might never see their children again and most of them indeed perished. I think everyone in the room must have been trying to imagine the pain of a mother or father deciding to ship their children to safety and then saying good-bye to the kids in a train station. We child psychiatrists deal with children in foster care all the time, but this was hard to hear.
The final speaker was an American university professor who had also escaped as a child from Vienna and then Prague, but via Russia and then Shanghai. In the United States he was recently reunited with his childhood friend who was one of the transported children who also spoke. He spoke eloquently about his own experiences and the people who had helped him escape. He even managed recently to thank the 90 year old Japanese man who had helped rescue his family.
In spite of the Holocaust theme the message was hopeful. The professor talked about making the acquaintance of both absolute evil but also of good. The four survivors who spoke all mentioned their gratitude that they were alive and the movie referred to not just individuals saved but also to the subsequent generations of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And the man who rescued these kids? Still alive and well. In the movie he seems very modest despite a recent knighthood. It seemed the thing to do at the time, we are told.
In a room full of people dedicated to helping children, I imagine that nearly every one of us felt somehow inspired to do a little more by the magnitude of what this one man did on his own. I wasn't the only one who cried either. The conference moderator was so choked up he couldn't make his concluding remarks. The professor sang Beethoven's Ode to Joy in German to us instead. Really, dude, he did.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A ticket to my destination. . . .

I always wanted to start a travel essay that way. That song sticks in my head when I travel. Thank you, Simon and Garfunkel.
Today I am somewhere over a state between Illinois and California. Since I cannot see the ground and have no navigation information handy, I have no clue where we are, Nebraska, Nevada, Texas? I guess it really doesn’t matter anyway, so long as I am on the right plane. My computer says it is 6:47 PM so I have been in the air for 1-1/2 hours and have around 2-1/2 to go until my arrival in San Diego.
I departed uneventfully unless you count wasting time getting ready and then having to rush. I didn’t realize until in the taxi on the way to the airport that I neglected to pack any bathroom supplies, e.g. toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, headache medication and so on. Good thing I’m a doctor. If I have a migraine emergency, I can write my own prescription. I did accidentally bring a prescription pad that was in my laptop bag that I didn’t have time to clean out, which may come in handy.
I did remember the essentials—computer, camera, and more books than I can possibly read while at a conference. I also brought my latest magazine reading—Pychotherapy Networker and ADDitude. Somehow given the procrastinating and forgetting I mentioned above, reading a magazine about ADHD is fitting.
This trip may turn out to be more of an adventure than I had wanted. I had planned/hoped to stay with my aunt in the San Diego area but for reasons I do not understand, have not been able to reach her. I kept trying until literally minutes before my flight so I don’t have a hotel reserved. I doubt I’ll be sleeping in a doorway somewhere (this sort of happened to me in college when I launched an impulsive road trip), because if all else fails, I’ll check into a really mundane airport hotel or a really expensive luxury hotel. When I was in college that time, I couldn’t afford either.
Pardon me we’re having turbulence. The seat belt light just came on. This doesn’t bug me unless it makes me spill a drink or the lurching is enough to make me queasy, but it does make me think of my past clinical work with people who are afraid of flying. Fortunately for me, despite a mother and grandparents who feared air travel, I consider plane crash stories to be interesting reading. I read Alive (about the soccer team that crashed in the Andes and was forced to eat their dead to survive) when only a teenager and look forward to reading the recent revisiting of the gruesome topic (see ad below).
Speaking of irrational or rational fears, I learned at the airport that today there was an Orange Alert. I forget exactly what that means, except that like a yellow light it must be between green and red. I have no clue what the trigger for this alert is (if it has even been announced by our secretive government) and can’t Google it as I am in the air. Cynic that I am, I wonder if it has anything to do with it being two weeks before a crucial election. Or maybe it is like the buildings in Chicago that currently have orange lights on their tops in honor of Halloween. It is to get us into the holiday mood.
Trick or treat! Signing out from 20,000 feet or thereabouts.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Dot and Dash

Dot and Dash
Originally uploaded by skron.

Now you've met both my cats.

On Amazon and Advertising

I thought I'd post why I decided to run Amazon ads on my blog. Believe me, I can barely come up with readers, I'm not hoping to earn any money this way. In a strange way, I like adding widgets to my blog. When I was a rank beginner blogger (a mere 2-3 months ago), I thought the widgets appeared on all the "cool" blogs. Now that I am more jaded about the Blogosphere--what a great made-up word--I am still trying to jazz up the site. Too bad I cannot rely on writing itself to do this.
Using Amazon promotes a service, like Google, that I get a lot of mileage out of. It also helps me refer to books I've read or am reading as a prompt for more creative writing on my part. Plus I don't mind doing a good turn for an author who has amused or educated me. I don't fool myself that this makes Amazon a charitable enterprise.
Of course, I am debating if I should link to books I didn't like. After all someone might find something in my comments that inspires them to read them. I think this is called thinking too much. Thinking too much is what I do most, even more than spending too much time on the computer.
If I make any money through Amazon, which is unlikely to make a dent in my book-buying budget, I can sink it right back into more books or use it to follow another dream of mine. This dream is to create a library of quality books and other media on mental illness which I can then loan out to my patients and their families. I have made a small start but some of the borrowers forget to return the loaners. Since I have done this far too many times in my personal life, it is hard for me to be too critical.
So I'm still saying "no" to popup ads but I'm saying "yes" to Amazon. Don't be too surprised if Starbucks is next. Too bad blogs don't come with aromatherapy. I bet I'd get more readers if my blog smelled like coffee.

This is a link to a magazine you could borrow from my office.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Playing Pharmacist 2

I'm not a regular reader, but I've observed that the Onion, a spoof newspaper, does psychiatry quite well. Take the issue of 1-7 June, 2006. One headline reads, Columbia House Launches Subscription Meds Program. I quote from the article here: "Qualified seniors may choose either 12 generic drugs for one cent, or five brand-name medications for 49 cents each, plus shipping and handling. Members are then obligated to buy five more brand-name medications over two years at their regular price, ranging from $12.99 to $549.99." Later they quote a satisfied customer: "Their 'recommended' list said that if I liked Pfizer, I'd absolutely love GlaxoSmithKline--and they were right." Incidentally Pfizer and Glaxo both make antidepressants.
The implications of a subscription drug program are too mind-boggling to go into here. I guess I'll have to order my Viagra from an internet spammer instead. But how to choose from the thousands of offers I get daily. (And I don't even have a peenis, spelling lifted from today's latest spam).
A second article in the same Onion issue takes a more psychodynamic bent: "It's like, 'Hey, ever heard of a little thing called 'resolving issues through unconscious acting-out of a maladaptive fantasy-life manifesting itself through inappropriately weak personal boundaries'?' Hello?" Print this up in a psychoanalytic journal and it would almost sound erudite. So next time I need to throw some good psychobabble into a therapy session I know where to turn.
Night, night (past my bedtime).

Friday, October 20, 2006

So good--for Sunday Scribblings

I feel good, I knew that I would, now
I feel good, I knew that I would, now
So good. . . .
(James Brown)

Yesterday I tried to refer a challenging patient to a colleague. He told me he is not at a good point in his life and needs to simplify things, hence no new challenges. This is unfortunate for him and my patient as he is a good friend and a good therapist. And no, I am not trying to set the world record for most uses of “good” in one paragraph.
It occurred to me that I am actually in a “good place” in my life currently. What does this mean for me? I think it means a relative sense of contentment, physical and mental health, feeling fulfilled, even happy. I enjoy my work, and what a gift that is. I have financial stability, another gift for which I am most humbly grateful, all my “faculties”, and have nearly enough leisure time. I get to travel occasionally, read good books and watch DVD’s with my kids several evenings a week. This is the first time in my life that I have written regularly which I believe is due to the extra energy I am deriving from all of the above.
Lest I be accused of hubris, being too happy or having a silver spoon in my mouth from birth, I need to tell you why this is worth mentioning in a Blog. It is worth mentioning because it distinctly wasn’t always this way. Happiness is such a gift because there have been years (literally) of my life when I wasn’t happy, had to fight to get out of bed in the morning, and struggled to find the purpose of my existence.
Now at this point I might say something like “and then I found Jesus” or some such. But this has nothing to do with religion and religion is one of those things that I intend to leave out of my Blog. I haven’t committed to telling certain personal things in this Blog so I am going to leave many of the details of my “recovery” out also. Unfortunately, the internet isn’t anonymous enough for me, at least at this time. I may “out” myself more in the future.
Speaking of “out”, one of the books I am currently reading is The Commitment by Dan Savage who is most definitely out. At times, Mr. Savage can be savagely funny (pun intended) and the book is a worthy read both for the laughs and for the social commentary about life, marriage (gay and straight), religious conservatives and family. The following quote caught my eye and pertains to the topic of memoirs (the stuff of my life that will not be put into a blog): “This is a literary genre dominated by people who’ve endured spectacularly abusive childhoods (God help the aspiring memoirist who endured run-of-the-mill abuse as a child), mind- and soul-deadening oppression in Iran, and rock climbers forced to cut off their own arms.” My secrets may be my own but by Mr. Savage’s definition, my hypothetical memoir wouldn’t make the best-seller list.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

When the pigeons throw a party

We were walking in downtown Chicago when I spotted this pigeon feeding frenzy. They were wild--climbing on top of each other, pushing and shoving. Maybe it's more like a pigeon mosh pit. I snapped one picture and was about to take another, aiming (of course) for that perfect shot, when a homeless man came charging up from around the corner, chasing all the pigeons away. He muttered something indicating he hated pigeons. I could sympathize with this but he seemed a bit threatening and since I was not sure if his problem was with the pigeons or with anyone who was crazy enough to take pictures of them, I decided it was time to move on.

Doing what cats do best

Dash doing what cats do best
Originally uploaded by skron.

My younger son wanted me to post pictures of our cats. This is Dash.
The following definitions from Merriam-Webster explain my choice of her name:
3 : a small usually distinctive addition--a dash of salt, a dash of humor--
4 : flashy display
5 : animation in style and action
Of course, being a cat, what Dash is best at is sleeping. The one and only time she caught a mouse (definitely the mouse was a small, distinctive addition to our living room, but not a desired one), Dash displayed that "animation in style and action" I was shooting for with her name.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Score one for the good guys

A lawsuit against Hunter College in New York City was recently settled for $65,000. Like most physicians, I tend to wince at the word "lawsuit" but Hunter College had really blown it this time.
In 2004, a student at the college attempted suicide in her dorm room. She subsequently called 911 and was hospitalized. When she was discharged from the hospital, she returned to school only to discover that she had been locked out of her dorm. Then next day she was evicted. In short, Hunter College had a policy that students who attempt to harm themselves will be asked to take a leave of absence for at least one semester.
A similar rule at George Washington University led to the eviction of one of their students in 2004. This student merely checked himself into the hospital for depression. As the Washington post said in an editorial "Since when does being sick constitute a disciplinary problem?”
Rules such as this constitute a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to legal experts. Just as it would not do to exclude a student in a wheelchair from living in a dormitory for fear he would accidentally fall and hurt himself, resulting in liability to the school, so too is it inappropriate for a college to evict a depressed student who seeks treatment. It is also inhumane and unethical as it discourages an already depressed student from seeking help and can cause further harm to a young person who is already suffering enough. The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has also received complaints against Bluffton University in Ohio and DeSales University in Pennsylvania related to similar policies.
This trend among U.S. colleges toward "zero tolerance" of depressed students appears to be a response to law-suits against colleges such as MIT by families of students who died of suicide. Colleges have become fearful of the boundaries of their "in loco parentis" responsibilities towards students who may prove a risk to themselves. Although I sympathize with the colleges' confusion about where their responsibility begins and ends, penalizing their depressed students is not the answer.
For further references on this topic and with with acknowledgement to my sources:
"Lawsuit Prompts College to End PoPolicyn Suicide Attempts." Psychiatric News, Vol. 41, No. 19, Oct. 6, 2006, pp. 27 & 38
"GWU Suit Prompts Questions of Liability." Washington Post, Friday, March 10, 2006; Page A01.
"Nott v. George Washingon University." in http://www.bazelon.org/incourt/docket/nott.html

Saturday, October 14, 2006

As seen through glass

As seen through glass
Originally uploaded by skron.

The photo is a little blurry but I liked the legs and sandals as seen through the glass. The photo is taken in the Byzantine Museum in Athens. This would be considered a lesser museum in the context of what Athens has to offer but has some impressive works of art nonetheless. It also happened to be open on a day when most Athenian museums were closed. (Museum and historical site closures make tourism in Europe a hit and miss affair).

Friday, October 13, 2006


To continue the weather theme--on October 9 we had quite a storm here in Chicago. Estimates I read stated that 3000 trees were down. One suburb likely had microbursts (something like a mini-tornado). In my neighborhood, there were down trees or large limbs on nearly every block. Nothing too impressive for the "destruction" theme but I thought I'd post this just for fun. It is sad to see all these beautiful trees gone.

More on the weather

"The earliest measurable snowfall in the Chicago area accompanies unseasonably low temperatures that nearly match an 89-year-old record for Oct. 12"
This from the Chicago Tribune. Living in the Chicago area has a way of making people obsessed with the weather. After all, as someone said on the news yesterday, we can get all four seasons in one day. So it is only mid-October and I am ready to hibernate already. I think we were all a bit taken aback yesterday. The conversation I had with my husband went something like this: I don't know if it is happening where you are but I'm driving through a blizzard right now.
I can handle a few flakes unseasonably early but this was driving snow making visibility poor. I also forgot my coat on the way to work and was probably a bit blue around the edges.
Just when I start to think that global warming is real, nature turns around and does this to me. (Actually I think that global warming is real and it scares the heck out of me).
My timbers are shivering.
Today is sunny, sparklingly clear. I'll try to add on a photo if I get a chance.
So long.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

House in field of lavender

House in lavender field
Originally uploaded by skron.

Another photo to tempt you to visit Provence.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fountain in Saignon

Fountain in Saignon
Originally uploaded by skron.

Saignon is a lovely small town in the Luberon region of Provence. We stayed in a small inn at the center of town. The streets were so narrow we could not drive to the hotel and had to carry our bags from the parking lot at the top of the hill. In front of the hotel is the lovely fountain pictured here.
Saignon is quiet enough that strangers definitely stand out. It is a town for walking, admiring the views quiet contemplation and, of course, wine and food. Day trips from Saignon could provide many days of touring but unfortunately we were only there briefly.
A Bientot!

For more about the hotel, see their lovely web site: http://www.auberge-presbytere.com

Friday, October 06, 2006

Photo Friday: "Thin"

More on Blogging

So does Blogging make you a better writer? Certainly some people hope so. In my random browsing, many bloggers are would-be authors. It is certainly easier to blog than it is to submit one's work for publication. But does it improve one's writing? Here are my thoughts.
On the yes side: blogging makes one write more which must help. And because the writing is packaged for the public (even if no one ever reads the blog), it presumably adds pressure to do a good job of the writing itself. So for imposing an external discipline on writing, it must help.
On the no side (more points than on the yes side): one gets little or no feedback. Even if you can get someone to read the blog, iffy with a zillion bloggers out there, no one is likely to edit your work. Also, blogging discourages editing one's own work. It is hard to review a post on the little window Blogger provides. And once posted, the post is unlikely to be reread by the blogger. In addition, the pressure to post as often as possible discourages excessive care as to content. Finally, Blogging encourages a specific format. In my mind, this format is more conversational and shorter is favored over longer. The blog I am writing now seems a bit long which I guess discourages readers. And if I really pursued my thesis, I would definitely exceed the bounds of this writing form. So I may become a better blogger, but it is less clear if I will become a better writer.
Blogging reminds me of medical writing. Doctors often say that writing in charts ruins whatever writing ability they initially had. Brevity, abbreviations, and incomplete sentences are encouraged. The average chart reads (if legible, a rarity) like a singles or real estate ad. For example, to say that I assessed a 22 year old single white woman with major depression who would like therapy might look like this: 22 yo swf presents w/ MDD for tx. If I had Greek fonts the above might have been even less understandable. You take my point.
So the moral of the story? Beats me but if you choose to blog, enjoy it anyway.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Trees along a Tuscan road

Another reason to miss Italy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Take a Hike

Today is one of those rare days when it is a joy to walk outside in Chicago. The joke I heard somewhere about Chicago's weather is that there are two seasons, winter and construction. Today would be better categorized as Indian Summer. It is one of those days that make winter and hot and humid more acceptable.

Of course, I wasted most of the day playing with Blogger templates and trying to reload my counters. I got the map counter but not the other one. Sometimes this computer addiction just isn't worth it. At least now I know what HTML looks like. Too bad I cannot figure out where to put the widgets.

Well so as not to be a computer hypocrite, I'm going outside now. I'll take a few pictures to post. This will prove I am not powerless over my internet addiction and that the weather is as nice as I say.

Ta Ta for now.