Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cheer Competition

We were in Jacksonville for the Clash of the Titans competition this weekend. My computer went blue screen on Friday, so I am using Morgan's laptop to type this. SAD.

We had a good time in Jacksonville. Mike brought the Margarita machine, and we had quite the fun drinking them (and a few other drinks at Hooters). Security ended up coming to our room several times. It has been a long time since that has happened. :)

Here is a video of Morgan's team on Saturday. You can tell which one is Morgan when she does her full and then when she does the layout in the front of the pyramid. Oops...I guess I am not very good at videoing and cheering them on at the same time.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

SEC Tourney Game

The Chick Fil A cows crashed the party from the roof.

This is a jacket Morgan found today. It is a size 4T. LOL. I could NOT believe she could ZIP it.

Dark picture but Morgan in her Tennessee shirt, checkerboard hat, and her T stickers on her face. That's my girl! :)

From the seats

I LOVE it when he runs in with the flag!

This morning, I called about tickets to the SEC Tournament in Tampa. I was surprised that they were reasonable, so Morgan, Mark, Michael, and I went to the game (Katie didn't want to go, and Chris had a baseball game that Mike was watching).

We had corner seats in the lower level. We arrived during the Mississippi State - LSU game. Mississippi State was winning the whole time, and they won 67-57, Mark and I were SO happy to know that they still haven't changed the cheer since we were kids. It is pretty easy. Go State, Go State! SOOO creative. :)

Then, the Tennessee-Auburn game started. Tennessee started looking awesome. Then, they started making really dumb mistakes. Then, they took over and were never down the rest of the game. We had a great time cheering and yelling! I was arguing with this guy that Tennessee hadn't been to the final game since 91. He kept saying they had been. I remember that game because the campus in Knoxville was going crazy and loving it. I was still in college when they went to the final game the last time, and we all know that was a long time ago (not as long ago as Mark my OLDER brother, but I digress). Anyway, they had a pretty crappy year that year during the regular season (not surprising as they typically did in those years). Then, they went won 3 games to make it to the final! However, they lost. The last time they WON the final game was in 1979. I was in elementary school. LOL

Here are some pictures from the day. We got tickets for the game tomorrow, and we are sitting behind the Tennessee bench. GOOOO VOLLS! (and Go State, Go State!) At least either my team or Papa's team (MSU) wins. Hard to be unhappy either way.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Boston Trip

I left for Boston on Thursday. I was excited to see Bill and Steve on Thursday, and I was excited for a work meeting. I have to note the coolest gesture I have seen in a long time that happened on the plane. We were just sitting there, and this man comes up to a military guy in the row in front of me and tells the military guy that he can have his first class seat. The first class guy took the military guy's seat. It was a really neat thing to see. Glad to know that there are still nice people around.

Bill and Steve came to the hotel first, and we had a couple of beers. Then, we piled into a taxi and went to Fire and Ice. It is a Mongolian Barbeque place, and it was really good. There was a birthday girl there, and she was pretty funny when we were at the grill. I had shrimp and steak stir fry, and it was EXCELLENT. I stuck with the 1 chili pepper terriyaki sauce. They had some that were 3 chili peppers on the sign, but I knew that wasn't for me.

Then, we went to Grendel's Den. We thought it was the place from Good Will Hunting, but Steve found out we were off a little. It was a fun place though. We were laughing because they bartender handed us a menu of beer. Bill orderd a Bud Light, and the guy just points to the menu. Bill's like, "Just a Bud Light." Then, we realize that he was pointing because of what is on the bottom of the menu. It said, "No Bud, No Coors, No Coors Lite, No Bud Light, No Michelob, BASTA." Hee hee...what beer snobs. Anyway, we got our beer and hung out for a while. There was a girl with a really sparkly dress on that showed a LOT of her boobs. She was quite the hit of the bar. There was this other girl who kept bumping into people and apologizing every 3 seconds. We met two people from LA - one who found out his first book sold the same night that his hotel was wrecked by a hurricane.

After Grendel's, we went to some Tommy place across the street. I felt VERY short there as there were a TON of tall people - even women! Upstairs was PACKED, but downstairs was charming. We laughed because there was a coat check room for $2 so everyone had just started piling their coats on a table. Then, each person would dig through the coats to find their coat. We watched Syracuse win in 6 OTs in their tournament game. WOW. I haven't ever seen that many OTs in basketball before.

The meeting on Friday was great, and it was fun to talk to different people. The flight back was rather uneventful which is always good. I got home around midnight. Goodbye Friday the 13th!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Traveling with Congestion/Cough is Not Fun

I am in the Atlanta airport dreading my flight home. I have been struggling with a cough and sore throat for over a week, but yesterday it started to add congestion to the mix. I can handle most anything better than a runny or stuffy nose and sneezing with pressure in the sinuses. ICK...I know people are THRILLED to be sitting near me on a plane as I hack, sneeze, and other such things. Hopefully resting this weekend will help...

Hopefully my ears will be good on this flight. They weren't so nice on the last one. At least my Vols won the SEC East in Basketball! GO VOLS!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wed in St. Louis

Today has been an interesting day. I was up rather late last night working and getting ready to go out of town. I am still not quite back on the right time zone. I would take something to help with sleep, but my body is still fighting this freaking cough and such and I don't want to mix that much stuff together. I am sure I will adjust soon.

So, I got an email today from the hotel in Kuala Lumpur. It was the Mandarin Oriental, and I have posted at how impressed I was with the service. I had finished a book while i was there, and I had meant to give it to Christy as she was interested. However, in my rush, I accidentally left it in the room. So, in my life, I have left a LOT of stuff in hotels. Usually, you have to call and beg them to look for it and even beg more if you actually want it BACK. So, imagine my surprise when I get an email from the housekeeper saying that they found my book and asking what I wanted them to do with it. Amazing.

I am in St. Louis today in my birth state of Missouri. We had a really good steak dinner tonight at the Stoney Creek Restuarant. They had these blue cheese chips that were out of this world. We also had some really good wine. :) Yummmmm....

The best part of dinner though was that we had meaningful conversation around things that I had wanted to talk about for a long time. It is amazing how talking through things can make you feel better even without anything changing. :) I told some old Nashville stories. LOVE Nashville. Miss it. need to go there soon.

Good night. :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Medical Care in Malaysia - My Visit to the Doctor

I visited a few offices in Malaysia, and I was a patient at one. It was really nice to get to see what it was like as a patient. It is one thing to hear about the workflow and a completely different thing to be IN the workflow. J So, I went to the Twin Towers Medical Centre.

It was a 21 provider office, and I was nervous about how long it would take as there were a lot of people there. I asked, and the receptionist was kind of vague so I am thinking it will be a long time. I decide that I need to go as my ear is really hurting and I am nervous about flying with my ear all screwy.

So, the receptionist has me fill out a one page form that asked for no insurance. It did ask for my name, DOB, passport number, permanent residence, temporary residence in KL, and what my complaint was. Efficient. I was given a paper number like you get at the deli counter in the grocery store and directed to a seating area.

Here, there is a sign that displays the numbers and the room to go to when it is your turn.

When your number appears, you go open the door. Of course, I feel weird just opening it, so someone has to tell me to walk in. :)

There are doors in a square with the specialty on the door. The physician stays in the room, and the patients come to him/her instead of stacking the rooms with patients to wait and then having the physician go to the different rooms.

My doctor was at her desk, and there was a chair next to her. An exam room was in the back of the room. She asked some basic questions, and then she listened to my chest, looked in my ears and nose, and looked at my throat. She said that I had some blood and bulging in my ear. BAD. She says that I need some medications. She writes FIVE prescriptions - an antibiotic, antibiotic ear drops, nasal spray, cough medicine for the day, and cough medicine for the night. She asks me to wait in the lobby again and to wait for my number. The lab draw is the same way. They put your number on the sign and you go to the lab. Then, when it is time to pay, your number is on the wall for reception and they call it - or maybe I wasn't paying enough attention to be quick. :) I go to the payment desk. She says it is $184.14 RM which is $54. WOW. Then, the pharmacist is there with my prescriptions filled and they are included in the $54. This has all taken slighly under 20 minutes. AMAZING.

So, I pondered this a lot. I like the idea of the specialists all in one place and the idea of the doctor waiting in the room for each patient to come in and out. I didn't mention the nurses, but they were there to assist along the way as well. I did see pharmacies there, but I guess they are mainly for uncommon drugs since all of the people I talked to there dispense their own meds.

Some problems in the US to adopt something similar:

Doctors are probably not paid as much in Malaysia as in the US.

Doctors rule the office here and I don't know that they would like sitting in the room waiting for patients.

Drug costs are much higher here, but that is a whole other discussion probably.

Insurance - I doubt they are having to pay crazy malpractice insurance.

Payment - $184 RM didn't seem like too much based on the prices for other things. It might be though for those outside of the tourist areas. Not sure how that affects the pricing.

Public Service - there are private hospitals and public hospitals. Each physician is required to work for the public hospital for 3 years before going into private practice. This helps with coverage. Interesting idea...

The hospitals we saw were also very nice. I did hear that there aren't enough hospitals for rural areas, but that is a problem in a lot of places. :) Anyway, I was very impressed and thought it was a very efficient and productive visit. The doctor I saw was also very nice and so was her nurse.

Change of State

When matter changes from one state to another, it is called change of state. Usually, this involves a temperature change. So, I am pretty sure I went through a few temperature changes today. First, Morgan was sick with a fever and a cough again. UGH. Mike is also sick. I am still hacking up a lung. So, off we go to the doctor first thing this morning. Gotta love it. Apparently, half of Tampa also had the same issue, so the office was packed. Not quiet as efficient as Malaysia but pretty damn good, Dr. Yousef got us in and out. A shot for daddy and none for Morgan. It was the only smile on Morgan's face for hours when she found out that the tables were turned and DADDY would get a shot and she wouldn't. He said that he would rather try basic stuff first with Morgan.

Prescriptions in hand, we go to the pharmacy where it is of course an hour wait. Do they ever say anything else?

Morgan says that Dairy Queen will make her so much better, so off we go for some ice cream. :)

After being gone for a couple of weeks, it was very odd. I felt out of touch for many things and right like I had never left in others. Weird. I played catch up and got several things knocked off my list.

Morgan is feeling better and has no temp tonight, so off to school tomorrow! :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009


When I got to baggage claim, Mike was pulling around in the car. He sent Morgan and Michael in to help me with bags. I was SOOOOOOO happy to see them. We were only about an hour late, and it was fabulous to be in Tampa. After I got my bags, I walked outside. Did I move north? What happened to this sunny, warm city named Tampa? Geez... On the way home, I want some very boring food, so we get Subway sandwiches. Perfect. Yummy. Not spicy. Plain. Yummy. :)

It was so nice to be home. The cats were all lovey. The dog has grown a ton and is just as crazy as ever. I unpacked and got the gifts out for the kids and Mike. I think they liked the stuff. I told lots of stories, and they seemed to like hearing about Ganesh, the Indian god who is an elephant head and a human body.

The Taylor Swift concert was tonight, so we had to get ready to leave. I took the best shower I have ever had, and then we went to get Katie for the show. It was at the Strawberry Festival in Plant City. Gotta love it. When we get there, we find out that you ALSO have to pay for a ticket into the festival. NICE. We enjoy a little fair food (NOTHING that could have been found in Mexico or Malaysia!). Gotta love fair food. :)

The concert was great. Uncle Mike had asked if Morgan had her cell phone to hold in the air for the encore. I giggled because I hadn't heard that before. A cell phone? Seriously? No, Morgan doesn't have hers, so I promise to loan mine. Mike has this row of girls behind him belting out each and every word. He was too funny right in front of them and had hysterical facial expressions. There is also a little 5 or 6 year old girl singing every word. Morgan and Katie sang almost all of the words. Michael piped in for the ones he knew.

The girls behind Mike were wanting her to change outfits more, and that made me think of my dad taking me to see Elton John when I was in high school and wanted to know why people would want to hear Elton John! I don't know how my dad put up with me, but he took me anyway and we watched all of the outfit changes. She only wore jeans...
and a gold dress...
It was SO cold. We are having a grand ol time, and Taylor says to get our your cell phone and hold it in the air. That Uncle Mike is So with the times! I am mortified that cell phones have taken the place of lighters at concerts, but I tried to be brave.

We got tshirts for the kids on the way out. is grand.

In Atlanta Airport

Woooooo Hoooooo! Back in the US! We are delayed so far about 45 min
but there are a LOT of cancelled flights so I won't complain. The
journey through Mumbai was insane again. I do not recommend it as a
transfer stop on the way somewhere. I think most fly in and out of
there or connect to domestic flights, so that is what they know. I
will post the story later when in front of a real keyboard. Man, 18
hours is a REALLY long flight!!!!!!!

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