A couple of weeks ago I travelled to San Jose, California to get trained on a retinal surgery technique from some colleagues of mine at Stanford. Like most of my trips, this one was a quick two day trip so I can get back to town to finish off a ton of work including a manuscript or five, a review article, a document for the Department of Defense, abstracts for ARVO and more.
This year has been busier than any before it seems and I am very much looking forward to the holidays to get a small respite and spend time with family and friends.
The flight over to San Jose was uneventful other than getting a sampling of the new security procedures at SLC International airport. I deliberately avoided the line with the new body scanner as I have serious concerns as to the amount of radiation that these scanners are exposing people to. I have been unable to find any definitive documentation on ionizing radiation dosages from these machines or what their maintenance is like. Medical devices that expose people to ionizing radiation have very strict oversight and I get the impression that the oversight on these body-scanners is substantially less. At any rate, I walked through the standard magnetometer after removing my jacket and was pulled aside because I was wearing a close fitting vest which apparently warranted the new pat down. I gotta say that the person doing the pat down did not give me any notice that I was going to get a more intimate feel up than I expected and when I jumped, he suddenly notified me that this was the new protocol. I don’t quite know how to feel about this yet, but it does not sit well.
That unpleasantness aside, I had a great time with Phil who very graciously showed me how to perform vitrectomies which will be useful for some upcoming research.
That night, Daniel and I had a spectacular dinner at Evvia, a Greek restaurant over in Palo Alto. The place was absolutely packed, but we were fortunate enough to get a seat at the bar where they serve full menus. One of the treats was some most excellent Turkish/Greek coffee prepared in an ibrik heated with hot sand. Unfortunately, Phil was unable to join us this time and he was missed. Phil, we absolutely need to ensure that next time I am in the Bay Area, we are able to get together for a meal, my treat.
Fortunately, the night before I left, there was also a quick chance to visit with family where we had a great time, sampled some tasty ’85 vintage Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and talked until the wee hours of the morning.