Sunday, October 30, 2011

White Halloween sung by Bing Crosby

What, you don't know that song?

I'm dreaming of a white Halloween
Just like the ones I've never known
Where the treetops glisten,
and children listen
To the trees breaking in the snow 

Trees haven't even lost their leaves yet, so the snow gets trapped in them and weighs them down breaking branches causing all sorts of havoc, like downed power lines.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Titanium Years

Who was it that said these are the Golden Years?  Just last week I went in for a minimially-invasive total anterior hip replacement and returned home with new body parts that are better than the old ones.   Hip replacements have become a ubiquitous topic these days with the emphasis on fast recovery.  The incision for this type of surgery looks a little like a slash pocket which is supposed to be over a "V" shaped void between two muscles which means the surgeon just pushes these muscles aside to get at the joint instead of having to cut through them.  Therein lies the speedy recovery.

My case is so similar to others it is hardly worth the discussion, but the experience of new things is what this blog is about, so on that criteria alone, it qualifies.  I've experienced hardly any pain or anxiety due mainly to the heavy drugs that ease pain and instill a general careless attitude.  The overnight stay in the hospital was a near Spa experience due to the friendliness and attentiveness of all staff and a private room.  I understand that hip replacements are a big money maker for hospitals and this one has it's own "Joint Replacement Center".  I even had a pneumatic leg messager that provided soothing (anti-blood clot) motion up and down both legs day and night.  The protocol is to use a walker for a week or so, then switch to a cane for a couple more weeks.  Back to work in two weeks is normal.

If you are wondering what or who decides when you need a replacement, the answer can be summed up as a team decision between you and your doctor.  My doctor never said "it's time", he only gave me information about my x-rays and the state of the joint from a clinical view.  I was the one who finally said "it's time" to him when I began not to want to walk downtown, ride my bike, and make audible pain sounds when first getting up from sitting.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Portland Jetport behind the scenes

Portland Jetport (PWM) had an open house for the newly constructed terminal addition yesterday.  The expansive check in counters will house Jet Blue and Delta until February when all airlines serving Portland will use the new 140,000 square foot facility.

One of the special features of the expansion is the geothermal heating and cooling system that employs over five miles of underground deep-well piping to bring constant temperature circulating water to sub-floor cooling in summer and heating in winter.  The combination of sustainable construction allows for application to the LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) council for "gold" status.

A couple more elements that caught my attention  were the easily accessible connection centers for power and electronics charging right at the departure seating.  In the bathrooms I noticed the Dyson -think vacuum cleaners- hand driers that produce a strong "blade" of air that actually forces the water from your hands like a scraper.  I first experienced these in Europe and they are fast and efficient.

What I didn't expect was a behind-the-scenes tour of the baggage system that the public normally never gets to see.  Baggage transits a maze of conveyor belts after going through huge x-ray machines where each piece is scanned in "slices" like a Cat Scan where TSA agents monitor contents for suspicious items.  If something is suspect, the bag is automatically ejected from the conveyor and directed to an inspection area where agents open and inspect the bag visually.  Only about 3 percent of bags are flagged for visual inspection.  Further along the line scanners read the destination baggage tags and direct each bag to the correct plane loading area. 

County Fair

Couldn't stay away from the Cumberland County Fair again this year.  It's a rather small one even though Cumberland County has the largest "city" in Maine (Portland).

Of course the lights and action of the midway are a draw, but so is the greasy food!