My Earth Day

I am not a big eco-warrior, but I grew up recycling, and college was the same way. I've been recycling for most of my formative years. Moving to places without recycling is a bit perplexing. Anyway, I thought I might implore you all to make a few simple changes in your life to help make the world better. Trust me, these items are easy and will assuage your eco-conscience.

Change to fluorescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs burn out quicker and require more energy. Fluorescent bulbs last for years and use a fraction of the energy of an incandescent.

Conserve energy simply. Turn off lights when you're not using them. Things like toasters and other household appliances still use energy even if you're not using them, so unplug them. My coffee maker and toaster are never plugged in unless I'm using them!

As much as you hate recycling, please recycle glass and metals! I know that plastics are a chore, ESPECIALLY if you live in a non-recycling area (or even worse, a place that makes you sort the plastic recycling by number...). But glass and metals are things that can be reused relatively easily and cheaply. In fact, recycling aluminum takes only 5% of the energy needed to produce from ore.

Avoid Styrofoam. It's big, it's bulky, and it will never, ever, ever go away. Never.

Use canvas shopping bags. Both paper and plastic shopping bags suck for the environment. Better off using neither. If you persist in using disposable shopping bags, reuse them. I use shopping bags (paper and plastic) for trash bags. Some retailers will give you a credit for using reusable bags ($0.05 on average). In three years of using 2 canvas bags, I paid one off entirely. And it's not as if canvas bags aren't useful for other things.

Keep the thermostat low in the winter, high in the summer. In winter, 60 degrees is adequate to keep your pipes from freezing, etc. In the summer, most people do quite well at 78 degrees. If that's too drastic for you, then follow the same advice when you're NOT home. In the winter, when I leave the house, I turn the thermostat down to 58. In the summer, I turn the A/C off before I leave.

Please argue that it will take more energy to cool my place down, blah blah blah. The truth is that when I wake up, the sun is rising, and when I get home, the sun is setting. The hottest part of the day I am at work. By the time I get home, I may not even need the A/C.

Much more effective than simple temperature control is being smart. If you're not using a room, why keep the vents open? In one of my apartments, the bathroom had no exterior wall (it faced the inside of the building). So I closed the vents to the bathroom. It didn't need the heat. Also, when I ran the A/C, I closed the bathroom door.

Keep the refrigerator door closed. It leaks energy like a sieve. If you have items that don't need to be in the fridge, then leave them out. Also, if it's cold outside, use the weather! In the winter, when I want something cold to drink, I'll put it on the porch for an hour.

Use thermal mugs for all your drinks, hot or cold. That way, you always have hot coffee or cold soda, and you're not wasting your beverage, and not generating garbage. A lot of places, like Starbucks, will give a $0.10 discount if you bring your own mug. I drink a LOT of coffee, and average about 2-4 cups of gourmet coffee a week. On average, 25 cents a week let's say. So, my reusable Starbucks mug cost me $10. I'll pay off the mug in less than a year.

So, to sum up, I think that it's good to remember that there are some easy things you can do to make this world a little better!


The word MITZVAH refers to the 613 commandments of Jewish law, but it also means a good deed, something done for the good of humanity, not just some simple favor. It is an act of human kindness.

All my life, this has been my goal. I am not Jewish, but the idea of good deeds is not exactly foreign to a Catholic boy. And in the end, all I really wanted out of life was to do something good, something that would be an act of kindness that could resonate past my life. I wanted to do something that would be like ripples in a pond.

I'm actually surprised I haven't posted about it before. I'll have to correct that. Because there have only been two things that I've lived for: to truly make a difference in someone's life, and to love. And I think I've finally done one. I saw this patient, and she was in a bad spot, and all night long, I sat at the nurses station, ordering tests, checking labs, adjusting vasopressors and medications.

And it feels good to have saved this life, when I'm surrounded by so much death. And maybe this one life saved will not add up to anything, but I have to believe that one life saved can reverberate, and it feels like I've finally done my part for the world.

I like the movie "Pay it Forward" because I think that it encourages such a great attitude towards humanity, but really, every day is paying it forward for me. I am not getting paid extra to be a good doctor. I am paid to be an adequate doctor, and seeing some of the other residents, some are barely that. And sometimes, making a difference can be as simple as giving a damn.


Lent is a strange time, because for the entire time of Lent, there's no alleluia. Really. For the entire duration of Lent, the word 'Alleluia' is never spoken. That's because Lent's not supposed to be a time of celebration. And that's one of the most amazing thing about Easter Vigil. Finally, after nearly 6 weeks, it's time to be happy again, and it feels remarkably good, like you got over a cold that you didn't know you had.

I have to admit, this year, I really wasn't into Lent. I was phoning it in. And man, this year's Vigil service was rough. But with that first Alleluia, everything was better, like a weight was off my shoulders. It was such a wonderful feeling.

And I envy the people getting baptized, because it's must be so great to have Easter Vigil be your first Easter. It's like the first football game you see is the Super Bowl. And it's always so exciting to see these folks, adults choosing to be Catholic. And even after all these years, it makes you feel happy to be Catholic.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Gratuitious post entirely about staring at butts

I'll admit it. I spent a good 20 minutes watching the various health care women going about doing their jobs, ogling quite unashamedly. There are so many different women out there: phlebolomists, radiology techs, IV nurses, floor nurses, patient care techs, nursing students, PT, OT, speech therapists, nutritionists, pharmacists... and there are a pretty decent number of attractive women in each of these groups.

What I don't understand though is that it seems like the radiology techs have far and away the highest proportion of attractive young women. I went down to radiology one day and it was like I was in a sorority. I felt dirty afterwards.

And part of the wonder of health care is that everyone seems okay with wearing scrubs, the flimsiest piece of clothing imaginable, and if tied up or tucked in just right, leaves little to the imagination.

But the uncomfortable point is that as fun as it is to look, it's not what I want. I'm sure there are plenty of attractive women out there who, when presented with the possibility of marrying a doctor, would jump at it. I have in fact had parents introduce their daughters to me, in the wild hope that I might marry them. And if that was all I was looking for, pretty and desperate, the world would be my oyster. But I want more than that. It seems like such a simple request to find someone who shares my interests and we can be passionate about the same things.

And it's a true shame that one cannot determine if a woman likes to go to baseball games or out for sushi or if she likes arty movies or big band music simply by staring at her ass. It would also make for easier conversation starters. "I see you like to go to museums" sounds a lot better than "You have a nice butt."


I was surfing around on CT's blog and decided to take the web quiz. While I was taking it, I ran into this question, and I just had to laugh long and hard. I am the living embodiment of answer B.

I think that all of my annoying, stupid crush posts are ample proof of that...