Monday, July 9, 2012

No Matter What Fancy Italian Name You Give It, It is Still a Squishy

Coffee plays an important part in my life.  Not just the caffeine (I can give it up any time, I did for six months once).  I enjoy a good coffee shop, I even enjoy a mediocre one.  When driving long distances, I use coffee stops as an excuse to get out stretch my legs and use the bathroom.  True, I could do this at a gas station.

As it happened I was driving to my dacha; a 4 hour drive last Friday.  I had been on call Thursday night and despite a three hour nap Friday morning and a large latte, I was in desperate need of a coffee pulling into Dead Rear, 90 minutes into my drive.  DR has a newly minted Starbucks which I figured could provide me with the needed sustenance.  I was a little put off by the long line up inside but I had parked my car and anyway how long does it really take to serve a coffee.

Unfortunately as I learned during the next 15 minutes, the people in front of me were not ordering coffee (nor had the 10 or so people who had already ordered and were waiting for their drinks).  They were all ordering icy fruity drinks, drinks which take a long time to prepare.  After some time, I was able to talk to the barrista and order my "talle" dark roast.  "Oh that is so simple!" she said.

People, if you want a fruity slushy drink, there is a place you can go.

Several places you can go in fact.  Most gas stations and convenience stores have a squishy machine where you can actually serve yourselves.  You can actually mix flavours like my children used to.  And better still you will not piss me off by making you wait while you someone makes it for you.  I used to enjoy a squishy too, (until I found out how many calories they have) but I would no more buy a squishy in Starbucks, than I would buy coffee from a convenience store or gas station.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Once again I am forced to poach one of Great Z's posts

A staffman when I was a resident advised me that he seldom took vacation for similar reasons that the Great Z mentioned.  When you are not working you are not earning money.  The first job I had, as I posted in a comment on the blog, required me to take 7 weeks vacation a year.  This was because of the way we staffed our department, with one person off on vacation all the time, 2 in the summer.  We were an income splitting group practice so you didn't notice that you weren't earning any money.  I left this group after 2 years and now I am in the situation where when I don't work I don't make any income.  This bothered me a lot when I first started out; I would be on vacation racking up credit card charges and thinking about the fact that I was racking up credit card charges and not racking up billable hours.  This was until one day, skiing mid-week on a beautiful day, it occurred to me how much I enjoyed not working and how much less I enjoyed working.  Now I typically take 7+ weeks of vacation; I just returned from one week and am already looking forward to my next one.  Occasionally we find ourselves overstaffed on a certain week and I almost always volunteer to take it off (I frequently have to fight for it, apparently a lot of people where I now work had the same revelation as I did).   I am lucky, I have a dacha I can head off to; quite often I just enjoy a staycation.  At the end of year, it never seems to make any difference in what I made.

As I told a surgeon years ago when he asked how I could afford to take so many weeks off, "How can I afford not to".