September 20, 2019: Work Trips

Driving from the Cities to Owatonna and Preston today for a couple of Veterans Courts Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies in the 3rd Judicial District, then up to Duluth for the formal Dedication Ceremony for the newest MN Veterans Cemetery tomorrow. I’m excited about the trip - it’s the kind of travel I normally do (and appreciate) - but when my wife is gone for work, it’s to places like Toronto, New York and next month, Los Angeles.

42 thoughts on “September 20, 2019: Work Trips”

        1. Yes. I've gone to Boston 3-4 times for a conference and I started to grumble about it.

          Then I overheard someone saying that Boston is their dream vacation and I started to feel like a jerk.

  1. Through work, I've appeared in court in 72 Minnesota counties. I also get the stray trip to non-county seats occasionally. My most glamorous trip will be in two weeks when I present at and attend a conference in Breezy Point.

  2. My wife goes to Utah for 36 hours once a month. 8AM flight out of MSP, lands 2PM the next day back. It's rough on our schedule, but I've gotten to tag along once, and once we pushed it into a 5 day trip through Vegas to see my brother and Zion.

    She was gone very early Tuesday, back Wednesday. We're flying to Spain on Sunday, so she's spending A LOT of time in planes this week.

  3. I rarely travel for work. So I was delighted when I learned that I had been chosen to take a trip to South Carolina to visit the IBHS (Institute for Business and Home Safety) facility to attend an all day seminar on Hurricane Disaster Dynamics. The trip was nice. The seminar was a good mix of class learning and getting to witness some live wind testing, and shooting 2x4's through boarded up windows!

    The unfortunate part was that for the flight home, we were flying through Chicago and only had an hour layover. The flight out of Charlotte was delayed, so I was concerned we were going to miss the flight from Chicago to Bloomington. Luckily, it's only a 2 hour drive, and my awesome wife was able to come up and pick us (me and one other colleague) up. When we landed in Chicago, we found out the flight was actually CANCELLED. So glad for the back up plan. The airline tried to compensate by booking us on another flight... not the next morning, but they day after.

    Sadly though, that's the second time that's happened to me, where I've had to fly home through Chicago, and the flights' have been delayed or cancelled, requiring my wife to come up and get me. That part I could do without.

        1. And I've been through Midway several times on SWA with rarely a problem.

          Looking forward to our vacation mid-Nov. in Charleston, SC and up along the NC outer banks where a former co-worker lives. Haven't been to the Carolinas before, so we're setting up some nice walking tours.

  4. I rate this COC 10/10 for coordinating with today's song title!

    I don't think of myself as traveling all that often for work, but I'm pretty sure this year has been the most I've ever traveled. It's a mix of conferences I'm being sent to by my job and places where I've been invited to speak. But while I managed to go a lot of places, I sort of forgot to actually take time off for actual vacation. Oops.

    This year's travel so far: Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Talhequah); Honesdale, PA; Red Wing, MN; Washington, DC; Los Angeles.
    Upcoming: Baltimore and maaaaaaybe one other trip that I should really figure out if I'm going on.

  5. The resident lawyers would be interested to know that I had to play attorney today. Defended my place of work in conciliation court in regards to a damage deposit. I think it went well. I guess we'll hear the outcome in a couple of weeks.

  6. Quick update here... Philosofette had a trip to the ER on Wednesday night, out of an abundance of caution (we were pretty sure it was side effects from the antibiotics, but just in case... we don't want to mess around with the ruptured appendix). The Dr. covering that night was... focused only on worst-case scenario and prepping for that. So since worst-case here means "surgery" the Dr. wanted to transfer us to a different hospital (she was not from MN and had no sense of where things were... she decided Rochester would be closer than the cities, which is decidedly not the case). She also wouldn't let Philosofette have pain killers or food/water, since those things might complicate a surgery if one needed to happen. But the Dr. also wouldn't say a surgery was needed, just that she couldn't assess whether it was needed, and she knew it might be. And she wouldn't eliminate antibiotic side effects (Us: "Couldn't it just be side effects..? wouldn't having some food and water help offset that?" Dr: "I didn't say it wasn't side effects."). It was all very frustrating. At one point we were considering leaving "against medical advice" since the only other option was taking a 4+ hour ambulance ride.

    Ultimately a very very good nurse helped get the ER Doc a consult with a different Dr., who suggested keeping us for observation for the night. We jumped at that. In the A.M., a new Dr. came on, consulted with the surgeon who prescribed the "no surgery yet, heavy antibiotics instead" course of action, consulted with an infectious disease Dr., and said "yup, stay with your plan." He was able to answer a ton of questions, and is local and works directly with our primary, so we now have a big resource here. The Dr. said basically "on paper, you look terrible. In reality, you are quite healthy." So now we have her take antibiotics and hope the abscess shrinks, the related inflammation goes down, and a few months from now they can do surgery. And we pray it works, and things don't change, because if they do it'll be a risky surgery.

    Anyway, I write this for two main reasons... first, just to say that it is really really hard to just trust medicine. I understand surgery "take out part A, reconnect parts B and C, etc.". It's very mechanical. But medicine is weird... "take this pill, then something somewhere else in your body will improve."

    Second, this stuff is serious trauma. We are in largely uncharted territory here - an anomalous medical condition, that could very easily turn critical at any point, being treated in a way that doesn't seem especially urgent. Philosofette seems perfectly healthy, but we know that she's not. And that is terrifying stuff. I just needed to put that somewhere. This is my somewhere. Thanks for indulging me.

    1. I haven't talked about it here (I don't think), but I watched Netflix' Diagnosis 6-part series, and it was quite engaging. People of various ages with mysterious conditions, and the use of crowdsourcing to help diagnose the actual underlying problem. It was pretty eye-opening.

    2. I'm very trusting of medical personnel because I can't really handle them sharing info (like this). I don't know how I worked handle things if the information was so inconsistent. I'm definitely thinking of your family, and hoping for a positive, non-terrifying solution.

    3. I relate so strongly to your second point, Philos.* I’ll be remembering you & Philosofette in my prayers. I’m sorry this is happening, and I hope for the best possible resolution in the end.

      I also struggle with being pulled between trust & understanding. We deliberately live near a very good medical system, because to the extent the human body & its ailments can be understood, I’d like access to the best possible care — particularly given the medical histories & diagnoses on both sides of our family. At the same time, I’m very uncomfortable with the degree to which diagnosis & treatment appears to be an elaborate game of (educated) guess & check. I’ve worked with enough technical systems to know this is sometimes how errors in complex systems need to be approached, but when it’s the biological machinery keeping one alive, it hits me pretty close to home.

      * SelectShow
  7. Holy cow! I know from empirical observation that Luis Arraez has been good as a rookie, but I just looked at his stats. The guy's just 22 years old. In 298 at bats, he's slashing .346/.412/.446/.859, good for a 130 OPS+. He draws a walk every ten times he goes to the plate. He's delivering 1.7 WAR, and 2.6 oWAR. His defense has been about average; I think it would improve if he were given a set position to play, but there's value in his flexibility in the field since he can play multiple positions competently. He's scored 51 runs and driven in 24, and that's in about a half season's worth of at bats. In September, he's been phenomenal - .394/.459/.515/.975. Unfortunately, he won't have enough plate appearances to qualify for any leaderboards this year (he'd be leading the race for the the batting title by ten points if he did), and he's played too many innings to qualify as a rookie next year (the same thing happened to Joe Mauer because of injury). The Twins signed Arraez as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela when he was 16 and gave him a $40,000 bonus. For perspective, that's exactly how much the Giants payed Joey Amalfitano to sign his contract back in 1940. I'm looking forward to seeing Arraez play for the Twins for a long time to come. And I hope his agent gets him some payback for that miserly signing bonus some day.

    1. I heard someone talk about Arraez and invoke the name of Sir Carew, and my initial thought was "hey, that's a little over the top" but after stewing on in a couple minutes, I considered it a worthwhile comparison. He's not as speedy, but he knows his way around a strike zone.

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