Archive for June, 2010

Rancho San Antonio

June 28, 2010

Jacky and I went to a party in the afternoon, didn’t get out for hiking until 5 or so. Rancho is close by, so that’s where we went. It started when we saw a lone wild turkey coming across the meadow; as she got closer, we saw that she had two chicks with her.

Her course took her right past the corner of the tennis courts, surrounded by chain link fence, and with an open gate. Sure enough, one of the chicks got on the wrong side of the gate and was steered inexorably into the tennis courts. Sure enough, mom didn’t even notice.

I walked into the tennis courts, tried to work around behind Junior, with the idea of herding him back out the gate. But before I could get anywhere close, he had found a way to burrow under the fence. As we watched from outside, he actually flew, believe it or not, up toward the trees on the other side of the trail.

He had reason to fly: a hawk came soaring into the trees after him. The next thing we saw was Mom flying up out of the bush to defend her chick. We didn’t see Junior afterward, but there were no screams of death, so we hope he survived the adventure.

Already a good day from the point of view of seeing interesting things.

And then we saw a kingsnake, coming down out of the grass to cross the trail. When it saw us, it did a 180 and went back into the grass, but we approached in a slow and deliberate way, and it escaped the same way, so there was an opportunity for a photo or two.

Beautiful! You don’t see these guys very often.

And then further on, we found quail everywhere, also accompanied by their chicks.

The whole hike was only a bit over an hour, but we saw more than sometimes graces an entire day. A good thing to do.

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Stanford medical center: appalling!

June 20, 2010

Our friend Alan is in his 80s, probably, and although the mind is strong, the body is not what it once was. He fell from bed not long ago, and broke his hip. Mostly still asleep, he didn’t know he was hurt, and got back into bed.

It was noon by the time he reached Stanford medical center, where he waited eleven hours (!!!) before someone glanced at his X-ray and told him he had shingles. 11pm: they walked him to the door, took back their wheelchair and said good-bye. The only good thing about this story is that there happened to be a volunteer there, someone who helps Chinese who have language problems. She helped get Alan and his wife to their car and away.

By the time they got home, it was clear that home was not the place to be. They called 911… I didn’t hear the details of that next bit of adventure.

Once an official diagnosis exists in writing, it is virtually impossible to get it reconsidered. It was several days later, during which Alan suffered hallucinations from the cocktail of shingles drugs, that someone, apparently at the professor level at Stanford, wondered why there was no progress. She looked at the X-ray once again and realized that he had a broken hip.

After a cycling accident that broke my clavicle, my own experience with Stanford  customer care was hardly better than this, though they did at least diagnose the problem correctly. If you need a heart transplant, Stanford is the place to go, but for anything less, it seems like a really good idea to find somewhere else.

A man of some considerable years who falls and complains about hip pain? Diagnosed as shingles? You can certainly understand why people sue for malpractice!