February 04, 2005

Friday morning, just woke up

Hello blawg fans (said slowly, as the Rocking Fun Zone is having trouble waking up).

Weather in Addis - all good. Looks like another sunny Addis day. We've got birds on the neighbor's water tank, but not doves. Some kind of finch looking thing. Pollution is pretty bad - has been for the past few days as there has not been much in the way of wind or precipitation.

Now, to business. Let me move backwards chronologically since my last post. Last night, I gave myself a fitness test at the gym and it worked. I won the fitness test. I ran for 40 minutes straight at 7.2 m.p.h. (12 k.p.h.). Today, my legs are pretty tired. Some of my joints as well, but I don't think I did any permanent harm and now I'll be able to run faster for shorter amounts of time. If any of you readers are high school track stars joining us from my mom's classroom, this is just a matter of personal proud, not like I'm puffing out my chest.

Speaking of high schoolers, my mom has indicated that she wants to share the Rocking Fun Zone with her classes. I think that's a great idea. Publicity. Learning experience. Feedback. Maybe it will inspire some of them to travel around the world.

Work on the paper is going pretty well. To refresh your memories, a colleague and I are trying to write a paper for publication in a medical journal regarding patient characteristics in the ART (Anti-retroviral treatment [anti-AIDS]) clinic at a local hospital. Not much research has been done on ART in the developing world, as it is largely a new phenomenon. The clinic, however, has excellent recordkeeping, so we think we can put together a nice and useful paper.

My colleague and I started our research off in the UN compound and, specifically, the library. We got in through a little bit of disinformation, saying that we were going in to see a friend who works in UNAIDS. When we got to the library, I opened one of the library's informational brochures, which indicated that professionals and researchers, among others, have open access to the library, so there was no need for me to be clever. The UN was a large bust, though, because the computers were so slow. Even as one of the few places in town with high-speed access, the libraries computers were littered with programs where people had obviously clicked on the wrong pop-up box, making their processors really slow. For downloading reference papers, it was unacceptable.

So we got out of the UN and headed to CDC. I called ahead (you have to do this to gain access to any of U.S. government organizations - CDC is actually one of the more relaxed). Anyway, we got inside and did our work. Very nice and calm office. I found it very interesting to see on the wall as I was standing by the water cooler postings regarding the recent attacks on the consulate in Saudi Arabia. There were at least 6-7 postings talking about the event and making suggestions for the staff of American offices overseas on how to protect themselves. Strange times.

To give you an idea, that is the position the US finds itself in/has placed itself in. As the world's largest economy, military, distributor of popular culture, the US is obviously highly visible i.e. if you are going to attack something, the U.S. provides a large target. Personally, I think the target size has been increased by U.S. policy in the Middle East, among a number of other decisions, but this is the tradeoff the U.S. public/government have to accept. Are our policy decisions worth the outcomes they may engender? I have my own opinions on this, but I think the question is worth thinking about no matter who you are.

Well, enough soap-boxing. Let's get back to blogging. I watched "Romeo Must Die" the other night. All in all, a fairly disappointing couple of hours (I have no idea why I continued through the entire thing other than that when the wife is out of town, my self-control diminishes). Anyway, how to describe the movie. It's suppose to depict a "war" between rival African-American and Chinese families, with a twist that means the two families "consigliaries" are working together (please let me know if that summary is correct). Also, because the Chinese speaking parts were translated into Arabic, I think I missed some key plot moments - was Jet Li's father a truly conniving man or was he acting on misinformation from his consigliari when he removed his Chinese rivals?

In the films defense, the cinematography was pretty good. The film's images seemed to be very artistic, something I find myself saying about the sitcom, "Becker". Like "Becker", "Romeo Must Die" lacked some serious narrative and was a little too long for my taste, but the quality of the pictures was enough to keep me around for awhile.

15 Comments:

Blogger Couch Potato said...

Help me Dude, I'm lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw Elvis in the supermarket yesterday.

No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new plasmatv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a plasma tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger then I'm gonna go home and ask Michael Jackson to come round and watch that waaaay cool surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on my new plasma tv .

And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on "

Strange day or what? :-)

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