Monday, August 8, 2016


It's been a busy past few days, so I unfortunately haven't been blogging. I plan to get back in the habit soon - because I have news DT readers: I'll be leaving my position at VA next week and will start a new job in September. So I'll have a couple of weeks to relax, refresh, and do all those things that have been on my personal to-do list for ages. It struck me this morning just how long that list is, and how many items on the list are simply flights of fancy. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I laughed at myself when I realized that one of the items on that list was "learn to beat box."

Compare that to what I actually did on my summer vacation as a kid: read, go to the library, watch TV, play outside. I suspect my two weeks off will look more like that, and less like a whirlwind tour of self improvement. I'm also considering doing some short trips to nearby places I've been meaning to visit, but we'll see.

Saturday, I cleaned out my office. It looks so empty in here today. But I was glad to get it done so I wouldn't have to stress about during my final days. I also found some interesting lost bits of technology, that I put on my newly clean shelving unit:

In case you're wondering, the giant object on the right and the smaller one on the far left are old transcription equipment. Both play cassette tapes (the big one plays full-sized cassettes, the smaller one plays mini cassettes) and have a foot pedal so you can stop and start playback without having to take your hands off the keyboard. These days, we use a USB foot pedal that stops and starts a media file on your computer. But we had to use these older devices as recently as 4 years ago, when we did a multi-site quality improvement project and had sites recording focus groups with whatever equipment they had on hand (to keep costs down). If that equipment was a tape recorder, that's what they used. I still remember the look on one of our research assistant's faces when I showed him what he would be using to transcribe the tape recordings.

I also found some of the crazy pens people have given me over the years - I collect crazy pens - and an owl slap bracelet:

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