OK, OK. I've been lax about posting, but there's been a lot going on. Last weekend, I gave a talk to our state chapter of the Society of Nuclear Medicine. It was a real snoozer, discussing the application of PACS to Nuclear Medicine, or is it the other way around? Perhaps the high point of the talk was this picture of an early PACS, Picture Applied to Cave Surface:
A second item of note is that I actually wore a tie, and a PET tie to boot:
Some people have a Pet Rock, I have a PET tie.
After returning from the meeting, I turned right around and headed for Orlando with Mrs. Dalai. Yes, we did do Disney, but the point of the trip was to attend the Johns Hopkins CT meeting, chaired by Dr. Elliot Fishman. Elliot is acknowledged to be the world's finest radiologist. I wouldn't know about that, but he is certainly one of the best lecturers on the circuit, and the rest of the faculty was superb as well. Best of all, most, if not all, of the slides were given to us on a USB drive, eliminating the need to furiously scribble notes that I wouldn't be able to decipher later anyway.
The weather in Orlando was nasty, cold, and rainy. However, it beat the 7 inches/18 cm of snow we had back home in South Carolina:
My poor baby still has some lingering snow on her roof!
With bad weather comes poor attendance at Disney, although the economy and the fact that a lot of North-easterners couldn't escape from their own snowy prisons didn't help. Of all the rides in all the parks, only Everest and Soarin' had much of a wait. The Great Movie Ride at Disney's
MGM Hollywood Studios was so sparsely utilized that we had to wait until enough people showed up to fill the tram before the ride started. Some of the robots in the various movie scenes are showing their age, and don't look quite as real to me as they did in years past. Maybe I'm just getting jaded.
Certainly a highlight of the trip was meeting up with Mike Cannavo, the One and Only PACSMan, who joined us for dinner at a Brazilian restaurant (off the grounds; there is no Brazil pavilion at EPCOT, but there should be!) The "gaucho" approach to meals suits me well: every few moments there was another skewer of luscious beef, lamb, ribs, or whatever coming by to be loaded on my plate. This was certainly a testimony to the old anti-vegetarian saying, "If God hadn't meant us to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of meat." Don't tell my daughter I said that!
I won't bore you with the details of our other meals save this unfortunate event. Mrs. Dalai and I tried the German Biergarten restaurant for dinner one night. After waiting our turn (we had made on-line reservations) we were herded with a family of six to the eight-person table. The other family promptly jumped into seats, scattered hither and yon about the table, preventing Mrs. Dalai and I from sitting next to each other (yes, we still want to do so!) We nicely asked if they would shift around a bit, but Big DamYankee Daddy (based on his accent and attitude) wouldn't budge, and in fact growled at us, "I wanna sit by my wife too. You wanna sit by your wife, and I wanna sit by mine." I wasn't asking him not to sit by his wife, even though said wife had been in the bathroom for 30 minutes anyway, but simply to shift his nasty DamYankee carcass and maybe some of his progeny around a bit. I turned to the hostess (a college kid from Germany) and asked to be seated elsewhere, which she promptly accomplished. I'm amazed that some of us blame George W. for our poor reputation amongst our European comrades. Try looking in the mirror first, guys. OOOMPAH!
The trip home was marked by a two-hour delay trying to bypass Daytona Beach on race-day. I'll never quite understand why thousands and thousands and thousands of people want to watch cars that from their viewpoint are about the size of bugs going round and round and round the track for hours on end. Maybe everyone is hoping for a wreck. Yes, I know, the fans all have their favorite driver and team and all that, but really, to tie up I-4 and I-95 in both directions for hours just to see this spectacle, come on. Oh well, it could have been worse. Those same fans could have all descended upon Disney World while we were there.
My poor puppy Sophie was quite distraught at being left in the boarding kennel and showed us just how worried she was that we wouldn't return:
Finally, a bit of advanced warning to all my readers in Australia: I'm coming back! I've been in touch with one of the physicians making up the program for RANZCR 2010, and I've been asked to give a reprise to last year's extravaganza, this time at the meeting and not in private (although a private audience might still take place.) It seems the rads in Perth (where the meeting will be held this year) are not terribly enamored with their new PACS:
Perth public hospitals are about to undergo their much delayed (since October) “up”grade to Impax 6 (only 2 years old I think). Even the PACS admins (a minority of whom are A*** fanboys) are embarrassed about it as it seems even more pointless clicks that the previous version. I figure there’ll be plenty of locals at least who will be keen to hear other points of view.
I didn't know A*** was a bad word in Australia, although it approaches that status amongst some of my partners.
By the way, can you guess what the main difference is between signage, labels, etc. in Australia vs. the US? Answer: Everything in Australia is in ENGLISH, and only in English. Throw some shrimp on the barbee, mates! I'm on my way. . .