Friday, November 13, 2015

Uncle Ger's 91st birthday

Looking good for 91.

Many happy future birthdays.

Love JP & Sharon

Monday, October 26, 2015

Day 12, 13, 14 & 15 (Europe)

Post-Op and recovering for Friday and Saturday her docs felt an afternoon discharge after pulling her drains and enough IV antibiotics to let her go.  Sharon and I walked back to our hotel at a sloth's pace.  Each day Sharon walked more and faster gaining her strength back.  Our hotel (Athena Spa Hotel) is a 10-min walk and close to the rail line.  We could have been stuck in worse situation, but we are making the most of it.  Sharon's Post Op course involved almost 200Euro of medical prescriptions and supplies and our hotel room looks like a MASH unit.  Plan is for us to leave by train tomorrow from Strasbourg to Frankfurt, Germany and then catch a flight out to the USA on Wednesday.

Redlight District Amsterdam

night time in Mainz, Germany

Equestrian Statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I, Cologne, Germany
Koblenz, Germany (city where Sharon's grandmother got married)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Day 11 (Europe): Out with a bad gallbladder

Distended, Inflamed, Infected, Gangrenous and with an abscess on the back wall.  Well it came out a 6PM that night....good ridden.  Now we can start a recovery.  Dr. Lucca Arru and his team at the university hospital did a good job.  He even called me a 10PM to let me know Sharon did great.

Day 8, 9, 10 (Europe on hold); Bad Gallbladder or just too much Cheese?

Well after what we though may have been a recovery of Sharon's acute abdominal condition, it appears to have taken a turn for the worse.  She was in such excruciating pain that we had to call a local doctor from Strasbourg, FR where we were docked for the day to come on board and make an assessment..... an hour later and we are both being taking to the University Hospital in Strasbourg (teaching hospital) via ambulance.  After a 6-hour ER visit and CT scan it was determined she has cholecystitis (an infected gallbladder) with some abscess and needed IV antibiotics and surgery.  The following day an MRI was performed and that evening she had surgery 5PM our time to about 9:30PM.  The following day she was in much better shape.  No pain and no vomiting.

The staff and doctors here have been wonderful,  very compassionate and most speak English pretty well.  Only downside is that in France, everything takes so much longer; nobody is in a big hurry to do anything.  I am staying a 5-min walk away from the hospital at the Athena Hotel (lucky for me to get a room and so close, as this is "Europe week" when members of the EU Parliament (based in this town) meet once a month for a week.)  So the saga continues,  IV antibiotics, hospitalization until Sharon recovers and we can travel back to the USA.  Well there are worse places to be stranded.  I have taken the time, while Sharon recovers and catches up on her sleep and rest, to explore and immerse myself into the French language and culture.

 More later.......

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Day 7 (Europe) - Gutenburg & Castle

Sharon still a bit under the weather yet more active and moving around a bit.  We were in Mainz, Heidelberg and Mannheim.  Most of the day was spent with a morning tour of Mainz to the Gutenburg museum to see one of the first movable type set printing systems and one of the oldest printed Bibles.  Heidelberg was a 40 min bus ride from the boat.  They served an authentic GERMAN meal this day.  La Strada a trio of musicians 2 on violin and one on guitar entertained us.

In Heidelberg we visited the very famous ruins of one of the largest castle complexes in Germany, perched up atop a mountain overlooking the town.

Sharon caught up on some reading, watched a few movies and walked the top deck.

more pics to follow

Monday, October 19, 2015

Day 6 (Europe) another day without Sharon

Our next stop on the Rhine is the town of Koblenz.  This is the town where Sharon's grandmother was married and lived close before immigrating with her new husband to the USA.  Koblenz was to be the highlight of Sharon's trip to her ancestral homeland.  However, she was too ill with belly pain to get off the ship, so she viewed the town ship-side.  This had to be one of the cleanest, best manicured towns yet visited on the River.  Picturesque and with a lot of history upon history.  The photos of this town are amazing and where the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Moselle is this very important city of commerce and military.

From Koblenz we traveled by water to Rudesheim for a trip to a museum for music boxes and music cabinets.  Quite interesting and noisy too.  Hung with Dan and Kathy most of the day, as Sharon was making a recovery on board.

more pictures to follow.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Day 5 (Europe) a visit to the local ER

So all was going so well until Sharon's stomach erupted into a violent pain.  Happened about 2 weeks ago and she had to visit our local ER in Murrells Inlet.  This time the crew on our ship had to call an ambulance to take her to the nearest ER in Cologne Germany.  After the friendly staff started and IV, did some preliminary studies and administered some medications things subsided a bit.  1.5 Km back to the ship we walked so as not to miss our boat.

Ultra Sound once we get back to the USA.  Likely a bad gallbladder.

Cologne by the way is home to one of the most beautiful Gothic Cathedrals.  Also the smell good stuff Europeans use to cover up the fact that they bathe only once a week... well that originated here too.

Day 4 (Europe)... on the Rhine

A night and 1/2-day cruising on the Rhine River.  Exiting Amsterdam via the Amsterdam Canal-Rhine canal thru several locks brings us by morning to the Rhine River bordered on each side by France & Germany.  We cruised past several cities on each side and also Dusseldorf on our way to Cologne.  Mostly industrial areas on both sides, but also lush green with pastured sheep and cows.

4PM arrival in Cologne

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Europe Day 3 (more Amsterdam... onto our ship)

Another day in Amsterdam, damp and overcast all day, with a mild sprinkle of rain all day essentially.  A walk about town, taking in some more scenery and scoping out some gifts for folks back home.  #1 choice... cheese.  There are some 60 museums in Amsterdam making it one of the cities in Europe with the most museums.  Also there are more canals here then I believe in Venice.  There is even a museum for cheese, the canals and prostitutes (and even one for hemp).  So we bought a bunch of cheese rounds for our staff.

Onto the ArtistryII the Avalon ship and our home for the next 8 days.  Met up with Kathy and Dan (who almost missed the boat ... again).  Dinner first night was excellent.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Europe Day 2 (Amsterdam)

A full 2nd day in Amsterdam.  Taking in the Anne Frank House museum which tells such as sad story of what humans do to each other.  We also visited several churches and the museum complex (Van Goug, I AMsterdam, etc.)  and without too much thought we visited the RedLight District.  Among churches on each corner there were windows illuminated with red florescent lights housing ladies of the evening.  We will stop there.

Tried my luck at the Bitter Balls (bitterballen) which is a specialty appetizer in Holland.  Essentially they are soggy meat balls of some sort that have been deep crunch on the outside and chewy on the inside.  Served a platter of 6, ate one.  That was enough for a lifetime.  Herring eaten raw covered in minced raw onion is another treat that is tossed back, but May is the season for that... thank God.

More pictures to follow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Day 1 on Europe Trip October 14th 2015

Day ONE was AIR DAY.

we flew from RDU to Newark/NY and then to Amsterdam.  SO the entire day was in the air it seemed.  Flew United and it was not too bad.  More space and nice folks around.  No screaming kids or morbidly obese folks squashing us for 8 hrs.

Arrived in Amsterdam at 8 AM and survived a non-sanctioned Taxi ride from the Airport to our Crowne Plaza hotel down in city central.  The day was spent catching up on rest and sleep with naps and exploring the area around the hotel on foot.  Lots of restaurants and shops and "Soft Drug" shops... sampling psychedelic mushrooms and weed.  We are not likely to do any of that stuff even if it is legal here.  Cheese on the other hand is big here and many shops sample you to death.  So if this continues we may need some help with BMs.

pics to follow.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Down the Rhine.

Aboard the Artistry II  we are in Cat E  Cabin 104.  The ship was built in 2013, a length of 361 m, crew of 37 and 62 rooms.

Avelon's Artistry II on the Rhine River  for more information.  Sharon and I will be starting out in Amsterdam and ending up in Basel with a short trip to Zurich.

When we can we will post pics to this blog for friends and family.

We will see ya'll back State Side on the 26th.

Monday, October 05, 2015

23rd Annual Conference on Civil War Medicine. Frederick, MD. Dr. Saleeby to lecture on Dr. Porcher.

Twenty-Third Annual Conference on Civil War Medicine

October 9, 2015 @ 9:00 am – October 11, 2015 @ 5:00 pm
Frederick, MD 

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
Registration/Information Desk Open
Vendors Open

9:00 a.m.-9:15 a.m.
Welcome Remarks

9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m.               
Malaria, Scourge of the Civil War and Today
Peter J. Weina, PhD, MD, FACP, FIDSA, Colonel, Medical Corps, USA

10:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
Dr. Francis P. Porcher: Herbalist for the CSA. Herbs used then and Now
Yusuf M. Saleeby, MD

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Lunch   (At the Hotel)

12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m.
Development of Medical Purveyors in the United States Army
Mavis Slawson, RN

1:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
The History of Medical Packs
AFMOA Medical Logistics Division

2:45 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
15 min. break 

3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Panel on Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office

4:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
30 min. break

4:30 p.m.
Happy Hour at Hotel

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
Transport to Lutheran Church, the walk to the Medical Museum
9:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m.
“We labor under many disadvantages”: The Army of Northern Virginia’s Medical Corps in the Maryland Campaign
Kevin R. Pawlak

10:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m.
Medicinal Alcohol in the Civil War
Guy R. Hasegawa, Pharm.D.

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Lunch on your own

1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
1st Section of Tour

3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
2nd Section of Tour

4:30 p.m.
Gather at the Medical Museum

5:00 p.m.
Dinner at Brewer’s Alley

8:00 a.m.
Vendors Open
9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
A Pile of Limbs
Robert Slawson, MD, FACR

10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Canadian Surgeons and Nurses in the Civil War
Roderick M. Holloway, B.A.(Hons.) B.Ed., M.Ed., LLB

11:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
Break  No Food

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Frederick Law Olmsted and the USSC: “Let us off jacket and go about it.”
Charles E. Driscoll, MD

12:20 p.m.
Farewell, Vendors Close, Turn in Evaluation Sheets

Thomas Frezza
Director of Training, Outreach Specialist
National Museum of Civil War Medicine
301-695-1864 Ext. 1011

church used as hospital in CW in Frederick.

Frederick MD farm

Clara Barton's original scroll w/ names of missing USA soldiers

National Museum of Civil War Medicine

Medical Diploma of the MUSC school of Med  c. 1860s

Saturday, October 03, 2015

More picture from July & August 2015

Anna with arm up horse...

CommonGround Bluegrass band.. from their stage of Brookgreen Gardens

Kids at Dr. Porcher's Garden MUSC

Madison's 4th of July pictures

Madison's favorite pic of the back yard.

Charleston Bridge... Mic's Pic

Sharon goofing around with big lip lipstick

Wilcox Hotel in Aiken, SC

The Flats at Mixson.

Dear JP,

Thanks for your inquiry – we are excited that you are interested in The Flats at Mixson! My name is Robin and I will be your guide to our community. The new, sustainably designed Flats are available for to move into within the next one to two months, and with an emphasis on community, comfort and convenience, it is easy to see why so many people are choosing The Flats at Mixson to be their next home.

We offer thoughtfully crafted one- and two-bedroom flats starting at $980 per month. Please provide me with a little bit more detail on: when you are looking to move, size, price and what is the most important to you in your new home. The growing Mixson neighborhood is nestled in historic, charming Park Circle. From Mixson, you are only a short drive from downtown Charleston and the Charleston International Airport. Our community is also centrally located near major shopping centers, the North Charleston Convention Center, and Charleston’s beautiful beaches and waterways.

You may be tempted to stay close to home when you discover all that your new neighborhood has to offer. Our Mixson location puts Básico, Mixson Market, The Barn and Mixson Bath & Racquet Club only steps away from your front door. The Flats have exceptional amenities for you to enjoy, including:

  • Resort-style saltwater pool with grilling stations
  • Contemporary clubhouse with Wi-Fi café and iPad stations
  • Inspiring fitness center with flat screen TVs, state of the art cardio equipment and free weights
  • Dog wash stations
  • Organic community garden
  • Screened community porches with inviting swings and ping pong tables
  • Detached garages
  • Bark Park for off-leash fun with your furry friends
  • 100% Smoke Free Environment
Your thoughtfully designed home will feature:
  • Quartz countertops and tile backsplashes
  • Sleek, modern Energy Star appliances (washer & dryer included)
  • Wide plank flooring
  • European-style cabinetry
  • Tile shower and tub surrounds
  • Spacious bedrooms
  • Private balconies*
  • Ceiling fans*
  • Environmentally friendly fixtures and advanced construction technologies (targeting NAHB Silver certification)
*In select residences


Robin Hilands, Community Manager | Flats at Mixson
4501 Mixson Avenue | Suite 101 | North Charleston | 29405
843.471.2660 |
Leasing Center Hours:
Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday Closed

4501 Mixson Ave, Suite 101 |
North Charleston, SC 29405


Lots has happened in August and September.  Trips to NC and California and some R&R in between.

Here are some pictures (worth a thousand words)

airbnb courtyard in the castro district of SF

Front door of our multi-million dollar airbnb

Berkeley California from the tower on campus

Founder of DrobBox speaking to DISRUPT audience

Zimetry Booth with 3 of the 4 partners

Madison's birthday Dessert RUN.  at the Bleu Olive in Durham, NC

Priority Health Triangle's new Logo

safest building in Berkeley, California campus...the tower.

Josh mans the booth at TechCrunch's DISRUPT