Announcing! A New Feature on Sincerely, Dr. Dan

Starting this month, I am adding an new feature to Sincerely, Dr. Dan. 

Before I retired from my practice (Palm Beach Pediatrics) in 2015, I used to think that I was a good photographer.  I had posted my pictures on the walls of my offices and I would give away small framed copies of my favorites to my patients.  They used to call them the “Dr. Kraft pictures.”  (See https://sincerelydrdan.com/2021/02/25/r-i-p-costco-photo-center/)

I would always bring pictures with me while traveling to give away to people who allowed me to take their pictures. Here, in Bali.

After retiring, I finally had the time to join a local camera club here in Florida, the Boynton Beach Camera Club (BBCC), where I quickly saw that I was just “a pretty good“ snapshot photographer compared to the high-level members of the club.  Some of these were seniors who had been photographers for many, many years, dating back to the days of film and home darkrooms. These members taught me to have a much more critical eye and encouraged me to become a much better photographer. 

In appreciation of what I have learned from them, I am beginning a feature which will showcase the some of the best examples of what my fellow BBCC members have produced.

This will be a monthly feature and will include a commentary on the photographer and why they selected certain images as their favorites. 

I will also occasionally intersperse some of my favorite pictures so you can see what kind of photography I enjoy.  

Old Lady in Yunnan, China – 2018
My friend, Squeaky 2017
Walking home from school, Peru 2015

Anuncio: Algo Nuevo en Sincerely, Dr. Dan

A partir de este mes, agregaré una nueva función a Sincerely, Dr. Dan.

Antes de retirarme de mi práctica (Palm Beach Pediatrics) en 2015, solía pensar que era un buen fotógrafo. Había colgado mis fotos en las paredes de mis oficinas y regalaba pequeñas copias enmarcadas de mis favoritos a mis pacientes. Solían llamarlos las “Fotos de Dr. Kraft”. (Ver https://sincerelydrdan.com/2021/02/25/r-i-p-costco-photo-center/)

Dondequiera que viajáramos, llevaría fotos para regalar a las personas que me permitieran fotografiarlas. Aqui en Bali. 2014

Después de retirarme, finalmente tuve tiempo de unirme a un club de cámara local aquí en Florida, el Boynton Beach Camera Club (BBCC), donde rápidamente vi que era simplemente un fotógrafo de instantáneas “bastante bueno” en comparación con los miembros de alto nivel del club. Algunos de ellos eran personas mayores que habían sido fotógrafos durante muchos, muchos años, desde la época de película y los cuartos oscuros domésticos. Estos miembros me enseñaron a tener un ojo mucho más crítico y me animaron a convertirme en un fotógrafo mucho mejor.

En agradecimiento por lo que he aprendido de ellos, estoy comenzando un artículo que mostrará algunos de los mejores ejemplos de lo que han producido mis compañeros miembros de BBCC.

Esta será una función mensual e incluirá un comentario sobre el fotógrafo y por qué seleccionaron ciertas imágenes como sus favoritas.

De vez en cuando también intercalaré algunas de mis imágenes favoritas para que puedas ver qué tipo de fotografía disfruto.

Anciana, Yunnan, China 2018
Mi amigo, Squeaky 2015
Caminando a casa desde la escuela, Perú 2014

“Are These Fresh?”

Arugula

Every morning, my wife and I walk with one of our neighbors for an hour.  Usually we swing by her house on the way out of our sub-division onto the main road in the community.

This morning Lindie was waiting on our driveway as we opened up our garage door.  In her hand she had a bunch of greens. 

“It’s arugula that I just picked from my garden,” she explained.

“Can’t get any fresher than that,” I replied.

This reminded me of a story when my daughters were very young and we took them on a trip from Florida back up North to visit relatives on Long Island. 

In their community, there are well-known strawberry and raspberry fields where you can pick your own berries.  This is a fun activity for children and adults since, although discouraged, most people eat half of what they are picking before placing them in the containers to be weighed at the check-out station. 

I can still remember one of my daughters putting a raspberry on each of her fingers and then proceeding to eat each one individually.  As she did this, she asked me, “Daddy, are these fresh?”

“Are these fresh?”

Many years later while we were spending the summer of 2015 in Valencia, Spain, we used to go to the Central Market in the Old City (la Ciutat Vella) at least once a week to buy our groceries.  The place is famous for the best and freshest fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry and fish from the immediately surrounding areas. Valencia is right in the Green Belt of Spain, the major agricultural production area for so much of what is grown in Spain.

Our favorite vendor for Spanish hams and Spanish cheeses

We got to know the vendors in the Central Market and we enjoyed sampling their products.  Our favorite ham and cheese vendor let us try their extensive variety of different grades of local hams along with the famous Spanish sheep-milk and cow-milk cheeses.  They always gave us a little cup of the local red wine which we then eagerly bought for only 2 Euros a bottle.  Having a little taste of wine was always a fun indulgence at 10 in the morning.

Another favorite vendor was where many different varieties of lettuce and related greens were featured.  Our favorite product was the Spanish variety of arugula (“rúcula”). In Europe, it is known in English as rocket lettuce and has a much more pungent, peppery taste. One day they were completely out of the arugula. 

The vendor told us not to worry.  “Be patient.  The truck will be delivering it soon,” she said reassuringly.

“How do you know?” I asked.

“They’re still picking it right now in the field,” she explained.

I guess you can’t get fresher than that! 

Números

Números

No he conocido a mucha gente como yo. Desde que tengo memoria, me han fascinado las secuencias numéricas.


La mayoría de las veces, me río por dentro y sé que este “interés” mío en particular no es compartido por muchos otros. Cuando señalo algo que me parece interesante, mi esposa suele decir: “Está bien” con ese reconocimiento a medias que hace cuando realmente quiere decir: “Déjame volver a lo que estaba haciendo”.


Me refiero a cosas como las fechas. Un ejemplo es el 2 de octubre de 2020. En mi mente matemática, pienso en 10 x 2 = 20. Está bien. Estoy de acuerdo, eso no es tan interesante.

Mis favoritas son las secuencias como 7/8/90. En esa fecha, recuerdo haber esperado a las 12:34 p. M. Y 56 segundos para poder preguntarle con quien estaba si se habían dado cuenta de que eran las 12:34:56 del 7/8/90. La mayoría de las veces recibía miradas en blanco con el “¿Y qué?” mira en su cara.

Una vez tuve un paciente que nació el 8/8/88. Y si eso no fuera suficiente, ¡su madre nació el 5/5/55! ¡Supongo que fue lo suficientemente significativo para mí recordar algo así tantos años después!
Los números de teléfono siempre me fascinaron cuando era más joven. Me conocían como el niño que recordaba el número de teléfono de todos. Todavía puedo recordar todos los números que he tenido desde la infancia. ¡Incluso los números de la línea del partido!

Cuando me hice mayor y estaba haciendo arreglos para el servicio telefónico para mis oficinas, solía pensar mucho en qué números disponibles serían “ideales” para que nuestros pacientes los recordaran. La ubicación adecuada en la cuadrícula de tonos fue de alguna manera importante para mí (y generalmente sin importancia para la mayoría de los demás). Por ejemplo, el primer número de teléfono de mi oficina fue 471-1144, todos compuestos por números en el lado izquierdo de la cuadrícula.

Una oficina posterior fue 798-2468. Esto me atrajo porque al menos tenía algo de simetría visual. Y pensé que sonaba bien cuando se recitaba. ¡Al menos pensé que sonaba atractivo!

Cuando era niño, mi padre sentía una gran satisfacción al ver que el odómetro cambiaba a números pares, como 20.000 o 30.000. De hecho, solíamos celebrar esos eventos en familia con obsequios especiales. Cuando mis propios hijos estaban creciendo, hice lo mismo con ellos. ¡Recuerdo haber conducido en un estacionamiento en particular esperando el cambio a 100,000 para poder capturarlo en mi teléfono celular! ¡Me pregunto qué estaban pensando mis hijos cuando les dije que observaran que todos los nueves se convirtieron en ceros!

Una razón para celebrar

Hoy en día, los diseñadores de juegos de computadora están constantemente ideando formas de estimular a las personas que se concentran en la pantalla. Cuando miro hacia atrás e imagino lo poco que me costó mantener el interés, tengo que reír. Si todavía puedo emocionarme con una secuencia numérica, ¡supongo que no se necesita mucho para mantenerme agradecido por los placeres simples de la vida!

¡Otro favorito!

Numbers

I haven’t met too many people like me.  From as far back as I can remember, I have been fascinated by numerical sequences. 

Most of the time, I just chuckle inwardly and know that this particular “interest” of mine is not shared by too many other people.  When I point out something that I find interesting, my wife usually says, “Okay” with that half-hearted acknowledgement that she does when she really means, “Let me get back to what I was doing.”

I’m talking about things like dates.  Take October 2, 2020 for example.  In my mathematical mind, I think of 10 x 2= 20.  OK.  I agree, that’s not really that interesting.   

My favorites are the sequences such as 7/8/90.  On that date, I remember waiting for 12:34 pm and 56 seconds so that I could ask whoever I was with if they had noticed that it’s 12:34:56 on 7/8/90.  Most of the time I would receive blank stares with the “So what?” look on their face. 

I once had a patient who was born on 8/8/88.   And if that wasn’t enough, her mother was born on 5/5/55!   I guess it was significant enough for me that I remember something like that so many years later!  

Telephone numbers always had a particular fascination for me when I was younger.  I was known as the child who remembered everyone’s phone number.   I can still remember all the numbers I’ve had since childhood.   Even the party line numbers!    

When I became older and was arranging for phone service for my offices, I used to give a lot of thought to which available numbers would be “ideal” for our patients to remember. Suitable placement on the touchtone grid was somehow important for me (and usually totally unimportant to most others).     For example, my first office phone number was 471-1144, all composed of numbers on the left side of the grid. 

A subsequent office was 798-2468.  This appealed to me because at least it had some visual symmetry.  And I thought it had a nice ring to it when recited.  At least I thought it sounded appealing!

When I was a child, my father took great satisfaction in watching the odometer change over to the even numbers such as 20,000 or 30,000.  We actually used to celebrate those events as a family with special treats.  When my own kids were growing up, I did the same with them.  I can remember driving around in a particular parking lot waiting for the change to 100,000 so that I could capture it on my cellphone!  I wonder what my kids were thinking when I instructed them to observe all the nines become zeros!  

A cause for celebration!

Nowadays computer game designers are constantly coming up with ways to stimulate people focused on the screen.   When I look back and imagine how little it took me to remain interested, I have to laugh.   If I still can get excited about a numerical sequence, I guess it doesn’t take much to keep me grateful for life’s simple pleasures!

Another favorite!

¡Origami!

En el epicentro de la bomba nuclear detonada en Hiroshima, Japón, se encuentra un monumento muy solemne. El complejo, conocido como Peace Memorial Park, incluye un museo histórico que explica el efecto devastador de la bomba atómica en el área con descripciones y fotografías muy gráficas.

En el borde del parque hay un edificio de hormigón con una cúpula de acero que sobrevivió a la explosión.

El edificio abovedado que sobrevivió a la explosión.


Los niños japoneses suelen hacer la peregrinación al lugar una vez al año y es costumbre colocar figuras de origami de colores en las grandes estructuras del parque.

Uno de los muros de origami en el
Parque Conmemorativo de la Paz
Sus maestros los guían en oraciones por la paz y los niños se portan muy bien.


Los guías realizan recorridos por el monumento en muchos idiomas.

Tenga en cuenta la redacción de su placa:
“In Utero Survivor” (superviviente en el útero)



Después de una visita muy emotiva al parque, estábamos sentados en un autobús público que regresaba a nuestro hotel. Una mujer japonesa a mi lado me tocó el hombro y metió la mano en su bolso para sacar un trozo de papel.

Mientras observábamos, dobló un trozo de papel amarillo en forma de tortuga.

Después de hacer mi tortuga, hizo otro pájaro de origami simple para mi esposa. Todo el tiempo, nos estuvo explicando en japonés cómo estaba creando estos diseños de papel. No le molestó en absoluto que no entendiéramos una palabra.

Al bajarnos del autobús, le agradecimos con “Domo arigato” y ella sonrió, emocionada de que al menos supiéramos “algo” de japonés.

¿Te imaginas a un completo extraño en los Estados Unidos haciendo eso en un autobús público?

Este fue uno de los muchos momentos “Solo en Japón” que vivimos durante nuestro viaje de un mes, principalmente con un Japan Rail Pass de tres semanas.

De todos los viajes que hemos hecho, mi esposa, Meryl, todavía dice que Japón fue el lugar donde se sintió más segura.

Mi preciada tortuga de origami de Hiroshima

Origami

At the epicenter of the nuclear bomb detonated on Hiroshima, Japan, sits a very solemn memorial. The complex, known as Peace Memorial Park, includes a historical museum explaining the devastating effect of the atomic bomb on the area with very graphic descriptions and photographs.

On the edge of the park is a concrete building with a steel dome which survived the blast.

The domed building which survived the blast

Japanese children typically make the pilgrimage to the site on a yearly basis and it is customary to attach colorful origami figures to large structures in the park.

One of many origami “walls”

Their teachers lead them in prayers for peace and the children are extremely well-behaved.

Children reciting prayers for peace

Guides conduct tours of the memorial in many languages.

Note the wording on his badge:
In Utero Survivor

After a very emotional visit to the park, we were sitting on a public bus returning to our hotel. A Japanese woman next to me tapped me on the shoulder and reached into her purse to remove a piece of paper.

  As we watched, she folded a piece of yellow paper into a turtle.

After making my turtle, she made another simple origami bird for my wife.  The entire time, she was explaining to us in Japanese how she was creating these paper designs. It didn’t bother her at all that we didn’t understand a word. 

As we got off the bus, we thanked her with “Domo arigato” and she smiled, thrilled that we at least knew “some” Japanese.

Can you imagine a total stranger in the United States doing that on a public bus?

This was one of many “Only in Japan” moments we experienced during our month in Japan traveling around mostly on a three-week JapanRailPass.

Of all the trips we have taken, my wife, Meryl, still says that Japan was the place where she felt the safest.

My treasured origami turtle from Hiroshima

Mensaje de Internet

Quiero contarles sobre algo que sucedió la semana pasada que me dio la oportunidad de ver cuán diferente la gente ve las cosas.

Desde que comenzó la pandemia, hemos estado cenando afuera en nuestro patio con vista a un lago en el condado de Palm Beach, Florida. Tenemos una hermosa vista y las muchas variedades de aves crean un espectáculo nocturno.


Todas las noches, alrededor de la hora de la cena, muchas personas salen en sus pequeños botes, canoas y kayaks. Una noche de la semana pasada, dos niños pequeños, de no más de siete u ocho años, jugaban en sus propios kayaks, chapoteando entre ellos. Noté que ninguno de los dos llevaba chaleco salvavidas.

Niños en barcos


Siendo el buen vecino, publiqué un mensaje en el sitio web del tablón de anuncios de la comunidad con mi preocupación de que los niños no estuvieran actuando responsablemente en sus barcos. Pregunté si los padres sabían que estaban en el lago sin sus chalecos salvavidas.

Tablero de mensajes de internet

En unos minutos, comenzaron a aparecer algunas respuestas desagradables dentro de nuestra comunidad.
Una persona dijo que debería ocuparme de mis propios asuntos y dejar de intentar decirles a los padres cómo criar a sus hijos.


Otro me llamó “Capitán Dan” y me dijo que la próxima vez que dejaran a sus hijos en el lago, me llamarían para pedir permiso.


Otro encuestado me dijo que mi esposa debería quitarme el teclado.

Para ser justos, hubo algunos que me agradecieron mi preocupación. Muchos de ellos saben como pediatra, soy un firme defensor de la seguridad y la prevención de accidentes.


Lo que realmente me sorprendió fue lo vocal que la gente criticaba. Pude ver que la gente decía cosas en línea que probablemente no le dirían a nadie en persona.


Hoy en día todo el mundo es demasiado sensible. Es difícil para las personas con puntos de vista opuestos tener una discusión amistosa. Las personas tienen miedo de decir algo porque las palabras que podrían usar pueden percibirse como ofensivas. En un instante, la reputación de una persona puede arruinarse permanentemente.

Creo que tenemos que volver al punto en el que podemos estar en desacuerdo entre nosotros. Dadas las condiciones estresantes en las que vivimos, debemos entender que no todos comparten la misma opinión. Debemos esforzarnos por pensar en la intención de la otra persona antes de enojarnos.

Muchas veces lo que puede considerarse una crítica es en realidad una verdadera preocupación por los demás.

Nextdoor

I want to tell you about something that happened last week which gave me an opportunity to see how people see things differently.

Since the pandemic started, we have been having dinner outside on our patio overlooking a lake in Palm Beach County, Florida. We have a beautiful view and the many varieties of birds put on a nightly spectacle.


Every night around dinnertime, many people are out in their small boats, canoes and kayaks. One night last week, two young boys, not more than seven or eight years old, were playing in their own kayaks, splashing each other. I noticed that neither one was wearing a life vest.

“Do your parents know that you are in the middle of the lake without your lifevests?”


Being the good neighbor, I posted a message on the community bulletin board website that I was concerned that the boys were not acting responsibly in their boats. I questioned if the parents knew that they were out on the lake without their life vests.

Typical community message board


Within a few minutes, some nasty responses from within our community started to appear.


One person said that I should mind my own business and stop trying to tell parents how to raise their children.


Another called me “Captain Dan” and told me that the next time they allowed their children on the lake, they would call me for permission.


Another respondent told me that my wife should take away my keyboard.


To be fair, there were a few who thanked me for my concern. Many of them know as a pediatrician, I am a strong advocate for safety and accident prevention.

What really surprised me was how vehemently people reacted. I realized that people write things online that they probably wouldn’t say to anyone in person.


Nowadays everyone is so over-sensitive. It is difficult for people with opposite points of view to have a friendly discussion. People have become afraid to say anything because the words that they might use may be perceived as offensive. In an instant, a person’s reputation may be permanently ruined.


I believe that we need to return to the point where we can peacefully disagree with each other. Given the stressful conditions under which we are living, we should understand that everyone might not share the same opinion. We should go out of our way to understand the other person’s intent before we get angry.

Many times what is considered criticism may actually be true neighborly concern for others.

My Worst Visual Memory

WARNING:  DESCRIPTION OF GRAPHIC VIOLENCE

My fellow pediatric residents at a municipal hospital in NYC in the mid-70s probably remember this horrible story very well.

A child was brought to the emergency room with extensive burns to one side of the face. She must have been two or three years old. The smell of burned flesh and hair was horrific and her pain was beyond belief. The other doctors and I had to hold back our tears as best as we could.

My job was to take a history from the mother who had accompanied the child in the ambulance. She told me that because the child had “misbehaved,” the father tied her to the bedroom radiator. When the heat later came on later at night, the right side of the child’s face was stuck between the radiator and the wall, and she wasn’t able to move away from the heat. By the time that her mother realized that her right eye and cheek had been melted away and scorched, it was too late.

This child became a long-term patient on the pediatric ward. She required numerous plastic surgical procedures and was eventually fitted with a removable prosthesis which fit well into the reconstructed area of her face. It had a beautiful false eye which matched well with her other side.

One time as she was playing in the children’s playroom, she became angry at one of the other children.  In a fit of rage, she yanked off her facial prosthesis and threw it on the floor. There it sat for a minute, staring up at us with that almost realistic-looking eye, until her nurse picked it up and replaced it.

I’ve often wondered how a child or for that matter anyone could ever recover from such a horrible intentional act of violence.

I can still picture that eye and cheek lying on the floor. Not my favorite visual memory!