November 2019 – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Month: November 2019

That morning was a good haul! Of the sandals only 2 were matching, but the ball was a cool one! That is our crazy black puppy toward the left. She claimed both balls. Photo credit by drplasticpicker.

November 30, 2019

by drplasticpicker

This is a summary of my November 2019 plastic picking! Technically I still have this morning, but it’s 6am and still dark and I haven’t gone out yet. I want to publish 1 post a day so I’ll count this morning’s plastic counts in December’s totals. So this is total bags of trash and other things found near the shoreline that are now donated, reused or gifted. I have also updated my Plastic Picking Totals https://drplasticpicker.com/plastic-picking-round-up/. This is my third month of plastic picking, and number of bags came up 31 from 19.5 (58% net increase) last month as did total number of items 111 from 88 (26% net increase).

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Herb butter roasted 7lb turkey on a ceramic serving plate. No plastic! Cooking credit by drplasticpicker. Photo credit by drplasticpicker.

November 29, 2019

by drplasticpicker

Happy Thanksgiving and Indigenous People’s Day to everyone from the Plastic Picker family. Today was one of those milestone days. Like riding your first bike, aceing an organic chemistry midterm or draining your first abscess – today drplasticpicker cooked my first Turkey! It was a 7 1/2 lb bird and it was glorious!

One of my middle management friends is male, older and wiser and always says, “For those that have great strengths, they have great weaknesses.” My great weaknesses are some of the practical matters in life. I became a good driver late in life, and now in my mid-40s I cooked my first Turkey and I am beyond bursting with pride.

For the actual turkey recipe, it was the first one I googled “Easy, No-Fuss Thanksgiving Turkey” https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/easy-no-fuss-thanksgiving-turkey/. Thank you internet!

Being a second-generation American and married to a first generation American, Thanksgiving was always a complicated holiday for me. I grew up watching Thanksgiving on TV with those 1980 sitcom families, and that was what I thought “Thanksgiving” was supposed to be. Then going off to college, living away from my nuclear family for 15 years, marrying a first-generation immigrant from New Jersey whose family also did Thanksgiving a bit “off” compared to TV shows, and then having children while still doing medical training and feeling that I should be providing them a sort of tradition that I never had myself.

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“Bowtie Persimmons” a photo project by patient’s family and drplasticpicker. Better together.

November 28, 2019

by drplasticpicker

It’s the first rainstorm of the year and it is 4am on Thanksgiving morning. I sleep well now, the sleep of the blessed as I told the reporter from PB Monthly https://drplasticpicker.com/keep-it-simple-and-back-to-basics-after-my-interview-with-pb-monthly/, and still wake up at 4am which is really just 5am before the recent daylight savings change. I woke up to the gentle sound of rain. The storm had started yesterday afternoon.

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I Flew Home

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November 28, 2019

An original poem by drplastipicker

Bird found in the seaweed after a storm November 2019. Photo by drplasticpicker.

I flew home.

I flew home to be with my family

to be surrounded by the warmth of their bodies, the beautiful calls of my kind

I flew home to be with my friends

to move together in the sand and the air, sometimes as a line

I flew home through the storm, confident in my strength and wings

but i did not reach home

the winds were fierce, the storms were strong, and i did not have the endurance

there were little bits of plastic in my gullet that stole my strength

you are home dear human, it is Thanksgiving, and this is your beach

love your children dear human, hug your puppy dear human, and celebrate your feast

but clean the beach dear human, so that the next of my kind

can fly home

Kiki the Sea Turtle by Eloise. Posted with family’s permission. Please contact drplasticpicker for rights to this image. I will pass on to family. All artistic rights remain with the child.

November 27, 2019

by drplasticpicker

Yes there is gloom and doom. There is an existential crisis, and carbon emissions have peaked yet again. But sometimes it does not help our cause to be sad. Personally, I need hope to be able to trudge along and continue doing what I am doing to fight ocean plastic pollution. So on Wednesdays, I am going to start 5 Reasons to be Hopeful. Wednesday is a hopeful day, because every hour you are closer to the weekend and getting past the “hump day” as we say in the office. And I want to give myself and my readers some reasons to be hopeful for the environment so we can make better earth friendly decisions and not be paralyzed by fear. We should not delude ourselves that “greenwashing” actions are enough, but neither should we stop trying.

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Dr. Craig Canapari on the left, hard at work advocating for later school start times for adolescents as the Director of the Yale Pediatric Sleep Center.

November 25, 2019

by drplasticpicker

I wanted to continue the second in a series of weekly interviews with Pediatricians who are environmentally minded. Pediatricians are natural allies to the children fighting for the environment, as the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated children will bear the brunt of the effects of climate change.

Dr. Craig Canapari https://drcraigcanapari.com/did his undergraduate at Yale University, earned his MD at the University of Connecticut. He completed his General Pediatrics and Pediatric Pulmonology training at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston. He was also one of the senior residents I worked with often when I was in medical training. Dr. Canapari was well loved and well regarded by all his fellow residents. He balanced a good sense of humor with excellent clinical care. When I was a resident, everyone wanted to be on his inpatient ward team because his rounds were fun! He taught me to always take care of the patient in front of me first. “No one ever died by note-openia” I remember him telling me.

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November 25, 2019

by drplasticpicker

From the internet. Pablo Picasso’s Don Quixote.

Don Quixote is one of Mr. Plastic Picker’s favorite novels. Mr. Plastic Picker was a short story writer during his high-school and college years, and studied Shakespeare as his major while doing premed. I have always known that this picture by Picasso was his favorite. I have not read Don Quixote (it is next on my list now), but I have read The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain who are part of that literary tradition.

Don Quixote (paraphrased from Wikipedia) introduces the nobleman Alonso Quixano, “who has read so many chivalric romances that he loses his mind and decides to become a knight-errant to revive chivalry and service his nation, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha.” He recruits Sancho Panza and together they go off “tilting at windmills,” which some would say “attacking imaginary enemies or an act of extreme idealism.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Quixote

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November 24, 2019

by drplasticpicker

It has been well documented in the social sciences literature that many health outcomes are due to habits. And it is also been well documented in the scientific and lay literature that behaviors (good and bad) can spread within social circles. We become like the people we associate with especially is there is mutual admiration and affection.

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November 21, 2019

by drplasticpicker

In the two and half months since I have started keeping count, I have collected 150 aluminum cans from the beach. I have dug them out half buried in the sand, climbed up the sand cliffs, tramped under the lifeguard towers, and thought about diving into poison ivy (which I did not). But that total makes me very excited. Let me explain to you why.

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November 23, 2019

by drplasticpicker

Sea turtle in crayon by my patient Adeleine, aged 8. Posted with family’s permission.

“The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Rules the World” was a poem written in the 1800s by American poet William Ross Wallace. Before it became a title of that god-awful scary misogynistic 1980s movie, it was a poem that glorified the power of motherhood. The second stanza,

Infancy’s the tender fountain,
    Power may with beauty flow,
Mothers first to guide the streamlets,
    From them souls unresting grow —
Grow on for the good or evil,
    Sunshine streamed or evil hurled,
For the hand that rocks the cradle
    Is the hand that rules the world.
– William Ross Wallace

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