Uncategorized – Page 3 – Dr. Plastic Picker

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Wonderfully imaginative gift from Mr. Tony who is a succulent artist.

May 22, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I’m here with the you. Not over in Oregon. I will be in Oregon on Tuesday. On Tuesday I will be in Oregon with my family member. But today this morning at 539AM I am here at home at my kitchen table. I will be on earth every day, for now. What I mean to say, is that I am present. I am fully present.

When we had been looking at the Big Island Property, it was the frentic dizzying journey up and down different Lava zones thinking about coffee farms, lychee orchards and all the different possibilities of agricultural farms we could have. Now that we are “Under Contract” and “Pending” on the 193.5 Acres (yes I forgot the 1/2 acre) in Southwestern Oregon, I feel a quiet sense of contentment and imagining what the real future of retirement will look like. But I’m not racing toward thinking about retirement. I’m planning, but I’m enjoying the wonderful present tense that is having two teenagers under my roof and a crazy 12 pound black poodle and two bunnies, a Mr. Plastic Picker that loves said children fiercely and still overworks, and the sense of rightness that I have now about life. Despite my dental issues, I think I’m on the right path albeit requires a bit more flossing and maybe calcium rich foods.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m still enjoying the whole process of Oregon. But I am still committed to work work and climate work. It’s just nice knowing that there is another place that will be home with lots of things to do that make me happy. And I think that is the key to life really. At least the key to our first world existence life where we are all prone to ennui. Have some sort of purpose, and hopefully a purpose that will help the world and your fellow earthlings.

It’s funny ennui, which is a wonderful word, I haven’t had that sense in two years. Truly. I used to get it all the time. That sense of aimlessly. What is my purpose in life? Where am I going? Is this is? Now I am just happy. And thank you everyone for laughing with me and listening to my crazy plans. I realized how lucky I am because I bother our pediatric nurses a lot with my laughter and climate musings. They are busy. Finally one of the nurses who usually listens all the time said, “Dr. P I do need to work.” Yes. I know. And I appreciate everyone listening. I did clean out the clinic fridge yesterday and took out all the old fruit and took it home to compost. Oh and we are having a party next week in clinic to celebrate our great two UCSD residents who we have really bonded with, and I need to remember to invite our new friend Mr. Tony the succulent artists from optometry. His creations are whimsical and thoughtful, and use of color is beautiful. We will need to include him in our party and our climate plans at work. Also Rosie, our friend we met on the top of the HMO parking lot. She is also planting in the dead planters, independent of Dr. Dear Friend and I. We’ve divided the top of the HMO parking lot up and we all for our planting plans for the spring. I just need to concentrate on topping the planters with compost.

May 5, 2021

by drplasticpicker

It’s 141AM and I needed to brush my teeth. I usually would just go back to sleep, but I’ve learned to sometimes take these opportunities to do what every parent of a teenager should do – go check up on them. Our daughter’s room was dark and she was asleep. I crept downstairs and the grandparents room was dark and quiet. But from our son’s room it was quiet and there was light coming from the closed door. I’ve learned to knock, because one does not burst into a teenage boys room. It’s impolite. So I gently knock knock knocked. No answer. I knock knock knocked – no answer. I gently opened the door and my teenage son was sitting in front of his computer with his headphones on – which is why he didn’t hear me. There was a youtube video of a Obama political speach. But the boy was fast asleep while sitting in his chair. I gently woke him up and told him to go to bed.

And I got to send a very fun email to Dr. Perry Sheffield, who is a very accomplished environmentalist friend and follows Dr. Plastic Picker, asking her to speak about clean air in San Diego. And I got to tell her that I was able to lead our wonderful author group Durrwachter-Erno et al and how much fun we had. And I got to articulate for the first time my real dream of writing my book about this journey and the drive cross country that I want to do picking up trash with all my environmental friends. Because this blog has always been about the dreams of a liveable planet during the real work of cleaning up the earth, and activating environmentalism here in my little corner of the world.

But this book and book tour and dream of meeting all these wonderful people, is intertwined with making sure said teenage boy actually gets through highschool and goes to college. I’m really lucky because Mr. Plastic Picker is so good with the kids , and on top of them and their schooling. He made me review next year’s junior year schedule and it seemed really heavy. AP US History, AP Chemistry, AP Precalculus, AP English, AP Spanish and Creative Writing. He could take another class which is advanced programming, as he is really good at it and it’s an easy A for him – but I did weigh in that I thought it would be better to take 6 classes and have a study period.

So my job is to keep on picking up trash, making organic homemade food which hopefully will keep him well nourished, and pop in here and there to make sure he is in bed. He usually is in bed on time, but he is still my son and that is what moms are supposed to do. During the dark of night, one should sleep. And I will go to sleep. But at least I got to make sure he slept in his proper bed and did not get neck strain. I got to send an inspired email to the famous Dr. Perry Sheffield. She is really famous and has done so much to try to save the earth for our children. And I got to dream about the book I want to write and 2 summers from now when I can finally go drive cross country. And I will go to bed. I did a lot of work work today on vaccines, and reorganizing redundant committees, and doing the final submission on our article. I posted a bunch of times on facebook about the article and then took down the post. I realize the more I accomplish in our environmental work, the more quiet I need to be. I can be on this blog and write my truth, but to more the world forward in climate activism – I need to let people have space to grow in their work. And that is what I noticed about Dr. Perry Sheffield at meetings. She has this quiet confience and builds people up. That is true leadership.

The picture above is because we are presenting at that conference as Durrwachter-Erno et al !!!! We are seriously going to get Tshirts which I’m going to deliver on my book tour!

Real picture I sent Dr. Perry Sheffield. Because it all powerful persuasive writing there needs to be metaphors. I was a history of science major from Crimson Unviersity, I know. Ask my former professor Amy Slatton!

So many coffee grounds! They are really nitrogen gold!

April 28, 2021

by Dr. Plastic Picker

Once again my friend Dr. Young-Ho Yoon has transformed my life. I need to do an update on MD Eco-Warrior on him soon. It’s been so busy that I haven’t been keeping up with the MD interviews. But my former senior resident and friend from our Boston days had introduced us to the Aerobin400 and it’s been such a life-changer for us. It really has been amazing.


It was a whole process but I had to print out the Youth Arts Contest Poster my way.

April 25, 2021

by drplasticpicker

There is a newish term called neurodiversity. It can be used to describe children on the autism spectrum disorder and I think a better term. Can someone and the way their brain works be a disorder? Or are they just different? And on this blog different is 100% okay.

I was exhausted yesterday and did not play Catan with the children last night. Our son purchased Catan months ago and we still have not played. I had been up early at 4am sending emails and doing some climate work organizing, and we did go to volleyball. I did try to get the ocean beach plastic from #donttrashmissionbeach and it was very stressful trying to find parking in that area of Mission Beach. There is almost no parking. I know myself and I had circled around with my daughter in our car three times, and I ended texting her that I was going to head back home and try again some other day. The whole endeavor was very stressful because I know I am not a good driver. Well, I am a good driver because I know that I have to be very careful and I don’t take risks. I had my ex-28week preemie in the car and the last thing I’m going to do is risk her and myself trying to do a trash art advocacy project – especially since I’m trying to save the earth partially for my own children.


It’s Sally and Vi and we wanted to send you April 2021 Updates! We are trying a new format so let us know what you think! We’ve been busy at our two overlapping groups, just wanted to let everyone know what we’ve all been up to and remind everyone that we’ll have our q2month meeting May via Zoom! Let us know if there are any projects you want to tackle together. We’d love if anyone wants to write something for the AAP-CA3 blog on behalf of our committee as well. We’d like to increase our web presence. This is just highlights.   Rewild Mission Bay Cyrstal Doan Stephens MD our member from San Diego Family Care sent this important event for anyone who is interested in Rewilding efforts in Mission May. “Please join us on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 7 pm for “How Mission Bay Can Protect San Diego from Sea Level Rise .” This event is a free Zoom webinar hosted by STAY COOL for Grandkids. Andrew Meyer, Director of Conservation for the San Diego Audubon Society, will be our guest speaker in April and has updates to share about the significant Rewild endeavor to restore wetlands in Mission Bay. This effort has the potential to be one of the largest, most visible projects anywhere to protect a city from sea-level flooding.” https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-mission-bay-can-protect-san-diego-from-sea-level-rise-tickets-147184892977 It also brings up the important question whether we are a group want to support and join their coalition. Will discuss at the May meeting and hoping Crystal can present.      


It’s so beautiful and fragrant.

April 8, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I’m filled with hope today. Usually I blog in the early morning, but I haven’t really posted anything in a few days. I’ve been busy working the late shift at work and doing interesting climate projects and work work projects. But I wanted to share this picture of a simple blue flower from a rosemary branch my friend Dr. Jill Gustafson gave me. It seems a silly thing, but this is a branch she gave me from her bush. I had tried to propogate several other rosemary bushes from around the office but they didn’t root. This one I asked her for, and after she had given it to me – I had just stuck it in this pot with a mix of potting soil and compost. I watered it here and there, and at times I did not think it would root or make it. But it flowered this past week and the blue flowers are really beautiful. It’s alive.


I was doing this instead of writing my part!

March 24, 2021

by drplasticpicker

Everything turned out fine yesterday. I made a lot of headway on several important work projects, creating a newsletter template and have some fun sections that other pediatricians contributed. We tweaked the pediatric schedules in the evenings and weekends a bit, to open up more appointments for needed PE access and vaccines. Even the Medi-CAL Performance Improvement Project Update is going to be fine, because one meeting was cancelled and I moved the other meeting up, so my colleague and I will have an hour to hash things through and type out the proposed project workflow. We’ll have an hour before the official meeting, which should be more than enough time to put things together. This will also be an upcoming publication for us. Maybe I should bring this computer with me, as it has the citation software that I’m using for the article I’m procrastinating on.


Creative mornings.

March 23, 2021

by drplasticpicker

It’s 5am, and I’ve been up for already 1.5 hours. I fell asleep early last night, and at 3am I wasn’t sure if I should start my day. But my body said, get up Dr. Plastic Picker – get up Dr. Plastic Picker. I am working on a journal article of the Built Environment and Environmental Justice with four other AAP Climate Advocates, so that article is on my mind. I should be able to write a lot of it today. My section is only about 1000 words which is the length of a blogpost. But it’s a “real article” and I have to get in the emotional and intellectual space to write it.


Upcycled Bird House. Essentially free, helps my birds.
Upcycled Planter. Most of the plants were propogated for free.

March 7, 2021

by drplasticpicker

My mortgage broker and I are best friends again. I’ve worked with this particular person for over a decade on various purchases, and I value our relationship. I always shop around at least with 1-2 other brokers, but usually she will offer a comparable rate and the most important thing about her is that she gets the job done. I’ve tried to work with other mortgage brokers but they are not as efficient as this particular person. She really is a gem.

So I’m up and continuing to work on my refinance of the two properties. Before I commit to making a big financial move (this is not big, but a moderate financial move), I have to have quiet and go through the numbers. And honestly yesterday morning, I went through the scenarios and the decision to refinance was a no-brainer for property #1.

The first property is a no-brainer as I have a 30-year fixed at 4.6 percent around and bout 25 more years left on the loan, and I will refinance at a 20-year-fixed at about 2.875% with 0 points. When I originally bought this property I had a substantial downpayment > 30%. I’m a super safe real estate investor. Anyway, the monthly payment will actually stay the same but the length of the loan will shorten 5 years. I will save us 70,000 in interest over the lifetime of this loan, as this is a long-term investment. As always Dr. Plastic Picker has plan B-Z for what may happen in life, and for some reason if Mr. Plastic Picker and I need to downsize – I will be very comfortable in this 2 bedroom 2 bath place in a choice area in downtown. Lets just say its across from one of the best places on earth – A LIBRARY! Free unlimited books for me to read in retirement which will keep my retirment cost low. What more could I ever need? But in all seriousness we have things planned out that we will comfortable retire in the current home we live in. But always good to have back-up plan after back-up plan.