Saturday, September 24, 2011

Urban Nomad in The California Southland

Urban Nomad in The California Southland

Living and driving in Los Angeles means planning for traffic delays and snarls that randomly occur at any hour of the day. This summer has been particularly bad as the freeways are being resurfaced at night. I generally choose to drive evenings to avoid the certainty of rush rush hour traffic. On a recent Sunday night drive from Santa Barbara to LA, two freeways were completely shutdown (The 101 southbound in Ventura and the eastbound 210 in San Dimas).

This week I needed to travel east 34 miles to downtown LA to participate in the Southern California Be Prepared event. I wanted to be at Exhibition Park by 8:30 am. Some advised me to leave by 5:30 am and take a nap at my destination. This is the daily practice by two of my neighbors in San Dimas. I wasn't too keen on early morning napping in area around Exhibition Park (Watts and USC). so I elected to do my waiting in the parking lot of the 60 eastbound starting at 6:30 am. Two hours for 34 miles should be enough time, right?

I arrived at 8:50 am. Two hours and 20 minutes averaging 15 mph.

Veterinary Nomad Journal September 24, 2011

Sent from my iPad

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dreamin' of Red Velvet Cupcakes

 Dreamin' of Red Velvet Cupcakes

Suite 106 Cupcakery will be at the LA County Fair this Sunday Sept. 25, 2011.  AARP is planning an LA Truck Fest.  What trucks do you 50+ folks want to see there?  Check out my ROAD FOOD - IE Foodie Truck Event Video Blog for   
 @coolhaus  @geturlardon @buttermilktruck  and more... 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

So Cal Be Prepared! From Exhibition Park, Los Angeles

So Cal Be Prepared! From Exhibition Park, Los Angeles

We have come a long way representing animals in disasters. When the CVMA Disaster Response Program was morphed into the California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corp, we became recognized by the Surgeon General's Office as volunteer healthcare professionals. When I went to my first gathering of Southern California Medical Reserve Corps, no one present had any idea why a veterinarian would be among them. As I was introduced by the leadership of the California Emergency Management Agency, the comment was added that "we should not forget to utilize our non-professional colleagues ." Of course, I used the opportunity share the concept that veterinarians are indeed health professionals. We are doctors and interested in promoting both human and animal health and well-being. They were amazed...and skeptical.

That was two years ago.

At today's California Emergency Management Agency event, the CAVMRC was asked to attend. The California Emergency Management Agency, in partnership with the American Red Cross, gave out Mini-Pet Preparedness kits too! In fact, the pet kit went faster than the human first aid kits.

We still have a way to go, but it starts with responsible pet owners. Step one, does your pet have an identification tag or microchip?

Dr. Mc, Veterinary Nomad
Journal. Sept. 20, 2011

Sent from my iPad

Saturday, September 17, 2011

ROAD FOOD - IE Foodie Truck Event September 17, 2011

Chino Valley is near the WesternU campus and the Chino Valley Foodie Festival was a great way to spend the afternoon following WesternU Preview Day.  My mascot Viggo and I saw the CoolHaus tweet and headed to Don Antonio Lugo High School.  I have meet the folks from the DAL HS at local Junior High Career Days.  DAL HS has a 4H program that promotes interest in animals and potential future veterinarians.  Chino Valley Foodie Festival was a great fundraiser for Chino Valley Unified School District.  A great intersect of education and road food. 

In case you are familiar with Chino, Chino Hills,  or Chino Valley, the IE stands for Inland Empire.  The Suite 106 Cupcakery can also be found at Victoria Gardens in nearby Rancho Cucamonga.Some folks came from as far away as Ventura, following the tweets of @CVFoodieFest, @coolhaus or @getyourlardon, @IE_gourmetfoodtrucks. Better yet follow @truxmap: The world's only up-to-the-tweet food truck tracker!
Download the Truxmap app to really zero in on food truck locations. 

Travel Tech - Mobile App Flight View

An urban nomad can and should take advantage of the many awesome mobile apps.  Some apps help make your travels go more smoothly while others help you be more productive while on the road.  Some apps may help you find the best stuff on the road so you don't miss out.   This is the first of my Travel Tech blogs:

I monitor my flights with the  Mobile App Flight View.  It's on my smart phone and my iPad.  I can search for my flight by route or by Airline and flight number.  Once I find my flight I can see where the plane is coming from.  This is useful when you have the 10:40 pm flight from SFO to Ontario.  If the equipment (plane) is coming from Eugene, your in pretty good shape.  If the equipment is coming from Chicago and there's a big snow storm in the Midwest, be prepared for a cancelled flight.  Flight View is the same as seen on the flat screen monitors at SFO.  You can also use it to track arriving flights when you are waiting to pick-up a friend at the airport.  When your friend's flight is repeatedly delayed in SFO, you can follow the flight's progress through Flight View and get real time detailed status alerts.  You can even follow the plane on the maps a see your friend's progress in the air.  Pretty cool.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

6 am flights are harsh

Alaska Horizon Ontario to Portland 6:00am.

Only two women passengers today, what's up with that? Most everyone looks like business travelers.

There are still three direct flights daily from Ontario to Portland. 6:00 am, 11:40 am and too late to think about. Thank you Alaska/SkyWest.

Canadair Regional Jet is a tight fit, but Joy! The seat next to me is empty and I can sleep. Ugh! This seat doesn't recline.

Try Beaches PDX.  Breakfast (~$10) served all day. The servers leave small spiral notebooks with mini personal introductions on the table. Customers have entered great comments like "thanks for the great service," "thanks for the seafood omelet recommendation," "thanks for the smiles," and "keep loving life." Reading this journal makes customers feel happy thoughts too! I particularly liked this one -

 "Breakfast at Beaches - lunch in Paris! Off we go! Thanks!"

I wish.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Veterinary Nomad and Road Scholarship

WesternU has the newest College of Veterinary Medicine in the United States. Five classes have successfully graduated as of May 2011. The WesternU curriculum is innovative, integrative and complex.  The basic sciences in the first two years of the curriculum are taught through problem based learning.  No lectures.  Inquiry based investigation of cases with associated activities, labs and discussions.  In years 3 and 4, the medical education and clinical instruction is taught in situ through a "distributive" model.  Students begin the life of a Veterinary Nomad when they are sent out into the real world in the third year.   In two week blocks a third year WesternU vet student is assigned to a new veterinary enterprise or disciplines.  The third year will include zoo medicine at the Los Angeles or other  Zoo, beef cattle medicine at the Hastings Center in Nebraska and pathology at Antech Diagnostics in Irvine, CA.  This continues for 32 weeks or 16 courses with four interruptions (exam weeks).  Understand, this is not "shadowing" veterinarians in the field.  Students work to achieve educational objectives through group study, preceptor and faculty guided work in place.  They have continuous assessments and examinations throughout the year.  In the 4th year, the College assigns two CORE rotations, Internal Medicine and Surgery and the veterinary student selects six rotations.  The 4th year could be spent entirely in Southern California or around the world.  I know it sounds complicated.  It is. The logistics are crazy.

I am Associate Professor Diane McClure, a course leader for the third year in Laboratory Animal Medicine and Research.  As students begin this nomadic life of a new place every 2 weeks, my role as Professor is to follow along via cyberspace (black board, e-mail, mobile phone calls, texts and Facebook). I also visit each location at least once during the two week rotation when students are present. Face to face meetings are where the subtle issues come to light so they can be addressed before they become catastrophes. Thus, I am a Veterinary Nomad too.

Beyond learning veterinary medicine in all it's diverse roles, veterinary nomads are learning another set of skills. How to fit into a new work environment every two weeks, how to communicate with a tremendous variety of people in vet med and on public transportation, how to live out of a suit case and still have the resources you need to write papers, create PowerPoint presentations and maintain personal health and hygiene. This is a powerful skill set that is difficult to name, but I call it Road Scholarship.

This blog will share joys and travails of a Veterinary Nomad.

Disclaimer:  This blog is of my own doing and does not represent any official position or opinion by WesternU.  ~ Diane McClure, DVM, PhD