Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Georges Perrier and Us by Edgar

     Today's N Y Times (7/24/13) has an interview with Georges Perrier and it reminded us of our associations with this famous chef.

     We were in Hawaii during French week one year and interviewed Georges Perrier on Waikiki beach.  He had been invited by the Hilton Hawaiian Village as the best chef for the week.

     He told us that the second he stepped off the plane at the Honolulu International Airport, he felt totally relaxed.  We later found out, through one of his escorts (guides) that he scolded her for being late to take him to an early morning TV interview and asked, in his inimitable way, as he pointed to his wrist, "do I have to buy you a watch?"

     He invited us to dine with him at the Brasserie when we all returned home - and to set up an appointment for sometime after Thanksgiving, as his guests.  The lunch was a treat.  Georges Perrier sat with us and suggested the menu.  During the course of conversation, he told us that the French prized saffron.  After the meal, he took us into the kitchen and permitted us to take as many photos as we wanted.  When he opened the door, he announced in a loud voice, "the chef is here."

     A few days later, a box of gourmet chocolates were delivered to our door.

     We were glad to read, in the N Y Times article, that Georges Perrier is still planning for the future.  "I'm not done yet.  I'm only 69."  And the article mentions his new project, "a bistro."

Monday, July 22, 2013

Still Tilting at Windmills

    Paid our outrageously expensive Lower Merion school real estate tax bill today at the Treasurer's office (Samuel Adenbaum, elected official) on the second floor in the Lower Merion Township administration building.

     The back of the bill has a printed notice that it can be paid at 3 different Beneficial branch offices.  I asked how much the township pays the bank to handle these transactions.  After a great deal of hemming and hawing and walking around by the clerks in the Treasurer's office, I was told that the treasurer's business with the bank "is proprietary" and not available for public knowledge.

     What?  What is the secret?  Why is there stonewalling?  The treasurer is elected by us, and paid by our taxes.

     The disbursement of tax payer dollars should never be secret.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Nuch Besser

     Edgar's grandmother would make this comment when a so-called improvement wasn't.  And that's where I am now.

     The ridiculous waste of taxpayer money, called the City Avenue Special Services District, decided that Bala Avenue needed new lighting.  And they hired Miller Brothers Electrical to take care of the project.  Even thought I ran outside and screamed at the workers that they were breaking our house, I was not able to stop them in time, and they caused cracks in our kitchen walls.  And, our homeowners insurance did not cover it (according to our AllState agent) because of some peculiarity in Pennsylvania insurance laws.

      Next, Aqua decided to replace the water mains.  I guess this is a good thing to prevent leaks and breakage; however, we were without water for two days and, the big trucks and large equipment that Utility Line Services used broke the curb away from the verge.  It's not fixed and in spite of all the photos they took, to compare with their "before the job" video - we have still not heard.
     So, as I stated in the beginning, the so-called improvements left us not improved.  And, as Edgar's grandmother would say, "they made everything nuch besser."

AARP - 10 Questions to ask when you're in the hospital

     Their 10 questions are good - but not sufficient.  i would offer the following suggestions to go along with the questions.

     First, every patient who enters the hospital should have an advocate, preferably a family member, to check on everything that is being done.

     Second, the patient or his advocate, needs a notebook and pen to keep track of:  date, time, name of person, and what is being done.

     Third, keep written track of every dose of medicine that is administered, including time, strength, who ordered it, and why.

     Fourth - patient of patient advocate needs to remind whoever enters the room of all allergies.  Just saying (or thinking) that it's on the chart is not good enough.

     Ten questions from the AARP:  1) Why is this being done?
                                                    2) What are the results of my tests?
                                                    3) Have you washed your hands?
                                                    4) Who will be taking care of me?
                                                    5) When will my tubes be removed?
                                                    6) What are the medications I'm taking?
                                                    7) Who is performing my operation?
                                                    8) Are there any support services for patients?
                                                    9) Could you explain that again?
                                                  10) When can I go home?