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Monday, January 02, 2006

Inauspicious Start

My New Year has had a bit of an inauspicious start; I'm hoping this means I am getting all my bad luck out of the way immediately, rather than a sign of things to come. I spent New Year's Eve miserable with a cold, but had perked up enough by the next day to go to a lovely dinner party. Paul, a good friend of mine, had studied at the Cordon Bleu in Paris several years ago. A classmate of his was visiting from California for the holidays, and they decided to cook. It was a heck of a mean--French onion soup, veal with apples, a roast suckling pig, lots of lovely salads and sides, and a mountain of cream puffs for dessert. Heavenly. We sat and talked and had a nice evening.

Then, later, at home alone, I slipped on the top stair and fell down the entire flight. Visions of death from a broken neck, and other painful forms of dismemberment flashed before my eyes. I was surprised, then, to discover myself at the bottom of the stairs largely intact, if quite sore. I did take out a couple of small lower branches on the Christmas tree, but otherwise there seemed to be no serious damage. The sad part is that I was completely sober at the time. No excuse, but I will no longer go about in socked feet--only bare feet or slippers from now on.

Today I note some strange bruising on my toes, and a very sore right knee (it is my bad knee, having been seriously injured on top of a mountain in Nicaragua several years ago). It is not the sort of pain that Vicodin relieves, unfortunately; it is a stabbing pain that occurs when I turn the wrong way. I managed to scrub three C-sections today, and see a bunch of patients, but only by limping and gritting my teeth.

Ukraine is not having a good start to the new year, either. Putin has decided to try and impose Russian hegemony over Ukraine by cutting off its natural gas supply. They don't say that--their reason is Ukraine's refusal to pay "market rates" for the gas, even though Ukraine has a contract through 2009 for the lower price. Right now they're paying $50 per unit; Putin wants to raise it to $230. This would destroy the Ukrainian economy. Yushchenko has offered to have a phased-in rise in rates, but Pooty-Poot refuses.

Unfortunately for Putin, most of Russia's gas lines to Western Europe (a major customer for their gas) run through Ukraine. , and they can't shut off the spigot to Ukraine without affecting the EU. And the EU is pissed. The Ukrainian people, who were supposed to be upset with their government, are pissed off at the Russians, too.

It seems that Putin is as good at winning hearts and minds as his soul mate, W.


At 12:29 AM, Blogger aceinthehole21 said...

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