Saturday, April 28, 2007

How can Doctors and Dentists get by with so bad service?

You schedule an appointment for 11am. The receptionist grabs your credit card number because if you do not show up you are charged 75$ for a no-show. She tells you nothing about the appointment - nothing about what is going to be done, no pre-requisites, nothing.
You show up 10-15 mins early because you already know (nobody told you) that you have to fill in this LONG questionnaire about yourself. The 10-15 min early is "common knowledge" about doctors.
Once you fill the questionnaire it's 11.05 and you think you're doing good for a on-time appointment.
That's where you're soooo wrong. You sit and wait - and you also understand why they have such a large collection of diverse magazines there. You read one, two, three from head to tail, and when it's 12.30 they call you in. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, you wonder. No, it's just a service light in the middle of the tunnel.
They take your vitals, and the doctor spends no more than 10 mins with you and sends you back to the waiting room.
That's already 12.45 and the nurse who was going to take your blood and give you your shots goes for lunch. But before going she tells you she needs a urine sample. BTW, nowhere nobody said that, so of course you're not ready for it. Plus, it's almost 1pm and you didn't have lunch. It's OK, though, you're healthy, so you drink 4-6 glasses of water in the 30 mins she was out for lunch.
Before she's back, they realize you've been there for 2+ hours and send the other nurse to attend you. It's 1.15 and you're back in the room again, and now you desperately need to go to the bathroom, but you wait - the new nurse goes over your file and starts reading it to find out what you need. You tell her what you need - can't afford to wait longer.
You get your first shot and the other nurse comes back from lunch and sends the one that was taking care of you to lunch - another 5 mins lost. She draws your blood and gives you the 2nd shot. You finally make it to the bathroom, collect the sample, and you're back at the reception. It's now 1.45, and after 15 more minutes you pay them and you're ready to go.
No, wait, you have to come back on Monday to get the paperwork and the results - nobody told you that either. At least you now know how long it takes, so you ask them what's the best time - 8.45, and that's when you'll show up on Monday.
So, you leave their office at 2pm, when you go grab lunch and now face 45 mins traffic to get back to work.
Total time spent: 10.40am to 3pm.
Now, do you get 75$ per hour of "delay" in your appointment? A regular company would have discounted the regular salary pay per hour of work lost, but your company is good and does not do it.
But seriously, why can doctors get by with such lousy behavior? They could at least have told you they were 1 hour or so late so you could have grabbed lunch and come back later. Or even rescheduled some people.
If you had such behavior in your job you'd probably get fired or you would lose your clients.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Panoramic Pictures

I took a small cheap tripod on my picture. This tripod allowed me to take sequential pictures using the same point of view just rotating the camera head. Using Autostitch, a panorama stitching software, I was able to stitch them together creating very cool panoramas, like the one you see here.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Key West and Miami

Key West was relaxing. It's a small city and I saw all the key points in a couple hours. I had a few beers at some bars w/ live music, and saw the sunset with all the street vendors that come around in the sunset plaza (Mallory Square). On the way back I found a secret Florida park in one of the keys with this most amazing beach - you walk 300 ft into the ocean and the water is still below your knees. Amazing. I'll post pictures later.
Now I'm going back to the basic things in life: eat, sleep, go to the pool, have a drink, eat, have another drink at the beach, etc :-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

National Parks trip is over

I'm finally finished with my first leg of my trip. I drove 1265 miles through 5 national parks in 4 days. What a feat! I took 1.2GB of pictures and several panoramas. I'll have a lot of homework to do stitching them up and getting some nicer prints.
Here's a map of my trip.

Monday, April 16, 2007

4 days, 5 parks

Today I visited 2 parks: The Petrified Forest and Canyon de Chelly. The Petrified Forest was OK. Nothing super special, although the colors of the cliffs and canyons were amazing. I never thought I would see purple ground. Almost exiting the park there's the Painted Desert, which is surely interesting. The pictures are a bit washed out because the weather was a bit damp, but I'll be able to adjust the color afterwards.
The Canyon de Chelly was the highlight of the day. It was absolutely amazing. Insane. I'm leaving you with a picture of it, and I took many panoramas too. I got really lucky there today, there was a big thunderstorm and it cleared out as I was leaving the first stop I did at the end of the park - I even got snowflakes there! Then on the way back I got the sun shining clearly in the canyon, which gave me awesome pictures at each viewpoint I stopped at.
What's next? I'll probably be away from blogging tomorrow since I will be flying Eastbound, and on Wednesday I will be in Key West. You'll likely hear back from me here on Thursday!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is, well, gigantic. It's like a super sized big mac version of canyons. Comparing it with the two previous canyons, there's no measurement for size, but the Grand Canyon was not, to my surprise, all that exciting. Bryce had way more "wow" factor than the Grand Canyon. It maybe that I am tired, or also that the weather was not so nice today.
Tomorrow is sort of an open day. We'll see where I end up.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday the 14th

Saturday went as planned, and that extra hour from the timezone worked in my favor! I was able to take the scenic route instead of the planned shorter route and it was worth it. There are so many great canyons and landscapes in Arizona. It's incredible. I took so many pictures today that my camera's battery died and the card was full. I'm glad I have the laptop with me. Onto the big canyon tomorrow!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

My vacation started well. The highlight of the day was the fact that I arrived at Zion around 1:30hrs late. I didn't account for one thing: the timezone difference! How smart of me... :-)
Apart from that little "vacation" glitch, Zion was an amazing place - I'm probably coming back with more time, and hopefully able to see the canyon in the morning too.
I'll leave you with a picture of a landscape that could very well look like Terraformed Mars.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The "New"

The new bothers.
Because it defies.
But, want it or not, the new always comes.
And, for our happiness,
The new usually wins,
And when the new wins
The machine of the world turns better.
New projects leave sadness
To an agenda that doesn't exist anymore.
New children always show up to give us a hand.
New steps require courage from us.
The new is beautiful because it changes us.
It takes us to new seasons.
The new makes us better people.
Because it makes us new people.
The new is beautiful.
Just like the dreams,
The new does not grow older.

Another one of those internet things that keeps spreading. This text is part of a campaign for a Brazilian auto maker. If you want the original version in portuguese, check it here.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I'm Yelping!

Check my reviews:

Alex' page @ Yelp

My goal is to review at least 1 place per week this year.

Monday, April 02, 2007

April Fools

Dear friends,

I am not leaving, I am not planning to leave, and I wouldn't become a politician.

Thanks for your love and support. I've got so many e-mails and calls from my friends and I still think some friends are still thinking I am leaving.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Things change when you least think about it

Dear friends,

It's with great sadness and at the same time great joy that I share this with you. After 6 years and 2 months in the US, I decided to quit my job and change careers. I'm leaving the US and I am running for a State office position in Brazil.

I am greatful for having had a chance to live in the US, where I made great friends; matured as a person and learned so much about (office) politics that I now think I am ready to do something that might change the world positively.

This decision was made after I got home from dinner and one single Vodka drink at a random bar in the Marina, but I think it's the right thing to do, given the fact that life here in the US has given me pretty much everything it could so far, and there's nothing I haven't done in this city yet (except for visiting Alcatraz).

In any case, I appreciate the support of all my friends, family and colleagues who will be helping me in the next few steps in my life.

Some of you maybe surprised at this decision, but some will remember one of my great friend's dream of becoming a dictator of his own island - Florianopolis is an Island, running for State office is just one step towards the dictatorial takeover which will come a couple years after.

If you'd like to support my running for office, log onto my website:

God bless us all,