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Lost glasses, surgery robots, & splashing dogs

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POSTED July 17, 2013 2:20 a.m.

Well, I did it again — I lost my glasses.

Glasses and keys are the two most important things in my life to be able to function effectively in covering events — writing stories and taking pictures.  But in the speed of a day’s activities, they are the easiest to misplace so I have stashed a key in my wallet and an extra set of glasses in the glove compartment.

Tuesday I was off to cover the fallout of two SWAT police actions and grabbed my prescription sun glasses.  That was a mistake. I should have kept my regular specs on my face.  I couldn’t find them anywhere. Maybe they were lost in the sandy soil of the rural West Yosemite Avenue police action.

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ROBOT IN SURGERY: The week has been pretty slow as far as news events with the exception of my being in one of the operating rooms at Doctors Hospital Monday for nearly two hours.  I had to put on scrubs, booties and a cap to watch and photograph an orientation of the MAKO plasty robot arm that is being unveiled today to the public between 2 and 5 p.m. in the hospital’s conference center.  The $1 million state-of-the-art gizmo performs partial knee and hip replacements with precision and with surgeon marked registration points through the use of a computer. 

There is only one other hospital with the MAKO system in all of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.  The Tenet Corporation, the parent company for Doctors Hospital, purchased a total of five robots in their system with the closest being in San Ramon.  It’s pretty neat to see this come to Manteca on the heels of the hospital’s Imaging Center adjacent to the new $17 million cancer center across town near Highway 99 and Spreckels Avenue.

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SWIMMING POOL FUN: Aside from work and play in my life, I have the frustration of having a swimming pool in our back yard that we installed years ago when our four kids were still home.  It was great and they enjoyed it, but I will never understand pool filters as long as I live.  First off we had a filter cartridge for the 20,000 gallon hole in the ground and believe it or not they lasted for about 10 years.  All I had to do was wash them down with the hose every month and they were good to go.

But we made the mistake of getting a newer and supposedly better unit two years ago.  Having replaced the filters at a cost of $250 just last year, I thought they would last several more years without giving it a second thought.  Wrong!  After several months of cleaning them regularly, the pressure in the tank goes back up above normal only after several days.  Cleaning them doesn’t seem to help, except for four to eight hours.  Frustrating.  Guess I’m going to have to call in the pros, again.  Other than grandchildren, the pool has only one truly focused swimmer.

When our daughter and son-in-law and their kids  arrive at our front door from south of the Bay Area, their good sized Golden Retriever is the first to jump out of the back of their car and  crash into our front door – her way of letting us know she’s back.  Of course when we let her in, she rushes back to the sliding glass door like she has to relieve herself in the back yard.  Not so – she makes a beeline every time for the pool and dives right in with a resounding splash.

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