Thursday, June 30, 2005

Mount Royal

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The beauty of Mount Royal Supermarket at dusk...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Esse School of Driving

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The door to Esse School of Driving, where Big Al taught me the rules of the road. I just "googled" it and apparently it's still in the exact same place, on 109 North 2nd Avenue West.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Duluth Transit Authority

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The Duluth Transit Authority (DTA) provides quality transportation throughout the Twin Ports area.

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Hellman Tour of Duluth Begins Here

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In the absence of having a very clear idea about where this blog is going, I've decided that for the next week or so I will devote this space to re-publishing the "Hellman Tour of Duluth" photos that my sister Susie Hellman and I took a few years back just prior to moving away from our home town. They used to be on my old home page which has since been shut down. Keep in mind that these photos were taken probably in 2000 or so--some of the featured business may no longer exist.

We'll start things out with the self-proclaimed "Duluth's Finest Tourist Attraction", R.O. Carlson's Used Book & Record Store.

Minnesota Dreamin'

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It's summer! A few days into it, actually. We've already had a spell of hot, humid, and generally oppressive weather here in Philadelphia already. That, coupled with the fact that I recently spoke with a friend of my mine from my hometown of Duluth, Minnesota who told me all about her plans for camping in Minnesota this summer, has made me pine for my northern home in recent days.

Too bad it's such a hassle to get to Duluth, and my job isn't the most accommodating in the world in terms of vacation time...

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area (pictured above) is approximately 2 million acres of land at the Minnesota-Canada border and is one of the finest places to go camping that I know of.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


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Did you know that at one point in the history of the Eiffel Tower that the automobile company Citroen paid to have their name scribed in bright lights across the entire top of the structure? And people think that the advertising industry is out-of-control today...

Was on call Friday night, it was actually kind of fun. For the remainder of the weekend I plan on catching up on sleep followed by a nice, long bike ride along the Schuylkill and Wissahickon Rivers...should be a nice day for it, although perhaps a bit humid!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Game 7 Tonight!

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NBA Game 7 is tonight! I'm quite excited...this is the last Finals Game 7 since back in '94 when the Rockets beat the Knicks (I still remember this fairly vividly from when I was back in college). I'm going for the Spurs...I was a fan of the then-underdog Pistons last year against the Lakers, but soured after the blatantly lopsided penalties imposed after the Detroit-Indiana brawl earlier in the year.

Haven't written in awhile...I've been settling into my new role as a SAR (senior admitting resident)...meaning that I just started my final year of my residency program! I'm on call tomorrow...hopefully will be able to blog some more this weekend...

Monday, June 20, 2005

My Haircut

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I typically get my haircut every 6 months...once right at the start of the academic year (in mid-to-late June for us medical folks) and the second about halfway through, usually Thanksgiving-Decemberish. Towards the end of the time period it certainly gets to looking a little unruly, I'll admit...but people definitely will notice when I get a haircut!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite Trivia

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Found a website with some interesting tidbits about the movie Napoleon Dynamite. Check it out.

Threw a no-hitter last night! Meaning, of course, that absolutely NO PATIENTS were admitted overnight to the hospital at which I was working. Tried to get some sleep but my sleep-wake cycle is still all messed up...

Friday, June 17, 2005

Mustache Contest Update

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Here's a shot of my 2-week history of progressively worsening facial hair. I'm afraid that my friend Dave has been quite the little bitch and wussed out on the mustache competition by shaving prematurely (hope you read this, DP).

Have been doing more blog surfing in my spare time (which, by the way, should rapidly be coming to an end given my new schedule, which was just released by the powers-that-be). I've included a list of some of the more memorable ones on the sidebar, and hope to add to it in the future. One of the first blogs I have ever read, Gia's blog, is also included--she is from my hometown of Duluth.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Beauty & The Geek Week 3

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Chuck, you are THE MAN! So what if your fashion sense was a little off? You staved off elimination for yet another week on Beauty & The Geek, plus you started to get it on with Scarlet using your mad massage skillz. I just hope that complete nincompoop Richard doesn't somehow manage to vote you off the show...what a dweeb!

2 lower GI bleeds, 2 urosepses, 1 nausea/vomiting, and 1 kick-ass pneumonia...

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Finally a busy night on Presby Night Float! Patients come in pairs indeed...2 cases of urosepsis, 2 cases of lower GI bleeders, 1 case of intractable nausea/vomiting, and 1 textbook case of community-acquired pneumonia, of which the picture above is but a representative case.

It's 9:30am, the sun is shining...and it's time for bedtime :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


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Saw the movie Madagascar tonight with Claire & fellow Philadelphia Frenchies Gael and Clotilde today. As predicted, an enjoyable movie (most of the animated movies are these days--you know what you're getting). They started to bring up the moral dilemma of the predator-prey relationship--that is, the cude cuddly lion whose best friend is a zebra at the Central Park Zoo starts to develop a hankering for zebra flesh once they are in the wild--but don't actually take the bold step of actually having the lion chow down on any varmints (except for sushi, at the end of the movie). They should've.

The capital of Madagascar is Antananarivo, not that this has anything to do with the movie. Its inhabits are known as Malagasy (as in: "in 1958, the Malagasy voted to become an autonomous republic within the French community of overseas nations. ")

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

"We would be honored if you would join us." Posted by Hello

Quiet night so far (although I realize I should not tempt fate by using the "Q" word so recklessly). I see the Emergency Room at Presbyterian Hospital still has some patients in it, and chances are one of them will think up a good reason to come into the hospital. While I wait for that to happen, I'll talk a little bit about my Star Wars fetish. Somebody recently asked me what my 5 favorite movies are...I had to qualify the statement by specifying that the list could not include any of the "Star Wars" movies, because they all would at least have to be considered in such a list... Loved the newest movie, have seen it twice so far (would have seen it a third time had it not been for a poorly-timed jeopardization). My favorite scenes were probably the one where Anakin lops off Count Dooku's head (you can see the fear oozing from his eyes as he is trapped by the twin lightsabers and suddenly realizes the true plan of Palpatine) and also the fact that you get to see Anakin's scarred, burned face the moment just before Vader's mask is sealed on for the first time...followed by the trademark breathing! Just awesome.

Come to think of are the TOP 5 Scenes in all of the Star Wars movies, according to ME:
#5: The lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul (Episode I), which is by far the most fast-paced, action-packed duel in all of the episodes. Maul is a bad-ass and knows it. The only thing which prevents this scene from being higher is the somewhat lame ending (Darth Maul just kind of sits there while he gets his torso sliced in half).

#4: Han Solo whacks Greedo (Episode IV). One of our first introductions to Solo, who is brought in as a character with some moral ambiguity. I mean, sure, he acted in self-defense, but he does gun down poor Greedo with his blaster without really having to think about the ethical implications of doing so. Despite his gunslinging nature however we are also reminded that he is certainly no fan of the Empire. The conversation that they have is amusing and it's one of the first times in the series where they show a translation of a new alien language.

#3: Han Solo gets frozen in carbonite (Episode V). It is basically common knowledge amongst fans that this is by far the best of all the Star Wars movies. This scene in particular is memorable for several reasons: that eerie, orange lighting, the novelty of freezing somebody in carbonite which is not only practical but also psychologically disturbing (especially b/c you get to see his frozen face just afterwards), AND it marks the first time Leia first really admits that she's in love with this scoundrel. Chewbecca's howling and the fact that C3PO is all dismantled only serve to remind us that this is the real low point for our favorite band of rebels.

#2: The Death Star blows up for the 1st time (Episode IV). Really the best climax of all the movies; it was also a good ending for Return of the Jedi but somehow less impressive and emotional. In that first Death Star explosion you had the unexpected return of Solo & the Millenium Falcon swooping down with a "yeeeee-haw!" to allow Luke his one shot at stardom, plus that final shot of Vader spinning out of control in his tie fighter. Everybody cheers at this scene in the movie theater.

#1: "We would be honored if you would join us" (Episode V) That scene where Han, Leia & the gang first realize they are being set up by Lando Calrissian after a door opens to reveal Vader calmly standing at the head of a dinner table. Solo whips out his blaster but Vader's mastery of the force allows him to easily deflect the blaster shots with his hands and tear the weapon from the disbelieving Han Solo's hands. In addition Boba Fett is standing there like the bad-ass he is and the door slams shut just as the scene finishes. Just devastating.

*the trash compactor scene (Episode IV).
*when Luke goes apeshit on Vader in Episode VI and it becomes apparent that he could probably kill him if he really wanted to.
*the Dooku death scene (Episode III)
*when Anakin has the mask lowered onto his face and he takes his first Vader breaths (Episode III)
*when Obi-Wan lops off Anakin's legs and his body lights on fire (definitely the goriest scene these films have to offer, Episode III)
*when the Millenium Falcon narrowly avoids being eaten by that big asteroid worm thingee (Episode V)
*the AT-ATs from Episode Episode V (Battle of Hoth).
*all the alien creatures in the Mos Eisley cantina (Episode IV)

At some point I will have to rank what I feel are the lamest Star Wars scenes...

One of the really well-done & *hilarious* blogs I have come across is this one: The Darth-Side, a poetic, Darth Vader-written blog which follows the basic Star Wars plotline. Check it out. Made me laugh. All right! Let's hope the rest of the night is just as qui...... I mean, *relaxing* as it has been thus far. See you later!

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Night Shift

The Commodores, famous for such Motown faves as "The Night Shift" and "Brick House"... Posted by Hello

Seven Days of Night Float Started working the night shift starting last night...I have to work from 11pm until about 8:30am or so...really the hours are not so bad except there is a chance that I can get called in starting at 6pm each day in case the hospital is super busy, so I have to keep my pager on. Last night really not so bad. I'm signed on for the week... So far I've spent most of the day with intermittent episodes of sleeping, and watching a TV series on "The History Channel" called "Conquerors", as hosted by Captain Dale Dye. I'll admit that it's a little melodramatic, with a host of overplayed battle re-enactments. But in general it's a good little series with more educational value than your standard history documentary. So far today I've learned the stories of William the Conqueror (kicked some Anglo-Saxon ass in 1066 during the Battle of Hastings and defeated King Harold), Hernan Cortez (did you know he burned his own ships at Veracruz, in order to prevent them from mutiny?), and El Cid (the hero of medieval Christian Spain was played by Charlton Heston in a 1961 film)!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Winner of 2004 Mustache Competition Dave Portnoy with the "Handlebar Special". Posted by Hello

The Mustache Competition

Myself & my buddy Peter Gabriel sporting mustaches at the 2004 HUP JAR Men's Club 1st Annual Mustache Competition. Posted by Hello

Didn't write yesterday b/c I was busy doing my wedding invitations avec ma cherie Claire, who is back from France. They should be ready to ship out in the next coupla days! I'm excited.. The mustache competition begins tomorrow. I've actually cheated--getting a head start. We're supposed to start cleanly shorn starting June 13th but I started about 2 weeks ago since I've been doing Night Float & Jeopardy rotations, since it's not as essential that I look like a respectable doctor these days. A group of residents that I hang with (in fact, the HUP JAR-soon-to-be-SAR Men's Club) has already organized such a competition, and I have included a picture of myself, as well as last year's winner, in this blog entry. We'll see how it turns out; I'll try and take a picture of it sometime soon. It's certainly coming along--the main problem is that it's hot as hell out in Philadelphia these days and the facial hair is quite itchy. The only stipulation that Claire has given me is that it must be safely gone by our wedding date, of course...

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Wedding

Hotel-Christophe, where Claire & I are getting married this Sept. 17th! Posted by Hello

Yo check it out, this Hotel-Christophe, the hotel in LaBaule, France where our wedding reception is going to be! My fiance Claire & myself are going to get hitched all-French-style-like this upcoming Sept. 17th. I'm very excited and am trying to brush up my French skills some before the big day (I think I have to say my wedding vows in French after all). Claire has been in France for the past week doing some wedding planning and will fortunately be flying back to Philadelphia this afternoon (in fact she is probably somewhere over the Atlantic at this very moment). See you soon, honey!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Beauty & The Geek

Chuck Munyon & his lovely partner Caitlin's promo picture for WB's "Beauty & the Geek". Posted by Hello

Well, I finished my shift at the hospital--all in all not too painful, I'm so much more efficient than I was as an intern, which definitely helps! My sleep schedule is still all messed up--up until last Sunday I was working night shifts, now I'm getting jeopardized to be on call at hours that I can never predict...tried sleeping after getting home at about 1pm but with the combination of the heat, the construction work outside, and my pager going off incessantly I am still pretty out-of-it. Because I was not really up for any mind-blowing intellectual stimulation, I got together tonight with some friends and watched the 2nd episode of the new WB-reality television show, Beauty and the Geek. One of the medical students here at Penn with whom I've worked, Chuck Munyon, is one of the contestants, and with tonight's episode somehow managed to turn himself into the "stud" of the show thus far! Okay, we're certainly not talking about quality television's probably on-par with Fox's "Man Versus Beast" show in terms of sheer ludicrousness...but it's kind of fun to watch if you have somebody you can cheer for. Go Chuck!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A Two-Time Jeopardy Loser

Wouldn't you know it? I literally had JUST sat down in order to do some quality blogging, when my pager goes off...looks like my assistance is needed again, I'm getting jeopardized to be an intern on-call yet again...this time at a different hospital (Presbyterian Medical Center). At least I got a buttload of sleep last night, and I already made my trip to Fat Jack's to pick up my weekly Wednesday comics.

C'est la vie. I'll work more on it later in the week (if I'm not called away). This blogging thing is kinda cool.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I love this game! Following the NBA is one of my favorite hobbies. Here is a photo montage I made up showing my All-Time Favorites NBA 1st team. Obviously the list is biased towards my basketball awareness (which begins in the early 80's up until the present). I would like to point out that all of these players are or will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Posted by Hello

Nate's ER & Bait Shop Posted by Hello

I Lost In Jeopardy

Well, I've just returned from my recent loss on Jeopardy. Not the game show (which, by the way, I would love to try my hand at some day in real life), silly. I am a resident in Internal Medicine at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania. What does that mean? Put simply, I'm a doctor. I'm still in the training portion of my career, but who isn't? We have this two-week period during our residency called "Jeopardy" during which we have basically the entire time off to do as we please UNLESS somebody else in the program who is supposed to be working gets sick, has a family emergency, etc. and then the person on Jeopardy is called in to work. Based on my experience thus far, I would say maybe about 40% of the days you're on Jeopardy you get called in to do something. Anyways, it's not as if I despise my job--most of the time it's actually pretty friggin' cool--but yesterday I got jeopardized to work at the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia for a 30-hour shift and was kind of bummed.

In retrospect, however, not a bad shift. Everybody supplied their sufficient condolencences to my plight, I receieved a manageable number of interesting patients to take care of, and a super-impressive thunderstorm kept people away from the emergency room at night and I was able to have a pleasant evening. I managed to catch the entire 4th quarter of the Miami-Detroit Game 7 game (I actually ended up watching it with two vets in their room), and I got a good 5 hours of sleep with only one brief interruption for a fever spike & need to draw blood cultures.

My project for the day (since I am offically immune for another Jeopardy assignment) is to learn some more about this cool blogger website & how to use it effectively! It certainly seems like a cool idea...

I will leave you with a picture from my medical schools days entitled "Nate's ER & Bait Shop". I used this for one of my annual Christmas cards several years ago.

Monday, June 06, 2005

My very first blog

Welcome to my new blog. This is a new experiment for me--we'll see if it actually works. Just to practice I'm going to try and link to my crappy home page. I set it up awhile back but never really got into fixing it up. My hope is that I will take this blog more seriously.

I'm not really sure what I'm going to use this space for...I'm going to surf the blogweb for ideas. If nothing else, it may be a good place for me to post photos for friends and family members, or perhaps to jot down ideas during the course of the day.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Nathan Hellman Posted by Hello

The newest addition to the Hellman family is our dog ZEUS. He's a cutie. Posted by Hello