Friday, March 24, 2017

Back in UCSF

I was pleased my UCSF posts paused in 2010, although one loyal reader liked my hospital stories better than the more esoteric topics that followed. We had to go back to UCSF so some musings are in order. The place moved to the spanking new Mission Bay campus, an impressive place with robots roaming the corridors, great room comfort, wide windows into China Basin and the Bay Bridge, impressive entertainment systems, and a la carte food. Companions get to sleep in a normal bed, almost. 

As much as I have been watching US medical costs increase way beyond inflation and GDP since I have memory, I can see the patient getting value back, so much so that one is tempted to learn how to credibly fake symptoms and get admitted into this place for a few days of R&R.

The setting is great, the attention is great.  A great first omen, we ran into Kelli, the nurse we liked the most back in 2010. A second great omen, we were there for March 8th. The day everybody will always remember where they were as Barcelona came back to beat PSG 6-1. Hard to forget such roller coaster games, hard to forget roller coaster hospital stays, but at least we had the big game on the big screen. And the good guys won this round.

March 8th, a day of contrasts.  Twenty two men battling on the soccer pitch, while International Women's Day rules the outside world and could morph into the "day without women" protest. The hospital, a place run by women and a few robots, fortunately neither women nor robots stopped to protest.

Has the medical front progressed since 2010 as much as amenities and comfort? Probably not on the pure therapeutical side, but it clearly did on the IT and automation side. 

The 6-1 comeback had never happened before. We hope we will never go back to UCSF. Blue moon events per the best laid plans of us mice and men. Hopefully our women are exempt from their plans going awry, and will save the day, again.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hawaii Six-O

As last year's the winners of the Majors Cup we had to go back to Honolulu and defend the title. 
Move over McGarrett! We outdid his Hawaii Five-O gig by winning the final by 6-0. 

A priori we faced two outcomes, failing per Leonard Cohen's You win a while, and then it’s done – your little winning streak, or repeating per Mr Van Rijt's success breeds success evidence. Should our fate be modeled as a Markov chain with younger players constantly renewing the teams?

In Hawaii I witnessed success breeds success.  Many good players heard last year's tales, exaggerated tales perhaps, and wanted in. This gave us an even better roster.  The confidence of repeating a pattern in the same place also helped us for sure. 

All in all great Honolulu weather, beautiful fields, all validating the "play soccer and see the world" mantra.

All that is left now is to enjoy things and wait until either Mr. Cohen or Mr. Markov put an end to it. We may go on the offensive instead and join another tournament in the summer. I may then co-author a success breeds arrogance paper if Mr. Van Rijt is game...