Rum! I need rum!

I can’t think of rum without thinking of Billy Connolly in the Muppets’ Treasure Island, parading around the Admiral Benbow argh-ing and ah-ing and telling puppets not to run with scissors. Funnily enough, I’ve come to rather enjoy it.

img_0195I’m an occasional heavy drinker, which is to say I don’t always drink, but when I do, well …. Anyway, I’ve discovered a fondness for rum, and I think I understand what the pirates were always on about. In particular, I really enjoy Captain Morgan Private Stock Premium Barrel rum. It has a wonderfully smooth character, a sweetness that doesn’t overpower, and a hint of spice that reminds me of the Caribbean.

I also like single malt islay whiskies, but that’s for another time.

Super Mario Run is a time waster, and it’s great.

Every once in a while I’ll get super into a game on my iPhone for a brief period of time, and spend countless hours trying to defeat enemies and beat worlds against colorful, pixelated backdrops. After a while, one of two things inevitably happens: either I beat the game quickly and lose interest, or I lose too much and lose interest.


Dragonvale, a dragon-hatching and breeding game.

One such game I spent a lot of time on was Dragonvale, building myself a virtual kingdom to hatch and raise dragons. After a while I realized I’d never get the rare dragons without paying money, which I wasn’t prepared to do, and so I stopped playing. The same is true of Crossy Road; I can’t get past about three hundred hops, and so I just gave up.

Every once in a while, though, comes along a game that manages to walk the fine line between too easy and too hard, and has nearly infinite replayability. Angry Birds is one of those; the levels are easy to win, but almost impossible to win well. And I’m starting to think Super Mario Run is falling into that category as well.


Super Mario Run—an addictive game in an 8-bit world.

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time tapping away on my iPhone screen at Nintendo’s latest release, and I’ve already beaten the game—the easiest way. But it turns out that every level has not only the goal of completing it, but the goal of collecting five colored coins—three different ways. So now, of course, I’m going back through all the levels and trying to win those coins, which will lead to only more countless hours spent exercising my thumbs.

What games are your favorite time wasters? What have you invested far too much of your life into?

The Devil’s Details: Surgical Drapes

It turns out you learn a lot when someone you know undergoes surgery. Along with the general nausea, blurred vision and pain of recovery, we discovered long red marks on Mrs. Satis’ abdomen. We had absolutely no idea what caused it until we went to see the doctor for our first follow-up consultation. He pondered for a moment, and then declared with quite the “ah-ha” that it was a delayed reaction to the surgical drapes.


Did you know they drape the patient’s body entirely during surgery apart from the head and the surgical site (called the “operating field”, according to Wikipedia)? It makes sense when I think back on it – whenever you see surgery on TV there’re gowns and cloths and drapes all over the place. The specific reason for this, however, wasn’t apparent to me until now. During open surgery when the patient is under general anesthetic, the anesthesiologist remains in the operating room throughout the procedure. Another one of those things that makes sense when you think about it. The patient is hooked up to IVs and ventilators and all sorts of stuff, and the anesthesiologist is there to make sure the patient remains unconscious throughout.

The drapes separate the surgeon’s working area from the anesthesiologist’s (and anything else). You see, I’d always assumed that operating rooms were kept pretty sterile as it was, but it turns out not sterile enough: the drapes help to minimize the possibility of contamination during surgery.

It feels obvious, but kind of crazy at the same time; it’s just a further reminder that you are being deliberately wounded – cut wide open – and that you are just as prone to infection during surgery as anywhere else.


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