I feel like I may have hurt Georgia's feelings yesterday when I wrote about water usage. I love Georgia--I almost went to college at U of Georgia, and I spent my college summers up in the mountains (my parents had a house there at the time), and I still have relatives there. If Georgia really needed our help, I'm sure we would give them some water. We can't drain the Great Lakes, of course, but if it came down to a situation where cities couldn't function without more water, obviously we'd have to share. But there would have to be limits, because as I wrote, lower levels in the Great Lakes would cause a multitude of our own problems. Also, I stand behind what I said about making some changes in water usage laws. There are going to be times of drought (just ask poor Ohio--our friends Karen and Doug had a hard time of it this past year), so you can't use your resources like there is no end to them. There obviously is an end to them.
Does this (along with the water wars that have been going on in the Southwest for years now) make anyone else picture bands of marauders descending upon your town, demanding that you hand over the water? Don't be so quick to laugh at that. Think about how bad it is when your power goes out and you don't have water for a couple of days. (After an ice storm six years ago, when we couldn't stay in our place for four days, we bought a generator. You really don't want to be without power or water for four days in January around here.)
Arrgh, it's always so hard to go back to work after a few days off! What am I saying? It's hard to go back after one day off. No one felt like being there today, and there wasn't a lot of work. However, it was a good opportunity for everyone to work on a project we all have to do. I did well on my post-test and got the organisms subbed out so I can set them up tomorrow. Our pathologist and supervisor in Microbiology want us to really learn about and be familiar with a bacterial resistance mechanism called ESBL (Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase). Can you believe they expect us to learn more stuff? Criminy, just crack the whip a little more, why don't you? Actually, one of the things I've always liked about my job and that has kept me interested over the years is that things are always changing, and there are always new things that we need to learn about. Our supervisor has said that we need to educate the doctors and pharmacists on stuff like this. Most doctors really don't know more than generalities about Microbiology, and they often call us with questions. We can't recommend treatments--we can only report our findings as to which antibiotics a bacterium is resistant or susceptible to--but we are expected to tell them that a particular antibiotic is ineffective for a certain organism, for example.
While we sometimes get frustrated with what seems to be a fairly bonehead question, we always appreciate a doc that reads up on things and calls to learn more about it. A while back, I took a phone call from one of the docs at our lab at Notre Dame. He asked, "Do you guys do the D test for Staph aureus there?" I said, "We sure do. We started that at least a year ago." He said, "I love you!" I cracked up and said, "We love you, too, Dr. M!" It's always nice to hear a doc tell us that he really appreciates our work, because I think one of the things we all take pride in is doing our best to keep up with new tests and technology, and give them good information.
Looks like we'll get a little more snow tonight. Nothing major, at least that's what they're saying.