Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Flesh Eating Disease

Hi There,

I'm guest blogging today about Necrotizing Fasciitis (Flesh Eating Disease) at So if your medically inclined or just curious, stop on by!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Death of a Child

Today I am filled with sorrow for the parent's of an eight year old child, Max, who died unexpectantly from meningitis. Memory Eternal. I dedicate The Lord's Prayer, chanted here so beautifully in Russian.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tales of a Travelling Doctor - a trip to Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory

I'm still in Morrisville, Vermont but I've managed adventures not far  from this small town. For example, on Friday I took a quick trip to Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury, Vt. The snow on the the ground put me in the mood to seek ice cream, and there's definitely an upside to eating ice cream in the winter - it doesn't melt!

A straight shot down Vermont 100 south, I arrived at the ice cream kingdom shortly before noon. Parking ample, I was certainly not the first one there. Giddy at my uneventful drive, I popped out of my car, crunched over the snow, and ran up the outside stairs to the sign pointing me in the right direction. After snapping several pics of this palace, I burst through the main doors and skipped to to the cashier who was positioned in front of a VW van driven by a cow (not a real one, but a cardboard cut out just as cool). Oh yes! I want a ticket for the ice cream tour. The noon tour was sold out so I got into the 12:30 one. The nice guy behind the counter handed me my ticket (a whopping $4) and informed me to proceed to the tour door at the sound of a cow bell. Cool!

While I waited for my tour, I meandered about the gift shop, picking out my planned purchases after the tour. Ring a ding. Ring a ding. Ooh, it's that cow bell. Now I get to see how Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey are made!

My tour guide was a humorous, chubby guy. He gets to eat all the ice cream he wants! He led us to the first part of the tour, a mini-movie theater where we got a glimpse into the history of Ben and Jerry's.

I found out that Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield met in gym class in the 60's in Merrick, Long Island, both overweight boys and the object of ridicule. They've been friends ever since. Briefly separated during their college years, they reconnected after their lives didn't quite go as planned. Ben dropped out of college while Jerry was rejected by medical schools. In 1977 they took a $5 correspondence course with an open book exam. The rest is ice cream history. After spending their life savings, these two opened up their first store in a Burlington, Vt gas station. They were a hit. Unable to keep up with the demand for their funky and creative cones and sundaes, they needed bigger digs including renting space in an old bobbin mill. Ultimately, they left Burlington for their new found factory in Waterbury, Vt where they've become locally, nationally, and internationally known.

After the film, we were escorted to the "plant" area where we viewed the workers through a window above the production area. No pics allowed here. Our tour guide explained the steps your Ben and Jerry's pint of ice cream goes through. Wow! 250,000 pints per day are made! Ben and Jerry always socially conscience, the factory closes completely when workers are involved in any given community service.

The third and final part of the tour is the flavor lab where newest concoctions are dreamed of and tested. The free sample of the day was mint chocolate chunk. Everyone got a cup. And there were extras!

On my way out, I bought tee shirts, two stuffed cows (toys!), and ice cream flavored lip gloss. Of course I stopped at the ice cream shop where I ordered a small cup of the Jimmy Fallon inspired Late Night flavor, the newest Ben and Jerry addition featuring vanilla ice cream with chunks of chocolate covered potato chips and pretzels. Yum!

Tummy full and a bag of gift bag goodies in hand, I left Ben and Jerry's that much happier. Enjoy my pics of ice cream heaven.