Poison Oak and the $2000 Hamburger
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Poison Oak | $2000 Hamburger | EBT Updates |

Poison Oak

poison_oak2010 was a challenging year for me. In fact, for awhile it seemed that anything which COULD go wrong DID go wrong. At the start of 2011, at a Toast Master’s club meeting, I declared I was done with 2010 and looking forward to a better 2011. As usual, it pays to be careful what you pray for. January 2011 started with a raging case of poison oak and a $2000 hamburger!

It’s the universal poison oak story. I went out mountain biking in Spring Canyon, and helped my friend to clear some brush from the trail. He commented at one point “Hum. There’s something vine-like in here. Wonder what it is?” I should have known right then, but no…

Four days later I broke out in a rash on belly and face. After trying the usual combination of Chinese herbs, I ran screaming to the dermatologist thinking I had come down with a strange tropical disease. His diagnosis? Contact dermatitis. Huh???

Those of you who have had the misfortune of running into poison oak know that the rash typically appears 24-48 hours after exposure. I was out in the canyon on Saturday, but started the rash on Wednesday. Trust me, I’ve been through this before. The timing simply wasn’t right.

I left the dermatologist with prescription for steroids in hand, puzzling how this could possibly be. Later in the day, I stuck my hands on my hips and realized that the angriest parts of the rash were directly under the points of contact between my hands and my waist. I had a sudden flash back to standing at Mission Bay with hands on my hips, waiting for my morning ride partner to change a flat tire. The visual of the gloves I was wearing that day was suddenly crystal clear…the same gloves I had worn while clearing vine-like stuff off the trail four days earlier. The ones which hadn’t been washed. Arughhhhhhh!

Two weeks of itchy misery later and the rash was finally gone. I’ll remember to avoid trail clearing next time I go out on the mountain bike! back to top

The $2000 Burger

hamburgerThe cost of food is ever increasing. First there was the $1 Wendy’s special menu. Then the Carl’s Jr. $6 burger. Now, there’s the Eastern Body Therapy $2000 burger.

Most of you who read this newsletter know that I have a website. Several years ago I purchased rights to a heap of stock photos so those web pages could have images to illustrate points and make it more visually appealing.

About the same time my belly and face were breaking out into a mass of itchy blisters, I received a letter from a company in Canada alleging that I was violating their copyright with one of the images on my website. They demanded $2010 in retroactive licensing fees, and threatened to sue if the money were not received within 2 weeks. The image in question was one of a hamburger which was beside some text about an omnivorous diet on one of my web pages.

Well, this was enough stress to have me needing extra acupuncture! The ensuing week brought consultation with two attorneys and a crash course in copyright law, while I went through my files trying to figure out exactly where this particular hamburger had come from. Turns out that even if you have legally purchased the rights to an image, if the company who sold you those rights didn’t have the right to sell them you, as the end user, are responsible. Yikes!

The hamburger turned out to be one of the images I had downloaded from the stock photo service. A call to their legal department got me information on how to file a claim, and I learned that this particular company indemnifies their images against these types of situations. It took about two weeks for the two companies to work out a settlement relating to this image. I will never know just how much money actually changed hands over this hamburger, I am just thankful that it was not me paying it.

This learning experience has taught me a few things about copyright law, and from now on all the images on my website and newsletters will be purchased only from companies who indemnify the rights to their images! back to top

EBT Updates

death_valleyPlans for 2011 include a trip to Death Valley in March, a Napa trip in April with my east-coast and Seattle peeps, and riding the San Diego Century in May.

My new office mates and I are planning an open house at the Eastern Body Therapy office in late April or early May. Look for an announcement in your in-box in the next few weeks. I plan to complete the series of articles on cholesterol and begin a series on blood sugar, and I am starting to work on a seminar series to help educate people about various topics in health, Chinese medicine, and nutrition. If any of you know of a low-cost place to hold evening or weekend talks somewhere in the Hillcrest/Banker’s Hill/Balboa Park area, I’d sure like to know about it.

2011 has started with more stress and chaos than I would have hoped. On February 3, the Year of the Tiger ended and the Year of the Rabbit began. Hopefully, the rabbit will be nicer to me than that big cat! back to top