"The director of the Food and Drug Administration's office of women's health resigned yesterday to protest the agency's decision last week to further delay approving over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill. ... In an e-mail message to staff members, Dr. Wood wrote that she could no longer serve at the agency 'when scientific and clinical evidence, fully evaluated and recommended for approval by the professional staff here, has been overruled.'
In a hastily convened news conference Friday afternoon, Dr. Crawford announced that the [FDA] would indefinitely delay deciding whether to allow over-the-counter sales of Plan B ... Dr. Crawford's decision was highly unusual. An advisory committee, the agency's regulatory staff and even the head of the agency's drug center had recommended that the application ... be approved. The commissioner almost never over-rules this kind of collective recommendation. Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Patty Murray of Washington, both Democrats, released a combined statement yesterday, saying that Dr. Wood's resignation was "just the latest in a long list of examples of the Bush administration suppressing science when it doesn't fit their political agenda."
Anyway, I'm back from swimming. Getting there and back was a long, complicated process, but it feels good to feel normal again, to have exercised. I've been feeling sort of 'off' this past week and now I know why - I've been missing my chlorine, LOL. Anyway, the team is small, the pool's sides are ridiculously high (I feel like I'm in a goldfish bowl), and they don't have non-turbulent lane lines, but those are all little things; on the whole it went pretty well and I'll definitely be going back. My only problem now is that the first Sunday-morning trains won't reach Waddinxveen until 8:35 (plus 10 minutes walking) while practice begins at 8:15. Bah.
The other negative thing about this is that I'll consistently miss the opening hours of the dining hall on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, so I'm glad I remembered to pick up boerenkool, milk, and chocolate this morning... at least I had something to eat tonight.
Here's the timeline:
15:35: Leave University College
16:00: Arrive at Utrecht Centraal
16:13: Utrecht-Gouda (stop)trein leaves on schedule
16:44: Train arrives at Gouda on time. (Here's where things start to fall apart.) Knowing I have 3 minutes to make my connection, I jump off the train, take off down the stairs, and run up and down the underground tunnel like an idiot looking for platform 2. Too late I realize that the NS website has lied to me and platform 2 does not exist. Obtaining the correct platform number (#9), I sprint back up the stairs and race towards the still-at-the-platform train, only to be greeted by a group of laughing girls telling me, "The train's not running; it's been sitting here since one-thirty."
16:50: I give up on waiting and go down to the bus terminal. I walk up and down all the stops - in the rain - looking for one that says 'Waddinxveen'.
16:55: By pure coincidence, I find one. I get on and spend the next 40 minutes wondering where exactly this bus goes and if I'm going to get horribly lost.
17:35: Coincidentally seeing a sign for 'Sniepweg', which is the pool's street, I get off the bus and start walking.
17:45: I arrive at the pool - and, miraculously, I (a) do not have to talk my way past an inquisitive receptionist, and (b) find the correct people without difficulty.
18:00: We start swimming. Our workout ends up being 3000 meters (so 3300 yards), which is decent for only an hour.
19:00: I nearly get smashed by little boys catapulting into the pool for water polo practice. Defeated, I get out, thinking to myself how incredibly short that felt (a decent workout for me these days is 5000 yards).
19:15: Waiting in the reception area, I start talking to the coordinator, who, it turns out, spends considerable time in Vero Beach and knows all the Florida roads by heart (and reads my website... hi! ;))
19:27: I accept a ride to the station and we leave the pool.
19:34: Right by the station, the railroad crossing flashes red, forcing us to stop the car and wait while the train I'm supposed to be on passes by, collects its passengers, and rumbles off into the sunset.
19:36: I get to the platform. And wait.
20:05: The next Gouda-aimed train arrives and I get on.
20:15: We arrive in Gouda.
20:39: The Utrecht-directed train finally arrives - a sneltrein this time, which shaves off a few minutes - and I get on.
21:03: We arrive in Utrecht.
21:10: I reach the Hoog Catherijne entrance and begin pacing the darkened rows, looking for my bike amidst the thousands parked there.
21:14: I find it.
21:35: I ride safely back onto the University College campus.
Total time: 6 hours. Total swim time: 1 hour.
I think I can do better next time. :)