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Mike CohenBlog: Contrasts
by on Aug 14, 2010 at 1:07:48 am

This past week was a perfect example of contrasts in my job duties. I often say that I wear many hats, that every day is different, and that my job entails a wide variety of activities.

What better excuse than to update my blog with a new post (it has been a while) and share some photos from my week. Sorry to my die hard blog fans - grainy cell phone pictures are a thing of the past.


Spent the better part of the day, until about 1:30am Monday, reviewing a 384 page PDF of an upcoming book about Pancreatic Surgery. I am the project manager of We are about to go to press, but first, we need to do the following:

1. Make sure all the images are correctly placed.
2. Make sure the 100+ illustrations are reviewed, revised and updated in inDesign.
3. Make sure the video references are in the correct sequence - there is an accompanying DVD-ROM containing hours and hours of video and narration.
4. Capture additional video stills to populate image-free zones of the book - deinterlace, color correct, add to layout.
4b. Integrate final changes from proofreader.
5. Lock down the cover design.
6. Get approvals.
7. Send to press.
8. Review proofs (formerly called galleys).
9. Pray.
10. Receive copies - move to secure underground bunker (I am not making this up).

Marked up a printout, sent some notes to the designer and hit the hay.

Monday - AM

Spent a few hours on e-mail and general housekeeping. 11am, leave for the airport. Made good time, no traffic this time of day. Realized I would miss the CT Primaries for Governor and Chris Dodd's Senate seat - oh bother.

The flight was delayed about 45 minutes - what to do with extra time....

I even started a thread using the COW MOBI site, entitled "Sitting Around Waiting" and got some interesting responses:

Monday - PM

Board Southwest flight for quick 1 hour flight to Baltimore. As the only airline that does not charge for extra luggage, SWA is a pleasure to fly - and the flight attendants are known to sing over the PA. I am surprised this is allowed by the FAA.

We arrived just in time for rush hour on the Beltway, but still made it to K Street in about an hour. Hampton Inns are predictably nice - comfy room, free coffee and tea round the clock and usually conveniently located.

We got settled and then took a brief walk around Chinatown, took pictures of the NPR building

(clearly the money I have donated has not gone into the building! But I'll bet Cory Flintoff has a nice cubicle.), and looked for something to eat.

I live and breathe by my black berry phone - and lately I eat by it too. Google maps is not fast, but handy for figuring out where you are and what is nearby. We wound up at a unique Japanese eatery, Kushi Izakaya. It has a sushi bar as well as wood fired grills for skewered meats, fishes and vegetables.

Incidentally, I recently upgraded my pont and shoot still camera to a Sony DSC-H55 - it even has settings for food and pets - custom made for this blog!!!

We ate at the robata bar (presumably the location on K St means that all the tables and booths were occupied by lobbyists)...

...the menu resembles Tapas and so did the check. But the variety of foods resembled the variety of job duties I'm supposed to be blogging about :)


Up at 7am - breakfast buffet - carbs and more carbs - long day ahead (potentially).
We met our surgeon client at his office, changed into scrubs and made our way to the OR. This surgeon is one of the first I worked with early in my career. The case started at 9:30am and went until about 5pm. While I cannot discuss the medical aspects, it was, supposedly, the first time such a procedure has been videotaped.

The case could have gone on until late at night, but what was able to be done was done, and we hit the road around 6:30 for a 9:30pm flight home. A quick stop at Panera for predictably good food, guaranteed to be better than most airport selections - I particularly like their chicken noodle soup.

Boarded flight on time, arrived in Hartford around 10:30, luggage by 11, car by 11:15, home by 12:15am, quick shower to wash off hospital and airport (sorry forgot to take pictures), and bed by 1am.


Returned to office around 10am, spent most of the day on odds and ends. I bought a pack of 100 to-go cups to go with my single serve coffee maker. Today was a two-to-go-cup day.

Odds and Ends

Reviewed a printout of the next catalog we will distribute.

Reviewed a new DVD series we are selling - best sellers in our nursing series.

Collected, scanned and emailed some release forms for a competed project - one can never be too organized when keeping track of such important documents. We also sometimes collect tax forms for consultants, so a locked cabinet for sensitive documents is important.

Reviewed some stills from Tuesday's shoot - since we are making both a DVD and book, some high res stills will be important.

Confirmed with the surgeon our next shoot - one down, six to go. Our illustrator will join us next time.

Back to the Pancreas project - already discussed items on the to do list.

Also worked with our web designer on some updates to our website. Our site is both an e-commerce site where we sell our books and videos, as well as a newly expanded Services area to help generate new business, a video gallery and improved layout for product display. Launching sometime soon.


I had a client scheduled for an edit session at 9:30am. I made a coffee to go and actually got to the office at 6:30 - tweaked some initial edits and did some further refining to prepare for the client. This is a promo video to be shown at a corporate event in the Fall.

Worked with client until about 1pm, then continued working on audio levels and color correction.

Afternoon conference call and some more Pancreas work.


Spent most of the day refining the video, adding supers and a snappy opening, and rendered a WMV for client review.

Did some more work on website redesign and some more odds and ends.

At the end of the day, packed up my editing computer for some weekend work - you guessed it, Pancreas! Sat in the wonderful daily traffic jam in Waterbury. Got home and discovered that some devilish creature had eaten my 6 beautiful eggplants growing in my patio garden. Blasted!

Well, they were looking good, as were the other plants.

Ode to a Lost Soul

Once you were young, but a seedling from Lowe's,
Then as you grew with your siblings beside you,
I knew you would make me a meal worth enjoying,
And would perhaps be worthy of prose.

As the weeks went by I fell deeper for you,
With your tender skin, your supple feel, your color,
I yearned for the day my lips would embrace,
The taste of your body in salad or stew.

Yet at last came the day my imagination had framed,
The breading prepared, the pasta al dente,
I opened the door to harvest your soul,
And all that I found was all that remained.


But if you leave town for a couple of days during a heat wave, not much you can do about it. Next year - bigger pots and perhaps a trickle watering system.

So to summarize, this week I was a project manager, a road warrior, a food connoisseur, a tourist, a surgical videographer, an editor, a client relationship manager, a still photographer, a poet and a coffee barista. What did you do today?!

Thanks for reading.

Mike Cohen

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Dan AsselinRe: Blog: Contrasts
by on Aug 14, 2010 at 7:47:43 am

Mike I congratulate you on being so busy and organized as well. Like most of us I hope for the fist and cross my fingers for the second.


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