Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mission Accomplished

Four-point limb restraints and a posey vest seems like a lot of restraints to me. I think they loaded him up with Ativan, Geodon, and maybe a little Haldol along the way, too. Plus intravenous Lopressor for blood pressures in the 200/110 range.

When I went in to say hello I asked him, as we nurses do, if he knew where he was and he replied something like "uuuuuga-ugga-ugga-ugga-ugga" fired off very rapidly.

That answer was incorrect.

I asked him to open his eyes and look at me, which he eventually did. "You're at The Great Muffin Factory, I said, and he mumbled "No I'm not."

Again incorrect.

If I helped him, he would take oral fluids and medicines, and most of the time he dozed peacefully so we unleashed his ankles and was was okay except for a few times he harmlessly put his legs over the siderails. I wasn't sure which way he would go.

At the time I wondered if in a worst-case scenario he might not end up gorked for life in a nursing home.

Next day more of the same. A little progress. Wrist restraints off. He was more wakeful but thought he was in the *Baltimore* Muffin Factory. Turns out he's from that area. There's usually a kernel of truth to the most bizarre and confused statements.

Perceptive Republican-watchers can sometimes discern actual truths emanating from even the mouths of the likes of Bush and Cheney occasionally. Like when Cheney said it was okay if his daughter was a lesbian but this condition was not to be suffered in the general population. The truth being that not *everybody* can be Cheney's daughter.

See? A tiny seed of truth right there.

A couple days later his blood pressures normalized and his head cleared up a little, probably for the first time in decades. He was pretty much detoxified. He read the newspaper, talked with relatives, and walked about cooperatively.

Since his labwork was never really that bad it seems his liver is considered intact, and his mentation was good enough to basically qualify as "normal."

He was lucky. There's a lot of presumably hard work ahead of him, but he's clean now and he has the proverbial "second chance" at life. I hope he gets the help he needs.

He reminds me that you shouldn't waste your life. There are already plenty of strange people out there who are all too able and willing to waste your life for you, and they do not need your assistance.

Like the people who sold this guy the stuff that was destroying his life. They had nothing better to do?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Surf's Rude Blogger Up

Somebody's lying. Kyle Sampson basically stuck a knife in Alberto Gonzales' back rather than fall on his own sword. And then there's those pesky e-mails.

Senator shrimplate questioning Sampson, taken from the C-SPAN transcripts:

"Dude, you are like, so totally bent, man. What were you thinking? Yeah, I know, we're just a bunch of stupid Senators here but we're not all dumbfucks like that dickweed Cornyn over there. Like really."

Sampson: "Wha'?"

Senator shrimplate: "Makes as much sense as anything else you've said today. You're kind of a, like, what? A dumbass, eh? Like nobody'd notice a few fired lawyers. Get real, dude."

Sampson: "Huh?"

Senator shrimplate: "Stay out of small planes, dude."

Sampson: "Not that I recall."

Senator shrimplate: "Uh, did I ask a question, Kyle? May I call you Kyle?"

Sampson: "Er, no. And Yes. Definitely yes. Kyle is cool."

Senator shrimplate: "Hehehe. Cool Kyle. Chuckles for you, dude."

Senator Cornyn interrupted to protest this as an unseemly waste of time and added that he didn't see the point of this line of questioning. All huffy and righteous-like. Face puffy and red.

Senator shrimplate shoots a glance at Senator Leahy and then says to Cornyn: "Shut the fuck up, dick-face. It's not your turn," and looks again at Sampson.

Senator shrimplate: "So what you're saying is that Abu Gonzo's your basic lyin'-ass bitch. You like working for people like that? It was like, what, fun?"

Sampson: "Ahh, no. Not that I can recall."

Senator shrimplate: "Like, well duh, dude."


Over at
Eschaton it was "Talk Like Pulp Fiction Night" but I was in more of a Circle Jerks kind of mood.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Let Them Eat Language-Warning Cake


Patrick Chorpenning can resent me; for thinking, that is. For thinking that he's a liar and yet another completely out-of-touch-with-reality "administrator" that basically takes home a big paycheck and a lot of vacation time for being a stupid irresponsible jerk and bullshit artist.

From the local birdcage liner:

"Catherine Corbin, the home's former administrator, one of those five employees, said Saturday that some problems stemmed from the fact that Chorpenning's relatives worked at the nursing home. Other problems involved staffing, she said.

Chorpenning, reached on Saturday, strongly disputed those claims, saying Corbin never told him about conditions at the nursing home."

And Chorpenning never bothered to ask. And he never went to take a real good long look at things himself. And I can tell you exactly why:

He's an "administrator." Distant, ignorant, arrogant, disinterested, and a fool, in my humble opinion.


There's a nursing shortage. That can cause the price of nursing services to go up, if you actually believe all that crap about supply-and-demand.

Registry nursing staff, certified nursing assistants among them, become "registry" so they don't have to work weekends, in many cases. Most hospitals and nurses require nursing staff to work every other weekend. After a few decades this wears on the homelife so some healthcare providers gravitate to registry jobs in which they are not required to work holidays and weekends.

Those with nursing skills, certifications, and licenses who are willing, as registry, to come in on short call to fill weekend or holiday vacancies and sick-calls, do so because that's where the big bucks are. More supply and demand stuff, you see.

"Chorpenning said Saturday that he didn't want registry staff because they aren't as familiar with the patients as regular staff members are. He said he was not aware of any reports of staffing shortages until a separate report conducted by Veterans Affairs in January."

Total bullshit, in my increasingly humble opinion. I just get more humble with every breath I take.

He didn't want registry because of the costs. He's lying.

He'd rather the already-overworked (if you doubt they are overworked then look at turnover rates, morale, and maybe even just ask a few of them,) staff just let the clients, our veterans, soak in their own excrement a few more hours or days than pay to have enough people on the job.

His claims of being unaware of staffing shortages are also bullshit. There's just no more appropriate word for this. Again, not only is he actually out-of-touch, he thinks he can use this as a trump card. Because that's what we all expect from most "administrators," isn't it?

It's "The Peter Principle." People rise to the level of their incompetence, then their career progress stops. People get to be administrators because that is the level at which they maximize their incompetence.

When I was in highschool this was frequently discussed. Now, not so much. Because it has become a cultural expectation.

The article also suggests that nepotism may have been involved. Chorpenning's wife apparently was the official drapery-chooser for a while, and it looks like the position may have been created for her.

"Chorpenning's wife also worked at the nursing home as a director of interior design for the past five years. Her salary was not available Saturday."


"His wife's position was created through the state Department of Administration, and she reports to the veterans agency purchasing department. She has no effect on patient care."

That's why she got the job. So she could be paid to have no effect on patient care. Every sorry dollar she made could have gone to more bedside caregivers.

"His son also worked at the home several years ago as an administrative intern, Chorpenning said."

Paid or unpaid intern? Take a guess.

Here's a little more of the "out-of-touch" syndrome, lame excuse, or just plain bullshit that you can expect from such people:

"Chorpenning said he visited the facility weekly and didn't notice any problems. He met with Corbin weekly and didn't hear about staffing problems."

Some people only see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear, especially if their paychecks depend on such blissful ignorance. Plus, I have to wonder how the patients' families noticed problems but a guy who claims to have visited the facility weekly was completely unaware of these?

Gee shrimplate, that's very good question.

Chorpenning is also an elitist, insulting, arrogant jerk, in the depths of my so very humble opinion, for blaming the staff for their own state of overwork:

"Chorpenning said the problems at the home aren't about lack of staff: They are about staff not being responsive enough to answer call-light buttons and managers not holding them accountable."

Usually I am reserved in my language, but "fucking asshole" seems to be the best and most economical term in the English language to describe the kind of self-serving brutal psychopath who would say something like that. Two words that say so much.


I personally work in what you would consider to be a well-staffed facility with a good boss, hourly rounding, and way-above-this-kind-of-crap administration, but I can only answer one call light at a time. If there's three or four on it's a crap shoot as to who I get to first. Sometimes I'll walk by all the rooms with call lights on and peek in, and if one of them is lying blue on the floor, I help them first. Sometimes I just know.


Wouldn't you just love to have a job like Chorpenning's? You could create painful problems for veterans by understaffing your facilities and then blame the very people trying their best to help for being inadequate. You could give your son and your wife cushy jobs. You get all the bling and none of the responsibility.

But you'd have to live with yourself.

Easy for nutjobs like this guy. Hard for people with intact moral centers.

I do have sympathy for family members of these vets, but they might want to go a few hundred miles in the shoes of the caregivers and reconsider just where the buck stops.

"I remember walking in one day to see every light in my Dad's hallway 'on' while five to six employees were enjoying cake around the nurses' station," Linda LaStrange of Mesa said in an e-mail.

That may have been the only thing those staff members had eaten all day.Who knows?

Frequently I work from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. before I stop for fifteen minutes to hog down a few bites. Then I go straight on through to about 8 p.m. At a very well-staffed unit. Other staffers lunch even later. It's part of the job, unfortunately.

My job, not Chorpenning's.

And of course all the call lights were on. Call lights are always on; not all of them at once, but a few minutes' rest for the staff and on go the lights one-by-one and soon a whole of bunch of them are lit up like Paris on Bastille Day.

Linda takes the bait because as I said above, she assumes; no, she knows that Chorpening the "administrator" is supposed to be irresponsible, uninformed, and out-of-touch, while the actual hands-on bedside workers strain under stressful conditions to do the impossible; well, these are who to blame. Like I said, it's a cultural expectation now.


It's impossible for any one person to entirely meet the needs of any other one person.

Just ask any mother.

To ask a certified nursing assistant to meet the needs of a dozen or more completely helpless elderly veterans is to ask them to do more than what's merely impossible. But they are at least the ones who try. Not the "administrators."

Chorpenning should be shackled during the day and only be released at night to work twelve-hour shifts changing adult briefs, colostomy bags, and bedsore dressings for our veterans whose care he claims to "administer." At retirement he could hop the bedrails and spend the rest of his days soaking in his own disgusting filth. His brain is already saturated with it, so it would be an easy transition.

And Linda should hold him accountable. Instead of complaining about the overworked and powerless people slaving away at her father's bedside, maybe she could write a critique to Chorpenning's boss, who probably just loves Chorpie's excellent work.

Like that would do any good. Chorpenning's boss is likely to be an even bigger jerk. But's here's Chorpenning:

Arizona Department of Veterans Service

Friday, March 23, 2007

Monkey Love

You've probably seen articles referencing a recent study done by an ASU professor suggesting that prayer helps the sick. And you've seen letters like this one.

I respectfully disagree, for many reasons.

Dawkins does fair enough a job of demolishing this kind of medieval nonsense in his latest book The God Delusion, and I'll skip a rehash of his work so I can eventually get to my real points.

Daniel C. Dennett writes in Breaking the Spell, Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, that belief systems evolved just as other human behaviors did, and recent studies of primate behavior strongly suggest that morality developed before religion became a part of culture.

Monkeys are nice to each other but they do not fly planes into buildings because of religious convictions, because they have none. No religious convictions, that is. Plenty of monkeys have planes, personal jets, whatever.

Anyways, all I really wanted to say here is that yeah, maybe, a little prayer never hurt anybody. For example, we all know people who maintain freedom from various addictions by relying on their "higher power" however they choose to define that.

But if you really want to help sick people, stop wasting time and money studying prayer, whatever that is, and provide universal healthcare coverage.

That's my first point.

My second one is that morality and religion have nothing to do with one another and evolved differently. Yes, evolved. These came from evolution and the pressures of natural selection, not just old books written by Bronze-Age madmen.

First came morality, then came religions, and for some of us lucky ones, spirituality comes.

Many people, however, remain spiritually deprived despite their religious protestations, and of course some are just so mentally ill, like our current President, that their "faith" makes them cry and legislate for blastocysts while calmly exploding innocent soldiers, women, old men, and children in far-off lands. Only religiosity can produce that sort of craziness.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Out Facing

Our particular telemetry unit is not specialized in any way whatsoever. We simply apply remote cardiac monitoring to any kind of patient: medical, surgical, respiratory, neurological, cardiac, plainly personality-disordered, chemically addicted, post-CABG, post-esophagectomy, syncope, renal failure with electrolyte imbalances (think K+ of 7.2) crystal-meth-related tachycardia or cocaine-induced cardiomyopathy or endocarditis... stuff like that. Whatever. There's more of course.

It's a nice mix. I dig it totally.

This guy had facial lacerations, a subdural hematoma that was resolving without treatment and basically/thankfully asymptomatic. A little tachy, a little shaky, but gracious and a joy to work with. Trauma.

He had a few cracked ribs but the head trauma wasn't anything we needed to be too concerned about. His CAT scans showed resolving SDH and his tachyness was no real issue.

That's nice. I'd write a song about it and record it for my dogs to listen to but they prefer music about meat. Like raw beef. They're Labs. Perfectly happy and normal. I dig Netrebko, they dig hamburger. So it goes. I'll take Anna over pork chops any day. Who wouldn't?

What a nice guy he was. One of the most honest and humble individuals I've ever met. This was the story:

He'd admitted himself to the legal system; that is, he walked into a police station high on crystal and asked for help six months ago, upon which they immediately arrested him and processed him for holding, which he had planned by making sure that a small amount of meth was assured to be found on him. He wanted jail time to clear up.

Then he went home.

That's where his stuff was. Clothes and things.

So he gets off jail, enters The Program with an honesty that would humble Christ, who basically was a freakin' liar, and then you know how it went down:

While he was in jail out in the West Valley he attended AA meetings and maintained sobriety. Not so easy in jail, where corrruption and graft make it all too easy to relapse.

Not as easy, of course, to relapse if you just happen to be the President of the United States of America.

Is Bush drinking alcohol? Yes. To excess? Yes. Is it a progressive disease? Yes. Is he, without treatment, getting worse in his disease? Yes.

Despite a broken arm and a busted-up face, my patient refused to go home, because that is where he came from upon admission. "Tony," his Alcoholics Anonymous peer counselor while he was in jail, had encouraged him to go to a half-way house instead of just going home.

That was his intention. But upon release from jail, his friends beat the crap out of him and broke his ribs and busted up his head. He'd only stopped off at home to pick up some ID and clothes before checking in at a halfway-house. He'd been clean a half-year in jail.

So he landed on my working doorstep. A bit of tachycardia got him a tele bed.

This dude's trying so hard to stay clean. He took an anvil to the head and a punch to his ribs to stay off the crystal and booze. As well as a half-year in Goodyear.

But he ended up "in" to get "out." My heart is with this guy. If only McCain would try as hard, or Kyl. It'd be a better world.

I guess. But then it could be a lot worse. I'm thinking Himmler. There's a face. That's a guy who didn't try very hard; to be normal, that is.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Savage Hygiene

There's a talk-radio station here locally that features sane hosts and guests that offer reality-based views that I often learn from and with which I often strongly agree. But rather than listen to commercials I button-down to one or other of the other stations.

I paraphrase what I recently heard on one of these:

"Never go to the bathroom in a Chinese restaurant. No, don't do that wash your hands thing and use your elbows to push open the door to get out. You'll get hepatitis A, B, C and whatever else. Just don't even go into a Chinese resaturant bathroom. Don't. Ever. Save it until you get home."

Michael Wiener (Savage.) Racist. Hate-monger. And no vigorous practitioner of proper personal hygiene. Don't shake hands with him after he's been to a restroom.

Aren't you glad that if you get sick and must be hospitalized that your nurses won't be like this guy? We wash our hands probably 130 times a day, and we do not carry cultural nor racial hatred in our hearts and minds.

We just try to help people get better. One cannot say the same for Savage Wiener. He's trying to make people worse.

I'm better off when I flip over to the classical station and listen to Mozart instead.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Nukeholics Anonymous

Bush is an untreated alcoholic, and it's a progressive disease. Thats's why this comes as no surprise to anybody:

"March 13, 2007 --Our White House Press Corps sources report further disturbing news about President George W. Bush. Our sources have witnessed a clearly inebriated Bush approaching members of the press corps and making rude comments, including one particularly crude remark about First Lady Laura Bush. In that case, Bush, nodding toward Laura, called her a "c**t." While Bush's drinking is no secret to the White House press contingent, that particular comment was reportedly the worst they have heard uttered by Bush. Our sources also report that Laura Bush's stays at the White House are less frequent and that her overnight trips to the Mayflower Hotel often coincide with the president's drunken binges."

It'll get worse. Mix alcoholism (and likely drug abuse) with a personality already impaired by psychopathology and then make that person the most powerful asshole in the entire world; well folks, you get trouble.

And more trouble.

This is the guy with the proverbial finger on the button.

Yes, I'm repeating myself. This is not the first time that I've suggested that Bush will not be satisfied with being a self-described "war president."

He will continue to escalate in his illness and become a nuclear president.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Homage to the Unheralded Very Cool People

Some time ago when Dr. Mike Newcomb had a morning radio show on the local Air America affiliate, his topic du jour was religion and gay issues.

He took a phone call from a man who described himself as a "lapsed Catholic" who no longer associated himself with any church, and he spent a few moments describing his spiritual struggle with his homosexuality during past decades when our culture was even more openly hostile to gays than it remains now.

He said he prayed, he read scripture, he tried everything he could within his faith but his homosexuality of course persevered. Then came his most interesting comments:

He said that over the course of this personal crisis he'd spoken candidly to many priests about his efforts, and they all, every one, simply suggested that he learn to just accept himself for who he was and who god made him.

No homophobia, no ostracism, no condemnation, no hate.

"Just learn to accept yourself for who you are," they all told him.

I never take it for granted when people treat one another in a respectful and civil manner. I consider such things miraculous. And rather inspiring.

Monday, March 12, 2007

More Post-9/11 History

Oh my, what's this?

Why, it's a court docket report.

Yes, you too can wander aimlessly through your youth, avoid the draft, drop out of school, become bald prematurely, and still become one of the biggest monsters on the entire planet.

Sorry I couldn't figure out how to just post a picture of the court docket directly to my page. I'm probably just inept or maybe it's a bandwidth thing. Anyways, click on the question mark icon and take a look.

It's an obvious fake because as post 9/11 history tells us Cheney was valiantly serving his country in the steamy jungles of war-torn Vietnam at the time this event was supposed to have taken place.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

History as it Will be Taught After 9/11

Common political myths and their true explanations:

"There has neve been a homosexual president."

Not true. Recent forensics have revealed that not only was Mary Todd actually a man, and a homely one at that, but that she also had two penises instead of the more common singular one. Many people have come to acsertain this factor as one which contributed heavily to Lincoln's frequently depressed moods and his eventual suicide.

"There has never been a black, or president of African-American descent."

True, but when Bill Bixby served a presidential term in the mid-1970's he was occasionally known to have sometimes turned green and burst out of his clothing.

"There has never been a woman president."

Not true. Teddy Roosevelt's mother liked to have him wear long-flowing childhood dressing gowns during his infant years and though actually born a man he later underwent a gender alteration. After serving as president he turned his attention to professional tennis where his appearances on the woman's circuit were somewhat controversial at the time. Thankfully this is no longer a cultural concern of any importance.

"No President has ever saved anyone from freezing in the Potomac River."

Not true. Due to his well-known proclivity towards extreme modesty, under a different name George W. Bush once dove into the cold February river waters to save people that he didn't even know after a tragic airplane crash. Years of heroically protecting the skies of Texas from vicious attacks by the North Vietnamese Air Force had soured his taste for personal fame, so he undertook that incredible river rescue under a pseudonym.

I think you get my drift. From Jones Report and otherwise widely disseminated sources comes this statement by a Bush administration official:

"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

History itself never gives up its search for the true nature of reality. Someday the facts will be known. Check out the videos, look at the thermite charges bursting from the sides of the buildings as they fall faster than a ball dropped from their tops or a human body jumping from a high window.

And like history, science itself also never sleeps. Truth eventually prevails. We can all be assured that day will someday arrive when The Story of 9/11 comes out clean.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Both Sides Now

So what's next?

Suppose a teacher explains to the pupils of the classroom that the Earth is round, actually resembling more of an oblate spheroid. Should students also have to hear the opposing view that the world is flat?

There are no reputable scientists and climatologists that dispute global warming, and if there's any controversy at all regarding this it only concerns the amount human activity has on this phenomenon.

This kind of LTTE is just plain ridiculous.

"Forcing young students to view Al Gore's film without making the opposing views mandatory reading is not promoting open discussion of all sides of issues. Forcing one view down the throats of our young students is much closer to brainwashing." -Lee Daniels, Clarkdale

Yeah, right.

"Scientists predict an increase in global temperatures from 2 to 6 degrees F. if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate. Over 900 scientists from 40 countries participated in the study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The panel was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Program. In addition to the scientists participating in the study, 2,400 more have signed a letter endorsing the findings."

Oh well. Who is one to believe? Energy industry hacks whose paychecks depend on the ferocity with which they deny reality, or your own lying eyes?

I've said this before and I'll say it again: just look at the pictures.

If we were to follow the thinking of the letter writer then anytime an aspect of reality was taught in class, it would have to be balanced by an unrealistic alternative view so that "both sides," reality and fantasy, received equal time. Just to be fair and all.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Current U.S. servicepeople dead in the Iraq quagmire: 3188.

Oh look, over there! (See below and elsewhere.)

A rude blogger!

Fish in a Barrel

OK, another keen letter-to-the-editor in the Arizona Republican; I'll play:

"Different rules for Ann Coulter?
Mar. 8, 2007 12:00 AM

I am looking for the rule that says when liberals engage in rank speech it is to be classified "satire," but when Ann Coulter attempts a little satire it is classified as rank speech.

Where is that rule? - Craig Farr, Prescott"

People might have to go to rehab for this, so I guess I'll just go on, after saying that Craig is a stupid fucking cunt, to taking questions.

Unless of course Craig is a stupid fucking cunt, my comments can only be construed as simple schoolyard taunts that in no way can be considered specifically offensive, and of course my mere opinions are protected free speech meant in jest only, as per my blog disclaimer.

Ann Speaks For Them All

Let's face it.

Ann Coulter is a Republican neo-conservative spokeswoman. When she jokes about calling Democratic political candidates "faggots," she speaks for all Republicans, right on down from President Bush to the guy that sweeps up the church aisles after Jerry Falwell finishes blaming 9/11 terrorist acts on the exclusively American sexual practice of sodomy.

After her malignant comments to the members of the audience of the American Conservative Union Political Action Conference they all laughed in approval.

Video is a beautiful thing. It will be the downfall of neo-conservative Republicanism.

When Gore makes a video it wins an Oscar. When Bush is seen on video he adds new words to his dyslexicon.

Coulter speaks for Bush. Even if some of the more responsible mainstream media outlets feature a handful of political outliers who castigate Coulter (I want to just refer to her as "Cunter" from now on, for after all, it's just a mild playground taunt and not really an insulting general term,) for her awful remarks, her thoughts remain core aspects; policies, even, of the neo-conservative Republicans that serve in political posts throughout America.

Many of them are quite proud of her for this.

I repeat: she speaks for them all.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It Has

Maybe you are old enough to recall as I do this Rube Goldberg sort of game in which you set up an elaborate mousetrap in which to capture a toy mouse after it went skidding down through a series of slides, baskets, poles, chutes, and other bizarre paraphernalia.

Who knew?

It's now a metaphor for the beaureaucratic hoops and nightmares that our returning Iraq war veteran have to negotiate.

Hasbro has taken over our government.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Transfigured Night

Many years ago, in the pre-digital age, I had a college radio show which I called Transfigured Night, because it ran from 10:30 P.M. to 1:00 A.M. with a midnight 15-minute break for news. After the news I would read a "bedtime story," usually something horrific and nightmarish.

There were no compact discs back then. We used vinyl almost exclusively with 8-track cartridges for public-service-announcements and what-not.

Yes, you're probably laughing now.

I was designated as a "classical" jock but since we were non-formatted I could spin anything, anything that I felt the need to put over the airwaves. I'd segue Webern with Anthony Braxton with the Buzzcocks with Dunstable all in a 20-minute span. Golden days, those.

Anyways, I was hanging around the radio station one day when Paul, the jock on board, had some minimal question about the phonograph cartridges we had, so we decided that we would call the company to express our concerns.

"Grado and company, how can I direct your call?" said the voice on the phone.

"I'd like to speak to the company director Mr. Grado, please," I said.

Grado Labs.

I expected a blow-off.

"I'm sorry," said the phone person. "Mr. Grado isn't in the office right now. He's on the factory floor. I'll page him for you."

In seconds I was speaking to Grado himself, who answered all of our questions about the phono cartridges we were using.

That's why I have Grado headphones and not something like the Bose things that get heavy advertising. I'm a Bose fan and I love their products (I've used their 301's) but now I have Martin-Logans and Grados.

It was a highlight to just make a phone call and speak to The Man Himself. Does this often happen?

Thursday, March 01, 2007


It's 3 p.m. and you haven't taken a break yet because "it's been busy." Lunch seems like a really good idea but the moment you report off to your buddy two of your patients come back from procedures and they both require frequent vital signs monitoring every 15 minutes then tapering off.

A quickie assessment tells you that they're both fine, but rules is rules, so instead of skipping off to eat for the first time since you arrived at 7 a.m. you stick around and do vitals on each and assess their groins for hematoma/bruising/whatever.

On hourly rounds you discover that a patient has been incontinent so you freshen them up and replace soiled DuoDerm dressings on their decubitus ulcers. Same for the next patient.

You see a call light on from one of the patients whose nurse has actually escaped to the lunch room and for whom you are covering. Their bed is full of shit and they've pulled out their IV so you get the CNA to help clean them and restart their IV which you cover with yards of gauze wrap hoping that they will not pull it out again soon.

While you chart these events a patient family member approaches the nurse's desk to say that their "mother has to go to the bathroom" and knowing that she's non-ambulatory your heart sinks lower than the gonads of a snake.

She's covered in loose stool from neck to toes. Yes. She is.

The CNA is busy so by yourself you cleanse the patient and put up fresh linens. But... her arm is puffy because her IV has infiltrated so you get a new one in after a bad try.

The other nurse comes back from lunch and just as you are reporting off to her the monitor technicians call to say that your patient in room 14 "isn't satting well," and you go there to find that he's wheezing and has his oxygen off. You call Respiratory Therapy to give him an albuterol treatment and his oxygen saturations climb to 92% and you're happy with that.

Your bladder is filled to bursting.

Then the monitor techs call to say that your patient in room 11 has gone into rapid atrial fibrillation, so you get a set of vitals, which are fine but a little tachy, call the doctor, and start a Cardizem drip.

All is well. Time to eat lunch.

Or dinner. Whatever.