Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Rafter of Turkeys

I am on trial for my life. The courtroom is packed with onlookers and members of the media. From behind the desk at which I am seated with my lawyers, I look over at the jury box. The jurors are all dogs. I like dogs, and dogs like me.

I look forward to the day when Leonardo DiCaprio and John Cusack make a movie together.

I am a hospital nurse but due to the specialty nature of the unit I work on, I cannot much discuss some of the things that we do. Just the occasional interesting tidbit. For example, I recently had a patient who had been suffering from diarrhea. For months. The routine tests for such things as clostridium difficile were negative, but we kept sending the tests anyways. We switched around his tube feedings. We stopped these for awhile. Nothing seems to work. He did not have surgery on his digestive tract. I remain puzzled, but a devoted and attendant nurse. Lots of gentle cleansing and protective ointments for his raw skin areas. The patient has become really depressed, but I never give up.

In the wild, cats (Felis catus) do not "meow." They only do this in the realm of humans. Conversely, when I am in the wild I often struggle with the desire to meow and make gutteral hissing noises at birds and small woodland creatures. Which reminds me, today I have to refill the birdfeeder.

Tycho Brahe computed the procession of equinoxes as 51 seconds of arc per year. He didn't have a telescope because they hadn't been invented yet. The modern value is accepted as 50.23 seconds of arc. Not bad for a guy who lost the bridge of his nose in a duel. He wore a silver and gold fake.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


So this knucklehead is driving around with his family and they happen upon some kids selling lemonade. Well, actually they were not selling it. It was a very hot day so they were giving it away. So what does Mr. Knucklehead do? He gives them a lecture on free-market ideology.

That really set me off, as my regular readers can imagine.

"No!" I exclaimed from the back seat. "That's not the spirit of giving. You can only really give when you give something you own. They're giving away their parents' things -- the lemonade, cups, candy. It's not theirs to give."

Yes. He has regular readers. Ones who have bowel movements on a routine schedule. They read him here. God in heaven I so hated providing that link.

No wonder America is getting it all wrong when it comes to government, and taxes, and policy. We all act as if the "lemonade" or benefits we're "giving away" is free.

He says.

I call a straw-man argument. Nobody thinks this stuff is free. We all know the costs. This information is everywhere.

The cost of war. Over $1 trillion dollars and growing daily, and so far we've gotten absolutely nothing out of it except a few thousand dead and ruined soldiers.

Chump change, though. Remember the bank bailouts? You have to google that, because your average journalist has the attention span of a heroin-addicted housefly so there's no headlining that today. How does $4 trillion sound to you? Good? Free? Not free?

But of course Mr. Knucklehead doesn't mention those things. No.

And so the voters demand more -- more subsidies for mortgages, more bailouts, more loan modification and longer periods of unemployment benefits.

The real problem with America and its profligate government is voters. Especially those who have homes. Or those who have lost their jobs. They're not worth a few billion dollars. Well, a little more than that. The unemployment benefits extension recently stymied by Republicans would have cost about $33.9 billion. That's a lot of cash, though a tiny number compared to what we spend on war and banks. It's cash that would get immediately spent and circulated throughout our economy though, unlike the hundreds of billions we spend on ordinance that ends up buried in the sands of Araby or bailout cash that winds up in some rich Republican's Swiss bank account. Whatever.

Anyways, Savage is an idiot. There's no arguing with him, I am sure. Ideology like his is impermeable. Fossilized. Never changing. Not reality based.

And because he is that deranged, he lectures little girls on a hot summer day, trying to persuade them out of their joyful kindness.

What an asshole.

Friday, July 02, 2010

There Goes Half

Fired for speaking Tagalog at work.

Well, there goes half the night shift.

I personally work with nurses and other staff members from the Philippines, England, Mexico, Nigeria, Italy, Ethiopia, Canada, India, and even the faraway and exotic realms of Idaho, to name a few places off the top of my head. I hear languages other than American English all the time. Even the doctors can be heard conversing in other languages sometimes.

From ABS-CBN News:

BALTIMORE, Maryland - Four Filipina ex-staffers of a Baltimore City hospital haven’t gotten over the shock of being summarily fired from their jobs, allegedly because they spoke Pilipino during their lunch break.


“They claimed they heard us speaking in Pilipino and that is the only basis of the termination. It wasn’t because of my functions as a nurse. There were no negative write-ups, no warning before the termination,” she added.

The nurses were previously required to sign paperwork agreeing to limit lunch and snack breaks, and included in it was an English-only policy that "directs that English should be the only language spoken while the nurses are on ER duty."

Fair enough. Like the guy says, in a code situation you don't want people yelling out commands in a variety of different languages. It's bad enough we still have to deal with all the crappy Latin abbreviations and such that we use everyday. But these nurses were allegedly overheard while they were at lunch. The hospital hasn't actually specified when exactly the nurses violated policy.

And they were fired for this?! What, is there an oversupply of E.D. nurses in Baltimore?! It's going to cost that hospital a good 10K a piece to train replacements. If they can find any. I wouldn't work there. In times of stress I sometimes let out a string of words from Olde Englishe. That would be bad.

Of course, this being Arizona, here it could actually get worse.

"The Arizona Department of Education recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English it deems to be heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students still learning English," The Wall Street Journal reported.

So, joo con be fired por sayeeng "biolet" eensted uff "violet."

Los yikes. There goes half the teachers in south Phoenix.