Monday, January 26, 2009

What about the flag dummies?

After finishing up my first midnight tour on my new shift assignment I engaged in my daily ritual of checking some of my favorite blog sites. On my morning visit to The Deacon's Bench a post caught my attention that you can read here. It contains a link to a video produced by those two intellectuals, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher and features a star studded cast of celubutards. Frankly, it made me nauseous. But I will let you be the judge. What follows is the last forty seconds or so which will give you the idea. If you have an anti emetic available you can see the whole thing over at You Tube.

It just galls me that we still have thousands of men and women in the Middle East fighting for freedom so that imbeciles like this can push their socialist agenda. Of course none of them are smart enough to realize that in a socialist country they would have neither the wealth or freedom that they enjoy. While that particular thought is about as appealing as you can get I think I will stick with my three favorite isms. Patriotism, individualism and conservatism. Here is the piece of propaganda I promised.


Any conservative worth his salt is against big government. With the inauguration behind us and judging by the talking heads on Sunday television its apparent that our worst fears are being realized. Reid and Pelosi are already beginning to run rampant and its clear that despite what we hope will be dogged opposition by the Republican minority we can all look forward to at least four difficult years with the government reaching deeper in to the pockets of the working stiff and even more intrusion in to our lives.

It seems as though our new President will not be satisfied with draconian government oversight and will be taking a more active role as chief executive in the workplace. Paramedics beware!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Old dog learns new trick

The adaptability of our species will never cease to amaze me. Take your average drunk for instance. As any experienced medic will tell you one of the most annoying calls to respond to is the person feigning unconsciousness. This type of assignment will generally show up anywhere between one and three am between Friday and Saturday.

The art of faking syncope (an unconscious state for you laymen out there) has evolved over my twenty plus year career. The motivations of faking unconsciousness vary but the common thread is the level of annoyance to the EMTs or Paramedics sent to an address because someone feels they need a little more attention. And it falls to these intrepid professionals to determine if life saving techniques need to be employed or if the person is full of crapola.

"Back in the day" you could obtain an accurate differential diagnosis by a brisk sternal rub or nipple twist. Those who remained unconscious were, and those that sat up violently swinging weren't. Piece of cake. Sadly, Darwinism being what it is has seen an adaptation evolve and now even the most casual faker can withstand those time honored stimuli. The same goes for ammonia inhalants and other more common alternatives.

So on a recent shift we were confronted with a frequent flyer who clearly was faking unconsciousness. What to do? That is when I was introduced to the FIN technique also known in other geographical locales at DNS. As it turns out empirical data collected in a more urban EMS area has shown that no matter how good a person is at feigning syncope and no matter their level of Zen like self control it is nearly impossible to tolerate taking THEIR finger and inserting it into THEIR nostril. If they are faking, instant consciousness and indignation result . As an added bonus, no pain or bruising to the patient. A win win situation.

Kudos to The Fisherman for teaching me this new technique. For all my fellow Paramedics let me fully endorse the Finger In Nose or Deep Nasal Stimulation maneuver. Its, quick, accurate and a real time saver. On a cautionary note, this might not work in all cases. This faker hasn't woken up yet....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Decisons, decisions

Life often presents us with decisions. Some are easier than others. Ten pretty easy commandments give us rock solid guidance when it comes to the biggies. No lying, stealing, we all know the Big Ten. And for even more navigation through life's pitfalls you can refer to the Seven Deadly Sins.

Apparently we need to come up with an addendum to cover some other eventualities.

My good friend, El Guapo (aka Dave the Giant Puerto Rican), who has been known on more than one occasion to make some questionable personal decisions decided to let his shift address his troublesome Man Fro if he again showed up to work with it askew. He certainly won't be mistaken for Brad Pitt. But maybe they will think he is this famous actor.....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Misspent youth

Since I now have the wonder machine up and running with enough RAM to power a small city I thought it would nice to start catching up on some projects that have been shelved due to inadequate technology. A bit earlier tonight I pried the lid off of one of my many Rubbermaid storage tubs and began to go through some of the thousands of old family pictures that I have promised myself would eventually get digitized. In a perfect world I suppose I would hire some tech weenie to do it for me but the financial reality is that little by little I will attempt to get this project done with the seven or eight extra minutes I have a day.

As I went through the first pile I decided this won't be such a bad deal after all. Old pictures of my Dad from his time in the Marines. A few really old PM (pre me) pictures of my Mom from circa 1960. So, I will plod along until they have all been digitally preserved.

As I thumbed through for some of the more choice selections, I came up with this one. My first car.
This was one sweet ride for the son of a blue collar family. 1973 Olds Cutlass Supreme. Man this thing was a rocket, but what a pig when it came to gas. Sad thing is, my current ride is only a bit more than a decade newer. College tuition, gotta love it.

Job Security

In the area where I live we have two large bridges. And as you might guess it is a popular spot for people to commit suicide. While it is terrible that people feel the need to take their own lives for any reason there isn't much that we can do as a society to prevent stupid people from doing stupid things.

There was recently a bit of public debate as to if it would be a good idea to install some type of fencing on these bridges to prevent people from using the spans as a springboard in to the afterlife. Despite the inclination of the NJ State Government to fund really silly things, even they were not persuaded that fencing these two spans would keep a determined person from seeking out another high public structure. Their response was to post signs telling people that there is help available via a suicide hot line.

Face it, stupid people have and always will do stupid things. While you ponder that point please consider the following video sent to me via email........

The prosecution rests.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Humility and perseverance

We all play games with numbers at some point. Most often the juggling is for selfish gain of one variety or another. No honey, we can easily afford a new (insert name of man toy here). Or the ever popular "I really needed this pair of shoes for that wedding we have next week. None of the sixty pair I have match my outfit."

So I should not have been surprised when my huge box of computer parts came via UPS and I sat down for assembly that I swore would take only two hours and it turned in to a week of misery and discontent. What should have been a simple plug and play operation involving an hour or so of assembly and a pot of coffee worth of software configuration evolved in to a mire of incompatible bios settings and several incomprehensible apparitions of the famous Microsoft blue screen of death. For those of you who cut their teeth on windows 98, which had the stability of an anorexic teenage girl with an absent father and low self esteem, you might take that news in stride. Sadly I must report that although you may believe like I that those horrid error messages went the way of zip drives I can assure you they are alive and well and lurking just under the surface of windows XP pro ready to pounce upon those of us stupid enough to challenge new technology without having done a hardware upgrade in seven years.

Dejected as I was dear reader I stuck with it and am happy to report as of this writing that I believe I have exorcised the demons that lie beneath and will within an hour be able to machine gun Nazi soldiers by the time the sun sets. That is of course if I can get the few chores done my wife asked me to do today that I blew off to finish the build project. I am very anxious to take the new machine out for a spin but in fairness to her I have to attend to the chores first.

Its OK though. She said it should only take me an hour or so.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Code Brown, I say again, Code Brown

Ever find yourself confronted with someone covered in their own excrement? Come on, no "you can't believe what happened when I fed little Johnny strained peas" stories. I mean a "fully functioning adult, half naked, covered in his or her own fecal matter. Didn't think so. But I guess from here you can guess where my night is headed.

I guess that's why I chuckle when I see a new "reality" show on television. Undoubtedly the most contrived nonsense ever to hit the airways. I truly wonder how many Paramedics and Nurses would have chosen a much different career had there been but one episode depicting what this business is really all about. How about, Emergency? Johnny and Roy respond to the aftermath of the 1974 greater Los Angeles Chili Cook Off. Or maybe Third Watch. We could give a riveting teleplay for Soho Salmonella.

So next time you are sitting in your boring office cubicle watching "on demand" versions of your favorite show pining for a more exciting career, try to picture that gorgeous actor/actress with the days oral intake magically dripping down their legs. It will give you a reality that will redefine Must Watch TV.

And for goodness sake guys......more fiber.....please.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Penance anyone?

As I arrived to bring my daughter to her piano lesson today I quietly watched as her long suffering piano teacher listened to week 8 of the same kid playing the same tired piece (poorly) again and again. Looking forlorn like an errant Cambodian in a Khmer Rouge reeducation camp it reminded me of the feeling I get when month after month I go to the same address for the predictable heroin overdose. The bane of the working Dad.

Well, its a few extra bucks to shield the kids from a sub standard and spiritually empty public education. And maybe, just maybe a few less days in Purgatory.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Shoot, don't shoot

Donut eaters, overpaid mall cops.....I have heard them all in twenty five years in the business. And considering where most of the comments come from you have to take them with a grain of salt. But what most people often overlook when it comes to the value of police in their community is situations like this one.

Taken at face value it looks as though these two over zealous cops executed this man as he was making an attempt to put down his assault firearm and surrender. After you watch it a few times (as I did because the email in which it was sent had the back story) the cop who is behind the suspect was able to clearly see him going for the pistol in the small of his back.

Appearances can be deceiving. And these two cops had about one second to make a decision that right or wrong will alter the course of their lives, permanently. Remember this video when you see the headlines about over paid police. And try to visit Officer Down Memorial Page frequently. Its a great site dedicated to the memory of the men and women who weren't as fortunate as these two cops.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Today's relevant video clip

Monday, January 5, 2009


No, its not a misspelling. That is the abbreviation for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the national police academy for almost all Federal Law Enforcement Officers. Located just outside of who knows where Georgia it is the stopping ground for most new uniformed Federal Officers and retraining center for those unfortunate souls who changed titles and have to repeat the same exact curriculum they have already endured. Well what do you expect, your government at work.

Anyway, tomorrow morning my buddy Spike will be driving down to Georgia ( sounds like a Charlie Daniel's song parody) to begin his sixteen weeks or so of hell. On arrival he will join with the intrepid H. Carl Farvman who is three or so weeks in to his retread cycle which will transform him from a polyester wearing flatfoot to a plain clothes I man.

May then enjoy great success and may God keep an eye on the two of them until they return.

Home Improvements

Sometimes you just have to get things done. No matter how long you put things off sooner or later the pile gets too bit, or the list gets too long. Well, I reached that tipping point earlier this week and have been on a roll ever since. I have the little things on the "honey do" list whittled down to some minor crapola and should pretty much have things cleaned up by mid-week.

Among other things today's menu included the assembly and installation of a utility sink and cabinet in our laundry room. I went to Lowes's and picked up a kit. Now I know what you are thinking, a kit. That has trouble written all over it. But it did say on the box that everything I need to finish the install was contained inside. Curiosity got the better of me. So, armed with a large box from American Bath and something or other my wife and I went back to the castle and surveyed what lied before me. Fist the scene of the crime.

Oh, those pipes are going to be a problem. Bear in mind this sight has been carefully camouflaged from view since about 1996 with a carefully placed dry sink and a pitcher of dried flowers. Old pipes, my chief nemesis. But first, a little assembly.

The dreaded unpacking phase.

And then a bit of assembly................

Don't forget to check out those happening old man overalls! That's some eye candy, isn't it. Anyway...........voila !

About two hours start to finish. Not a terrible experience, at least I didn't have to look at the guy in the overalls.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Five little monkeys....

Now my daughter knows why jumping off the couch is a bad idea.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Elizabeth, NJ LODD

Email I just received says a 29 year veteran firefighter from the Elizabeth, New Jersey Fire Department was killed in the Line of Duty at a working fire today. Please remember him and his family in your prayers.

This is NOT the way to start the New Year.

Update: You can read about this tragedy at this link

Fresh Cut Christmas Tree?

For those of you who procrastinate, the Christmas Octave has ended and its time to get those decorations packed away for another year. Just on the chance that you haven't gotten to that dreaded chore yet please make sure to put a bit of water in the bottom of the tree stand.

Only 74 Days to Saint Patrick's Day

The sad part is I have a guy in my pipe band that marches just like this. No, I am not kidding. And no, that's not me marching behind him!