September 24--Watercolor Mook

Sep. 24th, 2017 10:17 pm
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Malida's company had their company picnic at the big park near our house today, so we went over. It was kind of boring, and the food was so-so. She gave me the ok to take off, so I went out and played Ingress for a while and did the shopping.

She called me about an hour later and asked to be rescued, so I came and picked her up, and we went home.

I made some baby back ribs for dinner with some Brussels sprouts and some potatoes. It was delicious. After dinner Malida went back to binge watching Game of Thrones, and I watched for a while with her. I only made it through season 1 when I tried to watch it, but she is in season 6 now. It looks kind of interesting, and I may watch it down the line before the final season starts.

I spent a good part of the evening reading about the construction of a tunnel, which morphed into looking at a Google map of the US and Canada, and retracing my driving trip across both back in 2005. It culminated in looking for my barracks building on the base in Idaho where I ended up my military career.

Lots of meetings tomorrow, a few of which are scheduled at the same time.

watercolor took

September 23--Flamingo babies

Sep. 23rd, 2017 09:55 pm
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It was the perfect day for sleeping in. The overnight weather was cool, and it felt good to not get up. The cats tolerated it until about 9, then it was them meowing for crunchies and Malida meowing for coffee. So I got up.

It was supposed to be 5 degrees warmer today than yesterday. My phone has started telling me this sometime in the evening. I'm not sure why, but I like it. I enjoyed my coffee with the windows open and the music on, and read the news of the day. I was again baffled and dismayed by the complete lack of self-control the President seems to have.

We decided to drive out to the big Korean market to have lunch and do some shopping. The place is enormous, and has much more than just asian stuff. There is a large Eastern European and Russian community in the area, and their needs are well met here. We had lunch in the excellent food court and bought a bunch of stuff.

I received a package yesterday that contained a new band for my step counter watch thing, and two little garden flamingos. I put the flamingos out this morning. They are about 1/3 the size of the normal ones. I was prompted to buy them after I saw a little boy stop to look at my other flamingos the other day while he was on a walk with his mom. He seemed fascinated by them.

flamingo babies

September 22--Takotsubo syndrome

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:26 pm
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In our post-conference one of my students mentioned that she took care of a patient with an interesting syndrome--Takotsubo Syndrome. It is a condition brought on by stress, which looks like a heart attack, but isn't. The left ventricle balloons out, and the heart resembles a Japanese octopus trap.

It is also known as broken heart syndrome. It is almost always seen in women, and can occur as the result of a severe stress event, such as the loss of a husband. As soon as my student mentioned it, I recalled reading about it about 12 years ago. I got to talk with the patient a bit and asked what had happened before she was admitted. She recounted that she was shopping, and that was about it.

Today was Mercy Day, which recalls the founding of the Sisters of Mercy, who also founded the hospital I have my students at. They had a nice breakfast buffet set up in the outdoor patio and everyone came out to get something to eat. I ran across someone I had never met, but had sent a bunch of emails to. I introduced myself and told her I was the nursing instructor. To myself I said, "I sent you a whole bunch of emails that you never responded to." In spite of never responding, she was very complimentary toward my students and told me how much they enjoyed having them in her department. Ok then.

I received a Hello Kitty wearing a Boise State t-shirt from one of the people in my doctoral program. She asked how my project was going. I guess I have to tell her.

hello kitty gang

The Hello Kitty gang with their newest member.

This evening my Second Life friends and I had a rockabilly party. One of the newer people to stumble into our little group asked us to play some rockabilly songs, so we all dressed up and someone put together an awesome rockabilly set. We had such a good time that we decided to take a picture. One of our group is a SL photographer, so spent some time getting us all in order. I took this picture while she was still setting up. Hers is better, but mine isn't bad.

attic rockabilly

I'm the tall guy in the middle. I have been fooling around with my avatar lately, and not sure how he ended up so tall. He looks nothing like me in RL.

I've been having out with most of these people for about 5 years now. I was going to say something about how interesting it is that you can make friends with people you have never met in RL, but I don't need to do that here. You know.
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I woke up about 5 minutes before the alarm went up and made some coffee and gave the cats their treats. I got ready for work and left before the sun came up. Tomorrow is the autumn equinox, and the days will continue to get shorter. Ok with me.

One of the nurses on the cardiac unit told me that my student would be taking care of a guy with a brand new really small pacemaker. I had heard about it a few weeks ago, but hadn't yet read anything about it until today. It is really really small. See Picture Below. It is implanted via a catheter through the groin, into the right ventricle of the heart. It has a battery life of up to 12 years. Pretty amazing, considering my phone battery can't even last a day.

Micra"/

While I was hanging out at the hospital today, I thought of something interesting to write here, but now I have forgotten it. I guess it wasn't that interesting after all. What could be more interesting than a picture of my thumb?
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I finished up my lecture this morning and we played an hour of Fluid and Electrolyte Jeopardy. I love when I have the time to do this, and the students enjoy it as well. The great thing about it is it gets them to put down their pens and really think about the information rather than simply taking it down.

I break them into groups that correspond with their clinical groups and start the game. Everyone always goes for the $500 questions first, which are the most difficult. I love hearing the small groups figuring out what the correct answer is--it shows critical thinking. It is also interesting to see the group process, and who takes the lead in problem solving. I have more of these scheduled, and the time to do them.

I took them to the hospital after that, and sat outside reading their journals. It was another beautiful day--in the low 70s with a breeze. My favorite kind of weather. By the time I was heading home, clouds were rolling in, and there was some rain to the north and west of us.

I tried to take a nap, but wasn't tired enough, so I watched the last half of the final Harry Potter movie, then made an early dinner.

insurgent cat

"What are signs and symptoms of Hyperparathyroidism?"

September 19--Hello Kitty Knows Best

Sep. 19th, 2017 08:27 pm
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I presented my first lecture of the semester on fluid and electrolytes. Much of it is preparatory for the content that is to come. It's a long lecture--about 5 hours over 2 days. I'll finish it tomorrow. I don't really need 5 hours. I can cover it in 4, but I use the last hour to play Fluid and Electrolyte Jeopardy.

It was interesting that, even with all the little stories I drop in, the lecture times out to each break almost to the minute. When it is break time, I make a note on the slide "Hour 1, fall 2017" or something like that. I have been on the same slides for my breaks three semesters in a row.

One of my favorite things about lecturing is dropping in those little stories. Sometimes they are related to the content, but sometimes they are just stories about nursing in general. I am very comfortable in the classroom, even though I am a shy introvert. I think I have made that observation previously. Probably every semester, at about the same date. lol.

I had to spend some non-classroom time typing up some more stuff from our accreditation meeting yesterday. I did it early, before class began. I didn't want to go in early, but glad I did so I could get it done and sent out.

Malida and I had dinner at the sushi place again. In spite of having just read some article about never ordering bacon-wrapped anything, I ended up ordering some bacon-wrapped scallops. I saw the author's point. My other disappointment was seeing a frozen gyazo delivery truck parked out back. Anyway, Malida loves the sushi there, so we will be back again.

bacon wrapped anything

The weather is so perfect these days. I sat out in the back yard a bit this afternoon and looked at my garden. there was a hibiscus blossom, and I took a picture. It was pretty low on the plant, so I dubbed it a lowbiscus.

lowbiscus

I engaged in a debate with my first wife's cousin's husband, a Trump Supporter, about the potential repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. We went back and forth, but remained civil. I posed a question four different times: What happens to a person without health insurance, who doesn't meet the criteria for either Medicare or Medicaid, who becomes seriously ill? Do we deny them care? Four times he avoided the question. For me, this question is the heart of the debate.
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Even though the students weren't there today, I had a busy day doing the stuff I do when students aren't there. I got in early to type up the notes from our last 4th semester team meeting so I could send them to my colleagues in advance of our next meeting this morning. Then I worked on accreditation stuff for a while, in anticipation of our accreditation team meeting this afternoon.

In between I worked on my next lecture. It deals with septic shock. The conference I attended last week had all the newest guidelines for sepsis, and a lot has changed in how we screen for sepsis, what we call what we find, and how we treat it. I will need to still teach the old stuff, as the questions on the licensing exams are somewhat behind the latest trends. I will teach the new stuff too, though, because that's what the students will face when they get out in practice.

I called one of my old friends in the ICU who is in my old educator role. We chatted for a bit, and talked about how they are approaching the new guidelines. They are somewhat in the middle, between the old stuff and the new stuff, as is the hospital where I take my students. It took a long time to get people to take sepsis seriously and embrace the old guidelines. It is somewhat gratifying that they embraced them so vigorously that they are reluctant to let go, but they will, as they always do.

We had our team meeting, which went well. I am the faculty lead for our team this semester, and it feels kind of strange to be leading the meetings. I also get stuck taking the notes. In any case, we have a standard format for team notes now, and it works out well.

I usually try and get out of there and get lunch on the way home, but since I had an afternoon meeting, I walked over to the sandwich place next to the coffee place I like. I haven't eaten there in years, since I was in the photography program. After they opened, they invited student artists and photographers to hang their work, and sell it. I was able to hang a bunch of prints, and made more money than I ever expected.

Now that it is so close, I decided to get a sandwich. It was big--so big that I saved half for tomorrow. It was delicious as well, and only one of a substantial sandwich menu. I'll be back for sure.

sandwich

After I ate I got ready for my accreditation team meeting. It was productive, and we are all on the same page. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we need to do that work anyway for our nursing board visit next year.

I came home and watched the first episode of the new Ken Burns documentary on Vietnam. The first episode related the history that led up to the war. Some of it I knew, but much was new to me. I think it is going to be a fascinating and illuminating story, as pretty much everything Ken Burns tackles is.

During our accreditation meeting, we got off track a bit and someone started talking about a student at another nursing program who wanted to take their service dog with them to their clinical rotation in the hospital, and about all the places dogs can't (or shouldn't go) in a hospital. In my mind I thought, "I have my subject line!"

September 17--Into the Woods.

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:31 pm
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I managed to get Malida out into the world, and we drove out to the Cosumnes River Preserve, which is a nature preserve along the Cosumnes River. I seem to recall writing about this place before, and the whole thing about there only being one N in Cosumnes. In any case, we went out there for a walk.

It was a spectacular day for a walk. The temperature was in the mod 70s, and there was a gentle breeze from the west, which is where the best breezes come from. There were quite a few cars parked, but we really didn't see that many people on the trail. It's kind of spread out. We took the loop that goes out to the river, and then back through the fields.

I've been coming here since it first opened back in the 80s. I remember when they planted oak trees that are now getting large. It's always been one of my favorite places to come and think and walk.

into the woods

After our hike, which earned us about 11,000 steps each, we headed to the Korea BBQ place and had a nice lunch, then headed home to enjoy the balance of our weekend.

September 16--My little buddy Al

Sep. 16th, 2017 09:35 pm
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I sat out on the back patio this morning, sipping my coffee and just enjoying the day. Nothing hanging over me. As I was sitting there, I heard the loud hummingbird approaching the feeder. He dwelled there for a moment, then flew toward me. He kind of flew back and forth sideways in front of me, getting closer and closer. When he was about 2 feet from me, he kind of hovered and watched me for close to a minute. Then he flew to the left of me and watched for a bit longer.

The feeder was almost empty, so I took it as a sign that he wanted new food, which I provided. I was thinking about him as I cleaned the feeder. He is the only one who makes noise like that. Most of them are pretty quiet. He is also the one that chases some of the other hummingbirds away from the feeder. I decided that he is the alpha hummingbird for this little piece of the world, and that the sound is deliberate. From now on I will call him Al.

No, I didn't have my camera with me. :(

I went out for a walk in the late morning. Malida is heavy into watching Game of Thrones, so didn't want to leave. This evening she proudly declared that she had walked almost 300 steps today! Lol. She works these 14 hour days, and I don't blame her for staying put on her day off. Tomorrow we are planning a little hike at the wildlife preserve.

I walked in the park. It was kind of overcast, and muggy, but only in the low 80s, which is tolerable. The park was full of people doing things. I did my usual circuit.

the park

This picture looks skewed to the right a bit, but I don't think it is. when I look through the viewfinder, I tend to skew to the left a bit. I don't know. I'm confused now.

Anyway, as I was getting toward the end of the walk, I added a resonator to an Ingress portal, and saw on the screen that this particular action elevated me to the next level. I don't play very aggressively any more, so it has taken a while to get to this level. I was pleased. Later, I looked at the stats generator and it is predicting that, at my current rate of play, I will get the highest level of a particular medal in the year 2080. I'll be 124 years old. Something to live for.

level 13

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2017 04:28 pm
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a butterfly seen head-on on a flower
"If I turn sideways, you can't see me."

September 15--Exam I

Sep. 16th, 2017 11:51 am
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We had our first exam yesterday on the new platform. I got there super early for really no reason, since I had already set everything up, and couldn't open the exam until it was time to open it. So I sat and fretted about it for an hour. I was actually kind of anxious about the whole thing. Our students' grades come entirely from the 5 exams and the final, and I didn't want to be the one to screw things up.

I brought the students into the testing site about 15 minutes early in case there were problems with them getting into the testing site. They were all able to get in just fine. I, on the other hand, was unable to log into the teacher station and had to have the IT guy come up and take a look. Caps lock was on. D'oh!

We started the test on time and it went without a hitch. Meanwhile, at the alternative testing site, they were getting pop-up ads on their test screens, and IT had to come figure it out. Malware, I think.

About halfway through the test, I changed the access password, as the security people recommended. Almost immediately hands shot up all across the room. The students had been kicked out of the test. It was an easy fix and they all got back on. Note to self: don't change the password in the middle of the exam.

After the exam was done, I realized that I had spent so much time building the eval sites and the exam, that I never thought about how to grade it. Fortunately, this platform we are using is really intuitive, and after a couple of clicks I had it figured out. I was sweating it though, imagining all the scores disappearing into the mists, never to return.

Once the exam was graded and the scores were posted, I breathed a sigh of relief, and felt really good about the whole thing. I went home and took a nice nap.

exam 1

September 14--Strawberry

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:02 pm
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I spent the first part of the morning checking my students off on competencies. Unfortunately, there was a room mix-up, and all of our students ended up in a cramped space where we keep our hospital beds. We are still working out the room thing in our trailer village. Interestingly, there is another classroom in our little village, and when we moved, we were told that the program that was in that classroom couldn't be moved, so we weren't going to get the classroom.

Well, the program moved anyway, and the classroom was re-carpeted and repainted within 5 days of them moving out. Yay! Oh, wait, some other non-nursing program move in. Meanwhile, we are doing skills labs in a closet. Grrrr.

The balance of the day was spent assembling our first exam and figuring out how our two testing sites will work. Test security is a big deal, and no one is quite clear on how to optimize the security with this new platform. Apparently nursing is one of the few programs that utilizes computerized testing on campus, which just blows my mind.

I think I have it figured out, though it involves a lot of manually shifting the open and close dates in both testing sites, and trying to turn off our course site at the same time. By this time tomorrow, we will all know whether it worked or not. My reputation as the tech guy in the department is riding on it. :)

I read an interesting story about a guy who says he met Vladimir Putin in Paris in 1982, and described their adventures together. I don't think it is true, but it is a fascinating read. Here is the link: Vladimir on acid

We don't really have adequate bathroom facilities in the trailer village, so I generally mosey over to the art building, which is new, and has great bathrooms. One of the best things about being near the art building, other than the bathrooms, is all the random art that pops up in the breezeways and surrounding areas. It is an ever-changing landscape. I love walking around over there.

art guy
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I attended the cardiology conference today. There were about 8 speakers, presenting topics over 45 minutes each. It was one of the best conferences I have been to in a long time. I learned the latest on a bunch of things, saw some cool videos, and saw some people I hadn't seen in a long time. All my students were there as well, and they seemed to enjoy it.

The coolest thing I saw was a video that a cardiovascular interventionist showed of a robotic-assisted heart valve repair. There are 4 arms inserted between the ribs, and two surgeons control them remotely, sitting at consoles with a screen and hand controllers. I have never seen anything like it. Google DaVinci Robotics if you want to see more about it.

davinci robotics

I saw a bunch of former students there, some from years ago, as well as someone I worked with when I was a brand-new nurse. I couldn't remember her name, but she remembered mine. I really enjoyed it. This healthcare organization, Dignity, is really great about making sure my students have a good experience.

After I got home I rested for a while. The temps are in the 70s this evening, and I opened all the windows to let the cool air in. Mook came and sat with me, and gave my foot a tail hug.

mook tail

We have skills lab on campus tomorrow, then our first test on Friday. We are using a whole new testing platform, and I am the one setting it up. I'm hoping it works, but if it doesn't then I'm hoping for a spectacular failure. Not really--I want it to work.
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I had to get out of the neighborhood early today because they are repaving our streets this week, and were closing them off by 7 am. Same thing for the next two days. It doesn't really matter, because I almost always leave well before 7.

I was kind of bored at work today. I didn't do any teaching until noon, so it was mostly just working on lectures and stuff. I posted my lecture notes for the next month after doing a little updating. I've done a lot of work revising them the past two semesters, and not much left to work on until we get a new text book.

I started making a Jeopardy game for some of my content. I have two of them already for fluid and electrolytes and the kidney stuff. This one is on the different types of shock. I always do them at the end of the lecture. The students seem to love them. I break them up into teams and the winning team gets bragging rights.

One of the local hospital systems is having a cardiology conference tomorrow. The coordinator called me last semester and asked if we wanted to bring our students, for free. So all the students are going tomorrow. I am too--lots of good topics. This hospital ends up hiring a lot of my students, and I think it is great that they are so supportive of them.

turkey

I took only one photograph today, and it was pretty boring, so I am going with one I took on my adventure right before school started back up. It's pretty boring as well, but that's how it goes sometimes. This is near a river, and it was a beautiful spot, No one was there. I captured a portal at the end of a dirt road, which I still have.

I'm hoping I can hold it for a while, but I am guessing someone will take it down eventually. If you can hold onto a portal for 150 days, you get a medal. There is a guy on the opposing team that uses a program to see how long someone has held a portal, and sends people out to kill it just before it reaches 150 days. I had three of them scattered around up in the Sierras that reached 143 days last year, and someone went up and killed them all. I expect the same thing will happen this time. It's cheating, but what can you do?
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I spent some time this day reflecting on the events of 9/11 and how it fundamentally changed our country. I also remembered the son of a friend, who died the day before of a drug overdose. The two always go hand in hand for me. I lost my faith on 9/11, and don't think I ever found it again. Wandering in the wilderness.

We had our first faculty meeting of the semester today. It was lively and productive. We have a new faculty member who has a good sense of what is going on, and it was great to hear her voice in the discussion.

The new socks I wore today:

socks

I showed them to my colleagues, and they were quite surprised that I would wear socks like this. I guess I am perceived as a button-down type. I'm not--that's just my disguise.

One of my friends who is an awesome photographer, and is taking a class on campus this semester, posted a photo on Facebook the other day of the water tower next to my office. It was so interesting, and so unlike anything I would ever think to photograph. I love that. I love how other photographers can see the same space so differently than I do.

It stimulated me to take another look at the immediate environment around my office/cubicle trailer, and see what I could see. Across from our trailers is the old aeronautical building. It's just classrooms now, but used to be a place where they would test old airplane engines, and it had two towers, that acted as some sort of exhaust system. Now they are just towers. So that's what I photographed today, along with the half moon. I used a Snapseed filter to make it dramatic.

lusk and moon
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