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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Clancy & Sister Mary Kate

Clancy was in Dublin on a business trip and decided to head to a local pub for a drink. Standing outside the bar was Sister Mary Kate holding a tin cup. As Clancy threw a few bucks into her cup the nun launched into a long tirade about the evils of alcohol. She went on and on about how alcohol was tearing apart the fabric of society and how it was the root of all the city's problems.

Slightly ticked off at having to listen to this, Clancy said, "Listen sister, I work hard for my money and sometimes at the end of a long day I like a drink or two.  That doesn't make me a bad person. I have a wife I idolize and two wonderful kids at home. I provide for my family, I volunteer my time to several local service clubs and I contribute regularly to various charities. Yet you stand here and condemn me just because I drink the occasional sip of Jameson!" The nun was slightly taken aback and replied, "I see your point my son and I apologize if I offended you but the alcohol is such a powerful demon that all who consume it are doomed..."

 "Look there you go again," said Clancy. "How can you make such a sweeping statement. Have you ever even TRIED alcohol?" "Of course not!" gasped Sister Mary Kate, "The evil alcohol has never touched my lips." "Do you really think that one glass of booze can change you from a devout nun to some kind of evil degenerate?" "Well, I really don't know ..." "I'll tell you what," Clancy says.  "Come into the bar with me and I'll buy you a drink. One drink. I'll prove to you that 'evil' is not inside the glass, it's inside the person." "Oh, I could never be seen going into such a den of inequity, it's out of the question," said Sister Mary Kate.

"However, your comment about evil residing in the person rather than the glass is quite intriguing. I must admit you've aroused a curiosity in me." "Well let's go inside and settle this!" "No my son, I could never enter such a place... but how about this. Take my tin cup with you and fill it with this "Jameson" you mentioned. Bring it out to me and I'll try it." "You're on!" said Clancy. The nun removed all the change and handed him the tin cup. Clancy went into the bar and said to the bartender, "Two Jameson, and could you put one of them in this tin cup please?"

The bartender sighed and asked, "Is that nun out there again?"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Found: Purple Carrots in My Garden

What a shock it was when Wifey showed me the two purple carrots she pulled out of our raised bed gardens. We planted these stupid things around March of this year and not only gave up on them but also planted another crop on top of them.

The second crop, beans, failed miserably as well.  Either I planted these carrots at the wrong time or they just take darn near a full year to grow. Needless to say, the two brought in the house were just under the size of a traditional grocery store sized carrot.  They were purple on the outside and orange on the inside.

Best of all...they tasted delicious. Yummy or not, I don't think I'll mess with these again. They were an experimental crop and we learned lots from them. Same with the Indian corn. It grew very well and was a pleasure to look at. Not such a pleasure to eat. Some ears were delicious (solid yellow in color), other ears were a bit tough to chew (multicolored kernals).

The squash, cucumbers and watermelon did terrifically well. The entire front pumpkin patch spawned TWO pumpkins.  And rather small pumkins at that.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Passing Hello

A quick entry into my dusty blog to say hello to my fellow bloggers.  Life is moving swiftly on my end as I work feverishly to keep up. Kids are all flourishing and enjoying school (gasp!)  Wifey is sewing her fingers to the bone getting ready for Christmas as we've promised to give only handmade goodies to family this year.  I am working twice as hard, or so it seems, at my hospitals to perform my regular duties and a few new ones.

I'm still watching all that is going on around us in this crazy world.  I'm not sure I believe the true nature of the Occupy Wall Street crowd.  Seeing Michael Moore and Al Gore attend some OWS rallies put them under scrutiny in my eyes.  Now Drudge says good 'ol ACORN is involved in another OWS movement.  I am still shocked at what they got away with (electing Obama with all their voter fraud).

Gerald Celente still proves to be a terrific indicator of what is happening now and what to expect in the future.  I have been an active (paid) subscriber of his now for three years.  He has helped me to "see the light" on the need for preparedness and is one of the people that spurred me to start becoming prepared.  His warnings led me to Survivalblog and the rest is history. (Of course, this coincided with my joining the LDS church who, as most know, are HUGE on preparedness).

I still have enough food to provide about a year's worth of nutrition for my family.  I haven't begun to plant crops for this season and I'm not sure if I'm too late now.  We are finally getting a cold spell in central Arizona. I'll have to look at my charts and see if my fellow bloggers have any advice (Anne...help!) ;-)

Just about everything that can break down...is breaking down mechanically right now.  Toilets, sinks, garbage disposal, radiator, catalytic converter, oil leaks x 2, my Crown Berkey (sob), refridgerator.  The rewards of actually keeping assets instead of renting them has caught up to me.  My ten year old house, and all appliances that came with it, is crumbling (or so it seems.)  Both vehicles are in serious need of repair.

Such is life. How are ya'll?

~OJD

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gift Ideas for Young Women

As I sit here laboring over the glorious chore of untangling our monthly financial home budget, I realize Christmas is getting near.  Wifey and I always do our best attempting to create the perfect Christmas morning for our six little girls. 

We scour the internet for gift ideas and reach to the back of our brains in an endless effort to find something our girls will appreciate and find useful without breaking the bank.  This year, as a family, we have declared to only give gifts we can make with our hands so that they come from the heart and not some nameless catalog.

With Wifey's mastery of homemade bread, I'm sure that will be the centerpiece of many gift baskets to extended family.  Her self-taught sewing skills have grown by leaps and bounds and undoubtedly will contribute numerous items to the gift giving.  Personally, I have become quite good at making jerky from hamburger and will most likely contribute in that respect...at least, if I don't eat it all first.

To skip to the point of my post, I'd like to ask my readers (if I have any left after my short hiatus during October) what is the best gift you can remember getting from YOUR father?  Particularly, I'm interested in hearing what you female readers remember getting from your fathers OR what you Dads have been proud to give your little girls.  Raised as an only child (most) of my young life, I can't say I was exposed much to giving gifts to young women.  Since I have six, I could use some ideas. Thanks in advance.

So, what was the best gift your Daddy ever gave you?

~OJD

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Still Plugging Away...

Thanks to help from a co-worker, we were able to do twice the work in half the time tonight.  I should be caught up for at least an hour. Thought I'd put some proverbial pen to the paper real quick.

Our family vacation to Disneyland the first week of October was near perfect.  Wifey and I had put so much into planning that I'm not sure if we could've had MORE fun than we did.  She has packing down to a science and I worked tons of overtime to ensure we had the cash for everything we wanted to do and see.

It did rain pretty heavily one day on the trip.  We stuck it out (in the park) until a little after noon time.  At that point, our feet were soggy and our toddlers' hands were cold.  We shuffled back to the rental house and enjoyed our evening inside.

I'm begrudgingly back in the groove at work.  Still cross-training on MRI scanning but enjoying the change in scenery.  It is amazing what science can do these days in the field of medicine.  I've been at work almost every day since we've been back from vacation, whether it be for a few hours or an entire 12 hour shift.  I tried to take my first "sick day" of the year and stay home to help the family with some stuff.  Wifey was sick and kids had science projects and church treks to pack for.  Sure enough, one hour into my "night off" and I was called in to work.  My replacement for the night shift doesn't know Ultrasound scanning so, by default, I was still on call even after calling in sick.  So, I went to work for about two hours and quickly scampered back home.

The weekend we returned from Disneyland, I learned of a horrible DUI crash that claimed the life of my friend's 11 year old son.  My friend was on-call one Friday night for our Nuclear Medicine department and was called to the hospital around 2am.  His wife was out of town so he took his 11 & 7 year old sons with him on this ride.  A drunk driver, attempting to ditch the police whom were chasing him, ran a red light and t-boned my friend.  His 11 year old died at the hospital that night from blunt head trauma.  His 7 year old had a pelvic fracture and splenic laceration but will survive. My friend was also released with no major injuries (physical anyway.)

This bothered me for a few days and I had a hard time with the tragedy.  As a father of six, I have no idea how I would deal with the loss of one of my children.  As a result, I appreciated my time with them each day just that much more.

My friend currently on the Biggest Loser show is hanging in there.  I believe he's in the final three now.  I've only received a few text messages from him since his homecoming.  I enjoy watching the episodes as they air on Hulu every Wednesday morning.  Kinda funny how they are ignoring John when he's clearly the one with the biggest potential to win the show. He had almost zero camera time on the first episode yet he lost a whopping 37 pounds in the first week.  Guess he didn't provide enough drama?

Gotta run.  As soon as I typed "down time" some work popped up for me.  The ER is getting busier at nights now. I can tell the winter is approaching soon.  Once the "snow birds" get here from back east, I'll be wishing I was back on vacation again.  Hell... I already do.

~OJD

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Disneyland Trip 2011

Wifey made tie-dye mickey shirts for the whole clan.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Protect Your Investment - CDN Freezer Alarm $8

Bought the CDN Audio Visual Freezer Alarm for our backup freezer.  When we had an addition added on to the back of our home, the electrical part must not have been done up to code because every now and then we trip a breaker.  I think it is when we run the air conditioner in the additional room AND use the treadmill.  Problem is, the outlets that it trips also run the standup freezer where all our backup frozen meat is store.

The other day, it tripped and Wifey figured it out about 24 hours later.  Let's just say there was some blood running down the inside of the freezer door thanks to the thawing.  I have had the freezer alarm on my Amazon Want List for a while as a redundancy check.  After this incident, and the fact that it was only $8, I went ahead and purchased it.

It is a very simple mechanism.  Powered by two AA batteries.  You simply stick it near the hinge side of the door on the outside and run a cable sensor inside the freezer.  Give the gizmo 20 minutes to get used to the new temperature and then turn it on.  It will let out a shrill alarm sound when the inside sensor raises in temperature.

Peace of mind for $8.  Gotta love that!

~OJD

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Training on the Signa 1.5 Tesla MRI

Our Signa 1.5T MRI machine.
I've been busy the past ten days driving back and forth from my hospital (no MRI machine) to our East Campus (has MRI machine) to do my cross training.  It is actually more exciting than I thought it would be at first.

I've steered clear of those giant magnets after seeing all the pictures of gurneys and oxygen tanks sucked into the room and doing massive damage.  With my luck, I figured, that'll happen to me if I work in there.

But I've become more familiar with the machine and it's not such a big deal anymore.  There are safeguards in place such as questionnaires and metal detectors which almost guarantee no problems.  A verbal follow up with the patient and there is very little left to chance.

I've also learned that certain equipment has been made specifically for MRI rooms.  I took a picture of our oxygen tank which is rated to be usable all the way up to a 7 Tesla coil rating (our's is 1.5T).  The MRI table can undock and be moved outside of the magnet room if a patient is unable to walk into the room on their own.  We load the patient onto the table and wheel them into the magnet room for safety.

Our fire extinguisher is for MRI Use Only.
So far, I've done several MRIs and MRAs: Brain, COW (Circle of Willis), hand, forearm, and MRCPs for the most part. Soon to follow will be knees, shoulders and hips, I'm sure.  They seem to get ordered a lot.  Sleep time has taken a hit but someone once told me "you get enough sleep when you're dead."  Hard to argue that one.

~OJD

Friday, September 16, 2011

New Developments

My plate: XR (xray) CT (ct scan) & US (ultrasound)
and my score card: six daughters.
It has been a busy week around here lately.  I've blogged about our recent birthday party and coming home celebration for a friend.  The school year is in full swing and mom and dad's taxi service seems to be running 24/7.

I tweaked my schedule a tad to add a little extra income for our upcoming annual trip to Disneyland.  It means a little less time at home for me but guarantees the family will have an unforgettable vacation in The Happiest Place on Earth.  We are already getting excited as we talk about what we will be doing.

An unexpected new development occured two Saturdays ago when I inadvertently crossed the path of my boss while visiting a friend at work.  And when I say boss, I don't mean my Lead (Manager), or my Director...I mean the doctor that owns the hospital.  He invited me to the hospital cafeteria and treated me to a omelette of my choice.  While waiting for the food we had pleasant conversation.  It's always nice when administration acknowledges your existence.  Working the night shift for so many years, I sometimes wonder if admin even knows who I am.

As I shifted the conversation from hospital financials to gainful employment, I admitted I was considering returning to school to learn additional skills.  I had began employment at this hospital after completing my radiography rotation here and simultaneously learned computed tomography.  I continued to work full time as I returned to school for yet another two years from which I completed training for sonography.

Having these three skill sets, X-ray, CT, and Ultrasound, my employment outlook was just about as bright as it could be...or so I thought.  As I mentioned the idea of learning echocardiography to my boss, he, in turn, asked if I could learn magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. I mentioned echo training one more time to which he replied that he really needed an MRI tech on staff.  My previous Director had filled this position until his passing from cancer earlier this year.

Fast forward two weeks and I've been given permission to cross-train into the MRI department.  I now get called in to the hospital every time our PRN (part time employee) gets called in to do a study.  I started today and learned the protocol for performing an MRA Brain.  I will continue coming in and training every time an MRI is ordered until I am ready to perform the basic studies on my own.  Dare I mention (for fear I might wake up) that this is PAID training.

It became clear to me that our hospital is paying higher wages to PRN techs every time we get an MRI because we do not have a full time MRI tech on our staff.  Neither of our PRN techs can be hired full time (both have full time jobs already).  I hadn't really had time to think about all the possibilities of this new door I have opened until I received a text message from our Interim Director tonight.  He asked if I was interested in moving to day shift and becoming the hospital's full time MRI tech (after training).

Is this where I've been heading?  I've been on the night shift for so long...do I want to go back to days?  I passed on the news to Wifey.  She was quick to point out that with such a move: 1) I would be home every night, 2) we could sleep in the same bed at the same time, and 3) I would have weekends off to spend with family.  She was clearly leaning to one side on the issue.  I don't blame her one bit.

Strange the way things play out sometimes.  But I won't count my chickens before they hatch.  First things first, let's get the training under my belt.  Then we can negotiate hours and pay.  So I'll be a little more tired for the next few months as I balance working full time with random returns to work to learn another skill.  It will probably slow down my blogging a little but I'll still post several times each week. I'm dying to post an xray of a male patient we had with a foreign body lodged in his rectum.  Did I mention it was a baseball?  Anyway, darn hospital policies prohibit me from doing that kind of stuff anymore.  Now it just gets locked away inside my little mental rolodex.  Lucky me :-(

~OJD

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Luau Themed Birthday Party

Lexi, or #3 as Wifey calls her, turned eleven this past week and she requested a Luau themed birthday party.  Lucky for me, the local dollar store was chock full of Luau decorations.  All together, around ten girls came to the party.  Add that to my six and we had a full house.

The invitations asked the girls to bring their favorite games to the party.  They spent the first hour or so playing Clue, Connect 4 and other classics.  We played the movie Back to the Future in the background for anyone not interested in games.

As I ran to the local pizza joint for some last minute food, Wifey administered a game where she hung a dozen or so donuts from the ceiling by a string.  The girls had to eat the donuts without using their hands.  From the sounds of it, I missed some hilarious stuff.

The cake was from a local Albertson's store and followed the Luau theme.  Lexi asked for the icing that "tastes like whipped creme" so that's what I ordered.  Snacks were a plenty: pretzels, chips, salsa, coconut marshmellows, three types of caffeine free soda and more.

Everyone had a great time and cleanup actually wasn't too bad.  Lexi's favorite gift was a gold fish.  Yup, someone got her a gold fish complete with bowl and food.

Already planning to get THAT girl a drum set for her birthday gift.  Or any other LOUD instrument I can find ;-)

She named him Tommy and Wifey and I have started the countdown clock.  How long will he last?  Less than a week if my 2, 3, or 5 year old get at him.

Time goes by fast, I'm glad we took the time to set up for the party and enjoy her birthday.  We all spent the whole day cleaning and preparing.  Lexi didn't quite understand why we needed to do so much cleaning.  I tried to explain to her that nothing comes without a price.  She's still kinda opening her eyes to how the world works.  It's fun to watch...frustrating at times...but fun.

Pinata and Luau Beach House.
Happy Birthday kiddo.

Monday, September 12, 2011

It Wasn't a Ferris Bueller

Rules for a successful skip school day.
After a long, interesting day I found myself accusing my five year old of attempting to pull a "Ferris Bueller" to get out of school the next day.  FB is one of our favorite family movies where a high school student pretends to be sick in order to go site-seeing all day with his pals.

As Wifey and I laughed at the notion, the splatter of puke hitting the floor in our tile hallway could be heard...several times.

Guess I was wrong.  Somebody gets to stay home from school tomorrow.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Power Outage and Gridlock in California

Just three short weeks before our annual trip to Disneyland and nearby San Diego goes dark.  Reportedly, two main incoming power lines that supply southern California have been "severed".

Of course, no mention of HOW they severed.  Surely wouldn't be terror related.  Meanwhile, massive gridlock cripled the city and has spurred me to pack an emergency pack for our stay in Anaheim.

I'm thinking some emergency candles, coleman stove, first aid and rations should do.

Eating Healthy...well, healthier...

Now that Wifey and I have started back to the gym, I need to start eating a little better.  I'm slowly getting back into the morning protein drink routine.

On the right is a picture of my slow ease back into protein consumption.  I think the Whey is from Walmart.  I've had the flax around for a while, it may even be inert by now but I added it into the mix anyway.

A little bit of honey to sweeten the mix and it wasn't too bad.  I'm working on moving away from two large meals a day and back into three reasonable meals with healthy snacks in the middle.  I know a Best Buy promotional code that can get you a good blender to mix the protein.

Any recommendations on good tasting protein powder is welcome although, I'll have to admit, most of the time I buy based on cost (hence the Walmart protein).

~OJD

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Puts my squash to shame...

Add caption
Stopped in at my local fav Farmers Market today for some apples and other juicables.  Laying in the pile of Butternut Squash was this monster.

Thinking my own B. squash skills had been put to shame, the owner told me this was a Banana Squash and it was average size for that species.

Wow. I couldn't resist sending a pic to Wifey.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Homemade Hamburger Beef Jerky

My Nesco dehydrator and jerky.
I made another batch of delicious jerky this past evening.  This time I used a different jerky gun adapter.  This adapter makes one big wide strip while the last one I used made two smaller strips.

I can say that the smaller dual strip adapter is what I will use from now on.  It makes no difference in the taste of course, but I noticed a big difference in space management on the dehydrator racks.  The dual adapter allows me to put more jerky per rack.

The fragrance wafting off this jerky was so wonderful that Wifey had a daughter blow out our fragrance candle so we could enjoy the jerky smell.

This is all part of the Nesco jerky kit found on Amazon.  I highly recommend it if you haven't already figured out your own recipe.

~OJD

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I Should Have Seen It Coming.

Repair kit on the right = cheap
Broken porcelain on left = NOT cheap
One of our two toilets broke about a week ago.  I had to wait until I had a day off to fix it.  Imagine my surprise when the cost of the broken part was about $10.  Finally, some good financial news.  I should have seen it coming.

I began tearing apart the toilet.  Aside from the black stuff building up on my hands from the ten year old grommets in the toilet tank, the repair was seemingly straight forward.  I should have seen it coming.

Contorting myself to fit between the wall and toilet while  I bent on one knee with my left hand forcing a screw driver into the tank and my right hand ratcheting a nut onto a bolt under the tank.  I almost impressed myself considering I have ZERO experience with toilet repair.  That's when I heard it.

Crack!  My heart skipped a beat as my $10 repair turned into a $200 repair because I just overtightened the nut and cracked the porcelain toilet bowl.  I should have seen it coming.

For some reason, when I attempt a seemingly easy repair myself, it tends to turn into a big, hairy mess.

Which is why I took my gas guzzling Suburban to the shop for an oil change today.  $40 and 60 minutes later, Big O Tire informed me that the vehicle I would be depending on to take my family 600 miles to Disneyland in four weeks needed just under $2000 in repairs.

Low coolant led them to pressure test my radiator and I've been informed the radiator is "completely falling apart."  Of course, they can't recommend a new radiator without new hoses, thermostat, etc etc.

Long story made short, they recommended front hubs, a 100,000 mile tune up, complete radiator overhaul and more that I can't remember.  I went in for an oil change.  I should have seen it coming.

Some day I'll share the story about how I tried to save $50 and do my own tune up.  I cracked the spark plug in half inside the engine block.  The dealership had to take the head off the block and hone out the spark plug hole.  It cost me over $1000.

This day just plain sucked.

Friday, September 2, 2011

O...M...G !

I think it automatically cut off at this point. Damn Suburban's gonna break me.

Wanted: horse and buggy.

Surprise For Wifey

Surprised Wifey with some Bosch accessories.  Bought on the way to work and laid them out for this pic...then sent the pic to her.

In the words of Paul Blart's daughter (from Mall Cop)..."Yeah, I am pretty great."

Good Potato Yield

These were dangling from ONE potato plant. I'm plenty satisfied with this amount of yield considering each "plant" started as about a quarter piece of a single potato.  These were purchased from my local Sprouts market (grocer).

I also bought purple potatoes and while they sprouted terrifically ABOVE ground, under ground the spuds maxed around the size of a pencil eraser (the kind you stick on the end of a pencil). VERY pathetic.

Live and learn.

Sending mini posts from my Droid

I'm experimenting with sending mini posts from my cell phone instead of waiting until I can write up an entire page from my desktop. It SHOULD allow me to share more ideas "as they happen" but it looks strange to me to post such short blog posts.

Sad Pumpkin Yield

The results of my ENTIRE pumpkin garden [facepalm].

My Little Friend

Found inches from my front door.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Found Lonesome Dove Tonight

Wow, what a great series!  Made in 1989, I don't know why I haven't watched Lonesome Dove before now.  With a cast loaded with terrific actors and actresses, I enjoyed all four episodes of Season One tonight.  I admit that I had a little trouble accepting the overly drawn out southern drawl from Tommy Lee and Robert Duvall but I quickly warmed up to it.

I spent my first 21 years in Oklahoma with the constant reminders of cowboys, country music and farmland.  Oddly enough, and perhaps due to the daily reminders, I wanted nothing to do with the country life.  I wanted to read the Wall Street Journal with a purpose and wear clothes that were called "preppy" by those that I went to school with.

I wanted to drive a Porsche or something similar and live in  Nichols Hills, known as a wealthy subdivision in OKC.  I'm not sure what influenced me onto such a tangent.  I came from a middle class family with not much in the way of possessions.  We had a modest 3 bedroom home on the edge of the city.  I had next to nothing but wanted to live like a king.

Funny how things change with age.

Funny I should pick up a subscriber named Duke
tonight.  I took this pic when I got to work a few
hours ago.
Flash forward 20 years.  Wifey and I talk about farm life, growing our own food, and yearn for a homestead outside of town.  We avoid roads with heavy traffic and shop at our local Farmer's Market for good, quality produce.  Our garden yielded nice produce this past season and we're planning our next crop choices.  There's nothing I'd like better than to get back to those country folks that always waved when we drove by and I'm quite happy in my plain t-shirts from Target for $8, thank you.

They say home is where the heart is and my heart is here in Arizona with my beautiful family.  But I guess a part of me will always be back in Oklahoma and Lonesome Dove sure made me miss it.

Hope the next series with John Voight is equally as good.  Too bad his daughter isn't in it ;-)


~OJD

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Lost the Car...AND THE KIDS!

1970 Chevelle (not THE car but just like it).
I snuck out my dad's 1970 Chevelle and drove it a couple hours north to Prescott.  I parked it in a parking lot and stayed the night somewhere.  The next morning when I got up, the car was gone.  It had been towed to a local mechanic shop for some reason. 

When I found it and demanded it back, the employees started shooting at me.  I ran into some thick brush to escape.  I made my way to a hotel and asked to use the phone at the front desk.  I decided it was time to call my wife and tell her what I had done.  I would have to ask her to drive our Suburban two hours north to come pick me up because now I had no car and no money.

Just then, my mother-in-law walked down the stairs.  Hadn't seen her in years.  She said her and my dad found my daughters in the hotel lobby last night!  Had I taken them with me and forgot?  Did I actually lose my children for a whole night and not even realize it?

My three oldest girls came down the stairs but they were little girls again.  Must have been 3, 5 and 6 years old or so (in real life they are now 10, 12, and 14.)  But there they were as cute as could be with their hair in pig tails just like Wifey used to do for them.  My three littlest girls were not there.  Last down the stairs was my dad.

There wasn't much conversation about how or why, the girls simply ran over to me while dad and MIL left.  I think I told him about the Chevelle but I'm not sure now.

I couldn't get the old phone on the counter to work properly to call my wife for help.  I didn't have a cell phone.  We were stuck and I was worried.  We found some lasagna in an aluminum tray left in a banquet room at the hotel.  We snacked a little and I grabbed the tray and carried it as we left the building.

We began to wander the streets, kids and lasagna in tow, as I tried to figure out what to do next.  Stuck in a town two hours away from home with no money, transportation or cell phone.

Then I woke up. Thank goodness! I was stressing out in this stupid dream.

Would Freud say I'm a little stressed?
I'll take a stab at a post dream analysis and say I must be worried about providing for my family.  I'm not sure why I took the car.  My dad doesn't even own a Chevelle.  The one in my dream looked just like my roommate's car back in college, circa 1993. 

I don't know why my dad and mother-in-law were at the hotel in Prescott, they live in Oklahoma.  But I'm guessing my subconscious brought them in my thought to remind me of how much of a failure I'd feel to be to my dad if I couldn't take care of my own family and family responsibilities such as watching my own kids (how the heck could I not even know I took them with me?)

It was odd that I had no cell phone since I carry it everywhere I go.  And where was my money?  In this dream, I had been reduced to the clothing on my back.  It was NOT a good feeling.

The lasagna probably represented my concern for keeping my kids fed and the act of carrying it around town signified that I was worried about where the next meal would come from.  Wifey never made it into the dream and neither did my three littlest daughters.  There's probably more of the dream that I don't remember as is often the case.  But it's apparent to me that something is seeping into my subconscious (or maybe even conscious thought) warning me that I need to pay attention to my obligations.  The feelings of fear and inadequacy in the pit of my stomach for having failed my family, although just a dream, felt real enough that I can not allow it to come true...ever.

Man, I hate these dreams sometimes.

Do you remember YOUR dreams? Are they unsettling to you sometimes?

~OJD

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pink Roses, Pineapple Burgers, and Eternity.

Another enjoyable weekend at the Jeep Hacienda.  Made the most of having four days off in a row.  Enjoyed some delicious food (some from our own garden) and great company.

Isabella and Grandma, ages 5 and 59.
Grandma (my mom) had her 59th birthday and we celebrated by taking her to dinner.  I brought along a few daughters just in case the subject of age had her in the dumps.  Nothing brings on the smiles like a couple of innocent little girls.  I took my five and ten year old and met her at a Chili's restaurant near her work.  She teaches part of the curriculum for medical assisting / medical billing at a local technical school.  We talked about my girls and what they thought of their newly started school year, among other things.

She's caught in the rut of living paycheck to paycheck.  Then something will break (car, dishwasher) and she'll end up putting the repair on a credit card thus extending the never ending cycle.  I've offered to help, however I can, but she's too stubborn to accept.  She didn't think things would turn out this way as life moves on.  She's put in long, hard hours for a long time and doesn't see a light at the end of the tunnel anymore.  She used to dream with me as we'd make lists of places we'd like to visit someday: Egypt, Africa, Europe, Australia.  Last time I attempted to draw her into the game, she bluntly stated that she doesn't play that game anymore...because there's no chance of it ever happening now.  Lesson learned: Plan ahead...WAY ahead.  We parted with a hug in the Chili's parking lot and I shifted my focus to my silly girls falling haphazardly into the back of my little Jeep.

Bison burger with pineapple, bacon & terriyaki.
The next day we thawed some frozen bison from our prep freezer.  We mixed it with a little beef just to make sure the kids didn't notice the difference in taste.  I packed it into large patties and grilled them indoors on my griddles.  Nothing guarantees a rain storm like plans to grill outdoors.  Sure enough, as Wifey and I talked about grilling our bison burgers outside, the rain clouds rolled in.  To make the burgers even more delightful, we bathed them in terriyaki sauce and topped them with a pineapple ring and bacon.  You know a meal was done up right when you can reheat it the next day and it tastes exactly the same.  Luckily for me, we had a few burgers left over that night and I got to enjoy them two days in a row.

We don't stock pineapple rings at our place so it gave me the perfect excuse to run to the store.  Did I mention I was at home for four days with six girls (seven including Wifey)?  Yup, a run to the store was refreshing.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to pick up some lovely pink roses.  The young woman at the checkout counter whispered to me with a glint of suggestion in her eye "They're only $6.99 for a dozen..."  I nodded in agreement with her female foresight and was pleased with the idea of presenting such a lovely bouquet to Wifey at such an agreeable price.  Lesson learned: A beautiful gift doesn't have to be expensive.

Mr Dark Brown Carpet...meet Mr. Bleach.
Of course, the week isn't complete without the Mayhem duo (3 year old Chloe & 5 year old Isabella) stirring up a little trouble.  We've lived in our current house since 2001 with our oldest now 14 and not once, NOT ONCE, did we ever worry about leaving the laundry bleach bottle in the laundry room.  It has a child proof cap ya know.  Well, leave it to the Mayhem sisters to not only decide to transport the bleach bottle from the laundry room to the living room but somehow the cap was also taken off the bottle. 

Now, I've bragged for at least two years now about how smart it was for me to install dark chocolate brown colored carpet in our living room because it hides every kind of spill and stain the little carpet munchers can throw at it.  Never in my dreams did I think they would cart the bleach bottle in there and dump it upside down on the dark brown carpet.  Right in a place that can't be covered by moving the couch and a throw rug would look silly tossed to that particular location near the edge.  Looks like I'll be experimenting with brown dye next weekend. Lesson learned: if they can get to it, they will...eventually.  Put it away properly.

Nothing says LOVE like roses and burgers, right?
Speaking of how smart I am, did I mention I installed locking door knobs on all the older girls rooms?  See, the big girls leave their doors open when they leave for school.  Then the little ones have an all day treasure hunt as they search for makeup, markers, scissors and such with which to destroy any last little corner of the house that happened to remain clean from the prior day.  But not with me around, no sir. Not with my superior intelligence.  I presented each older daughter with a room key and explained that this was an exercise to start preparing them for having their own dorm, apartment, or home someday.  "Keep your things locked up and safe," I'd say as I proudly handed over the keys.

Now, I was even smart enough to make spares.  One spare for each of the three daughters.  What I didn't count on was them systematically losing their keys and secretly fetching mine to use for access.  Well, this was the weekend that the oldest daughter lost the spare too...after her room door was locked...by her friend that was staying the night.  Normally, I would have told her to sleep in the living room and I'd deal with it the next day.  Locksmith if necessary, should my own skills prove a failure.  But fate chose to have it happen on a night when we had company.  Needless to say, we are now in need of a new door knob (be it the locking kind or not, I don't know yet) and some glue to put the stupid door back together.  Lesson learned: I should have made backups to the backups.

Mesa Temple, August 27 2011
I don't think I have any fellow Mormons reading my blog but I should mention that this was an unforgettable weekend for one more reason.  This past Saturday Wifey and I were Sealed for all eternity in the presence of God.  Followed by the Sealing of all my little angels.  The expression of true happiness visible on my wife's face was an image I'll never forget.  It reminded me of our wedding day 13 years ago only there wasn't a hint of worry on her face this time ;-)  All my little angels, gowned in dresses of pure white, completed our family circle as we smiled in God's presence.  Lesson learned: through God, all things are possible.

We ended the weekend with some potatoes from our garden.  Five year old baked one and gobbled it up sprinkled with cheese while big Sister attempted to make potato chips using vegetable oil and a deep pan.  I took my prerequisite short nap to bolster me through my first night shift back at work.  It only took about two hours into my shift before Wifey and I were texting each other about how we wish I was still home.  It's strange what you realize at 3am sometimes.  Today, at 3am, I realized that witnessing the worst bleach spot on my dark carpet is still better... than the best day... at work.

Lesson learned: enjoy every minute.

~OJD

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Life is Hard, it's Harder if you're Stupid - John Wayne

I had the chance to peruse some John Wayne movies this evening.  I'm always up for a good western.  Things seemed so much more "cut and dry" back then.  Nowadays, everyone seems to mamby pamby about everything.  Schools don't want to give children a grade of "F" for fear it might make them sad.  Jobs go to people with certain skin color rather than skill set to keep the status quo.

As I watched the movie McLintock for the first time, there was a scene I particularly enjoyed more than most.  I'll try to paint an accurate picture for you and share the lesson learned.  A young man needed a job to help support his mother and sister.  McLintock (John Wayne) owned just about everything in town.  After having asked McLintock for a job more than once, the young man decided not to ask any more rather than beg, advice offered him by the town bum. "It always works for me" he says in a mumble.

The young man finally explains his plight to McLintock and in exchange is finally offered employment.  The hobo, standing nearby, smiles at the young man in an "I told you so" manner.  Flustered with the feelings of having had begged for the job, the young man took a swing at McLintock.  He missed and was sent flying against a horse and to the ground he fell.

McLintock appeared surprised and announced he had never been thanked for a job offer with an attempt to punch him in the mouth.  The young man apogized and explained he had never begged for anything in his life.  The begging left a queeziness in his belly that he just didn't like and so he attempted to punch McLintock for making him feel he had to stoop to such a level.  The young man said he had always worked for everything he had and had never been "given" anything.  He turned and began to walk away, again, unemployed.

Wife misbehavin'? Just spank her! Worked for John.
McLintock stopped the young man and explained what has clearly been forgotten these days.  He explained to the young man that he isn't being "given" anything.  "I don't GIVE jobs, I HIRE men.  You agree to work an honest days labor, and I agree to pay you for an honest days labor.  You do what you're supposed to do and so do I.  We both win in that situation."  The young man was assured with a smile that the job offer was still open and off they road on their horses.

In my opinion, it was the young man's perserverence that earned him the "opportunity" of employment.   It was also made clear that if the job wasn't done to satisfaction, the employment would cease.  The parameters of the relationship were "cut and dry".  Do your work, receive your compensation.  The exact opposite of what is going on in America today.  The Land of Opportunity has become The Land of Entitlement.

Too many people have been compensated for NOT performing a satisfactory job.  In fact, one in seven Americans are now receiving food stamps to help buy their food.  Inability to perform a job properly leads to loss of job.  Loss of job can lead to loss of self respect.  Loss of self respect leads some people to turn to violence in order to falsely gain respect.  Young thugs wield guns as a means of demaning respect from victims.

And here we are...2011.  Violence breaking out all over back east because so many people have lost their self respect by being raised generation after generation on government welfare.  The government is out of money and entitlements are on the verge of going the way of the wild west.  Once entitlements are gone there will be a tidal wave of self realization among millions of Americans.  Sink or swim.  Fight or flight.  Do it yourself or take it from someone else.

I've never had entitlements and have prepared for hard times for my family.  I'll help whomever asks and deserves it...but I'll remember this famous John Wayne quote:

"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand upon.  I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them." - The Shootist, 1976

I don't know of anyone like John Wayne these days.  Very sad.

Do YOU have a favorite John Wayne movie or quote?

~OJD

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Who Will Want To Read THAT?

I've written four posts since last night and every time I get to the end, I stand back and say "Who will want to read THAT?"  Some days ideas for posts just flow out and I pen them and post them without thinking twice about it.  But not tonight.

Best image I could get with my Droid :(
I wrote a post about my fluxuating work schedule and how hard it is to enjoy time off when you don't know what "time off" you're going to have.  This post was initiated by my frustration with trying to go back to a regular workout schedule at a local gym.  Over the last year, Wifey and I have put our health aside as we focused on work, family and church.  We're feeling miserable about our lack of exercise and were excited to start what we thought would be a routine workout schedule this past Monday.

We had such a great time working out together.  Big kids were in school, little kids in the gym daycare and having a great time.  We actually had time to talk to each other without any kids screaming, crying or begging for mom's attention.  We even enjoyed a little shake-drink-thing from the juice bar together.  Now, a day later, I'm realizing we can't go during the week because I work the night shift during the week.  Blah, blah, blah.  The post just turned out into a big 'ol whiner piece.

Next, I was reading Survivalblog last night and saw a link to a new company (LifeNet) boasting of software that allowed folks to communicate post disaster (as in when all lines of communications are down.)  Turns out, as I researched it, that it was simply a repackaging of an older software (WiPeer) that's been out for years.  It actually had even LESS features than the old one.  What a big disappointment.  So I blogged about the pro's and con's of each software and by the time I was done, again I stepped back and said "Who's gonna care about that?"

Make-up lessons anyone? She doesn't charge...
The other day, I took pictures of our beautiful Arizona skies filled with aircraft chem trails.  I'm very skeptical of what these long, ever-expanding streams of exhaust actually have in them.  I don't doubt that chemicals are being disbursed over cities to either control weather, crops, or humans...I just don't have any personal proof.  I also had pictures of my adorable two year old who had used Wifey's eye pencil to draw giant Groucho Marx eyebrows on herself.  They are cute enough to post but they didn't correlate with with chem trails.   So that post got shelved.

So here I am writing a post about how I don't think my post is post-worthy.  How weird is that?  I guess I just like writing enough that I'll write about anything...sometimes I just don't know if the writing is worth posting.  I bet there's a lot of unfinished posts out there in bloggerdom.  I just added a few more.

~OJD

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth

Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Walt & Mickey.
You have to take vacations to counter act all the work hours you put in during the year.  That's what I tell myself every year when I see the cost of a family vacation.  Gasp!  Gas, food, lodging, nick nacks...it all adds up...today more than ever.

But a wise man once said: "You know, I don't recall anyone ever saying on their death bed 'Gosh, I wish I had worked MORE'."  With six daughters, I work a LOT of hours to take care of my little Princesses.  As burnt out as working can make me, I am more than willing to work a little harder for a few months to spend an entire week with them at Disneyland.

We have been seven times and completely enjoy the entire vacation every single time we go.  Happiest Place on Earth?  Yes, yes it is.  From Toon Town to Tomorrow Land, there is so much to do for the entire family, we always wish we had MORE time at the end of our stay.  We utilize Park Hopper passes to bounce back and forth between Disneyland and California adventure (directly across from each other, for those that don't know.)

I can't find the Grizzly River Run bear's name anywhere...
We have favorite spots where we like to take pictures every visit.  Like trying to squeeze our whole family into the stationary tea cup between the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride and the spinning Tea Cups.  Or gathered underneath the crotch of the giant bear outside the Grizzly River Run.  Don't ask me why, I don't know.  It just sort of becomes tradition.

We found a wonderful computer program called RideMax that completely schedules our park times.  For around $40, you can download this program for up to a year and then it expires.  It contains so much data (which they update regularly) that you plug in your desired arrival and departure times to the park along with which rides you want to do and the program will spit out an itinerary that leads you to your desired rides in the shortest amount of time possible.  It utilizes Fast Passes, show times, wait times, seasonal fluctuations in visitor populations and more.

RideMax.com = Awesome!
On the homepage of RideMax.com is a customer testimonial that I agree with 100%.  It reads "...in the two days we were at Disneyland, we were able to ride absolutely everything we wanted to, without becoming completely overwhelmed by the crowds and burnt out by lines."  This is true every single time we go to Disneyland using RideMax.  Days 1-2, we ride everything we came for.  Days 3-4, we repeat it again.  Days 5-7, we we wander around the park punch-drunk on Disney awe.  Of course, this is the most financially devastating part of the week because we start to mull through the stores and buy nick nacks...or hand made chocolate treats.  Mmmm, chocolate Mickey ears...  Beware of the cholocate store next to Winnie the Pooh's ride.  Heavenly!

Wifey and I have honed our skills so much on how to do Disneyland on a budget, that I could write an entire How-To series on making a trip to Disneyland affordable AND enjoyable.  But there are tons of those guides out there.  I just wanted to let out a little of my pinned up excitement regarding our upcoming vacation.

Have you ever been to Disneyland?

~OJD

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Do You Mean "The Bank's Empty?"

One of my joyous duties as Head of Household is monitoring our monthly budget and paying bills.  I'd rank the duty right up there with, oh, plunging clogged toilets.  But it has to get done so I do it.

As I was balancing the books, as they say, late last night I noticed a little discrepancy.  An $800 discrepancy which left me broke a$$ until payday.  The good news is that payday is two days away.  The bad news is I have a mandatory car loan and second mortgage payment due before payday...to the tune of $730...and my bank is empty!

Let the games begin!  Once I figured out where MY error was, and I take full responsibility, it was time to figure out where I was going to get $730 in less under 12 hours.  Having lived paycheck to paycheck for several years while going to school, I had become quite skilled at robbing Peter to pay Paul.

So aside from the embarrassment of being a financial dolt, I'll share with you the thoughts that went through my head on how to come up with a sizeable chunk of money quickly, as many people often have to do.

1- Flat out borrow the money from friends or family.  This could be an option for some...not an option for me.  My pride mainly but I've done it in the past and it just doesn't feel good to me.  If it works for you, more power to you.  There's no shame in asking for help.

2- 24 hour loan sharks or Payday stores.  I've done this before too.  I borrowed $500 at 20% interest from a brick and mortar money-to-loan type place.  Obviously I don't recommend this because the interest is WAY too high but if you are in a tight enough squeeze, it might be your only option.  I had to show proper ID and two recent pay stubs. Be aware, if you are late on payment they will also add fees to the ridiculously high interest rate.

3- Cash in your precious metals.  I thought I would have to do this today.  I have a handful of silver coins and bars that I could sell.  I've never sold precious metals and I am really interested in how it works.  I mean, I understand the whole "buy it and hold it" strategy but if the economy takes a turn for the worst and we have to start using our silver, how much will we REALLY get for it?  I was interested to see if I could sell the silver coins I bought for $18/oz for $40 to a currency exchange place.  Obviously pawn shops will pay as little as you will accept.  I could have tried CraigsList but I needed cash in 12 hours.  Fortunately, I didn't end up going this route.

4- Start scrounging through the house.  I have half dollars and coins that I purchased from banks in hopes they were silver.  Some were, some weren't and the ones that were NOT silver might as well be spent.  I have several rolls of half dollars like this.  I also bought several Presidential and Sacajawea gold colored coins just because the kids and me think they look cool.  There's always change in dresser drawers, couches, car ash trays, kitchen counters, etc.

5- Have you noticed aluminum is up to $0.85 per pound lately?  We have bags of aluminum cans in our garage waiting to be recycled. It takes about 31-35 cans to get one pound.  You won't get rich quick but as any frugal person knows, it all adds up.

6- There's the old handwritten shell game with checks called "check floating" which used to be fairly common years ago.  Here's how the game worked: I owed a payment to a credit union due by 5pm today.  I could write a check for that debt on say, a Bank of America check and turn it in at 4:45pm.  The credit union debt would be satisfied on time but the check from BofA wouldn't hit BofA until the NEXT business day or later.  Years ago, the float time was 2-4 days between when a check was deposited at Bank A and withdrawn or transferred from Bank B.  These days, float times are usually 24 hours or less.  In my case, I had a bill due today (Wed) by 5pm but wasn't getting my paycheck until Friday.  It could still be done but you'd have to use three banks.  The downside: you risk the bank beating your deposit and you get an NSF fee (usually $35) for each bounced check AND your debt payment would be deemed as late after all that work.

7- Use bank fees to your advantage.  I have had scenarios in the past where I ran out of money but still had a bill left to pay before payday.  There was still money sitting in my account but my checkbook register told me that the money was already spoken for via a "pending" or "outstanding" payment I had already made.  I weighed the costs of borrowing from a Payday Loan place (20% interest or higher) versus an NSF fee from my bank (usually a flat $35).  Let's say I had $400 in the bank.  I had paid a bill for $400 but it hadn't been cashed yet and could take up to a week to process depending on where the receiver is located.  Our old timeshare company was like that.  They would take ten days to process a payment. I have another bill due for $300 in the next two days for my electric bill but payday is three days away.   If I borrowed $300 from a loan shark, I would pay $60 in fees to the shark or I could withdraw my $300 and pay the electric bill and try to get cash back into the bank before the timeshare check was cashed (a slight variation on the "float".)  If the timeshare attempted to withdraw before I got the money back in, the check would bounce and I would get a $35 NSF fee from my bank.  I would call the timeshare company and apologize, then offer to send a money order asap.  A $35 NSF fee is better than $60 to a loan shark.  Banks will give you ONE reversal of an NSF fee per year too.  If you keep track of when your checks clear and when you wrote them, you'll learn how long everyone takes to cash them.

8- Always call the debtor and ask if you can get an extension.  I happen to know this credit union very well and there is NO extensions on anything.  I can honestly say this is the WORST bank I have ever dealt with.  I made it in there today to make my payments and just like always, they screwed it up and I ended up sitting there for an hour.  They still couldn't fix their screw up even with the assistance of a manager.  Maybe I'll share that story another day.  What a nightmare this bank is.  Anyway, my electric service, internet, gas, water, cell phone are all very good about extending a deadline. Heck, even my mortgage company will do it.  But don't ask a bank, oh no.  They give no breaks.  You know, cause they don't get any breaks...right.  Bailout anyone?

9- Ask if you can move a due date.  Don't mention you can't make the payment up front, just explain how the due date is close to another large payment you make (mortgage, auto) and explain it puts a pinch on you at that particular time of the month.  I've had companies move the date forward as much as two weeks.

How I feel about MY credit union.
10- Return some recent purchases.  We usually have items we purchased that can be returned for cash.  Just recently, Wifey had to go buy bras for three daughters and guess the sizes.  Two of the three were wrong and can be returned for cash with the receipt.  Did you just buy an expensive item a week ago before the checkbook snafu?  We recently bought a juicer from Walmart for $99.  There's a 30 return policy at Walmart.  If we had to, we could return the juicer for the $99 and go back for another one when we could afford it again.  It's important to keep your receipts.

11- Collect on your debtors.  Does Jim Bob owe you $200?  Offer to let him off the hook for $175 if you can drive by and pick it up in the next two hours.  Explain that you're in a bit of a pinch and, after all, you helped him, right?  You get quick cash and he saves a little dough.

12- Request an early paycheck.  My hospital did this for me one time, years ago.  I don't remember why I asked for it but I simply called the payroll department and asked if I could pick up my check a day early.  They complied and I got my paycheck one day early.  Doesn't hurt to ask.

13- Sell your stuff to a second hand store.  We have a clothing store in town that will buy used clothing for pennies on the dollar.  In college, I would take last years out-of-fashion clothing there and get some spare cash for it.  They will inspect it and make you an offer.  They won't want things that you think are awesome and they'll offer you chump change for stuff you paid $100 for, but you get the idea.  It is one more way to turn stuff lying around the house into cash the same day.  I've left that store with as much as $40 in cash.  Of course, that was 1994.

That's all I can think of for now.  Suffice it to say, I pulled it off.  Even though the bank screwed it all up, at least I did my part and held up my end of the obligation.  After I got back home and hinted that we might be having Ramen noodles for dinner, a neighbor whom my wife has been babysitting for lately showed up and gave her $60.

Anyway we look at life...we're blessed.  Hope you are too.

~OJD

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quartzsite Call To Action

I have blogged a few times about the anarchy in Quartzsite Arizona.  There is now a large demonstration scheduled by several organizations.

This is from the Desert Freedom Press:

Quartzsite, Arizona's "Liberty Fest" is shaping up to be a historic event. The event will center around a non partisan August 27th 10 am banner and flag march to the steps of Quartzsite Town Hall, followed by speeches and a live radio broadcast by Ernest Hancock of "Declare your Independence". A pot luck dinner gathering will feature live entertainment.

It has just been announced that well known musician and freedom fighter Jordan Page, has been confirmed for Saturday evening, and other artists are currently in negotiation to perform.

The Quartzsite Liberty Festival was inspired by ten members of the Quartzsite Police Department who chose to honor their oath to the Constitution, and ask for a formal  criminal and ethical investigation into their boss, Police Chief Jeff Gilbert. Law enforcement officers and patriots from around the country wanted a way to show support for the "Quartzsite 10", after facts surrounding the actions by town leaders became a national news story.

According to the website for Oath Keepers, "The Quartzsite Liberty Festival will also support the concerned citizenry of Quartzsite, local activists such as grass-roots journalist Jennifer ‘Jade’ Jones, and the town Mayor, the Honorable Ed Foster (a Marine veteran), who have stood up for the free speech rights of the citizens."

In addition to the Greater Phoenix Tea Party and the Oath Keepers, patriot groups such as the  Ron Paul R3volution, Sons of Liberty Riders, Campaign for Liberty and others have RSVP'd for the event.

For more information about the event, contact:
Arizona Oath Keepers – Contact Mike Frye: mrteapartyfrye@gmail.com phone -- 623-521-3612
Oath Keepers Board of Directors – Contact Elias Alias
eliasalias@gmail.com phone -- 406-285-6597


For more information on musician Jordan Page, see:
http://jordanpagemusic.com/
and
http://www.myspace.com/jordanpagemusic

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Wasn't Expecting a Dead Body

Pic from Dukelabs.com
I was debating which subject I wanted to blog about tonight. I had a few rough drafts sitting idly by while I read the latest news articles from Drudge, Google News, etc.

My Droid's battery was in the red so I decided to plug it in for a charge and head down to the Emergency Room for a bit. You know, cause I do all this blogging on my phone. I certainly wouldn't do it on a company computer. Anyway, along my path, I was paged overhead. Nothing unusual about that.

A quick shout out to the ER desk and I was informed my assistance was needed in Room One. Room One is our trauma room and most likely I was being summoned to help with chest compressions. A perk of being one of the few bigger guys on the night shift. There could be five EMT's standing around that just brought the patient to our hospital, but it's me and a bodybuilder from Respiratory that get to pump on chests.

Anyway, to my surprise, I wasn't needed for chest compressions at all. Nope. I was needed because three little female nurses were given the task of "boxing the big guy". Boxing as in put the obese dead patient into the cold box until the mortuary guys get here at 8am.

Now, I've known somebody had to do this job. People die in hospitals every day. Somebody has to secure the body in the morgue until the mortuary people come and get them. I just never thought I'd be the one to do it. It NEVER crossed my mind...at all.

So the bodybuilder and I are looking at each other. This body was over 400 pounds (that's where our scale stopped). Of course he had NO sheets underneath him to help move him around. The little nurses were reading the instructions, I kid you not, that came in a "kit". These instructions, as she explained to us, included rolling the patient on his side so that we could place a body bag under him. We also had to insert a large absorbant pad, almost the full length of the gurney.

We found two security guards and the four of us rolled this man on his side. I won't go into details about what was under or coming out of this body. I will say, however, that this was not in my job duties AND I had just eaten my share of pizza (one of our security guards was called to deploy in Kuwait so we had a little send off party).

Ours was like this but a little bigger...a little.
We finally got the body in the bag and he was so large that we couldn't zip it up. We covered him with a sheet so we could transport him down the hall to the box room. Then it got difficult.

Picture a full size refrigerator placed flat on the ground. Instead of a door in the traditional place, the small end (or top of the fridge) was the door. We had to get the big guy in lengthwise from a gurney into the cooler. Again, not in my skill set.

Long story short, what normally holds two bodies...could now only hold one. We had to take the middle "shelf" out to make more room. If there was a wrong way of placing a person in this thing, we surely did it. Several minutes later, profusely sweating, we closed it up and walked away.

The last thing I was expecting tonight was to see a dead body..let alone have to move it around, bag it up, and get it into a large ice box.

If you're looking for that one last little excuse to go on a diet because you are overweight, consider the healthcare workers that will have to put your big butt in an ice box after your demise. And they may have just had pizza. I almost had mine twice...

~OJD

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Gun Question from me, to my Internet Friends.

I'm just about ready to start showing my older girls a little bit about guns.  I initially though I would take them out with my Remington 12 gauge and just show them the basics.  Everything I know is learned from watching friends on church outings or watching tv documentary.

There's an ER Physician female friend of mine suggesting that I NOT start out with a  loud shotgun with young girls as it would probably drive them away from ever wanting to participate with gun usage again .

So I'm asking you, my internet family, if I start slow with nonleathels, like pellet comes, pump guns, etc.  What would you recommend?  I'm thinking about a little handgun that shoots pellets or bee bees. Small enough that they could handle the weight but accurate enough that it doesn't feel like a toy.

I'm thinking handgun first but possible a daisy rifle too.  I don't know whether  to do hand or rifle,  BBs or slugs. . Cartridge or pump action.

What say you on proprly teaching of weaponry to children age 10-14 girls.

Joe Cross Inspired Juicing Recipes

Just a quick note to say I've added a few tabs at the top of the blog.  I recently posted about the Joe Cross movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and I've been juicing daily since for multiple reasons.  It's kind of turned into a fun little hobby and I've taken pictures of the different juices Wifey and I have made.

So, if you are interested in juicing fruits and vegetables for whatever reason, visit my Juicing for Health tab at the top of the page (or click here).

If you ended up here looking for before and after pictures of Joe Cross, use the first link in this post to see the images of him before and after his 60 day juice fast.

~OJD

Friday, August 12, 2011

Adding Space for Student (Ikea Wall Hinge Desk)

Stock photo: Ikea wall hinge desk.
Along with our renewed vow of "make do or do without", we had to figure out how to give daughter #3 a desk for her cramped room so she could study away from her other five sisters.  She is blessed with a giant princess castle bunk bed that any child would love to possess...only it takes up 2/3rds of her room.

So while shopping at Ikea a few weeks ago we noticed this handy wall desk.  It mounts to the wall somewhat like a locker and closes up nice and neat.  A keyed front keeps under age sisters from prying where they don't belong.  It also has some additional handy features like a built it hole for laptop cables and a strap to keep it in place when closed up.

Brace boards screwed
to wall studs.
I needed to anchor it well in case somebody decided to "accidentally" lean or hang from it.  I started by locating the wall studs with my handy stud locator from home depot.  I located two pieces of scrap wood from the backyard and cut them to size.  I anchored the boards to the studs with three inch wood screws.  These allow me to attach the desk anywhere along the length of the horizontal boards (pilot holes on things you want to attach to walls are NEVER the same distance apart as the studs in the walls).

Once the two braces were on the wall, I just screwed the desk to the boards with the included supplies.  I had #3 come sit in a chair and pretend she was typing to make an estimated guess at how high I needed to place the desk (it's a wall mount = no legs).

New desk, all closed up.
The final result is a desk she can use in the privacy of her own room that doesn't take up any floor space.  Priced at Ikea for $59.99 but we found one in the clearanced section of the store for $39.99.  We were told it had been a floor model and that is why is was discounted.  To my joy, it was already assembled.  I just had to screw it to the wall.

Daughter have saved up $62 from odd jobs and was happy to save $20 on this desk that she had been wanting for several weeks. She got a desk, I got to use my power tools...the world is right once again.

~OJD
Desk opened.