A Nurse With Attitude

Where Dark Cynical Humor, Nursing Issues, and Politics Seem to Merge

Archive for the month “February, 2015”



OK folks,  I’m taking a vacation.  I mean a real vacation where I actually leave town.  This is something I haven’t done in a number of years.  My wife, in order to keep with the vacation theme and to insure I do fun things and not work related things, she’s insisting that I leave my computer at home.  So the short version is that this will probably be the last post for a few days.  I’ll take pictures and jot down cool stuff on my note pad to give you updates once I get back.  Other wise, Y’all take care.

I’m on vacation.


Net Neutrality



If democrats have their way I may be regulated into closure.

No shit. Really.

Not that I influence campaigns or policy in any way but once these  jack-asses  start, there’s no end to it.

And republicans, being the spineless wimps they are, will probably not even try and stop it.

Claiming that thousands of public comments condemning “dark money” in politics can’t be ignored, the Democrat-chaired Federal Election Commission on Wednesday appeared ready to open the door to new regulations on donors, bloggers and others who use the Internet to influence policy and campaigns.

Noting the 32,000 public comments that came into the FEC in advance of the hearing, Democratic Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub said, “75 percent thought that we need to do more about money in politics, particularly in the area of disclosure. And I think that’s something that we can’t ignore.”

Two groups, including the League of Women Voters, said they support more disclosure by those who use the Internet to influence campaigns and policy.

Are you ready for the department of the Internet?  Well,  It’s coming.

And it’s 330 pages of legal gobbledy-gook destined to screw us all over and make our internet experiences pure hell.

If you think it’s a good thing then ask yourselves why it’s being trotted out in the dark, virtually un-read, all of a sudden, with 330 pages, and almost no ability by Congress (even if they DID have balls) to stop it.

Ajit Pai, the sole Republican Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), inferred in a Tweet that President Barack Obama’s secret, 332-page “Net Neutrality” document is a scheme for federal micro-managing of the Internet to extract billions in new taxes from consumers and again enforce progressives’ idea of honest, equitable, and balanced content fairness. Pai also released a statement: “President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works,” he said. “The plan explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband… These new taxes will mean higher prices for consumers and more hidden fees that they have to pay.”

Pai had previously observed that he was concerned about the plan would hinder broadband investment, slow network speed and expansion, limit outgrowth to rural areas of the country, and reduce Internet service provider (ISP) competition.

Pai said that after a year of debates responding to the courts twice striking down FCC efforts to regulate the Internet, “There’s no reason to think that the third time will be the charm. Even a cursory look at the plan reveals glaring legal flaws that are sure to mire the agency in the muck of litigation for a long, long time.”

Many Libertarians fear that turning the Internet into a “telephone service” would “empower an intrusive public sector that thrives on high taxes, heavy-handed controls and the status quo.”

I raised three boys not to be like me as a conservative, but to think on their own and be independent thinkers. My middle son and my oldest both came to me with arguments in favor of the “Net Neutrality” act.  I gave them the best Libertarian arguments possible.  But much to my dismay, I was unable to change their views.  They kept talking about Comcast this, and Comcast that, and how this big corporate bad guy was a serious all-controlling monopoly.   I don’t know what Comcast has and how they intend to manipulate the internet, but I do know for certain that the government can’t possible do anything better.  Lets face it, nothing the government has done is more efficient, faster, or better done than in the private sector.  Just think of the DMV next time you want to surf the internet.

Another Dilbert Day


Every day something happens to me through management, coworkers or technical support that confirms my belief that all companies on the planet work like the Dilbert cartoon.  Fortunately Scott Adams managed to cash in on something that can easily happen each and every day to all of us as we strive to grind out a living.  I was under the illusion that my job was different because I work in healthcare.  After all, if mistakes are made, it could be pretty bad.  Yeah, we have a  checklist system, just like the airline pilots.  Just as they check the list every time before takeoff, we check it before every operation.  It’s just that taking out a gallbladder is a little different than flying  in to LAX.  I’m not trying to demean pilots, but this is surgery. There is more danger and certainly more liability here… so I thought.  All jobs are the same, no matter where you work and no matter what you do. There are certain constants in this world and the repeat themselves.  Ineptitude  and incompetence always floats to the top.  I call it the septic tank system of management.  The least capable become managers of those who are.  (Of course, this isn’t necessarily true for my manager).  In every workplace, there is at least one person that is crazy or difficult to work with.  An environmentalist,  a jock, a workhorse, and someone who is an amazing talented slacker.  I am not surprised to find my place is very much the same as the cartoon.

About the manager thing, in my current job, not only are some of the leaders inept, but their educational path has no health care or patient care in their resume what so ever.  Non-nursing staff are writing RN job description, establishing policy and making nursing decisions.

As the service coordinator for the Neurosurgery department, I occasionally get calls about specific up-coming surgical cases.   Today I got a call from the surgery scheduling office.  She asked “Dr. Smith is an Oncology / General surgeon and she’s  doing a ‘lobectomy’ Why is she doing a lobectomy and does she even have privileges to do such a case… I need to know?”

I did my best not to laugh as I took a moment to collect myself before answering.  “Hmm,  I believe that there are more than a few of the organs in the human body that come in lobes.  And in this instance, I think that she would be removing a thyroid lobe.  I know this because she only does surgery on the neck… you know like an ENT surgeon.  Yep, I’m sure it’s a single lobe of the thyroid.”

What can I do?  Just like Dilbert I did my best to humor this person realizing that this she has the ability to make my life a living horror if she gets angry.    She was just like the  Alice character in the strip, this scheduling manager has the ability to jump immediately  to screaming a fury in an instant and without warning.

With effort, I maintained composure.  I didn’t laugh out loud and the scheduling manager thanked me for my assistance.

Today has just begun and it already has proven that it will be very interesting.

Our Governor Resigns !


Remember when it was a scandal simply for an older guy to have an affair with a much younger woman who was not his wife?

Today, it takes much, much, more to get a crooked politician out of office.

Why did this governor stay in office for so long?  Because the liberals just love, love, love, green energy… even if it doesn’t work.

Use Your Head

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Almost all green energy is a scandal.


Be it wind, solar, biomass, or whatever, to this day, no form of “green energy” has been proven to work on a large scale. (With the exception of hydro-electric, which the greenies are against.) That is because none of these can produce power as cost effectively as traditional forms of energy production.  Also, many forms of “green energy” have proven to have environmental consequences that are just as negative as the burning of fossil fuels.

With traditional forms of energy production, it is possible to sell the power produced for more than what it cost to generate it.  That is not the case with “green energy”, but the money to produce it has to come from somewhere and that of course, is from the American taxpayer.

Even liberals understand this, but they figured out that they don’t even have to go through the trouble of actually building some type alternative energy plant, when they can just steal money directly from the taxpayers in the form of consulting fees.  That’s what we’ve got here…

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber resigned Friday, giving in to mounting pressure to abandon his office amid suspicions that his fiancee used her relationship with him to land contracts for her green-energy consulting business. Read more.

H/T to http://goldengeesenews.blogspot.com/

Happy Valentine’s Day


I want to give cudo’s  to all of the readers in committed relationships who mark Valentine’s Day and celebrate it.   For most people in this world,  (all men and most un-committed women)  we’re inundated with images of Valentine’s Day from the end of Christmas through mid-February. The only good news is we can buy half-priced chocolate on Feb. 15.

St. Valentine’s Day is a Roman Catholic feast day named for the martyr St. Valentine. There are actually two (if not three) different saints involved here, Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni; both of whom were martyred in AD 269 and AD 197, respectively. It seems fitting that it would take the martyrdom of two saints to create such a horrid occasion.

How did St. Valentine become a “saint?” The unofficial version is that Roman Emperor Cladius II ordered that young men remain single. The emperor did this so that there would be plenty of single men available to serve in his army – seeking adventure and greater glory for Rome. You know, hanging out with other guys, drinking lots of wine and watching the chariot races. Army, beer, NASCAR – same thing.

But this Valentine fellow, he secretly performed marriage ceremonies for young men and their lady friends. Which was really stupid to do, because the emperor tossed him in jail, threw away the key, and the men of Rome went back to doing manly things until the Goths sacked Rome a couple of times leading to the Dark Ages.

The truth is men want to be hooked up for Valentine’s Day, even though most won’t dare tell their friends about it. We’re conditioned for it starting in grade school where we’re asked to create and design Valentine’s Day boxes for our elementary school classes. The rule is that you make out a Valentine for every person in your class. Even by second and third grade, kids are making special Valentines for that special person. These consist sometimes of handmade Valentines, or the same Valentine everybody else gets, only with five times as much candy wrapped in it.

And this is where the folly of St. Valentine is revealed. In all of recorded history (except in some movies created for the Lifetime Network) all such Valentines are delivered to someone who either doesn’t understand their significance or does and mentally says, “Ick!”

After years of going through this circle of being confronted by unrequited love, most individuals eventually find a special someone and celebrate Valentine’s Day. The first is wonderful, but there is a law of diminishing returns. Men are famous for forgetting Valentine’s Day, just like they forget birthdays, wedding anniversaries and everything else. Women are famous for never forgetting that men forget these occasions.

These are, of course, stereotypical, tired analogies anyone can make.

What’s the true measure of a Valentine? Probably how many years you’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day together. Those who can keep a spark in their romantic lives under the rigorous conditions day to day stress.

It gives everyone else hope,  although there’s still plenty of discounted candy to go around.

Crazy Uncle


Today’s valentines day and I hope everyone is having fun with their loved one.  I really wanted to go to the Expo center today.  It’s the Northwest’s largest gun show.  I would have bought her a gun too if she would have gone with me.   But my lovely wife wanted to go shopping at the “Fabric Depot” instead.  She’s looking at dress patterns, buttons, and such.  Fortunately, I get to sit in the  “man’s corner” with all of the other husbands… thus allowing me to write this post.

I was talking to my surgical crew the yesterday about the presence of “the crazy uncle” in  your life.  I’m pretty certain that everyone that has a family has a crazy uncle somewhere in the family tree.  My Uncle Lency also happens to be my Godfather.  He is still alive and, because of his history, I make a point to have him first on my “go visit” list whenever  I’m traveling back to Alabama seeing family.  I don’t know his age, but I’m 53 and he is my Godfather after all.  So he must be pretty old, and he routinely practices a plethora of things that could dramatically shorten any normal human’s life.  Not only does he still smoke and drink more than any five VA patients,  but he still lives life to the fullest by continuing to do amazingly crazy stuff.

When I was young, I’d hang out with my uncle a lot.  He had three boys about my age.  We’d tromp in the woods go shooting,  catch alligators, and collectively do things that would make my parents cringe… if they knew.

We’d be playing in the yard and eventually Uncle Lency would wake up from his night shift job and join in on the fun.  It would go something like this.

“Hey boys, whatcha doin?”

“Why,  we’re playing cowboys and Indians.”

“You can’t play cowboys and Indians with just sticks… Come with me.”   As he would lead us into the shop.  After a few minutes, he’s bring out a couple of Daisy pellet guns.  With the biggest grin ever and a crazy laugh that would make us all nervous, he got out a box of pellets.  “Here you go,  you two cowboys… now for the Indians.”  As he continued to look around in the shop on his scavenger hunt.  Eventually he came up with a real “Bear” recurve bow.  “Awe heck, I don’t have any arrows.”  As he continued to look, he suddenly looked up and grabbed some dowels.  He had several wooden dowels like broom handles, except smaller.  He turned on his bench grinder and pulled a dowel from the bundle and started grinding.  Although none of us had any gloves or even safety glasses, splinters and  saw dust was going everywhere.  He stood behind me giving me encouragement with a hand on my shoulder as he shielded his face with the other hand. The whole time he would give tips to making the perfect arrow.  “Oh, don’t forget to grind a notch in the rear end for the string and so it will fly straight,” he would explain.  “Grind the tip really sharp, but don’t make the angle too steep or it won’t go in very deep…”  I was really excited that an adult was actually teaching us kids how to make lethal weapons.

About the time we finished our workshop project and began to contemplate how we could resume our game of cowboys and Indians, Aunt Nancy came home from her job at the Beauty Shop.  She was the one who worked so hard to keep my  Godfather from an early death.  In the process, she was also the one who was occasionally accused of standing in the path to fun times.  So we were all a little nervous when we saw her drive up.   She took one look at us standing in the yard with all of our cowboy and Indian toys and said,  “Hey,  you boys had better be careful.”  She looked at my uncle and shouted, “you get those boys some safety goggles,  John’s mom will probably be pretty upset if he gets an eye shot out.”  Then she went in the house.  We all laughed and resumed our play.

Life was pretty fun.  Long story short… anyone who has a crazy uncle in your life knows what’s fun, what’s cool and what will get you killed (or near killed).   I learned a lot from my uncle and as a result, I tried to transfer as much of that ability, judgment, and character to my own three boys.  Even today, my boys are adults.  When they come over to visit, I will say something crazy like, “hey, lets make some home made fireworks and …”  One of my sons will roll his eyes as he assesses the safety vs. level of fun factor involved in the said activity and eventually say something like, “hey dad, how about we do something different… maybe something that doesn’t require a trip to the emergency room.”

That’s their Aunt Nancy speaking, by the way.



Today is Friday… Yippeeee!

And to make it better, I have the day off! … and yes, it’s a PAYDAY   Friday.

Last week our neurosurgeon told me that he was “taking next week off” so now that next week is here and I don’t have cases in my service, I’m taking a long weekend.

Now it’s 0900 am and I’m crawling out of bed and I don’t know what to do… hmmm.  I gotta spend today doing something fun, but what do I do?

“Your Papers, citizen.”


Yes, it’s true, The TSA now damands Passport for Domestic Travel.   Precedents exist in certain places for requiring citizens to produce special ID for domestic travel; they include Nazi Germany, apartheid South Africa and Russia (both Imperial and Soviet).

Over the Christmas season, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) quietly announced that America was walking down that path. By 2016, all domestic air travel will require either a traditional passport or a federally-compliant ID card called “Real ID.” State driver’s licenses will no longer allow Americans access to domestic flights, as they do now. Real ID will constitute an internal passport.”

Read more here

Media Bias


I’m not even going to weigh in on the circus revolving around Brian Williams and his fabrication of news stories. I’ve been saying for years that our American news networks are seriously bias. Bias to the point of being similar to Pravda. All of the major news (even Fox) is guilty. When the federal government welds the power of the IRS to attack perceived enemies like an attack dog, everyone in the media prints exactly what the White House wants to hear. NBS has simply been the one caught in a lie.

I grew up with Walter Cronkite . He gave the news, plain and simple, with a non-bias report. The news was simply the news as it happened. Then gradually, they started working in their own special agenda. Soon all news networks had a spin. I remember the first time I saw a news network lie. It was NBC reporting the 82 Chevy truck with exploding gas tanks. NBC even filmed one exploding. Then a slightly less bias private agency (Consumer Reports) tried to repeat the experiment. They couldn’t make the truck explode. They analyzed the video and found that NBC had used lit flares, attached to the fuel tanks to force the trucks to explode on impact. This was a big thing for me at the time. I not only drove one of those trucks, but I was a Chevy mechanic employed by a GM dealership at the time. When this story broke, I was mentally scarred. I had trusted the news as it was reported, and now I didn’t know what to believe.

So until we can get back to simply reporting the news as it happens, like Walter used to do, I will take anything these guys say with a grain of salt.


Here’s another news story as a humorous example of bias…



A biker is riding by the zoo, when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion’s cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her before the eyes of her screaming parents.
The biker jumps off his bike, runs to the cage, and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain, the lion jumps back, letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.
A New York Times reporter has witnessed the whole scene, and addressing the biker, says, “Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I saw a man do in my whole life.”
“Why, it was nothing, really, the lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger, and acted as I felt right.”
“Well, I’ll make sure this won’t go unnoticed. I’m a journalist from the New York Times, you know, and tomorrow’s paper will have this on the front page. I’m going to write all about it. So tell me sir, what motorcycle do you ride and what political affiliation do you have?”
“A Harley Davidson, and I am a Republican.”
The journalist leaves.
The following morning the biker buys the New York Times and reads, on the front page:

Oh, by the way, for those from New York, the second half of this post was meant to be a joke… just so you know.

Everybody Must Get Scanned


I may have posted this once before.  Or I may not have.  Hell,  at my age,  I can’t remember.

But what the heck… It’s Hump Day Humor !

Here’s a little gem that I found a few years ago.  I don’t know who wrote it.   I found an old ragged copy taped to the glass in our CT department.  While I was waiting for the scan to run it’s course on the head of my patient with un-equal pupils, I jotted it down on a scrap of paper for you.


(Sung to the tune of Bob Dylan’s “Everybody Must Get Stoned”)

They scan you when you fall and bump your head

They scan you when they think you might be dead

They scan you when your pupils are unequal

They scan you when you’ve been beat by ugly people

They work as fast as they can Everybody must get scanned

They scan you when your brains are in your ear

They scan you sometimes only out of fear

They scan you when you crack up your car

They scan you for anisocoria

They do it to help their fellow man

Everybody must get scanned

They scan you when you stop your respiration

To see if you’re going to need an operation

They scan you to see what can be seen

They scan you to pay for the machine

There are better ways to get a tan

Everybody must get scanned

[HARMONICA SOLO, and continued after the fold]

They scan you when you decorticate

To see that you do not herniate

You know they scan all the old timers

To rule out Pick’s and Alzheimer’s Alzheimer’s

Glowin’ in the dark is really grand

Everybody must get scanned

They scan you when your brain bites a bullet

They scan you for a shunt before they pull it

They scan you if you seize or have a spasm

They scan you to locate a neoplasm

It’s the biggest microwave at The Lands

Everybody must get scanned

They scan you if you take a bad fall

They scan you for no reason at all

They scan you to look inside And do it with Metrizamide

It’s all part of the plan

Everybody must get scanned

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