So, Hussein has been put to death. That's nice. I can't say I'm too upset about it. I can't say for certain that I knew who he was before March 17, 1987, but as of that date, I decided he was no good. I mean, we give him all of the precursors a despot could possibly want and how does he repay us?
Anyway, I've been increasingly annoyed at the use of the fact that 'we' sold Hussein these precursors to somehow condemn the use of force against Iraq or to undermine the case against the swinger himself. Our previous president sold all kinds of nuclear ('nuculear') and ballistic technologies to the Red Chinese. So, when the ball goes up over the Straits of Formosa, will we not defend our ally due to our previous commercial relationship with Red China? When Japan receives their third nuclear ('nuculear') attack, will we not come to their aid since, after all, the North Koreans received the crucial American technologies through a deliberate sale by the previous administration to the Red Chinese? And when we receive missiles from Cristobal and Balboa, will we not respond in kind since we sold our attackers the means of our destruction ('Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov!')? I think not.
Of course, the American companies that aided the Nazis during the run-up to WWII are rarely discussed. I mean, why is it okay to condemn the genocide of the National Socialists when IBM and duPont were major supporters of these actions through sales of products to the Nazi government?
Regardless of whether a given sale contributes to a problem, the problem stands on its own. Shouldn't it? If I buy you a drink, can I not complain if you choose to drive?
I went to my parent's house over Christmas with O's 1 and 2. My sister's families were there with the exception of my eldest niece and her husband and son.
My eldest nephew was there; I had the privilege to see him in his Corps dress blues. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of him although he's promised to send some. I hadn't seen him since he got done at Parris Island so we discussed his boot camp experience among other things. I also had the opportunity to be the first person to call him Gyrene; of course, he was instilled with the proper anti-Navy attitudes during boot but hadn't been around enough yet to see how the Navy treats the cuddly-but-naive Marines.
My youngest nephew was there; we discussed firefighting. He's very interested in public safety and had some questions about things. I filled him in as much as possible. He's been more busy than I have as far as the red trucks go; he's been constantly battling playground and closet fires while things up here have been quiet. I guess that's life in the big city. Anyway, he doesn't seem to have much interest in the white trucks (yet) which is where I get the bulk of my action.
My older sister and I attempted to start IVs on each other while my younger sister watched and took photos. We each missed. I was a little embarassed at my miss (she's a nursing student while I am a practicing EMT) but she was very happy with it; she said it took the pressure off to see someone with experience miss. A very left-handed compliment, I guess.
I've rehosted this picture to not steal my sister's blog bandwidth; clicking on the image will take you to her blog, though.
I do feel redeemed after that high-profile miss, though; yesterday I started a line on a dehydrated old-timer. This guy had skin tents on his own without touching him. He'd been expelling everything he ate or drank for several days from both ends. His veins were mostly imaginary. He told me that he was notoriously difficult to get a line in on a good day and showed me the particular 1/4" stretch of vein on the back of his right hand where caregivers usually strike oil. This vein looked like a thread. I managed to get a 24-gauge catheter in there on the first try; the patient and I were both impressed.
Yesterday was fairly busy; we had the first real snowfall of the year and everyone decided to continue to drive like the pavement was dry. As a result, I went on five motor vehicle crash calls. Four of them were 'no transports'; one of these was amazing. A woman driving on the interstate rolled her li'l SUV *four times* according to stunned witnesses. The car came to rest upright on the guardrail. She and her dog were absolutely fine, fine, fine; not a mark on either one of them. She was amazingly calm and collected, too; you'd never guess that she'd barely avoided death. She was on her way from some populous place down there to go skiing up north. She said that as a result of the accident, she was not going to tempt fate by skiing this weekend. I had a different take; if it had been me that had miraculously avoided death or dismemberment, I'd be taking advantage of my luck to go skydiving and bungee-jumping.
We did transport a patient from a different accident who had damaged her shoulder and possibly her spine. She had to be transported in spinal immobilization. I happened to be the tech (I trade calls as driver and tech with my partner unless the call requires advanced skills in which case I tech the call). I guess my patient manner skills were doing well yesterday; in the ambulance, the patient told me I was 'a blessing' and then told a roomful of people at the emergency department that I was kind, gentle, and that she trusted me. I took a lot of flack from the ED staff and my partner over that but it really made me feel good.
A few weeks ago, Supertech and I went to Lebowskifest in the big greasy apple. There are several Lebowskifests; each is an annual occurance. The main one is in Louisville; the NYC one is considered provincial. The first night was held in a bar in Brooklyn, the second night at a bowling alley in Queens. It was incredibly fun.
By the way, here's the road I take when I'm angry.
The first night was hightlighted by a band called Bling Kong. This band was very fun; they had a million people on stage and at times reminded me of the B52s. Three drummers, too.
At midnight, they showed The Big Lebowski. It was very fun and somewhat like a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. People in costumes would get up on stage at the appropriate times. Everyone (*everyone*) was repeating the dialog.
The second night was really the main event. We bowled five games. Everyone's score went down over time except mine.
There were many funny costumes, some very obscure.
These guys were in the lane next to us; they were dressed as the nihilist's supper. In The Big Lebowski, there is a restaurant scene where one of the supposed kidnappers orders pigs in blankets.
These are friends of Supertech's. I'll admit that there was perhaps some alcohol involved.
I'd never had a White Russian ("Caucasian') before. They are tasty. I did consume a lot of cheap beer, though, as a pitcher of beer was less expensive than a single Caucasian.
This is the person who won the costume contest and two random people. At the end of the night, I happened to be standing outside when the contest winner was leaving. Two guys walking down the street unaware of their close proximity to (or, lo, even the very existence of) Lebowskifest started freaking out thinking this guy was really John Goodman. The Walter character did not disabuse them of their misconception. I took a picture of one of them taking a picture of the other one with Walter; the two guys saw me taking the picture and begged me to take their picture together with 'Mr. Goodman' with their camera. I did, but then made them let me take their picture with my camera.
Anyway, more Lebowskifest pictures here.
I think that's it for now.