February 2003 Archives

Took the kids skiing

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I took the kids skiing yesterday in the day off that I had post-inservice. It was a beautiful day and I took a few pictures, I'll get them online tomorrow. Back at work today. Here one hour and already another thing for my "not to do" list: cross the freeway on foot.

French Germans

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"Here's a suggestion, why doesn't the US give France back to Germany?"
[Posted by "Dave M." on FOXNews.com]

I took the Emergency Medicine inservice exam today. Thank goodness that pain is over for a year.


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My young padewan has announced the launch of mywesthoff.com. It's bittersweet; it's hard to let the young ones go, but you're so proud to see them making it on their own. Note that links to his old site in my former postings are now broken, when I get the time I will go back and retro-fit them.

Things I will never do

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I keep in the back of my mind somewhere a list of things that I will not ever do. Some things are obvious, like smoking a cigarette while siphoning gasoline (saw it yesterday) but others are less apparent.

I & D: Don't try this at home

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Earlier in the academic year I did an "I&D" (incision and drainage) of a heroin addict's buttock abscess. Addicts get abscesses when they inject heroin into muscle (which they do when they have trashed all their veins). The whole procedure was captured on film (for educational purposes) and it is available for viewing on the University of Washington's website here. It is not for the feint of heart, but I recommend you have a look before you consider injecting black tar heroin into your backside. I'm the one wearing the gloves (i.e. the one without the abscess).

Lucky to be alive

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Excellent news, sports fans--I have finally figured out how to dial-up with my laptop from the hotel I'm staying at. This is good news because it means I no longer have to walk in my off evenings over to the Harborview library. County hospitals do not tend to be in the best of neighborhoods, and while I am greatful to be staying so close by, the thought has occured to me that my life might be in danger making the trip between the hotel and the hospital after dark.

A man and his scarf

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Dan has put a great little clip of our Christmas sledding trip on his website. Also of note is Dan's take on scarves, which I particularly enjoyed and with which I wholeheartedly agree.

The frightful U.N.

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The more pictures television brings us of world citizenship at the U.N., the more frightening becomes the entire idea of being subject in any way to approval from anyone like the Husseins, Assads, Qaddafis, Mugabes, mullahs, Chinese Communists, and a whole array of other not very nice people, who either by chance, protocol, or vote have suddenly found themselves very prominent on an assemblage of U.N. boards and committees.
[The National Review]

The unhomeable

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I'm starting to feel like I'm part of some kind of experiment. Snatched from the world of the living, I've been put into a bizarre biosphere with 48hr days--my only contact with the outside world is electronic. When I'm at work I find myself struggling to find the words to describe the passage of time. Talking to other residents I will frequently use the word "yesterday" when I mean "the last shift." I never know what day it is--for one thing that changes half-way through the shift and I am without the visual cues of night and day. When I go into the hospital it is light, when I come out it is light. When I ask a disoriented patient if they know what day it is, I am uniformly racking my brain to remember what the correct answer should be.

A blunt instrument

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If the television show "ER" were to take place in Seattle instead of Chicago, it would be set at Harborview Medical Center, the trauma center for the entire Northwest region, including Alaska. The Harborview ER is a blunt intrument, set up to handle major trauma (a subset of patients that occasionally includes "normal" people who live otherwise non-chaotic lives) as well as care for the area's malcontents: prisoners, drug addicts, street people.

The Columbia

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All Americans today are thinking . . . of the families of these men and women who have been given this sudden shock and grief. You're not alone. Our entire nation grieves with you. And those you loved will always have the respect and gratitude of this country. . . .

In the skies today we saw destruction and tragedy. Yet farther than we can see there is comfort and hope. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, "Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth; yet we can pray that all are safely home.

--George W. Bush

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