Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Over the weekend I flew to Minneapolis, MN and drove with my parents from there to Appleton , WI for my brothers wedding. It was great to see all my family again. Its not as easy to see them as it used to be, now that I live about 1500 miles from my parents and 800 miles from my younger brother.
As for school, we had Monday off, of course, for Memorial day. Tuesday started up again with a new chapter in Positioning class on Abdomenal (aka KUBs), esophagus and UGI (stomach and duodenum) positioning. All very interesting. One big change with this chapter is the administration of contrast material for esophograms and UGIs. In this case, the contrast is barium sulfate taken orally. Air is also sometimes used for a double-contrast image.
We also did our CPR/BLS certification class on Tuesday after Positioning. I had been certified before when I was a lifeguard in college, so I knew what to expect. Our instructor was someone from a different dept at the school and I am very thankful she is not one of our regular instructors. She was a psycho!! She started the class by bitching about how we sit in the hallway during our breaks and how it is a fire hazard. Great first impression on the class. She then proceded to give one of the most inconsistent, disjointed lectures on CPR that I have ever had. I was counting down the minutes to the test at the end of class. Luckily I passed, so I never have to see her again. I dont have my official card yet, since they are on back order, but they should be arriving soon.
So thats whats been happening. Nothing too exciting. Just life in all it glory. I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Project management is like pushing a wheelbarrow full of frogs to market. A disagreeable task is its own reward. Beware of those wearing suspenders with belts. Do whatever your enemies do not want you to do. Bureaucracy: a method for transforming energy into solid waste. Rule of Defactualization: information deteriorates upward through bureaucracies. All great discoveries are made by mistake.
A good slogan can stop analysis for fifty years. Error is often more earnest than truth. An original idea can never emerge from a committee in its original form. Blessed is he who expects no gratitude, for he shall not be disappointed.Don't permit yourself to get between a dog and a lamppost. A little ignorance can go a long way.
By the time you have the right answers, no one is asking you questions. Complex problems have simple, easy to understand, wrong answers.
Even paranoids have enemies.
Always remember to pillage before you burn. Creativity is no substitute for knowing what you are doing. Anything is possible, but nothing is easy. A short line outside a building becomes a long line inside. Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by hitting back.
Pick good people. Talent never wears out.
Everything in moderation, including moderation. Adding manpower to a late software product makes it later. As they say in Beirut, Shiite happens. Everyone hits a brick wall now and then: The trick is not to do it with your head. Don't be so open minded, your brains fall out. A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to put in his mouth. Even if the grass is greener on the other side, they, like you, still have to cut it. Anything that doesn't eat you today is saving you for tomorrow. Easiest way to figure the cost of living: take your income and add ten percent. Don't get lost in the shuffle, shuffle along with the lost.
Anything is easier to take apart than to put together. Anyone can admit they were wrong; the true test is admitting it to someone else. People can be divided into three groups: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.
Any wire cut to length will be too short. Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler. Any change looks terrible at first. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. All work and no play will make you a manager.
A well-adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous. Those who complain about the way the ball bounces usually dropped it. Producing a system from a specification is like walking on water; it's easier if it's frozen. Say no, then negotiate. According to official figures, 43% of all statistics are inaccurate. Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk. That which cannot be taken apart will fall apart.
Excellence can be attained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, expect more than others think is possible.
The best way to realize your dreams is to wake up.
Take from an article in the Daily Sun Newspaper
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Yesterday, I was the winner of Bed Bingo. Yippee......right? I was pretty happy walking out of the place with an extra $5 burning a hole in my pocket. However, on the ride home I got to thinking about what $5 can actually buy you these days, and I realized it wasnt much, at least not any more.
I remembered back to when I was in 3rd grade and found a dirty, wadded up $5 bill on the play ground one day. I thought I had hit the jackpot. In 1988, $5 could buy a kid a pile of earthly delights. And by that I mean CANDY! I ran to the nearest convenience store, poste haste, and bought them out of Jolly Rangers, Laffy Taffy and Atomic Fire balls faster than George Bush can ruin a speech.
Fast forward a few years. I have my license, I have a car, if you can call a 1987 Dodge Omni a car, and $5 could buy me a half a tank of gas with which to drive around town looking for chicks (NOTE: there was a lot of looking, not much finding), and still have enough left over to buy myself a sody pop!
Not today. $5 will get you just over 1 gallon of gasoline, a large mocha skinny hold-the-whip latte at Starbucks, 3 green bell peppers or 2 AA batteries at Target. None of which excites me nearly as much as my unforgetable candy orgy of yore or the hours I spent "cruising" with my buddies back in 1995. This is not to say I didnt take the extra five bucks. I took it and I ran, but its just unfortunate to come to the realization that things just dont stretch like they used to; that good times and great memories are so much harder to come by as you get older, $5 or no.
But I try to keep it in perspective. I try to realize that these times are good too. I will look back on them in 10 or 20 years and remember a time before kids, before mortgages, before college savings accounts, and think what a simpler, easier time I had of life.
There is one thing I do still know though. That no matter how things change, no matter what difficult challenges I face in my life.......I still get one hell of a good time from a simple piece of Laffy Taffy candy.
Monday, May 15, 2006
I apologize in advance, for I see a short pity party in our near future.
Lately, I have really been jonesing to get out of school and start work. I realize I still have" lotz o' learnin' to do", as my instructor tells us, but I'm tired of doing the whole school "thing". I'm good at it, I wont deny that. I can take a mean test, study in record time and write a paper that would make Franz Boas proud, but academia (not to mention no paycheck) is getting old.
Unfortunately, I made some bad decisions in my early career as a student and ended up spending 7 or so years in "higher" education getting a degree for a career, it turns out, I didnt even like or would afford me a stardard of living above, say, a 17th century coal miner.
So now I'm paying for it. Most people my age are buying houses, having children and saving for retirement. I, on the other hand, am selling plasma to help pay for gas to drive to visit my wife on the weekends. sad, sad, sad. I considered prostitution briefly, but I didn't see too many opportunities for advancement in that particular profession.
I know I made the right decision leaving my other career for a new one in radiography. Within 3 weeks of class, I KNEW I had found something that I would enjoy and would be good at, but hauling my butt through school will be the real test.
I wont lie, its hard being away from my wife. I rely on her a lot for support, both financial and emotional. Probably more than I should sometimes. Its hard being in a strange city with no friends or family around to talk to or be with.
What I really need to do is keep it in perspective. It is only 2 years out of my life. 2 years which will give me the foundation to be able to get a good job, support my family and be happy in life. But its hard to get above it all and see it that way when you are in the trenches in the thick of it.
I guess the best I can do is bide my time, study hard, get good grades, learn as much as I can and before I know it (hopefully), I will be living back home and working as an X-ray Tech like I dreamed of so few months ago.
Thanks for listening. The pity party is now over.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Monday, May 08, 2006
Its a sharp peak within a wilderness reserve right in the middle of Phoenix. Its one of the few places you can go in the city and actually feel like you are in nature. It was a pretty difficult hike, I thought anyway, and took us from about 1400 feet above sea level to about 26oo ft asl in a little over a mile (e.g. straight up with many switchbacks).
It was a pretty hard hike but we were rewarded with great views of the city and surrounding mountain ranges at the top. We even got to see a rather rare lizard for this area, a Common Chuckwalla. Below are some pics from the hike.
Friday, May 05, 2006
*And no I didn't take the photo in the banner (I wish I could say I did). I scanned it from an issue of Arizona Highways, a magazine about the state of Arizona which features high quality photography from around the state. I believe this picture was taken south of Phoenix near Tucson.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Radiologic Positioning (Lecture) - This is a continuation of the same class we had last semester. Last semester we covered positioning for the upper and lower extremities, the shoulder girdle, the pelvic girdle and the lumbar spine. This semester we will continue with the thoracic and cervical spine, boney thorax (ribs and sternum), internal chest viscera (lungs, heart, trachea, etc), cranial bones, facial bones, sinuses, Upper GI, Lower GI, KUB (Kidneys, Ureters, Bladder) and specials (angiography, CT, MR cardiac cath). A lot on our plate.
Radiologic Positioning (Competency Lab) - where we actually practice and test off on all the different positions mentioned above.
Essentials of Radiation Biology and Protection - in this class we learn how radiation effects the body and how to properly protect oneself and one's patients from unnecessary exposure.
Patient Care - here we learn a lot of the "hands on" aspects of caring for patients such as how to set up and maintain a sterile field, how to catheterize, how to insert an IV, how to administer contrast drugs, how to give barium enemas and of course a refresher in CPR.
Radiologic Techniques - this class teaches us how, based on patient size, age and gender, to set the proper radiation values when making an x-ray image (i.e. how much radiation to use and how much "force" to give the radiation).
Radiation Physics - this class gives us a basic understanding of the physics involved in producing x-ray images, such how x-rays are produced, how they interact with different forms of matter and how to control the radiation so as to produce a quality image but with as little exposure to patient as possible.
So this is what i have ahead of me this semester. Truthfully, some of the classes seem a little daunting, but i am sure that if i work hard, i will learn all I need to and get good grades in the process. Wish me luck.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Anyway, I thought I would post some of the comments I heard come from my fellow X-ray tech students during the last semester. The following are actual comments made by my classmates:
"I'd like to palpate her pubic symphysis!"
"The worlds population is now past 600 billion because of the lesbian couples who are being artificially inseminated."
"Buddhism has given me a wonderful basis for a career in radiography."
"I used to work with a Dr. Kevorkian. She changed her name. Guess why?"
"It's good that you should pee after sex to reduce your risk of a UTI. Most of my sexual encounters require a lot of drinking before hand anyway." said outside of class
"This is the Anteroposterior Missionary position."
"The CR (Central Ray) beam should shoot right up the crotch area."
"Who's gonna be the Enema Captain this semester."
"I'll take Anus for $400." during a Jeopardy game in our A&P class
"I respect your body parts."
The collective intelligence of the class isnt always at its highest, as you can see. With the coming semester I am sure there will be many more conversational gems uttered, so stay tuned for future class commentary.