Posts Tagged With: Interests

Basketball

My team won!

It may have been a few (*cough* *cough* or more than just a few) years since I was a student at Villanova, but I still pull for them every spring when March Madness comes around. Kinda tough around the family home, given that both of my brothers went to Xavier, and my parents are preferential to Xavier, too, but if the Musketeers aren’t involved, they’ll all cheer for my Wildcats.

That was a heckuva game tonight. I think it was a good deal that I chose to watch at home, rather than finding someplace out to watch it. This way, if I was yelling at the TV, no one cared.

It was a good game. A little too close for my comfort, especially given how soundly ‘Nova managed to thrash some of the other teams in the tourney, but.

Nothing like a buzzer-beater for the win!

Categories: Bucket List, School, Sports | Tags: | Leave a comment

Tech!

Things have changed a lot since I went to college some *mumblety-mumble* years ago. Back then, I took a desktop IBM PC with an amber monochrome monitor, 2 of the 5.25″ floppy drives (no hard drive), a dot matrix printer, and no modem with me. It took a handcart to move it all. Now, it’s all laptops and tablets, lightweight and easy to carry.

Email from the program ahead of time said that we’d definitely need a laptop for classes, and that while either a PC or a Mac was ok, one of the required programs for Biostats was not compatible with Macs. I sort of made faces at that, as I’ve gone completely Apple in the past couple of years, but I pulled out an older PC laptop and got it all upgraded and ready for the first day of class…

Only to find out that the stats program does work on Macs. It’s just a little trickier to install, but once installed, it runs just fine. So I have everything running on both a PC and a Mac.

Come the first day of class, and everyone is linked in from home, listening to our Biostats prof go on. He starts showing us how to use the program R. Half of the class panics in the chat box because they couldn’t get it installed and working at all! He offered a few tips but said that he needed to continue the class (it’s recorded, so people could watch it again later) to at least get all of the info presented.

6 or 7 of us managed to set up a meeting time for yesterday to see if we couldn’t get R working on their computers. It ended up with me bouncing from chair to chair around a table, installing R on about 6 computers there (and then one more over the phone, because one of the campuses is downstate). We ended up with all but one of the computers working! And now everyone thinks I have some sort of magic computer-fu…

Categories: School | Tags: , | 1 Comment

First Day of School!

Ok, so sort of not really… But it was the first day of real content delivery.

The program that I’m in is for a Masters of Public Health. It is designed for working adults, for the most part, to allow them to obtain the degree while having a full-time job. The core courses (2 each semester for 3 semesters) are on Saturdays, and there is no expectation that we will all complete the degree at the same time. In fact, our class designation is by the start date, not the graduation date, so I’m part of “Class of 2015”.

The core courses, while being taught to all 30 of us together, are still very much mainly self-taught. The majority of the Saturdays are designated as “online”, meaning that the lectures are prerecorded and that I can listen to them at any point during the week. One class has a quiz (2-3 essay questions) due every Friday; the other has either homework or a quiz due once a week. Most everything is open book, but in order to get things done in the time constraints for the online quizzes and homework, you do have to have read the assignments. Self-motivation is going to be a big factor.

Electives will be different, as they’ll be regular grad school courses. My first one of those starts next week. It’s a regular classroom course, though I think a lot of my electives will end up being online courses, too. Easier to take courses at some of the further campuses when they’re online so I don’t end up driving hours and hours each semester.

Today’s class was one of the few “live” lectures, in that we logged in to a videoconference with the biostats prof. He had wanted everyone to have downloaded and installed a stats program so that he could spend half of the class teaching us how to use it, but about half of the class either didn’t have it downloaded or couldn’t get it installed. (Part of the problem is that it doesn’t play well with Macs, but there are work-arounds.) Several of us were typing in the chatbox with tips about how to get it working when one of the girls sent out a plea for “anyone who got this working on a mac, would you please be willing to sit down and show me how?”

Somehow, this ended up with me agreeing to meet with 6 or 7 classmates tomorrow afternoon to help them get their computers set up and squared away. Oh, well…best way to learn something is to teach it, right?

Categories: School | Tags: , | 1 Comment

In Search Of…

Adrenaline.

I’m a confirmed and long-standing adrenaline junkie. I’ve known this for years. My hobbies reflect this; I learned to surf in high school. I ski. I shoot. I ride horses. I’ve gone white-water rafting on rivers nearby and far (even up in Alaska).

And my job was perfect for someone who needed a regular dose of adrenaline. Sure, lots of nights were dull and boring, the routine…just sniffles, colds, ankle sprains, and the like, but when it all hit the fan, that’s when the ER shines. That’s why I loved what I did. That’s when we made a real difference.

Now I just have to find my adrenaline in more…mundane ways. I’ll survive. And maybe find some new hobbies in the doing.

Categories: Bucket List, Long-term Goals, Wonderings, Work | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Looking Forward

Today, I’m putting on my big girl pants and moving on. There’ll still be days when I may cry for what I’ve lost; I’d not be human if I didn’t miss what I had, but it’s time to look forward now.

I got new hearing aids yesterday. AND THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT!!! Yes, they pair with my phone, and I can control just about every aspect of how they function with an app. (And I will hurt y’all who are already plotting to hack my hearing aids. Just sayin’. *giggles*) It’s amazing how loud the world is, though. I’d forgotten that snow squeaks when you walk on it. Traffic makes noise when it goes by in the road. The turn signal in my truck makes noise. I can even stream music to my hearing aids!

I’m also starting to get things ready for starting school in the fall. I’m getting my home office set up as a cozy study zone, cleaning out everything I don’t need and bringing in everything I want and will use. I’ve started a study course that will brush up my study skills between now and then, because it’s been 20-*mumble* years since I was in school, and studying for the occasional exam since then doesn’t count. I am planning on doing a self-study course in basic statistics so that I won’t start out behind the 8-ball for my biostats course in the fall.

I’ve also got a busy few months ahead. I’ll be spending some time down with family. Looking forward to going to NRA in Nashville. Heading to Alaska for 2 weeks at one point. More family is coming to town (one nephew is baseball crazy and the All-Star game is on the schedule!). A friend is marrying off two daughters and I’m her general dogsbody for both weddings. And somewhere in there, I’ve got new guns to shoot! It’s all gonna be a lot of fun.

Categories: Health, Long-term Goals, Vacation, Work | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Life Is What Happens…

…while you are making plans for what you wanted to do. And somehow, the plans don’t match what actually rolls down the pike.

Today is the day I say farewell to the best job I’ve ever had, the one that I thought I’d have until my working days were done. Today is the day I close the door on the career that I worked 14 years to get to the point of starting, and then only spent 10 years actually doing. Today is the day I walk away from working with some of the best friends I’ve ever had the chance to work with, some of the best physicians and nurses I’ve had the honor to work alongside.

Today is the day I start rewriting my life. With tears in my eyes and rolling down my cheeks.

For the past 18 months, I’ve been battling some wicked crazy symptoms, including losing most of my hearing, a rash that resulted in my hands and feet peeling so deep I lost my fingerprints and all of my calluses, worsening arthritis, and vertigo that randomly comes and goes almost daily. I’ve been on high-dose steroids for most of a year. I’ve been on chemo. I’ll probably remain on immunosuppressants for the rest of my life. And because of all of this, I can no longer safely treat the patients I spent so many years learning to take care of.

I have plans. I’ve been working out where my feet will lead me in the next few months and years. I’m excited about the possibilities. But today is for mourning what I’ve lost.

Categories: Health, Long-term Goals, Work | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Breaking a Barrier

I own a variety of things that go *boom*. I have semi-automatic handguns. I have shotguns. I have rifles.

There is a category missing from this list… Revolvers. Just never got into them, despite the BF’s love of them, and despite having been privileged to shoot many beautiful revolvers belonging to many of my friends. Besides, I figured that gave me at least one category of things that I just wasn’t going to even look at when at the LGS or the gun shows. A “safe zone”, so to speak.

Well, that went right out the window yesterday. Following the example of one friend and aided and abetted by another friend,

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this little beauty followed me home yesterday. And I think it’s a definite keeper!

It’s a 4″ Colt Python. Serial number dates it to 1980, and it’s just gorgeous! A little muzzle wear and a few scratches, likely from being carried in a holster, but aside from that the bluing is in great shape. The grips are nice and tight and without any chips or dings. I can’t wait to get out this weekend and put some rounds through it.

Categories: Bucket List, Firearms | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

NRA…”Shooter Self Care”

Part of the NRAAM that I’d been most looking forward to was Kelly Grayson’s “Shooter Self Care” class. He’d put a post up on his blog, A Day In the Life of An Ambulance Driver, one morning, saying that he’d be willing to teach a 4-hour class on shooter self-care and first aid. He wanted to limit it to 25 or so. Within 24 hours, he had an overflowing class at 32.

Kelly is a fantastic teacher, and I was delighted to finally be able to attend one of his classes. Although I may be an ER physician, when I’m dealing with gunshot wounds and other emergencies, I do it with the backing of a full trauma center surrounding me. It’s not often that I get a chance for an update on the newest theories and practices of how to handle pre-hospital emergencies.

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Medicine is an art as much as anything, so the practice changes over time.
— Tourniquets used to be last-ditch and a “never!” sort of implement; now they’re just about first-line, especially given the advances in vascular surgery and limb repair.
— Basic CPR has changed. There used to be all sorts of ratios between breaths and compressions for 1 and 2 rescuers. Now it’s all compressions, all the time. 100 beats per minute. Hard, fast, and deep. (And if you can’t figure out what 100 beats per minute is, sing “Staying Alive” in your head. Or “Another One Bites the Dust”. They both fit the rhythm.)
— Electricity is key. AEDs are cheap and plentiful and found in many (?most) public places now. And they’re easy to work. I’ve had to use one on a plane before, and THEY WORK.

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I think everyone (save one) really enjoyed the class and got a lot out of it. Kelly doesn’t drone on and on as so many lecturers can (and so often do). His slides are well-organized and neat. His pictures were well-chosen and very representative of the injuries that he needed for us to see in order to be able to recognize what may be there out in the real world, should someone be injured by a gunshot at a range. As someone who sees the gunshot wounds that come to the ER, his pictures were hardly over the top in terms of blood and guts, nor were they examples of the worst that can happen out there. He would have done us all a great disservice had he not had the pictures in his lecture, especially when he was trying to demonstrate the differences between “looks ugly but won’t kill you NOW” and “will kill you RIGHT NOW” injuries.

And to the person in the front row who kept interrupting the class by squealing every time a new picture came up on the screen… Erin, put on your big girl panties. You carry a Glock. You run a prepping blog. You own a rifle and write about knives. What good do you think squealing and hiding your face is going to do when that Glock goes off and someone gets hit? What did you think you were going to see in a class titled “Shooter Self Care and First Aid”? Flowers and ponies? Get real. Life is, and it’s not going to stop for you and your precious sensibilities.

P.S. A huge thank you to Larry Weeks and Brownell’s for the snacks and goodies that kept us going during class!

Categories: Firearms, Health, Vacation, Weapons | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

NRA…the Beginning

So I took a little trip this past weekend. I was in Indianapolis for the NRA Annual Meeting. It was my first, and despite all of the medical conferences I’ve attended (generally one/year for the past x years), I still underestimated the toll it would take on me.

Fun? Oh, my, yes! But draining, exhausting, and tiring, too. It’ll be another couple of days before I’m all caught up on energy, despite being used to being on my feet at work 7-8 hours every night.

And totally worth it to see good friends again and to meet so many new people! I never realized just how many people I know in the shooting world, and by extension, how many people -they- know. And now, I know even more of those people, too.

I’ll be putting up a few posts over the next few days as I get some of my thoughts back in order. For now, it’s just good to be home again.

Categories: Bucket List, Firearms, Politics, Vacation | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Mail Call!

I was wondering if the appearance of this…

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in my mailbox signals that I just might have a problem. Apparently, they appreciate the amount of money that I’ve spent there this year.

Then again, that’s just a catalog to entice me into spending more money.

My local gun shop sent me a gun mat for Christmas because I spend so much money there. Thot only considered that a problem because he didn’t get one, too!

Categories: Clothes, Firearms, Wonderings | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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