2020 Introspection

I get a little concerned every time I hear a comment to the effect that someone is ready to write off 2020 and go straight to 2021. First of all, there’s no guarantee that things you won’t like aren’t going to happen next year. People wanted to write off 2019 and were really looking forward to 2020 early last year. Secondly, are you really ready to give up on all the experiences or happiness that you may yet have in 2020?

I know on Mondays, people can’t wait for Friday. In the winter, people can’t wait for spring. How much of your life are you OK writing off? A few days? A few weeks? A couple months? Years? Are you going to be OK looking back on your life and seeing you just “skipped” years of it?

I hope you find something, even one thing, that makes you happy today…and this week…and this month…and sometime in the rest of 2020.

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New Normal: Pro Column

I hear a lot of talk these days about what our “new normal” will be. Nobody is stating specifics, which makes the topic frustrating to try to follow. There are a few things I have no interest in seeing as our new normal (I may talk about those later under New Normal Cons). However, there’s one thing I would thoroughly enjoy as a new normal: Space.

If our new normal includes not being packed in as tight as possible when traveling by airplane or bus, that’s in my pro column. If new normal means having space between yourself and the next person at a concert or sporting event, that’s in my pro column.

I don’t really believe I have a personal bubble, but I do feel the negative effects of extended amounts of time packed in with others. If we can come out of the other side of this gaining a bit of personal space, then I like the potential.
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Dishwasher Repair

I fixed the dishwasher last weekend.

It was making a grinding noise, so I consulted Google and confirmed what I should look at. Then I suggested to the wife that I was going to check out the noisy dishwasher. She scoffed. I don’t know that people do a lot of scoffing anymore, but she scoffed flawlessly.

Anyway, I took the thing apart, removed a rusty old screw that was floating around and that doesn’t look to belong anywhere in the machine, and put it back together. Now it runs perfectly.

At least it does when we don’t inadvertently block the detergent door from popping open.

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Ghost Hunter for Hire

Michael Brown
Michael Brown
The best ghost hunter
This side of town

This side of town
Michael is best
Won’t get no better
Lest you go west

Michael Brown
Michael Brown
The best ghost hunter
This side of town

Finding ghosts
Is nice and easy
I track ’em down
On my own Ouija

Michael Brown
Michael Brown
The best ghost hunter
This side of town

A haunting ghost
A spooky wraith
I’ll track ’em down
Unless it’s unsafe

Michael Brown
Michael Brown
The best ghost hunter
This side of town

The haunted bus
Is no mystery
Well, I guess it was
Until they called me.

Michael Brown
Michael Brown
The best ghost hunter
This side of town.

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Human Nature

Why do people assume the worst (or is it just me)?

I needed to order contact lenses, but I hadn’t been to the eye doctor in 3 years. They wanted to see me before ordering new contacts. After the doctor was done, he sat silently writing for a couple awkward minutes. While waiting, I was thinking “why is he so quiet? Why is he writing so much? What is he consulting as he flips back and forth through my previous visits? Am I going blind? Is he trying to find a way to tell me I’m going blind? You’d think he’d have done this before. Should I ask him if I should insure my sight? Can you even do that? If I walk out now and call my insurance company to insure my sight, will they find out I knew I was going blind and cancel my policy? I have a lot of books I want to read. I wonder how long I have to finish my pile of unread books…”

Then he said something about seeing how far into the new year he could get without writing the old year.

My eyes are fine; no significant changes.

Posted in Get To Know Roger, Ramblings, What's Up? | Leave a comment

Loot List ’16

Star Wars The Black Series Titanium Series Snowspeeder
Shadowrun Novel: Stranger Souls by Jak Koke
Shadowrun Novel: Clockwork Asylum by Jak Koke
Shadowrun Novel: Beyond the Pale by Jak Koke
Shadowrun Novel: Ragnarock by Stephen Kenson
Shadowrun Novel: Technobabel by Stephne Kenson
Shadowrun Novel: Lone Wolf by Nigel Findley
Shadow Ops Novel: Control Point by Myke Cole
Firefly playing cards
Star Trek TNG Bluetooth communicator badge
d20 Throw rug
Pocket Pop! Keychain: Arrow
Captain America shield keyring
Strawberry chapstick x2
Roger’s Shrubbery Service t-shirt
Big Daddy Weave: Love Come to Life
Phillips Craig & Dean: Breathe In
Matt Redman: Your Grace Finds Me
Marvel Comics belt
BloodBowl: The Game of Fantasy Football (2016)
Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower
Jedi robes

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Husband Fail

I ended 2016 with a husband fail.

A screw was coming loose from my wife’s glasses. I tried to screw it back in, but it wouldn’t go in straight. I figured I’d take it out and start over. When I took the screw out, it wouldn’t go back in. At all. The holes just don’t line up, which probably explains why it wouldn’t go in straight to begin with.

If that’s the worst thing that happened to me in 2016, I guess I’m doing all right. My wife is wearing an old pair of glasses, and she may have another opinion on the whole subject.

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Loot List ’15

In no particular order:

Leather Jacket
Dremel 4200
A.D. 33 by Ted Dekker
The Christmas Sessions by MercyMe
Hope For All the World by Phillips, Craig, and Dean
Welcome to the New by MercyMe
Miracle by Third Day
Where Strength Begins by Phillips, Craig, and Dean
Beautiful Offerings by Big Daddy Weave
Olive Garden gift card
Giant-Size X-Men #1 cover metal wall hanging
The Amazing Spider-man #137 cover metal wall hanging
TMNT metal wall hanging
Millennium Falcon ACME Techplate metal wall hanging
Darth Vader StarWars socks from ThinkGeek
Star Trek TNG command colors hoodie
Never Deal With a Dragon ShadowRun novel by Robert Charrette
Blood of Aenarion, A Tyrion & Teclis Warhammer novel by William King
Blood Bowl the Omnibus by Matt Forbeck
White Dwarf #82, WFRP introduction cover
StarWars R2-D2 bluetooth speakerphone

Child’s Play candy
StarWars Band-Aids
8 Bit sunglasses
Rubik’s Cube
Pound of Dice
Star Trek paperclips
RFID blocking wallet
Four sets of fingernail clippers (by request)
Chapstick 3 pack

One mystery gift yet to arrive!

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Sandra Jean Davis Memorial

Nanny (Sandra Jean) was born 12/28/1939 in Bangor, Maine to Florence and Norman. It was Thursday, under the sign of Capricorn. The US president was Franklin D. Roosevelt. Color TVs were not yet invented.

Little about her childhood is known, but there is no definitive proof that she wasn’t a child prodigy or imbued with super powers. Just saying.

She graduated Brewer High School in 1958 and married Grampa on April 10, 1958. Back then, she always went by “Jean.”

Eight and a half months later, her first child was born. The house would be full of children, she had four, and then grandchildren for many, many years to come. It was her grandchildren that would dub her “Nanny.”

Where Nanny really shined was with her grandchildren. Her grandchildren were always welcome, and she was always willing to give them the love and attention they desired. Nanny never hesitated to tell me how many times she got up with me in the middle of the night when I was a baby. My earliest, and some of my fondest memories, were at Nanny’s house in Eddington.

Nanny never complained when her grandchildren would build a fort under the kitchen table and then run off without cleaning it up…at least she never complained to us. She never complained to us when cutlery went missing because her grandchildren had taken it outside to play and left it under a tree. However, she might have been a tad upset when we would drink too much of her Tab.
For those unaware, Tab is a diet cola soft drink produced by The Coca-Cola Company, introduced in 1963. All of my memories from the house on the Nickerson Rd in Eddington include Tab as the drink of choice. At some point she changed from Tab to Diet Pepsi. Diet Pepsi was never quite as alluring as the mysterious Tab.

Somewhere in the hustle and bustle of raising children and grandchildren, she found the time to become a CNA at Eastern Maine Medical Center.

When she and Grampa divorced, she remarried to become Sandra Jean Davis. By this time she was known as “Sandra” instead of “Jean.”

She lived on Pearl Street in Bangor, still loved to have her grandchildren over, and collected as many knick-knacks as she could to elegantly decorate her first floor apartment. It was in this lovely apartment where many of her other grandchildren would make their memories with Nanny. These may or may not include metal-edged BINGO chips and magnetic wands. (No? Just me?)

Time passed, situations changed, and Nanny was forced to move around. She was at times homeless, lived in the Freese’s Building, and lived at the Phillips-Strickland House. It was during this phase that her mind started to deteriorate. She would do things like catch her hair on fire while cooking, or drop a salad, breaking the bowl, just to pick it up and put it in another container…with some of the broken glass from the original bowl.

Somewhere in this timeframe, she also earned the name “Nana Hemp” as she shared a story about growing a “very pretty plant” in her window for a while only to later learn it was marijuana.

Nanny moved to Florida with Cindy in 2013. Who wouldn’t rather spend their final years basking in the sun rather than freezing in the snow? Also, retired dudes.

Sandra Jean Davis died peacefully, with her daughter Cindy by her side on May 17, 2015.

She is survived by her sister Linda, daughter Sally and her husband John, daughter Cindy, and her son Dan.

She had 12 beloved grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, 3 stepsons, and 4 step grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her mother Grammie (Florence), father Norman, brother Larry, and daughter Beth.

She will be buried at Pine Tree Cemetery in Eddington. May God have mercy on her soul…enjoy her glass salad, and tactfully ignore the pretty pot plant growing in her mansion window.

Posted in Monkey News, Obituaries | Leave a comment

Happy National Monkey Day!




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Day 1: Shopping

Sunday, July 6th 2014

We figured Sunday would be a good shopping day. Other activities may not be open, plus we were still a bit tired from the trip.

The wife’s primary goal on the vacation was to get cowgirl boots.

Cowgirl boots

I needed some jeans and replacement cargo pants. I always live on the edge, I know.

The Lucky Jeans saleswoman said their jeans would change my life. I told her I wasn’t sure I was ready for that kind of commitment. Bought two pair of Wrangler instead. The wife got a couple shirts.

We visited a couple different outlet malls with little success in finding stuff we were really interested in. Maybe hitting outlets multiple times a year has accustomed us a bit too much.

We ended the day at Thee Pits Again for some BBQ, as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. There were a couple good items on my sampler plate, but far more that was just OK.

We just went back to the resort to relax the rest of the day.

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Vacation: Arizona

This year vacation has brought us to Arizona. The availability fit our timeframe and our desire for a warm vacation. Here we are in Phoenix, our brains a day (due to the Friday holiday) and three hours ahead of these Pacific Timers (some of our electronics still show Eastern Time, though they supposedly sync on their own). We have no complaints about the heat!

Sunday will be shopping day. Everything opens between 10 and 11. We’ve got boots, books, and outlet shopping on tap.

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I was merging onto the interstate when the oncoming car in the travel lane started honking his horn and pointing vehemently at the Yield sign in front of me. The odd thing is that I had already timed my entry to pass behind his car, assuming he didn’t slam on his brakes or do something else similarly stupid on the interstate. Also, there was nobody in the passing lane, and he could have easily moved over to let me into the travel lane to let me on if he was worried about my car.

Sometimes I don’t move over if I’m worried about not having a chance to get back in the right lane before my exit, but this guy didn’t get off any of the next 3 exits. He also was distractedly weaving about his lane and completely ignoring the speed limit.

Why get so up in arms about making sure I see one sign while he was ignoring another? What’s this guy’s deal?

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Loot List ’13

Here’s my yearly list of Christmas loot!

Wolverine Comics pack #35-#50
Jim Butcher: Wizard for Hire (Dresden Files 1-3)
Jim Butcher: Wizard by Trade (Dresden Files 4-5)
Jim Butcher: Wizard at Large (Dresden Files 6-7)
Jim Butcher: Wizard Under Fire (Dresden Files 8-9)
DC Comics Deck Building Game
12 canister shell fireworks
36 Granite speckled d6s
Citadel paints (White, Black, Blue, Red, Yellow, Green, Metal)
Captain America Pez dispencer
Star Wars Wood Coaster Set (4 pack)
Monty Python’s Wafer Thin Mints
4 pack of special retro Garbage Pail Kids
StarWars Metal Earth Millennium Falcon 3D model
StarWars Mad Libs
Design socks (Hobbit feet, shark attack, sneakers, loafers)
Serenity schematic T-Shirt
Speakers (computer. Logitech z506)
Personalized pocket watch
StarWars Mace Windu light sabre

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I Knight You, Sir Squirrel!

Of the Acorn Arms! Who rides the vicious battle skunk of Findor! Who razes with little catapults loaded with acorns!


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Nursing Journal Day 6

For my May term course I have to keep a journal of daily events. It’s our first course that’s hands-on with patients. In the end we will qualify as CNAs. That’s the frame of reference for the journal, just so you don’t expect too much. Since I have to keep a journal, why not share it on my blog?

We added some medication research to our care plans this morning. We have to choose the three most important medications on the patient’s list (according to our instructor or the patient’s nurse) and write them up. I think it will be great practice for things we do next semester.

We also had to switch floors, which is good because we had gotten comfortable on the previous floors. There are subtle differences in the layout of the floors, but overall things seem to run pretty much the same. On this other floor, all the oncoming staff listen to prerecorded shift handoffs. I can see some good and some bad in performing patient handoff this way.

I spent a lot of time in my patient’s room today, helping them get washed up and changing the bed linens. There was sponge-bathing (so to speak), lotioning, powdering, and foot washing involved. I know it will be rare for a nurse to have the time to do all that with the patient, so I need to get good at the skills now. I think I’m close to having this one down.

I left report for the oncoming student that our patient should be encouraged to get up and walk around more. I think this a big thing for hospital patients and one that should be encouraged as much as possible. Proper circulation is very important, and you can’t get it by lying in a bed all day.

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Nursing Journal Day 5

For my May term course I have to keep a journal of daily events. It’s our first course that’s hands-on with patients. In the end we will qualify as CNAs. That’s the frame of reference for the journal, just so you don’t expect too much. Since I have to keep a journal, why not share it on my blog? This one had to be hand written and turned in before we left on Friday, so I didn’t have a copy to post here until it was returned.

SOAP and DAR narrative types added. We jumped right into vital signs. The morning meal came, and we went into the shift assessment. I forgot another major portion of the assessment, CSMs. I did remember the pulses I forgot yesterday. Between the two, I did a completely thorough assessment.

I helped reposition a patient with a jugular IV so that her pump would stop the occlusion alert. I also toileted a patient from the floor and documented her output.

I documented my patient’s output, apparently something we forgot to do yesterday. There was 3200 mls in the commode when nursing emptied it last night.
My patient got another bed bath and linen remake. Then OT and PT came, keeping her busy the rest of the day.

Yay for the weekend and sleep!

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Nursing Journal Day 4

For my May term course I have to keep a journal of daily events. It’s our first course that’s hands-on with patients. In the end we will qualify as CNAs. That’s the frame of reference for the journal, just so you don’t expect too much. Since I have to keep a journal, why not share it on my blog?

Added this morning: NANDA nursing diagnoses, objectives, interventions, evaluations, and IV information.

Today we were all supposed to perform and observed, graded shift assessment. This is the assessment the nurse does on the patient when they first see them at the beginning of the shift. Unfortunately, not everyone got to finish their assessment for a grade today because of timing.

I was given the opportunity to see a PICC line inserted today, but apparently the person performing it was new and a little student-shy. Hopefully we get to see the process tomorrow instead. It will be good to get ourselves used to these procedures.

I assisted a physical therapist who was trying to get a patient to stand and possibly walk using a walker. The patient was having none of the standing part, especially since his hospital stay was due to a fall. He did try to bite me twice, though he didn’t seem to serious about it.

I helped my patient get ready for her bed bath, and I changed her sheets when she was done. I also performed an ungraded shift assessment. Luckily it was ungraded, because I probably would have failed. Checking pulses is kind of a big deal. At least it should help me remember tomorrow. Also tomorrow I hopefully remember turgor. I have forgotten that the last two days.

I am impressed with some of the questions I hear my classmates asking and some of the observations they make. They seem like they will make really good nurses.

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Nursing Journal Day 3

For my May term course I have to keep a journal of daily events. It’s our first course that’s hands-on with patients. In the end we will qualify as CNAs. That’s the frame of reference for the journal, just so you don’t expect too much. Since I have to keep a journal, why not share it on my blog?

Another step was added to our nursing care plans this morning. It seems pretty involved, but then I realize we haven’t added medications to the care plan yet. They are going to get even more intense soon.

My patient was sleeping until breakfast came, so I was able to get some catch-up research and some preparation research done. I was also able to talk to the nurse more about the patient’s background and how everything is interconnected.

When the hands-on work started it was consistent but more comfortable than yesterday. Not only did we do vital signs, but we also practiced a shift assessment. We are going to be graded on these tomorrow. Too bad we weren’t graded today. My patient was all too willing to let me do whatever I needed for practice. Luckily, I hear tomorrow’s patient is accommodating as well.

I also got practice helping a patient wash up and changing linens. Nothing that sounds too exciting, I’m sure, but things we need to be able to do.

Tomorrow starts the process again, adding more.

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Nursing Journal Day 2

For my May term course I have to keep a journal of daily events. It’s our first course that’s hands-on with patients. In the end we will qualify as CNAs. That’s the frame of reference for the journal, just so you don’t expect too much. Since I have to keep a journal, why not share it on my blog?

Today we were assigned our patients. The instructor chose our patients last night, wrote down everything he could tell us, and gave us a mock report this morning. Then we went upstairs to try to take part in the real report. The nursing staff didn’t seem to know we were coming, or didn’t care, as they were already giving report to the oncoming nurse by the time we found out who we should be shadowing.

Our assignment for the day was to take a set of vital signs and to chart them. For some reason I can take vital signs all day in a controlled classroom environment without a problem, but I have difficulty in real life. I keep telling myself it comes with practice, but I have had a lot of practice.

My patient’s blood pressure was low. Real low. I had taken it manually…for more practice. I took it again with the machine to double check myself. It was still low, though not quite as low as I had found. I went to tell the nurse, who was expecting a low BP but not as low as what I got. The patient had to have a saline infusion. The nurse tried to tell me I saved the patient’s life, but all I did was take a blood pressure and report it. That reaction seems melodramatic.

I stayed with my nurse for the first hour. I rarely interacted with the CNA. When I did it was just to pass along something I wanted her to know about my patient. We are supposed to be primarily working with the CNA, so I probably missed out on a few training opportunities today. Luckily the nurse is really nice and tried his hardest to fill in my knowledge/critical thinking gaps.

I wasn’t really able to help any of the other students with their tasks. Another student and I walked a patient who didn’t have a student. I delivered coffee and graham crackers to another patient who I wasn’t assigned to. Some of the others performed bed baths or linen changes. I feel like I didn’t do enough. On the other hand, the nurse taught me a lot about nursing.

Tomorrow I should have the same patient. I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong with him. I think that’s outside of my scope.

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