Friday, October 30, 2009

Web Logging

So I decided to try web logging. I learned on NPR a couple of weeks ago that web logging is where the word blogging comes from. So I am going to try to write a little something everyday for a week and see how that goes

So my day started out pretty much the same as any other day except today is Friday which means I get to sleep until I don't feel like sleeping anymore OR Stan and Daddy need to pee which was the case today so with gentle urging from the boys, I get up and let the dogs out. I get some coffee and oatmeal, and snuggle on the couch to read my A&P book for school when my blissful quiet is rudely interrupted because a loose neighborhood dog comes sniffing around and gets my pack all stirred up. So instead of concentrating on my book I am irritated, first that the people in my neighborhood cannot seem to contain their dogs and second, that my dogs are barking their fool heads off. Why is it that I can ignore every other dog on the street but the sound of my own dogs barking drives me insane? The dog eventually went away and I got to peacefully read all about the Krebs cycle for about an hour.

Krebs cycle! How am I ever going to, learn this! This is the process that your body, actually the mitochondria in your cells uses to make ATP which is the chemical that fuels your body. Sounds simple when I put it that way but there are a lot of carbon atoms involved and a lot of breaking those down into different acids…….very complex. It is going to take me a while to learn that stuff.

When I was tired of reading or more like my brain couldn't absorb anymore of the Krebs cycle I decided to check out my email and face book. I noticed that work had called me so against my better judgment I called back (after checking the message of course) they needed a cat for blood donation so I was asked to bring up Billy. I started to make the necessary preparations to get ready to take Billy up there for blood I get a call back and the owners of the cat that needed the blood transfusion decided to euthanize their cat…probably for the best the cat most likely had some bad cancer. But then I get this from work, "oh by the way since you were heading up here anyway how about you come early it is really busy and someone is late blah blah blah"(I should have known it was a trap!). I need all the hours I can get and I am done doing the studying I wanted to do so I decide to gather up the pack and head out to work.

Work was fairly uneventful. We were steady busy and that translates out to mean, it was not crazy but we had patients the whole time and several critical ones in the hospital. The most interesting one was Shelby. She came in at about 11pm and the receptionist said a technician was needed in the room. I went in there, took one look at Shelby and knew she was in trouble. I yelled for help and we took her straight back. Her gums were as white a piece of paper (white paper). She got an IV catheter and started on some fluids. While we spoke to the owners to try and find out what happened to their dog. They were out of town for a week and a pet sitter had been taking care of Shelby. The pet sitter said the dog was a little lethargic yesterday but was fine the rest of the time. Dr G decided that Shelby has IMHA (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia) basically the body turns on itself and attacks its own red blood cells which as you can imagine is not good. You need your red blood cells for a lot of things including carrying your oxygen around your body for you. Shelby had been vaccinated at her RDVM (that's regular vet to you) for the canine flu…sometimes vaccination can be a precursor to this disease process. (See Canine Vaccination Controversy paper I wrote in October 2008 ) Shelby needed a blood transfusion and the only 2 dogs at the hospital able to donate were Daddy and Stan.

Daddy's Smile is priceless!!! Had to include a picture of the two would be heros!

So we began the tedious process of cross matching Daddy and (bummer for all involved) his blood had a reaction then we tried to match Stan and his blood also reacted so she had to get the fake hemoglobin that we have at the hospital. It doesn't last very long however and if Shelby makes it thought the night we will try to match them again tomorrow after her body has had some time to get better on all of the meds she is taking.

I was at work 3 extra hours on Friday and am pretty beat…a little too beat for the start of the week. I am going to start taking my camera to work so I can take pictures of this craziness to include here. Hopefully my weblogging experiment goes well and I have time to do this everyday. It would make me happy and hopefully you guys like it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wasting Time and Rambling On

So I have been sitting here at the computer for far too long (I won't even mention how long). I have been working on my blog, adding some new gadgets and reading some of the things I have posted.

I can't believe that I have been in school for over a year now and have accomplished so much! It is funny to read some of the things I posted that first semester when I thought I would die of either exhaustion or animal hair ingestion. I thought back to how crazed I was that my house was dirty, the dogs weren't getting walked and that I was sleeping under the laundry piled on my bed (at least it is clean). Now I just walk past that stuff and shake my head. Sometimes I will spend a full minute looking at an enormous hair tumble weed and think about going on a cleaning frenzy but then I remember all of the homework I have, how tired I am, or the episodes of House saved on the DVR and the hair tumble weed doesn't seem all that important. The semesters have definitely become easier as time goes on. I have really learned how to manage my time and how to not care about he mess that is my car, house and sometimes life. School is my number one priority.

Each time I get a paycheck I am reminded of why I must finish. I am so tired of not having the money or time to do things and when I think about it, it seems like an eternity will have passed before I will be embarking on my new life. Until then I dream about taking vacations either with my family or to see my family. I dream about actually spending holidays with loved ones instead of at work(not that i don't enjoy most of the folks at work). I am even jealous of my friends on this blog that have time to update their blog on an almost daily basis. I want to be able to be a blog addict and write everyday. I want to have time to use my fancy camera I bought and post pictures on here for you all to enjoy. I want to lay on my couch for days in a row if I want to. I want clean floors and a bed that isn't covered in laundry. I want to have a normal relationship and possibly have a family of my own.

Don't get me wrong... I think about this stuff a lot but when I am really down and out I think about all of the people that do not have the opportunities I have, that don't have their own house and car let alone the time and fiances to go to school to better themselves. I am thankful as well as disappointed when I get my paycheck that I have a job and people that love me. Like my sister for example. Sometimes I look at her incredible life and I am jealous but mostly I realize how hard she has worked for what she has and that makes me want to work even harder. She is so smart and such a great inspiration. She also helps me when ever she can with money, an understanding ear, and sometimes a delicious meal and great food. My brother also helps out by telling me not to be too down on myself when I call him and tell him I feel bad that I had to have my little sister bail me out again. He tells me that is what family is for.

Anyway thought I would throw in a little rant so I had something to show for all of my time sitting on my butt in front of this computer. I think I hear an episode of House calling me from the other room.

And the Nobel Peace Prize goes to……..Barack Obama 44th President of the United States!

Here is the third news analysis paper I wrote for my U.S. Government class for your reading pleasure. I wanted to write a blog about this the minute I heard about Obama winning the Nobel Prize but decided to wait and kill two birds with one stone. As most of you know I am a bleeding heart liberal and so of course, am a huge supporter of Obama. In this paper I mention the speech he gave in Philadelphia on March 18th 2008 while he was still senator of Illinois. The speech was a reaction to a call from the country that he disown the Pastor of his church that had been cited for making racist remarks during a sermon. The speech he gave is a reaction to that. I remember reading the speech for the first time with tears in my eyes as I thought about the intolerance we still have to overcome as individuals and as a nation. Included are links to the article I wrote about and a New York Times web page that has Obamas March 18th speech in both a video format as well as a transcript of it. I really hope you all take the opportunity to listen to and or read it. In the meantime I hope you enjoy. As always thanks so much for taking the time to read and as you know your comments are always welcome.

As soon as I heard that President Obama had won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize I decided I wanted to write this paper about it. I was not aware that he had been nominated at all but was delighted to hear that he had won. I found the article I chose to write about on the NPR website and it is titled "Obama Wins Nobel, Vows 'Call To Action'" The article begins with Presidents Obama's reaction to the news. It states that he was surprised and deeply humbled by the news. In a short speech he said that he did not view the award as recognition for his own accomplishments but as recognition of the goals he has set for the U.S. and the world. He also was quoted as saying that this was a "Call to Action" and that the award must be shared with everyone who strives for justice and dignity.

The article goes on to say that President Obama plans on donating his 1.4 million dollar cash award to charity but does not mention which ones. The article talks about the fact that Obama is the third sitting president to receive this award and the first since Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Former presidents Jimmy Carter won in 2002 and former Vice President Al Gore won in 2007.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that he won the award "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples", special importance was attached to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons. Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee had this to say, "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given to it's people hope for a better future. " He also goes on to say that "In the past year Obama has been a key person for important initiatives in the U.N. for nuclear disarmament and to set a completely new agenda for the Muslim world and East-West relations." Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said "The exciting thing about this prize is that it's given to someone… who has the power to contribute to peace."

The article goes on to give the rhetorical rebuke form Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele where he mentions that Obama hasn't done anything yet and that his star power has outshined advocates that have made real achievements. The Republicans also state that this is clearly a poke in the eye to G.W. Bush because what this says is that America is back on the scene as a nation that is promoting peace after eight years of Bush.

The article goes on to give the rules for how the prize is awarded and also the history of the award. It mentions that in his 1885 will, Alfred Noble stipulated that the peace prize should go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses." The article also mentions that this is a critical time for the Obama administration as they have just sent additional troops to Afghanistan, in my opinion the war we should have been fighting since 2001.

I have to say that my heart swelled with pride when I heard that the President I had voted for was being recognized for his promotion of peace in this and other nations. I was disappointed at the commentary on radio and television that said he didn't deserve this prize. The reason cited most often is that he hasn't done anything. The first thing I thought of when I heard this was the speech he gave in Philadelphia on March 18, 2008 regarding the race relations in this country. His call to action for the people of this country to be more tolerant of the differences between all of us and the understanding of those differences we must have to move forward as a nation and as a people. I must say that after I heard this speech my vote was won. I have often wondered why people are allowed to use hate and intolerance as an excuse for violence.

I was troubled by the Republicans condemnation of Obama's Nobel Peace Prize and that they even mentioned Bush's name, as if their lame duck, war mongering, money grubbing president deserved a Noble Prize or any prize for that matter. I think anyone who is in doubt about whether or not Obama deserves the Peace Prize should read or listen to the speech he gave in Philadelphia on March 18th 2008. No matter what political party you belong to, I think you will agree that his words here are powerful and true. If this man does nothing else but change the attitudes of millions about people that are different than themselves, I think he has done an incredible thing. I write this to all of the people who believe that this man does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. He seeks peace for all, do you?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Surprise overnights and Pit Bulls

I am writing this with a deep sadness and very heavy heart. Yesterday I had to euthanize my friend Violet.

Those of you that have met her know that she was a little off. She had a very strong prey drive and was down to fight if the occasion called. She was a little OCD and had general anxiety about most everything. I tried my hardest all of her short life to help her adapt to life in the world and my pack. She received medication twice daily to combat her anxiety and OCD behaviors, firm but fair discipline sometimes enforced with an electric collar and daily runs on the treadmill(bought just for her) to get rid of her hyperactive energy. All the while I knew in the back of my mind that the day would come when she could no longer be a safe member of my pack and society. Well yesterday was that day. It started about 2 months ago when Daddy came in with a nick in his ear and I knew it was Violet that had done it. She plays a little too rough and sometimes grabs the necks and ears of the other dogs. I gave her a ½ a strike for it and thought they might have been playing too rough and it possibly was an accident. However I did store it away in the back of my mind and kept a little closer eye on her. Two weeks ago she and Lily got in a fight and both got hurt…just a little but they were injured. I didn't see the start of the fight but I had a suspicion that Violet had started it. Lily is very mild mannered as most of you that have met her know but she is a pit bull and if another dog starts a fight she is down to fight. I broke up the fight with just yelling and cleaned up the dogs and stored that incident (strike 2) away in the back of my head. Last week I witnessed some very bad and aggressive behavior on Violets part and disciplined her for it but also stored that away in the back of my mind as the probable reason for the start of the last fight.

Well yesterday after working 16+ hours at the EC all night I came home put the dogs out and proceeded to nap on the couch when I heard fighting sounds from out side. I ran to the window and there was Violet attacking Lily and Lily doing her best to defend herself. It took me at least 10 minutes to get them apart. I kept getting Lily away from Violet and Violet kept coming after her. The entire time I was thinking to myself "She's going to kill Lily right here in front of me and I can't do anything about it" It was quite possibly the scariest 10 minutes of my life. (Keep in mind that I have been awake for over 24 hours at this point and worked 16 of those 24 hours) I finally got them apart and Violet in her kennel and away from the other dogs(who were all huddled in the corner of the yard terrified) I looked at Lily who was pretty badly chewed up (see photo at the end) and decided that she needed to be seen at the hospital immediately. I called and told them I was coming with Lily and that I needed to come back with Violet later to put her down.

To some this may seem like a hasty decision but I don't think it is. I have a small pug that lives in my house and had she done this to her she would be dead. Lily is almost 11 years old and doesn't need to be attacked by a house mate even one more time. I knew when I first met Violet that she was unstable and told myself that I would give her the best life I could and when it came time for her to be put down I would do it. I can't help but think that we did this. Man has been breeding dogs for his own pleasure for hundreds of years. I don't know exactly where Violet came from but I am sure both of her parents are just as if not as crazy as she is. The responsibility started with the breeding of mentally unstable dogs. The responsibility came to me when I adopted her. I couldn't pass the responsibility to anyone else knowing that she is dog aggressive. She would have been three years old in April and dogs are not socially mature until they are four. This would have only gotten worse.

All of this said I still miss my little friend. She was quirky and cute and thought I was the greatest. Despite her many faults and defective brain she was very sweet and is sorely missed. RIP Violet I hope in dog heaven you get a healthy brain and can be relaxed and happy. See you there my friend.

This is the most recent photo of Violet taken on 10/16/09. This is the way I want to remember her.

This is Lily after the fight I posted this because I wanted those who would judge me for putting Violet down to see what I was dealing with. What would you do? The other reason I poted this is so that people might think twice about breeding mentally unstable dogs.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mid Term Progress Report

So the semester is half over and I thought I would let everyone know how I am doing. TIRED is how I am doing! Right now I am doing 3 things at once in addition to writing this blog. At least I have become better at this. Last year during my first semester I felt this tired from about the fourth week on. Today I am tired because I spent the last couple of days studying until all hours of the night, getting little sleep and being stressed about tests. But usually I am pretty good. I think the key is just not worrying about that which I can do nothing about. For example, the hell hole that I call a home with the piled up laundry, dishes, and mail I will get to it when I can and until then it isn't going anywhere (unfortunately). The amount of hair on the floor in the corners is probably pretty damn close to the amount of hair on the animals themselves. I am really glad I have lost some weight (due to stress, work and the fact that I rarely have time to eat) because now I have more scrubs to wear to work so I can to do laundry less often. Most days I get enough sleep and I have gotten in the groove enough that a lot of things can be done on auto pilot. My backpack and my coffee travel mug are some of my only friends.

Most of my classes are going well I have an A in my computer class because everything is online and all of the tests are open book taken at home…Thank goodness for this class! I don't have to really go if I don't want to and that has afforded me extra time in the math lab before tests (the only time I miss this class). There are some weird people in there like the guy who sits behind me…he has a glorious mullet and is really nice but rather odd. I moved away from the computer nerds with no books so it is better but still painfully boring most days. It was really hard to stay awake today.

A&P lecture class is going great! I love this class I am learning so much and love going even though it is my early class (9:30 am on Tuesday and Thursday). I made a 96.8% on my first exam and took the second one today...I think I did just as well as the first but we will see. This class by far takes most of my time. I try extra hard here as well because I will get bonus points toward my application to the RT program. Lab is not going as well as lecture however; I took my first of two lab practical's yesterday and got a 75% on it. I am more than a little bummed about this right now. I thought I did better than that and I studied a lot. It isn't the end of the world I guess I just need to study harder and spend some time in the Science Learning Center at school reviewing before the next one. I can still get an A even with this C as Lab is only 30% of my grade.

Math Class is not going well at all right now. I got an 87% on my first test but D's on the last two...I plan on spending more time in the math lab studying and hopefully can save this grade. Rather than give myself an ulcer over this I have already resigned to sticking it out no matter what and if I have to take it again in the spring instead of College algebra then I will. Math is hard for me and I can't realistically expect to just sail through it.

Government class is alright, my teacher is really old and kind of strange…some days I wonder if she knows what is going on but she is sweet anyway. I have a B in that class and am going to study harder the second half of the semester to bring it up to an A. I took my mid term on Wednesday and I got an A on it so that will help.

I am anxiously awaiting the end of this semester so I can have a break. Six whole glorious weeks of freedom from school! I can hardly contain my self. I am also planning on taking one of those weeks off of work so I can do absolutely nothing but hang out with my family, friends and dogs for a week. Since I went to summer school this year I have not had a break since last winter break. I will stock up on good beers and hopefully get to go out and have some fun in public with other humans.

So there you have it, so far so good, just tired today. I will keep you all posted in the blog and on facebook. Thanks for reading leave some comments if you want! I will try to find some time for some more meaningful blogs (I don't have high hopes about this).