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Welcome to the BOMB.

The Blog Of the "Mother" of Bandit.
Bandit is my Hairless Chinese Crested--he's the "normal" one. I, on the other hand, am unrepentantly "pet-crazy." You know the type--the spinster who lives in the haunted house three blocks over with 72 cats...okay, so I don't have 72 cats, and my house isn't haunted--but my dogs wardrobe is better than mine! Need I say more? :~)
I've never been consistant at journaling, so the timing of my blogs will be sporadic at best. I just hope they are as entertaining to you as they are to me; however, be forewarned: Most of my blogs will be about The BaldOne. In spite of his Don King "do," I think he's just as cute as any of the Brothers B!
Now, if I can just remember not to get him wet--or feed him after midnight...

About Me

My photo
My bags are packed and I'm always ready to seek out an adventure with Bandit and Moggy in tow. Bandit is my thirteen year old Chinese Crested, who I frequently call The Bald One or The BaldOne Boy (like he was one of the Baldwin Brothers). Moggy’s full name is Pip-Moggy. He’s my two year old gansta-resuce kitty. I couldn’t decide between Pip (which are the spots on die and domino tiles) and Moggy (or Moggie when I mistakenly thought he was a she), so I combined the two. Moggy refers to the British term for "cat of unknown parentage .” So in essence, I have an almost bald dog, and I’ve named my cat “Spot.”

Fun Stuff (I'm doing now or have done)

  • Artistic Attempts weekly (alternating between Painting With A Twist, That Art Place, and Peniot's Palette).
  • Bunko with the Belton Bunko Babes monthly.
  • Participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
  • Spades and Liverpool Rummy with the Spadetts weekly.
  • The Mighty Texas Dog Walk, Austin (fund raiser for Service Dogs, Inc--they train shelter dogs to be Service Dogs, then give them free of charge to people with disabilities.)

Monday, September 26, 2016

We Are But Red Shirts in the Star Trek Opening Credits of Life.

I hate this time of year. Oh don't get me wrong, I really love this time of year--the beginnings of long awaited cooler weather;  the glorious sunrises that I see through sleep-hazed eyes on my morning commute to work;  the stunning sunsets in the cool of the evening--especially beautiful at the lake; the  red, orange, yellow, and maroon of turning leaves--if I can find a tree or three in a clump that aren't evergreen;  the fuzzy sweaters and tons of scarves worn ever so artfully by everyone except me;   the intoxicating smell of cocoa and over-priced, yuppie fru-fru coffee;  and even...dare I say it...pumpkin spice--in everything from drinks and deserts to car air fresheners and fish bait. Or so it would seem.

No, what I hate about this time of year is it's bragging time again. I like game-time trash talk and brags--those are fun and everyone knows it's just part of getting into the head of your opponent and psyching them out.  I'm talking about real life bragging. Work brags, aka Anual Proficiencies.

Once a year I have to pull out all the stops and remind my Supervisor how wonderfully indispensable I am. Even though I've been taught to be humble from the time I received my first complement.  Ladies don't brag.  Pretty is as Pretty does.  Actions speak louder than words.  And my Spades group favorite when someone decides not to play for a while:  You are expendable.  No that's not quite right, You are replaceable. Expendable belongs to the Star Trek franchise.

No matter what our Mama's write in the yearly Christmas Letter, truth be told, we are but Red Shirts in the Star Trek opening credits of life.

However, until I bite it, I'll do the annual brag. Like Kirk I'll take the conn and direct my course by recounting my many accomplishments. In Spock-like objectivity I'll throw out numbers and stats to remind my Supervisor how productive I am.   I will strive to remove the Bones-like subjectivemess from my appraisal (she has already acknowledged the times I have stirred up the status quo with an impassioned tearful plea to do the right thing for my Veterans).  I will communicate with the precision of  Uhura.   Like Chekov, the character I crushed on most, I will navigate the waters of self-promotion to present myself as accomplished rather than a brash braggart.  In the helmsman fashion  of Sulu I will stay the course, and  keep the Scottie "She's gonna blow, Cap'n!" desperation off the paper as, for the first time in 19 years, RNs are eligible for bonuses!

After all the spectacular self-evaluations I've written during the past two decades, I just hope I've not used up all the best descriptors to explain why I'm awesome enough to deserve a bonus, after all, I've made it past the Red Shirt Opening Credits.

Now Beam me up Scottie, I need to locate my thesarasus...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


The voice in my head started off the morning singing an internal mashup of songs that delighted in torturing me by dancing just beyond my memory.

One of the songs seemed like it was something by Huey Lewis and the News.  As the day has gotten quiet and I now have time to reflect on it, I'm leaning toward "Too Hip to be Square" or "Power of Love" for one of the songs--or maybe "The Heart of Rock and Roll."  The thing is--none of the songs seems quite right.

Who knows, maybe it's an unconscious mashup of the music of one, the lyrics of another, and the beat of the third.  For that matter, it may not even be HL&TN--but just the flavor of '80s Rock--which, BTW, is probably my least favorite decade of Rock.

Whatever it is, I used to think mashups were creative and amazing. I listened in awe to the brilliance of Master Mixers whose auditory vision was far deeper and more daring than my own. However, this unreachable internal mashup is  downright annoying--like the snippet of a phrase of a forgotten TV Theme Song that won't let go of your brain.

Whatever song it is, for some reason known only to my mind, it IS mashed with the single most unlikely song I could imagine--my Alma Maters "Cru Spirit Dance."

Great. My mashup--the one I can't get out if my head--is a mix of one or more songs whose words I can't remember and a wordless song.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Comfort Food or My SUV: One Will Be The Death of Me

To say I was skeptical  when  the Service Advisor told me the black puffs of exhaust and rough idle were due to the mechanic forgetting to reset the electronic settings after the battery and AC fan were replaced last week would be an understatement. The engine light has come on.

I really don't like being right all the time.

On the upside: I barely had time to get a DDP out of the fridge and sign on to the free WiFi before they brought the paperwork for a loaner to me. I didn't have to stand in line. And this loaner is vastly upgraded over the last one.

I'm pretty sure all this "free stuff" is going to be costly.  I really need my overtime to count toward something else. Not car repairs.

So I'm off to Las Casas for my favorite comfort food. For the third time in two weeks.

White Wings aren't approved on any diet--except maybe Adkins.  They are  JalapeƱo peppers stuffed with jack cheese, wrapped in a chicken breast, which is formed into a ball with strips of bacon secured around it, then charbroiled.  They are a heart attack waiting to happen, and I don't care.

I don't even care about the little piggies. (I have abstained from all meat and fish for the past year after viewing a video depicting the mistreatment of the poor little piggies.)

At the anniversary of my meatless year, I decided if I added meat back in to the diet it would be free range chicken or fresh caught fish--but I really wasn't planning on adding it back since I hadn't missed it.

Until now.

Now I want my White Wings.  And my new SUV to work.

#sorrypiggies #whitewings #comfortfood #beingrightallthetimesucks.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I'm Certified. Again.

I’m finally certified!
That’s certified, as in re-certified  in CPR, not  certifiable. Big difference. 
I started the process back in February. But the instructional video kept hanging up. It  does this to me every year. Every year I complain about it. You would think they would fix it; however, you'd be wrong. In fact, we have another required video that does the same thing. And every year, when I write the evaluation, I complain about it as well. This past year, not only did I give it a poor evaluation, I also emailed some person that scheduled me for the training (it wasn’t my normal scheduler,  and I complained about the quality of the video. They agreed it needed to be fixed.  I'm waiting for that training to be reassigned this year. 
Anyway, now I have the same problem with the CPR video and  I thought I was going to have to complain about it hanging up . But I finally watched the video last night (after waiting a full five minutes for it to load),  and today I called the local instructors to find out when I could do the hands on skills test. In the past, it was in a class setting. She said I could come anytime, since it's done on the manikins individually. She went on to say if the instructors  weren’t there, just get the Nursing Supervisor to open the door.  Sweet. Education on my schedule. 
Might as well get er done. I thought, and set off to the education lab to meet a couple of Dummies. 
Even though I used all of my weight, and a stiff arm that would be outlawed in professional football, 

I still had to do 5 cycles of adult compressions to get 3 passing!  All because the computer said I couldn’t get the compressions deep enough.  That Dummy’s dadgum chest was almost touching the table!  I finally fisted the chest and bounced to get it to go to the computers appropriate depth.  Before I did though, I saw a sign on the wall that says, If you are unsuccessful after several attempts, return to your workstation and call Clinical Education.  Ha!  I have never felt so inadequate; however, there was no way I would admit defeat by a Dummy. Tears streaming down my face, I aborted the skills test and I told the manikins, You had better not arrest in my presence—‘cause if you do, You. Gonna. Die!   
Then, I took a brief rest to catch my breath and resumed chest compressions.  
Still the computerized manikin said my compressions weren't deep enough. My wrists were killing me, so I started altering my hands and, and even pounding with my fists. I found by punching the dummy's chest I gained the computers required depth and I sorta bounced off him, so I had the good release the computer wanted as well.  None of these moves, hand placement, or techniques are American Heart Association approved.  I cackled with glee when the computer finally told me I beat the Dummy’s chest deep enough to pass.  My face was beet red and I gasped for breath, but never was a victory sweeter.
The baby was next up. Piece of cake. 
Underestimating your adversary is a Big Mistake. 
Before I even completed the first cycle, the baby had me reaching for the white flag of surrender. 

Again, I was told I was “not compressing deep enough”—this time I was actually hitting the table through the baby's chest.   I knew I was on target, so  I wiped the tears from my eyes, squared my shoulders, and marched to the Clinical Education offices to fetch the instructor.   One look on my face and the instructor knew I was not having a good experience.  When we arrived back at the side of the pint-sized demon dummy, she (the instructor, not the dummy), told me, in order to pass she had to “use her knuckles and bounce.”  SMH!   I already knew from the adult that I needed to bounce.  We restarted the test and in her presence I passed. First time. Perfect score. No Do Over required. And that's as it should be. 
BTW, the instructor said two things that encouraged and then enraged me. First, I performed the skills in very good time. (less than 15 minutes had elapsed, although it felt like a lifetime.).  That also makes me very nervous. How long do my coworkers take?!  When I telephoned earlier I has asked how much time I should allot. She laughed and said, "That all depends on how long you practice and how many attempts it takes you to pass. Most people can pass within 30 minutes, but there have been some that take much longer."  Second, she agreed with me on the depth of compressions, but said the “people” say it’s set for the depth you would have to compress for a 120-pound adult. 
"There is no way!  I was pounding. I’ve done compressions in a real code, on a real person, and compressed that man (and broke his ribs),  much easier than these dummies!" I said.  On a side note, it's now almost twelve hours later and my wrists still hurt.  
I know:  Wha-Wha-Wha. 

So the upshot  is this:  I am certified to save your life for another year (AHA certifies every two years, but VA requires annual recerts). So, if you fall out in front  of me, or I happen ion your inert self, I can still save your life—but,  you have to weigh less than an infant. And even then I’ll likely break every bone in your body…and my wrists, which have resumed their throbbing. In fact, my wrists may never be the same again. Dratted Dummy. 
I wonder if Dummy Induced Wrist Fatigue is covered by Workers Comp...

Monday, September 12, 2016

Plagued With Password Problems

You know how some people have Good Hair Days and Bad Hair Days?  For me they are all the same--Ponytail Days.  My Tech Days; however, are a horse of a different color. Some of my Tech Days are better than others. Unfortunately, the  better Tech Days seem to be far and few between.  Take today for instance...

After coming off a weekend where I found my old laptop has nothing but a black screen, and my new laptop locked up tighter than Fort Knox--and it insisted my password was incorrect (even though I have a hint reminding me what password I used), I found my work computer would not accept my PIV password, and therefore, would not let me do my job.  I knew I would have to change my program password today.  It's a different password--this one expires every 90 days--the PIV password is supposed to be good for my VA lifetime, like my eSignature code.   Evidentially the computer from hades does not recognize the difference between my "good for life" PIV password and my "expires every 90-days" program password.  The electronic abomination aka my work computer reminded me daily, for the past 14 days, that my program password would soon expire.  It even had the gall to ask me if I'd "like to change it now?"  I refused on principle--if it's good for 90 days, don't ask me to give up two weeks.  The computer requests to change my password early reminds me of magazine and membership renewal notices that start coming 6-months before they are due.  I once paid one early and lost 5-months because the next renewal also came early. 

Anyway, I knew this was D-day.  The time had finally arrived to do the Password Shuffle.  I came to work armed with a new, easy to remember password. Only the computer wouldn't let me get to the page where I could change the password.  Arghhh! 

On a day when I'm only working 3 hours any way (regularly scheduled doctors appointment followed by a regularly scheduled iron infusion.). And we are still down two PCCs--but the Float worked overtime so there was only one missing slot today. No problem. I can do eight hours worth of work for my Ward and part of the ICU in less than 3 hours. But it quickly became a problem when couldn't access my work computer.  

I called my ADPAC and she hiked across the parking lot and assessed the situation as I told her I had already turned the computer off and rebooted (their first-line response to every problem).  We ended up calling the National Computer Hotline. I started out as #39 in line.  

As I waited for my turn,  I decided to check my TSP balance on my iPhone. 

Guess what? I'm now locked out of that account as well. 

I finally got into my work computer. We found that the multiple-drive migration that was supposed to occur Saturday night, did in fact occur. We were both amazed. She left. I got logged in to the computer only to find I was now blocked from the program. In the past the new password was linked. Now it's not. I now get to log in with the new password, then use the old password to get into the program. Joy. I ended up not having anyone new in my part of the ICU and only 7 new admits to my Telemetry Ward, so I was able to throw together reasonable facsimiles of care plans for everyone before I left this morning.

It was hurried and not my best work. But at least I don't work at Baylor Scott & White--when I saw my Hematologist, and the girls in theTreatment  Room--they had horror stories of  their own system-wide computer crash this morning.  Suddenly life with the VA computers is not so bad.

I think the only electronic left I can possibly get myself locked out of is my iPad. 

But then I remember my SUV has electronic doors.  

I'm hoping my lock-out problems confine themselves to electronics, because if I go old school--I could lose my key to my Post Office Box (darn!  No junk mail or bills); my Safety Deposit Box (for the second time--it takes a drill to break in and replace that lock--and quite a pricy service call); but the worst would be to lock myself out of my home--while Bandit ransacked my garbage can. Again.

All-in-all my Ponytail day was manageable--although I still haven't checked my TSP status.  But I'd like to not have another Tech Day like today--or else I'll need a Do-Over Tech Day.  

PS--appropriately the song playing right now is "Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This."   

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Ack!!! I Waited Until the End of the Season to Purchase Odd-Sized Garden Trimmer String!

I know better that to wait until the end of the season to buy more string for my garden trimmer. It uses an odd size. Sometimes I wait too late and there is nothing left to buy. I have no excuse. I knew the garden trimmer was very low on string--I've been carting the empty container around to remind me to purchase more, and most importantly: what size to get--for months

Last year it took me several trips to the store because I bought a small trimmer that uses an odd size string. Luckily, I finally found a single roll of  "universal" string in approximately the right size that worked. I sweated it though. I thought I might have to buy another trimmer, or pay someone to mow my tiny side yard. But then I found the string that worked. And this year, when the roll got low and I loaded the last little bit on my trimmer I kept the container in my SUV as a reminder of what I needed so as to avoid all the trial and error I went through last season. 

Then D-Day arrived. Or rather, T-Day. AKA Trim-day. I decided the day to do some long overdue yard work had arrived.  Sure enough, the string popped after about 6-12" (yes inches) of trimming. So off to WalMart I went--my empty container in hand.  I was hopeful that WallyWorld would still have string.  Surely not every isle is Back To School. Or Christmas.

Not to worry. Wally World, the place you can purchase just about anything, had plenty of string. Ought Oh. There actually is a worry. All the string I found was on sale for $5 each. Unfortunately I only found a different size than what I needed. I resigned myself to making a trip to Sears after work the next day. I would have to suck it up and fight the traffic (the store is in a high traffic location prior to work and after work. Turning into the parking lot is a breeze. However, it becomes dicey when you attempt to leave the parking lot, especially at 7:00 cam and 4:30 pm. The rest of the day it's okay.).  The good news:  Sears would most likely have the correct size string since this was where I bought the trimmer. The bad news:  it wouldn't be as cheap as WallyWorld. Even if Sears was having an end of the season sale. 

Then I looked up (actually I looked up, around the corner, and finally on a catty-corner end cap that housed a bunch of odds and ends).   There is where I spied not one, but three spools of the odd-size trimmer string I needed. Better still, they were on clearance--not at $5 each--nope, my odd-size string  was only $2 each.  That's a first for me--usually my odd size stuff (e. g. tires, alternator, clothes, shoes--you name it)--my odd-sized stuff is always more expensive.  This $2 stuff was a welcome change. The only problem:  They were too tall. Or I am  too short. Nah--they were too tall. So I found a barely taller-than-me Sales Associate.   He confirmed the price and handed me a thread spool he deftly plucked from above our heads. 

Big spender that I am, I said, "I'll take all three off your hands."  I prayed I actually had enough cash in my wallet to cover the six bucks and tax.  Since the wallet I use doesn't have a change pocket, I was praying for $7.  That's pretty sad. But even if I had no cash,  I decided I would ring up a $6 credit card charge--no matter how embarrassing that would be. I could think of nothing else I need to drive up the sales price, and I'm on a spending diet, so I might have to bite the bullet if I didn't have the cash. 

At the register my new BFF rang me up and we found out the spools were not marked correctly.  Of course not! If there is a wrong or missing price, I will be the one to bring it to the register. It's like a law or something. Oh well, at least there would be no embarrassingly small credit card charge. I thought to myself. 

I reached inside my wallet. The Clerk intoned a shocking price. The spools were $1 each! 

I love a deal. Now I have no excuse for not tidying up the yard--except I have activities planned every night for the foreseeable future.  That means I may be trimming the yard by moonlight. But I have enough string to finish out this season, and next season--and maybe even the season after as well. It was a very well spent three bucks. 

Now, if only I could find a sale on cheap, fashionable, and comfortable shoes....

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wake-Up Call

Five of two am. My eyes fly open as is my nightly routine. As always,  I recall the Joe Friday sound-a-like from my youth and his mono-intonation, "Nothing good ever happens between the hours of two and four am."

"Au contraire..." I subconsciously shift  my newly-inked-on-a-whim wrist, proving his point nightly.

The subtle movement is never lost on him. He languorously lifts all-seeing eyes to mine and drawls  the one syllable admonishment in three syllables. "Right."

And so I awake.

Every morning. Two o'clock sharp. And every morning I hope for a quick return to the Land of Slumber.

Except this morning.

This morning I awoke early--when I felt the cool steel of a 9 millimeter tap my temple and I prayed I would survive last nights online dating choice.

Not all bad decisions happen between two and four am Joe.