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Rick's Blog 2007



08.14.07 --

I'm sad.
My BabyGirl came home from Sturgis about midnite Saturday, just as I was getting off work, and drove away Sunday noon to Minneapolis for school.
I told her not to drive on any bridges.
Now, both my children live too far away to bring their laundry home. I dunno whether to celebrate or throw up.
Hospital Work is... hectic. 
This must be like an airport ticketing job, where the phones are constantly ringing, and (mostly) unhappy people are waiting at the counter.
Except, our customers could die, if we're not quick.
I'm not sure a normal person could do it.
I seem to have jinxed the place. Three of the last six nites I've worked, we've had "Trauma Codes". Trauma Code means the Emergency Room is so over-whelmed that we call in extra soldiers. Trauma Codes usually happen about once every three months.
Yesterday, I interviewed an ER PT over the "language line" -- a two-handset gizmo that's rigged thru translators. None of the others have ever done that.
The PT was Hispanic and has no SS # or permanent address (works at a creamery in a little town west of here)... and the car accident was his fault.  
Bad Luck, Amigo.
08.01.07 -- Alexz and her Mom left for the Sturgis Rally this morning. Be gone for 13 days. They have two booths out there.
Then, Alexz will move to Minneapolis. For me, that's a lot farther away than Sioux Falls. I'm gonna be lonesome.
Yup, it's dry here.  Word is... that down near Yankton the crops look pretty good, but need rain now, and up by Huron, the corn is already crisped like shredded-wheat. Mitchell is right in the middle. We're supposed to have a 60% chance of rain tonight up until 10PM... and a 40% chance after that.
Do your rain-dance for us both.


Consider it your Birthday and Christmas present and you can have the guitar. It's a pretty piece.
Remember where your musical talent came from. Your Mom couldn't sing a note.
Are you playing cover songs or your own?
Did the tape peel off the case? Glad the fret buzz was a simple fix. I don't even know what a truss rod is. My Gibson is maintenance-free. I haven't changed the strings for years. They're finally starting to sound the way I want.
Our band is paralyzed, because Clay (see below) and I never have the same weekend off.
So... I'm just finishing my sixth week at the hospital...
two weeks working days, (five people)
two weeks - 4PM till midnight. (two people)
two weeks - midnight till 8  (after training, you work alone)
Strangely, I found this last 4PM - midnight shift the hardest because I can't sleep when I get home. I lie awake until about 5AM watching the clock... until finally --  I sleep fitfully until about noon. I've tried - the last two nites - walking around the college (a mile) when I get home. That helps work the kinks out.
Also, strangely, I liked the day shifts best (even tho they start at 7:30) because I am a notoriously late sleeper.
At the hospital, I am the guy who wants to copy your insurance card and makes you answer the same questions you answered six months ago when you were in.
But, there are reasons.
We also generate a *lot* of paper... probably between three and four reams each day. It will be interesting when the hospital begins its *paperless initiative* in mid-August. I don't think they've yet decided whether the nurses will have computers in each patient room, or PDA-like devices. At the Mayo, I remember computers in each room.
There's a lot to learn, because each department wants things done *their* way. Copies for the Business Office have be stapled *this* way, and Medical Records wants theirs stapled *that* way. This gets filed here... unless this happens... or sometimes...
Again, there are reasons.
The woman who started training two weeks before me is struggling and doesn't think she can handle it. Our band's guitar player, Clay, has been here about five months and seems to have settled in comfortably.  
I like the job and the people. I get frustrated because there are a million things to know, and I feel like I've only mastered a dozen of them.
I get to see a lot of people I recognize.
But, I can't tell you about any of them.
Privacy Rules!
Mom volunteers there, and I work there... we can't gossip about anybody.
Other things...
Mitchell is dry, but we had earlier periods of pretty-good rains. Sioux Falls is going for some kind of *consecutive days without rain* record. So, moisture has been spotty.
Alexz is getting ready to help her Mom in Sturgis and then head off to Minneapolis for school.
I've accepted an offer on my house, but they have to sell their house first.
Moving is like having kids.     You're never ready.
My one tomato plant had flowers, but is now barren of all but greenery. Not a stub of a fruit. I'm gonna pull the sucker out by its roots.
My chives flourish. 
Hugs to all,
Windee picked up the bass today. Perfect shape. Looks/plays really nice. Oiled it down and gave the truss rod a quarter of a turn - took care of the fret "rattle". Had practice tonight and we're gonna use it on at least one song Friday night when we play. Have several more that it will sound great on....just need to work it in and work up parts.
Thank you again. Can't wait to use it.





I had my passport photo taken this week. Walgreen's - $7.99.
My old one expired in 2005, and I'll need one, sooner or later.
I go to the Post Office every day, and I stood all Christmas Season behind people waiting to have their passports sent in for renewal. If you've never had one before, it takes a long time, and the PO relegates this task to the counter people - while the line of the package-laden grows and grows. Thankfully, my passport was issued less than 15 years ago, which allowed me to use the "short form".
So, I picked a "good hair" day and trotted into Walgreen's. She took two photos, put the chip in the scanner and told me to pick the best one. I looked like a convict. Worse than a Nick Nolte police booking photo. But, probably just like I look after a long day in an airport.
What Else?
The band played last night at Thirsty's Bar in the old ShopKo Shopping Mall on North Main. The acoustics were great, the band sounded good, and it's been at least a month since we played last. I had a good time.
There were always at least a couple people dancing, and one girl made a pretty good partner out of the support pillar in the middle of the dance floor. Lotta people just sat there and clapped. It always surprises me when they do that.
The Stoopid Cat is OK, if overdue for his annual feline-velociraptor shots. He should have had them about the time I took him in for his swollen belly in October, and the Vet said, "No sense giving him the shots, if he's going to die anyway."

10/07/06 - A Big Day in Mitchell. Bill Clinton was in town for the dedication of the new George and Eleanor McGovern Library and Center for Public Service. You may remember that McGovern was the unsuccessful Democratic Presidential Nominee running against Nixon in 1972. Nixon won, of course, but Watergate followed and Nixon resigned in disgrace.

We should'a elected McGovern.

Clinton helped run McGovern's campaign in Texas. George lives right across the street from the facility, and just four blocks from me. He is, no doubt, Mitchell's most famous son. Actor Mike Farrell (Mash) was here, as was Al Neuharth (Publisher USA Today). Long-time newsman, Sander Vanocur was the MC.








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