Posted by: David | September 20, 2009

Fatal Tedium

The Fall 2009 semester is now two weeks along at the college where I work. I don’t blog about work much, and maybe that’s because I feel so damned lucky to have such a great job and maybe I also know it would be just plain pointless and insulting to the unemployed to whine about problems at work anyway … but I don’t have any right now, so, um, like, whatever, OK? But Friday there was an historic moment as I reached a goal that has seemed unattainable for so long … I closed all of the help request tickets in the My Service queue. To explain this any further would be fatal tedium. Besides, I have some photos to share …

This is the impression of a mourning dove’s fatal collision with our window.

I cannot use the word “fatal” again. D’OH! My wife was at home at the time of the collision, and heard a big thud. When she came to look she saw the scene below.

Pulling back from the window, see the late dove in the grass, and its ghost upon the glass.

So I added a Category “Gross Dead Stuff”. It’s about time I guess. I guess I’ve posted too many dead bird pictures. There must be something wrong with me … perhaps more than one thing? But anyway, along those lines, some good news, from the canine point of view anyway. Our dog, a Jack Russell Terrier, attritted another enemy combatant. Though tied to his run, he dispatched a red squirrel with the quick and painless precision of a professional hit man. Or hit dog. Clearly the squirrel showed exceedingly poor judgment in coming anywhere near Oliver. Of course I had to document the event. For you Internet!

Rest in peace rodent.

He didn’t eat it, just mouthed it a little. Tail wagging and odd eye-blinking expression.

The expression, I think, is one of fulfillment and contentment. Satisfied he is in the afterglow of vanquishing another of those who daily torment him through the picture window. You can see his relief in those long blinks. It’s a universal expression, is it not? Just like the expression on the figure below.

Maybe this will help balance out the death trip this post is on … It’s one of the simulation dummies in the nursing lab at the college. There are computers in this lab that I sometimes have to check on, and the dummies in the beds are always good for a creep-out. On a recent visit to the nursing lab there was another fun prop too.

HELP ME!! I have to PEE!!

Ships as a gallon jug with some powder. Just add … water.

These things are needed to train the Nurses of Tomorrow. The college has an excellent nursing program. The funny bit here was that the nursing professor, whom I’d come to help with a computer issue, expressed disappointment with the Simulated Urine as it was scarcely better than what she’d economically whipped up herself with yellow food coloring. Why, it didn’t even smell! Turns out that there’s a sort of cottage industry in creating realistic simulations for students to experience. There’s actually a listserv for nursing professors which discusses these props in disturbing detail …

Pocket Nurse now makes a product that smells like stool, and it does.  I
keep it in two baggies.

No, the pudding does not stain, but it can get in crevices; neither does
Nutella, which smears better.  We have also made GI bleed stools out of
coffee grounds, oatmeal and KY jelly.  For realism, go to a joke store or
online and buy a can of fart spray.

When we practiced caring for an incontinent patient, the students had a lot
of fun setting it up for the next group.

Recently, there were quite a few postings about the use of acne medication
to remove stains from SimMan.  We have been very hesitant to put ANYTHING
on SimMan’s skin for fear of staining it – but that fear is inhibiting the
realism factor.  Will someone please suggest a brand of make-up to use that
won’t stain along with the products that successfully remove the makeup?

Also last week, some excellent loaves of bread were photographed, then baked. We had nice toast for breakfast this morning. With Gnutella. There were patches of frost this morning. Some of the winter squash leaves behind the barn were hit, and the top of my car was ice, but not much other damage. It’s too soon!
Very hearty breads these turned out to be. Fresh ground whole wheat …

One further random item … I heard an expression last week that struck me funny. “Economic Freedom”. I declare it an oxymoron. Guess that would make me a commie.



  1. I guess birds are just not lucky around you, huh? My dog tries to get squirrels all the time too but I think she only succeeded once. The only way we know is that she threw up a little, later on, and there was this tiny little hand in it. Yuck!

    I’m glad I never wanted to be a nurse! 😮

    It might seem that birds are unlucky around our home, but not if you take the traffic into account. We literally have hundreds of birds flying around our house all day, nearly every day, weather permitting. We probably see 2 or 3 fatalities per year. Statistics …

    Ewww. Puked up squirrel hand. Eeewwww.

    Yeah, it takes a special kind of person to be a nurse. And also to be a dog groomer. 🙂

  2. You brought me back to college days when I went on a one-month exchange to Russell Sage in Troy NY. My dorm was upstairs from the nursing school and when you entered the building you would head yo the right to go upstairs. If you were brave you could look to the left through a glass door and see a line of beds each with a sim-person sleeping peacefully — OR WERE THEY! I always looked, but I always knew they were watching me, waiting for the moment when they were again alone — dancing in the moonlight. VERY CREEPY — thanks for bringing it all back!

    You’re welcome Carol. 🙂 Thanks for commenting. What’s even creepier are the various simulated torso segments that occupy some of the other beds in the lab. Thankfully the folks running the lab keep these body parts covered with sheets.

  3. Oliver is some kinda dog! Years ago I had a golden retriever who tried every trick under the sun to catch a visiting squirrel. Never did. Quite a game though … the squirrel testing how far across the lawn he could come before the dog would charge … the dog trying to guess how close he could creep before the squirrel would run back up the tree.

    The red squirrels are not as smart and fast as the grays. For each enemy combatant he takes out, Oliver has invested many hundreds of hours of quaking at the picture window watching the rodents control his yard. He’s control freak!

  4. I wonder if the Pocket Nurse people were married to pocket plumbers at the pocket presbyterian church?

    If I’m reading the Pocket Plumber iconography correctly … eeewwww! As for the presbyterians, uh, well bless their hearts as well as their pockets.

  5. I couldn’t yet read this post, because I have to leave here in 4.5 minutes and yet check my stats, but for some days now I have had this on my mind to tell you about, remember, that little vegetable shop next-door that belongs to an Arab immigrant:

    Ramadan ended some days ago. During Ramadan, Muslims can’t eat anything from sunrise till sundown.

    I told you that I thought the greengrocer made his employees work very hard. Here is proof: one of them, a young man, lost 10 kilos fasting in Ramadan.

    However, two of the girls said that they had to go on a diet now, because they gained weight. How?

    Since they can’t eat all day, they eat too much in the morning and at night and end up gaining weight.

    I noticed that they like to talk about these things and explain them to us. They speak Spanish.

    If I wasn’t so irreligious I’d say count me in on a faith where you can gain weight fasting, but I am VERY irreligious. Why, I’m like a Knighted Brother of the Multiversal Faith of Irreligionism. God Help Us All. 🙂

  6. I recognized the expression on Oliver’s face. It was the same expression on my pug dog’s face after she mangled my beloved black dress shoe. Squirrel, shoe…all mortal enemies I suppose.

    What sweet relief to vanquish one’s mortal enemies! O thrill of victory!

  7. I am also going to start making bread again as soon as it gets a little colder. The trees have not yet shed their leaves here, and outside it is so warm you can’t wear the jacket that you take along because the calendar says it will soon be ………..guess what.

    I know! WINTER! You’ve anticipated my next post. I’m terribly predictable, aren’t I?

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