Oh ... Really?

Category: Happy Crap

Monday, April 07, 2008

Blogfest Out West!

Ii is finally officially official ... Blogfest will happen again, next Saturday, April 12! Spread the word!

The place: Wild Wings Cafe - (Google Map)

The time: Be careful asking Rich that question, his answer may be more than you bargained for ... but the festivities will start around 6:00 that evening.

The people: Bloggers of all sorts, shapes, varieties, ages, colors and heights, from various locations around the greater East Tennessee area, and points beyond, along with their significant others, if they wish ... plus a kid or two, or three or four or fourteen (depending on whether Cathy and Doug bring any, part or all of their brood). Blog readers are welcome too!

The special guest: A local candidate running for the state House may grace us with his presence. (And no, it's not the asinine one that I took to the wood shed a couple months ago!)

Let us know if you can join us in comments here or there, post at your site to spread the word and we hope to see you there!

Posted by LissaKay on 04/07/08 at 06:35 PM in ~ Blogging ~ Happy Crap ~ Local News
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fairy Tales Sometimes Do Come True

Congratulations to AtomicTumor and his lovely bride!

Yesterday, they joined together as man and wife. Ever creative and daring, the theme of the wedding was the Roaring 20s, complete with a band that keeps with the style themselves, Christabel and the Jons. It looks like it was a grand celebration and a good time was had by all.

A little over a year ago, AT and his kids' lives were turned upside down by the sudden and unexpected illness and death of the beloved BJ, a heart-wrenching story that was shared with the blogging community at the AtomicTumor site. I have known AT for several years, having worked at the same place, not once, not twice, but three times (yes, it is a small world!) and I got to meet BJ a few times as well. To say that I am deleriously happy for him that he has been able to recover from that horrific tragedy is a vast understatement. I know BJ is smiling in Heaven too.

You go, Dude. You deserve this happiness!
Posted by LissaKay on 03/23/08 at 02:50 PM in ~ Happy Crap
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Like an Angel Descending from the Heavens

A series of retrospectives called Our Stories has been airing on local news station WBIR. These have been very fascinating to watch ... triggering old memories and telling tales of things I did not know. The most recent one though, holds special interest for me:
(Dr. Robert) Lash was a licensed pilot and realized the advantages of aeromedical transport early on. In the 1970s, he'd often borrow aircraft to assist in emergency operations.

However, he dreamed of permanent air ambulances. In 1984, his dream came true with the delivery of the first helicopter ambulance to UT Medical Center.

It was outfitted through a design by Lash himself, who christened it Lifestar, an abbreviation for Life, Shock, And Trauma Aeromedical Rescue.

Be sure to watch the video that accompanies the story too.

In the years I spent in EMS, I came to herald the arrival of Lifestar as nothing less than a godsend. Calling her out was reserved for the very most dire trauma cases, ones that needed high level trauma care within minutes, and ground transport would take too long. In emergency medicine, there is this thing called the Golden Hour. When the human body is fubar'd, every second counts. For the greatest chances of recovery, the patient must be on the surgeon's table within one hour, and the clock starts at the moment of injury. After the hour expires, the patient declines rapidly. When you're a paramedic working in a remote county and the nearest ER is a 45 minute ride, even with lights and sirens, and the trauma center is a further 15 minutes beyond, the response of an aeromedical helicopter can make the literal difference between life and death.

On the scene of a major trauma, the actions of the Paramedic, EMT and any peripheral helpers - First Responders, Firefighters, LEOs - become a improvised dance at the direction of the paramedic choreographer. Everyone knows their roles, they simply wait to be told what to do. The medic is the decision maker, and the rest defer to him or her without question. In a major trauma, if the location is at all remote, or traffic conditions marginal to poor, the first decision to be made is whether to go by ground or by air. Most often, from scene reports via dispatch, if it sounds bad enough, the en route medic can have Lifestar go on standby. This gets the crew ready to go, up to the point of starting the helicopter engines. There are so many variables that can go into the decision, I cannot list them all here, but the decision is made within seconds.

Once launched, Lifestar will be on scene in its response area generally within 10 - 15 minutes or less. During that time, the ground EMS personnel work to achieve initial stabilization of the patient - ensuring a patent airway, initiating oxygen therapy and an IV, and divesting the patient of all their clothes. Firefighters and LEOs are charged with setting up the LZ - Landing Zone and ensuring its safety. Firefighters also standby with water hoses at the ready ... just in case. Sometimes the patient has to be transported by ground to the LZ, sometimes the helicopter can land right at the scene or very close by.

While working on the patient, the approaching thump-thump-thump of the rotors powered by Bell 430 dual Rolls Royce (Allison) turboshaft engines grows louder and louder, until you can feel the vibration in your bones. It seems to touch something almost primal. As it lands, the engine and rotor noise drown out all other sound, the medic must communicate with her team via eye and hand signals. Care must be taken to secure all objects from the rotor wash, not only can these become flying missiles and injure people, things can also get sucked into the rotor blades and render the helicopter useless.

The patient is packaged onto a Lifestar stretcher and carried to the waiting craft. Most often, it is a hot load, where the engines are running, and extreme care must be taken to stay away from the rotors. On occasion, if an extra pair of hands is needed, the Lifestar crew will tag the medic to ride along and assist. I never got that lucky. In the aftermath of the transport, the EMS crew most often goes to the trauma center anyway, to give their report, to pick up equipment that flew with the patient, to restock.

I did get to ride on Lifestar once. It was while I was in paramedic school. We each had a 8 hour shift to "ride along" with the helicopter crew. As my crappy luck would have it, there was only one call out during the whole shift, but that ride remains the ride of my life, one that I will never forget.

Wow. I didn't really mean to go on and on like that about this. But that's the way we EMS types are, we'll tell stories one after another after another. But Lifestar has a pretty cool web site, with photos and some of their own stories (which I know they like to tell ... I've heard some pretty amazing ones from those folks!), and more information about the Lifestar program. It's worth a look. There's also a link where you can donate a monetary gift to further the research and advances of aeromedical emergency and transport services. But I also happen to know that the guys and gals over there really like cookies too, if that's more your style. They do some amazing work, they deserve all the gratitude we can give them.

Posted by LissaKay on 02/27/08 at 09:49 PM in ~ Happy Crap
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

It’s Baby Havin’ Day!

It's a boy! And a girl! And a really weird coincidence!

East Tennessee bloggers heard the news early this morning that Doug and Cathy McCaughan have a new niece!

imageAbout an hour ago, Rich called from Birmingham to announce the arrival of his second grandson, Joaquin! He said mom and baby are doing fine, daddy should recover eventually. Baby weighed 7lbs, 9 0z and came bounding into the world at about 1:25pm. Rich should be posting with better pictures and more detail later.

UPDATE: Post is up - go see pictures!

Now here's the weird coincidence part ... first, check out this post from Cathy, and then this one by Rich. Note the dates on the posts.

Freaky, man!

Posted by LissaKay on 01/24/08 at 05:42 PM in ~ Happy Crap
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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Finally, the Weekend!

It could not have gotten here any sooner ...

imageAnd a busy weekend it will be. I will be heading out shortly for a yoga class, then to get mine and my daughter's cell phone switched, then I have a crapload of statistics assignment to get done, and somewhere in there I also need to restore a bit of order to the house ... at least to the point where one can walk through without tripping over something. Then Blogfest tonight, which may well end up being a rather late night, as there may be a second trip over to see Barry play at the Eagles club here in the Ridge. Whew!

Now what was I saying about "Yay! It's the Weekend?!"

Posted by LissaKay on 06/09/07 at 12:03 PM in ~ Happy Crap
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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Spring Sunday Haiku

Joining in the craze
Sunday haiku, not a meme
All the cool kids do


A perfect Sunday
The sun shines, and a breeze blows
It's time for myself

Stroll through a bookstore
I find that special something
A present for me

Sit outside to dine
Sip sweet tea in the warm sun
Peaceful and content

There is much sweetness
Changes and new beginnings
It makes me happy

Posted by LissaKay on 05/20/07 at 06:52 PM in ~ Happy Crap
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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring Breakin’

Someone come do my taxes so I can go out and play!! *whine*

This being the last day of spring break ... I am trying to resist getting a jump on the first assignments due next week. I only have a short essay for World Lit, and a C++ program to write by Thursday. Tough week, eh?

But I chose to do a yoga class today ... an advanced class! And I did well! (belly dance class tomorrow!) Then goof off for a while ... and start my income tax filing. Yuck. But I will get a fairly sizable refund this year, most of which will go to paying off the credit cards I ran up when I was out of work last year, and then again when my daughter moved in with me full time. Her father kept all her stuff, won't let her have it and I had to replace everything. So, getting those paid off and closed out will be a financial relief. I need a better paying job though ... I'm losing ground fast, and I still have Financial Disaster looming in the future. But ... I will not dwell on that now.

Vista! I found out that I can get the Business Premium version for free through my school, but the licensing would end when I left or graduated. Or, I can get Home Premium Upgrade for either $60 or $80 ... again, due to my status as a college student. Sweet. But, to upgrade my computer to be able to run it? Oy ... I need a better graphics card - that is a pain in the ass to find, everything is now PCI-Express, and all I have is AGP. And I need a better CD/DVD drive, and might as well get a burner. I guess I should go shopping ... and bleg for suggestions.

Anyway ... my son and his girlfriend want to be fed. So, we're off to Fuddruckers. Hmm, and with Best Buy right next door ...

Happy Saturday!

Posted by LissaKay on 03/10/07 at 08:07 PM in ~ Happy Crap
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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Webby Goodness

Some days it seems as if the Wonderful Wide Web is full of extra goodness and goodies ... I have been muchly enjoying Gmail, Google Reader and RadioParadise. (Mental note - need to write up a post re: the RIAA royalty BS that is threatening to take away such lovely things as RadioParadise)

My newest most favoritest web site on all the intartubes is now LifeHacker.com. Why did I not know about this long ago? It is just chock full of informative tidbits, goodies, downloads and all-around geeky fun ... check the how-tos for this week alone:
Oh yeah ... a barrel full of monkeys for the geekiest of geeks. I have been playing with Texter ... much sweetness there. And I loves me some new Greasemonkey scripts too.

And then, I don't mean to brag, but .. oh yes I do! I have iScrybe! Squeee! Check it out!

Is that not awesome? It's just as sweet to play with as it looks in the video! Worth the wait? Well ... I signed up for this beta back in October. Many others have waited that long, or even longer. But yeah ... it was worth the wait. I have been transferring my school schedule into it and it's living up to its promise. I will be trying out the rest of the functions it has so far too.

I just found out that I was given another grant for school ... it's called the Smart Grant ... a new federal financial aid program for 3rd and 4th year students majoring in science, math, technology or engineering with a GPA of at least 3.0 from their first two years. Yes, I am a poor, impoverished, brainy geek ... and this grant effectively cuts the loans I will need from here on out to just about zip. Sweet.

And that's my Happy Crap for this week ... it's Spring Break. I am chillin' ... or trying to anyway. I'll be getting ramped back up this weekend ... the rest of my midterms are coming up. But for now, I am focusing on Good Things™ and trying to ignore all the scary, bad things as much as possible. I do what I can.
Posted by LissaKay on 03/08/07 at 12:42 AM in ~ Happy Crap
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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Anna Mae is going home!

Praise be to God! Shaoqiang He (Jack) and wife, Qin Luo He (Casey) will have their little girl back! Thank you, Tennessee Supreme Court for making the right decision!

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — The Tennessee Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for a Chinese couple to be reunited with the daughter they placed in foster care with an American family nearly eight years ago.

The court overturned a decision by a Memphis judge who had taken away the parental rights of Shaoqiang and Qin Luo He, ruling that they had abandoned the child. That decision attracted widespread publicity and was criticized as ethnically biased.

I wrote about this case here and here. I even had brief contact with the Hes via email. They kept me on their update email list over the years, and I would say a prayer for them often. I stopped writing here because of the vicious comments and email I was getting from friends of the Bakers, the people that stole Anna Mae from her mommy and daddy. It's been a tragedy that has tugged at my heart, having been deprived of the company of my own children in the past due to the lies and deceptions of others. Fate, karma, God ... whatever, intervened for me and I have two of my babies close by me now. I give praise and thanks that the Hes will be reunited with their baby, too.

The Hes will have a long and difficult adjustment to make, since Anna Mae has really only known the Bakers as family. But given their dedication and devotion to getting Anna Mae back in their arms, I know they will do whatever they need to do to ensure that she finds her place again.

Anna Mae Go Home!God Bless Anna Mae!

Posted by LissaKay on 01/23/07 at 03:43 PM in ~ Happy Crap
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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Juan Smile, Juan Love, Juan Hug

Bet you can't watch this without smiling ... or shedding a tear or two. Awesome.

via Doug

Visit YouTube and search for "Juan Mann" to see interviews and other videos inspired by Juan's hug campaign.

XHTML Strict Valid Video Embed Code!

Posted by LissaKay on 01/06/07 at 05:24 PM in ~ Happy Crap
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