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Friday, July 30, 2004

Good Genes

My wife sent me out to run some errands today, and she also gave me a letter to mail. So I took along my eight year old so I wouldn't actually have to park and get out of the car to mail it.
On the way back home I remembered the letter, and searched for someplace to drop it. Finally I spotted a mailbox and pulled up to it.
"Aha, a mailbox," I said, triumphantly. My daughter just stared at me. Actually a little beyond me.
"Er..you know what that means, right?" I asked.
I handed her the letter.
"What should I do now," she asked.
"....Put it in the mailbox..."
"Oh." And she hopped out and mailed it.
I think things must have been less complicated when I was a kid.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Buffer Dump

I was finishing up a particularly long dictation this morning when I noticed that my microcassette recorder wasn't working.  Then I noticed that the tape seemed to be at the beginning, meaning it hadn't recorded any of what I had dictated on the last seven patients.  That really threw my morning.  I had to go back and redictate all the morning patients.
I couldn't believe how traumatizing this was to me.  I mean, I had seen everyone in the last 2 hours.  So of course I still remembered all the details.  Granted some of my dictations are intricate and involve a ton of history,  facts and findings, but it's not like I was trying to remember stuff from 2 months ago!  It shouldn't be that big a deal.
I think this sheds light on how I function in general.  I don't really like multitasking.  I don't like to have 7 things in the queue waiting to get done.  I like to do one thing at a time, get it over with, and move on to the next.  I can't start a dictation on one patient, then do another, then go back to the first.  I just hate having things out there. 
I think it must be because I have a very limited buffer.  You know, that part of volatile memory where things are just hanging out there until you either use them or write them to permanent memory?  And if the system crashes its gone forever?  I must have this problem.  I store what I see and do in the buffer.  Then I have to rush out and write it to permanent memory or dictation in my case.  Then I wipe the buffer so I can put more stuff in it.  And if the system crashes, and I lose my data, I panic. 
I need to get out there and find out how much it'll cost to upgrade myself.

Strange Dream

I had a strange dream last night.  I dreamt that I was at a party, sitting next to Sting.  He was singing a new song about how terrible the Israelis were for putting up that wall in the West Bank.  Well, I had to stop him and tell him what an idiot I thought he was.  Of course the Israelis don't want that wall there!  Did he think they wanted to spend millions of shekels to put this thing up that blocks the beautiful countryside?  But what would he do if people started blowing themselves up all around his neighborhood, so he couldn't even go out to eat without worrying that someone was trying to kill him?  Wouldn't he try to do whatever he could to keep those crazies from getting near him and his family?  After this, Sting started to come around and agree with me.  That's how I knew it was only a dream.  And then the salad forks started doing the macarena.  I just made that last part up.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The War on Militance

Here's a link to a blog by Daniel Pipes that discusses one of my pet peeves about biased media reporting: the attempt to legitimize terrorist groups by renaming them as militants or guerrillas. 
Here's my definition:
A militant  is one who openly combats a military unit.
A guerrilla  is one who uses stealth to combat a military unit.
A terrorist  is one who deliberately targets civilians.
Is this so hard to figure out?

Monday, July 26, 2004

Lazor Babies

My 3 year old and my 8 year old had an argument yesterday about who was the bigger baby. 
"You're a baby!"
"No, YOU'RE a baby!"
"You're spoiled!"
"No, YOU'RE spoiled!"
In favor of the 3 year old, she can sing the entire Tropical Lazor Beam song from Homestar Runner.
The 8 year old knows the ENTIRE site by heart.

On Call

I never realized how soundly I can sleep until I got jarred out of it last night by my pager.  I think I was in the middle of the dream, when my nightstand started to buzz and vibrate (I leave it on vibrate so as not to wake up the whole house).  I don't remember what the dream was about, but whatever it was it ended with a sensation of somebody trying to shock me into consciousness.  Then I bolted upright, completely disoriented.  "Wha...where...whats going ON???"
You have to understand that I probably got back to sleep maybe 20 minutes earlier, since I have a tendency to get paged every hour or more when I'm on call.  At first you don't sleep at all between pages, but usually by around 3am you're so exhausted that sleep overwhelms you.
Still not completely with the program, I reached out for the offending device and pressed the button, annoyed that it was the ER, AGAIN.  Then I tried to find the phone, remembering after a while that I couldn't find it the first few times I got paged and finally going to my wife's desk and using the corded phone there.  Of course, the buttons don't light up on that one so I kept dialing wrong numbers in the dark until I finally just turned on the light. 
By the dim light of the desk lamp I could make out that my wife had the other phone on her night stand for some reason.  Man, I wish I had known that 4 hours ago. 
Anyway, the ER just wanted to let me know about a patient of my partner's that they were sending home.  Would I mind letting him know about her?  Yeah, I'll get right on it.
5 am it's time to get up and head to the hospital to make rounds.  People ask, "How are you today, Doc?"

Sunday, July 25, 2004

I hate talk radio

I do a lot of driving, and I usually listen to CDs or radio in the car.  This past week, however, I haven't been listening to music, so rather than drive in silence I've been listening to talk radio.
I don't know HOW people do this.
This is what a typical session is like for me:
I get in the car and turn on the station.  It's at a commercial.
There are about another ten minutes of commercials.
After this, they do the weather.  More commercials.
Next comes traffic for 2 or 3 minutes.  Then a commercial.
Now some sports.  2 or 3 commercials follow.
Usually by this time I have reached my destination and gratefully turn off the station and get out of the car.  But on longer drives, the "host" eventually does come on.
And he seems to be telling me something that seems quite random and unimportant, like the fact that his carpet in the studio is old and smells bad.  I try to figure out why this is newsworthy, until I realize that he's really just shilling for his sponsor, a carpet cleaning solution.
More commercials.
Now comes the good part!
He's really fired up about some issue.  Once in a while it's something I care about, like the Middle East or the election, but today he's all riled up about some piece of art that's been sitting on the street downtown for 30 years, and how none of the snooty art types will admit that it's actually ugly and should be removed.  He rants for about 5 minutes, and then opens the phones for callers.
The first caller typically disagrees with him, and he cuts her off after about 2 sentences to tell her what an idiot she is.  We then get to listen to her repeatedly trying to butt back in ("But--now-- wait--I never-- hold on here--") while the host basically repeats his initial premise over and over again. 
Usually at this point I try to scan the other stations, but they're all on commercials or sports, so I come back to this one.
The rest of the callers all start their calls the same way: "Host, I agree with you 110%!" and usually receive a bit more respect.
Then it's time for weather, after these messages...
Can't wait to start listening to CDs again.

Friday, July 23, 2004

(Who) to be or not to be...

Psycho ToddlerI'm trying to decide how personal to get on this site. I can remain completely anonymous, talk in complete generalizations, and be very bland, or I can get more specific, and pretty soon people will know who I am.
Well my real life is actually pretty interesting, and frankly, without it I'd run out of material pretty quickly, so...gotta think about it some more. Any advice would be helpful.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

What is it?

Hello out there in blogland!  I'm starting this blog here called "PsychoToddler".  What is "PsychoToddler"?  I haven't decided yet.  Maybe it's my alter ego.  Maybe it's my kid.  Maybe it's a pseudonym for my new band.  Check back here and I'll hopefully have an answer...soon.