here we go!

Mar. 5th, 2019 06:29 am
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I've got two weeks, six work days to go, and then I shift up north. I've got my NCLEX on March 22, and I'm going to head north on Saturday, March 23.

Mike and the boys are going with me, and then Mike will come back down here. The boys and I are going to live with Carl and his family until they close on their house and move, and once I get my house in order, we're going to move up Chris and the guys, Wolf and Tone. Luke will stay with me.

We have another stray here at the Lansing house, named Steve. I still get a little boggled at stray people, but this guy is pretty harmless. Tone was seeing a woman named Melissa, and when we had that really bad cold snap in December, she asked if her cousin Steve could come stay with us for a bit. Tone and Melissa stopped seeing each other, but Steve stayed. He putters around the house, does dishes and vacuums once in a while, and drinks a lot of coffee. He's a decent enough guy, getting his life together after dropping off the edge and hanging out in space for a bit. He's going to stay here after we leave and watch the cats and make sure nobody breaks the windows and all.

(Pause while I get the kids to school and have an interesting conversation with Steve about his family and origins; I'm also boggled when people have lost all of their identification. Do you know how hard it is if you have nothing to prove who you are? It's damn hard.)

Mike is mourning us going and is snappish and sad. I am sad for him and for us. But, well, he doesn't want to come and I don't want to stay. I understand his decision and he understands mine, and we are good with each other for now.
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"Rachel Martin: Author David Wallace-Wells opens his new book The Uninhabitable Earth outlining three misunderstandings about climate change. First it's speed:

Wallace-Wells: More than half of all the fossil fuel emissions that we've ever put into the atmosphere have come in the last 25 years. Which means that we've now done more damage to the climate than all of the millennia before and all of the centuries before.

Rachel Martin: Then it's scope:

Wallace-Wells: We were sort of taught that the problem was really about sea level and coastlines. We're starting to see that climate change is really an all-enveloping threat which promises to transform, probably deform, every life lived on the planet in some way.

Rachel Martin: And finally, it's severity:

Wallace-Wells: It was basically considered irresponsible to consider scenarios north of about two degrees of warming. It was called the Threshold of Catastrophe, and no one really wanted to think about it. It turns out that two degrees looks basically like our floor for warming rather than our ceiling. And so we really need to start thinking about what the impacts will be at two and a half, three and even four degrees of warming.
Read more... )
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Yesterday morning, around 5am, I came down to let the dog out and grab a cup of coffee before work and a young man was coming up from the basement. He had dark curly hair that straggled in his eyes and a scruffy beard and mustache.

"Oh, hi," he said. He sounded slightly sheepish. "Tone said I could come and dry out my shoes."

It had been raining on and off for days, and cold - just above freezing. It must have been miserable. He had jeans, a hoodie, one of those padded flannel jackets over that, and an outer coat over that. He still had his backpack on. He moved with that kind of relaxed oh-god-I'm-warm-now way that I've felt, too.

"Look," I said and flipped open the fridge, "there's some left over pot roast with gravy, and some mashed potatoes here. We've got plenty of cereal and milk, and there's bread and peanut butter and other stuff. Warm up and get something to eat, hey?" He nodded. "What's your name?"

He was getting out a bowl and spoon from the drying rack by the sink. "Nathan."

I moved past him to get a mug from the cupboard, poured myself some of yesterday's coffee and set it going in the microwave. "Ok, Nathan. I'm going to work now. There's little kids who live here, so be good, alright?"

He looked up from spooning a heap of mashed potatoes into his bowl. He met my eyes for only a second, but he was clear and focused, and I went off alert a bit. "Yes, ma'am," he said. "I'll be moving on before they get up."

I grabbed my coffee, added a plop of creamer, and took a quick sip, watching as he shoveled chunks of beef and gravy over the mashed potatoes. "Grab a sandwich and an apple for later, if you want," I said, and reached over and gave him a squeeze on the shoulder. He blinked at me.

I shrugged into my coat and went off to work. I'll ask Tone about him today.
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I got a 92% on my final. I passed.

I passed nursing school. I made it.
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I used to post about this stuff a lot. Now I just check in on it every once in a while. Here's a paragraph from a 2018 meta analysis that caught my attention:

"What is known about the expected impacts under various warming levels (the damage function)? Moore et al (2017a) find that in a low warming scenario the global response yield, with CO2 fertilization and adaptation, is positive, and becomes negative in the 2 ◦C to 3 ◦C range. Without CO2 fertilization impacts are always negative. They also use the GTAP economic model to assess the impacts on welfare and derive an agriculture damage function, with confidence intervals. With CO2 fertilization, the welfare changes are negligible at 1 ◦C to 2 ◦C warming, becoming negative at 3 ◦C. Without CO2 fertilization there are substantial welfare losses at all warming levels." (my emphasis)

Juan-Carlos Ciscar et al 2018 Synthesis and Review: an inter-method comparison of climate change impacts on agriculture. Environ. Res. Lett. 13 070401

Global response yield becomes negative in the 2 ◦C to 3 ◦C range. If you add in the CO2 fertilization effect, the yield doesn't become negative until 3 ◦C.

From Climate Interactive Scoreboard:
485 ppm CO2 equivalent gives us about 2 ◦C of warming above pre-industrial levels.
At 855 ppm CO2 equivalent, we'll hit about 3.5 ◦C.

In 2018, the atmosphere reached its highest level in recorded history, at 410 parts per million. CO2 levels were about 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s.

So what are we looking at?

From Wikipedia: This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

If we keep going as we are, we'll hit 485 ppm CO2 equivalent sometime in the 2030s, and 855 sometime in the 2060s. I expect that we'll hit 485 and then industry will slow down because people will begin to die. But even if we have a big collapse and stop burning fossil fuels, the earth will continue to warm due to the loss of albedo and increased methane pumping from the arctic circle until the CO2 gets taken up by the ocean and chemical weathering.

If we slow way down, more than we've promised that we will, we'll still hit 2◦C by the 2050s, and hit between 2.5◦C to 3◦C by 2100, so that gives us a possibility of a soft collapse with a world population of 25% - 50% what it is now. Soft collapse is the current best case scenario.

The green scenario on the chart is if the whole globe stops all anthropomorphic carbon emissions by something like 2020. Uh, no.

This does not take into effect the possibility of geoengineering (because, why not?) or carbon capture (sorry, I don't think we'll get this in time) or aliens or God stepping in and pulling our nuts from the fire.

In other words, nothing has changed. This is the same information that we had almost 10 years ago. Carry on.


Dec. 10th, 2018 05:53 am
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I had a recent conversation with Wolf about Mitchell, a guy who's been staying with us. Mitchell is leaving on December 26th because I said he could stay until Christmas. I'm looking forward more to his leaving than actual Christmas.

This is because Mitchell is a 24 year old with the emotional/acting maturity of a 14 year old. I feel sympathy for him, which is why I took him in. But his inability to follow my rules has earned him the door. Let me tell you: once I've taken someone in, it takes a lot for me to kick them out.

Anyway. I was thinking about what it meant to me to be an adult, and I looked at some definitions. Here is what I've come up with. I was going to give this to Wolf because he still wasn't sure what I was getting at.

Feel free to add your own examples!

1) Adults are able to choose between acting intellectually/rationally or emotionally/by gut.

Adults are able to see what the rational action is, what their emotional response is, and act by choice as they desire. So, for example, if you're working at McDonalds and your manager screams at you for the 4th time about something that you had no control over, do you consciously make the choice to either blink, nod, and move "find a new job" up your priority list, or scream back at him "Fuck this job! I'm out of here!" In this situation, someone operating in child mode will likely act out emotionally and then bemoan the fact that they are suddenly without a job. You can't help how you feel, but you can decide how to act. Adults can control their actions to emotions - they feel anger, jealousy, fear, anxiety, and loathing -- but they decide how they're going to act on those emotions.

2) Adults can figure out what they want and then get there.

Adults are able to figure out what's important when looking at the long game. They can visualize something they want, plan what they need to do to get it, and then stick to the plan -- even if they have setbacks. Someone who's living in child mode will be pushed here and there by circumstances, and then blame their lack of achieving what they want on someone else or bad luck. And when an adult has a "bad luck" incident, they deal with it rationally instead of bouncing around like a freaking pinball emotional wreck. I have always said to my kids "An adult does the odious task. Because they have to. And they don't bemoan doing an odious task because they know that all adults do the odious task so whining about it just makes you look childish."

Also, adults learn from their mistakes. If they do something that earns them a negative repercussion, they own up to it and decide if they want to change something. For example, when an adult gets a speeding ticket, they don't blame the cop or the kids acting up in the back seat. They own up to what they did, and if not getting speeding tickets (and being a safer driver!) is important to them, they slow down. If they keep getting tickets, they don't blame their faulty speedometer or say that it's all the city's fault for setting a speed trap. Adults recognize when they've done something stupid or hurtful, and decide if they want to change their actions.

3) Adults want equality in relationships.

I cringe when I see childish romantic relationships, and I see it a lot. Like, I've been there and sometime am still there and we work on it. Bonus points for knowing that mutual goals and complementing personalities help relationships work. The main thing is that adults look for other adults to have relationships with; they look for someone who can both give and receive love, and who treats them with the respect of one adult to another. Someone in child mode gets in relationships that fulfill some role that they must play against - mommy or daddy, rescuer or victim, etc. In my experience, the childish adult most often fails in the respect aspect of a loving relationship, because to really respect someone, you have to trust them, and childish adults usually had a messed up childhood, so they have trouble understanding how trust works. Childish adults don't trust, but at the same time don't understand when people don't trust them.

4) Adults are both open to new experiences and open to concrete criticism

"Talk to the hand" was a big thing 90s. Childish adults don't have a strong enough sense of who they are and what's important to them to bear criticism. You know that feeling of when you were a kid and your mom or dad was yelling at you for something that you knew you'd done that deserved criticism? That shoulders-around-your-ears, you want to just curl up because everyone hates you now feeling? That's what childish adults feel when they're criticized. Adults are able to look criticism in the face, judge whether it's valid, and then decide if they want to make a change. Adults trust their own judgement in themselves. The same is true about new experiences. We always talk about childish wonder, but childish wonder requires that the child be able to trust that someone will protect them from the harm that this unknown might bring. As an adult, wonder takes self trust. Adults trusts themselves to know what they're going to like or not like, what will harm them or not, and their own ability to plan and execute. They trust their ability to "look down the road". And so they're willing to give something a try, knowing that they will protect themselves from harm.

5) Adults take an active role in their destiny, and understand that they have personal power

This is the core of the freaking pinball emotional wreck: childish adults are passive. They react instead of choosing an action. I use a driving the car analogy: when you are driving a car, you look ahead, making sure your way is clear, watching the other drivers. You look to the side and even behind you. If someone is driving like an idiot, you get out of their way because you don't want to be in their accident zone. A childish adult "drives" life by looking at the clouds, or their interesting hood ornament, or are having an animated conversation with their passenger. And then when they get into an accident it was someone else's fault or bad luck. And then, instead of dealing with the result of the accident, they sit on the side of the road, helplessly weeping and moaning about their fate. Sometimes, if the accident was bad enough, there is cause to weep, moan, and just lie down -- but an adult will make themselves get up to deal with shit, and a child won't.

Adults "Do what you say and say what you do." They know that they have power, and that with power comes responsibility. Adults don't make idle promises. Especially to the people who depend on them and who have little power. Sometimes shit happens and an adult makes a promise that they can't make good -- at that point, an adult owns up to not being able to fulfill their promise, apologizes, and attempts to make amends. The second half of that, the "say what you do" is all about taking responsibility for your actions. Adults own up to their mistakes.

This is also the "you can't help how you feel, but you can decide how to act" thing. Sometimes I want a damned doughnut for breakfast and I eat one; sometimes I want a damned doughnut and decide that I don't want to experience the sugar rush-and-fall. I don't just eat a doughnut and then bemoan the necessity of the rush-and-fall because I couldn't help myself and just had to choose the doughnut.

5) Adults know that all adults sometimes act childish

All of these flow from one to another and are really one big thing with parts that work together. But there's a final piece: being an adult is not a place or a thing. It's a work that's in continuous development. You're never "there." Well, I haven't been, anyway. And I would probably give someone the hairy eyeball if they said that they never acted childishly. Oh! And being an adult doesn't mean that that person is a good person. I've known some pretty shitty adults who, for example, know that they are causing hurt or doing things that might cause harm to others, and just don't care.


Nov. 30th, 2018 02:09 pm
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Just had to pop in to say that I got an 88% on my cardiology exam. *deep breath*. I'm doing this. :)
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The more Thanksgiving meals I cook, the more bored I get with the menu. But the family *loves* to have that traditional meal, all the things that we have just once or twice a year; the foods that means it's Thanksgiving.

Here are ours. What are yours?

Mashed white potatoes
bread stuffing (not southern cornbread stuffing because that's weird) (and they were dubious of the chestnut stuffing, too)
Savory rice ring - this is the cornerstone and lets us all know that This Is Thanksgiving
cranberry sauce
broccoli slaw, the one with the raisins and sunflower seeds
some type of sweet potato - this year will be a maple souffle
homemade bread or rolls
pumpkin pie and something else, this year a cherry pie too.

-- Savory Rice Ring is made by putting a green (bell) pepper, 1/2 a red pepper, a couple of yellow onions, and a pound of mushrooms through a grinder, sauteing this with a stick of butter or margarine for about 20 min, with garlic, salt, and pepper, adding this to enough prepared rice that it looks right, and baking it in a greased ring form. Note that the veggies must be put through the grinder; you don't get the same rice ring if you use a food processor -- it'll be good, but it won't be *the same*. "The right amount of prepared rice" is usually around 3-4 cups. The rice ring is placed in a water bath (I usually use a black skillet) and baked for 45 min at 350 F.
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I work all weekend and then I have clinical, so I'm pressing the easy button -- still, we haven't had these in a while

tonight: polish sausage fried with potatoes, cabbage, green peppers and onion

Friday: beef stew or pot roast

Saturday: shepherds pie made with chicken

Sunday: spaghetti

Monday: breakfast for dinner

Tuesday: chili with cornbread

Wednesday: dunno - something fun
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I need to sleep but I've been having nightmares. And not the kind where you can't find the room for your final exam or the one where you're taking the test in your underwear, but really gruesome blood and guts nightmares. Bleh.

I worked a lot this week, 52 hours in the last 7 days. I wrote a paper, did about 6 hours of homework, and went to my 12 hour clinical at the hospital yesterday. The homework and paper haven't been graded yet, so I"m still holding at an 85%; I expect it to go up a tick when those are graded.

I'm not as well prepared for today's test as I'd like. We're being tested on 6 different types of anemia, blood cancers, and 8 different autoimmune diseases. There's gonna be a lot of compare and contrast stuff, which isn't my strong suit because it's a lot of rote memorization and at this point in my life I rather suck at rote memorization.

So, turn in my clinical report before noon and a 2 hour exam at 2pm. Tomorrow I'll finish up the 3-4 hours of homework and go to the last lecture of this section, followed by a 1 hr small group discussing our community nursing experience.

Tomorrow evening I'll write up a bunch of study cards for the car and then we're off for the U.P. for October Birthday Bash!
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reblogging from Nevin's Arctic Sea Ice blog:

Yet another destructive hurricane has hit the US, following a highly unusual path, smashing precipitation records all around. Dr Jennifer Francis breaks it down in this excellent video from The Real News Network (please, share):

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So I don't loose it and so I don't punch my computer while I'm waiting for all the ads to load. There was a sale and I bought a whole pork butt, which is actually a shoulder. *shrug* It's big! This is for dinner tomorrow, after my second of four nursing exam.

recipe and directions under cut )
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Fund Gabe's Massage Therapy

A couple of years ago, Gabe broke his neck in a diving accident. After getting out of the hospital, he was placed in a nursing home that didn't do daily Range of Motion and stretches. Now his arms have contracture at the elbow and wrist; he's unable to move them from the position you see.

As if life isn't hard enough for someone with a spinal cord injury, Gabe has to deal with the pain and frustration of not being able to use his arms.

Massage therapy has been proven to greatly reduce contracture and muscle pain in spinal cord injured people. This therapy will greatly increase Gabe's mobility and flexibility, and reduce his pain. It will change his life.

Unfortunately, Gabe only has Medicare/Medicaid, which won't pay for the therapy. On top of everything else, Gabe was raised in the Foster Care system, and has no family who support him. The therapy costs $160/wk for two hours of massage. Gabe lives in a nursing home and only has SSI. He has no funds for this therapy. So I'm reaching out to you to fund Gabe's massage therapy. We are raising funds for 8 weeks of therapy.

Gabe cries out in pain when he is repositioned for hygiene needs or simply to sit up to eat. Every day that goes by makes the contractures worse. He needs help now.


Sep. 25th, 2018 08:18 pm
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Today was clinical at the hospital, from 7a - 7p. I am tired. I have tomorrow off (ish -- I have to study for my test on Thursday).

I haven't set up the Go Fund Me for Gabe yet, but I'll get that done tomorrow. Mike just brought me a tall glass of water and said "Drink this!" and went off to start the boys to bed. The big gray cat that we first called Matt because his long fur was so matted, and then CatDog because he's one of those cats that acts dogish, is sprawled out on the desk next to me:

I'm playing with the Fido, but, meh.

Yesterday was a day and I need to write some stuff about it, figure some stuff out, but not when I'm tired like this. Tomorrow.

Also, why is it that I sleep so much better when I'm heading toward a day where I'm not doing much and it doesn't matter that I don't get enough sleep? *yawn*
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I had my weekly clinical yesterday, and the two days before that I worked 12 hr shifts. Last night Mike bought Little Caesars, which he thinks of as a meal but bleh. The kids like it though, too.


Beef stew with home made bread

Polish sausage with fried potatoes and sweet peppers

Chicken Ras-el-hanout traybake

Ham hocks and beans, with cornbread and sliced pears

Chicken/Apple/Walnut/Feta salad with soup and bread

eggs, biscuits and gravy, fruit salad

English pot roast

Tonight we're having the beef stew. Tomorrow I have my first exam from 2-4:30, so I think we'll have the biscuits and gravy. And I think we'll have the English pot roast Friday night so there's leftovers over the weekend.

Mike and I are going off together for the weekend! We're going to see how we do without any kids/dogs/cats/20-somethings. So the 20-somethings are taking the kids to Chuck E Cheese on Saturday, and they'll pull something together for Sunday. We'll be back on Monday.
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So, I've been dreaming about remodeling my kitchen for years. Years! The plaster and lathe is falling apart, the cabinets and drawers are falling apart, and the floor is hideous.

But. Last night as I was lying in bed, I suddenly realized that for the same projected cost, I could get a new geothermal heating/cooling system for the house. Woe! I want a kitchen, damnit! But playing with the idea today, like the Chevy Bolt decision, I realize that the smart thing to do would be to get the geothermal system.


According to an online widget, I should be able to save about 30% of my heating and cooling costs per year. Right now I pay about $1600/yr for natural gas (forced air and hot water) and about $850/yr for electricity. According to the widget, the average family in my home would pay about $2925/yr for heating and electricity. I pay about $2450; the difference might be that we only cool one room during the day, and just use fans at night for the bedrooms.

Anyway, I'd say that for the sake of the widget, we're just about on spec, and should therefore be able to cut my heating and hot water costs in half, saving me about $800/yr. Hopefully we can pass on some of the installation costs when we sell the home. Teh internets tell me that the loops should last about 50 years and the indoor unit 25 years.

I will need a 3-ton system. This will be a challenge for my postage-stamp sized yard, but if we go vertical we might be able to swing it. I'll need three loops, drilled 10 feet from the property lines and house, as far apart as possible. My back yard is about 25 feet deep and 35 feet wide. That would give us three loops about 5 feet apart. Nope! That's too close; they need to be 15'-20' apart. What if I place them triangularly? One loop in the middle of the yard, right up against the south boundary line and the other two against the house line, east and west? So, isosceles triangle, base would be 15' and height would be 5'-- that would give me 9' between bore holes...bleh

The only way we can swing this is to use a split system or put a loop in the front yard.

first jam

Jul. 18th, 2018 09:19 am
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On Tuesday, I went out and picked four cups of raspberries from our bushes across the street. The berries looked great, but their flavor was very meh. I mean, nice enough to eat fresh, but for jam a little meh. So I decided to add peaches to the jam, and some lemon juice to tart it up. I only made four pints, and it's lovely, but not very raspberry or peach-ish. I think maybe I added too much lemon juice? And way, it tastes like a berry sweet tart, with a very nice ruby color.

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There's a guy that I know in the nursing home who I have dinner with about once a week, since about eight weeks ago. He shouldn't be in the nursing home and he's asked me to help him get out. He's in his mid-50s, a stable schizophrenic recovering alcoholic who had a stroke two years ago and has left side paralysis.*

That sounds like a lot of stuff, but really he's able to do most of the stuff he needs to do to live on his own. He needs help getting up and dressed in the morning, he needs help with making meals, shopping, and getting up in the morning and getting ready for bed at night. But he gets around fine with his walker, interacts well with others, and is able and willing to ask for help when he gets overwhelmed.

So I'm going to help him find an apartment (he wants a cat! maybe two!) and get him set up with the Mi Choice Waiver, a program that pays for someone who lives in a nursing home the services that they'd need for living in their own home.

He has $1400 set aside for his first month's rent and security deposit. He also needs a good bed, all his furnishings and all the gear one needs to live in an apartment -- everything from dishes and pots and pans, to a kitchen dustbin and closet hangers.

We were eating dinner at a little family run place last night and I was showing him different apartment complexes on my phone and I said, "You're sure that you want me to take this on, because you know, I will kinda take over."

His eyebrows went up and then down, and he nodded. "You warned me of that when we first started having these dinners that you take over. I need someone like that in my life. It also interests me about how you answered me when I asked you what you got out of our relationship. I find the way your brain works very interesting."

What I had said when he asked me what I got out of spending time with a disabled guy without a life was, "Well, you're an interesting guy with interesting thoughts. And seeing someone who has a problem and who wants help with solving the problem -- working on that makes me feel good about the world and about my life in the world. And it makes me feel good to be one of the people solving problems. And feeling good is wonderful."

We figured that Ed will need about two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening of home health care for personal care and medication assistance, and another two hours a day of chore services care for help with shopping, meal prep, and keeping the apartment neat. All of these services can be provided by Medicare/Medicaid.

If anyone would like to donate cash for furnishings and supplies, that would be cool. He hasn't decided if he wants a hospital-type bed -- it's helpful with the hemiparesis and he might be able to get one through Medicaid. For furnishings, he said he'd be happy with dresser, bedside table, easy chair, and side table to start. Maybe a dinette later and another easy chair or small sofa for guests.

*Ed has given permission to share his first name and his medical issues with people, to help me brainstorm and such.
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So, I've worked 115 hours since July 28. I won't be doing that again any time soon. And I don't think I've ever mentioned it but I have an interesting canary in the coal mine in my head: after my neurological incident in '09, whenever I do too much, get too tired, don't get enough sleep -- my ears buzz louder than they usually do. Either that or I don't have the spoons to ignore it like I usually do.

So, yeah, loud ear buzzing today.

I have the next four days off. Today I get the kids up and showered and off to summer school (done), take Christopher into the clinic for some pre-breakfast blood work for his doctor to review before his physical next week (waiting for him to wake up), go to my pre-surgery appointment at 2pm, and then drive Luke up to Gaylord, about a three hours north, where his friend Dusty with pick him up and take him to Negaunee.

Tomorrow I only have a home visit with Chris' social worker here, right before lunch, and dinner with Ed, my friend/resident at the nursing home.

Wednesday and Thursday I have nothing planned! Well, there's a kid's concert on Wednesday at the library that I'll take Chris to, and I *really* need to get out to the garden and weed.

I have four more work weeks until my surgery on August 6.


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March 2019

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