Sunday, January 2, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEARS....(warning dead otter pictures)

spent my new years at work in the peds icu. a few sick kids that kept us all fairly steady, but lovely co-workers, tasty food and we took a moment to toast in the new year with martinelli's ciders. fireworks were allowed all over anchorage so at midnight we took a moment and darkened a room to watch a few fireworks go off around the city. always pretty. don't think my pups are too concerned about fireworks, not like my old pup huey. he used to flip out.
we were quite chilly last week. i came home from my volunteer day at fish and game, took a shower and headed out for a walk. when i got back my braid was all frozen in this position. thought it was kinda funny.
this morning i got off work and tried to watch the rose parade on the local network that it is available on. they always do a terrible job, whoever does it. it's shortened, way too many comercials and interruptions. always frustrating. tonight i watched it via a los angeles station, ktla. thanks...those announcers have done the parade for years. they give better descriptions of the floats and entries. i grew up in south pasadena, just south of pasadena, obviously. the rose parade was a part of my life. when i was a little kid our church presold rose parade programs. i'd go door to door, this at age 5-7 i believe. we also would go to the float building sites those last weeks before the parade and sell programs there. we'd always run through during slow times and watch the progress. very messy business getting all those flowers on the floats.
if i wasn't on the parade route in the wee hours, the floats could be spied cruising down huntington blvd on thier way to the parade route. my home was just a block or so from huntington. often i camped out on the parade route with friends. in the mornings we'd watch the parade though there was several new years that i worked at "the cat clinic", which was just a block north of colorado. i'd block the parking lot the day before and run up there after the all night, 5 mile long block party and sell parking spots for parade viewers. i would then get paid holiday pay to clean and feed the resident cats in the hospital.
people line up on the parade route 24 hours before the parade. at midnight you can move your chairs into the street to the blue line. as you chill on the street entertaining yourselves, friends cruise by in cars. the cars are stopped from driving colorado blvd around 6 am i think.
the rose parade ruined me for all other parades. it truely is a most spectacular parade. the floats are beautiful. they literally work on them all year. i think they take a few weeks off after new years and then start back in planning for the next year. the detailed flower decorations occur in those last weeks. it's a rush. i never did work on a float, though that is something i wish i had done. my city of south pasadena has the oldest self built float in the parade. they are usually cute, but small. it can be very expensive getting a float built.
the other day and today i guess, i took the pups around the bog. today we just did the bog, a few days ago we did the bog and then looped up the neighborhood to patterson and back home. saw 5 moose that day in that 2 mile neighborhood run. crazy how many moose wander around here in the winter. the numbers seem to continue to grow until spring arrives.
the needles were falling off my christmas tree so i decided to undecorate today. there was a marathon of that reality series about the polygamist family. sister something or other. anyway, had that on in the back ground and would stop and brush and trim blossom. i may have gone a bit nuts on the poor girls face. it just gets long and then the snow clumps all over, which seems to bug her. she still looks cute, but i'm not a very good groomer i must say.
this is the topper for the night shifts entry in the christmas tree decorating contest. the day shift was declared the winners though most of us night shifters believe it was just because they haven't won the contest yet. we have some competitive folks in peds. they are serious about thier tree decorating. night shifts was a hawaiian theme. i think i was in a rush to get to work and snapped a few pictures, most of which were blurry. shaky hands or bad vision..not sure which it is these days. oh well.
the other afternoon i had just enough time before work to take the pups for a walk. we went to gasline-powerline-tank trails. just get some nice views out there somedays. when denali is out, you can see it up there. blossom often stands at trail divergences and looks back for guidance as to which trail direction we will head off in.
the discussion at work was about the word overdose. can one overdose on an illegal drug when one isn't suppose to take any at all. i guess my co-worker is correct that overdose hints at there being a normal dose which one has gone over when actually there is no dose for things like ecstasy or heroin. what would be better terminology for such events. overindulgence of illegal substance? ingestion of illegal substance to the point of near death? those are too long though. perhaps, experimentation gone wrong shortened to EGW? i do know that i made a comment and then made another comment putting my foot in the ol mouth. if someone is there because they swallowed pills that made them so sick they need to be there, obviously they are capable of swallowing pills and don't need to be asked if they are capable of swallowing pills. as soon as i asked i answered my own question by stating, "well i guess she did swallow those pills" or something similar. oops. i occasionally make little faux pas. i suppose we all do.
like the man with the woman doting over him in his ill state like a mother...apparently she wasn't his mother, but his wife...oops. or the woman who was scripture reading over her extremely ill husband who commented that "god dosen't give us more than we can handle" which i responded, "well, there is suicide". not helpful! there may be a reason i do well with intubated and sedated patients...i'm socially inept.
we have warmed up since these days a few days back. it's in the 30's, which feels quite toasty. the snow is melting and then freezing. we were thinking about sledding today, but sledding on ice is less that fun...also we've recently had a sledding accident which really makes one reconsider the sledding thing. i've been surprised at the number of sledding accidents we see. i would have never thought of it as being that dangerous...but kids...wear your helmets!!! should be a good week for my kicksled though, perhaps tomorrow afternoon i can try and get that out!!
i know i'll be finding christmas tree needles for months. the tree is outside on the front deck. i'll have to drag it over to carrs in the next few days. i've done that the past few years. it's less than a mile, but i'm sure it looks quite odd, me dragging a tree and walking my dogs. they recycle them over there.
these are from the gasline/powerline trails.
i am slowly recovering and looking forward to trying to get back into my swimming routine this week. hopefully, the locker room is all finished up. only needed a few cough drops that last night, though i did get a migraine yesterday...i'm just calling december a month of coughing and vomiting and hoping i leave that behind and that 2011 is more healthy.
new years resolutions...haven't really thought too much about it. would like to do more volunteer stuff, started with the otter necropsy assistant. we did two otters on wednesday. the pathologist seemed to enjoy education. she was also good and getting us involved. we skinned the otter and took samples. i cut off the head...not the first head i've cut off. that is bizarre i guess. i suppose most people do not have that in thier life experience. when i was a vet tech, we occasionally had to remove heads of dogs/cats who needed to checked for rabies. the brain had to be sent to the lab. not my favorite thing to do not worry about me becoming some psycho killer. we had a male otter and a female otter. they have a bone in thier heart, called an os cordis. the males also have an os penis. the natives would call that an oosik. i have a scrimshawed walrus os penis or oosik on my mantle.
i decided not to go too crazy with the camera through the disection. it was interesting though. the male had an enlarged heart and his valves were horrible looking. probably had some sort of endocarditis. he had an enteritis as well. the female appeared to have a liver issue, and also enteritis. we could see bruising on her side like she'd been hit by something at some point. she had an old injury to her skull and when i was doing uterus and ovary measurements i noticed one horn of the uterus looked all twisted and had a hard spot. she took that for further pathological studies.
oddly, the otter bits didn't go in a red bag to be incinerated, they just went into a regular trash bag and out to the fish and game dumpster. not sure why providence hospital gets majorly in trouble for a knee cap not re-bagged while fish and game can toss bodies of mammals into the city dump. thought that odd. i know more risk to humans of human parts, but all mammals do cross over at times.
wore my extra tuffs and they gave me this lovely jump suit. i figured showering beforehand was pointless so i know i look a bit rough here. otter necropsies are messy business. i scrubbed myself pretty well after i got home. took my shoes off outside, even though i'd cleaned them in a bleach solution at the lab.
well, it's 2 am so i believe i will turn in for the night. happy new years to all and best wishes for a wonderful 2011!

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