Today was listed as labor day and as such many received a vacation day.  My work was closed, so I took the opportunity to labor at home.  I installed shelves in the garage, pulled weeds, did laundry, planned a Kairos weekend, and got ready to paint the back fence.  Not too bad for a few hours without my regular work to do.

We have a  flag pole out front and I left it empty today.  Actually, the labor day was a result of the organized labor movement in the late 1800’s and commemorates the formation of unions and their power.  I don’t have a use for the unions.  After all, their initial purpose has been supplanted by labor laws and OSHA and they serve to protect poor workers and increase wages above market rates.  That is the real reason for the increases in minimum wage – the unions use that figure and argue that their skills entitle them to x amount above the minimum.  Any politician pushing minimum wage increase is doing so to pay off the unions.  Broad brush, I know, but too easy to show as well.  Therefore, I didn’t raise the flag.  Tomorrow, the Texas flag will be raised as my usual tradition.


I guess that could be written about most weeks, but the truck proved an interesting task.  It was sitting slightly low to the right and after observing this for a few days, I finally produced enough interest to look under the bed at the frame.  A sad sight greeted me.  The shackle which connects the leaf spring to the truck frame was broken in half and the bed of the truck was riding on the end of the spring.  I looked at a couple of youtubes on the subject and took a torch to the nut with a breaker bar and after a bit of effort, managed to get the bolt removed from the lower connection.  This went through a bracket riveted into the frame and was U shaped with the shackle fitting inside with the bolt running from the inside towards the outside of the truck.  The videos mentioned about half an hour going back and forth between a torch and impact wrench to get the bolt loose.  Mine just looked at me.  About 45 minutes into the work – also including an air hammer, the center broken piece rotated about 10 degrees.  That was the last movement I was able to get before yesterday.

After more discussion, it was posited that the rubber may be allowing cushion and a press would be needed to get the bolt removed.  A design was chosen and about three days were spent building a press to handle a 2 ton press and provide that force to the bolt.  After all the welding, cutting, and planning, the press was a failure.  The bolt looked at the press and asked, “is that it?”  It didn’t even flinch.  I got a bit perturbed at this point and spouseinbox and I went to the local welding store.  I asked if setting the amperage to about 150 would be enough to cut the shackle.  With an affirmative reply, spouseinbox and I returned to the project and spent the next half hour cutting through the shackle, removing the rubber – now burned – and finally getting down to the inner sleeve and bolt.  I put the press back on the bolt and heated it with the welder.  Again, and for the last time, it didn’t move.  The press went other places and the bolt was slowly removed by melting.  That worked.  The last piece was removed this afternoon with an angle grinder.  Wow.

The bolt through the leaf spring remained.  After the first one, I was thinking, “Oh, crap, here we go again.”  So, with truck braced on jacks and jack stand and leaf spring lowered, this bolt didn’t even get a chance as I started with the grinder and removed half of the nut, then twisted it off with a pipe wrench.  The remaining piece of the shackle was not as stubborn as the first and was removed with the pipe wrench and a hammer.  The pipe wrench was opened and placed between the spring and the truck frame allowing the hammer better effectiveness.

Installing the new shackle was not a problem.  There was just a bit of fussy getting the spring into position so that the wrenches could fit.  Other than that, the assembly went without an issue.  Count another project done.

The other day our nurse practitioner came to me and asked that I check out the otoscope in room J and see if I can get it working or call someone to have it fixed.  Let’s just admit that I like this kind of work.  It’s electrical and I like figuring out issues.  I went to room J and started poking at the power and the contact switches and confirmed that the ophthalmoscope on the Left would work occasionally and the otoscope on the Right didn’t work at all.  Now, the times the ophthalmoscope worked were about half of the times the main power switch was turned on.  I was thinking maybe there was a bad contact there and since the light on the otoscope didn’t work at all, surmised that the bulb may be bad.  Considering the information gathered, this seemed a reasonable hypothesis.  We are in a facility, therefore, I don’t get to try and fix these issues.   I just get to call someone who can.  After querying the ordering agent, I was directed to a maintenance number.  I dialed.  “Hello, this is nurseinbox calling on a problem with the otoscope in room J.”  I described the issues as best I could and received the response, “OK, we will get someone to check the breaker.”  (blink, blink)

PostScript: The maintenance man arrived, and accepted my explanation and spent time with the unit – not the breaker – and diagnosed some bad cable connections on the base of the unit.  OK, I will admit liking this kind of stuff.  That doesn’t mean I am always successful.

Marxism was started with the book by Carl describing the inevitable war between those who had wealth and owned factories for example, against those who didn’t have wealth and worked in the factories.  That idea has spawned may grandchildren which have expression in the uprisings in Baltimore, California, Detroit, Chicago, etc.  Besides the owners and workers, we now have the colors, blacks, homosexuals, muslims, overweights, ignorant, and any other broken-off group that can be named.  In fashion honoring the origin of the thought, each of these are pitted against others, and with assistance of the MSP (main stream propagandists) laws no longer have the importance in this country – association does.  Seeds of Marxism breed vandalism, conflict, and disarray.  In the personal setting, this is seen in the way one looks at their boss.  The jealous approach decides that the manager makes X off of my labor, therefore, I am not paid enough.  The roots of this line of thought are jealousy, envy, and Marxism.  Dave Ramsey set a thought down my mental roller coaster.  He noted that he made money by making others wealthy.  His service to others paid himself.  I brought that concept back to the more familiar work place and realized that the owner may be paid off the labor of the workers, but the owner was also providing a place, opportunity, and means for others to make money.  So, I can either trade my time for money, or I can provide the means for others to trade their time for money.  Either way, it is a more positive approach to the situation.

We, in the office, had an interesting moment the other day when a coworker announced her pregnancy.  She also let it be known that she knew if it was a boy or girl, but wanted to let the crew know in some fashion other than just an announcement.  A party was planned at which point she would reveal the sex of the baby and I offered to make the cupcakes.  It was revealed to me that not only would the baby have a certain set of genitalia, but that the entire office and the two adjacent offices would be attending.  So much for a pan of cupcakes I was originally planning.  Yes, I was thinking just spoon into the bottom of the cup, dye a bit of the mixture, spoon that into the middle, cover the top, a splash of frosting, and then we’re done.  No, I took a plunge off the deep end and decided that a couple cakes were appropriate for such a crowd and since it was either boy or girl, one for each would be appropriate and the new mom could cut into the cake of choice.

As an afterthought, I added a small cake to the center with a curly tail to be the ultrasound wand.  Now, when one has an ultrasound and is looking for a certain part of anatomy, how is that described?  From my experience, a few moons ago, the tech was looking for ether a hamburger, or a turtle, and so I presented the crew with the following:

Photo02241210The cheeseburger was the first time I put icing only in the middle of the cake, but it went over quite well, leaving the board only crumbs to return home.  The patty was a brownie.  The cheese was icing which I put into the freezer, cut into quarters, then turned around the quarters so that the cut edges would show, and then just spread the remaining yellow in the middle.  I was quite happy with the appearance.  My original idea for the turtle was to cut it and put vanilla pudding in the middle, but as it was, I got to bed after 2300, so couldn’t afford the extra time even though I think it would have improved the cake a little bit.

The wire on the ultrasound wand was all frosting and really gave my hand a workout.  I was quite pleased with its appearance as well.

Oh, she cut into the turtle.

As this morning progresses, I have to admit being in the midst of a quiet torture.  Let me back up a minute.  I moved into a job at work requiring me to call individuals who leave the hospital without a primary care physician and offer them care from our clinic.  If they have a primary care physician out of our area or with a different group, ensure that they are being seen for a follow up to the hospital visit.  Next detail is that our insurance requires a PCP.  I have come to realize that were the occurrence such that I had a hospital visit, my name would be on my list.  I suppose it would be easy to call myself, but decided to be proper and establish care with a PCP.  The physician was chosen and date set.  This doctor also decided to do labs ahead of time.  I don’t know how much of what is being taken, but do know they are supposed to be fasting, so have started this day being “good” in anticipation of having a needle remove some of , well, you know the rest.  So here I sit doing my morning routine without the coffee – as I had wonders about my willpower were a pot made.  The cafeteria may have breakfast available – with coffee – and I’m going to find out this morning after being drained.

I am now working in a clinic.  There are visits and patients to get ready to see the doctor.  My job is to get them back in the room, check their height, weight, whatever numbers the doctor for whom I work wants.  Mostly it is the blood pressure and sometimes pulse or oxygen level.  The reason these are checked, is that they are a very quick way to ascertain what is happening on the inside.  The numbers change constantly.  I had a rare occurrence this week – two patients receiving identical blood pressures each on the first and second checks.  That is pretty much unheard of.  That is why we do it – the blood pressure responds to life.  Stress increases it, dehydration and relaxation decrease it.  I would only recommend the second of those decreasing methods.  Just saying.  I had a particular individual who was a driver.  There is a base number for the state to allow any professional driver to be behind the wheel.  This person was just above that number.  When the number is very low or high, I wait a couple of minutes, and the machine is set to repeat the blood pressure again.  During the 2 minutes, I mentioned to the patient keeping the image of an open road.  The next blood pressure was lower.  I waited another 2 minutes and this time mentioned the open road and not a cop in sight.  The blood pressure, this time, was rather good.  Sometimes it’s all in the imagery.