Sunday, July 31, 2011

When it Just Isn't Fair, Part One

The world is full of people who don't take their meds for high blood pressure, don't follow a diabetic care plan, or are so obese they cannot walk. People have all sorts of reasons for not following a doctor's advice.  Hey, it's a free country; people can do whatever the hell they want.  As long as they are well informed about the possible consequences and are able to make their own decisions, let the chips fall where they may. 

You never hear a patient say things like, "I didn't KNOW I wasn't supposed to smoke when I am on oxygen!".  Clearly it is a decision that the patient makes on his/her own and damn the consequences.  Even if the consequences include further complications, severe burns and/or blowing your home sky high in this case.  No less deadly than deciding not to take care of diabetes and high blood pressure I suppose. 

There is difference between outright irresponsibility, choosing not to take care of yourself and being unable to afford your treatment.  So many people don't have insurance, so where does that leave them?

In one of two places. 

Group one has no insurance and uses the ER for everything from a rash to a mosquito bite.  Some are such frequent fliers we know what kind of car they drive, know their address when the ambulance tones out for their 143rd ER transport for abdominal pain this year, and can accurately predict their visits based on the day and date.    I don't know how they survive because they are not, for the most part, working.  They come late at night when they know they will be given a supply of meds to "tide them over" because the pharmacy is closed.  They want every test possible and they want it now. They have no intention of paying their bills.  They are usually heavy smokers.

Group two may have a job and  no insurance.  Or may not have a job at all.  They are trying to make ends meet, cannot legitimately afford their care or their meds.  They are undemanding and try hard to keep their costs as low as possible.  They are the ones who will struggle for years to pay their medical bills.  The hospital will hound them for $25 and send it to a collection agency.

It is especially tough on people who work for themselves.  And hurt themselves while working.  The double whammy is that not only are they not able to afford an ER visit, now they are out of work.

The system works so very well for some people and not at all for others. Why can't we fix this?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

More Stupidly Spelled Names

This is a bunch of idiotically spelled names.  This is a week's worth. I have included the traditional spelling as well for reference.

Mickaylia (Michaela). 

Falysha (Felicia)

Kameryn (Cameron)

Josslin (Jocelyn)

Linsay (Lindsay)

Skyla, and Skyler both in the same day (Schuyler)

Jaymz (James).  Yikes.

Xander (?)

Alysha (Alicia)

Jarrid (Jarrod)

Allden (Alden)

Justen (Justin)

Kaleb (Caleb).  This kids last name also began with "K".  You know how I loathe alliteration.

Apriel (April).  Not sure about this one, although the kid will be spelling her name forever.

Sybrynna (Sabrina, and pronounced as such)

Haileigh (Hayley) Not as bad as Sybrynna

Aeden (Aidan). This one is not necessarily wrong as there are about a dozen ways to spell this, but again, this kid will be spelling it for everyone.

It is crazy how many people never bother to look up the correct spelling of a name they like, or spell it any whay they want so their kid's name will be unique.  Some are so obviously spelled phonetically. Then, there is the unique vs. over the top stupid. 
Psandeigh = Sandy
Ps2ughe= Sue
Ahndreighah = Andrea
Chandis= Candace

I left my list of names at the desk so others could add to it.  Brian had this to add.

"When I was in Texas I had two patients with unusual names.  One woman pronounced her name "Sha-THEED".  It was spelled "Shithead".  Then there was the kid named PAJ-a-mus, that was how it was pronounced although it was spelled "Pajamas".  I asked the parents what the inspiration was for the name and they told me they saw it in a J.C. Penney catalogue.  One of the kids was named Pajamas.  Guess what he was modeling?"

Friday, July 29, 2011

Creepy Steve

Kerry worked a very unusual evening shift with me, a painful shift since the patients trickled slowly in.  One. By. One.  Drip, drip, drip.  Like a leaky faucet.  Like I said, painful.  Plus Gil was on, which means the word was out on the street to all the drug seekers.  Dental pain, dental pain, dental pain.  Chronic back pain. One guy apparently just didn't feel like going to work and wanted a work note.  And percocet for his trouble.
Gil will give one to go, or a prescription for, like, four tabs.  Which Gil will elaborately write a script for so that it cannot possibly be altered in any way.

Feeding squirrels, I call it.  If you feed them, they will always come back.

With Mary retired, there have been a succession of xray techs.  Some better than others.  We like (and have decided to keep on our weekend) Shane.  Cute, blonde haired and blue eyed and really young. But sweet, and we will enjoy bringing her over to the Dark Side.  Unfortunately, she won't start on the weekends with New Cathy and I until September.  Until then, we have Creepy Steve.

He is really, really creepy.  He talks slowly and deliberately and  enunciates. Every. Single.  Word.  He is painful to listen to plus he is a sidler- he sidles.  He just appears.  Not there, there.  Not there, there.  I hate when people sneak up on me.  Like he's trying to catch me doing something I shouldn't be doing, or looking over my shoulder when I am looking at my email.  Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy.

And then, there is his interpretation his completed studies.  Especially the extremity films.  It is apparent he can't read xrays for shit, especially shoulders and elbows.  Most xray techs are really good at this, him not so much.  He is wrong at least 75% of the time. 

13 year old with a nothing 2 day old forearm injury; no swelling or bruising and a stupid parent who is in the department with one of her 4 idiot kids at least 3 times a month.  Gil sends him over for an xray even though it is clearly a waste of time and the taxpayers money.  Must keep up those customer satisfaction ratings.

Creepy Steve: (after sidling over next to me while I'm writing) "I'm. Pretty. Sure. This. Is. Broken. At. The. Distal. Radius"
Me: "Really?  Distal radius?  'Cause his pain was proximal especially when he wasn't playing with his phone"
Creepy Steve: "Hmm.  It. Is? It. Looks. Like. A. Buckle. Fracture. To. Me."
Me: "Ok, well Dr. Gil is reading it now.  We'll see.  If you think it is a fracture why don't you go ahead and make a disc so they won't have to wait for it".  We routinely have a disc made of the positive xrays for patients to take with them so they can convenientlybring to their orthopedic doctors.  Digital xray technology makes this possible.
Creepy Steve: "Yes.  I. Will. Do. That. Right. Now."

Predictably, there was no fracture.  But the idiot family got a nice souvenir.

Next patient is someone well known to us who "dislocates" his shoulder about once a month with ridiculous stories about how it happened.  The mechanism of injury never makes any sense.  He hoots and hollers, moans and groans and disrupts the whole place.  He usually "forgets" to stay in character and uses his arm to change position or remove his shirt. He always comes in on a Friday or Saturday. We always do an xray.  It is always negative, but his bad acting will sometimes get him narcotics.  I repeat, his xray is always negative. "I must have put it back in place".  Riiiiiight.

Creepy Steve: "This. Looks. Like. A. Posterior. Dislocation. To. Me. And. Maybe. A. Small. Clavicle. Fracture"
Me: "Oh? Gee, he complains about pain everywhere.  I touched his t shirt that was lying on the bed and kicked his backpack by accident and he screamed.  I suppose it is possible".  Unlikely, in fact I would bet a week's pay on nothing fractured, dislocated or even injured. It wasn't.  Gil gave him one Percocet and kicked him to the curb. 

Creepy Steve occasionally gets it right; he is, oddly, better with chest xrays.  In spite of his creepiness, I try to be nice to him and talk to him since I don't think he has been out of school for long. I have a strict rule not to eat the young 'uns.  The Mother Ship likes to hire people with very little experience since they don't have to pay much.  We have a lot of long-term xray techs who feel as if they will be given the boot at any minute since they scrutinize every move they make and these young techs are cheap and plentiful.  I guess his technique is good, which is a plus since there is nobody on-site to help him if he runs into trouble or has a question. 

He did ask us if we wanted anything from the pizza joint as he was ordering out for dinner.  No, but thanks for asking.  For some reason he ordered two although he was the only one eating them.

Creepy Steve: " I. Like. To. Have. Pizza. At. All. Meals. So. I. Get. Enough. To. Last. The. Week."
Oh. Pizza at EVERY meal?  Really??

I don't think Shane will want pizza at every meal.  Can't wait for her to start on our weekend.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Evil, evil

I worked more overtime in the last week than I care to, so getting out of work only 10 minutes late was a treat.  One of my all-time favorites was just kicking up on the radio, Back in Black (Hell's Bells, don't you think 50 somethings are into ACDC?) so I cranked it up good and loud as I cruised through the town square on my way home.  This was followed by a a little tasty Collective Soul, December.  Great ending to a pretty good night, even if 1) it wasn't my weekend to work and 2) I had to work with Second in Command (SIC). 

She is treading veeeeerrrrry lightly around me these days.  Everything from avoiding writing notes (which I can't stand) to apologizing profusely for calling me at home.  Never before 10 AM though, because I would just go ballistic.  At least that's what she thinks.

Jane, my boss has been out of work for weeks with an injury that keeps her home and out of the office.  We have all pretty much decided that SIC is not the de facto boss that she fancies herself to be.  With Sherry in Alaska for a month I am the only one she can't intimidate, and everyone knows that I intimidate her.

Sherry wanted to have a meeting before she left to elect me Second in Command....bwahahahahahahaha!
Ha!  Hahahahahahaha!
I am the only one with any actual leadership/management experience, really.  But I wouldn't drive that bus even if it was chocolate and had a marshmallow center.   I am more of a back seat driver.  Next-level-up management at this place does seem to have marshmallow fluff for brains and I am not sitting in any meetings with them.  Besides, they pay us through a pea shooter and try to screw the nurses out of every dime imaginable.  I'm sure they are wringing their hands while they decide to cut out coffee and hot water.  They sure as hell ain't paying any more to someone who volunteers who go  take on this kind of foolishness.

I can use my evil genius for more interesting things like manipulating the schedule so SIC gets less overtime, streamlining the code cart, and intimidating SIC.  While wearing this T shirt, perhaps, order it from here:

My boss called and asked me if I would consider becoming the designated on-site super-user for our new electronic medical record training.  Sure.  For overtime. SIC will be really pissed about that.  Yep, I'm gonna order that t-shirt.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

More from the Lady on Elm St.

Maybe it is the heat, but Lady has had 3 visits to us and 2 visits to the Mother Ship in the last 6 days.  We KNOW when the ambulance goes out after her; the address is well known to us all.  Even Ellen picks up on it.  "Oh, no, they've gone out after x Elm St. again!  Dr. Cripes already saw her once today!"

I quickly scanned the number of visits for the year.  Between both ER's, outpatient labs and xrays, and a couple of outpatient procedures there were 67 hospital visits.  By far the majority were for emergency care.

I know she likes Cripes, but he has had it with her.

"No way!  She's goes straight to the Mother Ship when they call it in.  One visit per doctor per day; any more is beyond the call of duty".

Interestingly, when she saw that Brian was on duty down at yonder Mother Ship she said, "What, him?  I'm not seeing him".  She really doesn't like Brian.

Two hours later she called. I can't prove it was her, but won't swear that is was not: "Hi, can you tell me who the doctor is today?"
Me: "Who's calling please?"
Caller: "Um....Mary"
Me: "Mary who?" I asked pleasantly.  And politely, don't forget that I was polite.
Caller: "Mary......Smith.  Why do you need to know that information?"  Mary Smith is known to be Lady's cousin or some such.
Me: "Well, Mary, I'm sorry, but we just don't give out that information"
Caller: "That's ridiculous!  How dare you refuse to tell me who the doctor is"
Me: (Very sweetly) "Yes, I know it is inconvenient, but it is a safety issue"
Caller: "Safety!  What has that got to do with anything! Do you think someone might come down there and kick his ass?"
Me: "That is always a possibility, Mary"
Caller: "I've never heard of anything so ridiculous in my life!  How am I supposed to know if I like the doctor who's on?
Me: "Well, Mary, that is problematic.  However, in an emergency situation such as life threatening illness or injury, most people are OK with that.  If you do not have an emergent problem, the alternative is to see your primary care provider"
Caller: "Well, it's an emergency if I say it is an emergency"
Me: "Yes ma'am, I would never presume to tell you not to come to the ER if yout feel your problem is so serious you cannot wait to see your doctor"
Caller: "Well, I don't like your tone, and I am going to complain to Patient Care Services tomorrow.  I'm going to tell them that you were rude to me"
Me: "Yes ma'am, that is your prerogative.  Why don't you give me your phone number so my boss can discuss my rude attitude with you personally.  Mary Smith, correct?"

Bye, Lady.  Have a nice night.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Our Witch Melted, Can We Have a New One? and other random stuff

That is actually a paraphrasing of a blog, LOVE the name.  You could check it out.  But it IS an appropriate sentiment for the 100+ degree heat here in the Northeast and the potential for problems.  You know, like dehydration, heat stroke and other such heat related issues, many of which can be prevented from becoming a MEDICAL EMERGENCY by following a few common sense tactics: stay hydrated, keep cool and STAY THE HELL OUT OF THE HEAT, MORON!

I worked a princess day shift, my 10th shift in 9 days and I am done with it.  I am sitting in my living room with an icy cold brew with both the air conditioner and fan on.  In a sundress (which I would never wear outside in public unless I was, literally, on fire).  Tina went out for 10 seconds and was ready to come in immediately, so not like her.  Mr. EDNurseasauras and I will not be heading to the lake for the weekend as planned.  We will take a day trip, but there  is no airconditioning there and we just suffer too much without it.  Wah, wah, wah.

"With record high temperatures, the heat is on!" (isn't that clever, I thought.  Not!). "Medical personnel are on high alert!", intoned the 6 PM news reporter.

 "I'm not", I informed Mr. EDN.  "I'm on exceedingly LOW alert".

The local TV channel had a reporter at Fenway Park giving tips about how to stay cool while at the game.  It is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest temperature in about 80 years.....they were using some sort of heat seeking, satellite directed, laser guided thermometer to take the temperature of the plastic seats in the bleachers.  118 degrees.  WTF?  The concrete steps?  148 degrees!!  You could literally fry chicken on that thing, and you want people to sit out there?  Madness!

Here's a tip for staying cool while watching the Red Sox:  STAY HOME.  Or go to a bar with this new-fangled thing called air conditioning.  Yikes. 

I was on the phone (on hold) when a well-dressed woman walked into the department carrying one of those Styrofoam beer coolers containing bottled water.  It was our Director of Nursing.  "I know there is no water fountain, and want you all to stay hydrated".  Nice.  How many of y'all's bosses toted in water?  I was impressed.

I was even more impressed that since we had run out of enema bags she went across to the pharmacy and picked up a couple. words for that.  I sense a great new marketing campaign:

"Record high temperatures may cause dehydration and heat injury.  But by far the most dangerous problem is....constipation.  When you need an emergency enema, go directly to the Emergency Room. Your God-given right to a comfortable bowel movement should be your number one (not number two) reason to come to the ER when it is about as hot outside as the surface of Mercury. Because the heat is so much easier to tolerate when you can just take a good crap".

Friday, July 22, 2011


Me: (after blowing a shit load of water into the ear of a young man with waxy buildup, 2nd stupidest reason on earth to go to the ER after "constipation"):

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oh, the pain

Madness has a dual perspective on living with a family member with chronic headaches, and having to deal with those who show up regularly in the ER with same in order to get narcotics.  I pretty sure every ER has them.  We are told that people's pain is people's pain, and who are we to say they do or do not experience what they say they are?   Give them what they want and they will go away and give us great customer service reviews.We are just supposed to treat it and move on.

We do.  But it gets more and more difficult when it is clear that the habit is like feeding squirrels.  Give them a prescription and kick them to the curb.  The docs aren't here all the time and so it may be weeks or months before they see the patient again. We nurses are having to deal with the drama and bullshit, the manipulative behavior, and the enablers with bad manners.  And feel like pushers to boot.

Stopping at  ER has become just another part of the routine for some; drop off the dry cleaning, get a pedicure, make a deposit at the bank, pick up dog food, lunch with a friend, then stop at the ER for a quick dose of dilaudid.  Oh wait, let me get that extra large iced coffee first, and my cell phone needs to be plugged in, what outlet can I use.

Our newest doc gives out few narcotics.  Mac is all about being reasonable, and things like whacking your shin on the bathtub 10 minutes ago with no bruise and no swelling doesn't necessarily get you Percocet.  Especially if there are multiple visits for pain-related complaints.  He doesn't feed the drama, and like Gil, likes a nice, Zen sort of ER.  LOVE him.  He is a great addition to the ER family.

Now if I can just get Parvati to drink that particular Kool-Aid my life would be so much simpler, sigh.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I watched on the monitor while a young man in his early 20's walked across the parking lot.  By the time he reached the door he was hunched over and moaning.  Back pain.

10 minutes later, I watched another young man, also in his early 20's do the exact same thing.  Back pain.

Neither had insurance.
Neither had ID.
Neither could remember their temporary local "new" address or phone number.  They both gave a different a different permanent address, same town in another state.
No, they didn't know each other.

They said they were both roofers.  One of them listed "seizure disorder" as a medical problem.  The Talker sent them out with whateva pain meds and a work note.

"REALLY??  I said.  REALLY??!  Fraud and  bullshit aside, a roofer with a SEIZURE DISORDER??  Seriously??!"

"Oh.  I didn' t pick up on that".


Monday, July 18, 2011

Curb Service

 I am always leery when people come to the door asking for a wheelchair.  Hauling people out of cars is not my favorite activity for several reasons;   I am not a young woman, my back is fragile from years of abuse, and mostly women work at my facility.  Except for Brian and possibly the Talker, there aren't any really manly men available to do the heavy lifting. Bobo is just useless, Gil has a heart condition and Cripes has a bad back; the rest are women. Most importantly, I simply do not  possess  the superhuman strength required to prevent someone extraordinarily weak ( or large) from hitting the pavement. My back is not going to pay the ultimate sacrifice; I have many more years to work until I can retire.  Even though it is very often more of a case of high drama than multiple trauma,  I will not risk a patient's well being or mine trying to get them out of a vehicle safely.  If there is an overabundance of drama or a legitimate reason,  I will go the EMS route.  Emergency Medical Services peeps are the extrication experts, and I don't hesitate to call them for assistance when the situation warrants.  However, for the most part, if you hauled your fat ass into the car, you can damn well haul it out.  I will hold the wheelchair and guide you. 

 The wife came in looking for help to get her husband out of the car; it wasn't quite clear what he had done, but Kate and I trudged out to the car with our trusty wheelchair. "He's an amputee, has one leg", the wife informed us.

"AAAAhhhhhhhh, AAAAAARRRRRGHHHHHHHH, OOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRROWWW, ah, FU*#!  Jesus, aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh, gggggaahhhhhhhhh!  This hurts so fu*#ing much!"

I saw three little blond heads and three pairs of  enormous blue eyes staring at me from the back seat.

He fell down some stairs apparently..  His elbow hurt.  So with one leg and one arm he effortlessly transferred himself from the car to the wheelchair, all the while spouting a steady stream of profanity and owwy noises.  I decided to talk to the kids instead.

"Hi guys!  What's up?  This isn't your grandfather, is it?"  He had looked to be about 40 years old, the wife a little younger; she snorted with suppressed laughter but didn't say anything..

The three little blond heads shook in disagreement.  The oldest said, "He's my papa; he says he fell down.  I didn't see him, though", while the littlest, a girl of about 4 stuck her thumb in her mouth.  The wife had a subtle air of "been there, done that, now done with this" about her.   Interesting. 

"It's OK, Kate and I are just going to take him inside and put a bandaid on him, alright?"  Three little blond heads nodded silently.  They didn't smile.

Once inside, Ralphie continued to make a whole bunch of owwy noises as we did our triage.  He lost his leg in a motorcycle accident.  Couldn't remember any of his meds; pain was 30 out of 10. 

Through the magic of electronic medical records we discovered that Ralphie was on a shitload of meds.  Pain meds. Can't remember my ass. 

He got an Xray (negative) which appeared to have been therapeutic since he was using both of his arms to transfer himself without any difficulty from the wheelchair to the gurney.  Still making with the owwy noises and profanity though.  He got a shot of Toradol for his trouble.  By that time he was hopping around on his one leg and opening the cabinet doors in the treatment rooms. 

The wife wisely stayed in the car with the kids.  If I was the wife, I would have just driven off with those cute, blond,  silent little kids and never looked back.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Kids Eat, but it Ain't Free

Tonight was my night to wrangle kids with lacerations.

I hate restraining kids.  In fact, I really don't even like kids all that much.  Actually, I take that back; the kids are fine, it's the parents who suck.  That was why I stopped school nursing.

Kid 1:  2 years old and screeching blue murder.  He had a wooden splinter in the bottom of his foot.  It took Henrietta 20 minutes to get it out.  It was near the big toe.  Even wrapped in a sheet with both parents sitting on him and me holding down the foot, that big toe just couldn't be immobilized; it was like trying to nail Jello to a tree.  At least his parents were intelligent, helpful beings with realistic expectations.  They were tremendously helpful.  I stuck a Cars bandaid on his foot and he seemed happy with that.

Kid 2: 10 years old with a teeny, tiny laceration on her thumb from the top of a dog food can.  Crying, crying and crying, albeit silently.  2 stitches.  Had to work around mom who threw herself onto the stretcher like it was an open casket.  Made a WAY bigger deal out of it than necessary.  The little girls older sister was more of an adult than the mother.

Kid 3: 18 months old with a chin laceration.  It was 50/50 whether it needed sutures or not.  Clearly, this child had never heard "no" a day in his life.  Mom was busy getting out a picnic basket full of snacks and drinks in triage.  I warned her not to feed him ( they cry so hard they usually vomit) but she would have none of it; "how else am I going to keep him occupied?". (Um, I don't know, read him a book, play a game of Parcheesi?). We were busy, it was about an hour before we could take care of him.  I refused to put him in the room until Henrietta was ready to see him the minute he went in,  By that time mom had moved through the picnic basket and was feeding him a Kit Kat.  Mom was, predictably, less than helpful.  I wrapped him in a sheet and as soon as Henrietta put in the local he screamed so much he vomited like Mt. Vesuvius.  Surprise, surprise.  This is why we tell you not to feed them. 

But wait, there's more.  The kid kept screaming, but in a kind of "It makes me feel better to make noise", self- soothing kind of way.  Mom sang, really badly although you could tell she was thinking she could really sing, "The Wheels on the Bus".  Only when she got to the "round and round" part, it sounded like a cat in blender.

"The wheels on the bus go MMMMRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEOUUUWW and round,

and the kid would MMMMRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEOUUUWW in his own way at the same time, so he sounded like


Mom naturally wanted 4 pounds of antibiotic ointment and 100 bandaids upon discharge. Um, yeah.

Kid 4:  Little girl, 5 years old.  An older sibling had shut her index finger in a door, avulsing the nail.  Both parents, two other kids, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and an endless parade of concerned general citizens came and went.  By this time Gil had come in to work and he rapidly did a digital block since the kid was screaming like a banshee.  Mom yelled at him because after he injected one side of the finger, he said "another pinch, dear".  "DON'T TELL HER WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO STICK HER!!!  IT DOESN'T HELP!".  Oh, ok.  She had about 300 questions, none of which had anything to do with her daughters aftercare instructions.  She was very pissy, mostly I think because she had absolutely no control.

Kid 5: Dental pain, 7 years old. Really??  Seen by the dentist yesterday.  Given antibiotic.  Not Magically Better pills don't seem to be working because it's 10 PM and he can't sleep.  Mom gave him Tylenol.  Yesterday.  Are you serious?  A dose of Tylenol and OTFD*.  Sorry, we do not give out prescriptions for Common Sense in a BottleTM

*Out the fu**ing door

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Riveting TV

Now that I am no longer a slave to schoolwork, you would think that I would have so much more time to add blog entries. 

Not so.  I am finding that when I am home of an evening, instead of being on my computer I am actually starting to watch some of the programming that has captivated Mr. Ednurseasauras during my academic incarceration.  Not just sporting events, mind you, although  I have written hundreds of papers while watching many a Red Sox, Bruins, or Patriot's game. More accurately, I was mostly pretending to watch, usually it is just white noise.  Mr. EdN is an inveterate channel surfer and is addicted to the Discovery and History Channels as well as some of the political and economic pundit programming.  He has a tendency to avoid the fluff; you know, premium channel train-wreck TV so ridiculous you just can't turn away.  This is anything on MTV or VH1 (unless it is a movie like "Eddie and the Cruisers" or "The Buddy Holly Story").  He abhors anything having to do with Jersey Whores, Kardashian Krap, 257 Kids and Counting, or Kate Plus 8 and Jon Gets the Gate.  I confess that in contrast, I never miss an episode of Toddlers and Tiaras.  Ultimate train wreck CRAYZEE parents, which makes you feel good about raising normal well adjusted kids without spray tanning, fake eyelashes and big hair.

Instead of being shackled to my online classroom, I have been enlightened by such riveting shows as Swamp People, Swamp Logger's, and Ice Road Truckers.  Then there's Pawn Stars, Billy the Exterminator, Dual Survivor, The Alaska Project, Everest Beyond the Limit.....etc., etc,. etc.    Tonight we watched two hours of Navy Seal shows dedicated to the killing of Osama Bin Laden.  That was pretty interesting, but what I really wanted to watch was True Blood.  That's OK; the magic of On Demand allows me watch it in the morning while I have my coffee.

Most of these shows are pretty ridiculous, but one in particular I must single out as being the most pointless in pursuit of the loftiest goal.  Whale Wars.  Yep.  Now, don't get your panties in a wad.  I love animals and on paper it might seem like a grand idea to participate in the high seas equivalent of poking a hornet's nest with a stick in order to save whales from being harvested by the Japanese.  I am not taking a stand on the legal issue of commercial whaling here; oh no.  Whaling in pursuit of scientific research apparently IS legal; the Japanese emphasize that their activities are legal by holding up signs on their deck as they process their kill that announce "We're Weighing Stomach Contents"or "We're Taking Tissue Samples".  In English.  So the helicopter can see it. What boggles my mind is that the captain and crew of the Sea Shepherd are bumbling idiots. Referred to by some as "eco-terrorists", or "vigilantes", they roam the waters off the coast of Antarctica attempt to disrupt their "enemy" by taunting, cutting across their bow, throwing stink bombs, and tampering with their propeller .   And sometimes getting rammed in order to indignantly cry "foul".  Their actions just seem juvenile and impulsive while being more of a threat to human beings than actually seeming to accomplish whale salvation.  I find myself rooting for the Japanese, frankly.   

Without a doubt a more effective option than the Jackasses of the High Seas would be to put the Navy Seals in charge of disrupting whaling activities.  Yeah.