Wednesday, 24 May 2006

That Time is Drawing Closer...!

Oh, yes, it is nearly that time of the year again... when there are Renaissance Festivals opening to the masses! I have been working at the New York Renaissance Festival in Tuxedo, New York, for twenty years. This year is actually year 20. I'm beyond being just a Rennie!

Some fun photos of Renaissance Fairs in ages past:

This is a seriously OLD photo! I know this as I have not been able to fit in it for quite some time (years, really) That is a wonderful bodice and I plan to bring it back into vogue as soon as I can - just need to shed 30 lbs to do it! I can do it, I know I can I know I can!

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Which Side of the Brain Am I?

This is all TLC's fault!

Well. I took the first test, and this is me:

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (56%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (44%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?
personality tests by

Hmmm. This is what it said under that:

Overall you appear to be Right Brain Dominant
According to Darwinian theory, optimal evolution takes place with random variation and selective retention. The evolution savvy individual will try many different approaches when faced with a problem and select the best of those approaches. Many historical intellectuals have confessed their advantage was simply considering/exploring/trying more approaches than others. The left brain dominant type suffers from limited approaches, narrow-mindedness. The right brain dominant type suffers from too many approaches, scatterbrained. To maintain balanced hemispheres, you need to exercise both variability and selection. Just as a company will have more chance of finding a great candidate by increasing their applicant pool, an individual who considers a wider set of options is more likely to make quality decisions.

Onto the next test...

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (64%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (48%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain

Here it is...

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (52.4%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (47.6%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
How interesting. It is an interesting series of tests.
This is a good one, and I recommend it - it's a career test. Look at this.

Career Inventory Test Results

Emotional Stability70%

You are an Executive, possible professions include - program designer, attorney, administrator, office manager, chemical engineer, sales manager, logistics consultant, franchise owner, new business developer, personnel manager, investment banker, labor relations, management trainer, credit investigator, mortgage broker, corporate team trainer, environmental engineer, biomedical engineer, business consultant, educational consultant, personal financial planner, network integration specialist, media planner/buyer.
Take Free Career Test
personality tests by

Now, that is not bad. The numbers stuff would not be any good for me, but the magic spot is there - Personnel Manager! How cool is that?

This is a basic personality test, and I must say, it mostly sounds like me!

Global Personality Test Results
Stability (76%) high which suggests you are very relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic..
Orderliness (60%) moderately high which suggests you are, at times, overly organized, reliable, neat, and hard working at the expense of flexibility, efficiency, spontaneity, and fun.
Extraversion (83%) high which suggests you are overly talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting at the expense too often of developing your own individual interests and internally based identity.
Take Free Global Personality Test
personality tests by

Some of this I agreed with - in fact, most of it (see below)...

trait snapshot:
clean, likes large parties, outgoing, makes friends easily, optimistic, positive, social, high self control, traditional, assertive, rarely irritated, self revealing, open, finisher, high self concept, controlling, rarely worries, tough, likes to stand out, does not like to be alone, semi neat freak, fearless, dominant, trusting, organized, resolute, strong, practical, craves attention, adventurous, hard working, respects authority, brutally honest, realist, altruistic

Very Interesting!

But saddly, it is time for bed!

A Posting and A Response!

A couple of weeks ago, while aimlessly looking through other blogs, I found a new one - "Send Chocolate". I loved the title, and of course this is what grabs people's attention... not unlike a résumé, where the candidate has a mere 8 - 12 seconds to grab my attention. It did, though, and here I am telling you about it and spreading the word around that this is fun reading. I was very impressed by it and posted a comment on it:

"I give you a lot of credit and I love the way you write. We probably would not see eye-to-eye in a religious sense. But I don't care and I plan to return to read your blog more. I love what you write about your kids.I am not a person who understands, appreciates, or likes kids. I like older kids that can hold their own conversation and read a lot and are clearly ahead of most people, but smaller fry are a mystery to me. Even as a kid, I preferred the company of adults. But a parent who can see the intellect in their kids and who clearly loves their kids as you so obviously do, well that is priceless. And no doubt they will drive you to distraction. They all do that, it is the nature of kids to test those limits! But even when they do make you nuts you write them well.Thank you for such a warm, fuzzy, funny blog!"

Well, wasn't I thrilled when this message came in my e-mail!

"Thank you for the kind comments you left on my blog. I have some comments of my own, both based upon your post and your comment over at Send Chocolate.

Believe it or not, we agree on many things. I do think that being faithful and monogamous is hard, but it is a challenge to make us stronger. I also feel that there is more to sex than just the act, and by spreading myself around when I was younger, I was hurt emotionally in ways that I may have avoided had I thought twice about the sexual aspect. Of course, at the time I thought I was just a 90's liberated woman, I took what I wanted and left the feelings. So I thought. Don't get me wrong, I like sex! A lot. But with the right person, for me, it forged something deeper than just the crazed animal coupling that sex can be.

I also agree that many don't understand God and the way he works. I don't pretend to understand it all, because I never will. But for me, I understand enough. I have said for a long time that what keeps me a Christian is Jesus Christ, not his followers. Heck, if I looked to the church for my faith, I would have walked a long time ago! People are fallible, and no matter what, they will continue to be fallible. I think that's where the love comes in. If you can love people who make mistakes, aren't like you, and don't do things the way you think they should be done...then you are getting it. That's what Jesus meant when he said, "Love Your Neighbor." It is so easy to judge and so hard to love! At least, I think that's what he meant. Maybe he meant buy 'em a sub sandwich. Seriously, I don't think we go wrong when we try to love.

We are not so different, you and I. I used to be involved in college theatre and SCA. The Rocky Horror Show, bad poetry. It was some of the most fun I have ever had. But we had kids, and something had to give. Turns out, it was me...and I have learned a lot about how to give. (and I am still learning).I wrote a book and I apologize. Your comment touched me and I had to come and see the "home" of the wonderful person who wrote it. Thanks again."

And while I though about the wise words and the different point of view offered, I waited for the right moment when I would have time to really respond to the well-written message I got. And so I answered:

"Greetings and salutations, TLC!

I really like what you wrote - and no apologies for writing a book! I love books and you are a worthwhile writer, so it's all good. I really enjoy your blog. You think about things and then write about them and that is what it is all about! That is the same reason I write on my blog. To tell others about my experiences, yes, but also because hashing them out in writing allows me to cogitate on it more and come to terms with the bad and exult in the good!

I am curious... you homeschool but the kids have schools? Or am I confused? How does that work? Do you need to submit a curriculum or prove to the state or county or someone that your kids actually have half a brain? Does the bureacracy (sp?) step in at any point? I suspect that on a great many levels homeschooling is better. I loved the posting on all the reasons why you do (and don't) homeschool. You write volumns, too, rich with detail and I am learning from it. I love to learn. Any day in which I learn something is not a waste.

So here is a sticky wicket. I'm sharing something distressing from work, something I don't often do. [Removed do to having work-related content] This is why I try not to make [close] friends at work.

Loving is never a bad thing, I agree. There's no wrong there. And sex with that one special person is an incredible, amazing, breathtaking (literally and figuratively!) thing. I've been doing that for 16 years now with my husband. But the temptation is always lurking around and the fact that I haven't procreated is definitely making it much worse. The moment I turned 35, my hormones went into overdrive and my OB/GYN tells me that it may not let up until I hit menopause! AAAAAAAAAA! I'm only 38! Years of this sort of drive will definitely put my husband in an early grave (but what a way to go!)...

I don't understand God but then I don't quite see religion or its main figurehead the way that most do. I don't picture a Zeus-like older man with white hair and a halo on an ornate throne. I don't think that God even slightly resembles man, but is rather just an intangible, invisible thing... the thing that gives a person in distress the strength of ten, or allows EMTs to go to the next bad car accident, or humans to survive the most brutal conditions. I certainly don't think God is telling people, "Your way is the only right way and would you please kill off anyone who does not agree?" That is just criminal that the Crusades and the internecine wars in the Middle East are due to "my God is better than yours".

Yes, I would not look to the church for anything, really. We do see Jesus differently, though... I do believe that man named Jesus did exist historically and definitely had an impact on the times he lived in and throughout history, but I don't believe that he was the son of God. Sorry - I know that must sound odd. But I just don't buy that part of it. He said good things, and that is usually good enough for me.

Buying a sub sandwich would probably make me hit with any of my neighbours, ha, ha! I see what you mean and agree. Love is always better.

I love the Rocky Horror Picture Show! I'm more of a serious telly viewer now - hand over the CSI series and no one'll get hurt! But I have the soundtrack to the Rocky Horror Picture Show and love it. I have never had children and never will but I leave that to the people like you, who have a clearly definited ideal of what they want to give to their child and not just have them, 'cause, gosh, what is there after marriage or it is the next step.

Oh, I still work at Renaissance Fairs - two in Connecticut and one in New York. I love that. In the summer I have three jobs - my regular job as an HR Manager, my volunteer EMS work and being a wench!

Well, I wrote a book back and plan to post it as well. It was a thoroughly enjoyable trip! Stop by the blog any time!

Looks like the start of fun and learning filled correspondence! Or at least mutual blogging, also good!

Sunday, 21 May 2006

Nine Days of Rain?! Part 2

I'm happy to say that we did not have nine days of unrelenting rain!

However, we did have a lot of it and some rather wacky weather as well. Friday was a wonder. It was clear enough when I drove into work at approximately 1130, but it was quite dark around 1300 and suddenly I heard something similar to a car alarm... but knew with amazing clarity what it really was.

The lightening detection system!

As with any sport, you have your total devotees to it, otherwise known as fanatics. And in the strange world of golf, nothing stops them from prowling the sprawling 1.5 miles and 36-holes that we provide, short of snow on the ground (which when chasing a little white pocked ball all over the land is likely to be a hell of a deterrent). They were out there in January, sans coats and gloves, happily whacking those dopey white balls all over the dull landscape. Of course, in season, there are just that many more of them zipping around now in carts as well as on foot, still chasing those teeny balls!

While this insanity pays for all of our jobs and keeps that lovely building open, it is amazing to me that this is something people cannot stay away from. As with anything that people love to do, there is a certain safety factor which mercilessly falls under the category of "you-are-too-stupid-to-be-safe-on-your-own,-so we-will-do-it-for-you" and this is absolutely the epitome of it: the lightening detection system.

We have a really nice sophisticated one that is all over the two courses and you cannot miss this sucker when it goes off. It went off almost all day Friday with the four separate storm systems that ranged over northern New Jersey like mach storms. There was even a funnel cloud spotted over Newark and the surrounding areas (quite close to the courses) that while it never reached fruition, could have easily done so and really made those slightly overly dedicated souls search for those benighted balls!

It was not just that not-quite-right car alarm sound. It hooted and hollered and whooped and had a sound a lot like the air horn that Bob and I love so much on 66-2 and 66-3. I don't recall hearing the all-clear sound, but the weather was unbelievably unstable and I strongly suspect that it never reached that point until the last storm passed over around 1900 or so.

Pretty neat, huh!

Walking Them to the Grave

I had written that I would make a great Grim Reaper. And the thing is, I probably would. But tonight I was the Grim Reaper, very likely, for a life not yet born.

Our patient was six and a half months pregnant with a poor history in this area. Four miscarriages and zero successful births is not a positive history. The likelihood is that she was in labour when we got to the apartment at 2108 and the outcome is not too high in the good area. At approximately 22 weeks, there is not a very good chance for survival, especially due to the underdevelopment of the lungs. Is there a chance that the fetus could survive? Yes, but it is not an especially high one. The first three miscarriages were inside of the first trimester but the fourth was well into the fifth month, a stillborn.

That is a hard one. The fact is that all the sirens and fast driving in the world would not make a difference. We got the patient there and up to the right place and the matter went into the hands of the hospital but even they cannot do miracles all the time.

It is just 0359 so this won't be long. I guess my question is at what point do you give up on this and say to yourself that this is one thing I cannot do? What other routes can I take to motherhood? Can I adopt a child? Or do you keep setting yourself up for physical and emotional failure by continually trying for a natural birth and missing the mark?

I don't know.

Tuesday, 16 May 2006

Yoga Part II

Well, I do still love it and I go to the gym every Tuesday evening to take the class.

The class does wonders. It works out the body, calms the mind, skyrockets the endorphins and builds the confidence! What is the downside?

In actual fact, there isn't one. True, I usually feel sore about mid-way through Wednesday, but I still consider that a positive sign. It means I'm getting a real workout. Oddly enough, while the poses sound easy and innocent enough (downward-facing dog, upward-facing dog, cat, tree, lotus, mountain, etc.), they are not nearly as easy as all that. I was definitely sweating profusely after a few switching of downward-facing dog, then to plank pose, then upward-facing dog. It is not simple. But then when I do child's pose, it feels SO good, I could just melt into the floor!

There are some poses that are incredibly hard for me to do (plank is one of them), and others that are quite easy, like bridge pose. And then there are ones that are hard to do but I can do them and well. Almost all of the standing triangle poses are easy for me. Balance isn't always good, but usually I do well. Almost any pose where the bulk of my weight is held up by my arms is incredibly difficult to not possible. I do try every pose, but since the aim is not to hurt myself, I'm quick to modify it and know my limitations.

While it has gotten considerably easier to empty my mind and just do the workout, it is not often that I can completely clear it. I find my mind wanders aimlessly all over the place... sex, home, the sounds of other people breathing, the weather... sex again. Well. I guess that topic is never far from my mind. But this night I was fairly relaxed and not really thinking much... until I realised that my chin was buried between my breasts.

Hoping I'll get crazy and think something sexual? Forget it. All I could think about is one of my coworkers who told me that if he was a woman, he would have implants to make his breasts huge, because breasts are power. Spoken like a man. A very ignorant man. I love penises, but trust me, I don't want to be the proud owner of one! For one thing, I can't imagine what it would be like to have all that stuff taking up space between my legs!

Well, this individual has no idea what it is like to have these two rather enormous objects hanging off his chest! They are not power... they are just permanently enlarged mammary glands. I like my breasts (they could stand to be perkier but at 38, who isn't thinking that?), and they are fun for myself (dressing to showcase) and for Luis (I'm sure I need not expound on that). But do they give me power? No- they get in the way at yoga and at Ren they make a pretty good shelf. Other than that, they are just another part of the body. Personally, I think having a prehensile tail would be much more useful and entertaining... but I'll keep the boobs. I wouldn't mind a slightly smaller size (overall, not just my breasts) but they are not bad as they are.

If they were much bigger I would get a reduction and feel really, really good about it. Oversized breasts only create problems for the owner - usually severe back problems and strap marks where bra straps cut into the skin. Yuck.

Well, maybe when this person straps on a fake chest and tries that out for at least week, then I will be more sympathetic to trying out a package between my legs. Genders should try to understand each other.

In the meantime I will continue with my yoga, and the inconvenience of having my chin jammed in between my bodacious ta-tas...

Sunday, 14 May 2006

WAX is Not your Friend

For those few who tune into this on any kind of a regular basis, you may recall that I had a few postings about the losing battle of shaving that went on in the end of February through March. Or maybe just March. I had sliced one ankle, then the other, a week or so later, and was really down on the whole "better feminine hygiene through hair removal" thing... And then this showed up in my e-mail In-box today...

"CAUTION: Be prepared to laugh out loud...I laughed till I almost cried as I could just see this happening! (And feel it too!)

All hair removal methods have tricked women with their promises of easy, painless removal - The Epilady, scissors, razors, Nair and now... the wax.

My night began as any other normal weeknight. Come home, fix dinner, and play with the kids. I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next few hours: "Maybe I should pull the waxing kit out of the medicine cabinet." So I headed to the site of my demise: the bathroom.

It was one of those "cold wax" kits. No melting a clump of hot wax, you just rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you peel them apart and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and you pull the hair right off. No muss, no fuss. How hard can it be? I mean, I'm not a genius, but I am mechanically inclined enough to figure this out. (YA THINK!?)

So I pull one of the thin strips out. Its two strips facing each other stuck together. Instead of rubbing them together, my genius kicks in so I get out the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees. ("Cold wax," yeah... right!)I lay the strip across my thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and pull. It works! OK, so it wasn't the best feeling, but it wasn't too bad. I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me! I am She-rah, fighter of all wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire.

With my next wax strip I move north. After checking on the kids, I sneak back into the bathroom, for the ultimate hair fighting championship. I drop my panties and place one foot on the toilet. Using the same procedure, I apply the one strip across the right side of my bikini line, covering the right half of my vagina and stretching down to the inside of my butt cheek (Yes, it was a long strip) I inhale deeply and brace myself....RRRRIIIPPP!

I'm blind! Blinded from pain!... OH MY GOD! Vision returning, I notice that I've only managed to pull off half the strip. CRAP!

Another deep breath and RRIIPP! Everything is swirly and spotted. I think I may pass out... must stay conscious... Do I hear crashing drums? Breathe, breathe... OK, back to normal.

I want to see my trophy - a wax covered strip, the one that has caused me so much pain, with my hairy pelt sticking to it. I want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair. I hold up the strip! There's no hair on it. Where is the hair? WHERE IS THE WAX?

Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet. I see the hair. The hair that should be on the strip. I touch. I am touching wax.

CRAP! I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, which is now covered in cold wax and matted hair. Then I make the next BIG mistake...remember my foot is still propped up on the toilet? I now I need to do something. So I put my foot down. DANG! I hear the slamming of a cell door. Vagina? Sealed shut! Butt? Sealed shut! I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to do and think to myself Please don't let me get the urge to poop. My head may pop off!" What can I do to melt the wax? Hot water!! Hot water melts wax!!!

I'll run the hottest water I can stand into the bathtub, get in, immerse the wax-covered bits and the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it off, right? WRONG!

I get in the tub - the water is slightly hotter than that used to torture prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment - I sit.

Now, the only thing worse than having your nether regions glued together is having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of the scalding hot water. Which, by the way, doesn't melt cold wax.

So, now I'm stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cement-epoxied myself to the porcelain!

God bless the man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a phone put in the bathroom!

I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and has some secret of how to get me undone. It's a very good conversation starter - "So, my butt and who-ha are glued together to the bottom of the tub!"

There is a slight pause. She doesn't know any secret tricks for removal but she does try to hide her laughter from me. She wants to know exactly where the wax is located, "Are we talking cheeks or vagina?" She's laughing out loud by now... I can hear her. I give her the rundown and she suggests I call the number on the side of the box. YEAH!!!!! Right!! I should be the joke of someone else's night. While we go through various solutions, I resort to scraping the wax off with a razor. Nothing feels better then to have your girlie goodies covered in hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in super hot water and then dry-shaving the sticky wax off!!

By now the brain is not working, dignity has taken a major hike and I'm pretty sure I'm going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counseling for this event.

My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving grace....the lotion they give you to remove the excess wax. What do I really have to lose at this point? I rub some on and OH MY GOD!

The scream probably woke the kids and scared the dickens out of my friend. It's sooo painful, but I really don't care. "IT WORKS! It works!"

I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up. I successfully remove the remainder of the wax and then notice to my grief and despair... THE HAIR IS STILL THERE... ALL OF IT!

So I recklessly shave it off. Heck, I'm numb by now. Nothing hurts. I could have amputated my own leg at this point.

Next week I'm going to try hair color... Now, that’s funny… Not!

Those who refuse to live and learn simply exist!"

Tuesday, 9 May 2006

Too Much Religion

This afternoon, while surfing aimlessly along some different blogs, I found this:

"Being Too Religious
Every human being is a individual but every religion will give a person a identity to who there are, this will help a person to lead their life because they will have certain bondaries what they can and can't do. There are many religions in this world which people follw here are some examplesa, Lslam, christianity, hindusim and judaism. Thre rae many peole who believe in religion because they believe in one god but their are some people whho don't believe in religious because they don't believe in recreation or life after death.I believe no matter how religious a person might be there would not follow all the rules which are placed by the religion, for example, every religion believe a woman should be treated equally and should'nt be cheated on but it still happens."

So, being me, I had to comment on it:

"I happen to agree that too much religion can be a bad thing. It certainly has not done anything positive in the world as yet. And yet, some is not the worst thing in the world. It answers the answerable and gives strength to some.

But there is no religion in the world that can stop people from doing wrong things - not one. No one lives perfect blameless lives - it simply is not programmed into the human condition. It is tough to look at all the rules that each religion has and say, "I've never broken a single one!" Admittedly, these rules are manmade and while religion sounds great, once mankind starts actively involving itself in it, then it falls apart. Muslim extremists and Catholic terrorists are all the same animal, some one a little misguided on the God of love and how He works.

Human sexuality is also a terribly unconquerable thing. Humans are driven by sex both physically and psychologically, and once religion starts dictating that sex is not a good thing or something that is to be tolerated but not enjoyed, then you run into all these issues. And the human genome is not designed to be faithful. People try to do it but statistically most fail. It all sounds good in theory, but in fact we as a species are geared to sleep around capriciously in search of the right seed and the right caretaker - who are two different creatures!

OK, now that my comment is bigger than your posting, I'll leave you alone!

Thanks for reading!"

At least people feel free to write about these things. Nothing should be a forbidden topic!

Nine Days of Rain?!

Someone at the weather channel (well, the online weather) had better be way off the mark!

Not that rain doesn't have its value; it does. But nine days of rain in a row fast loses its value and quickly turns into a nuisance, if not downright dangerous and poor for the community! It's one thing to perk up the flowers and make the grass a little greener. It is an entirely different creature when it cause flash flooding, long-term flooding and an increase of roadway encounters of the damaging kind. The drunks get more drunk; the drug addicts more high and the depressed overdosing - it just isn't good to have no sunlight for days on end!

How is it that people live in places like Seattle or Alaska? Bad enough in Seattle where the rainy days far outweigh the clear ones. I had read once the ratio of sunny to overcast days there and it was staggering. Then there is Alaska - I'm pretty sure that their ratio of sunny to overcast days is not the best and add to that the lack of daylight in the winter. In the summer they need blackout shades and that seems livable. But to have maybe a couple of hours of twilight in the winter and that's it? Oh, ye gods - I don't think I could live with that.

I'm a daylight person - in the winter I'm more sluggish, less active and want to go to bed too early. I find the dark terribly misleading. I have that wintertime depression that goes with having 9 hours of daylight instead of 15. In the summer, I'm more active for a longer time and have no problem getting up nice and early and not missing the day! Hand over some sunlight and no one'll get hurt!

So with the forecast of rain/showers/scattered showers showing up for the next nine days, I certainly hope the weather does its usual thing and proves the meteorologist who thought of this completely wrong. And while I am asking for the impossible...

...can we just have it rain at night? And not on Thursday nights!

Monday, 8 May 2006

This Week's Theme: Find it! 2006-05

It's that time of the year again when you get to don your word-sleuth hat.

There's something common among this week's words but we're not telling --it's your task to find the property that applies to all five words this week. Each day this week brings a new word that on the surface may not appear to share a trait with the others, but does. Will you be first to solve the mystery theme?
Monday, 8 April 2006


Lightless, especially without sunlight.

[From Greek a- (not) + phot- (light). Ultimately from Indo-European root bha- (to shine) that's also the source of beacon, beckon, phantom, phenomenon, and phosphorous.]
The aphotic zone of an ocean or lake is the part that's not exposed to sunlight. At such depths plants grow without photosynthesis.

Tuesday, 9 May 2006


1. Marshy; watery; full of puddles.
2. Splashy.

[From Middle English plasch (pool), probably of imitative origin.]

Wednesday, 10 April 2006


Stormy, as the sea.

[From Latin procellosus (stormy), from procella (storm).]

Thursday, 11 May 2006

verb tr., intr.

1. To scratch or scrape, as with claws or hands.
2. To struggle to obtain something not easily available.
3. To climb over something hastily or clumsily.
4. To scribble.


The act of scratching, scraping, struggling, scribbling, climbing, etc. frantically, desperately, or with difficulty.

[From Dutch schrabbelen, from schrabben (to scrape or scratch).]

Friday, 12 May 2006


1. Fragrant.
2. Soothing or healing.
3. Relating to balsam.

[From Latin balsamum, from Greek balsamon.]

Balsam is any of several aromatic plant resins. Balsamic vinegar, named for its supposed health-giving properties, is a dark, sweet and sour vinegar traditionally made in the Modena region in Italy. It's made from white grapes and matured in wooden casks over several years.

PS: We hope you found this week's five words (aphotic, plashy, procellous, scrabble, balsamic) valuable, but what's the property that makes them all equal?

Sunday, 7 May 2006

Oh, Those Crazy Religious Things...

Today we went to a Christening (this is the exact same thing as a Baptism, so if you are thinking that there is a difference... well, there isn't. At least that I could see). It was my second Christening, and thankfully I don't see too many of those in my future. Not that it was so terrible, but you know me... religious ceremonies are not my area of comfort. It is another strange religious thing that I just don't really get on a deep-down, I-understand-why-people-do-this level. The first we went to was last summer for Bea and Rich's daughter, Jess. It was not bad - fairly short and right to the point. We also did not sit through the whole liturgy. However, it was something fairly non-denominational. This Christening today was Byzantine Catholic, and you know those Catholics... there is no end to the amount of pomp and ceremony they will throw into a basic thing.

This was a beautiful ceremony in that the priest and congregation sing a lot of the words, not like Roman Catholics, who merely repeat every thing in a monotone. The inside of the chapel was very ornate and there was a lot of gold - not necessarily real gold - there is very little of that floating around in these things - but it was meant to look like gold. Nothing plain in this place. And Father Marcel is priceless. As with Tom and Alayna's wedding in September of 2004, this was a fun and funny thing, as he can't help but be funny. But he also was serious when warranted and did all the ceremonial stuff too.

It started in the church and then quickly moved to the back of the church and there was a whole lot of stuff about the devil. Amazing - it was really very much an exorcism... I did not think that they went in for that sort of thing, but they do. Oh, it was really something! Not only did he excise the devil from Matthew, he really went the whole nine yards to make sure that all the participants renounced Satan! Most Catholics I know aren't that hung up on Satan.

Well, OK! That went on for close to ten minutes and then I snuck in ahead of the participants to get more photos as they came down the aisle to the... special table in the middle of the front area. (I'm sure that there is a special name for this, but for the life of me I can't think what it might be). It had a couple of ornate candle holders with white tapers in them, a little gold bowl with a handle (I'm guessing that this was the holy water vessel) and a book and some other things. The god parents and parents stood around this table and the ceremony got to anointing the baby's head, eyes, nose, chin, chest, hands and feet. That is a whole lot of anointing, let me tell you - I always think of Christenings as something that you dribble some holy water on the infant's head and say a couple of quick signifigant but oft-said, memorized words and bang! You are on your way; apparently not. Then again, we are talking about Catholics... Well, this was amazing in that unlike Roman Catholics, this is one-stop shopping - there is no separate First Communion or Confirmation! They like to roll it all into one thing! How cool is that? Not that I have been to either of these things (who would invite me, the Wiccan, to such ordeals?) but I am not in any hurry to go - unless my closest friends ask me to attend.

Well, by 12:30 we were done and all I could think was that this was two hours of my life that I will never get back! Not that I didn't want to be there for something that is hugely important to Tom and Alayna, but there is only so much of this kind of stultifying, boring activity that any one person can handle. It was ghastly long and there were a gazillion kids in there. And you know what a bad combo me and children are.

After that we went out to the restaurant and ate (and ate, and ate, and ate) and everyone chatted with everyone else and got all caught up, which was really nice. It was a lot like a wedding reception without the dancing (a pity, that, but I have yet to see dancing at a Christening), so it was a social occasion and there were people that we hadn't seen in a while, like Lee and Angela and their twins and Don, and the Schleifers and a lot of other people - especially Missy Maude!

Missy is an old friend of Alayna's, which was an enormous surprise and quite unexpected. Missy and I met at the wedding rehearsal and immediately liked each other. This is rare that I meet someone that I like so much right off the bat. She and I chatted through the whole rehearsal dinner and before and after the wedding. Instant friends. We are both very open and honest about our feelings, no hidden emotions, and earthy and not just a little evil and really! We just immediately got on so well! Alayna is nearly my complete opposite and so to find that one of her closest friends is someone who is a lot like me is shocking! (Alayna doesn't like to talk about sex or death, or like any of my ambulance tales; she is not one to ever say anything negative; she is very big into the close-knit family; that sort of opposite. I have no use for religion, I'm brutally honest, don't mind using colourful words, love my war stories and no topic is sacred when it comes to me!) I don't mean that we are really "evil" (people always take that the wrong way) but we are both totally irreverent about so many of the things that so many other people are totally hung up on.

So we promised we'd write after the wedding, which so rarely happens and this was no different - we hardly wrote at all. But about two or three weeks ago I wrote Missy a letter and then she wrote me an e-mail on Friday. She also writes a lot like me... The subject line read, "My arms fell off and other likely excuses for non-letter writing" - what does that tell you?

"So my dear Aisling...

I am on a plane to NJ at this very moment and brought your last letter, which - luckily - has your e-mail address. I am hoping that I will see you and Luis (I guess I won't see quite as much of either of you with the 60/10lb weight loss) at the christening? I am really looking forward to it!

I hope you get this prior to the big event so I can feel a little less guilty... And if not, this will do it - [private] - you'll be uniquer than ever. Is uniquer a word? Whatever. I have a friend who has a lab connection. It pays to be an ex-labbie sometimes.

OK - here is the part where I tell you - promise you - to write soon when I get back to MN. I so very much love to get a letter in the mail - and believe it or not, love to write them, too. I have a mail problem. I do things like buy gifts and leave them in the kitchen for months before I send them. Isn't there something about the thought that counts??

See you shortly - hope we can figure out how to sit together and yap


So I sent her a message entitled, "My Ambulance Battery Went Dead... and Other Not Creative Answers for Non-writing!"

"Hiya, Missy!

As it actually happens, the battery went dead last night after call #3 and did strand us at Morristown Memorial. But what about all that time prior to writing that letter? Not exactly flattering to my writing frequency either!

You were writing this while on the plane? Wow... technology has improved! You'll see us both, although the weight loss I had is likely back (and brought friends) but Luis really is half the man he used to be. Shocking. I guess turning 40 put the fear of early death into him.

I got this today around 1530 at work and was delighted to see it (especially after firing one nut and having two other ex-nuts stopping in). It has been a week of the bizarre, so it was nice to see a long e-mail from someone who is normal but special. You know, special like me - like yellow-school-bus special, ha, ha!

Uniquer is not a word but give it time, the way the American schools are going, and being an ex-labrat does pay! I would LOVE to see some [private]! That is amazing! Thanks - that is really cool! But there will be no feeling guilty, as I'm no less innocent in this than you!

Isn't it wonderful to get a letter? It is - an amazing thing to see something other than junk or a monstrous bill awaiting me. Although here's a story - I came home, eager to receive my package from Franklin Covey, and there was the red envelope awaiting me! I pulled the tab open, dying to see what my new inserts looked like... and there was a packing slip and nothing else! Wait a minute... what the hell?! They sent me a packing slip... that was it! Now I have to wait until Wednesday... humph...

OK, this is the bonding point! I bought my pen friend Molly in New Hampshire a little gift for Valentine's Day, a little gift for St. Patrick's Day and a little gift for Easter... all of which was sent two or three Saturdays ago, long after the holidays. And since it was all chocolate, well... most of it melted. So I know exactly what you are talking about with leaving the gift in the kitchen for months prior to mailing it!

Oh, we will do a whole boat-load of yapping at the Christening - another profoundly confusing event as it is another Christian thing so I will be completely out of my element with this sort of ceremonial weirdness. And we'll have a great time catching up and then - this time - we will write!

Me and Missy at the Christening.

Hope your flight was great!

This of course makes it all worthwhile and we did do some yapping, but not enough. I'm hoping we will see each other before she heads home to Minnesota tomorrow afternoon!

Saturday, 6 May 2006

Some Things Have Gender

You may not know this but many non-living things have a gender.

Ziploc Bags are Male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

Copiers are Female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again. It's an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can wreak havoc if the wrong buttons are pushed.
A Tire is Male, because it goes bald and it's often over-inflated.

A Hot Air Balloon is Male, because, to get it to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under it, and of course, there's the hot air part.

Sponges are Female, because they're soft, squeezable and retain water.

A Web Page is Female, because it's always getting hit on.

A Subway is Male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.

An Hourglass is Female, because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.

A Hammer is Male , because it hasn't changed much over the last 5,000 years, but it's handy to have around.

A Remote Control is Female. Ha! You thought it would be male, didn't you? But consider this--it gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while hedoesn't always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying!


"Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water."

"When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breathe, you expire."

"H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water."

"To collect fumes of sulphur, hold down a deacon over a flame in a test tube."

"When you smell an odourless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide."

"Nitrogen is not found in Ireland because it is not found in a free state."

"Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes, and caterpillars.

"Blood flows down one leg and up the other."

"Respiration is composed of two acts, first inspiration, and then expectoration."

"The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader."

"Artificial insemination is when the farmer does it to the cow instead of the bull."

"Dew is formed on leaves when the sun shines down on them and makes them perspire."

"A super-saturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold."

"Mushrooms always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas."

"The body consists of three parts -the brainium, the borax and the abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abominable cavity contains the bowels, of which there are five - a, e, i, o and u."

"Momentum: What you give a person when they are going away."

"Planet: A body of earth surrounded by sky."

"Rhubarb: a kind of celery gone bloodshot."

"Vacuum: A large, empty space where the pope lives."

"Before giving a blood transfusion, find out if the blood is affirmative or negative."

"To remove dust from the eye, pull the eye down over the nose."

"For a nosebleed: put the nose much lower than the body until the heart stops."

“For drowning: climb on top of the person and move up and down to make Artificial Perspiration."

"For Fainting: Rub the person's chest or, if a lady, rub her arm above the hand instead. Or put the head between the knees of the nearest medical doctor."

"For dog bite: put the dog away for several days. If he has not recovered, then kill it."

"For asphyxiation: Apply artificial respiration until the patient is dead."

Life's Great Questions

1. Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

2. Life is sexually transmitted.

3. Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

4. Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection make him a sandwich!

5. Give a person a fish & you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet & they won't bother you for weeks.

6. Some people are like Slinkies… not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.

7. Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

8. Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

9. All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

10. Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut saves you thirty cents?

11. In the 60's people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

12. Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.


1. You read about all these Terrorists most of them came here legally; but they hung around on these expired visas - some for as long as 10-15 years. Now, compare that to Blockbuster; you are two days late with a video and those people are all over you. Should we put Blockbuster in charge of immigration?

Have A Great Day!!!

Life’s Great Questions as Pondered by George Carlin

If you take an Oriental person and spin him around several times, does he become disoriented?

If people from Poland are called "Poles", why aren't people from Holland called "Holes"?

Why do we say something 'is out of whack'? What's a whack?

Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?

If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

Why do women wear evening gowns to nightclubs? Shouldn't they be wearing night gowns?

If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

When someone asks you, "A penny for your thoughts," and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It's just stale bread to begin with.

When cheese gets it's picture taken, what does it say?

Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person drives a race car not called a racist?

Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?

Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?

If horrific means to make horrible, does terrific mean to make terrible?

Why isn't 11 pronounced onety one?

"I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence?

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

Do Roman paramedics refer to IVs as "4s"?

Why is it that if someone tells you there are 1 billion stars in the universe you will believe them. But if they tell you a wall has wet paint, you have to touch it to be sure?

Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?

What hair color do they put on the drivers licenses of bald men?

I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older, then it dawned on me - they're cramming for their final exam.

I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks so I wondered, what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?

How much deeper would oceans be if sponges didn't live there?

If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?

In The Beginning...

In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. And the Earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And Satan said, "It doesn't get any better than this."

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. And God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit," and God saw that it was good.

And Satan said, "There goes the neighbourhood."

And God said, "Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle, and over all the Earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the Earth." And so God created Man in his own image; male and female created he them. And God looked upon Man and Woman and saw that they were lean and fit.

And Satan said, "I know how I can get back in this game."

And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

And Satan created McDonald's. And McDonald's brought forth the 99-cent double cheeseburger.

And Satan said to Man, "You want fries with that?"

And Man said, "Super-size them." And Man gained 5 pounds.

And God created the healthful yoghurt, that woman might keep her figure that man found so fair.

And Satan brought forth chocolate. And Woman gained 5 pounds.

And God said, "Try my crispy fresh salad."

And Satan brought forth Ben and Jerry's. And Woman gained 10 pounds.

And God said, "I have sent thee heart-healthy vegetables and olive oil with which to cook them."

And Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter.

And Man gained 10 pounds and his bad cholesterol went through the roof.

And God brought forth running shoes and Man resolved to lose those extra pounds.

And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels between ESPN and ESPN2.

And Man gained another 20 pounds.

And God said, "You're running up the score, Devil." And God brought forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition.

And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also.

And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in cholesterol. And Satan saw and said, "It is good." And Man went into cardiac arrest.

And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

And Satan created HMOs.

Church Bulletin Bloopers

1. Tuesday at 4pm there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk come early.

2. Thursday at 5pm there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers club. All ladies wishing to be Little Mothers please meet with the pastor in his study.

3. The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind and they may be seen in the church basement on Friday afternoon.

4. A bean supper will be held on Saturday evening in the church basement. Music will follow.

5. The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Adams, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Adams.

6. For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

7. Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.

8. Don't let worry kill you - let the church help.

9. The Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

10. The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.

11. A songfest was hell at the Methodist church Wednesday.

12. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

13. Thursday night Potluck Supper. Prayer and medication to follow.

14. Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
15. Our next song is "Angels We Have Heard Get High."

Men Are Like...

1. Men are like laxatives: they irritate the shit out of you

2. Men are like bananas: the older they get, the less firm they are

3. Men are like weather: nothing can be done to change them

4. Men are like blenders: you need one, but you're not quite sure why

5. Men are like chocolate bars: sweet, smooth, & they usually head right for your hips

6. Men are like commercials: you can't believe a word they say

7. Men are like department stores: their clothes are always 1/2 off

8. Men are like government bonds: they take soooooooo long to mature

9. Men are like mascara: they usually run at the first sign of emotion

10. Men are like popcorn: they satisfy you, but only for a little while

11. Men are like snowstorms: you never know when they're coming, how many inches you'll get or how long it will last

12. Men are like lava lamps: fun to look at, but not very bright

13. Men are like parking spots: all the good ones are taken, the rest are handicapped

But... we still love 'em anyway - and you know that there is a "Woman Are Like..." list floating around as well!

Political Correctness Taken Too Far

Due to the climate of political correctness now pervading America, Kentuckians, Tennesseans and West Virginians will no longer be referred to as “hillbillies”. You must now refer to them as Appalachian Americans.

And furthermore, how to speak about women and be politically correct:
1. She is not a “babe” or a “chick” - she is a “breasted American”

2. She is not a “screamer”, a whiner or a “moaner” - she is “vocally appreciative”

3. She is not “easy” - she is “horizontally accessible”

4. She is not a “dumb blonde” - she is a “light-haired detour off the information superhighway”

5. She has not “been around” - she is a “previously-enjoyed companion”

6. She is not an “airhead” - she is “reality impaired”

7. She does not get “drunk” or “tipsy” - she gets “chemically inconvenienced”

8. She does not have “breast implants” - she is “medically enhanced”

9. She does not “nag” you - she becomes “verbally repetitive”

10. She is not a “tramp” - she is “sexually extroverted”

11. She does not have “major league hooters” - she is “pectorally superior”

12. She is not a “two-bit hooker” - she is a “low cost provider”

How to speak about men and be politically correct:
1. He does not have a “beer gut” - he has developed a “liquid grain storage facility”

2. He is not a “bad dancer” - he is “overly Caucasian”

3 he does not “get lost all the time” - he “investigates alternative destinations”

4. He is not “balding” - he is in “follicle regression”

5. He is not a “cradle robber” - he prefers “generational differential relationships”

6. He does not get “falling-down drunk” - he becomes “accidentally horizontal”

7. He does not act like a “total ass” - he develops a case of rectal-cranial inversion”

8. He is not a “male chauvinist pig” - he has “swine empathy”

9. He is not afraid of “commitment” - he is “relationship challenged”

10. He is not “horny” - he is “sexually focused”

11. It’s not his “crack” you see hanging out of his pants - it’s “rear cleavage”Now, you know how to speak!

Monday, 1 May 2006

Happy Beltane!

My first day of May this year was great - not only was it Beltane, a very big holiday for us Wiccans, but it was also 69's extrication drill, a treat that does not happen as often as one would like. The weather was perfect and the sun shone in a beautiful blue sky, just as the weather should be!

I love May Day or Beltane or Walpurgis Day (take your pick). The Picts and Gaels did not see eye-to-eye on their gods (the Gaels believed that the Oak King ate children and was mostly a cruel and vicious god, missing teeth and you get the idea. The Picts did not quite subscribe to that. But that mostly was Samhain (also one of my favourite holidays) that involved blood sacrifice and the Oak King (modern Wiccans do not believe in having blood sacrifice, I might add). Beltane is a fertility holiday. The usual thing is to jump over a bonfire skyclad and then pair off with whomever you would like. Wiccans are a little more accepting of sex with others. It's said that a baby conceived during Beltane are special. Since I have no plans to ever engage in sex for anything other than recreational purposes this is a non-issue for me...

That night I had my choice of going to my squad's monthly meeting (a truly dull proposition) or going to the drill and it was not a difficult decision as to what event to go to. Meetings are boring - a statement of fact. I find these meetings difficult to sit through and it is like anything else; those running it are often politicians of a sort and really just like to hear the sounds of their voices!
So at 19:15 I walked over to Rescue & Recovery, to the surprise of my squad (they'll get over it) and became, once again, their crash test dummy. Rich and I worked up scenarios and then moved the car slated for destruction into position and then I would play patient and let them remove me from the vehicle.

Scenario #1: I'm a perfectly conscious victim and I'm stuck in a car that has been damaged in a crash. The truck comes around, they swing in behind me and all get out, swarming toward the car. I've got the doors locked and I am screaming blue murder. I started pounding on the glass of the drivers side window and I am yelling, "Get me out! Get me the fuck out NOW!" I don't stop screaming. They are asking me to unlock the door and I'm furious locking it, yelling that it is unlocked and they have to get me out! They are putting shims under each side of the car and finally someone gets out the glass punch and uses it on the far back window (good thing, because suddenly there is a good ten pounds of shatter proof glass all over that side of the car). One of the little guys crawls into to deal with me and I'm still yelling and at the same time, shying away from him. He's trying to do head stabilization but I won't let him near me. Finally they get the door open, cut away the seat belt and attempt to collar me. At this point they are ready to happily leave me or strangle me, whichever lucky happenstance might occur. It was really quite funny. I feel bad for what I put them through, but we've dealt with far worse patients than that, and didn't kill them - and since this was to train the FNGs, well, this was definitely valuable training!
The things that I pointed out were the communication issues - more often than not, no one told me that they were going to get me out, that they were putting stabilization devices under the car, that I would feel this or that or that they would be making noise and not to worry. Putting on the collar was a disaster - I didn't want it on and they were not as forceful as they needed to be about getting it on, nor did they seem to know how - and they mostly had the First Responder training that is required. This and then the Rescue guys had all sorts of things to point out, like the whole process taking over 15 minutes.

Scenario #2: Car has plowed into a tree (can you believe the older/long-term members all pushed this sucker into one of the trees?!), and there is an unconscious/unresponsive victim in the front. I'm dead weight, and I have one foot jammed under a pedal and the rest of me sliding down as though to the floor (it would be a little unusual to find a front-end collision victim in that position (more typical is up and over, rather than down and under) but they don't know that. Same thing - they all show up, swarm out of the big truck and start surrounding the car to scope out the scene. This time, there is a lot more communication and the person who crawled in behind me kept up a more steady stream of chatter. He was very good at this, from a patient standpoint, although I did need to reposition his hands on my head and tell him to really hold on. That is normal, though - I watched how many people touch patients very gingerly in EMT classes and it is not something that is easy to train people to do. You can't be afraid to touch the patients.

This time, the car was jolted quite a bit as they tore the door open and got to me. Putting the collar on was still a mess. They let my head fall over, neck bend, all the mistakes you cannot make with an injured patient. They did finally get it on although it was never on quite right. At some point they needed to untangle my foot and when maneuvering me onto the backboard (an antiquated wooden thing), they did not move me correctly (now in real life, they will rarely have to do that - we would be onscene in our rig and do the actual extrication ourselves; but they are expected to be able to do this, too), and they were a little scary when carrying me away from the vehicle. But overall, they did a much better job.

So now I had told them that I would be a para- or quadrapalegic now, as they did not use any of the proper techniques for moving a patient. They were much better about communicating and not saying anything incorrect - unconscious victims do hear a lot of things. They need to not be afraid to touch the patient, and not to take initiative in working as a team on moving the patient. Also, they need to be more confident in holding on and communicating more.

Scenario #3: One male unconscious/unresponse victim in the driver's seat, one confused patient who is pregnant in the passenger front seat. I stuffed a jacket (obviously not a turnout jacket!) under my shirt and was enormous! It was really quite funny. Franco managed to threat one leg through the steering wheel. By now it was fully dark and they were using the special lighting equipment and doing their thing with much better teamwork and using different people to do different things. They did a much better job with stabilization and communicating and asking me if I'm a Yankees fan and engaging in the small talk that most patients in this kind of predicament like to hear - it's reassuring. They really worked very, very well on this one. Jack learned again how to apply the collar the right way and they were very careful about moving me and getting me on the board. Franco took more work to extricate, as they had to sheer off the steering wheel. All-in-all, though, a fun and rewarding experience!
So I am awaiting my next stint as a victim!