Monday, January 28

Time and Relative Dimension in Space

If you don't understand why bowties and fezs are cool, this post will make no sense.

But feel free to give it a shot.


The Doctor - The last of the Timelords who stole the TARDIS and ran away.

TARDIS - Time and Relative Dimension in Space.  A craft that can travel through space and time who stole a Timelord and ran away.


To understand the relationship the Doctor has with the Tardis just think 100 times more intense than the relationship Mal has with Serenity.  If that made no sense, just go back to whatever rock you live under.

A friend on the Facebook linked to a blog called saralinwilde which comments on a fandom costume.  THE fandom costume.

Tardis Dress




When they're alone, the Doctor often refers to the Tardis as Sexy.  This fits.

The woman in the dress is reported to be Sasha Trabane, who is also the designer and seamstress.

There have been dozens of amazing Tardis dresses in the fandom culture, but this one goes so far beyond expectations it stopped me in my tracks.

The dress is perfect before the addition of the panel.  You see, non Whovians, the Tardis is a phone box on the outside, but that is just a cloaking device.  It's bigger on the inside.

That's a running joke on the show, that folks that first see inside comment that it's bigger on the inside.

Not a running joke are some of the comments the dress, and it's designer/occupant are getting as the image makes the rounds.

I won't mention them here, other than to say there are some lonely men with warped concepts of beauty.  They see the dress as something covering a girl.

I see someone who loves the Doctor as much as I do.  No, more.

The creativity, the skill, the sheer LOVE that went into making that dress, putting it on and going out is something to admire, to encourage, to emulate.  It may sound odd, but it took me a few moments to notice the girl wearing the Tardis Blue dress with the kick ass panel.

As someone who ran 12 kilometers in a full suit, bow tie and suspenders, this girl, Sasha, puts me in my place.


Don't listen to the internet trolls Sasha, listen to that voice in your head that guided you to make that amazing dress and  continue to kick ass.


Sunday, January 27

How far would you go to win against Cancer?


It sucks.

It's preventable.

It's detectable.

It's too late.

Pick 3.

Cancer hit a little too close to home recently, the details I'll spare, but it really gets you thinking.

The Documentary Forks Over Knives trumpets the plant based diet solution which is FAR healthier than what you're eating now.  "But Justin, bacon is awesome and vegan diets are extreme."  I'll agree with the maker of Forks over Knives who reminds us that a million people this year will have a vein cut out of their leg and grafted onto their heart.  Some would call that extreme.

Then we are finding that study after study of the things that have found their way into our everyday diets are killing us, just like we knew the were.  This study reminds us that the soda we drink is not only eroding our teeth and intestines, but increases the risk of prostate cancer 40%.  So if you drink a soda a day you go from a 1 in 6 chance to a 1 in 4 chance.

Congratulations, you're dead.  Now with more cherry flavor.

I'm not eating a vegan diet. I had a salami and bacon sandwich for lunch today and is was magnificent, but I'm paying more attention to my diet.  Local foods grown without needing engineered pesticides or exotic gasses to falsely ripen fruit from another hemisphere.  Less soda, NEVER diet soda, less cheese and no milk.

Yes, I said no milk.

"What about calcium for strong bones Mr Smartypants?"  Well, you'll never learn it in school but milk is actually TOO MUCH calcium, which leaches it from your bones, not adds to it.  Common vegetables, which you're going to start eating more of, give you more calcium than the recommended allowance of bovine breast milk.

Oh, did you forget milk is actually intended for baby cows, not humans?

A serving of broccoli or bok choy has as much calcium as a glass of milk, so why even drink it?

Most of what we've been told about the food we eat is wrong, a distortion or an outright lie.  Yes I still eat processed foods but not nearly as much as before.  I still grab a burger at the drive through, but not nearly as much as before.  I don't think I could ever go vegan, but if it came down to my life depending on it, I'd find a way.

I'm on my soap box hoping that someone, anyone will at least start paying more attention to their body and avoid the situation my friend is in.  Some cancers can't be treated, by the time they're detected, by accident, no diet change known to man can reverse what has happened.

The title of this post asks how far you'll go to win.  Will you cut out dairy?  Meat? Eggs, fish, whatever it takes to get and stay healthy?  Exercise more?  Teach your children to eat healthy?

Or will you not take this chance and find yourself across from a white coat, getting the news that you have between 6 months and a year, that the cancer has spread, that it's about to take your last breath?

And how far would you go to end life on your terms, no the cancer's?


It's not just an old person's disease.  It's not just losing your hair from the chemotherapy treatments (It's the "medicine", not the cancer that does that remember).

Walking dressed in pink or even wearing a kilt for a month, this is day to day shit you need to get dialed in before it's too late.  Call me crazy or a granola munching tree hugger, I don't care, but skip the soda and milk for today...then do it again, you owe it to yourself.

Friday, January 25

Paramedics - The First 100 Years, Part 2

This is part of a series looking back at the 100 years since the 1966 White Paper that catapulted Paramedics from van driver to medical professional.  We're looking at some of the urban legends and lesser understood practivces of those who came before us.


Cervical Spinal Restriction -

Very little exists explaining this torture.  Images found in my research show patients were restrained to 7-8 foot long thick wooden and plastic boards whenever they were found in or near a motor vehicle that had been in a collision, and even sometimes not.  The board was apparently to keep them from running into the street and being further injured.  One document I found referred to a "C-Collar."  It can now be confirmed that Paramedics used to use a piece of rigid plastic or metal and wrap it around someone's neck if their neck hurt.

I was also able to learn that it was applied if the Paramedic's Company believed it was necessary.  Before 2030 Paramedics were seen as less than nurses and not allowed to assess patients completely and act in their best interest.  They followed little books that told them how to treat patients and often these books contained the same information from the big books they learned from.  I know it seems redundant, but it appears the belief was that having a set of rules that restricted their actions, the Company could better control the interventions.  One of the things in the little books was to use the collar for neck pain and the board to keep drivers from running.  My grandfather used to tell a story about being placed on the board when he fell at home and struck his head.  He's old and forgetful.  Why on earth would a Paramedic, even an early one, strap a healthy curved spine to a flat board?  Sounds like torture.

I was also unable to find reference to the first 2 interventions, the A-Collar or B-Collar, I can only imagine they were worse than the C-Collar.

Next time we'll dive into the concept of using the early internet for patient care with online medical control.

Friday, January 18

Paramedic - A Look back at the First 100 Years - Part 1

2066.  100 years since the White Paper that solidified what some communities were already learning:  Paramedics were needed to help in communities that had no doctors.  We were born of trauma.  Accidental death was our crib and cardiac arrest our playroom.  In our adulthood we expanded into the community and dealt with chronic health issues.  Now reaching 100 years young there is so much farther we can go.  But to know where you're going, you need to know where you've been.

It's easy to forget where we came from.  Not just back to the ancient times when drivers had wagons and horses, or when the hearses (I still can't believe we buried our dead) began to treat people, but at the decades that propelled Paramedicine into the respected Profession we practice today.

In this series I'll be covering all manner of advancement in care, organization, education and funding, but I wanted to start off by clearing up some myths about the early days of Paramedics.  These are all 100% accurate, as I have referenced texts from the time.

Let's start with one of the Urban Legends of Paramedicine:

Chemical reversal of death - It is true.  It can now be confirmed, based on texts from the day, that Paramedics (Often called EMTs back then) would inject patients suffering from cardiac arrest with cardiotoxic chemicals that they thought would mimic the heart tissue's natural functions.  There were no balloon pumps back then and hypothermia had yet to become rapid onset using the sheaths.  Although they did begin to cool patients using cold packs and cold venous injections (transdermal fluids were decades away), many patients were likely inadvertently killed as a result of this practice.  Some research was recovered that showed dismal success rates, but it wasn't until the H6N3 epidemic in 2023, when stockpiles of cardiotoxins were depleted and survival did not worsen, that the industry finally took notice and eliminated their use entirely.

It was the Paramedics that rose up during the epidemic that overwhelmed the hospitals of the day, which quickly became incubators for the rapidly mutating infection.  It was the mobility of the Paramedics that allowed for continued care when the hospitals shut down for months to be disinfected.

Combined with AEDs (ShockDocks) installed as frequently as fire extinguishers survival from cardiac arrest improved.  It was not the hospitals that led the change, but the Paramedics who fought for common sense technology in the community.  When MRI and Xray were still not in the patient's home, they stood up and demanded change.

It is worrisome that it took something drastic for Paramedics to look at their own practices for efficacy instead of demanding proof before using it that it would do no harm.


Next time: A lead on the curious boards used to apparently keep drivers from falling into traffic.

Friday, January 11

Half an Icon has Passed

Brown TwinsYou've seen them.

If you live in the City, you've seen them more than once.

Dressed to the nines, hair perfectly coiffed and makeup perfect,  their outfits always matching, Vivian and Marian Brown are San Francisco legends.  You will see them sitting having a coffee in Nob Hill or wandering Union Square.  I even met them in my line of work and Vivian was the first one to tell you she was older and always will be.

They did everything together.

As girls in Michigan they always dressed alike.  They were co-valedictorians, they both moved to San Francisco in 1970 and got work as secretaries.

Their style made them a bit of a tourist attraction.

After a fall last year the City banded together to raise money to keep them together during this hard time.

I'm not sure what we'll do now.

Vivian Brown died yesterday.

Half an icon remains.  For the first time I know of, they did something separately.


Goodbye Vivian Brown, the City will miss you.

Saturday, January 5

Ambulance Facility Must Haves

Many an article looks at ambulance design, Paramedic training, policies and protocols but I've been wrestling with a different kind of barrier to quality: The Fleet Yard.


More specifically, I was wondering what your must have list is for an ambulance deployment center.


Is it indoors, well lit, vending machines, training on site, locker rooms, showers, supply techs, drive through ambulance wash...

Here's my must haves if I could build a brand new facility:

  • Drive through restocking and shift change

  • Onsite mechanical repair

  • Onsite scheduling, CQI and training

  • Indoor secured fleet and employee parking

  • Vehicle Service Techs for restocking

  • In-unit mobile data gateway repair (after I get them installed that is)

  • Crew lounge

  • Locker rooms with full showers

  • Gym

Let me know what your must haves are, maybe you're thinking of something I'm not.