Category: Motivation

Is That A Key Fob In Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • I have a small rant. Ok, I rant about a lot of things, but this time I mean it. What is it with the giant car key fobs that weigh like two pounds? I drive an older truck and it has a normal key and a tiny little fob to do the lock/unlock thing. I can also, gasp, just use the key if I don’t want to carry the fob. My wife has a newer vehicle with the fancy keyless, pushbutton start thing. Her key fob is ginormous. Do these manufacturers not realize that normal people sometimes do things where you don’t have a huge purse or backpack to store this brick? Like going for a run, a bike ride, or in my case yesterday, cross country skiing. I clipped the massive key fob to the waist belt thing I wear (DONT call it a fanny pack) and skated off down the trail. The damn key fob was so big it kept falling out of the little pocket in the waist belt and dangling on my hip like a giant set of janitor’s keys (hint, foreshadowing). The trail conditions were a bit challenging yesterday and sure enough, my skate skis went out from under me on some boiler plate ice while going ludicrous speed and I landed directly on my hip on that damn key fob. Now, I’m not a tiny fellow so that’s a lot of weight coming down on a hard plastic brick. It was already swelling by the time I got home. This morning I have a hematoma the size of baseball on my hip. It’s time to rise up and rebel people! Just say no to gigantic key fobs!
  • A few days ago I wrote about investigating the Ct and amplification value of the Covid PCR tests. Sure enough, yesterday we got a call from a friend who was in the exact situation I wrote about. Son is coming home from school for Thanksgiving, had a Covid PCR test done before leaving and it came back positive. He’s completely asymptomatic, feels great. If that test used a high amplification (greater than 30) he could have contracted the virus weeks and weeks ago and is no longer contagious. He also could have gotten it a few days ago and is highly contagious. What are the parents to do? (they opted to quarantine him in his room).
  • Is today the big day? Yesterday Sydney Powell said today she’d be filing the first blockbuster, bombshell lawsuit in Georgia. Trump’s legal team also said they’ll get legislative hearings starting today in Georgia and two other states. Georgia came back and said it’s not a hearing, just an informal presentation. The two other states said this was news to them. What a shit show. One of Trump’s biggest failings has always been the lack of someone who can ensure a clear, consistent message that doesn’t contradict what everyone else is saying. Unclear why that wasn’t obvious with the level of media hostility they’ve faced. When you know the media will pounce and ridicule the slightest mistake or inconsistency, it becomes even more important to get the message right.
  • Yesterday, thirty-two people read the words I wrote. Now, in the blogging world that’s a laughable number. But since my usual number is zero, and I often ask myself why bother, that’s huge. Thank you!
  • A compilation of “If 2020 were a…” memes. Because really, 80% of my internet time is only for the memes.
  • If you didn’t like the film “The adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the 8th dimension“, you’re dead to me.

Song of the day: Stick Figure “Weight of sound (live)”

I Had A Bad Day At Work

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • Everyone has a bad day from time to time. For most jobs that’s no big deal. As an RN, a bad day has consequences. Yesterday was one of those days. Nothing bad happened and there wasn’t any one thing that caused it. Just one of those perfect storms of events. Short staffed, a super complex patient, a bunch of last minute discharges and transfers, multiple missing lab results, and some ridiculous bureaucratic decisions from management that make everyone’s life difficult for no apparent reason. The result was that I wasn’t a very good nurse. I barely kept my head above water all day. I’m sure my patients did not have a good experience. I think I stressed out the CNA unnecessarily. My documentation sucked. I was pretty rude to an EMS transport crew for showing up early. I caved in an ate a doughnut someone left in the breakroom (ok, two). Fortunately I have great coworkers and they kept me from drowning. It was one of those days that I drove home almost two hours late due to all the charting I never got to finish during the day, and wondered why I was even doing this job. You start questioning if you even have the skills to be a decent nurse. This morning I casually looked through job openings, wondering if it was time to make a change. Fortunately I have a long break through Thanksgiving to recharge and think critically about what I could have done to make that day go better. I still like the profession… I just worry that I’m running out of the mental energy it takes to operate at such a high focus level multiple days in a row.
  • Shortly after the beginning of the great China Plague, my hospital decided that all employees need to be screened as we enter. At first it was a long series of questions about symptoms, travel, and people you’ve been in contact with. Then they added swiping your badge at the entrance. Next, temperature checks. Now they also have someone entering your name and unit into a database. We’re given a different colored sticker for your badge each day to prove you’ve already been screened. There’s often now a line of employees waiting to be screened so they can get to work. So as a contrarian I have to wonder – with all that cost and effort over the last 7-8 months, has the hospital identified a single employee who may have had Covid and prevented them from entering? Does anyone from management ever ask if the outcome is worth the cost? Or is the appearance of doing something more important?
  • For reasons unknown to me, I’ve become addicted to car crash videos. YouTube collections of crazy drivers and crashes. It’s reinforced several things. First, I don’t trust other drivers. Second, I will never drive in Russia or third-world Asian countries. That’s where 90% of these videos come from. Clearly traffic laws in those countries are merely suggestions. I don’t think you can appreciate the degree to which we’re rule followers in the US until you see how people drive in other places.
  • I’m desperately looking for a news channel. Just plain news. I don’t want opinion, spin, or bias. I just want someone to report the important things that happened in the world today. Why is that so hard? Anyone have any suggested channels or sources?
  • I was talking to a co-worker about food and the conversation sparked a memory from years ago when I lived in San Diego and a favorite post-surf meal. Roberto’s Taco Shop and a Machaca Torta and rolled tacos (hey, I was young and burned a crapload of calories). Research has begun. The quest to make my own machaca has started.

Song of the day: Surf Punks – My Beach (Live at the Whiskey A Go Go)

Whatever You Think, You’re Wrong

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • In difficult times it’s natural to want an expert to tell you the definitive answer. We don’t deal well with uncertainty. Right now the social medias are chock full of people pontificating, lecturing, and shaming people by posting whatever “expert” opinion happens to fit their view of the world. The problem is… nobody really knows diddly squat yet. Seriously. Whatever you think we know is probably wrong to some extent. Every study you cite, I guarantee I can find an opposing study that says the opposite. It will be years and massive amounts of data analysis before we really understand this zombie bat flu virus. Seasonal influenza is probably the most studied virus ever – and we still don’t fully understand everything about it. This shit is complicated and takes a crapload of research to make any meaningful progress.

    This doesn’t mean there aren’t elements of truth in all the stuff you see being posted. It’s just that the real truth is nuanced, and will take a lot more data and time to tease out. Is Hydroxychloroquine an effective treatment? Possibly, given a very specific set of conditions we don’t understand yet. Are masks effective? Probably, given certain environmental conditions. Lockdown vs herd immunity? Way too early to fully make a judgement. The point is that real science takes time. Take every breathless claim posted on Twitter/Facebook/YouTube with a grain of salt.
  • The real failure is our governments inability to react quickly to actual measurable trends. They pick a one size fits all strategy and choose to die on that hill rather than adapt when data shows things aren’t what we originally thought. The under 65 and no comorbidities crowd aren’t impacted in any statistical meaningful rate by this pandemic. So why aren’t we modifying our approach to protect just those folks? Instead we’ll make everyone suffer because, god forbid, we admit we didn’t fully understand when this started. Changing your approach with the arrival of new (verifiable) data is the very foundation of good science. I think I read that somewhere.
  • We were finally able to join the modern era in internet speed. We live in the very first neighborhood built in our city so our infrastructure has been lacking. I was very pleased a number of years ago when we were able to upgrade to DSL and a blistering 33 Mbps download speed. They just ran fiber to our area and this morning I’m seeing 881 Mbps. Praise be, as the Handmaidens say.
  • Our hospital is virtually out of hand sanitizer. At least two-thirds of the containers on my floor are empty. How is this possible? As usual, reality on the ground doesn’t match the fancy claims our government makes.
  • I never saw Breaking Bad when it came out. Binge watched it the last couple of weeks. What a fantastic series. Just started Better Call Saul and it seems equally good.
  • Joe Rogan’s podcast jumping to Spotify is an interesting development. Google/YouTube’s censorship strategies are starting to get noticed.
  • In our corner of the world, this has been a cold, wet spring. It needs to get warm and dry soon or I’m going to lose it. Every day my motivation to go outside and recreate dwindles… which leads to my not caring what I eat. This is a poor combination. Sitting at home reading internet conspiracy theories on the social medias for hours is no way to go through life son

Song of the day: “Shut up and let me go” The Ting Tings

It Could Be The Ebola

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  •  I work in a hospital. I am literally surrounded daily by nasty bugs. I never get sick. Never. Mrs Troutdog has a new territory and had to fly to Vegas and LA. Sure enough, several days later she feels like crap. And… several days after that I now have the Ebola cold. It sucks majorly to feel horrible on my precious few days off. I don’t do well just sitting around. I tend to get very negative about life in general, nap, and buy useless junk on Amazon.
  • Speaking of bugs, have you been following the news about the latest epidemic? This year alone there have been 19 million cases, 180,000 hospitalizations, and 10,000 deaths. Oh wait, that’s the flu not the Novel Coronavirus. But yes, let’s freak out about 12 cases in the US. How about we put our critical thinking hats on people? (no, not the tinfoil one)
  •  We’re applying for a very hard to get permit for an outdoor activity today. Fingers crossed. More to share if it comes through.
  •  On that crazy running goal I was contemplating… I clearly haven’t been watching enoughDavid Goggins, because I bailed. I can’t seem to muster up the discipline to get my ass up early every single day. More importantly, Mrs Troutdog yelled at me for thinking I was 25 again. It was all in all very demotivating. I need to find some focus with activities and hobbies. I lurch from hobby to hobby, never getting good at any one thing. I think part of it is I have zero structure to my life. I know what days I work and beyond that, there is no plan. On my days off I wake up and try and figure out which of my 37 hobbies I’m going to do. No goals, no plans. There are certainly times I wish I had a more structured calendar. I’m sure there’s a YouTube video somewhere to help with this.
  •  I’ve completely enjoyed watching the goat rodeo that is the DNC this week. They better right their ship in a hurry if they want any chance of competing in the general election.
  •  I spent some time talking to one of our hospital case managers about insurance. Major insurance company A owns insurance company B. Patient who has insurance company A gets approved for rehab in hours. Patient who has insurance company B routinely takes 72 hours. The approval agent is THE SAME PHYSICAL PERSON for both company A and B. It defies description how convoluted our system is.

Song of the day: “Walkin’ On The Sun”  Smashmouth

Groundhog Day, Again

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • Everyone has their own version of Groundhog Day. Some issue that keeps returning time and time again. Mine is this blog and posting creative content to the social medias. My last post was the end of December and after that I started asking myself why? (again)  What’s the point of writing and posting? I’m not angling to become a columnist or make a living with an award winning blog. Same with photography or YouTube videos. I love the creative part, but then ask myself why bother?

    Each time I post a picture or a silly video, if I don’t aggressively promote it to Facebook, etc… it will get a couple of likes or views (or none). But I don’t like the idea of promoting myself because then it makes me feel that I’m only doing it for the vanity of clicks and likes and views. That’s not me. But like the tree falling in the forest, if I post a picture or a bit of writing and nobody sees it… what’s the point?

    Yes, I know that all the creative advice stresses that you need to be creating for yourself. If you enjoy it that’s all that matters. If other people happen to see it and like it, then it’s icing on the cake.

    What prompted this is that out of the blue someone followed this blog the other day. It surprised me since I hadn’t posted anything in so long. It instantly sparked a feeling of enthusiasm towards writing simply because someone cared enough to read what I wrote. Let’s be honest, everyone likes validation of their efforts. Being creative, whether it’s writing, photos, or video is a time commitment. And time is not something I have a huge abundance of. So why am I doing it and should I bother continuing? Sigh… my Groundhog day.

  • In other news, I took up skate skiing. I thought that I was reasonably coordinated and in ok shape – I should be a wiz at this. I got humbled very quickly. It’s hard. As in I can’t go more than a couple hundred yards without stopping to get my heart rate down. I’m sure it’s because I have zero technique and need to invest in some lessons quickly. But… I’m loving it. I’ve even given up some epic downhill days in favor of skate skiing. What’s wrong with me?
  • The impeachment clown show is the end result of the horrible divide in the country right now. This is a partisan hack job of the worst sort by both sides. What worries me the most is that it creates a precedent for any single party control of the legislative branch to remove a president for any reason because the minority won’t have the votes to stop it. That has the executive branch serving at the will of the legislative branch – and I’m pretty sure that’s not what the founders had in mind. If you see this any other way you’ve already been sucked into the biased vortex of whatever mainstream cable news outlet you follow. Do you really think any of these politicians from either side care one tiny bit about you? No – it’s about power and fundraising. Don’t be naïve.
  • I’ve been off the Keto wagon for a while. In support of Mrs. Troutdog, I’ve gone back on. Re-breaking the carb addiction is hard. I’m pretty well fat adapted and it only took a couple of days to be back in ketosis. Unfortunately I’m having dreams about baked potatoes, bread, and rice. The addiction is real.
  • I had a TBI patient who was unpleasant, aggressive, and spent most of the day yelling and cursing the clinical staff. In the midst of yelling every curse word he could think of at me, he stopped and said “You have really nice hair”. So I have that going for me. Hey, at my age the fact that I still have hair is a bonus.

Song of the day: “Don’t doubt ur vibe” Emo G Records (a.k.a. Elon Musk. Yes, that Elon Musk)

I Have A Booty Issue

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • I have a confession. I think about booty way too often. No, not that booty you filthy animals, this booty. Pirates Booty, a tasty snack that has no nutritional value. It’s like crack though… once I start I can’t help myself. How come we never get addicted to say, carrots?
  • Whenever you hear/see that a bison attacked someone I always cheer for the bison. It’s usually a clueless tourist doing stupid shit and Darwin has a way of taking care of business. In this case, the poor guy and his girlfriend did nothing wrong. Except I wouldn’t have gone back to the same park after the first attack.
  • My refrigerator died. The freezer went to minus 14 and the fridge part had no cooling at all. I’m usually not very good at fixing things, but I consulted Dr Google and YouTube. Ordered a $40 part from Amazon, one trip to the hardware store and we’re back in business. We live in an amazing time. The entirety of all human knowledge is instantly available to us. It wasn’t that long ago and this would have been at minimum an expensive repairperson or more likely a new fridge.
  • I really like this post on Maximum Enthusiasm. I was reminded of it yesterday. Mrs Troutdog doesn’t like to cross country ski. She will, however, go snowshoeing. I don’t get snowshoeing at all. Why go clomping around like an uncoordinated 5 year old when you can glide and go fast? Anyway, I went snowshoeing with her yesterday. And after being slightly grumpy for the first ten minutes (because real athletes don’t snowshoe), I actually really enjoyed myself. I even said that it was the perfect way to end the afternoon. Life is what you make of it.
  • The United States is going to lose the 5G war. The implications of that are very serious and will define our role in the next tech revolution. This is a very good article on it that barely touches the subject. We need to take the China threat seriously. Too bad this sort of thing never gets discussed in elections.
  • I hope everyone survived the holidays and that your Festivus feats of strength and airing of grievances went well. I’m not one for New Years resolutions. Tim Ferris suggests that a review of last year is more productive than making resolutions. I’ll probably just stumble forward day to day without much of a plan. Its worked so far!

Song of the day: “Who will save your soul” Jewel

I Have A Problem

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • Confession time. I have a weakness. A dirty little secret. I’ve developed a.. rice problem. Yes, rice. I never eat rice. As in I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate rice. It’s not that I don’t like it, it just never occurs to me. Then a month ago I was shopping at Costco while hungry. This is a bad thing. The end result was I came home with a 25 pound bag of jasmine rice. Since then I’ve had a huge bowl of the stuff daily, sometimes twice a day. I’m craving it. I literally wake up in the morning thinking about it. It’s medium in the glycemic index so it’s not the most horrible thing I could be eating, but certainly not something I should be consuming daily. Such a strange craving. So now on top of all the other bad habits I have, I need to break my rice addiction. Sigh…
  • The Far Side comics are now online. This is a good thing. Gary Larson even wrote a long letter explaining why.
  • I had fresh powder yesterday for my first day of the alpine season. This makes me happy. Also, I should have done more some squats over the summer. I’m not walking so well this morning.
  • I wrote the other day that I’d ordered some pants from Northbound Gear. Still very happy with them, but I discovered that one of the pairs was missing a belt. No biggie, sent email to customer service asking if they could send a replacement belt. Received a reply back informing me that my pants had been delivered. Hmmm. Not what I was asking. Sent another email. Received a reply back this morning asking for images of the pants?? Ok. Stay tuned.
  • Still undecided on the running goal. Still drifting towards no. But… I really want to. Can I go from couch to goal, or is it just stupid and I’m begging for injury? Skiing yesterday showed me my legs are not nearly as “in shape” as I thought they were. I’m paralyzed with indecision.
  • We’ve been thinking about a vacation. We have a timeshare in Mexico we haven’t used in a while, so why not go there? The US state department just updated the Mexico danger map. The odds of an issue in a resort town are pretty low, but still. It’s incredibly sad that Mexico is a failed state. Fantastic people, food, sights, and resources. Corruption and cartels have ruined it.
  • I’m working Christmas eve and day. That means well intentioned patients family members bring us large plates of every possible cookie, chocolate, and candy. It’s a serious willpower test. I may bring bowls of rice to distract myself.

Song of the day: “One Day” Matisyahukid in a coffee shop performing it and doesn’t realize the guy at the counter is Matisyahu.

It’s A Conspiracy

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology reported that they had their hottest day ever on Dec 17. Expect that it wasn’t. As Tony Heller points out, a cursory look at history would reveal that the past was much hotter. The BOM chooses to ignore pre 1910 data, claiming the thermometers of the time had a several degree margin of error. The BOM (and the US too) happily ignores the modern urban heat island variability however. Is it a conspiracy meant to help push the climate change agenda? I don’t know. I do know there is no such thing as “settled science”. The entire point of science is to invite debate and independent validation of data… when that gets shut down I get suspicious.
  • I’ve been hooked on a YouTube channel called Itchy Boots. It’s a young woman traveling the world on a motorcycle. She’s currently going from the tip of South America to Alaska.
  • Had the first ski day of the season with the hound. I ran enough over the summer that last season’s “long loop” didn’t seem very long today. That’s a good sign.
  • Tulsi Gabbard decided to vote “present” at last nights impeachment vote. I haven’t decided what I think about that. Part of me thinks you should have to commit one way or another.
  • I’m still in a weird place with social media. Half the day I’m disgusted by it all and declare I’m done with it. Which is why I haven’t gotten the camera out in a long while or done much writing. Then I’ll watch a few YouTube creators and get all inspired. Sometimes when you have about 3 followers it’s hard to stay motivated… and I struggle with the idea of self promotion. Is that really what I want to spend my time doing for something that’s just a hobby?
  • The best charts of 2019 from Semi-Rad.
  • Google, Apple, Amazon, and ZigBee announced they’re creating a single standard for home automation. This is a good thing.

Song of the day: “Fly” Sugar Ray

Triggered

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • Someone posted some political crap on the Facebook the other day that seriously pissed me off. I even contemplated writing about it. This morning I stumbled on a Joe Rogan clip that made me realize it was stupid to even give it any mental time. If you only have, say 100 units of time in a day, do you really want to waste some of them thinking about a stupid comment? No, that’s for losers. I choose to use my units of time in a more productive way. Like reading a twitter thread by Kilian Jornet listing the ski resorts that allow uphill traffic.
  • I made a half-assed decision on the running goal. I will spend the next three weeks training as hard as I can and keeping the diet dialed in. At that point I’ll do an honest self appraisal. If I can stay disciplined, focused, and 100% effort for three weeks… I’m in.
  • We’re thinking about a vacation in March. I’m completely paralyzed about where/what to do. I honestly don’t know what I want to see. What a first world problem.
  • I’m currently reading New Gingrich’s book “Trump vs. China: Facing Americas Greatest Threat”. You can argue amongst yourselves about whether Trumps approach is right or not… What you can’t dispute is how dangerous China really is. If you don’t think so, then you seriously have your head buried in the sand.
  • I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to decide on a firearm for Mrs. Troutdog, mostly centered around pistol vs revolver. I finally decided on the Ruger SP101 in a 3″ barrel. For the limited time she’ll actually practice I think it was the right choice.
  • At the moment I think the democratic choice has to be Bloomberg. Personally I think they should embrace Tulsi. I could actually see myself voting for her. The democratic party is in a bit of a circular firing squad right now. The UK vote should be a serious wake up call for them.
  • I need to (re) learn my heart rhythms and reading ECG strips. Soon we’ll be responsible for our own monitoring (currently a telemetry floor does it for us and calls if there’s an issue). This worries me.

Song of the day: “Foxtrot” Tigerblood Jewel

I Am Freaking Out

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • We recently had three patients on our floor that were early to mid fifties and in relatively good shape (compared to the overall population). All three had a sudden stroke. We also had an extremely nice patient who suffered a horrible, life altering, work accident. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time. These kinds of patients freak me out and make me want to sell everything and travel the world because you never know…
  • I passed a coworker in the hall and I said the standard, “How’s it going?” as I walked by. He replied with great enthusiasm, “Amazing!”. It was such an unexpected reply I had to stop and laugh. It actually brightened my day a bit.
  • I stumbled on this emergency dog carry harness. I hadn’t really thought about it, but I get pretty far out there with the hound and I’m not sure how or if I could carry him out? Seems like a good idea but it’s expensive and a bit large to pack.
  • The possible crazy running goal I’m toying with… Now I’m on the fence, scared, and thinking it’s a pretty stupid thought. From near zero to goal would be extremely hard. I have no desire to build up with smaller goals, or do anything similar beyond. I’m too damn old for that. It would simply be a one time, “could I do it?” thing. Still a few weeks to decide. I’m trending towards no. I simply don’t know if I have the mental discipline to do the training.
  • Pat Mac’s Basic Dude Stuff cracks me up.
    * outrage warning for millennials
  • We got a pretty good dump of global warming this week. Cross country and downhill season starts (for me) next week! That pesky work thing keeps getting in the way of my fun.
  • Speaking of snow, I was totally planning on doing this run sometime this year. I may have to rethink now.
  • Staying on the snow theme, I’ve really been enjoying Cody Townsend’s “The Fifty” project.

Song of the day: “Pancake” by Jaded