Monday, April 28, 2008

Songs of dead people 2.

One of the best songs ever, Kilkelly, Ireland.

This version sung by Maloney, O'Connell and Keane.

Total running time 13:06

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Songs of dead people.

Years ago, I was an assistant scoutmaster for a scout troop in Tulsa. When I drove to camp-outs a few of the kids rode in my car. I had some mix tapes I had recorded of Celtic music that I played a lot. One trip, one thes kids asked "Does some one die in all of these songs?" As I realized he was right. Someone died in everyone of the songs on the tape.

My brother is compiling a list of songs to "scare normal people".

I thought I might try to recreate my long lost mix tape and compile a list of songs in which people die. Most of these songs will be Celtic or English folk. I'm looking for a running time of about 90 minutes.

To start with, here's a song to rip your heart out.

Total running time 6:25

Sorry Sammy

Between work and the Elder Daughter's lessons, I have to go to Tulsa 5 times a week. That's a 90-120 mile round trip, depending on where in Tulsa I need to go.

Gas cost today, $3.39.

I've always claimed that this was the great protest song of my generation.

Driving the speed limit can cut you gas mileage by as much as 20%.

I'm sorry Sammy, I can drive 55.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Owned by grandma

It doesn't pay to mess with some old ladies.

46 year old ex con held off by 95 year old woman in wheel chair with a screwdriver.

Film at 11.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Medieval Survey bibliography

I would like to compile a bibliography of medieval art. In part it serves as a wish list, in case I ever win the lottery. This is a start, these works are surveys of the entire Medieval period. The only ones I am familiar with are the Calkins, which I own; the 1st edition of the Snyder, which was my Medieval Art textbook at OU; and the Stokstad which I have seen in the library. I quick look via Google at a few syllabuses for Medieval Art surveys seems to show the Snyder and Stokstad are the two most common textbooks in use. I hope to get my hands on the all of these in the near future. I f I do so, I may repost an annotated version of this.

Benton, Janetta Rebold, Art of the Middle Ages, New York, N.Y. : Thames & Hudson, 2002.

Calkins, Robert G., Monuments of Medieval Art. Ithaca : Cornell University Press, [1985?], c1979.

Focillon, Henri, (trans. Donald King). The Art of the West in the Middle Ages, 2 Volumes. London, New York, Phaidon, 1969.

Kessler, Herbert L, Seeing Medieval Art, Peterborough, Ont. ; Orchard Park, NY : Broadview Press, c2004.

Lacroix, Paul. Arts In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. New York, F. Ungar Pub. Co. [1964]

Lethaby, William Richard, Medieval Art From the Peace of the Church to the Eve of the Renaissance, 312-1350., London, Duckworth and co., New York, C. Scribner’s sons, 1904.

Luttikhuizen, Henry and Dorothy Verkerk, eds., Snyder's Medieval Art, Second Edition, Upper Saddle River, NJ : Prentice Hall, 2006.

Morey Charles Rufus, Mediaeval Art New York, W. W. Norton & company, inc. [1942]

Reber, Franz von, History of Mediaeval Art, New York, Harper & brothers, 1887.

Sekules, Veronica, Medieval Art, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2001.

Snyder, James; Medieval Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture 4th-14th Century; New York : H.N. Abrams, 1989; Upper Saddle River, NJ : Prentice Hall, 2006.

Stokstad, Marilyn, Medieval Art, 2nd ed., Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, c2004.

Zarnecki, George, Art of the Medieval World, Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, the Sacred Arts, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, 1975.

Ender's Obama

Orson Scott Card wrote one of the best science fiction novels of all time.

It seems he also blogs a weekly column, and he has written one of the best examinations of Obama's "bitter" remarks I have seen. He makes the obvious point (at least it's obvious once he points it out) that no one in a small town is bitter because they lost their jobs twenty five years ago and couldn't find any other work, because those people left to find jobs elsewhere. That's why small towns are getting smaller.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Doctors are wealthy. No big surprise there, but given what they do most people don't begrudge them that. You want smart, skilled people to there when you come into the ER at 3:00 AM with a heart attack, or stroke, or injury. The only way that will happen is if you pay them well.

Not every body sees it that way though. The Tulsa World recently ran a letter from a gentlemen who refers today's doctors as "capitalist businessmen who masquerade as doctors", and hopes for the day of socialized medicine. Seems he doesn't like being asked how he is going to pay for the services he receives. He draws a comparison between today's routine office visit and the procedures during a disaster. I've been in a hospital during a big disaster. The ER saw hundreds of patients, and I bet not one was asked anything about finances.

All this is interesting, because I read the letter in the OR break room. When I was done with my break, I went and gave a lunch break in the trauma ortho room. On that room, a board certified, fellowship trained, trauma orthopedist was fixing a horrible break to the proximal humerus on a young man who had wrecked his motorcycle. He was assisted by two certified scrub techs and two certified radiology techs. There was a board certified anesthesiologist given anesthesia. The surgeon was using some very sophisticated (and expensive) plates and screws to fix the multiple fractures. A representative of the company that made the plates was in the room to make sure everything went well with his products. This is a lot of talent and expensive technology being used by this young man. Now many young men who crash motorcycles don't have a lot of insurance. This young man had several tattoos, one reading "Thug Life Bitch", and another reading "Fuck All". (We were left wondering if the thought was left incomplete, Fuck all... accountants, public employees, goats?) I may be showing bias, but I think it is safe to say the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, and the hospital are not going to be paid for this man's care. Some times life provides a nice ironic juxtaposition.

If you have the right to demand my services, and I have no right to demand to be compensated for my labor, then I am your slave.

Scrub tech blog?

It seems that scrub techs don't blog much about their jobs. There are several emergency room and ambulance people blogging, but I have yet to find a single scrub tech blogging about the job. There are scrub techs with blogs, but they seem to all be for sharing family pictures and stories. I guess this is because the job doesn't provide the same number of interactions with a wide variety of people. I really big case will have maybe six or seven people in the room plus the (unconscious) patient, and will last for several hours. The average ER person will see dozens of people in that time. Just more opportunity I guess to have those unusual experiences.

Monday, April 21, 2008

13 years

I was working on Saturday, so for the first time didn't actually note the date. It's been thirteen years since Oklahoma City. I was in OKC. I heard the bomb go off. Although, I no longer worked there, I went into St. Anthony's and scrubbed. It was six blocks from the Federal Building. Normally when I scrub a case, I never even notice the patient's name. I still remember the most serious patient's name. I called the ICU for two weeks checking on her.

13 years. I no longer think about every day, or every week, but it is always there, and always will be. When September 11 came around, I wasn't shocked. Angry and horrified, yes. Shocked, no. The world is not safe.

Another memory from that day. When the first rush was over, I went to the break room to wait. There were boxes of Sonic hamburgers. It seems that Sonic decided to send food to the hospitals. They knew there would be a lot of people working a lot of hours. No one asked, but they sensed a need that they could fill and then filled it. I will always be a Sonic customer.

There was a lot of people seeing needs and filling them. St. Anthony's, being the closest hospital, saw hundred of walking wounded in a very few hours. Many of them had lacerations that needed stitches. They were able to get them, in part, because Luanna, the Scrub Tech who was in charge of central supply, had people tear apart all of the non essential sets, the GYN sets and the like, and reassemble the instruments into suture trays; needle holder, forceps, two hemostats, and scissors. Lord knows how many people made similar contributions.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Red Army Choir

My brother is compiling a list of songs "to scare normals with." Things like punk bagpipes, and songs with refrains of "how many of them can we make die".

This is scary in another way. Bet you never knew that the "Song of Volga Boatmen" went so well with Lynyrd Skynyrd.

One Way Streets Suck

If you have ever driven in downtown Tulsa, you know that it is a maze of one way streets. Now I lived in Tulsa most of my life and know my way around downtown. I know which streets go which way. More importantly, I know to always look and determine which way traffic flows, before I turn onto any street. Even if I am certain which way the street runs, I look. Since I'm used to them, the one way streets never bothered me.

Today, I was taking the family to the Violin Shop (which I cannot recommend highly enough) to have some minor work done on the Elder Daughter's violin. The Violin Shop is on the north side of the tracks, and I chose to cross the tracks on Detroit Ave, here. Now, if you aren't familiar with the area, or can't tell from the satellite shot, Detroit crosses the railroad tracks via an overpass the rises and drops over twenty feet in about a city block. It's a big hill, and you can't see the other side until you are right at the top. It is also one-way, north. (I'm sure you can see where this is going.) When I was almost to the top of the hill, this crappy, mid 80's import comes bopping over the hill, right towards me, and in my lane. Did I mention the bus right behind me in the lane to the right? Somehow, I and he managed to not trigger my airbags. I went on my way saying things like, "gee that was interesting". I didn't even need to change my shorts.

Now, I think the one way streets are a bad idea. At least over blind overpasses.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Museum blog

I've started another blog, this one as place for me to gather together in one place info on the various exhibitions being put on by museums. I'm starting with Oklahoma museums, but will broaden the reach as time goes by. Posts there will not make it onto this blog.

Harvest Time

This weekend we had an organ harvest. I hate organ harvests. Hate them. Will do any other case in the OR, with any doctor for any amount of time in order to not do them.

The reason I hate them is not rational, but what it comes down to, is I don't want to be part of the machinery of death. Don't get me wrong, I fully understand that these people are already dead. I accept, at least intellectually, the concept of brain death. We are not killing them. I have no problem with organ transplantation. I will happily participate in an organ transplant. (OK, not happily, but as a happy as I am to do any other long surgery with finicky surgeons.) If I needed it, I would sign up in a heartbeat to be organ recipient. If it weren't for my medical history, I would be an organ donor.

None of that matters. We bring a patient into the room with a pulse and 02 sats, and then we take out organs and turn the machines off and send the patient to the morgue. In the pit of my stomach it feels like we are causing death. I've tried, I can't get around it. It gives me nightmares.

Luckily, the other tech on my shift doesn't have these qualms. She understands my reservations and does all of them. This weekend it looked like the cases were going to fall in such a way that I would have to do this one. I was going to suck it up and do it, but man it depressed me. But my coworker came through. Thank you.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

This should not have to be said.

Another work weekend.

I know it is spring, because the lawnmowers are out.

For those of you who might forget, power lawnmowers have large, rapidly spinning blades underneath them. Don't stick you fingers under there.

This weekend's patient only lost the tip of one finger.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Taking a cue from my brother, I have sort of split up this blog. I have copied all of my medieval art posts over to a new blog, Monstrous Beauty. Although I will be posting all of my medieval stuff there, I will also post it here, so if you are interested in finding out what birds I've seen lately and whatever manuscript takes my fancy you can read here. If you are only interested in the art, you can stay over there. I expect I will split out the birds also. I also will be starting a blog on Oklahoma architecture and history and another on political rants. Again if you want the full experience, stay here. There will be material here that won't be found elsewhere.

On the new blog, I intend to discuss not only manuscripts, but the whole range of medieval art. I reserve the right to define "medieval" and "art" however the hell I wish. I also hope to be able to point to other resources on medieval art. On the name, Monstrous Beauty, it comes from Bernard of Clairvaux, who when discussing (and denouncing) the Romanesque art that decorated the churches of his day railed against the "beautiful monstrosities and monstrous beauties" he found. I like Romanesque art, and the term "Monstrous Beauty" is indeed a great description of it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Eagle Has Landed, Tell Your Children

I was six years old when Apollo 11 went to the Moon. That makes me part of the youngest group of people who can remember when the space program was something brave, bold and exciting. Because I was so young, I only got a glimpse of the excitement of the era, and then mostly by reading SF in later years. One can't read Heinlein and not realize what it all meant, even if you can't feel it. In the decades since, the space program has swung from tragedy to tedium, but has never really inspired. Maybe one day it will. There is always a little piece of me that is that little boy, excitedly watching, but not really understanding, or the teen reading alone in my room and dreaming of rockets, that sits and hopes.

All of this is really an excuse to provide a link to a video I found on YouTube that made me tear up. The song is by Leslie Fish, who oddly enough also set the Kipling poem. "The Song of the Picts" to music. This song is probably one of the best loved filks in the SCA. It is strange how worlds interconnect.