Saturday, January 30, 2010

Would you change?

It's a pretty sad spiral that ends with you creeping towards the bottle of a bottle of vodka, yeh? Vodka has traditionally been the liquor of thoughtfulness, for me. It's what I reach for, when I want an accounting of what I've done. Vodka pries the truth out of you.

As a side note, I'm planning a trip to Texas. That aside, plenty of Mass Effect, a new girlfriend, and the usual drama.

Carry on.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Another Learning Experience

Strike's not on yet. I say yet, because I suspect it's more a matter of time. Later on in the semester means more pressure.

Medicine, and the practice thereof, is a reminder to people of their own weaknesses. Their phobias. Their squeamishness. I was in class today, mooching medical supplies from the Old Soldier, Reservist, and the Failed Paramedic Student. It's one part single-minded obsessiveness as a kit weasel, one part it's a good idea to get as much medical training as possible. So, I roll up on my homies, and start mooching for anything they're not using. I offer coffees, beer for kit that's not being used, old, that sort of thing. They give suggestions- old WWII style triangle bandages, triangles, that sort of thing. I ask about SAM splints, and we get into a discussion about splinting the femur. Goes something like this:

Failed Medic: Why do you want SAM splints? They suck!

Me: What? Why?

FM: You can't splint a femur, for one thing.

(about here, Fat Chick leans in and starts listening)

Me: If I have to splint a femur, I'm so fucked. I'd need Death Pants.

FM: Death Pants?

Me: Those pneumatic pants.

FM: Get a Seager splint.

Me: Those are too big and heavy, plus the femur'll prolly move around. Hell, I don't even want the pants. What's are the stats for femur fractures going compound?

Fat Chick: Compound?

Me: When the fracture separates and comes out the skin.

FM: Pretty low.

Me: What about internal lacerations?

(fat chick starts turning a little green)

FM: Not sure.

Me: What about causing internal lacerations?

FM: Oh, good point.

Me: Me, I figure that if you end up with a broke femur, you're all kinds of fucked. Like, need an ER yesterday kinda fucked. Too many big arteries and nerves near that bitch.

FM: What do you expect to cause the break?

Me: Hey, I was good working with simple extremity breaks. I got a lot of hemorrhage stuff, and I wanna learn more before I start working the airways.

Fat Chick: Why do you want to learn about this stuff?

Me: Because some day, it might be someone I care about all lain out or perforated or something. And I'd rather do something to help than stand around and wring my hands.

FC: But you're not a doctor! I wouldn't trust you to help me.

Me: You're not in NASCAR, and somehow they let you on the road. I wouldn't trust you to drive.

About then, she just shook her head, rolled her eyes and turned away, and I asked whether or not there were spare Nasalpharangeal Airway Tubes lying around, because that's about all I know how to do. I woke up this morning, and I thought about it. This person is an emergency manager, or hopes to be. She is overweight, undermotivated, disinterested and sarcastic in far greater amounts than even I. She has no interest in saving lives. She is the person you are relying on to funnel beans, band-aids and bodies to you in a disaster. Remember that.

And make sure everyone you care about is prepared.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Purpose is the cornerstone of discipline. I'm pretty sure that a lack of purpose is why my generation is so absolutely fucked. A liberal upbringing has taught that working with your hands is something akin to slavery, and the purpose of warriors is to oppress or be expended in brushfire wars in Godforsaken countries that should, for all intents, be allowed to wallow in hellish conditions. We're brought up to chase cars, whores, materialism instead of purpose. Self-gratification over self-fulfillment. So what's left for most people? Hocking shit, or being a cog in some giant corporate machine? Hell, that's something to give your third-best at!

When I joined the military, life became simple. Enjoyable? Maybe not in a conventional sense, but I felt I had a purpose. I was the Smart Guy. I had a role in my platoon. I had buddies who I would fight and kill for. Die for, if need be. My purpose was clear- give advice, and overall help those I could. If that meant killing bad guys, all the better. Now, I'm out in the world, going to school to learn how to deal with whiny and spineless politicians, beg for money in a budget, and deal with a media whose primary purpose is to entertain, not inform. I look around and all I see is wasted potential. One of my best buddies is lead vocal in an above-average metal band. He's not all that bright, but I suspect that has a lot to do with extensive weed abuse and quite a few blows to the head. I mean, the guy is a talented singer, decent lyricist. Better than decent, from what I can hear.

He bounces at night and drives a school bus by day. He's fucking Otto from the Simpsons.

If there was something worth working towards for him, he probably would have done it. He can run a warehouse (and more or less did at times, before he got owned at the beginning of the recession) without too much trouble. Problem is, there's no jobs for him and he doesn't see much point in looking. There a hundred dozen people with more experience and better records fighting him for a job that's more work at half the pay. I can see why he gives up before he even starts. And that's what it largely comes down to, across the board. People my age and bitter and purposeless. There's not a whole hell of a lot of jobs that don't involve paper hats for them. They're competing against older returning students for spots in colleges and universities.

I know the general attitude is 'sink or swim, bitches!' across the board. Hell, I don't have a lot of sympathy for the people who give up and slink back into mama's basement with the Xbox. I'm thinking, though, that once you get a certain concentration of disaffected youth, society as a whole starts to suffer. Once people lose purpose, discipline goes. Then goes drive, and so forth. People go from asking 'what the hell am I doing with my life?' to 'who the hell's fault is all this shit?'. And that's shitty all around.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Drama for the loss.

So, personal drama aside, I'm talking about something that really pisses me off: my college is striking. The numbers I got were as follows:

76% voting attendance
57% overall support for the strike
67% at my college specifically supporting the strike

Thank you for fucking your students, who are largely young (and therefore unemployable in the current market, with more than a third of people my age unemployed last time I checked). And thank you for fucking the older students who have been downsized out of the current economy. Both those groups are relying on their teachers and education to ensure their careers don't begin and end with 'Would you like fries with that?', and you're using them as bargaining chips against a province that is already out of money. They have none more to give. They're 25 billion dollars in debt already. We're the fucking California of Canada.


Well, good news, blog people. At least I'll be able to post more.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Whiff of the Grapeshot

It occurs to me that the children of the west are so spoiled with liberty, that they've perverted it. The word has traditionally meant 'freedoms and associated duties', but now apparently means 'I do what I want, when I want, and if you don't like it, or believe how I believe, you're a fascist!'

Little history lesson: Until about 1920, riots and other public disturbance were met with gunfire. And horsemen with truncheons, who would brain you. Hell, you could be singing 'God Save the Tsar' and asking for bread and they'd gun you down. Hell, they'd send men with sabers after you. Here in the West, we've broken away from the murder model of riot control, and there are still complaints. Let me break it down for you:

1. 'Freedom of speech' does not equate to 'burning down a Starbucks'. As soon as you start assaulting people or busting up property, your freedom of speech is revoked, because you forgot about the duty part of your civic liberties.

2. You do have the right to peaceful assembly. Emphasis on the 'peaceful'. As a general rule, the police could care less about peaceful protests. Hell, I once came across a marijuana legalization sit in. There were cops standing around, a bunch of very high people sitting there, and no problems. Hell, I even watched one hippie light a fat joint and OFFER IT TO A NEARBY OFFICER. Know what happened? The cop just smiled and said "No thank you, ma'am." She shrugged, smoked her joint. The cop stood there and watched and didn't care.

3. In just about any other place in the world, the cops would run you over (Iran), use machetes and riot shields (Africa), or burn down your slum (South America). You're complaining about having more freedom and less consequences for abusing it, because you want to smash up a store or knock down hydro towers? How selfish and spoiled are you, exactly?

I mean, in Napoleon's day he was considered a humanitarian for firing grapeshot over the heads of angry mobs, as compared to into them. It just boggles my mind when I see people saying we're not free, or calling the police Gestapo, or shit like that. We have more freedom than anyone, ever. You want change? Why not, umm, do something a reasonable and rational person won't call a riot?


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Arg, my lungs

So, New Year's Day I saw my girlfriend's Cop Dad. We all went out, had Chinese buffet food, enjoyed ourselves. Her mother even restrained her glaring. We all had a good time, and by the time I got homes, I wasn't feeling great. By the time the ball dropped, I was too drunk to care, but the next couple of days had me coughing up a lung. So far, this year has started off nothing short of horrible. I've got the bronchitis, and oh, I forgot to mention, some asshole comprimised the local Wal-Mart and took all the money out of my chequings and savings. I mean, it wasn't much, but Goddamn it, I needed it! So, now you know why I've been a little...absent. Well, more so than usual. It's balls. Tomorrow, I head to the doctor and pay out some money for meds and hope that the bank refunds me the money in the next couple of weeks.

Happy shitty new year, folks.