Monthly Archives: May 2008

Workplace Automated External Defibrillator

Workplace Automated External Defibrillator

Last night I finally renewed the CPR certification I let lapse six years ago. I didn’t intentionally let it lapse, at the time I was planning on taking a First Responder calss through the Winona, MN fire department, but lapse it did. Our Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service group had requested to get certified and one of the FF/EMTs who works for Emergency Management did the training. He modified the training slightly and got an 8 hour class done in two. That’s what I’m talking about.

I’m glad I got the chance to test the skills. I’ve kept up with the new AHA guidelines, but never knew for sure if I was doing everything right.

Recently I have been discussing the idea of CPR certification and obtaining at least one Automated External Defibrillator (AED) with one of my bosses. I spoke with him today and it looks like we can get Lifepak 500s for around $2,000 each. I found an AED Grant Program which will partially fund the units we would like. Now I need to fill out the grant app, find a physician to act as Medical Oversight, draft an EMS Activation Protocol, get the powers that be to approve all of this, plus I would like to form a committee to draft some general emergency preparedness procedures for administrative approval.

Our building covers an entire city block and my thinking is taht we need to have at least 2 units. We have an additional outbuilding that is not directly connected with the main building and should probably have one there too. In thinking about it tonight I would optimally like to have one unit per floor on each side of teh building where we usually have people. That makes the total number of desired units about six. I’ll have to see if this is feasable or not. Maybe I want too many AEDs. I’m not sure what the proper balance is between cost and time/distance.

If anyone has ever done something like this, has thoughts, or knows the EMS medical director for the city of Baltimore leave a message in the comments. I could use some guidance.

Wednesday Wackiness

Wednesday Wackiness

I don’t care if today is one day closer to the weekend. I am declaring shenanigans and demanding a do over, or better yet fast forward.

Last night I got home at about 21:30 after working an extra few hours showing products at a technology fair in Columbia. The show was really well attended and we showed off the new KNFB Reader Mobile and a couple of other new products.

Having agreed to go to a congressional hearing today it was necessary to be at the office at 07:00. We loaded up the vans, drove to DC, and spent an hour standing around because the hearing room was locked. No big deal I got the chance to catch up with one of the summer interns who I hadn’t seen in a while and eavsedrop on the US Capitol Police radio traffic. We were let into the room at 09:55 after being informed the hearing would start 20 minutes late.

Our representative was first on the agenda. I expected his testamony to take some time and be followed up by questioning from the committee. You know what I sat through? His 5 minute statement and 3 or 4 minutes of the committee chair saying our issue was basically not important and that we shouldn’t challenge the Librarian of Congress on his assertion that it was acceptable to phase the talking book program from cassette tape to digital books over 6 years instead of 4. Couple of quick facts here before I go on.

Seventeen thousand public libraries exist for sighted readers to obtain books from. Countless numbers of bookstores and websites exist for the same reason. Do you know how many libraries there are for the blind in this country? One. The National Library Service for the Blind. It serves 800,000 patrons throughout the entire country, producing talking and Braille books. Care to take a stab at how many recorded books are made available each year?

One percent.

Yes, a mere one percent of the available print material is made available to blind citizens. In a world where access to information and knowledge is a critical component of becoming educated and getting a job is it a wonder that 70 percent of working age blind adults are unemployed?

No, the NLS isn’t the *only* method for accessing books in alternative format, but it is the primary source for most of America’s blind. Services such as Audible and Bookshare do exist, and are good for what they offer (I use Bookshare heavily and Audible occasionally), but many blind citizens don’t have the funds, skills, or technology to utilize these services.

If the United States Congress does not make the 19.1 million dollar appropriation we are seeking it may be 3 years before some blind Americans have access to new books. That’s three fourths of a teenager’s highschool career. Imagine you walk into your local library or bookstore and see that their once massive collection has been reduced to one percent of what it was. Further imagine the librarian or store manager informs you that no new books will be coming in for another three years. How well would that go over?

Wow. That descended into a diatribe I wasn’t originally planning on writing, but I think I finally put my finger on why I was so annoyed today. It wasn’t that half my day was consumed with an eight minute meeting, or the fact that my sandwich vomited mustard all over my shirt and pants, nor the fact that my stomach almost rebelled on the way back to work from something I ate (TMI? Sorry.), or even the fact that I really can’t get any work done now because the Internets are broken. Really, what’s got me annoyed is the Committee chair acting as if we aren’t important. She commented that the blind are “not being left out.” and that a substantial portion of the budget being considered was going to programs that benefit blind Americans. That’s all well and good, but we are merely asking for a chance at accessing something many people take for granted.


Like I said. Shenanigans.

Oh, and I am now on hold with AT&T because they have, once again, deleted my voicemail account. This is still a holdover problem from the night the one support rep hosed one, and consequently the other, of our SIM cards. Cost me a $25 cab ride and two and a half hours on the phone with tech support to get new SIMs too. Yeah, I’m quite thrilled with them right now.

ooh, goodie. Voicemail is back, but I have to recreate my mailbox. Hope noone left me messages I will not get now.

Dark Alleys and Lead Pipes

Dark Alleys and Lead Pipes

From now on when I hear the words, “assembly required” I am sticking my thumbs in my ears, squeezing my eyes shut, and singing something at least as annoying as Hit Me Baby One More Time at the top of my sanity loving lungs. Because, honestly, it would be much less painful than trying to assemble furnature.

You know that old attage those who don’t learn from their mistakes blah blah blah I’ve quit listening where’s the nearest place to get a smoothy? Well, I guess I should have paid more attention. I’ve ranted about my ineptitude putting the excersize bike, which still to this day remains used a grand total of twice, together on the “Some Assembly Required” episode of the podcast. Then there is the unforgetable time our marriage almost ended, less than a month after it began, when Treva and I tried to assemble two end tables. (I thought I blogged about it, but as usual my brain thinks I did a task my fingers were to lazy to complete.) Tonight, I once again dove headfirst into the shallow end of the I’m a man I can assemble anything pool.

A month or two ago (fine it was really December. shut up.) we bought a cabinet from Ikea. It was one of those small, 5 drawer bathroom things. Came in a box unassembled and unstained. We had been having horiffic luck that day finding things for our new apartment and I was determined to salvage the trip. I told Treva that I would get the cabinet, stain it, put it together, and life would be all roses and smiles from then on. I don’t know why, but for some reason that woman trusts me. Saint.

Fast forward to March. The cabinet, the stain, and the brushes lie under the bed mocking me. I had been waiting for the “perfect weekend” to begin this project. Treva was going to visit her family and I figured what better time to line the kitchen floor with plastic, open the windows, stain that beast like there’s no tomorrow, and hope I don’t hit my head too hard when I pass out from the fumes.

After getting the advice to use a rag instead of a brush because you can feel the stain from someone smarter than I am, I slap in some season 1 West Wing (nerd) and start staining. I quickly discover a few things.

1. Our kitchen is too small and once I lie these pieces on the floor I will be unable to reach the fridge to obtain more Cherry Coke. Furthermore, later, once the first coat has dried I will have no idea which pieces have had the second coat applied. I of course come to this realization about 90 percent through my first coat.

2. This stuff feels gross.

3. the fumes aren’t nearly bad enough to give me a high or cause unconsciousness, but my hands will smell for the next milleneum or three.

4. I hate staining stuff. Why can’t this involve a chainsaw? I’m good with destruction.

Once the first coat is done I scrub my hands in an attempt to rid them of their newly acquired shade of white, grab my cell and call Treva.

Me: I quit. If I ship this to your Mom will she bust out her incredible Amish woodworking skills and save me from myself? … Stop laughing. I’m sorry. I will never promise I can ever do something like this again. Oh, and our kitchen is too small. I want my mommy.

Treva: You’re a dork. Let me ask.

Me: I will shower you with children if you fix this for me. (hahaha, yeah right. I would never say such a thing. Children scare me pantsless remember?)

Treva: She says yes.

Me: Sweet. I love her. I’m going to play “Miriani now.

Several hours later I toss the dry pieces of particle board in the box, shove it under the bed, and forget about it until the beginning of April. Treva finally smacks me upside the head and reminds me to send the thing to her Mom. I’m pretty sure the woman at UPS was laughing at me when I explained what I was doing. Actually, I know she was.

We got it back tonight and I decided I had had enough of being haunted by this mean little hunk of wood. I was going to put it together. And, while I was at it, entertain the Twitter community with my antics.

21:48: Finally putting the ikea cabinet together. Where did i put the hardware?

When we sent the cabinet I figured I’d hang onto the hardware. I suppose, in retrospect, I should have just had her assemble the thing post staining, but I figured it would be easier to ship back in it’s multiple piece state. I left the bag of hardware tucked in a secret spot behind the leg of the headboard because I didn’t want to lose it and that’s where it was and if I moved it I would never find it again. Stop glaring at me honey, I hardly ever do that.

22:15: Would text instructions be too much to ask? There pictures aren’t doing it.

Now to be fair, I realize that for your average bear a picture is more helpful than text, but not for me. See, it all looks like a bunch of lines and things that might be screws or maybe a smudge, or possibly a doughnut. I want something that says “take the piece of wood with the slot, slide the thin flat board into the groove” you get the idea. Is that impossible?

22:45: I quit! Nothing that says assembly required is ever allowed in this house again.

After Treva and I figured out how to put the thing together I started nailing it in place. Unfortunately every time I got close to getting the nails in all the way the boards would slip and I would have to pull it and start over.

I gave up. I finally had enough and decided the cabinet and I needed to take a break from each other. Once my thumbs have healed, and my anger has subsided we might meet again… in a dark alley while I brandish a lead pipe and pound the bologna out of it. 🙂



I am emerging from my blogging hideyhole because I have absolutely had it with this Sarah McGlauclin give us money to sponsor an animal or whatever commercial that runs at least twice every commercial break on Nickelodeon and, more realistically because I feel guilty for not conversating with you awesome people. Before the men from PETA and the SPCA jump out from behind the plants and beat me with pipes, or tree branches, or something allow me to say that I am completely against animal abuse.

I am also against the abuse of my senses. I’m not kidding people. That thing runs all the time. Furthermore Angel gets stuck in my head. Really now. I can tollerate that song as much as the next person, but sheesh, I need a break.

In other news we got seriously lost on the way to work today.

Last night, we went to Baskin-Robbins to participate in their $0.31 a scoop fundraiser for firefighters. We caught a cab from Penn Station and met a guy who seemed nice enough and who we though we might try to use as a regular driver in the morning. I called him this morning, he picked us up. I told him the route I would prefer to take to work (since the route most drivers take takes longer, costs more, and goes right through the heart of downtown traffic). Since his MDT and GPS were down, he proceeded to try and read a map while driving down the road at 55 MPH. Unfortunately for me the seatbelt on my side of the back seat was jammed.

By getting onto I-95, when that was nowhere near necessary, having to turn around, get off near the Inner Harbor, missing the turn onto the southbound street we needed, and getting annoyed when neither of us absolved him of his guilt for making us late, he managed to turn a 20 minute tops trip into 45 minutes. To top it all off I think I accidentally said we would use him every morning when he asked what time we would be ready. GRRR. Well, I give him one more shot. If he can’t get to work in a reasonable time tomorrow I’m telling him we will not be needing his services as I intend to spend the weekend building a matter teleportation system.

I am no longer promising new posts. As much as I would like to blog with something approaching regularity and as many times as I promise posts, I think you’ve all got me figured out. I’m just a big giant liar. I’ll blog when I blog and you, well, if you’re still here I figure it’s because I’ve glommed onto your RSS reader and you’re stuck with me. 🙂

Work is still rocking. I was in Kansas City, MO for all of 26 hours for meetings this week. They went really well and I think some good stuff is going to come out of them.

I’m ducking back into my hole now.

Love me!