Tagged: family

Week 34 – In camp

When we went on vacation this past August, I brought my Crown Graphic Pacemaker 4×5 along.  It’s a press camera, so it’s supposed to be portable, right?

Well, it is portable when compared to what Mathew Brady used.  If you don’t mind carrying a substantial backpack, it’s really not too bad.

I shot FP4, Ektar, and some x-ray film.  These are from the first batch of FP4, developed at home with a MOD54 kit.


In camp

long exposure with tripod at dusk

Loon Mountain scramble



Camera: Crown Graphic Pacemaker

Lens:  Graflex Optar 135mm

Film: Ilford FP4, developed at home, scanned on Epson v700


We promise to ease their suffering, and they give undying devotion in return. We feed them, shelter them, care for their health, and when the time comes we provide a merciful end.

It’s never as easy as it looks on paper.

When we lost Chang, I penned an eloquent and emotional post.

When Jasmine received her diagnosis, I cried out in pain.

We swore that she wouldn’t suffer. We would do all that was medically reasonable and enjoy the time we had left together, however short. The pills have been annoying, but she held up well. We still had fun together. Sunbeams, catnip mice, and moths have made the passing months wonderful.

Until this weekend. We watched her fail inexorably. We cuddled and comforted. I don’t have another eloquent post in me right now. We promised not to let her suffer.

Too short. She should've had another decade. She's the youngest of our colony and should have seen Beth graduate. The universe has cheated her and us, but we promise not to let them suffer. Rest easy, baby girl. There's no need to fight it anymore.


Jasmine left us peacefully around 11:00 this morning. Our hearts are heavy. . .

Best laid plans, part 2

We had plans to travel for Thanksgiving. Thankfully we were driving, because everything went pear shaped. Last weekend’s stomach bug is still lurking about, so a 9 hour drive is out of the question.

Today’s post is for small thanksgivings:

I’m thankful half of the family lives close enough that we can still spend the day with them.

I’m thankful that I can still watch two separate things on Netflix at the same time. I can only take so much Cartoon Network.

I’m thankful that the second supermarket I tried had French fried onions, and I’m thankful for Riverview Pizza.

Happy Takeout Day, everyone!

Best laid plans

The plan:

Work a swap 24 on the transfer truck. A few quick errands on the way home, shower, meet attorney to close mortgage refinance. Pick up Beth from half day at school, spend afternoon at the science museum. Check out the newly remodeled planetarium.

Home for dinner, change, then off for Daddy/daughter time at the Pumpkin Ball, the fall elementary school dance.

Sleep late Saturday.

The reality:

24 on the transfer truck, check. The overnight shift was easier than expected.

Errands, check. Shower, check.

Run to answer ringing phone. Rush to school to pick up sick child before lawyer arrives. Sign paperwork. Watch lots of TV; alternate Tylenol and ibuprofen for fever. Make futile attempts to comfort uncomfortable little girl.

Commiserate over inability to attend dance. Promise a Daddy Date at some unspecified point in the future.

Send everyone to bed early so I can get up to medicate again at midnight. I’ll sleep in some other day. *sigh*

I promise

Dear Beth,

I promise to go back to the gym. I really do enjoy it, but life has been busy lately. I promise to try to eat better, and to do whatever I can to be around for you.

I want to be there for your high school graduation and your college commencement. I plan to walk you down the aisle someday and to be there for the birth of your children, assuming that’s the path you choose.

I promise.


I had the distinct displeasure today of coding a patient in front of his young daughter. He was my age. She, while younger than Beth, was old enough to remember every detail. A cardiac arrest is messy, barbaric, loud and confusing. We all know what we have to do and why, but to a layperson it’s a horrific experience.

Today was the worst day of a young girl’s life, the day she lost her Daddy; and she had to witness it all. I’m sorry. We did all we could.

Wilson Greatbatch

The other night I transferred a patient from Suburban Children’s to Big City Trauma Center. At 15 years old he was having trouble with his implanted pacemaker. Without it, he would have been dead years ago. It was an interesting case, made more so by events in my private life.

Wilson Greatbatch, inventor of the pacemaker, dies at age 92.

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If you work in EMS or any type of emergency medicine, you’ve seen the work of Wilson Greatbatch. Slightly more than 50 years ago he invented the implantable cardiac pacemaker and changed the lives of thousands of people forever. The Smithsonian has a good biography of him here.

Equally important here at Mosquito Hill, Wilson was Mrs. Mack505’s grandfather. She has wonderful memories of playing with her cousins in his ‘shop’ as a child. Other children’s grandfathers might have a workbench or a table saw; Grandpa Greatbatch had oscilloscopes and bubbling beakers.

I first met him almost 18 years ago now. He was brilliant in an interesting way; he was always seeing ways to improve the world around him. Most never worked, but when they did, look out! He has been quoted elsewhere as saying, “Nine out of ten things I dream up never work, but the tenth will pay for the other nine.”.

He was also a genuinely nice guy.

I leave you with Grandpa Greatbatch’s own words, recorded for posterity 15 years ago.

Godspeed, Grandpa Greatbatch. Say “Hi!” to Grandma and Uncle Peter for us.

I highly recommend following the links. It’s a fascinating story.

P365 resumes

8/17 – stalls @ the Big E

8/21 – feeling a bit artsy

8/30 – Second grade!!

9/2 – Seen on the Mass Pike. I’m not sure what it means, but I bet the local fire marshal might find it interesting.

9/3 – Family weekend in Buffalo. You get to see a lot of Beth.

9/4 – Thirty Mile Point, Lake Ontario

9/5 – Medic 9 (but not mine) on the move

9/6 – Saturday I officially become a Soccer Dad

That’s all for now.

Just a small town girl, livin’ in a lonely world

As we enter the restaurant, I fear I’ve made a grievous error. It’s over 90 degrees outside. This place is locally famous and includes the word “Barn” in its name. Little did I realize that it was an actual barn, converted to an eatery 40 years ago. It’s dark and rustic, with tiny windows and no air conditioning.

Still it’s dinner time, we’re hungry, and the pizza is locally famous. It’s worth a try, but I worry The Princess will balk.

The seating consists of picnic tables of a dark brown copied from the nearby National Forest. These versions can seat at least 12 people and are varnished to a mirror gloss. We choose one near a window in hopes of a breeze, and The Princess decides she wants to sit next to me. She cuddles in under my left arm.

The menu fills a 5×8 card: Pizza, three sizes, a dozen or so toppings. If you insist, they will make pasta or garlic bread for you. Beer and soda.

We order an old standby and settle in to wait. The Princess monopolizes my phone, playing Angry Birds. As I scan the crowd, I begin to notice the jukebox in the corner behind me. I don’t know if someone has pumped it full of quarters, or if it has a very good random program, but it’s replaying my childhood. I begin to sing along, and she joins me. We belt out off-key renditions of “Don’t Stop Believin'”, “Margaritaville,” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”

And she smiles.

(I’m mildly surprised that she knows the Meatloaf lyrics. I blame Mrs. Mack505, but then she blames me for the fact that the Kiddo can sing “Crazy Train” with the best of them.)

The pizza was pretty good, too.

Weekend worth of Diesel fuel: $120
One night on a deluxe campsite: $46
Pizza and four drinks (hey, it was hot): $18.21 with tip
Having your seven year old make a fool of herself in public with you and smile about it: PRICELESS.

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