Archives for April 2004

Phishing and Me

Anti-Phishing Working Group – Stop Phishing and Email Scams

I got one of these emails today, encouraging me to go to their website and give away all my information they should already have:

Dear Valued Customer, – Our new security system will help you to avoid frequently fraud transactions and to keep your investments in safety. – Due to technical update we recommend you to reactivate your account. Click on the link below to login and begin using your updated Citibank account. To log into your account, please visit the online banking If you have questions about your online statement, please send us a Bank Mail or call us at 1-800-374-9700 We appreciate your business. It’s truly our pleasure to serve you. Citibank Customer Care This email is for notification only. To contact us, please log into your account and send a Bank Mail.

These vermin rent their servers from a place in Dallas! Amazing. So, if you get one of these, just delete it and live more happily.

PFC Chance Phelps, USMC

If this doesn’t get to you, your soul is defective. BLACKFIVE: Taking Chance Home

More FH6 Pictures

It’s been a while, and this blog looks bare without photos, so here’s more pics from OIF, Fleet Hospital 6.

Kuwaiti Cafe

casualties arriving

So, you want the Navy to pay for your Med School

I went through medical school on a Navy scholarship, through the HPSP Program

AFHPSP offers qualified students full tuition for school, a monthly stipend, and reimbursement for books and various required equipment and fees. In return, students serve as active duty medical, dental or medical service corps officers (for a minimum of three years). Scholarship recipients also attend a 45-day (consecutive days) Active Duty for Training (AT) tour for every year of scholarship awarded. The ATs range from a required Officer Indoctrination School (OIS) Newport, Rhode Island to numerous choices of rotations at military facilities. During AT, students serve on Active Duty in the rank of Ensign with all attendant obligations, benefits and respect of the rank.

Hint: Ensigns don’t get much respect, but it gets better with time.
[Read more…]

Ridiculous site linkage

Ok, I’m not proud, but I killed about an hour at, a BurgerKing site to promote their new chicken sandwich.

This is a site that features a person in a chicken suit, in the cheesy-webcam style, who will act out (most) of the things you tell him to. Enjoy. Don’t forget to tell him “Chicken Sandwich”.

via the Midnight Trucking Radio Network, your late night friend on the drive home.

OIF Casualties by Type

OIF Casualties by Type This is a graph from Naval Institute Proceedings, Feb 2004 (Sorry, I’m a little behind in my reading). It’s not available online, nor is the accompanying article (just trust me).The article is “Forward Resuscitative Surgery in Operation Iraqi Freedom”, by Captains Bohman, Baker and Stevens, all Medical Corps (docs).

It’s a good article, and points out things that went well, and things they’d like to have done better. The above graph is very interesting, but has some limitations: this is only those who went to forward Resuscitative Surgical Stations, and the N=96, (34 Marines and 62 Iraqis), so not a huge sample.

The authors state that the number of GSW’s was higher than expected, which they attribute to better survival from better helmets and vests. They also point out that the overall Marine died-of-wounds rate was 1%, much lower than previous 2.1 – 8% rates.

Sunglasses in the ED

In a completely unscientific observation, I have noticed that patients who wear sunglasses into the Emergency Department usually fall into the category of “not right”.

(There is a carve-out here for people over the age of 70 wearing those 2 pound wrap-around plastic sunglasses; they are in a different category). (Oh, and the one person a year with iritis).

Basically, when I have a patient who is wearing sunglasses in the ER, I always give them the benefit of the doubt, and they never dissapoint me with very very odd behavior before their visit is over. And it’s not just me, and informal poll of the docs I work with led to universal agreement.

I don’t get it, but I don’t wear sunglasses indoors, either.

Email from 2/4

This was sent to me, and I found it pertinent to the preceeding post about 2/4:

Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2004 2:03AM

Subject: Update from Lt Co Kennedy

Dear Ladies, the last two days have been the hardest two days this battalion has faced in over 30 years. Within the blink of an eye the situation went form relatively calm to a raging storm.

You’ve known that since arriving there has been violence; attacks have been sporadic and mostly limited to roadside bombs. Your husbands have become experts at recognizing those threats and neutralizing them before we are injured. Up to this point the war has been the purview of corporals and sergeants, and the squad they lead.
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2/4 in the Fight

I’m listening to the radio (Sean Hannity’s show) and he’s interviewing a USMC Major (Michael Macnamara) in Iraq.

This Major just dropped that “His friend, LCOL Paul Kennedy of 2/4, had a memorial service for 15 of his Marines and one of his Sailors…” and I’m struck by it. Paul Kennedy was a Company Commander with 2/4 when I was their doc, and he’d be about right for command now. I haven’t heard which unit lost Marines and Sailors, but I’m proud of all of them. 2/4 is doing good work, from the report.

Wow. Small world.

Padding the Rolls?

I was in the Navy and left active duty in 1998, then entering the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) for a minimum of three years in order to complete my eight year service obligation as an officer. While in IRR status, I didn’t drill and the Navy didn’t pay me, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. (I did swear in several new sailors who had been recruited when the local reserve center couldn’t locate one of their officers, and I enjoyed being able to help).

I assumed that when the three year IRR obligation ran out, I’d be out. Not so, it seems. I get yearly (maybe bi-annual) surveys asking about changes to my address, anything that would keep me from being deployed, etc. This, without having set foot on a base since 1998.

In 2002 I got a nice letter from Navy Personnel basically saying “get in or get out”, and “if you want to get out, check here”. I checked here, and sent it in. And kept getting update letters.

So, when I got an inducement flier from the local Reserve Recruiter, I got in contact with him, basically to ask about my IRR status, and he very nicely agreed to check into it.

He called me back the other day: I’m still in the IRR, in an “S2” status. Here’s where I think they’re padding: he said that ‘if you were a pilot, or some other skill, you’d already have been separated from the IRR, but since you’re a doctor, you’re going to be on the rolls for a few more years unless you write them a letter and resign your commission’.

Now, it’s up to the Navy to figure out their manning, and I’m not distressed about being in the IRR (still), but now I think I’m being used to pad the Navy’s “Reserve Doctor” numbers. I wonder how many of the Navy’s reservist docs are in the same boat?

What did I do today?

Well, I climbed up ont the roof to take a picture. That’s one of those sentences that raises a lot more questions than it answers.

are you out there?

I have satellite internet access. It’s better than dialup, but has its limits, and it’s a little pricey for lhe limitations (I’ve blogged about this before, and about my DSL unavaliability horror story).

Anyway, there’s a wireless provider in my city now, and I’m inside their “circle” on the map, so I should be cool, right? Well, not so fast. There’s a ridge (a little tiny hill is what it is) between their building/antenna and me. Their software (which is ground to ground) says we cannot see each other, but it doesn’t take building/house height into account (reportedly).

I couldn’t interest them in a site survey, so I did my own, and this is the picture taken in the direction of their offices from the roof. I emailed it to them, with the “if this is you, please call me” thing.

I’m not holding my breath, but I’ll let you know. Yes, it’s a blurry photo. It’s a digital camera zoomed to its limit, and this is the best of about 20 pics.

Update: I got a promise of a site visit from this! Next week!

Fencing Photo

it's not keeping things in or out, it just is

As promised, a picture of the fabled fence, at least some of it. The land falls off about 1/2 way down, so the far end is over the horizon.

It’s not attached to the t-posts yet, but I’m working on that. And, the wire is called “Hog wire” by someone who should know.


and not that done with epees, either. Good old t-post agricultural fencing.

I have learned the following lessons:
1. T posts have small plates on the bottom. Their spacing up from the bottom is variable, so don’t count on burying the plate to tell you if it’s deep enough. Or, more to the point, too deep.
2. No two t-posts will sink to the same depth. They defy all attempts at uniformity.
2.a. The only thing worse than a t-post too deep is digging out a t-post.
2.b. Despite wearing good gloves turned inside out, using a pick-axe will give you blisters.
3. Power augers are way cool, and are an excellent way to bore holes for the big wooden posts that are needed as anchors at the ends of the run.
3.a. Power augers have a love-hate relationship with tree roots: they love to hang on, and hate to let go. It takes a big pipe wrench and a cheater bar to separate them.
4. Always talk to the seasoned fellow at Tractor Supply. I learned more about fence building in 5 minutes with him than 6 hours on the internet. His name is Doug, ask for him.
5. A 21 year old son is a very useful addition to a fence-building team, and is a very strong worker. (Thanks, Bob!).
6. Fencing pliers are a must. They can do things with wire I had no idea was possible. Buy a pair for your helper.
7. Use good chain to attach your puller-device to the fence when tensioning; the cheap stuff left over from kids’ swings will unravel dangerously.
7.a. Throw the cheap chain away when you’re done, as it’s all streched out.
8. Nothing like actual labor to make you appreciate how out of shape you are.

260+ feet of fence in about 3 days of not killing ourselves, and saved about $1,500 of savings from the bid.

Pics to follow.


vandalism of a formerly great sports team Vandalism has hit us today. My wife is a fan of a formerly-great football team which has fallen on hard times. She has had a Broncos sticker on her car for a few months, and except for random gunfire from Cowboys fans, it’s never been an issue. Until today.

Somebody apparently took a Sharpie and defamed her sports team. She’s been running errands most of the day in my car, so she hasn’t seen it yet. She’s going to be very very angry when she finds this out!

Update: this was, of course, an April Fool’s joke. She says she wasn’t taken in by my pathetic attempt at photoshopping the logo. She’s a good sport, though!

Helpful Hints

no sequins for me
When you get new leather gloves, turn them inside out, then use them as you usually would. This gets the seams off your skin, and puts the nice, soft leather surface against your hands. Fewer blisters this way, and the gloves definitely feel better on the hand.

I learned this trick from professional forest firefighters, and I now apply it to all my new gloves. (Except the gloves I use at work: no seams).

I’ll tell you why I need new gloves later!