The Untold Story of the Battle of Camp Bastion

One year ago this month, under cover of night, fifteen Taliban, dressed as American soldiers, snuck onto one of the largest air bases in Afghanistan. What followed was a bloody confrontation highlighting a startling security lapse, with hundreds of millions in matériel lost in a matter of hours—the worst day for American airpower since the Tet Offensive. Yet the attack faded from view before anyone could figure out what went wrong. For the first time, Matthieu Aikins relives those heart-pounding moments and offers an extraordinary account of the Battle of Bastion

via The Untold Story of the Battle of Bastion.

Amazingly well written story of close combat by air wing Marines.

Fuel Fix » Texas pumping more oil than some OPEC countries

Fracking isn’t just for natural gas.

We all know oil production in Texas has soared in recent years. But putting the rise in graphic form shows just how phenomenal the energy turnaround has been: The surge looks exponential.


via Fuel Fix » Texas pumping more oil than some OPEC countries.

Out where I grew up they’re redrilling a lot of the original straight-down oil wells, doing the horzontal drilling with it then fracking. Played-out ares are now big producers.

Terrible: Midland, TX Parade float with Soldiers and families aboard hit by train


This is early reporting, more surely to come. All from @OACrime (alerted by @OACourts)

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Update: Best of luck to the injured, and to Midland Memorial Hospital (Where I once worked).


From KOSA:

MIDLAND – CBS 7 has just learned that a train has slammed into the “Hunt for Heroes” parade procession. Reports from the scene tell us that at least nine people have been seriously hurt in the wreck that happened at the train tracks near the intersection of Garfield and Highway 80.


UPDATE 6:00 PM ***
Police Chief Price Robinson tells CBS 7 four confirmed dead 16 injured.


US Army: Brigadier general has died in Afghanistan

Natural causes.

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) – A 49-year-old brigadier general who died Friday in Afghanistan of apparent natural causes is likely the highest-ranking military officer to die in that conflict, according to military records.

via US Army: Brigadier general has died in Afghanistan.

At 49. Wow.


Condolences to his family.

Your Feel Good story of the week: Actions that make heroes |

Good for the Warrant Officer:

A historic Colt .45-caliber, semi-automatic pistol stolen more than 30 years ago from a Medal of Honor winner in South Carolina has been returned to its rightful owner.

The gun and owner were reunited after a history buff in Medford, who bought the old handgun in an online auction last month, tracked down the retired Marine whose name is engraved on it.

via Actions that make heroes |

Go, and read how Former Marine (and then US Navy Warrant Officer) George Berry did this wonderful thing.

HT: Jim in Plano


These are the people Memorial Day is for.


In Memory of SPC David Lee Leimbach

Read it and just try not to weep.

North Korea Tests a Nuke

Columbus day in the US, celebrating the Old World’s discovery of a new world.

And, another new world dawns: North Korea announces their first nuclear weapons test.

The USGS page, confirming a seismic event of 4.2 magnitude, has maps.


I’d be willing to bet a lot of people on the Pacific rim didn’t get much sleep last night.

Update: in the chance this was a fizzle and not fissile, maybe someone was trying to dismantle it.

When Nurses Fight Back, Volume 2

An update to an earlier post, thanks to Alwin.


On September 8th, CNN reported this:

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — A nurse returning from work discovered an intruder armed with a hammer in her home and strangled him with her bare hands, police said.

Guess what?  He was a hired killer, sent to end the life of our brave nurse by her ex-husband!

Michael James Kuhnhausen Sr. first hired Edward Dalton Haffey to mop up the mess at Fantasy Adult Video.

Police say he then hired Haffey, a convicted felon with a long criminal history, to kill his wife.

Kuhnhausen, the estranged husband of the emergency room nurse who strangled an intruder in her Southeast Portland home last week, was charged early Thursday with criminal conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder.

Detectives say Michael Kuhnhausen, 58, helped disarm the security alarm at the Southeast Alder Street home earlier in the day and let Haffey in. Haffey waited with yellow rubber gloves and a claw hammer for at least four hours until Susan Kuhnhausen arrived home from work.

(click the Oregonian logo above to read the whole story).

Read to the end for her new answering machine message.


Wow.  I guess he didn’t warn his hired killer she was tough.

When Nurses Fight Back

via CNN: Police: Nurse, 51, kills intruder with bare hands

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — A nurse returning from work discovered an intruder armed with a hammer in her home and strangled him with her bare hands, police said.

Susan Kuhnhausen, 51, ran to a neighbor’s house after the confrontation Wednesday night. Police found the body of Edward Dalton Haffey 59, a convicted felon with a long police record.

Haffey, about 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, had convictions including conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, robbery, drug charges and possession of burglary tools. Neighbors said Kuhnhausen’s size — 5-foot-7 and 260 pounds — may have given her an advantage.

“Everyone that I’ve talked to says ‘Hurray for Susan,’ said neighbor Annie Warnock, who called 911.

“You didn’t need to calm her. She’s an emergency room nurse. She’s used to dealing with crisis.”

I have ticked off nurses before, and wondered if they could actually kill me.  Now I know.

hat tip to reader Andy


Rain is one of those all-or-nothing phenomenon here and we’re finally getting a little of it here in North Texas.  After a ridiculous number of dry days, and an even more ridiculous number of consecutive days greater than 100F, we’ve been given a reprieve by the Rain Governor: water is falling from the sky.  Temps are down, sanity has begun to return in the ED (okay, it’s relative there).

Oh, our reservoirs are still fantastically behind, and the ground looks like Apollo 11 moon dust  when trodden upon (just like it does in Fort Stockton; story some day), but at least we’re getting some water.

Weird how the end of a drought can make your week.

(picture from the WeatherBug)

Steve Irwin Dies

The Crocodile Hunter died, and not by a croc.  By a stingray barb:

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Steve Irwin, the Australian television personality and environmentalist known as the “Crocodile Hunter,” was killed Monday by a stingray during a diving expedition, Australian media said. He was 44.

Irwin was filming an underwater documentary on the Great Barrier Reef in northeastern Queensland state when the accident occurred, Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on its Web site.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. said Irwin was diving near Low Isles near the resort town of Port Douglas, about 1,260 miles north of Brisbane.

A helicopter carrying paramedics flew to the island, but he died from a stingray barb to the heart, ABC reported on its Web site.

Pericardial tamponade is the diagnosis that jumps to mind, though there are several others. 

Update: Dr. Rangel has the analysis covered here. (via Kevin, MD)

Petty Annoyances

When I gripe, frankly it’s like the things and people you gripe about, just in my situation.  It’s the 1/10th of a percent who make you wonder why you do you job, as they can suck they joy out of any moment.  If you work with the public in any way, you know how easy it is to generalize that ‘everyone is an idiot’, and that’s bad for your practice as a doc and your soul as a person.  Sometimes t’s hard to remember that.

This is not to say that the unpleasant experiences don’t happen; they do.  This is not to say there aren’t decidedly unpleasant people; there are.  Stress ‘accentuates the personality’, and some personalities don’t need sharpening to cause pain.

I tell you this to explain, oddly, why I’ve decided not to rant about some recent interactions with the people referenced above.  The rant is my post of choice, and it’s odd but I don’t want to right now.  That’ll change, but it’s foregone currently.

Maybe I’m growing up, or old, or just bored / boring, but for now I’m going to let it go.

Three D’s of Effective Leadership

Today, while performing a reduction and splinting, I decided it was time to enlighten my nurse and tech with some leadership education: Specifically, the Three D’s of Effective Leadership.  (I didn’t spend all those years in uniform for nothing).

I elected to share them with you when, on going back to the patient’s room, the patient’s family member asked me to recount them so he had them right (he wasn’t asleep during the reduction, like the patient).  Smart fellow, and attentive.  He has them and it’s only fair you do, too.

So, here they are, the Three D’s of Effective Leadership: Decide, Delegate, and Disappear

Decide: you cannot lead without making a decision.
Delegate: Leadership is different from management.  Delegate so you can Lead.
Disappear: Nobody goes to the delegate when the leader is around.  Let the delegate work.

So, there you are.  Use your new powers for good, and not evil.

The Year In Military Heroism

Riehl World View: 2005: The Year In Military Heroism

A review of those awarded decorations, many posthumously, in the service of their country.

American Red Cross

I’ve decided to take the American Red Cross off the top of the left sidebar today, but still fully endorse them.

(Why are you taking it off then?)

Sidebars aren’t static and neither am I. Time waits for no one, and giving the ARC money for disaster relief is a wonderful thing.

Give for Disaster Relief

American Red Cross: Together, we can save a life

So: Give, give generously, and enjoy your good fortune. Hope that some day, you’re not the one counting on the good fortune of others, and their willingness to part with theirs.