Archive for August, 2005


Situation Critical – Emergency Mobilization Underway

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The Friend of the Red Cross have united and are contributing to the disaster in Louisiana in unprecedented ways. Yet still there is need for more help. I have several comments about the disaster that may go against the grain of most commentators concerning this tragedy in our Gulf States.

Personally I do not attribute the flooding in New Orleans to the hurricane that recently swept through the area. What you say – surely the hurricane “caused” all of this flooding and destruction to the city. No that is incorrect, you heard this rightly, the hurricane did not cause the flooding and disaster in New Orleans. For a full account of the history of the gulf city I refer you to an NPR article by David Kestenbaum.

Despite the controversy over how to fix the problem in the dike, there are thousands of people stranded and in need of basic necessities. The Red Cross can help. The following is a plea from the folks at The Red Cross:

Thousands of desperate families are taking refuge from
Hurricane Katrina in more than 230 Red Cross shelters in the
affected areas.

— American Red Cross is launching the largest mobilization
of resources for a single natural disaster in our history.

— We’re preparing 500,000 hot meals a day to serve to
survivors who have no where else to turn.

— Several hundred emergency vehicles and thousands of ARC
staff and volunteers have been deployed from around the
country for immediate emergency assistance.

Red Cross disaster response teams are deploying to the
hardest hit communities to distribute drinking water and
other supplies to victims who were unable to flee from

Contributions are urgently needed to support the Red Cross
Disaster Relief Fund.

Categories : General
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Last Days at Arrowhead Regional

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The end of the month is soon coming and the clinical rotation at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center is coming to an end. Gina Wald and I have been there for the past four months during our second General Surgery Anesthesia rotation and we both have enjoyed being at Arrowhead – for many reasons. Now that the time has come to wind up our clinical experience there, a time of reflection is coming.

David at Arrowhead

Today there is real food for thought on where we have been and where we are going in the growth process during our nurse anesthesia training. For regular general surgery cases for the normal person I am feeling that I can handle this just fine. We call these patients ASA class I or II. For these patients and the surgical procedures that are the norm both Gina and I feel that we need very little help in the management of the anesthetic. Today was a different day.

There is still a lot of growth that needs to take place for the sicker patients. The Whipple surgery that I participated in today is a good example of what I need to further learn. All of the line placements were difficult for me today. In this poor 83-year-old man with pancreatic cancer we placed a thoracic epidural catheter, central venous IV access and attempted an arterial line. They were all difficult for me. The anesthesia was not a problem but the technical skills involved in the line placement were. So you see there is always room to grow. For me there is a lot of room. I am just very glad that Dr. Enwall has chosen to put me in the difficult rooms where the cases are tough. That is a good thing because I was getting a little tired of all of the ortho cases.

David At Arrowhead

I will miss Arrowhead and remember it fondly. The rest of this years clinical rotations will bring so much. I will remember Arrowhead and the people that have taught me so much about anesthesia.

Categories : Anesthesia
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Inner Peace

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This is courtesy Ida, a good friend of mine

By following the simple advice I heard on a Dr. Phil Show, I have finally found inner peace. Dr. Phil proclaimed the way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started.

So I looked around my house to see things I started and hadn’t finished; and, before leaving the house this morning I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, a bottle of Baileys, a bottle of Kahlua, a package of Oreo’s, the rest of the Cheesecake, some Saltines and a box of Godiva Chocolates.

You have no idea how good I feel.

Please pass this on to those you feel are in need of inner peace.

Categories : General
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More Balboa Island Trip stuff

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Originally uploaded by DavidGodden.

I just finished setting up my flicker account where you can view lots of photos. Here is a post from flickr directly to the weblog. Pretty cool I think.

You will find flickr to be useful and a productive tool for photo sharing.

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Balboa Island Trip

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The trip to Newport Beach and Balboa Island this past Friday was really fantastic. Xiao Hui and Rebecca had a great time on the Ferris wheel ride overlooking the bay in front of Balboa Island before we took the ferry across the water to visit the little village there. To view the entire photo trip go to Flicker.

Rebecca at Balboa Island1

The Ferry Ride to the Island is really cheap – costing only less than a dollar American for a passenger and about one buck for a car. I guess the volume makes up for the cheap tickets. Once on Balboa Island the “cheap” factor goes out the window. A couple of years ago the median priced cottage was a couple of million dollars. Who knows what the current prices are for these wonderful little get-away vacation homes. If ever I win the Big Lottery I will be sure and get one of these babies. Spending a couple of months on the Island would be a wonderful way to spend the summer here in Southern California. The weather is just about perfect in Newport Beach area during the hot summer months. The winter would be a different story altogether. Actually, now that the subject of ideal vacation spots has come up maybe Balboa Island is not the “perfect” get-away spot after all. Possibly Fire Island off the coast of New York or maybe the Hampton’s or somewhere in Bermuda could vie for the top spots. Me, I’m too inexperienced in these things to even know.

Jennifer at Balboa Island1
Jennifer on the beach at Balboa Island while I sing – “Isn’t she lovely”.

Going to Balboa Island is like that – you start dreaming about a different life with unlimited possibilities. Eventually the Ferry ride takes you back to the real world and the traffic. Its amazing how little traffic is on that Island. There seems to be lots of cars but the streets are quiet and the pace is a lot slower than just across the bay.

Check the rest of the pictures they are quiet cute.

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WordPress 1.5.2 “Strayhorn” Upgrade

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I finally bit the bullet and did a compete backup of the web site and upgraded the software to the newest version of WordPress. You can download WordPress 1.5.2 “Strayhorn” here and try it out. Like the man said, “Kick the tires and take her out for a spin Buddy”. I can guarantee that you will like it.

For those that do not know what is being discussed, WordPress is the software that is used to drive this web site, run the blog and manage all of the content on the site. For me it is wonderful and my hat is off to Matt and the rest of the WordPress crew.

The upgrade was needed for the security improvements that have been made in the software and to iron out a couple of little bugs with the older version. Suffice it to say I am very happy with WordPress – the best thing for a web master since sliced bread.

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Hawkin 54 Caliber Black Powder

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54 Caliber Hawkin

54 Caliber Hawkin black powder rifle in full glory

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Voices of Experience

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The Voices of Experience is a testimony to those that have worked the hardest for the welfare of the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Community. This current testimony is from the California Association of Nurse Anesthetists web page. It is also recorded at the web site.

Provider of Distinction:
Christopher Stein, CRNA, MS

Chris Stein at USC Graduation 2004Born in the small farming town of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, Christopher Stein, CRNA, MS, developed a disciplined and strong, early to bed, early to rise, Midwestern work ethic. By age 17, Chris knew that he wanted to make a difference in the lives of others and chose to demonstrate his dedication by volunteering to serve his country and enlisted in the United States Navy. Chris met his wife Ann during his tour of duty in the Navy. She, too, had chosen to make a difference in the world by serving her country. Finding that they both had so much in common, Chris and Ann married before leaving the Navy in 1977. After joining civilian life, Chris worked as a mechanic in a foundry to support his growing family while Ann attended nursing school.

Following nursing school graduation it was Ann’s turn to support Chris while he attended the University of Wisconsin’s Nursing Program. In 1986, Chris started practicing nursing in the pediatric intensive care unit (ICU) at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center. Several years later, Chris set his sights on becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and entered the UCLA Program of Nurse Anesthesia. His first experience as a CRNA was at UCLA-Olive View Medical Center where he worked his way up to the top position of Chief CRNA while also maintaining a clinical faculty position for the UCLA Program of Nurse Anesthesia. For the last 5 years Chris has been the Chief CRNA for the Northridge Pain Management and Surgery Center, and a clinical faculty member for the University of Southern California (USC) Program of Nurse Anesthesia.

Chris became involved in the California Association of Nurse Anesthetists (CANA) immediately after graduating from the UCLA Program of Nurse Anesthesia. He started out on the public relations committee, and served as the public relations committee chairperson. As he became more familiar and interested in the issues facing CRNAs, Chris was voted in as a trustee, followed by vice-president, president-elect, and finally president of CANA. After his term as president ended, Chris assumed the position as 3-year director for CANA. This position, he feels, is his favorite position within CANA because he has acquired first-hand knowledge and experience of every position inside CANA while at the same time developing a global understanding of the issues facing CRNAs in California.

When asked to look back over his career and articulate the highlights, Chris replied that he had four experiences that will always fill him with great memories and grant him a sense of accomplishment. First, despite the challenges of his work for CANA, Chris was able to get people to see differing points of view while still trying to bring people together. Second, Chris was instrumental in developing the CANA Foundation – a foundation dedicated to providing financial stability to CANA, and also to sponsor student scholarship and research. Third, he is proud to be able to provide safe, excellent, anesthesia care and alleviate pain for people undergoing surgery or pain management procedures. Fourth, Chris spoke of what a tremendous honor it was to be the keynote speaker at the graduation celebration of the University of Southern California (USC) Program of Nurse Anesthesia. While presenting his opening statements Chris looked out over the audience and realized the importance he played in preparing the next generation of CRNAs, and what a tremendous legacy that was to leave behind as a gift to the world.

We appreciate the sacrifices Chris has made to our profession, and we find it a great honor to have him within our ranks. Thank you Chris.

Categories : Anesthesia
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The Los Angeles County Arboretum

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This past week our Chinese visitors were able to take a little trip to the Los Angeles County Arboretum here in Arcadia. The botanical gardens are local, cheap and a highly recommended visit is called for especially when the weather is moderate.

The start of any day is best served with fresh coffee from the Coffee Bean in Sierra Madre. The coffee bean has been visited by some very famous persons including my mom. Last year we were able to go up there to the quant little coffee shop together.

This was the first visit for Xiao Hui to the Coffee Bean and the little town of Sierra Madre which by the way is one of the oldest settlements here along the San Bernardino ridge just to the East of Los Angeles.

Coffee Bean with Xiao Hui

The Los Angeles Arboretum is a wonderful place to spend a pleasant afternoon. The flowers and trees are spectacular at every season. The planning of the gardens is such that something is blooming almost year round. Having Xiao Hui here was a perfect excuse to visit again after several years away.



One of the features of the Arboretum is the wild Peacocks that roam across the gardens and lawns of the place. In many places we could see little chicks following their hen mothers in groups of 5 or 6. Good thing they did not decide to start their racket. From what I understand they can make a lot of noise especially around 4:30 in the morning.


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Mahatma Gandhi -An Average Man

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I found this writing on An Average Man by Nadesan Satyendra during a Google search. Average has many meanings and for me Gandhi typifies what this is when I speak of the Average Man’s life. I have posted the bulk of the essay below:

Mahatma Gandhi – An Average Man by Nadesan Satyendra
10 February 1869 – 30 January 1948

Gandhi’s Daily Resolution:

Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day

An Average Man GandhiI shall not fear anyone on earth
I shall fear only God
I shall not bear ill toward anyone
I shall not submit to injustice from anyone
I shall conquer untruth by truth
And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering

Mahatma Gandhi was an Average Man – at least, that is how he regarded himself. He laid no claim to be either a saint or a mahatma. He declared with humility:

“I claim to be no more than an average man with less than average ability. Nor can I claim any special merit for such non-violence or continence as I have been able to reach with laborious research. I have not the shadow of a doubt that any man or woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith. Work without faith is like an attempt to reach the bottom of a bottomless pit.”

These words were not the expression of a pretentious modesty. They reflected Gandhi’s fundamental conviction that each one of us can achieve that which he had achieved – and more. For Gandhi, life was a permanent experiment with truth. He walked his talk – and where his walk did not coincide with his talk, he changed either his walk or his talk.

“I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough in me to confess my errors and to retrace my steps. I own that I have an immovable faith in God and His goodness and unconsumable passion for truth and love. But, is that not what every person has latent in him?”

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