Archive for January, 2011

…and it all falls down….!

Posted: January 29, 2011 in medical, Photography

A few years ago, I did a short stint in Welkom, a small mining town some 300 km from johannesburg.

One day, i was fortunate enough to watch a demolition of an old building, and I had a perfect birds eye view, as i was standing right next to the dude that had the honour of pushing the button..


Injured bird…

Posted: January 28, 2011 in Photography

The hazards of owning cats…are the victims!

aaahhhh…

Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its precepts (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge – which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.

Freemasonry instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: it seeks to reinforce thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches and practices concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need. (http://www.ugle.org.uk)

Now, Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. It’s essential qualification opens it to men of many religions and it expects them to continue to follow their own faith. It does not allow religion to be discussed at its meetings.

Once a mason decides to progress into side degrees, he may. Some of which follow Christian values.

The ‘Rose Croix’ Degree is the 18th degree of a Christian Order of Masonry

The complete Order comprises thirty-three degrees. The first three degrees of Craft Masonry are;

1st degree: Entered Apprentice

2nd degree:  Fellow Craft

3rd degree: Master Mason.

From this point, a Freemason may choose the route to be taken for his own growth in the Craft, for knowledge and self-fulfilment.

I initially chose the Royal Arch route, so my career in Masonry may grow to the Knights Templar. Now I am a Knight, I felt it was time to grow further…and so last night I became an 18th degree mason and became an Excellent and Perfect Prince.

Now, as explained when I became a Knight Templar, I cannot explain what the ceremony entailed, due to the Masonic obligation I have taken, so the info I have just given, is freely available to the public.

What I will say, however, is the ceremony of the 18th degree, seeks the Perfection of Christian virtues.

It is an immensely thought provoking, impressive and beautiful ceremony which instils a warmth of Brotherly love, on which the whole Masonic movement is founded.

A moment I truly enjoyed and am very glad I have done this, just prior to my installation. (This will be explained shortly)

the collar of an 18th degree Freemason

Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) (also known as Rabbie Burns), was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide His poem (and song) Auld Lang Syne which is often sung on the last day of the year.

Robert Burns was initiated into Masonic Lodge St David on 4 July 1781, when he was 22. He was passed and raised on 1 October 1781. Later his lodge became dormant and Burns joined Lodge St James Tarbolton Kilwinning.

Although regularly meeting in Tarbolton, the “Burns Lodge” also removed itself to hold meetings in Mauchline. During 1784 he was heavily involved in Lodge business, attending all nine meetings, passing and raising brethren and generally running the Lodge. In 1785 he was equally involved as Depute Master, where he again attended all nine lodge meetings amongst other duties of the Lodge. During 1785 he initiated and passed his brother Gilbert being raised on 1 March 1788.

 

On the morning of 21 July 1796, Robert Burns died in Dumfries at the age of 37

On the anniversary of his birth, at the first meeting of the year, Scottish Masonic lodges both at home and abroad celebrate Robert Burns with a supper, where they address the haggis (containing sheep’s pluck( heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal’s stomach for approximately three hours), the ladies and whisky.

 

The bagpipers playing beautiful traditional highland tunes


The ceremonial haggis

W. Bro Bill Barry giving the traditional “address to the Haggis”

W. Bro Joe Sturgeon  reciting the “Immortal Memory”

 

W. Bro Alex Moir reciting and giving a fantastic performance of the “Tam O’ Shanter”

 

Our little painter…

Posted: January 12, 2011 in Family
Tags: ,

It was decided that Erin’s swing needed repainting…so…naturally, she decided it would be HER job…

 

hmmm, I wonder…

h

A word of advice…

Posted: January 10, 2011 in medical

I am your mostly-friendly, only-slightly bitter, humble neighborhood paramedic.

I work long hours under high stress for mediocre wages.

I’ve done this for 16 years. I suppose I love my job;

I’ve gotten to do some amazing things.

I enjoy saving lives.

It’s more rewarding than anything I’ve ever done.

In this business, seconds count.

Anyway, please make my life and the lives of my colleagues slightly easier. Here are a few helpful suggestions:

1. PULL TO THE LEFT AND STOP & OPEN THE MIDDLE OF BOTH LANES.

I am driving with lights and sirens for a reason and not just because it makes me look cool (though I do admit, it is kind of fun).

Just because I get to weave around you does not mean you can do the same to me.

Please don’t cut me off, drive on oblivious to my presence, or try to sneak through the intersection while I’m trying to clear it.

Don’t get annoyed and cast angry glances and gestures at me.

I’m sorry you’re going to be two minutes late to your manicure appointment.

I promise I’ll make it up to you. Send me your address and I’ll write you an apology.

Hell, just to make sure you know I’m really sorry, I’ll have the six year-old in respiratory arrest I’m transporting write you one, too.

2. PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, BE CLEAR WHERE YOU ARE.

I’m good at finding big landmarks (office buildings, towers, major stores). Houses and smaller places are a bit tougher.

Additionally, people these days are privacy obsessed, and I guess this trend has extended to marking their addresses in the most obscure places.

We have GPS, Map book Guides, and all sorts of other stuff, but it only helps so much.

Have someone flag us down if possible, especially at night.

At the very least, describe your place to the dispatcher. I really hate driving by your house five times blaring my siren looking like a complete dumbass.

3. THINK BEFORE YOU CALL The Emergency Call Center.

It’s a number for EMERGENCIES. Chest pain is an emergency. A major, bloody trauma is an emergency.

A toothache at 4 a.m. is NOT an emergency. Your sick dog is NOT an emergency (though don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, too).

No I’m not a mobile pharmacy dispatched to satisfy your morning narcotic cravings.

Also, please don’t use me for “bum control.” I will not whisk away the smelly homeless person camped out in your entryway just because you call him in as unconscious. Chances are, I’ll wake him up, confirm that he was only sleeping, and let him go about his business. Call the police if you want him arrested for trespassing; better yet, just ask him to skedaddle.

4. I AM A COMPASSIONATE PERSON.

I love people. I love helping people. However, compassion for stupidity is hard to find at three am when you wake me up from a great dream involving Jessica Alba, Sienna Miller, me, and the neighbor’s hot tub. Please be understanding.

5. PLEASE KEEP THE EMOTIONS IN-LINE WITH THE EMERGENCY.

It’s ok to be a little panicky, agitated and emotional during times like this.

Who could ever blame you? But please, don’t start hyperventilating and pass out over a sprained ankle…especially if you are just the bystander.

6. I DO ALL I CAN FOR EVERY PATIENT DURING EVERY CALL EVERY TIME.

I am a medical professional, believe it or not. I’m not an idiot. I have my honours degree,  and many many hours of further continuous training. I run over 2000 Emergency calls a year, We have protocols to follow. If everything I can do is not enough, sorry. Believe me, I’m frustrated, too; I wish I could do more.

7. TO THE IDIOTS WHO GET INTO DRUNKEN FIGHTS AFTER LAST CALL.

There is no more need to talk all big and tough, cursing and puffing your chest out, once you’re in the back of the ambulance under my care.

I’m treating you most likely because YOU SUCK AT FIGHTING. Who are you kidding; you’re not so tough.

Your improvised Kung Fu really wasn’t a challenge for the 150 kg. bouncer. Also, FYI, I bench over 120 kg, I’m trained in Krav Magra, I’m sober, and I’m wearing steel-toed combat boots. I really don’t think your inebriated, chain-smoking ass could take me.

So shut up, stop cursing, and hold still while I try to patch up what’s left of your face.

What, the alcohol pad stings? Ahh shame, What happened to the tough guy who thought he could beat up the world a few minutes ago?

8. BE NICE, RESPECTFUL, AND POLITE TO ME,

and I’ll be the same. The meaner you are to me, the larger the needle I use to start your IV.

9. IF POSSIBLE PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE TO VOMIT.

I hate puke. I hate the smell, look, and pretty much everything else about puke. Please let me get you a vomit bucket. Better yet, if you really must vomit, please direct it towards the unhelpful, mean, or rude bystanders on scene. I’ll be more than happy to help you do this.

10. TO THE OBLIVIOUS OFFICE WORKERS SQUEEZING THEIR WAY ON TO AN ELEVATOR WHILE I’M WITH A PATIENT.

I don’t care if you only need to go a couple of floors. While you think this may only cause a few seconds of delay, honestly, it takes far less time for me to shove your ass out of the car. I’m not here pounding on this patient’s chest for my own entertainment.

You can wait for the next one.

11. STOP ASKING ME ABOUT THE WORST THING I’VE EVER SEEN, DEAD PEOPLE STORIES, OR OTHER DISTURBING :

We all have repressed memories, and I work especially hard at repressing many of mine.

I really don’t like talking about death. I got into this business to save lives, not to kill people. Please satisfy your morbidity somewhere else.

Please help me help you. Thank you. And please remember to pull over for lights and sirens.

Oh..and BUCKLE THOSE KIDS IN!

 

(adapted from the original sent from a colleague in the United States)

Today I visited a very special person. A person that I met 6 years ago, whilst on duty, going about my daily routine, responding to accident, shootings, to chest pain to asthma attack.

On the 11 September 2004, this healthy young lad, just 4 months old, was in his car seat, in the back of mom and dads car, going home. Dad stopped at a red robot…and then…his entire world was turned upside down.

A car came flying up behind them, and smashed into the back of his car, completely destroying the back of his car, ripping his car seat away from the structure.

He sustained a very severe head injury. I arrived on scene, assessed, stabilized which included passing a breathing tube into the trachea (Endotracheal tube) and ventilated him to the trauma unit. The prognosis was very bad, severe multiple brain bleeds filled his little head. The doctors said that he had a 5% chance of survival….

But the family wouldn’t accept that. They prayed day in and day out.Everyday I visited, mom was by his side, praying some more. And just when all hope was gone, a miracle happened.

He opened his eyes.

And so started a very long recovery period. This young lad was released from hospital, and from that day, for the last 6 years has undergone extensive physiotherapy. He flew off to China, where he underwent Stem Cell Treatment, saw specialists in Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and now Johannesburg. His brain damage resulted in blindness as a result of optic nerve damage, and is mentally and physically disabled. He has multiple seizures daily, and is 100% dependent on mom.

I have thought about this young man for the last 6 years. Every day he has been on my mind, the one case that has always had me wondering and thinking and worrying. One day last year, while thinking about that accident, I felt inspired to write a poem.  https://carlsstuff.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/that-special-one/ And after another posting, My sister Jeanette searched the Net, and found him for me. So after contacting his mom, Lisa, I planned a visit. A visit that I was expecting to be very emotional. But…it wasn’t, in fact, it was the complete opposite.

Today i saw Keanu Santos for the first time in 6 years. A patient I had treated, that affected me greatly, that inspired me to continue working the road, and help these little precious people.

and let me tell you. WOW. What an amazingly happy boy. In his own way, he communicates with his mom, and watching these two with each other, you cant help not feel the love. Its all powerful, this bond between mom and son. Yes, he is handicapped, yes he is blind…but he is ALIVE, both physically and in personality. It just makes all I see on the road, all worthwhile.

(picture courtesy of Lisa Santos)

I do know that Lisa would like to send him to Germany for further Stem Cell Treatment, which will obviously cost a fortune. I hope this comes through for him.

His story can be found on http://keanusantos.webs.com

I am very glad I visited him today, and will definitely do so again, and I take my hat off to Lisa, for being such a strong and loving mother. And to you Lisa, well done for placing him in a car seat that and every other day. All parents should take heed, and follow your example. If he had not been in one; he wouldn’t be here today.