If you have something to say, post a comment. I will not respond to anonymous commenters, so if you care to joust with the GROUCH, open yourself a FREE GMAIL account and get yourself an ID so I'll know who you are.

If you'd like to be a guest contributor, email me at:
ka4p1@hotmail.com
Opinions of the guests are not necessarily the opinion of the GROUCH!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Up on the Roof

This evening we spent some time up on the Roof of the Peabody Hotel where we were entertained by a band called the Ugli Stick. Well, they indeed weren't much to look at.

Ugli Stick

Our friends, Mark and Denise.

Us.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chest Pain Conference

Well, we just arrived in Memphis a little while ago for the Society of Chest Pain Centers conference. Right now I'm kicked back in a fancy hotel room in the Peabody downtown. Me and sweet wifey had a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant downstairs and then we took a leisurely stroll down Beale street. There were bands set up in the alley ways shouting the blues.

Whew! Life's tough, but someone has to do it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Great Pretender

A familiar sight around here in the spring and summer time is the Eastern Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa virginica. I have always found these creatures fascinating mainly due to their behavior.

I'll bet most of you are familiar with the male (drone) of the species. The males are large and have the appearance of bumblebees. Carpenter Bees have a slick, black abdomen unlike Bumblebees which have fuzzy abdomens, and a large white or yellow square spot on their heads. They also tend to get your attention in that they are very curious of anything that moves in the close vicinity of their nest or favorite flowers and are frequently perceived by humans as quite aggressive.

Actually, the drones are only aggressive to other drones who might try to suck up to the females. I have been amused by these drones hovering right in front of me as I walk down the pier at the marina, trying to block my way on the catwalk. Not to worry, the drones have no stinger so they could do no damage even if they wanted to. It is strictly all for show.

In the insect world, drones are historically lazy and useless, their only real function is to mate with a female. The Carpenter Bee drones are no different. They are strong pollinators and drink nectar from flowers, but this behavior is strictly for their own self preservation. They make no contribution to the nest. I am sure that many of the femi-nazis out there view us white Anglosaxon males as useless drones.

Female Carpenter Bees have a stinger but are totally non aggressive and there are accounts of them even being touched by humans without retaliation. They usually spend time boring holes in wood where they make their nests, nourish their larvae, and hibernate. They also pollinate flowers and collect nectar but in the case of the females, for the benefit of the nest.

The females will bore holes in the wood (they do not eat wood) and often leave a pile of sweepings (sawdust) underneath their holes. There has been concern of damage to structures caused by Carpenter Bees, but in reality more damage is frequently caused by woodpeckers that go after the larvae.

Painting or staining wood tends to deter the bees. Some have found that providing several pieces of bare wood for them will tend to move them away from important structures. Old sheds or barns tend to be havens for Carpenter Bees.

So the next time you see this large black shiny bee hovering in your path, smile and go about your merry way without fear. Alas, the drone is simply a great pretender and another one of God's amazing creations.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's all a matter of perspective...


Well the big uproar today is the Swine Flu. I read that 80 people in Mexico had died. I could not find a figure on how many cases had been reported. Before your butt starts to work buttonholes over this, lets look back through history at a few notable pandemics:

Hong Kong Flu - 1968-69 - 34,000 dead in the Untied States.
Asian Flu - 1957-58 - 70,000 dead in the United States.
Spanish Flu - 1918-19 - 675,000 dead in the United States.

Now that sounds like a lot of dead people and I'm sure things were pretty bad during those outbreaks, BUT WAIT!

Let's take a look farther back through history.

Smallpox - During the first part of the 20th century it is estimated that smallpox killed between 300 and 500 million people. Of course it has been pretty much eradicated today.

Cholera - In the 19th century this disease killed about 40 million people in India alone. Many other pandemics and deaths occurred worldwide.

Typhoid Fever - 430 B.C. The disease killed over a quarter of the population of Athens, Greece, over a period of 4 years. It is thought that the disease was responsible for reducing Athens' influence as a world power at the time.

The Bubonic Plague, the Black Death - 541-750 A.D. also known as the Plague of Justinian. It started in the middle east, wiped out 40 percent of the population of Constantinople, 50 percent of the population of Europe, and 25 percent of the population of the known world. In 1348, the Black Death killed a third of the population of Europe.

So there ya go. Can you imagine the terror endured by the people during the dark ages as a third to half of their population died horrible deaths? Back then they didn't even know how or why! Today, plague is completely treatable and preventable. Typhoid is almost unheard of. Smallpox has been eradicated. Even viral illnesses such as flu have been diminished through effective antiviral drugs and vaccines.

So as the mainstream media and the federal gubment start to hit the panic button and encourage you to live in abject fear over the swine flu, just remember to keep everything in perspective.

Stay safe, stay healthy, eat right, and follow your doctor's advice.

When the swine flu has passed and it turns out not to be near the disaster it was forecast to be, Barack Obama and the gubment will no doubt take the credit and try again to make you believe that your very existence depends on the almighty federal gubment taking care of you!

Don't fall for it!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just for Fun

I been working on some designs for bidness cards for the band. Yall givem a look see and comment if you have a favorite.

Card #1

Card #2

Card #3: The skulls on this one kinda look like us when we're done playing.

Card #4, little wifey, oh so sweet, designed this one!

Card #5

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Piece of Shit, that's me!


Ya know, this job as an ER doctor can really be a load of laughs. This afternoon, some dude comes in alleging that his bottle of hydrocodone (a narcotic analgesic) was run over by a car and he needed me to prescribe some more for him. He even had a broken bottle (empty of course) and a handwritten note from a cop stating that his bottle had been run over by a car.


I've been a doctor for almost 30 years. I never remember anyone's blood pressure medicine or asthma medicine being lost, stolen, accidentally flushed, or run over by a car. However, it happens with startling regularity when narcotics or tranquilizers are involved.


When I told him I did not believe his story and that he was getting nothing, he let me know I was, "a piece of shit".


What really pisses me off is not being called a piece of shit, but the fact that these people wander in here thinking the ER is an after hours pain clinic and expect us to swallow their cock and bull stories. They seem to forget that I and most of my colleagues are pretty smart people. You don't get to be a doctor if you're not, and besides that, I've had 30 years of experience listening to bullshit. If it looks like a turd, sounds like a turd, smells like a turd......it's probably a turd, green flies and all.


I probably am a piece of shit, but he didn't get any hydrocodone...........ahhhhhhh hee hee hee hee hee.


Morbid Strangers, Pictures

Just for fun, there is a Morbid Strangers picture directory on my FLICKR page. Go HERE to look at all the pictures of the band. The most recent pictures will be toward the end of the set.

I've also put up a similar link in the left sidebar.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm Stoked!

What a great time we had last night rockin' the Boondocks with the Morbid Strangers! The walls of the little place were shaking and the rather sizable crowd was into us big time. Little sweet wifey was there too. I'm glad she got to hear me play but I'm so sorry I was such a burden keeping her out till 4am.......yawn! Next is the 412 Grill on May 8! I'm stoked!

The band.

More of the band.

Tony Hensley, guitar, bass, vocals.

ME! Bass, keyboards, vocals.

Guy Barber, lead guitar, vocals.

Scotty Raymer, rhythm guitar

James Cannon, lead vocals.

Tony Dee, drums, vocals. You can't see Tony in the pictures from last night cause he's in hiding behind the drums, but here he is now for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, April 17, 2009

So Long John


A familiar figure to football fans everywhere, John Madden, has announced retirement. I'll miss him and I'll have to say he made Sunday Night Football (used to be Monday Night Football) a lot more fun.

As a player, a coach, and a commentator, he blended just the right mix of knowledge, humor, personality, and excitment into each and every game. I always felt that I had learned a little something more about football after listening to him. Sunday Night Football won't be the same. Best wishes, John.

Amber Alerts on my NOAA Weather Radio! Why?

Last night the weather radio went off three times within 15 minutes to tell us about an amber alert on some kid in Memphis.

My questions:

1. What do amber alerts have to do with weather?

2. Why transmit amber alerts on NOAA weather radio?

3. Why do they broadcast the alert 3 times in 15 minutes?

4. Now that I have heard the amber alert, what am I gonna do about it anyway? Go out and search for the kid? Memphis is over 100 miles away from here!

So we ended up turning the NOAA radio off and likely won't remember to turn it back on for a few days. I wonder how many people have been surprised by a tornado cause they turned their weather radio off to not hear amber alerts?

I wonder what liberal came up with the idea of broadcasting amber alerts on NOAA weather radio?

A little while ago on my myspace page, I got a popup advising me there was an amber alert for my area.......

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.........

WARNING! Happy Right Wing Extremist


Well the Department of Homeland Security has declared that people who are pro-life and/or anti-immigrant may be a threat to national security. I guess that makes me a right wing extremist fanatic.

Here are a few other things I believe. See if you might be a right wing extremist fanatic too!

1. I believe in gun rights and the second amendment.
2. I believe the only function of the federal gubment should be to print money and defend the shores. Just think how small the federal budget would be if that was all it did. If the federal gubment is not given a power to perform a function by the constitution, it should not be performing that function. The federal gubment should mind its own business, get its hand out of my pocket and stay out of my way.
3. I believe in the power and the ingenuity of the individual and an economy driven by the free market. I do not believe in the gubment. The gubment creates nothing and the gubment produces nothing.
4. I believe public schools and the NEA should be disbanded and the entire education system privatized. Let schools compete against each other in the free market. Failing schools would quickly fall by the wayside.
5. I believe in peace through strength. There are bad people out there who want to kill us and hurt us simply because of who we are. Our military strength and technology should receive top priority. To give up our nuclear arsenal and talk to our enemies without precondition is a recipe for disaster.
6. The income tax and the IRS should be dissolved. Instead we should have the Fair Tax. Go HERE to read about it.

The federal gubment has become bloated and intrusive. Rick Perry, the governor of Texas declared that the federal gubment is intruding on the sovereignty of his state and suggested secession as a possible remedy. Many in the main stream media declared that Perry was a nut. I think he should be applauded and receive a medal.

Indeed the next civil war has begun. It won't be like the last one. It will be fought behind the scenes and from within. The bloated federal gubment will eventually collapse upon itself as it spends itself into oblivion as the people who prefer to sit on their respective asses with their hands out outnumber the hard working Americans who produce and drive this country forward.

So you're calling me a RIGHT WING EXTREMIST FANATIC?

You're damned right!

If you're a right wing extremist fanatic too, leave me a comment.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Let Us Rock Your World

Well, this Saturday night, the Strangers, oh so very Morbid, will be rocking the house at Boondock's Saloon in Bruceton, TN.

Come on over and join us for a night of music and fun.

Gimme a Break

Well I knew it was coming. I read this article today about the Somali pirates. I have been waiting for some pinko commie fagot to start raising hell at the navy seals for shooting the bastard pirates and not giving them a chance to surrender. This looks like a good start. I don't give a damn how many poor people there are over in Somalia, or what a tough break they have had. I believe people are born with an innate sense of right and wrong. Hijacking ships on the high seas and holding hostages for ransom is definitely wrong.

Kill the bastards!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Time for some Serious Butt Kicking

It is a joyous day. The Captain of the Maersk Alabama was rescued by our Navy Seals from the Somali pirates (terrorists), and three of the terrorist bastards were killed.

Now it is time to systematically eliminate the Somali terrorists lock, stock, and barrel. We might not get them all, but they should be made so fearful that they would crawl into their hidey holes for the next hundred or so years. Give the navy something useful to do out there in the Indian Ocean.

I'm of the opinion that abject fear should drive our foreign policy. Leveling a few Iranian or North Korean cities would go a long way into helping those people develop a right way of thinking.

Of course with Hussein in charge, it will never happen!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Puppies Past

After my post on our baby, Penelope, it's only fair that I remember past babies that have gone on to the rainbow bridge. Nothing specifically is mentioned in the Bible about an afterlife for our four legged friends, but I happen to believe that God in His infinite wisdom would provide a place for them and I hope let us enjoy their company once again when our time here is over. So with that here are some of our friends that sweet wifey and I remember so dearly:

PRISSY

Miss Prissy was actually our second beagle. We had a little beagle named Shorty who was dumped at our doorstep. We did not keep Shorty but ended up finding another home for him. Miss Prissy was beautiful, smart, and sweet. In fact, I think sweet wifey might have loved that dog more than me. She gave us nine years of joy. We lost her last November to heart and kidney failure.

PRECIOUS

Precious was a half German Shepherd, half lab mix. She gave us 13 years of joy. At her peak she was huge, weighing in at almost 150 puunds. Precious and I had a special relationship. She appointed herself as my special protector. When I fell and broke my hip in 1997, she placed herself behind me in the yard where I had fallen and let me lean on her until the paramedics arrived. After that, anytime I would sit down in the yard to work on my boat trailer or other things, she would come running and would stay with me until she was sure I was okay. Precious left us last December and I just like to say she died at the end of a long and happy life.

PUDDIN

Although she did not look like it, Puddin was Precious' sister. She was big also and topped out at near 120 pounds. She was most beautiful, had German Shepherd coloring, and was symmetrical(one side of Puddin looked like the other). Puddin was "high spirited" and often found herself getting into some kind of trouble and sticking her nose in places where it did not belong, but that was just Puddin. Puddin was a favorite with the neighbors, and before she got sick, she would take daily walks and "visit" with everybody around. We lost Puddin in September of 2007. Her back end became paralyzed and she could no longer do the things she liked.

All these dogs brought us great joy. They all had unique personalities as does our sweet Penny now. It was really hard to give them up, but I'm hopeful we'll see them again one day.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Harry Reid is a Liar and a Blithering Idiot!



Thanks to Always On Watch!

Taxing My Brain


Well, with the help of Turbotax, I finally got around to finishing my 2008 income tax return. I also funded my self employed 401K for 2008. I guess this is a good time to fund it since the stock market is in the tank. I have heard rumors that the Messiah, the Lord Barack Hussein Obama, the most merciful is wanting to take away our 401K plans. Well, there's a few thousand more dollars in taxes I'll have to send in! Thanks Barry!

I find the last of March and the first part of April to be one of the most highly pissed off times of the year for me, and with good reason. I get to see my hard earned dollars drift away and my wealth spread around by the Democrat and Republican crooks in congress.

I wish for one year that everyone had to do their taxes in the same manner that self employed people such as I have to do them. No FICA, no Medicare, no withholding, nope, you get your gross salary from your bossman, and then every quarter you have to send in your "estimated" tax to the almighty federal gubment. Every quarter when I write that check I curse the United States Treasury. You employed people have to pay the same money, but it doesn't hurt nearly as much when you never see the money to begin with. FICA and withholding is a clever scheme to keep scales on the eyes of the masses.

Oh but it gets better. My favorite part of the 1040 is the section where I have to figure out my "Self Employment Tax". This is the gubment's clever way of collecting my Social Security and Medicare taxes. Why the hell don't they just call it that? Instead they make it sound like they are punishing me for being self employed. Boy they really know how to piss me off!

Then I have to spend time wrestling with Turbotax trying to figure out how much money to contribute to my retirement plans so as not to pay the gubment any more than necessary. If I don't put it in my retirement, I have to send it to Uncle Sam. It's about that stupidly simple.

Since I have an employee, my sweet wifey, I also have the pleasure of witholding quarterly FICA and witholding tax on her as well, along with the payroll tax forms, W2, W3 forms that go with it.

Then all through the year I get to send paperwork and payments to:
Austin, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Ogden, Utah
Cincinnati, Ohio
St. Louis, Missouri
Memphis, Tennessee
and
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
I may have left out one or two.

Why can't the IRS come up with one damn place to mail all these forms?

I'm waiting to see what will happen when I end up sending the right form to the wrong city.

I did end up sending them my 2007 4th quarter payroll tax form three times because they "couldn't find it".

Furthermore, it really chaps my hide that most of Obama's cabinet, including the Treasury secretary are tax cheats! If it were up to me, I wouldn't send the bastards a penny, but I'd never get away with it.

Joe Biden said that paying taxes is our "patriotic duty". If I had my way, I'd be the most unpatriotic sonofabitch on the planet.

Of course, if you make a mistake, the IRS wants to charge you penalties and interest. How the hell can you charge me penalties and interest on money that is mine to begin with???

I'm through bitching now!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday in the ER

I'm on a roll.

See my previous post:
Government health care, the cure that kills?

The patient today was diagnosed with a "strep throat" Friday (2 days ago), given a shot of Bicillin by the nurse practitioner, and told,"If you're not better in a couple of days, you need to rush to the ER."

So here is this person who has been appropriately treated for a strep throat. She's here today 2 days later cause she still has a sore throat.

THE FACTS:

Bicillin does not treat the acute illness associated with strep throat. All it does is prevent the development of rheumatic fever.

THE CONCLUSION:

Why does the nurse practitioner apparently not know the facts?

Why would you tell someone who you treated appropriately for a sore throat to rush to the ER 2 days later for the same sore throat??? Why not instead advise them to make a followup appointment in the clinic?

There was nothing I could specifically do for this woman other than tell her to drink fluids, gargle salt water, and spray with Chloroseptic. (My Momma could have figured that one out.)

This woman's ER bill will be 5 to 6 times what it would have cost her to go to the clinic, but that's probably OK since, "My insurance will take care of it." but many times the insurance WILL NOT take care of it if there is no emergency as was the case today.

THANK YOU FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD NURSE PRACTITIONER!

She should be required to pay the woman's ER bill!

Have Puppies, Not Children




Let's face it. Puppies are much better than children.

1. Puppies will always love you, no matter what.

2. Puppies will never become teenagers.

3. Puppies will never think they know more than you do.

4. Puppies will never want to learn to drive.


Meet my sweet baby girl, Penelope. We got Penny last November. We lost 2 of our babies last year, Prissy our beagle died from kidney and heart failure, and Precious, our lab, died mainly of old age. We were broken hearted. Penny has managed to fill the empty hole in our souls.
She is almost 8 months old now and she is as sweet as she is beautiful. She sleeps all night long in the bed with us and in fact has done this since day 1. She was just made that way. There was no way she could have learned it.
When I need a smile, I have PICTURES of Penny on flickr. I can go there and look. Smiles are guaranteed. It is a proven fact that people who own and love their pets have happier lives and live longer.
I highly recommend a sweet puppy.

Thanks for the Memories




Well, the Morbid Strangers rocked at Memories Bar and Grill last night. There were a few problems as fuses kept blowing and we were in the dark about half the time. The crowd was kinda small too. In spite of all that I had a good time.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Government health care, the cure that kills?


Please visit sweet wifey's blog, Right Truth and check out the article,

Government health care, the cure that kills?

I left a comment there criticizing some of those non-physicians (there are more and more of them everyday) who try and deliver healthcare to the masses. Below follows my comment at Right Truth on this matter:

Just wanted to relate a little anecdote so yall won't think I'm unfairly picking on nurse practitioners:

A while back a frantic family had grandma brought in to the ER by ambulance from a nearby nurse practitioner's office.

They were told that grandma was in "ventricular tachycardia" and was about to die if she was not stabilized and sent immediately to a cardiologist.

Ventricular tachycardia is a condition where the pacing of the heart is taken over by the ventricles (not normal). V-tach is indeed dangerous and can lead to loss of pulse (you're dead) or ventricular fibrillation (you're dead)! With V-tach the hear rate will usually be very fast, 180 to 200 beats per minute and as the ventricles fire, they will produce a very wide and bizarre pattern on the EKG. (V-tach is also know as wide complex tachycardia).

In the case of grandma, she did not have V-tach. What she did have was a sinus tachycardia with a condition called a bundle branch block. The bundle branch block will cause the ventricular complex on the EKG to appear wide and bizarre. Grandma's heart rate was about 120 and she had no complaint. A sinus tachycardia with a bundle branch block is not in itself life threatening.

So the nurse practitioner saw the wide complex bundle branch block, hit the panic button, failed to take in to account the fact that grandma was feeling fine, failed to notice that the heart rate was only 120 (not nearly fast enough for V-tach), and failed to see that grandma had had the bundle branch block for some time (she would have noticed this if she had taken the time to review grandma's old record).

Instead, the nurse practitioner tells grandma and the family that grandma is going to die if she doesn't get to the ER and a cardiologist right away.

I just love it when other practitioners (nurses or otherwise) pave the road between the patient and me with horse manure and leave it to me to dig out.

At first grandma's family (there will usually be a dozen or so of them) seemed upset with the ER nurse and me that we were not at all excited by grandma's condition. After all, when you hit the panic button, everyone is supposed to panic, right? When I explained that grandma was fine they acted like they didn't believe me and said, "Why did doctor X (referring to the nurse practitioner) tell us all this if it were not true?"

I wanted to say, "Cause doctor X doesn't know her ass from a hole in the ground."

Being the consummate professional I said, "She evidently she was mistaken. Perhaps you should discuss it with her later. Sometimes things are not always as they appear at first"

So on this day, grandma and her family were unnecessarily scared to death, subjected to an expensive and totally unnecessary ambulance ride, and an expensive and unnecessary ER visit. These are your Medicare dollars at work people! Also at the behest of the family, I made grandma an appointment with a cardiologist the next day, so grandma got to spend most of that day sitting in that doctor's office and needlessly spending more Medicare dollars.

I called the nurse practitioner later that day and thanked her for the load of horse manure she had sent me via ambulance.

She said, "Oh when I saw that wide ventricular complex, it just scared me to death!"

I wanted to say, "did not your mother teach you that if you don't know what you're talking about, that you should keep you mouth shut?"

Being the consummate professional I said instead, "Did you consider calling the doctor who preceptors you first for advice?"

"Uh......no, I didn't think of that."

So there you have it boys and girls, just another day in the life of your friendly ER doctor.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gig Tomorrow Night

I'm getting ready for the gig tomorrow night with Morbid Strangers at Memories Bar and Grill in Centerville. I'll take the camera so maybe I;ll have some pictures to share. We start playing around 8PM. Come on over and listen if you can.