Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Making sense of nonsense...

Like many of you, I'm still struggling to wrap my head around what happened last week at Sandy Hook. I think it's still too much to process as it just doesn't seem real. The fact that such a person existed is the stuff of Hollywood, or at least so we all thought.

Like many of you, I have strong opinions on the matter. For starters, I have extreme anger towards the responsible thing that did this (I am calling it "thing" since I do not regard it as human so I will apply no gender or identity to it). I am not ashamed to say I hate it, and would've rather seen it caught, arrested, and then thrown into general population of some prison somewhere. That way, the hardened criminals would've had a field day with it using rope and dull kitchen utensils to do the job. And some people have said hate is not a appropriate response. Good for you for thinking that. You're a better person than I. Think about what it did one more time, think about the 6 and 7 year olds who looked up to see what was happening, and then really honestly tell me whether or not you don't hate this thing.

Hate is a recognized emotion. It exists and has a purpose. To say it's not appropriate to hate makes about as much sense as saying it's not appropriate to love. It's a ying yang thing.

Like many of you, I seek answers to not only why, but to how to stop this from happening again. There was a Facebook posting going around attributing some speech to Morgan Freeman saying how sensationalist media is partly to blame. While this narrative turned out to not be given by Mr. Freeman, I still agree with it's message. Perhaps the people who blew up the building in Oklahoma, or the kid that shot up Virginia Tech, or this loser responsible for this post wouldn't have taken it to such extreme had they not been convinced we would be talking about it today. I believe there is truth to the fact that the way these monsters are portrayed and glorified in a way gives rise to another individual looking to be remembered. Like the post said, if we all paid them no mind, perhaps they would indeed go away a sad nobody. Instead, we plaster there face all over the news, headlines, we make movies about their story, we write books for generations to read.

Like many of you, I fear what lurks outside these walls of my home. But to truly put my children in a bubble would rob them. You can't protect them from everything, and you would go insane trying. The world is still full of good, experiences still need to be experienced (good and bad). For the most part, the world is still a decent place. Dark corners exist, but denying them freedom to go and explore would prevent them from finding the light switch.

Like ALL of us, I don't have the answer as to how to go about preventing this. To think banning the sale of all guns will work is absurd, and just won't ever happen. Now, I will be the first to voice out and say no civilian, for any reason, needs a fully automatic weapon. No civilian, for any reason, needs a clip that holds 25 rounds of ammunition. No civilian, for any reason, needs a .50 caliber weapon of any action type. You just don't. And don't quote the 2nd amendment bullshit. If you're someone saying you need any of the things I listed and are saying it's our right, you are skewing what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote that magnificent document. I also wouldn't personally mind waiting a couple weeks, or even a few months to get a gun. I'm in no hurry. Furthermore, I've heard a few people now with regard to this event and the shooting at the theatre a few months back saying they wish someone was carrying during the incident so they could "end it". To those people I ask, "Are you truly retarded?" Unless you are a licensed active police officer, you DO NOT have the necessary skills to effectively act in either of these two situations. Chances are you'll injure or kill more people engaging the shooter. Sorry, but your 3 day conceal and carry class taken at your local gun store does not give you the skills that these officers practice for months. If you believe otherwise, you're part of the problem mentality.

There is no good answer, so here's what I'm going to do. I vow that this will be the last time I mention the thing that did this cowardly act. I vow that I will always remember the young ones who were taken all too soon from this world. I vow to never take any day for granted as you just don't know what you're going to get that day. I vow to never hold my children back cause I'm scared of the unknown. I vow to keep plugging forward in an ever chaotically changing world.

Evil exists. However I refuse to let it paralyze me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This Old House...

I'm typing this to you all with a computer atop 2 cardboard boxes while sitting on a lone dining room chair. The rest of our belongings are scattered about in various areas, piled in the garage waiting to be loaded onto a moving truck, or patiently waiting their turn in one of 2 storage garages.

In case you haven't heard, we're on the move.

We're all excited. The plain truth is simple: We've outgrown our current home. And with the market as such, it was the right time for us to pick up and move to greener pastures. So, we'll be going from a house with 2 bedrooms and just around 1200 square feet to a house with 4 bedrooms and just under 2300 square feet. It will provide ample space for our current needs and also if we need additional room we won't be so limited.

Plus it has a brand new kitchen. It's the focal point of the whole house.

But it's kind of bittersweet. As I sit here and pack and prep and move stuff out of our current house, I'm reminded of just what this house means to Elli and I. I was newly hired at the VA and not even a week into work when we signed off and moved into this house. We were excited to be homeowners and looking back we did rush into this and had we taken a year or two we would've been better off. Regardless, we had our first home. It was a tiny starter home on a corner lot and had an old school charm to it (it was built in the early 30's). But that old school charm meant plaster walls, old electrical wiring, somewhat dated plumbing, and a concrete slabbed cinder block basement pretty much only good to house appliances such as the furnace and water heater and be used as storage and a laundry room.

So throughout the years I grumbled about patching yet another crack in the plaster, I grumbled about the 2 pronged outlets. I grumbled when it took me 5 hours to replace an electrical outlet. I grumbled when we had to replace the roof, I grumbled when we had to replace the drafty large window in our playroom, and I grumbled about the confining space as we attained more stuff yet didn't attain more square footage.

But for all the grumbling, I sit here today and I simply can't forget that this will forever be our first house. This will be the thing we nervously set foot in that day so long ago in 2005. It will be the site of our first mortgage payment, our first utility upgrade, our first home improvement project. It will be the site of our first run in with the law (someone stole stuff out of our garage), and it will be the site of, shall we say, practice for my handy man skills.

And it will be in our memory as the place where we brought home our two children; Dav in 2008 and HM in 2011. I will always remember pacing these scuffed up and faded wood floors at 3am rocking a fussy infant back to sleep. I will remember placing a sick toddler up on the counter next to the sink as I measure out ear infection medicine. And I will remember all the early mornings spent gathered around the island in the kitchen as we all got ready to go to work and daycare while eating peanut butter toast.

In the past 7+ years, I've repeatedly said how much I hated this house. It was a lie every time.

I love this house. And I'm going to miss it something fierce. I'm excited for our new house and look forward to making many new memories there, and I'm glad this house is going to a couple with a younger child as well. This house is a great one to start off in, and I couldn't have asked for a better one.

To our Maplewood neighbors reading this, thanks for the years of friendship. Thru the miracle of social media I'm sure we'll keep in touch. And Mounds View isn't all that far away. Know that this area will still be a training ground for our biking needs and you'll see us cruising on thru I'm sure plenty of times in the future. Thanks for helping making this a home!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pffft, you think that's hard...

Huh. Someone may see that title and think this post is gonna be something dirty.

Or is that just me.

I guarantee I could list 5 people who were giggling after reading that post.

I'm off topic already. Sorry. It's been a while.

Anyhow, below is a list of what some people may consider difficult to do (i.e. "hard"...hee hee):

1) Quantum physics

2) Tight rope walking

3) Calculus

4) Endurance events

5) Simple addition and/or subtraction

6) Planks

7) Opening a bag of cereal

8) Engine repair

9) Fly fishing

10) Changing the toilet paper roll (looking at you spousal unit)

These things are hard indeed. But they all fail in comparison to something I had to do multiple times tonight:

Chase around a naked 1 year old and attempt to not only catch them, but have them stay still long enough to put a diaper back on.

Hannah thought it was hilarious.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Raise 'em to the techs!

Author's note: I have not abandoned this blog. Many people have asked why I haven't posted. The truth is, like always I got busy and when I did find time to sit in front of the computer I got distracted with other things (pornhub) and never actually blogged. As usual, I make the empty promise that I will try to post more frequently and hopefully this time it sticks. Thanks to all who have wondered where I went and those that also say that they enjoy reading my posts. Stuff like that makes me come back with more of my musings. And now back to regular programming.

Last week was National Laboratorian Appreciation Week, or whatever the hell it's called now a days.

You didn't know that did you? For shame.

Truth is, most people didn't know about it. And for those of us in the profession we are kind of use to it now. Say what you want about what we do as Lab Techs, but the real truth is that what we do does truly matter.

Without an accurate lab result, the doctor won't order the correct additional tests. Without an accurate lab result, a nurse won't know that order the doctor just wrote doesn't make sense. Without the right lab value, in theory, someone could die.

It's that simple.

Personally, I work over in a blood bank. I get blank stares when I tell people that. For those of you curious, my job entails giving patients blood when they need it. If you're anemic from cancer treatment, or bleeding out during a surgery, I'm the guy downstairs that tests a unit of blood and makes sure it's safe to give you. And laugh all you want, but I have played a direct role a few times now in saving someones life. Anyone who's ever worked in the field in some way has. And for all the times I've worked straight through a shift with no break struggling to keep up with a GI bleeder, or have been on two different phones at once, or have worked side by side with one of my peers as we juggle multiple problem patients, all the while getting screamed at from 4 different people, I have only heard about the times I've supposedly messed up.

I have never been thanked for my (albeit small) role in saving someone. Not once.

A while ago there was a Nursing strike here in MN. One of the rally cries was a poetic piece about a Nurse sacrificing their time from their family to be with yours, or not getting to lunch or, well you get the idea. And I'm not saying they or doctors aren't overworked. Like all of us in health care, they are. But Elli has been a Nurse for a little over a year now and has many stories about being thanked for helping a patient out. I've been in the field for going on 8 years now. As I've said above, I haven't been thanked once.

It was Lab appreciation week last week. Even if you're just learning about it now, if you know a Med Tech, do me a favor:

Make out with them. They deserve it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

So...it has come to this...

Well played Mother Nature.

Well played.

As usual you are luring us all into a false confidence. But I'm on to you. I know that hidden about 12 days from now you will unleash a fierce snow storm right as I'm leaving work.

2 days into the biking season and this is what I've dealt with: The first day nasty nasty wind. The second day brought rain and even more wind. And now, yesterday and today, when I wasn't able to ride, you bring perfect blue bird days.

I've tried pleading with you. I've tried tricking you. For many many years now I've dealt with gale force winds and searing heat and humidity while on my bike, or out on the water fishing. I ask for a cold front during duck season and you give calm wide open skies and temps in the 60's.

You've forced my hand. You've made me resort to this.

So Mother Nature...go f*ck yourself. As said by one Tony Montana, "You wanna play rough?! Ok! Let's play rough!"

Here's what you're gonna do Mother Nature. You're gonna provide ample weather with calm partly cloudy days and high temps in the low to mid 70's. You're gonna limit rainy days to those that do not have softball games or bike rides planned. If you do decide to blow some wind that day, you will do so in a manner that will keep the air circulating nicely and/or provide a constant tail wind. You will not get moody in the middle of a ride and keep switching the wind to blow directly at me. You will not be nice and gorgeous out only to turn cold and stormy 25 minutes before my softball game. You will not schedule heat indexes in the 300's on days slated for long rides.

To show I'm not messing around, I recently lured some of your tree kin over to my place a few days back. The result of this little coupe?

You will comply immediately. If not, I have another idea in mind involving your grass offspring:

The ball is now in your court.


Monday, January 16, 2012


Where would we be without great men like him?

Happy MLK Jr. day.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Last week I wrote one of my yearly review pieces. It was a shorter review piece but highlighted the important parts of the year. However many of you have commented to one glaring shortcoming in that piece:

"What about Daven?"

To which I reply:

"Have you met this kid?! And if so, do you really think one could forget him?!"

Daven is going to be 4 come next March. So we will soon be leaving the 3 year behind.

Thank god.

This year has been a challenge. Dav has discovered more and more independence and as such has started ramping up the whole challenging authority bit. I have described him as "frustratingly adorable", in that one second he is a sweet little boy saying "please" and "thank you":

Oh, you want me to sit here for a picture? Ok. I sure do love you guys!

But the next second he can be one or all of the 6 demons that supposedly possessed Emily Rose and he must be destroyed:


Parenting is hard, and he hasn't made it easy at times.

However, most of the time we coexist just fine, and he is at that stage where he is really picking up language and correct use of grammar. As such, for today's post I'd like to give you a sampling of some of our favorite quotes from Dav during his 3rd year. Enjoy!!

"I get dressed when I done running around naked."

"Daddy, do you want dessert? Let's be done with chicken and have dessert."

"Daddy you fit in my bed...you sleep there and I'll sleep in here." ("here" being Elli and my bed)

"These are my face cheeks. And these are my butt cheeks."

While recovering the next morning from the HHH and having waffles down in the common room with a bunch of older citizens around us, Dav utters this gem completely out of the blue:
"My penis is really long."

"S'mores are made of marshmallows, chocolate, and fire."

"I wanna get my buuuuuttt wet."

I can't remember why, but we asked him to stop talking. His reply to that one: "Don't say that to me. I like talking!"

And quite possibly our favorite conversation Dav had didn't even take place with us. It took place with our friend Jeanette:

Jeanette: "Look, it's the Hungry Caterpillar."

Daven: "I know. It lives in a raccoon."

Jeanette: "I think you mean cocoon."

Daven: "No, it's a raccoon."

Jeanette: "Well, technically it's a chrysalis."

Daven: "I can't say that word. It's a raccoon."

Then there's the whole "why?" and "because" exchange. Any parent knows how that goes, so I don't need to get into that. Let's just say whenever one of those begins, it turns into a contest as to who walks away first. Elli and I normally win but not because Dav gets frustrated with us. He just gets bored or assumes we're too stupid to answer all of this questions and walks away to go play with something else.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 Year in Review

Panic not loyal followers! I have returned. After a all too common overly busy holiday season that started with Thanksgiving and ended with the New Years, and then having to replace a computer that all but blew up, I decided it was time to come back to you all and provide the occasional update into what goes on over here. As such, what better way to do it than one of my favorite posts to write: the yearly review.

2011 was another year of change. Almost right of the bat, we welcomed offspring #2. Hannah May was born January 17th, and right from the beginning having a daughter ruined me. I found myself cooing too much, saying "cute" and "adorable" in shocking amounts, and even shooting down clothing options because they revealed "too much neckline for my daughter". I vowed she will start dating when she turns 30, but I'm thinking that is even too soon. Watching the 2 of my children play together and laughing is possibly the greatest thing I have witnessed. I talked about life having peaks before, and I definitely am on one of those right now. And it's thanks to my family.

Elli got a job this year! No, I mean a real one. No, it has nothing to do with Scandinavian Studies. No, for the 1,237,983rd time do I have ANY idea what you do with that. Ask her. Anyhow, a mere 8 weeks after she fired out Hannah, she started work as an RN down at Fairview University Medical Center here in MN, and despite some of her stories, she really does seem to enjoy it and has apparently found her calling in the professional world. Although I think Dav is gonna miss her textbooks and what not. He has a fairly solid understanding of human anatomy thanks to Elli's studies.

And finally, what would a year be like in the Taylor household without a visit to St. John's ER. In July I was brought in via ambulance with a dislocated knee. It was a softball injury, and yes I realize how ridiculous that sounds but it's the way of things. It has been somewhat discouraging to realize that I no longer bounce back from injury as quick as I used to, but have recently started ramping things up again and seem no worse for wear. Perhaps this is my body telling me something, although as history has taught us, I'll just ignore it.

Happy New Year to all! I hope this finds you all well and I look forward to what 2012 brings!!
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