Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Back to work

Monday was my first night back to work after the stent placement. I followed most of the doctor's orders. Didn't drive for 24 hours, no heavy lifting for the first week. I also neglected to see the no pulling/pushing for 2 weeks. And they specified stuff like raking, vacuuming etc. Whooooooooooooops. I had to run my old machine Monday night, which consists of pulling apart bales of material and putting it on the conveyor belt. Tuesday morning rolled around, and 5200 pounds of material later, needless to say I was a bit sore. (ok that might be an understatement, my right shoulder was singing an aria) I figure it was not related to the ticker, since I didn't keel over yet. I'll see how it feels tomorrow. For today, I plan on curling up under a ton of quilts, and sleeping until such time as my body decrees it is time to get up. All phones are turned off. If I don't talk to you later tonight, I hope everyone has a safe New Year's Eve.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Cardiac catheterization

I went in at 6:30am on Monday, Dec. 22nd. Appointment wasn't until 7:30 but I was coming directly from work. I had planned to be lazy Sunday night, but it just isn't in my nature, so of course I showed up dead to the world. 

They get you up to your room, do basic prep, vitals, slap leads all over, and start an IV line. Then you wait until the doc is ready. And wait, and wait, and wait...... (Or in my case sleep, and sleep, and sleep, or at least try to.) My procedure was scheduled for 9:30 am, but due to several things, out of everyone's control, I didn't get into the cath lab until 12:15. 

Once in the lab they make you move onto the cold slab of a table. Hard as a rock, and cold as a freezer. Then they paint you with an iodine wash, turning you into a oompah-loompah. Then they cover you with what they claim are heated blankets. (They could have used a dozen more) This is also when they start the drugs, in my case mild pain killers, and heparin. Time to turn that blood into water. You feel a tiny poke when they freeze the artery where the cath is going in. I was quite surprised how tiny the opening they make is. Less than 1/4 inch. And contrary to what some people say, yes you can feel the cath. Maybe it was the decreased dosage of meds, maybe I am just hypersensitive to what goes on inside my body, who knows. Once the cath is placed the fun starts. They shoot contrast dye into the heart, and it feels like a volcanic eruption from every single orifice of your body. Then the slab moves several times, then it stops and they talk about ivus, and start spouting out locations and numbers. Then the contrast dye comes again, and again the slab starts moving. I lost count after the fourth set of dye, but let me tell you, for someone who gets cold in under 75 degree temps, I would kill to bottle some of that stuff! Occasionally a nurse stops by and asks how you're doing. I was tempted to say a whole lot better if it didn't feel like i was lying in the morgue. You feel a tiggley wiggley when they set the stents. Really no other way to explain that part, sorry. I had two blockages, both at 70%, one of them in what they lovingly refer to as "the WidowMaker". Once they are happy with their work it's time to get the cath out, and try to close the hole in the artery. (Preferably before you bleed to death.) And folks, this is the one point in the procedure that will bring your azz off that table. Especially when they don't give you any warning ahead of time. The clip they used to close it is called a "StarClose" I am including a photo of it, just to see how strong your stomach is.

I can take a lot of pain, but that sumbiotch woke me up. Had they warned me, I could have at least prepared myself a bit. After they are done torturing the crap out of you setting the clip, it's time to go back to the holding cell your room. You lay in there for a few hours, being reminded regularly not to bend your leg. Then it's upstairs to another room, where you lay still for four more hours. (After several hours of being unable to move your leg, you start getting fantastic muscle spasms. Do you realize how hard it is to work one of those babies out when you aren't allowed to actually move the limb? Yeah, it sucks.) Finally seven hours after the procedure is finished they let you get up and try to walk. Just point me to the bathroom, I have to pee like a dayem racehorse! Once everything is to their satisfaction, a discharge nurse comes in and tells you all the do's and don'ts. Don't drive for at least 24 hours, don't lift anything above 10 pounds for 5-6 days, do take the meds they prescribe, and she hands you a stack of booklets on a proper cardiac diet. I didn't bother reminding her that I already have excellent cholesterol levels. I love veges and fruits, and consider salads to be one of the main food groups. 

You are stuck on Plavix for a year, to prevent anything from sticking to the stents while they heal into the artery wall. You also become one of the -aspirin a day for life- members.

I am 47 years old and have heart disease. Eat right, exercise regularly, and it means nothing if bad genetics is stacked against you.
By the way bp was 110/60 before and after, and cholesterol is 150.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The results

I am not sure why, but the sadistic Clock Maker feels I need to have a heart cath. It is scheduled for the 22nd of December. Why this date? Simple, I already have the week off from work. This way I don't lose any pay, or have to use any extra vacation. If he doesn't need to do anything further, I should be out roughly 3 hours after it is done. If he needs to put in any stents, I am looking at 6-7 hours afterwards. He said no driving for 24 hours after, and no heavy lifting for 5 days. (I move 5500# of material daily at work by hand. What constitutes "heavy"?) If it's anything major, just start digging that hole. (because the ground is froze, and it will take some effort)

I was also told, that on the off chance I need to spend the night (yeah so much for an "out patient" procedure), I should pack an over night bag, including all medications. So I made myself a list of things I need:
  • Medications
  • Netbook and charger
  • phone and charger
  • Twelve pack of Coke (they said I could have a liquid breakfast :P )

I feel like I am missing something on the list, but I am sure it will come to me before the 22nd. Hope everyone is staying warm out there.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Idiots and work

Last night was one of "those" kind of nights. It went relatively fast once you got past the idiot. Supervisor #2 hires some real winners. I think he chooses the worst of the worst, and says "congrats" you're hired! Case in point...

A worker came up to me last night and said he needed to fill out a "near miss" form. I asked him why. He said he almost got his fingers cut. The conversation goes something like this:

Idiot: I need to fill out a near miss form
Me: Ok can you tell me why?
Idiot: I almost cut my fingers
Me: And how did that happen?
Idiot: The hopper was clogged, and none of the regular fixes worked. So I took the air pipe off the bottom of the hopper, and grabbed the clog with my fingers.
Me: Ok, so how did you almost cut your fingers?
Idiot: Well there were these little blades on the inside half of the hopper, and they were spinning.
Me: Did you remember to LOTO (lock out tag out) the machine first?
Idiot: No. No one told me I had to do that. Maintenance said only if I am reaching inside the hopper. So I need to write up a near miss report, and tell them they should have a warning that there are moving parts inside there. So no one gets hurt.
Me: You do realize as soon as you remove the air pipe, you are considered to be reaching inside the hopper, correct? And as such you could be cited for a safety violation, since you neglected to LOTO the machine first.
Idiot: (extremely indignant) No one told me I had to LOTO the machine when I do this, I can't be written up for something no one told me.
Me: Actually you can. We do not follow after each and every employee to make sure you don't do something stupid. And we can only engineer out so many hazards. Common sense must come into play on occasion.
Idiot: Well that's not right. No one told me.
Me: Here is an example. Day shift Idiot takes space heater out of bathroom, and places it next to a bale of drc (paper), while she is working. Anyone above the age of 7 should realize you don't place a heat source near paper. We should not have to explain that to an adult.
Idiot: Well if no one told her, then she can't be blamed for doing it.
Me: Like I said before, we can only engineer out so much stupid.

I had to walk away after that. He was adamant that if someone isn't specifically told something is hazardous, that absolves them of any wrong doing. I wonder if he ever thought of bungee jumping off a very tall building, without a cord....

The Clock Maker

I thought the stress test went well. That's what happens when you listen to the moron technician running the dayem test. He said "I did much better than he thought I would." I took that as good news, and went home more relaxed than I had been since this started.

Well apparently he must have had some realllllly low standards. The doc called me on Nov 17th @ at 10am (even though she knows I work nights) to tell me I had an "abnormal" stress test, and now need to see the Clock Maker. I was barely able to process what she was saying, since I was half asleep yet. And just what constitutes "abnormal" anyhow? I mean seriously, can you use a word like that when referencing this kitty? I have been called a lot of things, but I am pretty sure "abnormal" wasn't one of them.

Anyhow, tomorrow is the big day. Maybe the Clock Maker will be able to explain in more detail just what "abnormal" truly means in regards to my ticker. And what means of torture he has in mind to rewind it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stress Tests, who needs them

After receiving a rather high number on my heart calcium scoring test, my Doctor, in her infinite wisdom, decided I need a stress test. (I knew there was a reason I avoided that profession) So I made the appointment for this Friday morning, bright and early 7am.

The Rules:
1. No caffeine for 24 hours before. (I think they forgot I have caffeine running through my veins, instead of blood.)
2. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight, including any medication. (so no advil to counter the caffeine withdrawal migraine I will get)

I question the wisdom of telling someone no caffeine, as that in and of itself, will stress a person out. Add in that I work the night before, 6pm-6am. and have to deal with total idiots for 12 hours right before this test, without killing any of them. (Can you feel the stress level rising already? I can)

Once there they will run a base scan, then they have you exercise to the point of exhaustion (that should take all of five minutes, specially with my breathing being messed up lately), then take another scan. (That is if you don't croak in the meantime) They tell me the whole process will take 3-4 hours if all goes well (WTF!). Darling, I can tell you right now, if I make it up to, and through that test, without going homicidal, it went well. Never mind how the heart turns out, my sole goal is to stay out of jail at that point. My internal sleep clock states if I'm not tucked in by 11am it will revolt, I will get sick. If this thing takes the full 4 hours, I'm screwed. I then have to try and drive 30 miles home, in direct sunlight. I'm a night-worker ffs, the Moon is my sun! (To any of my LEO buddies out there, please be heading in the South bound lanes, Thanks)

So if y'all don't hear from me by Saturday, either send flowers, or bail money.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lost another one

So, last week I had to let yet another temp worker go. This time it was an older gentleman. He showed up to work on time, but unfortunately that is not enough. He was mechanically, and technically challenged (both a requirement for this machine), plus hard of hearing. I tried training him repeatedly on basic operations, but it just wasn't to be. When I tell you not to turn your back on a certain section of the machine, it is for good reason. The reason being I don't want to have to come back and clean up a 30' lake of water, with an eight foot puddle, of now hardening polymer, floating in the middle. And every time I turned around, he had his back to that particular section. If you can't hear if the pelletizer jams, and you can't see it when it jams, HOW are you going to stop the machine?
Not sure how many more temps I will go through, before I find one like my original trainee.
My very first helper was a middle aged, Laotian born fellow, who picked stuff up super fast. And I mean he picked up anything I showed him quickly. The machine type did not matter. Show him once, and BOOM, I could walk away without worry. I had him trained on the quarter-folder, the rewinder, the recostar, all of it. Then upper management thought it was a good idea to transfer him to the meltblown, since he learned so fast. (sad face) He later left our company to go back to school. God I miss him.
Since then I have yet to find one even a quarter as capable as he was. And I should know, I have gone through roughly three dozen trainees since then.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Last night at work I was transferring some dusty polymer from transport bags, to a silo, via a vacuum hopper. You raise these canvas bags up with a forklift, suspend them over the hopper, and cut a small hole in the bottom, so it can slowly pour out. The bags are about 5 feet tall, 4 feet on each side, and weigh roughly 2000 pounds. When you near the bottom of the bag, you end up wrestling the last few hundred pounds around a bit, to get it to come out. You get covered in the crap. Head to toe. I was wearing a dark maroon sweatshirt and navy shorts, that fine white powder made me look like a bad ghost.
One of the forklift drivers came over, and asked "Are you ready for the next bag?"
I looked down at my now white coated clothes, glared back up at him, and said "Do I look ready for the next dayem bag?"
Without missing a beat he said "No, you look like you just had an affair with Charlie Sheen."

Yeah, he won that round.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Good Help

Good help is very hard to find now a days. Since this post I have gone through two more trainees. By the time I go on vacation in August, I am suppose to have not one, but two new ppl trained up on the machine. At this rate I won't even have a half a person. (someone who can do very basic running, but knows nothing about the computer controls yet) Is there really no one out there, regardless of age, who can make it through a 12 hour work day without whining, or texting on their phone? Is what I ask really all that much in this day and age? Someone who wants to show up on time, and do a decent job? Granted the pay isn't anything to write home about. The company pays $10/hour to start. But dayemmm isn't that what His Royal Magical Fart Monger is pushing for anyhow? The work, in and of itself, is not hard. You load a conveyor with material, restart polymer threads, and pretty much stand around the rest of the time. (With an occasional "OH SHIT, WHAT DID I JUST DO?" moment thrown in for good measure) I am almost afraid we are at the bottom of the barrel now, all the good ones have been used and abused elsewhere :(

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I'm ME again

After waiting eight weeks, I have finally received my state tax refund. This means the Feds have straightened out the SSN issue on their end. I am still waiting to hear from them in regards to what happened. (if I ever do, that is) But it is a huge weight off my mind. I will, of course, continue to monitor all the credit reporting agencies, to see if something weird shows up, and I have them flagged to alert me, but for now I am a very happy Cat. :D

ME ME ME ME ME It feels good to be ME!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Edgar Allan Poe quotes

I was reading a few poems, from my favorite dark poet, and decided to share a few of my favorite ones.

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”

“I do not suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.”

“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”

 “...And, all at once, the moon arose through the thin ghastly mist, And was crimson in color... And they lynx which dwelleth forever in the tomb, came out therefrom. And lay down at the feet of the demon. And looked at him steadily in the face.”

“When a madman appears thoroughly sane, indeed, it is high time to put him in a straight jacket.”

-Edgar Allan Poe

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Well this about sums it up

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Each year, about this time, people start talking about the flowers they see poking through the ground. Here at the Lost household, we do things a little differently. You can tell spring is on the way when you see...
(Click to enlarge)

Yes, that is indeed a tennis ball. Every winter we lose about 4 dozen of them, somewhere in the yard. Every spring, as the snow starts to melt, they pop up like brightly colored flowers, waiting to be picked (up). And that, my friends, is how I know spring is on the way.

Contrary to the following 3 day forecast that is...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bravery or stupidity

Apparently the kitten was not happy with just the dog's food bowl. He has now laid claim to one of the dog's toys. As you can see, the stuffed bone is bigger than he is.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

No fear

Some kittens don't realize how close to becoming a snack they come. My chocolate lab is pretty laid back with the furry felines, but playing in his food dish is not the smartest move to make.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


"LSD makes users lose weight"
...That makes sense, it's kinda hard to get to the fridge when there's a dragon guarding it.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Too cute

I came across this today Police ticket toddler in toy car  and had so many thoughts cross my little kitty mind.
Was she wearing a seat belt? Was she drinking and driving? Did she have insurance? How will the PD spend the windfall from that ticket? How many points did that cost her? Isn't the officer afraid of being accused of racial profiling. And the final question.... How many idiots thought those were serious questions?

It is wonderful to see LEOs take time to connect with residents of the areas they patrol, especially the children. And that stories like this are put out there, so more people realize Cops are not the heartless gunslingers some people think they are, who only show up when something bad goes down. I am betting that "ticket" gets framed, and put on her bedroom wall. I know that's what I would have done.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Diversity, I haz it.

Last week Thursday I had a new temp to break in. After the boss showed him around the plant, he brought him back to me. Guy says "well this job doesn't look that hard" Boss tells him it's a very easy job, then says "Want to know the hardest job in this whole plant? Working with her... "(as he points to me) Sighsssssssss, I guess it beats his normal line of "don't let her make you cry, like she made me cry." This one lasted until 0130, a whopping 7.5 hours out of twelve.(apparently he left because I yelled at him, for breaking safety protocol, after telling him twice before that)

Boss comes in the next morning, I explain what went on that night, he laughs and says ok I'll find another one.

So Tuesday night (yesterday), I get yet another new temp. And I start thinking back over the last few years that I have been training them, and I realized something, I have had darn near every type of person as a temp at one point or another. (Yes I have trained a lot of temps) The following is a list of the type of people I have trained, or attempted to train. Some went on to get hired, some quit, and others were let go, for one reason or another.

 Asian, Black, White, Native American, Caribbean Islander, Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, gay, straight, male, female, mentally handicapped, physically handicapped, and the one from last week, which I just label "emotionally fragile".

So back to last night. I was wondering what type of person was left. I thought long and hard before I was introduced to him. The first words out of his mouth were "I just want to be up front with you about this, I'm an ex-con, and I did 7 years in prison."

 I should have guessed...

Friday, February 28, 2014

Identity crisis

My adventure begins 27 Feb when I check my email and see "Your Federal Return Has Been Rejected" "Your State Return Has Been Rejected".
My first thought is wtf. So I head over to turbotax, log in, check the error code, and follow their instructions for "fixing" them. I did not notice any discrepancies regarding my ssn, which is what the code was for. So I resend them. Almost immediately I get another email, same error code. I head back to turbotax and investigate further. Apparently this code happens when someone else uses the same ssn, on another tax return, during the same year. It can be as simple as someone mistyping their number, and end up using mine, when they file. So I call the IRS identity theft hotline, as instructed by turbotax, and find out it means I must now paper file mine, with the Identity Theft Affidavit form 14039, plus proof that I am who I say I am. If I am really lucky it will end there. (and of course I am expecting a refund, from both State and Federal, go figure)

So I download their form, fill it out, and prepare to print it. Next thing I know the printer has an error. Since the printer sits on the top shelf of the desk, and I am too short to see up there, I grab the nearest item to stand on, an empty box. Not the smartest move, but by then "smart" had left the building, and "frustration" had taken over. The box flips on its side, I crash shoulder first, into the corner of the gun safe, then twist my hip coming down, almost slamming headfirst into the side of the desk. I hear glass breaking, and stuff falling over, but my first thought once everything settles is...........dayemit what next! I let "smart" take over, and go get my step-stool, read the error code, which says remove back panel of printer and clear out all paper. There is a back panel on that thing? Who knew?! I try to find this mysterious back panel, but the only thing removable back there is the paper roller, so I yank that out.... no paper. Okayyyyyyyy then, slap that sumbiotch back in, flip the printer back around, and reboot it. Error message gone. Woooohooooooo! Get back off the step-stool, bring up the form I need to print, send it to the printer and 2 seconds later I see my two pages. Two BLANK pages. I am out of ink. ^@(*#)@!*)#_  By now my patience is gone, my body is screaming for advil, and I have to work the next two days, so no ink until Sunday.
(By then the bruises should be turning real pretty colors.)

I swear to all the gods above, if this is anything more then a simple typo, by some moron who can't double check their work...... I won't have enough "get out of jail free cards", and will require bail money by the time I am done.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Time for new blood

That south paw trainee from Thursday got half way through the shift last night, when the next thing I know he is wearing a knee brace. Less than an hour later he is complaining about his shoulder and wrist. (future workman's comp claim coming up).
He'll be gone by tomorrow, and starting Friday I'll be breaking yet another new one.
Ummm I mean breaking in a new one, yeah that's it :D

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The South paw disease

I was training a new person on Thursday night, and they tend to give me "the winners". This one was having issues figuring out the shrink wrapper, so I asked him if he was left or right handed. He said his doctor diagnosed him as left handed.
(I'll let that sink in for a few seconds.....)

 Being ambidextrous, I took offense for both the North and the South paws. 
Now, what I want to know is.. WHEN did being a South paw become a disease, and require a diagnosis from a doctor???

Sunday, February 16, 2014


I have heard revenge is a dish best served cold. But you didn't need to be so literal about it. And to think, I even apologized. 

I took this pic on my way home this morning.
This quaint little snow rutted lane is what I travel on everyday out to the highway. Most people say keep it between the lines. We say keep it between the ditches.
(you may not see them, but they are there, lurking below the snow, waiting to suck in your car)

Which 'Avengers' character are you.

So I got bored, and decided to take another silly quiz. This is what I ended up with. 

You can find the quiz HERE
(I am not sure I would call myself volatile, but I do avoid confined spaces. As for wild inclinations, I plead the fifth on that one.)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cold? Nahhhhhhh

We are currently under yet another wind chill warning, for the next couple of days. They are calling for down to -50 wind chill for tomorrow. I of course blame Canada. We have the following "advice" from our trustee officials - In Wisconsin, the state department of transportation is urging people to avoid driving if possible. If they must drive, they should carry a fully charged cell phone, have at least half a tank of gasoline and tell somebody where they're going.

I would love to be able to follow the first line of advice, but I am pretty sure my boss wouldn't be all that understanding. School has been closed so often this winter already, I am curious how they plan to make those days up, especially if we get any actual snow days on top of this. It is only the end of January after all.

As a side note, we are once again colder than many areas of Alaska.

Friday, January 3, 2014

North to Alaska


Anchorage, Alaska +27f
Nome, Alaska +22f
Kodiak, Alaska +29f
Naukita Bay, Alaska +29f

Green Bay, Wisconsin -13f

Do you see a problem here?!!