Monday, March 9, 2015

As the Tag Says, "Whatever Doesn't Kill Me..."


Greetings, visitors and any faithful readers.
Endless apologies for the continued delay in adding fresh content. Your patience will be repaid shortly. (Anyone betting you I'd shut up on the 'net very long, take the longest odds you can get, and retire early on your winnings.)

Work is work. To be more specific, it's five nights in a row/60-hour weeks, vs. my former 3 nights/36-hour weeks. And now at a new higher pay rate. It's amazing how hard you can work when the other choice is literal poverty. The paychecks are commensurately effing awesome. The only drawback is that my enforced unemployment came rather unexpectedly, and with my cash reserves on fumes, so I have a bit more catching up to do, but that's happening at 200% of the former speed it would have otherwise.

Cool things:
I now have direct experience with another dozen medium to large ERs locally.
I have met a lot of great folks, and am constructing a short list of places I'd consider making a full-time employment home.
Several of them started pitching me to sign on FT after seeing me for about two shifts.
While trying to keep my head from swelling about that, it's nice to
a) prove that you still have the chops to do the job, esp. serially in front of strangers, and
b) a little ego-stroking after the crotch-kick of getting shoved out the door at an employer isn't a bad thing.
If this is anything like what it's like to be a pretty girl from age 16-45 or so, I can at least understand some of the attitude that goes with it. Without the PMS complications.

That doesn't mean getting pushed into a pool of career icewater wasn't an effing PITA, but the end result will be that I'll probably make enough money this year to move into a higher tax bracket, and suffer the agony of being able to reach some lifelong financial goals in short order. Poor poor me.

A few other observations:
Keep a career back-up plan: a part-time job, small-potatoes self-employment, or whatever, but have a second gig. Something. Anything. Even if it's barely paying for itself, a small cash flow beats none at all, and your car doesn't run on a tankful of canned food or ammo reserves. Ask me how I know that.
While I likes me my firearms, I've always been a more well-rounded preparer than a gun nut, but if you've never visited the local collateral loan merchant (AKA pawn shop) you should be aware that any of Gaston Glock's tactical Tupperware is readily convertible to $250 cash money in most populated precincts, and that's without things nationwide being dire. So, for instance, three or four of them "extra" that you can part with for a few months equal your monthly readies. Again, ask me how I know.
Then imagine what their barter value might be under more dire circumstances. Esp. if you had a few spare magazines and a couple boxes of ammo apiece.
The same is most definitely not true of just about anything else you might think of.
Again, go visit the local hock shop, and chat them up, to get a no-BS idea of the actual value of things you might wish to convert to cash should the need arise. As someone who would formerly never have ventured into the pseudo Arab bazaar marketplace they represent until necessity forced my hand, you'll learn a few things, not only haggling, but you'll also get an idea of what's hot and what's not (e.g., any functional pistol is cash in the bank, whereas a brand new iPhone or high-end camera is nigh on worthless. Surprise.)

Free internet when money is tight is a gift from heaven (and Starbucks/Mickie D's/the local public library). With a laptop and the time, you can do for $0 what would otherwise be a couple of hundred $$ in cell/wifi bills. And if you haven't done a job search in awhile, the entire world is now online. Walking into an office with a resume these days is tantamount to telling an employer that you can take Morse code at 30 words a minute, or type at 80 words/minute, as if that should mean something to them.
(For those of you to whom Neil Armstrong and 8-track tapes are history as remote from you as the Thirty Years' War, Google "telegraph" and "typewriter". Those of us with underwear older than you are will quietly tolerate your confusion until you bone up on such arcana.)

OTOH, showing up on time (by which I mean early) with a good attitude, being flexible, and showing up, putting your head down, and getting the job done without any drama queenery once you get the job is timeless, in every career field since Thag and Og were making stylish saber-tooth cat skin leisure attire and chiseling wheels out of stone.
I save my sarcasm for here online, by and large. Believe me when I tell you it never wins you points at work, unless you own the joint.

Lest anyone think I'm going all Pollyanna, or selling out from financial necessity, let me assure you I've already collected a few choice bucketfuls of carefully distilled snark, soon to be shared here, and even more so over at Shepherd Of The Gurneys in upcoming installments. And then some. Suffice it to say that as much fun and pleasantness as I've discovered in my expanded work universe, the depths of Stupid out there are unplumbably bottomless, and probably incapable of measurement with existing instrumentation.

As an example I'll be explaining shortly, the level of emergency preparedeness even after the recent Ebola outbreak have proven inarguably that things are now not only far worse here than I predicted 6-8 months ago, they are worse than I could have imagined then or even now without the direct experience of seeing them again and again.

Which is a short tease of explaining that, No, Ebola Hasn't Gone Away, And It's Not Going To. Better effing believe there'll be more to come on that front in short order, just for one example. In fact, 2014 wasn't the problem, or even the wake-up call, it was more likely the last whistle stop before the missing bridge ahead. Stew on that, boys and girls.

So whatever you were doing to prepare for the vagaries of life before my hiatus, keep on knocking it out. Life is not going to get more predictable or happy for anyone any time soon, by any reasonable examination of the facts. Plan accordingly, and I'll be throwing out more details in coming days.



gamegetter II said...

Welcome back.

Hllbillygirl G said...


IRISH said...

Ditto, ditto.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Back.

Anonymous said...

You funny...

RushBaby said...

Well Thank Dog.
Your timing is perfect, too. I have a brand new bucket opener, still in the package.
Congratulations, Aesop.

Yojimbo said...


When you weren't posting, it was almost as if Ebola did not exist. I have to admit I am baffled. How did they manage to either a) completely eliminate the outbreak, or b) completely stop all news coverage of the outbreak?


geoffb said...

"How did they manage to either a) completely eliminate the outbreak, or b) completely stop all news coverage of the outbreak?"

Dense Pack.

"If you have too much of a bad thing you lose track of one woe with the arrival of the next since the mind can only cope with so much."

geoffb said...

Welcome back.

Only 600 official deaths and 1000+ official cases since your last post so of course the news is that nothing much is happening with Ebola. Just Ebola bites Man so no news value.

Anonymous said...

AANNNNDDDD here it comes....

Possible 6 infected in this case.


Anonymous said...

ANNDDD an american is in the infected group, and headed to NIH.

Anyone ever hear what happened to the last person to be treated at NIH?

"American and British Aid Workers Infected With Ebola in Sierra Leone


A worker from Partners In Health, the prominent American medical aid organization, and an emergency worker from the British military have been infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, health officials said Thursday."

Come on UK Daily Mail, you let the NY Times scoop you????


geoffb said...

Now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says several other Americans in Sierra Leone were potentially exposed to the virus when they came into contact with the infected worker.

None of these people have tested positive for Ebola, the CDC reported Friday. They are all being monitored in Sierra Leone, except for one person, who is being flown to Atlanta. That person is not showing any symptoms but will self-quarantine near Emory University Hospital, in case symptoms appear.

Anonymous said...

At least 10 Americans who may have come into contact with Ebola-stricken health worker in Sierra Leone flown back to US

At least 10 American citizens are being flown back to US, CDC has said
Will be evacuated on non-commercial plane and monitored for 21 days
Comes amid concerns they were exposed to Ebola-stricken aid worker
Unnamed American worker remains in NIH hospital in serious condition
Citizens will be housed near hospitals in Omaha, Maryland and Atlanta
CDC said investigation is ongoing; more Americans might be evacuated


and they are being housed "near the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, or Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the CDC said."

Which is weird. So they have quarantine hotels set up, that aren't really quarantines? At least they aren't being sent home on their own, but it does raise some questions. Who is paying? Are they being confined? Is it against their will? Could they leave if they wanted to? Under what authority?


Yojimbo said...

What are the best sites for up to date information on the Ebola outbreak?

The numbers are no longer looking exponential, and the outbreak appears to be leveling off, if the statistics are wikipedia are even close to accurate.

Is this outbreak under control?

What sites and information exist that support the idea that the outbreak is still potentially global?

Are there more cases in the US than are reported in the mainstream media?

How is it that the lack of an airtravel ban has succeeded in stopping the outbreak from coming to the US in greater numbers?

Who can you trust for an accurate understanding of the outbreak?


Anonymous said...

Yojimbo, you really gotta keep your eyes open. has a special ebola section. Many of the articles have a "who do we blame? how can we get more money?" slant, but they are useful.

Lot of quotes from the UK Daily Mail. Since it's a tabloid, it is quick to publish the latest.

There is an official media blackout on coverage of 'suspected' but not confirmed cases.

Last number I saw was that we still have about 2200 people on 'self monitoring' in the US at any given time.

Several sources have predicted that as the seasons change in Africa, we'll see the fire rekindled.

Several articles have pointed out that with the apparent decrease in cases africans are going back to the behaviours that led to the epidemic in the first place.

Turned out to be not as terrible as feared. Still a problem. Getting better. Might start getting worse soon.


I won't be taking any trips to africa anytime soon. And I won't be selling my preps.....

Percy said...

Aesop, Glad to hear from you and sympathize beyond measure with your surprise need to find a new job. Your comments on the process, warnings, suggestions, etc. are almost as good as your Ebola notes! Not as funny -- but it's not a government/policy deal and so not such a fertile ground for biting observations (well, not yet for you anyway, though I suspect you have a few not yet put in here).

No, Ebola has not disappeared. Nor is it obvious that lessons have been learned here or anywhere else. Numbers are down, for now at least, so maybe something is working out there to keep the lid on -- but it is just as fearful and dreadful as ever for those anywhere near it (or should be). I look forward to revealing commentary on the handling of this latest little rash of cases involving Americans.

Anonymous said...

Dude...your update to this specific blog's picture was, at first, a cause for new-entry excitement, but alas, it's just a tease... looking forward to your next installment. Cheers! :0)

mike18xx said...

The rains have returned a month early, and Ebola cases have jumped right on cue.

Anonymous said...

Found your site during the Ebola scare of 2014. I don't remember how. (I might have been searching how to prepare for or avoid Ebola during an outbreak) Anyways, I enjoy your site and check back with you every month or so. Keep doing what your doing... all the way around. - CJ

geoffb said...

"Liberian officials were investigating Saturday how the country's latest Ebola patient became infected, after weeks with no cases of the disease in the country.
But on Friday, officials said a new patient tested positive. In a worrying sign, she doesn't seem to be linked to any of the people on an Ebola contacts list and says she has not traveled recently to the neighboring infected countries of Sierra Leone and Guinea, said Dr. Francis Kateh, acting head of the Liberia Ebola Case Management Team.

geoffb said...

Funny thing is that the "official numbers" for Liberia showed roughly 20-30 new cases and 10 deaths per day for the past weeks and months.

Anonymous said...

It's almost like they were just making them up.....


Hllbillygirl G said...

And this just in:

Aesop said...

For the benefit of those who still crap their pants and then wander in cluelessly with feces running down their pant legs and onto the carpet, and yet unaccountably may still be able to read, we refer to the comments policy over on the right bottom corner of the front page.

Anonymous stupid comments disappear pretty much as soon as I see them.

You don't like it, come out and engage, write your own blog, or crawl back under your bridge.
There is no Troll Hot Lunch Program hereabouts.

geoffb said...

"By early June of last year, the Ebola epidemic centered on Guinea was the deadliest ever recorded. Foreign workers were being evacuated. Top disease-fighters warned that the virus could soon spread across West Africa.

But the World Health Organization resisted sounding the alarm until August, partly for political reasons, despite the fact that senior staff in Africa proposed doing so in June, The Associated Press has found.
WHO has acknowledged acting too slowly to control the Ebola epidemic. In its defense, the agency says the virus's spread was unprecedented and blames several factors, including lack of resources and intelligence from the field. Internal documents obtained by AP, however, show WHO's top leaders were informed of how dire the situation was. But they held off on declaring an emergency in part because it could have angered the countries involved, interfered with their mining interests or restricted the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in October.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, 3 day lockdown. Let me think...........what happened the last time? Oh right, a short time later there was a big uptick in cases as the families were forced to stay in close contact with the infected.

Or am I remembering wrong?


Anonymous said...

oh, anyone got an update on the current western cases?

I'm not seeing anything.


Hllbillygirl G said...

Nick, disappeared into the void as far as I can tell. Can't find anything.

geoffb said...

Hasn't been anything about the case at NIH Bethesda since 3-16 report that they had gone from serious to critical condition. No reports on any of the other persons brought back AFAIK either.

geoffb said...

Finally some news about the patient at NIH. They have now been upgraded to serious from critical condition.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Geoffb,

Did you catch this?

"The patient is one of 17 staffers working for the non-profit Partners in Health evacuated from Sierra Leone earlier this month. "

17!! That is about 3 times the initial report.

And then there's this " the clinic was closing anyway for a lack of patients. " And yet they won the prize. I guess complacency kills.

No updates from the UK, where they have at least one case, and I think 2 cases with some possibles.

And Sierra Leone is starting their "lets make sure whole families get it" lockdown.

Oh joy.


RushBaby said...

"An Ebola whole virus vaccine, constructed using a novel experimental platform, has been shown to effectively protect monkeys exposed to the often fatal virus."

Some possible good news, according to this article:

Anonymous said...