Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Commuting to work

I've been commuting to work for just over four months now. On days that I work in the big city, I spend at least 4.5 hours sitting on a bus getting to work and back. That amount of commuting did take some getting used to. I'm glad that I usually only do that for three days every week.

I've found that if I bring a couple of books and my iPod, I can either sleep or keep myself busy while travelling. One of the books is for studying, the other book is for enjoying. The iPod is nice, because there's a big city news Video Pod Cast that I can watch while travelling. If I can watch the news on my iPod I don't have much of a desire to watch the news at 11PM.

9 months till school starts.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Death in the family

There's been a death in the family. I don't really want to blog about it. I don't think I ever will.

Saying too much seems wrong. Saying nothing seems worse.

I thought that I was finished with the crying, but this post has brought me to tears.

School starts in 10 Months.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

11 Months

I was puttering around this morning, on my day off, getting a bit bummed out. I won't be starting school for a whole year. Then I realized that it's now October and I won't be starting in a year, I'll be starting in 11 months!

On Monday I decided that I wanted to spend some time improving my IT skill set. I thought that having some marketable IT skills would come in handy, and give me something to fall back on, if I need to make some extra money while I'm in school. I thought that reacquiring my Cisco CCNA certification would be a great way to start... I gave up on that idea on Tuesday. The material I would have had to learn, and study, in preparation for the exam is obscenely boring. I'm amazed at how little interest I know have in that type of stuff. I think I used to find that kind of stuff quite interesting.

I'm a lot more interested in the Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology, that I'm currently studying on my own. That book I mentioned in an earlier post is getting beat up pretty good as I read and reread it's very interesting pages.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Autopsy Video

If you want to see an Autopsy video, you can find one on the rtcorner.net web site: http://www.rtcorner.net/autopsy.htm (Yes, it's graphic. What would you expect from an Autopsy video?)

I was actually shocked by how quickly an Autopsy can be done.

www.rtcorner.net has a bunch of other interesting videos, that I will eventually get around to watching: http://www.rtcorner.net/rt_videos.htm

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My favorite book

I've been trying to learn some Anatomy and Physiology on my own and haven't been making much progress. I finally found an Anatomy and Physiology book that I absolutely love to read. If the book wasn't so informative and educational, I could actually consider it a 'fun read'. Some of the material is pretty involved and requires a bit of study to sink into my fuzzy little brain.

The book is the fifth edition of Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiology: Essentials for Respiratory Care by Terry Des jardins and it's my new best friend. That book is targeted at Respiratory Therapy students and makes Anatomy and Physiology really interesting. If you're interested in Respiratory Therapy, that's definitely a book that needs to be on your bookshelf.

Am I semi-retired?

I just realized that over the last 20 months I haven't had a full time job, or wanted one. When I was a full time student, I could use that as an excuse for not having a full time job. Now, because I'll be out of school until September 2008, the only excuse for not having a full time job is the fact that I don't actually want or need one.

After I've become a Respiratory Therapist, will I all of a sudden need or want a full time job?

The fact that I'm only working part time (about 3 days a week) comes up in conversation occasionally. When that fact comes up, it's often greeted with a great deal of sympathy and or pity. The assumption is that I'm down on my luck and actually should be working full time.

This week the knowledge that I was only working part time was greeted with, "Well at least you have a job." I was a little bit perturbed by the way that phrase came across. He could just as easily have said, "Well at least you're not on welfare.", or "Well at least you're not a crack head.".

If I just tell people that I'm semi retired, maybe they won't feel so sorry for me. Maybe I won't find myself constantly feeling the need to justify that I'm 'only working part time'.

Am I semi-retired? Is there a minimum age requirement for semi-retirement? If I actually get a full time job, can I still claim to be semi-retired?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A walk in the park

I finally went for a walk in the park, behind my place. I didn't walk very long, or very far, and I stumbled across this. That's some pretty impressive nature, within walking distance:

Next time I go for a walk, I'm bringing my camera. The above picture was taken with my camera phone.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I finally received a letter from the college

I finally received a letter from the college about my deferral:

Re: Respiratory Therapy Program, September 2008

Dear [Respiratory Therapy Student]

As previously agreed, your admission to the Respiratory Therapy Program has been deferred to the September 2008 start date. I have enclosed a copy of the signed agreement outlining the conditions of this deferral.

Please note that you are required to contact the College by February 1, 2008 to confirm your intention to start in September 2008.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at...

I waited 3 months for that letter. 3 Months!

Settled in

I haven't had the urge to post for quite a while. I've been running around doing all of those things that you do when you move into a new place.

I've been working in the big city for 3 days out of the week and commuting from my new home on those 3 days. My original plans to stay in my big city apartment up until the end of this month didn't work out. After moving into my condo I grew to detest my old apartment and couldn't bring myself to actually live there any longer.

I have to pick up a tool box and some paintings from my old apartment and then I will be completely moved out. I really am starting to hate that place. I can't believe that I lived there so long. I still have to clean the apartment before the end of the month. I might do the cleaning tomorrow, or I might leave it until Thursday or Friday of next week.
I can't believe how quiet my new place is. My old apartment was facing a major street in the big city and I was quite used to the traffic on that street, including all of thos Police, Fire and Ambulance sirens. In my new place, I'm facing a bunch of trees that has a very slightly used side road behind it. Behind the side road is a bunch of park land, that I haven't explored yet.

This is a picture of my desk and all of the trees that I can see from my living room window:

This is a picture of a few of the trees, taken from the grounds of the condo building, as the sun was setting:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

First night sleeping in the condo

The Real Estate deal finally closed at about 4PM on Monday, and I was then officially a condo owner. I was expecting the deal to be closed at about 1PM, so I was getting kind of impatient.

I've been trying to figure out how to refer to the cities that I am moving from and moving to. The city that I'm moving from, and will continue to work in, is "the big city". The city that I just bought a condo in is "the little city."

This is my first night sleeping, or trying to, in my condo. My bed arrived at 10AM on Tuesday and it's comfortable like a really expensive bed should be. Unfortunately, I can't sleep. It's very quiet at night in the little city and I'm not used to it.

In the big city, my apartment faces one of the busiest streets in town. At night the background noise consists of traffic, sirens and the occasional train. In the little city, I might hear a car drive by every couple of hours. In the big city, I can sleep through police, ambulance and fire truck sirens. In the little city, the wind blowing through the trees can wake me up.

It's so quite hear, that I now know that my laptop's hard drive makes an annoying high pitched noise. That noise is really annoying and I didn't know about it until I used my laptop here, in the quiet little city.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Less than a week

I'm going into the lawyers office tomorrow. I'll be signing papers related to the condo purchase and handing over a bank draft for the amount of my down payment. I thought that I would be doing all of that on Monday, which is the day of the closing.

After I'm finished at the lawyers office, I just have to wait until Monday to pick up the keys.

I'll officially be a home owner in less than a week. It will be nice to be paying off a mortgage, instead of paying rent.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Anti Impalement Protector

After almost impaling myself on that nasty circuit breaker panel at work, a few weeks ago, I came up with a little invention. It's called the Anti Impalement Protector. It works great.

This is the Anti Impalement Protector installed on the bottom right hand corner of a circuit breaker panel:

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Starting school next year

After sending an email to admissions yesterday, asking for an update, I was informed that my deferral request has been approved. I'll be starting school in September, next year.

If I don't get a full time job, I'm going to have a lot of spare time on my hands until September of next year. Maybe I should look for a full time job. Maybe I should be "gainfully underemployed". I think I'll avoid the whole issue, until I've moved into my condo.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Two more weeks until I own the condo

I will take possession of the condo on the 16th. My bed should be delivered on the 17th. I'm looking forward to sleeping on my comfy new bed, in my new condo, in a couple of weeks!

Still waiting for an update

The college was supposed to get back to me, this week, about the status of my admission deferral application. They haven't gotten back to me yet!

When am I going back to school? I don't know.
Do I want to go back to school this year, or next year? I don't know.

Am I getting stressed out about this? A little bit.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A bad financial move

Well it finally sunk in, with full force. This career change is a really bad financial move. When I'm finished school and working as a Respiratory Therapist, I will probably be making about 40% of what I was making when I was working as a full time IT Professional.

Unfortunately, I'm not at all interested in continuing on as a full time IT Professional. Financial reality has left me open, grudgingly, to the possibility of being a part time IT Professional for an indefinite period of time. I've already started telling people that, "I'm going to go back to school, so that I can get a more stressful and lower paying job". I usually think that line's pretty funny, sometimes I don't.

I spent most of today, and a couple of hours last week, shopping for furniture for my condo. I've already thrown out most of my crappy old furniture. While shopping I decided that I would get good furniture, that I like, and wouldn't get caught up on how expensive everything is. I'm 36 years old and I'm tired of living with crappy furniture, that lasts about as long as a decent pair of socks!

The end result is that I spent $10,811.17 on new furniture. I'm probably going to end up spending about $15, 000.00 when I'm finished getting all of the furniture that I want and need. Next year, I'm going to make about $38,000.00, if I'm lucky. When I'm finished buying my furniture, I'll have spent 40% of next years income on furniture!

What did I get for $10,811.17?
  • A bed: $2,265.02
  • A dresser and night stand for the bedroom: $2,125.42
  • A sofa and chair for the living room: $3,338.38
  • A dining room table and 4 chairs: $2,956.96
  • A floor lamp for the living room: $125.39

All of the above, except the floor lamp, was on sale. I saved about $1,500.00, because everything was on sale. I suspect that expensive furniture is always "on sale" so that people feel less depressed about how much money they spend on it.

What do I still need to get?

  • A headboard for my bend. I have this odd fear about getting my head stuck between my bed and the wall that the bed's up against. I'm hoping that a headboard will prevent me from getting my head stuck between a wall and my bed.
  • 3 big book cases (I've decided to get cheap ones, for a total of about $500).
  • A microwave.
  • A table for the dining room.
  • A couple of end tables for the dining room.
  • A TV and TV stand.
  • A vacuum cleaner.
  • A lamp for the night stand.
  • A desk for my computer.
  • A bunch of plants, to put in the empty spaces that I can't afford to put furniture in.

Things that i won't be getting:

  • A new laptop.
  • A new computer.
  • A phone. I'm just going to have a cell phone.
  • Cable TV. I have access to the Internet and know how to use it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Still waiting for an update

I sent an email to admissions, asking about the status of my admission deferral application. Someone from admissions responded by stating that the college is, "finalizing the communication to students who have deferred" and that they will get in touch with me next week.

Does that mean that my application has been approved?

I never did hear back from the Chair of the program.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Waiting to hear from the college about my admission deferral

I haven't heard back from the college yet. I still don't know if my admission deferral request has been approved. Will I be starting school in September of this year or September of next year?

I left a vmail for the Chair of the school today, that is responsible for the Respiratory Therapy Program, asking for a status update about my deferral request. I haven't heard back yet. I would really like to know when I'm going to be starting school! Not knowing for sure, is really starting to bug me. My patience is wearing thin.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Thanks Ken

I heard back from Ken, who is one of the people who runs the RT Corner web site. My blog has been added to the web site's links page (http://www.rtcorner.net/rtlinks.htm).

RT Corner is a great web site for people interested in Respiratory Therapy. If you're not already a regular visitor to the site, please check it out: http://www.rtcorner.net

Thanks Ken.


Some things I learned today:

  1. When you're crawling around on a server room floor, underneath a circuit breaker panel, get up slowly. Circuit breaker panels have really sharp pointy corners, that will hurt you if you slam your back into one of them.

  2. It's really hard to take a decent picture of a wound on your back, if you take the picture yourself.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Read my blog!

I've become obsessed by how many people are reading my blog. I visit the Cluster Map for my blog on a regular basis and am always pleased to see more and bigger dots. I think I might be developing a bit of a Cluster Map problem! I want more people to read my blog!

I recently had a thought about how to get more people to read my blog. If I got the kind hearted folks who run the rtcorner.net web site to post a link to my blog on their links page (http://www.rtcorner.net/rtlinks.htm) then maybe a lot more people would know about and read my blog.

I'm going to ask to be put on the rtcorner.net links page. Hopefully they'll do it and I'll get a bunch of RTs reading my blog.

Second thoughts

I must admit, that at times I do have second thoughts about my intention to change careers. I've recently wondered about why I felt the need to change careers. Was it the job or was it the work environment that need to be changed? Do I just need to have a more flexible work schedule, so that I don't feel "trapped" in a job that has a tendency to grind me down?

I recently poked around on a "find a job" web site to see what kind of Respiratory Therapy jobs were available. There doesn't seem to be a shortage of openings for new Respiratory Therapists, which is a comforting fact. I did notice that a lot of the positions were for short term positions that lasted either 6 or 12 months. The prospect of only committing to a short employment term is strangely intriguing...

I'm starting to think that I might be one of those people who needs the variety associated with moving from one job to another, on a regular basis, in order to stay fresh and enthused about his working life. Maybe what I need is to have periods of unemployment mixed in with my jobs, so that I can lead what I feel to be a satisfying life.

As always, only time will tell...

Waiting to move

July 16th, that's they closing date for my condo. The condo is in a different city from the one I'm currently living and working in. The condo will be an 8 minute bus ride away from school.

I'm planning on keeping my existing apartment until the end of August, so that I'll be able to move into my new place at a leisurely pace. My new home is about a 1.5hr drive from my current apartment. Getting to work from my current apartment takes about 20-30 minutes. Getting to work from my condo will take about 2 hours, if I'm lucky.

If I'm not going to school this September, I might want to get a different job that's closer to my new home. Getting a job in the same city as where I'm living, might be the sensible thing to do. A four hour daily commute sounds pretty unpleasant! I should be able to do some work remotely from home, with my current employer, but am skeptical about how well and how long that will work out.

On the other hand if I'm only working a couple of days with my current employer, starting in September, doing the commuting thing might not be all that bad. The cost of living in my new city of residence is significantly lower than where I'm living now. I should be able to live reasonably well if I only work a couple of days a week with my current employer.

I still haven't heard back from the school yet about my admission deferral application. If the application has been approved, I'll be going to school in September 2008. If the application hasn't been approved, I'll be going to school this September.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

An offer I couldn't refuse.

After speaking with the chair of the RT program, I can now confirm that the Respiratory Therapy Program is over subscribed. An unexpected number of people accepted offers of admission. The college has oversubscribed the program by 20 seats.

I have applied for deferred admission to the program. If my deferred admission application is approved, I will start in September 2008 instead of the September 2007. In exchange for postponing my studies, the college will give me $3000 in bursaries over the length of the three year program.

Given my current employment and money making prospects, I thought that postponing school for another year would be a pretty good move for me.

I had a talk with my manager at work and was told the following:
  • I can work full time hours until the end of June.
  • I can work three days a week during July and August.
  • After August, I can pretty much work 1 to 2 days a week, for as long as I want.
I'm also looking forward to goofing off quite a bit...

There is still a chance that I might be starting the program this September. Another RT school, in my area, was late sending out offers to students who had applied to their program. The over subscription to the RT Program at my school, may have been caused by students who accepted offers to my program because they didn't want to risk the possibility of not getting into the other school and being left out in the cold. I recently found out that the other school has sent out their admission offers. If those extra students, that my school couldn't accommodate, suddenly disappear because they are going to another school I'll probably end up starting school in September.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Too many accepted offers of admission?

I've been getting some odd emails from the college. The only thing that I can infer from the emails, is that they have sent out too many offers of admission and that too many people have accepted. I can't provide much more detail about this situation, because it could lead to me and or the college being easily identified.

The college does seem to be handling the situation in a fairly honourable manner. I hope that everything works out in the end.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Starting to pack

I hate moving and I especially hate the last minute rush to pack everything up prior to a move. I started packing yesterday and also started to throw some of my junk out. I'll be moving some time after July 16th, so I'm really getting a head start on things.

Work is getting interesting

I didn't work last week and was surprised to see that a bunch of hardware for our Storage Area Network and Server virtualization project has arrived. I must admit that I'm quite excited about the fact that I'll be working on the project. I'm going to be learning some really interesting stuff, and gaining some valuable experience, as the project progresses. It's starting to look like I'm going to have a pretty interesting full time job, up until I start school.

I think that I'm going to go into work early tomorrow, so that I can unpack a bunch of the Storage Area Network hardware and start putting it together.

I'm also starting to wonder if I'm ever going to get completely out of IT. Doing this IT stuff on my own terms is really working out well.

He quit his job.

The coworker who was looking for another job, tendered his resignation last week. He's a really nice guy and the group I work for, will be diminished by his departure.

I'm going to enjoy working some more hours until I start school, but I have to admit that I'll miss working with the guy who's going to be leaving.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Even more work and more $ for school?

I just found out that someone at work, is looking for another job. If he leaves, I will be able to work more and save lots of money in the next 4 months. I wouldn't mind working 40-60 hours a week until school starts. I'm currently only working about 25 hours a week. The free time is great, but having more money for school would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Malignant Hyperthermia

I was talking to someone today about my plan to become a Respiratory Therapist. After explaining that one of the roles of a Respiratory Therapist can be to assist Anaesthesiologists in the operating room, she mentioned that she has a rare genetic disorder that makes her susceptible to Malignant Hyperthermia. Apparently she's quite a celebrity when she goes in for surgery. She mentioned that there seem to be a lot of Medical Students around, whenever she goes in for surgery. It's a fairly rare disorder that can have catastrophic health consequences when an affected person undergoes anaesthesia.

There's a good description of Malignant Hyperthermia at the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States web site:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Need to be sensible and get more sleep!

Why do I keep on staying up so late! When I don't get enough sleep, I tend to become a cranky angry asshole. I caught myself at work today not so silently cursing at my computer, because I was having trouble getting something done. That type of behaviour isn't something that makes for a pleasant work environment for my coworkers and really should be avoided.

I really need to learn how to bite my tongue, when I'm in a bad mood and things aren't going my way, especially if I'm going to be doing a fairly stressfull job in a hospital some day.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A big thank you to my sister!

My sister was the one who suggested that I buy a condo. I was pretty apprehensive about buying a condo just before starting RT School. At one point I actually changed my mind and gave up on the whole idea. If it wasn't for her handholding and encouragement, during the whole process, I wouldn't have gone through with it.

A new place to live

Well it's done. I'm buying a one bedroom condo. The seller and I agreed on a price, on Saturday, and we both signed four copies of the paper work. My financing has been approved and my lawyer is looking over all of the paper work. I can't believe how easy the whole process was. My banker and real estate agent made the whole experience rather pleasant and unstressfull. I can move in, any time after July 16th. I'm still getting used to the idea that I will have such a nice place to live in, while I am in school.

I took a bunch of pictures before I signed all of the paper work. I'm not going to post all of the pictures because some of them have visible framed photographs in them, belonging to the person currently living in the condo. I did ask for permission to take the photograps but I don't think that images of the current tenants family and friends should be posted on my blog.

This is the Kitchen.

This is the bedroom.

This is the living room.

This is a shot of the dining room. That same kind of floor tile is used in the washroom, kitchen and dining room.

This is foyer buy the front door.

This is the insuite washer and dryer, with a water heater tucked in the back corner. No more going to the laundry room for me! Damn. I never thought that I would be proud of the fact that I will be the owner of my very own water heater!

Unfortunately I don't have much furniture and the furniture I do have, isn't nearly as nice as the stuff shown in the photographs. I'm going to have to spend a few thousand dollars to get the place decently furnished.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Buying a condo

I looked at a one bedroom condo on Friday that I really like. I'm putting in an offer on the condo this afternoon. If the offer isn't accepted I'm going to be really disappointed. I'm really glad that I saved all of that money when I was working in IT! The prospect of going to school, not working and living in a nice condo has gotten me really excited.

The condo is less than 10 minutes away from school, by bus.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Laryngeal Mask Airway insertion

This is an interesting video that shows the insertion of a Laryngeal Mask Airway. http://www.ispub.com/ostia/index.php?xmlFilePath=journals/ija/vol5n3/video.xml

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

To remain anonymous

There has been a disturbing trend in the blogosphere. People are getting into trouble for their blogging. In many cases they aren't actually doing anything wrong. Take a look at Baby Medic's Sunday, March 18, 2007 post at http://rockymountainmedic.blogspot.com/ and http://pdxemt.blogspot.com/ to see what I'm talking about. These bloggers have run into problems even though they don't seem to have done anything wrong.

There are certain things that I shouldn't be blogging about. Posting anything that violates patient confidentiality is obviously something that shouldn't be done. I can even understand why I shouldn't be posting anything as a "disgruntled employee" or "disgruntled student".

What concerns me is that someone may take issue with something that I post and I will have defend my right to blog or stop blogging all together. If no one knows who I am, I won't have to defend anything I do. I should only have to worry about blogging and doing so in an ethical manner.

I have occasionally been tempted to tell some friends about my blog. I think I'm going to keep this blog "my little secret", so that I don't ever feel that my blogging is a threat to my career aspirations and eventual employment as a Respiratory Therapist.

I think that in time, this blog will be of great value for me as a travel down the road towards becoming a Respiratory Therapist. As an added benefit, this blog will also give people who are interested in the Respiratory Therapy profession some information about what it's like to be a Respiratory Therapy student.

For now I shall remain anonymous.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Latex Allergy

Yes, apparently some people are allergic to latex. I wasn't really aware of latex allergies until I started looking around at allied heatlh programs. I even saw warnings about latex posted on lab doors at Conestoga, when I was there last Wednesday. I think that most people with a latex allergies get a horrible rash when their skin comes in contact with it. Some medical professionals have developed a life threatening allergy to it. Being a health care worker is considered a risk factor for developing a latex allergy! The amount of exposure to latex seems to be related to the developement of the allergy. What can make the situation worse is the use of powdered latex gloves.

Powder is added to latex gloves so that they are easier to put on and take off. The allergic response is actually caused by latex proteins. Latex proteins can become attached to the aforementioned powder and become airborne, which means that in certain environments people are actually breathing in the allergin. There is now a move towards using non powdered low protein gloves, in the medical field.

Working more (and saving $ for school)

It looks like I'll be putting in some more hours at my IT job in the coming months, which should allow me to increase my savings. I was working yesterday from 9AM until 10:30PM. The last 5 hours of that time was spent trying to bring up a VPN connection from another city.

Condo hunting

I started hunting for a condo apartment last week. The financing for a condo purchase was approved yesterday. It has taken me a while to get comfortable with the idea of being a full time RT student that has to pay a mortgage! I'm now looking forward to living in a place that's "mine", while I'm in RT school.

I hope that my real estate agent can get me in to look at a few more condos this week.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

New blog name and URL

I couldn't use http://rtstudent.blogspot.com because it does not seem to be available. The new URL is now http://rtscribe.blogspot.com. I'm an avid reader of http://medicscribe.blogspot.com so I thought that doing a variation of that URL would be cool.

Changing the name of this blog

I'm starting to dislike the name of this blog. I'm having trouble thinking of myself as a "Cubicle Rat" these days. So far the best name I can think of is Respiratory Therapy Student. I think that I may also change the URL for the blog to http://rtstudent.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Respiratory Therapy

I've had this urge to breath some life back into this Blog, for a few months now. I just have this urge to do some writing.

Part of my problem with keeping this blog active, is that I've been hung up on the idea of doing "good posts" that are well written and interesting. I think I've given up on that idea. The name of the game is now going to be quick and dirty posts, on a regular basis.

What's new since my last post?

I might still end up being a Paramedic, but it looks like I'm going to be a Respiratory Therapist first. I've still got my part time cubicle job. I'm going to start a Respiratory Therapist program in September. That's two years of school and then a year of clinical rotations. I'm actually quite excited about it.

Whenever I tell someone about what I'm planning, I usually provide them with these URLs: