Sunday, October 14, 2007

State Fair

Last night we went to the North Carolina State Fair. We loved the rabbits, piglets, and cows. The 1,187 lb pumpkin was amazing. We saw the cake competition where the support our troops cake got an honorable mention. The paintings and art by the area high schools were enjoyable. The fair was packed with lots of kids on the rickety rides and carnies who just reminded me of patients at the state hospital. But for us the whole motivation of going was the food.

Fairs are the lovely time when you can eat things you can only get and probably should only eat once a year. Chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick and giant turkey drumsticks were available. Deep fried deserts like fried Twinkies, candy bars, Oreos and funnel cake were there.

Cheyn had been fixing for a fried Snickers bar for a long time after hearing about them. We enjoyed one of those. It was kind of like a melted candy bar in a scone. It actually was really good and had more calories than your average meal I'm sure. After that we finished off the night by splitting a funnel cake, something I'd never had before.

Now we should probably diet.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I have hesitated writing about my job basically because I didn't know what the crap I was doing. It is my first job as a nurse practitioner and a total career change. I have been an R.N. working mostly with pediatrics and now I am all about THE SPINE. Did I mention that I knew NOTHING about the spine. The job is at UNC in Chapel Hill which is a great opportunity that I couldn't pass up, so now I am trying to learn everything. It is pretty intimidating to try to read MRI's, learn all the pathophysiology, and keep up with 2 surgeons. I basically work in a clinic in the hospital trying to weed out surgical candidates. It is difficult dealing with people in pain, much of it chronic. I hope I don't become jaded and evil. "Oh, it is just neck pain! No radiating symptoms into your arms? GET OUT, your wasting my time!!!" But I am learning a ton. The perks of the job have been watching surgeries. Orthopaedic surgeons are the carpenters of surgery. Today I watched the surgeon hammer a nail in a lady's back and vertebrae, fill the collapsed vertebrae with balloon to pump it back up and fill the space with cement. (Kyphoplasty) Pretty cool. The really crazy part was the lady was AWAKE during the procedure. Maybe one day I will get to scrub in. I don't know how I will contribute?
So, now I am thinking about the spine night and day. My dreams haunt me by quizzing me on the dermatomes! It is slowly getting better. At least good enough to admit on our blog what my job is.

The Folks

We have no friends:

#1. Because we left such great ones behind, no one can compare.
#2. We are in a new area.
#3. We are pretty anti-social.
#4. I think it is harder to find a couple that we both enjoy.
#5. My R.S. president told me that some people won't bother to get to know us because we are apartment renters, therefore, not permanent. And she informed us that we could NEVER afford a house in ward boundaries. Ouch.

Since we don't have any friends here, we have to ship them in. My mom and dad came up for the weekend. Not only do they say and do all the right things, but we got to hang out with friends. We got to all the normal things that friends do: play games, go hiking, tour museums, try new restaurants, listen to conference together and have heart to hearts. I was devastated when they left.

So, we are ready for our next visitors. Anyone?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Internet Searching as a Charitable Act

I recently read a book on Google about how internet search ads work. Each time you search, advertisers are competing to be on the side or near the top of the page so they can get business when you click on their advertisement. Companies pay from a few pennies to close to 30 dollars to Google for top billing for words (such as mesolothemia).

I've been a big fan of the Google search engine but Yahoo search has opened a charitable wing of their search engine that is about as accurate and effective as Google. My friend Stacy tipped me off on GoodSearch. The great thing about this search engine is that the searcher gets to select where part of the advertising profits go from the search. GoodSearch donates a little over a penny for each search to the non-profit of your choice. I find this idea very appealing because I can now wander through the internet searching for such trivia as how does "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" end, brush up on what Buddhism is all about so I can sound educated when I talk with one of my co-workers, or search for the weather and bam!, three cents to charity.

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!

I've usually select LDS Philanthropies as my designated charity, and enjoy checking daily as the change builds up as peoples searches benefit that charity. Last month eight bucks were generated off 800 searches by people who use GoodSearch. Nice to know that you can generate for the Perpetual Education Fund or Humanitarian Aid without breaking a sweat. And just think how much could be generated if a lot of people were doing it, instead of the few people that are searching now. You can set GoodSearch as your homepage and put a browser up on your internet browser. There are hundreds of other Chairties you can select to generate for if you want to save animals, trees, children, or Darfur. Read more about the details here. I still use Google for Maps and a few more intricate searches, but recommend you give GoodSearch a try.